27 Highest Paying Jobs in Nigeria (Updated for 2021)
If you want to exchange your skills for respectable wages in Nigeria, this guide is just for you. Check the lists of both lucrative jobs and generous employers.
If you want to exchange your skills for respectable wages in Nigeria, this guide is just for you. Check the lists of both lucrative jobs and generous employers.
According to a study by the SalaryExplorer website, the average monthly income of Nigerians is 205,000 NGN in 2020. The lowest wages are around 28,000 NGN. For comparison, the highest paying jobs can exceed a million NGN. The wide range of earnings occurs for two main reasons. First, not every industry can offer lucrative jobs, given the current economic issues of Nigeria. Second, the salary level significantly depends on education, experience, and skills. Many promising workers do not even realize their professional opportunities and, therefore, can not choose the right development path. This guide provides a list of the top well-paid jobs in Nigeria that will encourage you to either apply for the role immediately or set a goal to work towards through training and self-improvement.
List of High Paying Jobs in Nigeria
The Nigerian labor market offers a wide range of careers for experts with an impressive track record and entry-level specialists. The main difference really lies in the level of wages. We have selected not just the highest paying jobs in Nigeria, but also the positions where your salary and prospects increase as your skills are upgrading. Therefore, try to choose a post that will become your vocation and bring you joy in the future. This tactic will lead you to financial well-being rather than a mindless pursuit of quick profits,
1. Petroleum Engineer
The main advantage of the petroleum engineer position is the ability to work for multimillion-dollar international and local oil companies. Due to this fact, even beginners have the opportunity to earn 300,000 NGN per month from the career start. In the future, this amount can reach 100,000,000 NGN. In exchange for such impressive earnings, petroleum engineers:
- Design equipment for oil and gas production
- Develop plans for drilling fields,
- Meticulously analyze geological data
These responsibilities require advanced education and a set of technical qualifications.
Nigerians value and respect their religious leaders. That's why pastors can take home up to 5-6 million NGN a year. This post includes:
- Conducting of congresses, prayers, and sermons in churches
- Conducting weddings, funerals, as well as other rituals and ceremonies
- The precept of the parishioners
Often pastors have a degree in theology or religious studies, advanced written and oratory skills to promote the church and convey the importance of faith, as well as critical thinking for interpreting scripture.
3. Computer Engineer
The digitalization of business has increased the demand for IT field representatives in general and computer engineers in particular. These specialists are responsible for:
- Technical support for all departments of the company
- Analysis of computer equipment and timely troubleshooting
- Software installation and maintenance
- Cloud storage accounts safety
- Software systems development
Despite the strict requirements for education and qualifications, the position of a computer engineer still attracts many job seekers in Nigeria, because it provides an opportunity to earn up to 10 million NGN a year. Undoubtedly, you should not rely on such a salary from the first steps in the industry, but it is something to strive for.
4. Telecommunications Engineer
The telecommunications industry is rapidly gaining momentum in Nigeria. Wireless telephony, satellite communications, and broadband technologies require daily innovative technical solutions for uninterrupted information transfer. It has caused the need for qualified telecom engineers and has positively affected their salaries, which can reach 1 million NGN per month. If you are a young professional, your income will start from 150,000 NGN. However, fast learning and the successful implementation of the following duties will lead to pay raises:
- Design and creation of devices for telecommunication systems
- Inspecting and servicing of telecommunication devices
- Preparation of specifications for systems and equipment data sheets
The pilot's profession requires expensive preliminary training, and the selection process at the airline implies compliance with strict criteria and high professional standards. Nevertheless, all the costs and efforts will pay off in the future, as airlines with a vast passenger base are ready to pay from 500,000 NGN. Your salary will grow along with your rank and number of flight hours and can reach 1.5 million NGN per month. In addition to transporting passengers and cargo, your responsibilities will include:
- Post-flight inspection of equipment and navigation systems
- Determining the safest route
- Crew team management
A teacher or lecturer is a respected profession in any country since this specialist takes an active part not only in education but also in shaping the personalities of the next generation. It is important to note that high earnings from 600,000 to 1 million NGN per month are available only for specialists with a Master's degree or Ph.D. This is a weighty argument to focus on your professional development. Your responsibilities in this role may include:
- Development of an educational program and lecture plan
- Assessing the progress of each student and compiling individual instructions
- Maintaining a productive classroom environment and personal counseling
If you have a craving for art and music, the entertainment sector opens the doors for you and offers the opportunity to monetize your talent. Earnings of well-known Nigerian musicians can reach from 600,000 to 2 million NGN per show, which is equivalent to the annual salary of some specialists. However, do not flatter yourself too much, as income in this professional depends largely on your talent. You must have a business acumen to understand what the audience wants to hear, sales skills to promote your creativity, and the patience to not give up while waiting for the fruits of your work. Therefore, if the passion for music and adventurism are your characteristics, feel free to try your luck.
