Home Nigeria Information Highest Paying Courses in Nigeria Right Now in 2020

Highest Paying Courses in Nigeria Right Now in 2020


In this comprehensive piece, we have successfully compiled some of the highest paying courses in Nigeria, as well as the average monthly salary, career opportunities, admission requirements, and universities offering each course of study for the year 2020.

highest paying courses in nigeria

Highest Paying Courses in Nigeria 2020

  • Maritime Engineering
  • Medicine & Surgery
  • Pharmacy
  • Petroleum / Chemical Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Geology

Yes, there are hundreds of courses being offered across our varsities in Nigeria. But, did you know some courses have a high market value and demand than the other? This is what you are about to discover in this article. The list goes thus.

1.) Maritime Engineering

Expected Market Value earning per month: #300,000 to #3,500,000

Unknown to several people out there, Maritime engineering is one of the top paying courses in Nigeria, and the funniest thing is that there are only a few students who study it in our universities nationwide.

Below is a quick salary structure of Maritime engineers.

  • Third Engineer with Officer of the watch (OOW) COC – #300,000 to #450,000 monthly
  • Near coastal vessel – #600,000 to #700,000
  • Second class marine engineer (class 2) – #1,500,000 to #2,000,000
  • Captain and Chief Engineer – #2,300,000 to #3,500,000

What is Maritime Engineering all About?

Marine engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the engineering of marine vessels such as boats, ships, oil rigs, and the likes.

Engineers in this field play a significant role in ensuring that the aforementioned machines keep working effectively and efficiently as long as possible.

In a layman language, marine engineers are engineers directly responsible for the technical area of the ship.

Duties of Maritime Engineers

Some of their major duties include the following.

  1. Operating, maintaining, and repairing of the entire major mechanical and engineered equipment on board a ship
  2. Transferring of fuel oil to the marine vessel from a bunker station as well as barge where necessary
  3. Looking into major breakdown of machinery vessels used at sea
  4. Designing, innovating, building, and maintaining of sailing vessels like boats, ships, oil rigs, etc.

Where can you work as a Maritime Engineer?

Maritime engineers are somewhat versatile in the sense that they can work in multiple establishments, and this includes but not limited to;

  • Merchant vessels
  • Navy vessels
  • Shipping Equipment Manufacturing Companies
  • Oil Industries
  • Hotels using sea vessels in their services
  • Government Parastatals
  • Shipping Companies
  • Marine Engineering Firms
  • Boat Construction Firms
  • and more importantly you can even work either offshore or offshore.

Yes, maritime engineering is a very lucrative course but it is equally important to let you know that the course requires a lot for you to be successful, for instance you need strong problem-solving skills, impressive maths and IT skills, team building skills, communication and negotiating skills, strong technical knowledge, CAD/CAM skills, etc.

If you can equip yourself with the aforementioned, rest assured you will make a difference in the maritime world.

Career Opportunities

Here are the job prospect for maritime engineers in Nigeria.

  • Ocean Engineer
  • Maritime Technician
  • Pump Man
  • Harbor Master
  • Naval Architect
  • Chief Engineer
  • Navy Weapon Engineering Officer, etc..

Admission Requirements

  • O’level: 5 credit passes [in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, English Language and one other Science subject]
  • UTME subject combination: English Language, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

Schools Offering it

Below are a few institutions you can study marine engineering in Nigeria:

  • Niger Delta University [NDU]
  • Yaba College Of Tech, Yaba
  • Nigerian Maritime University [NMU]
  • Akwa Ibom State University [AKSU]
  • Federal University Of Petroleum Resources Effurun [FUPRE]
  • Rivers State University of Science and Technology [RSUST]
  • Maritime Academy Of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State
  • Delta State School Of Marine Technology Burutu, Delta state
  • Federal College Of Fisheries And Marine Technology, Victoria Island Lagos

2.) Medicine & Surgery

Expected Market Value earning per month: N110,000 to N1,500,000

Medicine & Surgery since time immemorial has been among the most prestigious as well as big paying courses in Nigeria, and would continue to be. No wonder thousands of candidates apply for it annually.

Medical doctors deal majorly with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease while Surgeons on the hand are also medical doctors who specialize in carrying out both generalized and specialized surgeries on the needing patients.

They are the ones who perform different kind of surgeries or operation on patients whose health condition requires being operated upon.

