Victoria Economy: Top Industries & Companies in Victoria 
Posted by Ron Neal on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023 at 3:54pm.
When moving to a new area, knowing what the local economy looks like truly matters. The leading industries, top career advancement opportunities, and the overall job outlook can all make a big difference in deciding exactly where to move.
People moving to Victoria, BC, can significantly benefit from seeing all the job opportunities in the tourism, technology, harbour, government, and education industries, for example. It's also helpful to know that employment opportunities are expected to grow by 1.5% each year through the next decade.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Victoria, BC, economy.
Top Employers in Victoria, BC
Victoria, BC, is home to many excellent companies with workforce numbers in the thousands. The University of Victoria has up to 5,000 employees, while more than 10,000 work for BC Public Service. In the technology space, Shaw Communications, Fujitsu, and Harris Computer each have over 10,000 employees worldwide.
The University of Victoria is a public university with over 22,000 students working toward their undergraduate and graduate degrees. This school has over 900 professors and other faculty members teaching everything from business to earth sciences. Additional staff members range from advising assistants and financial aid counsellors to custodians and program administrators.
BC Public Service is a vital part of the local government, helping support elected officials in creating and carrying out policies, programs, and more. All their public servants work in the best interest of over 280 communities while improving access to education, healthcare, and other vital areas. Jobs in this sector include financial officers, spatial information analysts, client service liaisons, adjudicators, and cloud security architects.
Shaw Communications is one of Canada's leading internet and phone providers, and they have offices in the city of Saanich. To best serve all their clients, they have people working in-house and out in the field. Their job opportunities range from retail specialists and tech support to satellite technicians and business sales consultants.
Although the Fujitsu headquarters are in Tokyo, Japan, their office in Downtown Victoria is a central hub for their operations. This IT equipment and services brand is a household name due to its commitment to making high-quality digital scanners, air conditioning units, and everything in between. Victoria residents can find various excellent career opportunities in refrigeration tech, customer service, and telecom network analytics.
Harris Computer is a software development company that supports healthcare, utilities, and retail companies. Their Victoria, BC, office has onsite and remote job opportunities for software engineers, account managers, implementation specialists, and many more roles.
Additional Large Companies in Victoria
- Coast Capital Savings
- BC Hydro
- National Research Council Canada
- LifeMark Health Group
- Coast Hotels
Is Victoria, BC, a Good Place to Start a Business?
Working for an established company is not the only career path for residents. Victoria, BC, is also great for launching and growing a small business. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has over 1,400 members, most small businesses with up to 25 employees.
Two main factors help Victoria residents succeed in creating and growing small businesses. First off, many fantastic programs exist for companies in the startup stage and beyond. Second, the community offers endless support through their drive to shop locally.
Startups can get help launching their companies from the Business Development Bank of Canada. Through their Advice Centre, it's possible to learn how to create a business plan and get all the proper licenses and permits for their enterprise. After that, business owners can come back for info about developing a marketing strategy and growing their company through the years.
Small business owners can look to the provincial government to get capital for the launch and growth of their companies. Most grants are set up to support specific initiatives, such as Innovate BC's programs for tech innovations and job growth. Grants for startups are few and far between, but there are high-quality loan programs available, including the Canada Small Business Financing Program.
After launching their enterprises, local business owners can trust their community to support them. Victoria residents often seek out small businesses first when shopping for products and services. By doing so, they help their fellow community members compete with major brands and grow their companies by leaps and bounds.
Local companies get an even bigger boost in October during BC's "Small Business Month" celebrations. Special events bring shoppers to key areas filled with the top locally owned and operated shops, restaurants, and service centers.
Victoria, BC, Economy Facts and Figures
The vast majority of the companies based in Victoria have between one and four employees, highlighting the small business-friendly landscape in this city. Industries with the most independent enterprises include real estate, professional services, accommodation, retail, and healthcare.
Across all industries, job opportunities increase by an average of 6,000 positions per year, though population growth has outpaced job growth in recent years. The job growth rate is also expected to accelerate in the coming years. The overall unemployment rate for Victoria is 5.7%, which is lower than the average of 6.5% for the province.
Annual GDP in British Columbia (Millions)
In this city, the average annual salary is $54,000. Household income levels are $86,000 on average. This is similar to the average for the BC province, although it's possible to make more with the right level of experience and education. For example, a senior software engineer makes around $118,000 annually, while an executive director can bring in an annual wage of about $134,000.
Taxes can reduce take-home pay by up to 20.50%, depending on the total amount earned in the year. People who make up to $45,654 annually have a tax rate of 5.06%. Annual earnings between $104,835 and $127,299 have a 12.29% tax rate. Anything over $240,716 per year lands in the highest tax bracket.
On average, the cost of living in Victoria, BC, is $3,700 per month. Housing costs the most each month at around $1,700.
Other expenses include:
- Utilities: $148 per month
- Phone: $50 per line
- Internet: $80 each month
- Groceries: $520 per person
- Public Transportation: $85 per month
- Car Insurance: $150 each month
Residents spend around $175 per month on average on leisure and entertainment. Tickets to the movies, museums, and other venues are about $20 or less per person. Going out to eat costs between $20 and $80 each, depending on the establishment type.
Industries in Victoria, BC
Tourism, harbour, and technology are the top three industries driving the economic growth in Victoria, BC. These industries give residents ample opportunities to build rewarding careers while helping support the development of the local economy.
Number of People Employed By Victoria Top Industries
The tourism industry brings in about $1.3 billion yearly from over four million visitors. This generates about $376 million in tax revenues for the city and supports over 22,300 jobs. Tourism rates are the highest in the summer when visitors can enjoy local parks, attend community festivals, and enjoy open-air dining on restaurant patios.
The Victoria Harbour is a central hub of activity in the city, offering residents and tourists ample places to shop, dine, and have fun. The harbour also acts as a seaplane airport, cruise ship and ferry terminal, and a prime location for mooring yachts, houseboats, and other watercraft. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority represents nearly 15,000 jobs in Victoria and generates $3 billion annually.
The tech boom has launched Victoria, BC, into the top ten major technology markets in the past few years. Their high score is due to a growing labour pool backed by quality degrees and relatively low operating costs for local companies. The tech sector currently generates over $3.5 billion a year and employs over 16,000 skilled workers as a result, and those figures keep growing all the time.
Top Industries in Victoria
- Health Care
- Public Administration
- Professional Services
It's Time to See Just What Victoria, BC, Offers
The economic data lets prospective Victoria, BC, residents know just what to expect from the job market, but it doesn't tell the entire story. Before moving here, there's much more to know about this bustling capital city. The best way to see if this area is suitable for you is by visiting. With that move, you can easily explore the wide variety of neighbourhoods, check out the business landscape, and enjoy all the fantastic things to see, do, and experience.
If you're dreaming about living in Victoria, contact The Neal Estate Team at (250) 386-8181 to get in touch with a local Victoria real estate agent who can help you find your perfect home.
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The Neal Estate Group is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 5,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Group have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions.