Whether you’re a student pondering your future or a professional wondering whether it’s time for a new career path, our Salary Series guide can help you explore what you could be earning by working in different industries.
Scientists use research and experiments to help people and organizations learn more about the world around them.
Geoscientists help society meet its needs for natural resources. They also help protect the public from natural hazards, such as floods, volcano eruptions, earthquakes and landslides.
Wildlife biologists use scientific methods and data collection to help shape wildlife management policies in the public sector and assist with compliance and conservation targets in the private sector.
The job is to fly into space to run experiments and explore the atmosphere, but most of an astronaut’s time is spent on Earth in training, simulation, preparation and support of space flight.
While research is often considered their primary function, astronomers have a variety of other responsibilities as well, which can include writing, teaching and speaking about their work.
A structural drafter – also referred to as a computer aided drafting (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) technician – is responsible for producing drawings and models for building projects.
Architects design buildings, but that's only a small part of the job, says Allan Teramura, a RAIC regional director and partner at Ottawa-based Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects. Architects also help to oversee construction, and spend a lot of time doing analysis and studies.
Landscape architects work with city planners, engineers, private property owners and a variety of government departments to collaborate on projects ranging from developing city parks and roads to flood-water mitigation planning to green space and environmental policy development.
It is up to a machine learning engineer to design the complex algorithms that enable machines to gather information and identify patterns and insights in places they weren't explicitly programmed to look, mimicking human learning.
CNC machines enable the manufacturing industry to cut, build and shape materials with a level of precision and consistency unmatched by human labour. Salaries start around $42,000.
Major breakthroughs in science, technology, math and engineering often produce new ideas, theories and algorithms, but aren’t always readily applicable to real-world problems. It is the role of a research and development engineer, or R&D engineer, to turn those abstract concepts into practical, marketable, real-world products, services and solutions.
Wastewater plant engineers plan and design wastewater infrastructure as well as oversee wastewater collection and disposal. The job also requires ongoing risk assessment and health and safety training.
The role of a data engineer is to make data from different sources available for data scientists to utilize.
This job deals with the communication between digital code and the physical output. Engineers ensure that the commands provided by software are properly executed by hardware for physical technology products.
The role of a chemical laboratory technician is to conduct analytical or lab-based tests on a variety of chemicals, materials or products.
While hackers seek to exploit holes in cybersecurity systems for malicious purposes, ethical hackers are employed by the creators of those systems to help identify vulnerabilities before they can be breached.
To protect computer networks and systems from attack. While the role was once limited to large information technology (IT) companies, its presence has expanded in recent years to companies of all shapes and sizes.
Data scientists use mathematical algorithms to utilize data for specific outcomes.
It is up to a UX designer to make both hardware and software as easy to use as possible.
The role of a web-accessibility specialist is to ensure that websites, applications and other digital tools are accessible to those with auditory, visual, mobility, cognitive or other disabilities.
Similar to a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, only confined to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store environments, ASO specialists are responsible for landing their clients as close to the top of the results page in relevant searches as possible.
Blockchain engineers are responsible for building applications and technologies using this relatively new technology.
The role of a UAV flight co-ordinator is to manage flight operations for commercial unmanned vehicles or fleets.
Business and legal salaries
Accountants have expertise in a number of areas, including finance, taxation, business strategy, auditing, management and business leadership.
The role of a CRA tax auditor is to analyze the tax records of individuals and businesses to ensure that they are fulfilling their Canadian tax obligations, and receiving any amount they are entitled to from the government.
An economist provides forecasts for and analyses of various markets ranging from employment to real estate. Their work contributes to investment and policy decisions made by governments, public and private companies.
These are business owners who invest to run an existing business brand and are responsible for all aspects of the business.
Service designers study business operations from a customer’s perspective with the ultimate aim of eliminating pain points and delivering a consistent customer experience in every interaction they have with a business.
Partnership specialists are responsible for collecting and analyzing data related to a company’s membership bases, as well as forecasts to help predict their future needs and interests.
Benefits administrators manage an organization’s employee benefits services, such as health care coverage, retirement and financial planning, insurance, and other employee perks.
