Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Malaysia

After being impacted by COVID-19, Malaysia’s employment market is now recovering, and numerous well-paying positions are becoming available all around the nation.

Are you trying to find a high-paying job in Malaysia? Perhaps you are considering future plans to determine which path would position you for high pay later on.

This manual is for you in either case. So read on to discover the highest-paying professions in Malaysia.

jobs in Malaysia
Photo by Khairi Harry

What is considered a high salary in Malaysia?

Let’s examine Malaysia’s average salary before discussing the highest-paying professions here.

Malaysian households are categorized into three main groups – the top 20%,the middle 40%, and the bottom 40%. According to this classification,

  • The bottom 40% have a household income below RM4,849 per month.
  • The middle 40% have a household income below RM10,959 per month.
  • The top 20% have a household income of RM10,960 and above per month.

However, when it comes to individual salaries, the Malay Mail reports that in 2020, the median monthly salary was RM2,062, while the mean monthly salary was RM2,933. However, with roughly about RM3,000 a month, you’ll have to be quite frugal to get by, especially if you’re living in a city. RM5,000 to RM6,000 monthly salary will allow you to live more comfortably. As for having a high salary, the range is probably RM8,000 and above, as you’ll be able to have a nice place to live whilst supporting your family. 

Best paying jobs in Malaysia

We break down the 10 best paying jobs in Malaysia for you, including the education, training, skills and experience that you’ll need to qualify for each of these roles.

1. Head of banking

In Malaysia, a career in banking can be pretty lucrative, with the head of banking executives making around RM252,000 annually. This is no surprise given that this high-risk job requires taking charge of huge sums of money and assets. Their responsibilities range from overseeing staff and subordinates to ensuring project milestones per their approved budgets.

If you seek a new position in banking, a finance or accounting degree will help greatly.

2. Medical director

A medical director is an experienced and skilled doctor who oversees all medical treatment matters in a medical center. These include clinical peer evaluations, establishing and approving policies and procedures, and monitoring quality. They also support the management of doctor-patient relationships and aid with clinical patient grievances.

The salary drawn by a medical director is approximately RM296,000 per year.

3. C-suite roles

The term “C-suite” refers to the titles of the top senior executives, which often begin with the letter C, which stands for “chief,” as in chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO).

The fact that C-suite roles are among the best-paying jobs in Malaysia is not unusual. In fields as varied as banking and financial services, business services, digital technology, manufacturing, engineering, medical services, and pharmaceuticals, the annual salary of a chief executive officer is around RM281,000 per year.

A Chief Risk Officer, a Chief Human Resources Officer, now has the potential to be among the highest-paid positions in the C-suite. This is noteworthy and speaks of the growing significance of these job responsibilities within this exclusive group.

4. Surgeon

A surgeon is a qualified doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating diseases that may require surgery or other physical alterations. Considering the difficulty of operating, surgeons have some of the highest salaries in Malaysia and maybe the entire globe for this reason.

Photo by EVG Kowalievska

Surgeons in Malaysia can make up to RM458,793 per year. However, keep in mind that the journey of becoming a surgeon is lengthy. It can take ten years or more to become a skilled surgeon. Additionally, medical school is not cheap. 

5. Lawyers

Lawyers might choose to specialise as either advocates or solicitors in Malaysia. Advocates represent clients in criminal trials (crime-related) and civil trials in court (disputes between individuals or parties), while solicitors offer legal counsel and draw documents like contracts and legal letters.

Lawyers in Malaysia can earn up to RM184,675 annually. However, their income depends on various variables, including their speciality, level of experience, and geographic location.

To become an attorney, one must undergo a rigorous educational process that generally lasts three years at a law school after earning an undergraduate degree.

6. Engineering Director

Malaysia’s engineering and manufacturing industries are robust, and there will always be a need for people with technical knowledge. Because of this, the average income for engineers is greater than in many other occupations.

Like other high management positions, engineering directors must have a broad perspective on their specialty. They also need strong project management abilities as they collaborate closely with their teams to create objectives and schedules, plan projects, and ensure they operate within their budgets.

In Malaysia, an Engineering Director makes an average of RM201,480 annually since the position requires technical expertise and solid administrative abilities.

You will need a degree in engineering to jumpstart your career in this field.

7. Procurement Director

Procurement specialists make sure a business has the supplies and services it needs to function effectively. Procurement departments must control expenses, make the most of resources, and negotiate supplier contracts while collaborating closely with the financial and logistics divisions. 

A high-level procurement specialist, such as a head of procurement, general manager of procurement, or procurement director, can earn an average compensation of RM204,329 per year due to the complexity of the position.

