Minimum wage in Cambodia

The minimum wage in Cambodia has evolved since 2010 from 61 to 66 US dollars for garment and footwear workers, while other industries do not have an established minimum wage, according to different sources. In October 2010 the minimum wage was 61 USD. According to the archive of the US government, in November 2011 ‘to help workers meet basic needs like health care, the government awarded a USD 5 per month pay raise starting in January 2012, thus bringing the minimum monthly wage up to USD 66,’ it says. The labor code 2007 amended ordered a night shift wage of 130 percent of daytime wages. Garment factories give also a 5US health allowance. Please see this source for more details about legislation on minimum wages in Cambodia.

(Information updated on 4 September 2012)

19 DECEMBER 2010. A person from a foreign company willing to set in Cambodia asked me to write something about minimum wage. The problem is what to pay to the Cambodian staff keeping just and appropriate. Any foreign company setting in Cambodia, should study, of course, the cost of life in the country. It would give a good idea, since the minimum wage seems to low, at least it is my impression.

The cost of life in a city like Siem Reap or Sihanoukville, could be more expensive than the cost of life in the capital. Although, Phnom Penh is bigger and you must include transport.

The legal minimum wage in a Cambodian factory is 45 US dollars per month and a Cambodian civil servant gets 28 US dollars. [Ref. ILO, Cambodia, Facts and Figures. pdf] In the last months unionists claimed an increase of the minimum wage. [Ref. Fibre2fashion: Cambodia, Minimum wage decision to ignite apparels workers protests, July 12, 2010]

According to this comparative statistic of minimum wages in Asian countries prepared by nwpc last November 2010, the monthly salary is 50 US dollars, so 1.67 dollars per day.

Now well, we are talking about workers and civil servants. Out of this, salaries can established in Cambodia by study formation.

For example, the students who finished technical formation in the Don Bosco schools, can get as a minimum wage about 100 US dollars (400,000 riels). Then, those with a professional title could has as minimum wage the 100% more than that.

Some NGOs offer big salaries to their Cambodian staff, following for example the logical salary scheme of their own countries. It can has its good intention, but it generates also social troubles. If you offer 300 US dollars per month, such sum could be too short in a country like Italy, but it is a luxury salary in Cambodia. Now well, you seem to be just, but sometimes they offer such salaries for example to persons without a real formation, that could be a great worker. It creates problems to other NGOs that would try to follow the national legislation, but whose staff can consider that they also should have 300 dollars per month.

I would recommend to follow the national salary scheme. Now well, as you want to support your Cambodian staff, you can do it through a well thought program of social assistance: paying a percent of their health attention (50-60%?), bonus for every child, bonus for wedding, etc. Why not supporting your staff with a scholarship in a university, polytechnic or school in something related with his/her job? I think it would be better than offering big salaries just with poor calculations.


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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (

8 responses to “Minimum wage in Cambodia”

  1. James says :

    Hello, any update about this in 2016 ? What is the minimum salary for a young graduated from university who applies for office job ? Thank you.

    • Albeiro Rodas says :

      Minimum wage is always based on workers like those of garment factories or construction workers. So far, it is 120 USD. Young graduates are not factory workers. At the moment a young graduate could get as a base salary something like 180 . 200 USD.

  2. Clare Foster says :

    I see that this was posted 2 years ago so maybe things have changed since then? I say this because I lived in Siem Reap for 5 months last year and made many Cambodian friends. One friend, a bar manager was earning $300-$350 a month and most friends working as waiters or bar staff were earning nearly $100 a month. Are they just lucky or have the wages been increased?

    Anywway, I’m loving this blog and think the work that you are doing is fantastic! I am returning to Siem Reap next year to live and would love to hear about any projects I could possibly help with?



    • Albeiro Rodas says :

      Dear Clare, I am the most sorry for not updating so important information. I did already and thanks for remind me. I will include more details in the coming days. As you see, only garment factories have an official minimum wage, a situation that let other sectors under a practice guided by tradition. The tourist sector tends to have better salaries and you can find, more or less, a minimum wage in 100 US/month. It is also affected by the studies and training of the staff. Persons with low education get something like garment workers, but more educated staff will claim a better salary. If a person has a training certificate, it will give him/her a salary over 150 USD/month. The best is to investigate first how is the situation in the area you want to settle your business. Welcome back to Cambodia

  3. Ronald de Block says :

    Hey Albeiro, that’s a nice blogpost. I’m coming to Cambodia next week and I’m wondering about the current status. Is it still that low, or did the salary increase? I’m looking for possibilities to start a business in Siem Reap.

    Have a nice weekend, Blocki 🙂

    • Albeiro Rodas says :

      Ronald, the established Cambodian minimum wage is only for garment factories. Other industries do not have an official minimum wage. You must make your own study of the situation in the sector you want to participate like how much others are paying to staff. That would be more precisely. Greetings.

  4. g212 says :

    poor salary…it’s not enough to meet our daily needs.

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