everything you want to know about salaries in canada.

Randstad is your go-to expert on everything to do with salaries and benefits in Canada. We analyze the latest salary trends and data for 2022 and provide insights to help you stay competitive and access skilled talent in your market. From discussing how rising labour shortages are impacting salaries, to covering the top paying jobs in different industries, to addressing how remote work is influencing salaries, we have all your compensation questions answered.

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our 2022 salary guide

The 2022 Salary Guide is packed with compensation data for dozens of core markets across Canada to ensure you offer competitive salaries that will position your organization for success. Offering the right mix of benefits and a competitive salary are more important than ever. With the pandemic subsiding and skills shortages reemerging in many job markets, employers must take a close look at their salaries and benefits packages in 2022. Building a strong and cohesive compensation structure is key not only to hire new talent to sustain business growth, it will also be key to holding on to your existing employees. According to our latest employer brand research, as many as 22% of employees are thinking about changing jobs in 2022 as the job market gains momentum. 

Our 2022 Salary Guide will be your go-to resource for compensation planning and strategy to ensure you’re able to offer high competitive salaries and benefits packages that workers can’t say no to.

what’s inside our 2022 salary guide:

  • detailed salary data for hundreds of job titles and locations across Canada 
  • salaries defined for entry, intermediate and senior experience levels 
  • salary trends and insights in 2022
  • insights on how to counteract growing labour shortages

get an early access to our 2022 salary guide

The 2022 salary will officially be released on January 1st, 2022. Book a meeting with our team to get early access to the 2022 salary guide. In this meeting, we will provide you a digital copy of the 2022 salary guide and you will also receive specific insights.

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compensation trends to watch in 2022

The pandemic ushered in a lot of changes in what workers look for in their compensation packages. Remote work and flexibility, for instance, are now a given for most office workers. Employers that are unable to offer flexibility are viewed as old-fashioned and behind the times. As the pandemic subsides in 2022 and beyond, workers aren’t willing to give up their newfound flexibility, and will seek out employers who are willing to adapt.

Some of the top non-monetary benefits that workers are seeking out in 2022 and beyond include:

  • work flexibility
  • paid time off and vacation
  • employer-provided tech and support with home office setup
  • internet subsidies

shift to flexible and hybrid work setups

In spring 2020, many employers shifted their workforce to remote work in response to pandemic lockdowns. Even highly traditional firms and small businesses made the transition. Experiencing remote work first-hand made organizations more open-minded to building a long-term remote work strategy. Organizations are also realizing benefits such as reducing the overhead costs of office space and being able to promote permanent flexible work as a perk for employees. As we head into 2022, hybrid work strategies are becoming increasingly popular as employers recognize the benefits of offering both remote work and in-office work setups.

workers seek new opportunities

You may have heard of the ‘great resignation’, the term referring to the wave of employees who are resigning from their jobs now that the pandemic is subsiding and they feel safe exploring new opportunities outside of their secure, long-term job. With the job market booming in 2022, there’s numerous opportunities for would-be job seekers to choose from, so it’s an attractive time to seek out new, more lucrative opportunities. This wave of resignations is driving up salaries as employers scramble to cover vacancies while sustaining business growth.

salaries are on the rise

Salary growth is the strongest it’s been in years. With a candidate-driven job market and intense labour shortages popping up in many markets, employers are left competing to access the talent they need to fill core business functions. To remain competitive and lure skilled talent to work for them, employers are pushing up their salaries to stay one step ahead of their competitors and access the best-of-the-best talent. This trend isn’t limited to any one job market, either. We’re seeing salaries grow across the entire spectrum of jobs. From high-skilled roles in IT, engineering and finance, to lower skill roles such as general labourers, salaries are universally on the rise, largely driven by strong economic growth and labour shortages.

Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches
Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches

learn more about salary trends in your market

If you’re managing a business, understanding salary trends is a must when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent. At Randstad, our team provides you with detailed salary insights and HR services to make sure you stand-out in your market.

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how remote work affects salaries

In 2016, just  4% of the Canadian workforce was working mostly via remote means. That's well before the COVID-19 pandemic, which sent vast numbers of Canadians home for months or more. By March 2021, approximately 5 million employees in Canada were working remotely, accounting for around 20% of the workforce. It's not a trend that will be reversed following the COVID-19 pandemic—for a number of reasons. 

