Top Ten Highest Paying Jobs In South Africa 2023


It cannot be denied that our world has and is still experiencing the advancement of the jet age and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and other technological modes.

So, there is a need to step up in your career field in order to meet up with a fast-changing global world, that is why we have penned down the ten highest-paying jobs and careers in South Africa.



According to a report published by the World Economic Forum, demographic and technological changes may lead to the net loss of about 5 million jobs by 2023.

Despite the ongoing radical changes, there would still be certain occupations or career paths that would still be in demand.

It’s necessary to know where the highest demands for these jobs lie and think about structuring and fine-tuning your career to meet these demands. The ICT, financial and medical sectors have been predicted to maintain relevance come what may in our global world today.

With the vast developmental objectives of South Africa, there is an increasing need for education and training to be enhanced in order to improve the nation’s economy.

Jobs and Careers Market In South Africa

According to the World Bank, South Africa has the worst unemployment in the sub-Saharan African region which had an average of 6.2% unemployment in 2019.

It can be tough to get work as a migrant in South Africa unless you have specific skills and qualifications needed in the country.

Furthermore, Semi-skilled and unskilled jobs are hard to come by and employers prefer to recruit from the pool of unemployed locals. Most working-age expats moving to South Africa tend to have a job offer first before relocating.

That is why we have listed out the top highest paying jobs and careers in South Africa which you can pick from anyone that best suit you.

How To Get A Job Or Career In South Africa

According to the law, all jobs in South Africa must be advertised nationally and will only be opened up to international applicants if a suitable South African citizen isn’t available to do the job.

So there are many ways to begin your job and career search at home. Search engines can be a starting point. For example, MyJobMag, or

Alternatively, you may look to the classified adverts from online publications of South African newspapers like Mail & Guardian online or Times Live.

The Top Ten Highest Paying Careers In South Africa

In no particular order, we have highlighted top paying jobs in South Africa:

1. IT Managers

First on our list of highest-paying jobs in South Africa is ICT. Owing to the rapid technological advancements experienced in the ICT industry, IT managers stand as the biggest gainers.

An IT manager monitors operational requirements, research strategies, and technology solutions and builds the most cost-effective and efficient systems. As the need for efficient technology in order to enhance business operations is on the increase today, there is a higher demand for IT managers and professionals.

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Their job is highly complex and as such, they can expect the starting sum of R620,230 per year. This is expected to grow as their expertise in the profession grows.

2. Pilot

The aviation sector is one of the high-paying jobs in South Africa.

It is a certainty that the work of a pilot is not one that can be done by any other person except one who is as well-trained and just as skillful.

It is indeed a hard career path that requires certain flying hours to become a qualified pilot for any big airline while also having in mind that this also costs lots of money. Qualified and experienced pilots salary in South Africa is R 695,800 per annum.

In conclusion, the average monthly salary of a pilot in South Africa (SA) is R57,983 per month.

3. How Much Does Chartered Accountant Earn in South Africa

Next on our list of top jobs in South Africa is chartered accountancy.

A career in chartered accountancy certainly isn’t for everyone as it requires sacrifice and discipline. It usually takes at least four years of academic study at South Africa’s top universities and another three years of practical training to become a fully certified chartered accountant.

Although all of this educational training are not put to waste as the career is a highly rewarding one, the Average Salary of a Chartered Accountant in South Africa is R434,191 per year.

From the Statistics gathered, the Salary of a chartered accountant in SA monthly is R36,183 per month. This makes CA one of the high-paying jobs in South Africa.

4. Actuary

An actuary is a business professional dealing with risk and uncertainty’s financial impact. Almost every industry is occupied with the market and consumer data and how that information can be used to its advantage.

Risk is involved in every business, but minimizing those risks is one of the obsessions of companies and industries. Thus, an actuary is a rare but highly needed asset in every business or company.

To be an Actuary, you’ll need a math degree. Actuaries examine the potential of an uncertain event – such as an earthquake, hurricane, or another natural disaster – and assess the impact of financial losses.

You must have a strong background in asset management, liability management, business, and analytical skills, as well as a deep understanding of human behavioral patterns.

Experienced Actuaries receive approximately 598,055 per annum and remain one of the highest-paying jobs in South Africa.

5. Specialist Doctors

The healthcare field continues to grow with no end in sight and provides good career opportunities for those in the field.

Medical specialists are doctors who have completed advanced education and clinical training in a specific area of medicine. The salary range for doctors is highly dependent on that doctor’s specialty.

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Neurosurgeons often are at the higher end of the spectrum, while a general practitioner would be at the lower end. Despite the limitless options this career path provides, the years of schooling may stop many from pursuing a medical degree.

