Top 10 highest paying jobs in Nigeria

Joe McGoldrick
04.08.2022·9 min read

Choosing a career can be daunting, especially for people fresh from university. There are hundreds of thousands of paths to choose from, which can be overwhelming. While many are promising and full of opportunities, not all careers are created equal. If you just got out of university or you’re looking for a career change, this article will help you discover some of the best-paying jobs in Nigeria.

Types of occupation in Nigeria

Before choosing a specific career, you must pick what type of career path you want to tread. This lets you put things into perspective and see what options are available to you. Here are general types of occupations that are in Nigeria.


A vocation is a livelihood where someone possesses a particular skill and makes this their life work. This used to mean people in the clergy but has grown to include nonreligious jobs as well. This includes carpenters, shoemakers, musicians, plumbers, electricians, and many others. This is also known as a trade-in in some parts of the world.


People who are experts in specific fields and provide this expertise as a service are called professionals. These individuals are highly-trained in their particular professions with years of experience and knowledge. They are mainly service-oriented, much like people with vocations. Professionals can also work as independent contractors, freelancers, or even business operators, depending on their services.


This is a type of occupation where one is contractually bound to work for someone else or for an organization. They are usually required to work a certain number of hours per week and are paid a regular wage or salary. Unlike professionals or vocations, they work for someone else and are subject to their employer’s directives.

Business and Entrepreneurship 

Business owners and entrepreneurs can engage in various activities, providing goods or services. These are usually done in exchange for money and are for profit. Generally, any institution or organization that sells products or services are business. Examples include manufacturing, consultancy, food production, and general trading, among others. They can range in size from small one-person teams to large multi-national conglomerates.

Highest paid courses in Nigeria

Here are a few of the most highly paid courses in Nigeria. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it demonstrates that there are many options to choose from.


A law degree prepares you to practice one of the most challenging yet fulfilling professions, being a lawyer. This career path is great if you want a highly challenging job but does positively impact the lives of others. Practicing law lets you help other people with their legal woes, among other aspects of their lives.


Engineering is one of the most popular STEM degrees in the world. It is a highly technical career that overlaps with a ton of different fields of study. Engineers are professionals who make infrastructure both physical and virtual. Getting a degree in engineering opens a ton of doors for aspiring professionals with STEM skills.


Businesses are the norm in today’s global economy. The exchange of goods and services is a vital part of any economy and plays a key role in a country’s prosperity. Businesses are also the breeding ground of highly talented individuals. If you want a career that has almost limitless growth potential, enrolling in a degree like Nexford University’s Master of Business Administration is a great option.

The 10 highest paying jobs in Nigeria

Civil Engineering 

Civil Engineers are responsible for ideating and building all the public and private infrastructure. They take a lead role in building structures like buildings, dams, tunnels, bridges, and irrigation. They are also tasked with supervising these construction projects and making sure they are built up to standards. In Nigeria, a Civil Engineer earns an annual average of ₦3,850,000.

Petroleum Engineering 

Crude oil is one of Nigeria’s biggest exports to the world. In 2020, Nigeria exported a total of $30 Billion worth of crude oil, making it the 7th largest exporter. With a big oil export economy, Petroleum Engineering is a sought-after career in the country. Petroleum Engineers earn, on average, ₦5,824,000 yearly. This is why petroleum engineers are some of the highest salary earners in Nigeria.

Surgery and Medicine 

Healthcare services are one of the highest-paying jobs in Nigeria. Health professionals are in demand throughout the country. Surgeons are one of the highest-paid professionals in Nigeria. Annually, surgeons receive an average of ₦11,700,000. That is ₦975,000 average monthly income.

Software Developers 

One of the industries that have been taking the whole world by storm is software development. Computers are everywhere these days, and software developers are in demand, especially in business. They design, develop and maintain custom software for companies and organizations. These highly skilled professionals develop various software from mobile apps and computer programs to operating systems for machinery. These professionals get a yearly average salary of ₦1,938,759.


Accounting is a necessity when doing business anywhere in the world, including in Nigeria. This career lets you into the inner workings of company finances. You also help them manage money flow as well as keep them within government regulations. A career in accounting earns an average of ₦1,296,178 annually.

Project Management

Pursuing a project from start to completion is no easy feat. There are a lot of moving parts that need to work smoothly with each other to succeed. Project Managers are tasked to oversee these parts and make sure they coordinate seamlessly. For this, project managers earn ₦4,950,000 on average salary yearly.

