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The Top-Paying, In-Demand Industries and Jobs in Toronto

Featured Industry Advice Featured

The Canadian economy has seen a lot of growth in recent years. There were more than 422,000 jobs added in 2018, representing a 2.3 percent increase and the highest yearly gain in more than 14 years. Even as this expansion has begun to moderate, certain provinces and regions continue to act as economic powerhouses. The Toronto region is one of them.

As the largest city in Canada, it’s little wonder that Toronto has seen much of this growth. The city itself is home to more than 2.7 million people, and when the surrounding area is included, that number balloons to nearly 6 million.

Roughly 47 percent of that population has immigrant status of some kind, making Toronto one of the most diverse cities in the world. This means the city has a vast number of people from different backgrounds and with different skills—an employer’s dream, which has helped Toronto become a leader in a number of industries.

Below, we explore some of the most important industries, sectors, and career paths in Toronto, and offer some tips to help you land a high-paying job in the Toronto area.

The Highest-Paying Industries in Toronto

1. Technology

Toronto is the fourth largest market for technology talent in the world, currently employing more than 241,000 technology workers and adding new tech-focused jobs at a rapid pace—faster, even, than the San Francisco Bay Area. As such, it’s attracted many big-name technology companies who need this global talent to thrive, including Oracle, Cisco, Shopify, Google, and Microsoft, to name a few.

While the bulk of these jobs are in computer systems design and related services (60.2 percent), other important sub-sectors include telecommunications (21.2 percent), computer and electronic product manufacturing (7 percent), information services (5.5 percent), software publishers (3 percent), electronic and precision equipment manufacturing (1.6 percent), and internet service providers and data processing services (1.5 percent).

Some of the highest-paying tech jobs in the Toronto area include:

While high demand for tech talent is a good thing for job seekers, it also makes for increased competition for the highest-paying jobs. For this reason, it’s critical to continuously expand your skill set in order to advance your career. Earning an advanced degree like a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, Computer Science, or Analytics can help you to develop the skills and experience that employers want and need.


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2. Business & Finance

In addition to being one of Canada’s preeminent tech hubs, Toronto is also the largest financial center in the country, employing almost 210,000 workers. Many of the country’s largest financial institutions have chosen the city as home, including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial, Aviva Canada, and many of the country’s largest pension funds.

Many of the available jobs are concentrated in the banking services industry (58.3 percent), but other important finance and business related sub-sectors that are actively hiring include securities and investments (22.5 percent), insurance (17.7 percent), and various other funds (1.5 percent).

Some of the highest-paying (non-executive) business and finance jobs in the Toronto area include:

If your goal is to work business or finance in the Toronto area, it pays to be able to differentiate yourself from others in the industry. Earning an advanced degree that speaks to a unique skill set, such as a Master of Science in Project Management, Business Analytics, Cybersecurity, or Leadership can help highlight the value that you would bring to an organization and increase the likelihood of landing one of these more advanced, competitive positions.

3. Life Sciences

Toronto is home to a healthy and thriving life sciences industry. With nearly 30,000 workers and dozens of influential companies—including Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, McDougall Scientific, Thornhill Medical, and more—the industry contributes more than $2 billion to Toronto’s economy.

As an industry, life sciences is particularly broad. In Toronto, the majority of open roles are split amongst the following sub-sectors: Paid researchers in hospitals (32.3 percent), pharmaceuticals manufacturing (20.5 percent), medical and diagnostic services (17.3 percent), research and development (8.8 percent), pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supply (7.9 percent), medical instruments manufacturing (6.8 percent), and medical equipment and supplies manufacturing (6.4 percent).

Some of the highest-paying jobs in the Toronto life sciences industry include:

Many of these positions, especially the research-focused ones, will naturally require job hunters to earn an advanced technical degree that demonstrates expertise in a particular domain. Which degree is required will depend on the job, but ones that may increase the likelihood of landing a role in the life sciences industry include a Master of Science in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, and Health Informatics.

It is important to note, though, that not all jobs in the industry require technical degrees. If you’re interested in pursuing a support role—for example, as a regulatory affairs professional or product specialist—a degree such as a Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs or Project Management may help you demonstrate the non-technical skills and expertise you’ll need to succeed in such a capacity.

If you’re based in the Toronto area and are looking to land a high-paying job or otherwise advance in your career, the academic programs offered by Northeastern University-Toronto can help. By bringing together challenging academics, experiential learning, and faculty members with industry experience, they’re designed to meet the needs of Toronto area businesses. 


Toronto's Top Tech Companies