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The 25 Highest Paying Careers in Canada

The top 25 highest-paying careers in Canada are no surprise – doctors, lawyers and bankers. Most of these careers on this list require years of education and special licensing. You cannot just become a heart surgeon like you can become a short-order cook.


Careers aren’t jobs. Indeed, the below-noted list is not the list of literally the highest-paying jobs in Canada. Instead, the below-noted list is of the highest-paying careers.

The actual highest-paid jobs are impossible to quantify. The highest-paying careers in Canada aren’t the highest-paying jobs; rather, the highest-paying jobs in Canada are leadership stakes in any industry. For example, “entrepreneur” is not a career but a job, and an entrepreneur can earn infinitely more money than a heart surgeon (the #1 paying career in Canada). Still it would be extremely difficult to average-out Canadian entrepreneurs’ income because there are so many variables.

Size and specialty matter. Running a large company (or generally being in the C-Suite) probably pays the most of any job in Canada, but that’s not a career, and this is a list of high-paying careers. One cannot wake up one day and say, “today, I’m going to run TD Bank”. To get that position, you have to start in a career, for example, number seven below, “banker”.

My list contains averages across the whole country. There will be some people in the below-noted careers earning much less per year and some earning much more. For example, there are lawyers in Canada who earn under a hundred thousand dollars per year (pay depends on the size and type of firm), and there are lawyers who specialize in certain areas of the law that earn millions per year. Another issue affecting averages is “city”. For example, pay is usually much higher in Toronto than in small towns in less financially prosperous provinces, like The Maritimes. Likewise, the pay can be much more prominent at big companies versus small companies, generally. A Tax Manager at IBM may earn a greater salary per year than a Tax Manager at a small mom-and-pop manufacturing company.

In any career, individually, you can outpace even the highest earning career-types like surgeon if you start your own company or move up the cooperate ladder high enough. For example, cooks (who I did not mean to denigrate above) can earn more money than surgeons by opening up their own restaurants or by working at a large enough company and achieving a very senior title, like, for instance, “Director Of Food And Beverage” at a major hotel chain.

Canada’s Highest-Paying Careers

With all that said, here are the 25 highest-paying careers in Canada:

  1. Surgeon – $350,000 to $450,000
  2. Anesthesiologist – $300,000 to $400,000
  3. Physician (specialist and general) – $150,000 to $350,000
  4. Psychiatrist – $200,000 to $300,000
  5. Lawyer– $100,000 to $250,000
  6. Corporate Treasurer – $120,000 to $200,000
  7. Banker – $100,000 to $200,000
  8. Software Engineering Manager – $100,000 to $180,000
  9. Public Relations and Communications Manager – $110,000 to $150,000
  10. Tax Manager – $100,000 to $150,000
  11. Engineering Manager – $100,000 to $150,000
  12. Geoscientist – $90,000 to $150,000
  13. Senior Construction Manager – $90,000 to $150,000
  14. Petroleum Engineer – $80,000 to $150,000
  15. Pharmacist – $90,000 to $130,000
  16. Aerospace Engineer – $80,000 to $130,000
  17. Marketing Manager – $80,000 to $120,000
  18. Financial Analyst – $70,000 to $120,000
  19. Human Resources Manager – $70,000 to $120,000
  20. IT Manager – $80,000 to $120,000
  21. Research Scientist – $70,000 to $110,000
  22. Architect – $60,000 to $100,000
  23. Dentist – $80,000 to $200,000 (note that this range is wide due to variations in practice ownership and specialization)
  24. Facilities Manager – $70,000 to $100,000
  25. Pilot – $50,000 to $150,000 (note that this range is wide due to differences in experience, type of aircraft, and whether the pilot works for a commercial airline or private company)

Conclusion: How to Get the Highest-Paying Career in Canada

highest paying jobs Canada

The trend you can take from the above list of the highest paying jobs in Canada is that licensed professionals make the most money per year, while managers in corporate jobs make the second most income per year, on average.

Thus, if you are a young person planning your life and want to make the most money in Canada without starting your own company, you should go to medical school, law school or business school. Get good grades in school!