35 public sector jobs that pay over R1 million a year

The Department of Public Service and Administration has published its latest salary scales for public sector workers, showing how much they will be earning in 2019.

The new salaries took effect from 1 April 2019, based on the outcomes of protracted wage negotiations with government in 2018.

In 2018 the Public Servants Collective Bargaining Council (PSCBC) secured a 6% to 7% increase for workers in the sectors it covers, along with increases for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 years, based on forward CPI projections from National Treasury.

According to a circular published in March 2019, the projected CPI for 2019/20 is at 5.2%, which means public servants can expect increases ranging from 5.2% to 6.2%, depending on their job level.

Among the jobs listed in the salary document, nearly 50 carry high earning power – pulling in more than R1 million a year, depending on grade and pay level.

Unsurprisingly, most of these are in the medical and technical fields (such as engineering), or various management positions across most departments.

High-paying public sector jobs can be split into two categories – those that have a starting salary of R1 million or more, and those that have lower starting salaries, but the potential to reach over R1 million a year with time and experience.

Starting at R1 million or more

The jobs that start out paying R1 million a year are those that require specialist or technical skills in a specific field.

Medical officers in general are well paid in the public sector, but the salaries listed below also apply for those specialising in dentistry, pharmacology and stomatology (indicated with a *).

Occupation Starting Salary Top earning potential
Head: Clinical Department* R2 161 416 R2 508 414
Head: Clinical Unit* R1 728 807 R2 066 988
Specialist Engineer R1 535 802 R2 195 427
Specialist Litigation R1 285 158 R1 949 880
Specialist Attorney R1 285 158 R1 949 880
Dental Specialist R1 283 601 R1 834 890
Medical Specialist (sub-specialty) R1 283 601 R1 834 890
Clinical Manager* R1 246 842 R1 782 345
Manager: Medical/Dental Services R1 173 900 R2 161 416
Clinical Pharmacologist R1 106 040 R1 834 890
Stomatologist R1 106 040 R1 834 890
Medical Specialist R1 106 040 R1 834 890
Senior Registar (Medical) R1 106 040 R1 156 560
Manager: Pharmaceutical Services R1 089 693 R1 512 009

Potential for R1 million

The jobs listed below show the highest earning potential for the respective occupations. While starting salaries are below the R1 million mark, the jobs do pay that kind of salary at the highest levels.

Occupation Top earning potential
Construction Project Manager R1 978 146
Scientific Manager R1 679 301
Chief Professional Surveyor R1 679 301
Senior Family Advocate/ Senior State Law Advisor R1 536 567
Control Quantity Survey Technologist R1 362 366
Medical/Dental Officer R1 362 366
Family Advocate/State Law Advisor R1 266 156
Senior Assistant State Manager R1 192 947
Control Biodiversity Officer R1 192 365
Pharmaceutical Policy Specialist R1 173 900
Senior Legal Administration Officer R1 140 828
Chief Registrar (Legal) R1 140 828
EMS Provincial Manager R1 106 040
Manager of Community Development R1 100 325
Social Work Manager R1 100 325
Control Scientific Technician R1 090 458
Engineer (Production) R1 090 458
Head of Nursing Campus R1 068 666
Nursing Manager R1 068 666
Assistant Manager: Pharmaceutical Services R1 042 095
Clinical Pharmacist R1 042 095

Read: Government is out of cash: report

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35 public sector jobs that pay over R1 million a year