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What's The Average Thai Salary?


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#1 jeebusjones

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:19:37

I've always been curious about this. Most foreigners I meet will say the average Thai gets 6-8,000 baht a month or something ridiculous like that.

However, most official sources say the average salary is $8,200 a year. This means something around 24,000 baht a month is the average, nation wide.
(See https://www.cia.gov/...ok/geos/th.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok)

But even 24,000 a month strikes me as being somewhat low for a place like Bangkok, which is full of delux shopping centers, Mercedes and BMWs and some very expensive condos.

According to Wikipedia, the average salary in Bangkok is $20,000 a year. This equates to roughly 58,000 baht a month. Does this sound right? (See http://en.wikipedia....angkok#Economy)

So, this crap about the average Thai earning 8k a month is purely bullsh_t. Also the idea that the average westerner is so much wealthier than the average Thai. It's simply not true. Someone working at Tesco or 7/11 may be earning 8k a month. But someone with an education and a decent job will be earning far more, maybe more than you.

I think that's why foreigners almost always have poor Isaan girlfriends and never educated Bangkokians. To a poor country girl you are well off, but to an educated urbanite you're nothing. That's why wealthy Thais stick together, and poor Thais leech off the stupid farang.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I've been wondering about it for some time. Do you think Wikipedia may have incorrect figures?

Edited by jeebusjones, 2007-02-05 09:22:47.


#2 WilliamCave

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:31:09

Very good question, I would like to also know how they do it. I see many fancy cars, houses, etc. Were is all the money coming from if they only make about 8,000 baht a month,

Good question, what is the norm salary around BKK.

#3 luckyluke

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:31:26

[quote name='jeebusjones' date='2007-02-05 09:19:37' post='1121909']
I've always been curious about this. Most foreigners I meet will say the average Thai gets 6-8,000 baht a month or something ridiculous like that.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Bangkok Post economic review 2006/verage wage in Thailand :Bath 8.309.
You can find on their site the average wage by industry.

#4 Ulysses G.

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:38:37

Very good question, I would like to also know how they do it. I see many fancy cars, houses, etc. Were is all the money coming from if they only make about 8,000 baht a month,


You never heard of "Tea Money"? :o

#5 jeebusjones

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:38:46

Bangkok Post economic review 2006/verage wage in Thailand :Bath 8.309.
You can find on their site the average wage by industry.


http://www.bangkokpo...micreviews.html

Yeah that does show some pretty low figures. But on the bottom left it also says:
GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) $8,600

So, the figures seem to contradict each other.


Also, what do you think of this quote from Wikipedia's article on Bangkok:

"In 2005, it produced a GDP (PPP) of about USD 220 billion, which accounts for 43 percent of the country's GDP. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is roughly USD 20,000, one of the highest in Southeast Asia."

#6 wolfmanjack

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:40:54

I've always been curious about this. Most foreigners I meet will say the average Thai gets 6-8,000 baht a month or something ridiculous like that.

However, most official sources say the average salary is $8,200 a year. This means something around 24,000 baht a month is the average, nation wide.
(See https://www.cia.gov/...ok/geos/th.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok)

But even 24,000 a month strikes me as being somewhat low for a place like Bangkok, which is full of delux shopping centers, Mercedes and BMWs and some very expensive condos.

According to Wikipedia, the average salary in Bangkok is $20,000 a year. This equates to roughly 58,000 baht a month. Does this sound right? (See http://en.wikipedia....angkok#Economy)

So, this crap about the average Thai earning 8k a month is purely bullsh_t. Also the idea that the average westerner is so much wealthier than the average Thai. It's simply not true. Someone working at Tesco or 7/11 may be earning 8k a month. But someone with an education and a decent job will be earning far more, maybe more than you.

I think that's why foreigners almost always have poor Isaan girlfriends and never educated Bangkokians. To a poor country girl you are well off, but to an educated urbanite you're nothing. That's why wealthy Thais stick together, and poor Thais leech off the stupid farang.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I've been wondering about it for some time. Do you think Wikipedia may have incorrect figures?


I have been trying to find the salaries for gov officials with no luck. I did find a site that listed the Prime ministers salary plus a few others but no complete list.

After I tried to get some help at Tesco I told my wife Tesco needs someone who can speak english to help all the falangs that shop there so she went and asked for a job. They told her that you have to have a university degree to work there even just to be a sales person. What a waste of an expensive education.

#7 Scott

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:41:00

That 6,000 - 8,000 figure sounds about right for the majority. I think if you count the number of motorcycles as opposed to the number of Mercedes, you will see the average wage is lower.

Make no mistake, there are some very, very wealthy folks in Bangkok and plenty of up and coming people as well.

