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Engineering Average Salaries in South Africa 2020

How much money does a person working in Engineering make in South Africa?

Average Monthly Salary
27,900 ZAR
( 335,000 ZAR yearly)


A person working in Engineering in South Africa typically earns around 27,900 ZAR per month. Salaries range from 15,400 ZAR (lowest average) to 37,100 ZAR (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different Engineering careers. If you are interested in the salary of a particular job, see below for salaries for specific job titles.

Salaries for specific jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Acoustics Engineer29,900 ZAR
Assembly Engineering Technician26,100 ZAR
Assistant Chief Engineer31,800 ZAR
Associate Engineer28,400 ZAR
Autocad Operator23,600 ZAR
Automation Engineer32,400 ZAR
Avionic System Support Engineer28,100 ZAR
Biochemical Engineer31,900 ZAR
BMS Engineer32,100 ZAR
Bridge and Lock Tender28,400 ZAR
Broadcast Engineer34,300 ZAR
CAD Design Engineer27,300 ZAR
CAD Designer22,600 ZAR
CAE Engineer27,400 ZAR
Ceramics Engineer29,000 ZAR
Civil Engineer29,400 ZAR
Commissioning Engineer30,500 ZAR
Communications Engineer32,200 ZAR
Condition Monitoring Engineer26,100 ZAR
Contract Associate Engineer30,300 ZAR
Control Systems Engineer30,200 ZAR
Controls Engineer30,000 ZAR
Controls Software Engineer29,400 ZAR
Corrosion Engineer28,100 ZAR
Design Engineer31,900 ZAR
Drafter22,400 ZAR
Drafting Manager33,600 ZAR
Drilling Engineer28,600 ZAR
Electrical Draughtsman19,400 ZAR
Electrical Engineer32,000 ZAR
Electrical Engineering Manager37,300 ZAR
Electromechanical Engineering Technologist31,200 ZAR
Electromechanical Equipment Assembler26,900 ZAR
Energy Engineer34,500 ZAR
Engine Assembler20,600 ZAR
Engineer29,600 ZAR
Engineering Account Manager27,100 ZAR
Engineering Chief Designer30,900 ZAR
Engineering Consultant33,300 ZAR
Engineering Key Account Manager35,700 ZAR
Engineering Lab Technician25,100 ZAR
Engineering Planning Manager35,700 ZAR
Engineering Production Manager36,100 ZAR
Engineering Project Analyst31,400 ZAR
Engineering Project Coordinator 27,600 ZAR
Engineering Project Director36,100 ZAR
Engineering Project Manager37,200 ZAR
Engineering Research and Development Manager34,800 ZAR
Engineering Safety Coordinator25,900 ZAR
Engineering Sales Manager37,500 ZAR
Engineering Technician27,300 ZAR
Engineering Technologist25,800 ZAR
Environmental Engineer31,200 ZAR
Equipment Engineer28,800 ZAR
Equipment Engineering Manager35,000 ZAR
Estimator28,500 ZAR
Fabrication Specialist24,800 ZAR
Fabricator21,700 ZAR
Facade Engineer30,500 ZAR
Fiber Analyst24,300 ZAR
Field Engineer28,800 ZAR
Field Engineering Manager38,000 ZAR
Fire Engineer31,700 ZAR
Fitter and Turner16,500 ZAR
Forestry Strategic Planner34,800 ZAR
Generation Engineer36,100 ZAR
Genetic Engineer35,100 ZAR
Geological Engineer35,300 ZAR
Geotechnical Engineer33,900 ZAR
Heavy Equipment Mechanic22,800 ZAR
Highway Engineer27,700 ZAR
HSE Professional27,500 ZAR
HVAC Engineer31,000 ZAR
HVAC Supervisor27,900 ZAR
Industrial Engineer29,000 ZAR
Industrial Engineering Technologist28,000 ZAR
Instrument Engineer32,900 ZAR
Instrumentation and Control Engineer30,900 ZAR
Instrumentation Engineer31,500 ZAR
Instrumentation Manager35,700 ZAR
Irrigation Engineer29,000 ZAR
Licensed Aircraft Engineer29,600 ZAR
Locomotive Engineer30,100 ZAR
Maintenance Engineer28,600 ZAR
Maintenance Fitter19,300 ZAR
Maintenance Manager34,400 ZAR
Manufacturing Engineer32,800 ZAR
Marine Engineer27,900 ZAR
Materials Engineer29,100 ZAR
Materials Researcher30,900 ZAR
Materials Technician28,800 ZAR
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer33,800 ZAR
Mechanical Design Engineer31,200 ZAR
Mechanical Designer27,200 ZAR
Mechanical Engineer32,500 ZAR
Mechanical Engineering Manager37,900 ZAR
Mechanical Inspector28,900 ZAR
Mechatronics Engineer27,400 ZAR
Mining Engineer26,500 ZAR
Oil and Petrochemical Engineer34,300 ZAR
Optical Engineer28,100 ZAR
Optical Instrument Assembler25,200 ZAR
PCB Assembler20,200 ZAR
Photonics Engineer33,700 ZAR
Photonics Technician27,400 ZAR
Pipeline Engineer27,600 ZAR
Piping Designer24,500 ZAR
Piping Engineer27,700 ZAR
Planning Engineer28,100 ZAR
Pressure Vessel Inspector18,600 ZAR
Principal Cost Engineer33,000 ZAR
Principal Engineer32,500 ZAR
Principal Support Engineer28,400 ZAR
Process Engineer29,700 ZAR
Process Operator25,700 ZAR
Product Development Engineer32,700 ZAR
Product Development Technician26,400 ZAR
Product Engineer29,300 ZAR
Product Safety Engineer27,700 ZAR
Production Engineer30,500 ZAR
Project Engineer31,500 ZAR
Proposal Manager34,100 ZAR
Purchasing Engineer30,400 ZAR
Quality Assurance Engineer29,400 ZAR
Rail Engineer29,400 ZAR
Robotics Engineer34,800 ZAR
Robotics Technician28,600 ZAR
Safety Engineer29,000 ZAR
Safety Inspector27,500 ZAR
Safety Manager30,900 ZAR
Safety Officer25,200 ZAR
Sales Engineer27,700 ZAR
Scheduling Engineer26,800 ZAR
Service Engineer31,000 ZAR
Solar Engineer31,700 ZAR
Staff Engineer28,800 ZAR
Static Equipment Engineer27,800 ZAR
Stationary Engineer28,100 ZAR
Stress Engineer28,000 ZAR
Structural Analysis Engineer31,000 ZAR
Structural Designer25,200 ZAR
Structural Engineer31,400 ZAR
Structural Technician26,000 ZAR
Supply Chain Specialist31,200 ZAR
Surveyor21,600 ZAR
Technical Affairs Officer23,700 ZAR
Technical Assistant24,600 ZAR
Technical Engineer25,400 ZAR
Technical Support Engineer26,500 ZAR
Tender Engineer27,300 ZAR
Test Development Engineer29,600 ZAR
Transportation Engineer31,200 ZAR
Validation Engineer27,400 ZAR
Verification Engineer26,700 ZAR
Wastewater Engineer27,300 ZAR
Wind Energy Engineer30,600 ZAR
Wind Energy Operations Manager35,500 ZAR
Work Planner23,000 ZAR

