By Lilian Wamaitha
Landing a well-paying job in Kenya is never easy.
In the midst of high unemployment rates, most Kenyans even after landing a job will want to be paid well.
After all, we all have bills to pay and no one wants to break their backs five or six days in a week and still struggle to make ends meet.
Word out there or what we were made to believe is that you get paid better when you acquire a degree. However, anyone in the job market will tell you that this is not true. Your level of education has nothing to do with how much you earn in most cases, especially for entry levels.
A recent report by State Agency has shown that university graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to their diploma counterparts.
Only 13% of graduates from middle-level colleges were without jobs compared to 26% of university graduates, a pointer that technical skills were more marketable according to the government report.
That said, I have complied a list of careers in Kenya that pay more than 100K and the good news is that, you don’t even need a degree or MBA.
High Paying Careers In Kenya You Can Pursue
1. Sales and marketing
This is one of the fields that is detested by a majority of people because sales jobs are taken to be the lowest of the lowest. It’s the kind of job you take only when you’ve hit rock bottom.
However, contrary to popular belief, sales and marketing is not all about earning peanuts in terms of commissions.
When done right and I mean if you know what you are doing and have the skills and patience for it, this is one of the most rewarding careers that can earn you more than 100K in a month especially in the real estate industry.
I had a friend of mine who started as a sales executive at Britam earning just commissions.
“When I started, it was a struggle and I was having a hard time paying my bills in time and I was so close to quitting. However, in the midst of all that, I developed an interest in it and within a few months I was earning commissions of more than 50K. I was soon promoted to team leader and started making even more than 300K in a month. That was how my life turned around and I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I never quit that time,” he said.
2. Mechanical engineering
When it comes to marketable courses in Kenya, mechanical engineering is at the very top. Diploma graduates in this course find themselves earning a starting salary of more than 100K when they land jobs in the government and blue chip companies.
Some of the companies that pay mechanical engineering graduates really well are Geothermal, Bamburi Cement, Kenya Power, Kenya Pipeline, Davis and Shirtliff and Kengen among others.
3. Quantity surveying
I did an article the other day on diploma courses that are way better than degrees in Kenya and quantity survey was among them.
Well, besides being a good course to pursue, quantity surveyors end up earning way more than their degree counterparts. Only less than 10% of them earn less than 50,000.
A majority of them work in private companies earning salaries of more than 100K. In the long run most of them end up being self-employed and making even triple of that.
So as you can see, if you are torn between what courses to pursue, maybe quantity survey should be in that list.
4. Software engineering
Not a lot of Kenyans are enthusiastic about computer programming.
Those who do and are extremely gifted end up working for companies like IBM, Google, Safaricom, Airtel and more.
Their starting salary is at 100K for diploma holders and this figure increases with the years of experience.
Pharmaceutical diploma graduates from KMTC or University of Nairobi end up earning really well when they are employed.
Like quantity surveyors most of them end up opening their own pharmacies and depending on the location can earn up to 100K in a month.
6. Flight attendant/ cabin crew
If you love travelling, why not turn that hobby into a job.
Every major airline including our very own Kenya Airways conducts recruitment for cabin crews once in a while.
The good thing about this job is that you only need a KCSE certificate, be at least 21 years of age and have the physical looks required for cabin crew professionals.
On average flight attendants earn around $1500 per month which is really awesome considering that no experience is needed.
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This I one of the most underrated careers in Kenya since word on the street is that it is saturated and you can never find a job in this field. However, journalism pays way better than all the other professions in Kenya.
Media presenters be it reporters, cameramen, news anchors or writers earn well with salaries of up to 500K.
8. Graphic and web design
You don’t need a degree to become a web designer or graphic design guru.
Nowadays you can almost learn anything from Youtube and the internet without wasting money in a classroom set up.
Most people in this field are self-employed and are outsourced by companies.
With the advent of technology, more and more businesses are being conducted online hence the demand for web and graphic designers.
The high demand for these professionals coupled by the few number of experts makes it one of the best paying courses to pursue.
Unlike the belief among most Kenyans about this particular course, it is still one of the most marketable and best paying in Kenya.
The course is not saturated and there is still a high demand for architects in this country.
With a starting salary of 50K, if you are talented and have a passion for it, this salary is likely to double or even triple as you gain more experience.
10. Small Business Owner
If employment is not your thing, you can choose to go into business.
Just save up some money and start a business of your own. In the mean time you will be creating jobs for other graduates.
Some businesses can be started with as low as 50 shillings to as high as millions.
Whatever your budget is, let that not be a hindrance to being a business owner. Companies like Bonfire Adventures were started with just 20,000 and now make hundreds of millions every month.
When looking for a job, we all want to earn well. However, the current job market does not guarantee anyone a good salary. All is not lost though. As you can see, there are still careers in Kenyan where you can earn really well without the stress of acquiring a degree. However, what I like reminding everyone is, you can only succeed at something if you are passionate about it.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya and has a passion of improving other people’s lives through everyday inspiration. Leave a comment below if you agree with this article.