Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Choosing a career path is one of the toughest decisions in our lives. Your talents and interests should be key factors, of course, but it’s also helpful to know which jobs are the most promising based on hard numbers. The annual Canadian Business Best Jobs ranking considers salaries, employment growth and future prospects to point you towards the careers with the highest pay and the greatest potential. It should come as no surprise to anyone that many of these jobs are in health care, the trades and STEM fields. But there are also some fun surprises that may appeal to your inner five-year-old — such as the fact there appears to be a bright future for locomotive engineers. Scroll through our gallery counting down the Top 25 ranked careers on our list.
Click here for the full list of the Top 100 jobs in Canada for 2019
25. Health Care Manager
Job Description: As the population ages, it’s anticipated there will be huge growth in the health care sector. In this position, you’ll oversee the delivery of services in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other environments. Health care managers are responsible for supervising other professionals, recruiting new hires, planning and evaluating service delivery and setting budgets.
Job Qualifications: If you’re looking for a career that involves minimal retraining, this is not the position for you. You’ll need to have the same education as the medical professionals you oversee, which could mean years of post-secondary and residency training as a specialist physician or nurse. Once you pick a medical specialization, you’re probably stuck with it—there’s not much mobility between different departments.
Salary: Health care managers make a median salary of $95,000, but that varies greatly depending on the type of service.
Career Opportunity: The government expects there will be slightly more jobs than people looking for work in this position five years from now.
24. Human Resources Manager
Job Description: This job involves taking a senior role in a human resources department. Areas of responsibility include recruitment, training, collective bargaining with unions and the administration of pay and benefits.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business administration, industrial relations or commerce. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you could complete a professional development program in personnel administration. Several years of experience in human resources is also required.
Salary: The median salary for human resources managers is $94,000.
Career Opportunity: Unfortunately this field has shrunk over the past five years, with 6% fewer people working as human resources managers than there were in 2013. By 2024, the government predicts there will be an even number of jobs and job seekers.
23. Oil & Gas Drilling Supervisor
Job Description: People working in this job manage workers drilling for oil and gas. Duties might include making scheduling, problem solving and making hiring decisions.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a high school diploma along with some training courses. You won’t be able to become a supervisor right away — you’ll require several years of experience in the field first.
Salary: The median salary for oil and gas drilling supervisors is $85,000.
Career Opportunity: The oil and gas sector has been hit hard since the 2014 crash in oil prices and that’s reflected in the employment numbers for this job, with 22% fewer people working as oil and gas drilling supervisors than there were five years ago.
22. Elevator Mechanic
Job Description: People working in this job keep the world’s elevators and escalators in good repair. Duties might include installing equipment, troubleshooting problems and doing preventative maintenance.
Job Qualifications: You’ll probably need a high school diploma. After that, you’ll have a four- to five-year apprenticeship program to complete. In Quebec and Alberta, a trade certification is also needed.
Salary: The median salary for elevator mechanics is $81,000.
Career Opportunity: This field has been on a growth tear, with 83% more people working as elevator mechanics than there were five years ago. By 2024, however, the government predicts there will be an equal number of jobs and people looking for work.
Principal Thando Hyman-Anan of Toronto?s General Brock Public School, seen in a file photo (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star/Getty)
21. School Principal & Administrator
Job Description: School principals supervise teachers and other staff at elementary and secondary schools. This category also includes school administrators like superintendents and directors of education, who control the affairs of a school system.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in education and perhaps a master’s degree. After that, you’ll require several years’ experience as a senior teacher or department head.
Salary: The median salary for school principals and administrators is $100,000.
Career Opportunity: This field has seen very little growth over the past five years, with just 1% more school principals and administrators in Canada than there were in 2013. By 2024, however, the government predicts there will be more jobs than people looking for work in this area.
（Wellphoto / iStock）
20. Financial Manager
Job Description: Every organization needs someone to keep the books straight. People in this field head up financial and accounting departments, develop policies and performance standards and write reports for senior management. Duties might include preparing financial statements, co-ordinating budgets and alerting management to trends that might affect a company’s financial performance.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business administration, economics or commerce. A master’s degree in business administration might also be helpful. These are senior positions, so you’ll require several years of experience in fields such as accounting, auditing, budgeting or financial planning.
