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.


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 List. Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 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.


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. 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.


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.


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.