Jobs with fastest increasing pay


Ever wondered which jobs give the highest “growth” in their wages? In this post, I produce (yet another) ranking table for 30 jobs with the highest increments.

Some background first.

I analysed the wage data from the Report on Wages in Singapore 2006 and found that specialised surgeons, risk management managers and advertising copywriters get the highest increase in their pay over the years.

Specifically, I looked at the median wage data of managers and professionals of 8 age groups. What I did was equivalent to plotting a graph of wage against age for a particular job, getting the best fitted straight line using least squares method, and calculating the slope of that line. (Obviously, I did not do all these manually. I used Excel.)

The results. Specialised surgeons get an average increment of $530 per year, over 40 years. That is an increment of $21,200!

For risk management managers, it’s $416 per year. And for advertising copywriters, it’s $325 per year.

But note that data for advertising copywriters aged 40 and above is not available. Ditto for risk management managers aged 50 and above.

Here’s the ranking table:

  1. Specialised surgeon – $530/yr
  2. Risk management manager – $416/yr
  3. Advertising copywriter – $325/yr
  4. Chemist – $324/yr
  5. Credit analyst – $285/yr
  6. General Manager – $250/yr
  7. Business management consultant – $210/yr
  8. Food and drink technologist – $194/yr
  9. Training manager – $185/yr
  10. Corporate planning manager – $179/yr
  11. Biologist – $177/yr
  12. Legal officer – $171/yr
  13. Building architect – $155/yr
  14. Computer and information systems manager – $150/yr
  15. Power generation and distribution engineer – $148/yr
  16. Business development manager – $143/yr
  17. Computer operations and network manager – $142/yr
  18. Research and development manager – $141/yr
  19. Aeronautical engineer – $140/yr
  20. Business analyst – $137/yr
  21. Operations manager (Finance) – $136/yr
  22. Chemical engineer (Petroleum) – $135/yr
  23. Advocate and solicitor – $131/yr
  24. Medical social worker – $129/yr
  25. Company director – $128/yr
  26. Computer engineer – $128/yr
  27. Managing director – $127/yr
  28. General physician – $126/yr
  29. Engineering manager – $121/yr
  30. Industrial health, safety and environment engineer – $118/yr

For fun, I plotted the graphs for all the jobs (managers and professionals). Here it is:

Jobs with high pay growth


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  1. HI, these figures seem to be extremely low. I can tell you for corporate lawyers which is my field the average increase in salary over the first 6 years of a career is between $5,000- 10,000 per year. I guess the average is so low because you have calculated it over 40 years, but i think it would be more useful if the increase was calculated over 10 year slabs.

  2. The increment calculated is for monthly salary.
    I believe you’re saying that the annual income of a corporate lawyer goes up by 5-10k per year? That’s the same as $417 to $833 monthly salary increment over 6 years.
    I also agree with you that over a longer period of time, the average figure will be lower when compared to that of a shorter period, probably because of the plateau effect.

  3. I see, thanks. Really appreciate your work on this data. When will you be evaluating the top 100 jobs for 2008. Will be very interested to see it.

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