Expat office salary


In the next year or so I am looking to move to Vietnam (probably HCMC) for work. I am a Risk Manager in a Bank in London with 6 years experience out of university and would not be relocating with my current company. I have a number of respected professional qualifications within my field.

Please could anyone tell me what sort of salary I could expect to get at one of the Big 4 at Manager/Senior Manager level in Vietnam? Also could you please advise me on what the office hours would most likely be?

Thanks for any advise anyone can provide!


Hi Jamaich,

i've looked at a few job postings and what I've found was that some Foreign banks were looking for a director who could set up a branch from the ground up and they were only willing to pay $2200 USD per month.

It wasn't very much compared to overseas pay.

I would assume the pay to be around there as the level of difficulty is about the same or a bit higher since it was at the directorship level.


Tim Horton Muffin

Moving directly into even middle management is difficult to do locally in any country.  I experienced similar problems working for multi-nationals in Hawaii that seemed to think of Hawaii as a colony and a good place to send managers on rotation.  Your best bet is a temporary assignment from a foreign employer and then if you like it, trying to keep getting extended.  Of course this will pretty much mean no more serious promotions without moving back to the home country HQ.

Since you are British, I assume that by the "Big 4" you mean Barkley's, HSBC, Lloyd's, and RBS.  As far as I know only HSBC has a presence in Vietnam but your best bet is to inquire in London and hire on from there.

I also wonder if your inquiry about office hours, along with your desire to relocate, is a reflection of burn-out or impending burn-out.  I don't know about bank upper levels but most white collar workers in Vietnam work six day weeks.  If you are feeling burn-out you should perhaps consider another occupation rather than another location.

The company I work for are constantly recruiting, its within the financial sector, management role - 45,000€ plus comms. Mon-Fri, full training.

Mods :- I haven't put this in the jobs section because I am not recruiting, merely letting the OP know.

Thanks all for your replies - much appreciated!

By the Big 4 I was referring to the four consultancy firms: Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG.

When enquiring about hours I was most concerned about the hours being like Japan. I am quite comfortable working London hours and manage a small team of people. I wouldn't be coming to Vietnam to run away from anything - I am really just looking for a new challenge :)

Hello Jamaich,

My name is Khang and I am the CEO of my own start-up here in Vietnam.  When I came to Vietnam, I actually had no intention of working and living in Vietnam.  However, I found myself at Lazada.vn--starting as a sales manager and later becoming the first sales director at Lazada (for reference, Lazada is the Amazon of SeA.)

To agree with some of the feedback you have received here, it's incredibly difficult to come into the market here and expect to come into a high paying salary (or to get a job opportunity with a very large company here.)  The market is very competitive.  A lot of expats I know come to Vietnam with a great education and strong work experience.  However, because it's so competitive, they are resolved to teaching until an opportunity comes their way (these opportunities are almost always entry-level management.)

I can't speak to financial management and consulting.  However, Lazada paid at the higher-end for expat profiles in Vietnam.  Salary ranges:

* entry-level management - b/w $1500 - $3000
* director-level - b/w $3000 - $7000
* c-level - +$8000

Regarding office hours, it depends on the type of job you choose to work for.  If you are in a bank or an established corporation, you will work M-F, 8-9 am to 5-6 pm.  However, if you choose to work at a start-up, prepare yourself to work all day, every day.  My typical work day is 8:30 am to 9 pm, go home, eat dinner, and work until 12 am until I sleep.  My office is open from M-F but I work 7 days a week.

For reference, when I came to Lazada, I was the lowest paid expat to ever start at Lazada Vietnam.  That said, I had to fight and claw my way up to become a director at Lazada.  It's not always about having the best opportunity.  It's about making the absolute best of whatever opportunity comes your way!

In my experience, it's unlikely to come into a company and get paid at the higher end.  To give you some color, a close friend of mine graduated from Yale and started at $2000 a month.  My best advice is to do your homework and attempt to interview over skype as much as possible.  If your company is moving you here, then the easiest thing to do would be to move here with your company and start your job search after you've arrived. 

Side-note: make sure you have ALL required documents for your TRC (temporary residence card) and work permit before coming to Vietnam.  It's very hard to get these documents after you've arrived.

Best of luck in your job search!  Hope this was helpful!


Your best bet is to find an overseas job from where you are.  Get someone to hire you and send you to Vietnam or wherever.
It's always easier to find a job when you have a job.  Don't underestimate that value.

Good luck

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