A good friend of mine who has a bachelor's degree AND reads, speaks and WRITES English very well earns between 25,000 and 40,000. He quits jobs after a few years and ends up back at that 25,000 area. It doesn't take long for his salary to start climbing though. His major strength is that he can write well--both gramatically and organizationally.

#8 StateSix

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:44:52

If you strip out the top couple of percent then I would imagine that the average salary drops dramatically.

Check out the classifieds in the Bangkok Post or on job sites to see what sort of salaries are being paid for different jobs. That may give you a better idea.

BTW what is with all the bitter, anti-farang bullshit? Not all farangs have a poor Isaan girl, or has a poor Thai leeching off them.

#9 sriracha john

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:47:37

So, this crap about the average Thai earning 8k a month is purely bullsh_t. Also the idea that the average westerner is so much wealthier than the average Thai. It's simply not true. Someone working at Tesco or 7/11 may be earning 8k a month. But someone with an education and a decent job will be earning far more, maybe more than you.

I think that's why foreigners almost always have poor Isaan girlfriends and never educated Bangkokians. To a poor country girl you are well off, but to an educated urbanite you're nothing. That's why wealthy Thais stick together, and poor Thais leech off the stupid farang.


Nice ranting... :o

However, more reliable statistics can be obtained locally. It all depends on the occupation, of course, but many degreed personnel make in the neigbhorhood of 8 - 12K per month. Particularly, the young and newly graduated, which in your rant you seem to address.

Certainly there are occupations that make 20K and up... but typically that comes with many years of experience and working up the corporate ladder such as managerial or supervisory positions.

For some good statistics on diploma/degreed occupations in Thailand, try:

http://www.kellyserv...ysalarythai.pdf

Edited by sriracha john, 2007-02-05 09:48:39.


#10 jeebusjones

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:50:57

BTW what is with all the bitter, anti-farang bullshit? Not all farangs have a poor Isaan girl, or has a poor Thai leeching off them.


Maybe I was speaking for myself? :o

Actually I didn't mean for it to be anti-farang. I meant for it to be anti-Isaan leech.

#11 StateSix

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Posted 2007-02-05 09:54:47

BTW what is with all the bitter, anti-farang bullshit? Not all farangs have a poor Isaan girl, or has a poor Thai leeching off them.


Maybe I was speaking for myself? :o

Actually I didn't mean for it to be anti-farang. I meant for it to be anti-Isaan leech.


Well as many people on here are in relationships with Isaan women/men (who aren't necessarily poor, or leeches), maybe you should stick to the main question - what is the average Thai salary :D

#12 Scott

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:03:16

Or maybe he just wants to know the average salary of an Isaan Leech!

(Only kidding)!

#13 thai_narak

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:12:06

Don't just look at the one who live in Bangkok 'coz most of the rich thai people live there or at least have businesses, condos, mia noi, etc., etc. in Bangkok and thus you will see lots of Benz, BMW, or let's say expensive cars out there. There are about 65M thais and 10M plus living in Bangkok. This is about the whole population of Sweden. If 5% of the 10M are extremely rich and 45% are in upper middle class so what happened to rest of 5M people in Bangkok and the other 55M living in the upcountry?

#14 jeebusjones

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:19:32

Or maybe he just wants to know the average salary of an Isaan Leech!

(Only kidding)!


If it's an Isaan leech that happens to have three farang boyfriends who visit intermittently, I'd suspect her salary is pretty good.

Edited by jeebusjones, 2007-02-05 10:19:57.


#15 billd766

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:21:47

Firstly please remember that Thailand is about 500,000 square kilometres and Bangkok is less than 250 sq/km.
While a lot of people live in Bangkok the majority live outside.
For every person earning 58,000 baht a month in Bangkok there are probably 20 or more earning less than 5,000 baht a month building all those nice new condos and shopping malls.
I live right out in the country in a farming area where the average income is less than 5,000 a month.
I also worked in Bangkok where as an expat engineer I was earning around $100,000 a year and my Thai engineers were earning less than 30,000 baht a month.
Try to understand that an average is composed of highs and lows and is the middle result.
In the UK people in London are on much higher incomes than people who live in the countryside and people who live on a pension. Afew years ago in the UK some people thought nothing of paying $5,000,000 for an apartment in London compared to $100,000 in the provinces.
If you take the average income of any country there will always be a small % of rich people and a much larger % of poor people.
So if the average Thai gets between 6-8,000 baht a month it is about the right amount.

