Average Network Engineer Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Network Engineer Salary in South Africa is R44,000 per month. An entry-level Network Engineer earns a salary range of R17,708, a Mid-career level earns about R32,092, and a senior/experienced level earns R43,000 per month.

Average Network Engineer Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Network Engineer 17,708
Mid-Career Network Engineer 32,309
Experienced Network Engineer 43,000

Types of Network Engineers and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, network engineers play a crucial role in maintaining and optimizing various types of networks to ensure seamless communication and data exchange. There are several types of network engineers, each specializing in different aspects of network infrastructure. Here’s a breakdown of some key types and their functions:

1. Network Administrator

Responsible for day-to-day operations, network administrators manage and maintain the overall health of computer networks. They handle tasks such as user management, network security, and troubleshooting network issues.

2. Network Architect

Network architects focus on designing and planning network infrastructures. They consider the organization’s needs, growth potential, and technological advancements to create robust and scalable network designs.

3. Network Security Engineer

With a primary focus on safeguarding networks from cyber threats, security engineers implement and manage security measures. This includes firewalls, encryption protocols, and intrusion detection systems to protect sensitive data.

4. Wireless Communication Engineer

Specializing in wireless technologies, these engineers design and implement wireless networks. They ensure optimal coverage, high performance, and secure connectivity for devices such as smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices.

5. VoIP Engineer (Voice over Internet Protocol)

VoIP engineers concentrate on implementing and maintaining voice communication systems over the Internet. They ensure reliable and high-quality voice services, often managing technologies like IP telephony.

6. Data Center Networking Engineer

Focusing on the networking infrastructure within data centres, these engineers optimize data storage, processing, and transfer. They work with technologies such as virtualization, load balancing, and high-speed interconnects.

7. Cloud Network Engineer

As cloud computing gains prominence, these engineers specialize in designing and managing networks that support cloud services. They ensure connectivity, security, and efficient data transfer between on-premises and cloud environments.

8. Telecommunications Engineer

Telecommunications engineers design and manage communication systems, including traditional telephony and modern communication technologies. They may work on projects related to mobile networks, fibre optics, and satellite communication.

9. Network Support Engineer

Providing frontline support, these engineers assist users with network-related issues, troubleshoot problems, and ensure smooth day-to-day operations. They play a vital role in maintaining user satisfaction and productivity.

10. Network Performance Engineer

Focused on optimizing network performance, these engineers analyze and enhance network speed, reliability, and efficiency. They use monitoring tools to identify bottlenecks and fine-tune configurations for optimal performance.

In South Africa, the demand for skilled network engineers is increasing as businesses and industries continue to rely on robust and secure network infrastructures. Specialized roles ensure that different aspects of network design, implementation, and maintenance are addressed, contributing to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the country’s communication and information systems.

Factors Affecting Network Engineers’ Salaries in South Africa

The remuneration of network engineers in South Africa is influenced by a myriad of factors that reflect the dynamic nature of the technology industry and the unique economic landscape of the country. Understanding these factors is crucial for both professionals seeking lucrative opportunities and employers aiming to attract and retain top-tier talent in the field of networking.

1. Experience and Expertise

Network engineers with extensive experience and specialized skills often command higher salaries. Those with certifications such as Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or Juniper Networks Certified Internet Professional (JNCIP) may have a competitive edge.

2. Education

Academic qualifications, particularly in computer science, information technology, or related fields, can impact salary levels. Higher degrees and relevant certifications can enhance a network engineer’s earning potential.

3. Industry Demand

The demand for network engineers fluctuates across industries. Sectors like finance, telecommunications, and technology typically offer higher salaries due to their dependence on robust and secure network infrastructure.

4. Geographic Location

Salaries can vary significantly based on the geographic location within South Africa. Urban areas, such as Johannesburg and Cape Town, often have a higher cost of living, leading to increased salary levels compared to rural areas.

