Paramedic

Five surprising jobs that pay six-figure salaries

Nicole Wray|

Ontario recently released its annual “Sunshine List” a public record that lists the names of public sector employees making more than $100,000 annually (more than double Canada’s national average salary of $47,200). Growing in size by more than 11% from last year’s $100,000 club, the list include some surprising members including parking attendants and teachers who make more than the average lawyer. Here are five surprising careers with above-average earning potential that don’t involve days spent sitting behind a desk.

Teachers

Though not all hit the $100,000 mark, teachers in Ontario have an average salary of $83,500, which puts them on par with the average lawyer in Ontario, according to Macleans Magazine who counted 88 teachers in Hamilton alone who make more than $100,000. Though good earning potential and work-life balance make teaching a good career option, an abundance of teachers make this a career choice with low employment prospects.

Police officers

Over 3,000 Toronto Police officers earn more than $100,000 a year according to the Sunshine List1. Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police2 can also earn up to $80,000 after just three years of service, with the opportunity to jump above the $100,000 mark with ranks such as Staff Sergeant and Inspector. If you want to work in a mobile office, this is a career choice with great benefits and above-average earning potential.

1. As reported in The Globe & the Toronto Sun

2. Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Firefighters

Though the base salary for a firefighter in Canada isn’t likely to reach $100,000 (according to Service Canada the average income of a firefighter in Canada is $65,000), unusual working hours contribute to overtime earnings that can bump firefighters into the $100,000 club. For example, 54 firefighters in the city of Kitchener, Ontario, make more than $100,000.1 Service Canada says that job prospects are good for this career that offers excellent benefits, varied work hours and good salary potential for people wanting to work in a physically demanding career.

1. Kitchener PostFirefighters make up half of city’s Sunshine List

Nurses

Followed by professors, the most common job on the Sunshine List are nurses, with nearly 2,000 making more than $100,000 per year in Ontario. According to the Canadian Nurses Association the salary of RNs range from $40,000 to $80,000 (with room for overtime), making this a well-paying career option for people who like to think on their feet.

Paramedic

If you thrive in a stressful and fast-paced working environment, becoming a paramedic is a well-paying career option that keeps you on your toes. Alberta Health Services says paramedics earn $32.59 to $42.90 per hour (about $65,000 to $85,000 per year). Paramedics are also one of the three essential services (along with firefighters and police officers) that made it onto Ontario’s Sunshine List with the highest wage earners bringing in over $100,000 including overtime pay.

Though high-paying careers are often tied to corporate cubicles and a nine-to-five schedule, Ontario’s Sunshine List proves that Canadians wanting to work on their feet can find jobs with above-average earning potential.


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  • Olga

    And why again they are SURPRISING in any way?

  • Mike Kiely

    so much for fairness over entitlement but no tax funded employees give a darn about our expense since it isn’t real money.

  • Potter

    I think it is absolutely Hilarious that out of all those people Teachers make the most. What risk do they take daily? I believe Firefighters deserve the most out of Emergency services. They do police work, search and rescue, fire, medical, usually first one scene, etc… So why are they paid the least? Yes they have downtime but so do police common sitting in a car with a radar gun aint that hard sure the paperwork is a pain in the ass but common they dont deserve more then a fireman

    • haga

      teachers don’t get payed that much we barely get anything why do you think we go on strike. and teachers should be getting payed the most since the make the future of the children, if there were no teachers there would be no doctors, no police officers, no engineers, if there were no teachers no one would be educated. and teachers also have a stressful life never knowing when they might be laid off work and they spend their own time preparing lessons and activities for their classes and don’t forget about making report cards and dealing with 30 kids for more than 6 hours a day.

      • jesset55

        This is hilarious. Have you ever even worked in the private sector? You truly have no idea you good you have it. You’re stressed that you might get laid off? You work a whole 6 hours a day? In the private sector, a world that is attached to reality, people get fired, work 8 or more hours per day, are lucky to have benefits of any sort and certainly don’t get two months off come summer time.

        Also, nobody is suggesting that there should be “no teachers”. The rest of us would just like for your pay/our costs to be attached to reality. I wouldn’t mind paying 100k per teacher if we were actually getting educated kids as a result.

        Also, low pay is not why you strike. You strike because you are greedy, never satisfied and don’t really care about the education of our children or the well-being of this country. To suggest that your need for an even more disproportionate paycheque is more important than our Country’s education and future workforce should be grounds for firing – at least it would be outside of your fantasyland public sector.

        In my opinion, it should be required that teachers have a master’s degree in education in order to get paid that much. We should outlaw government unions, outlaw any strikes that interfere in any way with students’ education, and pay public employees on par with the rest of us.