With a quick economic recovery expected (unlike the slow recovery following the 2008 recession), employers must be ready to support growth with a workforce that looks different than it did before. One step toward that readiness is understanding how permanent remote work situations may impact what you pay employees.

remote work: benefit or necessity?

In March 2020 working from home was largely viewed as an extra perk for workers. Work flexibility was considered an optional part of your compensation package, to be doled out at employers’ discretion. At the onset of the pandemic, that shifted virtually overnight. Remote work was deemed a necessity as widespread lockdowns made it impossible for businesses to operate in traditional ways. Infrastructure was quickly put in place to allow office workers to do their jobs remotely. 

Now, two years later, workers have adapted to remote work. Many aren’t willing to give up the freedom and flexibility they’ve gained working full-time from their homes. Employees with other responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly relatives, found that the ability to work from home reduced their burden, while allowing them to fit their work schedule around their other responsibilities. 

As pandemic restrictions are lifted and the world economy reopens, many employers are starting to call their workers back to their offices. In many cases, this is welcomed, but for others it represents a loss. Even massive employers that have announced permanent remote work plans that their employees deem unfavorable are not immune to bad press. For instance, Apple received a lot of pushback when they unrolled a new remote work plan that mandated that workers would need to return to the office a minimum of 3 days per week. Many workers viewed this as unnecessary as many of the employees being forced to work from the office had been successfully working from home for almost 2 years.

Moving forward, employers will need to carefully consider their remote work policies and how flexible work factors into their benefits and compensation packages. The ability to work from home is now largely viewed as a necessity rather than an ‘added’ benefit like it once was. Employers that continue to treat work flexibility as a perk they bestow on workers may quickly find their employees jumping ship for more flexible employers that are in tune with the needs of the modern workforce.

remote work and salaries

Overall, remote work has had very little impact on salaries to date. In 2020 and 2021, working remotely due to the pandemic had little impact on the salaries that employers had to offer to stay competitive and attract top talent. We expect that trend to hold true in 2022 as well. 

That said, some employers are starting to open up conversations about compensation and how it’s historically been tied to geography. Workers in large metropolitan cities (for instance Toronto and Vancouver) tend to be more highly paid than those with similar job titles in smaller, more rural locations. 

Google recently made headlines for announcing that their employees’ salaries would be audited and those who work from home permanently moved to less pricey locales to save on living costs, could see their salaries reduced to be more in line with their current location. Stories like these bring up complexities about whether employees’ locations should be factored into their pay at all, especially as many traditionally office-bound jobs can be done from anywhere. Though it’s unlikely this matter will be resolved in 2022, expect to see conversations about location-neutral or skills-based salaries become more popular.

woman at work
woman at work

how salaries are changing thanks to remote work

If you’d like to read more detailed insights on how remote work is influencing salaries, check out our article on the subject.

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4

impact of skills shortages on salaries

There’s no avoiding the major event that’s shaping the job market in 2022: economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the pandemic had a massive impact on the job market (over 2 million jobs were lost at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020), its impact on salaries remained relatively minor. We did not see widespread salary increases or decreases beyond typical year-to-year adjustments. In 2020 and 2021, most companies held off making major changes to their employee compensation packages. However, as we head into 2022, that’s changing. Labour shortages are springing up in many sectors and that’s driving up salaries.

why skills shortages are on the rise

employee resignations

You may have heard of the ‘great resignation’, the term referring to the wave of employees who are resigning from their jobs now that the pandemic is subsiding and they feel safe exploring new opportunities outside of their secure, long-term job. With the job market booming, there’s a plethora of opportunities for would-be job seekers to choose from, so it’s an attractive time to seek out new, more lucrative opportunities.

retirements.

According to research from RBC, the pandemic delayed many workers from retiring. The baby boomer generation is already retiring en masse as they rapidly reach retirement age. The youngest boomers are now in their late fifties and headed for retirement within the next few years, if they haven’t already planned early retirement. Now that the pandemic is receding, expect an abnormally high number of retirements in the next year or two as would-be retirees feel safe to enjoy their retirement. 

candidate-driven job market

There’s a wealth of jobs available in most sectors, so job seekers can narrow their search to opportunities they find most attractive. This leaves employers with below average salaries and lacking benefits behind. Currently, one must-have benefit that’s marking potential employers as desirable is the ability to work from home after the pandemic is over. Employers that are requiring full-time, in-office work are quickly shedding employees who have plenty of flexible employers to choose from.

how skills shortages are impacting salaries

Unsurprisingly, skills shortages are driving up wages. When there’s a smaller pool of skilled talent to pull from, employers must position themselves as an attractive option to secure the skills and experience they need to operate successfully and access talent with core business-critical skills. 

