The Most In-demand and Highest Paying Jobs in Canada

The Most In-demand and Highest Paying Jobs in Canada

Last updated on 26th Sep 2020, Artciles, Blog

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Canada has made it easier and faster to apply for your visa to migrate to Canada by waiving minimum recruitment requirements for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications in these top-paying in demand unskilled occupations:

  • Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale (NOC 6331)
  • Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 7511)
  • Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC 8252)
  • General Farm Workers (NOC 8431)
  • Nursery and Greenhouse Workers (NOC 8432)
  • Harvesting labourers (NOC 8611)
  • Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 9463)
  • Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing (NOC 9617)
  • Labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 9618)
  • Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 9462)

Usually, employers have to advertise a position for approximately 3 months before they can consider employing foreign workers for the position, however, employers no longer have to do so due to the high demand for workers in these sectors. As an unskilled worker, you could stand to earn up to $77,903 per year!

Canada aims to invite 1 million newcomers to live and work in Canada by 2022 and has not shown any signs of slowing down, despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting an added strain on the country’s economy.

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1. Registered Nurse

When it comes to the most-needed jobs in Canada, nursing may very well top the list. Two major factors are driving the demand for more nurses. The first one is that baby boomers are reaching retirement age. As a result, it’s expected that more and more nurses who are a part of that generation will soon be retiring from their jobs. In 2016, the median age of registered nurses (RNs) in Canada was 42. So roughly half of the RN workforce is between about 42 and 65 years old. Plus, a substantial number of RNs retire before the age of 65. (The average retirement age was 62 in 2016.)

The second major factor that’s driving nursing demand is Canada’s overall aging population. Seniors and elderly people typically have higher health care needs than those in the younger generations. So, as baby boomers continue to age, it’s expected that the demand for medical care will grow, resulting in a number of new jobs. In fact, from 2017 to 2026, there could be a shortage of about 13,200 registered nurses across the country.

RNs are needed in every province and territory. For example, Ontario nursing associations report that hospitals in that province face about 10,000 vacancies for nursing positions. RNs are also increasingly important in Canada’s small, rural towns and remote communities. In areas where there is no or limited access to general physicians and family doctors, RNs often take on roles as primary care providers. So this job is certainly an option that can offer a lot of opportunity in almost every corner of the country.

  • Total job openings—157,100
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—All except Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, where demand is fair
  • Median hourly wage—$37.60
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor’s degree and registration with a provincial or territorial regulatory authority

2. Truck Driver

The Canadian economy relies on truck drivers, but there may not be enough young adults entering the trucking industry in order to fill the gap from retiring workers. In 2016, the median age of transport truck drivers was 46 years old. So approximately half of the truck-driving workforce is between the age of 46 and 65. That means a substantial number of workers will be retiring in the coming decades. It’s why the country could short almost 11,500 truckers during the period from 2017 to 2026.

Truck driving is near the top of the list for careers in demand in BC. WorkBC predicts that the province could have about 13,336 truck driver job openings from 2019 to 2029. And that’s just one province. Canada is a large country. Dedicated transport truck drivers are needed almost everywhere to haul commercial goods from coast to coast. It’s one of the most important jobs in demand.

All Canadians’ lives are affected by truck drivers. However, some areas depend on truck drivers much more than others. For example, some parts of the country are very remote. Residents in those areas often count on truck drivers to bring them important products like food and clothing. So, by becoming a truck driver, you can take on an essential role in helping to keep the country thriving and connected.

  • Total job openings—114,700
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—PEI, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, BC, and Yukon
  • Median hourly wage—$21.67
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Alberta
  • Typical entry-level education—Completion of truck driver training; must also obtain appropriate licensing and endorsements

3. College or Vocational Instructor

Instructing at the college and vocational level is another one of the careers in demand in Canada thanks, in large part, to growing retirement rates among the current workforce. According to 2016 data, half of the workforce is over the age of 46, and many instructors retire around 64 years old. During the 2017-to-2026 period, the country could be short about 3,500 instructors. And that number could grow as provincial and federal governments continue to bolster the post-secondary system.

