It’s no secret that studying at University can be a time-consuming investment. It’s also a big financial commitment. Luckily, there are some high-paying jobs in Canada that don’t require a university degree!
All you need is a high school diploma (secondary education) and a willingness to learn new skills and, in some cases, a trade certification.
This might be a much better alternative to paying hefty tuition fees and student loans. Although traditional white-collar jobs, such as doctors, dentists, and lawyers pay well, your return on investment might be higher if you choose skilled trades career path.
The best part is that many employers pay for your on-job training or apprenticeship so you can start earning a good wage right from the get-go.
I’ve put together a list of the highest-paying jobs in Canada without a degree. Some of them come with an average salary of 100k+ per year!
1.Air Traffic Controller
Average annual salary: CA$ 122 109
Average hourly rate: CA$ 63
Air traffic controllers are responsible for the safety of aircraft in flight. They monitor the movement of planes and ensure that they don’t come too close to one another, issue instructions to pilots regarding weather conditions, and coordinate emergency responses when necessary.
I’ll start this list with one of the highest-paying jobs in Canada that don’t require a degree, air traffic controller! The average annual salary is over 100k which is way above the national average.
To become an Air traffic controller, you’ll need to speak English (for Quebec province, French is required too), have a high school diploma, be a minimum of 18 years old, hold Canadian permanent residency or citizenship, and meet medical requirements, background checks, and alcohol/drug screenings.
If your application gets accepted, extensive training with a job instructor lasts 20 to 27 months to become an ACC controller or 10 to 18 months for a tower controller position.
And yes, you’ll get paid while you train around 50k!
Check NAV Canada to apply for job positions in this field.
2.Real Estate Agent
Average annual salary: CA$ 100 000
Average hourly rate: CA$ 51
Real estate agents are responsible for helping people buy and sell homes, land, and commercial properties.
To become a real estate agent you will need to complete a Real Estate examination to obtain a Real Estate Certificate.
Each province handles real estate educational certification in a different way.
The next step requires you to find a real estate agency that will sponsor your real estate license application.
‘Errors and omissions’ insurance is also required in order to practice as a real estate agent.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 37
Linemen are responsible for maintaining and installing power lines. Their work consists of building, testing, operating, and maintaining power systems as well as diagnosing problems with electrical infrastructure.
For this career path, you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship with a senior Lineman.
The apprenticeship is a 3- or 4-year commitment and consists of a minimum of 6,375 hours of on-the-job training, three seven-week intervals of technical training followed by a final certification examination.
Bear in mind that you get paid for work covered during your apprenticeship. Certification is voluntary in all provinces.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 46
Train conductors are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of railway trains. They monitor train operations, inspect equipment, ensure the safety of passengers and cargo, and provide customer service.
As a train conductor, you typically receive on-the-job training. This training consists of a theoretical and practical part followed by an exam.
CN, for example, provides a 7 weeks training program. To become fully qualified, trainees need to spend 4-6 months practicing in-field learning skills related to day-to-day responsibilities.
The job comes with many perks that include medical benefits, family assistance programs, pensions, and disability insurance coverage. Provided that no prior experience is required, the compensation is attractive.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 38
Web developers are responsible for designing, coding and modifying websites.
There is no must-have qualification to become a web developer although having a degree in computer science can certainly give you a competitive advantage.
Any IT-related jobs are in high demand in Canada. Plus, you can often work from home.
Average annual salary: CA$73 963
Average hourly rate: CA$ 38
Miners are responsible for extracting minerals, metals and gems from the earth.
Although mining jobs are no walk in the park, the compensation can be quite lucrative.
Most mining jobs provide you with training as long as you have a high school diploma.
You can also obtain a general coal miner certification through the MIHR.
In some provinces like British Columbia, the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM) offers an Underground Miner Training program that teaches you both theoretical knowledge and practical mining skills.
Average annual salary: CA$ 69 216
Average hourly rate: CA$ 35.50
Firefighters are responsible for responding to all types of fires, rescuing people and animals from danger, providing medical attention during emergencies, and conducting fire safety inspections.
Another high paying job in Canada without a degree is fire fighting. Each province of Canada has its own requirements for a firefighter position.
To get your foot in the door, you can start as a volunteer.
Being a firefighter in Canada is not only a well-paying job but it also comes with many social benefits and perks such as a possibility of an early retirement.
