Software developer salaries in Joburg vs Cape Town – based on your experience

Software developers continue to be an in-demand profession in South Africa, and tech recruitment specialist OfferZen has published data on the difference in salary you can expect in Cape Town versus Johannesburg in 2019, based on your experience.

The group pointed out that its findings are based on internal data, and not the entire industry. “It is also worth noting that OfferZen is a curated marketplace so our averages are most likely somewhat different to national ones,” it said.

According to the recruitment specialist, junior developers earn 2.5% more in Cape Town than in Johannesburg. Its data showed that junior developers earn an average of R24,000 in Cape Town, versus R23,000 in Joburg.

In 2019, developers from Cape Town earn more than their counterparts in Johannesburg until roughly the four-year-experience-mark, OfferZen said. In Cape Town, developers with 2-4 years of experience earn an average of R40,000 per month whereas in Joburg, it’s 9% less.

It also seems that Capetonian developers are more likely than developers in Johannesburg to stay at their first job for more than one year.

“The data shows that Capetonian developers typically only start looking for a new job after the two-year mark which means there are less job-seeking developers in Cape Town with between one-to-two-years of experience. It could be then that the competition to hire developers with 1-2 years of experience in Cape Town causes a spike in average salary,” OfferZen said.

OfferZen said that Capetonian developers continue to earn more than developers in Johannesburg after the six year mark. Capetonian developers with 6-10 years of experience earn an average of R64,200, 4.6% more than Joburg (R61,300).

“The difference between Cape Town and Johannesburg is especially stark when looking at the experience level of 10+ years. Capetonian developers with this level of experience earn an average of R73,000 a month which is 9.5% more than the average salary of senior developers in Johannesburg,” OfferZen said.

It said that the 25th percentile of Johannesburg developers with 10+ years of experience earn R52,000 while the 75th percentile earn R76,000.

“The average salary of developers with this experience level leans slightly towards the 75th percentile at R69,300. On the other hand, our data shows that Capetonian developers with 10+ years experience have a smaller percentile range between R61,000 and R80,000 and so the average salary is R73,900 per month.

OfferZen pointed out that the cost of living in Cape Town is higher than in Joburg.

“So we used Numbeo to adjust for the cost of living and found that, on average, it is 9.8% more expensive to live in Cape Town. Cost of living includes rent, groceries, restaurants and consumer prices. This means that you would only need to earn R36,000 per month in Johannesburg to get the same spending power as someone earning R39,500 in Cape Town.”


Read: The degrees that pay the highest salaries in South Africa

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Software developer salaries in Joburg vs Cape Town – based on your experience