On the busiest roads of South Africa, where the non-stop hum of the engines keeps everyone on a constant move to reach their destinations. The petrol attendants play an important role in keeping your vehicles fueled up. Moreover, their job is tedious and requires long shifts, which makes you question: how much do the petrol attendants earn in South Africa?
Despite the laborious nature of the job, a petrol attendant can barely earn the minimum wage in South Africa. The average salary of a petrol attendant reported in August 2023 is R6185 per month. So, let’s dig deep into the average salary of a petrol attendant in South Africa and which factors might have an influence on it.
Petrol Attendant Salary
Petrol attendants have a demanding job that requires them to work long shifts only to earn a minimum salary. However, the salary range varies, and we can only pinpoint an average amount based on the reported salaries of petrol attendants from different cities and gas stations. The current average base salary of petrol attendants is R512 per day, R1598 per week, R6185 per month, and R87354 per year.
Petrol Attendant Salary in America
The average salary of petrol attendants is significantly higher than in South Africa. Moreover, economic, labor market, and socio-political factors lead to this difference in the average wages of petrol attendants in both countries. The average base salary of petrol attendants in America is $147 per day, $602 per week, $2,330 per month, and $32904 per year.
Comparatively, a petrol attendant in America earns way more than South Africans. For instance, the monthly income of an American petrol attendant in Rands is around 43,847, which is a huge amount if we compare it to the average pay of R6185 per month.
South African Petrol attendants’ wages increased over the years, and they witnessed around 68% Increase in their hourly wages in 2007. Moreover, in September 2021, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, announced an increase of 5.7c per liter of petrol to help increase petrol attendants’ wages. Similarly, he said, “This increase is necessary to accommodate the wage increase of pump attendants, cashiers, and administrative staff at service stations”.
Petrol Attendants’ Salary Range
The salary of a petrol attendant varies based on different factors. For instance, as a petrol attendant, you can earn a minimum of R4348 per month and a maximum of R17326 per month, depending on your work experience, job location, and the petrol station. Moreover, an entry-level petrol attendant salary ranges from R4348 to R9830 per month.
On the other hand, if you gain work experience of at least 5 years, you can start earning more money than a newcomer in this field. So, an experienced petrol attendant in South Africa earns between R5500 to R13209 per month.
Additionally, the locations/cities of your workstation greatly impact the amount of money you can earn per month. For example, a gas station attendant in Cape Town has an average base salary of R164201 per year; however, the same job offers R75701 per year in Pietermaritzburg. So, let’s look at the petrol attendant salaries in different cities of South Africa.
|City||Petrol attendant’s average salary|
|Cape Town, Western Cape||R164201 per year|
|Johannesburg, Gauteng||R81919 per year|
|Durban, Kwazulu-Natal||R95834 per year|
|Northern Suburbs, Western Cape||R87932 per year|
|Kathu, Northern Cape||R81919 per year|
|Fraserburg, Northern Cape||R81919 per year|
|Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape||R80229 per year|
|Kempton Park, Gauteng||R79621 per year|
|Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu-Natal||R75701 per year|
Similarly, the salaries also depend on different companies and manufacturers of the petrol stations. Moreover, the top 5 petrol stations working in South Africa and their petrol attendants’ salaries.
|Petrol Station||Petrol attendants’ average salary|
|Engen||R6500 per month|
|Sasol||R5800 per month|
|Total||R4600 per month|
|Shell||R4560 per month|
|Caltex||R4520 per month|
Please note that these are not the exact wages but an average of the reported salaries. So, these numbers can only give you an overview, and different petrol stations may offer less or more depending on your experience.
Professional Responsibilities of a Petrol Attendant
Petrol Attendants are the friendly faces that represent a petrol station. Their job encompasses a wide range of duties and responsibilities that make it the most important job in maintaining a gas station. Furthermore, the primary responsibility of a gas station attendant is fueling vehicles which also includes dispensing the right amount of petrol as per the client’s requirement and request.
