Presented by OfferZen

How Developer salaries compare: Cape Town vs. Johannesburg

Professionals can often earn a salary premium if they choose to work in Johannesburg over Cape Town. Does the same hold true for developers?

Offerzen a job marketplace, where employers can meet developers looking for work, has access to the salary data necessary for such an analysis.

Every week hundreds of interview requests are sent from employers to potential hires with accompanying salary, location and perks listed in the request.

Below is OfferZen’s analysis of Developer salaries when comparing Cape Town to Johannesburg:

Developer incomes vs. experience

For this analysis, to remove potential biases, we took only the salary and location data from interviews that lead to a successful placement.

We mapped the salaries to the respective developer’s years of experience and got the following:

Junior developers earn 38% more in Cape Town

The first interesting take-away from our analysis is the salary differential among junior developers.

Junior developers earn considerably more in Cape Town – the direct opposite of senior developers and our initial hypothesis around salary discrepancies between the two regions.

There are many potential explanations for this reversal – the most obvious being the affordability of Cape Town.

Using rent as a proxy for the cost of living, this graph indicates that even though you earn more in Cape Town, a larger percentage is spent on your basic cost of living.

This means that even at a higher absolute salary, your purchasing power is similar between the two locations.

Senior developers pay a 10% “tax” to work in Cape Town

The results for senior developers match our initial expectations on salary differentials with Johannesburg developers earning up to 10% more with the same levels of experience.

It seems the cost of living phenomenon discussed above was only relevant for lower salaries.

A developer with 4-6 years’ experience will earn on average R3 056 less working in Cape Town and R5 689 less in the 6+ years’ experience category.

Offerzen’s placement volumes indicate that developers will happily pay this premium to work in Cape Town, but what are you willing to sacrifice to work in your favourite city?

Sign up for Offerzen to get competitive job offers from cities across South Africa.

This analysis should serve as a guideline only. Any single individual’s salary will be dependent on the company, individual, perks and nature of work. When negotiating your salary with an employer, these factors could lead to you earning above or below the average figures listed above.

This article was published in partnership with OfferZen.

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How Developer salaries compare: Cape Town vs. Johannesburg