Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa 2023: Top 10 most Lucrative

Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa, You can better plan your future while pursuing a career if you are aware of the highest paid occupations in South Africa. When picking a career path, factors like your excitement for the industry and if the job matches your skills are just as crucial as the money component of the profession. It would be silly to seek a career solely for financial benefit; one must also be able to appreciate what they do. Insurance has been one of the major businesses to watch out for as it has been expanding quickly in the nation.

The top twenty highest-paying positions in South Africa for 2023 are listed below. Depending on your work experience, talents, and qualifications, your earnings will vary.

You could get some financial information about a vocation that interests you by looking through this list.

The labor market in South Africa is changing quickly due to the emigration of workers from that country to countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. We considered both the pay and the quantity of persons engaged in the industry when compiling the ranking.

Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

1. Specialist Doctors

Average Annual Salary: 1,600,000.00 ZAR

In South Africa, a specialist doctor makes an average salary of R1,600,000. Doctors that specialize are currently the highest paid professionals. They are highly skilled professionals that typically focus on a certain area of medicine. Neurology, cardiology, and urology are a few examples. Because becoming a specialist doctor, like a neurosurgeon, is difficult and expensive, it pays well.

The majority of specialized doctors put in long hours and are always on call, which makes their profession extremely hard and stressful. But the money they make once all the hard labor is done more than makes up for this.

A neurosurgeon is trained to diagnose and treat conditions and injuries involving the brain and spinal cord. An entry-level neurosurgeon makes an average of R730K per year with 1-4 years of experience.

The typical salary for a mid-level neurosurgeon with 5 to 9 years of experience is R780,000 per year, while the salary for one with 10 to 19 years of experience is R2 million per year.

A cardiologist is an expert in cardiovascular care. This can be a wonderful career for you if you don’t mind holding someone else’s beating heart in your hands because it pays very well. In South Africa, a cardiologist with medium experience makes an average of R1.6 million per year.

2. Actuarial Scientists

Average Annual Salary: 1,100,000.00 ZAR

Actuarial scientists in South Africa typically earn R1,100,000.00 annually. Measurements and management of risk and uncertainty in a firm are topics covered by the profession of an actuary. To resolve financial and corporate issues, these experts employ analytical and mathematical abilities. Due to a lack of actuaries in the nation, this is a profession that is in great demand. It might take up to 9 years to become an actuary.

Actuaries might have a variety of educational backgrounds, but they always need to get a postgraduate degree in actuarial science and pass the relevant tests administered by the professional actuarial societies. A young actuary with 0–2 years of experience can expect to make between R350,000 and R450,000 annually. An actuary with four to seven years of experience can expect to make between R500,000 and R800,000 a year, and with 10+ years of experience, they can expect to make between R1,200,000 and R1,700,000.

3. Judges

Average Annual Salary: 2,500,000.00 ZAR

In South Africa, a judge makes an average salary of R2.5 million. Approximately R3 million is earned by the Chief Justice, R2,6 million by the Deputy Chief Justice, R2,3 million by the judges of the Constitutional Court, and R1,9 million by the judges of the High Court. The majority of jobs require you to study and obtain a degree in order to work in that field, however becoming a judge is different.

Before being eligible to become a judge in South Africa, one must have a law degree, pass the bar examinations, and work as an advocate or magistrate for a number of years.

Additionally, you must meet the requirements of the law and practice council norms in order to be qualified for this profession.

4. Chartered Accountant

Average Annual Salary: 1,200,000.00 ZAR

A chartered accountant in South Africa with four to seven years of experience can expect to earn between R800,000 and R1.2 million annually. Being a chartered accountant can be highly taxing, therefore you need to be very efficient and disciplined. Compared to other accounting degrees, the Chartered Accounting title is more valuable and is recognized around the world.

A certified accountant’s duties include offering clients reliable information regarding financial records, auditing accounts, and providing financial advice. Taxation, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery, and insolvency may fall under the purview of a chartered accountant.

In order to become a chartered accountant in South Africa, you must complete an undergraduate degree in accounting science, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or any other undergraduate qualification recognized by SAICA. After that, you must take the CA(SA) board test.

Even though you must pass a qualifying exam after earning your undergraduate degree in order to become a chartered accountant, the career provides a high income and is very gratifying.

