By: Dionis Padron

Moving to Canada: Top jobs and what the pay!

Tags: immigration, inmigracion, canada, jobs, sueldos, salarios, sueldo minimo, minimal wage.


In making the decision to immigrate to Canada, one of the most necessary considerations is identifying career and employment prospects and the type of lifestyle they can afford you and your family.
Fortunately, the salaries for occupations in Canada are quite high, with average salaries higher in Canada than in the United Kingdom, the United States, and most of Europe. Why? Thanks to an ever strengthening dollar, the average salary in Canadian dollars has risen by 10-15% since 2007 and as of 2010, the average Canadian working full time, or 30 or more hours per week, makes an average of $44,366.


Interested to know the income possibility of your profession in Canada? Looking at jobs throughout the country, below is a small sample of average hourly wages made by various professions. Keep in mind wages and salaries differ between provinces and cities – sometimes quite significantly. For more information on occupations and detailed salaries across Canadian provinces and cities, visit – a great informational and interactive tool allowing job seekers to identify wages and qualifications for various Canadian jobs and professions.
Average Hourly Wages in Canada 2011
Profession Average Hourly Wage
Retail Sales/ Sales Clerk $12
Data Entry Clerk $15
Bookkeeper $17
Accounting Clerk $18
Truck Driver $20
Carpenter $22
Executive Assistant $23
Plumber $25
Electrician $25
Social Worker $28
Architect $29
Registered Nurse $34
Physiotherapist $34
Computer Engineer (not software) $35
Lawyer $40
Computer and Information Systems Manager $40
Engineering Manager $42
Dentist $70
Average weekly wages by Canadian sector or industry show the trend that the highest paid sector, by a fairly large margin, is the mining and oil/gas drilling industry. Other high paying Canadian industries include work in the utilities: water, electricity and telecommunications. Lower paid Canadian industries include the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.
Average Weekly Wages by Industry in Canada in 2011
Profession Average Weekly Wage August 2011 Average Weekly Wage August 2008
Mining and quarrying, and oil and gas extraction $1735 $1524
Utilities $1666 $1422
Management of companies and enterprises $1192 $1038
Professional, scientific and technical services $1157) $1065
Public administration $1109 $1092
Construction $1093 $1023
Information and cultural industries $1081 $992
Wholesale trade $1057 $960
Finance and insurance $1031 $1014
Educational services $1023 $865
Manufacturing $962) $943
Transportation and warehousing $929 $873
Forestry, logging and support $923 $812
Real estate and rental and leasing $834 $783
Healthcare and social assistance $794 $752
Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services $748 $677
Other services (excluding public administration) $699 $667
Retail trade $515 $486
Arts, entertainment and recreation $514 $502
Accommodation and food services $365 $335
For a more extensive look at 2011 average salaries in Canada by career and location, visit
By law in Canada, employers must pay workers at least the minimum hourly wage. In Canada, the term minimum wage refers to the lowest hourly compensation that employers may legally pay their workers. Equally, it is by law the lowest wage at which you may sell your labour as a worker.
Under the Constitution of Canada, the responsibility for enforcing labour laws rests with each one of the ten provinces and three territories and so minimum wages in Canada are defined differently by each province — minimum wages in Yukon Territory stand at $9.27/hour while those in Nunavut currently stand at the highest rate ($11/hour). You should never accept employment that pays below the minimum wage as such employers are not only taking advantage of your labour but also breaking Canadian labour laws. Wages below the minimum wage are only acceptable to be paid in the cases of liquor servers or other tip earners, inexperienced employees and those under a certain age.
Newcomers to Canada may find that their first “survival” jobs may only pay minimum wage – this is normal as almost everyone in Canada has begun their careers working for minimum wage, whether Canadian-born citizens or immigrants. It is important to know what minimum wage is, it’s importance in Canada and its monetary definition by each one of the provinces, especially your province of residence.
Province and/or Territory Minimum Wage (per hour) 2011
Alberta $9.40
British Columbia $9.50
Manitoba $10.00
New Brunswick $10.00
Newfoundland and Labrador $10.00
Northwest Territories $10.00
Nova Scotia $10.15
Nunavut $11.00
Ontario $10.25
Prince Edward Island $10.00
Saskatchewan $9.50
Yukon $9.27

10. Banking, credit and investment managers
Average annual income$101,845
Education and training: Usually a bachelor’s degree in business administration, extensive experience, and many employers prefer an MBA
9. Engineering Managers
Average annual income$113,403
Education and training: A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required so too is registration with your province’s professional engineering association
8. Lawyers
Average annual income: $123,632
 Education and training: An average of seven years of higher education, with four years at  an undergraduate institution and three years of law school
7. Senior managers of trade, broadcasting and other services
Average annual income$124,080
Education and trainingA bachelor degree and extensive work experience
6. Dentists
Average annual income$131,552
Education and trainingMinimum requirements are an undergraduate degree and four years at dental school. Dentists must also be licensed by the National Dental Examining board of Canada, with the exception of residents of Quebec.
5. General practitioners and family physicians
Average annual income$132,615
Education and trainingMust attend medical school and complete residencies.
4. Senior Manager of goods production, utilities, transportation and construction
Average annual income$160,947
Education and trainingA bachelor’s degree (or equivalent work experience) and at least  5 years work experience
3. Senior managers of financial, communications and other business services
Average annual income$162,376
Education and trainingA bachelors degree and extensive work experience are minimum requirements
2. Judges
Average annual income$178,053
Education and trainingAll judges begin their careers as lawyers, so therefore law school is a minimum requirement. Judges usually have a minimum of 10 years experience  before being considered for a judiciary position
1.     Specialist physicians
Average annual income$179,514
Education and trainingBesides obtaining a bachelor’s degree and attending medical school which takes an average of 8 years, specialist physicians also complete a residency or fellowship in their chosen field which can take between                   two and six years.

By Denise Hansen
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