Career

4 Unconventional Careers That Pay Well in Singapore

unconventional jobs singapore

Joanne Poh

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In Singapore, a career is only considered desirable if it pays big bucks. Unfortunately, too many of such careers often require one to obtain perfect A level grades or understand boring financial jargon. If you haven’t satisfied the above criteria, are you doomed to a lifetime of cubicle drudgery as you struggle to pay the bills? Well, not if you get yourself one of these unconventional careers that nobody can ever accuse of being boring.

 

Pastor at a megachurch

If the thought of spending years in Bible college and taking vows of chastity turns you off, don’t worry, because as a pastor at a megachurch you’ll have more, not fewer, chances to demonstrate your attractiveness as a human being, especially since charisma plays a big part in your ability to build a big congretation. While I use the term “megachurch”, don’t worry if you can’t get into one of the “big 2” organisations. Any church that exists with the objective of making it big qualifies.

Don’t worry if you can’t tell your Jacobs from your Josephs. Biblical knowledge can be picked up on the job, at least here. The skillset required of you is much like that of an inspirational speaker, and your main job is to convince your congregation that they will be financially blessed if only they are faithful enough.

If you come from a finance or accounting background, don’t worry. Two noteworthy pastors of Singapore’s most famous megachurches came from an IT background, while you will find many pastors who are ex-financial advisors, accountants and engineers.

 

Blogger

These days, businesses in Singapore actually look to advertising on blogs as a viable form of marketing. Just a few years ago, bloggers were making small change, but these days if you’re good, making a full-time living through your blog isn’t out of the question. What’s more, blogging is often used as a springboard for other roles like YouTube star, TV actor/actress, online shop owner and so on.

To be honest, only the good ones in Singapore make a lot of money. But if you look at many of the blogs on the web, you’ll realise that the bar really isn’t set that high. Lots of these bloggers are very young and join networks like Nuffnang just for fun, and not because they’re seriously looking for a career in blogging.

If you take a good selfie, are able to string together a coherent sentence and know how to get your readers to pay attention, blogging could well be a very lucrative career. This blogger who’s not Xiaxue purportedly earns an average of $3,000 a month from her blog alone.

Sure, it’s hard to predict whether your concept will be popular amongst readers, but this challenge is no different from what any other business faces.

 

Hostess at Thai disco

The F&B industry in Singapore pays nortoriously low wages, but the waitresses at Thai discos aren’t complaining. While the basic wage isn’t too different from that of regular F&B service staff, most Thai disco hostesses make up for it by earning big through tips. Waitressing at a Thai disco isn’t just about serving drinks. It’s about making friends with the patrons, playing drinking games with them and hopefully winning the affections of some regulars who’ll keep coming back to see you.

Best of all, those flower garlands people buy for the singers onstage aren’t restricted to performers. Waitresses can also receive garlands worth $10 to $100 or more, of which they get to keep about 50%. Despite the fact that these places are called Thai discos, employers are usually open to hiring locals, too.

An average Thai disco hostess can reportedly earn about $2,500 to $3,000 a month, while higher performers get much more.

 

Shipbroker

If your childhood was spent geeking out over model ships, becoming a shipbroker might be right up your alley. Your main task will be to meet with clients, socialise with them and sell ships to them. You’ll also have to be on call in case any of your customers needs to liaise with the charterer or vice versa.

You don’t need any specific qualifications to get a job at one of the smaller firms, although you will have to pick up technical knowledge on the job. But the key thing is to be ready to spend a lot of time entertaining clients. Better start training your liver and getting to know some KTV mamasans.

Shipbrokers earn very attractive commissions besides their starting salaries of at least $3,000 and if you’re good you could find yourself earning upwards of $100,000 a year in commissions, even as a junior.

Do you know of any other unconventional jobs that pay attractive salaries? Let us know in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.