There is not much in existence in the modern world that we live in, that did not require some form of engineering, and because of this, there has always been, and always will be a demand worldwide for engineers in all industries including mining, and especially at present in South Africa.
Over and above the challenges the mining industry is facing world wide around skills retention and an aging work force, South Africa has its own unique set of issues to contend with, including the fact that a new record is predicted in the number of South Africans that are leaving the country in 2018.
The reasons that South Africans are leaving the country have not really changed in recent years and tend to be linked to concerns around political and economic instability in South Africa. A lack of jobs, and the resulting sky-high unemployment rate, those wanting to escape crime and those looking for a better safer life for their children are also all reasons that South Africans are leaving the country.
Unfortunately, this exodus results in a brain drain, as important skills are leaving the country, including many South African engineers.
According to the Engineering Council of South Africa, there is currently only 1 engineer per 2 600 people in South Africa, this is very low, compared to the average internationally which is 1 in 40 people. There are also only around 16 000 registered professional engineers in South Africa in total. These factors along with the fact that mining is big business in South Africa means that engineers are in demand in mining.
Engineers in mining worldwide work hard, and those based in South Africa are no exception. The industry requires dedication from its engineers, a commitment to long hours, often requiring them to be based in remote locations and what can be a dangerous work environment.
South Africa is a developing country that is facing numerous challenges and pressures, which means that its engineers have numerous stresses they have to contend with other than those related solely to working in the mining industry.
On the upside of things, the financial benefits of working as an engineer in mining are excellent. It is however important to remember that mining salaries vary tremendously depending on a number of issues. These include location, qualification, level of seniority, the amount of years’ experience, and the size of the mining company.
Keeping all of this in mind, we decided to rank the top paying engineering jobs in mining in South Africa, to see which engineers are earning the most. The salaries depicted below are derived in their entirety, from the data of those that have completed our salary survey.
The top paying engineers in mining in South Africa are as follows:
1. Mining Engineers (R 800,285 average base pay per annum)
The title of highest paid engineers in mining in South Africa goes to … mining engineers!
Mining Engineers in South Africa have the potential to earn anywhere between R 216,000 for an entry level mining engineer up to R 1,430,000 for a senior top-level mining engineer. The average base pay in South Africa is R 800,285 making it the most lucrative engineering job in mining in South Africa.
2. Metallurgical Engineers (R 695,889 average base pay per annum)
Metallurgical engineers come in at a close second, and are also very much in demand. They have the potential to earn anywhere between R 180,000 for an entry level position to R 1,400,000 base pay for a senior top-level metallurgical engineering position in South Africa.
3. Mechanical Engineers (R 582,000 average base pay per annum)
Mechanical Engineers also play a valuable role in mining in South Africa. They have the potential to earn anywhere between R 150,000 for an entry level position to R 1,200,000 base pay for a senor top-level mechanical engineering position in mining in South Africa.
4. Electrical Engineers (R 573,000 average base pay per annum)
Electrical Engineers also play a very important role in the mining industry in South Africa. They are earning anywhere between R 170,000 for a starting entry level position, to R 1,200,000 base pay for a senior top range position in mining in South Africa.