        • Taylor D

          Summer is paid time when most teachers plan the curriculum for the next year and attend meetings. You will rarely find a teacher that would describe their summer as relaxing.

          Some teaching unions (Manitoba’s for example) gave up the right to strike in exchange for pensions. Some say this was a good call, others are less certain.

          Teachers in many school districts are expected to put in volunteer time. Some offer a day off for 50 hours of volunteering with the school (RETSD gives 2 free days for 100hrs), but many just have it set as mandatory.

          A teacher will not get overtime pay, unlike fantasy land private sector jobs where you get paid extra when you dont finish things in a the hours you’re paid to work. Teachers are paid for the time they are teaching and expected to work with students, plan lessons, create worksheets, and work on grading and reports on their own time.

          Teachers are also not in charge of the curriculum they teach, many curriculum officers make more money, work less, and have no experience actually teaching classes. Math teachers have the hardest time because they are often told how to teach math based on nonsense and voodo.

          On the flip side, a Master degree in education or the field the teacher is educated in makes a lot of sense. Right now to become a teacher you need a bachelors in arts or science with a major and a minor in teachable subject areas (some areas, like psychology, law, and politics are only teachable minors) and a two year b. ed. In Finland, where there is a near 100% literacy rate, teachers have masters degrees.

          The nordic countries also treat teachers like doctors or lawyers, and subsidize university. The public sector there is huge and the class sizes are small. The students are educated.

          • paola

            teaching is a joke

        • Ihor Nedoshytko

          Hey, uninformed!! Six hours a day…right. Just go into a school someday and shadow a teacher sometime. You’ll probably not be able to get up early enough and not have enough energy to stay the 3-4 hours after school to assess the students’ work!

          • jesset55

            That’s quite the assumption. As a project manager in the private sector, I’m very accustomed to waking up early and staying at work late.

            Nobody is saying that being a teacher isn’t difficult. Most jobs are difficult in one sense or another. The argument is that, compared to other jobs, they are paid too much.

            I have several teachers in my family including my sister who makes 109k/year. I actually shadowed my sister in high school for a careers class. I also, like most people, spent many years in school; so I feel like I have a good sense of the work involved with being a teacher.

            I appreciate good teachers, and I think it’s great that people like my sister are making good money. However, for the amount of hours they work, and the amount of education it takes to be a teacher, I still believe that they get paid far too much – and the tax payers suffer as a result.

            The average income is about one third of what teachers make. People who are just as educated, who work just as hard, and work more hours than teachers, making a fraction of what teachers make.

            Again, I wouldn’t mind paying 100k per teacher if we were getting highly educated kids as a result – but this simply isn’t the case. In order to make that much money, teachers should be required to have a masters degree in education and their pay should be directly tied to their performance.

          • Ihor Nedoshytko

            Then possibly, you should retrain and show us all how it’s done?? In regard to pay, I don’t know any teacher that makes 100K. Are you pulling numbers out of a hat?? However when it comes to highly educated children, their success is cooperative effort and a great number of parents think that thier childs learning is the teachers responsibility only. Many parents are lazy, and won’t or don’t want to take the time to work with their child at home for retention purposes, or make certain taht homework/practice was accomplished and take away the Game Boy . Who’d assess teacher performance, you? I take it that if you were a teacher you could guarentee 100% success?I think that you are are just a complainer and instigator not satisfied and fullfilled in his/her own line of work and are venting because you can; a winer.There is a pipe dream out there among the public that perpetuates the idea of having 30-35 students in a class with one teacher and yet expects fireworks success. Not all students have the same abilities or even aspirations. Governemnt funding is being cut left and right….Again I don’t know what teachers are commanding 100k salaries, but I do know sveral government employees commanding that much sitting behind a desk flipping papers; and just who are those unfairly paid people who possess as much education as teachers, but are paid much, much less? Get in that classroom and show us overpaid teachers how it’s done and zip your lip.

          • jesset55

            This pretty much sums up how the rest of us feel.

          • Samantha

            Principals make the six figures. Teachers cap around 90k.

          • jesset55

            Not true. I promise, my sister is a teacher and makes the sunshine list every year. That being said, she is head of the languages department, so that might have something to do with it. Either way, take a look at how many teachers are on the sunshine list – they can’t all be principals or heads of departments.

          • Samantha

            No way! Wow, I just loooked the teacher sunshine list up and there are teachers on it! I thought only administrators made that much!