These are some of the basic requirements:
- 18 years or older
- Grade 12 education or equivalent
- Valid driver’s license
- Clean background check
- Good physical shape
In some provinces, you might also have other requirements, such as:
- Pre-Service Fire Fighter Education & Training Program Certificate
- NFPA 1001 Firefighter Levels I & II from a recognized institution
- First aid certificate
Average hourly rate: CA$ 33′
Massage therapists are responsible for providing therapeutic body treatments to help alleviate pain, improve circulation, and reduce stress.
Legal minimum hours for obtaining a massage therapy license vary by province.
But other provinces aren’t as strictly regulated.
Your massage certification will depend on the form of study you choose – the simpler options start at 2 weeks whilst more advanced programs can take up to 3 years.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 31
Car salesmen are responsible for helping customers find the right car for them and then negotiating a sale.
There is no formal education required to become a car salesman, but employers may prefer candidates with high school diplomas who have experience in sales or in customer service-related jobs and possess excellent communication skills.
Certain provinces require a salesperson license. For example, in Ontario, you’ll need to pass a simple salesperson licensing course which you can complete after you get hired.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 30
Arborists are responsible for taking care of trees and other vegetation. They perform tree risk assessment, trimming and pruning, insect control, stump removal, and other tree-related jobs. They also provide advice and assistance on how to safely remove trees.
Pay within the forestry industry varies depending on what contract or position you find yourself in.
Both production and daily rate jobs are available. Many contracts pay $200+ daily. You can get your foot in the door by getting a chainsaw certificate that takes only 2-3 days or by starting as a general laborer and building your way up.
Jobs in this industry can include tree planting, tree removal, tree pruning, herbicide spraying, silviculture surveying, brushing, aerial monitoring, Fire smart contracts, etc.
With the right attitude, commitment, and demonstration of leadership qualities, there is an opportunity to climb the ranks within this industry in a relatively short time.
To become a fully certified arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) you’ll need to have a minimum of three years experience in landscaping, forestry, horticulture or other tree-related industry.
Although the ISA certification isn’t required to be working in the tree industry, it’ll definitely make you stand out in the job market.
Alternatively, you can obtain a two-year degree with a minimum of two courses directly related to arboriculture and two years of work experience in arboriculture.
It can be an especially lucrative career if you start your own tree business.
Average annual salary: CA$56 355
Average hourly rate: CA$ 29
Dental assistants are responsible for assisting dentists during patient care, helping with the sterilization of instruments and setting up the treatment area.
To become a dental assistant, you’ll need to complete an eight-month to one-year college or other programs in dental assistance, however, in some cases the completion of secondary school with on-the-job training is sufficient.
It’s also a regulated profession, so you’ll need to get licensed in all provinces, except Ontario and Quebec.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 24
Truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods, materials, and commodities from one destination to another.
The most crucial step to becoming a truck driver is to obtain a CDL driver’s license, which stands for Class A or Class 1 or Commercial Driver’s License and to have a clean driving record.
Average hourly rate: CA$ 24
Flight attendants are responsible for making sure the passengers on board have a pleasant journey. They ensure customer safety and comfort during flights and serve meals and beverages to passengers or sell duty-free items on board.
To become a flight attendant for Air Canada, you will need to pass their 7-week program which covers all the necessary procedures, safety, and service training. The trainings are usually held in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver.
On top of that, you need to be a minimum of 18 years old and a Canadian citizen (Canadian passport holder). So, unfortunately, this career path is not accessible to foreign workers in Canada.
Although being a flight attendant might not earn you a lot of money, you’ll get paid to travel the world which is the greatest perk of this job.
Flight attendants usually receive many unique financial benefits such as duty-free store discounts, gym membership discounts and air travel discounts that extend to family members.
Average annual salary: CA$42 900
Average hourly rate: CA$ 22
Construction workers are responsible for assisting in the building and maintenance of structures.
Construction companies are always on the lookout for extra hands. You can start as a basic laborer and get trained on the job site. In this case, no formal education is needed. The median hourly wage is way higher compared to let’s say a retail job that pays you only a minimum wage.
If you build your way up to the position of a construction manager or supervisor, you can expect a median salary of CA $90 000 per year.
Average annual salary: CA$ 41 969
Average hourly rate: CA$ 21.5
Landscapers are responsible for creating and maintaining appealing outdoor spaces such as gardens, parks, yards, and other green areas. Your responsibilities may include planting, trimming, applying fertilizers, and more.
No degree is needed to become a landscaper but experience in lawn maintenance or landscaping is a big plus. Many job openings provide paid on-job training.
Another way to get into the landscaping field is by getting an apprenticeship which consists of paid on-job training and classroom studies.
That wraps up the highest-paying jobs in Canada without a degree! I hope this article might inspire your career choices in Canada.