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Tech Career Insights: PHP Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

PHP Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

By Josh Nel

1 in 8 South African developers listed PHP as a primary programming language making it the sixth most widely used in the country. Here’s an overview of average PHP developer salaries by experience, what full stack PHP developers can expect to earn at each stage of their careers, and average salaries for the most-used PHP framework, Laravel.


Average PHP Developer Salaries

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Average salaries for entry-level PHP developers in South Africa start at R19 896 and increase by 13.9% to R23 119 after being in the profession for two years.

PHP developers in South Africa experience the most significant pay increase of their careers once they reach the mid-career level:

Salaries for PHP developers with 4-6 years of experience increase by 40.3% to an average of R38 700 per month.

Why do average salaries rise so quickly during these stages of their careers?

Developers tend to change jobs more while finding their feet during the early stages of their careers, allowing them to negotiate a market-related salary higher 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.

However, salary growth for PHP developers begins to slow once they become seniors.

PHP developers with 6-10 years of experience can expect a respectable salary increase of 27.5% to R53 370 and a further 25% to R71 194 after the 10-year mark.

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

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

Average Laravel Developer Salaries by Experience


Laravel is the most-used framework among PHP developers in South Africa. Here we’ll look at what Laravel developers can expect to make at each stage of their careers and how that compares to the average PHP developer.

Salaries for entry-level Laravel developers start at R18 571, or 6.7% less than the average PHP developer. However, they rise by 12.8% to an average of R21 302 after two years in the profession.

Laravel developers get their most significant salary increase at the 4-6 years’ experience level:

Salaries for mid-level Laravel developers increase by 47.5% to R40 600.

By this stage of their careers, they have overtaken the average PHP developer.

Again, salary growth starts to slow at higher levels of seniority.

Senior Laravel developers can still expect a 31% increase to an average of R58 841 after they pass the six-year mark, 10.3% higher than the average PHP developer. Average salaries rise by 21.4% to R74 856 after ten years of experience.

Average Full Stack PHP Developer Salaries by Experience


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 PHP developers earn at each stage of their careers.

Average salaries for entry-level full stack PHP developers in South Africa start at R19 000, 4.5% less than the average PHP developer. However, their average salaries increase by 26.2% to R23 968 after two years in the profession.

Full stack PHP developers can expect the most considerable pay increase of their careers after they pass the four years of experience mark:

Average salaries for full stack PHP developers with 4-6 years of experience rise by 48.1% to R35 489.

Salaries for full stack PHP developers with six years of experience increase 41.2%, giving them an average salary of R50 122. Once they pass the 10-year mark, salaries rise by an additional 38.2% to R69 306.

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 less than these averages. However, we hope to understand the underlying trends by mapping the average salaries for different experience levels.

These salary 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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