Top 15 highest paying jobs in Singapore by profession
Alexa, play Bills Bills Bills.
A common consideration that students take into account when facing pivotal academic decisions in their life is: What job can this route offer me?
We (unfortunately) typically spend a large portion of our lives in the working world. In a competitive society like Singapore’s, where the cost of living is high, most of our decisions as students become a balancing game of “What should I study that will allow me to have a well-paying job in Singapore? Will my current study make me happy and financially comfortable?”
Considering job prospects has become an integral part of our decision-making process when deciding what subjects to take and what degree to pursue. To make this dilemma less taxing, we have compiled a list of the top 15 highest-paying jobs in Singapore by profession.
A profession refers to a paid occupation that typically requires some level of skill and qualification. We are differentiating this from managerial roles, so do note that this article will not take that into consideration (unless we refer to jobs that manage funds, which are different from managers per se e.g.. Treasury manager & Fund manager).
Without further ado, here is the list of the top 15 highest-paying jobs in Singapore, arranged in ascending order. We based this on the Ministry of Manpower’s Occupational Wage Survey in 2020, and all wages reflected are the median basic wage.
A securities and finance dealer buys and sells securities, stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. This is done on behalf of a company, or for a client on a commission basis.
Since the job is rather demanding, it is usually preferred if you have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a related field, i.e. Business, Economics, Finance etc.
While it is possible to become a securities and finance dealer with other degrees, this might require you to study more for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) qualification, which is the highest distinction in the investment management profession.
This job involves monitoring the financial market, creating a rather stressful work experience. As seen, a well-paying job in Singapore is not always a good thing — one has to consider the detailed requirements and the job experience too.
As one of the top in-demand jobs, Data scientists collect, interpret and analyse data from various sources to identify insights that are useful for a company. Such information is typically used for data-driven solutions to solve business challenges.
Data scientists typically have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Statistics, Data Science or Coding. While it is possible to pursue this job via other degrees, it may require you to spend more time learning such technologies or having prior related experience.
Treasury managers typically support a company’s treasury function, which essentially means that they are in charge of the company’s finances. They have to manage the company’s financial risks, alongside monitoring daily financial operations as well as the long-term financial strategy.
The job usually requires candidates to have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Finance or Accounting. This is another well-paying job with potential additional requirements; depending on the organisation, some might even prefer candidates with CFA or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) qualifications.
According to Maritime Singapore Connect, a marine superintendent “ensures the safe operations of ships and compliance to all international marine requirements”. This involves implementing and updating the Safety Management System, and conducting routine ship inspections.
The more specific job requirements include a Certificate of Competency (CoC) (Deck Officer) Class 1 and an extensive knowledge of industry standards and compliance requirements.
Tax accountants have to help the company with their bookkeeping.
This involves managing tax returns and tax audits, as well as engaging with tax authorities. The well-paying job also requires you to stay up-to-date with the evolving tax regulations.
The job requirements include a degree in accountancy, or professional accounting qualifications such as the aforementioned CPA certification, or the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) certification.
A commodities and freight broker serves as a liaison between shippers and carriers to secure transportation of goods, while also managing the profit and loss of trading portfolios.
They have to manage good relationships with trade partners while also negotiating contracts with carriers to maximise the company’s profit.
The job requirement typically includes a Bachelor’s degree or above in Economics, Finance and other related majors.
Financial product structurers provides assistance and support to create structured product solutions, which involves constructing and evaluating said products.
They also need to have specific financial product knowledge, be it regarding equity and debt securities, credit and rates, etc.
Most structurers typically have backgrounds in Mathematics, Computer Science or Economics, but this is not necessarily a prerequisite. The job requires quantitative, problem-solving and analytical skills, which are not isolated to said degrees.
Forex traders buy and sell currencies on a foreign exchange market, which involves researching currency pairs. They typically work for banks and hedge funds.