A recruitment marketer – also sometimes called a talent-attraction specialist – establishes and advertises the employer brand using tactics similar to those used to sell products and services.
The role of a remote employee experience specialist is to manage staff members who aren’t physically present in the office.
The tasks assigned to a virtual assistant are similar to those of an administrative or executive assistant, only they are fulfilled remotely.
Instructional designers create educational content for corporate training purposes. Instructional designers consult with leading experts to develop slideshow presentations, online videos in-person learning plans and other educational content.
Law clerks work closely with legal professionals, assisting with administrative tasks such as scheduling, documentation and file management.
The role of a court reporter is to produce accurate written records of what is said and presented during legal proceedings, hearings, tribunals, political procedures, and so on.
Financial analysts look for a company’s value and make recommendations to potential or existing shareholders, including whether it’s a good or bad investment now, and in future.
HR professionals help companies develop and carry out their strategic direction through employee programs. People start by helping with recruiting, then often specialize into areas such as change management and compensation.
An RCIC helps those interested in moving to Canada navigate the immigration process.
Health care and therapist salaries
Family doctors not only care for patients, many also work in hospital emergency rooms and some have leadership positions in their communities.
Pharmacists prepare, mix and dispense medicine prescribed by doctors. They are also increasingly taking on other roles, such as giving flu shots and advising customers about which non-prescription medicines to take.
"Dentistry is an artistic as well as scientific profession," the Canadian Dental Association says on its website. That includes an eye for making your teeth and gums look good and the ability to perform precise procedures in a small area.
Nurses are caregivers, but they also act as counsellors, teachers and advocates for patients in hospitals and community health centres in towns, cities and remote locations around the country.
A midwife provides care for women during the full duration of a pregnancy, including the birth and for about two months afterward.
Veterinarians provide care to domestic pets at local animal hospitals, but they also work in a number of other settings, including treating livestock on farms and ranches.
The role of a genetic counsellor is to advise patients about concerns related to a wide range of inherited diseases and conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, sickle cell anemia, Down syndrome, and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
Health-care engineers help health-care facilities, systems and networks solve complex medical and business challenges, using data and algorithms.
From throat swabs to cancer screens, blood tests to DNA tests, Canadians generate over 440 million medical test results a year, which are conducted by medical laboratory technologists.
Demand for cardiology technologists in Canada is steadily increasing along with the country’s aging population.
Clinical informatics specialists work with clinicians, technology companies and patients to integrate and optimize health-care technologies.
Psychotherapists – also known as counselling therapists in some provinces – provide guidance, support and therapy to clients suffering from a range of personal and professional problems.
Social workers provide their communities with supportive services that help to support healthier families and communities.
Music therapists are both trained musicians and trained therapists, and their role changes, based on the setting and patients they are working with that day.
Addiction counsellors help clients to conquer their addictions, either through abstinence, maintenance or reduction.
While once primarily focused on the relationship between romantic partners, marriage and family therapists now work with clients to improve relationships of all kinds, including between family members, friends, roommates and co-workers.
Occupational hygienists identify, evaluate and control health risks to workers.
Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat illness, injury and disability with a hands-on approach.
Personal trainers help individuals or small groups of people improve their health and fitness levels through targeted exercise routines.
Massage therapists use a range of techniques to manipulate the soft tissues and joints of the body. The goal is to maintain and improve how a body functions, and to relieve pain.
Trades, sales and services salaries
Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes, fittings, fixtures and other equipment used to distribute water.
Electricians help to bring electricity into homes and businesses. They install, repair, test and maintain wiring, fuses and other equipment and systems through which electricity flows.
Journeyperson painters – who have formal on-the-job training and designations – select, prepare and apply paint for a variety of different surfaces such as wood, concrete and steel.
There are a number of jobs on a construction site, from swinging a hammer to operating a backhoe or working at a desk examining a set of blueprints.
Welders are experts at fusing together metals for construction and manufacturing projects.
It’s not just cutting and colouring. A a good hairdresser will sit down with clients at the start of every appointment to discuss the cut or style they’re looking for and how it fits with their lifestyle.
