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Mechanical Engineer Average Salary in South Africa 2020

How much money does a Mechanical Engineer make in South Africa?

Average Monthly Salary
32,500 ZAR
( 390,000 ZAR yearly)


A person working as a Mechanical Engineer in South Africa typically earns around 32,500 ZAR per month. Salaries range from 14,900 ZAR (lowest) to 51,700 ZAR (highest).

This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Mechanical Engineer salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Mechanical Engineer Salary Distribution in South Africa

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

  • Salary Range

    Mechanical Engineer salaries in South Africa range from 14,900 ZAR per month (minimum salary) to 51,700 ZAR per month (maximum salary).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 35,100 ZAR per month, which means that half (50%) of people working as Mechanical Engineer(s) are earning less than 35,100 ZAR while the other half are earning more than 35,100 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 Mechanical Engineer(s) are earning less than 22,500 ZAR while 75% of them are earning more than 22,500 ZAR. Also from the diagram, 75% of Mechanical Engineer(s) are earning less than 46,900 ZAR while 25% are earning more than 46,900 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

Mechanical Engineer Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does experience and age affect your pay?

Salary comparison by years of experience monthly South Africa Mechanical Engineer
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Mechanical Engineer salaries by experience level and this is what we found.

A Mechanical Engineer with less than two years of experience makes approximately 17,000 ZAR per month.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 22,700 ZAR per month, 34% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 33,500 ZAR per month, 48% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

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.

Additionally, Mechanical Engineer(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 40,800 ZAR per month, 22% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 44,500 ZAR per month, 9% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 48,200 ZAR per month, 8% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Mechanical Engineer average salary change by experience in South Africa

0 - 2 Years
17,000 ZAR
2 - 5 Years+34%
22,700 ZAR
5 - 10 Years+48%
33,500 ZAR
10 - 15 Years+22%
40,800 ZAR
15 - 20 Years+9%
44,500 ZAR
20+ Years+8%
48,200 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Mechanical Engineer Salary Comparison By Education

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Mechanical Engineer(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.

Salary comparison by education level monthly South Africa Mechanical Engineer
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Mechanical Engineer salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.

When the education level is Bachelor's Degree, the average salary of a Mechanical Engineer is 19,700 ZAR per month.

While someone with a Master's Degree gets a salary of 38,100 ZAR per month, 93% more than someone having a Bachelor's Degree degree.

Mechanical Engineer average salary difference by education level in South Africa

Bachelor's Degree
19,700 ZAR
Master's Degree+93%
38,100 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

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 the thoery. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Mechanical Engineer Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender monthly South Africa Mechanical Engineer
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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 Mechanical Engineer employees in South Africa earn 17% more than their female counterparts.

29,900 ZAR
35,100 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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Mechanical Engineer Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in South Africa

How much are annual salary increments in South Africa for Mechanical Engineer(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer(s) in South Africa are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 12% every 20 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 18 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate South Africa Mechanical Engineer
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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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Mechanical Engineer Bonus and Incentive Rates in South Africa

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate South Africa Mechanical Engineer
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A Mechanical Engineer is considered to be a moderate bonus-based job 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.

42% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 58% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 2% to 7% 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 Mechanical Engineer 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

Mechanical Engineer Salary Trend and Forecast in South Africa

How are Mechanical Engineer salaries changing over time? Listed below is a chart that shows the average salary in recent years.

Salary trends and forecast monthly South Africa Mechanical Engineer
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Average Salary 2016
28,100 ZAR
Average Salary 2017+4%
29,100 ZAR
Average Salary 2018+4%
30,200 ZAR
Average Salary 2019+4%
31,300 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Mechanical Engineer salaries in South Africa are on the rise in the year 2020 based on recent submitted salaries and reports. As displayed in the chart, salaries in 2019 are 4% 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.

Mechanical Engineer Average Hourly Wage in South Africa

190 ZAR per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in South Africa is 190 ZAR. This means that the average Mechanical Engineer in South Africa earns approximately 190 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.