I am one of the foreigners who married a Thai girl, though not from Issan and as far as I know in the last 14 years she has never leeched from me. Also i really don't think that I am a stupid falang just because I married a girl who did not have a degree and was not a Hi-so girl from Bangkok.
I actually think that I am a very lucky man and given my time over again I would still marry the same girl who is the mother of our 2 1/2 year old son.
I am very happy living up here where it is clean, quiet and peaceful and very few farangs around. No snobbery you see. People up here help each other and are very friendly.

I've always been curious about this. Most foreigners I meet will say the average Thai gets 6-8,000 baht a month or something ridiculous like that.

However, most official sources say the average salary is $8,200 a year. This means something around 24,000 baht a month is the average, nation wide.
(See https://www.cia.gov/...ok/geos/th.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok)

But even 24,000 a month strikes me as being somewhat low for a place like Bangkok, which is full of delux shopping centers, Mercedes and BMWs and some very expensive condos.

According to Wikipedia, the average salary in Bangkok is $20,000 a year. This equates to roughly 58,000 baht a month. Does this sound right? (See http://en.wikipedia....angkok#Economy)

So, this crap about the average Thai earning 8k a month is purely bullsh_t. Also the idea that the average westerner is so much wealthier than the average Thai. It's simply not true. Someone working at Tesco or 7/11 may be earning 8k a month. But someone with an education and a decent job will be earning far more, maybe more than you.

I think that's why foreigners almost always have poor Isaan girlfriends and never educated Bangkokians. To a poor country girl you are well off, but to an educated urbanite you're nothing. That's why wealthy Thais stick together, and poor Thais leech off the stupid farang.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I've been wondering about it for some time. Do you think Wikipedia may have incorrect figures?



#16 DP25

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:33:48

Bangkok Post economic review 2006/verage wage in Thailand :Bath 8.309.
You can find on their site the average wage by industry.


http://www.bangkokpo...micreviews.html

Yeah that does show some pretty low figures. But on the bottom left it also says:
GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) $8,600

So, the figures seem to contradict each other.


Also, what do you think of this quote from Wikipedia's article on Bangkok:

"In 2005, it produced a GDP (PPP) of about USD 220 billion, which accounts for 43 percent of the country's GDP. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is roughly USD 20,000, one of the highest in Southeast Asia."



The figures do not contradict each other. The confusion in this thread is stemming from ignoring the 'PPP' in the figures. PPP stands for purchasing power parity, and is a method weighing currency, as nominal exchange rates do not account for the fact that domestic goods in different countries cost different amounts. You can come up with a PPP exchange rate by taking a basket of goods and comparing how much they cost in varying countries, to learn how much a currency can really purchase. Normal exchange rates do not take into account that a haircut in Bangkok only costs 60 baht, while in NY it can easily be over 400, and PPP is an imperfect method of compensating for that shortcoming. So while per capita GPD (PPP) is roughly $9000, in real dollar terms it is only about $3000. If the average Thai took all the money they made in a year, it would buy $9k worth of goods in Thailand, but if they went to USA it would only purchase $3K.

The average Thai really does only make about 8k baht a month. It's just that a baht buys a lot more in Thailand than in the USA. That's why people in BKK making 30k baht a month have cars, it's because they are spending 8k a month on living expenses like an average Thai, but they have another 20k a month to spend on car payments.

#17 Goshawk

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:34:19

The Thais aren't doing so badly.. the average 'skilled' tradesman brings home anywhere between 4000 & 8000 a month. My wifes neice is a welder & fabricator and makes around 300+ baht a day.. The girls who work in Mcdonalds and the like have told me that they earn 20-30 baht an hour, and a bank clerk can make appox 20000 a year.

Near me there's a factory employing burmese labourers (no Thai id card) and they have to work from sun up to sun down (many times beyond that) 7 days a week. They are paid a little over 100 baht a day...

#18 Briggsy

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:34:21

Here are 3 points to bear in mind when surveying average Thai income.

1. You have to understand that income distribution in Thailand is very different from developed nations. The difference between the top 1% and the bottom 50% is much more marked. Thus when talking about average income you need to know whether you are talking about the mathematical median, mean, or mode. The mean will be skewed upwards by a few families with massive incomes. Connected to this point, is geographical income distribution which is highly unequal. So, it could be more informative to show average income by area.

2. When asking about salaries, bonuses must be factored in. In some jobs, a bonus of 3 months' salary is considered the bare minimum. Thus a minimum of 25% would need to be added to reach the true figure. Linked to this, benefits need also to be factored in. Public sector jobs in particular offer many benefits such as free or highly subsidised housing, free health care for the employee and relatives ( potentially very substantial) and subsidised or free food ( on military bases, grocery prices are under cost price).

3. Families often pool incomes and reduce expenditure by sharing accommodation, cooking expenses, vehicle use etc. This may account for lower than expected expenditure on daily living expenses from a Western perspective.

