Mechanical engineering is a broad aspect of engineering that takes credit for the designing, construction, and maintenance of many machines that performs several duties at home, offices, or in factories. This is a job that demands a lot of physical and mental strength from the individual, and in South Africa, the story isn’t different. Thus, they are one of the most well-paid specializations in the engineering profession. Below is all you should know about mechanical engineering salary in South Africa.
Overview of What Mechanical Engineering is all About
Mechanical engineering is a field in engineering that deals with the design and production of machines. A mechanical engineer designs cars, engines, combustion machines, air-conditioners, refrigerators, elevators, and conveyor systems. Like other branches of engineering, a mechanical engineer also uses a computer to integrate sensors and controllers. We can say a mechanical engineer is an engineering architect that converts his plan into reality. He uses the principle of energy, motion, force to create and analyze their works.
A mechanical engineer is a change-maker to every society; they constantly innovate and bring up technologies to meet human needs. You can hardly say that a product came into existence without passing through a process created by a mechanical engineer. Mechanical Engineering has impacted the healthcare industry, transportation, space, climate change, and several others. As a result, there are several specializations in mechanical engineering, and some fields pay better than others; this article gives a detailed guide regarding the various fields, salary structures, and factors that affect earnings in the field.
Duties of a Mechanical Engineer
A mechanical engineer implores creativity and the right skills in bringing into reality a certain idea. In a nutshell, we can say that a mechanical engineer performs the following duties.
- Whenever they approach a problem, they find the best route to solve them with thermal and mechanical devices.
- They use analysis and computer software to design a mechanical and thermal system.
- They diagnose equipment to find faults or difficulties.
- Mechanical Engineers repair, develop prototypes of a device.
- They supervise the production process of a device.
Estimated Monthly Salary of a Mechanical Engineer in South Africa
On average, a mechanical engineer in South Africa earns around R31,500 per month or R378,000 annually; the lowest range is around R14,500 monthly or R174,000 yearly, while the maximum is R51,000 monthly or R612,000 annually. This estimated salary of a mechanical engineer includes his expenses such as transport, housing, and other benefits. A mechanical engineer’s salary is affected not just by their experience but also their present location and gender.
Different Specialization of Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is vast, and below are some of the core areas of specialization and what they earn in South Africa.
Machinery Manufacturing Engineer
In this sector, you will be expected to manufacture heavy machines like printing machines, laser marking machines, and lots more like that. A mechanical engineer in this field earns around R478,698 annually.
An Automation engineer test, program, and design a system. They work closely with the customer to understand what they need. An automation engineer earns around R380,640 annually.
A control engineer works in the automobile industry; they discover need designs or improvements for new products. They earn around R398,584 annually.
Research and Development Engineer
The research and development engineers create new products and methods. They are constantly innovating or producing better systems to enhance safety, efficiency, and conversion. A research and development engineer earns around R660,000 annually.
A project engineer oversees a project, ensuring they deliver quality within budget and deadline. They ensure that there is a cordial relationship between staff in the industry. A project engineer earns around R403,940 annually.
A material engineer uses physical materials present to create products that can solve a specific problem. They spend a significant amount of time designing and testing their products, and they always have to stay up to date to meet the industry standard. A material engineer earns around R530,000 annually.
CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Technician
A CAD technician employs CAD software to draw technical drawings and build plans used to manufacture products. They create 2D and 3D designs, and they also involve the knowledge of mathematics and IT when creating a design. They earn around R282,234 annually.
Nanotechnology is one of the highest-paid fields in mechanical engineering. They blend physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and IT in developing a product. A nano engineer earns around R461,901 annually.
Mechatronics engineers design computer-controlled electro-mechanical devices. They produce a hard disk drive, antilock braking system, and several others. A mechatronics engineer earns around R378,000 annually.
Factors that Affects Mechanical Engineering Salary in South Africa
The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary—naturally, the more years of experience, the higher your wage. We broke down Mechanical Engineer salaries by experience level, and this is what we found.
Experience is not the only factor but the most important that determines the salary of a mechanical engineer. The more years you accumulate in the field, the higher your pay. In South Africa, a mechanical engineer with less than 2 years of experience earns around R16,400, while another with five years of experience earns around R22,000. That is 34% more than the engineer with 2 years’ experience. A mechanical engineer’s salary doubles when they cross the 10 years experience caps.
The table below describes the average salary change of a mechanical experience by experience in South Africa
|Years of Experience
|0 to 2 years
|-2 to 5 Years +34%
|-10 Years +48%
|-15 Years +22%
|-20 Years +9%
|+20 Years +8%
Your education level most times determines your wage in the field. A diploma holder earns 17% more than a high school certificate. A degree holder earns 24% more than a diploma holder; a master degree holder earns 29% more than a degree holder, while a Ph.D. holder earns 24% more than a master degree holder.
Sometimes, a master’s degree gets 93% more than a bachelor’s degree holder. For example, the average salary for a mechanical engineer with a bachelor’s degree is R19,100, a master’s degree holder can earn as high as R36,900. When the education level is Bachelor’s Degree, the average salary of a Mechanical Engineer is R19,100 per month.
Gender of the Engineer
Although gender shouldn’t be a reason for the mechanical engineering salary difference, it does in South Africa, and men earn more than women. A male mechanical engineer earns 12% more than a female mechanical engineer in South Africa.
City Where the Engineer Works
Some cities in South Africa pay mechanical engineers more than others. The table below shows the average mechanical engineering salary per city in South Africa.