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Tech Career Insights: Front End Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

Front End Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

By Josh Nel

Our 2022 State of the Software Developer Nation data shows that front end developers are the lowest-earning group behind backend and full stack developers in 2022. Here’s an overview of average frontend developer salaries at junior, mid- and senior levels, and for two of their most-used frameworks, React and Vue.js.

Front End Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

On average, front end developers earn 27% less than their backend counterparts. The difference between these roles is widest for senior developers with more than 10 years of experience, at a steep 33%.

Let’s look at what front end developers can expect to earn at each stage of their careers.

Average junior and entry-level front end developer salary trends

Average Front End Developer Salaries

"junior front end developer salary","senior front end developer salary"

The average salary for an entry-level front end developer with fewer than 2 years of experience starts at R16,812 per month but quickly rises by 53.8% to R25,855 after two years in the profession.

This picture looks quite similar for all junior developers across the backend and full stack, because while they are still finding their feet in the early stages of their careers, developers tend to change jobs a lot more. This gives them a chance to negotiate a higher market-related salary than the inflationary increases developers can expect if they stay with one company.

Salary growth for frontend developers in South Africa begins to slow down once they pass the 4 years experience mark, but they can still look forward to respectable increases at the later stages of their careers.

Mid-level front end developers with 4-6 years of experience can expect a 48.4% pay rise, giving them an average monthly salary of R38,376.

Salary growth continues to slow for senior front end developers in South Africa, but that’s not to say that there’s no growth.

After they’ve been in the profession for 6-10 years, front end developers’ monthly salaries rise by a respectable 31.7% to an average of R50,555. They increase by 21.9% after 10 years of experience to R61,642.

While average salaries for senior front end developers are lower than their backend and full stack counterparts, their frameworks can offer them a salary boost at the later stages of their careers.

Average React Developer Salaries by Experience

Average React Developer Salaries by Experience

53.9% of front end developers report working with React as a primary framework. This makes it the most widely used framework by front end developers in South Africa.

React developers also earn more than the average frontend developer at each stage of their careers. The gap between them is widest for senior developers with more than 10 years of experience at a whopping 36%.

Entry-level React developers start out with an average monthly salary of R19,471. This rises by 58.4% to R30,927 after the 2-year experience mark. React developers are earning 19.6% more than the average front end developer at this stage of their careers.

Salaries for React developers increase by a further 49.1% to an average of R46,100 after 4 years in the profession.

Salary growth for React developers starts to slow at higher levels of seniority:

After 6-10 years of experience, senior React developers can expect a 36.6% increase in their average salaries to R62,692 and a further 33.1% to R83,808 after more than 10 years.

Average Vue.js Developer Salaries by Experience

Average Vue.js Developer Salaries by Experience

Vue.js is the fifth most used framework by front end developers in South Africa and, like React, can lead to an increase in earning potential at the senior level.

Senior South African Vue.js developers with 6-10 years of experience earn 24.4% more than the average frontend developer with equivalent experience levels.

Entry-level Vue.js developers with fewer than 2 years of experience begin their careers with an average monthly salary of R18,869. This rises by 60.4% to an average of R30,263 after 2 years of experience.

At the 4-6 years experience level, salary growth decreases to 33%, giving mid-level Vue.js developers an average monthly salary of R40,244.

Unlike their React counterparts, salary growth for Vue.js developers initially increases at the senior level.

Senior Vue.js developers can look forward to a pay rise of 56.7% to an average of R63,063 at 6-10 years of experience. This slows to 20.8% after 10 years to R76,196.

Keep in mind

The data in this article is taken from OfferZen’s 2022 State of the Software Developer Nation Report. In this article, ‘salary’ refers to the gross monthly salary (before tax) provided by more than 3200 survey respondents.

Average salaries are single data points and only one part of a bigger story. It’s expected that many respondents may earn significantly more or significantly less than these averages. However, by mapping the average salaries for different experience levels, we hope to map underlying trends.

That said, these averages should not be used to estimate what your actual salary will or should be.

Salaries are dependent on the industry, individual, perks and nature of work. These factors all influence the salary a company will offer to a prospective hire. In addition, most developers are “fluent” in several languages, which will affect the final figures.

It’s also important to remember that every individual’s context is different. Salary is a personal conversation that should take place between employee and employer.

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