      • disqus_CmYfsmWGN9

        What a joke! Teachers should get payed the least! The money isn’t why you should be into this field of work. Going on strike doesn’t mean you don’t get payed enough, it means you’re ungrateful about your income when there are those who are out of College struggling to make ends meet while they’re working a thing called Overtime, over 8 hrs a day, (yeah, it’s illegal but in the real world people do it anyway to keep their job and earn more money) You have a plethora of bonuses. Let me list them; 1.SUMMERS AND ALL HOLIDAYS OFF!. 2.WEEKENDS OFF! 3. Home in time to spend with family everyday by 4-5pm LATEST. 4. Climatised environment! 5. No manual labour. 6.Almost forgot this one because it’s so rare in the real world-BENEFITS
        So excuse me if I’m indifferent to your suffering. You should appreciate your jobs, quit striking and taking extra curricular activities away from the kids because it would take away more funding, and put all that energy you put into bitching and crying for more money, and put it to use towards bettering the environment for children. Maybe if teachers worked hard and were tired at the end of their shifts, they wouldn’t have the energy to bitch and moan, and instead, appreciate how amazing you have it!
        Reading what you wrote was SO INFURIATING!

        • Ihor Nedoshytko

          That’s “paid” Einstein!! I don’t know if you know but most people get week-ends and holidays off. What cntury are you from??

          • Ihor Nedoshytko

            That’s “century”……

          • Ihor Nedoshytko

            You’re right, “century”. Typo!!…but what would you know about sentence structure?? Another, “I know better even though I’m not a teacher” type. Again, get in there, get your degree, and show us how it’s done Maestro. A veritable “provocateur”! My spelling’s fine.

          • Samantha

            I think everyone should get more time off, alike to France

        • Ihor Nedoshytko

          Another “internet Troll” spreading disinformation!! What kind of manual labour should teachers do?? Since when was overtime illegal? How do you know when any teacher gets home?? Do you follow them home??? Are you a stalker?? I hope that you don’t live in my area of the country? Another provocateur???

      • snoopy

        With grammar, spelling, and sentence structure as atrocious as that, I sincerely hope you are neither a real teacher, nor employed at either of my sons’ schools.

        • jesset55

          Lol. Good point. Can we all just agree that in order to make that much money teachers should be required to have a masters degree in education and that their pay should be directly tied to their performance as teachers. Maybe then they would have some incentive to actually help students learn things.

      • paola

        i hate teachers they get paid way too much for doing a joke job. I could teach elementary school without any education.

      • WhyNot

        *paid (for starters) way to go, Teach…. remind me again WHY teachers should make the amount they do, ESPECIALLY with spelling and grammar as poor as yours???

    • Skeptic

      Because it takes no brains to be a cop, a firefighter, or a paramedic, but it takes education and brains to be a good teacher?

      • john

        Yeah who needs brains when it comes to responding to life threatening cardiac arrest call… I can’t wait until your father has his heart attack and you call for the closest teacher with brains to come and save his life…

        • frank

          i am not surprised that the emergency sections make this list especially paramedics they are the one of most misunderstood professions ever they are not just some fancy taxi service with lights they can perform medical procedures that a lot of higher paying medical professions can not. and not to bash on firefighters they do amazing work aswell but they will always get the attention over the paramedics how often do you hear about paramedics? little to none right? and thats because they have patient confidentiality and they cannot talk about anything relating to any accident or medical emergencies so the media has no choice to focus on either fire or police.

      • anonymous comment

        Hey skeptic some teacher you are commenting on others abilities saying they have no brains. You of all people should know better teaching kids with different talents and abilities. I’m a teen and obviously not anyone of those jobs. But it does require brains… All three jobs especially a paramedic requires medical knowledge. They also require physical demanding work unlike you sitting behind a desk teaching children simple math, English and so on. Again all these jobs require communication skills. These are the most stressful jobs, seeing people hurt or possibly dead, not being able to save them, and putting their life at risk. You think you deal with paper work you have all the answers and you just need to check the children’s to see if they are right or not or got good enough answers. These jobs require accident reports, why they had to use their weapon why you couldn’t save a victim of what happened to them. I’ve bet you’ve never seen someone die or suffer at all, if you have probably once or it was peaceful with a family member, but everyone has had that unless they sadly dont have a family or loved one. Cops, firefighters, and paramedic have probably experienced seeing someone die or suffer a lot. For cops some have to cause the pain or death of others to save or help other people. Also you think you have it hard with paper work when you already have the answers so all you have to do is say if they are right or wrong of have a good enough answer. But for these jobs is explaining why you had to do the things you did and confront your boss on your decisions and how you can improve. And they got an education similar to you, but they use it to help people and expand their knowledge by constantly studying when all you do is repeat what you learned and ask kids questions. Also you had to learn what everyone learned, basic knowledge when they had to learn medical studies, fire science, chemical science, things on structure, technical and mechanical, the law, physical and mental studies, communicating skills and many many other things. Then you have the nerve to say they don’t have brains, they learned things you learned and you now nothing about and lots of things you have never heard of so I wouldn’t go calling them brainless you bitch how about next time you are in trouble, you have a medical problem or your in a fire or even a hostage situation you deal with it yourself… thats right you won’t know how so why don’t you show some respect because your not putting your life on the line and over it to help others they are, they risk their lives for your safety and the safety of others not you its called respect maybe you shouldn’t do the teaching you should be taught some respect. AND NO ONE COMMENT ON MY GRAMMER OR SPELLING I KNOW ITS NOT MY TALENT AND FRANKLY I DONT GIVE A FUCK IF YOU INSULT IT!

