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Professionals swimming in money: 10 best-paying jobs

According to the World Inequality Lab database, to be among the top 1% of earners, you have to earn R151 451 a month. Photo: Kelly/Pexels

According to the World Inequality Lab database, to be among the top 1% of earners, you have to earn R151 451 a month. Photo: Kelly/Pexels

Published Dec 17, 2022


To be among the top 1% of earners, you have to earn R151 451 a month, according to the World Inequality Lab database.

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 to R8 000 000

Bonus: R19 000 to R515 000

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

Basic salary: R250 000 to R2 000 000

Bonus: R16 000 to R409 000


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 to R1 000 000

Bonus: R10 000 to 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 to R1 000 000

Bonus: R15 000 to R166 000

Cybersecurity engineers

Cybersecurity 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 to R1 000 000

Bonus: R6 000 to R27 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 to R847 000

Bonus R7 000 to 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 to R965 000

Bonus: R10 000 to 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 to R693 000

Bonus: R5 000 to 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 to R1 000 000

Bonus: R13 000 to 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 to R921 000

Bonus: R10 000 to R154 000.

IOL Business