Fresh Grad Salary Expectation in Toronto


Hi there,

I'm wondering how much a fresh graduate from the MArch program should be expecting to earn in the first year in Toronto (or the GTA area)? I'm moving to Toronto and about to start job hunting soon but I have no idea in terms of the salary expectation. The previous internship paid kinda low ($21/hr) in my mind; not sure if pays get better now that I have graduated and am seeking a full-time job?

Oct 28, 21 11:36 am
Non Sequitur


Pick toronto, click on <1 experience, select unlicensed.  You'll see that $21/hr is average for what others have claimed.

Now, as for full time work, you can probably expect an entry-level salary in the 45 to 50k (CAD) per year depending on the type of office.  Larger corporate offices can offer more $ but may not have enough diversity in their workflow to allow you to grow and complete your internship hours.  Smaller offices may offer greater range of tasks and projects but pay-wise is typically on the lower end (plus competition for the boutique firms is high).

So, using a typical 2000hr per year assumption, expect a range of $22 to $25 per hour... But you'd need to really have something tangible (ie. billable) to offer to hit the top end of the scale.  

Hope this helps.

Also, don't accept a gig that expect you to work unpaid overtime.

Oct 28, 21 12:20 pm  · 

Thanks! This is really helpful. And could I ask if unpaid overtime is common? On that website I rarely see paid overtime for entry level.

Oct 28, 21 12:53 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

If you're an $/hr staff member (ie. with no stake on office profits) then you need to ensure that whatever job you accept either has a $/hr for OT or a time in lieu clause. Any office that expect you to work above and beyond your weekly cap (say 40hrs) without additional compensation is not worth your time. The OAA just circulated a decent letter 2 days ago to all it's members on the subject of unpaid staff. 

Is it common tho? Sorta, yes. but it really speaks to the quality of management more than anything. Badly run offices expect the staff to pick up the slack or last minute changes. Decent offices have enough wiggle room or available bodies to make deadlines work without asking their staff to donate their time (or, if OT is required, they compensate).  There is nothing wrong with asking what the expected hours/week are.  My first job had a year salary number then a $/hr for each hour above 35/week.  Every single minute I spent above that 35 was paid.

Oct 28, 21 2:34 pm  · 
4  · 

Really appreciate your reply - thank you very much!

Oct 28, 21 2:37 pm  · 
1  · 

if they don't pay overtime, then don't provide overtime

Oct 28, 21 4:04 pm  · 
3  · 

'Murican here. I too refuse to do the unpaid overtime. I'm salaried and simply don't do it.

Oct 28, 21 5:35 pm  · 

I dont get paid overtime, but I bank it and take time off later.

Oct 28, 21 5:39 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Hip, that's called time-in-lieu. It's pretty common amongst my piers but we don't allow it outside of a typical payroll 2 week cycle. I think the office was burned previously by past employee abuses.

Oct 28, 21 6:02 pm  · 

Back in 2010 as a fresh grad I was making $18 cdn an hour.  Even though I know salaries are still quite low in architecture I thought a decade later they would have picked up a little more. Especially now that I'm seeing so many postings and know that consultants can't keep up these days with all the work. 

As I was being laid off in 2010, my boss asked me how much I was being paid. When I said $18 he claimed that was really good and most graduates were at $15 an hour. I never returned to architecture after that. 

I jumped ship over to construction management and my entry level job, requiring minimal experience paid $26 an hour, plus pension, benefits and so on. These days that same role pays $30 an hour and you can enter right out of school. 

Oct 28, 21 6:17 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

My first real job offer as a fresh grad (although I had real full time office experience) was minimum wage... something like $12cad back in 2009. It was a small boutique firm and I had to pull some strings to get an interview and boy, was the principle surprised when I turned it down on the spot and tried to negotiate more. I then turned down his counter of $15/hr a few days later.

Oct 28, 21 6:53 pm  · 

My first job as a fresh grad was in 2002 was $13.50 an hour. My pay went up each year around 15%. I was given yearly bonuses and OT pay.

Oct 29, 21 10:28 am  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: