Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (2023)

General Interest

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Last Updated: May 10, 2022

By: Allard John Keeley

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Are you on the hunt for a well-paying job in Canada but lack a college or university degree or diploma? Do not despair! There are jobs out there that just be for you. Let’s find out a little more about what kind of work might be available for people without post-secondary education.

Are you on the hunt for a well-paying job in Canada but lack a college or university degree or diploma? Do not despair! There are jobs out there that just be for you. Let’s find out a little more about what kind of work might be available for people without post-secondary education.

Are you on the hunt for a well-paying job in Canada but lack a college or university degree or diploma? Do not despair! There are jobs out there that just be for you. Let’s find out a little more about what kind of work might be available for people without post-secondary education.

While Express Entry tends to focus more on skilled workers requiring some form of post-secondary education – whether a diploma, degree, or certificate in some cases – there are jobs in Canada that pay relatively well and do not require tertiary education. These are generally classified as a Skill level C by the NOC (National Occupational Classification). Some of these jobs are eligible for certain provincial nominee programs so you could still get permanent residence after working in them for a year. Also, there are some Skill level B jobs which also don’t require tertiary education but do require some form of apprenticeship or certification.

Consider the following table based on NOC classification standards:

Skill levelNature of Education/Training
B – Occupations that usually require college education; specialized training; apprenticeship training
  • 2 to 3 years post-secondary education OR
  • 2 to 5 years apprenticeship training OR
  • 3 to 4 years secondary school and on-the-job training/job experience/training courses
C – Occupations that usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific trainingSome secondary school education with up to 2 years of on-the-job training/work experience/training courses
D – On-the-job training normally givenNo formal education requirements with some on-the-job training

Given this overall classification, what kind of jobs can you expect to earn a decent wage without having tertiary education?


Yes, we all know that long-distance truck drivers earn a good wage – as long as you pass provincial requirements. And we also know that it can be very demanding work with lots of hours on the road and if you own your own truck, it’s a second mortgage you’re paying off along with any loan you might have on your home. But how about some other jobs with salaries above what you earn as a janitor or a salesperson in a retail shop? What possibilities are out there?

First, we used the NOCs website to hunt down jobs at C (or sometimes B) skill levels. We found that unskilled jobs (level D) had noticeably lower average wages, so they didn’t make the grade.

We then used for average salaries even though it’s more U.S. based, because it also has figures for Canada.

Then we cross-checked our numbers to find which jobs were more attractive salary-wise. (Even if some of them are riskier occupations, seeing we’re looking at wages rather than quality of life which would include health and safety concerns.)

It’s time for:

13 Jobs That Don’t Require Post-Secondary Education

Many of them pay pretty well.

13. Library Assistant

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (3)

[Public Domain]

  • Average wage: $13.50/hour
  • Top wage: $19.50/hour

This is not the type of job where you have to worry about your health and safety, unless rows of periodicals give you claustrophobia. The wage is clearly less than many of the remaining jobs but for someone looking for a quite well-paying entry-level job, this is not a bad choice at all. And if you get a related degree, you can become a full-fledged librarian at some point in the future.

But for now, you’ll be doing things like issuing, receiving, sorting, and re-shelving books, periodicals and other material along with the joy of updating electronic files. Who knows? You might even have to write on a smooth surface made from wood chips and pulp. (It’s called paper by the way…) And yes, you’ll have to deal with people too.

12. Home Support Worker

  • Average wage: $14.00/hour
  • Top wage: $19.00/hour

This is another job you can do with only secondary education, though some employers might ask for additional requirements like a post-secondary course in home support or first-aid certification.

But with Canada’s aging population it’s clear that this is a job for which demand will only be going up over the next decade or two. And it’s one of those jobs which is probably automation-proof.

The average wage is a few dollars better than the lower-ranking unskilled jobs like a cashier, and if you can earn closer to the top wage of $19.00 per hour, it’s not a bad salary at all, especially if you’re willing to put in longer hours.

It can be demanding physically and even a little draining emotionally, but if you’re up to the challenges of the job, it’s one many new Canadians have been eager to do.

