Aeronautical Engineering Salary in South Africa

Aerospace engineering has become one of the fastest-growing fields in South Africa due to changing trends in the aeroscience and aviation industries. Aeronautical engineering is one of the branches of aerospace in which a professional is responsible for designing, developing, and operating an aircraft in Earth’s atmosphere. Aeronautical science is further divided into branches, such as the helicopter, missile, and airplane specialization programs.

Occupation:Aeronautical Engineer
Monthly Salary Range:R 20500 – R 65400
Average Monthly Salary:R 42950
Description:An Aeronautical engineer is responsible for designing, developing, testing, and operating an aircraft in the atmosphere of Earth.
Minimum Qualification:An individual is required to complete a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering (BScEng Aeronautical) to become an aeronautical engineer.

If you are about to pursue a profession but are uncertain whether aeronautical engineering is worth joining as a career, then you should see the monthly income of an engineer working in the field, the salary structure of the position, and the responsibilities of a professional. Come with me to see the details related to the financial side of the aeronautical engineering position.

Aeronautical Engineering Salary

South Africa has become a hub of economy and tourism because its airline is known as one of the best in the continent of Africa; additionally, it also has a strong national security aerospace system. All is possible because efficient aeronautical engineers exert substantial effort to make impossible things possible. The scope of aeronautical engineering has widened in the region due to the current trends of airline or aerospace business and defense demands.

It has also positively impacted the salaries of aeronautical engineers, as an entry-level employee receives R20,500 monthly. The maximum recorded salary of an aeronautical engineer is R65,400 after years of service. A rough estimate states that the average income of an aeronautical engineer is about R41,900 per month, and the median pay is R39,100 monthly.


Their salaries are not the only part they receive as they also get a list of bonuses and allowances. However, the nature of bonuses and allowances vary from company to company as some give their employees a list of facilities, while others increase salaries as a bonus. Statistics indicate that 56% of employees get extras, including bonuses, allowances, and facilities; in contrast, 44% of employees are deprived of extras.

The majority of the employees enjoy personal performance bonuses given to them when they achieve a goal before the deadline or perform better than other employees. Sometimes, a company gives an additional amount with salary when it archives a milestone. Other organizations provide free transportation, accommodation, and meals to their employees.

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Salary Structure

The salary of an aeronautical engineer is contingent on multiple factors such as experience, education, gender, and location. An employee’s salary increases over time with the accumulation of his years in service. For example, an entry-level aeronautical engineer receives low pay compared to a 2-year experienced employee, and the latter makes less money compared to a 5-year experienced engineer.


Years of ExperienceMonthly Salary in Rands
0 – 2 YearsR24,400
2 – 5 YearsR31,300
5 – 10 YearsR43,200
10 – 15 YearsR53,500
15 – 20 YearsR57,300
20+ YearsR61,100

In this table, you can see that the salary of a 2-year experienced employee is lower than that of a 5-year experienced engineer. The salary gradually increases after the entry level till 5 years, and a rapid change occurs between 5 and 15 years. In the beginning, an engineer’s salary rises 29% from 2 to 5 years, 38% from 5 to 10 years, and 24% from 10 to 15 years of service; later, the salary increases 7% between 15 to 20 years and after 20 years of service.


Education LevelMonthly Salary in Rands
Bachelor’s DegreeR30,400
Master’s DegreeR48,800

This table states that there is a difference between the salary of a Bachelor’s degree holder and a Master’s degree holder engineer. As I have explained above, some factors affect the amount you earn monthly, and education is one of them. A Bachelor’s degree holder earns 60% less than a Master’s aeronautical engineer in South Africa.

Gender & Location

The gender and location also influence the salary of an aeronautical engineer. Unfortunately, South African laws regarding salaries are inspired by the colonial era in which gender discrimination was legal. However, a male aeronautical engineer earns 8% more than his female counterpart, R43,200 and R40,100 respectively.

Lastly, the city in which you work also determines your monthly income. For example, organizations pay more in large metropolitan centers, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. On the other hand, in cities like Durban and Soweto, companies pay comparatively less to aeronautical engineers.

Responsibilities of an Aeronautical Engineer


An aeronautical engineer is responsible for conceptualizing the task by designing and gathering all the fundamental information. For example, if you are working on a project related to aerospace missiles, you should conceptualize the shape of its design and gather all information relevant to its external and internal parts. The majority of aeronautical engineers use software such as CAD to develop a design.

Aerodynamic Analysis

Aerodynamics is a technical task in which one has to focus on numerous complicated factors. An aeronautical engineer analyzes the aerodynamics of the aircraft by calculating the required force, the suitable G-force, and the energy required to leave the lower Earth’s atmosphere. It also involves analyzing lift, drag, and stability for desired performance.

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Development & Testing

Another primary task of an aeronautical engineer is to develop an aircraft or a piece of aircraft. In this task, he has to collaborate with other experts and engineers. After developing a prototype of the aircraft, he is responsible for testing it multiple times and identifying the errors.

Operation & Safety

An aeronautical engineer is also responsible for operating the aircraft in the earth’s atmosphere. If he successfully operates the aircraft, it is safe for other people and public use. Additionally, he also educates people about the safety measures and precautions related to the machine.


Which subject is most important for Aeronautical Engineering?

The most important subject for aeronautical engineering is mathematics. Additionally, an individual should also have expertise in applied science, such as physics and astrophysics.

How many years to study Aeronautical Engineering in South Africa?

An individual is required to spend 4 years completing an honors degree in aeronautical engineering.

What is the hardest subject in aeronautical engineering?

Aeronautical engineering is one of the most tough studies. Students claim that aerodynamics, fluid machines, and propelling systems are the hardest subjects in aeronautical engineering.

What is the difference between aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering?

Aerospace is a wide field in which we study a list of disciplines, and aeronautical engineering is one of them. Aerospace is a study of aircraft used both in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere, whereas aeronautical engineering is a branch that deals with aircraft operations within the Earth’s atmosphere.

Aeronautical engineering has become among South Africa’s most demanding fields due to changing trends in aerospace businesses. However, it is also one of the toughest fields to study as one has to read subjects such as aerodynamics, fluid machines, and calculus.

An individual with an aeronautical engineering Honors degree exerts substantial effort in his work and gets R41,900 monthly. We should acknowledge their efforts and appreciate the income they make monthly. I hope this information will help you in the future; thank you.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.