October 19, 2023
min read

​​Average Salary in South Africa

Krissy Davis

What is the average salary in South Africa?

Avg. salary per year

303,648 ZAR

Avg. salary per month

25,304 ZAR

According to Stats SA and their quarterly employment survey (QES), the average income in South Africa is (gross) R303,648 per year or R25,304 per month. This quarter's data shows a 2.7% decrease from the previous quarter and a 6.8% increase from the first quarter of 2022. 

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What is a good salary in South Africa?

A good salary in South Africa depends on a number of factors, including your experience, education, industry, location and lifestyle. However, according to data from Numbeo, a salary of R30,000 or more per month is considered to be good. This income would allow you to live comfortably in a major city like Johannesburg or Cape Town and have some money left to save or invest.

Of course, there are many people in South Africa who earn less than R30,000 per month, especially in rural areas. This figure is 18.55% more than the average salary levels in South Africa. 

The salaries below have been sourced from Salary Expert and Payscale

Average salary in South Africa by city

City Average Annual Net Salary Population
Cape Town R269,000 4.6 million
Johannesburg R295,000 6.8 million
Durban R226,000 4 million
Pretoria R252,000 2.8 million
Port Elizabeth R212,000 970,000
Vereeniging R194,000 99,000
East London R296,429 270,000
Bloemfontein R187,000 260,000
Kimberley R203,000 230,000
Pietermaritzburg R203,000 840,000
Polokwane R190,000 130,000
Mbombela R215,000 760,000

From the data above, it’s clear that cities with higher populations yield higher earnings. However, this trend is not specific to South Africa but is observed worldwide.

Average salary in South Africa by industry

The South African job market is highly dynamic, with the most in-demand industries constantly changing. However, some industries have remained consistently popular over the years. 

Industry Average Annual Net Salary
Information Technology R302,000
Healthcare R275,000
Finance R398,000
Engineering R589,187
Education R237,000

Average salary in South Africa by Profession

Understanding the average salary of a particular industry can be a useful starting point, but it doesn’t always provide a comprehensive overview. So, we’ve delved deeper to offer a more detailed breakdown of the most in-demand occupations within each industry, along with their corresponding average salaries. 

1. Information Technology

IT is a rapidly growing industry in South Africa, with a high demand for qualified IT professionals. This high demand is driven by several factors, including the digitisation of businesses and the increasing reliance on technology. 

Profession Average Annual Net Salary
Software Developer R474,250
Data Scientist R451,297
Cybersecurity Expert R376,000
Cloud Engineer R626,000


2. Healthcare

South Africa has a healthcare system that covers everyone, regardless of their financial status. Due to the country's significant healthcare disparities and high disease burden, there is a considerable demand for healthcare professionals. Implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI) has further increased the demand for healthcare services.

Profession Average Annual Net Salary
Doctor R585,811
Registered Nurse R258,309
Pharmacist R482,211
Physiotherapist R283,769

3. Finance

South Africa is a significant financial hub in Africa, and there is a considerable demand for finance professionals in the country. The financial sector in South Africa is well-established and varied, providing an array of opportunities. 

Profession Average Annual Net Salary
Accountant R290,925
Auditor R308,673
Financial Analyst R378,687
Investment Banker R486,961

4. Engineering

The engineering sector plays a crucial role in driving South Africa's economy, especially in areas like mining, infrastructure development, and renewable energy. The demand for engineers continuously increases as the country invests in major projects and expands its industrial base.

Profession Average Annual Net Salary
Civil Engineer R359,367
Mechanical Engineer R350,432
Electrical Engineer R374,813

5. Education

South Africa's high demand for educators is influenced by various factors, including the country's young population and the government's dedication to enhancing education accessibility. As a result, there’s a growing need for educators from early childhood to tertiary institutions.

Profession Average Annual Net Salary
High School Teacher R235,305
Lecturer R295,905
Professor R1,119,101

Average salary in South Africa by the highest-paid profession

Although the average salary in South Africa is on the lower end of the global income scale, some professions within the country offer high wages.  

Profession Average Annual Net Salary
Chartered Accountant R498,829
Neurosurgeon R883,353
Corporate Lawyer R540,000
Orthopedic Surgeon R829,102
Cardiothoracic Surgeon R836,228

It's worth noting that salaries can vary widely within each profession. This depends on factors like the job title, experience, and location. For instance, a senior accountant with a decade of experience will generally earn a higher salary than, say, a junior lawyer without experience.

Average Income in South Africa compared to other countries 

To provide a broader perspective on South Africa’s economic well-being, let’s compare salary levels in South Africa to those of other countries around the world. 

Country Avg. Salary % Difference
The United States R1,106,667.29 114.02% more
UK R725,688.97 82.03% more
Singapore R962,162.75 103.9% more
Japan R606,281.15 66.5% more
Russia R276,948.13 9.2% less
Mexico R562,365 59.76% more
Australia R1,086,284.13 112.53% more

​​Average Salary in South Africa

October 19, 2023
min read

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