Some of the Most Dangerous jobs in South Africa

There are many dangerous jobs in the world and South Africa is no exception. From mining jobs to security guards – we have decided to compile a list of some of the most dangerous job types in South Africa.

While these jobs are truly some of the most dangerous jobs in South Africa, most of them are fulfilling and many people find their happiness in the fact that they are dedicating their lives to the wellbeing of others.

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Security Guard Jobs

There are a number of different types of security guard jobs in South Africa – ranging from mall security and residential security guards, to the more dangerous cash-in-transit security jobs.

With a number of different dangerous jobs within this particular industry, many security guards do undergo training and need to be registered with PSiRA. Controlled and governed by a council that is appointed by the Minister of Police, PSiRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) is responsible for regulating the private security industry. This is done in a number of ways ranging to include the registration of the security companies operating in South Africa as well as its security officers, and accrediting training security service providers.

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While some positions within this industry do require previous experience, others do not and provide you with the necessary training. According to PayScale, the average yearly remuneration of a security guard is R39 532.

Mining Jobs

South Africa’s mines are among the deepest mines in the world, reaching depths as much as four kilometres. Needless to say, mining jobs are some of the most dangerous jobs in South Africa. Recording 84 deaths in 2014, it was hailed as the safest year in the industry, many believing that these ‘good’ numbers were also due to the five month long strike seen within the platinum mining industry.

The mining industry itself has a number of career opportunities – from Supervisory to Machinery Operator positions, to Surveying and Construction, this industry offers a number of lucrative career opportunities.

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The Chamber of Mines of SA Certificates offer a number of courses that will teach you the essential skills to enter the industry. On offer are various certificates including the Basic Surveying Certificate, a certificate course in Survey Draughting and a Rock Mechanics Certificate to name but a few examples.

Various study options to prepare you for mining jobs in the industry are available, including programmes offered by the University of the Witwatersrand, University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria and the University of the Free State.

According to PayScale, a miner earns an average annual income of around R 194 096, while the mining employment opportunities that require a higher education and more experience, like a Mining Engineer for example, earns an average salary of R 461 276 per year.

Skydivers and Diving Jobs

Dangerous jobs can also be found in industries like skydiving and diving. Both very exciting fields to work in, a skydiving instructor’s primary job is to teach beginners about skydiving – this include safety procedures as well as processes needed to help them take that first jump. This means that your safety and the safety of the person in your care, are in your hands.

PASA (Parachute Association of South Africa) is the governing body of parachuting and skydiving in South Africa on behalf of the South African Civil Aviation Authority. The Accelerated Freefall (AFF) programme is recommended for those who want to learn how to skydive.

Diving jobs are another one of the dangerous jobs in South Africa. Diving instructors, responsible for teaching recreational divers as well as those who want to become instructors themselves, are required to complete certain training as well as dive time. You will be required to specialise in a number of open water speciality dives and learn emergency first responder training, deep diving, first aid and instructional dive trip training, to name but a few examples.

There are different types of career divers including Commercial Divers, Military Divers and Police Divers. Military Divers are trained for operations as well as to lend assistance in disasters, finding mines and salvaging wrecks.

Diving jobs within the Commercial sector includes those seen within the tourism industry (such as instructors), but professional divers find employment in various sectors including Exploration and Production (like those diving for natural minerals), Oil Industry, Research and Shipping (like divers within the mining, shipping, salvaging and underwater construction industries).

Also having its own division in the South African Police Service, professional divers in this sector are also many times placed in dangerous situations in order assist in investigations, crime prevention and search and recovery.

South African Police

Protecting and serving our nation when it is most needed, there are many career routes within the South African Police Service (SAPS) that qualify as dangerous jobs.

A Police Officer is faced with danger on a daily basis. Working on the streets and with people from different walks of life, Police Officers come into contact with crimes and criminals on a daily basis. Situations escalate, leaving Police Officers to make on-the-spot decisions, evaluate situations and apprehend sometimes dangerous criminals.

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Though it is a dangerous job, it is also very rewarding in its own. Having the power to protect the innocent and make a difference on the streets of the cities and towns that you love, are stressful, but also very fulfilling.

In order to become a Police Officer in South Africa, you have to undergo the 24 month long Basic Police Development Learning Programme (BPDLP). After graduating, a Police Officer will earn a salary of R 10 307 per month as well as the benefits that apply to SAPS Act members.

The Explosives Unit also offers it fair share of dangerous jobs. This Unit within the Police deals with the maintenance and management of bomb disposal, our police force’s abilities to dispose of bombs as well as the control over explosives on a national level. These brave men and women investigate bomb threats and incidents as well as other incidents that relate to explosives.

This unit also deals in the handling and disposal of toxic and radioactive substances, as well as the safeguarding and searching of premises.

Like mentioned above, the South African Police Service also has its own diving unit, creating exciting diving jobs that will throw you into the world of investigations, crime prevention and recovery operations.

Paramedics and EMTs

Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are responsible for caring for the sick and injured in emergency situations. Responding to emergency situations, EMTs and Paramedics are often times exposed to dangerous situations – be it a shooting in dangerous areas or a natural disaster.

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You will work both indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions and in a number of circumstances. Stressful, a Paramedic and EMT’s work involves strenuous physical activity and on-the-spot decision making.

Aside from being one of the most dangerous jobs in South Africa, it is also a fulfilling one. Given the chance to be a first responder to an accident, you have the rare opportunity to make a difference when it comes to saving a life. An interesting profession that puts you at the forefronts of major emergency situations, you can receive training at a number of institutions including NetCare 911and ER24.

According to PayScale, an EMT or Paramedic earns an average annual income of around R 153 306.

Note that there are many more dangerous jobs in South Africa that are not mentioned here, so feel free to mention the careers in South Africa that you think qualify as one of the most dangerous jobs.

Looking for one of the most dangerous jobs in South Africa? Register your CV on Job Mail today and start applying for jobs that are challenging and fulfilling at the same time – from mining jobs to security guard jobs, you will find it on www.JobMail.co.za.

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Annabel Schoeman

SEO Engineer
SEO'er, blogger and lover all things weird, wacky and interesting.

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