The economy of Edmonton and the surrounding region is based largely on natural resources, and in particular the large oil and natural gas reserves from which Alberta benefits. The potential oil supply from the province's tar sands is estimated to be second only to that of Saudi Arabia. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Edmonton is a center for employment in the petroleum and petrochemical industry, which is the largest single jobs sector in the city.
However, the jobs market is not wholly reliant on oil and gas, and there are significant opportunities for work in Edmonton in a wide range of other sectors, including financial services, information technology and biotechnology. The city is also a hub of science and research initiatives, and is home to the Alberta Research Council, Edmonton Research Park and the National Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Alberta.
The city's geographical location and transportation links makes it ideally suited to logistics, distribution and freight services. With many schools and higher educational institutions, teachers and educators are often in high demand, and as the state’s capital there are numerous government jobs located in Edmonton, too. The city also has a very strong retail and leisure sector, based both in huge developments such as the West Edmonton Mall and in more traditional downtown shopping districts such as Whyte Avenue.
It is not uncommon for expats to report a very speedy job hunting experience, as vacancies tend not to be advertised for very long. Many employers, particularly in the lower skilled and retail sectors, accept prospective workers applying in person and have been known to make employment offers on the spot. Some of the biggest national and international employers in Edmonton are IBM, General Electric, Intuit Canada, Afexa Life Sciences, BioWare, Canadian Western Bank, Telus, Stantec, and TD Canada Trust.
As in many areas, job advertisements and recruitment processes for Edmonton often take place online. The city is well served by national sites such as Monster, Kijiji, WowJobs and careerbuilder, and there are also local services such as EdmontonJobBoard that can help you to find work in Edmonton. The city's local newspaper, the Edmonton Journal, also carries some classified jobs listings.
Government jobs are advertised on the City of Edmonton website and on the website of the Alberta government. It is certainly worth approaching companies directly with your resume, especially for graduates and those with specialist skills and experience.
The minimum wage in Edmonton is 10.20 CAD per hour. The average hourly rate in Edmonton across all industries is around 26.70 CAD, however, your won salary while working in Edmonton will obviously depend on various factors.
Edmonton is located in Alberta, which is commonly known as Canada's low tax province. Residents of Alberta are charged significantly less tax than in the rest of the country. However, with federal income tax charged by the national government, along with a host of regional and national tax breaks and deductions, tax calculations in Alberta can be very complex.
For example, taking a typical Edmonton salary of 57,000 CAD (45,700 USD), a single person with no dependents may expect to pay around10,700 CAD (8,600 USD) in tax, about one third of which is the provincial income tax for Alberta and two thirds of which is federal income tax. Tax breaks are available for both married couples and those with dependent children, so a married person with two children on the same salary of 57,000 CAD could expect to pay just 6,580 CAD (5,280 USD) in income tax.
For more detailed information about income tax in Alberta, including an estimate of how much income tax you may expect to pay when working in Edmonton, the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance Ministry provide detailed information and an online tax calculator online.