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20 Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa 2023

Updated on Feb 13, 2023 122100 views
20 Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa 2023

Are you curious to know the highest-paying jobs in South Africa in 2023?

Like most people, one of the things you consider in addition to other factors is how much the mean salary for that career.

A good salary is one of the factors people consider the most before taking a job, because in addition to having a job where they are comfortable, job seekers and employees alike, want a job that pays them more than enough money to be able to take care of their financial demands.

However, while this is an important aspect of doing a job, only very few jobs in South Africa in certain sectors can provide this benefit to their workers, making them the highest-paid in the country.  

According to research by MyJobMag, sectors like management, engineering, ICT, and medicine, provide some of the most paying jobs in South Africa, causing people in these career paths to earn more than workers in other industries.

PS: Salaries defer for each professional based on the level of work experience, qualifications, specialization, city, and company. Some professionals in the same field may take home more salary annually and monthly than their colleagues


PS: Do you know that Cape Town is the highest-paying city in South Africa? Check out top jobs from Cape Town today.


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Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs In South Africa 2023

These are the most paying job in South Africa based on annual salary as compiled from our salary database.

  1. Specialist Doctor: R1,123, 890 p/a
  2. Technical and Business Architect: R871,342 p/a
  3. Petroleum Engineer: R694,700 p/a
  4. IT Manager: R663,539 p/a
  5. Industrial Engineer: R663,347 p/a
  6. Management Consultant: R625,038 p/a
  7. Financial Manager: R619,240 p/a
  8. Actuary: R550,656 p/a
  9. Plant Manager: R510,348 p/a
  10. Project Manager: R500,000 p/a
  11. Software Engineer: R494,730 p/a
  12. Company Secretary: R491,962 p/a
  13. Accountant: R 482,649 p/a
  14. Pilot: R476, 794 p/a
  15. Software Developer:  R462,144 p/a
  16. General Practitioner: R437,527 p/a
  17. HR personnel: R354,000 p/a
  18. Lawyer:  R300,000 p/a
  19. Tax Consultant: R300,000 p/a
  20. Graphic Designer: R246,000 p/a


Highest Paying Jobs In South Africa


Best Paying Jobs in South Africa: Best Careers in South Africa


1: Specialist Doctor

Mean Salary: 1, 123, 890 (one million one hundred twenty-three thousand eight hundred ninety)


Who Is A Specialist Doctor

Specialist doctors are specified in a particular field of medicine, such as heart or bone health. In addition to this, they can also perform surgery.



  • Communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Decision-making Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Resilience
  • Capacity for learning


What Do They Do?

  • Collect, record, and maintain sensitive patient information results, medical history, and records.
  • Perform minor surgery
  • Explain procedures or prescribed treatment to patients
  • Liaise with medical professionals in the community and hospital


Resources For Specialist Doctors:


2: Technical And Business Architect

Mean Salary: 871,342 (eight hundred seventy-one thousand three hundred forty-two)


Who Is A Technical And Business Architect

A practitioner of business architecture, a discipline concerned with the development and maintenance of business capabilities of the enterprise in line with the corporate strategy, including contributing to business strategies and plans.


  • Understanding of business principles and concepts
  • Understanding how the market influences business, differentiating factors of a business, what and how values are created, and how strategy development can be supported.
  • Ability to think about business in an abstract way differentiated from how business can be influenced by technology.
  • Consulting mindset that allows the architect to support strategy development
  • Design thinking enables a synthesizing of  multiple ideas into the big-picture view that shows the connection between business intention and business action
  • Ability to be an agent of change who wields business architecture to agitate and initiate action, and challenge others using business designs and solutions which drives requirement to the business operational and organisational structure.
  • Taking down business rivals’ defences by careful exploitation of their weak points and precision strikes.


What Do They Do?

  • A macro-level business architect establishes principles and governing policies over interaction with suppliers, partners, and all types of outsourcing, while the corporate executives work on the vision, desired target, and benefits the organization brings to the stakeholders.
  • At a strategic level, they supplement the vision of the company with target capabilities, supporting principles and policies, and a current state environmental assessment to provide a contextual rationale
  • At a program level, a business architect translates strategic initiatives into delivery-focused change initiatives
  • At the lowest level, their role is usually replaced by a product owner, scrum master, business analyst, who engages with the program, with the sole aim of communicating architecture and promoting projects alignment with it.
  • They establish dominance in business and winning competitors




3: Petroleum Engineer

Highest Median Pay: R694,700 (six hundred ninety-four thousand seven hundred)


Who Is A Petroleum Engineer?

