15 of the Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa

South Africa Currency

Data from CareerJunction provides an indication of how much one can expect to to earn in 10 major sectors across the country, including the the types of jobs that garner the highest salary.

Based on its comprehensive jobs data BusinessTech looks at the jobs that pay the highest salaries at the top end.

CareerJunction’s data showed that most of the top-paying jobs are in the engineering sector, where a senior civil and structural engineer earns an average salary of R70,300 a month (or just over R843,610) a year.

Aside from engineers, other top-paying positions are commonly found in the Finance and ICT sectors, as well as within the medical field, which was a new addition to the survey.

The group’s data is in line with a post by Jobmail.co.za which found the following titles to be among the best paid: architects, software engineer, accountant, petroleum engineers, and computer and information systems managers.

Additional high paying jobs as cited by Jobmail.co.za and not covered by CareerJunction include lawyers, specialist doctors, air traffic controllers, and airline pilots.

Jobmail.co.za finds that for airline pilots, while the average salary is R372,001 per year, qualified and experienced pilots can expect to earn a lot more.

“Most airlines have a very high turnover rate and you can demand a lot more money when you are being head hunted by bigger airlines,” it said.

For doctors, while the average general practitioner earns about R476,000 per year, this figure skyrockets as you specialise, the recruitment site said. CareerJunction’s data showed that a senior GP can earn as much as R732,000 a year.

Another top paying job is an air traffic controller, due to the stress associated with the position.

“A great amount of concentration is required to keep air ways safe, and diverting air traffic if needed. Air traffic controllers have to reroute both private and public aircraft and ensure that aircraft do not crash into each other. This has to be done in good or bad weather and they are responsible for making sure landing is safe. On top of this, you are responsible if anything goes wrong,” Jobmail.co.za said.

As a reward for the stressful working environment and risky work, air traffic controllers can expect to earn around R583,450 per year.

Jobmail.co.za said that salaries for qualified lawyers in South Africa can go up to R655,000 per annum. “The more years of practice one has, the higher the salary. There is also a great deal of head hunting in this industry as every law firm wants to have the best legal team possible.”

According to Payscale, experienced lawyers can earn up to R729,087 annually, with the highest paying skills associated with this job being commercial, contract negotiation, complex litigation case management, legal compliance, and corporate.

There are the 15 top paying jobs, according to CareerJunction.



JobSectorAverage monthly salaryAverage annual salary
Civil/Structural EngineeringEngineeringR70 301R843 612
Corporate LendingFinanceR69 632R835 584
Technical and Business ArchitectureICTR66 558R798 696
Chartered AccountingFinanceR65 840R790 080
Financial ManagementFinanceR65 322R783 864
Environmental EngineeringEngineeringR64 944R779 328
Mechanical EngineeringEngineeringR63 157R757 884
Hospital ManagementMedicalR61 195R734 340
General PractitionerMedicalR60 998R731 976
Electrical EngineeringEngineeringR60 864R730 368
IT ManagementICTR58 337R700 044
Financial AnalysisFinanceR55 977R671 724
Industrial EngineeringEngineeringR55 842R670 104
Consulting EngineeringConstructionR53 369R640 428
Electronic EngineeringEngineeringR52 879R634 548