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 the top 15 highest-paid jobs in Singapore based on the latest statistics from MOM released in 2022.
Disclaimer: Jobs with high bonuses and profit-sharing schemes are not included in this ranking, which has been compiled based on median gross salaries.
Updated in 2023
Median Gross Salary: 19,692
A urologist specialises in the management and treatment of issues involving the female urinary system and the male genitourinary tract. These include kidney stones, prostate cancer, urinary incontinence and more. While they are qualified surgeons, their treatment plans may also be non-surgical or non-invasive.
Urologists work in hospitals or private practices. To be a urologist in Singapore, trainees go through a six-year residency programme comprising two years of surgery-in-general training, and four years of clinical training in a urology department of a hospital.
2. Securities and finance dealer/Broker
Median Gross Salary: 16,628
Selling securities, stocks, bond or other financial instruments on behalf of clients (broker) or their firm’s own account(s) (dealer), security and finance dealers/brokers earn their wages from the brokerage fees charged for executing trades.
Brokers may assist their clients through research and advice, offering personalised services and more.
Median Gross Salary: 16,385
Cardiologists are those that study, diagnose, treat and manage heart disorders like high blood pressure, strokes, congenital heart conditions and others. Some subspecialties they specialise in include clinical cardiology, neonatal cardiology, and heart failure.
To become a cardiologist, doctors need to undergo a 3.5-year Internal Medicine (IM)-related Senior Residency training programme after completing the 3-year IM Residency Training Programme.
Median Gross Salary: 15,400
Gastroenterologists diagnose and management diseases that affect the digestive system and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. To become one, doctors need to undergo a 3-year Internal Medicine (IM)-related Senior Residency training programme after completing the 3-year IM Residency Training Programme. It is one of 35 specialities recognised by the Singapore Accreditation Board.
(In Singapore, it is necessary to obtain specialist accreditation from the Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB). You can refer to SAB’s page for the full list of approved specialist titles.)
To become a gastroenterologist, doctors need to undergo a 3-year Internal Medicine (IM)-related Senior Residency training programme after completing the 3-year IM Residency Training Programme.
5. Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer/Chief Security Officer
Median Gross Salary: 13,408
Make no mistake—a Chief Information Officer and a Chief Technology Officer aren’t the same! Putting it briefly, the former is a business role that focuses on managing the organisation’s IT strategy and management, while a CTO is responsible for the creation of technologies that help to grow the business externally (i.e. R&D and product development).
Chief Security Officers, in the meantime, oversee an organisation’s digital security and information security, and sometimes their corporate security as well.
6. Risk Management Manager
Median Gross Salary: 12,867
Risk management managers assess, analyse and tackle the financial, safety and security risks an organisation faces or will face. They then draw up contingency plans and develop risk management controls (processes and policies).
Risk management is not an entry-level role, and those with such duties typically have at least five to seven years of working experience. Risk management areas include corporate governance, insurance risk, technology risk and environmental risk, to name a few.
7. Financial Risk Manager
Median Gross Salary: 12,531
Financial risk managers work in financial institutions and professional services firms, and they are key personnel that ensure business continuity. They supervise financial risk teams and work to ensure that their company or clients have robust management methodologies, strategies and governance.
Financial risk managers have to be logical, analytical and excellent at communicating. They should also have strong technical backgrounds acquired from the insurance, banking or consulting sector. A certification, such as the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation issued by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), will also be advantageous.
Financial risk managers are expected to have at least five years of working experience.
8. In-house legal counsel (except judiciary, ministries and statutory boards)
Median Gross Salary: 12,529
To be in this career, lawyers must have had at least three years of experience practising law (in private practice). Those doing in-house legal counsel are also expected to have a good grasp of business, as they need to look out for the interests of the company while anticipating and tackling the legal issues that may arise.
To be a lawyer in Singapore, you must first obtain a degree from an accredited university. You should take four years of studies in Bachelor of Law and attain a GPA of at least 3.0 for SMU or lower secondary class honours for NUS. You can also consider studying law at SuSS.
After taking the course, an aspiring lawyer must also pass the Singapore Bar Exam and undergo a six-month practice training contract to practice (this system will see revisions this year). 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
Median Gross Salary: 12,303
University Professors typically begin as Assistant Professors and work their way up to Associate Professorship, before attaining Professorship. University Professors do more than teach; they are also required to conduct scholarly research—they usually go on to present their findings in conferences or journals, and even publish books—and possibly administrative/management duties.
Professor roles are highly coveted, and many compete yearly for a limited amount of positions. The annual attrition rate for faculty on NUS’s tenure track within the last three years, for example, is currently 4.1 percent. Those who desire to become Assistant Professors should preferably have prior experience in teaching at the University level, a recognised degree and PhD in the relevant discipline, as well as a track record in research (if necessary).
10. Strategic planning manager
Median Gross Salary: 11,882
As their job title indicates, strategic planning managers are responsible for their organisation’s strategic and long-term goals. Together with a team of subordinates, or working with a cross-functional team(s), they come up with strategic blueprints, business plans, projects or policies.
Strategic planning managers have strong strategic planning, analytical thinking, communication and organization, as well as leadership skills.
11. Chief Operating Officer/ General Manager
Median Gross Salary: 11,565
The COO is second in command after 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 such a salary. Definitely not a start-up!
As a COO, one can expect to have over a hundred people under his or her care; this includes the VP, operations manager, supervisors and so on. While results hardly matter in order to rise this high up the corporate ladder, you do need to be good with people, according to an awarding winning HR manager.
12. Audit Manager
Median Gross Salary: 11,291
Audit managers are senior-level staff typically hired by organisations and corporations to help lead audit and scope audit frameworks, perform risk assessments, coach and support the development of junior audit staff, and identify areas for improvement.
Audit managers are typically expected to have anywhere between 5-10 years of internal audit experience. They need to be adept at strategic thinking and be equipped with strong technical competency.
13. Fund/Portfolio manager
Median Gross Salary: 11,284
Fund/Portfolio managers manage a wide variety of funds, including mutual funds, trust funds, hedge funds and more. They are responsible for growing these funds on behalf of their clients or organisations, working with a team of analysts and researchers to make key investment decisions.
Fund/Portfolio managers go by many other names. These include asset managers and financial advisers.
Fund/portfolio managers have to be highly analytical and need to possess quick decision-making capabilities. They have to keep a constant eye on market information such as bond yields, keep an eye for good deals and more. It is a high-pressure role.
14. Advocate/Solicitor (practising)
Median Gross Salary: 11,200
Advocates specialise in litigation (fighting or defending cases), while solicitors handle advisory, corporate and conveyancing affairs that are transactional in nature. Individuals with legal backgrounds tend to possess strong writing skills, critical thinking skills, assertiveness and problem-solving skills.
In Singapore, all lawyers called to the Singapore bar are qualified for both types of work; this is a case of a ‘fused profession’.
15. Regional sales manager
Median Gross Salary: 11,168
Regional sales managers are in charge of growing sales in the region they take charge of. They are middle management. Some of their duties include setting sales targets and implementing strategies to meet them, identifying new growth areas, developing and maintaining customer relationships, as well as market research and analysis.
Core skills this role needs include strong attention to detail, business acumen, as well as analytical skills.
Did you expect these careers to make the list? Were there any which surprised you?
With that said, 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!
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