Mechanical Engineer VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Mechanical Engineer and Engineering monthly South Africa
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The average salary for Mechanical Engineer is 16% more than that of Engineering. Also, Engineering salaries are 11% less than those of All Jobs.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Acoustics Engineer29,900 ZAR-8%
Assembly Engineering Technician26,100 ZAR-20%
Assistant Chief Engineer31,800 ZAR-2%
Associate Engineer28,400 ZAR-13%
Autocad Operator23,600 ZAR-27%
Automation Engineer32,400 ZAR-0%
Avionic System Support Engineer28,100 ZAR-14%
Biochemical Engineer31,900 ZAR-2%
BMS Engineer32,100 ZAR-1%
Bridge and Lock Tender28,400 ZAR-13%
Broadcast Engineer34,300 ZAR+6%
CAD Design Engineer27,300 ZAR-16%
CAD Designer22,600 ZAR-30%
CAE Engineer27,400 ZAR-16%
Ceramics Engineer29,000 ZAR-11%
Civil Engineer29,400 ZAR-10%
Commissioning Engineer30,500 ZAR-6%
Communications Engineer32,200 ZAR-1%
Condition Monitoring Engineer26,100 ZAR-20%
Contract Associate Engineer30,300 ZAR-7%
Control Systems Engineer30,200 ZAR-7%
Controls Engineer30,000 ZAR-8%
Controls Software Engineer29,400 ZAR-10%
Corrosion Engineer28,100 ZAR-14%
Design Engineer31,900 ZAR-2%
Drafter22,400 ZAR-31%
Drafting Manager33,600 ZAR+3%
Drilling Engineer28,600 ZAR-12%
Electrical Draughtsman19,400 ZAR-40%
Electrical Engineer32,000 ZAR-2%
Electrical Engineering Manager37,300 ZAR+15%
Electromechanical Engineering Technologist31,200 ZAR-4%
Electromechanical Equipment Assembler26,900 ZAR-17%
Energy Engineer34,500 ZAR+6%
Engine Assembler20,600 ZAR-37%
Engineer29,600 ZAR-9%
Engineering Account Manager27,100 ZAR-17%
Engineering Chief Designer30,900 ZAR-5%
Engineering Consultant33,300 ZAR+2%
Engineering Key Account Manager35,700 ZAR+10%
Engineering Lab Technician25,100 ZAR-23%
Engineering Planning Manager35,700 ZAR+10%
Engineering Production Manager36,100 ZAR+11%
Engineering Project Analyst31,400 ZAR-3%
Engineering Project Coordinator 27,600 ZAR-15%
Engineering Project Director36,100 ZAR+11%
Engineering Project Manager37,200 ZAR+14%
Engineering Research and Development Manager34,800 ZAR+7%
Engineering Safety Coordinator25,900 ZAR-20%
Engineering Sales Manager37,500 ZAR+15%
Engineering Technician27,300 ZAR-16%
Engineering Technologist25,800 ZAR-21%
Environmental Engineer31,200 ZAR-4%
Equipment Engineer28,800 ZAR-11%
Equipment Engineering Manager35,000 ZAR+8%
Estimator28,500 ZAR-12%
Fabrication Specialist24,800 ZAR-24%
Fabricator21,700 ZAR-33%
Facade Engineer30,500 ZAR-6%
Fiber Analyst24,300 ZAR-25%
Field Engineer28,800 ZAR-11%
Field Engineering Manager38,000 ZAR+17%
Fire Engineer31,700 ZAR-2%
Fitter and Turner16,500 ZAR-49%
Forestry Strategic Planner34,800 ZAR+7%
Generation Engineer36,100 ZAR+11%
Genetic Engineer35,100 ZAR+8%
Geological Engineer35,300 ZAR+9%
Geotechnical Engineer33,900 ZAR+4%
Heavy Equipment Mechanic22,800 ZAR-30%
Highway Engineer27,700 ZAR-15%
HSE Professional27,500 ZAR-15%
HVAC Engineer31,000 ZAR-5%
HVAC Supervisor27,900 ZAR-14%
Industrial Engineer29,000 ZAR-11%
Industrial Engineering Technologist28,000 ZAR-14%
Instrument Engineer32,900 ZAR+1%
Instrumentation and Control Engineer30,900 ZAR-5%
Instrumentation Engineer31,500 ZAR-3%
Instrumentation Manager35,700 ZAR+10%
Irrigation Engineer29,000 ZAR-11%
Licensed Aircraft Engineer29,600 ZAR-9%
Locomotive Engineer30,100 ZAR-7%
Maintenance Engineer28,600 ZAR-12%
Maintenance Fitter19,300 ZAR-41%
Maintenance Manager34,400 ZAR+6%
Manufacturing Engineer32,800 ZAR+1%
Marine Engineer27,900 ZAR-14%
Materials Engineer29,100 ZAR-10%
Materials Researcher30,900 ZAR-5%
Materials Technician28,800 ZAR-11%
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer33,800 ZAR+4%
Mechanical Design Engineer31,200 ZAR-4%
Mechanical Designer27,200 ZAR-16%
Mechanical Engineer32,500 ZAR+0%
Mechanical Engineering Manager37,900 ZAR+17%
Mechanical Inspector28,900 ZAR-11%
Mechatronics Engineer27,400 ZAR-16%
Mining Engineer26,500 ZAR-18%
Oil and Petrochemical Engineer34,300 ZAR+6%
Optical Engineer28,100 ZAR-14%
Optical Instrument Assembler25,200 ZAR-22%
PCB Assembler20,200 ZAR-38%
Photonics Engineer33,700 ZAR+4%
Photonics Technician27,400 ZAR-16%
Pipeline Engineer27,600 ZAR-15%
Piping Designer24,500 ZAR-25%
Piping Engineer27,700 ZAR-15%
Planning Engineer28,100 ZAR-14%
Pressure Vessel Inspector18,600 ZAR-43%
Principal Cost Engineer33,000 ZAR+2%
Principal Engineer32,500 ZAR+0%
Principal Support Engineer28,400 ZAR-13%
Process Engineer29,700 ZAR-9%
Process Operator25,700 ZAR-21%
Product Development Engineer32,700 ZAR+1%
Product Development Technician26,400 ZAR-19%
Product Engineer29,300 ZAR-10%
Product Safety Engineer27,700 ZAR-15%
Production Engineer30,500 ZAR-6%
Project Engineer31,500 ZAR-3%
Proposal Manager34,100 ZAR+5%
Purchasing Engineer30,400 ZAR-6%
Quality Assurance Engineer29,400 ZAR-10%
Rail Engineer29,400 ZAR-10%
Robotics Engineer34,800 ZAR+7%
Robotics Technician28,600 ZAR-12%
Safety Engineer29,000 ZAR-11%
Safety Inspector27,500 ZAR-15%
Safety Manager30,900 ZAR-5%
Safety Officer25,200 ZAR-22%
Sales Engineer27,700 ZAR-15%
Scheduling Engineer26,800 ZAR-18%
Service Engineer31,000 ZAR-5%
Solar Engineer31,700 ZAR-2%
Staff Engineer28,800 ZAR-11%
Static Equipment Engineer27,800 ZAR-14%
Stationary Engineer28,100 ZAR-14%
Stress Engineer28,000 ZAR-14%
Structural Analysis Engineer31,000 ZAR-5%
Structural Designer25,200 ZAR-22%
Structural Engineer31,400 ZAR-3%
Structural Technician26,000 ZAR-20%
Supply Chain Specialist31,200 ZAR-4%
Surveyor21,600 ZAR-34%
Technical Affairs Officer23,700 ZAR-27%
Technical Assistant24,600 ZAR-24%
Technical Engineer25,400 ZAR-22%
Technical Support Engineer26,500 ZAR-18%
Tender Engineer27,300 ZAR-16%
Test Development Engineer29,600 ZAR-9%
Transportation Engineer31,200 ZAR-4%
Validation Engineer27,400 ZAR-16%
Verification Engineer26,700 ZAR-18%
Wastewater Engineer27,300 ZAR-16%
Wind Energy Engineer30,600 ZAR-6%
Wind Energy Operations Manager35,500 ZAR+9%
Work Planner23,000 ZAR-29%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Bloemfontein28,500 ZAR
Cape Town35,000 ZAR
Durban32,700 ZAR
Johannesburg30,600 ZAR
Port Elizabeth29,700 ZAR
Pretoria32,400 ZAR
25483 - 41

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