Canadian Food Professionals Set Earnings Pace

The best-paid professionals in the food industry may be found north of the border, if Food Processing’s Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey is any guide. Based on an analysis of responses to the 8th annual survey, Canadian workers in plant operations, product development, corporate management and other positions average $109,059 in annual compensation, about 12 percent more than their U.S. counterparts. And the gap appears to be widening: while U.S. pay hikes averaged 3.16 percent this year, Canadian food professionals received an average boost of 5.1 percent.

Fatter paychecks may be a factor in the higher job satisfaction scores for Canadians: 3.82 on a 5-point scale, compared to 3.62 for U.S. food professionals. When all non-U.S. respondents are included, the satisfaction index is virtually the same as for U.S. respondents: 3.64.

One-third of non-U.S. workers indicated they feel more secure in their jobs than they did a year ago, and three out of five say their job security is the same. Only 8.3 percent say they feel less secure, compared to 19.7 percent of their U.S. peers.

Job satisfaction levels were markedly higher for male Canadians at 4.1, compared to 3.5 for females. Pay differentials may account for part of that: women earned 74.2 cents to every $1 Canadian for the men. That’s a narrower differential than in the U.S., where female respondents slipped to 64.9 cents to the dollar in this year’s survey. Gender gaps for pay can be found in every society. In the World Economic Forum’s latest report, the narrowest gap exists in Iceland, where women earn 87.3 percent as much as men for comparable work.

Canadian food workers average 3.7 weeks of vacation and personal time off, though only a third of survey respondents managed to take all of their days last year.