China, India, Russia, Indonesia and other states of the CIS, dominate Asian mining. These countries are also major global producers of commodities such as gold, diamonds, base metals, coal, tungsten, tin and PGE’s. In addition to the growing demand for mineral products in Asia, mineral production in Asia will rise. Asia accounts for 30% of the world’s land mass and contains many rich mineral provinces. From a geological perspective, there is significant potential for increased mineral extraction in the future.
The big question is how are the Geologists in Asia being paid? Are they being reimbursed fairly in comparison to the other regions? And how do the salaries of local Geologists in the region compare to expatriate Geologists working in Asia?
I have been able to find very little data in terms of what Geologists in Asia are earning, so the figures I am providing, are entirely from the information we have obtained from our salary survey.
It seems expatriate Geologists based in Asia are earning pretty good salaries. This is not surprising though, and is pretty much the norm from what I can see. Expatriates around the world are generally paid very well. They make tremendous personal sacrifices, when moving for work to foreign lands, and are compensated accordingly. According to our data, there are Australian Geologists, with 1 – 5 years’ experience based in Mongolia who are earning around $85 per hour, and Canadian Geologists based in China who are earning around $100 per hour. There are also reports of expatriate Exploration Managers earning as much as, and exceeding $200 000,00 per annum, in many countries in Asia.
Local Geologists in Asia as a whole seem to earn substantially less salary wise. It appears that in the Philippines, local Geologists with between 1 – 5 years’ experience, are earning at the 25%ile, a base pay of around $10 000,00 per annum, the median is around $11 000,00 per annum, and the 75%ile around $13 000,00 per annum.
The local Geologists in India who completed the salary survey are earning on the 25%ile a base pay of $ 3 000,00 per annum, a median of around $ 5 000,00 per annum, and on the 75%ile around $ 7 000,00 per annum. However I have had some communication with local Geologists in India, who say that if they work for multinational companies they earn more, with figures of around $15 000, 00 – $20 000, 00 per annum. They also say, that if they work on government jobs they get paid less than $10 000, per annum, but that they then have more job security. On top of that government employees are apparently also offered public housing and everybody gets a pension, and lives a comfortable life in a country where they say the GDP is around USD 2000.
In China the salaries seem to be pretty much on par with the Philippines, with local Geologists earning on the 25%ile, a base pay of around $11 000,00 per annum, a median of around $12 500,00 per annum, and on the 75%ile approximately $13 500,00 per annum.
In Indonesia it seems things are slightly better, there are some local Geologists earning very low salaries, but it does appear that the norm is for local Geologists to be earning on the 25%ile, a base pay of $26 000,00 per annum, a median of around $30 000,00 per annum, and on the 75%ile, around $41 000,00 per annum.
However when you look at the figures provided above, one needs to keep a couple of things in mind. Firstly you always have to keep things in perspective when converting local currencies into US dollars, and it can be a little bit like comparing apples with oranges. Secondly, these figures have been taken entirely from our salary survey, as there seems to be so little other information available. Thirdly one needs to remember that the cost of living varies dramatically from region to region, and where a Geologist living and working in Canada or the USA, would probably not be able to survive on $12 000,00 per annum, in many countries, this salary would be very good, and one could live very easily and comfortably on it.