On this page, we discuss the highest paying jobs with maths literacy and life science in South Africa

As you prepare to navigate the world beyond high school, you may be wondering which career paths are both fulfilling and lucrative. While many high-paying jobs in fields like engineering and medicine often require advanced Mathematics, there are also well-paying career options available to those who have taken Maths Literacy and Life Sciences in high school. In this article, we’ll explore some of the highest-paying jobs you can pursue with these subjects, along with their respective pay scales in South African Rands.

It’s worth noting that you can become highly successful in virtually any career if you take the right steps. Even if you’ve studied subjects like Maths Literacy and Life Sciences, your career isn’t strictly defined by these choices. For example, what truly boosts your earnings potential are factors like specialized skills and market demand for your expertise. Building on your core subjects with additional qualifications or gaining experience in niche areas can significantly increase your value in the job market.

Take the field of environmental science as an example. Students who study Maths Literacy and Life Sciences in grades 10-12 gain a basic understanding of biological systems. However, to boost their career trajectory, further education is key.

For instance, a student could enroll at the University of Cape Town, which offers a comprehensive Environmental and Geographical Science program. This program not only deepens their environmental knowledge but also equips them with specialized skills in areas like GIS (Geographic Information Systems).

By pursuing a university degree and gaining certifications in high-demand tools like GIS, students significantly enhance their job prospects and potential earnings, far beyond the basic scope of high school subjects.

Here’s a table outlining some of the highest-paying jobs in South Africa that typically require high school subjects in Maths Literacy and Life Science:

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Job TitleAverage Salary (ZAR/year)
Environmental ConsultantR320,000
Pharmaceutical Sales RepresentativeR300,000
Medical Equipment SalespersonR350,000
Quality Control AnalystR280,000
Agricultural ManagerR250,000
Health and Safety OfficerR220,000
Wildlife BiologistR300,000
Laboratory TechnicianR240,000

This table provides a snapshot of potential career paths for those with a background in Maths Literacy and Life Science, along with their respective average annual salaries in South Africa

The highest paying jobs with maths literacy and life science in South Africa

In South Africa, high-paying jobs for individuals with high school subjects in Maths Literacy and Life Sciences include careers in environmental science, nursing, and pharmaceutical sales. Environmental Scientists can expect a pay scale ranging from R200,000 to R600,000 per annum, owing to the foundational understanding of biology and ecology provided by Life Sciences. Nurses, who benefit from knowledge in both Maths Literacy and Life Sciences, can earn between R180,000 and R420,000 per annum. Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives with a background in Life Sciences can earn between R220,000 and R550,000 per annum, plus commissions. These career paths not only offer lucrative salaries but also make use of the analytical and biological insights gained from Maths Literacy and Life Sciences.

Jobs Requiring Maths Literacy

Social Worker

  • Pay Scale: R150,000 – R350,000 per annum Maths Literacy equips you with basic analytical skills, useful in fields like social work, where understanding data and statistics can be beneficial.

Retail Manager

  • Pay Scale: R180,000 – R450,000 per annum Retail management often involves handling finances, inventory, and basic accounting, all of which are skills you can acquire with a background in Maths Literacy.

Police Officer

  • Pay Scale: R120,000 – R300,000 per annum The ability to quickly perform basic calculations can be a valuable skill for police officers, especially when it comes to tasks like accident reconstruction or basic investigative work.
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Jobs Requiring Life Sciences

Environmental Scientist

  • Pay Scale: R200,000 – R600,000 per annum Life Sciences offer a foundational understanding of biology and ecology, crucial knowledge for careers in environmental science.

Medical Laboratory Technician

  • Pay Scale: R150,000 – R350,000 per annum Life Sciences provide a strong grounding in biology, crucial for understanding medical tests and procedures that medical lab technicians are responsible for.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

  • Pay Scale: R220,000 – R550,000 per annum, plus commissions A background in Life Sciences can help you understand the medical products you would be selling, making this a potentially lucrative field.

Jobs Requiring Both Maths Literacy and Life Sciences


  • Pay Scale: R180,000 – R420,000 per annum Both Maths Literacy and Life Sciences contribute essential knowledge that can make you a skilled and effective nurse.

Health and Safety Officer

  • Pay Scale: R200,000 – R500,000 per annum This role involves elements of biology as well as statistical risk assessment, making it a good fit for those with backgrounds in both Maths Literacy and Life Sciences.

Research Assistant

  • Pay Scale: R100,000 – R250,000 per annum Both Maths Literacy and Life Sciences are beneficial for understanding the basics of scientific research, statistical analysis, and data interpretation.

Choosing a career should not solely be based on the potential for a high salary; it’s also important to find a job that you find fulfilling and aligns with your skills and interests. However, it’s reassuring to know that taking Maths Literacy and Life Sciences in high school does open doors to several well-paying career options in South Africa.


What can I study with geography, maths literacy, and life sciences?

With a combination of geography, maths literacy, and life sciences, you have several study options available. You might consider degrees or diplomas in fields such as environmental science, geography, agricultural sciences, or public health. These programs typically focus on understanding natural processes, environmental management, or health sciences, which can align well with your subject choices.

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Can I become a doctor with maths literacy and life science?

No, becoming a doctor generally requires a strong foundation in Mathematics and Physical Sciences, not just Maths Literacy. Most medical schools require Mathematics and often Physical Sciences at a higher grade level as prerequisites for admission.

Which universities accept maths literacy and life sciences?

Many universities accept Maths Literacy for certain programs, but it typically limits the types of programs you can enter. For example, universities might allow entry into certain health sciences, social sciences, and humanities programs with Maths Literacy and Life Sciences. However, it’s important to check specific admission requirements for each university and program, as they can vary.

Can I do pharmacy with maths literacy?

No, most pharmacy programs require Mathematics, not Maths Literacy, due to the quantitative skills needed in the field. Additionally, many pharmacy schools also require Physical Sciences.

Does medicine require maths literacy?

No, medicine generally does not accept Maths Literacy. Medicine programs usually require Mathematics because of the high level of quantitative skills needed in medical studies and practice.

Can I do medicine without life science?

No, Life Sciences is typically a crucial requirement for medicine. It provides foundational knowledge in biological sciences essential for understanding medical science. Without Life Sciences, it would be difficult to meet the academic demands of medical school.