Specialist recruitment firm, Michael Page, published its latest salary guide for 2020, showing what recruiters are seeing on offer in terms of salaries for top professionals in the country.

The survey shows what skilled professionals in 185 different jobs in South Africa can expect to earn in 2020 across a wide variety of sectors.

The group said it has seen a decline in demand across most industries within South Africa, with certain industries feeling the impact more than others.

“Companies are looking for ways to increase output and productivity, while at the same time cutting costs,” the group said.

The country is also facing a brain drain of highly skilled labour who are opting to emigrate, the group noted, saying that this is creating a talent gap in the market, further contributing to the challenges of investing in the economy.

Because skills, especially professional skills, are in high demand because of this gap in the market, some sectors are willing to pay very high salaries to find the right people.

The group’s data for its salary benchmark is derived from the group’s proprietary database, capturing job advertisements and placements throughout 2019.

It is also supplemented with data and insights from other studies such as quarterly job market surveys, and insights from interactions with clients and candidates.

Top Earners

The top earners – according to Michael Page’s data – are Group/Regional CFOs at finance companies who can expect to earn up to R5 million a year, with the average salary at R4 million a year.

By comparison, finance directors in these companies can expect to earn up to R3.5 million a year, averaging R3 million.

The legal profession is also a stand-out with partners at international firms earning up to R5 million a year, while partners at top South African law firms can earn upwards of R4 million a year, and partners at boutique firms can pull up to R3 million.

In-house general counsel positions can also earn up to R3 million a year, while those working as head of compliance can earn up to R2.4 million a year.

Other top-paying positions can be found working in supply chain, where a VP can earn as much as R3.8 million a year, as well as in human resources, where top salaries go as high as R3.2 million.

It is important to note that while salary data is very comprehensive, it is primarily focused on professionals.

This means that certain sectors such as airline pilots, engineers, medical personnel and government officials do not feature in the report.

# Job name Sector Annual salary (R ‘000)
1 Group/Regional CFO Finance & Accounting R5 000
2 Partner (International Law Firm) Legal R5 000
3 Partner (Top SA law firm) Legal R4 000
4 VP of Supply Chain Supply Chain & Logistics R3 800
5 Finance Director Finance & Accounting R3 500
6 VP HR / Chief HR Officer Human Resources R3 200
7 In-house GC (General Counsel) Legal R3 000
8 Partner (Boutique law firm) Legal R3 000
9 Supply Chain/Logistics Director Supply Chain & Logistics R2 800
10 VP of Procurement Procurement R2 800
11 General Manager (B2B) Sales & Marketing R2 800
12 General Manager (Sales and Marketing) Sales & Marketing R2 600
13 VP of Sales Sales & Marketing R2 600
14 Chief Marketing Officer Sales & Marketing R2 600
15 Chief Audit Officer Finance & Accounting R2 400
16 Head of Compliance Legal R2 400
17 HR Director Human Resources R2 400
18 Manufacturing Director Engineering & Manufacturing R2 300
19 Tax Director Finance & Accounting R2 200
20 Head of HR Human Resources R2 200
21 Procurement Director Procurement R2 200
22 Marketing Director Sales & Marketing R2 200
23 Country Manager Sales & Marketing R2 200
24 Group Company Secretary Legal R2 100
25 Chief Information Officer Information Technology R2 000
26 IT Director Information Technology R2 000
27 IT Security Manager Information Technology R2 000
28 Chief Enterprise Architect Information Technology R2 000
29 Project Director Engineering & Manufacturing R2 000
30 Head of Sales / Sales Director (Consumer) Sales & Marketing R2 000

Read: South African salaries in 2020: what professionals earn