Do you want to bring in the big bucks? If you’ve got your mind set on one of Canada’s top-growing career fields, then you could easily find yourself raking in six figures a year.
While many of these positions require a significant amount of education, the payout is often well worth the time you invest into reaching for success.
Below, I’ll show you the average salaries in Canada by jobs and by province.
Then I’ll break down some of the fastest-growing industries in Canada, so you can start planning for your future!
The average annual income in Canada for 2020 is $51,300. Keep in mind that this is just the national average and is calculated to include Canada’s lowest minimum wage earners and the country’s top-paid specialists.
When asked about the top-paying jobs in Canada, the first jobs that usually come to mind are:
- Doctor or surgeon
- CEO of a major company
- Software developer
These are all very high-income career fields with lots of potential for future growth.
However, not everybody wants to be a doctor, leader, or learn how to code. Luckily, there are plenty of other career fields that also offer great pay.
Here are some of the best-paying jobs and their average salaries in Canada. I’ll break down each in further detail below. To start with, though, here’s a quick chart:
|Career||Average Pay||What’s Required|
|Family physician||$250,000||Doctor of Medicine|
|Senior software engineer||$121,901||Master’s or doctorate in Computer Science|
|Anaesthesiologist||$357,636||Doctor of Medicine|
|Orthopaedic surgeon||$390,109||Doctor of Medicine|
|Vice President||$141,015||Master’s of Business|
|University Professor||$91,877||Doctorate in chosen field|
|Pipeline Engineer||$103,401||Bachelor’s in Engineering|
As you can see, doctors are paid higher than just about any profession in Canada.
Becoming a doctor is extremely competitive, requires a minimum of eight to ten years of schooling, and often involves long hours.
Doctors often deal with life-or-death situations as well, which is another reason why they’re paid so well.
That being said, jobs in technology and engineering also pay upwards of six figures and require slightly less schooling.
Money, alone, shouldn’t be your primary motivation for choosing a certain career field.
You won’t last long in a career that you don’t like. While every job is going to come with its ups and downs, you want to choose a career that you’ll enjoy for the most part.
With that bit of advice in mind, here’s a breakdown of the average salaries in Canada that you can expect from some of the top-paying career fields.
1. Family Physician
- Average Salary: $250,000
- What’s Required: Doctor of Medicine degree
Compared to surgeons, the job of a family physician is somewhat less stressful.
Your job typically doesn’t involve performing life-saving surgeries or working long hospital shifts. Instead, the pace of work is a little bit more laid back.
While some family physicians operate their own practice, many work for a larger hospital or medical network.
Family physicians are general doctors who primarily work with children, teens, and families to diagnose and treat common illnesses and disorders.
As a family physician, you’ll generally work set hours of the day and be responsible for individual patients.
To become a family physician you’ll need to complete medical school and become a doctor of medicine.
You don’t have to spend as much time specializing as a surgeon, but this career still requires eight to ten years of school.
2. Senior Software Engineer
- Average Salary: $121,901
- What’s Required: Master’s or doctorate in Computer Science
Canada is home to a growing number of software companies. Software developers can easily find high-paying employment and earn upwards of $70,000 or more per year after completing a two-year accredited program.
If you want to be hired on as a senior software engineer, though, then you may find it beneficial to earn your master’s or doctorate degree in computer science.
It is possible to climb the ladder in a company with minimal education. However, a master’s degree in computer science will give you the in-depth knowledge that you need to specialize and be a true leader in your field.
- Average Salary: $357,636
- What’s Required: Doctor of Medicine, plus several years of specialized training
Anesthesiologists are some of the highest-paid medical professionals in Canada. Pay ranges anywhere from $300,000 to $400,000 per year, depending on the position, your experience, and the province you’re working in.
Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthetics that are used during surgery.
This process is incredibly delicate and requires fine-tuning to an incredible degree. One wrong move, and an anesthesiologist could put a patient to sleep for life.
Given the highly specialized nature of this job, anesthesiologists must not only complete medical school, but must undergo two to four years worth of additional training and education.
4. Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Average Salary: $390,109
- What’s Required: Doctor of Medicine, plus five years of residency
Orthopaedic surgeons specialize in performing bone surgeries for patients. More often than not, orthopaedic surgeons find themselves working in emergency rooms saving lives.
