Bali is an Indonesian Island, known for its gorgeous settings, fascinating diverse culture, and delicious food. This coupled with warm, sunny weather makes it Indonesia’s favourite tourist destination. But there’s more to Bali than simply an island paradise. It has a solid expat scene, as well as residents from other Indonesian cities, of both short-term individuals and those living long-term. Unless you have a significant amount of savings to last you a lifetime, it’s only logical that you’ll want to get a job in Bali or perhaps start a business. Whether as an employee or an employer, it’s very important to know the salaries being offered in a particular area.
So, how much does a person working in Bali earn? What is the average salary in Bali? Well, the average annual salary, including transport, housing, and other benefits, is 160,046,778 IDR ($11,165)/yr or 13,345,000 IDR ($931)/month for salaried jobs. Those who work hourly jobs can expect about 76,946 IDR ($5.36)/hr. Since these are gross salaries, the take-home pay will be lower after deductions.
Note that the currency used here is the Indonesian Rupiah and 1 USD = 14,460 IDR.
The favourable cost of living is one of the reasons expats are choosing to move to Bali. Of course, there are touristy areas with a partying vibe that are completely overrun by prices but most parts offer a nice quality of life for a low cost of living. If you are looking to work in a country that promises a vacation feeling, then Bali is the place to be. But like anywhere else, relocating to Bali requires some thorough preparation. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about living and working in Bali, including job opportunities and salaries offered.
Average Salary in Bali
“How much money can I expect to earn.” This is a common question that many soon-to-be expats or even non-locals ask when they are planning to relocate to another city or country. If you are trying to get the answer to this with regard to Bali, I hate to disappoint you but there’s no magic source on the internet that can tell you the exact pay that you’ll get. That being said, foreigners can expect good pay working in Bali. That’s because local companies generally value western education, training, and work experience, and will offer higher salaries as an incentive to attract talent from the developed markets to Bali and Indonesia at large. The island also houses a good number of multinational corporations where you can earn a competitive western wage regardless.
So, how do you get a baseline of knowledge as to how much you can expect to earn in Bali? First off, annual salaries in Bali range from 21,765,000 IDR (average minimum wage) to 708,900,000 IDR (average maximum wage). The median gross salary is 150,450,000 IDR a year. All these are great indicators of where your salary could fall. A good salary is one that falls above the average and median wage as it puts you above over 50% of what others earn. While salaries are generally negotiated between an employer and employee, the minimum wage for 2020 was set at 2,494,000 IDR ($172.49) per month. Several factors will determine one’s salary though; for instance:
Salary by sector
Salaries differ from one sector/industry to the next with the highest-paying industries in Bali right now being Oil and Gas, IT and e-commerce, financial services, and Infrastructure. These industries are also the ones with the highest job opportunities, so consider them in your job search. Of course, the thriving tourism industry also offers quite a lot of jobs for foreigners, especially in the hotel management business. Things will, however, get more specific when you search salaries offered to people in a specific occupation.
Salaries by job title
This is the biggest determinant of an individual’s salary as there are so many different kinds of jobs that you can do in Bali. Here are some of the popular options, along with their average annual gross salaries:
- Internal auditor – 164,050,000 IDR ($11,426)
- Accountant – 117,300,000 IDR ($8,170)
- Receptionist – 89,250,000 IDR ($6,215)
- Graphic designer – 114,750,000 IDR ($7,987)
- Photographer – 112,200,000 IDR ($7,810)
- Flight attendant – 146,200,000 IDR ($10,174)
- Mechanic – 83,385,000 IDR ($5,806)
- Teller – 108,800,000 IDR ($7,575)
- Bank branch manager – 251,600,000 IDR ($17,520)
- Nanny – 105,400,000 IDR ($7,340)
- Project manager – 194,650,000 IDR ($13,555)
- Call centre representative – 109,650,000 IDR ($7,636)
- Electrical engineer – 163,200,000 IDR ($11,365)
- General Manager – 281,350,000 IDR ($19,591)
- Chef – 140,250,000 IDR ($9,767)
- Travel agent – 130,050,000 IDR ($9,057)
- Waitstaff – 96,050,000 IDR ($6,688)
- Hotel manager – 233,750,000 IDR ($16,275)
- Nurse – 132,600,000 IDR ($9,232)
- Pharmacist – 194,650,000 IDR ($13,555)
- Dentist – 383,350,000 IDR ($26,697)
- Computer technician – 125,800,000 IDR ($8,775)
- Developer/programmer – 149,600,000 IDR ($10,435)
- Attorney – 229,500,000 IDR ($16,009)
- Police officer – 124,100,000 IDR ($8,657)
- Elementary school teacher – 109,650,000 IDR ($7,649)
Other factors that affect salaries in Bali include the level of education, years of experience, seniority, and the employer. Naturally, the higher these factors you possess, the higher your salary will be. While these salaries don’t seem like much in comparison to western salaries, they are considered a great income in Bali given the low cost of living.
