• Chief financial officers and finance directors at multinationals earn the best salaries.
  • Procurement and supply chain bosses also don't do too badly.
  • This is how to get into the best-paying jobs.

Michael Page, an international recruiter with offices in Johannesburg, recently released salary statistics compiled exclusively for South Africans, offering an accurate representation of local cost to company salary packages, across a number of sectors.

According to its latest research, these are the highest paying jobs in 2018:


A chief of financial officer (CFO) in a small or medium-sized company (SME) can take home an average of R3 million per year, according to Michael Page. But if hired by a multinational corporation, that would move closer to R4.75 million annually. At the higher end of the bracket they can earn as much as R6 million a year.

Finance directors follow closely, with an average income of R2.25 million at SMEs and an average of R2.750 million at multinationals.

Tax directors and chief audit officers earn a similar average of close to R2.2 million at MNCs.

How to get it

If you’re looking for a top job in finance, you’ll need to start with a post graduate qualification in finance (NQF 7) from a recognised university, registration as a chartered accountant with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a minimum of five years of experience at a senior management level.

Many successful earners in the finance sector also have additional qualifications and skills and have completed management and leadership development programmes.

It doesn't hurt to have expert knowledge of all finance legislation, as well as experience with associated software systems and knowledge of all the associated legal and statutory requirements. 

Supply chain, logistics and procurement

Top earners in these sectors include two vice president (VP) executive roles, with a VP of procurement bringing home an average of R2.1 million and a VP of supply chain bringing in an average of R2.4 million a year.

A supply chain / logistics director can earn as much as R2.4 million annually, with an average of R2 million.

How to get it

You’ll need a relevant degree, preferably a Masters or an MBA, followed by a minimum of ten years of technical or professional experience, and five years of management experience. You’ll also need to be a skilled negotiator and a proven track record. Sometimes local and international travel is required.

Human resources

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There is good money to be made in HR, with local VP HR / chief HR officers bringing in an average of R2.9 million, while a HR director and a head of HR earn significantly less – but still not small change – at R1.8 million and R1.6 million respectively.

How to get it

HR directors need to have a relevant degree, such as in industrial or organisational psychology, as well as about ten years of experience. A thorough knowledge of South African labour legislation, such as the Employment Equity Act, the Labour Relations Act and the Skills Development Act, and its application, is a must. Membership of the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) is preferred.

Bonus tip: to maximise the money, move to Gauteng

The fastest way to increase your earnings without changing career: move to Gauteng. Professionals in all sectors covered by recent research land larger paycheques in Gauteng than in the Western Cape or KwaZulu-Natal. 

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