With labour shortages popping up in countless job sectors, we’re seeing widespread wage increases in a waterfall pattern. Wage increases start in higher paying roles and then trickle down to lower paying roles as workers move up the ladder to take on higher paying roles left open due to labour shortages. In high-skill roles such as IT, healthcare and finance, salaries are trending upward as employers compete for a limited number of workers. In lower and mid-skill roles such as administration, industrial and general labour roles, higher salaries are trickling down as workers in those industries leave or upskill to fill gaps in more sought-after, higher-paying industries. To compete and access talent, paying minimum wage is no longer a viable option if you want to have access to a steady pipeline of talent. Underpaid workers have poor retention and turnover quicker, which ultimately leads to high recruiting and training costs.

man in a factory
man in a factory

learn about 5 roles you need to pay more

If you want to hire skilled talent, you need to pay competitively. Check out 5 roles where increasing salaries is non-negotiable to attract talent.

why pay more?
5

advantages of paying employees more

To retain employees with the skills your organization needs offering fair, competitive salaries is non-negotiable. According to our latest Randstad Employer Brand Research survey, salary remains the number one factor job seekers consider when they’re looking for work, with 69% of Canadian job seekers saying that salary and benefits are their number one consideration when looking for a new job. 

Beyond attracting new employees to work for your company, offering competitive salaries is also crucial to your employee retention and keeping existing employees engaged with your company. Employees who feel undervalued will inevitably look for opportunities elsewhere. That can lead to a waterfall of other issues such as lost knowledge, skills gaps, an overworked workforce and poor morale among workers who stay. Even a small increase in salaries can have a big impact and show workers they’re valued. Check out our case study on how a $1.50 per hour wage increase boosted employee engagement for a retail company to see a real-life example.

Some core benefits of paying higher salaries include:

  • increased retention and loyalty
  • increased profitability 
  • a sense of shared success 
  • enhanced branding as an employer
  • increased productivity and innovation
packaging
packaging

check out more insights on how higher wages benefit your organization

Our article on the advantages of paying employees more explains how higher salaries can actually save your organization money in the long run.

the benefits of paying more
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salary trends by sector

The outlook for the job market in Canada, and by extension salaries, is very positive across most industries. Overall, we’re seeing steady gains in employment numbers and salaries in 2022. Labour shortages are ramping up, leading many companies to offer higher salaries to compete for talent.

In white collar and office-based roles, remote work is the dominant trend shaping the sector and salaries. The shift to remote or hybrid work setups that many organizations have been going through has had a ripple effect impacting other areas such as employee retention, engagement and expectations regarding flexibility and benefits. In blue collar and non-office workplaces, remote work is less of a factor, but technology and the changing work landscape are important considerations. Reskilling, the multi-generational workforce and talent retention in the face of a booming job market will also impact most industries. Learn about some of the top trends that are impacting major job categories below and how they’ll influence salaries.

administrative & professional salaries

Capturing the interest of the best and brightest professionals requires staying competitive with salaries, benefits and other forms of compensation. To ensure you're staying competitive with the salary rates for professionals in sectors such as administration, sales, marketing, finance, accounting and HR, you’ll need to stay on top of trends that are impacting the job market, and by extension driving salaries. A few trends you should be watching for:

strong economic growth in 2022

2022 is shaping up to be a very strong year for business growth. This trend is going to drive the need for more salespeople, marketers, HR, accounting staff and a variety of other professionals to serve critical business functions and keep businesses operating smoothly. Skills shortages are already popping up in many professional specialties, driving up salaries as employers compete to secure the expertise of in-demand workers.

shift to permanent remote and hybrid work

Most office-based roles will shift their remote work policies and adopt options for permanent remote work, as well as hybrid in-office/at-home work.This shift will require a new approach to talent management. Employers will also need to embrace forms of flexible work such as outsourcing jobs, hiring gig workers, and offering non-traditional work schedules to secure the skills and expertise they need.

