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Tech Career Insights: SQL Developer Salary Trends in South Africa
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SQL Developer Salary Trends in South Africa

16 October 2023, by Josh Nel

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While JavaScript remains the most used programming language in South Africa, SQL is still a crucial part of a developer’s data-wrangling toolkit. Here, we’ll look at the average SQL developer salary by experience and how they’ve changed since 2022. We’ll also compare average SQL developer salaries to those of widely-used programming languages: PHP, Python, C# and JavaScript.


Average entry-level and junior SQL developer salary trends

The average entry-level SQL developer salary starts at R22 427 per month, 12.5% more than the average for entry-level SQL developers in 2022.

SQL developers with fewer than two years of experience earn 1.4% and 2.1% more than their PHP counterparts. However, they trail entry-level C# developers by 15.8%, Python developers by 15%, and JavaScript developers by 8.4%.

Once they’ve been in the business for at least two years, the average salary for a junior SQL developer increases by 39.8%. This gives them an average monthly salary of R31 355, 9.1% more than 2022’s average.

At this stage of their careers, they’re still behind JavaScript and Python developers by 6% and 17.9%, respectively. However, junior SQL developers earn 6% more than the average PHP developer with comparable experience.

SQL developers can expect their most significant pay increase once they reach mid-career level: Intermediate SQL developers with at least four years of experience see their salaries rise by 43%, giving them an average salary of R44 825. The gap between themselves and their PHP counterparts is the widest for developers at this career level at 24.1%.

Average SQL Developer Salaries by Experience

Average Salary by Years Experience, showing 25th and 75th percentiles
Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R10,000 R22,427 R27,500
2-4 R17,500 R31,355 R37,500
4-6 R32,500 R44,825 R52,500
6-10 R42,500 R63,831 R72,500
10+ R62,500 R84,521 R97,500

Salary growth for SQL developers initially remains stable at the senior level. Senior SQL developers with more than six years of experience can expect a 42.4% pay rise, giving them an average monthly salary of R63 831, 8.6% more than they earned in 2022.

Despite this increase, their advantage over senior PHP developers has narrowed to 9.7% and they continue to trail behind JavaScript and Python developers by 7.3% and 14.8%, respectively.

The average senior SQL developer’s salary increases by an additional 32.4% once they pass the ten-year mark and gives them an average salary of R84 521. By this stage of their careers, they earn just 2.2% more than their PHP counterparts.

They also find themselves behind JavaScript and C# developers with comparable experience by 3.1% and 4.9% respectively. Senior Python developers earn 12.8% more at this stage of their careers.

Average SQL Developer Salaries in 2023 vs 2022

Years of Experience 2023 2022
0-2 R22,427 R19,935
2-4 R31,355 R28,744
4-6 R44,825 R42,658
6-10 R63,831 R58,754
10+ R84,521 R80,914

Keep in mind

The data in this article is taken from OfferZen’s 2023 State of the Software Developer Nation Report. In this article, ‘salary’ refers to the gross monthly salary (before tax) provided by more than 4500 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 provide a picture of underlying trends by mapping the average salaries for different experience levels.

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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