College and vocational instructors teach at public and private institutions that provide academic, technical, and vocational programs. You could teach anything from beauty to criminal justice to culinary arts to design.

You’ll find that the education and experience requirements to be a teacher will vary greatly depending on the work setting. An academic-focused institution will likely require you to have a master’s degree, whereas a vocational-focused institution may accept a diploma or bachelor’s degree as long as you have extensive and relevant industry experience. So it’s important to identify your career goals early on to be sure that you are pursuing the best education and work experience opportunities.

  • Total job openings—42,600
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Ontario, Quebec, and BC
  • Median hourly wage—$37.93
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Alberta
  • Typical entry-level education—Ranges from diploma (combined with related industry experience) to master’s degree

4. Business Management Consultant

In an expanding global marketplace that’s becoming increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be lean and productive. In order to achieve that goal, businesses often hire management consultants to help them. Due to an expected increase in the demand for professional consulting services, combined with workers retiring and transitioning to other positions, management consulting is one of the top jobs in demand.

The number of retirements in this sector is expected to be higher than average through 2026. That’s great news for someone like you who would like to work as a business management consultant. And there are several ways that you can prepare to do so. Many people start out by earning a business-related degree and then gain experience by working in a variety of different industries and positions. But management consultants can also benefit from having training in areas like technology or travel, tourism, and hospitality, depending on the areas in which they want to specialize. So you really could have a lot of options.

  • Total job openings—39,900
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—BC, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, Quebec, and Saskatchewan
  • Median hourly wage—$36.55
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC
  • Typical entry-level education—Business-related diploma or bachelor’s degree, combined with relevant industry experience

5. Welder

Welding is one of the jobs in high demand, largely due to new job growth rather than retirement rates. After all, the welding workforce is a little younger than many others. (The median age of welders in 2016 was 39 years old.) So the current retirement rate in welding isn’t quite as high as in many other career fields.

Due to ongoing advancements in the manufacturing sector, welders who have high-level skills are likely to enjoy better job opportunities than those with only basic abilities. Welders who possess fitting skills, can use a variety of techniques (like FCAW, GMAW, GTAW, and SMAW), and can read plans and blueprints are expected to be in the highest demand.

  • Total job openings—24,000
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—BC and PEI
  • Median hourly wage—$25.00
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and BC
  • Typical entry-level education—Completion of vocational training or an apprenticeship program; trade certification may also be required

6. Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed practical nursing is up near the top of the list of the most in-demand jobs in the country—for the same reasons as registered nursing. An aging population is placing more demands on the health care system, and a retiring workforce is creating a need to replace workers.

Although the licensed practical nurse (LPN) workforce is younger than the RN one, a growing number of retirements is still expected in the coming years. In fact, from 2017 to 2026, about 4,300 LPN jobs could go unfilled across the country due to a labour shortage. So, if you want to make a difference and play an important role in the delivery of high-quality health care, then becoming an LPN could be an incredible opportunity.

  • Total job openings—32,400
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—BC, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Quebec, and Alberta
  • Median hourly wage—$26.30
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma and registration with a provincial or territorial regulatory authority

7. Occupational or Physiotherapy Assistant

Careers in Demand in Canada

Overall, the senior and elderly population is living longer. And many of those Canadians want to enjoy healthy lifestyles for as long as possible. Occupational and physiotherapy assistants often play a part in making that happen. Additionally, hospitals have moved toward outpatient care models in order to free up beds, so they frequently offer occupational therapy and physiotherapy services as a part of that strategy.

Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and their assistants perform important work that helps people manage movement, mobility, and life-skills issues resulting from injuries, diseases, and other physical or mental conditions. You could take on a critical role that helps people live more comfortably, improve or maintain their mobility, or even extend the time in which they are able to live more independently. It’s a good vocational field to consider because occupational and physiotherapy assisting is regarded as one of the future careers in demand. As the population ages, the need for such services is only expected to increase.

