Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs in Hong Kong

hong kong skyline view from victoria peak

Hong Kong regularly features on lists highlighting the best countries to work in, and rightfully so. The former British colony has become one of the most important financial centres in the world and boasts the largest concentration of individual wealth in Asia.

Earlier this year, HSBC revealed that expats living in Hong Kong made an average $169,756 (about £132,715) per annum – which is 7 times more than the average annual salary in the country!

In this article, we take a look at the 10 highest paying jobs in Hong Kong and the extremely generous wages that they pay.

10. Sales director (Medical devices)

Salary: HK$900,000 – HK$1.3 million (£90,522 – £130,720)

Sales directors are responsible for directing sales teams for an entire company or within a regional or branding division. People with the appropriate education, training and experience in the medical devices field will find employment as a Q&A manager, marketing director, product manager and sales director.

9. Director (HR and administration)

Salary: HK$1 million – HK$1.5 million (£100,523 – £150,841)

A career in human resources is all about ensuring that a company has the best people working for it, their rights as employees are protected, and their benefits are effectively administered. You’ll typically need to obtain a relevant degree to enter the field, where you can work in areas like compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, and training and development. With several years’ experience in the field, you could move into a director's role where you can expect to earn a minimum of HK$1 million.

8. General counsel (Legal)

Salary: HK$1 million – HK$1.5 million (£100,523 – £150,841)

Competition for legal professionals, including lawyers and general counsel, in Hong Kong, is incredibly fierce. That said, people who are fluent in written Chinese and spoken Putonghua will have an edge over other candidates.

Companies, meanwhile, are no longer hiring foreign legal professionals and instead hire candidates that are well-versed in the People’s Republic of China market. General counsel typically have more than 8 years’experience.

7. General manager (Engineering)

Salary: HK$1.5 million+ (£150,841+)

Civil, electrical, mechanical, building, structural and green/environmental engineers are in constant demand in Hong Kong. They can find employment in a range of areas in the engineering sector, including building services, manufacturing, procurement, project management, quality, sales, supply chain and general management where the top salaries are offered. A relevant degree is generally required to pursue a career in engineering.

6. Head of retail (Regional)

Salary: HK$1.5 million+ (£150,841+)

The retail industry is vital to the Hong Kong economy, with sales recorded in 2016 amounting to HK$436.6 billion (£43.8 billion). This means that there is no shortage of jobs in the field, and there are various areas to start in, including marketing, merchandising/buying, sales and operation, store design, as well as training. With experience, you can move into executive management where salaries typically start at HK$1 million (£100,523).

5. Regional head – Underwriting (Insurance)

Salary: HK$1.3 million – HK$1.8 million (£130,720 – £181,010)

Insurance underwriters essentially decide who gets insurance cover, and they do this by assessing background information on their client and calculating the risk involved. They typically hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject like Accounting, Business, Economics, Engineering, Finance, Law, Management, Maths or Statistics. These professionals can find employment in life, non-life and broking insurance, as well re-insurance, and can hold the position of manager, head of department or regional manager before being made regional head.

4. R&D director (Pharmaceutical)

Salary: HK$1 million – HK$2 million (£100,523 – £201,108)

The best paying job in the pharmaceutical sector in Hong Kong is that of R&D director. These professionals are tasked with planning, organising and directing all pharmaceutical-related research and development in their company. They typically hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, but some employers may prefer additional qualifications.

3. CFO (Finance and accounting)

Salary: HK$1 million – HK$2.5 million (£100,523 – £251,385)

Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are responsible for managing the financial risk of a company. These professionals typically hold a bachelor’s degree in business, business administration, finance, accounting or economics, and organisations tend to hire or promote people to this position when they have 5 to 15 years’ experience in the industry. Obtaining professional certification and a master’s degree can be helpful.

2. Executive/Managing director – Portfolio management (Banking and finance)

Salary: HK$2.8 million+ (£281,473+)

Portfolio management jobs are some of the most prestigious in the banking and finance industry, and primarily involve developing and implementing investment strategies for their clients which can either be individuals or organisations. Salaries for analysts start at HK$550,000 (£55,288) and with experience you can gradually move up the corporate ladder as a manager, senior manager, director and, eventually, executive director.

1. CIO/CTO (IT and telecommunications)

Salary: HK$2.8 million – HK$3.5 million (£281,473 – £351,841)

The highest paying job in Hong Kong belongs to that of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) or a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). CIOs are responsible for solving organisational problems by acquiring and adapting existing technologies, while CTOs oversee the development of new technologies within a company.

Would you like to do any of these jobs? Join the conversation below and let us know!

All salaries displayed are based on data compiled by Kelly Services. Conversions are based on rates from 21 April 2017.


This article was originally published in July 2015.