Petroleum Engineer locates reservoirs of natural gas and crude beneath the earth’s surface and then decides if extracting the resource would be worth the time and money of the company they work for.



  • Entry-level jobs in Petroleum Engineering require a Bachelor’s degree in classes, laboratory work, and field studies in engineering principles, geology, and thermodynamics.



  • Strong technical skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Drive and enthusiasm
  • Numerical and analytical skills
  • IT skills


What Do They Do?

  • Develop ways to inject water, chemicals, gases or steam into an oil reservoir to force out more oil or gas.
  • Ensures that oilfield equipment is installed, operated, and maintained properly.
  • Evaluate the production of wells through surveys, testing and analysis




4: IT Manager

Highest Median Pay: R663,539 (six hundred sixty-three thousand five hundred thirty-nine) per year


Who Is An IT Manager?

IT managers are most responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing activities that have to do with the computer and information systems of a company. They are in charge of the installation and maintenance of hardware and software.



  • Degree in IT with a well-rounded major in computer science, information technology, and management information system.
  • Master’s of Business Administration (preferable)



Skillsets an IT manager should have include:

  • Superior team leadership skills
  • Employee development
  • Intrapersonal communication
  • Strong command of project management principles, procedures, and best practices


What Do They Do?

  • IT planning, fostering innovation and allocation of monetary resources.
  • Direct operational IT planning, planning IT projects, and allocation of manpower responsibilities
  • Oversee the financial aspect of the IT department, including budgeting, purchasing, and budget review.
  • Coordinate IT staffing, including hiring, supervision, scheduling, professional development, and discipline.
  • Collaborate with, and maintain communications with executives and department heads in the organization.
  • Design, implement and enforce the best policies for the IT department or team.
  • Research IT solutions and make recommendations for the improvement of  IT systems and infrastructure
  • Negotiate and approve technology vendor, outsourcing, consultant contract, and service agreements




5: Industrial Engineer

Highest Median Pay: 663,347 (six hundred sixty-three thousand three hundred forty-seven)


Who Is An Industrial Engineer?

Industrial engineers discover ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They design an efficient system that integrates workers, machine, materials, information, and technology, to make a product or product services.



  • Industrial engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Information technology engineering
  • General engineering



  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Listening skills
  • Maths skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Writing skills


What Do They Do?

  • Design an efficient system that integrates workers, machines, materials, information, and technology to make a product or product service
  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flow and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services.
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts and products, and deliver services efficiently
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Put in place control measures to resolve production products and are cost-efficient
  • Discuss with clients about product specification, vendors about their products, management about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of a project.




6: Management Consultant

Average Salary: 625,038 (Six hundred twenty-five thousand, thirty-eight) per year.


Who Is A Management Consultant?

Management consultants, help businesses grow and improve by solving problems and finding out new and better ways of approaching things that could benefit the company.



Bachelor’s degree with a major in: 

  • Business administration
  • Accounting
  • Management

Course work should include:

  • Statistics
  • Communication
  • Ethics
  • Project management

Master’s degree in:

  • Business administration
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Management



  • Teamwork skill
  • Oral and written intrapersonal communication skill
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Analytical skills
  • Flexibility


What Do They Do?

  • Management consultants provide organizations with the following services:
  • Development of coaching skills
  • Process analysis
  • Technology implementation
  • Strategy development
  • Operational improvement services




7: Financial Manager

Average Salary: R 619,240 (six hundred nineteen thousand two hundred and forty thousand) per year


Who Is A Financial Manager

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of a company.



  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Business administration

Master’s degree in:

  • Business administration
  • Finance
  • Economics



  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Initiative
  • Team player
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical skills
  • IT skills
  • Numerical skills


What Do They Do?

  • Produce financial reports
  • Direct investment activities
  • Develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goal of their company.




8: Actuary

Average Salary: R550,656 (five hundred fifty thousand six hundred and fifty-six thousand) per year


Who Is An Actuary

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainties, which could negatively affect both sides of the balance sheet. These risks require asset, liability and valuation management.



Major in degrees such as:

  • Actuarial science
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Business


  • Specialized maths knowledge. Statistics, calculus, probability
  • Keen analytical, project management and problem-solving skills
  • Good business sense. Fiance, accounting, economics
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong computer skills




9: Plant Manager

Average Salary: R510,348 (five hundred ten thousand, three hundred forty-eight)  per year

Who Is A Plant Manager?

