How Much To Hire A Maid In Singapore (Domestic Helper Salary & More)

Explore domestic helper salaries, one-off costs & essential monthly expenses in this handy guide

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Hiring a helper can be a transformative decision, offering invaluable relief from household duties, whether you have young children to care for or elderly family members in need of assistance.

However, before taking the plunge, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the costs involved.

How do you do so? Check out this comprehensive guide that will provide you with a detailed overview of the financial aspects of getting a maid, from monthly salaries to one-time expenses.

Monthly Costs Of Hiring A Maid In Singapore

So, how much are the monthly costs when you hire a maid in Singapore? Let’s take a closer look.

#1 Monthly maid hiring cost: Basic salary

Salary is the biggest recurring cost that you have to pay every month. Here’s a starting salary guide for domestic helpers of different nationalities set by their home countries:

  • Filipino domestic helper: S$570

  • Indonesian domestic helper: S$550

  • Sri Lankan domestic helper: S$497

  • Burmese domestic helper: S$450

The above are the minimum salaries for the different helpers. Be sure to budget for more, particularly if the maid you choose has prior experience working in Singapore or overseas. Experienced helpers, regardless of their nationality, will command higher salaries based on their skills and years of service.

Estimated Average Cost: S$516

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#2 Monthly maid hiring cost: Maid levy

Besides your domestic helper salary, employers are required to pay a monthly foreign worker levy, which is S$300 for the first maid and S$450 for subsequent ones in 2023. This levy will only be discontinued when the helper’s Work Permit is canceled or expires.

There’s also a lower levy concessionary rate of S$60 if you live with a Singaporean who falls into one of these categories:

  • A young child under 16 years old.

  • An elderly person who is at least 67 years old.

  • A person with disabilities (PWD) who needs assistance with at least one daily living activity (ADL).

The levy concession for one foreign domestic worker (FDW) is based on the presence of one eligible person in the household and is limited to two FDWs per household.

Estimated Average Cost: S$450 (without concession) or S$60 (with concession)

#3 Monthly maid hiring cost: Living expenses

Employers are also obligated to provide their domestic helpers with suitable support for their daily needs, such as:

  • Food: S$200

  • Utilities: S$45

  • Transport: S$80

  • Toiletries: S$30

  • Mobile phone plan: S$7 (assuming a SIM-only plan vs a fixed contract)

  • Semi-annual medical check-up: S$7 (assuming $84 for the total cost of the two check-ups per year)

Estimated Average Cost: S$369

#4 Monthly maid hiring cost: Maid insurance

Next, employers in Singapore are required by law to purchase a comprehensive maid insurance plan. It’s mandatory to have:

  • Personal Accident (PA) insurance: Sum assured of at least $60,000 per year, with coverage for sudden and unforeseen incidents resulting in permanent disability or death.

  • Medical insurance: At least S$15,000 per year for hospitalisation and day surgery.

The cost of maid insurance varies depending on the coverage, coverage period, and insurance provider but is generally around S$350-S$600 annually, which equates to approximately S$29-S$50 per month.

Speaking of insurance, do also check out essential insurance you need to get for yourself to ensure your own well-being and financial security.

Estimated Average Cost: S$43

One-Off Costs Of Hiring A Maid In Singapore

Besides the monthly expenses, let’s explore the one-time costs of hiring a maid in Singapore so you can plan your budget wisely.

#1 One-off maid hiring cost: Work permit application

The work permit application is a necessary procedure that must be completed to ensure your domestic helper can work in the country.

You’ll have to fork out S$35 when you submit the application and another S$35 when you get the pass issued.

Cost: S$70

#2 One-off maid hiring cost: Security bond

Besides applying for a work permit, employers must also post a S$5,000 security bond with the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) when hiring a foreign domestic helper. This bond is refundable upon the completion of the helper’s contract and return to her home country.

Fortunately, the deposit can be in the form of an Insurance Guarantee so it doesn’t have to be paid fully in cash.

Cost: S$5,000

#3 One-off maid hiring cost: Settling-In Programme (for first-time helpers)

The Settling-In Programme (SIP) are for non-Malaysian FDWs working for the first time in Singapore. This is to provide essential information and support to help new domestic helpers adjust to life in Singapore and better understand their roles and responsibilities.

Cost: S$75.70

#4 One-off maid hiring cos: Agency fees (optional)

When it comes to hiring a domestic helper in Singapore, you have the option to either engage the services of a maid agency or opt for direct hiring.

If you’re a first-time employer and prefer to engage a maid agency for the convenience, be prepared to fork out between S$1,000 to S$3,000. This typically includes maid insurance, arrival airfare and work permit application fee.

For employers who have their domestic helper’s employment terminated within the first six months, be assured that you can get a refund option of at least 50% of the service fees paid, based on the MoM’s Employment Agencies Rules 2011. However, take note this is applicable only up to the first three MDWs placed by the employment agency with the same employer.

Estimated Average Cost: S$2,000

#5 One-off maid hiring cost: Travel expenses

If you prefer to opt for direct hiring, be prepared to cover the cost of your domestic helper’s arrival and return airfare to and from her home country. The cost vary depending on the destination but typically ranges from S$300 to S$500.

Estimated Average Cost: S$800 (assuming 2-way return)

So, how much is it to hire a maid in Singapore In 2024?

So, what’s the exact amount to hire a maid in Singapore in 2023? Let’s calculate the total one-off and monthly recurring costs for hiring a domestic helper based on the above information.

Monthly recurring maid hiring costs in 2024

  • Basic salary: S$516

  • Maid levy: S$450 (without concession) or S$60 (with concession)

  • Living expenses: S$369

  • Maid insurance: S$27

The total monthly recurring costs would be S$1,362 (without levy concession) or S$972 (with levy concession).

One-off maid hiring costs in 2024

  • Work Permit Application: S$70

  • Security Bond: S$5,000

  • Settling-In Programme: S$75.70 (for first-time helpers)

  • Agency Fees: S$2,000 (optional, for first-time employers)

The total one-off costs would be S$7,145.70 (including agency fees) or S$5,145.70 (excluding agency fees) if you’re getting a new helper.


If you’re in need of household assistance and exploring the option of hiring a domestic helper, Master Employment Agency stands out as your optimal choice in Singapore.

Why Choose Master Employment Agency?

  • Decades of Specialization: With over 20 years dedicated to matching Singaporean families with proficient Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar, we understand your unique household needs.

  • Commitment to Quality and Trust: Our thorough screening process ensures that we have a zero transfer rate. We take pride in the high retention and satisfaction rates we maintain with our clients, which speak volumes about the reliability of our service.

  • Recognized Excellence: Our agency is highly regarded, boasting a 4.6-star rating on Facebook and a following of over 2,000. This acclaim is a testament to our unwavering dedication to quality and service excellence.

  • Fair and Competitive Pricing: We are committed to providing exceptional service without an exorbitant price tag. Our pricing is competitive, reflecting our commitment to delivering great value for your investment in domestic help.

Interested parties may apply here and relevant staff from Master Employment Agency will contact you.