Although it is very tough to become a certified doctor or surgeon in Nigeria, especially when considering the fact that the course is extremely competitive, requires thorough brain input, has a very low admission rate [about 1.6%] – but if you are determined, patient and consistent enough rest assured you will earn cool amount of money every month!

For instance, NYSC Doctors receiveN50, 000 – N150, 000 [instead of the regular #19,800 during their service year], Housemanship Doctors earn up to N130, 000 monthly, while some top-ranked doctors and surgeons also rake in as much as N500,000 to N1,500,000 in a month minus some bonuses and allowances.

Where Can You Work?

  • Government and state Hospitals
  • Private Organizations
  • Medicine Houses
  • Medical Parastatals
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Drug Based Companies.

Career Opportunities, Job Prospects

You can further decide to choose any of the following fields as a Medicine and Surgery Graduates.

  • Cardiology
  • Pathology
  • Health Care Science
  • Lecturer
  • Midwife
  • Neurology
  • Medical research
  • Science writing
  • Health Journalism
  • Dermatology
  • General medicine
  • Gynecology
  • Neurology
  • Pathology
  • Public health
  • Radiology
  • Surgery, etc…

Admission Requirements in Nigeria

  • Minimum UTME Score: 260+
  • UTME subject combination: English Language, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
  • 5 SSCE Credit passes: English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Schools Offering it

Here are some schools you can study this course in the nation:

  • Abia State University
  • Ahmadu Bello University
  • Ambrose Alli University
  • Bayero University Kano
  • Obafemi Awolowo University
  • University of Ibadan
  • University of Ilorin
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Nigeria
  • University of Port-Harcourt

3.) Pharmacy

Expected Market Value earning per month: #200,000 – #600,000

Pharmacy is yet another lucrative and one of the high paying jobs in Nigeria. Just like other top medical courses like medicine and surgery, pharmacy is a very competitive, tough course to study, but it’s really worth the pain knowing fully that your chances of being employed is somewhat high and that the take home salary is relatively high.

Pharmacists or chemists are healthcare professionals who are dedicated to discovering, preparing, reviewing and prescribing of medical remedies or drugs to sicknesses and diseases.

Some of the benefits of studying pharmacy are that you can easily start your own enterprise and create multiple sources of income for yourself.

Again, as a pharmacist, you can work with myriads of organizations, including scientific research firms, dosage companies, government-owned parastatals, private firms, community pharmacies, regulatory agencies [e.g. NAFDAC], among others.

In addition to the above, it will interest you to know that pharmacy is highly sought even more than nursing as well as medicine, and also there are only a few pharmacists in Nigeria – we currently have a shocking ratio of 1 pharmacist to 11,500 Nigerians.

As a pharmacist, you are most probably going to get a job as an ndlea officer than most people from other professions.

Here’s a quick salary structure of Pharmacists in Nigeria.

  • Locum Pharmacist: ₦30,000 – ₦50,000 monthly
  • National Youth Service Corps (N.Y.S.C) pharmacist: ₦30,000 in a month
  • Self-Employed Pharmacist: ₦75,000 on a monthly basis
  • Pharmacists in Government hospitals/organizations: ₦120,000 –#300,000 in a month.
  • Pharmacists working with Multinational companies: #200,000 and #650,000 monthly
  • Pharmacists in Academia: ₦160,000 – ₦620,000 monthly
  • Pharmacists working with Regulatory Agencies: ₦90,000 – ₦125,000 monthly.

Career Opportunities

  • Community Pharmacy
  • Hospital Pharmacy
  • Medical Research
  • Clinical Research
  • Medical Lecturer
  • Medical Sales Representative
  • Pharmacology
  • Science Writing
  • Drug Analysis
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Scientific Data Analysis
  • Drug Therapy
  • Drug Inspection
  • Pathology, etc.

Admission Requirement

To study pharmacy in any Nigerian University, you must fulfill the following conditions.

