Who earns what in real estate

Vancouver is the best spot to be a real estate agent, but plumbers are better off in Calgary


Read more from the Maclean’s Who Earns What issue here.


Who earns what in real estate

  1. Aaaah, the one I’ve been waiting for.

    It seems there are no 100K plumbers.

    • I suspect (as with most tradespeople), plumbers have a healthy source of undeclared income from weekend work.

      • Are you saying plumbers are crooks?

        The tax dept would never think of looking into that

        But no, not even working every weekend would make that much difference

        • A self-employed plumber is still a plumber, and a self employed plumber with 5 or 6 or more employees is likely making well over 100K. This chart appears to only look at those who are employees and not employers. Plus, as a self employed, one man business, a plumber only has to bill 168 hrs per month at $55/hr to gross $110K. That’s not a stretch by any means.

          • Then he’s not making 100K as a plumber, he’s a small businessman with employees and has many other expenses….and he doesn’t do this fresh out of training.

            I understand your points…..but this has to do with posters on here insisting people don’t need an education….that people with trade training [and we eventually settled on plumbers as an example] were making as much as doctors, lawyers, scientists and so on.

            All my life….even 30-40 years ago, I’ve heard about this mythical plumber in Canada who was easily making 100K [everybody claims to know one]….and it was even less likely then than now.

            So it’s nothing to do with plumbing businesses or this article in particular….it has to do with education and the people on here telling others not to get one.

          • Nobody is insisting people don’t need an education. What many of us who actually pay taxes are insisting is that we re-think post secondary funding. We are increasingly using tax dollars to fund college and university educations that have no economic value. Worse, universities especially are evolving into nothing more than cesspools of leftist dogma whilst devouring millions of dollars of tax money confiscated from the very capitalist society that some of them teach young people to deplore.
            Unfortunately Emily, you still fail to grasp what some of us have been saying for years: Our entrepreneurial class of citizens is the economic backbone of the country. Most of that group of people are the plumbers who employ other plumbers, the carpenters who become property developers, the mechanics who own the tire shop, and the brick layer who went out on a limb and now owns a fleet of concrete trucks. These are the tradesmen who make 100, 200, and even 300K per year. But it is this class of people, and the tax payers who work for them whose incomes endure constant pressure from the academics, and the politicians, and various other rent seekers on the public teat to contribute “just a bit more” in order to fulfill thier statist dreams.
            Meanwhile, we see that more and more of our unemployed are degree holders, and yet so few of our supposedly best and brightest are grasping that maybe we need to send fewer, not more young people to college and university.

          • I pay taxes….and I agree we should rethink post-secondary funding.

            It should be free.

            What the hell are YOU thinking?

          • To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke, if you think post secondary education is expensive now, wait until it’s free. In spite of decades of expanded funding for post-secondary education, the product being turned out is about the same as it used to be and arguably worse. Enrollment rates are higher, drop-out rates are about the same, and the unemployment rates for degree holders is higher. Are the grads any smarter? Doubtful. Do more lower income families send their kids to university now than in 1965, thanks to increased funding? No.
            What has happened, thanks to increased funding, is the bureaucracy surrounding the provision of post-secondary education has grown to eat up the funding. At the periphery we’ve seen a proliferation of arguably valueless degrees.
            Making university free simply creates another entitlement program with no upsides for the taxpayers, and a few years down the road, you got a bunch of welders with university degrees making welders wages, but carrying the debt accumulated getting a degree in anthropology.
            Yeah, like that makes a whole lotta sense.

            Also, see linky: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/26/introducing-the-tuition-is-too-damn-high/


          • If people want “free post-secondary education”, does that mean they want ALL post-secondary education to be free….tech school, etc. included? Are we going to pay for power engineers, plumbers and electricians who do apprentices to get their educational component done or is this free post-secondary education only applicable to “professional degrees”?

          • I said ‘education’, not trade skills.

            Next up you’ll want flower-arranging and Italian cooking considered.

          • I know your opinion. That is why I didn’t ask for it.

          • Yeah you did. Greenwood isn’t FOR free eduction. I am.

          • No, you are for free “university education”. You have decided other forms of education are just “skills training” and shouldn’t be offered for free. I would challenge you to tell me how a nurse is educated while a paramedic is trained in “skills” because one goes to university while the other goes to a tech school. Under your beliefs, you would have the taxpayer give one free education and not the other.

