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Highest Paying Jobs in Singapore: Why Should You Give a F*ck?

profileKenneth Fong

As we constantly strive to save more, protect our wealth, and invest better.

The reality is simple.

The fastest way to achieve our financial goals of independence or freedom is by earning more.

Think about it.

If we applied the 50-30-20 rule to our monthly salaries…

Wouldn’t we be able to save and invest more, if we had $1,000 or even $10,000 more every month?

Sure, money isn’t everything.

But did you know that the quest for the highest paying job in Singapore is more than just about winning the personal finance game?

And it also isn’t an unhealthy way to demean our self-worth…

(By the way, you REALLY shouldn’t be pegging your worth to how much you’re earning!)

In fact, Singapore’s economic growth and our futures depend on it

Why Should We Be Care About the Highest Paying Jobs in Singapore?

Have economic growth and job creation benefitted Singaporeans more than foreigners?

According to Minister for Trade & Industry Chan Chun Sing, the answer is a resounding yes.

During the first Parliament sitting of 2020, Minister Chan Chun Sing spoke in response to whether Singapore should turn away investments which would bring in more foreigners.

Including some who would earn more than their Singaporean counterparts.

These concerns are very real as they deal with the question of whether Singaporeans have access to good jobs.

And whether foreigners are taking away better-paying jobs from Singaporeans, especially in the current climate of economic uncertainties.

To drive home his point, Minister Chan Chun Sing gave the illustration of a new investment creating two new jobs — one paying $7,000 and the other $10,000.

A Singaporean worker who is earning $5,000 today can only get the $7,000 job because he or she “does not yet have the skills or experience for the $10,000 job”.

Understandably, the Singaporean might be frustrated and feel that he or she is being unequally treated.

But rejecting the investment means that the same Singaporean would be robbed of the opportunity to upgrade and eventually qualify for both the $7,000 and $10,000 job.

And more importantly, future generations of Singaporeans would not have that $10,000 job to aspire or work towards either.

This is not an unfamiliar narrative as back in the 1970s, the arrival of Singapore’s first semiconductor companies created more than 7,000 jobs.

Initially, our people did not get the best-paying jobs immediately because we lacked the skills and experience needed.

But today, many of the early engineers and technicians have become senior executives in the sector.

And they have gone on to mentor a new generation of Singaporeans.

Source: Straits Times

In fact, there are currently more than 60 semiconductor companies on our island, making up 11 per cent of the global market share.

That’s pretty impressive as it speaks volumes of our collective ability as a nation to upgrade and keep ourselves relevant in the world economy.

So as the Minister of Trade & Industry stressed in Parliament, we need to work hard, learn, and upgrade our capabilities in order to take over these highest paying jobs.

Only then can we continue to give ourselves (and future generations) the opportunity and ability to take on these ‘highest paying jobs’ and contribute to the economic growth of Singapore.

What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Singapore?

Using the Minister of Trade and Industry’s illustration, what are the jobs that pay $10,000 a month?

(Besides the obvious CEO, doctor, and lawyer answers…)

And if so, which industries and what positions are they in?

Note: I am aware that there are higher-paying jobs that pay more than $10,000 a month. But for the sake of this comparison, I’ll just be looking at this tier.

Highest Paying Jobs in Accounting

Monthly Salary
Chief Financial OfficerMore than 15$20,000 - $25,000
Finance Controller10 - 15$10,000 - $18,000
Finance DirectorMore than 15$15,000 - $20,000
Regional Finance Manager5 - 8$8,000 - $10,000
Senior Manager/ Manager Financial Planning & Analysis7 to 12$8,000 - $11,000
Audit Manager5 - 8$8,000 - $12,000
Tax Manager8 - 12$8,000 to $10,000
Senior Manager/ Manager Treasury5 - 8$7,500 to $14,000

Highest Paying Jobs in Banking & Finance

Monthly Salary
Head of Compliance10 - 12$14,000 - $18,000
Chief Financial OfficerMore than 15$20,000 - $25,000
Finance Controller10 - 15$10,000 - $18,000
Finance DirectorMore than 15$15,000 - $20,000
Manager/ Assistant Manager5 - 10$5,500 - $11,000
Regional DirectorMore than 10$15,000 - $20,000
Senior Manager/ Manager4 - 7$6,300 - $11,100
Vice President8 - 10$11,000 - $17,000
Trade Finance
Senior Manager/ Manager4 - 7$6,700 - $12,000
Vice President8 - 10$9,000 - $12,000

