I was determined to overcome these obstacles in the hope of securing a better future for myself and my family, who sacrificed so much for me along the way. Mechanical engineering is third on the list of National Scarce Skills in South Africa. Even with the help of a partial scholarship and a part-time job on my part, the additional cost demanded greater sacrifices from my family. Chemical engineers design and test the equipment used in the production process of products. Courses are offered at CollegeSA, the Shukela Training Sector, and INTEC College. “My story” is the first of a series of columns entitled “The Uncertain Future Of Graduate Chemical Engineers in South Africa.” Part 1 focuses on the difficulties that I had to endure in-order to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in the field of Chemical Engineering, and now that I have completed my studies, the much greater difficulty in finding a graduate program or employment in South Africa suitable to the qualification that I have attained. They are willing to be classed as “foreigners” and put their families at risk, having to worry about xenophobic violence, rather than to stay in South Africa with its poor job situation. Growing up as a minority in an Indian community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, life was difficult. Electrical engineering tops the National Scarce Skills List, and this high-growth sector offers an abundance of job opportunities. In order to become a certified electrical contractor, you need to complete an electrical contractor apprenticeship and pass a Trade Test. As such, one of the highest paying jobs in South Africa is software engineering. Working in two of the most in-demand fields in South Africa, energy and mechanical engineering technologists are especially well-paid. A Millwright in Johannesburg earns an average salary of R301, 647 per year and up to R462, 861 according to Payscale. Software Engineers manage the design, development, and maintenance of software programs. Take for example, the UKZN chemical engineering graduating class of 2010. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. The average pay for a Diesel Mechanic is R221, 868 per year, going up to R381, 44. A fitter and turner earns an average salary of R228, 507 per year and up to R412, 013 according to Payscale. Diesel mechanic jobs are a bit different as these type of mechanics strictly work on diesel engines of large vehicles like trucks, busses and even construction equipment like bulldozers or cranes. Their jobs were physically demanding and emotionally draining but they performed their duties diligently in the hope of providing a better life, brighter future and most importantly, “an education” for their children. This column also identifies some of the difficult choices that young graduates face when trying to get into the industry and also touches on a few reasons as to the lack of jobs available to graduate engineers in South Africa. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. The already high and ever increasing cost associated with tuition fees, textbooks and transportation costs put extra strain on my family. Considering the current employment conditions in South Africa and the lack of value and appreciation of skilled workers, are we really surprised to see that so many people are leaving this country to work overseas? My parents were forced to work long hours, working seven days a week at minimum wage, so that they could provide a decent living for us. An Automobile Mechanic earns an average salary of R118, 644 per year and up to R219, 470 according to Payscale. Because the country has no significant upstream oil reserves, its chemi- cals industry has primarily developed around the gasification of the nation’s abundant coal reserves. The global chemical industry has an estimated value of more than $4,12-trillion and has grown over two-fold from 2000 to 2010. “Be positive, Work hard, Never give up” and most importantly “pray about it,” these are just some of the inspirational words that my mother used to share with me in times of despair, when I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. Studies can be completed at CPUT, DUT, and VUT. Courses are available at Oxbridge Academy, Northlink College,  and College of Cape Town. And do we really blame them? Not forgetting the overwhelming pressure and stress of having to work and study simultaneously. Which engineering field is in high demand in South Africa? South Africa’s chemicals industry was founded in the lat- ter part of the 19th century to fill the demand for explosives and chemicals needed by the mining industry. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Interested in working in the engineering field? There were 63 graduates from the school, with approximately 69% being Indian, 17% White and 14% African. Public infrastructure development is imperative in South Africa. All national trade test centres are quality assured and recommended for accreditation by the NAMB. An engineering technologist earns an average salary of R295, 225 per year and up to R575, 784 according to Payscale. This all changed in 1994 when S.A. held its first democratic election and Nelson Mandela, “The father of our nation,” was declared president of the Republic of South Africa. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. On the other hand, we all need to live, don’t we? At this moment in time, one begins to doubt oneself, disappointment and fatigue set in and eventually irritability takes over and you ask yourself, “Why can’t I get a job?”. What does a chemical engineer do in South Africa? Folks--I began corresponding with this young man some time ago when he reached out to me looking for a career position in our industry. ... Petroleum Engineers. You know that there is a severe problem in a country when qualified laborers are willing to give up everything to emigrate to other countries for employment reasons. It was a time of change and everyone was excited as it meant a new beginning and a brighter future for all. We all have families who are now depending on us for support and by sitting at home we are gaining nothing. An engineering technologist earns an average salary of R295, 225 per year and up to R575, 784 according to Payscale. Chemical Engineer. Here are 5 in-demand technical engineering jobs in South Africa, and how much they pay: Considering the increasing demand for energy, electricians are becoming more and more important in South Africa. You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side. Places to study in South Africa include: Protech Training, University of Cape Town, MCD Training Centre, and Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Sometimes, it’s not by choice, but simply something that has to be done in-order to survive. While Chemical Engineer workers with Masters Degree education earn the … and may be open to security risks! Engineering skills are always in demand throughout the world. As such, there has been a greater call for qualified fitter and turners. Qualified millwrights and boilermakers have important roles to play in the broader industrial engineering industry. by Kirsten Jacobs | Thu Nov 2017 | Blogs, Engineering Jobs | 0 comments. I would like to take this opportunity, to tell international companies who are interested in employing qualified engineers that the South African engineering graduates are overflowing with potential and we are just seeking an opportunity to show our worth to the rest of the world. Racial discrimination still exists in South Africa and affirmative action policies implemented by the current South African government benefit people of African ethnicity, as they are regarded as “previously disadvantaged people” during the Apartheid era. If you are interested in interviewing him for permanent employment, just write to me at jthompson@taii.com. Apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation designed to oppress, dominate and control non-white people, which included Indian, African and Coloured people. In 2004, I matriculated from a local secondary school achieving a distinction pass and excelling in mathematics, physical science, English, Afrikaans, biology and accounting. With an earned Doctorate Degree, they grosses ZAR 950,000. The demand for skilled professionals in the engineering sector will continue to increase with the coming years.

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