Canadian Consulting Engineer

Survey shows salaries of senior Alberta engineers rose most

October 17, 2011
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) has released the results of its annual salary survey.

The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) has released the results of its annual salary survey.

The survey included information from over 116 employers, representing over 10,600 employees from 15 industry sectors. The detailed research makes it possible to compare how well staff in consulting engineering firms are faring financially against each other and against other industries.

Overall for all staff levels, the survey found that base salaries had increased on average by $3,087 from 2010. The survey results were taken effective May 1, 2011.

According to the survey, the mean annual base salary for engineers at the senior management level (F) for all industries was $173,160. The same figure for engineers at the supervisory level (D) was $116,802, while that for a member-in-training (A) was $66,817.

Compared to 2010, base average salaries had risen most sharply at the senior management level: 4.7%. At the very top level (F+) base salaries had increased 6.4%.  For those at the supervisor level, salaries had grown 3.5%, while member-in-training salaries had risen only 1.3%. Student salary levels had actually dropped by 1.3%.

Over 80% of the respondents thought that salaries would increase by on average 2.7% over the next 12 months.

Comparing different industries and using mean total cash compensations, supervisory level engineers in the consulting services sector scored 90.9 against a baseline of 100.0. The highest scoring industry using this measure was the oil and gas industry, where supervisory engineers scored 117.2. The lowest scoring sector was manufacturing durables at 82.3.

The survey also recorded how many hours the respondents worked per week. It found that 48% worked 40 hours a week, and 3% worked more than 40 hours. The remainder worked between 35 and 40 hours a week.

Also measured were female salaries compared to male. The survey found that in terms of total cash compensation, on average women in the engineering, geology and geophysics professions make $108,111 per year, compared to $135, 433 for men. The graphs also show that females ere still a minority in the work force, and are best represented at the middle levels of responsibility. Their highest showing was at the project engineer Level C, at 22% of the workforce. At the most senior management levels women represent only 4-6%.

The survey also measured different employee benefits, such as what percentage of the respondents at certain levels received commissions, vehicle allowances, stock options, pension plans, drug plans etc.

The complete results are published in the booklet, the Value of Professional Services 2011, available at, click here.


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