11. Live-in Caregiver

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (4)

[Public Domain]

  • Average wage: $12.00/hour
  • Top wage: $18.00/hour

The requirements are almost identical to those of a home support worker, but with a key difference that you aren’t paying full rent for an apartment as you will normally pay rent for only the private room you will be given in the home you are working in.

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That means that even though your wage is slightly lower than the average home support worker, you likely come out a little ahead, especially on cost of food. In other words, more of your paycheque goes to your savings rather than towards your expenses.

Again, this is not a job for everyone, but it has plenty of takers and there is such a demand in Canada for live-in caregivers that IRCC has set up the Live-in Caregiver Program (or LCP) to help that need with foreign workers. And, even more so than a home support worker, this job is automation-proof.

10. Heavy Equipment Operator

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (5)

[Public Domain]

  • Average wage: $15.50/hour
  • Top wage: $20.50/hour

You need at least some secondary education as well as a year or two apprenticeship and/or on-the-job training. Trade certification is only compulsory in Quebec but available on a voluntary basis in other provinces. There is also a Red Seal endorsement once you have gained a certain amount of experience and complete what is called the Interprovincial Red Seal examination.

So yes, experience helps you get in the door on this job, but aside from apprenticeship or certifications (which are voluntary) you really only need a high school diploma and sometimes you may not even need that depending on your experience.

And if you’re willing to put in some overtime, this can be a reasonably well-paying job.

9. Yard foreperson railway

  • Average wage: $16.50/hour
  • Top wage: $23.25/hour

Did you like to play with toy trains as a kid? Here’s your chance to play with real, live ones filled with cargo and occasionally a few passenger trains as well.

You need a high school diploma but what you really need is experience with railways as well as a certificate or two from the railway industry in Canada that shows you have the knowledge and experience to manage a railway yard.

But with a few years experience and some hard work, this job is attainable to anyone who really likes trains and enjoys the demanding work that is part of managing a rail yard. And wages with overtime can sometimes run much higher than our conservative estimates shown above. Sound interesting?

8. Chain saw and Skidder operators

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (6)

[Public Domain]

  • Average wage: $16.50/hour
  • Top wages: $25.75/hour

Make no mistake: this is dangerous and dirty work.

You need some high school education and you may need certification or other workplace training – including WHMIS or workplace hazardous material information system training. First aid certification is often required for obvious reasons. And though being airlifted out of a forest in the interior of BC with some deep gashes on your limbs to the nearest emergency centre might sound exciting, it’s not something you’d want to experience.

Are you ready to take on that type of risk? Then the money’s pretty good, all things considered.

7. Dump Truck Driver

  • Average wage: $17.50/hour
  • Top wage: $24.25/hour

Not quite as dangerous as operating a heavy-duty chainsaw, you can still do damage with a dump truck – but not to yourself unless you like speeding down the 401 in the middle of snowstorm in order to get to your work site early.

You’ll need secondary school and you’ll be required to do an accreditation course for driver training through a local college or institute which takes about 2 or 3 months. You’ll have to get your truck-driving license – for example: Class 3(or D) or Class 1 (or A). And you might have to get a Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) certification, depending on your specific job.

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Good wages, steady work. But you have to enjoy driving bulky vehicles and be able to do it skillfully.

6. School Bus Driver

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (7)

[Public Domain]

  • Average wage: $19.50/hour
  • Top wage: $35.00/hour

The requirements are generally the same as any truck driver although as a school bus driver you will have a somewhat different set of responsibilities – including the safe care of dozens of kids that drive you crazy. You will also often have to take a job-specific training course.

For example, in Ontario the MTO (provincial ministry of transport) requires you to take what is called a School Bus Driver Improvement Course (SBDIC) that covers everything from licensing and legislative aspects to driver fatigue and strategic driving techniques. Relax, the course minimum time is 6.5 hours. So maybe you’ll end up doing four 2-hour classes and then you’ll have to take an exam. In other words, it will take only a few days or maybe a week.

