The education system has been coined the mother of all professions, teachers’ salaries are therefore a pivotal aspect of educational discussions, especially regarding the quality of teaching and the attractiveness of the profession.

As we navigate through 2024, it’s important to delve into the state of teachers’ salaries in South Africa, understanding the key factors that influence these wages and the implications for the education sector.

Overview of Teachers’ Salaries in South Africa

In 2024, teachers’ salaries in South Africa continue to reflect a complex interplay of factors including qualification levels, experience, and geographical location. The average base salary for a teacher is reported to be R12,651 per month, according to 356 salary reports updated as of April 15, 2024.

This average helps to provide a general picture of what educators might expect to earn across the country.

Specific Salaries Across Different Teaching Roles

High School Teachers

The average salary for a high school teacher is R 71.31 per hour. This figure is based on data from 33 reported salaries as of April 13, 2024.

Early Career Primary School Teachers

A primary school teacher with 1 to 4 years of experience earns an average of R164 927 annually, based on 824 reported salaries.

Mid-Career Teachers

Educators with 5 to 9 years of experience earn an average salary of R206 199 annually, based on 371 salaries.

Experienced Primary School Teachers 

Primary school teachers with 10 to 19 years of experience make an average total compensation of R240 471 annually, based on 277 reported salaries.

Veteran Teachers

Teachers with over 20 years of experience receive an average total compensation of R271,568.

Government Teachers

The average salary for a government teacher is R135 per hour, translating to approximately R264 000 per year. Entry-level educators start at R210 000 per year, while the most experienced can earn up to R840 000 annually.

Temporary Teachers

An early career substitute teacher in South Africa earns an average of R240 000 annually, including overtime pay and bonuses.

Comprehensive Salary Overview for Various Teaching Positions

Here is an overview of the average annual salaries for various teaching positions in South Africa:

  • Primary school teacher: R200,486
  • High school teacher: R228,968
  • Educator: R235,387
  • Teacher: R206,476
  • Mathematics teacher: R225,824
  • Headteacher: R261,182
  • Preschool teacher: R109,361
  • Middle school teacher: R204,934
  • Elementary school teacher: R194,368
  • Secondary school teacher: R202,833
  • Lecturer/Speaker: R205,800
  • Principal/Headmaster: R307,433
  • Operations manager: R275,808
  • High school principal: R373,578
  • Special education teacher (preschool to elementary): R148,512
  • Preschool principal: R138,616
  • Early Childhood Educator (ECE): R109,209
  • Teacher assistant: R58,729
  • Special education teacher (secondary school): R238,704
  • Art teacher: R173,331
  • Kindergarten teacher: R74,518

Where to Study to Become a Teacher in South Africa

To become a qualified teacher in South Africa, one must obtain a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree or a postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) if they already hold an undergraduate degree in a different field. Several reputable institutions offer these programs:

Universities Offering Education Degrees

  • University of Pretoria: Known for its comprehensive B.Ed. and PGCE programs, the University of Pretoria prepares students for a wide range of teaching specializations.
  • University of Johannesburg: Offers a variety of education qualifications, including early childhood, foundation phase, and senior phase teaching.
  • University of the Western Cape: Focuses on inclusive education, preparing teachers to work effectively in diverse classroom settings.
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal: Provides strong programs in education management, policy studies, and teacher development.
  • Stellenbosch University: Renowned for its high academic standards and research in education, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in education.

Distance Learning Options

  • UNISA (University of South Africa): As the largest open distance learning institution in Africa, UNISA offers flexible B.Ed. programs that allow students to study while working or managing other commitments.

Related: Unlock Your Potential with the Funza Lushaka Bursary 2024

Teachers’ Professional Body in South Africa

To practice as a teacher in South Africa, one must be registered with the South African Council for Educators (SACE). This professional body is responsible for maintaining professional standards in the education sector and ensuring that all educators adhere to the ethical guidelines set forth.

Role of SACE:

  • Registration: All qualified teachers must register with SACE to legally work in South African schools. This includes teachers in both public and private institutions.
  • Professional Development: SACE offers various programs and workshops to aid in the continuous professional development of teachers. These programs are designed to enhance teaching skills and keep educators updated with the latest educational practices and methodologies.
  • Ethical Standards: SACE enforces ethical standards among its members, handling disciplinary issues and promoting professionalism within the teaching field.

How to Register with SACE:

  • Obtain a Qualification: Complete a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) or a postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
  • Submit Application: Fill out the registration form available on the SACE website and submit it along with the required documents, such as certified copies of your qualifications and identification.
  • Pay the Registration Fee: A nominal fee is required for the registration and annual renewal to maintain active membership.
  • Receive Your SACE Certificate: Upon successful verification of your documents and payment, you will receive your SACE certificate, which you must renew annually.

Registering with SACE is a crucial step for any aspiring teacher in South Africa as it not only legalizes their status as professional educators but also aligns them with a network of professionals committed to upholding educational standards.

These institutions not only provide academic qualifications but also focus on practical training, which is crucial for effective teaching. Prospective teachers are encouraged to research each university’s specialties and choose the one that best fits their career aspirations.


Q: What is the starting salary for a new teacher in South Africa in 2024?
A: A new teacher in South Africa can expect to start with a salary of approximately R210,000 per year, depending on the level of education and the specific district.

Q: How does teachers’ salary in South Africa compare with neighboring countries?
A: Teachers’ salaries in South Africa are generally competitive within the Southern African region but vary significantly compared to countries like Botswana or Namibia, where educational funding differs.

Q: Are there additional benefits for teachers apart from the basic salary?
A: Yes, in addition to the basic salary, teachers in South Africa may receive benefits such as housing allowances, medical aid contributions, and pension funds, depending on their employment contract and the school’s policies.

Q: How does experience affect a teacher’s salary in South Africa?
A: Experience greatly influences a teacher’s salary in South Africa. As teachers gain more years of experience, their salary typically increases. For instance, teachers with over 20 years of experience can earn up to R271,568 per year.

Q: What are the salary prospects for teachers in private schools compared to public schools?
A: Private school teachers in South Africa often earn higher salaries compared to their counterparts in public schools due to the different funding structures and resources available in private institutions.

Q: How often do teachers in South Africa receive salary increments?
A: Salary increments for teachers in South Africa are typically annual and are influenced by national budget allocations, collective bargaining agreements, and individual performance reviews.

Q: What are the opportunities for part-time teaching in South Africa, and how is it compensated?
A: Part-time teaching opportunities are available in South Africa, especially in private schools and through tutoring services. Compensation for part-time teachers is usually based on the number of hours worked or classes taught, and it may not include the benefits provided to full-time teachers.

The examination of teachers’ salaries in South Africa is crucial for understanding the broader context of educational challenges and workforce sustainability. Ensuring competitive and fair remuneration for teachers is essential for attracting and retaining skilled educators, which in turn impacts the overall quality of education.