It’s suitable for those who have extensive knowledge and aptitude in technical analysis and trading) / CAIA (Chartered Association of Alternative Investments) or similar qualifications are also preferred for the role.
Given the nature of the job, forex traders are expected to have advanced knowledge of Excel and trading systems.
Portfolio managers are in charge of creating and managing investment allocations for clients based on their goals and constraints. They also provide advice on investment opportunities while managing the daily operations of the portfolio.
The job requirements typically include having a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Finance, Economics or other related fields. It is highly encouraged for candidates to have a CFA charter and a MBA too.
University lecturers typically conduct lectures and seminars alongside planning a syllabus and grading students’ work. A large amount of their time is also involved in conducting research in their respective fields and writing research papers.
To become a university lecturer in Singapore, you need to be a PhD holder in your field and typically have published some research in the academic world. While this is a well-paying job, those interested should ideally have a strong interest in what they are studying to be able to study it for possibly most of their lives.
General Practitioners (GP) are typically stationed in clinics near residences, where they provide health consultations, health screenings and simple surgical procedures. They treat all common medical conditions and provide referrals for specialists if necessary.
To be a GP, one has to obtain a medical degree in a medical school recognised by the Ministry of Health. This means approximately six years of medical education.
(Slight segue by the StudyRamen team: A huge thank you to all healthcare professionals for helping us combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and for putting themselves at risk to help everyone else!)
Unlike GPs, who typically treat a broad range of medical conditions, specialist doctors handle the care and treatment for more specific conditions. They are also focused on certain medical fields.
Although considered a more highly-paid job than GPs’, this higher pay does come at a cost. Specialising in a certain medical field means that the individual has to study for at least 9 years; furthermore, the more niche and complex the medical speciality, the longer they have to study.
One has to be prepared for the long period of studying as well as the high medical school fees before they can start drawing this high pay in Singapore.
A practicing solicitor typically does advisory, corporate and conveyancing work. Each lawyer who is admitted to the Singapore Bar is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Singapore.
To be admitted to the Singapore Bar, they need to fulfill the requirements of being a “Qualified Person”, which includes obtaining an applicable law degree. The degree can be obtained from local universities, or from approved overseas universities.
Since this is a well-paying job, there are many other requirements that candidates have to fulfil before they can even be admitted to the Singapore Bar. This includes passing different Singapore Bar examinations and serving a practice training period (PTP), a period of supervised training in relation to the practice of Singapore law.
While similar to Job #15, brokers differ in some capacities from dealers. Although the job description is rather similar, a broker does not trade for its portfolio but instead facilitates transactions by bringing buyers and sellers together.
They also differ in terms of how they charge for their services. According to Investopedia, a dealer charges a markup when selling from their own inventory, while a broker charges clients a commission for executing trades on their behalf.
The job requirements are rather similar for brokers as well; candidates typically have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Finance, Economics or other related fields.
Note that this estimation for in-house legal counsel applies to most organisations, except for judiciary, ministries and statutory boards. The job scope entails managing the legal work of their employers whichincludes conveyancing and crafting corporate contracts.
This is the highest-paying job in Singapore. Other than the requirements of having an approved Law degree, in-house legal counsel is typically only available for lawyers who have a few years of experience in a law firm.
Now that you know what the top 15 highest-paying jobs in Singapore are, we hope that your decision-making process is somewhat clearer now. So here’s to you getting them mad stacks!
Nonetheless, a trend we observed is that such highly-paid jobs tend to come at a price; you might need specific qualifications or be required to further your studies, which requires a degree of personal and financial sacrifice.
We recommend doing more research at your own time, and also considering if you are capable of making certain trade-offs for such well-paying jobs. While the prospect of a well-paying job is undeniably attractive, we also need to consider other factors such as a healthy work-life balance, and whether other jobs may also fulfill our financial needs.
Here is some information that you might find useful; a list of online jobs for students to earn money, whether to attend JC or Poly and which local university to apply to. You can also check out our article on how to write a good resume, and the post-pandemic work trends of the future.