Chief human resources officers in Thailand with more than 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree can earn up to THB600,000 in 2020. 

This was according to Kelly Services' 2020 Thailand Salary Guide, which put a spotlight on the latest employment trends and issues that are impacting and redefining Thailand's industries and workforce. The report, launched in April 2020, also outlined what professionals across functions - including HR directors, chief financial officers, and more - can earn in 2020. 

Note: All salary ranges reflected are on base salaries per month.


Corporate services

In corporate services, which comprises functions such as HR, administration, legal, marketing, secretarial, and other support functions, CHROs with more than 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree are the highest earners. This group of professionals can draw a minimum of THB300,000, and up to THB600,000 a month.

This was followed by HR directors with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree, who can expect to earn THB200,000 to THB400,000 a month.

Rounding up the top three highest-earning professions are chief marketing officers with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree. These professionals can earn between THB150,000 and THB400,000 a month.

Three highest-paid HR roles in Thailand 

Zooming in on the HR function, the top three highest-earning roles are: 

  • CHROs with more than 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB300,000
    • Maximum: THB600,000
  • HR directors with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB200,000
    • Maximum: THB400,000
  • HR managers with seven to 12 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB60,000
    • Maximum: THB180,000

 kelly thailand salary guide 2020 hr


Accounting & finance

Demand for accountancy professionals will remain strong in 2020. However, several challenges lie ahead for this profession.

With the use of robotic process automation becoming more widespread among finance and accounting functions, accountants are increasingly expected to harness technological tools to make more insightful decisions. 

Additionally, the new accounting standards and principles that are coming into play this year will impact how companies report finances. The onus falls on management and accounting departments to stay ahead of these changes to ensure that new regulations and standards are adhered to, managing and minimising risks for companies.

In terms of salaries, the three highest-earning roles are: 

  • Chief financial officers with 15 to 20 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB200,000
    • Maximum: THB600,000
  • Audit directors with 12 to 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB150,000
    • Maximum: THB450,000
  • Finance directors with 15 to 20 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB150,000
    • Maximum: THB400,000

 


Banking & financial services

Despite a decelerating economy driven by the global slowdown, Thailand’s banking sector has proved largely resilient thanks to the country’s stable financial systems. Although bank loan growth has declined, overall profits are on an uptrend, and many banks are further taking precautions through new reserves to guard against economic uncertainties.

By 2025, Thailand's digital economy is expected to reach US$37bn. In that line, the larger banks have made digital transformation their top priority in their drive for profitability and efficiency. 

As the country turns into a hotspot for high net worth individuals and foreign investors, the growth of private banking is at a high, with demand for wealth relationship managers in the private banking sphere is set to correspondingly increase.

The three highest-earning roles are:

  • Vice presidents with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB160,000
    • Maximum: THB320,000
  • Managing directors with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB140,000
    • Maximum: THB265,000
  • AVP, senior project management and process improvement managers with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB115,000
    • Maximum: THB170,000

 


Chemical & life science

As a key player in Thailand's push from research to commercialisation, the Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) is central to the industry’s growth. Apart from working with educational institutes, research organisations and companies, it also runs the gamut from supporting start-ups, facilitating acceleration and mentorship programs, and scaling up the country’s capabilities to an industrial scale.

Another key player in the country’s sciences industry, the National Science and Technology Development Agency, is investing THB 3.4 billion in a pilot biorefinery in the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (ECCi), billed as a first for Southeast Asia. The pilot plant will be vital to the development of biological technology in Thailand, supporting the creation of the country’s circular economy by converting waste into useful products.

Other key trends in the industry include: 

  • After becoming the first in Asia to legalise cannabis for medical purposes in 2019, Thailand is moving forward with production and distribution of legal medical cannabis, while expanding the network of practitioners who can prescribe medical cannabis.
  • Within the next five years, Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry is anticipated to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% and reach THB 275 billion by 2026, driven by both healthcare and pharmaceutical reforms.
  • The industry is witnessing burgeoning demand for contract services, a boon for Thai pharmaceutical manufacturing players, as international corporations look to local partners to expedite access into regional markets.

In terms of salaries, the three highest-earning roles are: 

  • Heads of regulatory affairs & compliance with more than 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB250,000
    • Maximum: THB350,000
  • Regional sales managers with more than 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB170,000
    • Maximum: THB300,000
  • Medical affairs managers with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB140,000
    • Maximum: THB300,000

 


Engineering

Consisting of construction, chemical, as well as oil & gas, some key trends in the engineering sector include:

  • Driven by state efforts to develop transport and energy infrastructure, Thailand’s construction industry has returned to growth, and its renewed momentum is expected to carry over into 2020. By 2023, the industry’s overall output value is expected to rise to US$27.9 billion. Residential construction remains the largest market segment by far and is forecast to account for 40.3% of the market’s value in 2023.
  • Under Thailand 4.0, biofuels and biochemicals have been identified as key growth drivers for the sector. Over the mid to long term, investments in this area are expected to expand; producers may switch to producing environmentally-friendly bioplastics, leveraging the country’s robust domestic sources of organic products such as cassava, palm and sugarcane, which can potentially be used as alternative feedstocks.
  • Thailand has set its sights on becoming a regional trading centre for liquefied natural gas (LNG), capitalising on the global oversupply of LNG and low prices. As its own natural gas reserves dwindle, the country is looking to increase its LNG imports to meet robust domestic demand. To accelerate its rise to hub status, the country is liberalising its LNG trade and boosting investments in infrastructure.
  • Amid an uncertain global outlook for oil in 2020, the country’s largest oil conglomerate, PTTEP, is also starting to shift its focus towards increasing investments in electricity generation and renewables. Digital transformation is also in the works at the company; PTTEP is automating engineering processes, and employing machine learning, AI and analytics across the well lifecycle to raise productivity and optimise performance.