Plant managers or industrial production managers are in charge of manufacturing or production facility. They are actively involved in a plant’s daily operation and company long-range plans.



  • 4-year degree in industrial management, business, or any related field.



  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Team player
  • Good leadership skill


What Do They Do?

  • Watch over and organize the daily operation of manufacturing plants
  • Oversee employees productivity and efficiency
  • Makes sure that operations run smoothly, safely, swiftly, and efficiently




10: Project Manager

Average salary: R500,000 (five hundred thousand rands per year)

Who Is A Project Manager?

A project manager is the person in charge of a project and is tasked with planning, executing and monitoring projects.


  • A Bachelor's degree in organisational management, engineering, marketing, finance, information technology or project management
  • A PMP certification 


  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Delegation skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Team-building skills
  • Integrity
  • Competence

What Do They Do? 

  • Project managers are tasked with drawing up project plans for an organization 
  • They oversee the execution of the project 
  • They select team members that would contribute to the project
  •  They ensure that the projects are well done, completed on time and do not exceed the given budget

11: Software Engineer

Average Salary: A software engineer pay is R494,730 (four hundred ninety-four thousand seven hundred thirty) yearly.


Who Is A Software Engineer?

A Software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the designing, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of computer software.

Software engineers are one of the most sought after professionals in South Africa.


Skills Required:

To become one, you’ll need to possess the following skills:

  • Coding and programming:

Be in adept in the knowledge and use of these most in-demand programming languages:

  • Java
  • Python
  • C#./Net
  • Mean
  • Ruby
  • Software Development
  • Object-Oriented Design:

Duties Of A Software Engineer?

A software engineer…

  • Designs
  • Develops
  • Maintains
  • Tests
  • Evaluates
  • Computer software.



To be a good software engineer, you constantly need to learn new things in your field, and also develop your skills. Check out some of these resources:


12: Accountant

Average Salary:  482,649 (four hundred eighty-two thousand, six hundred and forty-nine) per year.


Who Is An Accountant?

An accountant is a professional who records business transactions on behalf of an organization, reports on a company’s performance to management, and issues financial statement.



  • Four- year bachelor’s degree in accounting
  • Master’s degree in accounting



  • Business acumen and interests
  • Organizational skills and ability to manage deadline
  • Team working ability
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • IT proficiency


What Do They Do?

  • Issuing an invoice to a customer
  • Receiving an invoice from a supplier, which involves recording a sale and accounts payable
  • Issuing salary or wage paid to an employee which involves recording an expense and the outflow of cash
  • Reconciling a bank statement which likely produces adjustments to the cash accounts.



13: Pilot

Average Salary: Pilots in South Africa typically earn an average of R39,733 (thirty-nine thousand, seven hundred thirty-three) per month.

Yearly they earn R476,794 (four hundred seventy-six thousand seven hundred ninety-four).


Who Is A Pilot?

Airline pilots transport cargos and people on a flight and fix schedule for an airline. They can also work for tour companies. Or as commercial pilots fly aeroplanes for various purposes such as crop dusting, aerial photography, rescue operations, and other purposes.

Pilots are in high demand in South Africa as there are very few individuals who possess the skills required to do what they do.



  • A good pilot must possess the following core skills:
  • Confidence
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving Skill


What Do They Do?

A pilot can do anything within the range of:

  • Transport people and cargo
  • Fix flight schedule
  • Fly planes for aerial photography, rescue operations, and crop dusting



Being a pilot requires a lot of advanced skills. To brush off on yours, read some of these helpful resources for pilots:


14:  Software Developer

Average Salary: 462,144 (four hundred sixty-two thousand, one hundred forty-four thousand)


Who Is A Software Developer?

Software developers are the brains behind computer software. Some of them develop applications that help people complete tasks on the computer or other devices, and others develop systems that run the devices or control networks.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Application
  • Master’s degree in Computer Application



  • Qualification/certification
  • Computer programming coding
  • Logical thinking/problem-solving
  • Soft-skills
  • Patience and attention to detail
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Teaching
  • Business savvy
  • Knowledge of software development life-cycle
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to develop unit testing of code components or complete applications
  • Creativity


What Do They Do?

  • Design
  • Installation
  • Testing
  • Maintenance Of software systems




15: Company Secretary 

Average salary: The average salary of a company secretary is R491,962 per annum.

Who is a Company Secretary?

A company secretary is responsible for the administration of a company, especially with regards to legal compliance of the board members, executives and members of staff of the company.


