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Want to know what the other half earns? Here are the top 10 highest paying jobs in SA

Cardiothoracic surgeons can earn from R1 171 351 to R8 000 000 a year.

Cardiothoracic surgeons can earn from R1 171 351 to R8 000 000 a year.

Published May 25, 2022


Durban - Ever wondered how much professionals with the highest paying jobs in South Africa actually earn?

To be among the top one percent of earners, you have to get paid R151 451 a month, according to the World Inequality Lab database.

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Here are the top 10 best-paying jobs in the country, according to

Cardiothoracic surgeons

These medical professionals specialise in operating on the heart, lungs and other thoracic (chest) organs. They also diagnose and treat diseases of these organs.

R1 171 351 a year

Basic salary: R101 000 – R8 000 000

Bonus: R19 000 – R515 000

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Sales directors

They manage all sales effort, strategically plan and launch new products or services, ensure the company continues to provide excellent customer service, motivate the sales team, and see that expected targets are met.

R868 008 a year

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Basic salary: R250 000 – R2 000 000

Bonus: R16 000 – R409 000


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An actuary analyses the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. These professionals use maths, statistics and financial theory to assess the risk of potential events to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimise the cost of that risk.

Salary: R704 510 a year

Basic salary: R295 000 – R1 000 000

Bonus: R10 000 – R355 000

Solutions architects

A solutions architect is responsible for evaluating a company’s business needs and determining how IT can support those needs through software, hardware or infrastructure.

R690 149 a year

Basic salary: R206 000 – R1 000 000

Bonus: R15 000 – R166 000

Cyber security engineers

Cyber security engineers/ information security engineers identify threats in software and systems, then use their skills to develop high-tech solutions to defend against hacking, malware and ransomware.

R532 500 a year

Basic salary: R121 000 – R 1 000 000

Bonus: R6 000 – R 27 000

Chartered accountants

Chartered accountants give advice, audit accounts and provide trustworthy information about financial records.

This includes financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency, or accounting systems and processes.

R491 274 a year

Basic salary R148 000 – R847 000

Bonus R7 000 – R126 000

IT managers

They are responsible for co-ordinating, planning and leading computer-related activities within an organisation. They help determine the IT needs of an organisation and are responsible for implementing computer systems to fulfil the organisation’s information systems requirements.

R490 891 a year

Basic salary: R177 000 – R965 000

Bonus: R10 000 – R146 000


These are healthcare professionals who are trained in the correct way to use, store, provide and preserve medicine. Pharmacists guide people on how to take medication, inform them about potential side effects, and more.

R481 407 a year

Basic salary: R253 000 – R693 000

Bonus: R5 000 – R64 000

Aircraft pilots

An aircraft pilot or aviator is a person who controls the flight of an aircraft by operating its directional flight controls; in simple terms, they fly the plane.

R474 153 a year

Basic salary: R120 000 – R1 000 000

Bonus: R13 000 – R83 000

Management consultants

A management consultant works with company leadership to assess the company and identify problems, gather information and implement solutions.

R414  547 a year

Basic salary: R206 000 – R921 000

Bonus: R10 000 – R154 000

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