Salary Structure of Environmental Scientists in South Africa

Environmental Scientists work to protect the environment by evaluating the atmospheric content, chemical interaction and activities of man in different areas on the earth’s surface.

In my other article, I explained what steps you can take to becoming an environmental scientist in South Africa, but this article, I would be discussing the salary structure of environmental scientists in South Africa.

Salary Structure of  Environmental Scientist  in South Africa

Environmental scientists are individuals who apply their technical knowledge of the sciences to protect both the environment and human health. Through their activities and expertise, they recommend possible solutions to environmental problems encountered by either by locals or around the world. Some of these environmental concerns include; pollution, erosion, waste management, policy implementation and recycling of used materials.

Most of their work daily activities include:

  • Collection of data for their use in investigations and surveys
  • Collection of samples such as air, soil, water, food e.t.c during field trips for analysis in the laboratory
  • Analysis of both data and samples collected based on the hypothesis of the study
  • Recommend possible solutions to environmental disasters and giving possible preventive measures to policymakers, businesses and government officials for implementation
  • Educating the general public of environmental hazards and health risks associated with certain activities
  • Give presentations on your research and findings  at conferences and seminars

Often times, Environmental scientists work on a fulltime basis in offices and laboratories. However, some scientists might be required to visit fields of interest for data collection and site inspection.

Having said that, how much do environmental scientists earn in South Africa?

For most careers, the earnings increases as one climb up the career path. This is attributed to the years of experience and expertise you get to gather from different jobs and positions occupied during your active years.

Those with less than one year’s experience would earn about R175,665 annually mainly because these are entry-level jobs that require additional training within a few months of employment. Environmental scientists with 2-4 years of experience earn R225,100 annually this is inclusive of bonuses and overtime pay.

With 5-9 years of experience, it increases your earning potential to 355,816  annually with the options for additional incomes when performing private consultations outside working hours.

Senior professionals who have over 12 years of experience go on to become heads of different research units, laboratories and teach incoming students on the principles and techniques required to become an environmental scientist. They usually earn R607,407 – R880,000 or more depending on where they work and the payscale used.



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