25 Easy Jobs That Pay Well & Make a Difference
Yes, they are real. Easy jobs that pay well actually do exist. Many of them even let people contribute to the world in meaningful and important ways while earning $50K or more per year. So if you've been dreaming of a career that feels easy yet still provides a good living and a sense of purpose, then you'll want to explore the examples featured below.
Before you do, it's a good idea to remember that your definition of "easy" may differ a lot from other people's definitions. In reality, there is no such thing as an objectively easy job (i.e., a job that everyone considers easy). Rather, "easy" is inherently subjective and dependent on each individual's preferences and ways of interpreting his or her own experiences. For one person, the easiest job in the world may involve little action and very few responsibilities, whereas for another person, it may involve a constant stream of important tasks or fun, stimulating activity. Conceivably, there could even be experienced brain surgeons and rocket scientists who consider their jobs "easy."
So the best way to start discovering easy, high-paying jobs that might be right for you is to delve deeply into your strongest interests—the things you are most passionate about. After all, you're much more likely to feel a sense of ease when doing something you enjoy. The challenges will feel less like problems and more like opportunities. In contrast, doing something you don't enjoy—even when it's mostly free of challenges—can feel like the hardest thing in the world.
It often pays to follow your heart.
What Constitutes an Easy Job That Pays Well?
For the purposes of this article, an easy job is an occupation that's often low-stress and comes with the chance to experience a "simple sense of flow" once you've mastered the necessary skills. But that latter point is key: In order to get one of Canada's easiest jobs, you first may need to get the appropriate education or vocational training for it. Then, you may need a certain amount of real-world practice before reaching the point where it all feels easy. But it's a journey worth taking if you truly want a job that isn't hard for you.
The criteria for good pay is based on a couple of different statistics. First, the median yearly income for Canadian individuals is about $34,420 (according to stats from 2016).1 That means half of all earners in Canada make more than that amount; half make less. On the other hand, the average income in Canada is a little higher: The average Canadian earns about $998 per week (according to May 2018 data).2 That's roughly $51,896 per year.
In this article, a yearly income that approaches or exceeds $50,000 is considered good pay for full-time work. But all of the featured examples, at minimum, exceed the national median of $34,000.
So check out the following examples of potentially easy jobs that pay well in Canada. And don't shy away from pursuing whatever interests you most, even if it didn't make this list. For example, nursing, accounting, and paralegal work are some good-paying careers that may not necessarily sound easy, but they do offer the chance to be happy in your job if you're the right kind of person for them.
Many people consider this occupation to be one of the easiest high-paying jobs you can get. Optometrists conduct eye examinations using special equipment that does a lot of the hardest work for them. They get to interact with interesting patients, diagnose eye-related disorders, and prescribe corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses. Plus, it's a low-stress job that generally doesn't require any overtime or hectic schedules. However, getting into this field will require earning a special degree. And you'll need to become good in math and have an excellent understanding of biology. The median salary of an optometrist in Canada is about $84,151.3
- Median yearly pay—$86,1154
- Top-end pay—$167,858 or more4
You'll probably need to earn a Ph.D. for this career. And you'll definitely need to master advanced math and physics. But once you've reached that level of knowledge and ability, you'll be primed for one of the best high-paying, easy jobs out there. In their day-to-day work, astronomers rarely experience much stress. They use sophisticated computer programs as well as optical and radio telescopes to conduct research and make observations about awesome things in our universe—like black holes, comets, stars, and planets. Sometimes they even make new discoveries that have profound impacts on our collective understanding of where we come from and where we might be going.
- Median yearly pay—$88,5254
- Top-end pay—$149,323 or more4
3. Mathematician or Actuary
Are you one of the few people who truly love math? Canada is full of opportunities for those with the ability to use mathematics for solving problems, assessing potential future scenarios, or finding new, practical ways to apply the science of numbers. As far as well-paid, easy jobs go, the options in this field often require a higher level of education than many of the other alternatives. However, the payoff is that, with experience, you may get to enjoy a non-hectic work environment with few major responsibilities or urgent demands for your attention.
- Median yearly pay—$89,1494
- Top-end pay—$142,854 or more4
4. Software or Interactive Media Developer
Although it's true that many people don't view this type of career as being super easy, some professionals in this field do. For them, it's easy because it utilizes their natural strengths—traits like patience, a passion for learning, and a penchant for solving problems, arranging things in a logical order, and making things as efficient as possible. Computer programming can feel easy once you have a comfortable grasp of the programming languages you most enjoy using. And mobile application development can feel like an invigorating challenge, even when deadlines are involved. For the right kind of person, writing code and developing apps, games, or software can be extremely enjoyable and non-stressful.
