While 2020 has been a year of great uncertainty for job seekers, employees and businesses alike, the new year – along with the further easing of restrictions – marks a positive start for the post-COVID economy.
After a year of navigating the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, companies now have a clearer understanding of their business vulnerabilities and priorities. They now know how to reinforce their businesses, mitigate risks and create long-term positioning strategies to emerge stronger after any crisis.
While the coronavirus crisis has caused dire economic consequences and drastically reduced job opportunities and salaries in 2020 – especially in trade and tourism, it has also shone a spotlight on jobs that are hiring. These growth sectors include cybersecurity, software engineering, financial services and healthcare.
To help manage the brunt of the pandemic on the employment market, the Singapore government had rolled out numerous training support schemes and wage subsidies. It has also created over 95,000 opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. By the third quarter of 2020, the employment levels of Singaporeans have climbed. With vaccinations underway and Phase 3 of Singapore’s reopening last December, Singapore’s economy looks to recover and regain its footing in 2021.
Common sense dictates that changing jobs or career paths during a crisis may not be sensible. However, during times of crisis, individuals are forced to reevaluate what they want in life, including their careers. On the bright side, growth sectors are still hiring. Whether you have decided to bring your transferable skills to a new industry; or look for a new work environment, this is an excellent time to hunt for a new job.
As Singapore’s economy slowly recovers from its worst slump, it is reasonable to expect a minimum salary increment. However, we have found that companies and sectors are still willing to offer competitive salary packages to the right candidates, as reported in our Talent Trends 2021 report. With results derived from responses from over 5,500 businesses and 21,000 employees, this comprehensive survey report also provides fresh insights and market sentiment for the hiring market in key industries.
While our list of the top 10 highest paying jobs in Singapore showcases senior roles, it also highlights the more highly paid job sectors and industries, giving you a head start in your job-hunting process.
Top 10 highest paying jobs in Singapore
1. C-suite roles
These executive positions in a company typically come in at the top of the highest-paid jobs lists. The salaries of Chief Financial Officers, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers range from SG$325,000 to SG$500,000, in disciplines from Financial Services, FinTech, Chemicals and Engineering, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT). And like other roles, remuneration for c-suites roles is based on the candidate’s experience, company size and sector.
2. Investment Banking Director
Commanding a yearly salary of up to SG$373,000, the Investment Banking Director is responsible for most of its investment banking revenue. This client-facing role faces enormous pressure to acquire new clients and generate revenue. It requires strong analytical skills, strong financial literacy and excellent communication and public-speaking skills.
3. Regulatory Affairs Director
The healthcare and life sciences sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Singapore. With global healthcare companies making Singapore their regional headquarters, there is a growing demand for those with expertise in the laboratory, technical sales and regulatory affairs. The Regulatory Affairs (RA) Director role commands SG$320,000 to SG$360,000 per annum. The position is demanding. The RA director needs to be fluent in scientific and legal documents, and government and company regulations to ensure that policies are met. It essentially requires one to bridge the processes between private healthcare companies and regulatory authorities.
4. General Counsel
Earning from SG$230,000 to SG$310,000, general counsels employed by public corporations are more than just lawyers. These top legal officers are required to draw upon industry knowledge and function as business advisors to CEOs. On top of that, general counsels need to help drive efficiencies in their organisations by leveraging legal technology. 2021 is a wonderful time for the legal sector in Singapore: The Ministry of Law in Singapore had recently launched various initiatives to promote technology innovation and development in Singapore’s legal industry for the next decade at TechLaw.Fest, an annual conference on law and technology, held in October last year.
5. Head of Sales
Responsible for the leadership of a sales department within a company, the Head of Sales earns from SG$150,000 to SG$347,000 in various industries, such as Retail, TMT, Engineering, and Financial Services and FinTech. With skills like these, these sales directors manage the strategic efforts of a company’s sales team and ensure the team meets projected sales targets. With the growth of digitisation in sales, sales heads have to lean into digital transformation, and at the same time, not lose the human touch when it comes to managing clients.
6. Head of Procurement
The Head of Procurement oversees a company’s purchases. Earning between SG$112,000 to SG$320,000, the procurement head collaborates with the finance and logistics teams to set purchasing strategies and policies while meeting a company’s budgetary and other operational requirements. Aside from making profitable decisions, the procurement head also requires a combination of market research, management, negotiation and communications skills. (Check out these procurement job openings.)
7. Head of Compliance
This role ensures that the company and its employees comply with legal requirements, industry regulations, internal policies and bylaws. As the future of work evolves in a globalised economy, managing bylaws and regulations become increasingly complex. The Head of Compliance, who will need to have vast knowledge about compliance in many countries in the region, can make up to SG$300,000.
8. Head of Human Resources
Human Resources is no longer viewed as an administrative support function that doesn’t generate revenue in a business. It has evolved to become an essential business partner to help identify problems in the corporation, develop and sustain employee engagement, retain talent, and plan for the workforce’s future needs. And that is why HR Directors are in high demand and can expect to make anywhere from SG$200,000 to SG$275,000. Learn how you can fast-track your HR career here, and click here for HR job openings.)
9. Supply Chain Operations Director
At its core, the supply chain is a convergence of different processes coming together to complete a task. These processes vary in complexity and diversity, depending on the specific sectors and organisation size. The Supply Chain Operations Director can earn between SG$120,000 to SG$270,000. And as the supply chain management industry evolves to embrace digital automation more than ever, the operations director must strategically navigate to be a revenue driver for the business, delivering tighter schedules, faster fulfilment, better efficiency and higher profits.
10. Head of IT
Aside from overseeing the infrastructure of technical operations, the Head of IT also needs to set policy and meet governance requirements relating to business technology, particularly when it comes to risk and cybersecurity. They also require business abilities like budget control, strategic thinking and business analysis, and soft skills such as leadership and vendor management. The Head of IT can expect to make from SG$180,000 to SG$240,000.
Disclaimer: Salaries can differ from one company to another, and depending on your skills, knowledge and experience. To find out how your salary compares to other roles and industries in Singapore, go to our Salary Comparison Tool.