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Top 10 highest-paying jobs in Singapore in 2018
Depending on which industry you work in and no matter what your job title is, chances are you want to secure a well-paying job. To do so, you’ll need to understand what the industry average and market rates are. We recently released the 2018 Michael Page Salary Guide, which outlines salary benchmarks for a wide range of jobs across many industries and sectors in Singapore. Read on to find out what the top 10 highest-paying jobs for 2018 are, according to the salary survey that we conducted.
1. Legal Counsel
It comes as no surprise that lawyers that are in the private practice have the highest salaries, earning an average of $500,000 a year.
Years of experience play a part in determining the average salaries of lawyers – for example, lawyers who have 10-15 years of experience earn $375,000 a year – which means that they can expect a 25% jump in their salary from the 10 to 15 year mark.
2. CFO/ Finance Director
Executive level talent is always highly sought-after in the banking and financial services sector. There has been a shift away from traditional financial model towards a more proactive, agile one, giving the CFO of today a more pronounced, strategic profile with deeper integration in planning, strategy and performance management. As such, CFOs and Directors can expect to earn about $315,000 - $430,000 per year.
3. General Manager/ Managing Director (Healthcare & Life Sciences)
Singapore maintains its position as Asia’s fastest growing bio-medical hub, creating a need for more specialised skills and high level talent in this industry. Based on salary averages, we can see that employers are prepared to groom top local talent and provide high-level career progression opportunities to plug the mid to senior-level talent gap in Singapore’s healthcare and life sciences sector. As such, general managers in this industry can expect to earn $390,000 per year. This is most notable for GMs who are working in MNCs in the medical device sector, because such roles tend to be more regionally focused.
4. Head of Human Resources (Banking & Financial Services)
As companies place more emphasis on developing human capital, the head of human resources can command a salary of up to $325,000. Some determining factors affecting how much a head of HR can earn are the number of years of experience and whether they have prior experience working as a HR Business Partner. HR Business Partners (HRBP) are responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and management in dedicated business units regionally or internationally, and serve more as a consultant to management on human-related resource issues, therefore commanding a higher salary. Heads of HR who have over 15 years of experience earn about $325,000 a year as compared to Heads of HR who have 10 -15 years of experience – they earn about $250,000 to $275,000 per year.
5. Quality Director (Engineering & Manufacturing)
Demand for quality directors in the semi-conductor, aerospace and chemical sector continues to remain strong. Quality directors need to possess technical skills as well as strong people management skills. As you might expect, professionals that specialise in quality control and quality assurance can expect to earn $315,000 on average.
6. Marketing Director
Salaries of marketing directors depend largely on the sector they are based in. Today, we see the impact of digital technology and the significant opportunities for growth and expansion in new markets. The demand for digital talent continues to grow, as companies seek out individuals who have many years of experience but who remain agile despite the digital transformation that is taking place in most sectors. Marketing directors whose roles are largely focused on digital or e-commerce can therefore expect to earn $300,000 on average.
The pay for marketing directors in other sectors differ slightly. For example, those in the financial services sector can command a salary of $285,000 per year whilst those in the manufacturing/ industrial sector can expect to earn $220,000 per year.
7. Executive Director (Corporate Governance)
Executive directors that are in corporate governance roles concerned with managing and mitigating risks in the organisation, such as internal audit and compliance can expect to earn $300,000 on average, even though the roles differ: internal audit’s role in the organisation is fundamentally assurance, while compliance’s role is fundamentally operational.
8. In-house Legal Counsel (MNC)
In-house lawyers who are based in MNCs and who have more than 15 years of experience tend to command a salary of $300,000 per year, 40% lower than their counterparts in private practice. However, there is steady career progression in this role, as lawyers who possess more years of experience tend to see an approximately 30% increase in their annual salary.
9. Head of Medical Affairs (Clinical Research)
An integral department of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, the Head of Medical Affairs takes care of medical aspects of clinical development. This function plays an important role in the licensing and marketing of medicinal drugs and expertise. As Singapore is a healthcare and life sciences hub, demand for talent specialised in medical affairs, especially in pharmaceutical companies remains strong. Heads in these role can expect to earn $290,000 on average.
10. Engineering Director (R&D/ Engineering)
Due to the technical nature of the role, engineering professionals tend to see an increment in salary if they possess more experience. Directors of engineering can expect to earn approximately $275,000 on average if they have more than 15 years of experience while those who have 10 -15 years of experience can expect to earn $200,000 on average.
If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your career, our average salary benchmark tool can help you determine what you could be earning. You can also find out how your salary compares with industry averages using our salary calculator or calculate your net income after a pay rise using our payrise calculator if you’re in the midst of negotiating for a salary increment.