5 Well Paying Jobs Singaporeans Hate To Do


Ryan Ong



Back in school, you could only name high profile jobs when asked about your ambitions. Say anything besides doctor, lawyer, or investment banker, and you’re sent off for counselling. “Uh, Ryan, that only happened to you because your ambition was to be an apple tree“. Everyone has a right to their own dreams dammit! Anyway, this list proves low profile (read: boring and annoying) jobs can be real money machines:


All Important Common Sense Disclaimer

Salaries don’t just vary between job types- they vary between companies. For obvious reasons, a small company can’t pay as much as a multinational juggernaut; the same job in the former might pay far more in the latter.

Pay scales also vary based on seniority, qualifications, and the simple ability of each individual to not screw up. What you see here, as well as on any salary site, will never be completely correct for everybody.


1. Tax Manager

This is, in my opinion, the dullest job on the planet (and that’s coming from a man who once had to write a 27 page article about various types of bricks).

Tax managers manage tax reporting, and ensure compliance with tax laws. They work with the finance and legal department to answer queries on taxation, and provide solutions to tax problems. It’s a special kind of hell with infinite maths homework, and the only saving grace is the insane pay check.

Retired tax manager Andrew (not his real name) gave me the lowdown:

“In this line the pay can range between $8,000 a month to over $10,000, but it is not the easiest work. I would work 60 to 70 hour weeks. I guess it is also not so prestigious, like being a director or a broker. But if you are the responsible and meticulous type, it’s a good job.”


2. Fundraising Manager

Being a fundraising manager requires tact, organisation, and an ability to work miracles that’s on par with Old Testament prophets. Now the job pays well, to the tune of $4,000 – $7,000 a month (depends on the organisation)…but most people aren’t qualified, on the basis of being mere humans.

Fundraising managers organise events, marketing, sponsorship deals, etc. in order to raise money for an organisation. They might work for environmental movements, historic preservation societies, cultural associations, and so on.

So all those guys out canvassing for donations? All those fund raising television shows with celebrities? The fundraising manager might be tasked with handling all of it. So the pay’s pretty justified, as it’s like doing four or five jobs all at once.


3. Personal Assistant

Personal Assistants (PAs) make highly variable amounts. Those working for a small company might make peanuts. But those working for C-suite executives (CEOs, CFOs, COOs) or directors might earn from $4,500 to $7,000 a month, with really experienced one making in excess of $8,000. Yeah, it’s not unheard of.

PAs are a bit different from secretaries. While the secretary acts as a front desk for the whole office, the PA caters to one specific person. PAs help their bosses organise schedules, book hotels and plane rides, and run messages back and forth. Most will also help produce reports, prepare presentations, and so on.

Human Resource consultant Angeline Seah – who used to work as a PA – says the job is high paying but unpredictable.

“Whether the job is heaven or hell depends on who you work for. Some bosses expect you to wait on them hand and foot. If you are the sort who thinks buying the boss’s wife a birthday present is not part of your job, then you better not be a PA. Forget about clear lines as to what is or isn’t part of your job.”


4. Mail Server Administrator

Bosses tend to consider the mail server administrator, the Information Services manager, and anyone sitting in the room “with that big metal box with cables” as the same person. Much to the frustration of mail server administrators, who get between $4,000 to $6,000 a month partly to put up with stuff like that.

Mail server administrators manage e-mail routing, maintain security, and track user accounts. Most also have to document procedures, such as which hand they will cut off if you share your password.

Again, this is one of those well-paying jobs that gets overlooked because it’s not too glamorous. Which kindergarten kid says his dream in life is to be a mail server administrator?


5. Recruiter

Recruiters are the Human Resource guys who go out and find employees or contract workers. Fresh faced recruiters don’t have a pay to brag about – around $2,500 a month. Senior ones, however, can eventually commend sums of $4,500+ a month.

Recruiters may face a few challenges; like when a client wants someone who can re-write a UNIX kernel, needs him in by next Wednesday, and by the way his payment will be this half-eaten packet of nuts. If you’re a natural extrovert and like networking though, this is a job with great pay and healthy working hours.

Introverts attempting this job are liable to stab themselves in both eyes after the first week.

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Have you heard of any other high paying jobs that no one wants to do? We’d like to find out more here!

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Ryan Ong

I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.