CIOs, CTO’s and chief architects rake it in

Tech salaries in South Africa have well outstripped infl ation, according to ITWeb’s 14th annual IT Salary Survey. The average annual salary reported by all respondents went up by R48 000 or 11.3% since last year, with women having taken a longer stride to catch up with the male techies in our notoriously male-dominated IT sector – salaries of female respondents went up by 13.6% while male respondents recorded a 9.6% increase.

  Average salary 2013 Average salary 2014
 Female R 363 297 R 412 847
 Male R 485 236 R 531 823

At the executive and strategic level, the highest average salary was reported by chief information offi cers (CIOs), at R1 084 643, signifi cantly up from the average of R820 000 last year. Interestingly, female CIOs reported earning around R95k or 9% more than their male counterparts, although of the 42 CIOs that participated, only three were women.

Next highest at the top level, were the chief security offi cers, chief technology offi cers and sales directors.

For chief technology offi cers (CTOs), the average reported salary for the men came in at R944 000, with the sole woman in that role reporting a slightly higher salary of R980 000.

MDs are the least paid in the top executive management club, but this is due to the company size they work for – smaller companies that they often built as entrepreneurs and took sacrifi ces, while the high-paying C-level execs work for large corporates.


Mid-management and operational-level jobs saw the highest pay-levels recorded for enterprise architects with R754 872, followed by the business development managers at R696 989 and data warehouse managers at R649 385. Sales managers followed with R 640 348 and project managers with an average of R625 379.

Interestingly, there were several roles in which women command signifi cantly higher salaries than men; these include systems architects, with women on R836 000 vs men on R665 554, IT engineers, with women on R517 545 vs men at R369 684; women IT managers R640 714 vs men at R584 950; and training managers – women R449 259 and men at R422 455. The number of women entering the IT industry is still relatively low, but the fi ndings of the survey clearly indicate the absence of the proverbial glass ceiling – those who make it in the demanding world of business, can and do command top money.

When it comes to staff level – IT professionals who have no managerial responsibility and therefore no one reporting to them, architects top the charts as in previous years – the average software architect earns R699 021, a systems architect earns R647 220, with ERP consultants in third place with an average of R579 359.

At the bottom end of the scale, the lowest average salaries are reported by helpdesk staff, IT technicians, Web developers, Web designers, software testers and network administrators.


When it comes to the chosen IT fi eld, top earners are to be found in enterprise architecture, IT strategy, systems architecture, ERP, project management and enterprise application integration. Least in demand are – not surprisingly – desktop support, network administration and quite surprisingly – web development, the latter likely due to oversupply.

In terms of the particular technologyplatform expertise versus salary, Adabas skills commanded the highest pay, with an average of R841 667 – due to the fact that those respondents are in senior mission-critical positions, with long track records. They are followed by IBM Lotus Domino at R819 333, Sun server hardware at R793 333 and PowerBuilder at R792 000.

“High salaries for Adabas, Cobol, Assembler and other legacy platforms show the mainframe is far from dead,” says Anton van Heerden, MD of Sage VIP Payroll & HR. “However, the sheer number of respondents working on more modern Web-based platforms and the salaries they command also show South African organisations are embracing digital transformation of their businesses.”

In terms of overall popularity of platform, Windows Desktop came out tops, followed by Windows Server Family, C#, Ms SQL Server , Sap, Java and Cisco, followed by Linux, PHP, Oracle database and Oracle applications, HTML and C++.

sap, java, cisco shine

The view of the top paying popular skills with more than a hundred survey respondents ‒ revels that SAP, Java, Cisco and C# are worth the most, with average annual salaries between R620 000 and R520 000.

Closely behind are those who list MS SQL Server as the technology platform they specialise in, with just over R500 000 on average, while those focusing on Windows Server family platforms earn just over R440 000.

Tech platform vs salary, female vs male


Note: The figures reported are the average annual package, cost to company,
before deductions.
Source: ITWeb’s 14th annual IT Salary Survey
Sample: 5385


Almost half of the respondents (49%) believe their salary is fairly competitive. Logically, those 15% who are the happiest and aware that their pay is very competitive, earn the most (over R700 000 per year), while those who feel they are underpaid reported the lowest average – R350 000 per year.

About the survey

ITWeb’s 14th annual IT Salary Survey was conducted on ITWeb’s website for a period of four weeks in late 2013 and early 2014.

As this is an online opt-in survey, it captures data directly from South African IT professionals, but the sample is not controlled. The results report is meant to serve as a guideline for local ICT salary trends.

“The annual ITWeb IT Salary Survey offers a fascinating window into IT employment trends in South Africa and shows how the salary landscape is changing,” says Anton van Heerden, managing director, Sage VIP Payroll & HR.

The respondents

The 2014 Survey captured a whopping 5 385 respondents, more than double compared to last year’s survey. This large sample makes for a good representation of the industry, from ages 20 to over 50, and covers a variety of industry sectors and job roles.

A marginal positive change is seen in the male/female ratio - 79% of the respondents were male and 21% female, compared to 82% and 18% respectively in last year’s survey.

Those who took part included C-level executives, business managers, consultants, IT practitioners, developers from all around the country, ranging in age from under 20 to over 50, and from organisations with under 10 people, to enterprise giants with over 5 000 staff.

Those aged 31 to 35 made up the bulk of the survey, followed by respondents in the 26 – 30 range, and 36 to 40 range.

Unsurprisingly, Gauteng had the highest number of respondents with 68%, followed by Western Cape with 20% and KwaZulu-Natal with 6%.

Executive job vs salary



Mid-management job vs salary



Staff job vs salary



Note: The figures reported are the average annual package, cost to company, before deductions.
Source: ITWeb’s 14th annual IT Salary Survey
Sample: 5385


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