Singapore is one of the most successful countries in the world. It is known as one of the 4 Asian Dragons for its top-notch economic status compared to its neighbouring countries. Because of that, we seldom wonder what the best-paid jobs in the country are. In this article, we explore each of the top 15 highest-paid jobs in Singapore based on the latest statistics from MOM published in 2015.
Disclaimer: Jobs with high bonus and profit-sharing scheme are not included in this ranking, which is compiled based on the gross salary.
1. Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer
The top on the list is the CEO or the Managing Director. They have $32,800 in total monthly gross earnings.
75% graduated from overseas university, of which 35% are from the US. Most CEOs in Singapore have an MBA and the most common discipline is Business. CEOs in Singapore are among the highest paid in Asia Pacific, comparable to those in Australia and Japan. Piyush Gupta of DBS Group Holdings is the top-earning CEO in Singapore.
Being a CEO involves high-level work on thinking how to move a company ahead strategically (apart from playing golf).
2. Specialist Medical Practitioner (Surgical)
Only slightly lower than the salary of a CEO, the second on the list has a monthly gross salary of $32,713. It is their skills, expertise and education that gave them that rewarding salary. Being a surgical specialist is never easy. They spent at least 5 years in medical school and another few years being a resident in a hospital. To be a surgeon, they require another couple more years of study and practice for their chosen specialization. Singapore is known for having some of the best hospitals in the world due to her advanced medical healthcare technology. Even patients abroad fly to Singapore hospitals for surgery. It is no wonder they are highly paid.
3. Specialist Medical Practitioner (Medical)
Similar to the surgical specialist, a medical specialist also spent a tremendous amount of time, effort, and dedication to attain their status. A medical practitioner in Singapore has a monthly gross salary of $28,413.
4. Commodities Derivatives Broker
The main responsibility of a derivatives broker is to monitor international performances and conduct trading on behalf of the clients. They trade a variety of assets such as shares and bonds. The employers could be investment banks, financial clearing houses, or international stock exchanges.
It is one of the most challenging and stressful jobs a man can have. You have to be very careful in decision making and analysis. To succeed in this line of work, you have to be competitive, numerically capable, and have knowledge about the world economy. The reward is certainly attractive, commodities derivatives broker has a monthly gross salary of $25,000.
5. Foreign Exchange Dealer/ Broker
As a recent survey unveiled Singapore as the world’s 3rd top financial centre, it is not surprising that you find 2 finance jobs among the top 5 highest paying positions in Singapore.
Singapore has a huge foreign currency reserve and it bears significant importance to the national economy of Singapore. Also, we see a trend of Singapore dollars gaining more and more recognition in the global forex market.
A Foreign exchange dealer buys and sells foreign currencies in the market and must have all the figures at his fingertips. A single trade can result in gains or losses as high as millions of dollars, so being cool-headed is critical for them. The monthly gross they receive is $21,667.
6. Chief Operating Officer/ General Manager
COOs have a monthly gross salary of $20,773. He/she is in 2nd in command to the chief executive officer and is in-charge of the day to day operations of the company. That said, you certainly need to be the COO of a mid to big sized company in order to command that kind of salary. Definitely not a start-up. As a COO, one can expect to have over hundred people under his care including the VP, operations manager, supervisors and so on. To rise up the corporate ladder that high, results hardly matter, but you do need to be good with people according to an awarding winning HR manager.
7. Company Director
Company Director is another member of the management team in a corporate setting and earns $18,100. In Singapore, there is at least one Company Director in each company, as mandated by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). A company director may be in charge of different areas of a company depending on your expertise: sales, HR, finance and so on.
8. Lawyer (Excluding advocate and solicitor)
Like the medical specialists, they also go through an arduous & extended studying process to get to where they are. All the sacrifices and effort eventually bear a fruitful amount of income that reaches $17,370 monthly.
To be a lawyer in Singapore, you must obtain a certificate from an accredited university. You should take 4 years of studies in Bachelor of Law and attain GPA of at least 3.0 for SMU or lower secondary class honours for NUS. After taking the course, the aspiring lawyer must also pass the Singapore Bar Exam and if you are a foreigner wanting to exercise your expertise in Singapore in which you will practice both foreign and Singapore laws, you must pass the Foreign Practitioner Examinations. For more information, read on how to become a lawyer in Singapore.
