Biochemist Salary in South Africa

Do you want to pursue a profession that can fill your bank account with thousands of rand every month? Then, you should apply for the biochemist position, as the scope of scientists is widening in South Africa. Polls indicate that biochemistry is one of the highest-paying professions in South Africa.

Monthly Salary Range:R 31525 – R 108841
Average Monthly Salary:R 70183
Description:A biochemist is responsible for researching an organism’s physical and chemical attributes, driving results, and benefiting the population.
Minimum Qualification:A candidate requires a Bachelor of Biochemistry and sufficient working experience to apply for a biochemist position.

Biochemistry is one of the fastest evolving fields in the world; hundreds of people get admission to the bachelor’s or master’s program of biochemistry. But very few focus on the financial forces sculpting the salary structure, their ranking, and the number of rands they earn monthly. Let’s dive into the details of biochemistry’s financial side, a professional’s responsibilities, and the ranking system in a lab.

Overview of Biochemist Salary

Sadly, Africa is facing one of the deadly viruses, and South Africa is the hub of tourism, business, and market. Therefore, our country has a high chance of a new virus or plaque erupting. To counter such conditions, South Africa has widened the scope of biochemists and promoted the study of micro-biochemistry to fight deadly viruses.

Many labs, companies, organizations, and government institutes are looking for competent biochemists. When the demand is high, the price is also high; therefore, the initial salary of a biochemist in South Africa is R31,525 per month, whereas the maximum recorded salary is R108,841 monthly. A rough estimate indicates that the average income of a scientist is R68,458 per month.


The salary of a biochemist has exceeded the average income, so now they can enjoy a lavish lifestyle with such an incredible paycheck. But it is merely a single facet of the scenario as biochemists also want a list of extras, such as incentives, allowances, or bonuses. For example, if an employee achieves a goal before the deadline, he may get a bonus, or if a scientist does not take leave throughout the entire month, he may also get an incentive.

Sometimes, companies provide employees with a yearly or six-month allowance for achieving a significant milestone. Lastly, they get facilities from free transportation to accommodation and healthcare services. A survey indicates that 55% of the employees receive extra amounts with their paychecks while 45% are deprived of facilities.

Salary Structure

The salary structure of a biochemist position is not as complex as a position in a public institute. There are no complicated hierarchies of ranks, but one is senior based on a few factors shaping the employee profile. For example, years of experience, education, gender, and location can impact your monthly money as a biochemist.

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Years of ExperienceMonthly Income in Rands
0-2 YearsR35,925
2-5 YearsR47,790
5-10 YearsR70,585
10-15 YearsR86,295
15-20 YearsR93,775
20+ YearsR102,070

In this table, you can see that an employee’s salary is increasing based on his years of experience. Initially, his salary was R35,925, and after five years of service, his salary rose by 34%. Similarly, his salary increases 48% and 22% from 5 to 10 years and 10 to 15 years, respectively.

Lastly, the salary increment is 9% for employees with 15 to 20 years of experience and 8% for those with 20+ years of service. You can see a pattern of salary increment as the salary increases gradually from 0 to 2 years and rapidly rises by 34% from 2 to 5 years and 48% from 5 to 10 years of service, and at the end of 20 years, it increases by 9% only.


Another factor that can affect an employee’s salary is his education level. People with higher education get higher ranks than employees working after a diploma or bachelor’s degree. For example, a Master’s degree holder biochemist earns 57% more than a bachelor’s, and a Ph.D. professional makes 68% more than a master’s degree holder.

Education LevelMonthly Income in Rands
Bachelor’s DegreeR40,795
Bachelor’s DegreeR64,075

Other Factors

  • Gender: The salary laws of South Africa are inspired by the colonial era when gender discrimination was legal. Therefore, the salary of a male biochemist is higher than his female counterpart in the same sector. For example, a male takes 8% more money than a female scientist in the biochemistry field.
  • Location: Location or the sector may impact your monthly money as a scientist. For instance, people working in large metropolitan cities earn more than the scientists researching in remote areas.

Responsibilities of a Biochemist


The primary purpose of all biochemists is to conduct research regarding complicated issues. The issue may vary based on the expertise of a biochemist, such as disease, growth, aging, or diet. A biochemist conducts research and experiments to understand the complications related to the biochemistry of organisms.


The purpose of research is not to add more research articles to the list of personal achievements but to discover new phenomena or develop something. Biochemists are involved in pharmacology, assisting pharma experts with the biochemistry data related to disease and antibodies that can kill a particular disease.

Genetic Engineering

One of the most exciting fields has been born out of biochemistry, genetic engineering, and biotechnology. Tech companies recruit biochemists to study genetics, biochemistry of deep brain functions, and aging to mutate genes, develop chips for the brain, and design diets to reverse aging. The process is under development, but scientists are confident in using biotechnology and biochemistry to change genes positively.

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Are biochemists in demand in South Africa?

Yes, the demand for biochemists is increasing daily in South Africa because of the current conditions in the biotech sector. New labs, companies, and organizations are extending their biochemistry branches.

How long does it take to become a biochemist in South Africa?

It takes four years to complete a BS in Biochemistry, but one requires more than eight years of experience working as a lab biochemist.

What makes a good biochemist?

A biochemist must be able to conduct experiments and pursue research. He should be able to use multiple equipment and software for analysis.

What does a biochemist do in South Africa?

A biochemist can do various jobs; he can work in a pharmaceutical organization, join a bio lab, conduct chemistry experiments, or go into the agriculture research field.

Biochemists earn thousands of rands monthly and enjoy numerous extras, such as incentives, bonuses, or facilities. But people ignore the tireless efforts they exert in their jobs and the incredible discoveries or developments they bring into existence. We should acknowledge their hard work and appreciate the discoveries they make; anyhow, 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.