Is the Securities, Insurance or Real Estate Industry Better? Comparing Incomes amongst Finance Industries

March 22, 2022

Securities and Banking 

According to statistics on the Internet and our experience, in Hong Kong, even for some common junior or middle-level positions in the financial/ securities industry, such as risk analyst, research analyst, and compliance officer, the average base salary is between HK$20,000 and 30,000 per month. Many people who have sufficient work experience and managerial experience would like to be an RO (responsible officer). The most common salary range for a full-time RO is from HK$40,000 to HK$80,000 a month, and that of part-time ROs is from HK$40,000 to HK$65,000. Another example, a compliance officer’s average income as an entry-level staffer is about HK$20,000 to HK$30,000. After accumulating several years of experience, the average monthly income of a compliance manager can be HK$60,000 to HK$80,000. The average income of fund managers is a monthly salary of about HK$40,000 to HK$70,000, and there may also be bonuses, commissions, performance bonuses, etc. The average income of a private banker is about HK$70,000 a month, with more benefits, bonuses, and commissions exclusive of the base salary. If you have a good capability of finding clients, it is not difficult for you to earn an annual salary of over 1 million Hong Kong dollars.

However, the average salary is for reference only. The actual situation depends on how many duties you bear, whether they are difficult, whether the product is rare, whether you can bring in clients, the company background of the employer and other factors. 

Securities Industry


There is a lot of competition in the insurance industry in Hong Kong, nonetheless, if you have good eloquence or good and broad connections, the income will be higher than that of general office work. Insurance salesperson is a profession that greatly relies on commissions to make a fortune. Generally, there is no basic salary, or there is only a small amount of allowances/ subsidies. The rest is earned by yourself. If you are interested in learning about the insurance industry, you may have heard of the MDRT Million Dollar Round Table. You need to achieve a specified sales target or commission level to become a member. The threshold sounds high, but there is actually a chance of MDRT with only a monthly salary of around HK$40,000, and the salary will not be raised due to the increase of seniority. Therefore, you need to be more hard-working than the practitioners in the securities and banking industry. However, if you are an insurance agent and have a certain business foundation, you can start to lead a team, and get to share commissions from businesses brought by your subordinates. The bigger the team, the more commissions you can get, which is more time-saving.

If you don’t want to be in a sales department, generally doing clerical work in the insurance industry such as claims and complaints specialists would bring you a wage similar to the market price, or even a little lower (the budget is lower, and company resources are mostly allocated to sales). For an actuarial-related position, the monthly salary is also around HK$30,000 to HK$50,000. After all, it is a position with high entry requirements and high technical skills. 

Money Farming

Real Estate 

The real estate industry, similar to the insurance industry, is an industry that also relies on commissions. There is no basic salary usually, or there are only a few thousand allowances, but every time you close just one deal for a sale, you earn more than a month’s salary of an ordinary office job. For example, for a real estate sold at HK$6 million, if both the buyer and the seller pay a 1% commission of the property price, the brokerage company can get a commission of HK$120,000, and then the brokerage will get a part of it according to the company’s commission system. The leasing business brings good income too. The much lower price may make the business easier to deal with, the broader connections you have the more profitable the business is. The commission for each lease deal is generally one month’s rent. As we all know, housing is almost the necessary expense for every couple or most adults, so if you have connections or are hardworking enough, being a real estate salesperson will also be a good way to earn money. As for clerical positions in the real estate industry, the salary is generally not high, and they may also be forced to conduct business development too. Therefore, it is recommended to take the exam and apply for a license yourself and earn your own commissions so your portion won’t be shared by others due to a lack of a license. 


All in all, the above three industries are mostly about networking, depending greatly on how many wealthy friends who can trust you with their wallets are around you. Hence, whatever we do, remember “having connections is more important than having good academic credentials” Apart from finding a job, it is also very important to accumulate various contacts. 

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