Feb 1

The highest paying jobs in South Africa for 2023

The Future of Work


It’s the start of a new year and people across South Africa are looking for new roles. They’re looking for more secure, higher-paying jobs with better work culture. You may have heard of the global phenomenon known as the Great Resignation. The Great Resignation is the mass exit of skilled and educated professionals from their current positions.


This is due to economic and political instability, crime, and corruption. The phenomenon has also had a significant impact felt locally on the country’s workforce and economy.


The most in-demand jobs are in the fields of technology, finance, and healthcare. Specific jobs include software developer, data analyst, financial analyst, and nurse. Industries such as retail, construction, and manufacturing also employ many people.


High demand jobs

High paying jobs 


Skilled, well-paying jobs such as engineering, finance, and information technology are currently in need of professionals.  


Demand for these candidates is high, but there is a limited supply of qualified candidates. This saturation of available jobs has also led to a widening skills gap. Companies struggle to find the talent they need to compete in a global marketplace. Some sectors, such as mining and manufacturing, have been in decline in recent years.  This has led to a reduction in the number of well-paying jobs available in those industries.


Accounting, banking and financial services professionals showed medium levels of demand. While lawyers and accountants will get well paid, these jobs are not as in demand in a saturated market. 

The high-paying job sectors in South Africa


So what are the highest paying jobs and sectors that are also hiring in South Africa? Generally, these are jobs that need extensive training and expertise. Let’s look at a few of these in more detail now. 


  • Specialist doctors


Specialist doctors are well paid due to high demand and their level of expertise. These specialists often have extensive training and education.  Specialist doctors can negotiate favourable terms and conditions in their employment contracts. This is due to the shortage of medical professionals in South Africa. This further increases their earning potential. Pay varies depending on speciality, location and the type of practice they are working in.


  • Chartered accountants


Chartered Accountants are in high demand and generally earn a good salary. According to Payscale, the average salary for a CA is around R720,000 per year. A qualified CA with no experience yet can expect between R300k and R400k per annum. One you reach manager level, Chartered Accountants can earn over R1 Million per annum. Directors can earn up to R3 Million per year. 

Earnings can vary depending on factors.  This includes location, experience, and the size and type of employer. CA’s working in cities or at larger companies earn more than those in smaller towns or companies. Additionally, CA’s with more experience generally earn more than those with less experience. The earning trends for CA’s are positive and the demand for their skills will continue to grow in the future.


  • Actuarial science


Actuarial science is a specialised and in-demand field in South Africa. As such, Actuarial scientists tend to earn good salaries of around R600,000 per year. Actuarial scientists with more experience generally earn more than those with less experience. Actuaries with qualifications such as FSA, FIA, and ASA earn more than others. The earning trend for Actuaries is positive as demand for their skills grows. 


  • Lawyers


Lawyers’ salaries vary depending on experience, location and employer type. According to Payscale, the average salary for a lawyer in South Africa is around R450,000 per year. Newly qualified lawyers earn less than experienced ones, starting at R250,000 to R350,000. The salary can increase from R500,000 to R700,000 per year for senior associates and partners. Lawyers with expertise in commercial and corporate law can earn more than R800,000.

There is an increased demand for legal skills specialising in technology, according to a report by the recruitment group Michael Page, where “South Africa is a commercial hub for external growth on both national and continental levels”.


  • Judges


Judges in South Africa generally earn a good salary. These range from R2.5 million to R3.5 million. This depends on the level of the court and the judge’s experience. High court judges tend to earn more than lower court judges. The Judges’ salaries in SA is not as high compared to some other developed countries, such as the US. 

There are several reasons why judges’ salaries in SA may be lower compared to other countries. One reason is that South Africa has a lower cost of living compared to other developed countries. Additionally, the government may have different priorities for allocating funds. Another reason is our economy is weaker than other countries. This can affect the budget for judicial salaries. Public sector pay is lower than the private sector, and the judiciary is the public sector.


