Engineering courses can prepare you for finding a job in the industry with arguably the highest employment potential in South Africa.
Of the top 20 skills on the National Scarce Skills List, 13 are engineering-related, and from this list, it is clear that the technical engineering sub-sector offers a wealth of job opportunities.
Here are some of the top skills that South African employers are looking for among five in-demand technical engineering professions according to ADvTECH.
As South Africa’s energy requirements increase, so too does the demand for skilled electricians. Electrical engineering tops the National Scarce Skills List, and this high-growth sector offers an abundance of job opportunities.
Eskom is regarded as one of the top public sector employers in South Africa, and the government is also encouraging private sector participation in renewable energy projects.
With the potential to also work for small businesses or even to start your own business, there can be no doubt that electrical engineering courses can lead to excellent prospects for secure employment and career progression.
An Electrician earns an average salary of R224,919 per year and up to R382,117 according to Payscale.
Fitter and turner
Most of South Africa’s legislative frameworks, including the National Development Plan (NDP), highlight the need for public infrastructure development. One of the main priorities of the NDP is to “increase the number of engineers, technologists, technicians and artisans to support the roll-out of public programmes” related to infrastructure development.
Professionals with technical engineering qualifications that support this aim (such as fitters and turners) are at the forefront of driving this growth, meaning that their skills are in high demand.
A fitter and turner earns an average salary of R228,507 per year and up to R412,013 according to Payscale.
Motor mechanic (diesel or petrol)
Mechanical engineering follows closely behind electrical and civil engineering on the National Scarce Skills List. Although graduates with a mechanical engineering degree are in the highest demand, there is also strong demand for people with technical qualifications in the field.
Motor mechanic qualifications, for example, can open up a wide variety of career options, equipping you for work at mining, transport, automotive, or construction companies.
An Automobile Mechanic earns an average salary of R118,644 per year and up to R219,470 according to Payscale.
The average pay for a Diesel Mechanic is R221,868 per year, going up to R381,44.
Millwright and boilermaker
Large industries form the backbone of South Africa’s economy, so technicians working in the industrial engineering sector are always highly valued. Qualified millwrights and boilermakers have important roles to play in the broader industrial engineering industry.
If you have the skills needed to work as a millwright or boilermaker, or if you have other skills related to industrial engineering, then there should be plenty of job opportunities out there for you.
A Millwright in Johannesburg earns an average salary of R301,647 per year and up to R462,861 according to Payscale.
With the development of increasingly sophisticated technology, people with the knowledge and expertise needed to use these technologies are highly sought after. Working in two of the most in-demand fields in South Africa, energy and mechanical engineering technologists are especially well-paid.
Engineering courses may give you a general insight into these professions, but a BTech qualification would probably be a better path to follow should you want to attract the attention of employers.
An engineering technologist earns an average salary of R295,225 per year and up to R575,784 according to Payscale.