    • Ihor Nedoshytko

      Risks you ask what risks teachers take?? I don’t know how many times I have been threatened by an irrate or drunken parent who thinks that his orv her child is smater than they really are. Ever work late at night to finish your report cards on time in a school that is in an innercity area?? You’ll see risks.

    • Ihor Nedoshytko

      Have you done your homework or are you just mouthing-off and repeating what you’ve heard?? Does a teacher really make more than a fireman or a policeman? That’s not the case where i come from in Canada. In the USA, teachers are among the lowest paid professionals in the country? Possibly there are internet trolls out there spreading disinformation? So…go do your homework…..!!!

  • Jeshwin

    why the hell are people so surprised with teachers, and saying that they don’t deserve this? ok maybe some teachers try and milk the system but at the end of the day they are integral to a smooth working society! teachers unlock the dreams of kids and help them become what they need to be… working with kids/teenagers is another level up because of all the extra bull shit they need to deal with; without teachers, societies would crumble, period.

    • Arch_of_Life

      This is not a critical thinking argument. Teachers do, but Canadian teachers don’t, this is not a pay versus skill related argument. 1 Canada’s teachers are highest paid in the world. 2. Education and testing are going down. 3. The system itself is held back growingly targeted complacent unqualified staff. 3. There is no accountability for teachers, firing unless an extreme circumstance 4. They are paid as much as doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, who have professions lawsuits, risk of losing their licence, late nights, constant risk of being fired for the next generation, and constant skill development to keep there job. They are considered overpaid compared to other government jobs. At this pay, you could make the public school system private, and get better results out of it.

      The reason they get their increases, is because they threat striking. In Canada people sending their kids to school can NOT even afford daycare, or to miss a day of work during a strike. A PRIVILEGE all teachers have. To argue keeping this pay is a complete disregard for the children and society you claim to care for, or have knowledge of. Every intelligent teacher I had, well informed in societal, economic, issues and could do math appreciated their pay and work.

      • Deviant

        Honestly though, government workers, including teachers are compensated way too much. Working in the private sector for 10 years its a tough world where your compensation directly reflects your performance. While there are great teachers, police, fireman, passport workers, they do not get rewarded or compensated for performance, and there are many of them who get paid a ridiculous amount of tax payers dollars without delivering service.

  • Herb123

    Well Im a teacher and I dont make 100k, I make 60k and many make less. In fact I dont know a teacher who does make 100k. The ones who do, are principals or they are higher up. At least in elementary, highschool teachers make slightly more (with more prep time and less responsibilities but thats another argument). There are 4 pay brackets and they are all dependent on how much school you have taken. I am in the highest pay bracket because I graduated with a 4 years honour degree plus Canadian teachers college…which actually only put me in pay bracket 3. I had to get another 5 university credits to move up (or a Canadian masters). Ive gotten 13, even though I only needed 5 (I can technically graduate with a 3rd degree). Many teachers are like me and continue to take courses to better themselves. My bracket (which is the highest) is maxed out at 92k (starts around 52k), you have to work 11 years to get to the top of any pay bracket and which bracket you are in is dependent on school, and the next one down is 86ish (starts around 50k), for a 3 year degree and teachers college it starts around 45 and maxs at 75. All of which are awesome but not 100k.

