Foundation Phase Teaching Salary Per Month in South Africa

Becoming a foundation phase teacher in South Africa can be a rewarding career path. However, an important consideration is how much foundation phase teachers typically earn. This article analyzes average salaries, pay ranges, qualifications required, and factors impacting earnings to provide a comprehensive overview of foundation phase teacher pay in South Africa.

Average Monthly and Yearly Salary

The average foundation phase teacher salary in South Africa is R221,940 gross per year, which equals about R18,500 gross per month according to the Department of Basic Education. This is 21% lower than the national average salary across all professions in South Africa.

Salary Range

There is some variability in foundation phase teacher salaries:

  • Entry-level foundation phase teachers can expect starting salaries around R138,260 per year.
  • The highest salaries can exceed R320,990 annually for experienced teachers.

Qualifications and Requirements

To become a foundation phase teacher in South Africa, the minimum requirements according to the South African Council for Educators are:

  • 3-year Diploma in Grade R Teaching
  • 4-year Bachelor of Education: Foundation Phase Teaching (B.Ed.)
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus a 1-year Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) specializing in foundation phase teaching

Factors Impacting Salaries

Salaries can vary based on these key factors:

  • Years of Experience: More years of experience leads to higher pay, with mid-career teachers earning approximately R7,000 per month and highly experienced teachers over R7,800 monthly.
  • Type of School: Public vs. private school salaries differ significantly.
  • Location: Schools in remote, rural areas generally pay less than urban schools.
  • Teacher Shortages: Nationwide demand for foundation phase teachers also impacts salaries.


In summary, foundation phase teachers in South Africa can expect average starting salaries around R18,500 per month, with pay rising over their career to exceed R320,000 annually for highly experienced teachers. While below national salary averages, foundation phase teaching remains a stable, rewarding career.

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