Canadian Jobs That Pay Well Without a Degree

Did you know that Canada has plenty of job opportunities in various industries? This is mainly due to an aging and retiring workforce. In response to this, the Canadian government has developed a number of immigration and work permit programs to make immigrating easier.

What’s more, did you know that you can work in Canada without a degree? There are plenty of in-demand Canadian jobs that pay well without a degree. There are also a number of immigration and Canada work permit programs that don’t require you to have a degree.

Let’s go to work!

Top 5 Jobs in Canada That Don’t Require a Degree

1. Construction manager

Some companies may require a bachelor’s degree, however, many only require previous on-the-job experience.

The average salary for a construction worker in Canada is $101,361 per year.

2. Plumber

A high school diploma as well as a four-to-five-year apprenticeship is usually required in order to work as a plumber.

While most provinces in Canada require a certificate, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories don't.

The average salary for a plumber working in Canada is $74,270.

3. Real estate agent

To be a real estate agent or a realtor, you need to have a high school diploma and complete a real estate training course. In addition to this, you’ll need to obtain a license to be able to sell properties.

The average salary for a real estate agent in Canada is $74,137 per year.

4. Mechanic

Similarly to electricians, you’ll need a high school diploma to work as a mechanic and some companies may request certification.

The average salary for an auto mechanic in Canada is $71,695 per year.

5. Welders

To work as a welder in Canada, you’ll need a high school diploma. Some companies may require a certificate in addition to this.

The average salary for plumbers in Canada is $61,669.

Immigrate to Canada Without a Degree


Now that you know which jobs pay well without a degree, you can choose an immigration or work permit program.

There are over 100 immigration programs and visas available. To make the process easier, we’ve outlined some of the best options.

Express Entry

The Express Entry system was developed to help Canada combat its labour shortage and fill in-demand jobs. If you have the skills, work experience or qualifications to contribute to the Canadian economy, you can apply through Express Entry. The Express Entry system allows successful applicants to gain permanent residency in Canada. What it’s known for is fast-tracked visa processing time of just six months.

There are three programs which operate under Express Entry, namely:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is designed for people who have qualifications, skills or work experience that can help contribute to the Canadian economy.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

If your application is successful, the FSWP allows you to gain permanent residency in Canada.

To be eligible to apply for the FSWP, you need to meet the following requirements.

You must have skilled work experience in one of the following positions listed in the National Occupation Classification (NOC):

  • Managerial
  • Professional
  • Trade/technical occupation

While some occupations under the Federal Skilled Worker Program may require a degree, this is not the case for all of them.

For example, trade or technical occupations require you to complete a training course. Even some jobs under the professional or managerial category only require a certificate and or experience in the field.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is geared towards foreign trade workers who have experience in the eligible trade occupations that Canada needs to help contribute to the economy. If your application is successful, the FSWP allows you to gain permanent residency in Canada.

If you are skilled in the trades field, and are looking to work in a position that doesn’t require a degree, then this program is perfect for you.

Do you qualify to apply? To find out, check if you meet the requirements:

  • A full-time job offer from a Canadian employer for a total period of at least 1 year OR a certificate of qualification from a provincial, territorial, or federal governing body.
  • Language proficiency score in French or English measured by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique Canadiens (NCLC). (Level 4 for writing + reading and level 5 for listening + speaking).
  • At least 2 years of full-time work experience within the last 5 years.
  • Ability to demonstrate that you meet the job requirements of your skilled trade.
  • You must show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada unless you have a valid job offer or can legally work in Canada.

Skilled trade occupations eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized in the following major National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. The groups are subdivided into different occupations, and they are all skill type B. You must prove that you have experience performing the duties of the occupational description in the NOC.

National Occupation Classification Categories

Major Group 72

  • Industrial
  • Electrical
  • Construction

Major Group 73

  • Maintenance
  • Equipment Operation

Major Group 82

  • Supervisors and Technicians in Natural Resources
  • Agriculture

Major Group 92

  • Processing and Manufacturing
  • Utility Supervisors
  • Central Control Operators

Minor Group 632

  • Chefs and Cooks

Minor Group 633

  • Butchers and Bakers

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

If you already have some experience working and living in Canada, then this could be the pathway for you.

The Canadian Experience Class is designed for people who are applying for permanent residency in Canada, who have gained work experience in the country through a temporary work permit.

