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Lawyer Average Salary in South Africa 2024

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

Average Monthly Salary
60,600 ZAR
( 727,000 ZAR yearly)

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 as Lawyer in South Africa typically earns around 60,600 ZAR. Salaries range from 29,700 ZAR (lowest) to 94,600 ZAR (highest).

Salary Variance

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

Lawyer Pay Scale and Salaries in South Africa

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

5% of people earn
56,200 ZAR or more
10% of people earn
49,700 to 56,200 ZAR
20% of people earn
35,200 ZAR or less
65% of people earn
35,200 to 49,700 ZAR
Minimum Salary
29,700 ZAR
56,500 ZAR
94,600 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 for the position Lawyer in South Africa range from 29,700 ZAR (starting salary) to 94,600 ZAR (maximum salary). It should be noted that the given figure is not the legally mandated minimum wage; rather, it represents the lowest figure reported in a salary survey that included thousands of participants and professionals from all regions of the country.

  • Median Salary

    With a median salary of 56,500 ZAR, half of the professionals who work as Lawyer in South Africa earn less than this amount, and the other half earn more. The median salary denotes the middle value of salaries. Ideally, you would want to belong to the group earning more than the median salary, located on the right side of the salary distribution graph.

  • Percentiles and Salary Scale

    The median is closely associated with two other values known as the 25th and 75th percentiles. By examining the salary distribution chart, it can be determined that 25% of professionals employed as Lawyer in South Africa earn less than 46,200 ZAR, while 75% earn more. Similarly, the chart shows that 75% earn less than 64,700 ZAR while 25% earn more.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    To provide a better understanding of expected salaries, we categorized the frequently occurring salaries into different ranges. This approach provides a more precise representation of salary distribution for the job title Lawyer in South Africa compared to simply calculating the average. The majority of reported salaries, approximately 65%, fall within the range of 35,200 ZAR to 49,700 ZAR. About 20% of salaries are below the 35,200 ZAR mark, while 10% fall within the range of 49,700 ZAR to 56,200 ZAR. Only 5% of individuals have salaries exceeding 56,200 ZAR.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience / Lawyer / South Africa

How do experience and age affect pay?

0 - 2 Years
35,200 ZAR
2 - 5 Years+29%
45,300 ZAR
5 - 10 Years+38%
62,500 ZAR
10 - 15 Years+24%
77,400 ZAR
15 - 20 Years+7%
82,900 ZAR
20+ Years+7%
88,400 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by years of experience monthly South Africa Lawyer
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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. We broke down salaries by experience level for people working as Lawyer and this is what we found.

All salary figures displayed here are per month except when noted otherwise.

Employees with less than two years of experience earn approximately 35,200 ZAR.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 45,300 ZAR, 29% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 62,500 ZAR, 38% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

Additionally, professionals whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 77,400 ZAR, 24% 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 82,900 ZAR, 7% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 88,400 ZAR, 7% more than people with fifteen to twenty 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.

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Salary Comparison By Education / Lawyer / South Africa

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary variance between different education levels of professionals working as Lawyer.

Bachelor's Degree
41,400 ZAR
Master's Degree+38%
56,900 ZAR
93,300 ZAR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by education level monthly South Africa Lawyer
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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 salaries by education level for the position Lawyer in order to make a comparison.

Level 1: Bachelor's Degree

Employees at this education level have an average salary of 41,400 ZAR.

Level 2: Master's Degree

At this level, the average salary becomes 56,900 ZAR, 38% more than the previous level.

Level 3: PhD

At this level, the average salary becomes 93,300 ZAR, 64% more than the previous level.

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 156,000 ZAR to 469,000 ZAR 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 to a higher-paying job. The numbers seem to support the theory. 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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Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / Lawyer / South Africa

Salary comparison by gender South Africa Lawyer 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? For the people who work as Lawyer in South Africa, the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 8%.

62,600 ZAR
58,000 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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Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage / Lawyer / South Africa

How much are annual salary increments in South Africa for individuals working as Lawyer? How often do employees get salary raises?

Individuals working as Lawyer in South Africa are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 12% every 18 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 18 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate South Africa Lawyer
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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 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 / Lawyer / South Africa

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate South Africa Lawyer
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18% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 82% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 5% to 9% 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.

