Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations today for digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs.
But how much is the minimum salary in Chiang Mai – as well as the average one? This is what you’ll lean in today’s article.
The low cost of living here, combined with high quality of life and amazing weather – even during the wet season – make Thailand and Chiang Mai specifically a great choice for foreigners.
But are you considering going to Chiang Mai to find a job? In that case, knowing the minimum and average salary in Chiang Mai will be extremely helpful.
Even if you are not looking to get hired, it’s still nice to know how much locals are earning in this city so that you can easily tell if you can afford living here (and how well you would be if you do).
Even though some people consider Chiang Mai overrated, read on to find out everything about the minimum and average wages in Chiang Mai, Thailand!
What is the minimum salary in Chiang Mai in 2023?
The minimum wage here is around 330 Thai Baht per day or 9900 Baht per Month. This translates to around $10 per day and around $300 per month.
In 2023, Chiang Mai is one of the best rated cities in Thailand when it comes to the minimum wage compared to other cities in the country, even though the numbers might seem slow for people used to seeing Western salaries.
Even more, there are some professions in Thailand that require a higher minimal wage. That ranges between 370 and 600 Baht per day for specific professions: usually technicians of sorts.
But we should consider the $300 monthly salary as the general minimum wage in Chiang Mai, although in reality, some people here still earn less that that amount.
Also, you shouldn’t consider that for a foreigner, $300 per month would be enough to live a decent life.
Even $500 won’t really do it in my opinion, but more on that later. Until then, let’s find out more details about wages in the area.
What is the average salary in Chiang Mai in 2023?
Although we’ll see that there are discrepancies, here, we can say that the average salary you can earn here is around 27,500 Baht per month or around $840 per month.
When it comes to the average salary in Chiang Mai, things are a little bit more difficult to track, but due to the fact that it is such a popular expat spot, salaries are generally higher than in most other areas of Thailand.
This happens mostly because of the fact that large companies usually pay decent salaries, but most people working in Chiang Mai earn a lot less – on many occasions, very close to the minimum detailed above.
Official data might show higher salaries of up to 40,000, but that is calculated based on salary values before tax and not what most of the people are earning.
I would, therefore, go on the safe side and say that the average is about $840 in Thailand – and most people living and working there would actually be very pleased with these numbers.
In other words, if you want to live like the average Thai person in Chiang Mai, you would need at least $840 coming each month for you.
If you plan to get hired here, most teaching jobs pay you at least this amount (usually a bit more).
But if you earn from outside the country (and you earn more than this amount), you’re in an even better situation.
Finding a well paid job as an expat in Chaing Mai is a bit difficult, in reality. Since local work force is pretty cheap here, you might not consider it worth it.
So realistically, your main option of getting hired here might be teaching English (or a different foreign language) at an international school in the area. Fortunately, there are plenty of those and the demand seems to be going up.
As you can see, the low cost of living in Chiang Mai, Thailand means that locals also earn very little compared to Western standards.
Going to Thailand and finding a job will be challenging enough because in most cases you will need to know the local language and there are particular jobs that foreigners are not allowed to apply for.
Salary is also really low as you can see in the values shared above – but the average salary (if you do make that) should be enough to allow you to live a simple, yet decent life here.
The best option for people moving from the US, Europe or other richer countries, is to already have a source of income before moving to Chiang Mai or at least have a job offer that gives at least the average salary.
Living on the minimum salary in Chiang Mai is a real challenge even for the thriftiest and most frugal people – I would go as far as saying that it is impossible.
Even with an average salary, many people would have a difficult time making ends meet because they will want to keep the standard of living to a high level.
The best thing to do if you are living in Thailand on an average wage is to do your best to live like a local and embrace local culture, not try to replicate the more expensive Western style of life.