Your Earning Potential As An Engineer Or Data Scientist

The low down on your earning potential as an Engineer or Data Scientist

As an ambitious graduate, you probably want to better understand your earning potential within your chosen field of study.  There are many factors to consider when choosing your career path. You might be driven by interest, growth opportunity, convenience or even earning potential. Furthermore, conducting your own research to better understand marketing hiring trends especially those listed by the South African Department of Home Affairs will arm you with informed knowledge within your chosen career path. 

We’ve conducted some research on your behalf, and below we’ll unpack your earning potential within your career choice as an engineer or data scientist, and you might be pleasantly surprised.



To better understand your market worth in South Africa, according to Payscale “an entry-level graduate civil engineer with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of R237,076 based on 39 salaries. A mid-career graduate civil engineer with five to nine years of experience earns an average total compensation of R408,500 based on 5 salaries”. These figures are based on an average forty-hour week. You can determine the earning potential according to your specific engineering area of specialisation and location here.


Data scientist

An entry-level data scientist with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of R423,646 based on 69 salaries. A mid-career data scientist with five to nine years of experience earns an average total compensation of R640,000 based on 65 salaries. For a detailed analysis of your earning potential in your specialised field of data science, conduct a detailed search on payscale here.


Engineers and data scientists are on the critical skills shortage list that South Africa is currently experiencing.  If you’ve graduated with a degree relevant to the current critical skills shortage, your chances of finding suitable employment are considerably higher than in other careers. View the complete South African critical skills list here. This revised list aims to address skilled labour shortages in various sectors, including finance, technology, engineering and medicine. The goal is to help jump-start the economy by filling these critical shortages and stimulating economic growth.


The highest-paying jobs in South Africa

Among others, these are some of the highest-paying jobs. To view the highest-paying jobs in South Africa, click here. The data is sourced from SalaryExpert, which ERI powers. The yearly salary estimates are based on salary data surveys collected from employers and employees in South Africa. 


Where to study?

Several of the universities in South Africa offer degrees in data science, analytics and engineering. Some of the top universities include Wits, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, University of Pretoria, and Stellenbosch, according to this article from Global Scholarships.

UCT, Wits, Stellenbosch and the University of Pretoria come out on top if you want to study engineering in South Africa.

But do your research, weigh up your pros and cons, and find out which university suits your needs and budget.


Recruit graduates and interns

RecruitAGraduate is one of the largest online recruitment agencies in South Africa. Companies can hire graduates and interns from registered higher education institutions for permanent or contract positions and internships. For more information about how RecruitAGraduate can benefit your career register online with us.


Share this article