What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Canada?
When deciding on a career path, there are many factors to consider. One of them is income potential. We all want to feel as though we are being well paid for the job we do. But not all jobs were created equally, and some careers pay more than others.
In this article, I’m sharing 15 jobs that pay a high salary in Canada. It isn’t a “Top X” ranking, rather it’s a sampling of the highest-paying jobs.
15 of the Highest Paying Jobs in Canada
Before we get into the list, keep in mind that salaries will vary by experience level and location (some jobs pay more in certain provinces, or in large cities.) Also, there are often outliers, people who make far more than the median wage, or even the top end of the salary range. For example, there are investment advisors making 7 figures , much higher than the range presented in this article. The same goes for many of the jobs on our list.
Salary Range: $49,000 – $97,500
What does an Investment Advisor do? Investment Advisors help clients manage their investment portfolios. This includes providing advice on their financial plan, and recommending investment products, like stocks and bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, etc.
At first glance, the median salary might seem low, but don’t let the number fool you. Most investment advisors are paid a variable income, which can be based on several factors – one being a percentage of their overall book of business (the value of their client’s investment portfolios.)
With no ceiling on their income, many investment advisors earn multiple six-figures, with the most successful earning in the 7-figure range.
One drawback – many Investment Advisors work very long hours, often 60-80 hours per week. If you value work-life balance, this might not be the career for you.
Salary Range: $81,148 – $144,813
What does an Architect do? Architects are instrumental in the design of building projects. They develop sketches and construction drawings, and must work closely with the contractor to manage alterations, and solve complex problems during construction.
When we think of architects, we often think of large buildings, with modern and futuristic designs, like a skyscraper, sports stadiums, or large museums. But architects are involved with projects of all sizes, and they have their areas of specialty, too.
For example, landscape architects specialize in outdoor spaces, like parks and playgrounds. Industrial architects design factories and power plants, and restoration architects oversee the renovation of old, historical buildings.
An architect will have a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, and many attain their Master’s degree as well, followed by several years of on-the-job training and career development.
Salary Range: $187,137 – $333,646
What does a Family Physician do? A family physician, also known as a family doctor or general practitioner, diagnoses and treats medical issues that arise with patients under their care. They also provide preventative care and help manage chronic illnesses. When required, a family physician must refer patients to various specialists for further treatment.
Family physicians serve a critical role in the Canadian healthcare system and are constantly in high demand. They make an excellent living, and are well-compensated. While the job is highly rewarding, not surprisingly, it can be stressful. Physicians also must work very long hours with little time off.
To become a Family Physician in Canada, you’ll usually need a Bachelor of Science Degree from an accredited university. From there, you must attend a medical school in Canada, and complete a 4-year program. Once you’ve graduated, you can expect to spend 2-3 years completing your residency (on-the-job training) before becoming a fully-licensed physician.
Salary Range: $87,750 – $110,002
What does a Pharmacist do? The primary role of a pharmacist is to fill prescriptions and provide advice on the safe and effective use of prescription medication. Pharmacists are trained to understand the proper way to handle and prepare all kinds of medicine. They often are responsible for managing a team of healthcare professionals in a Pharmacy.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Salary Range: $62,500 – $156,400
What does a CEO do? CEOs are the highest-ranking employees in a corporation. They are responsible for the overall management of a company, including its strategic direction. The CEO is accountable to the Board of Directors and acts as the primary communication link between the board and the rest of the executive.
Looking at the salary figures for CEOs (listed above), they may seem low. After all, CEOs for large corporations often make high 7-figure salaries, not to mention large bonuses, stock options, etc. Big banks are a good example.
However, there are thousands of Canadian CEOs working for small and medium-sized companies, with dozens or a few hundred employees. There are far more of them than there are Big Bank CEOs, and most of their salaries will fall towards the lower end of the salary range. Regardless, the role of CEO is one of the highest-paying jobs in Canada.
Senior Software Engineer
Salary Range: 100,000 – $175,793
What does a Senior Software Engineer do? While different companies define the role in their own way, a Senior Software Engineer has several years of experience in their role. They often lead a team of software developers who are responsible for developing software used in a wide range of applications, including new and existing websites.
Salary Range: $115,000 – $227,000
What does a Dentist do? What a dentist does may seem obvious. After all, most of us visit the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning or to have the occasional cavity filled. However, dentists are responsible for your overall oral health. In addition to basic dental care, dentists repair damage to gums and oral tissues, reconstruct broken teeth and perform various oral surgeries. They are also trained to recognize serious illnesses that may be linked to your oral health, like diabetes or cancer.
As with Family Physicians, many years of schooling will be required if you want to become a Dentist. In addition to an undergraduate degree, you will need to spend another 4 years in a dedicated dental program. If you wish to specialize, you can expect to spend an additional 2-3 years in training.
