When it comes to employment and financial empowerment, you need to secure a job which is singled out from the list of highest paying jobs in Kenya. Over the past 5 years, salaries of most careers have stagnated, even so, there are jobs whose salaries have grown tremendously, these jobs are those that need special skills and talent. For instant,10 years ago few people understood what software engineering entails, but a couple of years ago when technology became the driver of most of the institutions, graduates of this course (Software engineering) were sought and offered hefty perks.
Everybody in Kenya needs a decent job, one that pays at least Ksh100,000 per month, but due to the large number of jobless graduates, the lucrative jobs are limited. You either require connections or excellent academic qualifications to get such jobs. For job seekers, the first step into securing a high paying careers is to highlight them first, then research for areas where such opportunities are available. When job searching, make sure your CV looks impressive, your aggressiveness should also be first class.
Let’s solve the first puzzle first, here are the highest paying jobs in Kenya:
Piloting is the best paying career in Kenya with a median pay of Ksh 300,000 per month. From our research, the lowest paid pilot takes home Ksh149,000 while the highest paid pilot in Kenya takes home Ksh3.1 million per month. The amount given above is gross pay.
Though piloting is well paying, it takes someone at least 3 years to complete coursework and Ksh 5 million for that duration for school fees.
Piloting is a lucrative course, it pays well and job security is high. The best thing about this course is that it’s not a must for you to score A to get enrolled, all that is needed is good health, money and able to take risks as a pilot.
Law is one of the best careers in Kenya and so far it’s among the best paying professions. To become a lawyer, you have to score good grades in high school, at least B plain, then select a registered training institution like The Nairobi University, Mount Kenya University or Catholic University of Eastern Africa. After college, you will be required to join Kenya School of Law for a diploma in law then you qualify as an advocate of high court. All these rigorous stages require dedication, however, after completing your studies, your life will change forever. Lawyers struggle for 1 to 2 years but thereafter they start earning decent income. But the amount you earn depends on the type of clients you attract, some of the best clients to represent are politicians and business persons.
The monthly income of an established lawyer is Ksh 250,000 but there are lawyers who make upwards of Ksh 2 million monthly. Notable lawyers like Ahmedinassir, Paul Muite and Cliff Ombeta earn in excess Ksh5 million per month.
As a lawyer, the only way you can succeed is by winning cases, by doing so you’ll attract rich clients who you can charge any amount you wish.
If you go to any high school in Kenya and ask students which career they intend to join, nearly 100% of them would tell you they ether want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer or a pilot. Medicine and Surgery is one career that dominates the thoughts of many Kenyans because it pays handsomely. Though medical doctors go on strike almost yearly, that doesn’t mean they are underpaid, probably they want to outshine everyone in terms of pay. The highest paid doctors in Kenya pocket Ksh800,000 to Ksh2 million per month and they can be traced to The Karen Hospital, Mater Hospital, The Nairobi Hospital or Getrude’s Children’s Hospital.
To qualify as a doctor in Kenya, you have to score good grades in high school, at least above B+ and once you enroll for a degree in Medicine & Surgery, coursework takes a minimum of 5 years. Once through with education, you’ll join the job market as an intern and rise steadily as you gain experience. Interns in most hospitals earn between Ksh50,000 and Ksh 120,000 per month.
- Software Engineers
Software Engineering has few graduates, less than 200 in Kenya. The course is offered at Kenyatta University, Nairobi University and JKUAT.With Software Engineering qualification, you will secure employment in Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Safaricom, Airtel, Oracle, IBM etc. Such institutions software engineers in excess of Ksh 200,000 per month regardless of one’s job experience.
For one to get enrolled for software engineering, they must score B+ and above in high school with A or A- in Physics and Mathematics.
The available job opportunities for these graduates are enormous but the bottom line is, one must be extremely talented and innovative to earn decent pay. Companies like Google prefer talent over excellent papers. If you prove beyond doubts that you are innovative, you will earn up to Ksh5 million per month as a Software Engineer.
With a software engineering and above three years’ experience, the least salary you’ll demand from any company is Ksh150,000
Actuarial Science is a relatively new profession in Kenya but is one course every student would like to pursue. However, becoming a qualified actuary is no mean feat, you have to sweat. Graduating with Actuarial Science degree is one step but qualifying as an actuary requires a certification from the Society of Actuaries or from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. There are over 12 papers to be completed before one qualifies as an actuary. Upon completion, you will secure employment in IRA, RBA, Banks, stoke brokers, Insurance companies, audit firms, Nairobi securities Exchange, Capital Markets Authority or any financial institution in Kenya that require risk and financial experts.
The average salary of a qualified actuary in Kenya is Ksh 300,000 per month. Highest paying sectors include Insurance companies, audit firms and actuarial firms.
With actuarial degree and professional qualification in actuarial science, the average pay you’ll earn per month is Ksh 180,000 to Ksh 1.5 million
- Finance Manager
Though many Kenyans believe that finance and accounting is a flooded career, I still believe there are hopes for graduates. The hardest part is to rise from being a clerk or teller to becoming a finance manager. Finance manager position require a degree BCom or any related business course plus professional qualifications such as ACCA, CPA, CFA, CFA or CIFA.In addition, more than 5 years of experience is needed.
If you are fortunate to rise to the position of Finance Manager, your monthly pay will not be below Ksh200,000. What determines the pay of an individual as a Finance Manager is the profitability of a company and salary policies of that company.
For those working for blue chip companies like Safaricom, KQ, BAT or East African Breweries, their salaries are on the roof, usually above Ksh500,000 per month. The CFOs of these institutions pocket more than Ksh2 million per month.
If you move around Nairobi, you’ll never spot an architect living in Eastlands, you can only spot teachers and other Kenyans who pursued funny courses in college. An Architect is one with so much in his hands that he even lacks time to serve every client. For self-employed architects, the income is arrived at based on the type of clients you handle. You might design a structure that costs Ksh5 billion and your take home becomes Ksh 50 million. Another client will come with work that pays you Ksh50,000. But at the end of the day, you’ll make not less than Ksh 300,000 per month.
Architecture is offered at JKUAT and The University of Nairobi
Statistics is certainly a tough course but its fruits are sweet. Colleges offering statistics related courses include JKUAT, The University of Nairobi, Maseno University, Kenyatta University, Strathmore University and a couple of others. To pursue this course you have to be good in Mathematics and science courses.
Statisticians end up in NGOs, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, several other government institutions that require data analysts, United Nations, banks, audit firms and insurance companies. Most companies I know pay statisticians between Ksh70,000 to Ksh 200,000 per month.
The highest paid statisticians are those who hold PhDs and over 5 years’ experience, the average net pay for these professionals is Ksh 250,000 per month.
Auditors cannot be left out either, they are amount the highest paid professionals in Kenya. The most successful ones are those who work for the Big Four audit institutions (PWC, Earnest & Young, Delotte and KPMG).The starting salary of an auditor in these institutions is Ksh 75,000 to Ksh150,000 per month. With over 3 years of experience, you must pocket nearly Ksh300,000 per month.
- Electrical Engineers
Unemployment rate for electrical engineers is over 40% but for those who are already employed, life is good. If you manage to secure a job for government institutions like KenGen, Kenya Power, Kenya Airways, Energy Regulatory Commission or KAA, you will live a wonderful life. The employees in these government parastatals are classified in class A and their monthly pay is not less than Ksh130,000 no matter the amount of experience one has.
The average monthly salary of an electrical engineer in Kenya whether in private or public sector is Ksh 133,000
- Procurement and Supplies
Supplies and procurement may not be among the most famous courses in Kenya but I can tell you for free, people employed in this sector are eating life with a big spoon. The salaries may be between Ksh 40,000 to Ksh200,000 but what they get off their pay is a lot, even 100 times their pay. Any procurement officer in a government institution is stinking rich.
When you join university or college for a procurement course, your mind should not be focusing on the salary, but the net value of the job you are taking up. The salary may be Ksh120,000 but at the end of every month, your pay is pushed to Ksh500,000 from the money you get by pushing tenders for certain individuals.
- Quantity Surveyor
Another careers we won’t ignore is quantity surveying. Since land transactions take place daily, the work of quantity surveyors is highly needed. There is no single land transaction that will be complete without the involvement of a quantity surveyor.
More than 50% of quantity surveyors are self-employed and their monthly income is in excess of Ksh300,000.
Quantity surveying complements architecture and it’s offered at the University of Nairobi, Moi University or JKUAT.
- Journalism and Mass Communication
Journalism and Mass Communication entails survival for the fittest. The best journalists are those with qualifications from the Institute of Mass Communication, Maseno University, Daystar University, USIU or KU.The lucky once join local TV or radio stations as news anchors and presenters respectively. The highest paid media personalities in Kenya pocket in excess of Ksh 2 million. The average pay of a journalist in Kenya is Ksh110,000 per month.
As a journalist, you should work hard to outshine the rest, that way you will attract decent pay.
- Human Resources Management
There is no single institution that will survive without the input of HR department. To be respected as some HR personnel, you must be well remunerated.HR does not pay well for junior staff but as one climbs the ladder, the payslip continues to be fatter until the pay levels that of the finance manager. Currently, HR professionals in Kenya earn between Ksh 70,000 to Ksh 1 million, but the realistic pay is Ksh 120,000.
- Monitoring & Evaluation/Project Management
Over 90% of the jobs are in the NGO sector and in government institutions where big projects are being undertaken.M&E and Project Managers are the lucky ones, they earn decent pay. There is no single project manager who earns less than Ksh150,000 unless the job is not offered by established NGOs.