Average Hourly Wage / Lawyer / South Africa

350 ZAR per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) for individuals working as Lawyer in South Africa is 350 ZAR.This is the rate they get 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 people working as Lawyer in South Africa is 170 ZAR. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Administrative Law Judge86,700 ZAR+43%
Arbitrator41,600 ZAR-31%
Associate Attorney43,400 ZAR-28%
Attorney61,000 ZAR+1%
Bailiff19,400 ZAR-68%
Barrister17,300 ZAR-71%
Blockchain Lawyer45,800 ZAR-24%
Candidate Attorney35,600 ZAR-41%
Conciliator31,100 ZAR-49%
Contracts Associate20,200 ZAR-67%
Contracts Manager36,100 ZAR-40%
Contracts Negotiator28,800 ZAR-52%
Contracts Specialist20,300 ZAR-67%
Conveyancing Secretary17,000 ZAR-72%
Corporate Counsel45,600 ZAR-25%
Counsel46,800 ZAR-23%
Court Clerk14,600 ZAR-76%
Court Judicial Assistant24,300 ZAR-60%
Court Liaison Specialist28,200 ZAR-53%
Court Reporter23,200 ZAR-62%
Court Representative19,500 ZAR-68%
Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer83,800 ZAR+38%
Data Privacy and Protection Lawyer58,100 ZAR-4%
Digital Forensics Lawyer51,700 ZAR-15%
E-discovery Lawyer60,500 ZAR-0%
General Counsel84,900 ZAR+40%
Genetics Lawyer68,300 ZAR+13%
Immigration Executive41,900 ZAR-31%
In House Counsel45,400 ZAR-25%
Intellectual Property Lawyer61,400 ZAR+1%
Intellectual Property Specialist31,100 ZAR-49%
Judge Advocate69,500 ZAR+15%
Law Clerk14,000 ZAR-77%
Lawyer60,600 ZAR-0%
Legal Administrative Assistant16,500 ZAR-73%
Legal Advisor37,800 ZAR-38%
Legal Assistant16,400 ZAR-73%
Legal Associate30,600 ZAR-50%
Legal Compliance Officer40,100 ZAR-34%
Legal Consultant40,400 ZAR-33%
Legal Content Writer33,100 ZAR-45%
Legal Counsel44,800 ZAR-26%
Legal Data Analyst34,000 ZAR-44%
Legal Data Privacy Officer32,600 ZAR-46%
Legal Editor29,100 ZAR-52%
Legal Executive60,600 ZAR-0%
Legal Executive Secretary17,000 ZAR-72%
Legal IP Officer15,400 ZAR-75%
Legal Officer19,400 ZAR-68%
Legal Operations Manager67,300 ZAR+11%
Legal Process Outsourcing Professional37,900 ZAR-37%
Legal Project Manager75,900 ZAR+25%
Legal Risk Analyst58,900 ZAR-3%
Legal Secretary17,000 ZAR-72%
Legal Services Director70,500 ZAR+16%
Legal Services Manager70,700 ZAR+17%
Legal Support Worker12,600 ZAR-79%
Legal Technology Consultant29,500 ZAR-51%
Legislative Liaison29,500 ZAR-51%
Litigation Attorney81,400 ZAR+34%
Litigation Paralegal37,900 ZAR-37%
Litigation Support Specialist39,400 ZAR-35%
Magistrate Judge93,000 ZAR+53%
Paralegal23,500 ZAR-61%
Patent Attorney48,100 ZAR-21%
Privacy Compliance Officer32,300 ZAR-47%
Privacy Lawyer56,000 ZAR-8%
Social Media Lawyer50,000 ZAR-18%
Staff Attorney48,100 ZAR-21%
Venture Capital Lawyer69,000 ZAR+14%
Web Content Lawyer49,100 ZAR-19%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Cape Town72,600 ZAR
Johannesburg61,200 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 for the job title Lawyer in South Africa?

A good and competitive compensation would range anywhere between 56,500 ZAR and 64,700 ZAR. This is a very rough estimate. Experience and education play a very huge part in the final earnings.

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 for a careers like Lawyer in South Africa ranges from 29,700 ZAR to 46,200 ZAR. The base salary depends on many factors including 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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