Alternative Careers During the Pandemic – How Much Can You Earn?

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 27 September, 2021

COVID-19 may have robbed you of your job, but there are new careers to be found - if you know where to look.

Now well into its second year, the COVID-19 pandemic not only wreaked havoc around the planet, but also destroyed an untold number of careers

Yet, humanity is nothing if not flexible. Even as jobs diminished in badly hit sectors (such as travel, aviation, leisure, F&B), other sectors have opened up with a new demand for jobs that have been created due to the shifting trends in the way we live, work and play. 

According to a report by Jobstreet, 2020 saw some notable changes in Singapore’s employment landscape. The report highlighted the top 10 industries that were looking to hire new workers, according to the number of positions available. 

These 10 industries were:
1. Healthcare
2. Education
3. Banking and finance
4. Government
5. Computing and IT
6. Security and law enforcement
7. Transportation and logistics
8. Construction/Building/Engineering
9. Manufacturing and production
10. Insurance

Let’s have a closer look at some of these sectors, and their potential to offer an alternative, long-term career path. 

Five sectors with increased hiring demand during COVID-19

SectorPositionMonthly Pay Range (S$)*
HealthcareNurse or medical assistant2,500 to 3,000

Pharmacist3,500 to 4,000

Human resource, clerical or admin support2,000 to 3,000
EducationEducators, online teachers2,300 to 3,300

Software developers3,800 to 4,200

IT or network specialists3,600 to 4,000

Clerical or admin support2,000 to 3,000
Banking and financeBanking services 2,300 to 7,000

IT and software support2,500 to 2,800

Network, system or database administrator3,700 to 4,000

Sales (insurance, relationship managers)4,800 to 5,200
Security servicesSecurity supervisors, night security officers 2,000 to 6,500
E-commerce and logistics Online marketers, product developers, business development4,000 to 6,500

Food delivery riders, delivery drivers and personnel2,000 to 2,500

Source: payscale


It is no surprise that healthcare is among the sectors seeing an increased demand during the pandemic. 

Registered nurses, already a scarce resource during normal times, are seeing a surge in demand, owing to increased patient caseloads and the need to maintain medical readiness in case of outbreaks. 

Apparently, this need is dire enough to motivate the government to announce an increase of up to 14% in salaries for nurses serving in public healthcare institutions.

However, getting a nursing diploma isn’t the only way to join the healthcare sector. Hospitals, medical centres and clinics rely on a network of support staff to provide crucial administrative, dispensing and patient support services. 

Hence, another possible route for a pandemic career change might be as a medical or clinic assistant. 

From these entry level positions, you could upgrade your skills to specialise in certain disciplines such as radiology. Or, you could also pursue certifications in Healthcare Administration/Management and work your way up to a cushy job as Hospital Administrator.

Besides nursing and health administration, pharmacists are also in high demand. Again, not surprising, given the increased attention on health matters amongst the general population.    


Thanks to pandemic restrictions, online learning has become normalised for students in Singapore.

This trend further fuels the demand for classes, workshops and courses conducted over the internet, which allow bored learners stuck at home to safely continue expanding their skills and knowledge.

As a result, the sector continues to see demand for educators at all levels. In addition to the prerequisite educational and teaching expertise, those who are able to seamlessly transition between classroom lessons and video-conference teaching will be at an advantage.

Besides teachers, the education sector also seeks IT professionals to support the increased demand for online learning.

IT professionals in education should expect to develop new software solutions for more effective delivery of virtual classes, while also staying up to date on network architecture and security to ensure smooth and safe lessons for all.

Banking and finance     

Perhaps a testament to Singapore’s strong standing as a global financial hub, the pandemic hasn’t seemed to slow down the banking and finance sector one bit.

In fact, the reverse is true, with banking professions among those seeing an uptick in open positions.

Customer-facing and frontline roles remain popular, with banking services and sales roles actively looking for takers. 

So if you’ve always fancied yourself a financial advisor for the rich, here’s your chance to try out a career as a relationship manager. 

Alongside front-facing roles, support and back-office roles are also seeing increased headcounts. 

In particular, IT software and systems engineers, as well as database and network administration personnel are in high demand among banks and financial institutions.  

Security services 

Another sector that saw a rise in open positions is security services, which saw job postings increase by 41% as recently as March last year.

Security positions are no longer about being glorified night watchmen - the advent of technology has increased the scope of security officers, helping the profession find greater traction among younger jobseekers.

And lest you still think security services is a dead-end career, those who work their way up to the upper echelons as security managers can command salaries of between S$6,000 to S$8,000 monthly.

Thinking of trying out a career in security services? Well you’d have to complete a training package first, covering modules in threat observation (recognise terrorist threats); guard and patrol (provide guard and patrol services); and incident response (handle security incidents and services).

E-commerce and logistics

Frankly, we should all be grateful that the pandemic happened during a time when home delivery and e-commerce services were already so well established. Having to stay at home was undoubtedly made much more bearable thanks to the tireless efforts of our unsung delivery heroes and the well-oiled operations of the platform behind them.

To no one’s surprise, e-commerce and logistics are among the few sectors that have seen increased hiring during COVID-19. 

With many losing their jobs to the pandemic, food delivery gigs became highly popular for those seeking a temporary means to earn a living. However, now that we have all gotten used to the convenience of food delivery, sending food to hungry customers has become a perfectly viable (if demanding) career path.

Besides frontline delivery positions, food delivery platforms (and for that matter, e-commerce providers) rely on a whole cast of staff in back-end roles to make it all work. 

Everything from customer service to product development to marketing and IT support is required in order to ensure smooth operations.

So if you have the requisite skills or experience, you might want to check the careers page the next time you’re surfing your favourite online shopping site.

In the meantime, keep saving up for rainy days and ensure that you’re covered with a reliable savings account to tide you through the hard times.

Read these next:
Ways To Cope With The Pandemic: Emergency And Insurance Hotlines
DBS Multiplier Is The Most Pandemic-proof Savings Account Yet. Here’s Why.
11 Ways To Prepare Yourself For A Recession During COVID-19
3 Reasons Why Cash is King in Uncertain Times Like COVID-19
Canceling Your BTO Over The Ridiculous Wait? Here’s All You Need To Know

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.


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