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Tech Career Insights: Java Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

Java Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

By Josh Nel

26.4% of South African developers are using Java as a primary programming language in 2022. This makes it the fifth most-used programming language in the country. Here’s an overview of average Java developer salaries by experience, and what full stack Java developers are earning across their careers.

java developer salary south africa

Entry-level Java developers can expect a gross monthly salary of R19,550. This increases by a massive 54.2% to R30,146 once they reach two years of experience as Junior developers.

Java developers in South Africa can expect to see their biggest salary jump once they have more than four years of experience under their belt.

Java developers with four to six years of experience see their salaries rise by 56.9% to R47,292.

However, this salary growth starts to slow once they reach higher levels of seniority.

Average Java Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R10,000 R19,550 R22,500
2-4 R17,500 R30,146 R37,500
4-6 R32,500 R47,292 R57,500
6-10 R47,500 R66,913 R82,500
10+ R67,500 R90,611 R105,000

After six years in the job, Java developers can expect a 41.5% increase to an average monthly salary of R66,913.

Senior Java developers with more than ten years of experience see the lowest salary increase in their career: An additional 35.4% earns them average salaries of R90,611.

While their salary growth starts to slow, senior Java developers are among the best paid developers at higher levels of seniority. This can be explained by the concentration of senior Java developers in South Africa’s best paying industries.

Java developer salary trends in South Africa 2022

The data shows that most of South Africa’s senior Java developers work in FinTech, Consulting, and CloudTech. Why does this matter? Since 2019, FinTech and Cloud Tech have been the best-paying industries for developers in South Africa, especially at higher levels of seniority.

Apart from their current industry, a Java developer’s role can also affect their starting salary and earning potential across their careers.

In general, full stack developers are the second highest earning group among South African developers in 2022, after backend developers. Here, we’ll see what full stack Java developers earn at each stage of their careers.

Entry-level full stack Java developers earn an average salary of R19,841. This gives them a 1.5% advantage over the average entry-level Java developer, but it doesn’t last. When the entry-level salary increases by 44.6% to R28,683 after they’ve been in the profession for at least two years, junior full stack Java developers earn 11.5% less than the average junior Java developer.

Once they have more than four years of experience, full stack Java developers get the biggest salary jump of their careers:

Mid-level full stack Java developers experience a 63.6% pay rise to R46,920.

Salary growth for senior developers tends to slow down, but full stack Java developers can still look forward to an increase of 38.1% to an average R64,383 at six to ten years of experience, and another 27.5% increase after ten years, to R82,667.

Average Full Stack Java Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R10,000 R19,841 R25,000
2-4 R20,000 R28,683 R37,500
4-6 R32,500 R46,920 R57,500
6-10 R47,500 R64,836 R77,500
10+ R67,500 R82,667 R97,500

Another factor that impacts a software developer’s salary is the framework they use. Spring is one of the most-used frameworks by Java developers in South Africa. Here, we’ll see what Spring developers earn at each stage of their careers and how that compares to the average Java developer’s salary.

Entry-level Spring developers start out with an average monthly salary of R20 333, 4% more than the average for an entry-level Java developer.

Once they have two years of experience under their belts, the average salary for a junior Spring developer increases by a massive 64.3%. This gives them an average monthly salary of R33 418. By this stage of their careers, they earn 10.9% more than the average Java developer with comparable experience.

Once they pass the four-year mark, Spring developers can expect a 44.1% increase, giving them an average salary of R48 150. Despite the increase, the gap between intermediate Spring and Java developers has narrowed to 1.8%.

Senior Spring developers with more than six years of experience can expect an additional 34.5% increase for an average salary of R64 755. This increases by a further 39.1% to R90 093 after they’ve been in the profession for more than ten years. By the time they become seniors, Spring developers no longer earn more than their Java counterparts.

Average Spring Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R10,625 R20,333 R27,500
2-4 R22,500 R33,418 R42,500
4-6 R37,500 R48,150 R56,250
6-10 R47,500 R64,755 R77,500
10+ R67,500 R90,096 R105,000

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 levels of experience, 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 depend on the industry, individual, perks and nature of work. These factors all influence the salary a company will offer to a prospective hire. Most developers are “fluent” in several languages and this will affect the final figures as well.

It’s also important to keep in mind that every individual’s context is different. At the end of the day, salary is a personal conversation that should take place between employee and employer.

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