Best-Paying Jobs In South Africa

By Keren Mikva AFKI Original Published: June 22, 2015, 8:14 am

The working world can be rough, and everyone wants to move up to the next level to get the bigger paychecks. But while promotions are all good and well, some industries are already ahead of the game when it comes to paychecks. The following fields offer some of the best-paying jobs in South Africa, based on data from from 2013 to 2014.

Sources:,,,,,, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Petroleum Engineers — 572,600 rand ($49,008)

Petroleum engineers are most often concerned with crude oil or natural gas, and the related activities in obtaining or producing them. They often work closely with geologists to maximize the hydrocarbon accumulation, and require a good knowledge of physics, chemical engineering, and mining engineering.

Actuary — 598,055 rand ($51,186 USD)

Actuaries often have math degrees and work as business professionals tasked with evaluating the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. They examine the potential of an uncertain event to happen – such as an earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster – and assess the impact of financial losses. Actuaries must have a strong background in asset management, liability management, business knowledge, and analytical skills, as well as a deep understanding of human behavior.

Air Traffic Controller – 583,450 rand ($49,972 USD)

Air traffic controllers are responsible for the flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system, and need intensive training to maintain safety and order. While it’s an incredibly mentally challenging career, and involves split-second decisions that can have life-or-death impacts, it is also highly rewarding. Air traffic controllers have to be well versed in several disciplines, including area, area radar, approach, approach radar, and aerodrome.

Computer and Information Systems Managers — 587,230 rand ($50,626 USD)

Often called IT (information technology) managers, computer and information systems managers are responsible for all things computer-related within an organization. They direct the information technology goals of an organization, and work towards implementing computer systems to meet those goals. A degree in computer science, often at the graduate level, is necessary for this position.

Doctor/Specialist — 476,000 rand to 616,000 rand ($40,898 – $52,926 USD)

The salary range for doctors ranges greatly based on the specialty. Neurosurgeons often are at the higher end of the spectrum, while a general practitioner would be at the lower end. It is a known as a financially rewarding profession. The years of schooling may deter many from pursuing a medical degree, but the options are limitless once it has been achieved.

Accountant/Auditor — 476,000 rand to 672,000 rand ($41,036 – $57,738 USD)

Tasked with examining and preparing financial records, accountants and auditors are responsible for ensuring they are accurate and filed in a timely manner. Accountants and auditors are often kept on retainer for large corporations and organizations to manage their finances full time. These professions most often require a degree in accounting or a related field, as well as specialized certifications depending on the country.

Management consultant — 392,000 rand to 672,000 rand ($33,680 – $57,738 USD)

Management consultants help evaluate existing organizations and provide expertise on how to improve performance and implement best practices. The recommendations of a management consultant come at a price, but are thought to be offset by a more effective and efficient organization. Depending on the company that is being evaluated, management consultants may have a varied education background, ranging from accounting and engineering to actuarial qualifications, but all must be well versed in business analytics and administration.

Lawyers — 643,440 rand to 672,000 rand ($55,448 – $57,738 USD)

Lawyers bill their clients by the hour for their services. While the salary range varies based on the client – a large corporation will obviously be able to pay more than a single client – it is still very financially rewarding. The training is extensive, however, as lawyers must have undergraduate degrees as well as specialized law degrees.

Airline Pilot/Flight Engineer — 695,800 rand ($59,960 USD)

Pilots and flight engineers are responsible for flying and upkeep of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircrafts that transport both cargo and passengers across the globe. The training is extensive. They must have a strong education background including engineering, physics, mathematics, and more, as well as specialized certifications. Airlines also will conduct their own in-depth training to ensure their personnel are well equipped to their tasks.

Software Engineers — 1.2 million rand ($103,103 USD)

In our increasingly virtual world, it’s no surprise that software engineers have become the best paid-professionals in South Africa. Responsible for the design, development and maintenance of software, software engineers shape the way our computers work and thus, the entire global information system. Though the field is fairly young, it has quickly become one of the country’s most important professions. Software engineers most likely have degrees in computer science and programming, and the higher-paid professionals will also have graduate level degrees and a wealth of professional experience.

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  • Donny

    This is great.

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  • is the figure per month or per year

  • Gordon Hall

    We live in South Africa. We do not have paychecks. That is the American spelling. We have pay cheques. Learn to spell properly or give up journalism.

  • Bobby

    Artisans working at my company earn up to R600k per year. These are people with a diploma and a trade tested certifcate. I myself earn R700k as a technician. So there…

  • loyd

    This is not true, there are no Engineers and technicians.

  • I expected to see architects in the list. looks like the real estate in SA isn’t too lucrative.

  • I think the actual salaries are much higher that this
    . 600K for a systems manager, I think its way higher