Salary: The median salary for financial managers is $96,000.
Career Opportunity: One downside to this career is it isn’t growing very quickly, with just 3% more people working as financial managers than there were five years ago. Five years from now, the government predicts there won’t be quite enough jobs for all those seeking work in this field.
19. Occupational Therapist
Job Description: Occupational therapists help address illnesses, injuries or developmental disorders. Job responsibilities might include developing intervention programs to address clients’ needs, maintaining records and supervising support personnel.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a university degree in occupational therapy and to complete a national or provincial certification exam. Some occupational therapists get additional training and experience to become specialists in certain areas.
Salary: The median salary for occupational therapists is $82,000.
Career Opportunity: In five years, the government predicts there will be slightly more jobs than people looking for work in this field.
18. Health & Community Service Manager
Job Description: This category includes such job titles as city medical officer of health, social services director and housing policy and development director. These public servants are responsible for administering policies that keep communities healthy and thriving. Tasks might include guiding researchers, making budgets and coordinating projects.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field and might need a graduate degree as well. These are senior positions, so several years of experience as a social policy researcher, consultant or program officer is an asset. For positions in health policy, being a doctor or having other health care certification might be required.
Salary: The median annual salary for this field is $110,000.
Career Opportunity: This field has been growing quickly, with 53% more people employed in these jobs than there were five years ago. But the boom may be over — the government predicts there will be more people looking for work than jobs in another five years.
17. Head Nurse & Medical Supervisor
Job Description: Anywhere nurses work — including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and psychiatric facilities — there’s likely a head nurse. People doing this job might supervise nurses, coordinate care with other health services and administer budgets.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a degree or diploma in nursing and to be registered with a regulatory body in the province where you work.. You might also be required to take some management courses. Finally, clinical experience as a registered nurse is obviously needed.
Salary: The median salary for a head nurse is $83,000.
Career opportunity: This field has been growing quickly, with 57% more people working as head nurses and medical supervisors than there were five years ago.
16. Locomotive Engineer
Job Description: If you’ve always been fascinated by trains, now may be a good time to turn that interest into a career. Locomotive engineers operate trains, transporting passengers and freight across North America. They also inspect equipment and communicate with rail crews and traffic controllers to make sure everything is safe and on schedule.
Job Qualifications: This job is light on formal education requirements: You’ll probably need a high school diploma and that’s about it. You’ll also need experience as a train conductor, a job that involves being responsible for the freight and crew on the train.
Salary: The median annual salary for locomotive engineers is $78,000.
Career Opportunity: The government predicts this field has a bright future for people planning to enter it in five years, when there will be significantly more jobs than people looking for work.
15. Power Line & Cable Worker
Job Description: These workers construct, maintain and repair the overhead and underground cables that transmit electricity along with the equipment that makes those cables work. This job might involve working on hydro poles in hydraulic buckets, installing street lighting systems and working in trenches or tunnels.
Job Qualifications: You’ll probably need to finish high school, after which you’ll need to complete a three- or four-year apprenticeship program. If you have more than four years of work experience in the trade, you might be able to skip the apprenticeship requirement.
Salary: The median salary for this job is $80,000.
Career Opportunity: There are 33% more people working as power line and cable workers than there were five years ago. By 2024, the government predicts there will be an equal number of jobs and job seekers.
14. Police Officer
Job Description: Police officers protect the public, prevent crime and maintain law and order. This category includes a variety of different types of police officers, from detectives to railway police to highway patrollers.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a high school diploma and likely a college or university degree as well. After that, you’ll need to take a three- to six-month police training program, meeting physical and psychological fitness tests.
Salary: The median salary for a police officer is $88,000.
Job Outlook: This field has been growing, with 18% more people employed as police officers in 2018 than there were five years before. By 2024, the government predicts there will be an equal number of jobs and people looking for work.