Here are the requirements you need to meet to apply through the Canadian Experience Class:

Work Experience

You must have one year of skilled, work experience in Canada. The work experience must be:

  • a full-time position; or
  • the equivalent time in a part-time position;
  • legally obtained in Canada;
  • from jobs defined by the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) as level 0, A or B


There is no education requirement for this program. You can; however, increase your Express Entry score by:

  • earning a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary or tertiary school;
  • completing a foreign credential;
  • getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) showing your previous education meets Canadian standards.

Language skill

  • Take an approved language test for writing, reading, listening, and speaking;
  • Meet the minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs or Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs


  • You must be legally allowed to enter Canada. Having a criminal record could cause you to be inadmissible to Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program allows successful applicants to gain permanent residency in one of the 11 participating Canadian provinces. If you already have an idea of which province you’d like to live and work in, or perhaps you have a job offer there, then this could be perfect for you.

Here are the 11 provinces you can choose from:

  1. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  2. British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
  3. Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  4. New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NW PNP)
  5. Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP)
  6. Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  7. Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)
  8. Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)
  9. Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  10. Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program (SINP)
  11. Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

Each program has its own set of requirements you need to meet to be eligible to apply.

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

The Atlantic Immigration Program is designed for skilled workers who are interested in gaining permanent resident status in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces, namely Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. If you’re an international student and have graduated in one of the four Atlantic provinces, the pilot is also open to you.

The Atlantic Immigration Program is a great option if you’re looking for jobs that pay well without a degree in Canada. There are various in-demand jobs in Canada’s Atlantic provinces that don’t require you to have a degree, such as:

  • construction workers
  • cleaners
  • transport truck drivers
  • restaurant servers
  • administrative assistants
  • retail sales associates

Interested? There are three programs within the Atlantic Immigration Program, namely:

  1. Atlantic International Graduate Program
  2. Atlantic High-Skilled Program
  3. Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program

Each of these programs have their own set of requirements. However, if you’re interested in jobs that don’t require a degree, you can focus your attention on the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program. To apply for the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must have at least 1 year's experience working in a position that requires a high school education or job-specific training;
  • You must have a high school diploma equal to a Canadian credential, for which you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA report);
  • You will need to take an approved language test to prove you are proficient enough in English or French to live and work in Canada;
  • You need to have proof of funds that meet the minimum required amount to support yourself as well as any dependents regardless of whether they are joining you in Canada or not

Apply for a Canadian Work Visa Without a Degree


If you don't want to move to Canada for good and perhaps just wish to work here for some time, you can apply for a work permit. There are various Canada work permits available and work visa programs that you can apply through. We’ve outlined the best options for occupations that you can apply through without a degree.

There are two types of Canada work permits, namely:

Open work permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada.

Employer specific work permit

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to specifications set out in your work permit, including your employer’s name, length of work permit, and location of employment.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is designed for Canadian employers to hire foreign workers within a wide range of occupations. The most important part of the TFWP hiring process is applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA proves that the relevant job position was not able to be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

To be able to be employed, you must submit a copy of the LMIA or the LMIA number along with your work permit application.

There are various streams under the TFWP. To apply for a Canada work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you’ll need to submit your work permit application along with the required documents which may include the following:

  • Valid job offer letter;
  • Proof that you meet the requirements of the job offer;
  • Copy of a positive LMIA or LMIA number;
  • Proof of your English or French language abilities via test results;
  • Valid passport;
  • Proof that you have enough funds to take care of yourself and any accompanying family members during your stay, and to return home


Can I move to Canada as an unskilled worker?

Yes. There are various pathways to Canada for unskilled workers such as the:

  • The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program

What is the age limit for Canada PR?

If you’re applying for permanent residency through the Express Entry system, the chances of being approved decrease after the age of 55. However, there is no official age limit and you’ll still be able to apply.

Is it difficult to get into Canada?

Being successful in applying for a visa can be difficult and you can be rejected. However, if you seek professional help to assist you through the application process, you can better your chances of being approved.

Once you have settled on one of the Canadian jobs that pay well without a degree, you can decide which program you want to apply through. However, the process of applying for a Canadian visa can be overwhelming and confusing. That’s why the RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) we work with are ready to guide you through the process and increase your chances of being successful the first time round.