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Economic Development Director: Canada’s Best Jobs 2016

Helping cities and regions prosper and attract business can be a rewarding role—if you're working in the right place

UPDATED! Click here for 2017’s ranking of Canada’s Best Jobs » Canada’s Best Jobs 2016: The Top Jobs in Canada
Economic Development Director Jobs — Canada’s Best Jobs

(Thomas Barwick/Getty)

Median Salary: $105,144
Salary Growth (2009–2015): +10%
Total Employees: 5,900
Change in Employees (2009–2015): -12%

Job Description:

This is a government managerial position. The main responsibilities of economic development directors include evaluating, planning and executing economic policy. They also collect data on the impact that government policies on taxation, international trade, labour markets, transportation or agriculture have on the regions they work for, and create policies and programs to promote industrial and commercial business development in urban and rural areas. The category also includes jobs as varied as border services managers, economic analysts and tourism development managers.

Job Qualifications:

You’ll need a bachelor’s in economics, business administration, commerce or public administration. A master’s degree in economics could also give you a leg up. Several years of experience in any of those areas of study will qualify you for a director role.


It’s a management position, but that doesn’t guarantee a spectacular wage. In some regions in Ontario, for example directors can only expect to fetch $15 an hour, on the low end. That speaks to the competitiveness in Ontario’s market, so you may want to look beyond the eastern provinces. The lowest the pay scale tips in Saskatchewan is $38.77.

Career Opportunity:

Currently, there are 1.15 jobs to every job seeker, but it’s unclear as to where the opportunities are, though they’re unlikely to be in the southernmost regions in Canada. But there’s hope that there will be some openings in the future—a wave of retirement is approaching and the pool of candidates graduating from related programs is expected to shrink from 300 in 2016 to only 200 per year until 2022.

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