Salary Range: $150,000-380,000
What does an Orthodontist do? Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists fix teeth that are too crowded, too far apart, and even jaws that are misaligned.
Orthodontists use dental appliances, such as braces and retainers, to help remedy various dental issues. While they commonly treat children and teenagers, they can provide care to patients of all ages.
Because Orthodontists are specialists, they require a lot of schooling and are well-paid. An orthodontist’s salary reflects their education level and the amount of specialization the role requires.
Salary Range: $400,000 – $458,000
What does an Anesthesiologist do? Anesthesiologists are medical doctors that administer anesthetic to patients during surgery so that they don’t feel any pain. The anesthetic can be local (the patient remains awake), or general, where the patient is “asleep” during surgery.
In addition to administering drugs, Anesthesiologists must care for the patient before and after the procedure, and monitor their condition during the operation. As specialists, Anesthesiologists have one of the best-paying jobs in the healthcare field.
Salary Range: $170,000 – $327,800
What does a Cardiologist do? Cardiologists are “heart doctors”. In other words, they are specialists trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels. They are often called upon to provide emergency surgeries and other procedures in life-and-death situations. It’s a demanding role that you’ll find on most high-paying job lists.
Salary Range: $172,500 – $364,690
What does a Psychiatrist do? A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health issues. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication to their patients to treat a wide range of mental health conditions. But Psychiatrists don’t just prescribe medication. Most offer psychotherapy (talk therapy) as a primary way to treat mental health conditions. As specialists, Psychiatrists are highly paid.
Salary Range: $79,997 – $135,000
What does a Lawyer do? While most people have some understanding of what a lawyer does, there’s more to the job than providing legal advice. Lawyers can work in many different areas of the law, including family corporate, real estate, criminal law, etc.
In addition to advising clients, lawyers spend a lot of time conducting research, preparing legal documents, settling disputes, and in court. Lawyers are paid high salaries, especially as they gain experience and become partners in their respective law firms. You can also make a lot of money as a lawyer if you decide to establish your own private practice.
Salary Range: $49,029 – $389,375
What does a Surgeon do? A surgeon is a highly trained medical doctor who performs surgery to treat a wide range of injuries and diseases in their patients. Many surgeons specialize in different areas.
For example, a pediatric surgeon works with children, a cardiologist performs heart surgery, and a neurologist performs brain surgery. most surgeons earn higher wages than family physicians. It’s not uncommon for some surgeons to earn a salary in the mid- to high six figures.
Salary Range: $92,356 – $187,238
What does an Actuary do? Actuaries use mathematics and statistics to measure financial risk. They are often employed by insurance companies to measure the probability of certain events, to ensure that their policies are priced properly, and that they have enough money in reserve to cover insurance claims.
I’m simplifying the role by my description, but know that actuaries require a high degree of education and training to be effective in their role, and are paid accordingly.
Salary Range: $69,431 – $114,856
What does an Electrical Engineer do? Generally, Electrical Engineers are paid to design and develop electrical systems that are used in many different applications. For example, an Electrical Engineer might design the electronics for a commercial airplane, a car engine, or a new building. The field is seeing rapid job growth, and it’s easy to find job openings if you have the proper qualifications.
Of course, just like a software engineer needs a background in computer science, an Electrical Engineer must also be well educated, with at least a Bachelor’s of Science degree, with a specialty in Electrical Engineering.
Other High Paying Jobs
Here is a list of other high paying jobs, many of which could have been included on our main list. It gives you an idea of the high paying career opportunities that exist in the Canadian job market.
- Management Consultant
- Construction Manager
- Software Engineers (Full-Stack Developers)
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
- HR Specialists
- Data Scientists
- Real Estate Agents
- Salespeople (e.g. Pharmaceutical, medical and other equipment)
- Bank Managers
- Real Estate Agents
- Financial Analysts
And the list goes on. What’s important to remember that money isn’t everything. Many high paying jobs are also stressful and require years of additional schooling, and working far more hours than the average 9-5 job.
Other factors are important if you want to have a fulfilling career. You may find that you value work-life balance, an enjoyable work environment, flex-work arrangements, an opportunity to grow, and other workplace benefits as much or more than the salary itself.
Final Thoughts On the Highest Paying Jobs in Canada
There you have it, our list of the highest paying jobs in Canada. Note that while many of these jobs require a Bachelor’s Degree and some a Master’s degree or even medical school, that’s not always the case. For example, you don’t need a degree to become an Investment Advisor, Real Estate Agent, or to get into sales.
While it’s not always the case, to work in the top paying jobs in your field, you may have to work in a large city, like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver. Of course, the increased cost of living in those areas will likely offset the higher average salaries to some degree.