- Median yearly pay—$75,0054
- Top-end pay—$115,0034
5. Radiologic Technologist
To be sure, taking medical x-rays for a living requires a specialized set of skills, an understanding of human anatomy, and a willingness to follow essential safety protocols. But once they've been through their training and accumulated a good amount of on-the-job experience, many radiologic techs develop an underlying confidence and sense of mastery that make most of their work days feel relatively easy and satisfying. Plus, some people in this field get to operate really cool diagnostic technologies like computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
- Median yearly pay—$68,7654
- Top-end pay—$93,600 or more4
6. Power Plant Operator
For a lot of people, this occupation comes to mind whenever someone asks "What is the easiest high-paying job?" After all, it's the job of Homer Simpson, one of the world's most recognizable animated characters. In reality, you're unlikely to remain employed as a power plant operator if all you do is sleep and eat while on the job. However, there is some truth to the notion that this career feels easy for many of the people who get to enjoy it. The mostly routine work of operating and monitoring energy production and distribution equipment can be highly satisfying, and it usually comes with few, if any, deadlines or stressful days. Even when problems occur, the excitement of solving them can feel like a welcome change of pace. On average, a power plant operator makes about $70,589 a year in Canada.3
- Median yearly pay—$71,9474
- Top-end pay—$110,240 or more4
Are you a proud computer "geek" with a passion for understanding both old and new technologies and making them all work together? Having this kind of job can feel like a breeze if you truly love working with computers, putting things in order, and staying informed about the latest advancements. Just imagine getting to create and maintain various kinds of computer networks while coordinating the use of high-performance servers and sophisticated software. For someone with a deep interest in this stuff, being a computer networking professional could be very easy indeed.
- Median yearly pay—$66,6644
- Top-end pay—$101,338 or more4
You probably know that being an electrician requires a very high level of skill. It also requires patience, a willingness to follow rules and prioritize safety, and some real ability with basic math and physics. But don't let those requirements deter you from pursuing what, for many electricians, is a low-stress occupation. Mastering the electrical trade often leads to a career full of pleasing variety and enjoyable, mentally stimulating hands-on work.
- Median yearly pay—$64,293 ($30.91 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$93,600 ($45 per hour) or more4
When it comes to easy jobs that pay well without a degree, it's hard to ignore the plumbing trade. Like any other high-skill occupation, plumbing requires formal training and plenty of real-world experience if you want to master it. But once you know the rules, safety practices, and various tricks of the trade, you'll likely find that being a plumber gets easier and easier. Just make sure you're the type of person who truly enjoys being physically active, even if it's often on your hands and knees.
- Median yearly pay—$62,192 ($29.90 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$83,200 ($40 per hour) or more4
People who research the interactions between water and land tend to find their jobs highly satisfying. Many hydrologists have relatively low-stress positions that involve supervising other staff, taking environmental measurements, and analyzing field data. They get to help forecast civic water supplies, make flood-control plans, or make recommendations for the conservation of water and soil. Strict deadlines tend to be infrequent. But keep in mind that you'll need at least a bachelor's degree to enter this field, and some positions require a master's degree.
- Median yearly pay—$59,3443
- Top-end pay—$91,231 or more3
- Median yearly pay—$57,7204
- Top-end pay—$95,992 or more4
It doesn't take very long to learn the basics of computer-aided drafting and design (CAD or CADD) software. As you get more and more proficient at using it, the process of preparing technical drawings for architects, engineers, or industrial designers becomes easier. With a little experience under your belt, it could eventually feel like an absolute breeze.
- Median yearly pay—$52,0004
- Top-end pay—$89,440 or more4
Doing something you love almost always feels easier than doing something you don't enjoy or are indifferent about. That's why so many skilled audio engineers feel like they have easy jobs. They get to be involved in recording, mixing, or editing music or sound for cool projects or live events. For example, imagine recording songs for a great band, mixing sound for an amazing concert, or editing audio for a thrilling film or TV show. The possibilities for satisfying work are extensive.
- Median yearly pay—$52,0004
- Top-end pay—$90,002 or more4
Like other skilled trades, carpentry isn't something you master overnight. But if you have a real desire to do something tangible for a living, then you'd be wise to consider this trade. Learning the necessary skills will probably feel challenging at first. Then, after enough on-the-job practice, you may feel the same state of "flow" that so many tradespeople and creative pros experience in their work. Constructing or repairing wooden structures will probably start to feel relatively easy, if only because it keeps your mind and body so engaged.
- Median yearly pay—$52,000 ($25 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$78,021 ($37.51 per hour) or more4
As far as good jobs in health care go, this one is probably among the easiest. It requires a certain level of skill and medical knowledge, for sure. But it usually isn't as stressful or demanding as a lot of other options can be. In fact, many cardiology techs get great satisfaction from using machines that record and monitor the activity of patients' hearts.
