The most popular job searches in South Africa right now – and what they pay

Jobs website Adzuna has published new data highlighting the most in-demand jobs in South Africa.

The research is based on an analysis of search trends from local job seekers over the six-month period between March to September 2020.

With more than 30.1% of South Africans left unemployed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Adzuna’s data shows that remote working, apprenticeship, and plumber jobs are some of the most in-demand jobs currently.

‘Remote’ is one of the most popular search terms with South Africans actively looking for jobs they can do from the comfort and safety of their own homes, Adzuna said.

Adzuna’s data shows an average salary of R365,135 per year for the 1,100 work-from-home positions being advertised online.

“The majority of remote jobs fall under the IT sector, and opportunities are generally evenly divided between the country’s leading hubs of Gauteng and the Western Cape,” it said.

Adzuna said that the term ‘remote’ was one of the most popular search terms in September, with searches specifying remote locations up 563% since March 2020.

Over the same period, searches for ‘apprenticeship’ roles have increased by 105% as the demand for entry-level positions continues to rise.

These positions do not require a degree or a diploma, highlighting the fact that blue-collar workers have been hard-hit by the pandemic and make up a large chunk of South Africa’s job-seeking community, said Jesse Green, country manager for Adzuna South Africa.

“The concern surrounding Covid-19 are as real today as they were at the start of March this year.

“The pandemic highlighted just how many South Africans are now looking to work from home, even if that means taking a salary cut. It also pushed healthcare roles into the limelight,” he said.

Another strong uptick noticed by the jobs search engine is the variety of individuals searching for jobs that don’t require degrees or diplomas, Green said.

“Enquiries for apprentice roles have increased dramatically since March. Possibly, this is due to the fact that many of these individuals lost their entry-level placements during the peak of the pandemic and are now looking to secure more permanent employment again.”

Demand for trades 

Overall, skilled trade positions are in higher demand among South African job seekers, Adzuna said.

‘Plumber’ was searched for 98% more in September versus March, and ‘electrician’ searches grew by 43%. But with only 241 plumber roles currently available, the chances of securing an opportunity in this field may be slim, and lower-paid trade roles might be easier to find.

The pandemic has seemingly also increased the popularity of some healthcare roles.  ‘Caregiver’ was among the most-searched-for terms across Adzuna in September.

With 2,990 positions available and average annual salaries of R301,481 per year, searches for this specific term are up 85% since March.

Searches for ‘nurse’ and “social worker’ also increased by 28% and 22% respectively, a clear indicator that more and more South Africans are looking for opportunities to help contain and manage the damage caused by Covid-19, said Adzuna.

“There has also been a significant increase in searches specific to teaching opportunities. The term ‘teacher’ was searched for 77% more compared to pre-pandemic data.

“With a vast majority of elderly teachers suffering comorbidities, a new gap in the education sector has opened up, and younger, and qualified teachers are now looking to fill the void with their skills and experience.”

The most prolific role currently available is ‘driver’ with over 7,900 positions on offer across the country.

Driving jobs offer average salaries of R294,755 per year, and the majority of vacancies can be found in the Gauteng province.

At the opposite end of the scale, searches for ‘domestic worker’ and ‘waitress’ have seen decreases of -63% and -57% respectively.

Searches for ‘cashier’, ‘security guard’, ‘receptionist’ and ‘retail’ jobs have all dropped in the six months since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The impact of South Africa opening up more of the economy’s sectors, as well as the country’s borders on 1 October, will likely see more job seeker searches and a greater selection of vacancies as well, said Adzuna.


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The most popular job searches in South Africa right now – and what they pay