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How much does a medical resident make in Canada?

Residency is often the first chance for new physicians to start earning an income. So, how much do residents in Canada make?  

Residents’ salaries are negotiated by the residency associations and are determined by two things: their postgraduate year and the province they’re working in.

For instance, if you’re in the second year of a training program (PGY-2) in Ontario, your salary is the same as every other PGY-2 resident’s in that province. Note that in all provinces, if you switch residency programs, or do multiple residency programs, you may go back to being paid at the PGY-1 level at the start of your new program.

While all the residents in a single year make the same amount no matter where they live in the province, their income after expenses could be vastly different. Those in urban areas may have higher living expenses such as rent, transportation and grocery costs compared with those in more remote areas.

Residents’ gross salary versus take-home pay for 2020

Below, we show the annual gross salaries of residents from the first to fifth year of training. You can find salaries for later years in the collective agreements of each province (click on the links below). Note that the base salary does not include call stipends, which you will need to submit to get paid for. Call stipends are also taxable upon receipt.

Gross salary is the amount before you pay any tax, employment insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) premiums. Our calculation for monthly income is your take-home pay before expenses, which is the amount remaining after your tax, EI and CPP/QPP deductions. We have not included residency association dues or other deductions that you may have.

For instance, a PGY-1 in Manitoba earns $60,406. After paying $17,286 in federal and provincial taxes, EI and CPP, a PGY-1’s annual after-tax income is $43,120, or $3,593 monthly. 1

British Columbia Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

Resident I

$54,848.73

$3,513.09

Resident II

$61,187.38

$3,889.53

Resident III

$66,676.93

$4,217.99

Resident IV

$71,771.76

$4,522.83

Resident V

$77,184.09

$4,846.67

 

Alberta Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

Pay level 1

$57,200

$3,564.72

Pay level 2

$63,314

$3,918.83

Pay level 3

$68,192

$4,201.34

Pay level 4

$73,077

$4,484.26

Pay level 5

$79,184

$4,837.96

 

Saskatchewan Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-1

$59,234

$3,613.70

PGY-2

$64,599

$3,913.24

PGY-3

$69,959

$4,212.52

PGY-4

$75,296

$4,510.49

PGY-5

$80,594

$4,806.30

 

Manitoba Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-1

$60,406.04

$3,593.36

PGY-2

$66,868.00

$3,952.80

PGY-3

$71,726.88

$4,223.08

PGY-4

$77,245.68

$4,510.41

PGY-5

$82,764.48

$4,796.00

 

Ontario Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-1

$60,397.72

$3,779.51

PGY-2

$66,318.15

$4,126.60

PGY-3

$71,224.42

$4,414.22

PGY-4

$77,165.04

$4,750.00

PGY-5

$82,048.21

$5,031.28

 

Quebec Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

R1

$48,292

$3,397.55

R2

$53,292

$3,704.86

R3

$58,292

$4,049.55

R4

$63,292

$4,395.15

R5

$68,292

$4,740.75

 

New Brunswick Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income3

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-1

$66,154

$3,926.46

PGY-2

$71,511

$4,215.20

PGY-3

$76,360

$4,476.57

PGY-4

$81,418

$4,748.87

PGY-5

$86,899

$5,044.43

 

Nova Scotia Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income3

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-1

$66,154

$3,856.95

PGY-2

$71,511

$4,135.08

PGY-3

$76,360

$4,387.44

PGY-4

$81,418

$4,651.95

PGY-5

$86,899

$4,939.24

 

Prince Edward Island Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Income3

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-1

$66,154

$3,895.37

PGY-2

$71,511

$4,175.72

PGY-3

$76,360

$4,429.49

PGY-4

$81,418

$4,693.87

PGY-5

$86,899

$4,981.03

 

Newfoundland and Labrador Residents — Annual Salary and Monthly Incomecurrently under negotiation

 

Annual gross salary

Average after-tax monthly income2

PGY-I

$60,795

$3,635.74

PGY-II

$65,718

$3,902.40

PGY-III

$70,175

$4,143.83

PGY-IV

$74,823

$4,395.58

PGY-V

$79,860

$4,664.08

How MD can help

Depending on your residency year and province, you are paying thousands of dollars a year in federal and provincial taxes, EI and CPP/QPP.

Your goal should be to get as much of the tax money back as possible by claiming all the deductions and credits that you’re eligible for. Residents are often eligible for tax credits on tuition and exam fees. See these 10 tips for filing your income tax return. You can also manage how much tax comes off your residency paycheque.

To find out more about what life as a resident in Canada is actually like, access MD Financial Management’s Residency Guide. It includes a snapshot view of your first year’s pay, health benefit details and annual fees. Download the onboardMD™ app to gain access to the guide.

1 The source for the tax calculations is CRA’s Payroll Deductions Online Calculator.

2 Your after-tax monthly income will lower in the earlier months of the year until you reach the maximum contributions for EI and CPP/QPP premiums.

3 The collective agreement is the same for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We’ve broken it down to show their residents’ respective monthly incomes since provincial tax rates are different.

The above information should not be construed as offering specific financial, investment, foreign or domestic taxation, legal, accounting or similar professional advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of independent tax, accounting or legal professionals.