The most in demand, highest paying jobs for OFWs in 2017

Don Kevin Hapal

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The most in demand, highest paying jobs for OFWs in 2017

LeAnne Jazul

Land-based and sea-based engineers, healthcare professionals, and IT professionals were the highest-paying specializations in 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Land-based and sea-based engineers, healthcare professionals, and information technology (IT) professionals were the highest-paying specializations for Filipinos overseas in 2017,’s annual overseas jobs and salary report showed.

According to the report, a shipmaster in the United States could earn as much as P99,000 a month in 2017. A chief engineer could earn P96,000 and a chief officer could earn P92,000. Land-based engineers that were in demand in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific could earn a monthly salary of P57,000 and P59,000, respectively. 

Above values represent the average monthly salaries generated from January to October 2017 on

Meanwhile, healthcare professionals topped the list in the Middle East, with doctors who specialize in pediatric care earning as much P86,000, nurses earning P65,000 and veterinarians with P54,000 a month. is the country’s largest overseas jobs site, servicing over 800 government-accredited recruitment agencies, with over 4 million jobseekers in its database.

Their 2017 report is based on jobs posted by agencies from January to October 2017.

Top countries of deployment

Just like in 2016, Middle Eastern countries dominated the list of top countries of deployment. 

Saudi Arabia is still the top deployment destination, contributing 54.19% to total jobs.

Saudi Arabia was still 2017’s top country of deployment. 54.19% of jobs ads posted on their portal from January to October 2017 came from Saudi Arabia. Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman were also still part of the top 10. 

Malaysia and Taiwan were 2017’s newcomers in the top 10, replacing Australia and Brunei from 2016. 

Skilled workers still most in demand 

Skilled workers were also still the most in demand in 2017.

In the Middle East, numerous opportunities were available for Filipinos with specializations related to general work, engineering, and the food and beverage service sectors. General work refers to drivers, electricians, and A/C, auto, refrigeration, plumbing, and maintenance technicians. 

Majority of the demand are for skilled workers. For professionals, there is high demand for engineers.

Mechanics, electrical technicians, cooks, waiters/waitresses, and baristas were also in demand. 

Meanwhile, in Asia-Pacific, skilled workers like carpenters, household service workers, and caretakers were in demand. In the engineering sector, there were opportunities for technicians and technical operators while factory workers, production and machine operators, and welders were in demand in the manufacturing and production sector.

In the US, sea-based engineers were in demand and well-compensated, but skilled workers like electricians, fitters, able seamen, cooks, waiters/waitresses, and stewards were also needed. Most in demand jobs in the US were sea-based, according to WorkAbroad.

As a tip, WorkAbroad said that aspiring overseas Filipino workers must prepare before leaving by familiarizing themselves about their country of destination. As there is high demand for skilled workers, they also suggest taking skills-based courses from tech-voc institutions. –

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.