Canadian Consulting Engineer

Alberta salaries depressed, but companies holding onto staff

October 4, 2016

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) has published its annual salary survey. The survey was carried out early in May.

The depressed oil industry showed in depressed salary and benefit levels overall.  However, there were some positive signs. In terms of job stability, the majority of the companies who responded said they expected to maintain or exceed staffing levels next year. Among them, 31% said they expected to add to their professional staff over the coming year, and 63% said they expected to maintain their staffing levels. Only 6% expect to reduce staff.

As far as  future salary increases are concerned, 36% of the companies plan to increase salaries in the next 12 months by an average of 2.6% (3.0% above 2015). The range was 1.0% to 5%.  However, 57% of the companies said they would freeze salaries in the next 12 months.

Aon Hewitt administered and conducted the salary and benefits survey for APEGA. It was based on responses from 177 companies across nine different sectors and involved data for 14,105 engineering and geoscience professionals across the province. Engineering professionals account for 94% of the responses, and 6% were from geoscientists.


In general total compensation values had fallen compared to last year for engineers and geoscientists at all the different levels, from students and engineers-in-training to  the most senior managers.  With the exception of two levels, engineers’  base salaries had also decreased.

In the comparison across different industries, engineers in the “Engineering, Geological, Geophysical Consulting Services Sector” earned in the range of around $75,000 per year (level B, assistant project engineers), to $118,000 (level D, supervisory engineers), to the top-ranked $220,000 (level F, senior management and specialist engineers).

The report noted that the Alberta Government says the economy is experiencing a “shock” due to the decrease in oil prices, which is “feeding through the economy, causing activity to slow in many other sectors, including construction and manufacturing.”

On October 4, the Conference Board of Canada reported that Canada’s Oil industry losses had reached $1 billion in 2016. Click here.

The 10-page APEGA salary summary is available free, while the full report is available for sale.  Click here.



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