Canada’s Best Jobs 2014: Public Administration Director

Who governs the government

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Audrey O’Brien

Clerk of the House of Commons Audrey O’Brien, right, with Speaker Andrew Scheer. (Office of the Clerk of the House of Commons)

Median Salary: $97,074
Change in Salary (2007-2013): +21%
Total Employees: 19,000

There are the legislators that make the law and the bureaucrats that implement them, but in between, there exists a class of administrators that handle the unique functions of government itself. They supervise elections, maintain relations between the different levels of government and make sure legislatures are functioning properly. This category covers everyone from the director of Elections Canada to provincial public works directors.

How to qualify: A bachelor’s degree is a must and a graduate degree, especially in public policy or law, is also beneficial. But if you want to reach the top ranks of the bureaucracy, you’ll need years of experience working in government.

Money: With a median salary around $100,000, these roles are amongst the highest-paid bureaucratic jobs in government. Depending on which level of government, many of these positions will clear the $200,000 bar.

Opportunity: Though the federal government will be entering a surplus next year, provincial governments remain strapped for cash, so don’t expect much job growth for what are already scarce positions. But with the average age of public administration directors much higher than most professions, you’re best bet to get one of these jobs will be to wait for your boss to retire or annoy the wrong person in the government of the day.


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