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

Jobs in Alberta still pay some of the highest hourly wages in the country, despite the lingering economic downturn facing the province, Statistics Canada figures show.

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

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

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.