7 in-demand jobs and what they pay – with one paying over R900,000 per annum

 ·22 Nov 2023

Researchers from Debt Rescue highlighted seven of the most in-demand jobs in South Africa, with some considered among the top-earning careers in 2023.

Debt Rescue compiled a list of the top-earning careers in South Africa based on research and data from various expert sources.

“These careers are in high demand, have good prospects, and require skills and qualifications that are relevant and valuable in the modern world,” it said.

According to Debt Rescue, these seven careers garner an annual salary of between R240,000 and R949,000, with the top job being a Data Analyst.

Debt Rescues list of these careers, what the job entails, and what the pay per annum is listed below – ranked from least to highest paid, as outlined by Debt Rescue.

It must be noted that average annual salaries for the below positions were aggregated from multiple sources and not just taken from one. The precise salary will always depend on the company and the amount of experience that the person has.

Nursing / Professional Caregiving

Nursing or professional caregiving is another rewarding and well-paying career. Nurses/professional caregivers provide health care services to patients in hospitals, clinics, homes, and other settings.

These professionals can specialise in different areas, such as paediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, psychiatry, and more. They can also pursue further education and training to become registered nurses or nurse practitioners.

The average salary of a nurse / professional caregiver in South Africa is R240,000 per annum.

Database Designers / Developers / Administrators

Database design/development/administration is another high-paying and in-demand career in South Africa. Database designers create and manage databases that store and organise data for various purposes.

They use various software tools and languages to design, build, maintain, and optimise databases. They also ensure data security, integrity, availability, and quality.

Database designers can work in various sectors like banking, retail, government, education, and more. They can also work as consultants or freelancers.

The average salary of a database designer/developer/administrator in South Africa is R360,000 per annum.

Tax Professionals

Tax professionals help individuals and organisations comply with tax laws and regulations. They prepare and file tax returns, calculate tax liabilities or refunds, advise on tax planning strategies, represent clients in tax audits or disputes, and keep abreast of tax changes and updates.

Tax professionals can work as accountants, consultants, auditors, lawyers, or educators. They can work for public or private sector entities or run their own businesses.

The average annual salary for a tax professional with 1 to 3 years of work experience in South Africa is R379,323.

Software Development

Software development is one of the most lucrative and exciting careers in South Africa and the world. Software developers create applications, systems, and platforms that run on computers, mobile devices, and the Internet.

They use various programming languages, tools, and frameworks to design, code, test, and deploy software solutions.

Software developers can work in various industries like finance, education, entertainment, health care, etc. They can also work as freelancers or entrepreneurs, creating their own products and services.

The average salary of a software developer in South Africa is R462,144 per annum.

Systems Analyst

Systems analysts study an organisation or business’s current systems and processes and propose solutions to improve their efficiency, functionality, and usability.

They analyse various systems options’ requirements, specifications, costs, benefits, risks, and feasibility.

They also design, test, implement, and maintain new or improved systems. Systems analysts can work in various domains that use information technology systems, such as finance, health care, education, manufacturing, and more.

The average annual salary for systems analysts in South Africa is R500,000.

Data Analyst

Data analysts and data warehouse specialists collect, cleanse, transform, and analyse large and complex data sets to extract insights and value for various purposes.

They use different tools and techniques to manipulate and visualise data, such as spreadsheets, databases, programming languages, and software applications.

They also design and maintain data warehouses that store and organise data from multiple sources and support data analysis and reporting. Data analysts and data warehouse specialists can work in various industries that use data-driven decision-making, such as marketing, retail, health care, education, and more.

The average annual salary for data analysts and data warehouse specialists in South Africa is R552,099.


Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyse the risks and uncertainties of future events that affect insurance, pensions, investments, and other financial products or services.

They calculate the probabilities and costs of claims, benefits, or returns and design and evaluate policies and plans that minimise or manage these risks.

Actuaries can work in various sectors that deal with risk management, such as insurance, banking, health care, government, and more.

The average annual salary for entry-level actuaries in South Africa is R949,000.

Read: Major worries over South Africa’s new two-pot retirement system

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter