The highest-paying profession in South Africa is that of specialist doctors, who earn an average salary of around R1.6 million and have the potential to make up to R5 million. Specialists earn significantly more than general practitioners (GPs), who tend to earn between R1.3 million and R2 million per year.
Being a South African doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be making lots of money. The country has been through years of economic hardships and the unemployment rate is still at 25%.
Trying to earn a decent living in this country can be hard, especially if you are new here. Many people are willing to move away from South Africa if they think they can get better opportunities elsewhere.
But if you want to make decent money in South Africa then getting a higher education is one of the best things you can do. It is no surprise that people with bachelor’s degrees or higher earn more than those who have lower qualifications.
A degree also opens up numerous opportunities for you to get a better-paying job. For example, if you are looking for jobs within the IT field you will find that having a degree in IT or Computer Science is extremely beneficial for employers, as it shows that you have the ability to think critically and solve problems.
Earnings vary from profession to profession but generally, the higher your qualification, the more money you will make. Here are the highest-paid professions in South Africa.
Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa
1. Specialist Doctor Salary – R1.6 Million Rands Annually
South Africa is one of the most popular places in the world to study medicine, and the country is home to many prestigious medical schools, and Specialist doctor is the highest-paid profession in South Africa.
The exact salary of a South African doctor varies depending on a number of factors, like which city they work in, how much clinical experience they have, and whether they choose to focus on specialties.
General practitioners (GPs) tend to earn between R1.3-million and R2-million per year, while specialist doctors can make up to R5-million. The average salary for a specialist doctor is around R1.6-million.
The highest-paying province for specialists is Gauteng, where doctors earn an average of R1.52 million gross per annum.
It’s also worth noting that salaries for doctors will increase as their experience and level of expertise increase. Those who are in demand from other healthcare facilities will also be able to charge more for their services.
If you’re considering studying medicine in South Africa, it’s important that you research all your options thoroughly so you can make an informed decision about where gets the best value for money and the highest chances of employment.
2. Software Engineers Salary – 1.2 Million Rands Annually
Software engineers are the backbone of any software development company. They are responsible for writing codes, testing and debugging application code, controlling and fixing bugs and maintaining the application code. This is why it is important to know how much do software engineers make in South Africa.
Software engineers are well paid in South Africa, as they are in most countries around the world. The only difference is that in South Africa, a software engineer’s salary will vary from one company to another and from one city to another.
If you’re interested in moving to South Africa for work, there’s no better time than now! With so many people moving there for work, you’ll have plenty of competition. But with the right skills, you’ll make a lot more money than moving there with little to offer them.
The average annual Software Engineer salary in South Africa is R1.2 million per year. Salaries typically start from R1,000,000 and go up to R3,010,000 annually.
3. Actuarial Scientist’s Salary – R920K Rands Annually
According to Payscale.com, an Actuarial Scientist earns an average of R920,000 per year in South Africa. Salary estimates are based on 1,095 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
Qualification as an actuary is usually gained by completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science or by completing a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Finance.
The largest number of vacancies for this job can be found in Johannesburg, Gauteng and Cape Town, Western Cape.
Tasks performed by actuaries include calculating insurance premiums and reserves for risk management and evaluating financial data to determine the risks and rewards of investment.
Actuarial Scientists can also be involved in product development, marketing studies and underwriting. Actuarial Science is a fast-growing profession in South Africa, especially within the fields of life insurance and healthcare.
4. Architect Salary – 715K Rands Annually
There is no universal architect salary in South Africa but rather a range of architect salaries based on experience, location and specific position. For example, the average architect in South Africa earns between R280k to R550k per year in their first job. The average mid-career architect will earn between R630k and R2.4m per year.
Trying to determine how much an architect will earn in South Africa is difficult due to the many factors that contribute to salary. To complicate matters, the salary for an architect in South Africa will also vary significantly between provinces and cities.
Experience – As a rule of thumb, you can expect your salary as an architect to double every 7 years of experience; Location – Architects who practice in larger cities such as Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg generally earn more than those who work in smaller cities such as Bloemfontein or Port Elizabeth; Position – Architects working at small architectural firms generally earn less than their counterparts working at large firms.
5. Chartered Accountant Salary – 605K Rands Annually
For those who want to start a career in finance, Chartered Accountants are the professionals who can provide them with the right direction. Chartered Accountants are accountants who have been specially trained to be able to deal with complex financial matters.
They are the ones responsible for ensuring that companies remain compliant with the laws of accounting and taxation in South Africa. They also make sure that all firms comply with the rules and regulations of the Companies Act.
The average chartered accountant’s salary in South Africa is R605,000 per year. Some Certified Public Accountants’ careers are more lucrative than others, but the average range is from R403,000 to R909,000 per year.
There are relevant factors that influence your individual salary and it’s a good idea to compare your salary with others in the same position.
What makes the difference between a high and low-paid CA? One of the main factors that attract a higher salary is the job sector. The most lucrative positions are in commercial banking, audit and tax accounting and consulting firms.
These sectors typically pay more because there is greater competition for jobs in these industries and also because they usually demand long hours of work outside normal business hours.
Other factors can also affect your CA salaries, such as working experience and seniority within a company or firm. Chartered accountants with many years of experience can earn R1 million or more per year.
