Average Teacher Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Teacher Salary in South Africa is R24,000 per month. An entry-level Teacher earns a salary range of R13,000, a Mid-career level earns about R24,487, and a senior/experienced level earns R33,329 per month.

Average Teacher Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Teacher 13,000
Mid-Career Teacher 24,487
Experienced Teacher 33,329

Types of Teachers and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, the educational landscape is diverse, and teachers play a crucial role in shaping the learning experience for students. Various types of teachers with distinct functions contribute to the overall educational system. Here’s an overview of some common types of teachers and their functions in South Africa:

1. Foundation Phase Teachers

These educators work with young learners in the early years of formal education. Their functions include introducing basic literacy and numeracy skills, fostering a love for learning, and laying the foundation for future academic success.

2. Intermediate Phase Teachers

Responsible for students in grades 4 to 6, intermediate phase teachers build on foundational skills. Their functions involve delivering a more specialized curriculum, identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses, and preparing them for the transition to higher grades.

3. High School Subject Teachers

Specialized educators who focus on specific subjects such as mathematics, science, languages, and humanities. Their functions include in-depth subject instruction, exam preparation, and guiding students in subject-specific career paths.

4. Special Needs Educators

These teachers address the diverse needs of students with disabilities or learning challenges. Their functions involve creating personalized learning plans, providing additional support, and fostering an inclusive classroom environment.

5. Career Guidance Counselors

Assist students in making informed decisions about their academic and professional paths. Their functions include offering career guidance, organizing workshops, and helping learners navigate post-secondary education and job opportunities.

6. School Principals

School leaders are responsible for overall management and administration. Their functions involve curriculum oversight, teacher supervision, budget management, and creating a positive school culture.

7. Language Teachers

Focus on teaching languages, which is crucial in South Africa’s multilingual context. Their functions include developing language proficiency, cultural awareness, and promoting linguistic diversity.

8. Physical Education Teachers

Promote physical health and well-being through sports and exercise. Their functions include organizing physical activities, teaching sports skills, and fostering a healthy lifestyle among students.

9. Technology and Innovation Educators

Integrate technology into the curriculum, preparing students for the digital age. Their functions involve teaching digital literacy, facilitating technology-based projects, and staying updated on educational technology trends.

10. Community Outreach Educators

Connect schools with their local communities, fostering collaboration and engagement. Their functions include organizing community events, addressing social issues, and building partnerships to enhance the overall educational experience.

The diversity of teacher roles in South Africa reflects the multifaceted nature of the education system, catering to the needs of a varied student population and contributing to the holistic development of learners.

Factors Affecting Teacher Salaries in South Africa

Teacher salaries in South Africa are influenced by a multitude of factors that reflect the complex nature of the education system, economic conditions, and social dynamics in the country. Understanding these factors is crucial for policymakers, educators, and the public to address issues related to teacher compensation and ensure a sustainable and equitable education system.

1. Educational Qualifications and Experience

Teachers with higher qualifications and extensive experience generally command higher salaries. South Africa has a structured salary scale based on academic credentials and years of service.

2. Government Policies

Government policies play a pivotal role in determining teacher salaries. Changes in education policies, budget allocations, and salary review mechanisms impact the overall compensation structure.

3. Economic Conditions

Economic stability and growth influence the government’s capacity to allocate funds for education. Economic downturns may result in budget constraints, affecting salary increments for teachers.

4. Geographical Disparities

Disparities in living costs and demand for teachers can lead to variations in salaries across provinces. Rural areas may face challenges attracting and retaining qualified teachers due to lower salaries.

5. Union Influence

Teacher unions play a significant role in negotiating for better wages and working conditions. Union strength and advocacy efforts can impact salary adjustments and contractual terms.

6. Inflation and Cost of Living

Inflation rates and the cost of living directly impact the purchasing power of teachers’ salaries. Adjustments are often made to compensate for inflation, but the adequacy of these adjustments varies.

7. Subject Specialization

Teachers specializing in high-demand subjects or skills may receive additional incentives. The scarcity of educators in specific fields can lead to differential pay structures.

8. Teacher Shortages

Regions facing severe teacher shortages may offer higher salaries to attract educators. Shortages can result from demographic trends, emigration, or challenges in teacher recruitment.

9. Performance-Based Pay

Some education systems introduce performance-based pay structures to reward effective teaching. The implementation of such systems can be contentious, with debates on fair assessments and criteria.

10. Public Perception and Value of Education

The societal value placed on education can influence the prioritization of education budgets. Public sentiment towards educators can impact political decisions regarding teacher salaries.

How to Become a Teacher in South Africa

Becoming a teacher in South Africa involves several steps, including educational requirements, certification, and practical experience. Here’s a detailed guide on how to pursue a teaching career in South Africa:

1. Educational Qualifications

Obtain a National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a bachelor’s degree admission endorsement. This typically requires passing subjects like Mathematics and English.

2. Choose a Teaching Specialization

Decide on the grade level and subject you want to teach. South Africa offers various teaching specializations, such as Early Childhood Development (ECD), Foundation Phase (grades R-3), Intermediate Phase (grades 4-6), and Senior Phase (grades 7-9).

3. Higher Education

Pursue a relevant teaching degree at a recognized institution. Common options include a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Ensure the chosen program is accredited by the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

4. Practical Experience

Many teacher preparation programs include practical teaching experience, often through teaching practice or internships. Gain hands-on experience in diverse classroom settings to enhance your teaching skills.

5. Registration with SACE

After completing your education, register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE). This registration is mandatory for all teachers and ensures that educators meet professional standards.

6. Teacher Certification

For individuals with a non-teaching degree, completing a PGCE is essential for certification. It includes both theoretical and practical components, preparing you for the challenges of the classroom.

7. Submit Documents

Prepare and submit all required documents for teacher certification, including academic transcripts, proof of practical experience, and SACE registration.

8. National Teachers’ Test

Some provinces may require you to pass the National Teachers’ Test (NTT) as part of the certification process. This test assesses your knowledge and competence in key areas related to teaching.

9. Apply for Teaching Positions

Start applying for teaching positions in schools or educational institutions. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your education, experience, and commitment to the teaching profession.

10. Continuous Professional Development

Stay updated on educational trends and engage in continuous professional development. Attend workshops, conferences, and training sessions to enhance your teaching skills and stay informed about changes in the education sector.

11. Renewal of Certification

Periodically renew your teaching certification as required by SACE. This often involves completing a certain number of professional development hours to ensure that educators maintain high standards of competence.

By following these steps, aspiring teachers in South Africa can navigate the process of becoming qualified educators, contributing to the development of the nation’s educational landscape.



The average Teacher Salary in South Africa is R24,000 per month. Understanding the factors influencing teacher salaries in South Africa is essential for fostering a sustainable and equitable education system. Striking a balance between economic considerations, educational priorities, and social factors is crucial for attracting and retaining qualified teachers, ultimately contributing to the overall development of the nation.