Editorial by Christian Saint Cyr / Publisher
BC Labour Market Report
In the weeks since the launch of the new WorkBC program, there’s been extensive conversation about the “prevailing wage” of career professionals. The concept of a prevailing wage originated in federal immigration policy to ensure employers would pay immigrants and temporary foreign workers the prevailing wage and not undercut Canadians in the labour market.
The prevailing wage is determined based on Canada Job Bank data and there are a few flaws in this approach that ensure the stated prevailing wage is often lower than the actual wages paid to workers.
For instance, the salary posted in a job advertisement doesn’t reflect the final salary which could only increase based on negotiation and would never decease. It also reflects the entry-level wage for someone who is new to the organization and perhaps even to the profession. This doesn’t factor in that existing employees with an organization are typically earning higher salaries based on performance and skills development.
Job Bank data also struggles with a lack of data. Depending on the profession, many employers don’t list a salary, preferring to leave it open to negotiation. This is particularly true of occupations where skilled workers are in short-supply or where salary information could be deemed as proprietary, particularly in sectors where local employers are entering into competitive bids to win contracts. These are significant factors in the career development sector.
Since the launch of the WorkBC program in April, I’ve received numerous requests for informed data on the prevailing salaries in the career development sector. Given that WorkBC and the Canada Job Bank are the primary sources for this information, I wanted to be able to gather data which better reflects the actual wages workers are earning.
Two weeks ago, I distributed a survey to the career development sector to gather salary data, as well as typical levels of education, training, experience and areas of employment. In conducting this survey, we received 384 responses, of which 276 provided a salary and identified themselves as an Employment Counsellor, NOC 4156, including employment counsellors / case managers; facilitators; resource room coordinators; job developers / customized employment; and job coaches. This response represents an astounding 12.5% of all career professionals across British Columbia, providing an extremely valid sample from which to draw conclusions.
In all summaries, we eliminated 10% of the outlying salaries (the very lowest and the very highest) to ensure the remaining salaries are an accurate range of what professionals are receiving as employment counsellors.
Across the Province, the average salary for an Employment Counsellor (NOC 4156) was $27.20 per hour. This would amount to $56,576 per year at 40 hours per week and $49,504 per year at 35 hours per week. Salaries reported for employment counsellors ranged from a low of $21.00 per hour to a high of $42.00 per hour.
We extrapolated the salaries to identify the salaries most often reported based on the type of role. These average salaries included:
- Employment Counsellor / Case Manager: $26.19 /hr (Range: $22.00 – $45.00 /hr)
- Facilitator: $27.86 /hr (Range: $23.65 – 45.88 /hr)
- Job Developer / Customized Employment: 26.85 /hr (Range: $21.00 – $33.09 / hr)
- Resource Room Coordinator: $23.32 / hr (Range: $16.81 – $29.70 /hr)
We only had two responses for ‘Job Coach’, providing a salary of $27 and $28 per hour respectively. We also received a large number of responses from individuals claiming the category of ‘Other’ and the salary ranged from $26 to $50 per hour, with an average salary of $32.50 per hour.
Under the designation of Employment Counsellor (NOC 4152), we also looked at the typical salaries for various parts of British Columbia. These salaries included:
- Cariboo: $23.89 /hr (Range: $20.00 – $28.00 /hr)
- Fraser Valley: $27.47 /hr (Range: $23.00 – $35.00 /hr)
- Lower Mainland: $27.56 /hr (Range: $22.00 – $45.00 /hr)
- Northwest BC: $26.62 /hr (Range: 23.82 – $30.77 /hr)
- Okanagan: $26.81 /hr (Range: $24.86 – $32.00 /hr)
- Peace Region: $23.81 /hr (Range: $20.00 – $29.00 /hr)
- Thompson Region: $25.73 /hr (Range: $18.75 – 45.88 /hr)
- Vancouver Island: $28.36 /hr (Range: $23.00 – $40.00 /hr)
In the Kootenay Region, we did receive five responses but only one identified as an employment counsellor and provided a salary. Therefore, we’re unable to provide informed data on this region.
We also looked at Employment Counsellors based on the funding source creating their employment. These included:
- WorkBC: $26.01 /hr (Range: $23.00 – $28.75 /hr)
- Non-WorkBC Program (Prov / Fed Funding): $26.11 /hr (Range: $23.45 – $33.00 /hr)
- Indigenous Employment Program (ASETS): $26.69 /hr (Range: 21.63 – $25.00 /hr)
- Immigrant Employment Program: $25.54 /hr (Range: $22.49 – $29.75 /hr)
- Vocational Rehabilitation: $37.68 /hr (Range: $25.00 – $54.07 /hr)
- Secondary School: $37.17 /hr (Range : $24.00 – $60.00 /hr)
- Post-Secondary College / University: $32.72 /hr (Range: 21.73 – $50.00 /hr)
We also had a category of ‘Other’ for area of employment. The typical salary reported was $32.50 per hour with a range of $26.00 to $50.00 per hour.
We looked at the typical salaries of Employment Counsellors based on years of experience. In all cases, workers with more experience earned higher salaries. Workers with 20+ years of experience, earned a 33% higher salary than workers who had less than a year of experience. The following is the typical salaries based on years of experience:
- Less than 1 year of experience: $23.84 /hr (Range: $20.00 – $27.74 /hr)
- 1-5 years: $25.00 /hr (Range: $16.81 – $33.00 /hr)
- 6-10 years: $27.50 /hr (Range: $21.63 – $27.50 /hr)
- 11-20 years: $27.53 /hr (Range: $23.00 – $27.53 /hr)
- 20+ years: $31.86 /hr (Range: $24.00 – $50.00 /hr)
In conducting this research, we didn’t confine our research to Employment Counsellors. We also looked at Administrators and Employment Program Managers.
The average salary for an administrator in the employment services sector in British Columbia was $27.61 per hour with a range of $17.75 to $58.24 per hour. This is after we eliminated 10% of responses, reflecting the highest and lowest outliers. This is a tremendous range, but we found the most common responses were between $22 and $26 per hour.
The typical salary for an Employment Program Manager across British Columbia was $32.86 per hour, with a range from $26.00 to $45.00 per hour. This average salary would amount to $68,348.80 for a 40-hour week or $59,805.20 for a 35-hour work week. Those on the low end of the range are earning $54,080 per year while those on the high end earn salaries up to and exceeding $93,600.
While outliers, we had a few responses from employment program managers reporting an annual salary of $120,000 per year. It is important to remember that when considering salaries for managers, the level of responsibility could range from a case management supervisor to the director of a large organization, responsible for more than 100 career professionals.
Thank you to all of you who completed the online survey. Efforts such as these demonstrate how crowd sourcing can be a tremendous tool in developing excellent labour market information.
Would you enjoy expanding the conversation? During this year’s Summer Labour Market Conference
, in Vancouver on August 1st and 2nd, we plan to showcase the career development profession. We will be discussing this report but also the current state of the career development sector, the value of certification, skills development and opportunities for individuals to further their career in the sector. I hope you can join us for this year’s conference. Participants who register today will benefit from a 25% discount on their registration fee. If you are unable to join us in Vancouver, we plan to livestream the conference for organizations wanting to build their own professional development days around the material. For more information, please visit: www.LabourMarketConference.ca