It’s True – Sales Jobs Earn The Most

Meghna Pant, features editor of Gulf Business, takes a look at which sector and location can earn you the most money in the GCC.

If you’re wondering whether you make more or less money than the sales guy who’s out for lunch with a client, be rest assured; his empty desk space is more lucrative than your stacked-up one.

A 2012 Salary Survey by Gulf Business found that the head of sales and marketing for a local or multinational company makes an average of $11,560 per month, the highest average salary sector-wise in the GCC. And these salaries are not likely to drop anytime soon, rising 10 per cent as compared to 2011.

Being a human resources manager can also be lucrative, bringing in $11,468 on average. But be warned, the salary differential across GCC countries is quite stark. Due to the recession, companies needed to manage payroll and workforce, and were seeking HR managers to manage this flux. Now there’s saturation in the market, and due to more stability HR has been scaled back to pre-2008 levels. In the UAE alone, HR manager salaries saw the largest drop across the GCC of 27 per cent. Only Qatar is bucking the trend, following a similar trajectory to the UAE, with a 29 per cent rise in salaries. But this could very well follow the same downhill road.

At number three position is a job in construction, which is witnessing a slow revival. Salaries are roughly similar to last year, but on average a project manager can still make $11,455. Following this rank is the once golden boy of all sectors, banking, where salaries have remained stagnant, but where a branch, treasury or retail manager can pull in $11,240 a month.

If you’re the head of your company’s IT department then you’re probably making around $10,593, and may have seen salary hikes of 12-15 per cent over the last year if you live in Oman or Kuwait.

Number six in the overall ranking, but the highest in the media space, is an account director in PR whose salary has gone up by an impressive 20 per cent over the last year, as he takes home $9839. Creative directors in advertising are not far behind, clocking in pay rises – the highest in the region – of 26 per cent over the last year, and an astonishing 40 per cent higher in Saudi Arabia at $9548.

Real estate salaries are as mixed as the sector, dropping nine per cent in the UAE but increasing 25 per cent in Saudi Arabia, and a manager in this sector can make around $9000 each month. While UAE may be seeing a tourism boom, hospitality salaries are stagnant with a hotel manager making $8598.

Languishing at the bottom are publishing jobs where an editor makes $7546 each month. The good news though is that salaries are rising by 18 per cent and even 28 per cent in Bahrain, so there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for people like me.

If you want to know where you should work to make the most money, here’s my list. For a sales job go to Qatar and for all other sectors you’ll make the most in KSA. If you’re in sales, HR, construction, IT, hospitality or publishing, you’ll make the least amount of money in Bahrain. Kuwait and the UAE are the worst payers for real estate jobs. And if you are pursuing banking, advertising or PR, you’ll make the least in Oman.