While looking at the data in the recently released MOM Report on Wages in Singapore 2006, I compared the gross wages of managers and professionals across “major occupational groups”.
As defined by MOM, these 12 major groups or otherwise called “industries” are: manufacturing, construction, wholesale & retail trade, transport & storage, hotels & restaurants, information & communications (infocomm), financial services, real estate & leasing services, professional services, administrative & support services, education health & social services, and arts entertainment recreation & other services.
The survey took into account the wage data of more than 30,000 managers and more than 25,000 professionals. However, the wage data do not include performance bonuses, profit sharing and stock options.
Here are my findings:
For each industry, the average gross wage is always higher than the median gross wage.
This reflects the uneven spread – the people higher up make much more money. In other words, the wage gaps widen more as you move higher up the corporate ladder.
So I’ll use the average gross wage data to compare the industries.
According to my findings, the top industry for managers is, not surprisingly, financial services. The following are the industries ranked by average gross wage for managers (highest shown first):
- Financial services – $9,682
- Professional services – $8,870
- Information & communications (infocomm) – $8,699
- Education health & social services – $7,258
- Transport & storage – $7,162
- Manufacturing – $7,141
- Wholesale & retail trade – $7,004
- Real estate & leasing services – $6,504
- Construction – $5,496
- Administrative & support services – $5,398
- Arts entertainment recreation & other services – $5,186
- Hotels & restaurants – $3,971
As for professionals (who earn much less than managers), the top industry is education, health & social services, with financial services following closely at 2nd spot. The following is the ranking table for average gross wage for professionals:
- Education health & social services – $6,508
- Financial services – $5,343
- Transport & storage – $5,085
- Professional services – $4,492
- Information & communications (infocomm) – $4,417
- Wholesale & retail trade – $4,351
- Manufacturing – $4,153
- Real estate & leasing services – $3,753
- Arts entertainment recreation & other services – $3,548
- Administrative & support services – $3,489
- Hotels & restaurants – $3,322
- Construction – $3,237
So, maybe a good strategy is to start as a professional in the financial services industry, and then move up to become a manager.
Another good industry is perhaps education, health & social services, but it’s not clear exactly which of education, health or social service pays the best.
I say, stick to financial services. If you have a choice.