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Tech Career Insights: SaaS Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

SaaS Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

By Josh Nel

12.1% of South African developers work in the Software as Service (SaaS) industry, making it the third largest after FinTech and Cloud Technology. Since 2019 it has also been among the lower-paying industries for senior developers. Here we’ll look at average SaaS developer salaries and SaaS developer salaries by experience.

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Salaries for entry-level SaaS developers start at an average of R19 769 per month. The average junior SaaS developer salary increases by a modest 28.1% to R25 330 after two years in the profession.

This is unusual among junior developers in South Africa who usually see more significant pay increases as they transition from entry-level to junior developers. By contrast, both FinTech and Cloud developers received the most significant pay rise of their careers at this stage with 60.1% and 55.4% increases, respectively.

Once they’ve been coding professionally for at least four years, mid-level SaaS developers can look forward to a 57.8% increase giving them an average monthly salary of R39 968. This is the most significant pay increase of their careers.

Despite this sizable increase, mid-level SaaS developers with this amount of experience are earning 28.3% and 24.6% less than their FinTech and Cloud tech counterparts, respectively.

Average SaaS Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R12,500 R19,769 R22,500
2-4 R17,500 R25,330 R32,500
4-6 R27,500 R39,968 R50,000
6-10 R38,750 R56,553 R66,250
10+ R57,500 R80,149 R97,500

Salary growth for SaaS developers remains stable once they become seniors. The average senior SaaS developer salary rises by 41.5% to R56 553 once they have between six and ten years of experience. This bucks a trend seen amongst senior FinTech and Cloud developers who start to see their salary growth slow once they pass six years of experience.

Once they’ve been in the business for more than ten years, salaries for senior SaaS developers increase by an additional 41.7% giving them an average monthly salary of R80 149.

By this stage of their careers, the gap between senior SaaS developers and their FinTech counterparts has narrowed to 6%. The gap between them and senior Cloud developers has also narrowed to 6.5%.

So what does this mean for a SaaS developer’s annual salary?

SaaS developer annual salary

A SaaS developer’s annual salary starts at R237 228 for entry-level developers with fewer than two years of experience, compared to R264 720 and R259 248 for entry-level FinTech and Cloud developers, respectively. Once they pass the two-year mark, this increases to an average of R303 960.

Mid-level SaaS developers with more than four years of experience have an average annual salary of R479 616, R117 504 less than the average annual salary of R597 120 for mid-level cloud developers.

The average annual salary for a senior SaaS developer with at least six years of experience is R678 636, compared to an average of R840 000 for Cloud developers with comparable experience.

This rises to an average salary of R961 788 for aaS with more than ten years of experience. The gap between them and their Cloud developer counterparts has narrowed to R66 648 by this stage of their careers.

Average Annual SaaS Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R150,000 R237,228 R270,000
2-4 R210,000 R303,960 R390,000
4-6 R330,000 R479,616 R600,000
6-10 R465,000 R678,636 R795,000
10+ R690,000 R961,788 R1,170,000

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 3 200 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 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 depend 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.

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