10 professions for work in Canada without a degree

10 professions for work in Canada without a degree

It used to be thought that you could get a good job only with a college degree. I don't know what opinion prevails in your country now, but in Canada it is definitely not so.

According to statistics, only 30% of Canadian adults graduate from university. But not because they are stupid and don't want to study, but because there are so many types of post-secondary education in Canada. You don't have to go to high school and study for four or five years or more — many programs are only one or two years long, and that counts as a degree too, after which you become a professional and can get a good job. There are also courses that you can take in just a few months.

Many skilled trades that pay well in Canada can be filled without a college degree. Among them are IT specialists, workers, and even doctors, and the salaries of specialists are up to $85,000 CAD a year.

The Canadian financial portal MoneySense has published a list of 10 professions for which you don't need a college or university degree. You can work in these professions if you have similar experience or if you have completed specialized courses.

I will also give you the average salary for each specialty. I'll get the information from the Canadian job site Glassdoor. What makes it different is that the numbers there are based on anonymous feedback from workers, so you can trust them. All the amounts will be before taxes. It's hard enough to say how much you'll get on hand because each province has different taxes.

Web Developers

So the first profession is web developers. They earn an average of $61,000 CAD a year in Canada. Some developers take free or paid online courses, others take one— or two-year college programs and some do not study anywhere at all and figure it all out on their own. In Canada, you can get a web development degree in as little as three months, with courses costing around $15,000 CAD. But you can also study in your own country for much less.

By the way, web developers are one of the most in-demand professions for immigration to Canada, because it is suitable for many immigration programs.

UX and UI Designers

The next profession is UX and UI designers. They design the interfaces of websites and applications. In 2020, this profession was called one of the most in-demand professions around the world. Canada is no exception. As web designers, employers evaluate interface designers not by education, but by experience and portfolio. On average in Canada, such specialists earn about $73,500 CAD a year.

Cybersecurity Specialists

Then there are cybersecurity professionals. According to the Canadian Information and Communications Technology Council, between 40,000 and 50,000 cybersecurity jobs will need to be filled in the country by 2023, so the profession is also in demand. It can make $81,000 CAD a year, but it's not the highest-paying profession in the selection. Many professionals take basic information security courses and then learn on the job.

Next in the ranking will be more than just IT people. By the way, some trades professionals earn almost as much as cybersecurity specialists.

Data Analysts

The fourth profession is data analysts. This specialty is simply at the top of the popularity among Canadian employers because it was included in two rankings at once: in the top professions for immigration and in the 10 most in-demand remote professions in Canada. According to statistics, about 56,000 Canadians are working in this field right now, and their average salary is $62,000 CAD. I think you can find a huge number of courses in any country that teach you how to work with data.

Digital Marketers

The next profession is also very much in demand. They are digital marketers. They are also in the top 10 remote professions for 2022. There are expected to be more than 19,000 job openings in this profession in Canada over the next 7 years. Marketers on average are willing to pay $59,000 CAD per year, the lowest salary in the selection, but you have to agree it's not small. By the way, many professionals achieve management positions after regular digital marketing courses and on-the-job training.

Dental Hygienists

I think you're going to be very surprised now, and I was surprised too because next up are the dental hygienists. These are the ones who assess the condition of the teeth and do the cleanings. The dentists I've been to recommend that you get your teeth cleaned every six months. Such a procedure costs an average of $200-250 CAD.

In fact, you can't do it without an education at all, but you only have to study for two years for this profession, which is much faster than studying, for example, to become a doctor. After training, you will have to obtain a license. Such specialists earn an average of $84,000 CAD a year, and this is the highest income in my selection. It kind of hurts my feelings for IT people.


Another medical profession is sonographers. These are specialists who do ultrasounds, and they don't even need a license, unlike other medical professionals. As in the case of dental hygienists, it is enough to study in a two-year program. In terms of salary, you can expect somewhere around $83,000 CAD a year. So medics who want to immigrate to Canada and continue working in health care, think twice.

Heavy Equipment Operators

Heavy equipment operators earn a little less — $75,500 CAD a year. It is considered one of the most lucrative working professions, but next on the list is another that pays even more. Heavy equipment operators are in high demand because there are projected to be 80,000 job openings in the next 7 years. In Canada, training for this profession usually lasts one or two years, but students can take paid internships. And this profession is also in demand for immigration because its representatives can apply to many programs.


I can say the same, by the way, about the next-to-last profession in which you can work without a long education: electricians. More than 93,000 electricians were employed in Canada in 2018, and the demand is expected to remain the same over the next few years. To get a job in this specialty, you only need to complete six months of training. Electricians earn more than heavy equipment operators, averaging $78,000 CAD a year. As you can see, workers make about the same salary as IT workers.

Industrial Mechanics

And the last specialty. It, too, is an industrial mechanic. They earn less, $69,000 CAD a year. If you have no work experience at all, you will have to take courses, which can take several years. But the plus side is that you can start working before you graduate, so you start earning right away.

Other career rankings

I mentioned the top occupations. Previously, we published rating in-demand occupations for immigration and the top 10 remote occupations in 2022. Be sure to check them out, your profession may not be in this selection, but you'll find it there.

Higher education

Is it still necessary to receive higher education or is a short course sufficient? Everyone has to decide for himself. Let me give you an example: I was studying in Ukraine as a programmer and according to Canadian education I am a Master of computer science, but they gave us very outdated information, so in the end, I studied everything on my own. This year I'm planning to study again but in the business field.

Our immigration company partners with Canadian colleges, where you can learn a sought-after profession in one or two years and start working in Canada on a work permit after your studies. Through us, you can also get discounted tuition fees. To find a college and program, book a consultation.

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