(Note that, when looking at total job openings, occupational and physiotherapy assistants are included in a larger occupational category that includes other therapeutic assistants such as audiology technicians, massage therapists, and speech therapy aides.)

  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan
  • Median hourly wage—$23
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma

8. Software Engineer or Designer

Are you trying to figure out what technical careers are in demand? Well, software engineering and design is definitely one of them. Almost 21,000 jobs are expected to be created in software engineering between 2017 and 2026. Some of those openings will be due to the need to replace workers who move into management, sales, or higher-level engineering positions. But most of them will be due to new job creation.

Anticipated growth in the computer, telecommunications, and mobile technology sectors is expected to fuel the demand for software engineers and developers. Additionally, growth in sectors like machinery and equipment manufacturing could further drive the demand. As a result, you may be able to pursue a lot of potential opportunities in a high-tech career related to the design and development of software systems and applications.

  • Total job openings—20,700
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Saskatchewan, PEI, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and BC
  • Median hourly wage—$43.27
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Alberta, Ontario, and Manitoba
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor’s degree
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9. Aerospace Engineer

If you are searching for high-paying careers in demand, then aerospace engineering could be what you’re looking for. The aerospace engineering labour pool could be short an incredible 3,900 workers during the period from 2017 to 2026. Along with industry growth, jobs could also open up due to workers retiring, being promoted, and moving on to other positions.

As Canada’s fleets of aircraft age and tighter environmental and security regulations come into place, it’s expected that the demand for updated aircraft will increase. So now may be a great time for you to join the aerospace engineering industry. As the brains behind aerospace systems, vehicles, and their components, you could have responsibilities related to research, design, development, installation, testing, and maintenance.

  • Total job openings—17,000
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec
  • Median hourly wage—$39.42
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor’s degree and possibly provincial or territorial licensing

10. Industrial Electrician

Electricians enjoy some of the best jobs in the skilled trades. Industrial electricians, in particular, are in high demand. In fact, from 2017 to 2026, up to 1,200 industrial electrician jobs could go unfilled because of a lack of qualified workers. That’s due to a combination of workers retiring, taking promotions, and moving on to other electrician positions and different careers.

As mining, gas operations, and manufacturing become more automated, more industries rely on industrial electricians. That could be beneficial for people like you who want to begin industrial electrician careers. You can prepare to take on the important job of installing, testing, maintaining, and repairing industrial machines and equipment.

  • Total job openings—14,500 (includes power system electricians)
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Nova Scotia, PEI, and Ontario
  • Median hourly wage—$33.19
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC
  • Typical entry-level education—Completion of vocational training or an apprenticeship program; trade certification may also be required

11. Aircraft Pilot

Join the ranks of air pilots in Canada who enjoy some of the highest-paying, in-demand jobs in the country. As of 2016, the median age of pilots was 45 years old. Since many workers retire by the age of 61, it’s expected that a number of jobs will soon become available. From 2017 to 2026, up to 4,500 positions may not get filled due to a lack of skilled workers. (That estimate includes pilots as well as air traffic, marine, and railway controllers.)

There are many opportunities to work as a pilot in Canada. Many pilots work for small, medium, and large commercial airlines flying domestically and internationally. Others choose to work as helicopter pilots. And some work as bush pilots, transporting people and delivering goods to Canada’s most remote locations. So, aside from private and commercial airlines, there are also opportunities available in the adventure travel, mining, logging, firefighting, and medical sectors.

(Note that, when looking at total job openings, pilots are categorized in a larger air transportation occupational group that includes engineers and officers from the marine and rail sectors.)

  • Total job openings—14,200
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, BC, and Yukon
  • Median hourly wage—$38.81
  • Typical entry-level education—Completion of pilot training; must also obtain appropriate pilot licensing

12. Pharmacist

As the aging population requires more pharmaceutical help to stay healthy, and an increasing number of retail stores offer pharmacy services (many on a 24-hour basis), the demand for qualified pharmacists in Canada will continue to grow. Another factor driving demand is the fact that many workers in this field are set to retire in the coming years. In fact, the Government of Canada’s Job Bank reports that 43 percent of the 15,000 job openings for pharmacists between 2017 and 2026 will come from retirements.