8. Finance Director

The top corporations in Malaysia pay their finance directors an average of RM223,080 per year to head their financial operations. However, whether one decides to work for a startup or a significant firm, the senior-level salary for finance directors is often attractive.

In this position, the ability to make decisions and analyse trends and projections is highly valued. Finance directors are trusted employees who must act with the utmost honesty and integrity.

Excellent high-paying positions for mid-level applicants that want to go up the CFO ladder include financial auditor and financial reporting analysts, which require a degree in finance

9. Managing Director of Operations

In Malaysia, companies look to employ senior managers who can grasp how new technologies can be leveraged to produce better outputs and improve efficiency in the engineering and manufacturing sector. The job involves organizing discussions with superiors to decide on operational details and establish strategic objectives.

A Managing Director of Operations can anticipate receiving an average salary of RM179,000

10. Chief Information Officer

A chief information officer is responsible for the execution of IT strategies that help the organization accomplish its objectives. For this role, a degree in information technology is mandatory.

A chief information officer now has numerous more responsibilities not there in the past—for instance, strategically planning business growth objectives and ensuring that technology systems provide outcomes consistent with business objectives.

They can earn approximately RM182,374 per year.

Highest paying jobs in Malaysia for fresh graduates

A fresh graduate might not be instantly eligible for some of the highest-paying positions in the nation. After all, a fresher cannot immediately advance to the CEO or head of surgery positions.

However, if you wish to start making a good income as soon as you graduate, these are the top 5 job options to explore. 

1. Civil Engineer

After graduating from college, civil engineer degree holders can begin making a good income. In addition, since Malaysia is renowned for its beautiful architecture and excellent infrastructure, there is a significant need for civil engineers.

Fresh graduates in civil engineering in Malaysia can expect to make an average of RM38,670 per year.

2. Doctor

Most doctors and other healthcare professionals  

may earn significant wages as soon as they start working at a hospital or healthcare facility. Once they become established in their area and become specialists, they also have the opportunity to advance and increase their earnings.

The average starting income for a doctor in Malaysia is RM68,200 annually.

3. Software Engineer

Software developers have a wide range of employment options in Malaysia’s fast expanding IT sector. There are plenty of opportunities to help with program development, website development, tech support, and other tasks in programming and other related fields.

In Malaysia, a software engineer can expect to make around RM65,994 annually. Consequently, software engineering is one of the most profitable occupations for fresh grads.

A computer science or information technology degree is required to find employment as a software engineer.

software engineer
Photo by Lukas

4. Accountant

Pursuing a profession in accounting can fetch a good income for a recent graduate.

In Malaysia, an accountant can get an average salary of RM59,708 per year. This is a fantastic beginning pay with lots of potential for development in the future, particularly after working for a particular organisation for some time.

A degree in accounting is required to work as an accountant in Malaysia.

5. Business Analyst

Business analysts support business owners in efficiently managing their organisations and making strategic decisions for the future.

On average, business analysts can expect to make approximately RM73,479 annually. There is also plenty of scope for future expansion.

A degree in business administration, business management, or a similar subject is required to work as a business analyst. Additionally, obtaining a masters (MBA) or other more specialized degree might improve your chances of landing a job.

High-paying jobs in Malaysia without a degree

Almost everyone wishes to earn more money, yet having the proper education can be expensive or even out of reach for certain people. However, earning well doesn’t necessarily require paying for and attending years of school. So here are some profitable job prospects to pursue without a bachelor’s degree:

1 Sales Executive RM12,200
2 Pilot RM10,900
3 Business Development Manager RM10,700
4 Digital Marketing Manager RM8,710
5 Customer Service Manager RM8,820
6 Fashion Designer RM9,270
7 Meetings and Events Manager RM8,050
8 Restaurant Manager RM8,180
9 SEO Specialist RM7,990
10. E-Commerce Specialist RM7,830

Which job is in demand in Malaysia?

Here is a list of jobs that are in great demand in Malaysia:

  1. Computing & Information Technology 
  2. Financial Services
  3. Engineering
  4. Accounting
  5. Marketing
  6. Business & Management
  7. Built Environment
  8. Communications
  9. Logistics
  10. Culinary Arts


With all this knowledge about the top-paid positions in Malaysia, both for individuals with and without degrees, you are now well-equipped to make an educated choice regarding your career.

You will most likely need a degree from a reputable institution before landing a high-paying job; UOW Malaysia KDU is the best university college that offers numerous courses in this regard.

So go ahead and pursue your dream job in Malaysia right away.


21 October 2022


Education and Career