10 Best Paying Jobs in South Africa

At the end of the day, we all want to have jobs that we love to do. The next requirement is how much will it pay? You wouldn’t think that the best paying jobs in South Africa are in everyone’s reach, but you might be surprised. It’s worth having a look if some of these jobs might just be right up your alley.

We have compiled a list of the 10 top paying jobs in South Africa.

10 Best Paying Jobs in South Africa

10) Architects

Architects design, plan and oversee the visual aspects of buildings. They are the people that make buildings look great. They also make sure that buildings are practical and use techniques that reduce the costs involved in owning a building, such as electricity and water consumption. To make it in this industry you need to be very creative and have a keen eye for detail. Design architects will earn an average of R231,883 per year. Architects with more than 20 years’ experience will move on to better positions such as becoming the CEO’s of architectural firms.

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9) Software Engineer

A software engineer is tasked with designing and evaluating software and the systems that enable computers to perform their functions. They are also tasked with programming, or coding. Software engineers basically instruct a computer how to perform a desired task. Your average software engineer earns about R295,992 per year, but this figure rises sharply if you have experience and specialized training under your belt.

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8) Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer

Getting into this industry is very difficult. You need a lot of flying hours to become a qualified pilot for any big airline. Unless you are willing to join the military, this is incredibly expensive and time consuming. Here your pay changes drastically depending on your experience and credentials. Your average salary is R372,001 per year, but qualified and experienced pilots in South Africa 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.

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7) Accountant/Auditor

Tasked with examining and preparing the financial records of the company, auditing and accounting positions are one of the best paying jobs in South Africa. Accountants and auditors are responsible for ensuring these records are accurate and up-to-date. Accountants and auditors are often kept on retainer for large corporations and organizations to manage their finances full time. These professions most often require a degree in accounting or a related field, as well as numerous courses depending on the specialization. Your average auditor will bring in about R476,000 per annum.

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6) Doctor/Specialist

Being one of the top paying jobs in South Africa, the salary range for doctors changes greatly based on the medial field you want to pursue. Neurosurgeons, for example, often are at the higher end of the earning spectrum, while a general practitioner would be at the lower end. It is known as a very lucrative position by most. The many years of schooling and then the subsequent long working hours in public hospitals may deter some, but the rewards in the end greatly outweigh this. If you are passionate, caring and not scared of a little blood, you should look at becoming a doctor. Your average general practitioner earns about R476,000 per year, but this figure skyrockets as you specialise.

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5) Actuary

An Actuary is tasked with evaluating the financial impact of risk and uncertainty of a business or corporation. They will have a very strong background in asset management, liability management, business know-how, and analytical skills, as well as an intimate understanding of human behavior. Actuaries can be seen as the “prophets” of a company. They have to predict what impact events will have on the business. Everything from declines in the economy to natural disasters. This job is very stressful and has a high responsibility, because if you are wrong in your predictions, you will cost the company a lot of money. Actuaries in South Africa can expect to earn around R598,055 per year.

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4) Petroleum Engineers

If you want to follow this career path, then you need tremendous dedication and commitment because of the workload and amount of time taken to complete studies. Not only should you be dedicated, but you also have to be willing to travel to rural areas as that’s where the oil is. It’s a constantly changing industry with new opportunities emerging as new oil resources are discovered. The technology is also constantly evolving. If you like spontaneity in your work, then this could be the job for you. The current salary a South African petroleum engineer can expect to earn is R572, 600 per year.

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3) Air Traffic Controllers

Another one of the top paying jobs in South Africa, is an air traffic controller. Being an air traffic controller is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. 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. As a reward for the stressful working environment and risky work, air traffic controllers can expect to earn around R583,450 per year.

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2) Computer and Information Systems Managers

The technology era has swept through the world beyond description. Every aspect of human life has been affected by technology. This has therefore brought a higher demand for competent IT professionals and managers. For those qualified with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree, you could expect to earn a starting salary of R587,230 per year.

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1) Lawyers

It is said that no individual or business organisation are immune from being confronted with legalities that require expert legal understanding and advise. Due to this reason, lawyers are constantly in demand. 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. This really is one of the top paying jobs in South Africa.

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31 Responses

  1. ockert says:

    I’m seeking a any engineer work plies ..I’m hart motivated ..tank u

  2. ockert says:

    Jhb hydraulic

  3. ROBYN says:


  4. I am looking for admin work since I have 12 months experience working with department of higher education and training (DHET).

  5. Ash says:

    I’m studying towards a risk management degree and am finding it difficult to find a position.

  6. klaas says:

    Hi there I’m looking for driving job code 8

  7. goodness says:

    i wnt 2 become an accountant auditor but i dnt a degree and money to move foward i need ur help 2 follow my dream

  8. Sibusiso myeza says:

    Hi I am looking for social work job.

  9. qadi nokwazi says:

    I want to be a lawyer or a bcur nursing because I like to help people when they have problems I solve their problems

  10. Benedict says:

    I want to be a Marketing DIrector but I find it so hard to believe that you guys didn’t put it in the top 10

  11. uviwe jonase says:

    hi there i am a 2nd year law student looking for vacational work

  12. Siya Kosi says:

    GCC engineers earn way more than lawyers.

  13. Jigs guy says:

    Hey I hv a matric nd am look 4 a job driving i hv C1 bt am lookng 4 code8 job

  14. Nontobeko says:

    Can I be a chartered account

  15. SIPHO says:

    Hey I’m SIPHO and about to do grade 11,am really looking forward to achieve my goals in the next coming years..I wanna be a lawyer and am seeking advice on how to achieve it

  16. David says:

    Hi,I’m currently a store manager in a retail store(supermarket)but I m looking for a retail operation manager.advise where can I apply for this position.

  17. Velvet says:

    I’m a 11th Grade student from South Africa,I want to study law and I’m very passionate in whatever I do and im also independent…..I just need a qualified lawyer who can motivate me,I can be reached on this number +27711210380

  18. sizwe says:

    Lawyers? Dats us..bt as much as it is a well paying job, a lot of experience is required and u hv to do your Articles. Ai ai u really HV to work ur butt off to earn that money

  19. Kagiso mithane says:

    Hi im 14 years old n I would like to be an architecture n fashion designer when I grow up but it seems like being a lawyer is awesome but I think it is very hard to study

  20. phumzile khoza says:

    hi there
    i am currently studies criminal justice ..i am looking for a job

  21. sifiso says:

    Hi I am 1st year pharmacy student at UKZN how can I be an industrial pharmacist in 4 years to come.Any advice please?

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi Sifiso,

      This is something we suggest you discuss with your department. They will know in which direction to point you.

      Kind regards,
      The Job Mail Team

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