Pharmacists are drug experts who play a critical role in patient education. They supervise the dispensing of medications and counsel patients on the use of each drug. Their role has expanded in recent years, with some provinces allowing pharmacists to renew prescriptions or even prescribe certain medications. This is a field with enormous potential in Canada over the next few years.

  • Total job openings—15,000
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC
  • Median hourly wage—$50.31
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba
  • Typical entry-level education— Bachelor’s degree and registration with a provincial or territorial regulatory authority

13. Psychologist

With more attention being paid to issues of mental health and wellness in all sectors of the population, psychologists will have one of the most in-demand jobs in Canada for the next five years. In fact, government projections show that as many as 1,100 jobs may go unfilled between 2017 and 2026 due to a shortage of trained psychologists.

By entering this in-demand career, you could offer counselling and therapy to people struggling with depression, anxiety, and other chronic neurological conditions. You could also choose from a wide range of specialties, including child psychology, behavioural psychology, or cognitive psychology.

  • Total job openings—16,500
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC
  • Median hourly wage—$40.00
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Nova Scotia
  • Typical entry-level education—Master’s or doctoral degree

14. Steamfitter or Pipefitter

As factories and other industrial facilities update and retrofit their piping systems, start new industrial construction projects, and upgrade their sprinkler systems, steamfitters and pipefitters should continue to enjoy in-demand jobs. Some employers report that it’s difficult to find qualified workers right now. Plus, it’s expected that the ongoing retirements of steamfitters and pipefitters will add to the hiring difficulties already being experienced.

Now may be an ideal time for you to learn the trade so that you can work with sprinkler systems and piping systems that carry all kinds of substances, including chemicals, fuel, steam, and water. Your responsibilities could include laying out, fabricating, assembling, maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing a variety of systems.

  • Total job openings—7,100
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Ontario
  • Median hourly wage—$36
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Saskatchewan, Alberta, and PEI
  • Typical entry-level education— Completion of vocational training or an apprenticeship program; trade certification may also be required

15. Construction Estimator

BuildForce Canada predicts that although the record growth of recent years may slow down, new construction projects in Canada are expected to continue at a moderate rate across the country. That means continued opportunities for cost estimators. Half of the construction estimator workforce is over the age of 43, and many estimators retire by the time they are 64 years old.

Companies are recognizing the growing importance of having effective cost controls in place in order to manage their bottom lines. And that’s exactly what construction estimators help them do. By taking on one of the high-demand professions in Canada, you can assess costs and prepare estimates and budgets for a variety of construction projects related to areas like architectural, electrical, mechanical, structural, and civil engineering.

  • Total job openings—6,400
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—BC, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec
  • Median hourly wage—$31.25
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma; Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) certification may be required
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16. Veterinary Technician or Assistant

The animal health care workforce is a little younger than many others. In 2016, the median age of animal health workers was 33 years old. So a lot of employment growth in the field will be due to new job creation in addition to a small number of workers retiring and others leaving for different positions.

People love their pets. Canadians are willing to spend more money on them than ever before in order to ensure that they are healthy and well cared for. In 2018 alone, Canadians collectively spent more than $8.8 billion on their pets. So now may be an excellent time for you to join the animal care field and put your passion for animals to work.

  • Total job openings—5,500
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Quebec, Ontario, and BC
  • Median hourly wage—$18
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Alberta, PEI, and Manitoba
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma; registration with a national, provincial, or territorial association may be required

17. Dispensing Optician

A growing demand for optical products has directly resulted in an increased need for dispensing opticians. Plus, the marketplace is highly competitive, so optometrists and optical clinics and stores find it important to have knowledgeable and friendly dispensing opticians who can help them attract and retain customers. It’s also anticipated that, because of a growing and aging population, the demand for eyewear will increase. And that could lead to a labour shortage of 600 dispensing opticians.