Pet groomers need to possess a wide range of skills to ensure that their furry clients, as well as their owners, are satisfied.
The role of a professional dog walker comes with a lot of responsibility, and requires relationship building with both pets and their owners.
Intervenors act as the “eyes and ears” of individuals who are both deaf and blind, assisting with communication and life skills to become more independent.
Personal chefs specialize in make-ahead meals for their clients. They start by figuring out the person or family’s dietary needs and tastes.
Sommeliers help build wine lists that are consistent with the culinary style of the establishment, and are also responsible for the meticulous storage and care of wines.
The role of a bartender is less about pouring drinks, and more about managing people.
It’s not just about making those complex beverages. Baristas also need to connect with customers and there are daily chores including cleaning the store and stocking the shelves.
A travel agent helps people plan and arrange travel for personal and/or business trips.
Retail buyers need to understand consumer trends, behaviour and purchasing history in order to predict what shoppers may buy in the future.
The role of an aerial firefighter, also known as an air tanker pilot, is to drop fire retardant from a fixed-wing aircraft in an effort to suppress and contain wildfires.
There are various careers in the oil sands industry, ranging from heavy equipment operators and truck drivers to engineers and electricians.
Foresters help to manage forests, including growing trees and and ensuring their selection works well with other plant and animal species.
Landscapers need to know what plant species will grow together, and in which plant hardiness zones, to ensure the garden they’re working on stays lush.
Ensuring that rush orders are on the delivery truck on time usually occupies a good portion of a florist’s morning, while afternoons are typically spent preparing floral arrangements for larger events like weddings and corporate parties.
Since movers are required to spend time in the customer’s home or office, the job is as much about customer service as it is about heavy lifting.
The role of an elevator technician is to design, build, install, maintain, repair, modernize and ensure compliance of safety standards for elevators.
Industrial rope access technicians are hired to do a range of tasks that are made more difficult because they have to be done while wearing a harness and suspended from a rope. Tasks range from high-rise window cleaning to the repair and inspection of infrastructure.
It is the truck driver’s role to deliver large quantities of products on time and damage free, while maintaining a clean truck that is up to date with industry safety standards and advancements in technology.
They don’t just steer the bus, subway car or train in the right direction. Drivers are also informal tour guides for visitors and often act as unofficial therapists for riders.
Train conductors are responsible for the safe co-ordination and operation of locomotives. They keep track of schedules and shipping records, as well as assist in the coupling and uncoupling of train cars.
Air traffic controllers co-ordinate the movement of airplanes, making sure they stay a safe distance apart.
The 911 operator’s job is to try to keep the callers calm while they gather information about emergency situations. Multitasking and critical thinking are required.
Bike couriers pick up and deliver packages on their bicycles in many of Canada’s largest cities.
While selling new cars is a major part of the job, salespeople working at dealerships are also responsible for helping with maintenance and service, marketing and advertising campaigns, helping customers with finance products like loans and leases, providing warranties, and more.
Freight brokers act as an intermediary between companies that need to transport goods and the transportation providers themselves.
Arts, communications and education salaries
Standing in front of a classroom teaching subjects such as math or geography is just part of it. Teachers also grade papers, hold meetings with parents, and coach school teams and clubs in the hours after classes.
For professors, about 40 per cent is teaching, 40 per cent research and 20 per cent serving on university committees that deal with areas such as admissions, tenure, promotions, and program approvals.
It’s not just about finding and sorting books. Librarians work with children to develop literacy programs, in large corporations managing data and compiling information, and within communities, helping seniors, students and low-income people find information.
Early childhood educators ensure the safety and security of children, but also have to support families, who have busy lives and rely on them to help raise their kids.
Career counsellors help clients find meaningful work by identifying the educational pathways leading to those goals. Some also provide career assessment tools, interview preparation, assistance with résumés, or provide information about labour markets and employment demands.
The primary role of a yoga instructor is to lead a class through poses and positions that help to improve a practitioner’s strength, flexibility and mental focus.
