What is the Average Salary in Canada?

What is the Average Salary in Canada?

Canada is known for its high standard of living and excellent quality of life. One crucial aspect of a good lifestyle is financial stability, and the average salary plays a significant role in achieving that stability. So, what is the average salary in Canada?

The average Canadian salary is around $64,844 annually based on the average weekly wage rate. When looking at how much the average salary in Canada is, understand that this national average comprises many incomes across the country.

The average wage can differ significantly across specific jobs, cities, demographic groups, hours worked, and levels of education or experience.

This guide will explore what the average salary is in Canada and look at the factors that determine how much Canadians earn annually.

It will compare the average salary in Canada by province and territory. You will also learn about the highest paying jobs in Canada and explore the salaries by industry profession and roles.

What is the average salary in Canada?

According to the latest annual Statistics Canada for 2023, the national average weekly wage across all salaries rose substantially to $1,247. Based on a standard year of 52 working weeks, this equates to an average annual salary of $64,844 across all full-time occupations tracked nationally.

This signifies strong salary growth, as the overall Canadian weekly average climbed nearly $110 higher than the 2020 result of $1,136 per week or $59,059 yearly.

The bump represents a 7.8% annualized increase over the past two reported years, outpacing average wage inflation rates. It results from broad gains across multiple industries and provinces this past year.

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Factors that affect the average salary in Canada

Many elements impact average earnings in Canada, leading to variances by region, sector, role, and individual circumstances. Individual circumstances like education, responsibilities, specialized skills, and employer situations also affect one’s salary capacity compared to occupational or geographic averages.

Therefore, understanding typical pay ranges requires examining specific jobs and locations.

Location

When considering how much the average Canadian salary is, understand that the country has robust regional job markets and competition for skilled labour.

Salaries differ substantially across Canada’s provinces and major metropolitan centers, resulting in significant earning disparities tied to geographic demand. For instance, oil-rich Alberta sees average annual salaries ($66,357) over 50% higher than the lowest-paid Prince Edward Island ($44,048).

Skilled tech talent concentrates on thriving innovation hubs like Toronto and Vancouver. These urban areas lead most rankings of top median incomes nationally, easily over $15,000 above national averages.

Industry

Specific occupational sectors known for specialized expertise, stability, and strong profitability confer higher salary advantages, including finance, engineering, healthcare, and technology. For example, the median Canadian registered nurse salary is $80,382, compared to $48,797 for the average Teacher salary.

Additionally, the energy sector’s pay swings greatly based on hydrocarbon price revenues, but peak salaries reach national levels during boom years.

Experience

Length of expertise drastically elevates salaries, evidenced by senior management earning more annually than recent graduates or entry roles at Canadian firms. Extensive skills accrued by executives over decades-long tenures establish professional networks and specialized know-how that amplify earning potential.

Additionally, accomplished subject matter experts and technical practitioners moving into lead positions gain management pay premiums substantially greater than individual contributors.

Education

People with higher education earn much more as specialized skills and credentials allow higher salaries in high-demand fields. For example, nurses with bachelor’s degrees earn around $25,000 more than those with diplomas. So, getting more education pays off with bigger salaries for many important jobs.

In Canada, doctorate holders generally make over $100,000 annually on average. That’s more than double the $48,472 that high school graduates earn. These trends show strong financial returns for learning advanced expertise.

Hours worked

Jobs that require very long hours often pay more to compensate. Examples are corporate lawyers, surgeons, bankers, and consultants working 80+ hours per week.

Top lawyers may bill over 2,000 hours annually on significant cases and deals. So senior law firm partners later earn $300k-$500k salaries after years of grueling schedules.

However, long hours take a personal toll despite big paychecks. So, the high pay aims to reward the major health tradeoffs and life balance sacrifices demanded. But money alone doesn’t offset the impacts of relentless schedules.

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What is the average salary in Canada by province and territory?

Salaries differ quite a bit across Canada’s provinces and territories. As of May 2023, the region with the highest annual average wage is Alberta at $73,448, while the lowest is Prince Edward Island at $54,000.

Here are the latest average yearly salaries by province and territory based on recent median hourly wage data:

Average salary in Alberta province

As of May 2023, Alberta holds Canada’s median hourly wage of $28.85 per hour worked. Based on a 40-hour work week, this results in gross pay of around $1,154 per week. For an entire year’s employment of 52 weeks, the typical Albertan earns approximately $73,448 in gross annual salary across occupations.

This positions Alberta number one nationwide for high incomes, around 15% above the Canadian average. Robust salaries stem from high pay rates in Alberta’s large oil & gas and construction industries amid relatively low living costs outside Calgary.

High labour demand adds pressure, pushing wages upward.

