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Tech Career Insights: Ruby Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

Ruby Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

By Josh Nel

Ruby is one of the best-paying languages in South Africa. Here are the average Ruby developer salaries by experience in 2022 and how they compare to 2021.


There are fewer Ruby developers in South Africa even though Ruby is a widely-used backend programming language. As a result, companies that use Ruby in their tech stack will need to pay a premium to attract developers with some experience using the language. Mastering niche programming languages like Ruby are one-way developers can increase their earning potential.

Average entry-level and junior Ruby developer salary trends

OfferZen’s 2022 State of the Software Developer Nation data shows that average salaries for developers with fewer than two years of experience have declined since 2021.

Ruby developers are no exception to this trend:

The entry-level Ruby developer salary starts at an average of R22 000, roughly 26.7% less than the average in 2021.

The shift to remote work is one cause behind the decline in entry-level salaries. As a result, fewer companies hire and onboard as many junior and entry-level developers. Additionally, more junior developers are entering the job market, making it harder for less experienced developers to get a foot in the door.

Despite the decrease in average salaries, Ruby remains one of the best-paying languages for entry-level developers in South Africa, narrowly trailing Go by 2.3%.

Average Ruby Developer Salary by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R17,500 R22,000 R27,500
2-4 R22,500 R38,571 R42,500
4-6 R38,750 R57,167 R66,250
6-10 R67,500 R77,647 R92,500
10+ R72,500 R91,522 R110,000

The average junior Ruby developer’s salary increases by a whopping 75.3% to R38 571 after being in the profession for at least two years. This happens to be the most significant salary increase of their careers and makes Ruby the best-paying language for developers in this experience bracket.

Why the steep increases? 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.

Average salaries for mid-level Ruby developers continue to rise once they pass the four-year experience mark.

When moving from junior to mid-level, Ruby developers with at least four years of experience can look forward to a 48.2% pay rise. This gives them an average monthly salary of R57 167—13.1% higher than the 2021 average.

Average Ruby Developer Salaries in 2021 vs 2022

Years of Experience 2021 2022
0-2 R30,000 R22,000
2-4 R37,500 R38,571
4-6 R50,556 R57,167
6-10 R71,667 R77,647
10+ R80,526 R91,522

Salary growth for Ruby developers follows a downward trend seen across other programming languages and starts to slow once they reach the senior level.

Why the slow-down? In addition to senior developers generally changing jobs less often than juniors, companies tend to be less inclined to offer significant increases on larger salaries.

However, senior Ruby developers with at least six years of experience can still look forward to a 35.8% increase to an average of R77 647, 8.3% higher than in 2021.

The average senior ruby developer’s salary increases by an additional 17.9% to R91 522 after passing the ten-year mark and giving them a 13.6% edge over the 2021 average for Ruby developers with similar experience.

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, we hope to map underlying trends by mapping the average salaries for different experience levels.

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. Ultimately, salary is a personal conversation that should take place between employee and employer.

Looking for your next opportunity as a Ruby developer? Check out OfferZen.

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