But it is a highly rewarding profession, especially with the shortage of qualified medical personnel. Depending on the rank or specialty, specialist doctors receive between R476,000 to R616,000 a year.

6. Software Engineers

As companies experience digital transformation, the need for professionals in ICT increases. Startups and big companies are looking for innovative software engineers to help improve the company’s computer programs.

As such, one of the highest-paying jobs in South Africa is software engineering. Software Engineers manage the design, development, and maintenance of software programs.

Software engineering is a new-generation field quickly becoming one of the country’s most important professions.

These engineers most likely have computer science and programming degrees, and the higher-paid professionals will also have graduate-level degrees and a wealth of professional experience. A Software Engineer earns approximately R1.2 million rand per annum.

Technology is becoming deeply interwoven with business operations, and software engineers might soon become indispensable.

7. Petroleum Engineers

The demand for skilled professionals in engineering will continue to increase in the coming years.

Petroleum engineering combines innovation and exploration, requiring a lot of intelligence and training. Petroleum engineering is a course at the university that requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice to come out victorious.

It is, therefore, one of the highest-paying careers in South Africa. The career path demands tremendous dedication and commitment. The salary of a South African petroleum engineer is R572,600 per year.

8. Management Consultant

Data is at the core of every business as it affects companies’ products and sales.

Management Consultants help organizations to improve their performance majorly through analysis.

They do this by analyzing raw data and trends that can help to predict consumer behavior and existing organizational problems and also help to provide feedback that will create development plans for improvement.

Based on their level of expertise and the company involved, a management consultant can earn between R392,000 rand and R672,000 yearly. This figure makes management consultancy one of the highest-paying jobs in South Africa.

9. Lawyers

Legal matters will always arise while conducting business matters. No individual or business organization is immune from this. Legal matters require expert legal understanding and advice, putting lawyers constantly in high demand.

Starting salaries for qualified lawyers in South Africa are between R643,440 and R655,000 per annum. This increases with more years of practice and higher expertise as they remain one of the highest-paying jobs in South Africa.

10. Air Traffic Controller

This is also another top career in South Africa. Air Traffic Controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that aircraft stay safe distances apart.

Not so many people are willing to undertake it as it is one of the most stressful jobs because a significant amount of concentration will be required to ensure that no aircraft moves in the wrong lane at the wrong time.

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The tasking requirements of this job are also rewarding as air traffic controllers can be expected to earn around R583,450 yearly.

Highest Paying Jobs In South Africa Per Annum And Their Salaries

The table below highlights some of the highest-paying jobs in South Africa in recent times.

# Job name Sector Annual salary
1 Group CFO Banking & Financial Services R2 million – R2.6 million
2 HR Director/Executive Human Resources R1.8 million – R3.2 million
3 Group Treasury Manager Accounting & Finance R1.8 million – R2.5 million
4 CFO/Financial Director (SME) Accounting & Finance R1.8 million – R2.4 million
5 Group Tax Manager Accounting & Finance R1.7 million – R2.2 million
6 CA (SA) Accounting & Finance R1.6 million – R2.2 million
7 Private Equity/Corporate Finance Banking & Financial Services R1.5 million – R2 million
8 Head of Anti-Money Laundering Banking & Financial Services R1.4 million – R1.8 million
9 Finance Director (Large Firm) Accounting & Finance R1.4 million – R1.7 million
10 Head of Internal Audit Banking & Financial Services R1.4 million – R2 million
11 Relationship Manager/Banker Banking & Financial Services R1.3 million – R2 million
12 Strategy Consultant Banking & Financial Services R1.3 million – R1.8 million
13 HR Manager/ Head of HR Human Resources R1.2 million – R1.8 million

Best Career Choices in South Africa

Numerous career choices abound in South Africa. However, your long-term goal should be a determinant factor in choosing the best career.

If you are looking for a guide to choosing the best career in South Africa, consider the list of highest-paying jobs in South Africa above.

You should choose a career that will give you the ultimate satisfaction that you desire, as well as one that can pay your bills.

Highest Paying Jobs in South Africa FAQs

What jobs are in high demand?

However, IT is in great demand following the invention and global trend the world is experiencing. So, IT is in high order as every other sector needs information technology to grow in business.

What is the highest-paying Job in the World?

According to US news, Anesthesiologists earn the highest in the world. However, remember that your payment can be influenced by entry-level qualifications and years of experience.

How much is an Engineer paid in South Africa?

The average salary for a Mechanical Engineer is R 466 662 per year in South Africa. Also, according to, an early career Civil Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average compensation of R326,150 based on 853 salaries. Furthermore, on average, a skilled automotive engineer earns between R26 922 and R32 202 per month in SA, and a senior automotive engineer between R29 917 and R43 333 per month.


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