But you only need a secondary education to get started on the course. Of course, you will also need a class B or E license (school bus driver license) in Ontario, or its equivalent in other provinces.

And as you can see, the wages are more than reasonable.

5. Oil Rig Technician

  • Average wage: $22.50/hour
  • Top wage: $32.00/hour

Oil workers in general are well paid but this is another occupation that can be risky.

Secondary school is required along with at least a year of introductory job experience – for example, working as what is called a floorhand. Then you have certification depending on your specific job and employer, as well as some training courses you may have to take.

As well, you may end up working in remote areas and living in a trailer with shared quarters for months at a time.

The money is good, however, and that is always a top incentive.

4. Mine worker

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (8)

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  • Average wage: $23.75/hour
  • Top wage: $34.00/hour

The actual jobs in mining go by many names and involve somewhat different tasks – from backfiller to crusher operator to skip tender to about a dozen more specific job titles.

As in the oil industry, they require a secondary diploma as well as on-the-job training/courses and may often require certification at some point. A key requirement is at least 1 year of previous experience as a mine labourer which is how you get in on the ground floor.

Again, this can be dangerous work although mining is not what it used to be decades ago, standards and technology have improved greatly over the years. Still, it’s not the type of work for someone who dislikes uncomfortable and even risky environments.

Wages are very good, needless to say.

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3. Longshore Worker

  • Average wage: $27.00/hour
  • Top wage: $45.00/hour

This is one of the best trade-offs in terms of requirements and pay. You only need high school and some on-the-job training in most cases.

However, this is already a fairly well-known fact and that means it’s not an easy occupation to break into. As ports mechanize, the need for workers as opposed to equipment or crane operators will continue to fall.

Nonetheless, any port will always require at least some dock workers to make sure the unloading and loading of cargo proceeds smoothly and to fix problems when it doesn’t.

Great work, if you can get it.

2. Private Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)

  • Average wage: $43k per year
  • Top wage: $52.5k per year

Yes, this is clearly one of the riskiest jobs you can take on, but not always. And a part of the requirements is that you have to be a Canadian citizen, as well as have completed grade 10 of high school.

Here’s what the government says about pay rates for the CAF:

Pay rates for non-commissioned members (NCMs) of the Regular Force and Reservists on Class C service are listed below by rank, within each occupation groups. These are monthly pay rates and they are the latest rates available as of 2017 unless stated otherwise.
Within each rank there are a number of pay increments (PI) which represent automatic annual increases in pay to recognize advancements in experience, skill and knowledge. Some ranks have several pay levels based on entry plans to the Canadian Armed Forces. See
pay overviewfor information on the factors that determine pay rates.

That means that as a private, after you have accumulated a few years of experience and acquired some specialized skills you can earn over $4k per month. That’s not bad at all and yes, you do get to travel although the destinations might not always be most comfortable of places. Can you handle it?

Then a job is waiting for you at the CAF.

1. Video game Tester

Top 13 High Paying Jobs in Canada Without a Degree (9)

[Public Domain]

  • Average wage: $30k per year
  • Top wage: $31.2k per year

Ok, so these aren’t the best wages by far in our list. But for all you fanatic gamers out there, is there anything better in the world than being PAID to play new video games BEFORE they’re even released to the public? AND to complain about what’s wrong with these games?

But here’s the thing: it helps to have some technical skills like video game developer skills, but it’s not a necessity. You have to understand how to find bugs in a video game so an understanding of how games are developed helps.

You also need soft skills like good communication abilities and a focused ability to meet deadlines while working on your own. You need a high school degree and many video game companies might want people with certain skills But at the same time they need young enthusiastic gamers to test their games because that’s the demographic they need to sell to.

One word of caution: there are lots of seeming must-have courses out there which may help you but are often over-priced and often under-deliver. Like in any video game, watch out for scams or you will be zapped!

Figure Out Which Province is Best for Your Lower Skilled Work Experience

A parting word of caution: If you are not yet a PR, you need to think seriously as to both which of these jobs you work in and where you work. Not all PNPs are equal.

