Best Jobs

Public Administration Director: Canada’s Best Jobs 2016

Guiding the work of governments can be rewarding, but a long climb through the civil service awaits

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

(Thomas Barwick/Getty)

Median Salary: $ 101,920
Salary Growth (2009–2015): +23%
Total Employees: 17,900
Change in Employees (2009–2015): +6%

Job Description:

These government workers are directors of large branches of the civil service, running bodies like Elections Canada or serving as administrators in the House of Commons and clerks in the Legislative Assemblies. They take part in the development of government policies and programs, and organize committees to plan and evaluate various projects.

Job Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree in law, business administration or the social sciences, followed by lengthy experience in government policy development, program administration, law or business administration, are necessary.


The median salary in 2015 for these positions was around $100,000—amongst the highest-paid jobs in the bureaucracy. At the top end of the range, some public administration directors in larger provinces or at the federal level earn more than $200,000 a year.

Career Opportunity:

It’s much harder to secure a high-level position in the government than in other sectors, with cutbacks a constant threat at all levels. But many public administration directors are about to retire, which may spell opportunity for a new cohort of managers. Still, these positions typically require decades of progression through the civil service.

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