Best-paying tech jobs in South Africa in 2022

Recruitment firm Michael Page has published its annual South Africa Salary Guide and Hiring Insights report, which includes details on the most in-demand roles and best-paying jobs in the technology sector.

The report covers salary benchmarks, in-demand positions, key skills and experience, and recommendations on challenges in the hiring sector in 2022.

Michael Page said 2022 was a challenging year for local labour, as several elements contributed to a volatile market with strong, unfortunate knock-ons.

“A variety of factors have had a key impact on salaries over the last year – economic nuances, skills shortages in certain sectors, high unemployment, supply chain challenges and a global adoption of work from anywhere, to name a few,” said Michael Page’s South Africa operating director Paul Newman.

On the positive side, there was an increase in demand from global multinational companies — particularly in the tech sector — looking to tap into the South African market.

“Now that remote working has become deeply rooted in corporate frameworks, key industries are choosing to take full advantage of the ‘work from anywhere’ approach,” the firm said.

“Research conducted by Michael Page has identified the technology sector as having the most responsiveness to this ideology.”

Newman said South Africa seemed to be high on the list for businesses due to time zones, language, available resources, and cost, which created a challenge for local employers competing for the same talent.

Paul Newman, Michael Page South Africa operating director

Within the technology sector, the report identified the six most in-demand job categories of the year as follows:

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  3. Data scientist
  4. Software development
  5. Cybersecurity
  6. Business Analysis

Cloud computing included roles for those with skills and experience in Amazon Web Services, Azure, DevOps, Docker, and Kubernetes.

The report explained that this demand was driven by businesses increasingly relying on cloud software tools for employee collaboration.

Even though some organisations were encouraging employees to return to the office, generally, a hybrid approach required more use of platforms like Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and collaborative tools hosted on the cloud.

Those specialising in data analysis and insights were also in high demand due to organisations continuing to invest in these aspects of their operations to make fact-based decisions on strategies.

One of the knock-on effects of this was that cybersecurity was also a key focus for employers.

“With data becoming more and more valuable and critical to each business, the need to protect it has also increased,” the report said.

Finally, CRM and BI developers, DevOps, and Computational Engineers were also in high demand due to a global shortage of technical skills in these roles.

“Demand is much higher than supply, and it’s not uncommon for developers to earn higher salaries than their managers,” Michael Page noted.

Big salary differences between local and international players

The report also analysed the starting, average, and top-end salaries of major tech roles in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational companies (MNCs).

This clearly illustrated the financial advantage of working for the latter.

To compete with bigger international players, Michael Page recommended that local companies look at their total employee value proposition.

This must include career growth potential, job satisfaction levels, flexibility, and benefits.

The best-paying jobs overall were executive roles such as chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO).

In the case of the CIO, smaller companies pay between R1.2 million and R2 million, while big global players pay between R1.8 million to R3.5 million.

The trend continues all the way down to one of the lowest-paying tech jobs — Network Administrator — albeit slightly less disproportional.

The tables below summarise Michael Page’s findings on the typical entry-level, average, and top-end annual salaries earned in the most common tech jobs in South Africa. Where “mil” is not stated, the figure is in thousands of rand.

Now read: Good news for engineering jobs in South Africa

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Best-paying tech jobs in South Africa in 2022