  • Management consultants


Managing consultants work with organisations to improve their performance and achieve their goals. They can work in a variety of industries and sectors. They identify and solve problems and provide guidance and advice to clients.

To become a managing consultant, you will need a strong educational background. This could be a bachelor’s degree in business, management, or a related field. You will also need several years of relevant work experience. Strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills are also necessary.

Managing consultants’ salaries start low, but with experience and advancement can increase. According to Payscale, the average salary for a managing consultant is R600,000 per year. The earnings are higher in larger consulting firms and in certain industries.

Higher-paying roles such as senior consultant, project manager or partner earn more. Salaries range from R800,000 to R1,500,000 per year. Many consulting firms offer performance-based bonuses, profit-sharing, and other incentives. 


Jobs that are increasingly in high demand & are well paid


The highest paying jobs in South Africa for 2023 1


The job market in South Africa is evolving. Certain jobs have become in demand due to changes in the economy and technology.

Some examples of jobs that have recently become in demand in South Africa include:


Data Analysts and Scientists: Professionals who can collect, analyse, and interpret data.

Cybersecurity Specialists: SA has one of the highest rates of cybercrime in the world. There is a growing demand for protection from cyber threats.

Digital Marketers: Professionals who can create and execute effective digital marketing campaigns.

Renewable Energy Professionals: There is a growing demand for experience in renewable energy. This especially comes as pressure increases for green and renewable technology.

Healthcare Professionals: There is an increased demand for healthcare professionals. This includes doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers.

Developers and programmers: There is a growing demand for developers and programmers. These people create, test and maintain software and applications.


There is a growing demand for logistics and supply chain management. This comes as e-commerce and online retail boom globally. As the world shifts to more remote work, there’s an increased demand for jobs related to remote work. It’s worth noting that this list is not exhaustive, and the job market is changing. Research the job market and stay informed about in-demand job opportunities.


Highest paying jobs in the technology sector


It is well known that the technology sector is expanding. And with this comes new jobs and opportunities. 

Jobs that have global demand have higher salaries. These include software development, Senior Full-Stack Developers, Senior Data Analysts and IT Managers. The good news is many entry-level tech jobs don’t need a university degree. There are many schools and organisations that offer affordable training and upskilling programs. You can transition into the tech space with a coding course or web development course in a few months. 


Stand-out roles in the technology sector


software developers

Software developers


Software developers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining computer software and applications. They use programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, and JavaScript. They use this to create software that runs on computers, smartphones, tablets, and the web.


Some specific responsibilities of software developers include:


Understanding the requirements of the software they are building. They work with stakeholders to understand what the software needs to do, and how it should work.

  • They create a detailed design of software, including its architecture, interfaces, and data structures
  • They write code in a variety of programming languages to install the software design.
  • They test the software to ensure that it works and fix any bugs or issues that they find.
  • They keep the software up-to-date by fixing bugs and adding new features as required.
  • They work with stakeholders to ensure software meets the needs of the business or client.


Software development is a fast-paced field. Developers need to stay current with the latest advancements in technology. This helps them to install new features and improve existing ones.

Software developers create and maintain the software that powers our digital world. Their skills are in high demand across various industries.

According to Payscale, the average salary for a software developer in SA is around R400,000 per year. Entry-level software developers earn less than experienced ones. 

Their salaries start at around R250,000 to R350,000 per year. The salary can increase to R500,000 to R700,000 per year for senior developers and lead developers.

Earnings can be higher in the financial services, healthcare, and technology industries. Software developers with more expertise in certain technologies or programming languages earn more. 

Software developers have the option of working as freelancers. In that case, the earning potential can vary depending on the number of clients and the rate. The earning potential for software developers in South Africa is generally good. The demand for their skills will continue to grow in the future.


