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As the world hurtles towards an uncertain future, Gen Z and Millennials are forging their own path in the ever-evolving job market, armed with unique skills, digital prowess, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

These tech-savvy cohorts are redefining career success, prioritising job satisfaction alongside financial gain, and shattering traditional notions of high-paying careers. In a landscape where innovation reigns supreme, they are seeking positions that offer lucrative salaries and the opportunity to make a meaningful social impact.

Related: How to negotiate for a higher salary

Top 10 best-paying jobs in Japan for 2023

The employment outlook in Japan presents diverse opportunities across industries, reinforcing the importance of agility and continuous learning for individuals seeking to thrive in the dynamic job market.

To help you make informed decisions on your next job search, we have compiled a list of the highest-paying jobs in Japan, derived from our 2023 Page Insights Salary Guide.

While the list features senior leadership roles, it will help job seekers identify sectors that can offer competitive salary packages at any point in their careers.

Related: How to handle internal promotions

1) Private Practice Equity Partner

A private practice equity partner in the legal industry earns a minimum of 50 to 70 million yen annually.

This role typically involves being a senior lawyer or attorney who has achieved a high level of expertise and success in their particular legal area. As an equity partner, they hold a significant ownership stake in the law firm and share in its profits.

They typically contribute substantial capital investment, and their compensation is often tied to the firm’s financial performance. In addition to handling legal matters for clients, private practice equity partners are also responsible for the management and strategic direction of the firm, including client development, firm-wide decision-making, and mentoring junior colleagues.

Their status as equity partners reflects their elevated position and recognition of their contributions to the success and growth of the law firm.

(Browse legal jobs.)

2) Head of Medical Affairs

A head of medical affairs in the healthcare and life sciences earns up to 40 million yen annually.

The head of medical affairs position involves spearheading the medical affairs department, devising and implementing effective medical strategies, adhering to regulatory standards, and building strong relationships with important stakeholders like healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies.

Offering scientific and medical expertise, they facilitate clinical research and trials, oversee medical education and training initiatives, provide guidance on product safety, and play a pivotal role in the organisation's overall strategic planning and decision-making process.

(Browse healthcare jobs.)

3) Head of Sales/Sales Head

A head of sales or sales head can earn an annual salary of 35 million yen in the Technology industry.

Their salaries vary depending on the organisational structure and goals, such as geographic/territory focus, product/service specialisation, customer/account size, or industry/vertical expertise. 

(Browse sales jobs.)

Related: What to do if you don’t get the pay rise you want

4) Private Practice Counsel or Legal Counsel in Private Practice

A private practice counsel, or legal counsel in private practice, earns up to an annual average of 30 million yen.

Legal counsels working in private practice can earn significantly more in the longer term, especially if they reach the partnership level in a major law firm.

They tend to specialise in one area of law and may work with a team of legal counsels to find solutions for their clients. They offer legal representation at arbitration or mediation hearings and court proceedings on civil or criminal matters.

Other tasks include investigating and researching legal issues, and obtaining evidence and information that can be used in legal proceedings. Legal counsels may lead and manage support staff within the law firm, providing guidance and supervision as needed.

(Browse legal jobs.)

5) Pharmacovigilance Director

A pharmacovigilance director earns an annual average of 25 million yen in the healthcare and life sciences industry.

The role of a pharmacovigilance director encompasses managing and overseeing various aspects of safety operations. This includes daily functioning of safety operations and ensuring timely processing of adverse event reports in compliance with regulations.

There’s a strong emphasis on compliance with safety data reporting and adherence to regulatory requirements. Collaboration with partner companies, Contract Research Organisations (CROs), and other user groups on safety operational matters is also vital.

Furthermore, the director supervises the set-up of new safety projects, and vendor management, and oversees outsourcing related to safety data activities.

(Browse pharmacovigilance-related jobs.)

city view of Japan

6) Country Manager

A country manager commands an annual salary of 24 million yen in Banking and Financial Services, 20 million yen in Renewables Energy - ESG and Sustainability, Engineering and Manufacturing, Industrial/Manufacturing Sales, and Animal Health and Nutrition, and 16 million yen in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Retail.

The role of a country manager involves adapting to the rapidly changing business environment, especially in an unpredictable climate. They need a regional focus and a broader perspective that aligns with the company’s global goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This dual focus requires understanding the company’s unique culture, intentional leadership, and a flexible approach to employee interactions and dependencies.

A country manager is tasked with developing and implementing business strategies in one or more countries. Their responsibilities may include managing marketing and sales strategies, increasing brand recognition, maintaining relationships with customers and suppliers, reviewing and evaluating competitors, and coordinating marketing, sales, and business development activities.

(Browse country management jobs.)

7) Human Resources Director

A human resources (HR) director can command 22 million yen annually in industries such as Accounting and Finance, Engineering and Manufacturing, FMCG and Retail, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Legal, Procurement and Supply Chain, Secretarial, and Technology. And up to 25 million yen in Banking and Financial Services.

There is a high demand for HR professionals with strategic mindsets and strong business acumen. No longer just an administrative support function, human resources management plays a vital role in fostering organisational success, especially during economic upturn and expansion, as evidenced by the significant remuneration it commands.

HR professionals need to have strong analytical skills, help identify problems in the corporation, develop and sustain employee engagement, retain talent and plan for the workforce’s future needs.

(Browse HR jobs.) 

8) Head of Marketing

A head of marketing brings home 20 million yen annually in Banking and Financial Services, 18 million yen in technology, and 13 to 16 million yen in FMCG and Retail.

A head of marketing oversees all aspects of a company’s marketing activities, aiming to generate leads and boost sales. Their responsibilities include developing marketing strategies, identifying potential markets, directing marketing staff workflow, collaborating with other departments, and crafting plans for new products or services. 

(Browse marketing jobs.) 

9) Business Development Manager

A business development manager earns an average of 17 million yen annually for IT vendor sales in the Technology industry, 12 million yen in Engineering and Manufacturing, 11.5 million yen in Banking and Financial Services, and 7 million yen in FMCG and Retail.

Business development managers are central to a company’s growth, tasked with crafting sales strategies that target the right audience, set tangible goals, and differentiate from competitors. Key to this is their unique value proposition, an effective sales funnel, and clear KPIs. These managers ensure their company's sustainable success with a robust sales plan, apt technology use, and continuous strategy refinement.

(Browse business development jobs.)

10) Supply Chain Senior Manager

A supply chain senior manager in the procurement and supply chain sector earns up to 15 million yen annually.

Tasked with managing the intricate architecture of planning, organisation, and execution of vast projects within the supply chain ecosystem, supply chain managers find themselves at the forefront of innovation and efficiency.

They analyse data, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to optimise the supply chain processes. Their responsibilities also include coordinating logistics, managing inventory, fostering supplier relationships, and ensuring efficient and cost-effective operations throughout the supply chain. This role is critical in enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and providing a smooth flow of goods and services.

(Browse supply chain jobs.)

Download our 2023 Salary Guide here

Our 2023 Salary Guide provides a comprehensive look at the most up-to-date salary numbers in different industries and for all experience levels. Download a copy of our latest salary report here.

To learn how your salary compares to other roles and industries in Japan, visit our Salary Comparison Tool. Are you seeking a new job? Click here for these available job openings now.

Disclaimer: Salaries can differ from one company to another, depending on your skills, knowledge, and experience.

Read more:
How to attract talent in a candidate-short market
12 ways to create work-life balance for employees
Workplace flexibility a top priority for candidates: report

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