13. Electronics Engineer
Job Description: These engineers arebehind our electrical systems and electronic equipment. Their responsibilities might include designing electronic circuits, planning new electrical distribution networks or investigating electrical failures.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering and possibly a master’s or doctoral degree in a related discipline. After that, it takes three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering before you can take a professional practice exam. To practice as a professional engineer, you’re required to be licensed by a provincial or territorial body.
Salary: The median salary for electronics engineers is $90,000.
Job Outlook: Growth in this field has been sluggish, with only 8% more people working as electronics engineers than there were five years ago.
12. Business Executive
Job Description: Who doesn’t want to be the big boss? This job category encompasses a variety of high-level positions at companies and organizations, including chief executives, financial and operating officers, executive vice-presidents and executive directors. You’ll make decisions about the organization’s mission and how to allocate resources. You’ll also represent your employer at official functions.
Job Qualifications: No one’s going to hire you to be the CEO on the strength of your cover letter. You’ll probably need a university degree in a discipline related to the organization’s work, plus years of experience as a senior manager.
Salary: The median salary for this job category is $110,000, but executives at major companies make much, much more.
Career Opportunity: The number of people working in positions encompassed by this job category increased 26% from 2013 to 2018. Five years from now, however, the government predicts there will be slightly fewer jobs than people looking for work.
11. Statistician or Actuary
Job Description: As we produce exponentially growing amounts of digital data, the demand for people who can make sense of that information is growing. Statisticians and actuaries use mathematical techniques to build models to solve problems and predict behaviour and outcomes.
Job Qualifiications: You’ll likely need a graduate degree in math or statistics.
Salary: The median salary for statisticians and actuaries is $87,000.
Career Opportunity: This is a fast-growing field, with 87% more people working as statisticians and actuaries in 2018 than in 2013. Five years from now, the government predicts there will be an equal number of jobs and job seekers.
（SirTravelALot / Shutterstock）
（Sarinyapinngam / iStock）
10. Construction Manager
Job Description: Construction managers oversee building teams, ensuring projects are organized and on track for completion. They also conduct budget estimates, establish schedules, and set construction milestones.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need a university degree in civil engineering or construction technology. If you want to become a manager, you’ll have to work your way up through the ranks.
Salary: Construction managers are paid according to experience. They make a median salary of $83,000, which has increased 14% over the past five years.
Career Opportunity: There’s been an upward trend in the number of construction managers in recent years, but it’s employment heavily reliant on economic growth. A housing bust would hit this sector hard.
(Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)
9. Public Administration Director
Job Description: Public administration directors lead large branches of government services, ensuring policies and programs are implemented. This means developing those programs, monitoring and planning budgets, and hiring and training staff.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in social science, law or business administration along with several years of experience in the field.
Salary: The median salary is about $110,000, making it one of the highest paid jobs in government bureaucracy. Public administration directors have seen a 13% increase in wages over the past five years.
Career Opportunity: Governments create and cut programs based on priority, budget and which political party is in charge—making some positions in this field less stable than others.
8. Scientific Research Manager
Job Description: You’ll oversee the technical work done by your employer, which might be an architectural firm, a statistical service or a scientific department. You’ll plan and direct the firm or department’s activities, assign and review technical work and recruit staff.
Job Qualifications: If you’re working in architecture or landscape architecture, you’ll need a related degree along with licensing. Scientific managers will need a Master’s or doctoral degree in science. Finally, you’ll need several years of related experience.
Salary: The median salary for a scientific research manager is $102,000.
Career Opportunity: Five years from now, the government predicts there will be slightly more jobs than people looking for work.
7. Engineering Manager
Job description: Engineers need someone to tell them what to do. That someone could be you! Engineering managers plan, oversee and evaluate projects. They work in both the private and public sectors, including consulting firms and scientific research companies.
Job qualifications: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in engineering for most positions along with some experience, ideally in a supervisory role. Also required is licensing as a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.) by the province or territory you work in.
