13 high-paying jobs for a mid-career switch in Singapore – AsiaOne

Thinking about doing a mid-career switch in Singapore?
After three years of Covid-19, there is reportedly steady growth and recovery in the labour market. Nevertheless, the average long-term unemployment rate among Singapore residents remains at an elevated level of 1per cent compared to pre-Covid levels of 0.7 per cent. This tells us that more people are unemployed for long periods of time now.
Here is where mid-career switches may be helpful. Sometimes, a mid-career switch may be due to job dissatisfaction or a poor person-job fit in terms of values and culture. Mid-career switches can also retrain you for a different job scope, gain in-demand skills, and get employed.
As Mr. Patrick Tay, assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, says, workers should embrace the opportunity to learn new skills and stay relevant for new or transformed jobs, to face potential future changes. 
That being said, it is hard to take on a mid-career switch in Singapore — it means having to forgo current prospects and pay, and embark on a brand new chapter, being uncertain of what is ahead. Pay is an important factor, especially for a mid-career switcher, who may have other commitments like family, or a housing mortgage to pay for.
We look at some mid-career switches which may provide more financial buffer for someone who is looking to change careers. 
What is a ‘high-paying’ job? Is it one with good income potential, or one where you can earn big bucks off the bat? Here, we define a ‘high-paying’ job as one which pays better or equivalent to a fresh graduate’s average starting salary.
In the latest 2021 Graduate Employment Survey, the median gross monthly income for graduates who found permanent full-time jobs was $3,800. Additionally, we looked at the pay range that each job could potentially offer—so even if the starting pay is lower, someone can look forward to better pay once experience accumulates.
However, we know that pay is not everything when considering a mid-career switch. Other factors to consider would include: 
Switching from job to job yet feeling dissatisfied with each one? Know what you value in a job and what are your non-negotiables and negotiables. Fulfilment differs from person to person. Someone may be fulfilled with a job allowing for flexibility, so they can spend more time with family. Yet, someone else may want a job that exposes them to many growth and learning opportunities when they make a mid-career switch. 
Having a high starting salary is one thing, but does the job allow for you to grow in the way you want to? Some prefer a job where there is a lot of predictability and consistency, while someone else may prefer a job where constant upgrading is needed to improve job prospects. 
Knowing which industries are ‘hot industries’ may be a good way to start planning your mid-career ambitions. Recent data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shows that employment grew in sectors such as information and communications, health and social services, professional services, administrative and support services, as well as financial services. 
Are you skilled for the job? Or do you need to take up additional training courses, which will take up time and money? Skillsfuture has a career transition programme, which may provide some level of assistance in refining your skill set to be employment-ready, and in finding a job as well. 
Some jobs may start off with lower pay and time is required for you to gain experience or to be trained for more skills-based jobs (e.g. nursing). Are you willing to gain the experience needed? Do you have the time to? It’s completely fine if you don’t – you just have to find a job which does.
Be aware of what you are getting into by doing your own research and being aware of what a job entails—high pay may not always mean a better fit for you as a job-seeker.
With the above being said in mind, here are some of the jobs with a decent salary you can consider for a mid-career switch. 
Have you ever considered joining the healthcare profession? An allied health professional’s work normally focuses on rehabilitation and complements other medical professionals in their duties. The Career Conversion Programme (CCP)  for Allied Health Professionals include three fields of practice: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and diagnostic radiography.
Successful applicants of the CCP will have their training fees fully funded and also receive a monthly training allowance during the training period. Graduates will be able to draw higher starting salaries of up to $4,500, depending on their years of prior work experience. Furthermore, no prior relevant work experience is needed. 
A breakdown of the different occupations are as below: 
Physiotherapists assess, treat, and prevent human movement disorders caused by illnesses and physical disabilities. They aim to help their patients recover fully or to maximize their physical functioning as much as possible.  They help their patients through various therapeutic techniques like exercise, chest therapy, and electrophyiscal agents like ultrasonic therapy and electrical stimulation. 
Occupational therapists aim to help their patients perform their daily tasks of living and maximize their independence. They design treatment programmes for people with physical disabilities, mental and psychosocial challenges, and assist them with reintegrating into their roles in society. 
Diagnostic radiographers aid the healthcare team in diagnosis by producing radiographic images of the human body using various equipment. A diagnostic radiographer can expect to have opportunities to work in specialised areas such as Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Ultrasound, to list a few.
They also help to manage the radiation dose given to patients and provide care and emotional support throughout the imaging procedures.
Another healthcare sector occupation to consider would be nursing. Nurses help to care for patients by assessing their physical and mental health, carry out clinical procedures, and educate patients and their caregivers on health matters. They also support the care team, which comprises doctors and other allied health professionals.
The Career Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses, provided by the WSG, is fully funded and successful candidates will undertake the accelerated two-year Bachelor of Science (Nursing) programme at National University of Singapore. Nurses from this mid-career switch programme can expect to earn $4,080 a month. No years of experience are needed.
There are various options available for nurses to select from, from public healthcare institutions like hospitals to private or locum options, such as Homage. With these options, it may be worth considering a track in nursing for your mid-career switch in Singapore. 
Human Resources (HR) is crucial to every business organization, being involved in the ‘people’ aspects of the job – from the organization’s wellness and culture, to the recruitment, compensation and so forth. For a HR director or leader as per the above-listed jobs, you can expect to earn up to $240,000 to $310,000 per year for the heavy responsibility borne.
The HR director is tasked with overseeing and managing the company’s hiring processes and relations with employees, and usually acts as the middleman between the company’s top management and the workforce. It ensures the internal operations run as smoothly as possible without any complications. 
To transit to becoming a HR Director, Aventis offers a Master of  Science in Global Human Resources Management. Minimum entry requirements are to be above the age of 21 with a degree from any field. 
Cyber security is one of the fastest growing fields, with the increasing digitalisation of the world. 
Since 2018 to 2021, the number of job postings for cyber security professionals has grown by 6.6 times! Moreover, with the government’s announcement of the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan in October 2020, we can expect to see more government funding put towards the field of cyber security defence.
As such, you can choose from a vast number of industries to work in – whether you are interested in banking, or even in aviation. In terms of salary, the average monthly salary for new cyber security professionals starts from $3,500 to $4,900, with most jobs offering $5,000 to $6,999 for individuals who have some job experience. 
There are various programmes available for mid-career switches, such as specialist diplomas or certificates in IT.  Government supported programmes like the SkillsFuture Work-Study programme and the TeSA support current information and communications technology (ICT) professionals and non-ICT professionals to upskill themselves. The Tech Immersion and Placement Programme is for non-ICT fresh graduates and professionals who are interested in switching to ICT job roles. 
Do you take delight in organising things and working with others? Consider the role of a project manager. This role is not specific to any industry as every company needs someone to manage their projects and ensure things get done on due time. Managing project timelines and tasks are just a part of the job.
Other tasks include providing solutions when troubles arise, and managing teammates as well. Depending on where you start, project managers can draw a range of pay, from $4,000 to $9,000. The MyCareersFuture Singapore portal does list jobs with monthly salaries that go up to $8,000/month, but expect that relevant qualifications and at least 3 years of experience are a prerequisite. 
Government support available for this mid-career conversion would be the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme. 
With the world becoming more technologically inclined and reliant, companies are hiring data analysts to help examine online consumer behaviour and make predictions about their purchasing patterns. This job is gaining traction and there is a demand for a data analyst across many different industries.
If you are a Math wizard, and enjoy looking at numbers, forming graphs and analysing them, this may be the job for you. With at least three years of experience, you can command a very comfortable salary of $4,000 to $10,000 depending on your industry of choice. The computer and coding skills used in this job are also highly transferable and can brighten your future career prospects.
Government support schemes include the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.
