The costs and benefits of studying to be an engineer

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read Mia Andric's comments here...

We keep hearing stories about how the economy is putting a stranglehold on all areas of our lives, but a recent Career Junction poll shows that those in the engineering and related sectors have not been as negatively affected as those in other industries – at least as far as their salaries are concerned.

Costs of studying to be an engineerThe 2017 labour market report puts civil and structural engineers at the top of the salary list, with an average monthly salary of R70 301. Electrical engineers make the bottom of the top 10 ranked jobs, with an average monthly salary of R60 864.

The top ranked jobs in South Africa, by average salary are: civil/structural engineering, corporate lending, technical and business architecture, chartered accounting, financial management, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, hospital management, GPs (general practitioners), and electrical engineering. The average salaries were polled at senior levels.

One of the reasons that engineers are so well-paid, the research found, is the fact that many South Africans with these qualifications and skills are leaving for other countries. As a result, local companies are having to increase their pay to try keep their human capital.

However, these degrees come at a high cost. A BEng degree costs between R55 460 and R57 180 a year at the University of Cape Town, from R43 580 to R50 360 at the University of the Witwatersrand, and R52 057 at the University of Stellenbosch. The costs of the degree at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria, Johannesburg and North West range between R37 000 and R51 000 a year.

South Africa’s universities also offer different residence options, both on and off campus. These are self-catering or with food options. Students who have to stay in a residence will pay an extra R17 630 to R52 300 a year, depending on where they study.

Over the past two years, we have seen South African students taking to protest the high cost of a university education. While government is discussing ways to lower costs and some universities have only increased their 2017 fees for those students who can afford it, students who rely on loans to pay for their education are still feeling the hefty weight of the costs involved.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Those studying to be engineers can at least be assured of earning enough to pay off their student loans relatively easily, and can look forward to becoming some of the country’s highest earners at senior levels.

 Image credit: Copyright: mtsaride / 123RF Stock Photo


African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input


Invalid Input

Invalid Input