Career Resources

Top 24 jobs in South Africa that pay over R2 million in 2024

Survey summary

Professional recruitment firm Robert Walters has published the salary data from its latest Salary Survey, showing what top professionals can expect to earn in South Africa in 2024.

The salary survey not only provides pay ranges for professional positions across key industries, it also shows broader trends in specific job markets, covering banking, financial services, legal, human resources and information technology.

South African companies are desperate for skilled individuals, with demand for critical training present in almost every industry in the country.

South Africa’s highly competitive job market

According to Robert Walters, this doesn’t necessarily mean that South African professionals have the pick of the litter when it comes to jobs, however – the survey indicated low to medium demand from companies looking for specific skills across all five sectors covered.

This is indicative of the highly competitive job market in South Africa where the economy has been stagnating for over a decade, limiting expansion and job opportunities.

While companies are desperate for skills, only so many positions are open, making it fairly easy for them to fill the slots from available talent.

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Employees, meanwhile, are showing high degrees of mobility, with up to 46% of professionals indicating a desire to switch jobs in 2024, with most spending only 1.8 to 2.2 years at a company.

As other manager and employer surveys have shown, companies are willing to pay much higher salaries and offer increases above inflation to retain these skills and remain competitive in the market.

Across the industries surveyed by Robert Walters, 30% of businesses said they were giving pay rises in 2024 with 23% to 36% of employees expecting a pay hike this year.

Top earners are generally well experienced

The latest survey identified over 50 professional jobs in South Africa that have an end-range earning potential of R1.5 million a year or more – among these, 24 have an earning potential of over R2 million.

While the salary data is very comprehensive, it is important to note that it is primarily focused on corporate or “office job” professionals. This means that specific sectors, such as airline pilots, engineers, medical personnel and government officials, do not feature in the report.

The earning potential among professionals is tied to experience in the field, as well as the size of the companies you work for.

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Top earners are generally well experienced – with over ten years of experience in their field – though there are some exceptions to this, such as general managers or executives like chief operating officers, who can earn over R2 million with between four to seven years’ experience.

Here are the high-paying jobs of 2024

The table below outlines the top-earning positions in the survey.

PositionSectorFromTo (‘000)
Chief Financial Officer (JSE Top 200)Accounting (10yrs+)R2 600R4 000
Chief Risk OfficerBanking (10yrs+)R1 600R3 500
HR DirectorHuman ResourcesR1 700R3 300
HR ExecutiveHuman ResourcesR1 700R3 300
Head of International Audit / Chief Internal AuditorBanking (10yrs+)R1 400R3 000
Chief Operating OfficerAccounting (4-10yrs+)R1 500R3 000
Chief Financial Officer (Qualified CA)Banking (10yrs+ XP)R2 000R2 800
General ManagerAccounting (4-10yrs+)R1 400R2 700
CEO (SME)Accounting (10yrs+)R2 700R2 700+
General CouncilLegal (In house)R2 650R2 650+
Head of LegalLegal (In house)R1 600R2 650
Group Treasury ManagerAccounting (10yrs+)R1 800R2 500
Private Equity / Corporate FinanceBanking (10yrs+ XP)R1 600R2 300
CA (SA)Accounting (10yrs+)R1 600R2 300
Qualified CA(SA)Banking (10yrs+ XP)R1 500R2 200
Relationship Manager / Corporate BankerBanking (10yrs+ XP)R1 350R2 200
ActuaryBanking (10yrs+ XP)R1 400R2 200
Chief Finance Officer / Financial Director (SME)Accounting (10yrs+)R1 600R2 200
Group Tax ManagerAccounting (10yrs+)R1 700R2 200
Equity DirectorLegal (Large firm)R2 120R2 120+
Junior DirectorLegal (Large firm)R1 400R2 000
Head of HRHuman ResourcesR900R2 000
Investment Analyst (CA plus CFA)Banking (10yrs+)R1 200R2 000
Strategy ConsultantBanking (10yrs+)R1 300R2 000

The figures represent cost to company, excluding bonuses.

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  • Katlego Malope

    Katlego is a final-year student at the University of Johannesburg. Apart from bouncing molecules against each other in the Chemistry lab, she loves curating job opportunites for fellow youth. Katlego is also quite a singer!

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