Mechanical and electrical engineers are our modern-day Thomas Edisons, identifying and solving problems through designing and creating devices. If you were the child who took apart computer keyboards because you were curious, or if you were a natural problem solver, perhaps this job is for you.
As an engineer’s job is fairly specialized, some job options may require additional certifications such as the Certified Functional Safety Expert. With four years of experience, expect to earn a range of $4,000 to $10,000. 
Government support schemes include the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.
Every product, regardless of how good it is, requires a brand and a presence to consumers. That’s where your marketing communications team comes in—MarCom (short for Marketing Communications) professionals specialise in advertising and pushing your product out there for consumers to buy.
If you are quick with generating sales pitches to sell a product or idea, and like a fast paced environment, this may be the job for you. A MarCom manager can draw a $5,000 to $7,000 monthly salary, depending on years of experience (typically a minimum of 3 years). Have a try if you enjoy something more on the fly!
Government support schemes include the Career Conversion Programmes and the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme. 
If you like to manage your pennies wisely, and think you would like helping others to do the same, a financial consultant career may be one to consider for a mid-career switch in Singapore. Financial consultants provide advice to clients on financial planning, insurance policies etc., to prepare for life events such as planning for children’s education, medical policies and for buffering for unforseen circumstances in life.
To become a financial consultant, you will have to apply for a licence, and will have to sit for some examinations to review your knowledge of financial products. This may take about a year or more to complete. 
Expect to earn $3,800 to $7,000 a month depending on your sales and commission.  
Perhaps Netflix’s Selling Sunsets series really got to you, and you are thinking of going into the real estate industry. A real estate agent helps clients in choosing and purchasing property, whether it is for domestic or commercial purposes. The barrier of entry to real estate is fairly low; what you will require are the certifications (in which you have to sit for exams to obtain), and the agent licence.
Some may also be attracted by the flexible work hours and the idea of being your own boss – with that idea comes along that your monthly income is dependent on the deals you clinch. Expect to earn an average of $3,800 to $10,000 a month from commission depending on your deals. 
Getting the certifications to be an agent and the licence may take up to one-two years, but it is definitely an option to consider if you want to do a mid-career switch in Singapore. 
We all know that one person who had an array of home planning and design ideas on their Pinterest board—are you guilty of being one of them? If nothing excites you more than beautiful room setups and designs, and meticulous planning to envision a dream layout to make it a reality, consider being an interior designer.
Interior designers draw up design concepts for houses for clients, who may be homeowners or who may own office spaces. If practical creativity is your thing, and you pride yourself on having a keen eye for design, this may be a job to switch into. Salaries can go up to $8,000 a month, if you have a big project from a client, and a minimum of a year’s experience is required. 
Government support schemes include the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.
ALSO READ: 10 highest starting salary degrees in Singapore for 2022
If you have ever seen any of the out-of-the-world inventions the Japanese have come up with, you know that Research and Development truly can drive interesting ideas to make them become a reality. From pharmaceutical advancements to research and development of innovative food items on a restaurant’s menu, Research & Development is not only an exciting role if you like possibilities, but also an important one for a company’s survival.
A Research & Development Manager needs to implement new programmes and oversee projects. It requires one to be creative, to be adaptable, and to be able to lead and manage a team. Expect to earn between $5,000 to $9,000 with a minimum of two years’ experience, depending on which industry you join. 
Government support schemes include the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.
With the advent of social media and the Internet, companies are turning more towards advertising their services and products on the Web. Digital marketing managers are in charge of planning and managing marketing campaigns that promote a company’s brand, products, and services.
Their duties include planning campaigns, analysing metrics, and identifying trends. They typically have experience in art direction and social media. Usually, some form of specialised knowledge is required, like in data analytics. 
If you have prior working experience of about two years, expect to earn a starting pay of $5,000 and above. You can earn up to $7,800 depending on your years of experience as well. 
Government support schemes include the Tech Immersion and Placement Programme.
This article was first published in Homage.


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