Highest Paying Jobs in Third World Countries

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Most people are under the impression that the term Third World has to do with the low quality of life in impoverished countries. This Mr./Mrs. Most People is a misconception. Third World countries are considered the countries that had no alliances during the Cold War. Countries that aligned themselves with the U.S. and the European Allies (see NATO/Capitalists) are called First World countries. Eastern Bloc or Communist aligned countries (such as China and Cuba) are considered Second World countries and Third World countries are those that said: “This is ridiculous can’t we all just get along and not threaten the planet with nuclear annihilation?”

Ok, so the term has evolved to mean countries that experience economic instability, poverty and low levels of economic development, and ultimately this modern use of the term has made the definition of Third World countries ambiguous at best. So, I apologize for chastising you Mr./Mrs. Most People, but allow me to make it up to you by informing you of the Highest Paying Jobs in Third World Countries. The list of these countries is exhaustively extensive, so please excuse the concise editor’s cut (author’s cut?) of the list.

See Also: The Top 10 Highest Paid Jobs in Dubai

Sierra Leone

Unfortunately, Sierra Leone is most famous for its brutal and devastating civil war during the ‘90s. The country was initially established as a freeman colony. Yes, you read that right; after the African slaves were freed they were sent back to Africa to establish a new colony. But this article isn’t about the inhumanity of the Imperial Colonialists, it’s about highest paying jobs in Third World countries.

According to payscale.com one of the highest paying jobs in Freetown (the capital), Sierra Leone is being a Marketing Manager, which will bring you a respectable $43.200 annually. By western standards, the buying power of less than 50K a year is anemic, but it’s astronomical compared to the per capita gross national income of $340 according to the U.S. State Department’s website. That means that almost three-quarters of the country’s population lives on around 0.93 cents a day.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most oil and natural gas rich countries on the sub-Saharan side of the African continent, unfortunately due to a lack of infrastructure these resources cannot be taken advantage of. Although the DRC fairs slightly better than Sierra Leone when it comes to gross national income per capita at $410 (according to the World Banks website), the country’s poverty level still stands at 63.6% of the population.

If you’d like to sleep a bit easier at night, one of the highest paying salaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo is only around $5.000 annually as a middle or higher management executive. This makes the disparity between the GNI per capita and the highest salary a little smaller (don’t get me wrong it’s still huge at 1219.51% though). 


Haiti is one of the countries that occupy the island of Hispanola. The other is the Dominican Republic. I assume everyone knows about the hardship Haiti endured during the 2010 earthquakes, and sadly it is a problem they are still dealing with, but there is also another problem Haiti is experiencing. The island nation is currently going through a brain drain. Many of its skilled laborers are either going next door to the Dominican Republic or are emigrating to the United States and Canada to earn a living wage.

This has resulted in the remaining workforce being uneducated and under-skilled. On top of this, Haiti’s unemployment rate is estimated to be roughly 70%. Ironically (can you hear Alanis Morissette’s head explode) one of the highest paying jobs in Haiti is being a Non-Profit Organization’s Executive. Yes, the individuals tasked with helping the unemployed, under-skilled people of Haiti are also the ones getting paid 63.900 dollars a year to do so. This in a country where the GNI per capita is just 830 dollars per year. Charity in action!


This is another country that has become famous because of conflict. It has been invaded by both First World (NATO) and Second World (Eastern Bloc) countries. The GNI per capita is a meager 222 dollars, and one of the country’s chief exports is the narcotic opium. Although it does produce other agricultural items and actually has coal, copper, and natural gas deposits these have not been properly exploited.

Let’s revisit the conflict issue again for a second, though. As I mentioned in the intro third world countries are sometimes defined as countries that didn’t align themselves with either of the Power Blocs during the Cold War. Funnily enough, Afghanistan used this (since both Blocs were vying for influence in Afghanistan even before they were established) and built vital infrastructure including airports and highways from funds given to them in the hope that they would be politically swayed.

Anyway, fast-forward through coups (enacted by the Blocs), civil war, invasions and turmoil and we come to today’s Afghanistan. Now the highest paid profession is being a private military contractor. A job that can pay up to 200.000 dollars a year. Yes, that’s Walmart spendable American dollars.


Bangladesh is one of the “healthier” members of this list with the last reported GNI per capita sitting and an un-scoffable $3.340 (which is lower than its neighbors Pakistan and India, but considering the nation’s size, it’s respectable). Also, the disparity between the highest paying jobs and the GNI is much smaller than the other countries on this list indicating a nation with a higher level of social justice.

One of the highest paying jobs at the moment is as a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) which pays around $3.861 per annum. Not only is it a member of the Next Eleven (the next eleven largest economies of the world) it has also progressed in strides when it comes to human rights and social development, when compared to its other Third World counterparts. It is part of group of eight other developing countries which enacted over 68 billion dollars of exchanges in 2010 and has contributed the largest number of peacekeepers of any member of the United Nations.

See Also: Top 10 Highest Paid Jobs in America

So next time someone talks about Third World countries you can tell them it has nothing to do with poverty or slow development. It was about the fact that they refused to have anything to do with a conflict that could have resulted in a nuclear holocaust. i.e. they were the smart ones. Would you like to add anything to this list, please let me know in the comment section below!