Canada’s highest paid workers studied one of these three things in school: Stats Can

Wondering who’s making the most money in this country, and what they studied to get there? An in-depth survey of Canadian households from Statistics Canada has the answers.

According to the most recent National Household Study from Stats Can, the top 10 per cent of Canadians made an average income of $134,900, with the top 5 per cent making one third more ($179,800) and the top 1% almost triple that amount or $381,300.

(To come up with these figures, the team at Stats Can surveyed roughly 4.5 million households across Canada were selected for the NHS, representing about one-third of all households.)

The average Canadian wage is roughly $55,000 a year right now. So, being in the top 10 per cent puts you at more than double that figure. The top 1 per cent are making nearly seven times as much. So who are they?

The demographic group most likely to be pulling in the big bucks are older married men. Men accounted for 79.5 per cent of the top 1 per cent of income recipients (while accounting for 74.4 per cent and 69.1 per cent of the top 5 and ten per cent respectively).

Of the Canadians in the top 1 per cent of earnings, 61.9 per cent were between 45 and 64 years of age. A large majority of the top 1 per cent, (83.9 per cent of them), were in a married or common-law relationship and living together.

The highest paid workers also tend to be well-educated. More than two-thirds of the 1 per cent of highest earning Canadians hold a university degree. Highly educated Canadians, in general, are more likely to have high incomes. Nearly one in four (24.1%) of people with a university degree fall into the top 10 per cent of earners in this country.

(By contrast, just one in fifty of those people without a certificate, diploma or degree fall into this group.)

Most of the postsecondary graduates in the top 1 per cent studied in three major fields

Of the top 1 per cent of earners in Canada, 87.4 per cent had a postsecondary qualification. Among these, over half (55.1 per cent) had studied in one of three major fields: business (29.2%), health (14.5%), or engineering (11.4%).

These were also the three most common major fields of study for graduates in the other high-income groups, making up 46.2 per cent in the top five and 41.7 per cent in the top 10 per cent of earners.

Stay in school kids. And if you want to earn the fattest paycheques, consider studying healthcare, business, or engineering. Here’s a recent look at Canada’s highest and lowest paying jobs. (Not coincidentally, the top three are in healthcare, business, and engineering.)

Here is where you can review the full data from the National Household Survey from Statistics Canada.

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