Average Secretary Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Secretary Salary in South Africa is R14,000 per month. An entry-level Secretary earns a salary range of R7,500, a Mid-career level earns about R14,358, and a senior/experienced level earns R19,292 per month.

Average Secretary Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Secretary 7,500
Mid-Career Secretary 14,358
Experienced Secretary 19,292

Types of Secretaries and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, secretaries play a crucial role in facilitating the smooth operation of various organizations. There are several types of secretaries, each with distinct functions that contribute to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace.

1. Administrative Secretary

Administrative secretaries are responsible for managing office activities, organizing meetings, and handling communication between different departments. They often act as a liaison between executives and staff, ensuring information flows seamlessly.

2. Executive Secretary

Executive secretaries provide high-level administrative support to top executives. They are involved in preparing reports, managing schedules, and coordinating executive-level meetings. They often handle sensitive information and require a high degree of confidentiality.

3. Legal Secretary

Legal secretaries in South Africa support attorneys and legal professionals. Their responsibilities include drafting legal documents, maintaining case files, and organizing court schedules. A solid understanding of legal terminology and procedures is essential in this role.

4. Medical Secretary

Medical secretaries assist healthcare professionals by managing patient records, scheduling appointments, and handling medical billing. They ensure the smooth flow of administrative processes within medical facilities.

5. Personal Assistant

Personal assistants provide comprehensive support to executives or individuals. Their tasks may include managing calendars, arranging travel plans, and handling personal correspondence. They act as a right-hand person, helping to streamline the daily activities of their employers.

6. Company Secretary

Company secretaries play a vital role in ensuring compliance with corporate governance regulations. They are responsible for maintaining statutory records, organizing board meetings, and advising the board on legal and regulatory matters.

7. Receptionist

While not always classified as a secretary, receptionists often perform secretarial duties. They manage front desk activities, greet visitors, and handle incoming calls. A receptionist’s role is pivotal in creating a positive first impression for clients and guests.

8. Virtual Assistant

With the advent of technology, virtual assistants provide administrative support remotely. They handle tasks such as email management, data entry, and scheduling, contributing to organizational efficiency without a physical presence in the office.

In conclusion, the types of secretaries in South Africa encompass a diverse range of roles, each tailored to the specific needs of different industries. These professionals are integral to the functioning of organizations by efficiently managing administrative tasks and contributing to the overall success of the business.

Factors Affecting Secretary’s Salaries in South Africa

The compensation of secretaries in South Africa is influenced by a myriad of factors that reflect the economic, social, and professional landscape of the country. Understanding these factors is crucial for both employers and employees in the secretarial field. This write-up explores key elements that contribute to the determination of secretaries’ salaries in South Africa.

1. Education and Skills

Secretaries with higher educational qualifications and advanced skills tend to command higher salaries. Certifications, diplomas, and degrees in relevant fields enhance a secretary’s market value and increase the likelihood of earning a competitive salary.

2. Experience and Expertise

Years of experience in the field significantly impact salary levels. Experienced secretaries who have honed their skills and gained industry-specific knowledge are often rewarded with higher compensation. Employers value the efficiency and expertise that come with a seasoned professional.

3. Industry and Company Size

The industry in which a secretary works plays a crucial role in determining salary levels. Sectors such as finance, law, and technology often offer higher salaries compared to others. Additionally, the size and financial health of the employing company influence remuneration, with larger and more prosperous organizations generally offering better pay.

4. Location

Geographical location is a key factor affecting salaries. Cost of living variations across regions in South Africa impact the amount employers are willing to pay. Urban centres, particularly Johannesburg and Cape Town, tend to have higher salary ranges compared to rural areas.

5. Negotiation Skills

The ability to negotiate plays a vital role in salary determination. Secretaries who effectively negotiate their compensation packages, taking into account their qualifications and the industry standard, are more likely to secure higher salaries.

6. Gender Disparities

Unfortunately, gender disparities persist in many workplaces, impacting salary structures. Efforts to address gender pay gaps are ongoing, but it’s essential to consider the potential influence of gender on secretary salaries in South Africa.

7. Market Demand

The demand for secretarial skills in the job market influences salaries. Shortages of qualified secretaries can lead to higher wages as employers compete for top talent, while an oversupply may result in lower salary offers.

8. Benefits and Perks

In addition to base salaries, benefits and perks contribute to the overall compensation package. Health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, and other non-monetary benefits enhance the attractiveness of a job and can impact salary decisions.

How to Become a Secretary in South Africa

Becoming a secretary in South Africa requires a combination of education, skills development, and practical experience. Secretaries play a crucial role in maintaining efficient office operations, managing administrative tasks, and facilitating communication within an organization. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pursue a career as a secretary in South Africa.

Educational Requirements

1. Matriculation: Begin by completing your high school education with a focus on subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Business Studies. A matriculation certificate is typically required for further education.

2. Post-secondary Education: Pursue a relevant diploma or degree in office administration, secretarial studies, or a related field. Many institutions in South Africa offer programs specifically designed to prepare individuals for administrative roles.

Skills Development

3. Computer Literacy: Develop strong computer skills, including proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet applications, and other office software. Secretaries often use technology extensively for document management and communication.

4. Communication Skills: Hone your written and verbal communication skills. Secretaries need to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, and superiors, making clear and concise communication crucial.

5. Organizational Skills: Cultivate strong organizational abilities. Secretaries are responsible for managing schedules, arranging meetings, and handling various administrative tasks, requiring excellent organizational skills.

Professional Certification

6. Optional Certification: Consider obtaining professional certifications to enhance your credentials. Organizations like the Institute of Certified Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) in South Africa offer certifications that can boost your credibility in the field.

Practical Experience

7. Internships or Entry-level Positions: Gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions. This hands-on experience allows you to apply theoretical knowledge, develop practical skills, and familiarize yourself with the day-to-day responsibilities of a secretary.

Networking and Job Search

8. Join Professional Networks: Connect with professional networks and associations related to office administration and secretarial roles. Networking can provide valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and access to job openings.

9. Job Search: Actively search for secretary positions through job portals, company websites, and networking contacts. Tailor your resume to highlight your education, skills, and relevant experience.

Continuous Learning

10. Stay Updated: Stay informed about industry trends, new technologies, and changes in administrative practices. Continuous learning ensures that you remain competitive and adaptable in the dynamic field of office administration.



The average Secretary Salary in South Africa is R14,000 per month. Secretaries’ salaries in South Africa are influenced by a complex interplay of factors ranging from education and experience to industry dynamics and negotiation skills. Employers and employees alike must be aware of these factors to ensure fair and competitive compensation in the evolving professional landscape. Regular assessments of salary structures are essential to fostering a balanced and equitable working environment for secretaries in South Africa.

Becoming a secretary in South Africa involves a combination of education, skills development, practical experience, and ongoing learning. By following these steps, you can build a strong foundation for a successful career as a secretary in various industries across the country.