Canadian Money

The highest and lowest paying jobs in Canada

Peter Harris|

We recently updated our salary report on what the average Canadian earns. Now, just in time for Canada Day, we’re taking a look at what the top ten high paying jobs are right now and which occupations pay the least. How does yours compare?

According to Statistics Canada, the average wage for Canadian employees is currently $943 per week – or just over $49,000 a year. Most of the jobs on our high paying list earn at least three times that much. (And the lowest paying occupations pay less than half the average.)

The highest paying jobs in Canada:
[Click on the hyperlinks to view available jobs.]

Most of the lowest paying jobs will simply pay the minimum wage of whatever region the job happens to be located in. Towards the low end of the scale that is roughly $9.95 an hour earning someone just over $20,000 – assuming they worked full time and were paid for 40 hours a week.

The lowest paying jobs in Canada:

  • Sewing machine operator – $19,760
  • Cashier – $20,700
  • Ironing, pressing and finishing occupations $20,700
  • Artisans $21,320
  • Bartender – $21,000
  • Harvesting labourer – $19,750
  • Service station attendant – $19,750
  • Food and beverage server – $22,000
  • Food counter attendant / kitchen help – $19,750
  • Babysitters, nannies, and parent’s helpers – $19,750

Of course this doesn’t take into account tipping. Bartenders and wait staff, particularly at higher end establishments can make very comfortable incomes with low hourly wages but the bulk of their income coming from tips. [See: Confessions of the $100,000 waitress.]

The Federal government’s Working in Canada website breaks down the salaries for different occupation by province and even by city. It’s a useful tool for seeing how your paycheque measures up – and preparing for your next salary negotiation.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!


Peter Harris
Peter Harris on Twitter


Category: Latest News & Advice
  • David Gay

    I did a flyer delivery gig back in December 2013 for two weeks. It paid between 6 to 12 cents per house. Sure made the cashier, babysitter and food counter jobs look all the more attractive, am I right, tell me, am I right?

    At least the flyer delivery job did not ask for 2 years previous experience like a cashier job I once applied for.

    • God

      How can you make that comparison…

      • David Gay

        If you were really God, you’d know the answer to that already and not post on a comments board.

  • Jae

    this is average top people. not a 1 % people

  • Qin

    Nice job of putting out client information into the public.

  • Ludvik Skalicky

    i work for a non profit organization and work with drug addicts as well with mentaly ill . i make $14.42 a hrs and not alllowed to inform the police of drug dealing as well as fellow staff doing drugs,selling drugs and drinking on the job .living from pay check to pay check and haveing a verry hard time paying my student loan of $76,000.00 .i only made 25,197.40 this year . i have to do filming and acting to make more money for all my bills

    • t hopps

      You’d know more than me, but it seems addicts and the mentally ill are considered ‘write offs’ by society. And people don’t see that helping those suffering from these illnesses as a priority. 14.42 an hour for what you do is a bloody insult.

  • John

    Hahahah it’s not correct Lola

  • Monica

    Know what wages are paid for all levels of jobs but what I have found over the years is that titles vary but at some point the cashiers etc etc make almost the same as some office workers. This comparision here is only for those professionals lawyers, doctors etc. Probably that is why some are so cocky when they speak to us lesser mortals.:-):-):-):-):-) Haha!!!

  • ‘Ye is a

    If western nations had a concept of those professions that increased their overall wealth, engineers compensation would far exceed that of lawyers.

  • Manuel A Cerda

    It looks like IT is no longer a well paying job.. maybe canada is not such a great destination after all!

    • LaszloZoltan

      it isnt. really. $100 us costs about $130 cdn.
      lots of qualified folks driving trucks the past 10 years or so here. trucking is one of the lowest paying, most time consuming jobs.

    • Mr. Looker

      17Jul15……Over the past 10 – 20 years Canada and the US of A have had such an influx of immigrants who ALL want to go to the major cities and get technology jobs that there now is a glut of them on the market. As such, being a ‘ dime a dozen ‘ their wages have fallen drastically and technically a high percentage of technology users now know how ‘ to fix ‘ their own equipment.
      Ps:…..Why aren’t immigrants not wanting to become farmers, fishermen, carpenters, loggers, drillers, wireline operators, and many other professions that pay well but NEED hard labor work….???….Could that be the reason…..too much labor work…!!!..You don’t see toooooooooooo many Asians or Southeast Asians working in these fields in the West. In most cases, NONE at all….What’s up with that…..???….Hard work never killed anybody…..Go figure…

      • Manuel A Cerda

        You would be right back in the 1900’s but today the future is to automate all production processes so why isn’t north america investing more in agricultural technologies!?

        • Mr. Looker

          18Jul15…..North America isn’t investing ‘ more ‘ in agricultural technologies because the population is ‘ increasing ‘ by the number of new immigrants who keep coming and none of them are interested in the fields of work as outlined in this subject. They have NO idea that everything does NOT depend on automation. Human beings have to use their hands and will always have to do so……Go figure…

          • Manuel A Cerda

            You might be right that immigrants want to work in the fields but that will stop once they get the standard level of education allowing them to become more autonomes and selfaware that they might as well be scientists or researchers, instead of putting their minds off into subconcious mode every working day.

          • Mr. Looker

            20Jul15…..When hell freezes over…..Just sayin’…

          • Manuel A Cerda

            I understand very well.

