Respondents’ nationalities correlated with their salary, with those from Oceania having the highest median compensation, while those from North America had the highest 75th percentile salary. The disparity in salaries extended across experience levels.
The overwhelming majority of respondents described themselves as male. While we had respondents who identify as neither male or female, we didn’t get enough responses to further segment their data while maintaining the anonymity of the individuals.
Women tended to be less experienced than men, having a mean of 5 years experience compared to 8 years for men, partially explaining the difference in compensation. However, even when comparing the genders across similar experience levels, this gap in pay remained.
Men were also more likely then women to have a high paying role: while 21% of men had a role that was among the top five highest paying, only 4% of women did.
Women were less satisfied with their job than men, with a median overall satisfaction score of 7 compared to 8 for men. This seems driven by their lower compensation, as the median satisfaction of their compensation was 6 compared to 7 for men, while other measures all had a median of 8.
While respondents who had attended a coding bootcamp had the lowest compensation, this appears to be because they have a median of only 2 years of professional experience. Overall, after adjusting for professional experience, educational background did not appear to have a significant effect on salary.
With the exception of respondents who didn’t have any Japanese ability or who were native speakers, lower Japanese ability correlated with more years of professional software development experience.
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Only 0.5% of respondents were unemployed, down from 2% in 2021.
Respondents who were actively looking for a new job had a median salary of ¥6.5 million, whereas for those who weren’t looking, it was ¥9.5 million. Part of the difference could be explained by those actively looking having a median of 5 years of professional experience, whereas those who weren’t had 7 years.
Senior executives and engineering managers were the best paying roles, but respondents were also relatively experienced.
The designer role stood out as being particularly poorly compensated as it had the lowest median pay despite respondents having above average experience.
The type of employer had a significant effect on compensation. While the compensation at companies headquartered in Japan remained stagnant, with a median of ¥7.5 million. Respondents working at an international subsidiary earned a median ¥14.5 million, up from ¥11.5 million the year before, significantly increasing the divide between those working for purely domestic employers.
This difference in compensation was found across experience levels, and the gap became more pronounced with more experienced respondents.
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Developer salaries continued to increase. The median salary was ¥9.5 million per year, up ¥1 million from last year’s survey. This may partially be explained by respondents tending to be more experienced than the previous year.
Respondents earning ¥10 million per year or over increased from 35% of respondents in 2021 to 42% in 2022.
While most respondents said they were comfortable with asking for time off, perhaps this question was too vague to give meaningful data, as someone may be comfortable with asking for a day off while not being comfortable with asking for two weeks.
Respondents reported how satisfied they were with their current job on a scale of one to ten. The median score was 8 for all measures of satisfaction we asked for, with the exception of compensation, which had a median score of 7.
Of all the measures of satisfaction, the highest percentage were completely satisfied with their colleagues, at 24%.
Respondents with a higher compensation scored themselves as being overall more satisfied with their job.
Unsurprisingly, the respondents satisfaction with their compensation was highly correlated with the compensation itself. While respondents with a compensation under ¥4 million had a median compensation satisfaction of 5, respondents earning over ¥16 million had a median of 9.
The weakest correlation was with colleague satisfaction, with even respondents making under ¥4 million per year having a median colleague satisfaction of 8.
53% of respondents said their job satisfaction could be improved by increasing compensation. Among respondents who rated their satisfaction with compensation as 10 out 10, respondents were looking for more interesting or higher impact work.
.NET appears to be considerably less popular in Japan than internationally. While StackOverflow’s 2022 developer survey reported 35% of respondents used it, our survey found only 15% used it.
Although respondents using different technologies were paid differently, this correlation seemed likely caused by their different levels of professional experience.
However, there were some standouts. Objective-C respondents were amongst the most experienced, but worst compensated, and Flutter developers were amongst the best paid, despite having relatively low experience.
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The survey was conducted by Paul McMahon, the author of TokyoDev, a site dedicated to helping international developers start and grow their career in Japan. You can reach him on Twitter at @pwim or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.