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

16 October 2023, by Josh Nel

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24.6% of South African developers are using Java as a primary programming language in 2023. This makes it the fifth most-used programming language in the country. Here’s an overview of average Java developer salaries by experience and what full stack Java developers are earning across their careers.

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Entry-level and junior Java developer salary trends

Entry-level Java developers can expect a gross monthly salary of R23,696, 21.2% higher than 2022’s average. At this stage of their careers, they earn 1.1% and 32.6% more than their Python and PHP counterparts.

Once they’ve been in the profession for at least two years, the average junior Java developer salary increases by 40.2%. This gives them an average monthly salary of R33,212, 10.2% more than 2022’s average. They now earn 6.9% more than their C# counterparts, while the gap between themselves and junior PHP developers has narrowed to 22.5%. Junior Python developers make 5.1% more than junior Java developers.

Java developers in South Africa can expect to see their most significant salary jump once they have more than four years of experience. Java developers with four to six years of experience see their salaries rise by 49.5% to R49,661. As a result of this increase, they’ve widened their advantage over their PHP counterparts to 44.56%.

Average Java 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 R23,696 R26,500
2-4 R17,500 R33,212 R39,500
4-6 R32,500 R49,661 R57,500
6-10 R47,500 R67,613 R82,500
10-15 R67,500 R96,221 R105,000

After six years on the job, Java developers can expect a 36.2% increase for an average monthly salary of R67,613, 1.1% more than 2022’s average. As a result of this increase, senior Java developers earn 13.7% more than their C# counterparts and 26.3% more than developers working with PHP. However, they still trail senior Python developers by 2%.

Senior Java developers with more than ten years of experience can expect an additional 42.3% increase for an average salary of R96,221. At this stage of their careers, they’ve overtaken senior Python developers.

A Java developer’s role also affects their earning potential across their careers. Let’s see what full stack Java developers earn at each stage of their careers.

Entry-level full stack Java developers earn an average salary of R23,030, 2.8% less than the average for all Java developers with fewer than two years of experience. Java full stack developers see their salaries increase by 35.5% to R31,205 after being in the profession for at least two years, 6% less than the average junior Java developer.

Once they have more than four years of experience, full stack Java developers get the biggest salary jump of their careers: Mid-level full stack Java developers experience a 57.3% pay rise to R49,098. However, despite this significant increase, they still earn 1.1% less than Java developers with comparable experience.

Salary growth for senior developers tends to slow down.

However, full stack Java developers can still look forward to an increase of 31.71% to an average of R64,638 at six to ten years of experience and another 32.6% increase after ten years to R85,720.

Average Full Stack Java Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R10,000 R23,030 R28,000
2-4 R20,000 R31,205 R37,500
4-6 R32,500 R49,098 R57,500
6-10 R47,500 R64,638 R77,500
10-15 R67,500 R85,720 R97,500

Another factor that impacts a software developer’s salary is the framework they use. Spring is one of the most-used frameworks by Java developers in South Africa. Here, we’ll see what Spring developers earn at each stage of their careers and how that compares to the average Java developer’s salary.

Entry-level Spring developers start with an average monthly salary of R25,098, 5.9% more than the average for an entry-level Java developer.

Once they have two years of experience under their belts, the average salary for a junior Spring developer increases by a massive 46.1%. This gives them an average monthly salary of R36,676. By this stage of their careers, they earn 10.4% more than the average Java developer with comparable experience.

After passing the four-year mark, Spring developers can expect a 38.6% increase, giving them an average salary of R50,833. Despite this increase, the gap between intermediate Spring and Java developers has narrowed to 2.4%.

Senior Spring developers with more than six years of experience can expect an additional 43.2% increase for an average salary of R72,816. This increases 36.5% to R99,425 after they’ve been in the profession for over ten years.

Average Spring Developer Salaries by Experience

Years of Experience 25th Percentile Average 75th Percentile
0-2 R10,625 R25,098 R29,500
2-4 R22,500 R36,676 R46,500
4-6 R37,500 R50,833 R56,250
6-10 R47,500 R72,816 R82,500
10-15 R67,500 R99,425 R110,000

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.

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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