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Legal Average Salaries in Canada 2021

How much money does a person working in Legal make in Canada?

Average Yearly Salary
144,000 CAD
( 12,000 CAD monthly)


A person working in Legal in Canada typically earns around 144,000 CAD per year. Salaries range from 44,500 CAD (lowest average) to 356,000 CAD (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different Legal careers. If you are interested in the salary of a particular job, see below for salaries for specific job titles.

Salaries for specific jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Administrative Law Judge322,000 CAD
Arbitrator154,000 CAD
Associate Attorney159,000 CAD
Attorney244,000 CAD
Bailiff72,800 CAD
Barrister60,400 CAD
Candidate Attorney130,000 CAD
Conciliator117,000 CAD
Contracts Manager129,000 CAD
Contracts Negotiator113,000 CAD
Conveyancing Secretary60,500 CAD
Corporate Counsel174,000 CAD
Counsel176,000 CAD
Court Clerk55,900 CAD
Court Judicial Assistant87,700 CAD
Court Liaison Specialist106,000 CAD
Court Reporter86,800 CAD
Court Representative68,400 CAD
Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer337,000 CAD
Immigration Executive168,000 CAD
In House Counsel176,000 CAD
Intellectual Property Specialist120,000 CAD
Judge Advocate245,000 CAD
Law Clerk52,800 CAD
Lawyer238,000 CAD
Legal Administrative Assistant60,400 CAD
Legal Advisor140,000 CAD
Legal Assistant61,900 CAD
Legal Associate114,000 CAD
Legal Consultant147,000 CAD
Legal Consultant145,000 CAD
Legal Counsel177,000 CAD
Legal Editor111,000 CAD
Legal Executive206,000 CAD
Legal Executive Secretary63,000 CAD
Legal IP Officer57,300 CAD
Legal Officer73,600 CAD
Legal Services Director275,000 CAD
Legal Services Manager279,000 CAD
Legal Support Worker43,000 CAD
Legislative Liaison114,000 CAD
Litigation Attorney294,000 CAD
Litigation Paralegal151,000 CAD
Magistrate Judge361,000 CAD
Paralegal91,800 CAD
Patent Attorney168,000 CAD
Staff Attorney177,000 CAD

Legal Jobs Salary Distribution in Canada

Median and salary distribution yearly Canada Legal
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Legal salaries in Canada range from 44,500 CAD per year (minimum average salary) to 356,000 CAD per year (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 150,000 CAD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working in Legal are earning less than 150,000 CAD while the other half are earning more than 150,000 CAD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of people working in Legal are earning less than 87,500 CAD while 75% of them are earning more than 87,500 CAD. Also from the diagram, 75% of people working in Legal are earning less than 263,000 CAD while 25% are earning more than 263,000 CAD.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher the wage.

Generally speaking, employees having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than freshers and juniors across all industries and disciplines.

Professionals with experience of more than five years tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

As you hit the ten years mark, the salary increases by 21% and an additional 14% for those who have crossed the 15 years mark.

Those figures are presented as guidelines only. The numbers become more significant if you consider one job title at a time.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Salary Comparison By Education
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It is well known that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We compared the salaries of professionals at the same level but with different college degrees levels across many jobs, below are our findings.

Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

Workers with a certificate or diploma earn on average 17% more than their peers who only reached the high school level.

Employees who earned a Bachelor's Degree earn 24% more than those who only managed to attain a cerificate or diploma.

Professionals who attained a Master's Degree are awarded salaries that are 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, PhD holders earn 23% more than Master's Degree holders on average while doing the same job.

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in Canada costs anywhere from 49,800 Canadian Dollar(s) to 149,000 Canadian Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support this tactic. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

The decision really depends on your situation and experience among many other factors. Putting all variables aside, if you can afford the costs of higher education then the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Legal Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly Canada Legal
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male employees in Canada who work in Legal earn 4% more than their female counterparts on average.

148,000 CAD
141,000 CAD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in Canada for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly Canada
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Legal Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in Canada

How much are annual salary increments in Canada for Legal professionals? How often do employees get salary raises?


Legal professionals in Canada are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 11% every 13 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 9% granted to employees every 15 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate Canada Legal
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

Canada / All Professions

The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in Canada is 7%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2020

Information Technology

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in Canada for the year 2020. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Legal Bonus and Incentive Rates in Canada

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate Canada Legal
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Legal is considered to be a moderate bonus-based field due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

43% of surveyed staff in Legal reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 57% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Legal Hourly Average Wage in Canada

69 CAD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in Canada is 69 CAD. This means that the average person in Canada earns approximately 69 CAD for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Legal VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Legal and Legal yearly Canada
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The average salary for Legal is 21% more than that of All Jobs.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Brampton148,000 CAD
Calgary152,000 CAD
Edmonton151,000 CAD
Gatineau139,000 CAD
Halifax141,000 CAD
Hamilton149,000 CAD
Kitchener145,000 CAD
Markham144,000 CAD
Mississauga153,000 CAD
Montreal162,000 CAD
Ottawa155,000 CAD
Quebec152,000 CAD
Regina137,000 CAD
Richmond130,000 CAD
Saskatoon138,000 CAD
Surrey142,000 CAD
Toronto162,000 CAD
Vancouver155,000 CAD
Vaughan141,000 CAD
Windsor139,000 CAD
Winnipeg150,000 CAD

Salary Comparison By State

StateAverage Salary
Alberta155,000 CAD
British Columbia158,000 CAD
Manitoba149,000 CAD
New Brunswick133,000 CAD
Newfoundland-Labrador130,000 CAD
Northwest Territories144,000 CAD
Nova Scotia136,000 CAD
Nunavut150,000 CAD
Ontario162,000 CAD
Prince Edward Island125,000 CAD
Quebec159,000 CAD
Saskatchewan140,000 CAD
Yukon128,000 CAD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in Canada earn 4% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.

Private Sector
117,000 CAD
Public Sector+4%
122,000 CAD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

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