  • Minimum UTME Score: 260+
  • 5 Credit passes in SSCE: English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.
  • UTME subject combination: Use of English, Chemistry, Physics and Biology

Schools Offering it

  • University of Lagos
  • University of Nigeria
  • University of Benin
  • University of Ibadan
  • Obafemi Awolo University
  • Ahmadu Bello University
  • University of Maiduguri
  • Olabisi Onabanjo University
  • Niger Delta University
  • University of Jos

4.) Petroleum, Chemical Engineering

Expected Market Value earning per month: ₦300,000 – ₦1,000,000

Beyond reasonable doubts, the oil and gas industry is the bedrock of the Nigerian economy; it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. For this reason, graduates of Petroleum and chemical engineering as well as other related courses are being paid handsomely by the firms in this sector.

As an engineer in this field, you can work both in government or private oil companies, and even multinational oil companies – all of which pays huge amount of salaries to their workers.

It is equally important to note that your salary as a Petroleum engineer depends largely on many factors, including the company’s revenue, years of experience, current rank or level, and time on the job. The average salary of a petroleum engineer in Nigeria is around N1million monthly and N12million annually.

Here’s the top paying oil companies in Nigeria and their salaries.

1.) Shell Nigeria: N150,000 to N500,000 for entry level staffs, N600,000 to N1,000,000 to Experienced Petroleum Engineers, as well as N2,000,000 to N3,000,000 to the plant managers.

2.) Total E&P: N7, 000, 000 – N12, 000, 000 annually, depending on the rank/position, job specification, location, and some other basic factors.

3.) Schlumberger Nigeria: N250,000 to N350,000 monthly for Entry Level staffs while the Experienced Petroleum Engineers and Plant managers earn N400,000 to N500,000 and N600,000 to N1,000,000 respectively, depending on certain factors.

4.) Exxon-Mobil Nigeria: Entry level petroleum engineers earn between N200,000 to N400,000 monthly while those with considerable years of experience earn N400,000 to N600,000 in a month.

5.) Total: N200,000 – N500,000 on a monthly basis for entry level staffs and N500,000 – 800,000 to experienced engineers.

Career Opportunities

  • Oil and gas journalist
  • Crude oil and natural gas analyst
  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

Yes Petroleum engineering is among the highly respected courses in Nigeria, but the plain truth is that the oil and gas industry is the major industry they can fit in.

This is not ideal, especially when comparing the course with other engineering courses like Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Chemical e.t.c – all of which are more versatile and appreciated by myriads of sectors in the nation.

Admission Requirement

If you intend studying Petroleum Engineering at the university, below are the admission requirements you must fulfill.

  • UTME Subject combination: English Language, Chemistry, Mathematics & Physics.
  • 5 Olevel credit passes: English Language, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry

Schools Offering it

  • Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE)
  • University of Benin (UNIBEN )
  • University of Ibadan (UI)
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO)
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Calabar (UNICAL)
  • Rivers State University of Science and Technology
  • Covenant University
  • Igbinedion University
  • Bayero University kano

5.) Architecture

Expected Market Value earning per month: N200,000 to N500,000

Coming next on the list of top paying courses in Nigeria is Architecture.

Architects are the specialists who oversee the process of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures.

These specialists are making cool money month in month out, depending on the clients they transact with and other basic factors. They charge as much as #150,000 or even #1,000,000 just for a single job.

Despite how lucrative this course is, it will interest you to know that it is still one of the less competitive courses in Nigeria.

As an architect, there are several Organisations where you can be hired, and this includes Public Works Department, the Archaeological Unit, Housing firms, Town and Country Planning Organization, Architecture Firms, Housing and Urban Development center, to mention but a few.

Aside from the above, you can as well establish your personal studio, design & handle building projects, and maximize your earnings rather than you just seeking for job here and there.

To be candid, you can never go wrong with studying Architecture, provided you did so out of passion.

Career opportunities

  • Landscape architecture
  • Environmental planning
  • Building engineering and management
  • Transport planning
  • Construction management
  • Furniture design
  • Industrial design
  • Interior design
  • Project management
  • Property development
  • Urban design
  • Urban planning
  • Town planning.

Admission Requirement

5 SSCE credit passes: English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and any of Fine Art, Geography or Wood Work, Biology, Economics, Tech. Draw, Further. Mathematics, Introduction to Building Construction, Bricklaying/Block laying, Concreting, Wall, Floors and Ceiling Finishing, Joinery, Carpentary, Decorative Painting, Lining, Sign & Design, Wall Hanging , Colour Mixing/Matching & Glazing, Ceramics, Graphics Design, Graphic Printing, Basic Electricity.

