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 percent of Canadians made an average income of $134,900, with the top 5 percent 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 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 percent puts you at more than double that figure. The top 1 percent are making nearly seven times as much. So who are they?

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

Of the Canadians in the top 1 percent of earnings, 61.9 percent were between 45 and 64 years of age. A large majority of the top 1 percent, (83.9 percent 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 percent 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 percent of earners in this country.

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

Read more: How well does your education pay off on the Canadian job market?

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

Of the top 1 percent of earners in Canada, 87.4 percent had a postsecondary qualification. Among these, over half (55.1 percent) 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 percent in the top five and 41.7 percent in the top 10 percent 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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