- Median yearly pay—$57,9284
- Top-end pay—$76,960 or more4
For some people, having a predictable routine is the hallmark of an easy job. Well, routine is exactly what many medical lab techs get to enjoy. Although their work can vary a little from day to day, most of it involves performing routine tests on blood, urine, or tissue samples in quiet laboratories.
- Median yearly pay—$51,3764
- Top-end pay—$76,960 or more4
What could be easier or more enjoyable than researching, tasting, and recommending a wide variety of wines? Becoming a master sommelier takes time and commitment, but the effort can be very worthwhile. When you get certified and can say something intelligent about any variety of wine—from any region of the world—you can pursue comfortable jobs in high-end restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets. Your opportunities may be especially good if you also have some culinary training.
- Median yearly pay—$49,4153
- Top-end pay—$73,256 or more3
Welding, maybe more than any other trade, tends to feel easy once you've mastered the core skills. Certainly, some types of welding are known to be more difficult to learn than others. But if you enjoy working with your hands and seeing tangible results every day, then becoming a metal welder is a terrific option. Plus, between 2017 and 2026, welding positions may be relatively easy jobs to get due to a shortage of qualified workers. About 24,000 new openings are expected to become available in Canada over that time period.4
- Median yearly pay—$51,480 ($24.75 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$83,200 ($40 per hour) or more4
This occupation is probably one of the least stressful options in the retail sector. It also tends to pay pretty well. With just a small amount of formal training, you can help clients choose the right frames for prescription eyeglasses. You can also fit clients with contact lenses or eyeglasses while ensuring that they get produced in a timely fashion and meet the prescribed specifications.
- Median yearly pay—$49,9204
- Top-end pay—$66,560 or more4
Are you a highly visual thinker? Do you find it easier to grasp ideas when they're communicated through images rather than through words or sound alone? Graphic designers get paid to do something that comes easier to them than to most other people: communicate ideas and messages through appealing visuals and typographic layouts. And like most other creative professionals, they often feel like they're working "in the zone," which helps to minimize the stress of deadlines.
- Median yearly pay—$48,8804
- Top-end pay—$79,997 or more4
21. Garbage or Recycling Collector
Blue-collar positions related to a city's public works department are often jobs that require no experience. The job of collecting garbage or recyclables, in particular, is frequently one of the best positions to pursue if you want to earn good pay but don't have many other skills yet. That said, having a license to drive large trucks can make you an especially attractive candidate. This occupation is also known to be surprisingly easy and satisfying once you've learned the ropes.
- Median yearly pay—$47,840 ($23 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$61,360 ($29.50 per hour) or more4
Have you ever wanted a job you could do from home? Many physicians, health care clinics, and hospitals hire self-employed medical transcriptionists to put recorded verbal reports into accurate, grammatically correct written form. You'll need broad knowledge of medical and pharmaceutical terminology so that you understand exactly what's being said, but this can become a very easy job if you're a good listener and fast typist.
- Median yearly pay—$45,240 ($21.75 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$61,672 ($29.65 per hour) or more4
Do you prefer to stay physically active rather than sit down all day? As a massage therapist, could use your physical energy in the service of helping other people relax, prevent injury, or overcome pain or mobility issues. With formal training and practice, massage therapy can become an easy and highly rewarding job that leaves you feeling like you've made a positive difference each day.
- Median yearly pay—$51,750 ($24.88 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$97,760 ($47 per hour) or more4
The job of a commercial truck driver isn't for everyone. It's a different kind of lifestyle, one that requires a love of solitude, independence, and being away from home. But for people who want flexibility and opportunities to see new places, this occupation is worth looking into. It's probably also one of the easiest jobs to get, as long as you have a commercial driver's license and a clean record. Between 2017 and 2026, about 114,700 openings could become available across Canada due to a shortage of qualified drivers.4
- Median yearly pay—$43,6804
- Top-end pay—$67,018 or more4
25. Public Transit Operator
There aren't too many easy jobs that pay well without experience or prior training, but this one typically does. Most transit companies will even pay you while you're being trained. You'll need a calm and friendly demeanor since a big part of the job is interacting with the public. You'll also need a driver's license and safe driving record. But driving buses or operating subway trains, light rail trains, or street trolleys is fairly easy work once you've had enough practice. Plus, the employee benefits are usually good.
- Median yearly pay—$44,928 ($21.60 per hour)4
- Top-end pay—$69,077 ($33.21 per hour) or more4
Get the Career Training You Need
It's no secret that when it comes to the world's so-called easiest jobs, most pay below average wages. However, as you've just seen, many easy jobs that pay well above average also exist. You may just need the right education for them. Many of Canada's vocational colleges and trade schools offer excellent programs aimed at helping adults get skills for satisfying careers like those featured above. Find a nearby school right now by entering your postal code into the easy search tool below!