Making good money doesn't necessarily mean you have to go to university. It's a competitive hiring pool out there, but if you have ambition and the proper skills, there are plenty of potential jobs that'll provide more than enough for you and future family. If you're not naturally gifted with exceptional athleticism or blessed with amazing artistry, you'll probably have to go to work, but don't fret because most these jobs aren't just high-paying, but also quite exciting.

Remember, money isn't everything, but it's certainly nice to have to keep you comfy. So if you don't know what you want to do, or are tired of a dead-end job, here's a list of some of the better employment opportunities in Vancouver. A few of these do require training programs, certificates, and/or classes, but you may find that the return on your investment will be well worth it.

The salaries listed are Canadian median averages, unless otherwise stated:

1. Realtor // $50,683

Working on commission is a great way to ensure you are in control of your own future. If you put in the hours and are good at what you do, you stand to make a killing in Vancouver. With basically every house priced at over a million dollars, there's a lot of opportunity to cash in on. To become a real estate agent, you'll have to take a licensing course which is offered at UBC, but once that is taken care of, those commission checks are right around the corner.


2. Welder // $52,000 - $65,000

One of the more exciting jobs you can have for sure. Whether you already know how to weld, or want to go to a technical school, a career in welding is extremely lucrative. The range or work is extensive, but a common employer is the oil industry, where salaries can start between $80k and $100k. Underwater welding requires more specific training, but if you are willing to accept the risk, the reward is sometimes upwards of $300k annually.


3. Mechanic // $43,680

If you're handy with tools, mechanics often do quite well. Working on cars or boats can be an enjoyable and accommodating career if you don't mind getting your hands dirty. An Associate degree may be helpful, but it is by no means mandatory in landing a job. Running your own shop can make you very successful at over $70k per year.


4. Executive Chef // $64,032 (Vancouver)

A culinary arts Associate degree will make things a bit easier, but a good chef doesn't always need schooling. If you love cooking, and consider yourself well-versed in the kitchen, working your way up the ladder can eventually lead to high paying positions and even the possibility of opening your own restaurant – that is if people like what you serve them.


5. Bartender // $20,000 - $40,000 (not including tips)

It may just sound like a summer job, or a place holder until something better comes along, but bartenders can actually earn a lot of money, especially if you work at the right joint. Getting your bartender's license is relatively easy and afterward, mixing drinks can become a career if you know what your doing. Tips is a big part of the game so it doesn't hurt be charming and good looking. Land yourself a gig at a fancy establishment, and with tips, you could be making well over $50k per year.


6. Media and Communication Equipment Worker // $61,000

Setting up stage equipment for concerts, working the camera at sporting events, spotlight operation, sound system and lighting coordination all fall under the job description of a media and communication equipment worker. You don't need a post-secondary education, the pay is pretty good, and you will probably get the chance to see a lot of great shows and meet some cool performers.


7. Fashion Designer // $45,690

Vancouver is always changing its style depending on current fashion trends. If you think you have a good sense of what's hot, you could get in on the action. Fashion designers can make good money and live lavish lives as they market their products on beautiful models and at special events. A more modest career in fashion design can still be well compensated so long as you know your way around a needle and have a creative mind for sketching and fabric selection.


8. Commercial Pilot // $50,096

Obtaining your commercial pilot's license will be a lot of work, but if you like to travel, and have an interest in flying, this can be a soaring career. You could fly passenger aircrafts all over the world after serving your time as co-pilot, and after years of experience can reach a salary upwards of $90k. Or in BC, potentially find an exciting job operating smaller planes or even helicopters.


9. Letter Carrier // $52,551

Working for the Canada Post offers a decent salary and the job here in the Vancouver area is a lot more cushiony than in other other parts of Canada where mailmen have to take on the absurd cold and relentless snowstorms. Plus, as a government job, there are all sorts of benefits, making it an even more attractive career.


10. Plumber // $56,160

Plumbers make good money everywhere. It's a job that needs to be done so if you don't mind the idea of getting dirty at work every day, it's something to consider. You don't need a degree, but technical training is always useful.


11. Air Traffic Controller // $85,000

This is considered one of the most stressful jobs out there, but if you can handle the responsibility and are willing to put in the time to get your air traffic controller's license along with a radio telephone operator's license and then pass your NAV Canada training, the pay is very high – up to $158k. The job will promise to be rewarding as well, knowing that you are personally keeping safe thousands of people commuting through our skies.


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