The Singapore finance jobs with the largest (and smallest) salaries

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Are you a student or fresh graduate wanting to work in the finance sector in Singapore? You may be tempted to take any role that comes your way, just to get your foot in the door.

But beware: some financial services jobs in the Republic pay surprisingly poorly, at both a junior and senior level. This matters in Singapore, because depending on how you splash your cash, Singapore is the first (according to the Economist Intelligence Unit), second (Julius Baer), or third (Mercer) most expensive city on the planet.

Which job functions within financial services pay the most, and which pay the least? Most recruitment firms publish salary surveys to help you answer these questions (and if you’re looking specifically for associate-level data on well-paid jobs, we have a table which averages out some of these surveys).

But if you’re looking for an overview of pay in finance jobs in Singapore, you may also be interested in the table below. It was published just last week within a booklet that outlines the Singapore government’s new Skills Framework for Financial Services, a set of career-progression and skills guidelines.

The data comes from the Ministry of Manpower’s Occupational Wage Survey, which was carried out in June and applies to full-time resident employees working for organisations with at least 25 staff members. We’ve taken the MoM’s original monthly figures and multiplied them by 12 to provide an annual salary guide. The numbers refer to base salaries (and other regular cash payments such as overtime) before income tax, CPF and other contributions. They exclude bonuses.

The second column in the table below, ‘25th percentile’, refers to the pay level which divides the bottom quarter of earners in each job sector from the rest. Similarly, the ‘75th percentile’ column refers to the wage level which separates the top 25% of earners from the rest.

The MoM data isn’t exhaustive. Most notably, there’s no mention of investment bankers, private bankers or technology professionals. It does contain pay figures for some front-office functions, however. The best-paid (i.e. 75th percentile) portfolio managers in Singapore earn S$242,124 base salaries, while FX dealers at the same level take home S$285,000.

The table is perhaps most informative when it comes to revealing the poorly paying jobs that young professionals may want to avoid. If you’re thinking of working in insurance rather than banking, for example, bear in mind that insurance sales agents earn a paltry S$66,504, even if they’re in the top-quarter of earners for their function.

Image credit: Nicholas Punter, Unsplash

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