In Nigeria, demand for sailors far exceeds supply, as very few universities offer sailing training. Therefore, every professional is worth his weight in gold, both literally and figuratively. The salary depends on your rank and experience. It can vary from 200,000 NGN for a commander to 1.6 million per month for an admiral. In general, the role of sailor includes:
- Ship handling
- Ship maintenance
- Repair and preparation of deck equipment
- Lifeboat crew management
9. Investment Banker
Any investment decision must be balanced to avoid losses. Investment bankers provide all the necessary information for firms or individuals to make investment decisions, thereby reducing risks and taking responsibility for the outcome of the transaction. This position requires exceptional analytical skills. Estimated salaries range from 210,000-550,000 NGN per month depending on the employer. In exchange for such income, be prepared to provide the following services:
- Analysis of financial information and market trends
- Creating financial models for determining profitability
- Preparation of legal and financial documents for closing a transaction
10. Data Analyst
Big data has become an integral tool of any business. It provides valuable insights about the product, competitors, and the market as a whole to identify areas for improvement to choose a development strategy. However, the value of any data depends on the competence of its interpretation. Therefore, a data analyst is one of the offline and online jobs that pays well. The salary of qualified specialists reaches 230,000-350,000 NGN fer month and implies the following responsibilities:
- Data extract and cleaning
- Data quality analysis for future use
- Interpretation of data and identification of necessary information for decision-making
- Providing detailed reporting to management
11. Chemical Engineer
Chemical engineers are specialists with in-depth knowledge in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology. They can work in different industries and improve the production of a wide range of goods from food to fuel. Given the required level of qualifications, it is not surprising that experienced chemical engineers can earn up to 12 million NGN a year. Their field of responsibility includes:
- Research and improvement of production processes
- Equipment development
- Control and troubleshooting of manufacturing processes
Pharmacists are one of the most sought-after specialists in Nigeria. This industry has the lowest unemployment rate and provides jobs for both recent graduates and craft professionals. Your salary level depends not only on your experience and qualifications but on the organization for which you work. For example, state or parastatal organizations offer monthly wages from 150,000 to 300,000 NGN, while multinational companies and private firms pay from 200,000 to 650,000 NGN. Regardless of the selected option, the employer expects for the fulfillment of the following duties:
- Monitoring drug therapy and reporting side effects
- Advising clients on taking prescribed medications
- Preparation of the drugs dosage per the doctor's prescription
A licensed surgeon has many years of training under their belt, which allows for successfully performing general and specialized patient surgeries. The work implies a high degree of risk and responsibility where any mistake can lead to major illness or even death. This explains both the strict requirements for each specialist and the good salary, which varies from 200,000 to 600,000 NGN per month. Daily duties of a surgeon include:
- Examination of the state of health and general physical well-being of patients
- Identification of surgical risks
- Advising or assistance to other healthcare providers
14. Aeronautical Engineer
Currently, not a single Nigerian university offers professional training for aeronautical engineers, which forces Nigerians to seek specialized education abroad. Given the cost of this education, few people can afford it. Meanwhile, government agencies and private companies are in dire need of such specialists as their in-depth knowledge and qualifications can ensure the safety for passengers of military or commercial aircrafts. Employers are ready to pay up to 11 million NGN per year or 300,000-700,000 NGN per month for:
- Design of aircraft and their components
- Test airplanes to identify and eliminate potential problems and threats
- Development of safety and quality standards
15. Medical Doctor
Medical doctors can specialize in gastroenterology, gynecology, neurology, and other healthcare sectors. Regardless of your field of expertise, you will be responsible for the health and life of patients by providing such services as:
- Interviewing patients and identifying symptoms
- Diagnosis and treatment order
- Monitoring treatment and progress
- Keeping a medical history
The income of medical doctors can range from 200,000 to 900,000 NGN per month. It is noteworthy that government agencies often provide even higher salaries than private hospitals. Therefore, if you have the appropriate education and the necessary qualifications, feel free to apply for one of the highest-paid federal government jobs.
Nursing includes four main branches: adult, child, disability, or mental health. Unlike doctors and pharmacists, the educational program for nurses lasts from 2 to 4 years, but this does not detract from their critical role in healthcare. The position of a nurse implies constant interaction with patients and the following duties:
- Conducting diagnostic tests and preparing patients for examinations
- Providing psychological support to patients and relatives
- Help with mobility, feeding, and hygiene
Be prepared that the salaries of nursing assistants can be quite low. However, successful execution and professional development can advance you to the position of a head nurse with a monthly wage of 500,000 NGN.
