Here is how much most Canadian jobs pay: The average salaries by region and industry

Are you a part of Canada’s middle class? Here is a closer look at what the average Canadian earns by industry and province, the highest and lowest paid jobs to hold, and who falls right in the middle of the income range.

So here’s what we’re earning. At the outset of 2016 the average Canadian employee’s wage was $951 dollars a week or just shy of $49,500 a year according to Statistics Canada. That is roughly the same (up just 0.4%) over what we were earning one year earlier. (Statistics Canada just released these numbers on March 31st, 2016, by the way.)

In which province are workers compensated the most? Stats Can says that Albertans were still earning the highest average wages in Canada. However, workers in that province also saw the greatest change in salaries year-over-year with 4.3% a drop from last year’s $60,476 average.

In fact, people in most provinces actually saw greater increases in 2016 over what they were earning last year than the 0.4% average increase seems to imply. This is because, according to Statistics Canada, “the earnings declines in Alberta largely offset gains elsewhere in the country.”

The average Canadian salaries by province:

    Newfoundland and Labrador – $52,572
    New Brunswick – $44,980
    Nova Scotia – $42,992
    Prince Edward Island – $42,120
    Quebec – $45,032
    Ontario – $50,076
    Manitoba – $45,760
    Saskatchewan -$51,792
    Alberta – $58,292
    British Columbia – $46,900

From January 2015 to January 2016, average weekly earnings increased in five of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. Over that same period, earnings declined in wholesale trade and health care and social assistance.

The average Canadian wages by sector:

    Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction – $103,019
    Utilities – $91,684
    Construction – $63,471
    Manufacturing – $55,343
    Trade – $37,700
    Transportation and warehousing – $55,305
    Information and cultural industries – $64,864
    Finance and insurance – $64,309
    Real estate and rental and leasing – $49,585
    Professional, scientific and technical services – $69,034
    Educational services – $52,082
    Health care and social assistance – $44,760
    Arts, entertainment and recreation – $31,228
    Retail – $28,600
    Accommodation and food services – $19,942

The highest and lowest paid Canadians


The lowest paid workers in the country are by definition those who make minimum wage. While lowest legal salary a company can pay varies from province to province, the national average is $10.45 an hour.

Of course, many people working for minimum wage have part-time schedules or work multiple jobs at once. However, assuming a 40-hour week, the average minimum wage in Canada would translate to an annual salary of just $21,736.


    Specialist physicians at the high end of the pay scale they can earn over $375,000
    Dentist – $287,303
    Family physicians – $272,750
    Lawyers at the top end of the pay scale make $272,550
    Judges $176,800
    Senior Managers of Goods Production, Utilities, Transportation, and Construction – $165,000
    Senior managers in Finance and Communications can earn $160,000
    Actuaries earn $155,000
    Engineering managers – $137,000
    Airline Pilots can make up to $140,000
    Public Administration Director – $99,195
    Pharmacist – $98,000
    Utilities Manager – $98,000
    Computer Systems Manager – $95,500

So, how do you define the middle class? Opinions vary. But here’s a fairly scientific look as mapped out by our friends over at MoneySense magazine. For example, “If you’re single and making $30,000 a year before taxes, then you’d be ahead of the poorest 40% of Canadians, but behind the richest 40%.”