As a dispensing optician, you could work in eye care offices, clinics, and retail outlets while assisting clients with their prescription eyewear and contact lenses. Your duties may include selecting, ordering, and fitting those products as well as mounting lenses into frames. Such tasks were often assigned to administrative assistants in the past, but growing recognition of the importance of properly trained dispensing opticians has changed that, which has helped increase the demand.

  • Total job openings—5,700
  • Highest-demand provinces and territories—Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC
  • Median hourly wage—$24.00
  • Highest-paying provinces and territories—Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma and licensing from a provincial or territorial regulatory body

How Much Do Unskilled Labourers Earn in Canada in 2020?

Hands holding us dollar bills and small money pouch | jobs in Canada

Canada has a wide variety of jobs available, so much so that the Government has dedicated specific Canadian immigration programs and systems to make it easier for unskilled foreign workers to live and work in Canada. Canada’s farming sector is one of the top labour sectors in Canada and invites roughly 60,000 foreign workers to migrate to Canada. There are, however, still 15,000 jobs in Canada’s farming sector available that need to be filled.

Here are 10 of the most in-demand unskilled jobs in Canada in 2020:

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Canada for Unskilled Workers in 2020
OccupationAverage Salary per Year
1. Truck drivers$45,825 – $77,903
2. Industrial Butcher$38,123 – $45,045
3. Farm Supervisor$35,939 – $49,286
4. Fishmonger$29,250 – $44,850
5. Farm worker$27,300 – $46,410
6. Nursery and Greenhouse Workers$27,300 – $29,250
7. Harvesting Labourer$27,300 – $27,690
8. Fish and Seafood Worker$25,350 – $29,908
9. Fish Plant Worker$25,350 – $29,908
10. Food and Beverage Server$24,668 – $30,377

How Do I Apply for Unskilled Work in Canada in 2020?

Most foreign workers will require a work permit to live and work in Canada. There are different ways to immigrate to Canada, depending on your occupation as well as the province or territory you choose to live and work in Canada. Below are some of the top ways to make your way to Canada as an unskilled worker.

Truck drivers


The best way to migrate to Canada as a truck driver is through the Provincial Nominee Program Certain provinces need truck drivers more than others and have therefore devoted specific immigration streams to make the Canadian visa application process easier.

The top 3 PNPs for truck drivers are:

  • AINP (Alberta Provincial Nominee Program
  • OINP(Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program)
  • Saskatchewan INP (Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program)

Another option is The Atlantic Immigration Pilot – Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program. This will allow you to live and work in Canada on a temporary basis in one of Canada Atlantic provinces and gain valuable work experience and claim permanent residency (PR) points.



There are 2 main ways to apply to temporarily live and work in Canada as a farmworker.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWAP) foreign worker with farm work experience from one of 11 participating countries in the Caribbean as well as Mexico. You will be able to work on various farms if you apply to migrate to Canada through the SAWAP. This means that you can apply for an open work permit.

It is, however, important to note that you can only work for one employer at a time or in other words, you are not allowed to have multiple jobs at any given moment.

Agri-Food Pilot

The Agri-food Pilot, which is set to launch in May 2020, allows you to migrate to Canada in the agricultural as well as meat manufacturing and animal production sectors. You will need at least 1 year of non-seasonal work experience as well as an offer for a valid full-time job in Canada. There are also certain language, financial and secondary education requirements that need to be met.

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Meat Processing

The best ways to migrate to Canada as a butcher, meat cutter or fishmonger are:

  • Express Entry linked PNPs
  • The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RINP);
  • The Agri-Food Pilot;
  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot – Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program.

Food and Beverage Servers

To migrate to Canada as a food and beverage server you can apply through these top immigration options:

  • Express Entry linked PNPs
  • The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RINP);
  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot – Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program.

Remember a work permit allows you to live and work in Canada and does not allow you to enter the country. You will either need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to legally arrive in Canada.

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