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Ask HN: What is the salary like for programmers in Canada in 2018?
20 points by thrwwy_canada 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments
I couldn't really find any up-to-date information on the internet. I'm a new grad that will be graduating soon, and I was wondering what the pay range is like in Canada.

I'm mostly interested in the Greater Toronto Area, but feel free to post your datapoints for other places as well!






Spoiler alert: the best setup is to hole up in a nice town in Canada working remotely for a client in the US.

Vancouver numbers I know from friends, mostly from a couple years ago, web application dev:

- Starting salary around 60K CAD

- Mid range 70-90K

- Senior 90-130K

Companies like Amazon pay ~25% more than this, but are also more demanding of time and sanity

Go browse AngelList, lots of offers with salaries there from smaller companies.


Wow, those are really low numbers. I'm pretty confident you can fetch very similar salaries in Montreal, and housing is 3-5 times cheaper? Or even more?

I (and about 50 of my developer coworkers) make those sort of salaries here in small-town Quebec, with significantly cheaper housing than even Montreal.

I'm sure Vancouver is a beautiful city, but comparing those salary numbers against the housing over there makes it extremely unattractive.


Yup, I've seen more than one friend leave Vancouver for Ontario and Quebec. But hey if you work remotely, you're in the same timezone as SF!

I’ve found AngelList and the Who’s Hiring threads here on HN to be fairly accurate.

> Spoiler alert: the best setup is to hole up in a nice town in Canada working remotely for a client in the US.

Do you have experience with this? :)


Yes, I worked remotely for both US and Canadian clients. Dealing with Quebec clients is a pain (need to file their sales tax, _in french_), otherwise it's been a smooth sailing. Just remember that you're a contractor, not an employee.

I'm from Quebec as well. Do you work directly for a client, or through a consultancy?

Directly. One of my friends is holed up in Yukon working via a website similar to upwork. Seems to work for him although these kind of sites generally get bad rep on HN.

I lived in Ottawa and then worked in Montreal few years ago.

Compare to silicon valley - the difference is between 2x - 4x. Canada always been a joke is high tech pays. Add miserable weather to that and that completes the package.


I think you need to consider more than just the differences in salary with Silicon Valley. You also need to compare the cost of living and other benefits as well. Canada is a huge country and some places are much more expensive (and so require higher salaries) than others.

> miserable weather

The weather is as miserable as we let it make us. Canadians in general love to complain about the weather but I don't think it is that bad. It can be cold or hot, snowy or rainy but most days are quite nice. When I lived in California I missed the changing seasons, fall colours and snow at Christmas.


I prefer winter-on-demand - (Tahoe!) vs. 4-5 months of misery in the air and on the roads enforced upon you - like it or not. Add to that quick car depreciation due to salty roads.

I am happy to pay for air tickets and buy a dinner for my Canadian friends during fall colors season. After all - I'll be coming back to summer, but it's all downhill for them from that point on, weatherwise. Some people are managing to convince themselves that Canadian weather is great but I don't have these masochistic talents. Having said that - I loved hot and often humid Canadian summers (Eastern Ontario and Quebec) - but these are too short anyways.

Sluggish resale housing market (my personal repeated experience). I lived in a real nice area in Kanata (West Ottawa) and it took us 1.5 yrs to sell a house.

With Silicon Valey salary i luckily was able to afford to pay single house rent here + Canadian mortgage payment.

California taxes are high, but Canadian are higher.

I better stop. :)


> Add miserable weather

Is this true for the whole country?

Also, what about the healthcare? (compared to US)


Healthcare in my limited experience is generally great for life threatening problems.

But other, more mundane problems are not solved as well. Try finding a family doctor (GP) in Vancouver, none of them accept new patients. So a lot of people have to go to walk in clinics where the doctor has never seen you before and might not see you again. Ok to get a prescription, not good for a case that spans multiple visits.

But hey on the plus side the biggest financial annoyance are hospital parking fees. Which are not especially high, just to clarify. So far I'm happy to take this tradeoff.


Canadian salaries are better than the UK but not as good as the US.

Try glassdoor to get an idea

50-150K CAD

from Junior to Senior




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