3Average wages in Canada

Cost of living is directly tied to wages. If you make minimum wage, living in an expensive city will sound completely unaffordable. However, on a better salary, you can make it work and feel like prices are average. If you manage to get a good job in a low cost of living region, you will be able to afford luxuries and save money.

So, how much can you make in Canada? As little as minimum wage and maybe much more with the right combination of skills and experience. Average, median and minimum hourly wages also vary depending on the province/territory and your occupation.

For more details, read the chapter How much can you expect to make? in our guide Finding a job and working in Canada.

Average, median and minimum wages by province/territory

Province/territory Average hourly wage rates Median hourly wage rates Minimum hourly wages
Alberta $25 $29.50 $15
British Columbia $34.60 $28.85 $17.40
Prince Edward Island $20 $24 $15.40
Manitoba $28.75 $25 $15.30
New Brunswick $26 $24.04 $15.30
Nova Scotia $24 $24 $15.20
Nunavut $35 $35 $19
Ontario $34 $28.39 $16.55
Quebec $24 $27.47 $15.75
Saskatchewan $21 $27 $14
Newfoundland and Labrador $22.50 $26 $15.60
Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) $35 $39.24 $16.05
Yukon $30 $36 $17.59

Sources include Statistic CanadaPayworks and Government of Canada.

Is there a way to guesstimate how much I could make in Canada?

Job Bank, the employment website operated by Employment and Social Development Canada, offers plenty of useful tools to research how much your occupation pays in Canada.

Jobbank Canada

From the homepage, choose Find a job and select and enter a job title. You can refine your search by adding a location, type of contract (permanent, term, seasonal or casual), part-time or full-time, education, salary range and job category. The current available job offers should give you a useful overview of the Canadian job market.

You can also use Choose a career or Explore the market for career planning and trends analysis. With the correct job title, you’ll see important and reliable data, such as high, median and low hourly wages in the industry. The tool relies on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system—read Identify your title on the Canadian job market and find opportunities in your field to understand how it works.

What does that mean for me?

  • The median wage is the wage “in the middle.” It means that 50% of workers earn more and 50% earn below this level.
  • When the low average hourly wage is close to the median hourly wage, it means that at least half of the workers in the industry get the low average hourly rate.
  • If you don’t have much work experience at home and in Canada, it’s likely that you will get the low hourly wage.
  • If you have years of experience in your field at home (or elsewhere) but no work experience yet in Canada, you’ll probably get the median or low hourly wage. Keep in mind that work experience in Canada is very important to employers—newcomers aren’t seen as employees who have mastered Canadian business practices and etiquette.
  • If you have some work experience, you can aim for the median or high hourly wage.

Note regarding province/territory-specific chapters: We’re sharing employee wages by industry, but this data includes all aggregated wages for a given industry. Non-skilled positions can pay way below average.

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