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  • Stephanie Hollingshead posted an article
    Tech is booming and recruitment pressure is at an all-time high, driving tech salaries up, and fast. see more

    The Cost of Tech Labour in Western Canada

    Spoiler alert – it got a lot higher in 2021.

    We recently released our 2021 Tech Salary Survey, with data from over 25,000 incumbents at 184 BC and Alberta tech companies and it came as no surprise to learn that tech sector salary increases blew past compensation budgets this year. 

    The sector is booming and recruitment pressure is at an all-time high. The average planned headcount growth this year for the 184 companies in our survey is 37%. 


    Meanwhile, large international companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Disney and Mastercard are continuing to build development offices and studios in Vancouver and in Alberta, both Calgary and Edmonton have seen staggering growth numbers in their tech sectors. According to a study by Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Alberta is now home to 3,083 tech companies. Three short years ago that number was 1,238.  Alberta has also created a new business accelerator to help tech companies scale up by plugging into global investment money. 

    All of this recruitment and retention pressure is pushing salaries up, and quickly.

    Common incumbents in our survey (employees in the same jobs in the same companies) saw a year over year median salary increase of 5.4%.  

    Pay for some jobs is particularly hot right now. Key technical positions in the survey saw average base salary increases of 6%-12%. Skills such as DevOps, Full Stack Software Development and Data Science were identified as some of the most difficult to recruit skills and showed up in the list of jobs with the fastest moving pay. 

    These positions had the fastest moving pay, with common incumbents seeing median base salary increases of 10% or more:

    While Vancouver tech salaries reaching par with many North American tech hubs, there are still regional differences, and the Software Development position highlights those differences:

    From our 2021 survey data, the average salary for an Intermediate Software Developer in the Vancouver area is $98,000. On Vancouver Island that average is $81,000 and in Alberta it’s $84,000. We anticipate regional pay differentials will become smaller over the next couple of years with the normalization of remote and even global teams.

    Many of our member companies are adjusting salaries twice this year, to keep pace with this market. 


    Stay informed and compete for tech talent with HR Tech Group’s Tech Salary Survey.


  • Stephanie Hollingshead posted an article
    Salary data and insights from HR Tech Group's 2020 Tech Salary Survey see more

    BC tech salaries rise while other industries face freezes and cuts

    This is not a sector in slow down.

    We recently released our 2020 Tech Salary Survey, which we manage in partnership with Mercer Canada. The 2020 survey, which has data from over 22,000 incumbents at 150 BC and Alberta tech companies and tech divisions, provides some pretty eye-opening information on the state of the sector

    For example, despite a pandemic – 

    the average planned 2020 headcount growth in Digital Media and Gaming is 17%

    the average planned 2020 headcount growth in Life Sciences is 27%

    In 2021, Clean Tech companies are planning, on average, 16% growth in headcount

    Salaries are following suit.

    Survey incumbents in the same job at the same company, saw a median salary increase of 3.5% from 2019 to 2020.

    The top ten jobs with the highest increase in base salary for employees in the same job in 2019 and 2020 ranged from 7.1%-13.3%. 

    Senior Cloud Ops Engineer salaries increased 8% in 2020, to an average of $115,000. Web Software Developer salaries increased 13% to an average of $90,000. 

    The average salary across the 124 technology and new media jobs in our survey is now $97,000

    Tech salaries just keep climbing.

    Yes, some tech companies are shrinking and cutting costs, but this survey, with data collected in the midst of a global pandemic, tells us that BC’s tech industry overall is continuing with strong growth in both headcount and salaries

    Last week Amazon announced they are hiring for 3,000 more tech and corporate jobs in Vancouver. Jobs like software development, UI/UX design, machine learning, data science and more. 

    As more and more large US companies hire tech talent in Canada, this increasing salary trend will only continue.

    Winter is not coming in Canada’s tech sector. 

    Stay informed and compete for tech talent with HR Tech Group’s Tech Salary Survey.