Senior full-stack developers


A senior full-stack developer is a type of software developer. They have expertise in both the front-end and back-end. This means they can work on both the user interface and the code that runs on the server. The average salary for a senior full-stack developer is around R800,000. However, the salary can range from R600,000 – R1,700,000 per year.


Senior Data analytics


A data analyst has experience and expertise in analysing, interpreting, and using data. They work in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, technology, and retail. Their analytical and technical skills help organisations make better use of their data. 

According to Payscale, the average salary for a data analyst in South Africa is around R450,000 per year. Entry-level data analysts earn less than experienced ones. Salaries start at R250,000 to R350,000 per year. Tthe salary can increase to R500,000 to R700,000 per year for senior data analysts and lead data analysts.


IT managers


IT managers are also known as information technology managers or technology managers. They oversee technology and computer systems. They are responsible for planning, coordinating, and execution of IT functions. 


Some specific responsibilities of IT managers include:


  • They work with senior management and other stakeholders to install IT strategies. These need to align with the goals of the organisation.
  • They manage the budget, personnel, and equipment of the IT department.
  • They manage and oversee IT projects and ensure that they are on time and within budget.
  • They ensure the security of the organisation’s computer systems and data. They also manage security policies and procedures.
  • They manage relationships with vendors and service providers. They ensure that the organisation gets the best value from its IT investments.
  • They stay current with the latest advancements in technology. The ensure the organisation is using the most appropriate and effective technology solutions.
  • They communicate with stakeholders, including senior management, employees, and customers. They ensure that the IT department is meeting the needs of the organisation.


IT managers play a critical role. The ensure technology systems and resources align with an organisation’s goals. 

According to Payscale, the average salary for an IT manager in South Africa is around R800,000 per year. Entry-level IT managers earn around R500,000 to R600,000 per year. With experience, the salary can increase to R1,000,000 to R1,500,000 per year for senior IT managers and CIOs. 


Marketing and sales jobs


marketing professionals


Another industry that is growing in demand is marketing and sales jobs. These jobs now need a high level of digital skills and data insights. 


Marketing and sales jobs are increasing in demand for several reasons:


  • E-commerce is on the rise. There is a growing need to create and execute digital marketing campaigns. They need skills in selling products and services online.
  • Consumer behaviour is changing. Companies are investing more in marketing and sales to reach and retain customers.
  • Advances in data and technology are enabling companies to better understand their customers. This allows them to target their marketing and sales efforts.
  • The business environment is becoming more competitive. Companies are investing more in marketing and sales to stay ahead of competitors.
  • Businesses are expanding globally. Marketing professionals need a global perspective to navigate different cultures and languages.
  • A growing economy creates more opportunities for businesses to expand. So has demand for professionals who can help reach new customers and grow revenue.


Marketing and sales jobs are becoming more important. Companies need to look for ways to stand out in a competitive marketplace. They need to connect with customers in new and innovative ways.

According to Payscale, the average salary for a marketing manager is around R600,000 per year. The average salary for a sales manager is around R700,000 per year. Entry-level marketing and sales managers often start at around R450,000 to R500,000 per year. Salaries increase to R800,000 to R1,200,000 for senior managers and directors.


If you’re looking to take a step up or into a new industry, sign-up at nomadnow.co 

Complete your profile and get matched with jobs suited to your skills and way of working.

About the author 

Sarah Mason

Sarah is a freelance writer and social media content creator working on brands across industries from recruitment to lifestyle and B2B.
She is also a full time Learning Designer specialising in digital skills, workforce development and jobseeker empowerment in emerging markets across Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Her passion is seeing people and teams thrive, especially within the SME space.

You may also like...

A complete guide to asking for a salary increase    Asking for a raise can feel daunting. We all have ...

Read More
Your complete guide to asking for a salary increase

Your freelancer rates are incredibly important: Here is how to set them right   As a freelancer it can be ...

Read More
How to set your freelancer rates the right way

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss an update!

 Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest trends!