Doctor Salary in Bali
The market for medical care in Bali, and Indonesia at large, has been growing in the past few years. With such a shortage, those in the medical field will easily find work on this island. The next logical question is how much can you earn? Well, doctors’ salaries in Bali range from a minimum average of 167,450,000 IDR to a maximum average of 629,850,000 IDR with the median wage being 393,550,000 IDR a year. The average annual doctor salary is 371,450,000 IDR/year or 30,940,000 IDR/month or an equivalent hourly rate of 178,500 IDR per hour. These figures are gross and include transport, housing, and other benefits, meaning that the take-home pay after deductions will be lower.
Keep in mind that this is just an estimate and the exact salary you will receive working as a doctor in Bali will vary depending on several things. First, it varies between different doctor/physician careers. See below for the average annual gross pay for some specific types of doctors:
- Allergist – 317,050,000 IDR
- Chiropractor – 192,100,000 IDR
- Dermatologist – 595,850,000 IDR
- Forensic pathologist – 448,800,000 IDR
- Neurologist – 451,350,000 IDR
- Obstetrician/Gynaecologist – 436,900,000 IDR
- Paediatrician – 380,800,000 IDR
- Physical therapist – 276,250,000 IDR
- Physician – Occupational Medicine – 368,900,000 IDR
- Podiatrist – 323,850,000 IDR
- Psychiatrist – 430,100,000 IDR
- Radiologist – 451,350,000 IDR
- Urologist – 554,200,000 IDR
Doctor salaries also vary depending on the employer and one’s level of experience. Entry-level doctors make an average of 450,119,502 IDR a year. On the other hand, senior-level doctors with 8+ years of experience earn an average of 862,277,118 IDR.
How to Live In Bali Permanently
Bali is an incredibly wonderful place to live and work as evidenced by the many expatriates from different parts of the world who came and have never left the island. Living in Bali is, of course, different from vacationing here.
There are several types of Bali visas you can apply for, depending on the purpose of your visit, length of stay, or whether or not you have a sponsor. However, for long-term residency, you will need a KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap), which translates as a permanent stay permit card. This visa is valid for five years, after which it is extended automatically.
Unlike any other Bali visa, the KITAP is not easy to attain. The only eligible candidates are:
Foreigners married to an Indonesian citizen: This group will have to apply for a KITAS first, which they can convert to a KITAP after two years of marriage.
Foreigners who are shareholders (investors, commissioners, or directors) of a foreign company in Indonesia: You can apply for a KITAP after 4 years of working with the same PT PMA in the same position.
Foreigners wanting to retire in Indonesia: Retirees can apply for a KITAP after four extensions of their KITAS. They must be 55+ years old.
Indonesians regaining their citizenship: There are no special obligations or restrictions for this group of candidates.
Retire In Bali
Bali is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the world. You’ll need to be 55+ years and have a retirement KITAS to be able to retire on this island. You are not allowed to work or even volunteer with this visa, meaning you must have an income (the minimum requirement is US$1,500 per month) or sufficient assets that can prove to the Indonesian government that you can support yourself.
Expect a laid-back lifestyle with a culture that’s rich, delicious foods, dolphin sightings, beautiful beaches, and tropical weather among other great things. Majority of the locals can speak English, meaning there likely won’t be much of a language barrier. Last, but not least, your currency stretches way further here, especially if you are from western or European countries. This will allow you to live a more comfortable lifestyle for just a few pennies.
That being said, it’s still important to do a little research and evaluate some factors before retiring in Bali for good. Test the waters first by staying in Bali for about three months. Be sure to live amongst the locals, eat local food, ensure the weather conditions suit you, and generally get the true feel of life on this island. Most importantly, learn and embrace the Balinese life.
Keep in mind that foreigners are not allowed to own property, although long-term lease is an option. If you enter into a lease for 10, 30, or more years, you essentially own the property and can do whatever you want with it provided you observe local guidelines. Some of the best places to retire in Bali are Amed, Sanur, Ubud, and Seminyak.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.