Average salary in British Columbia province

British Columbia’s average annual salary now exceeds $69,600, boasting a strong $27.50 median hourly rate. Rapidly rising technology and construction sectors in Vancouver now rival the province’s historical forestry, mining, and natural gas bases for high-paying jobs.

With a mild coastal climate and natural beauty, BC fares well on wages and living standards.

Average salary in Manitoba province

With median hourly earnings of $23.94, Manitoba delivers average annual salaries of $63,695, improving but still lagging Canada overall.

Major Manitoba industries around transportation, agriculture, mining, and hydropower provide middle-class jobs but few high-income roles. Many workers eye neighbouring provinces for career advancement.

Average salary in New Brunswick province

New Brunswick’s median hourly rate is $23.00, yielding average salaries of $60,160 annually, just edging Nova Scotia.

Surging jobs in customer support centers now supplement traditional forestry and fisheries. Regional healthcare and municipal roles still dominate the small job market, with skilled youth leaving undeterred.

Average salary in Newfoundland and Labrador province

Despite remoteness and outmigration, Newfoundland has reached an average salary of $65,000 annually, aided by offshore oil/gas and a sizeable public sector. Generations of trades workers maintain vital infrastructure, earning a current median wage of $25.00 per hour worked.

Average salary in Northwest Territories province

With Canada’s second-highest median hourly pay rate of $38.00, the Northwest Territories now boasts average salaries of $79,040 annually. Key drivers include remote location incentives and abundant high-paying jobs in natural resources and services to support infrastructure.

Average salary in Nova Scotia province

Maritime mainstay Nova Scotia now sees median hourly earnings of $22.97, bringing average yearly salaries to $60,000 across occupations. Healthcare, trades, and public/private research centers focused on Halifax reward expertise, although youth underemployment remains an issue.

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Average salary in Nunavut province

Despite the $35.90 median hourly pay, Nunavut’s extreme climate/prices and public sector dependence make life difficult at $59,992 annually. Well-paying mining and governance jobs help Inuit workers. However, language barriers and lack of development challenge career growth in this tight-knit territory.

Average salary in Ontario province

With current median hourly earnings of $27.00, Ontario provides Canada’s third-highest annual income at $70,560. Greater Toronto’s diverse innovation and financial services ecosystems offer abundant high-salary careers to drive Ontario ahead of national levels, thanks to its concentration of educated talent.

Average salary in Prince Edward Island province

Although lowest nationwide, PEI’s current $22.50 median wage and $54,000 average salary go relatively further thanks to the low costs of island living. Healthcare, seafood processing, small business, and tourism jobs prevail, but youth outmigration persists.

Average salary in Quebec province

Quebec’s average salary now exceeds $64,000 annually on the back of a $26.00 median hourly wage. Montreal’s robust technology, healthcare, financial, and manufacturing sectors offer high incomes to balance weaker rural economics in Canada’s second most populous province.

Average salary in Saskatchewan province

With median hourly earnings of $26.22, Saskatchewan’s economy remains tied to agriculture, potash/resources, and oil/gas, which bring average salaries of $66,170. Low living costs outside Saskatoon and Regina stretch this prairie income further for workers.

Average salary in Yukon province

Yukon has seen a surge to $72,800 in average annual wages on median pay of $35.00 per hour. Harsh climate incentives and plentiful mining, oil/gas, and government roles yield high household incomes. Low taxes and prices also stretch incomes further within the territory.

What are the highest paying jobs in Canada?

While specific salaries can vary widely based on location, experience level, and other factors, these occupations and professions generally offer the highest-paying career opportunities in Canada:

Medical professionals: $200,000 – $400,000

Physicians, surgeons, dentists, and healthcare specialists earn high wages in Canada. Average salaries range from over $200,000 for family doctors and dentists to $400,000+ for experienced surgeons and other elite medical experts working in hospitals or private practices.

Engineering managers: $130,000 – $250,000

Combining management skills and an engineering background pays off big for professionals overseeing infrastructure and technology projects. Typical salaries run $130,000 – $250,000 for seasoned engineering executives directing operations across construction, software, mining, oil/gas, and utilities.

IT managers: $125,000 – $215,000

Leading software engineers, data scientists, and cybersecurity teams allows IT managers to earn well into six figures. Salaries range from $125,000 to $200,000 for Chief Information Officers and directors of IT, especially in finance, tech, and healthcare.

Mining/oil/gas supervisors: $110,000 – $175,000

Canada’s abundant natural resources power high incomes for qualified drilling, equipment operations, and mineral extraction supervisors.

Typical pay reaches $110,000 – $175,000+ overseeing exploration, maintenance, and transportation projects. While these jobs can be dangerous, many companies usually protect their workers with contractor insurance.

