Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs in Hong Kong

Considering moving to Hong Kong? Here are some high-paying jobs to consider.

Reviewed by Hayley Ramsey

Map showing highest-paying careers to consider in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the greatest economies in Asia and perhaps the rest of the world. The city and special administrative region of China has lots to offer individuals seeking to advance in their specialty or seek greener pastures on the other side of the world.

But while it might seem intimidating, mainly because of the language barrier, English is embraced in Hong Kong. This can minimize the intimidation factor of relocating to some place as foreign as this ultra-dense island jurisdiction.

Are you interested? If so, you might want to familiarize yourself with some of the most lucrative employment opportunities in Hong Kong. What are they? We have compiled a list of the ten highest-paying jobs today, from finance to technology, which are certainly a couple of the most popular jobs for any graduate.

10. Digital banking director

Average annual salary: HK$1.7 million (US$217,200)

There is always a demand for digital banking directors in Hong Kong because it is a finance and banking center. Hong Kong also attracts many Chinese businesses, making it the ultimate destination for a career in banking and finance. The responsibilities of a digital banking director usually involve the implementation of projects to others and seeing them to completion. Digital banking directors should least have an MBA degree and advanced education in information technology or a related discipline. Several years of work experience is a big bonus. Knowledge of English and Chinese is a must, and the individual must be well versed with all the basic Microsoft applications.

9. Chief technology officer

Average annual salary: HK$1.8 million (US$230,000)

Hong Kong is a hub of industrial and corporate businesses. Chief technology officers (CTOs) can perform several functions, including building and auditing project frameworks, analyzing requirements and systems for framework design, and implementing departmental quality control criteria. In order to become a chief technology officer, candidates should have a government-recognized bachelor’s degree in electronics, computer science, or information technology. For most positions at senior levels, CTOs need a minimum of five years of work experience, preferably dealing with corporate blockchains, and must also have strong programming experience and cloud platforms. Communication skills are also fundamental. 

8. Head of digital

Average annual salary: HK$1.8 million (US$230,000 million)

This is a prestigious position in many corporations and financial institutions. The duties of the head of digital have mainly to do with implementing digital strategies across personal and wealth banking, commercial banking, and private banking to improve business transactions, including investments. The head of digital should take new initiatives to improve the customer’s journey through digital banking services. Candidates must have a solid background in computing, electronics, or a related discipline.

In addition, experience working and managing customers in the retail banking system is helpful. In-depth knowledge of digital technologies in the financial world is a must. Finally, one must have excellent managerial skills.

7. Head of HR

Average annual salary: HK$2 million (US$255,600)

With thousands of businesses and corporations in Hong Kong, the field of human resources has many opportunities. The head of HR provides support to staff with the general operations required for hiring and recruiting workers. Heads of HR also function closely with senior management to ensure that the business needs are met, and recruitment strategies are aligned with corporate goals.

In order to become the Head of HR, candidates must have a degree in human resource management or an MBA. In addition, at least eight years or more of relevant human resource management experience is required, with fluency in both Mandarin and English. In addition, the individual must have a proven track record of successful performance, management, and relationship building.

6. Chief information officer

Average annual salary: HK$2.5 million (US$319,400)

Hong Kong is the center of hundreds of financial institutions, investment firms, large corporations and healthcare institutions. The key role of a chief information officer (CIO) is to drive the digital transformation in the workplace. A chief information officer usually supervises an IT team and is responsible for analytics and collating the institute's financial statements and other data.

Candidates must have solid leadership and management skills and excellent communication skills. A degree in computing, electronics, mathematics, or IT is necessary. At least five years of experience, plus fluency in Mandarin and English, is required.

5. Executive directors

Average annual salary: HK$2.7 million (US$345,000)

The role of the executive director usually involves overseeing different functions, including the maintenance of high-quality services and programs that help maintain the reputation of the company. Executive directors may also lead fundraising initiatives and be part of the team that drives the organization’s vision.

Candidates must possess a bachelor's degree in business, healthcare, management, etc. This position also requires at least 10–12 years of solid working experience at a senior level. An executive director has to lead and organize the company's short- and long-term goals and help implement the company's vision. Being a good leader and having a friendly personality are vital assets.

4. Chief financial officers

Average annual salary: HK$2.7 million (US$345,000)

Chief financial officers, or CFOs, play a critical role in the regular reporting and management of financial statements and improving an organization's operational efficiency. They build financial models based on the economic outlook and develop strategic initiatives to achieve cost efficiency and maximum revenue. CFOs should have a bachelor's in accounting or finance and solid experience working with a large company. Experience in logistics and audits is beneficial. Fluency in Mandarin and English is a must, and achieving goals and managing cost efficiency is essential. 

Annual average salaries of CFOs can vary depending on the industry and the size of an organization. 

3. Head of legal

Average annual salary: HK$3 million (US$383,300)

The head of the legal department offers legal advice to organizations and business units, helps draft commercial and business agreements, ensures regulatory compliance and constantly evaluates the legal risks in the workplace. The person filling this position should have a law degree with at least five years of experience. Fluency in English and Chinese is a must. The individual must have good experience working in the respective industry and be up to date on legal issues that affect the workplace. The head of legal may be required to travel and manage the legal affairs of different franchises and/or branches.

2. Head of compliance

Average annual salary: HK$3 million (US$383,300)

Every workplace is required to meet local, state, and industry compliance laws. The head of compliance regularly updates compliance and internal control policies, revises manuals and operations, provides compliance training to staff and performs regular audits in the workplace. The head of compliance requires at least five years of experience with a reputable company. A degree in business management, economics, or a related field is mandatory. Communication skills are also critical.

1. Chief medical officer

Average annual salary: HK$3.5 million (US$447,200)

Hong Kong has many hospitals and clinics that cater to private and government-insured patients. A chief medical officer (CMO) oversees daily clinical operations and provides support to healthcare workers. CMOs also play a role in evaluating staff performance, maintaining quality control, and implementing cost-effective strategies. In order to become a CMO, one needs to have a degree in healthcare or associated specialty and background training in management and leadership. Most individuals have at least five years of experience and proven success in previous positions.

Final thoughts

Does your job search need to extend beyond your borders? Sometimes this is the only answer.

Hong Kong possesses one of the strongest economies in the world. Despite being a hyper-dense jurisdiction, it continues to be one of the most attractive places to live and work. Hong Kong still has lots of growth to accomplish, meaning plenty of employment opportunities are available. Be it in the healthcare field or in business, Hong Kong can help your career flourish. While you need to make some concessions, such as learning and speaking Mandarin and maybe living in tight conditions, the experience is worthwhile. Put simply, your career will thank you in 10, 20 or 30 years.

Have you ever considered moving to Hong Kong to work? Or do you know someone that is? Share this with your friends so they can see their options!


This is an updated version of an article originally published on 24 April 2017.