A chartered accountant with entry-level experience makes between R550.000 and R750,000.00 annually, but one with mid-level experience makes between R8000.000 and R1.2,000,000.00 annually. An experienced CA makes between R1.6 million and R2.2 million annually.

5. Architect

Average Annual Salary: 715,000.00 ZAR

In South Africa, an architect makes an average salary of R715,000.

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In most nations throughout the world, architecture is not just a well-paying career but also one that relies heavily on critical thinking abilities. This implies that you can still grow by working abroad if you’re not in South Africa. Buildings are planned, designed, and constructed under the direction of an architect. Since an architect’s choices may have an impact on public safety, they undergo significant specialized training. You can study architecture at any university in South Africa that offers the subject program in order to become a licensed architect. For instance, the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment offers courses in architecture.

Architects in their early careers make an average of R277K per year, whereas those with 5 to 9 years of experience get a higher average salary of R715K per year. The average annual salary for an architect with more than ten years of experience is R1.2 million.

6.Biomedical engineers

Average Annual Salary: 730,000.00 ZAR

In South Africa, a biomedical engineer makes an average salary of R730,000.00.

Treatment for injuries and illnesses has greatly improved thanks to biomedical engineers. They have developed better, more sophisticated medical equipment that has simplified difficult surgeries thanks to their skills.

You would need to earn a degree in biomedical engineering or a related discipline to be eligible to work as a biomedical engineer in South Africa. Get an MSc in biomedical engineering after that.

A biomedical engineer in their early careers who has 1-4 years of experience makes, on average, R303K a year. A biomedical engineer with 5 to 9 years of experience makes, on average, R420K per year, while one who has advanced past the mid-career level can make, on average, R734K per year.

7. Sales Manager

Average Annual Salary: 727,000.00 ZAR

In South Africa, a sales manager makes an average salary of R727,000.

Every established company needs a sales manager. They are in charge of a company’s sales growth and making sure that sales goals are achieved. In order to produce sales for the organization, they also manage sales teams, hire, and train them. You require a degree in business administration, statistics, or mathematics to be eligible to become a sales manager. A master’s degree in business administration is a preferred qualification for some firms when hiring sales managers.

The kind of sales departments that sales managers oversee, the businesses that they work for, and their level of industry experience all affect their earnings.

According to reported salaries for comparable sales manager jobs, Absa has the highest-paid sales managers, with annual salaries of R800K.

A midlevel sales manager with 5-9 years of experience earns an average income of R317k p/a, compared to an early career sales manager with 1-4 years of experience. An experienced sales manager may expect to make R727K per year on average.

8. Lawyers

Average Annual Salary: 8500,000.00 ZAR

In South Africa, the average annual salary for attorneys ranges from R650,000 to R850,000.

The eighth position is the legal profession. Since the beginning of time, the legal field has consistently been among the highest-paying occupations. Lawyers have managed to stay at the top of the list of high earners despite the fact that social and economic developments have had a detrimental influence on numerous professions.

This is mostly due to the fact that businesses and individuals will always want legal professionals to assist them in navigating legal systems. The amount of years a lawyer has been in practice as well as the kind of lawyer they are determine their compensation. The highest-paid lawyers are attorneys.

9. Management Consultant

Average Annual Salary: 800,000.00 ZAR

A management consultant’s average annual compensation in South Africa ranges from R250,000.00 to R350,000.00. Midlevel consultants can anticipate annual salaries between R550,000.00 and R800,000.00 with 4–7 years of experience. Management consultants assist businesses in maximizing their growth by enhancing operational efficiency. They achieve this by helping businesses acquire previously lacking talents.

One needs a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a business-related subject to become a management consultant. The general preference is for majors in finance, economics, and accounting. A management consultant needs to be proficient in math and technology. Therefore, if you want to work in management consulting, it would be a good idea to start developing your IT skills today.

10. Pharmacist

In South Africa, a pharmacist makes an average salary of R487,000.00.

The job of a pharmacist is one of the few in which one must always be on the highest alert levels despite requiring little physical labor and a laid-back attitude.

The field of pharmacy is in high demand across the globe. A degree or master’s in pharmacy from an institution recognized by the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) is required to study pharmacy in South Africa.