#19 jeebusjones

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:40:20

The confusion in this thread is stemming from ignoring the 'PPP' in the figures.


Yeah, that does seem to be the case.

That's why people in BKK making 30k baht a month have cars, it's because they are spending 8k a month on living expenses like an average Thai, but they have another 20k a month to spend on car payments.


This seems to be a good explanation.

#20 zzdocxx

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:49:13

Here is another interesting thread on the same topic, contains specifics about various jobs/professions/trades:

http://www.thaivisa....h...c=77206&hl=

:o

#21 h90

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:56:41

I've always been curious about this. Most foreigners I meet will say the average Thai gets 6-8,000 baht a month or something ridiculous like that.

However, most official sources say the average salary is $8,200 a year. This means something around 24,000 baht a month is the average, nation wide.
(See https://www.cia.gov/...ok/geos/th.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok)

But even 24,000 a month strikes me as being somewhat low for a place like Bangkok, which is full of delux shopping centers, Mercedes and BMWs and some very expensive condos.

According to Wikipedia, the average salary in Bangkok is $20,000 a year. This equates to roughly 58,000 baht a month. Does this sound right? (See http://en.wikipedia....angkok#Economy)

So, this crap about the average Thai earning 8k a month is purely bullsh_t. Also the idea that the average westerner is so much wealthier than the average Thai. It's simply not true. Someone working at Tesco or 7/11 may be earning 8k a month. But someone with an education and a decent job will be earning far more, maybe more than you.

I think that's why foreigners almost always have poor Isaan girlfriends and never educated Bangkokians. To a poor country girl you are well off, but to an educated urbanite you're nothing. That's why wealthy Thais stick together, and poor Thais leech off the stupid farang.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I've been wondering about it for some time. Do you think Wikipedia may have incorrect figures?


just forget that!
Most probably there is a mix of super rich in that statistic. My office staff gets arround 10.000 baht and there are a hugh amount of labour which work for arround 5.000 Baht. So 24-58.000 are not not true in a clean statistic in which you cut away some extrem amounts.

#22 Heng

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Posted 2007-02-05 11:03:10

I've always But even 24,000 a month strikes me as being somewhat low for a place like Bangkok, which is full of delux shopping centers, Mercedes and BMWs and some very expensive condos.


You're ignoring those who are packed like sardines on the public buses. You'll find a lot of avg. earners there. And yes, you'll also find a few wealthy people sprinkled in, it's usually best not to stereotype. The same with those with toys,.... many of those folks are actually not so well to do. Some are living on credit, some on tea money, and yes some are actually well to do. If you take the avg. salary for a lot of countries and simply say.... how can they afford this? It's easy to come to think that it doesn't make sense. For example, even if a country's avg. income was $40,000 a year.... it still doesn't compute how one can afford a 10 million Baht car and 20 million Baht home without financing. The key word is avg. There are plenty of folks out there below and above avg.

:o

Edited by Heng, 2007-02-05 11:09:44.


#23 solo siam

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Posted 2007-02-05 11:24:30

Its pretty simple, for example lets say that for every 100 Thais that earn 6,000 Baht there's one that earns 1,800,000 baht, an average salary is just that an average of all peoples earnings. 98% of the population probably earn less than 8,000 baht a month, whilst the rest are middle class (say 24,000 Baht salary) or very well off.

Someone with an education and a decent job is still likely to be earning 15-25,000 baht or so, I mean Doctors in a public hospital would be lucky to be getting more than say 30k baht, so a teenager working at Mcdonalds in the UK could easily earn three times what a fully qualified doctor of 30 years does here.

Edited by Ben@H3-Digital, 2007-02-05 11:28:13.


#24 billaaa777

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Posted 2007-02-05 11:28:33

It really depends on how good looking you are, how young you are and how horney you are.

#25 jeebusjones

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Posted 2007-02-05 11:37:37

Someone with an education and a decent job is still likely to be earning 15-25,000 baht or so, I mean Doctors in a public hospital would be lucky to be getting more than say 30k baht, so a teenager working at Mcdonalds in the UK could easily earn three times what a fully qualified doctor of 30 years does here.


It's true. I have spoken to quite a few doctors and nurses. A nurse from B&H Hospital that I spoke to only earned about 25k a month. The doctors I spoke to said they'd earn at most 35k a month at a public hospital, and around 45k at a private hospital.

On the other hand, I spoke to a Thai woman working as a flight attendant for Japan Airlines, and she was earning 50k a month.

But a friend of mine has a girlfriend working as an accountant. She has a Master's Degree and still only earns 10k a month, which she considers to be quite high.

So the disparity in incomes is pretty huge, and education seems to have little to do with it.





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