Teacher Salary In South Africa

The teaching profession in South Africa is highly regarded in the world, as a good teacher can be the reason behind a student’s success. To become a teacher, there are multiple requirements that need to be fulfilled by you.

What teachers are paid – average 

Teacher salaries in South Africa vary greatly depending on where they teach, their experience and qualifications, and whether the school is public or privately-owned.

Average teacher pay in the country is also highly dependent on the age structure of the workforce. The average age of South Africa’s teachers in 2019 was 46. A large cohort of older teachers is expected to retire in the coming decade, to be replaced by a cohort of younger teachers.

Because of this, finding an average salary across differing schools, education levels and employers can be challenging.

This is reflected in the data from salary database PayScale, which shows the salary range for primary school teachers in South Africa ranges anywhere between R80,000 and R300,000, with the median sitting at R194,000 annually – or just over R16,100 a month.

For high school teachers, pay increases, ranging between R100,000 and R340,000, with the median sitting at R232,385. Overall, taking both primary and high school into account, the median salary sits at about R213,000 a year – or just over R17,700 a month.

Government vs private school salaries 

Salary data published by the National Treasury and the Department of Basic education shows just how widely pay differs across schools, qualifications, education levels and experience.

Level 1 teachers are the lowest paid and least experienced teachers and can expect to earn from R126,720 per annum or R10,560 a month. By comparison, the salary for principals starts at over R346,000 a year or R29,000 a month. Those at the high-end of the scale can earn upwards of R60,000 a month.

Teacher – Salary Differences

Heads of DepartmentR 408K/year
Master TeacherR 385K/year
Senior TeacherR 343K/year
Post Level 1 Teacher, government schoolR 258K/year
Special Needs TeacherR 165K/year
Private School TeacherR 152K/year
Teacher AssistantR 41K/year

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