Pilots: $80,000 – $150,000

Airline pilots earn between $80,000 to $150,000 for senior captains and cargo pilots flying internationally. First officers start around $70,000, while regional pilots make less. Strong demand, extensive skills, and heavy responsibility justify the high pay.

Lawyers: $100,000 – $300,000

Top lawyers easily clear over $100,000, with senior partners at elite large firms earning $300,000+. Specialized corporate, tax, litigation, and patent attorneys see the highest salaries, especially in lucrative major metro markets like Toronto and Vancouver.

Pharmacists: $90,000 – $140,000

Hospital and clinical pharmacists average $90,000 – $140,000 across various healthcare settings, while retail salaries fall closer to $80,000. Specialized roles, management potential, and location factors into the pay. Generous benefits packages enhance the appeal.

Finance managers: $110,000 – $325,000

Chief Financial Officers command the biggest paychecks, with compensation between $250,000 and $325,000. But controllers, treasurers, financial analysts, and portfolio managers also average $110,000-$175,000 in corporate finance and banking nationally.

Scientific managers: $95,000 – $220,000

Directing research programs and teams pays well for science professionals. Biologists, chemists, agronomists, and lab managers with leadership expertise earn between $95,000 and $220,000 overseeing pharmaceuticals, resources, energy, utilities, and more projects.

Senior government managers: $110,000 – $200,000

High-level federal and provincial government directors earn upward of $110,000 base pay, excluding generous pensions and benefits. These stable public agencies ‘ department heads and senior policy roles can surpass $200,000 in total compensation.

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Salaries by industry, profession and role

Now that we’ve explored what the average Canadian salary is by location and top occupations, let’s look at typical earning potential across various sectors.

  • Oil and gas: With median base salaries over $100,000, petroleum engineers, geologists, drilling experts, and industry managers enjoy some of the highest pay in Canada. However, compensation is often tied to volatile commodity pricing.
  • Healthcare: Specialist physicians and experienced nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, and mental health professionals earn well above national averages. However, lower-paying support roles bring down overall healthcare wages.
  • Trades: Red Seal electricians, plumbers, welders, and heavy equipment technicians see high demand and earn middle-class incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 or more. Apprentices start around $40,000-50,000 per year.
  • Engineering: Engineers in technical fields like software, electrical, chemical, and aerospace reach six-figure salaries of over $100,000 mid-career, especially in management roles. Civil, mechanical, and industrial engineers earn slightly less.
  • Accounting and finance: CPAs, chartered financial analysts, controllers, treasurers, and portfolio managers all average between $75,000-$150,000 annually across public practice, corporate finance, and investment banking.
  • Legal and compliance: Lawyers, paralegals, regulatory advisors, and legal nurse consultants earn above-average wages but vary significantly by experience, firm size, and specialty ranging from $50,000 to $300,000+.
  • Management consulting: Strategy, operations, HR, and IT management consultants at top global firms like McKinsey, BCG, and Bain earn over $100,000 as mid-level consultants and $250,000+ as partners.
  • Technology: Software developers, computer engineers, data scientists, cybersecurity experts, and cloud infrastructure architects can earn six figures at senior levels, especially in booming tech hubs.
  • Sales and marketing: Pharmaceutical reps, enterprise B2B salespeople, and senior product marketing managers enjoy total compensation of $100,000+, including commissions and bonuses.

Conclusion

For any Canadian seeking a good salary, the path forward is clearer. Determining what the average salary is in Canada requires looking at specific jobs, experience levels, locations, and industries.

You want to develop expertise in a specialized, technical field in high demand across our economy to earn higher salaries. Healthcare, engineering, computer science, accounting, and trades come to mind. Pair this with leadership skills to manage teams and projects. This combination earns over $100,000 per year in most cases.

Also, live where the good jobs are concentrated. Major cities like Toronto and provinces like Alberta pay much better averages. Canadians who make strategic decisions in education and location can achieve an excellent income over time.

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FAQs about what is the average salary in Canada

What is the average salary in Canada per month?

The average monthly salary for full-time employees in Canada is approximately $4,988. The typical salary works out to $64,844 gross pay annually. Actual monthly earnings range from around $2,500 to $25,000 depending on occupation, experience, location, and other factors.

What is considered a good salary in Canada?

While ‘good’ is subjective, those earning around the national annual average between $45,000-$65,000 generally enjoy middle-class lifestyles in most of Canada. Senior technical and professional roles $80,000-$150,000+ allow even more financial flexibility and disposable income.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Canada?

The required income to live comfortably depends significantly on where you live and your lifestyle. A recent survey showed Canadians believe around $150,000 in annual household income constitutes 'financial comfort.' However, living standards and costs vary enormously across the country.

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December 15, 2023
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