Wages and Salaries

It is an important question to ask: how much do tourism jobs pay in Canada?

As with any industry, tourism jobs have different types and ranges of compensation. Salaries range from minimum wage in some frontline positions to high level executive incomes. Since many tourism jobs are service related, these employees also receive gratuities, commissions and/or discounted or complimentary products. Some positions offer room and board as part of a salary package.

Generally speaking, there are two types of compensation for tourism jobs in Canada: an hourly wage and a fixed annual salary.

Hourly wage: Often, part-time or seasonal employees receive an hourly wage, which means they are paid for the number of hours they work each week. They are usually – but not always – entitled to overtime wages for working more than a standard work week. This overtime rate is usually higher than the regular rate, and varies from one jurisdiction to another.

Fixed annual salary: Full-time, permanent employees may receive a fixed annual salary, which means they receive the same compensation per week. It typically includes provisions for paid statutory holidays as well as a minimum number of personal vacation days per year. It may also include benefits such as medical and dental insurance, employer contributions to a retirement plan, and employer-paid professional training.

Salaries for similar positions vary according to:

  • the employer
  • the location (specific province or territory; urban or rural setting)
  • the experience and education level of the employee
  • the conditions of employment
  • whether or not the position is unionized or seasonal

There are many tourism industry resources that can give you more information about job compensation across the country:

Because the salary ranges in any sector are affected by many factors, the best source of information is often those in the sector itself. Talk to people employed in tourism positions. Learn about their jobs, general duties and the general salary ranges.

Note that all employees must receive the minimum wage, which is set by each province and territory. These wages are increased from time to time by legislation, and vary across the country. For a quick reference to minimum wages across Canada, visit this Minimum Wage in Canada web page.

Keep in mind that in Canada, income tax is deducted directly from employees’ paycheques, in addition to contributions to other government-funded programs such as the Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance. This means that your paycheque will be less than your hourly rate or annual salary for the pay period. However, these direct contributions also help pay for the many benefits Canadians enjoy, such as free health care, employment insurance benefits, and a pension when they retire.