Human Resources Officer

Connecting and interacting with other people is a crucial part of any organization. This can be through customers and clients, employees, or other businesses in the field. Having a human relations degree gives you an understanding of the fundamentals of human relations, but a business degree can be crucial if you want to progress to director or c-suit level. They are expected to earn an average of ₦1,235,066.00 a year.

Aeronautics Engineer

Traveling by plane has been one of the biggest achievements of humanity since time immemorial. Aeronautics engineers are professionals responsible for designing, building, and maintaining aircraft. They research and develop new technologies to improve air travel in Nigeria and worldwide. Aeronautics Engineering is also one of the most in-demand jobs in Nigeria. They average at ₦4,350,000 annually.

Banking Associate

Banking and financial institutions play a huge role in Nigeria’s economy. Banks are not only responsible for keeping your money; they also drive other economic activities. Banking associates are tasked to assist clients and the bank in its many services. They work with retail clients to assess their financial situation. They also help reach out to businesses and help them secure a loan that fits their needs. Their average annual salary is ₦4,420,000.

Customer Support Specialist

Businesses will always need to meet their clients’ needs. They have the duty to address concerns, assist with issues, as well as build a relationship with them. That is why Customer Support Specialists are indispensable in many industries. They serve as a company’s representative and ambassador to their growing community. They receive an average of ₦727,080 annually.

The most in-demand jobs in Nigeria


Saving lives and keeping the population healthy is a noble profession in and of itself. It is also no secret that this highly vital sector is also one of the top-paying ones. Due to its sensitive nature, it is also one of the most demanding lines of work. But if you can brave through the difficulties, the compensation can be highly rewarding.


Products and services would not sell if not for men and women in the marketing sector. They play a key role in businesses and organizations in introducing growth. They drive potential customers and clients and nurture them into communities around the brands. If you want a career in Marketing, having an advanced degree like a Masters in Business Administration is a great choice.

Soft skills needed for high-paying jobs

Now that you have a pretty good picture of what promising careers to take in Nigeria, all you need is to pick one and start forging your path. For newbies, breaking into a career path can be difficult, especially if you do not have certain skills. Aside from the specific technical hard skills, there are soft skills that you need as well. Here are some of them.

Communication skills 

Collaboration plays a huge part in today’s global economy. A professional must be able to communicate and work with other professionals effectively. For this, you need to have solid communication skills in both oral and written form. This will make you a valuable asset in teams and will make your work more efficient.


Working on different projects in whatever sector you are in requires a solid problem-solving mindset. You, as a professional, will face many obstacles and challenges throughout your career. Having the ability to look at a problem and devise solutions to address them is a valuable skill to have as an individual as well as a member of a team.

Critical thinking 

In a perfect world, all relevant information is available to you, and therefore you make perfect judgments every time. Sadly, this is not a perfect world, and we have to make do with what we have. Critical Thinking skills let you assess and address situations as best you can through the information available to you.

How to get high-paying jobs

So you’ve chosen a career path you want, and you’ve gained all the soft skills required; all you need now is to start your journey. “But where does one start?” I hear you say. Here are things you can try to increase your chances of landing your dream job:

Build your network 

Who you know is as important as what you know. Having a robust professional network is a valuable resource that anyone should take full advantage of. This can get you opportunities and experiences that would be otherwise difficult to get on your own. Put yourself out there and start interacting with other professionals in your field.

Keep up with relevant news 

Knowing the latest in your field is a good way to keep yourself relevant. Keeping up with the latest innovations, technologies, or processes can seriously up your chances of landing good careers. Start by following relevant websites and social media pages. They are great sources of industry news as well as a platform to meet others like you.

Earn related credentials /h4>
One of the best ways to secure your dream career is to have all the necessary credentials. These days, a lot of industries still put high importance on degrees, certifications, and other credentials. They are often times required, especially in highly technical fields.

Nexford University’s online resources will help you choose the right career path that fits you and help you get the necessary skills to do so. Their innovative academic model is designed to help you learn the right skills in a convenient and accessible platform. For more information, visit


Ready to take the next step? Download our brochure or book a call with our Nexford Advisors!

About the Author

Joe McGoldrick

Known for strategy and attention to detail

Joe has more than 10 years of marketing experience, working within the public sector, client-side, and agency side.

He is passionate about using data and customer insights to improve marketing performance.

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