Press Release

Willis Towers Watson Thailand Foresees 5.5% Average Salary Increase in 2017

November 28, 2016
  • Moderate salary increase marks stabilization across all sectors
  • Bigger differences for bonuses, from 1.8 up to three months
  • Employee turnover shows decreasing trend

BANGKOK, 28 November 2016
– Salary increases for employees in most industries across Thailand are expected to stabilize in 2017 compared to this year, according to the “2016 General Industry Total Compensation Survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

The survey covers the latest human resources and compensation trends in Thailand. Its key findings in terms of salary increases, entry-level salaries, bonus and turnover rates are:

  • Riding on the steady economic growth, the overall salary increase for General Industry in Thailand is 5.5% for 2016 and is projected to stabilize in 2017. With all sectors experiencing similar trends, Electronic Manufacturing had the lowest salary increase at 5.3% in 2016 but is expected to slightly increase next year to meet the average increase of 5.5%. The year-on-year evolution percentage is equal or slightly positive in all categories (Fig. 1 below).

    Figure 1: 2016 versus 2017 Thailand Salary Increases by Industry
    Towers Watson Media 
  • The highest paying industries for fresh graduates are Engineering and Information Technology (THB 20,583), followed by Accounting and Finance (THB 20,000) and Legal (THB 18,000). Master’s degree graduates in Technical fields (Engineering, Science, etc.) can command starting salaries of THB 27,000, which is considered the highest of all sectors.

    Anotai Sornwattana, Global Data Services Manager at Willis Towers Watson Thailand explained: “Despite stable pay rises across most employee levels, we anticipate some movements next year in blue-collar compensation rates as the government is going to increase the minimum wage by 1-3% in 69 provinces, effective in January 2017.”
  • Variable bonuses in 2016 differ by sector, ranging from 1.8 to three months of base salary. Banking and Financial Services offer the highest bonus pay-outs with an average of three months of base salary, while General Insurance and Electronics Manufacturing give the lowest variable pay at 1.8 months of base salary (Fig. 2 below).

    Figure 2: 2016 Thailand Variable Bonus by Industry (No. of Months)
    Towers Watson Media 
  • In 2016, industries experiencing the highest turnover were Transportation and Logistics as well as Electronics Manufacturing at 16%. The lowest turnover was in Life Insurance, General Insurance and High Tech at 10%. “The overall attrition rate was 12%, lower than last year by two percentage points. The high attrition in Transportation and Logistics could be attributable to it being a growing sector, having considered Thailand as ASEAN’s emerging regional supply chain management hub.  We will continue to monitor and closely look at other trends in this space, relative to other industries in the country. It’s also interesting to see that industries with the highest turnover in 2015, like Life Insurance and High Tech had the lowest turnover this year. This may be a result of increased stability in these industries and effective retention tools and initiatives introduced by employers.” said Anotai.
  • In terms of benefits prevalence, paid vacations were granted by all participating companies to their employees, followed by health care (94%), life insurance (88%), pension and provident fund (87%), wellness (83%), meals (18%) and other flexible benefits (7%) (Fig. 3 below).

    Figure 3: 2016 Thailand Benefits Prevelance
    Towers Watson Media
    Ms Pichpajee Saichuae, Managing Director of Willis Towers Watson Thailand, also shared the top priorities for HR in 2017. “To guarantee business success, HR executives should be able to tackle the following areas: Technology, Flexibility, Diversification, Communication and Analytics (Fig. 4 below). As we know that agility is the new corporate trend, organizations need to proactively anticipate or adapt to both internal and external changes. HR professionals need a forward-looking approach to policy making, where trends and historical data are used as a base to make forecasts in accordance to the overall market dynamics. In addition, to effectively support their business objectives, HR departments need to develop these skills to handle more complex information as well as to be able to manage and interpret trends to shape future policy and stay competitive.”
    Figure 4: HR Priorities in 2017 to Guarantee Business Success
    Towers Watson Media


Willis Towers Watson’s “2016 General Industry Total Compensation Survey” was completed in November 2016. It involved 231 companies in Thailand representing various industries including Banking and Financial Services, Asset Management, Life Insurance, General Insurance, Electronics Manufacturing, High Tech, Pharmaceutical, Retail, Transportation and Logistics and Chemical. The survey aims to help companies validate their salary competitiveness, support their recruitment initiatives and make informed decisions about total reward programs for their employees.

Willis Towers Watson’s “2016 Benefits Design Practices for General Industry in Thailand” was also completed in November 2016. This report is based on the responses of 233 companies across a range of industries such as Life Insurance, General Insurance, Electronics Manufacturing, High Tech and Transportation and Logistics and Financial Services. The survey captures detailed information on employer-sponsored benefit plan design practices such as retirement, health care, wellness, risk benefits, paid time off, meal benefits and flexible benefits. These surveys are designed for benefit professionals as a comprehensive source of high quality market data for benchmark purposes and general govern

Willis Towers Watson’s “2016 Salary Budget Planning Report – Asia Pacific (Third Quarter)” was completed in October 2016. The report is designed to help companies develop effective compensation and salary budget allocation plans. The annual report summarises salary movements and review practices around the world.


Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.