9. University Lecturer
A university lecturer has an income of $15,254. If you have interest in teaching, then you might want to be a university lecturer.
One of the most important pillars in Singapore is education and Singapore has the best education system in Asia. Government’s spending on education usually makes up about 20 % of the annual national budget. Given the importance of education, it is no wonder why University Lecturers are earning such high salary.
University lecturers are required to have at least a masters in their chosen field, as well as years of working experience. Taking a PhD will definitely increase your chance.
10. General Practitioner/ Physician
General Practitioners are doctors who do not specialize specific areas of medicine but offer general medical help to patients. General practitioners spent years in medical school and acquired years of residency in the hospitals. Of course, their salaries are lower than medical and surgical specialists, but they are still ranked in the top 10, earning as much as $13,806 monthly gross. There are 3 ways in which you could be a doctor in Singapore to command such salary.
11. Marine Superintendent Engineer
The top earners among all engineers are the Marine Superintendent Engineer. They earn up to $12,907. They could start as a shipboard junior engineer and in a span of 4-5 years, become a Marine Superintendent Engineer.
A Marine Superintendent Engineer ensures company-owned and managed vessels are operated in a safe, efficient, and economical manner and in full compliance with class and statutory regulations.
To become a Marine Superintendent Engineer, you must be a graduate of a Marine Engineering course with a considerable number of experiences required by the company. One of the schools is (SMA) Singapore Maritime Academy. If you are a mechanical engineer, there are conversion courses that provide a pathway for graduates of mechanical engineering to join the marine engineering trade.
12. Treasury Manager
Has a monthly gross salary of $12,772. They are in-charge of firm’s collection, investments, funding activities and financial risk management in the company. Treasury manager comes under the charge of the VP or Director of Finance.
They have a high pay because they are one of the most important employees in the company. The treasury of the company is in the hands of treasury manager. They must be an expert in accounting and financial management. If you hold an accounting degree or ACCA certification, you can expect to be earning this amount of money in due time!
13. IT Service Manager
Singapore is not just known for its economic status but also for its advanced technology. It is considered an IT hub in Asia which embraces the latest technology in improving productivity. IT professionals are in demand and salaries have become competitive in order to secure them. They are earning a monthly gross of $12,537.
Singapore’s government is preparing for its latest initiatives and recently unveiled Smart Nation for the improvement of the lives of its citizens and to create more opportunities for businesses. The experiences and knowledge of IT managers are greatly needed since the country launched $2.2 billion worth of ICT tenders in digital, data and web services, and IT infrastructure. Not to mention that Google recently announced that it is going to mass-hire IT professionals for its SEA expansion. Future prospects for the IT professionals seem extremely bright.
14. Financial/ Insurance Services Manager
They have a monthly gross salary of $12,333.
Financial manager works in a bank or insurance company. They assist the executives in making decisions regarding their finances. He has to be logical, analytical and excellent in communicating. He must be able to provide the pros and cons in every decision. They also develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.
15. Trade Broker (Including oil and bunker trader)
Trade broker has earnings of $12,156, which is almost the same as that of Marine Superintendent Engineer. Being a trade broker is a good idea since export and importing of goods in Singapore constitutes one of the highest contributors of GDP. In 2013, Singapore became the 21st largest exporter in the world, a top export of Singapore being redefined Petroleum, which represents 24.1% of the total exports of Singapore. Also, Singapore is the third largest refining centre in the world. Total trade volume throughout its ports is 4 times the size of its GNP, the highest in the world. It has one of the busiest shipping ports in the world. Well, Singapore is one of the world’s biggest financial centres, IT hub and also shipping exporter, which all gives rise to very decent jobs you see here in this list today. An eye-opener, isn’t it?
With that said, do take the salary figures here with a pinch of salt. Numbers should never be your compass in making decisions. Consider various factors such as your own proficiency and passion as well, highlighted in our guide to choosing courses. If you do well in your chosen field, we are sure you will not only earn well but be a very happy person!