Directors are visual storytellers. It is their job to take words from a page and bring them to life through pictures and sound.
The role of a screen composer is to compose, perform and produce music for visual media, including commercials, television shows, movies and video games.
Radio personalities, disc jockeys and talk show hosts entertain listening audiences with music, thought-provoking conversation and humour.
Meteorologists study the science of the atmosphere. They then use that information to analyze and forecast the weather.
The role of a voice actor is to perform lines from a script for audio production projects ranging from TV and radio commercials to video games to corporate presentations.
The job of a journalist is to collect facts and information from various sources and present it to an audience, either in print, broadcast or online.
Sports reporters help fans stay up to date and informed with breaking news, commentary and analysis.
Copy editors are tasked with fixing grammar, spelling or word usage errors in written text.
This job entails making sure social media posts align with the company’s overall marketing and communications plan.
Often found in organizations with a strong social mission, community engagement managers are responsible for mobilizing supporters and facilitating opportunities for them to participate in furthering the organization’s cause.
To strategically automate the buying and placement of digital ads, leveraging data to reach highly targeted audiences.
Broadcast engineers need to be skilled at designing, installing and maintaining transmission systems. They are also responsible for testing, modifying, and verifying the broadcast station’s technical standards.
As artists are quick to tell you, it’s not about the money. Still, they have to eat. Pay can range from a few dollars for a photo, painting or sculpture, to millions for the bodies of work by artists who find success.
Session musicians, once primarily employed by major music labels to provide backing instrumental and vocal work for popular recording artists, have since evolved into other areas of studio-based musicianship, including the scoring of films, television programs and commercials.
A museum curator’s principal role is to be the in-house authority on specific collections and subject areas within a museum or gallery.
While the actual application of tattoos is a vital component of the job, so is consulting with clients, sterilizing equipment, setup, cleanup and homework.
A wedding photographer is responsible for capturing a couple’s wedding day on film.
Graphic designers tell stories or share information through visual media, such as typography, photography and illustration.
Interior designers help their clients to create functional and attractive interior spaces that enhance the quality of life for the occupants.
Countless users are taking to their desktop, tablet or smartphone screens to gain knowledge in fields ranging from marketing to nutrition to entrepreneurship, and it is up to course producers to plan, shoot and market all of this content.
Being an athlete requires long hours of training, both physically and mentally. Working with other people, whether teammates or coaches, and taking instruction, are also a big part of the job.
Trainers condition and teach thoroughbred horses how to race, including teaching them how to behave on a track and in the starting gate.
Climate-change specialists inform business decision makers on how climate change may affect their operations, and how to adapt.
Energy managers optimize energy usage in accordance with employer goals, which may include reducing energy costs, ensuring continuous availability, optimizing on-site energy generation or reducing carbon emissions.
Dairy farmers wake up to a long list of chores that need to be completed before breakfast, including milking and feeding cows and calves, cleaning up and putting in fresh bedding.
Crops need to be nurtured and eventually sold. That’s requires some business acumen as well as marketing and customer service skills.
Craft brewers oversee the actual brewing operation in the brewhouse; they also oversee and are responsible for the fermenting and aging processes that go on at a brewery, and also the filtering and purification process.
For many in the industry, fishing is as much a way of life as it is a career. Fisherman often enjoy working independently while being out on the water for long stretches of time.
Master growers are responsible for overseeing the growth and cultivation of cannabis plants for licensed marijuana producers in Canada, a career that is expected to grow as more cultivation licences are issued in coming years.
Those in cannabis quality assurance oversee the production process of a licensed marijuana producer and ensure it meets quality and compliance standards.
There are more than 100 full-time and part-time occupations in the Canadian Armed Forces, ranging from pilots to marine engineers.
The role of a correctional officer is to maintain safety and security within a correctional facility.
Fighter jet test pilots test new fighter jets that are on the cutting edge of aerospace technology.
Those who are able to earn livings as social-media influencers often feel like they’re getting paid to follow their own interests and passions, while cementing themselves as celebrities of sorts among communities they care about.
Compiled by Dianne Nice
Build your personal news feed
- Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
- Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.