Build your future

Breath-taking natural wonders, welcoming communities, and new, exciting experiences are not the only things that attract people from all over the world to Alberta. Our quality of life is excellent and our economy offers many new career opportunities.

Working in Alberta

Salaries in Alberta vary depending on the employer, hours worked and educational qualifications, as well as experience and responsibilities which the position requires. Alberta wages are among the highest in Canada.

Graphic comparing average wages in Alberta
Sources: Average Individual Annual Earnings (2017) - Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0204-01 Average weekly earning by industry, annual. Median Hourly Wage: Canada Job Bank, Labour Market Information (2018).

If you are coming to Alberta, one of your first priorities will be to find a job. The Government of Alberta has many resources to help you with your search. The alis website provides career, learning and employment information.

The Government of Canada’s Job Bank has tools and information about careers, including the skills and knowledge needed for different jobs. Use this website to create a professional resume and to be matched to job postings that suit your experience and skill set with Job Match.

Regulated occupations

Some occupations in Alberta are regulated, meaning that you must be licensed by a professional regulatory organization in order to work in that occupation. If your occupation is regulated you often can, and should, begin the licensing process with the organization before you come to Canada. Other jobs are not regulated, meaning that you do not need to be licensed in order to work.

Household expenditures

This information shows a breakdown of average household spending in Alberta in one year. “Other expenditures” includes household operations, furnishings, and recreation. This will help you understand what expenses you can expect once you arrive in Alberta.

Graphic showing average household expenses in Alberta
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 11-10-0222-01 (2017)

Take care of your family

Health care

Most people living and working in Alberta get free access to medical clinics or hospitals and most medical services under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. Discover more about Alberta’s health care system.

Graphic showing average healthcare premiums in Alberta
Sources: Alberta Health Care, Insurance Plan (2017), British Columbia Medical Services Plan (2017), Ontario Health Insurance Plan (2017), Revenu Quebec, Quebec Health Contribution (2017).

Education

We take pride in our high-quality education system. In 2017, 63% of the labour force, 25 years of age and older, held a post-secondary education certificate, diploma or degree.

Children living in Alberta must attend school from ages 6 to 16. Public education is free for those under 20 years of age, up to the end of senior high school.

Most students attend school from early September to late June. A wide range of schools are available (public, Catholic, Francophone, charter, private) offering innovative programs (home education, online/virtual schools, and alternative programs).

Graphic showing average school ages in Alberta

Alberta’s post-secondary system has 26 publicly funded institutions, including 6 universities, 2 technical institutes, 11 public colleges, 5 private university colleges, and 2 arts and culture institutions.

Average tuition fees per year for full-time Canadian baccalaureate students for 2017 - 2018:

  • Alberta $5,745
  • Canada $6,618

Transportation

Many Albertans own a vehicle; however, you can usually travel within larger communities using public transit. To drive a car, truck, or van, you need a driver’s licence, insurance, and registration for your vehicle.

Alberta continues to develop and improve our public transportation system. Many cities offer public buses while Calgary and Edmonton also have train transit systems. A monthly pass for unlimited access to the public transportation system in a larger city will cost about $95/month, and $55 – $80/month for a smaller city. Explore public transportation in Alberta.

Housing

From condominiums and townhouses (or row houses) to single family homes (or detached houses), Alberta has many different types of housing at a wide range of prices. By doing your research and learning about the right type of home for you and your family, you will surely find a place to call your own.

Graphic showing average house prices across provinces
Source: Average Price* – Average Upper Limits of Price Quintiles of Absorbed Single-Detached Dwellings April 2018- CMHC, Housing Information Monthly.

Child care

If you are working or attending school and you have young children, you may need to arrange for child care. Alberta offers both informal, unlicensed care and formal, licensed programs. Discover your options.

Graphic comparing average child care premiums in Alberta
Source: Child care – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Time Out: Child Care Fees in Canada, 2017

Enjoy your life

Cost of living

Living in Alberta is affordable. A Mercer 2017 worldwide Cost of Living survey of 209 cities compared the cost of over 200 items including housing, transportation, food, and household goods. The city ranked as number one is the least affordable. Of Canadian cities in the survey, Vancouver was ranked #107, Toronto was #119, and Montreal was #129. Calgary was very affordable with a ranking of #143.

Weather

Alberta has 4 distinct seasons - from hot summers to snowy winters and everything in between. Alberta enjoys the highest number of sunny days in Canada with up to 18 hours of daylight in summer and over 312 days of sunshine each year.

It is true that it gets cold in the winter, but our homes are centrally heated; so indoors, we are comfortably warm. Our geography gives us a “dry cold” which is easy to manage if you dress warmly for it; with the right clothing, you will be prepared to enjoy all that an Alberta winter has to offer.

Chart showing average weather in Alberta
Source: Environment Canada, Meteorological Service of Canada, Canadian Climate Normals. 1981-2010 Station Data

Active lifestyle

Life is more than work, especially in Alberta. You can experience urban life or enjoy laid-back rural living with good access to services. With 12 statutory holidays, you’ll have plenty of time to explore all the province has to offer. Get close to nature, whether winter or summer, we love the great outdoors.

Chart showing facts about living in Alberta
Source: Travel Alberta

Every year, people from across Canada and all over the world choose Alberta as an ideal place to work and live because of our high standard of living, diverse and welcoming communities, and beautiful landscapes.

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