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These South African jobs pay the best (+ each sector)

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A team of South African professionals doing their high paying jobs in an open office space

Lots of money sure can make attaining your dreams easier. High-paying jobs traditionally equated to being a CEO or Doctor.

Fortunately, this is no longer true. With the birth of the internet and the accelerated advances in technology in the past two decades alone, industries we have never before thought profitable are.

Let’s explore some of the highest-paying jobs in various industries within South Africa. 


Pro tip: If you want to do some of your own research to find out how much a specific job title could earn per year, then check out Payscale or Indeed.


Platforms to get salary information


High-paying jobs by industry (in South Africa) 

The first and most crucial step of your career path journey should be to know yourself. Know your strengths and your skills. No one dreams of going to a job they despise. No amount of money can replace the hours of time you spend at a job you do not enjoy. 


Once you are clear on the industry you want to work in or a role that you could excel in, start looking for high-paying jobs within that industry or on a career path that you could follow.


High-paying industries in South Africa


Alright, let’s- check out the best-paying jobs in South Africa so you can find a job that makes a lot of money.


Industry Job  Average Intermediate Salary Average Senior Salary
Building & construction Civil Engineer

Did you enjoy playing with LEGOs as a child? Or seeing a project through from beginning to end?

 A civil engineer designs and oversees the construction of public works, such as roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, buildings, airports, and water and sewage systems.

R 15 000 p/m R 35 000+ p/m

Architects are less involved in the actual building process and instead guide and advise the constructors and engineers with regard to the designs of buildings.

R 18 355 p/m R 36 023 + p/m
Heavy equipment operator

Was your favourite toy a remote control truck? Well, this may be your calling. Heavy equipment operators control machines like bulldozers, hydraulic cranes, forklifts and backhoes.

R 15 635 p/m  R 36 005 + p/m
Legal Intellectual Property Paralegal

Copyrights, patents and trademark law are the game of an IPP. You do not require a LAW degree.

R 35 402 p/m  R 63 703 + p/m
A Lawyer: Attorney to Advocate 

Attorneys work in law firms, write contracts and meet with clients, while advocates are the ones that wear a robe and stand up to argue in front of a judge. 

R 21 779 p/m R 39 851+ p/m 

Judges preside over criminal, civil and constitutional matters in the High Courts, Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.

Passing judgement is not for the faint-hearted, and as a judge, you would consistently need to display patience, open-mindedness, courage, firmness, understanding, compassion, humility and common sense.

R 39 851 p/m R 51872 + p/m
Finance Financial Advisor
Generally, they work with individuals or institutional clients to assess their financial needs and help them achieve financial goals. Is financial planning in your future?
R 16 80 p/m R 50 000 + p/m
Financial Manager

Financial managers perform data analysis and advise senior managers on profit-maximising ideas. Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organisation. 

R 50 374 p/m   R 65 765 + p/m
Investment Analyst

The role of an Investment Analyst is to transfer their interpretation of the stock market and its trends to stockbrokers, fund managers and every day stock market traders. The career profile of an investment analyst is super interesting.

R 45 191 p/m R 65 491 + p/m
Medical & Health Nurse

There are different nursing careers to choose from, and you can continue to specialise and study further during the course of your career. Here’s a list of possible career choices in the nursing field. 

R 13 847 p/m R 34 237 + p/m

Pathologists examine bodies and body tissues and are also responsible for performing lab tests. 

R 28 750 p/m R 50 000 + p/m
Medical Research scientist

Medical research scientists add to the knowledge of existing medically-related products and medicines. It is a highly specialised career choice which will require many years of studying and hard work. 

R 33 334 p/m R 58 419 + p/m
Information technology and software development App Developer

Do you remember a world without apps? Why not contribute to this industry by developing new and innovative ways to live our lives? It is definitely an industry that is showing exponential growth.

R 31 668 p/m R 53 991 + p/m
Web developer

Keen on creating websites? As a web developer, the primary role is to make websites visually appealing and user-friendly. Who doesn’t like making things look good and ensuring that it works equally well? 

R 21 533 p/m R 50 045 + p/m
Computer systems analyst
A systems analyst specialises in analysing, designing and implementing information systems. Big responsibilities equal a high-paying salary. 
R 37 259 p/m R 55 614 + p/m
Sales Sales Manager

Sales managers are responsible for the all-around productivity of the sales team. Your job will include hiring and training sales staff, relaying information from upper management to department staff about sales quotas and generating leads to divide among Sales Representatives.

R 31 512 p/m R 58 018 + p/m
Customer Success Manager

The customer is always right. CSMs ensure that the relationship between the client and service provider remains healthy. Your demeanour and interpersonal skills are pivotal to being a successful CSM

R 22 233 p/m  R 34 673 + p/m
Sales Engineer
Sales engineering is a hybrid of sales and engineering that exists in industrial and commercial markets. Although an engineering degree is not required, it is pivotal that you have fair technical knowledge of the product. 
R 39 510 p/m R 43 593 + p/m
Marketing  Marketing strategist
Brand consistency and increasing sales – this is the job of the marketing strategist.
R 22 508 p/m R 54 632 + p/m
Brand Manager

Brand management is all about brand perception and ensuring that the brand is seen in the best possible way to ensure the intended outcomes of the business. 

R 27 952 p/m R 42 427 + p/m
Content Marketing and Copywriting

Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers.

Copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action.

R 23 035 p/m R 32 341 + p/m
BONUS: Social Media Content Creator

A content creator is someone who creates entertaining or educational material to be expressed through any medium or channel. These days the most common channel is social media. 

R 13 401 p/m R 32 341 + p/m
Social Media Manager
Social media managers are responsible for increasing followers, creating and overseeing social campaigns, producing content, reviewing analytics, and communicating the story of a brand. Is this something you are already doing? Why not monetize it? 
R 16 556 p/m R 30 482 + p/m
Social media influencer
A decade ago, no one would have thought you could monetise your own social media presence. 
R 37 687 p/m  In the world of social media influencers the greater your influence and the higher you can charge for collaborations. 


Final thoughts

It is evident from the above that the more experience you gain within an industry, the higher your remuneration. Money is a highly motivating outcome  – so set the bar high. 

Do the work and invest some time in exploring different industries and the possibilities available to you. Maybe money can buy happiness after all…Good luck.

If you’re looking for a way to make your money go further, why not start by reducing your debt? My Debt Hero helps South Africans go from being over-indebted to debt-free.

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