Which are Canada’s Best Paying Professional Jobs in 2016?

I strongly believe that people looking to pursue a new career are best advised to choose one that they find interesting and stimulating. The reason is simple: In their productive years, most people spend 1,800+ hours at work (not including commuting time). If you spend that much time doing something you don’t like, this is guaranteed to make you unproductive, miserable, and unhealthy.

Yet it is obvious that earnings can impact significantly our well-being and job satisfaction too. When doing what we love comes at a cost of financial hardship to us and our families, this is also likely to make us unproductive and miserable (and eventually kill the passion for your selected occupation). The ever increasing cost of post-secondary education also makes it mandatory for most people to do a simple cost-benefits calculation before pursuing an education in their selected field (and often taking on student debt).

So we analyzed all job postings indicating a salary, advertised online by employers in Ontario and BC in the first 5 months of 2016. We removed managerial jobs from our analysis as the pay rates for those can vary significantly. We also removed odd / unusual jobs with where less than 10 positions (indicating a pay rate) were advertised.

Here are the 5 best paying professional occupations that we arrived to, along with the average hourly wage for each of them (in cases where hourly wages were provided, we assumed 1,920 work hours per year):

  1. Doctors (General Medical Practitioners, Family Physicians, and Specialist Physicians): $273,561 per year
  2. Lawyers and Notaries: $118,650 per year
  3. Information System Architects: $104,870 per year
  4. Software Engineers and Designers: $86,995 per year
  5. Pharmacists: $85,920 per year

Most people will not be surprised to learn that doctors, lawyers, and software engineers get paid well. We have all heard about the chronic shortage of doctors across Canada. And, getting the education needed to become a doctor or a lawyer takes longer and costs more than most other occupations. Yet I find several things quite interesting. For example, I was somewhat surprised by the pay gap between the top paying occupation (Doctors) and the second best paying one (Lawyers and Notaries): Doctors make more than double as much as lawyers.

Also, while this is not obvious from the consolidated numbers above, there are significant regional variances in the income outside of the healthcare sector. While doctors and pharmacists in BC get paid about the same as in Ontario, Ontario’s employers pay between 10% and 20% more to Lawyers and Software Engineers.

Finally, it is worth noting that there may be well paying occupations that are rarely advertised online (for example, dentists). There were also high paying sales occupations advertised online (especially for real estate agents and sales persons) but we removed them from our analysis, because the pay that they offer is mostly commission-based, and therefore highly variable (and difficult to compare with salaried occupations).

Employers: If You Want to Attract Talent, Reward Performance

  Early in my career, I managed a service delivery team at a large company. My team was a mix of recent hires and some long serving employees with a well established reputation for their competence and hard work. Although their job descriptions were quite similar, the long serving employees were paid significantly  better than the recent hires. This was the company’s way of showing appreciation for their proven talent and loyalty.
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Do Minimum Wage Increases Kill Jobs? Look at the Evidence and Judge for Yourself

When it comes to raising minimum wages, the argument of those opposed to the raises is most often that higher minimum wages kill jobs. The argument is straight-forward and makes sense: A higher minimum wage increases the cost of doing business for those employers who hire in minimum wage positions, pushing some of them out of business. A higher minimum wage also makes it less attractive for businesses to hire in minimum wage positions. If this is true, this should  mean that higher minimum wages  result in higher unemployment rate,  everything else being equal.

Statistics Canada just issued a study today (July 16, 2014)  titled “ The ups and downs of minimum wage, 1975  to  2013” where they have collected the historic minimum wage rates, which they have  adjusted for inflation. The data in this study (along with   Statistics Canada’s  unemployment rate statistics since 1976)  makes it possible to  compare unemployment trends  and minimum wage trends over the past 3 decades. So we did just that and produced the chart below overlaying the two data sets.

So does higher minimum wage kill jobs? Does a  lower minimum wage  encourage employers to create more jobs?  Look at the evidence and decide for yourself.

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Does Obsession with Leadership Skills Favour Fake Leaders?

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

Laozi, Chinese Philosopher.

People who are too pre-occupied with themselves  make lousy  leaders: They have a hard time motivating and inspiring others because they are  unwilling to acknowledge others’ efforts and accomplishments. History shows that,  when such people do manage to raise to leadership roles,  they  tend to be authoritarian, cause a great deal of damage, and are hostile to criticism.

For this reason, I believe that claiming to be a strong leader (and implicitly claiming credit for the successes of your whole team) is the best way to demonstrate that you aren’t one. So it seems counter-intuitive to me that boasting about one’s own strong leadership skills may help one’s career.

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5 Common Misconceptions about Hiring Demand Analysis from Online Job Postings

Controversy erupted this month around the quality of hiring demand data used by the Government of Canada to identify labour market trends. The data in question had been harvested from online job postings, leading some commenters to attack the viability of the practice.

Although Vicinity Jobs was not involved in preparing the reports in the centre of this controversy, we are one of the companies that pioneered the concept of using online job postings to analyze hiring demand trends. The practice is used widely by Economic Development professionals, and is based on a simple and very straight-forward premise: To find out what employers require, you need to look at their job postings.

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Canada’s Job Market Improved Slightly in March

Statistics Canada’s report for March 2014 is out. It registered a slight improvement in the job market situation in March, but points out that employment growth in Canada has been subdued for the last 6 months. Overall, in the 3 months before March, Canada’s labour market performance has been somewhat disappointing, so the fact that the economy created 43,000 new jobs in March is good news. Are things starting to turn around?

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Vicinity Jobs and Millier Dickinson Blais Partner With the District of Mission to Monitor Hiring Demand in BC’s Fraser Valley

BC’s Fraser Valley is an exciting place. It is growing up and going through an important demographic transformation: Not long ago, its economy was dominated by agricultural businesses. Today it is the place where much of BC’s population growth is occurring. This trend is likely to accellerate in the coming years, and the reason is quite simple: Being right next door to Vancouver and the US, the Fraser Valley has something that Vancouver doesn`t: Sufficient land that can be (and is being) developed to accommodate new businesses and residents.

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46,000 Jobs Lost in December: An Anomaly or the Beginning of a Trend?

written by Strac Ivanov, MBA, President of Vicinity Jobs Inc

The media buzz created by Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Market was hardly comforting. The economy lost 46,000 jobs in December and unemployment crept up 0.3 percentage points to 7.2% — making December one of 2013’s highest unemployment months (on par with March and April). In fact, it now seems that unemployment has hardly budged ever since reaching its current levels back in November 2012. Economists agree that Canada`s economy is not firing on all cylinders, so there should be room for the economy to grow faster, which should in turn result in employers hiring more and laying off less. The fact that this isn’t happening is a cause for concern.

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Employment Remained Steady in October but Job Quality May Have Declined

Written by Strac Ivanov, MBA, President and Co-Founder of Vicinity Jobs Inc

Economically and politically, October 2013 was a tough month, mired in uncertainty. The US government was shut down for more than half of it, as media was discussing the potential consequences of something most considered unimaginable until only a couple of months ago: A default by the US government. All this uncertainty seemed guaranteed to take its toll on the job market in both Canada and the US: Businesses tend to delay hiring when they are uncertain about where the economy is going.

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Ontario Employers Who Invest in Youth May Be Eligible for a Government-Funded Incentive

Written by Strac Ivanov, MBA, President and Co-founder of VicinityJobs.com

Our community partner Sheridan College just sent us information about a great incentive that the Ontario government offers through its Youth Employment Fund to employers who hire young workers – and Sheridan is delivering the program in Ontario’s Peel and Halton regions.

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