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Funny money: Surprising jobs with big pay packets



"The Asia Recruitment Award is the oscars of the recruitment industry. A display of the best of the best!"
Start your entries preparation early.
Open to both in-house recruitment & talent acquisition teams and recruitment solution providers.

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Anyone who listened to their parents as a child knows that, traditionally, the best paid professions are doctors and lawyers. Or, a more modern take on this, would be the founder of your own fintech start-up. While a head of HR for a major corporation in Asia can also make a perfectly respectable wage.

But for a taste of something a little different, check out some of the occupations below that deliver surprisingly big pay days.

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Oil rig supervisor: Black gold

The days are long and arduous, and the job can be dangerous. And it’s reflected in the financial reward. Secure yourself a role as a contract drilling supervisor on an oil rig and you’ll be earning up to US$1250 for a 12-hour shift.

No degree is required, but you’ll need to put in a decade or more on the rigs earning your stripes before getting a shot at making the big bucks. You will also need a strong grasp of technical data and the ability to execute decisions quickly.

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Jumbo drill operator: Striking pay dirt

The small band of so-called jumbo operators – hardy souls who operate underground drilling equipment – are also well remunerated. Putting in a 12-hour shift can earn a jumbo operator more than US$1000 a day. But it does have its hazards.

“When they are underground they’re drilling straight into the rock. It can explode, it can pop, it can crack, the mine can collapse – all kinds of safety measures are put in place, but it’s not for the faint-hearted,” Western Australian mining recruiter Nick Fennessy told The Age newspaper.

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Futurist: Lucrative crystal ball gazing

Something a little on the safer side, but still with generous financial incentives, is the job of a futurist.

Do you have a knack of predicting emerging trends, and are able to come to terms with new technologies while reading the tea leaves on the effects on people and organisations? If so, you can be very well paid to exercise those skills. Daily rates can run in excess of US$4000. There is actually a tertiary qualification on this rather specific talent: Master of strategic foresight. No joke – such a qualification actually exists.

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Privacy specialist: Handsomely paid to protect data

In an age of cybercrime where mass data breaches are making headlines, putting strategies and practices in place to protect customers and employees’ personal information has become a top priority for most organisations.

Privacy consultants come from a variety of backgrounds – such as cyber-law, political science and public policy. They usually gain experience in in-house roles before hanging out a shingle of their own. The can earn over US$1000 a day.

GIF / Giphy



"The Asia Recruitment Award is the oscars of the recruitment industry. A display of the best of the best!"
Start your entries preparation early.
Open to both in-house recruitment & talent acquisition teams and recruitment solution providers.

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