This is another profession that requires patience from entry-level specialists, as employers do not line up to pay decent salaries to newcomers. However, this is not a reason to give up since the sooner you show your worth, the faster your salary will increase from a starting wage of 45,000-50,000 to 250,000 NGN. If the world of law is your calling, be prepared to:
- Interpret the laws, regulations, and rules for naturals and juridical entities
- Prepare and file legal documentation
- Represent your clients before the court
18. Digital Marketing Specialist
Today, most large corporations are fighting online for the attention of the target audience. It has created a demand for digital marketing specialists who ensure the presence and promotion of the brand in the online space. At the moment, about 70% of employers in Nigeria do not understand the value of digital marketing for business. Still, you have an up-close opportunity to join an international company and earn from 80,000 to 250,000 NGN per month. To succeed in this role, you have to:
- Explore consumer preferences and market trends
- Develop a marketing strategy for the website, social networks, and email campaigns
- Measure results with analytics tools
19. Business Developer
It is one thing to start a business, but it is quite another to become a successful player in the market. To achieve the latter, employers are increasingly resorting to the help of business developers. Their main goal is the financial growth of the company and improving its market position. To handle it, they should:
- Search and develop the new markets
- Build relationships with potential buyers
- Set short-term and long-term goals
- Develop the promotion and positioning strategies
- Create a unique selling proposition
The employer is ready to pay from 130,000 to 230,000 NGN per month, knowing that their business is in safe hands. Therefore, this work is suitable primarily for experienced insiders in the business industry.
20. Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical engineers are key specialists in companies where production efficiency depends on the quality and serviceability of the equipment. Often these are large corporations that appreciate talents and invest in knowledge retention. That's why even an entry-level mechanical engineer has every chance of earning up to 1 million NGN per month by fulfilling the following list of technical duties:
- Mechanical devices and engines assessment
- Design, installation, and modification of equipment
- Testing and retesting the safety and effectiveness of new equipment
21. Web Developer
Websites and mobile applications have long been both entertaining platforms and earning tools. The better the product is, the more profit it will bring to the business owner. Employers have grasped this simple logical connection and therefore pay web developers between 200,000 and 400,000 NGN per month. If you feel up to joining the IT industry, your main responsibilities will be:
- Writing efficient code using one or more programming languages
- Testing websites and applications in different browsers
- Fixing bugs in existing projects
22. Military Officer
Military service is hardly an activity that is chosen only for profits, as it involves a high degree of responsibility, endurance, and courage. Nevertheless, the rank of a senior officer in Nigeria makes it possible to earn about 1 million NGN per month, subject to the impeccable performance of the following duties:
- Planning and organizing military operations
- Training of recruits
- Command of military hardware
23. Electrical Engineer
Like their colleagues in the chemical, petroleum, and mechanical industries, electrical engineers have the opportunity to join a large corporation at the start of their careers. The annual salary of these specialists varies from 8 to 12 million, and the range of responsibilities may include:
- Design and maintenance of electrical appliances for domestic, commercial, or industrial use
- Ensuring compliance of equipment installation with customer requirements
- Development of construction and installation standards
24. Chartered Accountant
Chartered accountants usually do a lot of work, but at the same time, they get a decent financial reward. Their monthly salary in Nigeria ranges from 150,000 to 1,650,000 NGN. Such a gap in numbers is due to the specialist’s level of experience and the type of enterprise. Those employed in petroleum and chemical spheres can expect to get the highest salaries.
Typical duties of a chartered accountant include:
- Preparing and reviewing financial records;
- Conducting audits of accounting books and records;
- Monitoring tax payments.
If you plan to pursue a career as a chartered accountant in Nigeria, you should get a professional certificate from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
25. Project Manager
The demand for project managers grows each day because these specialists can work in almost every industry in Nigeria. From oil and gas, finance, and business to IT, experts are needed to coordinate projects and manage time and resources.
With a monthly salary from 139,000 to 500,000 NGN, project managers perform the following functions:
- Collecting, organizing, and motivating the project team;
- Developing and managing the project budget;
- Identifying and responding to risks that can affect project implementation;
- Monitoring project progress and performance.
The first step to becoming a project manager is getting a degree. Nigerian Project Management Institute offers two popular certifications: the Project Management Professional and the Certified Associate in Project Management. You can also try to become a project manager without a degree, but this will make your job search much more difficult.
Dentistry is one of the top professions in the Nigerian medical industry. Moreover, Bachelor of Dental Surgery is one of the most popular courses studied in Nigerian universities. However, despite the relatively large flow of students, qualified experts are still in demand to serve the country’s population.
From a financial point of view, dentistry is quite a lucrative industry. Entry-level specialists can get from 200,000 to 250,000 NGN per month in private hospitals, while in government hospitals, their salaries can reach 350,000 NGN per month.
