Variations to the wage requirements

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Pharmacy students

(Excluding the province of Quebec)

A pharmacy student is enrolled in a pharmacy program at a Canadian university, but has not yet graduated.

Prevailing wage for pharmacy students should be the higher of:

  • one-third (33.3%) of the median wage as posted for National Occupational Classification (NOC) 3131 - Pharmacists for the location where the temporary foreign worker will be employed; and
  • the wage paid to any currently employed pharmacy students at the same location with the comparable levels of pharmacy-related experience.

Pharmacy interns

(Excluding the province of Quebec)

An intern pharmacist has graduated from an accredited post-secondary institution with a degree in pharmacy but does not have the formal credentials to be recognized as a fully licensed pharmacist in Canada.

  • Prevailing wage for intern pharmacists must be equal to or above two-thirds (66.7%) of the median hourly wage for NOC 3131 - Pharmacists for the work location.

Leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

Variations to the wage requirement for job offers under NOC 5254 have been established in two cases.

1. Camp counsellors (Ontario)

The Ontario Camps Association provides us with wage information for Camp Counsellors NOC 5254, which is a median wage of $10.25/hour.

2. Snow sport instructors (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba)

The prevailing wage for ski and snowboard instructor positions is based on the Canada West Ski Areas Association wage survey and other labour market information (for example, Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, provincial/territorial surveys, administrative data or other recognized sources).

Job offers under NOC 5254 - Ski and snowboard instructors must meet at minimum the hourly base wage for the corresponding certification levels as detailed in this table:

Ski and snowboard instructor certification – Hourly base wage rates - 2020 to 2021 season
Ski and snowboard instructor certification Vancouver Island BC Coast BC Interior Alberta Saskatchewan / Manitoba
Level 1 CSIA/CASI $14.60 $14.60 $14.60 $16.00 $15.00
Level 2 CSIA/CASI $16.94 $16.94 $15.00 $17.36 $15.50
Level 3 CSIA/CASI $19.83 $19.83 $18.46 $21.00 $18.00
Level 4 CSIA/CASI $29.58 $29.58 $23.59 $24.58 $22.50
  • CSIA: Canadian Ski Instructor’s Association
  • CASI: Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the wages for the 2020-2021 season will remain unchanged from the previous year, except where minimum provincial wages have increased.

Other occupations under NOC code 5254

You must use labour market information data for wages, such as the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website, when applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire a temporary foreign worker under the NOC code 5254 - Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness, in a position other than as a ski or snowboard instructor.

Cold Lake

Prevailing wage for Cold Lake and the surrounding communities increased as a consequence of being in the same economic region as Fort McMurray, which generally has higher wages.

  • The wages are assessed for:
    • Fort McMurray according to the posted wages for Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake economic region
    • Cold Lake and surrounding communities according to the Alberta provincial wages.

International medical graduates in Quebec

In the province of Quebec, international medical graduates must complete a 13-week, unpaid, on-the-job assessment in a provincial health care facility for foreign credential recognition purposes. Successful completion of this assessment determines the graduate’s ability to practice medicine in the province of Quebec.

Fee for service physicians

Compensation paid to Physicians (NOC codes 3111 and 3112) based on a fee-for-service remuneration model is generally considered to be consistent with the prevailing wage rate for the occupation.

Maritime sector

Employers hiring foreign nationals to fill positions onboard a foreign vessel undertaking coasting trade in Canadian waters must ensure that the wage offer is equal to or greater than the prevailing wage rate. The employer may pay what is known as “uplift”, an industry accepted practice whereby the worker is paid an additional amount on top of their international wage. Details of the international wage and the “uplift” must be included on the LMIA application.

The employer must pay the “uplift” for the duration of the LMIA* even if the vessel plans to leave and re-enter Canadian waters to complete work on the project. It is expected that the LMIA duration will align with the Coasting Trade licence and the project.

Employers must maintain comprehensive employment records that fully document payment of wages throughout the duration of the project.

*Note: The employer must continue to pay the uplift should the work permit be extended.

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