Average Grade R Teacher Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Grade R Teacher Salary in South Africa is R7,095 per month. An entry-level Grade R Teacher earns a salary range of R5,600, a Mid-career level earns about R7,000 and a senior/experienced level earns R7,400 per month.

Average Grade R Teacher Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Grade R Teacher 5,600
Mid-Career Grade R Teacher 7,000
Experienced Grade R Teacher 7,400

Types of Grade R Teachers and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, Grade R, also known as the Reception Year, is a crucial stage in early childhood education. Various types of Grade R teachers play distinct roles in fostering the development of young learners. Here’s an overview of these educators and their functions:

1. Grade R Educators

These teachers are responsible for the overall planning, implementation, and assessment of the Grade R curriculum. They create a conducive learning environment that stimulates children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.

2. Assistant Grade R Educators

Supporting the Grade R educators, assistants contribute to the day-to-day activities in the classroom. They help with classroom management, engage with students, and provide additional assistance as needed.

3. Special Needs Educators

Inclusive education is a priority in South Africa. Special needs educators in Grade R cater to children with diverse learning needs, adapting teaching methods and materials to ensure all students can participate and thrive in the classroom.

4. Language Educators

Recognizing the multilingual nature of South Africa, language educators focus on language development. They help children acquire and enhance their language skills in multiple languages, including English and indigenous languages, laying the foundation for effective communication.

5. Mathematics Educators

Emphasizing numeracy skills, mathematics educators introduce fundamental mathematical concepts in a hands-on and engaging manner. Their goal is to develop a strong foundation for mathematical understanding and problem-solving abilities.

6. Arts and Culture Educators

These educators expose students to creative expression through arts, music, and cultural activities. They play a crucial role in nurturing children’s creativity, imagination, and cultural awareness.

7. Physical Education Educators

Focusing on gross motor skills and physical development, these educators incorporate play and movement into the curriculum. They ensure that children develop coordination, balance, and a positive attitude towards physical activity.

8. Social Development Educators

Social development educators concentrate on fostering positive social skills and emotional intelligence. They create an inclusive atmosphere where children learn to collaborate, share, and navigate social interactions effectively.

9. Health and Nutrition Educators

Given the importance of health and nutrition in early childhood, these educators educate students on healthy habits, nutrition, and overall well-being. They may collaborate with parents to promote a holistic approach to children’s health.

The diverse roles of Grade R teachers in South Africa collectively contribute to the holistic development of young learners. Their efforts extend beyond academic instruction, encompassing social, emotional, and physical aspects crucial for a well-rounded education.

Factors Affecting Grade R Teacher Salary in South Africa

Teacher salaries in South Africa are influenced by various factors, and the compensation structure for teachers is typically determined by the South African government and teacher unions. Some of the key factors that affect a Grade R teacher’s salary in South Africa include:

1. Qualifications

The level of education and qualifications a teacher holds can significantly impact their salary. Teachers with higher qualifications, such as a master’s degree or specialized certifications, often earn more than those with only a bachelor’s degree or diploma.

2. Experience

The number of years of teaching experience is another important factor. Experienced teachers typically earn higher salaries than entry-level teachers. Teachers often move up the salary scale as they gain more years of service.

3. Grade Level

The grade level or phase a teacher is responsible for can affect their salary. Teachers who work with higher grade levels, such as high school or further education and training (FET) teachers, may earn more than those working with younger students.

4. Location

The geographic location of the school or educational institution can also impact teacher salaries. Teachers in urban areas and regions with higher living costs may receive higher salaries to compensate for the higher cost of living.

5. School Type

Public school teachers and private school teachers may have different salary structures. Public school teachers are typically paid according to a government-determined scale, while private school teachers’ salaries can vary depending on the school’s policies and financial resources.

6. Union Agreements

Teacher salaries in South Africa are often subject to collective bargaining agreements between teacher unions and the government. These agreements can influence salary increases and benefits for teachers.

7. Additional Responsibilities

Teachers who take on extra responsibilities, such as serving as department head, mentor teacher, or extracurricular activity coordinator, may receive additional stipends or bonuses.

8. Professional Development

Continuing professional development and additional training may lead to salary increases. Some school districts or provinces offer incentives for teachers who participate in ongoing training and development.

9. Performance-Based Pay

Some schools or districts have implemented performance-based pay structures where teacher performance and student outcomes are linked to salary increases. These systems vary, and their effectiveness can be a subject of debate.

10. Economic Factors

The overall economic conditions in the country can influence salary increases for teachers. Economic downturns or budget constraints may limit the ability to provide salary increases.

How to Become a Grade R Teacher in South Africa

Becoming a grade R teacher in South Africa typically involves a combination of education, training, and certification. Here are the general steps to become a grade R teacher in South Africa:

1. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent

You will need a high school diploma or its equivalent to pursue a career in teaching.

2. Choose Your Teaching Phase

In South Africa, you can become a grader teacher at various educational levels, depending on your career goals and qualifications. Decide which phase you would like to teach (e.g., foundation phase, intermediate phase, senior phase, or further education and training).

3. Pursue a Relevant Bachelor’s Degree

To become a teacher in South Africa, you need to complete a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree in the phase you wish to teach. These programs are designed to prepare future educators with the necessary knowledge and teaching skills. Ensure that the program is accredited by the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

4. Gain Teaching Experience

During your studies, you may have the opportunity to complete teaching practicums or internships in schools. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing your teaching skills and building a network in the education field.

5. Register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE)

SACE is the regulatory body for educators in South Africa. To work as a teacher in South Africa, you must register with SACE. You will need to submit your qualifications, criminal background clearance, and other required documents to complete the registration process.

6. Obtain Teaching Certification

Upon completion of your Bachelor of Education degree and SACE registration, you will receive certification that allows you to teach in South African schools.

7. Apply for Teaching Positions

Start applying for teaching positions in your chosen phase and subject area. Job openings are typically advertised by schools, school districts, or provincial education departments.

8. Continue Professional Development

Teaching is an evolving profession, and ongoing professional development is essential. Participate in workshops, courses, and training to stay up-to-date with best practices in education.

9. Maintain SACE Registration

Ensure that your SACE registration remains up to date by fulfilling any renewal or professional development requirements as stipulated by the council.

10. Adapt to Changing Education Policies

Stay informed about changes in the South African education system, curriculum, and teaching methodologies. Be prepared to adapt to new policies and practices in the field.



The average Grade R Teacher Salary in South Africa is R7,095 per month. Becoming a grader teacher in South Africa involves completing a relevant Bachelor of Education degree, gaining teaching experience, registering with the South African Council for Educators (SACE), and obtaining the necessary teaching certification.

Ongoing professional development and adaptation to changing education policies are also essential. The specific teaching phase and subject area you choose will determine your career path as a teacher. Aspiring educators should be prepared to meet the qualifications and requirements outlined by their local education authorities.