At order to completely qualify, an internship training program lasting one to two years in a community, hospital, or private pharmacy is then required.

An entry-level pharmacist typically makes R251k per year, a midlevel pharmacist with 5–9 years of experience makes R487K per year, and a veteran pharmacist with 10–19 years of experience makes R688K per year.

11. Cybersecurity Engineer

In South Africa, a cyber security specialist makes an average salary of R503,000.
The significance of cybersecurity has increased since the majority of large enterprises in South Africa have gone digital. Additionally, the rise in the amount of hackers in the digital world has caused many businesses to be on the lookout, which has led to the current high need for cybersecurity engineers.
Businesses are prepared to pay significant fees to anybody who can assist them in securing their technology.

The invention and implementation of safe network solutions that offer security against cyber-attacks, hackers, etc. are the responsibility of the field of cybersecurity.

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A degree in computer science is primarily required to become a cybersecurity engineer.
early in one’s career An entry-level cybersecurity engineer pays R400k annually, whereas those with 5 to 9 years of experience earn R503K annually. An experienced cybersecurity engineer makes an average of R646K per year (10–19 years of expertise).

12. Pilots

Average Annual Salary: 950,000.00 ZAR

They are entitled to a high pay because they have to go through a lot of training and get a lot of qualifications before they can become pilots. In order to become a fully certified pilot in South Africa, you must obtain a CPL license and log at least 200 hours of flight time.

Planes, helicopters, and other types of aircraft are flown and navigated by pilots. However, a pilot’s pay is influenced by a number of variables, including their qualifications, the type of aircraft they fly, and the type of business they work for. In South Africa, the average annual salary for a commercial pilot at entry-level is R690K. An average Mid-level employee with 5 to 9 years of experience can make R850k per year.

In South Africa, an experienced commercial pilot makes an average of R950K per year.

13. Software Engineer

In South Africa, a software engineer makes an average salary of R509,000.00.

The software developers are ranked at position 12. Despite being young, this profession is expanding quickly and is in high demand right now.

Most software engineers are computer science and programming graduates. They are in charge of creating, administering, and designing computer software.

An entry-level software engineer can expect to make R280K per year on average. The typical salary for a mid-level software engineer with 5 to 9 years of experience is R509K per year. A software developer with ten to nineteen years of experience makes, on average, R640K a year.

14. Economists

In South Africa, an economist makes an average salary of R305,000.

The role of economists in business has been increasingly important throughout time. Their main responsibility is to support management in making decisions and long-term planning for a company.

A firm’s business environment must be evaluated by economists in order to address both internal and external elements that may have an impact on the business’s ability to expand.

The business climate in a specific location may have an impact on a company’s decision to invest, produce goods, and hire people. This could involve a company’s level of competitiveness as well as governmental economic policy.

Therefore, economists develop business plans that will enable the company to succeed in that setting.

15. IT Managers

In South Africa, an IT manager has an average salary of R315,000.00.

The demand for technological occupations has increased as our world becomes more digital. The occupation is not only in high demand, but it is also one of the highest paying jobs.

IT managers oversee all of a company’s technological operations. Since all business has transitioned from the traditionally physical way of doing business to one that is totally digital, IT managers play a significant role in organizations today. An education in information and technology is required to become an IT manager. The level of industry experience a manager of information technology has an impact on their pay as well.

The average annual salary for an entry-level IT manager with 1-4 years of experience is R351K. An experienced midlevel employee makes an average of R454K per year. The average annual salary for an IT manager with 10 to 19 years of experience is R576K.

16. Digital Marketing specialist

The marketing industry has undergone significant change in recent years. The majority of businesses have abandoned the traditional method of marketing in favor of leveraging digital channels to promote their names and goods.

The majority of businesses today use social media platforms to their advantage when marketing.

The experts in charge of putting digital marketing into practice use digital channels to generate leads and raise brand awareness.

Company websites, social media, search engine rankings, email marketing, online display ads, and business blogs are just a few examples of the digital platforms that can be leveraged.

Digital marketers frequently enroll in courses on online learning sites like Cousera, Google Academy, and Udemy because the field of digital marketing is relatively new.

However, the majority of digital marketers are self-taught and only enroll in courses for accreditation.

While some colleges lack dedicated programs that solely focus on digital marketing, some of their programs are rapidly adding courses in the field.

