The average salary in China's IC industry had an 8.0% increase rate in 2020 and expected to reach 9% this year
Chinese article by 依然
English Editor WM Zhang
07-09 16:09

Editing by Kate Yuan/WM Zhang

The average salary in China's IC industry had an 8.0% increase rate in 2020 and is expected to reach 9% this year, reversing a long-time trend of slow increase, one of the factors that had led to current talent shortages in the industry. These are part of the JW Insights White Paper results on China's IC industry Talents (2019-2020).

The report, released last month, has combined data from JW Insights and other human resource agencies, and the data shows that the annual average salary of the IC industry was RMB323,100 ($49,918). And overall, the design employees had higher wages - RMB268,100 ($41,421) than those manufacturing and testing employees.

China's IC industry had 20% growth in 2020, despite uncertainties from the China-U.S. geopolitical changes and the global outbreak of COVID-19. These are the significant factors that led to the salary increase, the report says.  

A salary survey in the first quarter of 2021 by 51job (前程无忧), a leading online recruitment company and a partner of the report,  confirmed salary growth trend in multi-industries in China. The top three industries with the most salary increase were finance/investment/securities, communications /telecommunications/network equipment industries, and electronics/semiconductor/IC industries.

A JW Insights survey for the report looked at five factors determining the salary level: industrial sector, job position, job rank and years of employment, regions, and academic qualifications.

Regarding the industrial sector, the salary for design, materials, and equipment sectors was significantly higher than those of manufacturing and packaging and testing in 2020.

The average annual fixed salary of design employees reached RMB268,100($41,421), the highest level in the industry. That of the materials and equipment employees was RMB251,000 ($38,754), manufacturing RMB232,400 ($35,883), and packaging and testing RMB197,600 ($30,509), the lowest among all sectors.

Annual salaries of the three hot positions of IC design in 2020(RMB10,000)

Within the design sector, digital design, analog design, and software development positions were the most popular. Digital design positions had higher starting payment and software development long-term increase potential.

Annual salaries of R&D job ranks in China's IC industry in 2020(RMB10,000)

The survey also pointed out that the first-tier cities had absolute advantages. The annual average salary in the first-tier cities was RMB270,600 ($41,807); the second-tier cities RMB236,800 ($36,585); the third-tier cities RMB172,600 (US$26,667).

As for the academic qualifications, the salary positively correlates with the years of employment and academic qualifications. With the increase in the number of years of work, the advantages of academic qualifications slightly weakened. While with the same length of working experience, academic qualifications were still an important factor affecting salary.

The advantages of academic qualifications were more obvious in those positions that require five-or-less-year experience. The median, minimum salary for a bachelor's degree holder was about RMB150,000 ($23,235) per year, while that for a master's holder was 30% higher, about RMB200,000 ($30,980).

For positions with 5-10 years of experience, the salary range for bachelor's and master's was roughly the same. The median maximum salary for a bachelor’s holder with more than ten years of experience was RMB700,000($108,430) per year. For master’s holders with the same experience, it was about 14% higher, which was RMB800,000 ($123,920).

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