Connect with us


Jobs that pay the most in South Africa

Published on

Christ The King Hospital

Looking at which jobs pay the most in South Africa and what certain professions who fall under these jobs do, and their average salaries depending on experience.


Knowing which jobs pay the most in South Africa can be beneficial for those who are about to decide which career fields they want to pursue. Many people pick their careers based on how much they can potentially earn, as opposed to having a passion for that field.

This is not entirely a bad way of deciding where you want your life to go, as this can work in your favour in the long run. Looking into jobs that pay the most in South Africa can significantly influence the career field people choose to study and actively pursue.

High paying jobs in South Africa

Most high paying jobs in South Africa are simply not built for the faint hearted, as a majority of them require you to be very smart to handle a certain field of expertise.

They are not always the easiest of jobs and require a tremendous amount of labour and hard work to qualify for and thereafter, specialise in once you are qualified.

This is easy to accomplish for individuals who are suited to such roles, and those who are also willing to put in the work to secure comfortable futures for themselves where worrying about a salary is insignificant.

Jobs that pay the most in South Africa

Some professions in South Africa are known to pay high and will mostly fall under the ICT, financial, medical, management and engineering sectors.

Some of the highest paying jobs in South Africa include: specialist medical doctors, who can earn from R700 000 to R2 million per annum; actuaries who can earn from R597 000 to R1 million; architects who earn from R715 000 to R1.2 million; chartered accountants who earn between R489 000 to over R700 000; lawyers who earn from R41 000 to R1.2 million per year; pilots who earn from R690 000 to R950 000 per year; software engineers who earn up to R1.2 million; sales managers who make anything from R155 000 to R727 000 per year and management consultants who make up to R869 000 per year.

All these are amongst the highest paying professions based on your relevant career experience.

Professions How much they make
Specialist doctor Up to R2 million
Actuary Up to R1 million
Architect Up to R1.2 million
Chartered accountant Up to R700 000
Lawyer Up to R1.2 million
Pilot Up to R950 000
Software engineer Up to R1.2 million
Sales manager Up to R727 000
Management consultant Up to R869 000

What does an actuary do?

Many people do not know or understand what actuaries do. They are basically responsible for calculating and managing risk and uncertainty in businesses.

In problems that may arise from finance and business, they are able to apply analytical and mathematical skills. This profession is in high demand, as there is a scarcity of actuaries in South Africa. Becoming an actuary can take up to nine years.

Actuaries are concerned with risk and any uncertainty assessment and management, and you need to have a strong background in asset management, liability management, business and analytical skills.

What do management consultants do?

A management consultant deals with businesses. They help businesses with their potential to grow by improving their performance. They are able to achieve this by assisting businesses in developing talents that had been previously missing.

They also help companies to grow and develop by assisting through problem-solving and finding new and innovative ways to deal with problems that can help to support the company.

Consultants with between one to four years of experience can start earning an average salary of around R200 000, while more experienced management consultants can earn themselves an average of over R800 000.

What do specialist doctors do and their earnings depending on the specialty?

Specialist medical doctors are in high demand in South Africa. They are professionals who have successfully completed their advanced education in medicine and are now specialising in a particular field of medicine.

Neurosurgeons, for instance, will earn more when compared to general practitioners. Neurosurgeons with between one to four years of experience, can earn on average, R730 000 per year while those with more experience can earn more, potentially up to R2 million per year with more than 10 years of experience.

Cardiologists with mid-level experience can earn up to R1.6 million.

Final thoughts

For people who have yet to decide what career fields they want to pursue for their futures, it is often best to look into jobs you know will pay you well and can offer you a comfortable life and lifestyle if that is ultimately what you are after.

South Africa has a number of jobs that are regarded as some of the highest paying. These are jobs that fall under the ICT, management, financial, medical and engineering sectors.

Professions such as doctors, actuaries, architects, pilots, lawyers, management consultants and software engineers are amongst the highest paying jobs available.