Best Paid Expat Jobs – Part 2

Ok, so money can’t buy you love or friends, or that warm fuzzy feeling of contentment… But there are certain advantages to earning a little more.

Big houses and swimming pools aside, the possibility of earning a good wage and enjoying a better quality of life is why many people emigrate in the first place. A decent salary can also really help relieve some of the stress involved in the expat transition. So what are the best paying expat jobs out there and where do you need to go to get them? Here are four more of the main contenders.


When people see the word ‘welder’ they think Flash Dance. They think ‘What a feeling’ they think of dancing in legwarmers. People don’t often consider the high wages this skilled profession can bring. Accomplished welders are essential in industries like transportation, building, engineering, shipbuilding and vehicle manufacture.

In the UK declining manufacturing and construction has seen demand for welders drop in recent years. It might be harder to get into the industry at home but highly-skilled welders can still earn as much as £40,000 a year. However, in other countries the need for welders is much higher – and so are the wages.

Right now Canada is crying out for top-quality welders and is quite happy to pay immigrant workers a premium to get them. In areas like Alberta (and Edmonton in particular) welders can earn as much as £95,000 a year.

So any UK welders struggling to find work should really ‘keep believing’ and give working in Canada a try.


Although what an ‘executive’ actually does remains a mystery to most of the world (the dictionary ambiguously describes an executive as ‘a person with senior managerial responsibility in a business organisation’) they seem to be very highly paid in Brazil. Several recent studies have shown that on average executives in Brazil earn more than their international counterparts. Executives holding high-level positions in Brazil can net over £380,000 a year (seriously) whereas if they held the same job in London they could be stuck on a paltry annual salary of £340,000.

The main reason cited for this phenomenon is the extremely high demand for such workers in the South American nation. In 2011 64 per cent of Brazilian executives reported difficulties in filling high-level executive positions and recent reports indicate that there simply aren’t enough graduating professionals in Brazil to meet demand. As the economy swells that demand is only set to increase.

However, despite multinational and Brazilian corporations actively searching for executives with international experience, foreigners aren’t flocking to the area. The high crime rate is one factor deterring potential expats and the need to speak Portuguese is another.

These barriers will seem quite large to some, but if you’re an executive who can speak Portuguese and fancies taking a walk on the wild side Brazil could be the place for you.


It goes without saying that doctors can command good salaries almost anywhere in the world. However, healthcare professionals are more in demand in some places than others and this can really affect job availability, professional advancement and annual salary.

The UK in particular has had problems when it comes to supplying enough employment to cope with the level of medical graduates. As a result more and more Brit born doctors are taking their healing hands overseas.

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for DWP’s (Doctors Without Patients) and it’s not hard to see why. The weather is obviously an attraction, but so is being able to enjoy a laid-back environment and maintain a healthy work/life balance. The wages in Australia are also particularly good. The dress code is often more relaxed than in other developed nations and public Aussie doctors can benefit from salary packaging (a tax minimisation strategy which enables the employee to access as much as 30% of their income tax-free.)

An Intern can earn an average annual wage of £35,000 but a Registrar can command up to £65,000 and a Consultant can haul in as much as £150,500! Of course the hours are long and the work is hard, but with all that money you’d be able to throw a couple more shrimps on the Barbie.


Several countries are experiencing a real shortage of workers in this area. With demand on their side engineering expats should have far fewer difficulties finding work than those applying for jobs in other sectors and most will be able to command a more impressive salary then they could in the UK.

Canada and Australia are among the main nations competing for skilled migrant workers in this area but South Africa has some equally good expat opportunities on offer.

There are obviously many branches to engineering, including electrical, mechanical and interdisciplinary and there are a further host of subcategories under these headings. The salary an engineer receives really does depend on which category they fall in, what skill level they’re at and what country/region they’re hoping to work in.

In South Africa it’s industrial engineers who pull in the big bucks. Annual salaries of up to £70,000 make industrial engineers among the best paid people in the country.

If you’re still not convinced remember, South Africa also has elephants. That’s pretty cool.

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