Stats SA’s latest quarterly employment survey (QES) shows that the average salary in South Africa – for the formal, non-agricultural sector – has increased to over R26,000 a month.
According to the statistics body, there was a small 0.9% increase in quarter-on-quarter average monthly earnings for employees in the formal non-agricultural sector, with earnings growing from R25,866 (revised) in May 2023 to R26,086 in August 2023.
On a year-to-year basis, the average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector saw growth of 4.7% – increasing from R24,916 in 2022.
Stats SA’s Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) data covers eight key industries or sectors in South Africa, which is split further into 20 sub-categories, mainly made up of various manufacturing sectors, as well as a split between government and non-government community and social services.
The dataset covers earning estimates across 90 job types in the formal, non-agricultural sector, indicating which job types or sectors draw the highest monthly earnings.
Notably, of the 90 jobs covered by the survey, 46 job types pay higher than the national average – with the highest average being R72,030 per month for those working around financial intermediation in the business services sector.
Other high-paying jobs include those in the electricity, gas, steam and water supply, as well as the computer (IT) and related activities.
The table below outlines all 46 jobs that pay an average salary higher than the national average of R26,000.
Looking at a more general sector overview, the electricity, gas and water supply sector has the highest average salary at R52,807 per month, and this is followed by the mining and quarrying sector, which paid an average of R33,559 per month.
The lower-paid jobs are found in the textiles and furniture manufacturing sectors, averaging R12,074 and R15,873, respectively.
The table below outlines the 20 highest-paying job sectors in South Africa, based on the most recent earnings data as reported by Stats SA. The full list is embedded below or can be downloaded here. The industry segments are described as follows:
- Mining includes mining and quarrying
- Manufacturing includes food and beverages, furniture, textiles, wood, printing and publishing, petroleum and chemicals, non-metals and mineral products, electrical, medical and technology-related apparatus, and transport equipment
- Electricity includes gas and water supply
- Trade includes wholesale, retail, motor, hotel and restaurants
- Transport includes freight, storage and postal communication
- Business services include financial intermediation, banking, insurance and real estate
- Community includes social and personal services, split among government and non-government entities.