Canadian Lawyer Salaries

Are you looking for a job as a lawyer in Canada? Most people will tell you to look elsewhere, or look for another job. It seems lawyers are not doing too well in this part of North America. Official statistics show that the average Canadian lawyer makes about $50,600 a year. You can make more without a degree of higher education, Canadians warn. Some say the job outlook is good and that this job gives you a great deal of security, as opposed to well-paid jobs that do not require higher education.

On the other hand, we mustnít forget that average salaries include everyone who works as a lawyer in each and every province of Canada. There is a big difference between working as a lawyer in a village and in Toronto, for example. There is also a difference between public and private lawyers. There is also one between lawyers who work at big companies and lawyers at family practices and other small offices, some working right out of their homes. Sometimes people opt to work in a certain location and to set their own hours, in exchange for which they agree to work for less.

There are official statistics for certain provinces, such as Alberta, for example. The starting wage per hour is between $17.88 and $59.81, or around $36 on average. The overall wage per hour is $55 on average, and the top wage per hour is $78 on average, the maximum being $120. These figures do not include tips, profit shares, overtime, benefits, bonuses and other extras. Alberta lawyers work around 39 hours per week on average. A survey held in Alberta shows that more than half of the legal practices in the area recruited new staff in the last two years. 22 percent had vacancies that remained unfilled for months, and 61 percent experienced other difficulties with hiring lawyers.

In Quebec, the largest sectors of employment for notaries and lawyers are the technical, scientific, and professional services. The average earnings a week in these sectors equal $1,229 as of this year, and there is an increase of close to 6 percent from the previous year. The hourly average earnings of lawyers and notaries in this sector stand at $34.15 in 2011. The average wage per hour in British Columbia is $42.52 while the bottom 10 percent earns just $17.90. Lawyers in British Columbia are both barristers and solicitors, who offer legal advice to clients, including preparing different types of documents, drafting contracts, dealing with real estate transactions, and giving tax advice, among others.

In Winnipeg, the average wage per hour is $46. The top ten percent earns $70, while the bottom 10 percent of workers gets $27.16. Legal professionals in Montreal have low hourly wages compared to their colleagues in other provinces. The top ten percent earns only $38.33. The bottom 10 percent earns $13.72 an hour while the average pay is $26.03.

Maybe the future for lawyers in Canada is bright, but looking at the numbers, the present is nowhere near. Federal prosecutors across Canada are quitting their jobs because of low salaries. This is coming at a bad time for the Canadian government, which is having trouble fighting terrorism, organized crime, and other crimes that are increasing in occurrence. So, not only is the job badly paid, but the workload is increasing. This is mainly a problem in big cities with higher crime rates. Naturally people are opting to work as provincial prosecutors, because they get the same wages for a lot less work.