(Video) Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Unskilled workers in Canada 2020|WITHOUT Degree JOBS IN CANADA|


What jobs can I get without a degree in Canada? ›

1,000+ No Degree Jobs in Canada (97 new)
  • Technology Trainee. Technology Trainee. ...
  • Financial Analyst, FP&A. Financial Analyst, FP&A. ...
  • Entry Level Customer Service. Entry Level Customer Service. ...
  • Business Analyst I. ...
  • Purchasing Agent. ...
  • Purchasing Agent. ...
  • Canada - ESL Instructor - Toronto Montreal. ...
  • Entry Level Junior Project Manager.

What is the highest paying career without having a degree? ›

Here are the highest paying jobs without a college degree:
  • Patrol Officer.
  • Executive Assistant.
  • Flight Attendant.
  • Sales Representative.
  • Sound Engineering Technician.
  • Electrician.
  • Plumber.

What are the easiest high paying jobs in Canada? ›

Easy Jobs That Pay Well in Canada
  • Software or Interactive Media Developer. ...
  • Computer Network Technician or Administrator. ...
  • Web Developer or Designer. ...
  • Graphic Designer. ...
  • Audio Engineer. ...
  • Garbage or Recycling Collector. ...
  • Hydrologist. ...
  • Mathematician or Actuary.
Mar 10, 2022

What jobs make 6 figures without a degree? ›

Six-figure jobs without a degree
  • Real estate agent. Real estate can be a lucrative line of work for the right person. ...
  • Construction management. Construction can be a lucrative industry, particularly for skilled laborers and managers. ...
  • Elevator/escalator installer. ...
  • Commercial pilot. ...
  • Web developer. ...
  • Honorable mentions.
Jan 3, 2022

What jobs make six figures? ›

The most popular jobs paying six-figures
  1. General and Operations Managers. Number of employees: 2,289,770.
  2. Software Developers and Programmers. Number of employees: 1,666,270. ...
  3. Physicians and Surgeons. ...
  4. Lawyers. ...
  5. Financial Managers. ...
  6. Financial Analysts and Advisors. ...
  7. Computer and Information Systems Managers. ...
  8. Sales Managers. ...

What is the most in demand job in Canada? ›

Most In-Demand Jobs In Canada
  • Electrical Engineer.
  • Aerospace Engineer.
  • Software Engineer.
  • Human Resources Manager.
  • Web Developer.
  • Veterinarian.
  • Recruiter.
  • Financial Advisor.

Is it hard to find a job in Canada without a degree? ›

Although most professional-level jobs in Canada require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, candidates without a degree can still receive a work visa as long as they acquire the skills, experience, education, language; and meet their chosen company's job requirements.

Which career is best in Canada? ›

Medical sciences. Being a doctor is probably the best-paid profession in Canada. Salaries can go as high as $300,000+ per year, especially for surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists, or anaesthesiologists.

How can I make big money without a college degree? ›

How to make money without a degree
  1. Invest in the stock market. If you are someone who is financially savvy, it's possible to make money in the stock market. ...
  2. Start your own business. ...
  3. Sell stuff online. ...
  4. Rent out your property. ...
  5. Start a consulting service. ...
  6. Take stock photography. ...
  7. Start a blog. ...
  8. Deliver food.
Jan 29, 2021

How much is 100k a year hourly? ›

$100,000 is $50.00 an hour.

$50.00 is the hourly wage a person who earns a $100,000 salary will make if they work 2,000 hours in a year for an average of 40 hours per week, with two weeks of total holidays. We take the annual salary of $100,000 and divide it by 2,000 to get to a $50.00 hourly rate.

What job pays $100 an hour without a degree? ›

Freelance photographer

Photographers who specialize in graphic design and art can be the most likely to earn $100 an hour, but they normally have about five years of experience in the field. Education requirements: You don't need formal education for this occupation, but a high school diploma or GED is recommended.

How can I make the most money without a college degree? ›

What Is the Highest-Paying Job Without a Degree?
  1. Commercial Pilots: $121,430.
  2. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers: $94,560.
  3. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $91,090.
  4. Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers: $85,950.
  5. Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers: $84,990.


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