46 Decide how much you need to make

Your answer will depend on a multitude of external and internal realities and beliefs that you have been learning throughout your life. Below are some simple questions to serve as a starting point so you can figure out how much money you need to make.

  • How much are your monthly payments including student loans or debt?
  • What do you feel a successful person your age makes? Where did that idea of enough come from?
  • What lessons about money did your parents pass on to you?
  • How much money would feel like too little to you?
  • What kind of life do you want to live? Consider your Dream Job to help you decide.
  • What other pressures affect your earning potential? Which way do they drive your ideal salary number? Up or down? Considering these factors, what is that number?
  • Choose three different time periods and plan budgets for each scenario.  What is your budget immediately after graduating? Two years after graduation? Five years? Are the budgets consistent with your answers to the questions above?
  • Set a low/medium/high estimate for your salary based on all of the questions above.

Next, use Job Bank’s occupation search engine Working in Canada to find expected salaries for your career path and their education search engine to understand average salaries of those in your field of study. Find tips and a template for budgeting on the website of Enrollment Services.  Once you’ve decided on an expected salary, browse some e-books about negotiation to help you get the salary you need.

Educate yourself by visiting Career Navigator to find out your program's average starting salary.

If you are considering an unpaid position, make sure you have a plan.

Visit the Career Centre and meet with us for a 15-minute conversation to talk about your next step(s). Find our hours here.

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