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Tech Career Insights: JavaScript Developer Salary Trends in South Africa
Check out the 2022 State of the Software Developer Nation report to get data-backed insights on dev salaries and careers. View report

JavaScript Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

By Josh Nel

JavaScript is the most widely used programming language by South African developers. 59.8% of South African developers list it as a primary programming language. Here’s an overview of what South African JavaScript developers earn at each stage of their careers and the average salaries for one of their most-used frameworks, React.

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Junior and entry-level JavaScript developer salary trends

Average JavaScript Developer Salaries

Average JavaScript Developer Salaries

Average salaries for entry-level JavaScript developers in South Africa start at R19 657, which is on par with entry-level Java and PHP developers.

Salaries for junior JavaScript developers quickly rise by 48.8% to an average of R29 246 after they gain two years of experience.

After they’ve been in the profession for four years, salaries for JavaScript developers increase by 46% to an average of R42 689.

Why the significant increases during the early stages of their careers? While they are still finding their feet in the early stages of their careers, developers tend to change jobs 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.

Depending on how much they’ve progressed, they might also quickly level up their skills to a mid-level developer. Companies hiring developers at these career stages are more inclined to offer what might seem a significant increase because the salary range is still not that high.

Despite this, average salaries for JavaScript developers lag behind those of Python and Java developers with similar experience.

Once they become senior developers, salary growth for JavaScript developers begins to slow down.

Senior JavaScript developers with at least six years of experience can still look forward to a healthy 39.4% increase, giving them an average monthly salary of R59 493. This increases by 34.3% to R79 898 after the ten-year mark.

Why the slow-down? In addition to senior developers generally changing jobs less often than juniors, companies also have to start thinking about salary increases as a developer’s salary level becomes “more expensive”.

A developer’s primary programming language and experience are not the only factors affecting their salary. Their frameworks also affect what they can expect to earn across their careers.

Average React Developer Salaries by Experience

Average React Developer Salaries

A developer’s frameworks can also affect what they expect to earn across their careers. For example, React is the second most widely used language by JavaScript developers in South Africa.

Here, we’ll look at what React developers can expect to earn across their careers and how that compares to salaries of average JavaScript developers.

Average salaries for entry-level React developers start at R19 471. At this stage of their careers, less than 1% separates them from the average JavaScript developer. This rises by 58.8% to R30 927 after they’ve been coding professionally for at least two years.

React developer salaries overtake those of average JavaScript developers once they pass the two-year mark: After four years in the profession, mid-level React developer salaries are at an average of R46 100, 8% higher than the average mid-level JavaScript developer’s. This is the highest salary gap between the two across all seniority levels.

Again, salary growth 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 ten years.

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.

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. 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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