find out what are the highest paying jobs in Malaysia for 2021

As the world hurtles towards an uncertain future, Gen Z and Millennials are forging their own path in the ever-evolving job market, armed with unique skills, digital prowess, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

These tech-savvy cohorts are redefining career success, prioritising job satisfaction alongside financial gain, and shattering traditional notions of high-paying careers.

In a landscape where innovation reigns supreme, they are seeking positions that offer not just lucrative salaries but also the opportunity to make a meaningful social impact.

Related: How to secure the pay rise you deserve

10 best-paid jobs in Malaysia in 2023

To help you make informed decisions on your next job search, we have compiled a list of the highest-paying jobs in Malaysia, derived from our 2023 Page Insights Salary Guide.

While the list features senior roles, it will help job seekers at any point in their careers, even fresh graduates, identify the sectors that can offer competitive salary packages.

  The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1) C-suite roles

It is not surprising that executive positions are among the highest-paying jobs in Malaysia. The salary of a chief executive officer, a chief financial officer, a chief operating officer and a chief information officer can range from RM480,000 to RM800,000 a year in industries such as Banking and Financial Services, Business Services, Engineering and Manufacturing, Healthcare and Life Sciences (HLS), and Technology. This year’s top-paying C-suite role is a chief executive officer in the HLS sector, earning an average of RM840,000.

2) Head of Legal

A head of legal in the banking and financial services sector can earn an average of RM540,000 annually.

The head of legal serves as a catalyst, enabling competitive advantage by providing critical legal guidance to facilitate decision-making by the executive leadership team. This position encompasses various responsibilities to ensure legal compliance, mitigate risks, and provide strategic organisational guidance.

(Browse roles in legal here.)

3) Head of Regional Sales

A head of regional sales in the healthcare and life sciences sector can earn an average of RM500,000 annually.

This position oversees sales operations and meets sales targets within specific districts or regions of a company. Some key responsibilities include:

  • Developing sales strategies and setting sales targets in alignment with the company’s business objectives
  • Analysing sales data and market trends to forecast quarterly and annual profits for their region
  • Analysing regional market trends and identifying growth opportunities
  • Preparing reports on sales activities, results, and trends within their region

(Browse roles in sales, and healthcare and life sciences here.)

Related: 2023 Malaysia Salary Guide: Salaries you should be paying your talent

4) Managing Director, Operations

A managing director of operations in the engineering and manufacturing sector can expect an annual remuneration of RM450,000.

With Malaysia’s engineering and manufacturing industry experiencing a boom, companies will be looking to hire senior managers experienced in running a plant or factory and able to see how new technologies can be implemented to drive higher outputs and greater efficiencies.

The job typically covers:

  • Collaborating with the executive team to develop and implement the company’s strategic plans and objectives
  • Assessing and improving the efficiency of operational processes and workflows to optimise productivity, reduce costs
  • Ensuring that products or services meet or exceed quality standards and customer expectations,
  • Managing the company’s supply chain activities
  • Identifying and managing operational risks to mitigate potential disruptions or adverse events
  • Monitoring and analysing operational performance data to identify areas of improvement and make data-driven decisions
  • Ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards

(Browse roles in operations, and engineering here.)

5) Senior Insurance Manager

A senior insurance manager can expect to be well-compensated, earning an average salary of RM390,000 annually.

The role involves:

  • Managing various financial and insurance-related activities, such as assessing and managing risks associated with insurance and financial activities
  • Overseeing the company’s insurance portfolio
  • Analysing risk factors to determine appropriate premium rates that cover expected claims costs while remaining competitive
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with vendors who supply insurance products or services to the company
  • Ensuring effective partnerships and efficient service delivery
  • Ensuring adequate coverage for various risks

(Browse roles in insurance, and finance and accounting here.)

6) IT Director

An IT director in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector can earn an average of RM330,000 annually. The role involves overseeing and managing IT operations and technology infrastructure. While the specific responsibilities

The job responsibilities of an IT director may vary depending on the company’s size, industry, and organisational structure but typically includes:

  • Developing and implementing the IT strategy aligned with the business goals
  • Overseeing the management and maintenance of the company’s IT infrastructure
  • Implementing and maintaining IT security measures to protect the company’s data, systems, and networks from cyber threats
  • Establishing and enforcing IT governance frameworks and policies to ensure efficient and effective IT operations
  • Building and leading a high-performing IT team
  • Ensuring the delivery of high-quality IT services and support to internal stakeholders
  • Keeping abreast of emerging technologies and trends

(Browse roles in IT, and FMCG here.)

Related: How qualitative performance evaluations give businesses a competitive edge

7) Head of Procurement

A senior-level procurement professional, such as a head of procurement, general manager of procurement or procurement director, can take home an average salary of RM300,000 a year. 

Procurement professionals ensure a company has the items and services to run efficiently. They work with finance and logistics teams; procurement departments have to manage costs, maximise resources and negotiate supplier contracts. They also need to have a handle on best practices around corporate social responsibility, as more companies are now emphasising sustainable procurement. 

(Browse roles in procurement here.)

8) Senior Test Manager

A senior test manager working in the quality and testing department in the engineering and manufacturing sector can earn an average of RM260,000 annually.

The role of a senior test manager would typically include developing test strategies and plans based on project requirements and specifications, managing the execution of test plans, test cases, and test scripts, leading the testing team, including test engineers and analysts, and working with the quality assurance team to ensure that quality standards and processes are followed throughout the testing lifecycle while staying updated with industry standards, trends, and best practices in testing and quality assurance.

(Browse roles in quality, and engineering here.)

Related: Why candidate experience matters and how to do it well

9) Head of Sustainability

The head of sustainability earns up to an average of RM240,000 annually.

Sustainability roles are quickly emerging in different industries in Malaysia. One of the main factors is the increased urgency to address environmental issues and incorporate sustainability practices into business activities. Malaysia, including Greater Kuala Lumpur, has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, making it one of the region’s most aggressive decarbonisation plans.

RelatedWhat you need to know about ESG now

This role drives sustainability initiatives and ensures that the organisation’s operations align with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Some key responsibilities may include:

  • Ensuring the organisation adheres to relevant sustainability laws and regulations
  • Overseeing the portfolio of sustainability projects,  identifying gaps in sustainability-related capabilities within the organisation and implementing educational initiatives to upskill employees or source the required expertise
  • Communicating the purpose of sustainability initiatives to drive transformation and foster culture change within the organisation
  • Embedding sustainability into processes and decision-making

(Browse roles in sustainability here.)

10) Regional Supply Chain Manager

A senior supply chain executive, like a regional supply chain manager, can expect to be paid an average of RM200,000 annually.

The supply chain sector has undergone a drastic transformation due to the pandemic. Supply-chain professionals have had to work hard to make the chains more agile, flexible and resilient. As such, senior supply chain executives who are strategic thinkers and have the requisite knowledge and experience to transform a company’s supply chain will be duly compensated.

(Browse roles in supply chain here.)

Our 2023 Salary Report provides a comprehensive look at the most up-to-date salary numbers in different industries and for all experience levels. Download a copy of our latest salary report here.

  Download our 2023 Salary Guide here

To find out how your salary compares to other roles and industries in Malaysia, go to our Salary Comparison Tool. Are you seeking a new role? Click here for these available job openings now.

Disclaimer: Salaries can differ from company to company and depending on your skills, knowledge and experience.

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