We like to see engineering as a profession that makes things work. We believe that is one definition that manages to encompass all or most things engineering is about. Whether its bridges, cars, rockets, or electrical circuits, an engineer’s main job is to make things function, tick and move.
Engineering is a very broad field with hundreds of specific disciplines; some are so different from others that they hardly seem like the same type of job. Though it was once the case that anybody could do engineering work without certification, there are now very strict standards one must meet to become an engineer.
Above even this is the professional engineer, whose hard work and exhaustive understanding of engineering entitle him/her to a particular level of recognition as a master of the craft. Engineering has long been a lucrative and attractive profession to venture into, little wonder we have many applicants filling in some sort of engineering as their primary course of choice.
Asides being a social respected and recognized profession, engineering is also one of the most lucrative profession to venture into, in terms of finances. So how much exactly does an engineer earn?
The first thing to note is that there are different types of engineering with different levels of demand, different skillsets and different pay levels. However, the research shows that the average annual salary for an engineer in South Africa is 601,597 ZAR and ranges from an average minimum of 454,000 ZAR to an average maximum of 862,000 ZAR.
This does not mean that there are no engineers who earn less or more than these amounts, it simply means that those are the average minimum and maximum amounts paid to engineers, in South Africa.
An important fact we noticed about engineering, in particular, is that the location of your practice plays a major role in how much you earn as an engineer. For example, it seems Gauteng offers the best salaries in this field across South Africa, as engineers in Western Cape earn up to 29% less, and engineers from KwaZulu-Natal earn up to 16% less than their counterparts in Guateng.
On average, a skilled automotive engineer will earn between 29,917 ZAR and 43,333 ZAR per month. A civil engineer will earn between 30,862 ZAR to 57,073 ZAR per month, and an electrical engineer will earn between 33,981 ZAR and 56,218 ZAR per month. Mining engineers come out on top with an average salary of 53,177 ZAR to 77,031 ZAR per month.
Experience is another key factor that affects pay in engineering, as a mid-career engineer with 5-9 years of experience can expect to earn 592,500 ZAR annually, while an experienced professional engineer with 10-19 years of experience can expect an average annual compensation of 712,726 ZAR.
Those in their late career with 20 years of experience and more can expect to rake in 1,274,00 ZAR every year. It should also be mentioned that the research shows that having skills in Microsoft office as an engineer is linked to earning above average.
So there you have it. If you have a knack for engineering and you know what you are doing, the money looks great on this side.