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
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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jae

    this is average top people. not a 1 % people

  • Qin

    Nice job of putting out client information into the public.