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How much you could earn based on your level of education in South Africa


Statistics South Africa and Analytico have revealed what the average the South African can expect to earn based on their level of education.
The data shows that there is a clear graduation in monthly salary the more educated someone is, which highlights the urgency in maintaining a high level of education, as well as addressing crises such as the staggering drop-out rate experienced in the country.
A person who has earned their matric can expect almost double the salary than someone who has an incomplete high school career (and more than double those who have dropped out before that).
However, even seeing school through to the end won’t automatically translate to decent earning prospects. Tertiary education proves to be the key, with even a tertiary certificate resulting in a 67% jump in potential earnings – while a bachelor’s degree would see a 330% jump.
This was easier said than done, though, with Analytico noting that there was still an imbalance and inequality that exists among South African earners – where there is a big difference in the standard of education being offered to the wealthiest 20% versus the least wealthy 20%.
“The current education system, instead of fighting earnings inequality, is reproducing the patterns of poverty and inequality that we are observing currently in South Africa,” the group said.
The salaries listed below are based on earnings data from Analytico, covering a total sample size of 717,364 individuals with educational outcomes of Grade 8 to Bachelors level. It was based on median gross income per month in October 2016 the company said.
Level of EducationGross Income per month
No SchoolingR1 704
Some Primary School (Grade 1 – 7 incomplete)R1 867
Completed Primary School (Grade 7)R1 946
Some Secondary Education (Grade 8 – Grade 12 incomplete)R2 660
Grade 12R4 977
Grade 12 with CertificateR8 326
Grade 12 with DiplomaR13 378
Bachelor’s degreeR21 527

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