Ottawa has always been a great place to work and live. The city offers a high standard of living, with plenty of jobs available. However, like any other city, the cost of living can be expensive. That said, if you’re looking to make a good salary in Ottawa, you’ll need to know where to look, but what would class as a “good” salary in this city?
An average yearly wage of CA$54,605 is considered good. This corresponds to a monthly gross salary of CA$4,550, making Ottawa one of the cities with the highest wages in Canada. With this salary, you can lead a comfortable life and easily pay for things like groceries, housing, transport, and entertainment.
In this article, we highlight the ranges of a good salary in Ottawa and give an example of one. We also look into the average wages and finalize by discussing the compensation you need to live a comfortable life in Canada’s capital. Besides, check out salaries in Toronto and Calgary.
What is a good salary to live in Ottawa in 2023?
If you are a single person, you need at least CA$2,900 per month to live comfortably in Ottawa, and a family of four requires CA$5,585.
On average, a good wage in Ottawa is between CA$55,000 and CA$77,000 yearly; with this amount, you can have a modest lifestyle in this beautiful city.
An example of a good salary in Ottawa
In Ottawa, a monthly gross income of CA$5,000 is considered decent and above the average. On receiving this salary, tax is deducted, leaving you with about CA$3,750 per month.
If you are a single person, this salary is high, and if you have a family to support, this salary is enough for the essentials, but you may not afford several things.
If you are an extravagant person, you may spend this whole amount on necessities, but with excellent spending habits, you can easily save CA$292 per month.
On getting this income, you can distribute your monthly expenses as follows (CA):
- Housing: $1,404 (one-bedroom apartment)
- Utilities: $156
- Internet: $55
- Groceries and food: $390
- Transportation: $140
- Health insurance: $62
- Personal expenses: $425
- Total: $2,632
Average salary in Ottawa in 2022
The average salary in Ottawa in 2022 was CA$39,000 yearly, CA$3,250 monthly, and CA$20 per hour before taxes, which is approximately 60% lower than Canada’s national average salary of CA$63,000 per annum.
If you have an entry-level position, expect to earn about CA$37,050 per year, and as an experienced employee, you’re likely to make CA$86,854 per year. However, this amount varies depending on the industry you are in and the company.
The table below shows the average annual salary of the most common jobs in Ottawa:
|Job||Range (CA)||Average (CA)|
|Software Engineer||$46,800 – $78,780||$60,502|
|Senior Software Engineer||$67,860 – $104,520||$82,447|
|Software Developer||$41,340 – $74,880||$56,251|
|Administrative Assistant||$26,520 – $41,340||$33,090|
|Project Manager||$41,340 – $85, 020||$60,342|
|Operations Manager||$36,660 – $82,680||$55,382|
Since October 2022, the minimum wage in Ottawa has been CA$15,50 per hour. The minimum wage for students is CA$14.60 per hour.
Moreover, you will come across the following salaries when looking for a job in Ottawa:
|Job||Median salary (CA)|
|C LEVEL EXECUTIVE||$106,218|
|HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER||$70,691|
The percentiles, median, and salary ranges in Ottawa
In Ottawa, the minimum earning is CA$25,272, while the maximum is CA$446,160 per year.
The median salary in Ottawa is approximately CA$93,600 per year, which indicates the middle wage; more than half of the employees in Ottawa earn this.
Ottawa has two salary values; the 75th and 25th percentile. According to the salary distribution diagram, 75% of the population earn higher than CA$53,664, while 25% earn less. Additionally, 25% of the city’s population makes more than CA$254,280, and 75% earn less than this.
A good salary in Ottawa is higher than the median and the average. With this salary, you can have a comfortable life in this city with a decent rental apartment and eat out over the weekends.
Determinants of the average salary in Ottawa
The average salary of an individual working in Ottawa varies depending on:
The amount an employee earns in Ottawa is highly determined by their experience level. The greater the number of experience years, the higher you earn. If you have more than two years of experience, you make 32% more than graduates or juniors.
Those with more than five years of experience earn 36% compared to others within the company. If you have more than ten years of experience, expect to earn an additional 21% more than the others, and once you hit the 15 years mark, the amount increases by 14%.
