Talk about salary in Singapore and people react in two ways—they either berate themselves for not making it into medical school, or they wish they had a life to go with that salary. While this article is not meant to encourage you to enrol your child in more “Baby Genius” tuition classes or quit your job in search of greener pastures, here are the 10 highest paying jobs in Singapore of the past year, according to MOM’s Occupational Wage Table for 2014. We’ve left out occupations like “CEO” or “company director”, and for obvious reasons you won’t see things like “prime minster” on the list either.
1. Specialist medical practitioner (medical) $15,266 – $23,843; (surgical) $13,952 – $27,632
There’s a reason 80% of the JC students in the science stream aiming to get into medical school. Taking the well trodden path from medical practitioner to specialist will enable you to take advantage of Singapore’s sky high medical prices.
2. Commodities / derivatives broker $17,630 – $18,369
There’s a reason oil traders drive around in such fancy cars—and it’s not that they get free petrol.
3. Forex dealer / broker $14,060
No, attending one of those “Get Rich Quick with Forex” seminars advertised in the Straits Times classifieds section will not make a forex broker out of you. There is proper certification required, not to mention an extremely high time-cost to Forex trading as well. Don’t be surprised if your friends suddenly cancel dinner on you because the markets crashed that day.
4. Chief operating officer / general manager (real estate services) $12,030 – $13,220
Property is big business in Singapore despite. There’s nothing like a bunch of rich people fighting over limited land so they can develop it and sell it at higher prices. Claw your way to the top of a real estate business and you’ll benefit from all that.
5. University lecturer – $11,475 – $11,713
Bet you wish you’d learnt more at school—not just to pass exams, but to really understand a certain area of study. University lecturers enjoy good work-life balance compared to the other serfs on this list, all while being paid handsomely. In exchange they sacrifice the greater part of their youth slogging it out as underpaid graduate students.
6. Marine superintendent engineer – $9,003 – $11,245
Singapore universities churn out thousands of engineering grads each year, but there’s a big difference between the salary of a civil engineer who sweats it out on a construction site all day and a marine engineer at the top of his game.
7. Chief information officer / chief technology officer in financial services – $10,000 – $10,250
There’s a reason everyone who studied engineering and IT at university wants to work in finance. Hint—it’s the same reason that dictates 99% of Singaporeans’ life choices.
8. Lawyer – $9,400 – $10,672
They might not be earning as much as Kong Hee himself, but the lawyers still managed to feed off the spoils of the City Harvest trial.
9. GP/Physician – $8,292 – $10,266
That GP in the polyclinic office whom you constantly try to dupe in order to get an MC may not cut a very imposing figure, but he’s probably earning more than you do, especially if you actually have to go to a polyclinic in the first place.
10. Manufacturing plant / production manager for petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical products $9,000- $9,441
After working as a chemical engineer or chemist for a number of years, graduating to become a plant or production manager pays off better than becoming that mad scientist in a lab coat with the frizzy hair.
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