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Getting a job in your field in Canada is one of the most gratifying parts of the immigration journey. But which jobs pay well in Canada? And what level of education do you need to get a well-paying job?

The Government of Canada is a big amplifier of job opportunities in Canada, and they offer not only a job bank of available options but also key insights on which jobs are most lucrative, according to the typical level of education required to perform the role.

Canada’s highest paying jobs by education level

Whether you’re already working in one of these fields or looking to figure out your next study program in your home country or in Canada, these key insights can help you make those big decisions in life.


A diploma is any certification awarded for completing a course or class in a particular subject. Many Canadian universities and colleges offer diploma programs, which are typically focused on a narrow field of study and are less time-intensive than a bachelor’s degree. Earning your diploma shows that you’ve learned the fundamentals of this particular area of study.

In Canada, you usually need to have completed high school education to be accepted into a diploma program. Educational institutions in Canada offer diplomas in fields ranging from accounting to aviation operations, computer programming, and practical nursing.

Some of the most lucrative jobs in Canada you can get with a diploma include:

  • Stationary energy sources installer and operator – median income of $128,310
  • Heavy/industrial equipment maintenance technician – median income of $74,248
  • Allied health diagnostic, intervention, or treatment professional – median income of $69,163
  • Electrical or electronic engineering technician – median income of $68,748


Bachelor’s degree

The percentage of Canadians aged 25 to 64 with a bachelor’s degree or higher has been growing steadily for almost 20 years. As of 2021, 32.9% of Canadians in this age group have at least a bachelor’s degree, also called an undergraduate degree. Bachelor’s degrees are available from universities and colleges in Canada and typically require three to four years of full-time study.

Admittance to a bachelor’s degree program in Canada requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. Entrance requirements can be stringent depending on the degree program and the school you wish to attend. Canada is home to many world-class schools, and getting a bachelor’s degree opens up many new opportunities.

This includes some of the highest-paying jobs in Canada in fields like:

  • Pharmaceutical sciences – median income of $109,645
  • Chemical engineering and related studies – median income of $91,278
  • Miscellaneous engineering fields – median income of $80,003
  • Nursing – median income of $79,896

Master’s degree

A master’s degree typically takes one to two years to earn following a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree. It’s dedicated to a specific area of study and allows the student to focus on developing a much deeper knowledge of their chosen field.

Master’s graduates can feasibly enter the workforce at a higher level than if they stopped studying after a bachelor’s degree. Research also suggests that a master’s degree can yield an earning potential approximately 20 percent higher than a bachelor’s degree.

Some of the high-paying industries you can enter with a master’s degree include:

  • Finance and financial management services – median income of $106,578
  • Pharmaceutical sciences and administration – median income of $103,059
  • Accounting – median income of $102,610
  • Business, commerce, and administration – median income of $100,022


A medical degree, also called a professional doctorate, is a postgraduate degree that demonstrates the graduate has achieved a high level of knowledge in an applied medical field. This means they have practical experience, and after they’ve passed the necessary licensing exams they can work with the public to provide hands-on care.

Medical school is notoriously rigorous, and it makes sense that after so many years of education, workers with this degree are able to secure high-paying jobs. In Canada, some of the highest-paid jobs you can get with a medical degree are in fields like:

  • Dentistry – median income of $105,547
  • Optometry – median income of $99,748
  • Veterinary medicine – median income of $85,063
  • General medicine – median income of $83,353

It’s important to note that these are median income levels, meaning half of licensed professionals earn more than these amounts — sometimes significantly more.


In Canada, you don’t necessarily need any formal education to enter the trades. It’s all about being able to demonstrate practical mastery of the essential concepts of your field. While it’s possible to learn on the go, many trades workers in Canada enrol in formal apprenticeship training programs or attend a vocational school or college to ensure they have a well-rounded understanding of their chosen field.

Working in the trades requires both in-depth knowledge and technical expertise. Some of the highest paying jobs you can secure with a trades background are:

  • Stationary energy sources installer and operator – median income of $106,656
  • Heavy/industrial equipment maintenance technician – median income of $97,970
  • Electrical and power transmission installer – median income of $88,414
  • Heat, air conditioning, ventilation, or refrigeration maintenance technician – median income of $82,983

Prepare your banking for your first day of work with the Scotiabank StartRight® Program

Whether you look for job opportunities in Canada before you arrive or wait until you land to start pounding the pavement, you’ve already done the hard work of starting your research. Learning about the jobs in Canada that offer the highest earning potential can help you decide which field to enter or whether you want to complete additional schooling in Canada to boost your earning potential.

However, there’s one task you need to do before you start working in Canada, and that’s setting up your banking. Depositing your first pay cheque won’t be possible until you have an active bank account.

Scotiabank is here to help. The Scotiabank StartRight Program was designed to offer newcomers to Canada solutions and advice on how to set themselves up for a secure financial future. Their advisors speak your language and can help you navigate the challenges of setting up your banking so you’re fully prepared for your first day of work.

Connect with Scotiabank today.

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