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September 10th, 2015 by


Job satisfaction is an essential consideration when selecting a career, but unfortunately there is always the question of how much money you will earn for doing what you do.

Finding that fine balance between enjoying what you do and earning a good salary seems difficult, especially if you don’t have all the pertinent information to make an informed decision.

These days, it’s not only important to enjoy what you do in South Africa, but also equally important for what you do to be able to pay all your bills and take care of your family.

The cost-of-living index is a theoretical price index that measures the relative cost of living over time or between regions. It measures differences in the price of goods and services based on a central reference point.

Johannesburg has a cost of living index of 109 and Prague, as a central reference point, has a cost of living index of 100. This means that living in Johannesburg is 9% more expensive than living in Prague.

Check out the annual salaries of the highest paying jobs in South Africa

*Figures based on data from 2013 to 2014.

10. Petroleum Engineer – R572 600 p/a

Think you can deal with crude oil or natural gas all day and the various activities involved in obtaining and producing them? Petroleum engineers work very closely with geologists and require a good knowledge of physics, chemistry, and mining engineering.

9. Actuary – R598 055 p/a

If you love mathematics and evaluating financial risk and uncertainty, then consider a career as an actuary. They typically have a strong background in asset management, liability management, business knowledge and analytics.

They utilise this to examine the likelihood of an uncertain event happening – such as earthquakes and other natural disasters – and assess this impact on financial losses.

8. Air Traffic Controller – R583 450 p/a

This is a mentally challenging career, as you need to be able to control the flow of air traffic in the global air traffic system in order to maintain safety and order.

Air traffic controllers have to make split-second decisions with life-or-death implications. They are well-trained in area radar, approach, approach radar, and aerodrome.

7. Computer and Information Systems Managers – R587 230 p/a

Sometimes referred to as IT (information technology) managers, they are tasked with all things computer-relate within an organisation.

They assess the IT goals of the company and then implement computer systems in order to meet these directives.

You may need a degree in computer science in order to land this gig however, preferably at the graduate level.

6. Doctor/Specialist – R476 000 to R616 000 p/a

Medicine is a financially rewarding profession because the salaries differ greatly depending on the specialty.

General practitioners are on the lower end of the spectrum, while neurosurgeon’s are on the higher end.

There are many years of schooling involved, but the sky’s the limit once you achieve your basic medical degree.

5. Accountant/Auditor – R476 000 to R672 000 p/a

Auditors and accountants examine and prepare financial records and ensure they are accurate and filed in on time.

Accountants are often kept on retainer for large organisations in order to maximize their financial success.

These careers require a degree in accounting, as well as a specialised certifications depending on the country you work in.

4. Managing Consultant – R392 000 to R672 000 p/a

Management consultants help to evaluate an existing business and provide advice on how to improve their performance and implement best practices.

Their educational background can vary, but usually it ranges from accounting and engineering to actuarial qualifications. All are well versed in business analytics and administration however.

3. Lawyers – R643 440 to R672 000 p/a

Lawyers typically bill by the hour for their services, but their salaries tend to vary depending on the client. There are many legal avenues to explore.

One thing’s for certain, it’s a very financially rewarding career. Lawyers require extensive education and training, as it is a specialised degree.

2. Airline Pilot/Flight Engineer – R695 800 p/a

The training is extensive, and, pilots tend to have a strong background in engineering, physics and mathematics.

Then there’s the question of all the various specialised certification.

Pilots tend to fly and upkeep fixed-wing, multi-engine aircrafts that transport both cargo and passengers across the world. What a pleasure.

1.Software Engineers – R1.2 million p/a

Thanks to huge reliance humanity has on the computers and the Internet, it’s no wonder software engineers can boast being the best paid professionals in South Africa.
They’re responsible for the design, development and maintenance of software. They also shape the way our computers work.
Software engineers have degrees in computer science and programming, with graduate-level degrees for those working higher up the ladder.