Nigeria is seeing an increasing number of design and construction projects with decent remunerations for architects. The highest salaries are paid to those working with green design and waste reduction, reaching 700,000 NGN per month.
Primary duties of an architect include:
- Preparing structure design and specifications;
- Creating scale drawings;
- Managing construction professionals;
- Ensuring compliance with safety and environmental standards.
To become an architect in Nigeria, you need to get a degree in architecture from an institution accredited by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria and the National University Commission.
Best Paying Companies in Nigeria
A successful career largely depends on the right choice of company. Even if you know your stuff and the chosen role is your true vocation, your motivation may crash under unacceptable working conditions, poor corporate culture, or lack of prospects and incentives. To avoid it, we have compiled a list of prestigious companies in Nigeria that invite valuable talents to unlock their potential and build long-term cooperation.
Chevron is an American oil and gas company with a branch in Nigeria which is famous for its high hourly pay for employees. Even first level positions can receive about 4,000 NGN per hour, not to mention managers and engineers whose hourly rates start from 13,000 NGN. Given the extensive job opportunities, it is not surprising that every available vacancy receives thousands of responses.
Nigerian Civil Service
Federal agencies are often inferior to private companies in terms of wages, but this rule has exceptions, as in the case of a medical doctor. On average, civil service employee salaries can reach 4.5 million per year. Besides, the state offers many additional benefits, such as medical insurance, paid vacation, medical leave, fixed working hours, and pension payments.
Exxon Mobil is an oil and gas company with a long history. Its senior management believes that market leadership is possible only if the interests and needs of employees are aligned with the goals of the company. Therefore, Exxon Mobil offers a tempting bonus program to attract and retain talented personnel. Encouraging initiatives, recognition of experience, and salaries of 3-6 million NGN per year for junior specialists, really do their part. Many employees remain loyal to the company for many years.
MTN is one of the pioneers in the telecommunications services market. This South African company prefers the Nigerian workforce and offers its employees contractual cooperation. Salaries start at 83,000 NGN per month. However, with good effort you can significantly work your way up and bring in around 12.5 million NGN per year.
Nestle is one of the food and beverage market leaders and one of Nigeria's most generous employers. The annual salary of junior employees is 1-2.5 million NGN, while managers and supervisors are awarded 6.5 million NGN for their length of service. Salary is not the only advantage for employees who stay in the company for more than six months. Additional incentives include health insurance and paid leave, which makes Nestle a target for many job seekers.
What Difficulties May There Be
In addition to limitless opportunities and prospects, the job search includes pitfalls that make candidates come down to earth. We have selected for you the main difficulties and tips to overcome them. It will help you to enter the application process head-on.
- High competition - Work in a renowned company with lucrative compensation is a cherished dream for many applicants. You cannot reverse this trend, but you can still mitigate the competition. For this purpose, focus not on the wages, but rather your qualifications and preferences when choosing a job. If you know what you really want and what you can offer the employer right now, you already have an advantage over many other competitors who are only aware of their desired income level.
- “Slow career progression” - As you can see, not all professions offer high earnings from the first days of work. And this is normal, since the employer needs time to evaluate your potential, efforts, and skills. To avoid disappointment, think two steps ahead. Suppose you got a position that brings 1 million a month, but at the same time, you can’t cope with your duties and do not even enjoy your work. Now imagine that you started at 80,000 NGN a month, but through your efforts and motivation, your salary increased to 1 million in 1.5 - 2 years. As a result, you still get your million, but in the first case, you inhibit yourself, and in the second one, you unlock your potential and happily develop in the desired industry. Feel the difference?
- Lack of application documents - The selection process is stressful not only for job seekers but also for HR managers who are responsible for recruitment. Their task is to find the right person from thousands of applications and provide the team with a new worthy member. Your mission, in turn, is to help them and prove that you are the very person they are looking for. For this purpose, pay particular attention to your resume and cover letter. Both documents must be customized for the selected position, and each item should be of value to the company. The resume should contain related job experience and industry skills. The cover letter should respond to the main points of the job description, emphasizing your relevance to the desired role. This approach to application documents guarantees you at least an interview and, at most, a new position in the company.
It is difficult to imagine a person who refuses the opportunity to join a profitable industry and receive high earnings, especially if local and international employers offer many career paths for Nigerians. In this guide, we have provided you with an extensive list of lucrative professions and food for thought. Now your success and job satisfaction depends on your ability to get your priorities straight. Do not be afraid to take the first steps in the industry, do not be afraid if your financial expectations are not met in a flash, and do not be afraid to go the extra mile for your vocation. Remember, nothing is impossible for a willing mind.