5. Company Size and Type

Working for a large multinational corporation may offer higher salaries compared to smaller companies. Additionally, industries with a critical reliance on network infrastructure, such as data centres or telecommunications, tend to offer more competitive compensation packages.

6. Economic Conditions

The overall economic health of the country plays a pivotal role. Economic stability and growth can positively impact salary levels, while economic downturns may result in more conservative compensation structures.

7. Certifications and Training

Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest technologies through certifications and training programs can contribute to salary growth. Employers often value professionals who invest in their skills and knowledge.

8. Negotiation Skills

The ability to negotiate plays a crucial role in determining a network engineer’s salary. Effective negotiation can result in better compensation packages, especially for those with in-demand skills.

9. Job Responsibilities

The complexity and criticality of a network engineer’s role within an organization can influence salary levels. Positions involving higher responsibilities, such as network architecture or security, often come with higher compensation.

10. Market Trends

Monitoring industry trends and staying abreast of emerging technologies can impact a network engineer’s earning potential. Skills aligned with current market demands, such as cloud computing or cybersecurity, may lead to higher salaries.

How to Become a Network Engineer in South Africa

To become a Network Engineer in South Africa, follow these steps:

1. Educational Background

Obtain a relevant education in computer science, information technology, or a related field. A bachelor’s degree is often preferred by employers.

2. Gain Technical Skills

Develop proficiency in networking technologies such as TCP/IP, routing, switching, and network security. Also, acquire hands-on experience with networking equipment and software.

3. Certifications

Pursue industry-recognized certifications like Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or CompTIA Network+ to validate your skills.
Certifications enhance your resume and demonstrate your expertise to employers.

4. Build a Foundation

Start with entry-level positions, such as a help desk or IT support role, to gain practical experience and understanding of real-world networking challenges.

5. Specialize

Consider specializing in specific areas like cybersecurity, cloud networking, or wireless technologies to broaden your skill set and increase job prospects.

6. Networking

Attend industry events, join online forums, and network with professionals in the field. Networking can open doors to job opportunities and provide valuable insights.

7. Stay Updated

Keep up with industry trends, emerging technologies, and changes in networking protocols. Continuous learning is crucial in the rapidly evolving field of network engineering.

8. Hands-On Experience

Set up your home lab to experiment with different networking scenarios. Practical experience is invaluable in gaining confidence and problem-solving skills.

9. Soft Skills

Develop communication and interpersonal skills. Network Engineers often collaborate with diverse teams and need to communicate technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.

10. Job Search

Look for entry-level network engineering positions on job portals, company websites, and through networking connections.

11. Prepare for Interviews

Be ready to discuss your technical skills and experiences during interviews. Showcase your problem-solving abilities and how you’ve handled challenges in previous roles.

12. Continued Education

Consider pursuing advanced degrees or specialized certifications as you progress in your career. This can open doors to senior or specialized roles.

13. Professional Development

Join professional organizations and participate in conferences to stay connected with industry professionals and stay informed about advancements.

14. Adaptability

Be adaptable and ready to learn new technologies. The field of network engineering is dynamic, and staying relevant requires a commitment to lifelong learning.

15. Ethics and Security

Understand the importance of ethical behaviour in handling sensitive data. Familiarize yourself with cybersecurity best practices to contribute to a secure network environment.



The average Network Engineer Salary in South Africa is R44,000. The network engineer salaries in South Africa are influenced by a combination of individual qualifications, industry demands, economic conditions, and negotiation skills. Professionals in this field can optimize their earning potential by strategically navigating these factors and adapting to the evolving landscape of technology.

Employers, in turn, should recognize the value of skilled network engineers and offer competitive compensation to attract and retain top talent in the competitive South African job market. By following the steps outlined above on how to become a Network Engineer, you can build a strong foundation and increase your chances of becoming a successful Network Engineer in South Africa. Remember, a combination of education, certifications, practical experience, and continuous learning is key to a thriving career in network engineering.