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Average Salary in South Africa 2023

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


Average Monthly Salary
31,300 ZAR
( 375,000 ZAR yearly)

LOW
7,880
ZAR
AVERAGE
31,300
ZAR
HIGH
139,000
ZAR
All salary figures displayed here are per month except when noted otherwise.
All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

A person working in South Africa typically earns around 31,300 ZAR. Salaries range from 7,880 ZAR (lowest average) to 139,000 ZAR (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).


Salary Variance

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



Pay Scale and Salaries in South Africa

Median and salary distribution South Africa monthly
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Salary Structure and Pay Scale Comparison

5% of people earn
59,100 ZAR or more
10% of people earn
46,300 to 59,100 ZAR
20% of people earn
18,000 ZAR or less
65% of people earn
18,000 to 46,300 ZAR
Minimum Salary
7,880 ZAR
Median
27,200 ZAR
Maximum
139,000 ZAR




Median Salary, maximum and minimum salary, minimum wage, starting salary, and the salary range

All salary figures displayed here are per month except when noted otherwise.
  • Salary Range, Minimum Wage, and Starting Salary

    Salaries in South Africa range from 7,880 ZAR (starting salary) to 139,000 ZAR (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher). This is not the minimum wage as per the law, only the lowest reported number in the salary survey that had thousands of participants and professionals from all over the country.

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 27,200 ZAR, which means that 50% of the population in South Africa earns less than that while the other half earns more. 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 and Salary Scale

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of the population in South Africa earn less than 19,600 ZAR while 75% of them earn more. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population earn less than 41,200 ZAR while 25% earn more than that.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    We grouped the most common and recurring salaries into brackets to give more insight into what salary to expect. This method is more accurate than just the average salary and gives more insights into how salaries are actually distributed in South Africa. Around 65% of all reported figures are in the range 18,000 ZAR to 46,300 ZAR. Approximately 20% fall under the 18,000 ZAR cap. Ten percent of wages are from 46,300 ZAR to 59,100 ZAR. Only 5% of people grossed 59,100 ZAR or more.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Salary is primarily determined by the level of experience one possesses, with higher levels of experience resulting in higher wages.

In South Africa, employees with two to five years of experience typically earn an average of 32% more than entry-level and junior workers in all industries and fields.

Individuals with more than five years of experience tend to earn an average of 36% more than those with less than five years of experience.

After ten years of work, salaries increase by 21%, with an additional 14% increase for those who have worked for over 15 years.

These figures should be used as rough estimates, as considering individual job titles can lead to more accurate assessments.


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.
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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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.

The correlation between higher education and higher salary is widely acknowledged, but how much of an income increase can one expect from obtaining a degree?

We conducted a study in South Africa comparing the salaries of professionals with different levels of college degrees who held similar positions in various industries.

Our results showed that individuals with a certificate or diploma earned an average of 17% more than those who only completed high school.

Those who obtained a Bachelor's Degree earned 24% more than their counterparts with a certificate or diploma.

Professionals with a Master's Degree earned 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, those who held a PhD earned an average of 23% more than those with a Master's Degree while performing the same job.


Is investing in a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Is pursuing higher education worth the investment?

Earning a Master's degree or any post-graduate qualification in South Africa is a substantial financial commitment, with tuition fees ranging from 156,000 ZAR to 469,000 ZAR and a duration of around two years. It's important to note that during this period, any salary increases are unlikely, assuming ongoing employment. Salary reviews are typically conducted after completing the program and obtaining the degree.

Many individuals pursue advanced education as a means of transitioning to higher-paying positions, and the statistics indicate that this is an effective strategy. On average, individuals who change jobs after earning a higher degree receive a salary increase of about 10% more than the typical annual raise.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not to pursue advanced education depends on a variety of factors, including the personal situation and experience. However, if one can afford the financial costs of obtaining a higher degree, the return on investment is likely to be worthwhile, with the ability to recoup the costs in approximately a year.



Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / South Africa

Salary comparison by gender South Africa monthly
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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? In South Africa, the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 8% across all career fields.

Male
32,600 ZAR
Female-7%
30,300 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value


Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in South Africa

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

South Africa

Employees in South Africa are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 8% every 18 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate South Africa
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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.

The term Annual Salary Increase usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rare 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%.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

World Average Annual Salary Increment
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Salary Packages and Schemes

Not all compensation increases are reflected directly in the salary. Some companies offer upgraded packages to their staff instead of cash money. The figures displayed here account only for direct increments to the base salary.



Bonus and Incentive Rates in South Africa

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate South Africa
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50% of surveyed staff in South Africa 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
50%
No Bonus
50%

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.


Bonus Rates Comparison by Career Field

Finance
High
Architecture
High
Sales
High
Business Development
High
Marketing / Advertising
High
Information Technology
Moderate
Healthcare
Moderate
Insurance
Moderate
Customer Service
Moderate
Human Resources
Moderate
Construction
Low
Transport
Low
Hospitality
Low

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.

