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I recently received a question recently from a student wanting to know how to research the average starting salary for his prospective career. He was interested in salaries within Ontario, but also in Canada as a whole. He’d taken a look at some job listing sites and company web sites, but these weren’t giving him the overall picture he was looking for.

To answer his question, I turned to the Canadian government web site Working in Canada. This site wasn’t around – at least not in this form – when I moved to Canada–and I think it’s a fantastic tool for beginning your job research.


Homepage for Working in Canada web site

Homepage for Working in Canada web site

 The site is very simple and user friendly. Just plug your job title into the search box and the site returns a set of job listings from across Canada, with salary information where provided. You can then play around with your results and filter by the following categories:

Language at work
Education levels
Type of job, i.e. permanent/temporary/casual

You also limit your search to jobs posted in the last 48 hours, a useful feature if you’re checking the site regularly, and sign up for job alerts.

It’s also useful to check out the Job Market Trends and News section. This provides information on new business developments, expansions and layoffs within Canada. Currently, for example, you can read about the Maritime Link power project in Nova Scotia, which expects to hire up to 300 people during the course of the project. Keeping an eye on this column allows you to get a feel for where the job market is strongest in Canada for your profession—and some of the areas you might want to avoid. The average weekly earnings by province also make interesting reading. Not surprisingly, Alberta heads the pack, followed by Saskatchewan then Newfoundland and Labrador.

If you want to zone in on a particular region within a province, you can do that too. For example, by searching for news for the North East of Ontario, I see that a company called IBS (unfortunate acronym), which distributes lead acid batteries, is expanding in Sudbury. Or if we take a look at Prince Edward Island, which has the lowest average weekly earnings in Canada—so many of its jobs being seasonal—you can see that a steel fabrication company has received a $5M government loan, which will hopefully lead to 30 or 40 jobs being created there. And whichever province or region you’re researching, you can be sure of reading that Walmart is expanding there. I’m not sure if that makes for good news or not!

Of course you’ll want to supplement your job research with other information sources, but Working in Canada is a very useful starting point and is great for a snapshot view of your career prospects in Canada.


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