For many jobs, “work-related” travel means receiving $10 from your boss to walk across the street to either buy office supplies, or his lunch. And if you work in a depressing office environment that feels like an interior designer tried to recreate Changi Prison at your workplace– that trip to buy office stationery is a blessing!
Thankfully, holiday travel once or twice a year is enough to keep most of us from self-admitting ourselves to IMH. But if you’re someone who constantly daydreams at work about travelling to exotic destinations, there are jobs out there that allow you to do that.
Here are some jobs that’ll take you to some very exciting destinations:
1. Airline Pilot
This one’s a no-brainer when it comes to jobs that give you the greatest opportunity to travel – because the job IS travel! Of course, you’ll have to adapt to a very hectic lifestyle that includes 12-16 hour workdays, on-call flight duty, 8-12 hour international flights, and being away from home for up to 2 weeks.
But if you can tolerate the demanding work schedule (especially for new pilots), you’ll be able to travel to more places in a year than most people will travel in their lifetimes.
Difficulty (Hard): Unless you’re an ex-Air Force pilot with a couple thousand hours of flying experience, the only other way to get the job is to go to flight school affiliated with a major airline as a cadet.
Destinations: That depends on the airline you join. For example, Lion Air travels only to 36 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region while Singapore Airlines travels to just about anywhere short of Antarctica.
Salary: Salary varies according to who you fly for, what aircraft you fly, and your seniority. Some U.S. airlines can pay senior pilots as high as $250,000 USD a year, but if you’re starting out at Singapore Airlines, expect that number to be around $6,000 SGD a month.
2. Business Development Manager
Nowadays, it’s hard to find an industry that doesn’t require a business development manager. Everyone’s got something to sell – whether it’s microprocessors, spare parts, clothing or even ideas (think creative industry).
Of course, it’s a job that requires an outgoing personality and someone who likes to network and build business relationships. And depending on the kind of product you’re trying to sell, you might have to pull some longer than usual hours if you’re dealing with prospective customers on the other side of the globe.
Difficulty (Moderate): The difficulty varies, as some business development jobs require a specialized degree – especially for engineering-related jobs. Some business development jobs on the other hand only require a diploma, sales experience, and great social skills. And as the stereotype goes, quite a number of these jobs require a certain tolerance for alcohol.
Destinations: Depending on what industry you’re in, travel can take you anywhere in the world. But more than likely you’ll do most of your business travel within the Asia-Pacific region.
Salary: This depends on the type of company (SME/MNC) you join and your starting experience. Business development managers working for an SME can expect to start at about $3,000 a month while senior managers working at an MNC can easily make around $10,000 a month.
3. Tour Leader (Outbound)
Tour leaders are considered the “rock stars” of the travel industry. They’re the guys at the front of the tour group, ensuring everyone has a safe, enjoyable and informative holiday (yes, a little knowledge of the destination’s history is required).
The biggest perk of course is that you’re paid to go on holiday… albeit with 15-50 other people. That being said, the job also requires some strong management and social skills, especially when things don’t go according to plan (and you’re dealing with plenty of angry travelers).
Difficulty (Easy/Moderate): You don’t need to have an advanced degree to do this job. In fact, if you can take a tour leading program as long as you’ve completed your GCE “N” level examination with credits in Maths and English. But if you want to get more of a background in the tourism industry before becoming a tour leader, there are many diploma programs available.
Destinations: This job can take you anywhere on the globe… as long as there is a consumer demand for visiting it.
Salary: On average, you can expect to make about $3,000 as a tour leader in Singapore. But unlike higher paying jobs that keep you chained to a desk all day, this job literally takes you to places that the guy in the office daydreams about.
4. Foreign Service Officer (FSO)
It’s said that when you travel overseas, even as a tourist, you’re considered an “ambassador” of your nation (wonder what that says about “ambassadors” who want to steal SIA cutlery en masse?). So if you’re someone with a good academic background who can behave reasonably well overseas, you can work for the Singapore government as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO).
But this job isn’t as cushy as you think! Ok… so it’s probably cushy about 90% of the time, but to get job benefits, you’ve got to pass a battery of tests before you can join the “club.” Then you’ll get to travel wherever the government sends you – sometimes for years at a time (which isn’t bad if you’re stationed in someplace like France!).
Difficulty (If you’re from a “Good” school Easy/If not, difficult): To get any halfway decent government job in Singapore, you typically need to be a government scholar, or have an honors degree from a certain local university. If you’re neither, getting an FSO job is going to be rather difficult.
Destinations: Here’s a list of the nations where the Singapore government may post you for a few years. Many of the locations are quite nice… unless you get screwed with Pakistan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia as an assignment.
Salary: As an FSO, you can make up to $3,900 according to careers.gov. But that’s probably not counting all of the other “perks” that come with government service (housing, food, travel, etc.)
5. English Teacher
Teaching is so underrated, you’re probably wondering why it’s on this list. Yeah, we all take the fact that we can speak, write, and understand English well for granted. But schools at some very exotic destinations are willing to pay very well to have someone go over to teach English.
Of course, if you don’t have much teaching experience, enjoy working with kids, or lack something called “patience,” it might be a tough career move. But if you love a good challenge and don’t mind learning about a new culture, teaching English might be a more rewarding career move.
Difficulty (Easy): You don’t need a fancy degree or even a diploma. If you’ve got an ESL, EFL or TOEFL certificate, that’s enough to get you a job in many countries. Thankfully, there are plenty of institutions in Singapore where you can study and earn your certification.
Destinations: It’ll take you practically anywhere in Asia and even the Middle-East because there’s a huge demand for English teachers in these areas.
Salary: The pay can be anywhere from $3,000 USD in South Korea, to $5,000 USD in Dubai, which sometimes comes with free or low-cost, lodging if you live on the school grounds.
Final Note: Some of these jobs require training/certifications (ex. Flight school, ESL cert, etc.) before they’ll hire you. If you’re lucky, you might end up with an employer who will either pay for/subsidize your training if you sign a bond.
Otherwise, you can always take out a personal loan to cover the cost of any training needed. Make sure you find the best possible personal loan package on MoneySmart.
Has your job taken you places you never thought you’d visit? Share your views with us on Facebook!
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