Their job also requires them to examine the vehicle; check the oil level and proper lubrication, water level in the radiator and battery to prevent overheating, and check the air pressure in tires, etc. Furthermore, they also provide additional services to the customers, like washing their windshields, assisting them in inflating and deflating the tires, and inspecting various components like fan belts for signs of wear and tear. Similarly, some gas stations have essential vehicle parts and accessories, and attendants can sell and install these parts for the customers.
Additionally, they also handle the payment transactions as they are responsible for fueling up customer’s vehicles and collecting payments for petrol, oil, and other purchases. Their jobs require them to work long shifts during the day, night, and even holidays to keep up with the peak customer traffic. So, their duties and responsibilities extend far beyond pumping fuel into the vehicles.
What Shapes Petrol Attendants’ Salaries?
The petrol attendants’ wages are covered by the “minimum wage agreements for the South African motor industry”. This means that this agreement sets the minimum wages for these attendants, and companies cannot pay them less than the set amount. Moreover, according to this agreement, the minimum wage per week is R1,313, which means R30 per hour and R5250 per month.
This wage is significantly higher than the proposed National Minimum Wage (NMW), which is R20 per hour or R3500 per month. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) also provides high salaries and better job security to petrol attendants if they are members of this union.
While the minimum wages are fixed and controlled by the government, the actual amount of salary given by the company depends upon various factors. So, let’s look at key factors determining your petrol attendant salary.
Key Determinants of Petrol Attendant Salaries
The most common factor is your experience. The more experience you gain in this field, the better your pay will be. An experienced petrol attendant will always get a maximum wage as compared to an entry-level employee. Moreover, your education also plays a huge role in determining your salary; an employer will always prefer a more educated person as they can provide better services to the customers.
Your skill set can also help you in earning more money as a petrol attendant. For instance, you can provide extra services like repairs, installation of essential parts, and inflation and deflating of the tires, which can directly increase your income. Moreover, the geographic location, economic conditions, and industry competitions also shape the salaries of petrol attendants.
Tipping: A Way to Supplement Petrol Attendants’ Wages
Like other services, petrol attendants also accept tipping from customers because they earn the bare minimum wage. This is a great way to supplement their income and help them with their financial situation. Moreover, they offer complimentary services like washing windshields and windows, checking oil and tires, along fueling vehicles, and that is why tipping petrol attendants should become customary in South Africa.
On the one hand, tipping is promoted, and on the other hand, the rising prices of petrol and other road-related hikes have made it very hard for customers to barely fill their tanks with fuel. Similarly, the rising inflation, increase in toll fees, and other taxes on fuel is the biggest hindrance in the way of tipping because customers cannot afford to give extra money to others. These are some of the reasons why a petrol attendant earns the least amount despite working so hard.
How much do petrol attendants get paid in South Africa?
Petrol attendants earn an average of R6185 per month in South Africa. However, their salary ranges from a minimum of R4348 to a maximum of R17326 per month.
How much do you tip a petrol attendant in South Africa?
Petrol attendants offer various services in South Africa, so depending on the type of service, you can tip them between R5 to R20. Moreover, you can tip them with your credit card by adding it to the overall bill.
What is a petrol attendant?
A petrol attendant or gas station attendant is an employee at a full-service filling station who performs tasks like pumping fuel, cleaning windshields, and checking oil levels along with many other services.
What skills are required to become a petrol attendant?
You need skills like petrol pumping, being friendly, polite and alert, being good with tasks such as checking equipment and cleaning and working well in a team.
Do petrol attendants working in urban areas earn more than those in rural areas?
Yes, petrol attendants working in urban areas can make more money as compared to those working in rural areas.
In short, petrol attendants in South Africa earn between R4348 and R17326 per month. Their salaries generally hover around the minimum wage levels. Moreover, it varies based on the location of the station and the experience and skills of the attendant.