          • Mr. Looker

            23Jul15….Food Banks are showing up ‘ empty ‘….and the number of people taking the dolemoney has jumped by leaps and bounds……Go figure…

  • Koku Kpodzo

    Canada socks and even America is better place to trive

    • Vixxen Peart

      Do you mean knee-highs or ankle socks? We also have winter socks for the cold too. Which ones would you like and how many pairs?

    • Mr. Looker

      18Jul15…..Canada does Not need idiots like you who can’t spell ‘ sucks ‘ properly. You are a louse who lives off the avails of others. You suck toooooooooooooooo……Go figure….

    • israel4ever

      I am about to sock you in the face. Canada is a good country that is way better than any Turkmenistan-binder-bumfuck nowhere country you come from. I’ll “trive” you up the ass if I ever see you.

      • Mr. Looker

        23Jul15…..very strange words coming from an idiot who has given himself / herself the moniker ‘ isreal4ever’. Now which is it….Canada or Israel. You cannot have both……Go figure…

        • israel4ever

          Mind your own fucking business I am not going to change my name over 1 article

          • Mr. Looker

            04Aug15…..Of course you wouldn’t. You just don’t know the ramifications of your own ‘ filthy ‘ mouth. In the meantime, how is this for a name for you…..’ Schidt-for-brains ‘…..Go figure…

  • Laura Gaudin

    Would like to see where early childhood educators fall on the pay scale overall…I am a child care worker/early childhood educator, and my rate of pay is ridiculously low especially since I have worked in this field for 27 years. The only reason my rate of pay is remotely decent is because of accreditation pay in Alberta with a wage top up of $6.62 an hour when I work with children. The amount of work that is expected of child care workers-documentation, program planning, preparation of program materials, observations of children’s learning, setting up of activities/experiences, and the rate of pay simply does not fit.

    The only reason so many child care workers stay in the field is a true love for children, not for money!!!!

    • Jeremy Mac Donald

      At a guess you pretty much answer your own question. There are so many highly qualified women competing for jobs that include children that there is never any reason to offer anything resembling good pay. If one women quiets in disgust at her poor treatment and low compensation…well there are three more very qualified highly enthusiastic women standing in line right behind her desperate for the job she just vacated.

      All of them are likely more then capable and all of them will do their very best for their young charges…but the one asking for the least in compensation is the one that gets the job.

      A simplification obviously but I think this (oversupply of qualified candidates) is pretty much what keeps compensation in child support/care fields low.

      • Laura Gaudin

        My point is with all of the demands and expectations of us as early childhood educators, the government and our administration expect more and more with little

        • Jeremy Mac Donald

          It is a needed field and if there was ever a shortage of enthusiastic, qualified, hard working women …well then there would be some serious changes and probably some kind of an existential crisis and rethinking of the field. But for the moment that seems improbable. I knew a women that gave up a 6 figure a year position in IT for the chance to work with little ones. She was pretty much willing to take a more then 50% pay cut for that opportunity alone.

          • cat22

            Obsession of Septhina

    • cat22

      I love Cat I even call my self cat

      • Mr. Looker

        16Jul15…..What in the hell has this garbage to do with this topic…!!!!….Are you a schidt-for-brains…..?????…..People who go ‘ off cure ‘ on topics such as you have done have less brains than that found in a bottle of wadda…..Just sayin’…

    • Mr. Looker

      16Jul15…..The ‘ main ‘ reason so many child-care workers stay in the field is because the majority of them have very little ( if any ) formal education and cannot get a job in most other fields of endeavor……Go figure…

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    That seems low for top end lawyers. Many years ago I spent a year as a CPA student with a Big Four, as they were then, accounting firm, and at one point audited a major law firm who were our neighbours on King Street.

    From memory I can tell you how impressed I was to find that one of their partners had a taken a *cut* of $400,000 a year for accepting an appointment to the Supreme Court.

    Now Supreme Court candidates are certainly la creme de la creme, and his pre-Court remuneration included senior partner’s share, but still this means there are people up there who were routinely making $600K-ish back in the early 1990s.



  • Terry Cody

    This information is misleading. The position ‘Rig Manager” in the oil patch earns about $300,000 per year. There aren’t as many of these jobs in Canada as there used to be a few months ago but with the qualification to do this job you are not restricted to Canada and the pay is higher internationally.

  • Lynn Armstrong Rainford

    You forgot to put secretaries in the low paying job category.

    • Mr. Looker

      17Jul15…..and they forgot to put ‘ undertakers ‘ and ‘ tax collectors ‘ in the high paying job category…..Go figure….

  • Mr. Looker

    17Jul15……The lost cost of the bbl of Oil has shrank so much that thousands of people have already lost their jobs. This low cost will go even further, even below $40.00 per bbl. When that happens, look out. When it goes down to $25.00 per bbl, you can begin to make a selection of the personnel to ‘ turn the lights out ‘ in your town as you all begin to leave. MacDonalds’ will be one of the first to go….followed by Timmy’s. …..guess who will not be coming to dinner……Go figure…

  • EZButton

    If you look at how well Laura Gaudin writes, there is certainly no lack of education in her background. However Mr. looker needs to go back to school and be educated on politeness, poise and most of all RESPECT!

  • Moment With Addy

    what type of lawyers earn good money i m so confused maybe to study law or psychology, i really fit in both please help me… dont wanna waste my student loan and a the end not get a job to pay back
    Thanks in advance