Ruby on Rails Internship Average Salary

Hi! I just moved in to Japan last January 1 and I am currently looking for Software Developer jobs (mobile or web).

I applied for a Ruby on Rails company and they offered me a paid full / part-time internship instead since I do not have any web dev experience yet but wanted to shift my career to this field.

I asked a few questions about screening process, full stack tools used by the company, English or Japanese, then finally the compensation.

It backfired and said the company works backwards and asked me if I could tell them how much I expect to get paid. I’m quite nervous when it comes to this since I didn’t want to overvalue myself at the same underestimate my skills (though no experience in this field).

My question is, how much is the Average Entry Level RoR developer (or Internship) salary here in Tokyo? Now I could just search for that info directly through the net but I want to hear some opinions from you guys.

I have 2 years experience with Software Development (Embedded Systems - C/C++) with a famous Japanese company based in the Philippines.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.


Given that you already have development experience, I think calling it an internship is a bit weird. It sounds like a junior developer position to me. Even if you don’t have web development experience, you are an experienced developer, so I think they’re wanting to call you an intern as an excuse to give you a lower salary.

When it comes to salary negotiation, you normally don’t want to say how much you expect. I recommend this video, this article, and this podcast on the topic. So I’d push back against giving them a number like how those resources advise.

Thank you for the quick reply Paul!

Is it really? All this time I thought It’s normal to start from scratch whenever someone wants to have a career shift and just neglect the years of experience since it’s irrelevant. I mean talking in behalf of Tokyo where almost all companies consider experience in the same field a very huge factor. I felt a bit empowered from your reply thanks for that!

If that’s the case, you’re right then. The compensation of the job posting is a bit high (around 500k yen/month) and maybe they wouldn’t want to give it to someone with no web development experience.

Thank you for the resources with regards to the salary negotiation. I’ll check them out.

Out of topic, I’m thinking of considering the position as a starting point of my career shift to RoR since the company said the “internship” would last around 6 months and there would be an evaluation afterwards. Is it better to find a junior developer instead to not neglect my experience? Thoughts?

If you’re doing embedded systems, your job is to translate solutions to problems into something a computer can understand. Doing web development, you’re doing the same thing. The exact approach may differ, as might the tools and programming language, but I think the skills generally transfer.

Personally, I’d rather hire someone with a high aptitude for software development, and no web development experience, then someone who has being working in web development for ten years but is only a mediocre developer. If you’re someone who already knows how to program, and can pick up new technology quickly, the company shouldn’t need to invest much in you.

At the same time, many companies do place importance on experience. If that company does hire you, and you learn Rails development, it will be a lot easier to get other positions. So if they aren’t interested in promoting you, it should be much easier to find something else.

Thank you for the detailed and concise answer.

Alright I’ve made up my mind. Thank you very much Paul!