Pathologist Salary in South Africa

A pathologist studies tissues and fluids of the human body and is responsible for diagnosing and treating tissue-related diseases. An average pathologist’s salary in South Africa is approximately R88,091 per month.

Monthly Salary Range:R 43191 – R 137133
Average Monthly Salary:R 90162
Description:A pathologist surgically removes diseased fluids, tissues, and organs from the body.
Minimum Qualification:MBChB (Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)

Are you a fresh graduate entering the job market as a pathologist? Don’t have any clue about the average income? Here is a complete guide on the factors that may influence your salary as a pathologist, so keep reading.

Pathologist Salary Overview

To become a pathologist in South Africa, one must have a MBChB degree. Some jobs may even require you to complete a 4-5 years graduation and residency. Speaking of the starting salary, a beginner earns anywhere around R518,300 per year.

An average pathologist in the country earns around R88,091 per month. Further to the package, the median salary for the job is approximately R1,077,700 annually. If you are making higher than this value, it suggests you are paid higher than 50% of the workforce.


A forensic pathologist is considered a high bonus job. According to statistics, around 84% of the registered staff earned one bonus within one year, whereas the other 16% did not. The bonus amount ranges from 5 to 9% of their annual salary.

Salary Structure

Given that the salary guide is a job position, no specific hierarchy is followed in a clinical setup. Instead, the seniority is primarily determined by their expertise and education. Apart from this, here are some factors that are counted when deciding the salary of a pathologist.

Experience Level

Experience is the most significant parameter in deciding your salary as a pathologist in South Africa. Senior residents and doctors are paid more than interns on contracts, and so on. Here is a breakdown of how pathologists are paid yearly based on their level of experience in the field.

Level of ExperienceAverage Yearly Salary
Less than 2 YearsR615,000
2 to 5 YearsR786,600
5 to 10 YearsR1,088,800
10 to 15 YearsR1,345,400
15 to 20 YearsR1,440.700
More than 20 YearsR1,537,500


Though it should not be, gender plays a deciding role when it comes to pathologist salaries in South Africa. According to statistics, there is an 8% salary gap between female pathologists and their male counterparts. Let us see how both genders are paid as pathologists annually.

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GenderAverage Salary
Male Pathologist Yearly SalaryR1,088,600
Female Pathologist Yearly SalaryR1,009,600

City of Allocation

Your city of allocation also greatly determines your monthly and annual salary as a pathologist. Generally, cities with high-traffic patients and big hospital setups offer a higher salary package than remote and rural cities. Here is a breakdown of an average pathologist’s yearly salary based on his/ her town of allocation.

City of AllocationAverage Yearly Salary
Cape TownR1,172,800
Port ElizabethR25,900

Responsibilities of a Pathologist

Put, a pathologist studies body organs, tissues, and fluids. In a clinical setup, they are required to remove diseased tissues surgically and samples after death, commonly known as biopsy. They also work with other surgeons and doctors to make adequate diagnoses.

A pathologist requires special training and performs medical diagnosis using laboratory tests and techniques. Here are a few responsibilities you have to fulfill as a professional pathologist.

  • Diagnose bacteria and viruses by examining a sample of body tissues and fluids.
  • Recommending medicines and antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.
  • Suggesting the proper treatment (radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, etc).
  • Analyzing blood samples to monitor the blood-borne pathogens in the human body.
  • Performing genetic tests to determine whether a person is going through gene mutations, especially leukemia.


What is the average pathologist salary in South Africa?

An average pathologist in South Africa is paid around R88,091 per month.

Do you need a degree to become a pathologist?

Yes, you must complete MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) with majors in science, math, and anatomy to practice as a pathologist in South Africa.

How are entry-level pathologists paid?

The starting package for pathologists is approximately R43,191 per month.

What do pathologists do?

A pathologist is a medical professional who studies blood, tissues, fluids, and organs from the human body. They are responsible for the human body’s diagnosis, treatment, and biopsy.

Like any other medical professional, pathologists earn pretty well in South Africa. Aside from financial perks, there is an enormous scope to grow and improve your stature in a clinical setup. I hope this guide has been helpful for anyone entering the field as a pathologist.

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.