Vietnam tech giant says paying AI, data engineers up to $400,000 a year

By Khuong Nha   June 14, 2024 | 03:34 pm PT
Vietnam tech giant says paying AI, data engineers up to $400,000 a year
The FPT Tower in Hanoi. Photo by FPT Software
A representative from FPT has said that Vietnamese engineers specializing in AI and Data at the corporation can earn up to VND10 billion (US$393,000) per year, comparable to their counterparts in Japan, Italy, and Spain.

During a meeting in Da Nang leaders, Pham Minh Tuan, FPT's Executive Vice President, said that the largest expense of the corporation currently is employee salaries.

"Every day, FPT spends over US$2 million to pay salaries to more than 30,000 people," he said.

The average income of new graduates at FPT is about VND10 million per month.

AI and data analysis experts have an income comparable to engineers in Europe and Japan, and about 10% lower than in France.

"The maximum amount is uncertain, but there are Vietnamese engineers at the corporation earning billions per month, averaging more than VND10 billion per year," said Tuan.

He noted that this is the salary the corporation pays to Vietnamese engineers working in Vietnam. FPT does not set a salary cap but pays according to ability, based on performance.

If engineers are skillful, and able to create useful tools and software, they can increase their income. At times, the salaries of AI and Data engineers at FPT can even exceed those of their CEO, Tuan said.

Tuan highlighted the strengths of Vietnamese engineers as young, dynamic, and proficient in technology.

However, there are also areas where Vietnamese lack experience compared to international personnel, such as in finance, banking, and telecommunications.

Therefore, the current structure of the corporation includes about 10% of the personnel as foreigners. FPT aims to increase this to 20% within the next three years.

"The goal is to leverage global intelligence to build a proficient team capable of fully managing a project," he said.

Tuan said in the future, AI could be a decisive weapon for the success and longevity of Vietnamese software companies as well as for securing a long-term position for Vietnamese engineers.

According to the annual report by human resources technology platform TopCV released last year, the IT and software sector has the second highest recruitment demand in Vietnam, after business and sales. Depending on the sector, the salaries of Vietnamese engineers also vary.

With over five years of experience, a website programmer has an average monthly salary of VND36-48 million, while the salary for a security specialist is VND26-42 million, and a data management specialist is VND30-50 million.

According to statistics released late last month by, a company which compiles data about the salaries and bonuses of tech workers, each AI software engineer in the U.S. currently has a median salary of $300,000 per year, while programmers and software engineers not specializing in artificial intelligence are paid around $100,000.

"As AI shakes up much of the industry, it also raises the bar for engineering compensation in 2024," analyst Alina Kolesnikova said.

The wage disparity between AI and non-AI engineers, which was around 30% in mid-2022, has now widened to nearly 50%, she added.

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