List of Top Careers in South Africa & Requirements


In South Africa, there are thousands of career options to pick from. Some of these careers offer the best opportunities, wages, and status. When choosing a career, you’ll have to consider several things like your strength, personality, skills, and values.

Top Careers in South Africa & Their Requirements

careers in south africa

There are several career paths that are considered hotcake with millions of South African hopefuls applying for them every year. While these careers offer the best benefits in terms of wages, you’ll have to consider your drives and skills if you hope to succeed in these career paths.

They are usually stressful and require extensive knowledge of several things to successfully scale through.

In this article, we’ll take you through the list of careers in South Africa and the requirements.

Software Engineering

Software engineers or developers design, build, install, test and manage software systems that help computer systems work efficiently and effectively.

Software Engineer is one of the highest paying jobs in South Africa. These set of people are in high demand as the need for software for computer, mobile and machine systems increases.

However, being a software engineer is no walk in the park. You’ll require extensive knowledge of math, have decent coding skills, and be exceptionally creative.

Most people who opt for this career path are usually more interested in creating software than the benefits that come with it. This is one of the reasons why software engineers are one of the most successful individuals in South Africa.


You’ll have to obtain a BSc in Software Engineering from any reputable South African University. Some software engineers go-ahead to gain more experience after acquiring their first degree. They do this by signing up for professional training under reputable organizations.

General Medical Practice

General Practitioners are medical doctors who do not specialize in any particular area of medicine. They provide health care and treat many conditions.


To become a general practitioner in South Africa is not an easy process. You will have to obtain a first degree in Medicine and Surgery at any reputable South African university. This usually takes 5 years.

You will then have to work as a clinical intern for two years. You will be awarded designation by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and go through 1 year of community service.

At the end of all these, you can go ahead to practice in South Africa as a general practitioner.

Specialty Medical Practice

Medical Specialists are also doctors. However, they have gone through advanced training to become specialized in a particular area of medicine.

Specialist doctors are paid higher than general practitioners. The job of a specialist doctor is also more tedious than that of a general practitioner.


To become a specialist doctor, you’ll first have to go through the process of becoming a medical doctor. When done, you can sign up for postgraduate studies in any reputable university in South Africa. The training usually takes 4 years.


Law is one of the most respected career paths in South Africa. Lawyers provide legal representation to government, organizations, and individuals. The earnings of a lawyer depend on whom they choose to represent.


The first step to becoming a lawyer in South Africa is to obtain an LLB degree from a South African university.

You will then have to apply for a position of service under articles of clerkship in a law firm.  This training usually takes two years, but it can be shortened to one year if you complete a 6-month training at the School for Legal Practice.

When done you can undertake the Attorney’s Admission Examination and move on to apply for a short course in mandatory practice management through which you’ll gain your first Fidelity Fund Certificate

To become an advocate, you’ll have to go through one year of pupilage under another advocate, then you’ll be called to Bar.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers are involved in the production and exploration of hydrocarbons. They are one of the highest-paid professionals in South Africa, however, the demand for these professionals is not so encouraging.


To become a petroleum engineer in South Africa, you’ll need to obtain a degree in petroleum engineering from any South African university.

Auto Engineering

Auto engineers are involved in the manufacture and development of vehicles


While you could opt for an automotive engineering degree in any South African university, you can also become any auto engineer if you have a mechanical engineering or electrical engineering degree.

Electronic Engineering

Electronic engineers are involved in the production, design, and modification of electrical components such as transistor and circuits.


To pursue a career as an electronics engineer, you’ll need a degree in electrical engineering from any reputable South African university


Chartered accountants perform various functions in an organization. They provide advice, audit accounts and provide information about financial records. They could also be involved in financial reporting, insolvency, taxation, forensic accounting, corporate finance, auditing, and business recovery.


To become a Chartered Account, you’ll need to obtain a BCom Accounting degree from any South African university accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

Then you’ll have to complete your Certificate in Theory of Accounting (CTA). When done, you can enter into a 3-year learnership to specialize in auditing in any Registered Training Office (RTO) or Approved Training Organization (ATO).


Pilots are one of the highest-paid professionals in South Africa. Their main duty is to convey passengers through airplanes from one destination to another. This career is quite different from being a driver.

It is more strenuous and requires more concentration.


To become a pilot, you’ll have to obtain a pilot license. You can obtain a private pilot license (PPL) or commercial pilot license (CPL) depending on the type of pilot you want to be. If you want to fly airplanes owned by aviation companies, then you’ll need a commercial pilot license.


A nurse is required to provide healthcare to patients in a hospital. Some nurses provide home care services.


To pursue a career as a nurse, you’ll have to attend a reputable nursing school in South Africa. You can also obtain a nursing degree in any university in South Africa.

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