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Canada’s Best Jobs 2015: Specialized Engineer

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Specialized engineer

(Thomas Barwick/Getty)

Median Salary: $79,996.80
Change in Salary (2008–2014): +14%
Total Employees: 17,900
Change in Employees (2008–2014): +50%

Not electrical, not software, not mechanical—these are the “other” engineers, encompassing a wide array of disciplines that non-engineers seldom even know are disciplines. That can mean doing work in biomechanics, textiles, or marine fields such as naval architects, who design ships and offshore oil platforms.

How to qualify: You’ll need an undergraduate engineering degree in your chosen specialty. For instance, Newfoundland’s Memorial University, the University of British Columbia and the Institut maritime du Québec all offer naval architecture programs. Provincial engineering associations also oversee professional certification, so be sure to investigate the specifics in your area.

Money: With a median salary of around $79,000, these jobs are broadly competitive with many others in the engineering field, but if you’re looking to specialize, it might be worth looking at going into petroleum engineering instead, where the salaries are almost $25,000 higher.

Opportunity: This is a relatively small field with many highly specialized sub-categories, so qualified candidates can find themselves in demand, and—particularly in the marine engineering field—the job market is global in scope. While Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy stirred up some activity here, the outlook for the field is not robust; projections are for an oversupply of engineers versus jobs in the next decade.

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