According to a recent survey not only are young Canadians finding it tough to achieve the ‘Canadian dream’–to have a good job and own a house–but now we’re being told that the careers we thought were a sure bet may have dwindling job markets or starting salaries that aren’t keeping pace with inflation.

We’ve all heard of the shrinking middle class. The demographic that labours away in professional, decent paying jobs is growing smaller and smaller. This is particularly disconcerting for young Canadians just starting out, and hoping to one day buy a house, or own a car. It’s not as easy as it was in the good ol’ days. The reason: we can partially blame it on “starting salaries and typical annual increases not keeping pace with the rising cost of living.”

The study found that even the salaries for jobs that are traditionally thought of as good paying careers (law, accounting, etc.) aren’t keeping up. These days, starting salaries and annual pay increases don’t allow you to save enough to get you out of your parents’ house and into a place of your own.

In fact, the study suggests that with an “average starting annual salary of $44,500, it will take the average accountant 13 years to save enough for a 10% down-payment on a house.” Important note: “A paramedic will need 9 years to save the same amount.”

As another point of interest, RateSupermarket discovered that Canadians polled “on which careers they thought had the most future potential,” have it all backwards. For example, participants thought there was great earning potential in a law career, when they could actually make more in careers in Library Science. The actual job market for lawyers is dismal, while Library Science (according to RateSupermarket) is a growing field since “skills can be transferred to online applications.” Librarians unite and take over!

Basically careers we have traditionally thought of as lucrative are no longer winning the salary race. But, this shouldn’t entirely be new news. Back in July, we reported on 6 surprisingly high paying jobs. Guess what? Lawyers and engineers didn’t make the list. That’s not to say those careers don’t pay well. They still rank relatively well on the high paying jobs scale, but limited employment opportunities make them a riskier choice.

Regardless of your chosen career path, the study acts as a bit of a wake up call to young Canadians. Understand the obstacles you may face when choosing a career, particularly if you’ve decided to choose a ‘traditional profession’. It may be time to get creative and learn more about where employment markets are heading. That, and hope your paper route savings have collected a lot of interest!


Want to know how long it will take an engineer to save for a down payment on a mortgage? Check out the numbers

Source: – 12 Years For Average Canadian Grad to Save 5% Mortgage Down Payment: Study