Working for the government is a great gig – if you can get your foot in the door.

Provincial and federal public service jobs offer great benefits, job security, good pay, and an unbeatable pension plan. Plus, there’s a variety of work from office jobs to healthcare, teaching, community safety, and more.

If you’re thinking about planning a career in public service, you might just be able to earn a big salary…if you’re willing to travel. Here’s where to look for 6-figure public service jobs.


The Government of Canada rates the employment outlook for registered nurses as good in most provinces. This means that short- to medium-term potential for employment is better than average in the region.

Employment outlook in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan is rated as fair, meaning the short- to medium-term potential for employment is comparable to the average for all occupations in the region.

Registered nurses can expect to make between about $40,000 to $82,000/year on average in Canada. If you’re willing to travel, though, in-demand locations like the Northwest Territories and Nunavut could offer nearly double the pay, with median salaries of about $100,000/year.


Summers off and holiday breaks make teaching a coveted public service job.

But if you live in Ontario, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia, you probably know more than one unemployed or underemployed teacher. Employment outlook is rated as limited in these areas for elementary and secondary school teachers, meaning the short- to medium-term potential for employment is below average in the region.

Yukon, Quebec, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Alberta are rated as good for elementary school teachers, with the other provinces landing in between.

Teachers can expect to earn between about $36,000 to $89,000, but additional training and leadership or administrative roles can boost teaching salaries to six figures.


If you’re looking for some excitement, a career as a firefighter is tough to beat. Firefighters can expect to earn between about $27,900 and $82,000 with employment prospects rated as fair or limited across Canada. The exceptions are Manitoba and Quebec, where employment potential is rated as good.



Head to Quebec or Nova Scotia for good employment prospects as a paramedic. Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan are rated as having a low employment outlook, while the other provinces are rated as fair.

Salaries range from about $34,000 to $76,000, depending on the province and type of paramedic work. Pro tip: be sure to research education requirements in the area you want to work.

Office jobs

If you’re more interested in the administrative side of public service, there’s also a range of office jobs available, from human resources to marketing, communications, legal, program administration, policy, and more.

Salaries vary depending on skill level, but a 2015 report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that the average public sector employee made 18 to 37 per cent more than a comparable employee working in the private sector.

If you’re new to Canada, a student or recent grad, look into public service internship opportunities in your province. For example, the Ontario Internship Program offers placements in a variety of areas with starting salaries ranging from $43,000 to $50,000.

Looking for more information about specific regions or careers? The Government of Canada offers career outlook prospects, education info and more at

Career outlook is for 2015-2017. Salaries listed are based on a 35-hour work week. All information sourced through