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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24-12-2012, 11:48 AM
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Default Poly pay scales

Hi all,

I am confused.. I have a masters degree in engineering from Europe (a well reputed uni) and I joined a poly as a project engineer.. my starting pay was $2900/month (according to my contract, I am not eligible for any bonus..so the number you see is all I get).. I was told that this is a very normal starting salary for someone with my educational background and work experience (I had one year work experience in the form of internships before joining this current job)...
So I did not hesitate before joining partially due to the fact that I was hounded to join the job as the employer wasn't able to find suitable people in Singapore to fill the vacancy (it is a very specialized job and now I understand why nobody was joining the job- the pay is insanely low for the kind of job it is).

I did not think twice because European companies provide almost the same salary..But I totally missed the fact that European companies compensate this low salary with generous bonuses..

When I started working, I realized that I was grossly underpaid for the educational qualification I had... I confronted my superior about the pay and he said something which totally threw me off the cliff. According to him (or rather, in his words "the HR team which controls your pay"), this salary is what I deserve according to my qualification and work experience and to demand more is not appropriate and the reason I am getting agitated is cos am too young to understand the way salaries work!!!!!!! He promised that he would consider my request and recommend the HR team about a good increment in the next pay revision.. And they have sent me a new pay revision with a comment that my new salary would be "current + one increment" ...

So my questions now are:

1) What does "current + one increment" mean? There are no numbers attached to "one increment"? I asked this to my superior and to the HR team and neither of them give me a number.. They answer like presidential candidates, making you want to jump off the cliff.

2) Am I settling for peanuts in the name of salary?

3) What happens when you leave a job in between your contract period? My job contract says I can leave the job with a one month notice. Is it just on paper or that's how it works or will I get into any trouble if I leave the job in the middle of a contract?


Sorry for the long post and would really be glad if someone answered my query!! Thank you!!

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Old 24-12-2012, 12:20 PM
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First of all, a masters without working experience is really counterproductive.

Secondly, are you a female without NS?

Thirdly
1) This is just an annual increment. Polytechnics are statuary boards and you should know that they have a salary guideline to follow.

2) Depends. You can try to find a better offer elsewhere.

3) Read your contract carefully to see if there are any penalties if you leave before the contract ends. Otherwise, just ask your HR.

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Old 24-12-2012, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for the reply..

Why is a masters without work exp counterproductive? I had one year work exp before joining this job and now I have a total of 2.5 years of work exp. Yes, I do not have NS.

Do you know or have an idea of how much one increment is equivalent to?

Thanks again!

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Old 24-12-2012, 12:36 PM
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wow you reply fast too.

Normally, mid career people take up masters for several reasons:
1) change of industry
2) promotion requires masters
3) improve professional proficiency

However, if you take masters right after your Bach in hope of landing a higher paying job then you are going to have a bad time. Masters without exp will deem you overqualified for most jobs.

You stated that you have 1 year of exp, which is in the form of an internship.
Question is, is that counted as 1 year of exp in the public service?

Annual increment in the public service varies from agency to agency.
A rough guide from the civil service is:
200-300 per year for relevant exp.
halve of that for non-relevant exp.
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Old 24-12-2012, 01:12 PM
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haha, the emails pop up when there is a reply, and I itch to reply when someone responds to my query I took up masters cos I liked what I was studying!! and the 1 year work exp was indeed considered as relevant work exp in the public service. It was relevant experience with respect to my education and the current job I am in. Hmm.. So I should be expecting a 200-300 hike in this new scale.. That is not very encouraging.. All my friends from my batch who stopped with a bachelors from NUS and went on to work are earning at least $1k more than me and they make fun of me for doing a masters and yet earning considerably lower than them

But thanks a lot for your reply!!
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Old 24-12-2012, 01:54 PM
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yes thats why I would recommend taking masters after spending at least 5 years in the industry.
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Old 24-12-2012, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pretant View Post
Hi all,

I am confused.. I have a masters degree in engineering from Europe (a well reputed uni) and I joined a poly as a project engineer.. my starting pay was $2900/month (according to my contract, I am not eligible for any bonus..so the number you see is all I get).. I was told that this is a very normal starting salary for someone with my educational background and work experience (I had one year work experience in the form of internships before joining this current job)...
So I did not hesitate before joining partially due to the fact that I was hounded to join the job as the employer wasn't able to find suitable people in Singapore to fill the vacancy (it is a very specialized job and now I understand why nobody was joining the job- the pay is insanely low for the kind of job it is).

I did not think twice because European companies provide almost the same salary..But I totally missed the fact that European companies compensate this low salary with generous bonuses..

When I started working, I realized that I was grossly underpaid for the educational qualification I had... I confronted my superior about the pay and he said something which totally threw me off the cliff. According to him (or rather, in his words "the HR team which controls your pay"), this salary is what I deserve according to my qualification and work experience and to demand more is not appropriate and the reason I am getting agitated is cos am too young to understand the way salaries work!!!!!!! He promised that he would consider my request and recommend the HR team about a good increment in the next pay revision.. And they have sent me a new pay revision with a comment that my new salary would be "current + one increment" ...

So my questions now are:

1) What does "current + one increment" mean? There are no numbers attached to "one increment"? I asked this to my superior and to the HR team and neither of them give me a number.. They answer like presidential candidates, making you want to jump off the cliff.

2) Am I settling for peanuts in the name of salary?

3) What happens when you leave a job in between your contract period? My job contract says I can leave the job with a one month notice. Is it just on paper or that's how it works or will I get into any trouble if I leave the job in the middle of a contract?


Sorry for the long post and would really be glad if someone answered my query!! Thank you!!
At the end of the day, stat board dun negotiate with workers. What they offer you want you accept, dun want just resign if no need to pay back.

As for Masters agree with the guy above, I doubt you will get anything different even if go pte sector. Companies usually totally write off a masters without work experience. If you have honors, suggest you delete the Masters and just leave it as Bachelor Honors as this will help you more in the job.
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Old 25-12-2012, 11:04 PM
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pretant, how many years have you studied in your European uni in total? Due to differences in education systems, an European Masters could be well treated as an local degree with honours. I know lots of people with a 4 year BSc + MSc. An internship (even a 1 year one) is not really even considered to be working experience.

Hence all in all, you are to be considered as a fresh NUS grad with honours and given the 2.9k pay, i say that is pretty average considering a bad market now for jobseekers. Your other NUS friends would already have longer working experience than you and have been promoted or working in an Oil/Finance/Ministry industry.

You could expect your increment to be about $100 i guess.
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Old 25-12-2012, 11:06 PM
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Thanks people. my degree was a 4 year Bachelors (hons) and a 2 year M.Sc apart from a one year internship..
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pretant View Post
Thanks people. my degree was a 4 year Bachelors (hons) and a 2 year M.Sc apart from a one year internship..
You should just leave your education as Bachelors (hons) in the cv since your M.Sc is not supported by work experience. It will just create impression that you are some ivory towel academic and look bad to pte employers.
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