Nicknamed the Lion City, Singapore is known the world over for a lot of things, like its impeccable cleanliness, low crime rate, controversial ban on chewing gum and the impressive Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino resort.
It’s also known for being one of the highest paying countries in the world.
If that’s convinced you to start looking for a job in the city-state immediately, we’ve put together the 10 highest paying jobs in Singapore, complete with salary information and entry requirements.
10. Network and communications managers
What they do: Network managers are tasked with overseeing the design, installation and smooth running of IT, data and telephone systems in the company they work for.
What they earn: $8,513 – $8,541 (£4,764 - £4,779) per month
How to become one: You’ll generally need to hold a degree in a subject like networking, computing, IT security, business information systems, marketing and communications. These professionals are in high demand, though it’s important to note that previous experience is usually required and competition is, therefore, incredibly fierce.
9. IT service managers
What they do: IT service managers are tasked with designing, creating and maintain a company’s IT services, as well as leading the company’s IT team and improving the organisation’s existing IT service infrastructure.
What they earn: $8,563 – $8,739 (£4,792 – £4,890) per month
How to become one: A degree in IT or a related subject is essential but does not guarantee employment. It all comes down to experience and a proven track record.
8. General practitioners/Physicians
What they do: GPs and physicians are responsible for treating all common medical conditions and referring patients to hospitals for urgent and specialist treatment.
What they earn: $8,292 – $10,266 (£4,640 - £5,745) per month
How to become one: You’ll need to hold a relevant postgraduate degree or diploma, which typically takes five years to obtain. Family physicians must obtain full or conditional registration with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) and must also have completed the required years of post-housemanship experience either locally or overseas.
7. Lawyers (excluding advocates and solicitors)
What they do: Lawyers counsel clients about their legal options and represent them in criminal and civil court proceedings.
What they earn: $9,400 – $10,672 (£5,260 – £5,972) per month
How to become one: You’ll first need to obtain a recognised law degree from the National University of Singapore, the Singapore Management University, or from an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
You’ll then need to undertake a minimum of six months’ relevant legal training, practice or work experience (either in Singapore or abroad), pass both Part A and Part B of the Bar exams, register with the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (SILE), undergo a Practice Training Period for six months and, finally, apply for admission to the Singapore Bar.
6. Chief information officers/Chief technology officers (financial services)
What they do: CIOs typically solve organisational problems through acquiring and adapting existing IT technologies, while CTOs primarily oversee the development of new technologies.
What they earn: $10,000 – $10,250 (£5,596 – £5,736) per month
How to become one: You’ll typically need an MBA in business administration, but it is not essential (many CIOs and CTOs don’t have any formal education). That said, most employers do expect at least a bachelor’s degree in a subject like finance, business, IT or software engineering. Previous experience in a technology-related management position is a must.
5. Marine superintendent engineers
What they do: Marine superintendent engineers are responsible for the efficient operation, budgeting and maintenance of a company’s fleet of vessels used on or around water. They earn the top salaries in the engineering industry.
What they earn: $9,003 – $11,245 (£5,038 – £6,292) per month
How to become one: Like most engineering jobs, you’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject like marine engineering and mechanical engineering. You’ll also need a Class 1 (Deck) Certificate of Competency. With experience, you could become a fleet manager and, later, fleet director.
4. University lecturers
What they do: Lecturers teach academic and vocational subjects which they are well-versed in at universities, and they also carry out research and fieldwork.
What they earn: $11,475 – $11,713 (£6,422 – £6,556) per month
How to become one: University lecturers typically hold a master’s degree and/or a PhD in the subject they wish to teach. With experience, you could become a senior lecturer, and then a principal lecturer, reader or professor.
3. Forex dealers/Brokers
What they do: Forex dealers work with clients, buying and selling currencies from around the world with the aim of making a profit.
What they earn: $14,060 (£7,869) per month
How to become one: There are no formal education requirements to enter this potentially highly financially rewarding career, but most employers (eg: banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, etc) do generally require a finance-related degree, such as mathematics, statistics or econometrics.
2. Commodity/Derivatives brokers
What they do: Commodity and derivatives brokers advise individuals and corporations about how to buy, trade and sell commodities (grain and livestock) and derivatives (metals, bonds, equities, etc).
What they earn: $17,630 – $18,369 (£9,865 – £10,279) per month
How to become one: While it’s not necessary, obtaining a master’s degree in a finance-related subject like accounting, economics, maths, statistics or business administration can be extremely advantageous.
1. Specialist medical/Surgical practitioners
What they do: Specialist medical and surgical practitioners have the best paying jobs in Singapore. They specialise and practice in many different areas, including anesthesiology, cardiology, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery and psychiatry.
What they earn: $15,266 – $23,843 (£8,543 – £13,344) per month (Medical) / $13,952 – $27,632 (£7,808 - £15,465) per month (Surgical)
How to become one: Generally speaking, you’ll need to graduate from medical school which usually takes five years, before furthering your education and undergoing a residency programme in your chosen field and, finally, registering with the Specialists Accreditation Board. Overall, the entire process can take anywhere between 7 and 9 years as well as a very large financial investment.
If you do decide to move to Singapore to pursue any of these highest paying jobs (or any other not listed here), make sure that you understand that moving and working abroad is no easy feat, financially and emotionally. It’s also important that you read up on visa requirements and all other legalities, as well as do your homework about Singapore’s culture which can greatly differ from that of the western world.
In the meantime, if you’ve got anything you’d like to add, join the conversation below and let us know what’s on your mind!
The salary information contained in this article is based on data compiled by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department (MRSD). Singapore dollar – Stirling pound conversions are based on rates from 26 April 2017.
This article was originally published in February 2015.