Jet Salary

Money Money Money, must be funny….

I imagine a few of you might wonder how much you get paid being a human tape recorder and frequent volleyball club harasser. Well it’s not that bad to be completely honest.

Firstly, this is a rough estimate of my take home salary and probably isn’t the same for every ALT out there. First year JETs,  as of 2012, get before tax and deductions ¥280,000. (woo just became a second year JET, slight pay rise!)

 Automatic deductions
Health Insurance ¥14,056
Pension ¥24,463
Employment Insurance ¥1,400
Income Tax ¥6,200
Residents Tax ¥2,800

As of early this year I started paying residents tax, this normally doesn’t kick in until your second year (for kiwis at least). Some people leaving this year were surprised by a large residents tax bill, and fortunately my Board of Education takes a small amount out of each pay so I don’t have a massive bill due when/if I eventually leave Japan.

It is worth mentioning that you can also get the money that you pay into the pension fund back once you leave Japan. There is a complicated process to follow but mostly you have a nominated person who acts as a go between and they hopefully will be nice enough to help with the process. This normally gets paid out once you have left the country, if memory serves it takes more than three months to get the refund.

Next is onto an estimate of my monthly bills…

Power between ¥3000 – ¥7000
Water between ¥1500 -¥2500
Gas between ¥1500 -¥3000
Rent Total ¥51,000 but half is paid by my Board of Education
Internet and
Cellphone  ¥8000

I also rent a car and have car insurance, make payments to my New Zealand accounts and have to pay for my school lunches.  A lot of my bills really depend on usage and I am rather stubborn with heating/cooling and only ever use them when the temperature is at an extreme.

I do pay a bit more for my phone compared to other people, mostly because I didn’t want an iPhone and got a Galaxy S5 instead. But at the time I thought I would rather pay a little more for a phone that I wanted, than to have to deal with learning how to use an iPhone.

Of course there other expenses like food, petrol and maybe the odd game or new camera purchase but it’s entirely possible to live off easily. For my situation anyway. My rent is subsidized and I am rather rural i.e. on the edge of Hyogo, hours and hours away from the nearest “big city” that being Himeji. Some other JETs don’t have the same luck of subsidized rent. I didn’t have to pay a deposit or anything for my house, which I have found is rather common if you are not placed in a large city.

As with everything on the JET Programme every situation is different, but this is a rough idea of my situation. 🙂