You would want to know where the money is if you are making a career move. The most rewarding job in terms of wages and salaries in Kenya for the last five years has been in the Non-Governmental Organisations, a survey has said.
According to the Economic Survey 2013 conducted by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, an average monthly salary for an employee in NGO’s was Sh194,000 last year, the highest amount in both the private and public sector.
This is despite the fact that the remuneration has been reducing over the last five years, where an employee used to take home Sh202,000 in 2008 on average.
A career in the insurance industry is the second-most rewarding after NGO, followed by banks, saccos and other financial services organisations. These careers include actuaries, accountants, cashiers, tellers or financial managers.
The financial sector in both private and the public sector rewarded its employees with average monthly salaries of Sh100,000.
Other careers in the private sector with tidy returns include electronic engineering, cargo handling and logistics, lecturers, scientists, ICT and human resource (HR) management.
According to the study, engineers are taking home Sh80,000 per month on average, lecturers and scientists (Sh59,000), technologists (Sh55,000) while human resource personnel make Sh47,000.
Other surprising entrants in the lucrative returns brackets are those working in the entertainment industry, events organising, and mechanics in garages who made between Sh38,000 and Sh47,000 per month on average.
“There is a new wave in the country; that of entertainment and ICT. It is now the fad driven mainly by the increasing middle-class population,” notes the University of Nairobi economics lecturer Joy Kiiru.
For anyone seeking to build a career as a civil servant, a stint at the Treasury, parastatal bodies or in one of the numerous commissions available in the country is recommendable.
The head of these commissions, accountants and administrators are the most remunerated government employees with Sh100,000 monthly take home. Doctors, army officers and — surprisingly — caretakers are also in the category of better-earning public service employees.
Doctors, engineers and architects take years of education in colleges and are named as the top choices for students joining universities. However, this is no longer the case according to the survey.
Data compiled over the last five years shows that a supermarket owner or a retailer and an artist earned almost the same salary as a doctor.
Generally, total monthly wage earnings in the country per employee went up by 4.7 per cent to Sh36,000 last year. An estimated 660,000 new jobs were created last year, majority of which were in agricultural, manufacturing, education and security sectors.
In the private sector, agriculture and forestry absorbed 296,000 workers, wholesale and retail (171,000), education (107,000) and manufacturing (249,000).
Increasing activities in the real estate and property market saw 11 per cent surge in job openings with employment of 99,000 Kenyans.In the public sector, employment was highly manifest in the ICT which registered 18.2 percentage growth. This can be explained by the government’s zeal in pushing for technology-driven development in the country.
The education sector employed 285,000 people while 174,000 hired in public administration and defence. There were a total of 12 million registered employees in Kenya last year with the informal sector, commonly referred as Jua Kali, contributing 90 per cent.
According to Dr Kiiru the education system in the country should focus more on training job creators rather than employment seekers.
“There is a problem with the education system in Kenya. It is called the diploma disease. This is when the economy is nearly driven by desire to accumulate more and more papers,” she says.
The nominal wage bill during the period under review was Sh930 million. This poses a major headache to the taxman because of the inability to rope in the informal sector in the tax bracket.
However, due to inflation and slow growth, the average wage increase was eroded due to rise in cost of living.