A digital marketer in their early careers makes, on average, R212K per year. A digital marketing professional with 5 to 9 years of experience makes an average salary of R399K per year, while those with 10 to 19 years of experience make an average salary of R493K per year.

17. Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic control is unexpectedly one of the highest paying jobs in South Africa right now. While not requiring as much training as being a professional pilot does.

The air traffic controllers maintains the systems of air routes to ensure an orderly, secure, and smooth flow of air traffic. In order to navigate in the skies during poor weather and to keep a safe distance from other aircraft in the sky and on the ground, they carefully cooperate with pilots. Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

In order to become an air traffic controller in South Africa, you must complete training provided by the Aviation Training Academy on behalf of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS). Before becoming certified as an Air Traffic Controller, training takes 4-6 years. Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

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If you have the necessary training, you can land a nice career as an air traffic controller with a respectable wage. The South African Air Forces, the government’s department of transport, and private South African or foreign airlines are all places where you can readily find work.

Early in their careers, air traffic controllers make an average of R239K a year, while those with five to nine years’ worth of experience make an average of R360K. The average annual salary for an air traffic controller in their later years of employment, with between 10 and 19 years of experience, is R25Ok. Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

18. Fashion Designer

Fashion design is still flourishing in a society where glitz and glamour are the new standard. Making and marketing clothing is part of the multibillion-dollar fashion industry.

Due to the country’s growing fashion sector, South African designers have seen some recent growth and recognition in the international market.

Although some fashion designers lack formal training and just have talent, the majority of fashion designers has degrees or certifications in fashion designing or a closely related discipline.

Fashion designing is a well-paid job, but salaries vary according to the fashion designer’s level of exposure and experience in the field.

An entry-level fashion designer makes, on average, R136K per year. A fashion designer with 5 to 9 years of experience can expect to make an average of R339K per year, while one with 10 to 19 years of expertise can expect to make an average of R505K per year.

19. Educators

There is still a severe lack of instructors in the nation, 425 000 being the expected figure. To raise the caliber of its educational systems, South Africa wants to generate more teachers each year.

If you believe that you would enjoy the profession of teaching, starting a career in it would be an excellent idea.

In South Africa, one must hold an education-related degree or diploma to be eligible to become a teacher. It might take 3–4 years to finish this. Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

The average annual salary for early career educators is R201k. A teacher with 5 to 9 years of experience makes an average salary of R225K per year. Whereas, a teacher with 10 to 19 years of experience makes an average salary of R302K per year.

20. Financial advisor

Every area of a nation’s economy depends on financial advisors. To achieve commercial or personal financial goals, this occupation is crucial.

Financial consultants constantly help their clients manage their money well. Financial advisors typically assist individuals or institutional clients in determining their financial needs and achieving their financial goals.

They advise clients on investment choices and clarify tax regulations related to certain assets.

Financial advisors also help their customers select insurance policies that are most suited to their financial objectives and desires.

You must earn a 4-year degree in finance, accounting, business, and mathematics to become a financial advisor. The typical annual salary for a financial advisor at the entry level is R142K.

An experienced person makes an average of R195K each year. A financial advisor with 10 to 19 years of experience typically makes R300K per year. Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

Frequently asked questions

What is a big salary in South Africa?

The numbers from FNB, which depicts a larger definition of someone earning between R15,000 and R40,000 per month, are also in line with this. According to data from BankservAfrica, the average take-home pay in South Africa for October was R15,489. Which is the highest level since the high of R15,670.

What job are in demand in South Africa?

For instance, the finance, technology, engineering, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors have been hiring more people than others.

Which jobs will be in demand in 2030 in South Africa?

The need for IT and data-related skills was emphasized in the 2020 Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum. “Sales, medical and healthcare careers, teaching, food and nutrition, retail and logistics professions, as well as business and management abilities, are all crucial for the future.” Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa


As was just mentioned, there are a lot of lucrative careers available to you right now. It is crucial to start a job that you are passionate about and that pays well. Since there is a good possibility it will last a lifetime. Which profession would you find most suited for you to pursue as a career based on the facts provided above?

While a career’s potential for long-term financial security and stability is important, a high wage is undoubtedly a vital consideration. Having life insurance is a fantastic method to protect your future and the future of your family.

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