Salary: Engineering managers earn a median salary of about $106,000.
Career Opportunity: By 2024, the government expects there will be slightly more jobs than job seekers.
6. Pipefitting Supervisor
Job Description: A pipefitting supervisor coordinates the heat, oil and water systems in everything from family homes to large industrial or commercial facilities. They order materials, schedule work activities and make sure everything works safely.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need to finish secondary school at minimum. After that, it’s a path familiar to tradespeople: a period of apprenticeship, followed by certification, and then earn several years as a fully qualified worker.
Salary: The median salary for a pipefitting supervisor sits at about $81,000, but first, you’ll have to receive lower pay as first an apprentice, then as a journeyman/woman.
Career Opportunity: Expect 1.25 open positions for contractors and supervisors in the pipefitting trades for every job seeker five years from now. Over the past five years, the number of people employed in this job has increased 51%.
5. Mining & Quarrying Supervisor
Job Description: A mining and quarrying supervisor oversees workers who extract coal, minerals and ore from the ground. These supervisors may operate heavy machinery, monitor workers’ safety and perform administrative work like ordering materials and supplies.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need to complete at least secondary school; some advanced positions requiring you to finish a college or university program in mining or engineering. Most supervisor roles also require several years of experience in the field. Many provinces and territories require certification for positions like underground or coal mining supervisor.
Salary: The median salary for this position is $83,200, and has seen a 25% wage increase over the past five years.
Career Opportunity: It’s no secret that mining plays a big part in Canada’s economy. The profession has seen a 29% increase in employees over the past five years.
4. Power Systems Electrician
Job Description: Thank a power systems electrician next time you flip on a light switch. These professionals install, maintain, test and repair the equipment that keeps the electrical grid running.
Job Qualifications: This job usually requires a high school diploma and the completion of a four-year apprenticeship program.
Salary: Power systems electricians make a median salary of $86,000.
Career Opportunity: Five years from now, the government predicts there will be a balanced number of job openings and job seekers.
3. Utilities Manager
Job Description: Water, electrical power, natural gas—if it’s a utility, these managers take care of it. Whether it’s in the public or private sector, utility managers supervise the facilities, plants, and distribution systems that bring the power to the people.
Job Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree or diploma related to your chosen field: electrical engineering for power utilities, oil and gas engineering for natural gas distribution, and so on. You’ll need to be experienced as a supervisor before moving up, though.
Salary: The median annual pay cheque of a utility manager comes in at about $114,000, with broad variation based on the kind of utility.
Career Opportunity: The government predicts that for managers in manufacturing and utilities, there will be 3,100 new job openings through 2024, with only 2,900 job seekers to fill them. That spells opportunity, but since these are senior positions you’ll need to be able to demonstrate proven experience.
Job Description: You know what a dentist does (If not, you’re due for a checkup). Dentists keep your teeth and mouth healthy by diagnosing, treating and preventing disorders.
Job Qualifications: You’ll need one to four years of pre-dentistry university studies or, in Quebec, a college diploma in the sciences. After that, you’ll need a university degree from a recognized dental program. Plus, you’ll need to be licensed by a provincial or territorial regulatory body. Moving into specialized practice requires additional training.
Salary: The median salary for a dentist is $93,600.
Job Outlook: The number of dentists has increased 63% over the past five years. The government predicts that growth will continue, with more jobs than people looking for work in the field by 2024.
1. Nurse Practitioner
Job Description: As the population ages, careers in the health care industry are becoming increasingly in demand. These primary health-care providers work with doctors and other professionals to provide a variety of services. In addition to nurse practitioners, this job category includes physician assistants and midwives. People in this field might work in a hospital, a community clinic or a birthing centre. Your job duties could include anything from administering vaccinations to delivering babies.
Job Qualifications: The requirements for these jobs vary depending on the type of work. Nurse practitioners usually need a Master’s degree in nursing, while physician assistants and midwives require university degrees in related programs. Depending on the province you live in and the type of job, you may also need to register with a regulatory body.
Salary: People in this job category earn a median salary of $104,000.