In terms of salaries, the three highest-earning roles are: 

  • Business heads (renewable energy) with more than 15 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB180,000
    • Maximum: THB400,000
  • Project directors/program directors with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB150,000
    • Maximum: THB280,000
  • QA/QC managers with more than 10 years of experience and a degree:
    • Minimum: THB100,000
    • Maximum: THB180,000

 


FMCG, retail & services

Thailand’s retail industry is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% until 2023, bolstered in large part by an increase in tourism, particularly Chinese tourism, and high tourist expenditure. 

At the same time, trends in the sector include growing demand for products and services targeted at elderly consumers. Digital professionals with data analytics skillsets may also be in increasing demand

The three highest-earning roles are:

  • Heads of sales & marketing with eight to 15 years of experience and a degree:
    • Minimum: THB200,000
    • Maximum: THB400,000
  • National sales managers with eight to 15 years of experience and a degree:
    • Minimum: THB170,000
    • Maximum: THB300,000
  • E-commerce managers with eight to 15 years of experience and a degree:
    • Minimum: THB120,000
    • Maximum: THB250,000

 


Information technology

By 2022, Thailand will truly have entered the digital age; more than 61% of the country’s GDP is expected to be digitalised by then. In every sector, from 2019 to 2022, growth will be powered by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations and relationships driven by US$72 billion of IT-related expenditure.

IT talents with data analytics, cloud computing, machine learning and data privacy skillsets are expected to be in especially high demand. Hiring within these spaces will pose continuous challenges, making it imperative for companies to continue investing in their existing workforce to close the skills gap and nurture digital-ready talents.

The three highest-earning roles are:

  • Chief technology officers with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB220,000
    • Maximum: THB700,000
  • Heads of information technology with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB150,000
    • Maximum: THB350,000
  • IT directors with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB180,000
    • Maximum: THB300,000

 


Manufacturing

Consisting of manufacturing, automotive, as well as electronics & semiconductor, some key trends of the manufacturing sector include:

  • Amid economic uncertainties, Thailand’s game plan for its manufacturing sector is clear – to become a high-tech manufacturing hub. Under Thailand 4.0, the country is venturing further up the value chain and expanding its capabilities to manufacture higher value products.
  • To successfully recruit digital specialists in an increasingly competitive global playing field, manufacturers must also explore creative ways to increasing their attractiveness and engage with potential hires.
  • Turnover in the wider automotive sector will remain largely unchanged on both domestic and export markets. Manufacturers of heavy vehicles will find upsides from continued government investments in infrastructure construction, logistics and tourism sector growth, while the electric vehicle segment is promising too.
  • Despite the global semiconductor market being in decline in 2019, Thailand’s market has been exhibiting a steady growth rate of 5%.2 The wider industry can look forward to a return to growth in 2020, powered by greater demand for chips related to artificial intelligence (AI). The rise of 5G may also have a direct impact on demand for chips, spurring renewed growth for the semiconductor industry.

The three highest-earning roles are:

  • Plant manager with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB170,000
    • Maximum: THB250,000
  • Production manager with more than 7 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB140,000
    • Maximum: THB180,000
  • Country sales manager with more than 10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB120,000
    • Maximum: THB180,000 

 


Logistics

Propelled by growing e-commerce and increasing urbanisation, Thailand’s freight and logistics market is forecast to grow by 6-7% between 2018 to 2024. While current global trade tensions have resulted in lower export growth in 2019 for Thailand’s shipping industry, exports are still expected to rise 0-1% in 2020.

Under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) framework, the government may allow foreign companies a larger role in shipping services, which may enable these foreign multinational logistics companies to gain significant market share from local logistics providers. As more players emerge, domestic operators such as shipping lines and freight forwarders must adapt to the changes and growing competition.

Given a leg up from the increased outsourcing of logistics services and increase in imports and exports across key markets, Thailand’s third-party logistics (3PL) market will continue its ascent.

On the import & export side, a sustained decline in export growth has affected the growth of domestic demand this year. The appreciation of the Thai baht has also weighed on the country’s export competitiveness. However, export growth should gain momentum in 2020, and could expand by 1.6%.

The three highest-earning roles are:

  • Supply chain manager with more than 10 years of experience and a degree:
    • Minimum: THB120,000
    • Maximum: THB250,000
  • Fleet manager with 7-10 years of experience and a degree or master's degree:
    • Minimum: THB120,000
    • Maximum: THB180,000
  • Procurement manager with more than 7 years of experience and a degree:
    • Minimum: THB100,000
    • Maximum: THB250,000 

 


Infographics / Kelly Services
Lead image / 123RF.com