However, many also specialize in a specific area of surgery, such as feet/ankles, back surgery, or hand surgery.
To become an orthopaedic surgeon, you first have to complete medical school. After this, you’ll need to complete a five-year residency, where you’ll work under the supervision of a more experienced surgeon.
During your residency, you may help complete minor surgeries, and you’ll have the chance to specialize and study a certain area of the body.
All in all, it can easily take up to 15 years of study to become an orthopaedic surgeon. If you stick with the career, though, you could earn anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 per year.
The more specialized and experienced you are, the more you can expect to earn. So, the extra time that you invest into your education is definitely worth it.
5. Vice President Of A Large Company
- Average Salary: $141,015
- What’s Required: Master’s in Business (MBA)
As the vice president (VP) of a large or growing company, you can expect to earn anywhere between $82,000 and $250,000 per year on average.
How much you’ll earn depends largely on the size of the company you’re working for. The VP of a Fortune 500 company typically earns a lot more than the VP of a mid-sized company.
The vice president serves as the second-in-command to the president of the company. The responsibilities of a VP include:
- Maintaining and strengthening client relationships
- Increasing office productivity
- Budgeting and financial management
Almost all VP positions require applicants to have an MBA. In some cases, the company that you’re working for may help you pay to obtain your MBA if you’re being groomed for a career in upper-level management.
However, it’s not uncommon for vice presidents and other senior executives to have achieved a doctorate degree in finance, economics, or a specialized area of business management.
6. University Professor
- Average Salary: $91,877
- What’s Required: Doctorate degree in your area of study
University professors are some of the most valued employees in Canada. As an educator, you’re quite literally helping to shape the future. Although entry-level professors only earn around $84,000 per year, some earn upwards of $200,000 or more.
The amount you’ll earn depends a lot on the university you teach at. Professors who teach at a small community college won’t make as much as a professor at McGill, for instance.
The level of difficulty and the course you teach is an equally important factor. Professors teaching high-level organic chemistry typically earn a bit more than a history professor.
If you’re teaching master’s or doctorate-level classes, then you can expect to earn an even higher salary.
7. Pipeline Engineer
- Average Salary: $103,401
- What’s Required: Bachelor’s or master’s in engineering
Canada’s energy sector has a high demand for skilled pipeline engineers. In mid-2022, Alberta set a new record for oil production. As a whole Canada pumps out over 4.5 million barrels of oil per day, making it the fifth-largest oil producing nation in the world.
Pipeline engineers are responsible for planning and managing oil and natural gas pipelines both onshore and offshore.
You’ll use your engineering expertise to ensure the absolute integrity of all pipelines to help avert natural disasters like oil spills.
While it’s possible to become a pipeline engineer with just a bachelor’s degree (through enough on-the-job experience), most pipeline engineers go on to pursue their master’s degree in engineering.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see some of the highest-paying careers in Canada, let’s take a few minutes to examine the career fields with the most growth in Canada.
- Software Development
- Cyber Security
Picking a career in any of these rapidly-growing career fields will not only guarantee you a good salary but will also ensure that you never have trouble finding gainful employment.
Have you ever wondered which provinces and territories offer the most pay? Here’s a quick breakdown of the average salaries in Canada by province:
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$65,700|
|Prince Edward Island||$59,900|
When it comes to finding a high-paying job in Canada, Ontario is one of the best provinces. It’s the largest province in Canada and is home to some of the largest businesses and hospitals in the country.
Based on the data from the table above, Ontario’s average salary is on the lower side. However, this is mostly due to the fact that Ontario has a huge population, compared to other regions of Canada.
For as many high-income earners as there are, there are also lots of low-income earners. This, in turn, results in a lower average.
Ontario is also a great province to start a business in, and is widely regarded as the business centre of Canada.
2022 saw minimum wage increases throughout Canada. Currently, the territory of Nunavut offers the highest minimum wage, at $16 per hour.
Yukon is the second-highest with a minimum wage of $15.70 per hour, followed by British Columbia’s $15.65 minimum wage.
Surgeons and physicians are the highest-paid career fields in Canada, with some positions offering up to $400,000 per year or more.
This is closely followed by engineering and software development, two in-demand career fields that often offer six-figure salaries to top performers.
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs and small business owners to pull in upwards of $100,000 or more as well.
Keep on reading to see my list of the best businesses to start in Canada!