Example:
A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

Example:
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.

Salaries for popular jobs. Salaries by occupations.

Job TitleAverage Salary
Accounting and Finance
Accountant23,500 ZAR
Accounting Assistant18,400 ZAR
Accounting Manager46,300 ZAR
Bookkeeper14,600 ZAR
Chartered Accountant28,500 ZAR
Corporate Treasurer42,900 ZAR
Financial Analyst39,900 ZAR
Financial Manager61,600 ZAR
Internal Auditor29,700 ZAR

Administration / Reception / Secretarial
Administrative Assistant16,400 ZAR
Office Manager27,600 ZAR
Receptionist15,300 ZAR
Secretary14,300 ZAR

Advertising / Graphic Design / Events
Art Director31,900 ZAR
Creative Director32,100 ZAR
Graphic Designer20,500 ZAR
Photographer18,100 ZAR

Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense
Aerospace Engineer41,900 ZAR
Air Traffic Controller36,000 ZAR
Flight Attendant23,000 ZAR
Pilot57,700 ZAR

Architecture
Architect40,400 ZAR
CAD Drafter17,200 ZAR

Automotive
Mechanic11,700 ZAR
Service Advisor21,500 ZAR

Banking
Bank Branch Manager61,200 ZAR
Teller11,900 ZAR

Bilingual
Teacher24,100 ZAR
Translator28,500 ZAR

Business Planning
Business Analyst39,700 ZAR
Business Development Manager51,100 ZAR
Project Manager41,000 ZAR

Care Giving and Child Care
Nanny13,600 ZAR
Nursery Teacher12,200 ZAR

Construction / Building / Installation
Civil Engineer30,700 ZAR
Construction Project Manager55,700 ZAR
Health and Safety Officer14,500 ZAR

Customer Service and Call Center
Call Center Representative11,700 ZAR
Customer Service Manager42,600 ZAR
Customer Service Representative11,800 ZAR

Engineering
Civil Engineer29,900 ZAR
Electrical Engineer32,000 ZAR
Engineer30,800 ZAR
Mechanical Engineer31,500 ZAR

Executive and Management
Chief Executive Officer70,100 ZAR
Chief Financial Officer67,600 ZAR
General Manager55,200 ZAR
Project Manager35,700 ZAR

Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering
Chef21,000 ZAR
Executive Chef24,400 ZAR
Hotel Manager55,800 ZAR
Receptionist12,500 ZAR
Travel Agent19,800 ZAR
Waiter / Waitress9,900 ZAR

Health and Medical
Dentist75,100 ZAR
Dietitian61,300 ZAR
Laboratory Technician25,000 ZAR
Nurse25,700 ZAR

Human Resources
Human Resources Manager48,800 ZAR
Human Resources Officer19,600 ZAR

Information Technology
Computer Technician24,700 ZAR
Database Administrator30,900 ZAR
Developer / Programmer32,700 ZAR
Information Technology Manager54,000 ZAR
Network Engineer29,300 ZAR

Law Enforcement / Security / Fire
Police Officer18,600 ZAR

Legal
Attorney61,000 ZAR
Legal Assistant16,400 ZAR

Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment
Journalist38,300 ZAR

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineer28,500 ZAR
Pharmacist43,200 ZAR

Sales Retail and Wholesale
Cashier12,400 ZAR
Sales Manager57,400 ZAR
Sales Representative21,600 ZAR

Teaching / Education
Elementary School Teacher21,500 ZAR
Secondary School Teacher26,200 ZAR

Average Hourly Wage in South Africa


180 ZAR per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) for all employees in South Africa is 180 ZAR.This is the rate that the average individual gets paid for every worked hour.


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

About The Hourly Pay Rate

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 fixed 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.

What is the minimum hourly rate of pay?

The minimum pay rate per hour for a person in South Africa is 45 ZAR. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Bloemfontein30,400 ZAR
Cape Town36,400 ZAR
Durban34,800 ZAR
Johannesburg33,500 ZAR
Port Elizabeth31,600 ZAR
Pretoria32,800 ZAR

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working in a private company or the government? The difference between the public or government sector salaries and the private sector salaries in South Africa is 7% on average across all career fields.

Private Sector
30,400 ZAR
Public Sector+7%
32,400 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Statistics and Calculation Guide

What is considered to be a good and competitive salary in South Africa?

It is extremely difficult to give an exact figure of a good salary when no specific job is selected, however; an estimate can be provided based purely on the cost of living. A good compensation in South Africa would range anywhere between 27,200 ZAR and 41,200 ZAR.

Gross Salary (before tax) and Net Salary (after tax)

All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

Base / Basic Salary

The base salary in South Africa ranges from 7,880 ZAR to 19,600 ZAR. The base salary depends on many factors including profession, experience, and education. It is not easy to provide a figure with very little information, so take this range with a grain of salt.


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

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn 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


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