UTME Subject combination: English Language, Physics, Mathematics, and any of Chemistry, Geography, Art, Biology and Economics.

Schools Offering it

  • University of Jos
  • Obafemi Awolowo University
  • Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma
  • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
  • University of Benin (UNIBEN)
  • Covenant University Ota
  • Federal University of Technology, Akure
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO)
  • University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
  • University of Lagos (UNILAG)
  • Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso (LAUTECH).

6.) Finance & Accounting

Expected Market Value earning per month: #100,000 – #500,000

Reviewing the list of lucrative courses in Nigeria without mentioning Finance and Accounting will render this article incomplete and unreliable.

The reason is because both courses are highly-rewarding, especially when you acquire certain professional certifications like ICAN and ACCA in addition to your university degree.

As a certified accountant or finance personnel, you can work in various organizations/sectors across the nation, including airports, banks, churches, hospitals, schools, hotels, supermarkets, etc.

Another thing is that you can serve various purposes in these organizations, ranging from financial manager, accounts officer, auditor, budget analyst, financial or management accountant, tax accountant, investment banker, to mention but a few.

Depending on the kind of company you are working with, you can earn as much as #100,000 – #300,000 or more monthly.

More importantly, it will interest you to know that investment banking is more lucrative than most opportunities in finance.

These set of bankers help different entities [companies, government, and establishments] in selling securities in the primary market in order to raise money for them. The average salary for investment bankers is between #300,000 and #600,000 in a month.

Perhaps you are not obsessed with paid jobs, you can also decide to establish your own financing firm and charge your clients as much as they are ready to pay.

Career Opportunities it

  • Auditing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Budget Management
  • Credit Analysis
  • Environmental Auditing
  • External Auditing
  • Industrial Accountancy
  • Management Accounting
  • Payroll Management
  • Loan management.

Admission Requirement it

  • UTME Subject combination: English Language, Mathematics, Economics and any other Social Science
  • 5 credit level passes in SSCE: English Language, Mathematics, Accounting, Commerce and Economics.

Schools Offering it

  • Federal University of Technology Akure
  • Federal University of Technology Minna
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • University of Benin
  • University of Calabar
  • University of Ibadan
  • University of Ilorin
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Nigeria
  • University of Port-Harcourt.

7.) Geology

Expected Market Value earning per month: #100,000 to #700,000

Yes…Geology is part of the lucrative and high paying courses in Nigeria.
Are you surprised!!!

Well, despite the fact that Geology is not that popular in the nation, those in the field are raking in considerable amount of money on a monthly basis.

Geologists are demanded most by oil and gas companies and often paid almost the same salary with engineers working in the same industry.

Part of their duties may include – studying of the earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms to identify how they have transformed in time past.

They study earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and other related earth structure in order to be sure of ideal and safe areas for construction projects and the likes.

It will interest you to know that geologists also conduct rigorous research regarding earth materials so as to identify minerals, oil, natural gas and water, as well as the most appropriate extraction methods.

That being said, being employed as a geologist in a oil and gas company can fetch you between #100,000 and #700,000 (depending on your level of experience, company you are working with, your certification, and other basic factors).

Career Opportunities

  • Engineering Geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Geoscience
  • Hydrogeology
  • Wellsite Geology
  • Drilling engineering
  • Environmental consultancy
  • Minerals surveying
  • Sustainability consultancy.

Admission Requirement

Want to study Geology in any of the Nigerian universities offering it? Consider the below requirements.

  • 5 SSCE credit passes: English Language, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and any other subject.
  • UTME Subject combination: English Language, and Any three of Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology and Geography

Schools Offering it

  • Adekunle Ajasin University
  • Ahmadu Bello University
  • Bayero University Kano
  • Delta State University
  • Ekiti State University
  • Federal University of Petroleum Resource
  • Federal University of Technology Minna
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Federal University, Oye-ekiti
  • University of Calabar
  • University of Ibadan
  • University of Ilorin
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Nigeria

Wrapping it Up

Just because your course of study is not on this list doens’t mean it is not lucrative or pay very high. As a matter of fact, there are courses that are not on this list that pays a lot in developed nations. I am talking about those that are related to ICT (information Communication Technology).

However, this write up is for Nigerians hence this list of the top 7 and highest paying courses right now in Nigeria right now. Let me know what you think in the comment box.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

8 − three =