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EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
22 Mar 11 11:41
I've recently been offered a junior project engineering position in Toronto. I graduated in June 2010 and I've been working in Nova Scotia since then. I have no idea what is an acceptable starting salary for an EIT working and living in Toronto. As I don't have access to the OSPE salary surveys I was hoping some of you might be able to give me some insight.

Thanks.  
 
drawoh (Mechanical)
22 Mar 11 13:13
EngGearEng,

   Look up rental and new home prices in Toronto.  Probably, you need to make more money in Toronto.   

               JHG

moltenmetal (Chemical)
22 Mar 11 13:55
Can't expect you to join OSPE just to check out a job offer, so here you go:

For < 2 yrs from graduation, level A (entry level) average in 2010 in Ontario was $57,500 in base salary.  They don't give quartile information any more unless you pay extra for the report, but the "low" range was $53,000.  Total cash compensation at level A is almost exactly equal to the base salary (i.e. no meaningful cash bonus to speak of).  

GTA salaries on average at level A are perhaps $3k/yr more than Eastern or Southwestern Ontario and about the same as Northern Ontario.  That regional advantage disappears as experience increases.

Cost of living here is WAY higher than anywhere in N.S.

Best of luck!
EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
22 Mar 11 14:04
Oh I've looked. Rent is out of this world. Rent that high here is mortgage material.
I guess that's why I'm asking. The cost of living between Halifax and Toronto is about 10-15%, but I don't know if I should expect a 10-15% difference in salary from here to there. They're currently offering a 4% increase in salary for a comparable position from HFX to TO.
EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
22 Mar 11 14:17
Oh wow. Thanks moltenmetal!

On to negotiations!
EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
22 Mar 11 14:24
So is this to say that if we're going with the low base salary (53,000), that for the GTA the "low" range should be around 56,000?

Thanks  
moltenmetal (Chemical)
23 Mar 11 9:09
Sorry, they don't give detailed breakdown information to tell you precisely what you want to know.
EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
23 Mar 11 9:27
Well, if low is 53,000 and the average is 57,000 for all of Ontario. Would it be safe to assume that the average for the GTA is going to need to be at least 3k above the average for Ontario? I'm just going by what you had mentioned about GTA salaries compared to the surrounding areas.

From what I can gather from your response I'm currently sitting at the low end of level A for Ontario. So I'm a little concerned about what kind of impact living in Toronto is going to have.

moltenmetal, thank you very much for all your help.

  
drawoh (Mechanical)
23 Mar 11 13:41
EngGearEng,

   Do your budget.  You need to pay rent.  

   Toronto has good public transit, so you do not absolutely need a car, and you don't need to drive it to work.  If you insist of having one, ask about parking rates.  

   Draft beer is normally $6-8CDN in a pub in Toronto.

   What else is there?

               JHG

moltenmetal (Chemical)
23 Mar 11 13:53
I suggest that if you get $57k/yr or more in the GTA as an entry-level offer, you should be pretty happy.  Don't hold your breath for $60k- that would be very generous.

Obviously, $3k/yr will be completely forgotten easily, either plus or minus- at your age and experience level, what matters far more is what kind of experience you're getting and how interesting the work is.   

If you're only commanding $53k or less, stay put unless the job looks awesome, because you're going to take a big cost of living hit.  The likelihood that an awesome job comes with a well below-par salary is fairly poor in my experience- a well below-par salary more often comes with an exploitative management, poor raises going forward etc.  Sometimes (rarely), a below-par salary can come with a credible benefit such as profit sharing or share ownership, but at the entry level these things are, on average, a very minor portion of total cash compensation.   
cvg (Civil/Environmental)
23 Mar 11 15:38
it is not uncommon for companies to recruit from areas with lower salaries and lower costs of living. In general, these recruits will hire on for less money than local talent. Especially with the added incentive of moving to the big city.
EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
23 Mar 11 15:59
I will be speaking with them this evening to discuss the offer.

I've done out my budget and thanks to moltemmetal I have an idea about typical salaries. I can't go for what I've been offered. I'm working at a project management position currently that's not in my field, and I'd be going into another project accounts management position. The upside is that they currently sell product to the industry that I'm interested in. I don't know how this would allow me to move forward.

All this being said, thanks.
macmet (Materials)
24 Mar 11 9:08
As an engineer who recently moved to Toronto, I would say that an entry level position should be paying $56-60K.  $60K would be good.

I was offered a position in Toronto 1.5 years ago at $50K and turned it out.  Glad I did, wouldn't be able to pay my rent if I did.

Cost of living is dependent on what part of the city you're in obviously.  I wouldn't go too cheap. There is a reason places are cheaper than others.

Good luck.

 
EngGearEng (Chemical) (OP)
25 Mar 11 17:38
Thank you all for your help.

I tried to negotiate with them, but they came back with another less than pleasing offer after I was very firm about what I wanted. I called them and told them that I was declining the second offer and then they accused me of "playing around and using tactics". The reaction that I got from them just made me more sure of my decision.

I've since accepted an offer elsewhere.
FeX32 (Mechanical)
26 Mar 11 0:56
haha 'tactics" that's a new one.

Good luck with your job in T.O. I'm in the area as well.

Those are decent starting salary's. You can sometimes get more, but the type of job or industry can affect it.
For example I know an engineer that recently accepted a job in the hydro business (first job after a B.Eng.) starting at 66K.
 

peace
Fe

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