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Wages in Alberta among the highest in Canada, StatsCan report says

6 out of 7 economic regions in Alberta made the top 10 list for highest average hourly wage last year

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Many of the highest paying jobs in Alberta are related to the oil and gas industry. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

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Six out of seven economic regions in Alberta made the top 10 list for highest average hourly wages, according to Statistics Canada's latest figures.

Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake topped the list, where the average full-time wage was $36.50 per hour, says the agency's Wages by Occupation, 2016 report, which was released Thursday.

Calgary is in the fourth spot with an average wage of $32.60 — behind Nunavut at $35.95 and the Northwest Territories at $34.20.

Edmonton is number five on the list, where the average wage is $30.20, just behind Toronto where it's $30.40.

Rounding out the list are the regions of Camrose-Drumheller at $29.55, Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande-Prairie-Peace-River at $29.70 and Red Deer at $29.20.

"Alberta had a relatively high average hourly wage in every broad occupational group except in art, culture, recreation and sport occupations, and in sales and service occupations," Statistics Canada said in a release.

Engineers among top earners 

Nationally, the average hourly wage in 2016 was $27.70.

In management occupations, the highest hourly wages are in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, where they average $64.45.

Albertans account for almost 65 per cent of the employees in this sector.

Engineering managers were among the highest paid within management jobs, earning an average of $58.30 per hour. 

Within natural and applied sciences occupations, petroleum engineers had the highest hourly wages at $62.75.

By contrast, management-level workers in the accommodation and food service sector earn $21.45 per hour on average.

None of the Statistics Canada numbers include tips or bonuses.

Statistics Canada found that the broad occupational group with the lowest average full-time hourly wage is sales and service, where employees earn $18.85 on average.

Full-time employees in sales and service occupations working in professional, scientific and technical services earned $29.45 per hour on average.

In contrast, full-time employees in this broad occupational group with jobs in accommodation and food services earned an average hourly wage of $13.70.

Highest and lowest paid jobs 

The 10 highest paid occupations by hourly wage are:

  • Specialist physicians at $86.75
  • Dentists at $72.00
  • Petroleum engineers at $62.75
  • Engineering managers at $58.30
  • University professors at $58.10
  • Public administration managers at $56.25
  • Geo-scientists and oceanographers at $55.50
  • Senior government managers at $55.45
  • Commissioned police officers at $54.30
  • Chemical engineers at $54.20

The 10 lowest paid occupations by hourly wage are:

  • Bartenders at $11.50
  • Food and beverage servers at $11.85
  • Hosts and hostesses at $12.85
  • Food counter attendants and kitchen helpers at $13.05
  • Gas station attendants at $13.05
  • Harvest labourers at $13.10
  • Nursery and greenhouse workers at $13.25
  • Shoe repairers and shoemakers at $13.65
  • Hairstylists and barbers at $13.75
  • Cashiers at $13.95

The 10 economic regions in Canada with the lowest average hourly wage are in the Maritimes and Quebec.

Edmundston–Woodstock, N.B., had the lowest average hourly wage in 2016 at $19.40, followed by Campbellton–Miramichi, N.B., at $21.30, Prince Edward Island at $21.30 and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Que., at $21.70.

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