Demand for 5G talent, along with salaries for 5G roles, continues to increase as the 5G era takes hold, according to recruitment website Boss Zhipin and reported by China Daily.

The average salary for 5G positions reached more than 14,000 yuan (US$2,024) per month during the first five months of 2019, an increase of 15.7 percent on 2018, the website said. The demand for 5G talent has also risen over the past three years.

While demand in 2018 increased more than 31 percent on 2017, this year demand exploded, said the report, with demand in the first five months of this year nearing 60 percent of the whole of last year’s figure — a year-on-year growth of 38.9 percent.

No longer playing catch-up in telecommunications, China is now leading the way. In a TV interview reported by the MIT Technology Review, Jianzhou Wang, the former chairman of China Mobile, described the development of China’s mobile industry from 1G to 5G as “a process of from nothing to something, from small to big, and from weak to strong.”

Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai have the highest demand for 5G talent, followed by new first-tier cities Xi’an and Hangzhou. Pilot cities for the 5G network have advantages attracting 5G workers, the website said.

The industries with the greatest need for 5G talent are communications and network equipment, which accounts for more than 40 percent of demand, computer software (17.2 percent) and intelligent hardware (5.3 percent). The most-in-demand positions being communication R&D engineer and telecommunications network engineer.

So great is the expected impact of 5G technology, that a 2018 Qualcomm report claimed: “5G technology will have the same economic impact as some of the biggest innovations mankind has witnessed in recently history such as electricity, the steam engine, and the internet due to its status as a ‘general purpose technology’.”

According to the same report, there will be an estimated 22 million 5G-related jobs by 2035, including 9.5 million jobs in China.