Highest Paying Jobs in Engineering & Technical

Monthly Salary
Construction/ Project Management
Project Manager5 - 9$8,500 - $11,000
Real Estate/ Property Development
Deputy Manager, CommercialMore than 8$7,000 - $13,000

Highest Paying Jobs in HR

Monthly Salary
HR Business PartnerMore than 10$10,400 - $15,000
Regional HR DirectorMore than 10$10,000 - $18,000
Regional HR Manager5 - 10$6,500 - $10,000
Senior Employee Relations Consultant5 - 10$8,500 - $11,000

Highest Paying Jobs in IT

Monthly Salary
Application Development
Application Architect6 - 10$8,000 - $10,500
UI/ UX Lead6 - 10$7,000 - $12,000
Business Development
IT Pre-Sales/ Sales Manager5 - 10$6,500 - $10,000
Finance IT5 - 10$8,500 - $11,000
Fintech Strategist5 - 10$7,100 - $12,600
Project Manager10 - 15$8,000 - $11,600
IT Infrastructure
IT Security Manager8 - 10$9,200 - $12,000
Senior Test Engineer6 - 8$6,500 - $10,200
Chief Technology OfficerMore than 15$14,000 - $20,000
IT DirectorMore than 12$11,000 - $15,000
IT Senior Manager6 - 11$10,000 - $13,000

Highest Paying Jobs in Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics

Monthly Salary
Logistics Warehouse
Director/ Asst Director, Logistics10 - 16$10,600 - $18,000

Highest Paying Jobs in Sales & Marketing

Monthly Salary
Creative Director6 - 9$10,000 - $12,000
Digital Marketing Manager3 - 7$5,800 - $11,000
Regional Marketing DirectorMore than 10$13,000 - $18,000
Regional Marketing Manager6 - 10$8,500 - $10,000
Public Relations & Communications
Director of Corporate CommunicationsMore than 10$11,000 - $16,000
Sales & Business Development
General Manager/ Head of Sales/ Business Development HeadMore than 12$15,000 to $20,000
Regional Sales / Business Development Director8 - 12$13,500 - $15,000
Regional Sales/ Business Development Manager6 - 10$7,000 - $11,000
Sales/ Business Development Director8 - 12$8,000 - $14,000
Sales/ Business Development Manager6 - 10$6,000 - $10,000

Source: Kelly Services Salary Guide

Should You Aim For The Highest Paying Job in Singapore?


But you have to be realistic about your expectations and how you go about achieving it.

After all, there can only be that many senior managers or directors in a company.

But most importantly, the mindset and drive to constantly push yourself to achieve the best version of you, should always be there.

If you’re already working and you know what are the highest paying jobs available.

You can use this information to better angle your career trajectory by upgrading yourself or aligning your skills so you can get that job.

Alternatively, you can make an honest assessment of what kind of new skills you need in order to properly effect a career switch in pursue of that next loftier goal in a different industry.

If you’re a fresh graduate looking for a job.

Then this would help you to chart out your route of advancement so that you have a clear goal to work towards.

So instead of using Salary Guides or a list like this to measure your worth.

Use this as an opportunity to assess where you are in life, and make changes in order to achieve what you wish to do.

Yes, that position might be filled by a foreigner right now.

But who’s to say that we (or our children) can’t step up and eventually take that place?

Like what Minister Chan Chun Sing shared, the real competition is not between Singaporeans versus permanent residents versus foreigners living here in Singapore.

The real competition is Team Singapore, comprising Singaporeans, PRs and foreign workers here, competing with the rest of the world to give our fellow Singaporeans the best chance possible to win, not just in Singapore but across the entire globe.

Need Help Getting Your Career On Track?

Here are some of the platforms which Seedly recommends:

  • Seedly Community on career: Let more experienced community members guide you on your career path
  • SkillsFuture: Use the $500 credit that the government has credited to your account (beyond age 25)
  • TechInAsia Jobs: A new and effective platform to find jobs in tech (IT, design, marketing, finance, related)
  • Glints Jobs: A career discovery and development platform to help you up-skill
  • Startup Jobs Asia: A slightly more mature platform to find jobs in tech (new companies)
  • JobStreet: The No 1 job site in Singapore
  • Glassdoor: To read reviews from previous employees on the current job role and company
About Kenneth Fong
I threw all of my money into the longkang once... because I wanted to see my cash flow.
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