  • BA or BCom Degree in Law, Economy, Accountancy or any business course.
  • At the very least, you should have a diploma in Law


  • Multitasking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills 
  • Planning skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • An eye for details

16:  General Practitioner 

How much does a doctor earn in South Africa?

The salary of a Doctor is around R437,527 p/a

Who is a General Practitioner?

In medicine, a  general practitioner is a medical doctor who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients.



  • Bachelor’s degree in medicine
  • Medical degree (4-6 years)
  • Internship (1 year)
  • Residency (1 year or more)
  • Vocational training (3-4 years)

What Do They Do?

  • Diagnose
  • Treat
  • Prevent
  • Diseases and injuries that occur in the general population.
  • Refer patients to specialist doctors for further treatment and diagnosis



17: Lawyer

Average Salary: R300,000( three hundred thousand ) yearly

Who Is  A Lawyer?

What lawyers do, are crucial to everybody in the society, from the government to organizations, to citizens. Everybody needs a lawyer to settle a dispute or conflict for them, defend or vindicate them in a court case and even to give counselling on legal matters.

They interpret the law, to make it more understandable to the rest of us who aren’t lawyers.



  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Pass the law school admission test
  • Earn a Juris Doctor degree
  • Pass the bar examination



  • A deep understanding of the law
  • Analytical ability
  • Attention to detail
  • Persuasiveness
  • Logical reasoning
  • Sound judgement

What Do They Do?

  • Lawyers advise individuals, businesses, and government on legal issues and disputes
  • Represents their clients in court by presenting evidence and making a legal argument
  • Helps clients with the preparation of their will


18: HR Personnel 

Average salary: The average salary of a HR personnel is R354,000 yearly.

Who is a HR Personnel?

A HR personnel recruits, screens, interviews and places workers in an organization. They are in charge of employee relations, benefits payment and training.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource
  • Any recognised degree or diploma in the Human Resources field
  • Honours Degree in Human Resources, Industrial Psychology or Industrial Relations


What Do They Do?

  • Conduct interviews and recruitment exercises
  • Advertise job openings
  • Encourage a healthy working environment for staff and management
  • Handle labour disputes and provide solutions to problems employees present 
  • Plan training and orientation programs for members of  staff


19: Tax Consultant 

Average salary: Tax consultants earn the average of R300,000 per annum. 

Who is a Tax Consultant?

A tax consultant is an individual with the knowledge of tax laws, tax filings and advice people on how to solve any taxation related problem.


  • Bachelor's degree in Finance, Accounting, Economics or Law.
  • Pass the CoTE Professional Tax Examination.


  • Communication
  • Numeracy 
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Web proficiency 
  • Attention to details 
  • Organization
  • Proper time management 
  • Economic literacy 

What Do They Do

  • Tax consultants help file taxes
  • They act as middle men between individuals/organizations and tax agencies 
  • They give legal advice as it relates to taxation 


20. Graphic Designer

Average salary: R246,000 (two hundred and forty six thousand) per year.

Who is a Graphic Designer?

A graphic design creates images or motion picture to create a design either by hand or with computer software for the purpose of communication. 


Unlike other professions, graphic designing is  not strictly certificate based. However, a foundation degree, HND or bachelors degree in computer science, graphic design or other art and design-based course are an added advantage.


  • IT skills - particularly design and photo-editing software
  • Creativity 
  • Time Management skills
  • Organizational  skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Pop-culture awareness 

What Do They Do?

  • Graphic designers create visual images to communicate ideas to consumers 
  • They build the layout and production design for applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines and so on.

Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa FAQs

What are the 5 Top Paying Jobs in South Africa?

The top 5 most paying jobs in South Africa are Specialist Doctor, Technical and Business Architect, Petroleum Engineer, IT Manager


How much is a Software Developer paid in South Africa

The average salary of a software developer in South Africa is R462,144 p/a


What is the highest paying jobs in South Africa?

In South Africa, the highest paying jobs by professions includes: specialist doctors, business architect, petroleum engineers, IT manager .


How much is a doctor salary in South Africa

The average salary of a doctor in South Africa is R437,527 p/a while a specialist doctor can earn up to R1,123,890 p/a


Next Steps:

Now that you know the jobs with the highest salary in South Africa, I bet the next step is to either plan your career around it or start looking for jobs in your chosen area of field if you are a fresh graduate. You can also search by location, such as Jobs in DurbanJobs in Johannesburg, Gauteng. We also have some great resources that can help you. Here is a beginner's guide on how to get a job in south africa.


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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