7 High Paying Jobs in Singapore and What It Takes to Get There

Priscilla Lee
Updated:
Top high paying jobs in Singapore and what it takes to get to those levels

Inflation clocked in at 6.2% in October.

That’s a lot more than the standard 2% wage growth — or 3%, if you’re lucky.

So it’s no surprise that we’re eager to find career paths that not only pique our interest but also promise high pay.

But what’s the job market like these days? What opportunities are out there, especially with the current trends in remote work and borderless hiring?

Today, we’ll highlight the 7 highest-paying career paths in Singapore and the salary progression you’re likely to see.

The 7 Most Lucrative Career Paths for Job Seekers

The following are the top earners in seven different sectors:

Job RolesSectorAverage Salaries (yearly)
Managing DirectorInvestment BankingS$500,000 to S$750,000
Marketing President / Vice President / Chief Experience OfficerTechnologyS$300,000 to S$500,000
Chief Finance OfficerAccounting & FinanceS$220,000 to S$550,000
Cyber PresalesCybersecurity, Governance, Audit in ITS$100,000 to S$500,000+
Managing Director/ DirectorSalesS$200,000 to S$350,000
QuantRisk ManagementS$120,000 to S$320,000+
Regulatory ComplianceComplianceS$60,000 to S$300,000+

Source: Morgan McKinley

These professions don’t start out at those average salaries, of course. Below, we’ll get into:

  • an overview of each job,
  • why it’s likely to stay in demand,
  • and what it takes to reach those levels.

Job #1 – Managing Director (Investment Banking)     

Managing directors oversee the day-to-day operations of an entire institution (or a specific section of the bank). Traditionally, the role reports directly to either the CFO, COO, CRO, or CEO.

The main task of the managing director is to drive revenue by winning deals from big clients like business entities, government bodies, or institutional banks — but with a key focus on mergers and acquisitions.

Is the role going to stay in demand? Yes, since it’s a revenue-making role that’s literally the backbone of the bank. Even with new entrants like digital banks entering the market, traditional investment banks still have a big part to play in the global financial ecosystem.

How much can the role make progressively5 to 10 years – S$500,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$620,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$750,000 yearly
Level of education required At least a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business Management, Finance, Econometrics, Statistics or Accounting
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$5,000 to $8,500 per month

Job #2 – Marketing President / VP / Chief Experience Officer (Technology)

This role works closely with the C-suite and is responsible for directing the marketing department to develop and implement marketing strategies. The goal is to optimise marketing dollars while achieving business goals such as increasing sales, generating leads, and converting leads into customers.

Is the role going to stay in demand? Yes, especially if digital marketing is part of your portfolio. Businesses that want to thrive in this digital economy will always require someone with solid industry expertise to weave and execute a cohesive marketing strategy.

How much can the role make progressively5 to 10 years – S$300,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$400,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$500,000 yearly
Level of education requiredAt least a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Marketing, Communications, or related field
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$3,000 to $5,000 per month

Job #3 – Chief Finance Officer (Accounting and Finance)

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for the strategic planning, implementation, managing, and running of all the finance activities of a company. The role works closely with the C-level executive team to ensure the business can run smoothly within budgetary constraints.

In some companies, this role also oversees the Finance, Human Resource, and IT department.

Is the role going to stay in demand? Yes: with the surging cybersecurity issues after the digitisation of businesses, the role of CFO is now more diversified and critical for business transformation. According to a McKinsey survey, the number of functions reporting to CFOs has been increasing (meaning stronger CFO voice on C-suite agendas).

How much can the role make progressively5 to 10 years – S$250,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$350,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$500,000+ yearly
Level of education requiredAt least a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance or Economics
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$3,500 to $6,600 per month

Job #4 – Cyber Pre-Sales (Cybersecurity, Governance, Audit Innovation & Technology)

A cyber pre-sales consultant needs a mix of people skills and tech-savviness: they work closely with their clients to understand their businesses and offer technical solutions.

Is the role going to stay in demand? Yes! In 2020 alone, an estimated 330 million people across 10 countries were victims of cybercrime. This number will increase as the world becomes more and more reliant on technology, leading to businesses ramping up their cybersecurity measures.

How much can the role make progressively5 to 10 years – S$100,000 to S$250,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$250,000 to S$350,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$350,000 to S$500,000+ yearly
Level of education requiredDiploma, Bachelor’s degree, or accreditation in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$3,000 to $4,500 per month

Job #5 – Managing Director / Director (Sales)

A Director of Sales oversees the sales department and leads the team to achieve annual targets. Their primary portfolio is to manage existing clients and nurture new ones. They must also regularly conduct competitor research, motivate their team members, and manage budgets to ensure the profitability of the company. 

Is the role going to stay in demand?  Sales are the lifeblood of every business, so it’s likely that a good sales director will always be in demand. However, many businesses are beginning to place marketing at the same level as sales. While marketing and sales roles are not the same, it does mean that the Sales Director role will evolve and may involve more integration of the two.

How much can the role make progressively5 to 10 years – S$200,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$275,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$350,000 yearly
Level of education requiredAt least a Diploma in Sales and Marketing, Business Administration, or related field
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$2,000 to $3,500 per month

Job #6 – Quant / Quantitative Analyst (Risk Management)

Quants, also known as Quantitative Analysts, are as brainy as they sound. They develop and implement complex mathematical models that financial firms use to make decisions about risk management, investments, and pricing.

Is the role going to stay in demand?  Because of the challenging nature of the work and the skillsets required to excel, Quants are most likely to be in demand for the decade to come. Will Artificial Intelligence replace Quants? Not likely because this role still requires a lot of manual human interventions.

How much can the role make progressively5 to 10 years – S$120,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$220,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$320,000+ yearly
Level of education requiredA Bachelor’s degree in  a finance-related field or a Master’s degree in mathematical finance
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$4,000 to $11,500 per month

Job #7 – Regulatory Compliance

There are a lot of rules and regulations to ensure customer, product, and workplace safety. The job of Regulatory Compliance is to stay up to date on them and create systems that adhere to those rules — then make sure people can use those systems.

Is the role going to stay in demand? Yes, because maintaining the trust of their customers is more important to businesses than ever before. The rules and regulations, while annoying at times, are meant to protect a company’s reputation and ensure that it has high standards of delivery. Again, this is not a role that AI or Machine Learning can easily replace.

How much can the role make progressively 5 to 10 years – S$60,000 yearly
10 to 15 years – S$150,000 yearly
Over 15 years – S$300,000+ yearly
Level of education required A Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in Business Management or an International Compliance Association certification
How much can a fresh grad earn with an entry-level positionS$3,000 to $8,000 per month