Top 10 Lowest Paying Jobs In South Africa (2024)

Remunerations have been known as a big reason why a lot of people work but unfortunately, not all remunerations can appropriately cater to the basic needs of an employee. Jobs that require little skills have been known to attract low incomes while jobs that require extraordinary skills attract high incomes. For instance, A Medical doctor cannot be expected to earn the same income as a receptionist because the technicalities that they employ in functioning in their different capacities are not the same.

In South Africa today, the job of a security guard is the lowest paying job because of the little training and education that the job requires while the job of a travel agent occupies the 10th spot on the top ten list of low-income jobs that require minimal skills and training.

Jobs just like every other human social endeavor have their own highs and lows. There are several jobs that offer a high reward for the services rendered while some others pay salaries that are barely enough for the worker to get by on.

On this note, it is my pleasure to share the worst-paying jobs in South Africa with you. These types of jobs usually require little skill and very little training time which is why the pay is low. In South Africa just like every other country of the world, you will come across have both high and low-paying jobs.

Top 10 Lowest Paying Jobs In South Africa

1. Security Guard

Monthly Salary Range: R1,805 – R2,000

A security guard is concerned with the protection of government or privately owned properties and assets by implementing precautionary measures. Security guards are known to be exceptionally alert and in most cases, they are dressed in their uniforms. 

Today, the job of a Security Guard tops the list of the lowest paying jobs in South Africa. A little training is required to be a security guard in South Africa. The monthly income of an average Security Guard varies between R1,805 and R2,000.

2. Taxi Drivers

Monthly Salary Range: R1,991 – R2,100

Taxi drivers are professional drivers that make use of a taxi cab to convey commuters to their preferred destinations at a fare. Taxi drivers usually drive around or are stationed at a park to pick commuters and convey them to their preferred destinations.

All that is required to be a taxi driver is good driving skills. Taxi drivers have been classified as low-income earners in South Africa. An average taxi driver’s monthly income varies between R1,991 and R2,100.

3. Cosmetology And Hairdressing

Monthly Salary Range: R1,809 – R2,500

A cosmetologist is an individual skilled in the art of enhancing the elegance of the skin, hair, and nails while a hairdresser is skilled in the art of grooming, styling, and trimming the hair. A cosmetologist is skilled in Hairstyling, Skincare, Nail beautification, and Makeup.

A cosmetologist/hairdresser needs a little training to function in their capacity and they earn an average monthly income that varies from R1,809 and R2,500.

4. Teller And Cashier

Monthly Salary Range: R5,651 – R6,489

A teller refers to a person who deals with activities that are linked to cash in a financial institution while a Cashier refers to a person who handles only cash transactions in a store or organization.

A teller and cashier can be classified as office workers that need a little training and education. On average, tellers and cashiers are among the least paid workers in South Africa, earning between R5,651 and R6,489.

5. Ticketing Clerk

Monthly Salary Range: R6,909 – R8,283

A ticketing clerk issues tickets for all events at a price. They sometimes adjust a reservation to accommodate the requests of a client. The average monthly earnings of a ticketing clerk range between R6,909 and R8,283.

6. Telesales And Telemarketing

Monthly Salary Range: R8,266 – R11,653

A telemarketer refers to a sales delegate that handles the sales of a product or service via phone or virtual calls and they usually function from a call center or a remote location for a call center company. They are usually tasked with providing clients with answers to various questions, worries, or disputes.

Telemarketers are classified as low-income earners because a person requires minimal training to become a telemarketer. An average telemarketer’s earnings range between R8,266 and R11,653.

7. Switchboard And Receptionist

Monthly Salary Range: R8,316 – R10,552

A switchboard operator deals with incoming and outgoing calls for major companies. They answer incoming/outgoing calls and transfer them to the right department in the company. They also handle internal calls within the company from one office to another. A receptionist refers to the person that administers the front desk of a company. They also carry out several administrative duties in a company.

Switchboard operators and receptionists function in a corporate organization and their average monthly salary ranges between R8,316 and R10,552.

8. Data Capturing

Monthly Salary Range: R8,851 – R10,261

A data captor pulls out information from documents and translates them to data for major organizations and these organizations use the extracted data to make some decisions and policies. A data captor earns an average that varies between R8,851 and R10,261.

9. Clients And Customer Support

Monthly Salary Range: R9,677 – R11,411

Customer support refers to a person that is skilled in assisting customers when they face difficulties in using a company’s products or services. Customer support is an aspect of customer service and not equivalent to it.

Customer support work in the corporate environment and they earn an average salary ranging between R9,677 and R11,411.

10. Travel Agents

Monthly Salary Range: R9,700 – R13,587

A travel agent refers to an individual or organization that is tasked with the responsibility of making travel provisions on behalf of their clients. They are involved in booking flights, rental cars, hotels, events, and resort stay reservations for their clients. They take up the task of planning for a trip of their clients and allow them to enjoy their trip as much as possible. 

A travel agent could function as a tourist guide. A job of a travel agent made the list of the top ten lowest paying jobs in South Africa because of the oversaturated hospitality industry. A travel agent in South Africa earns an average salary that varies between R9,700 and R13,587 monthly.


Sure, it is good that you follow your passion and choose a career in a field that involves doing the things you are passionate about and I will encourage you to do so but at the same time, doing what you love without being able to take care of your bills and perform your responsibilities will definitely leave you frustrated.

Innovation is key to making a living out of the careers on this list and even though you may not make as much out of them as those in the top-paying jobs in South Africa category, you will surely earn enough to be comfortable if you are being innovative enough.

Most of these low-paying jobs in South Africa don’t pay much due to automation and ease of skill acquisition. When a job can be easily automated the demand for such jobs becomes less and the pay at the same time plummets.

The same situation plays out with jobs that require little or no training. This category of jobs is also the lowest paying because virtually anyone can acquire the skills needed for the job at any time and enter into the labor market.

This leads to supply becoming more than demand which invariably will lead to low pricing of the skill. To earn more money, you will need to offer services that are high in demand, low in supply, and requires long training time to master.

Not everyone has the time and also the ability to learn these long-term skills and some will still have to settle for jobs that require little to no skills just to give them the opportunity to earn a living.



South Africa, unlike most other nations of the world, does not have a fixed national minimum wage for all sectors. Rather, it has sectoral minimum wages. For the private sector, a minimum wage of R2,731 applies while for all other sectors, R2,301 applies as minimum wage.

However, research has shown that most South African workers especially those in the unskilled category earn wages that are way below the stipulated minimum wage. It is therefore easy to deduce from the last sentence that unskilled jobs pay the lowest salaries in South Africa.

The above amounts quoted in the body of this article are just average salaries and you can actually earn more than that especially if you acquire more skills and become specialized. It is, however, advisable that you steer clear of these jobs if you desire living above average conditions.

These low-paying jobs will place you at the lower end of society if you do not do much in terms of improvement and innovation in such jobs. This is all about the lowest paying jobs in South Africa for now and I am certain this article will guide you into making better career choices for those seeking a new career or those just entering into the labor market.