multi-generational workforce

Gen Z is just starting to enter the workforce. They have unique preferences and goals for their careers (for instance, they’re very socially conscious and value work-life balance highly) that employers will need to address in their benefits packages and marketing to potential employees. With boomers reaching retirement age, young workers (Gen Z and Millennials) will be the main talent pool employers draw from.

focus on employee engagement

As the job market heats up and workers have their pick of jobs, employers will need to focus on engagement and retention or risk losing top performers to competitors. Embracing competitive salaries and modern benefits such as employee wellness perks and job flexibility will be key to attract and retain workers.

reskilling and upskilling

Investing in internal development and training will become more important than ever as the market for skilled professionals becomes more competitive. When employers cannot afford to hire experienced talent, training and developing internal people may become more economical than hiring externally. Skilling programs are also valuable to workers and builds employee engagement and loyalty which adds long-term value to organizations.

digital-first buying habits

Millennials and Gen Z are coming into their peak purchasing power and they prefer online shopping. This has led to a shift to a buyer-centric model focused on digital behaviour and preferences. Organizations will need to focus on diversified digital selling tools and channels (i.e. social media, web, email) and they need to hire skilled professionals to optimize each of these channels. 

importance of soft skills

With technology evolving to handle many basic administrative tasks, people with strong social skills (i.e. communication, teamwork, creativity, problem solving etc.) are becoming more valuable in admin roles. Employers are shifting away from hiring administrative staff who have skills like typing and filing, toward candidates who have soft and transferable skills that can’t be replaced by automation.

learn about top paying roles

Many people assume that they need to land executive positions to make over $100,000 a year. Perhaps surprisingly, many professional-level roles also pay well — especially if you’re experienced. From quality assurance roles, to high-tech roles like cloud architect and data scientist, to finance roles like controllers, check out top paying professional roles where you can make over $100,000 annually.

more insights about salaries.

If you want more detailed insights on the trends that will affect salaries and compensation this year, check out our article on HR trends to watch in 2022.

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top paying roles

IT and tech salaries

The latest edition of our Randstad Employer Brand Research revealed that salary remains the number one priority for Canadian job seekers. This is especially true in competitive industries, like technology and IT where job seekers have many job opportunities to consider. To ensure you're staying competitive with the salary rates in the tech sector, you’ll need to stay on top of trends. Some trends you should watch for:

salaries are trending upward

IT has long been one of the most competitive sectors in Canada, with the number of jobs outweighing the available talent pool. That trend is accelerating as the world economy bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic and growth picks up in sectors like IT. To compete for talent and access the skilled IT workers they need to grow, large companies are increasing their salaries. When large companies take the first step and increase their IT salaries, smaller competitors must follow to compete for talent and convince their existing talent to stick with them.

remote and flexible work options

IT was ahead of the curve when it came to working remotely. Before the pandemic, IT workers had some of the highest rates of working remotely of any industry. Today, the ability to work remotely, at least part-time, is all but expected in most IT roles. IT workers expect their employer to have remote or flexible work policies in place, and if they don’t, in-demand IT workers have no problem finding plenty of other more flexible employers.

skills-based compensation

In IT, we’re seeing a strong shift toward skills-based compensation. Interestingly, remote jobs have slightly higher posted salaries than in-office roles in the tech sector. This moves away from the long-held policy of paying workers a premium based on their location. For instance, software developers in Toronto or Vancouver, might be paid more than workers with similar skill sets in more rural areas, largely due to the higher cost of living in these areas. With remote work no longer tying workers to one location, salaries based on location make less sense.

new skill sets are in demand

The IT sector is often at the leading edge, when it comes to evolving and adapting new skill sets. As we head into 2022, we’re seeing the emergence and growing importance of many once niche IT skills. Fields such as data, AI, security, coding, blockchain, cloud, IoT and scrum/agile are experiencing strong growth. As these fields become mainstream, more companies are hiring experts in these fields. Skills shortages (and salary increases) are already on the horizon for many of these fields as demand outweighs talent availability.

more insights about IT salaries.

