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Canada’s Best Jobs 2015: Power Systems Operator

UPDATED! Click here for 2017’s ranking of Canada’s Best Jobs »
Power system operator

(David McNew/Getty)

Median Salary: $84,198.40
Change in Salary (2008–2014): +20%
Total Employees: 8,400
Change in Employees (2008–2014): -5%

Want to be in charge of keeping the juice flowing? This group of specialized technicians and operators run and monitor power stations for utilities and large industrial installations.

How to qualify: You’ll need to graduate from a college course in power engineering, and some provinces require a certification process. Most people apprentice for several years. Working at nuclear facilities comes with an additional round of training and certification.

Money: Wage growth has been strong in this sector, with median salaries reaching $84,000 in 2014.

Opportunity: This is a sector with a very specialized skill set, and a relatively small pool of potential employers, so there aren’t necessarily a lot of places to jump in search of a promotion. Employment and Social Development Canada also notes that workers largely have to commit to conventional or nuclear power; there’s little chance to move from one track to the other. After experiencing a shrinking workforce for several years, projections look more robust through 2022, with 1.27 predicted jobs for every worker.

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