6. Petroleum Engineer Salary – 572K Rands Annually
Petroleum engineers are the brains behind the oil industry. They design and analyze methods of extracting, producing, transporting and storing oil. Petroleum engineering is a highly lucrative field because of the demand for petroleum engineers around the world.
Petroleum engineering jobs are in high demand, which means a higher salary is usually available to petroleum engineers who have years of experience under their belt.
The Petroleum Engineer Salary in South Africa has been sourced from a number of sources including job boards, career websites and company profiles. The average Petroleum Engineer salary in South Africa is R572,000 per year and the most common entry-level positions start at around R400,000 per year.
Petroleum engineers are responsible for carrying out geological research and assessments of petroleum reserves as well as finding drilling sites for oil refineries.
They analyze and interpret data about the location, condition, and nature of underground reservoirs in an effort to locate and estimate the amount of petrol or hydrocarbon deposits.
7. Cybersecurity Engineer Salary – 503K Rands Annually
Cyber security engineers are responsible for safeguarding the systems and data of organizations. The main purpose of this position is to provide protection against computer hackers and cybercriminals.
Their job description includes protecting all computer networks and researching new methods of protection against attacks. Tasks include designing and implementing encryption algorithms, testing the effectiveness of firewalls, maintaining data integrity and managing audit trails.
The average salary for a cybersecurity engineer in South Africa is R503,000 per year. Entry-level positions start at around R250,000, whereas more experienced professionals can expect to command salaries in excess of R200,000 per year.
The highest salary for a cybersecurity engineer in South Africa was ZAR1.5 million. The lowest reported salary was just above the national minimum wage, which at the time of writing is R20,000 per month.
In addition to salaries, IT professionals working in the cyber security engineering field can often also benefit from performance bonuses as well as additional benefits that are not paid remuneration. These can include a company car or fuel allowance and medical aid among others.
8. Pharmacist Salary – 487K Rands Annually
A pharmacist is a registered professional responsible for dispensing drugs to patients and selling medicine. Pharmacists are also known as chemists or druggists. They typically work for pharmacies but can work for hospitals, doctor’s offices, and the government.
Are you considering a career as a pharmacist in South Africa? If so, then you should know that the average pharmacist salary in South Africa is R487,000 per year. In some special circumstances such as working on an isolated post in rural areas, pharmacists can earn up to R600,000 per year.
In the private sector, it is not uncommon for pharmacists to earn more than R340,000 per month. As you gain experience and expertise your salary will increase accordingly.
In order to become a pharmacist, one must complete their tertiary education by either attending pharmacy school or clinical pharmacy training at a university.
Their responsibility is not limited to dispensing medication but also ensuring the safety and appropriateness of medications for the patients before they are dispensed.
Pharmacists may also be required to provide patients with advice on disease prevention, treatment and management. Pharmacists play a key role in educating people about prescription medication as well as informing them about any side effects that may occur from taking over-the-counter drugs.
9. Legal Advisor Salary – 454K Rands Annually
A legal advisor is a person who advises clients on legal matters. A legal advisor must have knowledge of the law, legal statutes, and precedents. They are often employed by businesses and corporations to provide advice on matters related to litigation and arbitration.
Legal advisors are commonly found in corporate law firms and government agencies such as the Attorney General’s office.
Legal advisors perform a variety of tasks that can include researching and analyzing laws and performing clerical work. They may draft contracts, wills, deeds and other documents pertaining to business law.
Legal advisors routinely communicate with clients and other attorneys on behalf of their employer. In many cases, they provide information to clients in written form as well as verbal communication.
Legal advisors in South Africa make between R185,000 and R560,000 per annum. The average salary of a legal advisor is R454,000 per year. This varies depending on the experience, qualifications and expertise of the legal advisor.
Although specific education requirements vary by employer or industry, most employers prefer that candidates have a 4-year bachelor’s degree in law or business administration with courses specifically pertaining to business law or contracts.
Legal advisors employed by the federal government must be licensed attorneys (Juris Doctor). In order to become licensed attorneys, candidates must complete 3 years of practical training at an accredited law school and pass a state-administered bar exam upon graduation.
10. Commercial Pilot Salary – 450K Rands Annually
The job of a commercial pilot requires an understanding of aviation technology and laws as well as effective communication skills. Pilots must also be able to think clearly under stressful conditions.
They must be capable of completing both scheduled and unscheduled tasks quickly and efficiently, have good manual dexterity, and be able to pay close attention to details. Finally, a successful commercial pilot must get along well with coworkers and passengers alike.
The annual salary of commercial pilots in South Africa ranges from R623,000 to R1,830,000. The average salary is R450,000. The salary of a commercial pilot depends on factors such as qualification and level of experience.
Commercial pilots are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. A bachelor’s degree in aviation technology is usually preferred but not required for most jobs.
Commercial pilots must complete all necessary training before being certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Required training includes learning to fly various types of aircraft as well as studying aviation law, meteorology, navigation, aerodynamics, flight planning, first aid and survival techniques. Commercial pilots may also need to attend courses on advanced topics such as aircraft.
South Africa, like most modern countries, has a developed economy with a variety of employment opportunities. The highest-paying jobs in South Africa are listed here, offering clues about the employment market for young professionals.
If you want to earn well when you start your career, keep an eye on the employment opportunities in these fields. The demand for these professions is expected to increase significantly in the next five years.