What is a good salary in Canada? A Guide For Newcomers

Nothing is free in the world, and that includes within the beautiful country of Canada. From the high mountains of British Columbia and Alberta to the shores of Newfoundland, finding the best place for your future can be a difficult decision for anyone. Where do you need to go to make an excellent salary in the great white north? A great income can be the “make it or break it” factor for an individual’s professional future, so it is a big choice. We will cover Canadian salaries in this article so that you can enjoy a great quality of life during your stay in Canada!

What is considered a good salary in Canada?

Salary depends on which province or region to which you have decided to move. The first thing that you need in order to find whether a particular salary would be useful is a completed budget. Once you have a budget, you will find out how much you need to make to continue your desired way of life. To help you gain an idea of how much money you will need to make to sustain your lifestyle, I’ve created a table with a list of famous cities for immigrants and the minimum amount you need to have a modest life in each city. These numbers are based on the cost of living from number.com. Note that the salary figures are assuming that you work 40 hours a week. Good salary in Canada for each Province
City Minimum Wage Salary Needed Provinces and territories
Toronto C$ 29,124 Annually or C$2,427 monthly C$50,000 Annually or C$4,167 Ontario
Vancouver C$ 28,808 Annually or C$2,401 monthly C$ 40, 000 Annually or C$ 3,333 monthly British Columbia
St. John’s C$ 23,712 Annually or C$1,976 monthly C$ 39,208 Annually or C$ 3,267 monthly Newfoundland and Labrador
Mississauga C$ 29,124 Annually or C$2,427 monthly C$ 40,000 Annually or C$ 3,333 monthly Ontario
Victoria C$ 28,808 Annually or C$2,401 monthly C$ 36,029 Annually or C$ 3002.44 monthly British Columbia
Regina C$ 23,546 Annually or C$1,962 monthly C$ 25,801 Annually or C$ 2150.05 monthly Saskatchewan
Ottawa C$ 29,124 Annually or C$2,427 monthly C$ 29,799 Annually or C$2483.25 monthly Ontario
Oshawa C$ 29,124 Annually or C$2,427 monthly C$ 31,620 Annually or C$2635 monthly Ontario
Calgary C$ 31,200 Annually or C$2,600 monthly C$ 28,091 Annually or C$2340.89 monthly Alberta
Edmonton C$ 31,200 Annually or C$2,600 monthly C$ 28,245 Annually or C$2353.75 monthly Alberta
Kelowna C$ 28,808 Annually or C$2,401 monthly C$ 27,734 Annually or C$2311.15 monthly British Columbia
Hamilton C$ 29,124 Annually or C$2,427 monthly C$ 29,076 Annually or C$2,423 monthly Ontario
Halifax C$ 24,024 Annually or C$2,002 monthly C$ 28,355 Annually or C$2362.94 monthly Nova Scotia
Saskatoon C$ 23,546 Annually or C$1,962 monthly C$ 25,485 Annually or C$2123.72 monthly Saskatchewan
Winnipeg C$ 24,232 Annually or C$2,019 monthly C$ 23,392 Annually or C$1949.32 monthly Manitoba
Montreal C$ 26,000 Annually or C$2,167 monthly C$ 27,287 Annually or C$2273.88 monthly Quebec
London C$ 29,124 Annually or C$2,427 monthly C$ 23,922 Annually or C$1993.54 monthly Ontario
Charlottetown C$ 25,480 Annually or C$2,123 monthly C$ 35,480 Annually or C$2,957 monthly Prince Edward Island
Quebec City C$ 26,000 Annually or C$2,167 monthly C$ 24,454 Annually or C$2037.81 monthly Quebec
Moncton C$ 24,232 Annually or C$2,019 monthly C$ 26,547 Annually or C$2,212.21 monthly New Brunswick
While Canada’s average income has changed by 10.8% in the last 14 years, this only indicated that jobs are going strong and that more are on the way. Considering that this projection is on the horizon, there is one thing that you need to know. Remember, when completing this budget, to consider if you are renting or purchasing your home in the area. If you live outside of a city rather than in a city center, you will be able to save even more of that salary, making it more appealing to your life. Newfoundland and Labrador have a 3.1% average salary projection for 2020, while Alberta has a 2.7% projection. Newfoundland and Labrador have an average salary of $53,820, which is only $6,000 less than Alberta’s average wage.  This information is proof that a “good” salary can be found in many places in Canada, and that it all depends on where you look. For the past few years, the economic growth of Canada has increased by 3%, and this is an excellent indication that the countries’ industries are doing great, and that salaries will continue to rise. The oil and gas industry in Canada provides over 700,000 jobs alone, which is pretty impressive for a country that has a population of 37 million.

