Best Paying Industries and Professions of 2016

In 2015, Singapore saw a new record high of local universities’ enrollment, with 15,000 polytechnic and A-levels graduates, or 32% of cohort participation rate (CPR), entering the 6 local tertiary institutions. Given the ever-increasing supply of university graduates and the volatile economy, many would no doubt be curious about the rising industries and top-salaried jobs in 2016 and beyond. According to the 2016 Kelly Singapore Salary Guide and the Hudson Singapore Salary Guide 2016, we have put together the top 5 industries and the expected monthly remuneration for some career options.

Information Technology (IT)


Singapore is identified as the second most network-ready country worldwide and home to more than 80 of the top 100 software and services companies in the world. Large players such as Twitter and Netflix are among those with their presence in Singapore. In addition, the Smart Nation initiative by the Government has also pushed up demand for various IT and communication services. Some professions under this industry include Big Data Developer ($5,000-$6,800), IT Security Consultant ($7,000-$10,000) and Fintech Developer ($7,500-$10,000).



Many multi-national corporations (MNC) have global and regional operations based in Singapore due to the advanced infrastructure and the availability of skilled professionals. This means more opportunities to provide accountancy and audit services. The accounting industry and revenue are expected to grow by 1% to 5% and $1.8billion in 2016 respectively. An Accounts Manager can expect to earn up to $10,000 and a Chief Finance Officer can bring home between $10,000 to $20,000.

Banking and Finance

Singapore has always been known as a financial and trading hub, and attracts many corporations to set up operations here.  Asia’s growth in wealth and lower insurance penetration can also be seen as opportunities to capitalise on. Although the growth for the banking industry remains low, there is a huge potential in Fintech which saw an investment of $225million by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). A Vice President of Compliance or Risk can look to a monthly salary between $10,000 to $17,000; a Vice President of Settlements or Trade Finance Operation $6,700 to $11,700; and a Relationship Manager $3,500 to $5,500.

Health and Life Sciences

With Asia’s ageing population and the increasing need for healthcare services, this industry offers high growth and potential. There is above 100 medtech small and medium enterprises (SME) in Singapore already, with more to spring up this year and the next. Life sciences is also by far the largest growing bio-cluster; with a $19billion Research Innovation Enterprise 2020 Plan and a $16.1million committed to support research and development (R&D) and enterprise activities. A R&D Director is paid between $8,000 to $16,600.

Sales, Marketing and Advertising

Singapore is one of Asia’s main shopping destinations, providing much prospects for retail, marketing and advertising. Moreover, the rising adoption of technology and social media by Singaporeans also mean a new need for digital specialists. Digital Advertising is expected to comprise of 35% of the total advertising budget by 2026 and content advertising is counting on a growth of 5% to 10% this year. A Sales Manager earns between $4,500 to $10,000; while a Marketing Manager receives between $5,000 to $10,000.

The above may not be fully representative of the diversity and potential of various careers, however, it is hoped that it would be able to serve as a brief overview of what to expect in the Singapore employment market. Another positive note is that in contrast to other Asian countries like Taiwan and South Korea, where there are oversupplies of graduates, Singapore has close to full employment with more than 80% of graduates securing a job within 6 months of graduation. Hence, even if you may not land your dream job, there is no need to fret about being unemployed!

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