Cannons in front of the Ministry of Defence building
Ever wondered how much people get paid in Thailand? Here is an idea. At the moment, $1 is about 40 baht.
Agriculture, hunting and forestry (3,019 baht)
Fishing (2,968 baht)
Mining and quarrying (7,646 baht)
Manufacturing (6,420 baht)
Electricity, gas and water supply (17,841 baht)
Construction (4,706 baht)
Wholesale and retail trade, repair business (6,760 baht)
Hotels and restaurant (5,680 baht)
Transport, storage and communication (11,752 baht)
Financial intermediation (19,325 baht)
Real estate, renting and business activities (9,571 baht)
Public administration and defence (11,375 baht)
Education (14,883 baht)
Health and social work (10,804 baht)
Other community and social work (6,311 baht)
Private households with employed persons (4,068 baht)
Extra-territorial organisations and bodies (5,753 baht)
Unkown (12,341 baht)
Source: National Statistical Office, first quarter, 2005
Of course, there are a lot of people who are surviving on just 100-200 baht a day. The minimum wage is presently 175 baht per day. I know people who get less than that. I don’t know how they can do it. I have a lot of respect for people who can manage their life on so little. Nothing goes to waste. They work long hours just to put enough food on their table. More times than not, anything spare they can afford they give to a neighbour who is “worse” off than them.
It also makes you wonder how Thai people can afford to buy so many of the brand new cars that are on the road that cost 1 million baht and upwards. I think that is one of the first things that startled me when I first came to Thailand. All of the cars on the road seemed to be new. Where were all the old bangers that we have back home? Thailand, like many other countries in Asia, has a big difference between those that have and those that don’t. There are many people who are earning 60,000 baht per month and upwards.
To have a better idea of the difference, here are some “real” wages released by the Board of Investment. They are given as a guideline of what to expect for foreign companies starting up in Thailand.
Plant manager 73,396 baht (US$1,847)
Personnel/HRD director 71,222 baht (US$1,792)
Office manager 47,994 baht (US$1,208)
Executive Secretary 32,296 baht (US$813)
Engineering 26,051 baht (US$656)
Researcher (Thai) 24,722 baht (US$622)
Sales/marketing staff 23,785 baht (US$599)
Public relations staff 16,635 baht (US$419)
Office staff 15,222 baht (US$383)
Driver 8,528 baht (US$215)
Housekeeper 6,532 baht (US$164)
IT Manager 90,000-150,000 baht (US$2,265-3,774)
Webmaster 45,000-60,000 baht (US$1,132-1,510)
Web Designer 25,000-35,000 baht (US$629-881)
PC Programmer 22,000-35,000 baht (US$554-881)
System Analyst 40,000-45,000 baht (US$1,006-1,132)
Network Administrator 45,000-55,000 baht (US$1,132-1,384)
LAN Manager 60,000-80,000 baht (US$1,510-2,013)
I will talk more about the cost of living in Thailand in a future blog.
More discussion at the Paknam Web Thailand Forums.