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Old 26-10-2020, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Local degree holder lab tech here. Just want to highlight that lab techologists are not necessarily non-degree holders. The two non-acad tracks have also since been relabelled as Executive & Administrative (Executive) for the former, and Executive & Administrative (Administrative) for the latter.

Salary with AWS (13 months) for us (degree, lab tech) can be on par with executives (12 months), unable to verify if the bonus average differs across the two. For lab techs, on good years we can get between 1.9-2.8 months vs bad years of 1.6-2.1 months (probably even less for 2020). Agree with his mention of increments of at least 100 and above (also dependent on economy), just note that its a pre-determined lump sum increment and not a % of your salary.

That said, I do recommend degree holders to avoid taking up the lab tech jobs due to the fact that the title does not match up with your actual job scope and would be bad for your future hiring outlook. (some of us, esp degree holders, are actually operating on a level of >= Executives & Managers in the Executive track)

Agree that while salary is lower than what most local degree holders are comfortable with, the environment is relatively welcoming and not as fast paced/stressful. If you are intending to join NUS as an interim job, I recommend one to take the opportunity to further your studies as a postgraduate part-time student in NUS by making full use of the staff concession scheme.

Hope this helps.
Sharing some of my thoughts:

I was a RA in NUS a couple of years back, I was offered the position by my FYP supervisor and stayed on for 5 years. If I have a choice, I would never want to move on from NUS. Like what the above commenter posted, NUS is a relatively welcoming place, and not as fast paced and stressful, very good work-life balance. I actually had a very hard time adjusting to my current workplace when I first joined cos it's was a very drastic change of environment.

Back as a RA, my contract was renewed every 6 months/1 year, when I was younger in my 20s, I am able to accept such contract basis jobs but as I'm older right now with other commitments, I can no longer deal with such job insecurity, and indeed it came to a point when my supervisor can no longer support me as the research grants have ran out.

My advice is it's okay to join NUS, if you like the environment, but do note that there is very little career advancement whether you are on the research or executive track. For the former, in order to promote from a research assistant to research associate, you need a Masters and to promote from a research associate to a research fellow, you need a Phd. For the latter, all the top roles in the executive positions are mostly reserved for Phd holders. Almost all positions in NUS are contract basis if I'm not wrong. Also, depending on the department you are working in, some departments have dull period when you get nothing much to do. I dare say that the amount of things I have learnt in a year at my current job is more than what I have learnt in 5 years in NUS. This is also the reason why I had the free time to pursue a part time postgrad when I was working in NUS.

Salary and bonus wise, I can only comment for the research track as I was never under the executive track. Salary is below market rate that's for sure, I never had any pay increment for 3 years and performance bonus was never more than 1 month. As for executive position, during my time, 13th month bonus was not factored in but it seems like a different case now based on what the above commenter posted.

In summary, if you have the drive to climb up the ladder, to earn a higher salary, then NUS is not the place for you. If you join NUS, take the chance to study postgrad, as the school fees are heavily subsidized. I heard of someone working in another academic institution as a lab tech, the person tried applying for jobs for many years but couldn't manage to find any, I suppose such stint does affect your future hiring outlook.

Hope the above helps.

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