Jobs in Calgary AB: 2024 Calgary Economy & Industries Guide

Calgary Economy Guide

Calgary, Alberta, is a dynamic hub in Canada's economic landscape, showcasing resilience and growth. Long-known for its energy sector and vital importance to the province-wide economy in Alberta, the city has evolved, diversifying into various industries such as technology and tourism. This economic diversification reflects Calgary's adaptability and innovative spirit. The city's robust economy benefits from its strategic location, skilled workforce, and forward-thinking policies, attracting investment and talent.

Calgary's economic story is one of transformation and opportunity, demonstrating how a city can flourish by embracing change and diversification. The economic journey of the city of Calgary is a testament to its enduring strength and potential for future growth.

Calgary Key Industries

Calgary's thriving economy is the product of multiple industries. Each plays a part in making the city the thriving place it is.

The best-known, of course, is Calgary's energy sector. The province holds the world's third-largest reserves. Oil and natural gas production happens throughout Alberta, and many companies involved have headquarters in Calgary. Solar, geothermal, and wind energy enterprises also make their homes here, partly due to Calgary's many sunny days. 

Calgary International Airport, one of the nation's busiest airports, is located in Northeast Calgary. Numerous companies in the aerospace industry have moved into Calgary, where they are focusing efforts on areas that include drones and commercial flight.

Calgary and Alberta are also major hubs for agriculture. The rich soil and favourable growing conditions make Alberta one of the country's prime agricultural locations. About a third of the province is dedicated to farmland, and many ventures related to food production are headquartered in the city.

Highest-Paying Jobs in Calgary

Calgary offers numerous high-paying jobs, including many where people can earn more than the average income for their industry.

Software developers, for instance, earn more in Calgary, on average, than in many comparable cities. Mechanical engineers are also typically high earners, owing to the region's many STEM-related businesses. Civil and chemical engineers also do well in the region, with salaries falling in the "high" category in a recent survey.

Those in business development can expect to earn salaries in the $80,000 per year range. Other high earners in the city include those in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, and finance. 

Most Common Jobs in Calgary

Calgary has a diverse job market with opportunities in various industries and roles. A recent labour report conducted by the city found that manufacturing and construction were the largest drivers of job growth, a fact that also applies to the economy in Edmonton. Wholesale trade also contributes many jobs to the local economy. 

Calgary draws millions of visitors each year for both business and recreation. The accommodation and food services industries offer many opportunities to serve these visitors to the city. 

Professional scientific and technical services are some of the largest job niches, with nearly 100,000 people working in that sector. Health care and social assistance are only a bit behind with around 95,000 people employed in those areas.

Top Industries in Calgary

  • Energy
  • Agribusiness
  • Financial Services
  • Life Sciences
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Digital Media & Entertainment
  • Aerospace
  • Manufacturing

Major Employers in Calgary

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which has its headquarters in Southeast Calgary, has just under 10,000 employees. The company has been praised for its in-house training, apprenticeship, and mentoring programs. 

ATCO Group, which is in the energy, transportation, and infrastructure development fields, has over 5,000 employees in Calgary. The company is known for its employee share-purchase plan, which allows all permanent employees to own a share of the company.

Enbridge is another Calgary company that is a major employer in the area, and they have over 7,000 local employees. The company's benefits include a formal wellness program with financial incentives for getting and staying healthy.

Lafarge Canady, Inc., manufactures concrete necessary for local and national development projects. Their 6,000-plus employees have access to programs that help them save for retirement while gradually scaling down their working hours as they get near retirement age.

The University of Calgary is another huge employer with nearly 6,000 permanent employees, most of whom work at its main campus in Northwest Calgary. One of the noted benefits of working here is access to a comprehensive mental health program, which includes access to workshops, training, and other resources.

Additional Large Companies in Calgary

  • Suncor
  • City of Calgary
  • Mount Royal University
  • Accenture
  • Cenovus Energy
  • AltaLink
  • Bennett Jones
  • MNP
  • WestJet Airlines
  • Enbridge

Information via Forbes.com

Is Calgary a Good Place to Start a Business?

Starting a Business in Calgary

There are a lot of factors that make Calgary a great place for entrepreneurs. The area is home to many small businesses and headquarters of larger companies, meaning a lot of opportunity. While Calgary is best known for its oil and gas-related companies, it has become home to thriving businesses in a wealth of sectors. Businesses in the technology, finance, energy and transportation sectors are thriving in Calgary. Alberta is also an important agricultural region. 

Dreaming of owning a restaurant? The city is also known for its wide range of authentic cuisines and thriving restaurant scene. 

Calgary is also home to one of the highest-funded research universities in Canada, so there is plenty of talent to draw on. Many business owners tout the destination for its low tax rate. Plus, the city has shown a deep commitment to entrepreneurs through the $100-million Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.

Calgary Economy Statistics

Looking at the numbers is often the best way to sum up the health of an area's economy. Calgary's economic statistics tell prospective residents a story of optimism and hope, even with the global dip in 2020.

The city estimates that around 62 people will move to Calgary every day for the next several years. As the area continues to enjoy an influx of new residents, growing GDP and strong consumer spending keep the picture looking bright. This is driven, in part, by a healthy energy sector, as well as growth in other industries. The forecast for Calgary hovers around 3.1%, which is about double the growth for Canada.

Job growth in Calgary is expected to keep up with the growing population. The area has room for people at all levels to grow, from entry-level and general labour to those in advanced positions in specialized fields.

Economists also predict the area's sustained population growth will drive sectors like real estate, infrastructure, and public services. 

Calgary's Vibrant Economy

Calgary's economy is woven with innovation and resilience. Its journey from a predominantly energy-based economy to a more diversified economic landscape highlights the city's adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit. Calgary—one of the best places to live in Alberta—continues to attract a wide range of industries, fostering growth and opportunity. This economic dynamism, natural beauty, and quality of life position Calgary as a leading destination for business and progress. As the city looks to the future, it stands poised to navigate challenges and seize opportunities, reinforcing its role as a key player in the Canadian and global economic arena. 

Are you ready to move to Calgary? Call The Justin Havre Real Estate Team with eXp Realty at (403) 217-0003 to talk with a local real estate agent who can help you discover your dream Calgary home.

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