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Top 7 highest paying jobs in Hong Kong in 2019
In life, you need to know where you are going to know how you want to get there — and the same goes for career progression as well. In order to plot your career path, it is helpful to know what the highest paying jobs are. To help put things into perspective, we developed a comprehensive 2019 Michael Page Salary Guide, which outlines the salary benchmark for a wide range of jobs across different industries and sectors in Hong Kong. Read on to find out what the top seven highest paying jobs for 2019 are.
1. Chief Executive Officer (Consumer & Retail)
In Hong Kong, technology and marketing specialists continue to be in high demand, especially those with expertise in user experience, CRM and analytics. Regional roles, too, are highly sought after, especially in the FMCG industry. In terms of roles in demand, Hong Kong is looking for talent with Sales & Operations expertise, specifically in the retail and F&B industries.
With that said, the Sales sector in Hong Kong is where the highest paying jobs are at the moment. A Country Manager, in particular, can expect to bring in HKD 2.3 million per year on average — and this is only the second highest paying role. The leader in the Consumer & Retail industry goes to a Chief Executive Officer of a company in the Sales sector. This person can expect to earn upwards of HKD 3 million on average per year.
2. Managing Director (Financial Services & Fintech)
With imminent new regulations, financial institutions across Hong Kong are aggressively hiring for compliance roles, both external consultants and internal professional with strong compliance experience. In asset management, especially, there is greater demand for professionals to support strategy, operations and change management.
The last point there is of particular interest. The finance and accounting sectors in Hong Kong have some of the most active hiring activities this year. Perhaps that is the reason why this is where some of the highest paying jobs are found. A Managing Director in a private equity firm, for example, can expect to earn HKD 3.5 million on average per year. There are even possibilities of earning up to HKD 4.5 million per annum as well, depending on the firm and individual.
3. General Counsel (Industrial & Manufacturing)
Demand is high for senior talent with commercial responsibilities and regional APAC experience, especially those with previous exposure in Southeast Asia, due to shifts in manufacturing operations. Furthermore, there is greater demand for Hong Kong-based talent in areas of high-profit margin and high-tech products. Perhaps that is why, in terms of the trending skills in Hong Kong, technical engineering, familiarity with IoT and apps, as well as experience in e-commerce and fintech all rank highly.
What’s surprising, though, is the fact that the highest paying job in this sector does not come from areas with active hiring activities. Instead, it comes from the legal side of the industrial & manufacturing sector. A General Counsel, in particular, can expect to earn up to HKD 2.3 million per annum on average.
4. Qualified Solicitors (Private Practice)
Despite an uncertain geopolitical landscape, Hong Kong largely remains a preferred hub for law firms to base newly created fee-earning and business support headcounts in 2019. Also, with the focus shifting to training professionals in-house in new technology, there has been an increase in junior hires across different business support functions. For candidates, corporate finance, dispute resolution and funds are all sectors with the most active hiring activities.
As for the highest paying job in private practice, it really depends on your post-qualified experience (PQE): the more experience you have, the higher your pay. On top of that, the type of firm matters also, with international firms paying generally better than local ones. Paying even more are these five companies: Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May. A Qualified Solicitor with seven to eight years of PQE in these five companies can expect to earn up to a maximum of HKD 2.4 million per year — the highest in the entire industry.
5. Project Director (Property & Construction)
Business in Hong Kong’s property & construction industry continues to experience an upward trend, thus driving the demand for architectural, building project management, property management and maintenance professionals. Also, as Chinese and Hong Kong developers expand internationally, there is an increasing demand for real estate professionals with experience in deal sourcing and origination, as well as corporate finance professionals with investor relations experience. In terms of roles in demand, project management professionals, in particular, are highly sought after.
The demand is driving up the potential salary of those in project management as well. A Project Director, for example, can expect to earn an average of HKD 2.7 million per year — the highest in the entire sector.
6. Chief Executive Officer (Services)
In the realm of services, professionals with foreign language skills, such as Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, English and Cantonese, are in demand, specifically in the legal, finance and e-commerce sectors. Digital transformation, too, is happening across all sectors, leading to an increase in investment in digital initiatives, such as e-commerce. In terms of sectors with the most active hiring activities, finance & accounting, digital, technology, customer service and sales all rank highly.
Sales, in particular, continues to be the main driver in this industry in terms of the highest paying jobs. A Chief Executive Officer of a company that does general sales can expect a salary of HKD 2.3 million on average per year.
7. General Counsel (Technology, Media & Telecommunications)
The Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry in Hong Kong can expect an average salary increase of up to 25% when switching jobs of similar functions. Technology, in particular, is taking a centre stage as a core business function, thus driving demand for data, product development and innovation specialists. However, with innovation breakthroughs come new legal frameworks, which explains the highest paying job in this particular industry.
A General Counsel operating in this space can expect to earn on average HKD 2.4 million a year. For perspective, the next highest paying job in this industry is the Head of Human Resources, specifically for the APAC region. He can expect an annual pay of HKD 1.9 million on average.
Thinking about taking the next step in your career? Our average salary benchmark tool can help you determine what you could be earning. You can also find out how your salary compares with industry averages using our salary calculator if you’re in the midst of negotiating for a salary increment.