    The bottom line is I am super happy with what I make and I had to work hard to get it, just like many others in other fields who work hard and had to go through schooling. Ive never heard a teacher complain about their wage or think they should make more. Id do it for less, do I want to take a wage cut? No but who would? Its a great job with great benefits, great time off and a great wage and I am thankful that I actually got a job because man its tough! However, just because I make good money and have great benefits (which I pay 250 per month for) and time off does not mean that I work 6 hours a day or am ungrateful or anything else. I work hard, I plan hard, I do extra curriculars, I mark and plan after school, I cut letters and signs and write notes out at home, I cry worrying about children, phone parents and get yelled at for not doing enough. I give everything into my job, just like many other teachers. Are there teachers who dont do the same and do the bare minimum? Yes but they are in every job. Most teachers are amazing and try their hardest, better themselves, take courses and love their job. I just wish people didnt hate us as much. Were trying hard, most arent complaining, and yes our job is hard, not everyone could make in teaching. Maybe we dont save lives traditionally speaking but Id like to hope Ive made a difference in a few.

  • anonymous comment

    To:skeptic and other teachers with the same feelings
    Some teacher you are commenting on others abilities saying they have no brains. You of all people should know better teaching kids with different talents and abilities. I’m a teen and obviously not anyone of those jobs. But it does require brains… All three jobs especially a paramedic requires medical knowledge. They also require physical demanding work unlike you sitting behind a desk teaching children simple math, English and so on. Again all these jobs require communication skills. These are the most stressful jobs, seeing people hurt or possibly dead, not being able to save them, and putting their life at risk. You think you deal with paper work you have all the answers and you just need to check the children’s to see if they are right or not or got good enough answers. These jobs require accident reports, why they had to use their weapon why you couldn’t save a victim of what happened to them. I’ve bet you’ve never seen someone die or suffer at all, if you have probably once or it was peaceful with a family member, but everyone has had that unless they sadly dont have a family or loved one. Cops, firefighters, and paramedic have probably experienced seeing someone die or suffer a lot. For cops some have to cause the pain or death of others to save or help other people. Also you think you have it hard with paper work when you already have the answers so all you have to do is say if they are right or wrong of have a good enough answer. But for these jobs is explaining why you had to do the things you did and confront your boss on your decisions and how you can improve. And they got an education similar to you, but they use it to help people and expand their knowledge by constantly studying when all you do is repeat what you learned and ask kids questions. Also you had to learn what everyone learned, basic knowledge when they had to learn medical studies, fire science, chemical science, things on structure, technical and mechanical, the law, physical and mental studies, communicating skills and many many other things. Then you have the nerve to say they don’t have brains, they learned things you learned and you now nothing about and lots of things you have never heard of so I wouldn’t go calling them brainless you bitch how about next time you are in trouble, you have a medical problem or your in a fire or even a hostage situation you deal with it yourself… thats right you won’t know how so why don’t you show some respect because your not putting your life on the line and over it to help others they are, they risk their lives for your safety and the safety of others not you. Police officers, Firefighters, Paramedics and nurses should all be paid much more than teachers. Its called respect maybe you shouldn’t do the teaching you should be taught some respect. AND NO ONE COMMENT ON MY GRAMMER OR SPELLING I KNOW ITS NOT MY TALENT AND FRANKLY I DONT GIVE A FUCK IF YOU INSULT IT!

    • Samantha

      If anyone is envious, they should just do the education and become whatever career they are envious of rather than bashing it.

      • jesset55

        I think you’re right Samantha. However, if we all did this, we’d all be working for the government.

        The problem is, nobody really cares about how tax dollars are spent because it’s not really any ONE person’s money. In other words, there’s not enough incentive for anyone to really fight for how our taxes are spent. So, over time, public sector jobs begin to collect all the perks, raises and benefits.

        On the other hand, in the private sector, if one wants health benefits, or raises, or two paid months off for vacation; the money for these things comes directly out of an employer’s wallet. It’s much more difficult for an individual employer to justify the costs of some of these perks.

        As tax-payers, it’s our responsibility to keep our government in check with how they spend our money. “Bashing” what our government does with our money is actual just speaking up about how we feel about our government’s decisions. If anything, our Country needs more “bashing” and a stronger ability to make the change we want to see actually happen. This is what a true democracy would look like.

        • Samantha

          You seem to have some good and strong opinions–just a question—what do you think a great job is, Jesset55? One that is somewhat physical, pays decently, and has a good employment forcast for the future….

          • jesset55

            Personally, my passion is in creating new products – I’m currently a project manager working at a company that makes mobile apps. It’s a difficult career, but I enjoy it.

            If I were to suggest a career to a young person however, I would recommend becoming a doctor. Besides that, I would probably suggest any of the five careers listed above (if they lived in Ontario).

            So, do I think that people should go after these great public sector jobs? Absolutely! People should always strive to get the best job they can – and I would never condemn a person for having one of these great public sector jobs. Does that justify overpaying teachers? Absolutely not.

  • Alastair McTavish

    By “Teacher” are they including secondary-school professors too? Ive never ever heard of a High School or under teacher making 80k+ a year