Engineering Jobs Salary Distribution in South Africa

Median and salary distribution monthly South Africa Engineering
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Engineering salaries in South Africa range from 15,400 ZAR per month (minimum average salary) to 37,100 ZAR per month (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 26,800 ZAR per month, which means that half (50%) of people working in Engineering are earning less than 26,800 ZAR while the other half are earning more than 26,800 ZAR. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of people working in Engineering are earning less than 19,000 ZAR while 75% of them are earning more than 19,000 ZAR. Also from the diagram, 75% of people working in Engineering are earning less than 30,700 ZAR while 25% are earning more than 30,700 ZAR.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher the wage.

Generally speaking, employees having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than freshers and juniors across all industries and disciplines.

Professionals with experience of more than five years tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

As you hit the ten years mark, the salary increases by 21% and an additional 14% for those who have crossed the 15 years mark.

Those figures are presented as guidelines only. The numbers become more significant if you consider one job title at a time.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Salary Comparison By Education
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It is well known that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We compared the salaries of professionals at the same level but with different college degrees levels across many jobs, below are our findings.

Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

Workers with a certificate or diploma earn on average 17% more than their peers who only reached the high school level.

Employees who earned a Bachelor's Degree earn 24% more than those who only managed to attain a cerificate or diploma.

Professionals who attained a Master's Degree are awarded salaries that are 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, PhD holders earn 23% more than Master's Degree holders on average while doing the same job.

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in South Africa costs anywhere from 157,000 Rand(s) to 471,000 Rand(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support this tactic. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

The decision really depends on your situation and experience among many other factors. Putting all variables aside, if you can afford the costs of higher education then the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Engineering Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender monthly South Africa Engineering
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male employees earn 10% more than their female counterparts.

26,800 ZAR
29,600 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in South Africa for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender monthly South Africa
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Engineering Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in South Africa

How much are annual salary increments in South Africa for Engineering professionals? How often do employees get salary raises?


Engineering professionals in South Africa are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 9% every 17 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 18 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate South Africa Engineering
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

South Africa / All Professions

Annual Salary Increment Rate South Africa
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The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in South Africa is 5%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2019

Information Technology

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in South Africa for the year 2019. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Engineering Bonus and Incentive Rates in South Africa

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate South Africa Engineering
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Engineering is considered to be a moderate bonus-based field due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

50% of surveyed staff in Engineering reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 50% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 5% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Public vs private sector salaries monthly South Africa
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Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in South Africa earn 7% more than their private sector counterparts.

Private Sector
30,500 ZAR
Public Sector+7%
32,600 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Engineering Salary Forecast and Trend in South Africa

How do Engineering salaries change over time? Listed below is a chart that shows the average salary in recent years.

Salary trends and forecast monthly South Africa Engineering
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Average Salary 2016
24,800 ZAR
Average Salary 2017+4%
25,700 ZAR
Average Salary 2018+2%
26,200 ZAR
Average Salary 2019+3%
26,900 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Engineering salaries in South Africa are rising in the year 2020 based on recent submitted salaries and reports. As displayed in the chart, salaries in 2019 are 3% higher than those of 2018. The trend suggests a slow yet continuous increase in pay in 2021 and future years. These numbers may vary from industry to another.

Engineering Hourly Average Wage in South Africa

160 ZAR per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in South Africa is 160 ZAR. This means that the average person in South Africa earns approximately 160 ZAR for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Engineering VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Engineering and Engineering monthly South Africa
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The average salary for Engineering is 11% less than that of All Jobs.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Bloemfontein27,100 ZAR
Cape Town32,500 ZAR
Durban31,100 ZAR
Johannesburg29,900 ZAR
Port Elizabeth28,200 ZAR
Pretoria29,300 ZAR
33190 - 512

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