These degrees offer the best starting salary in South Africa in 2018

Data from salary research group, PayScale shows the average salaries for graduates with less than a year of work experience, and the degrees which they studied.

The data is based on the qualifications data of almost 8,000 employees, submitted to the site, as of 17 September 2017.

It is important to note that PayScale’s salary data is determined by years of experience, and not by age specifically. However, it can be assumed that experience and age are closely aligned if most employees leave university at age 21.

According to PayScale’s data, graduates with a bachelor’s degree can expect to start out earning an average of R125,850 a year in their first year of work – though this increases to an average of R180,850 after the first year.

This represents both high-earning careers (engineering) and lower-earning fields (education), across the whole of South Africa.

Bachelor’s Degree Average Starting Salary
Bachelor of Engineering R237 740
Bachelor of Science R187 070
Bachelor of Commerce R169 220
Bachelor of Education R166 330
Bachelor of Accounting R151 850
Bachelor of Technology R150 150
Bachelor’s Degree (all) R125 850
Bachelor of Arts R122 830
Bachelor of Business Administration R97 630

Salaries are highly dependent on level of experience and other factors beyond simply having a degree or qualification.

Using PayScale data looking at years of experience beyond the first year – using the collective salary data of over 30,000 employees – it becomes clear that earnings, particularly in the technical fields, increase significantly.

Notably, different career paths reach their potential peaks at different points. While someone with a degree in education may start out with a higher average salary in their first year, their salary will not grow significantly over the years.

Meanwhile, someone who starts off on the lower rungs in the field of business administration will end up earning a much higher salary in the longer term.

Bachelor’s Degree Less than 1 year of experience 1-4 years of experience 5-9 years of experience 10-19 years of experience 20 years of experience+
Bachelor of Engineering R237 740 R307 810 R504 740 R806 340 R964 380
Bachelor of Science R187 070 R245 180 R432 020 R616 010 R748 790
Bachelor of Commerce R169 220 R234 950 R398 810 R559 670 R725 100
Bachelor of Business Administration R97 630 R176 020 R298 680 R515 930 R705 980
Bachelor of Technology R150 150 R201 450 R338 760 R507 580 R596 870
Bachelor’s Degree (all) R125 850 R180 850 R315 660 500 830 R580 390
Bachelor of Accounting R151 850 R301 740 R408 920 R548 720 R559 530
Bachelor of Arts R122 830 R166 480 R278 360 R414 240 R473 800
Bachelor of Education R166 330 R172 270 R194 990 R232 570 R300 130

Read: The best degrees in South Africa if you want to make the most money

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