What is Alberta’s Minimum Wage in 2021?

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by Enoch Omololu


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While Alberta’s minimum wage of $15.00 per hour hasn’t changed since 2018, it remains one of the highest minimum wages in Canada.

Alberta workers must be paid at least the minimum wage unless they are students under the age of 18.

Some salespersons and domestic employees also have different wage schedules based on minimum weekly or monthly rates.

Lastly, there are a few occupations that are exempt from Alberta’s minimum wage standards.

What is Alberta’s Minimum Wage?

The current minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour. This rate has been in place since October 1, 2018.

Alberta’s minimum wage increased from $10.20 per hour to $15.00 per hour under the Alberta New Democratic Party between 2015 and 2018.

The minimum wage history in Alberta over the last 10 years is as follows:

  • October 1, 2018: $15.00
  • October 1, 2017: $13.60
  • October 1, 2016: $12.20
  • October 1, 2015: $11.20
  • September 1, 2014: $10.20
  • September 1, 2013: $9.95
  • September 1, 2012: $9.75
  • September 1, 2011: $9.40

Related: Statutory Holidays in Alberta.

Alberta Minimum Wage for Students

The current minimum wage for students under the age of 18 in Alberta is $13.00 per hour. This rate has been in place since 2019. Students in this age range must be paid at least $13 per hour for the first 28 hours of work per week when school is in session.

If they work more than 28 hours in one week, the extra hours must be paid at the $15/hour minimum wage rate.

Alberta Minimum Wage Exceptions and Rules

Some employees are entitled to a weekly minimum wage rate of $598 per week.

These include direct selling and commission salespersons, land agents, accountants, dentists, veterinarians, agrologists, lawyers, engineers, chiropractors, denturists, optometrists, architects, and podiatrists.

Domestic Employees: Those who live in their employer’s homes are entitled to a minimum monthly wage of $2,848 per month. Domestic employees who do not live in their employer’s homes must be paid a minimum of $15 per hour.

Commissioned Employees: Employers must ensure the incentive-based pay or commission paid to an employee is equivalent to at least the minimum wage.

3-Hour Rule: Employees must receive pay for at least 3 hours of work each time they are required to report to work (unless they are not available to work the full 3 hours).

2-Hour Rule: School bus drivers, home care employees, part-time workers at a non-profit recreation or athletic program, and adolescents who work on a school day must be paid for at least 2 hours of work at the minimum wage.

Allowable Deductions: Following written consent by an employee, an employer can deduct the costs of meals and lodging from their pay by up to:

  • $4.41 per day for lodging
  • $3.35 per meal

No deductions can be made to cover uniform costs.

Exempt Occupations: Employees in some occupations are exempt from minimum wage standards.

These include municipal police, real estate brokers, academic staff at a post-secondary educational institution, extras in film production, and a few others.

You can find out more about Alberta’s Employment Standards here.

Minimum Wage Tax Rate in Alberta

The personal income tax rate you pay in Alberta varies depending on your tax bracket.

In 2021, it is:

Tax BracketAlberta Tax Rate
Up to $131,22010%
$131,122.01 – $157,46412%
$157,464.01 – $$209,95213%
$209,952.01 – $$314,92814%

In addition to the provincial taxes, you also pay federal taxes when applicable as follows:

Tax BracketsFederal Tax Rates
Up to $49,02015%
$49,020 – $98,04020.50%
$98,040.01 – $151,97826%
$151,978.01 – $216,51129%

You don’t pay taxes on a portion of your income up to the basic personal amount (BPA).

The federal BPA is $13,808 and it is $19,369 on the provincial level.

The tax credits and deductions you are eligible for may also reduce your taxes owing at the end of the year.

Common deductions include RRSP contributions, EI, and CPP payments.

Here is a detailed rundown of Alberta tax rates.

Alberta Minimum Wage FAQ

Is Alberta’s minimum wage increasing?

There has been no increase to Alberta’s minimum wage since 2015 when it reached $15 per hour. There is currently no indication that the minimum wage will be pegged to increase with the consumer price index (inflation).

What is the minimum wage for minors and students in Alberta?

Students under 18 years of age earn a minimum wage of $13 per hour when they work 28 hours or less per week. Additional hours worked per week must be compensated at the minimum rate of $15 per hour.

Summary of the Minimum Wage in Alberta

Minimum Wage GroupMinimum Wage Rate October 1, 2018Minimum Wage Rate June 26, 2019
General minimum wage$15 per hour$15 per hour
Student minimum wage$15 per hour$13 per hour*
Domestic employees (living in employer’s home)$2,848 per month$2,848 per month
Salespersons and certain professionals$598 per week$598 per week

Related: Best Cash Back Websites in Canada.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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