Looking for even more detailed  insights on the trends that will affect IT salaries and compensation in 2022? Check out our article on IT trends to watch in 2022.

read the trends

top paying IT jobs

engineering salaries

The development of new infrastructure and soaring home prices has led to an upswing in the need for engineers. To attract talented engineers with the skills you need for success, a competitive compensation package is a must. To ensure you're staying competitive with the salary rates in the engineering sector, you’ll need to stay on top of trends. Some trends you should watch for:

technological innovation

New tech is driving the creation of new engineering disciplines and practices and increasing the potential for overlap with other professions. Engineers will need to be adaptable and open to adopting new technology and skills, or risk being left behind. Transferable skills and the ability to adapt with current requirements are becoming increasingly valuable and employers are willing to pay more to candidates with up-to-date skills.

the regulatory landscape is evolving

Governments are changing provincial and territorial regulations at a rapid pace. Engineering firms and professionals must keep up with the regulatory framework to protect the public and business interests. Engineers with strong knowledge of regulatory frameworks are in demand and bring added value to employers, especially in highly regulated fields such as construction and energy.

licensing is becoming less popular

Younger generations are graduating with engineering degrees, but fewer of them are choosing a path to becoming provincially licensed. With fewer licensed engineering professionals in the job market, employers in the sector will need to rethink how they approach hiring and skills assessment. Traditionally licensing has been a way to separate skilled workers from unskilled workers. Now employers will need to ask questions like: ‘Is licensing a must-have job requirement?’ and ‘What skills are must-haves versus nice-to-haves?’ to access adequate talent.

diversity and inclusion setbacks

The pandemic had a negative impact on the careers of marginalized groups in STEM sectors, and engineering in particular (i.e. fewer women, indigenous and racialized people are being hired and promoted). For years, steady gains had been made in employing people from marginalized groups. The pandemic has largely erased many of those diversity gains. Engineering employers will need to make a sustained effort to hire and promote within these groups to attract and retain talent, or risk alienating key groups of workers and exacerbating skills shortages.

more insights about engineering salaries.

Want more detailed salary insights? Check out our article on engineering trends to watch in 2022 to make informed decisions about salary and compensation for your engineering staff.

check out the trends

top paying engineering jobs

manufacturing and logistics salaries

Effectively hiring workers in industrial roles requires staying competitive with salaries, benefits and other forms of compensation. According to our Randstad Employer Brand  Research, salary remains the number one priority for Canadian job seekers. To ensure you're staying one step ahead of competitors and offering the right salaries, you’ll need to stay on top of the trends that are impacting the job market. A few trends you should be watching for:

labour shortages

Skills shortages have long been a problem in industrial roles, but the trend is being accelerated by the post-pandemic job boom. With plenty of jobs to choose from, workers are leaving the sector for higher-paying industries. A high number of retirements in this sector is also a factor (22% of manufacturing workers are older than 55) with few young workers willing to replace them. Employers can reduce the impact of labour shortages by broadening their talent pipeline, hiring immigrants and workers with transferable skills.

technology and automation

Technology is quickly evolving in many job sectors and manufacturing and industrial roles are no exception. In fact, automation is one of the driving trends in the sector. According to StatsCan research, over 25% of manufacturing roles are at high risk of being automated in the near future. With many low-skill roles disappearing and being replaced by machines, employers are shifting their focus to hiring skilled workers who can maintain machines and oversee tasks that cannot be automated. Workers who are able to bridge the gap and reskill in these emerging areas will be in-demand and command higher salaries.

slow time-to-hire cycles

Slow hiring cycles are a common hurdle that employers in the industrial sector face. When hiring decisions are slow and job opportunities are numerous, employers may find that in-demand candidates accept another job offer before they even make a hiring decision. Employers should focus on speeding up cumbersome recruitment processes. Faster hiring cycles allow employers to lock in skilled talent before their competitors.

lack of interest in blue collar roles

One of the biggest problems plaguing the industrial sector is the lack of young workers choosing industrial careers. For decades, white collar roles that require university degrees have been touted as more desirable. That’s led to a severe shortage of young workers in the sector (as previously mentioned, 22% of manufacturing workers are over 55, much more than the national average). Manufacturing and logistics roles need rebranding and employers must focus on getting young people invested in blue collar roles as they’re starting out in their careers, or risk a severe deficit of workers as the current workforce ages into retirement.

more insights about manufacturing and logistics salaries.

Want more detailed salary insights for the manufacturing and logistics sectors? Our article on top trends to watch in 2022 has insights to help you plan ahead.

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top paying industrial jobs