The Canadian labor market is a beacon of lucrative employment opportunities across various industries — a reality that is made possible through the country’s relatively stable political system, strong and optimistic economic growth, range of immigration pathways, and commitment to promoting innovation. These factors not only consistently position Canada among the best countries for job opportunities but also contribute significantly to the country’s standing in terms of career growth and — as we will discuss in this article — annual earnings for international graduates.
International Migration Accounted for Nearly All Growth Between July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023
Immigrants are responsible for close to all (98 percent) of the population growth that took place in the span of a year, between July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023.
This shows their importance in the Canadian labor market, as young immigrants are providing a replacement for the retiring Canadian population.
Ottawa acknowledges this need, having set the immigration targets at a historic high of nearly 500,000 per year from 2024 to 2026.
As Canada becomes richer in opportunities for immigrants, it is crucial for skilled workers to understand their earning potential.
In this article, we will highlight the top ten highest earning professions in Canada for 2024.
1. Medical Anesthesiologist (NOC 31100)
Annual average base salary: $391,568
Healthcare leads the list, with medical anesthesiologists enjoying the highest earning potential in Canada for the coming year.
The Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society defines them as “doctors who administer the drugs that prevent patients from feeling pain or sensation during surgery. But that’s not all that these specialists do. They are responsible for the well-being of the patient before, during, and after surgery.”
Before the surgery, they meet with patients to assess their medical history, conduct any requisite exams, and decide on the anesthetic to be used. Decisions on anesthetics are based on the type of surgery and the patient’s health.
They are also responsible for monitoring patients during surgery, and observing the patient to make sure they are responsive to any emergencies. Afterwards, they are responsible for safely awakening the patient from anesthesia and, if needed, prescribing pain-reliving medication.
2. Cardiologist (NOC 31100)
Annual average base salary: $386,757
Cardiologists diagnose, assess, and treat patients with defects and diseases of the heart and the blood vessels; overall, they are doctors of the cardiovascular system.
They work with either an independent practice or a medical institution.
Some responsibilities under this profession are:
- Assessing new patients via a medical interview
- Ordering test to confirm suspected conditions
- Diagnosing patients via lab and test results
- Designing a treatment plan for all patients
- Prescribing appropriate medications and therapies to patients
- Coordinating with patients PCP and Surgeon
- Providing ongoing care and checkups on all patients
- Pursuing ongoing and continuing education to stay on top of the latest research findings
3. Surgeon (NOC 31101)
Annual average base salary: $378,634
Surgeons are types of physicians who perform surgical procedures on patients to treat a variety of illnesses. They can perform general surgery, but many specialize in a specific area of medicine, writes Indeed.
While their primary duty is operating on patients, they have other responsibilities as well, including examining patients to diagnose whether they need surgery, creating a surgical and treatment plan based on the patient’s medical history, and researching new surgical techniques.
4. Psychiatrist (NOC 31100)
Annual average base salary: $333,976
Psychiatry, according to the Canadian Medical Association, is the medical specialty that deals with the diseases of the mind.
Psychiatric patients have illnesses and problems that require a comprehensive biological, psychological, and social evaluation to understand their illnesses and needs. This is provided by a psychiatrist, who comprehensively assesses the patient, diagnoses them, and creates a treatment plan for their care and rehabilitation.
Psychiatrists work in different setting, and their roles might vary in each.
For example, a psychiatrist at a general hospital would be responsible for the care and treatment of psychiatric inpatients, and providing consultation and liaison to the medical/surgical units and patients.
A psychiatrist working at a community office practice, on the other hand, would place emphasis on working individually with a patient using a multitude of management, rehabilitative, and psychotherapeutic techniques.
5. Orthodontist (NOC 31110)
Annual average base salary: $269,126
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists defines these professionals as dentists who have completed an additional two to three years of university education to specialize in orthodontic treatment.
“Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.”
“The technical term for these problems is ‘malocclusion,’ which means ‘bad bite.’ The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips, and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.”
Orthodontists are different from dentists, however, as they are specialists in diagnosis. They first become dentists through a 4-year dental school training at a school or institution accredited by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), following which they must complete a two-to-three-years’ master’s program, accredited by the CDA, for advanced education specializing in orthodontic treatment.
6. Controller (NOC 00012)
Annual average base salary: $207,155
Financial controllers are eyeing very optimistic pay trends in 2024. Their role as the leader of the accounting team puts them at the forefront of a company’s financial health, where they maintain, manage, and analyze financial statements, payroll, budgets, tax compliance issues, etc.
As per LinkedIn Business, a financial controller’s salary varies based on company size. While they often supervise a team of accountants and report to the CFO in a large corporate setting, they may be the sole accountant at a smaller firm, working with clerks and reporting to the owner or CEO.
7. Cloud architect (NOC 21231)
Annual average base salary: $147,474
A cloud architect is an IT professional who oversees a company’s cloud computing strategy, including cloud adoption plans, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring.
These individuals oversee application architecture and deployment in cloud environments, including public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
They may also be involved in certain legal areas of cloud computing and may negotiate contracts and work with legal and procurement departments.
8. Software Engineering Manager (NOC 20012)
Annual average base salary: $143,044
Software engineering managers are the leaders of software program and application development and creation. They will also be the contact point for different departments to ensure that qualifications of the application are met.
Not only do they need to have a technical understanding of applications but they also need to be able to explain the same to other company executives in simplified language.
9. Data scientist (NOC 21211)
Annual average base salary: $134,960
LinkedIn Business outlines a data scientist’s duties as involving the extraction of meaning from and interpreting data.
This requires the aid of statistical methods and machinery, but “largely relies on analytical brain power.”
Raw data’s unreliability calls for data scientists to use their technical expertise and clean, collect, and validate their data through a process requiring persistence and software engineering skills.
They understand data, find patterns, and use their knowledge to help build and improve a company’s products or services.
10. Corporate Lawyer (NOC 41101)
Annual average base salary: $109,631
This space of law deals with the “formation, governance, and operations of corporations and how shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other stakeholders interact with a corporation and one another,” according to Best Lawyers.
Corporate lawyers thus concern themselves with the laws governing the incorporation, dissolution, and registration of corporations, which may be formed under Canadian federal or provincial laws.