How much should you be earning? The average Canadian salaries by province and industry

Wondering how much the average Canadian wage is right now? You’re in luck. The latest salary data about what we’re earning at the start of 2017 has just become available.

Coincidentally, the same day as the Ontario government released its annual ‘Sunshine List‘ of public sector employees making over $100,000, Statistics Canada put out the latest update on average Canadian salaries.

The average worker in this country was earning $967.15 a week as of January, 2017. That translates to a yearly wage of just over $50k or $50,291.80 to be precise. This marks a 1.8 per cent increase in pay over the same period last year.

Biggest increases in pay

Once again, we see evidence that it is good to be the boss. The employees who saw the greatest year-over-year growth in income were in the “Management of companies and enterprises” sector where wages increased by 9.3 per cent.

Workers in the “Finance and insurance” field saw the next biggest boost at 6.4 per cent.

Wage declines

Canadians working in three sectors actually saw their paycheques decline over the year. The average salary in the “Utilities” field dropped by -3.5 per cent last year.

Wages in “Forestry, logging and support” shrank by -3.4 per cent.

The “Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction” sector also saw slight declines in pay with wages down by -0.7 per cent. (Although workers in this field continue to enjoy the highest average wage of any industry.)

The average Canadian salary by province

With an slight average wage decline of -0.5 per cent, workers in Alberta were the only ones to see their paycheques take a hit from January 2016 to January 2017. Despite this, that province continues to see the highest overall average wages in the country at $57,874. Prince Edward Islanders have the lowest at $43,046.12. Here is what Canadians are earning across the country:

    Newfoundland and Labrador – $53,427.92
    New Brunswick – $46,202.52
    Nova Scotia – $44,289.44
    Prince Edward Island – $43,046.12
    Quebec – $46,440.16
    Ontario – $51,257.44
    Manitoba – $46,705.88
    Saskatchewan -$52,409.24
    Alberta – $57,874.96
    British Columbia – $48,433.84

The average Canadian wages by sector:

The lowest paid workers by sector are Accommodation and food services, however, the salaries as listed do not take into account tips which often substantially boost the income of people in this field.

    Forestry, logging and support – $57,386.68
    Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction – $102,673.48
    Utilities – $88,187.84
    Construction – $64,201.28
    Manufacturing – $57,979.48
    Retail – $29,087.24
    Transportation and warehousing – $52,644.28
    Information and cultural industries – $66,358.24
    Finance and insurance – $67,043.08
    Real estate and rental and leasing – $51,382.76
    Professional, scientific, and technical services – $68,459.56
    Management of companies and enterprises – $80,204.28
    Educational services – $53,912.04
    Health care and social assistance – $45,900.92
    Arts, entertainment, and recreation – $30,062.24
    Accommodation and food services – $19,204.64

You can read the full detailed charts from Stats Can online. National average wages by sector and incomes by province can give you a first glance at what you might be earning in a certain occupation. But pay can vary widely by region and specific job title, and averages can tend to mask these differences.

For more in-depth research, say for an upcoming salary negotiation, you can see detailed wage information from Statistics Canada down to the specific sector, job function, province and city using this interactive form.

And of course, even those numbers will be averages from the collected data. Use that as a starting point. You don’t want to be average. Average isn’t enough.

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