In Ottawa, the average salary for men is 5% higher than that of their female counterparts, regardless of the industry. For example, if men in a company earn CA$53,664, women make CA$50,980.
Level of education
The salary in Ottawa increases with education level; the higher the degree, the more income you get.
Below is a table showing various education levels and their salary increase in Ottawa:
|Education level||Percentage increase|
|Diploma and certificate||17% more than high school graduates|
|Bachelor’s degree||24% more than diploma and certificate holders|
|Master’s Degree||29% more than bachelor’s degree holders|
|Ph.D.||23% higher than master’s degree graduates|
Taxes in Ottawa
The income taxes in Ottawa are high, aiming to provide residents with the best quality of life. The government uses taxes to provide social protection, free secondary education, and healthcare to all citizens in the city.
Let’s say you earn CA$52,000 a year in Ottawa; in this case, you’ll have a tax deduction of CA$14,043. After this, you’ll have a net pay of CA$3,263 monthly and CA$37,987 annually, accounting for a marginal tax rate of 36.2% and an average of 27.0%.
In Ottawa, a marginal tax rate is an amount taxed from your immediate additional income. For example, if your salary increases by CA$100, you will be taxed CA$35.25, which will increase to CA$64.75 on your net pay.
Below is a table showing the average income tax in Ottawa:
|Federal salary tax brackets (CA)||Federal income tax rates|
|Less than $48,556||15%|
|$48,556 – $97,069||21%|
|$97,069 – $150,473||26%|
|$150,473 – $213,368||29%|
How much do you need to make to live comfortably in Ottawa?
Ottawa is known for having high salaries, but the cost of living in this town is not as cheap compared to other Canadian cities like Sherbrooke.
The cost of living in Ottawa is approximately CA$878 for a single person and CA$3,144 for a couple with children without considering the rent. The rest is your biggest expense; hence add at least CA$1,000 on top.
The table below shows the average living expenses in Canada:
|Expense||Monthly cost (CA)|
|Utilities (water, electricity, garbage, cooling, heating)||$128|
|Rent for a one-bedroom apartment (outside of the city center)||$1,041|
|Rent (city center or decent area)||$1,327|
|Public transportation per month||$71|
|Childcare||$772 to $920|
|Total amount without childcare is about $2,000 – $2,500 per month|
The cost of renting a house in Ottawa depends on the location, age, neighborhood, condition, and size. The average rent for a studio apartment in Ottawa is CA$1,310, while that of a one-bedroom apartment is CA$1,600. A two or three-bedroom apartment may range between CA$1,910 and CA$3,910.
If you choose to cook, you’ll only require at least CA$200 per month for groceries, but this can rise to CA$500 depending on your taste.
Below is a table indicating the cost of the most commonly used groceries in Ottawa:
|1 kg rice||$4|
|Milk (1 liter)||$2|
If you choose to eat out, you’ll spend about CA$10 for a fast food meal and up to CA$20 for a high-end restaurant. Eating in a fancy restaurant requires CA$60-$100 per person.
In Ottawa, you can choose to use public and private transport. Though both choices are convenient, public transit is the most effective and affordable option.
If you decide to use a bus which is the most common public means of transport, you are like to spend the amount indicated in the table below:
|Type||Ticket for regular routes||Monthly pass|
|Students 19 and under||CA$87|
|Children (6 to 12 years)||CA$1.70|
|Adults (Two Tickets)||CA$3.35||CA$113|
If you own a car, you’ll spend more on transportation. For example, you are likely to pay between CA$340 and CA$560 monthly for an SUV or a late-model used car. You also need to consider car insurance costs starting from CA$350 a month for one car.
Another thing to consider when using a car in Ottawa is the cost of gas. A gallon of gas costs CA$2; therefore, it would cost between CA$20 and CA$40 to fill your tank. This amount varies depending on the size of your tank and how much you use your car.
In Canada, public health insurance is covered by your monthly taxes deducted from your salary. Costs are pretty low: between C$50 to C$100 per month. For additional services, you can take out private coverage; Cigna Global is the recommended provider.
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