What is the average salary in Canada?

Now, it is time to discuss the average salary in Canada. With the average wage in Alberta being $59,438 and Quebec being $47,230, there are regional differences in what “an average” will be. It all comes down to where you live or where you plan to move. A significant deciding factor in the average salary you would expect would depend on the industry within which you are working. The food industry is not going to pay the same as the oil, technology, or gas industry. However, the average salary is hypothesized to increase across the country in 2020. With Newfoundland and Labrador rising by 3.1%, BC at 2.7%, and Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario at 2.7%, it looks like the future of industry in Canada is on the rise and hopefully will continue to grow for the distant future. The average salary for the entire country is $55,806. This has increased by 10.8% in the last 14 years and is not slowing down. Canada has many resources, and data indicates that Canadians are using that to their advantage in the global market. Resources mean jobs and with more jobs come higher salaries! Keep a close watch on your salary now, and yearly averages in your industry. There is nothing wrong with renegotiating your salary with your employer if that is the province average for your position.

Which industry has the highest average salary?

Everyone wants to find the shortest distance to financial freedom. Time is money, and the easiest way to financial freedom is to make the most money, but which industry is paying the most? Well, in Canada, quarrying, oil, gas, mining, and tech are king. These industries provide a weekly income of $2,010, unlike the financial sector, which only provides a weekly salary of $1,320. Canada is known for, hard-working people that get the job done no matter the weather. Just like any country and industry, the toughest and least-desirable roles earn the most money. No one wants to be digging in mud and dirt, trying to find the right spot for the gas pocket; however, natural gas is vital to everyday living, so gas industry employers provide high compensate for employees that are willing to do these jobs. Utilities follow up the oil, gas, and mining sector in second with managing companies come in at third. These industries are great for individuals that are single and have not planted roots, per se. These factors make it easier to facilitate the work schedule needed for these jobs, which can be difficult for those with a family. The oil and gas industry sometimes has a work schedule of 3 weeks on followed by one week off, which means you have to work for three weeks before enjoying any time off. Even though these industries pay much more than their competition, you will need to work hard for this pay.

What salary do you need to have an average way of life as a single?

As stated, your lifestyle will determine what a “nice” salary is to you. Some people are very thrifty while others spend their money like it is going out of style; everyone is different. If you can keep your debt to income ratio below 36%, allowing you to save some of your income, then you will see a better state of life. The average salary in Canada is $55,806, with Alberta having the highest average salary. Find a budget online that you can complete and determine what that excellent salary looks like for you. A great way to make the most out of your salary is to live outside of a metropolitan area. Many people want to live near their place of employment to cut down the commute but if you are willing to compromise with a longer commute, living outside of the cities would be a great way to make your salary seem much bigger than it is. It is your decision regarding what is more important; to live close to your job or to save some extra money. Another great way to save even more money is to sublease an additional room that you may have at your residence. This will make your rent or lease cheaper and gives you more money to put towards higher priority financial obligations. Many people will take this extra money and use it to pay off a debt, for example.

How can I make the most of my salary as an immigrant?

The Balance did a study on this and found that the 60/40 rule was the best solution for this. Their 60/40 rule states that you should satisfy all of your bills and mandatory payments, including depositing money into a savings account, using only 60% of your income. Then the other 40% should be used to pay off debt and other expenditures. This plays into the “snowball method” as well because by paying off your debt; you will increase the amount of money that you can save. Overall, it does not matter how much you make if you have poor budgeting skills and the key behind having a high salary and creating a fantastic life for yourself and whoever you let in it is by having a great budget set for your finances. You will thank yourself for years to come!


Complete your budget, so you know how much you need to have to afford your amazing life, then you will be able to set salary parameters. Average salaries change, and there is no rule against a renegotiation of your pay; especially if you are good at what you do and have proven value to your company or industry.  Establishing yourself as an asset gives your employer an incentive to keep you happy and under their employment. Every company will pay more for an employee that is valuable to their team, so make sure that you show them how great you can be. Canada is a beautiful country and has many things to see and do, so make sure you keep track of your salary, so you have room in your budget to enjoy all of the great things Canada has to offer. Making the most out of your salary will not only give you a great life today but for many years to come in the future.

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Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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