          • Vocational school is a lower level of training, and doesn’t involve other subjects.

          • Are you suggesting that a person trained at a vocational school with a so-called “lower level of training” comes to the job with an inferior set of skills? I am here to tell you that is not true. I trained at the university. My peers trained in a hospital program. Their skill set was in all ways superior to ours. Somehow my anthropology courses in the behaviors of apes, while fascinating did not translate into better nursing skills….go figure.
            Now, let us be honest that nursing and teaching were not always degree programs. In fact, until recently nursing was a 2 year diploma program and often was taught in a hospital. Those nurses were as well prepared, if not better than what is being graduated out of any university. The same could be said of any teacher that did not have a degree.
            Now at the University of Calgary, they have decided that teaching is a “Masters’ level degree”. At the University of Alberta, physiotherapy is a Masters’ level degree, as is occupational therapy and speech therapy. It is not about “skills v. education”. It is about graduating too many students for the number of jobs available so we make it more difficult to get the qualifications to do the job.

          • No, vocational school is not university. No we aren’t just keeping people busy. No, you’re just arguing to natter now…..Ciao.

          • These are the same hopeless arguments people used to make about allowing free high school.

            You don’t learn any job skills in high school either….just a bunch of elitist things like Shakespeare and old kings and wars, and where foreign countries are and ‘poooooetry.’ No economic value.

            In fact, if you want a Canada chock-full of plumbers and welders etc….we don’t need high school at all.

            Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic to grade 8….then send everyone to vocational school….before you know it we’ll be hip deep in carpenters and electricians and all…..

            Of course we’ll all be poor by then, not to mention way behind the rest of the world with their fancy-schmancy astrophysicists and teachers, and engineers, and biologists and so on…but whatev….

          • Can an astrophysicist run a paving machine? If you looked at country “A”, and it had a shortage of plumbers but a number of unemployed astrophysicists, and compared it to country “B” that has unemployed plumbers but a shortage of astrophysicists (purely hypothetical, as there is no actual commercial market for astrophysicists, thus no actual economic situation whereby you could have a shortage), which of the two would likely have the most vibrant and viable economy?
            I’ll give you a hint. It’s “A”.
            If you think an eighth grade education is perfectly acceptable for skilled trades, you’re on crack. I’ve trained tradespeople.
            Actually, I’ll amend that. An eighth grade education is potentially acceptable, as long as the level of necessary intellect is there. On the flip side, I know lots of people with university degrees who are intellectual flyweights, and couldn’t be trained to run a centreless grinder to save their mother’s life, or grasp the principles of applied hydraulics, or understand how the intake valve of cylinder A sees the exhaust pulse of cylinder E.

          • If a robot can do your job….it will

            So say goodbye to your ‘examples’

            I’ve met unemployed welders, plumbers etc…I’ve never met an unemployed astrophycist….not even disabled elderly ones like Stephen Hawking.

            I realize you think you’re being super-scientific sounding there….but as long as a person can do the 3R’s they can go to vocational school and figure it out just fine.

            If you just want a job, go to trade school

            If you want an education, go to university.

          • I can’t comment with any certainty about astrophysicists, but I routinely do business with a young woman who possesses a masters degree in “Women’s Studies”. Usually, but not always, I purchase a medium double-double and a honey cruller……..
            Again, you tend to make the erroneous (but very common) assumption that those with extensive education are thus endowed with great intellect. Intellect is innate. While formal education can be of great benefit to those thus endowed, it’s not a magic bullet for those of average or lower intellect.
            That said, a more liberalized (read: less government intrusion) education marketplace will better serve the populace. A genuinely smart holder of a Masters in Women’s Studies won’t spend two years selling donuts and genuinely dumb plumbers usually end up at the low end of the totem pole.
            Talent will always trump education. Always. Education can only enhance talent. It can’t create it.
            Example? Read up on a one time moonshiner named Junior Johnson, widely considered one of the great minds in ALL of racing.

          • Amazing how a ‘useless’ degree so often turns out to be in ‘women’s studies’……in spite of the fact there are well paid jobs for people with such degrees. However you probably think it involves knitting.

            I assume this is just Con sexism ….as usual.

            Most people have the same IQ….it is not specific to one gender or one colour or one religion. Pretty standard all over the world. Sorry.

            Talent can’t do anything without education….knowledge. I know you like to believe these myths about building a starship in the garage…..but it’s only a myth. Bootstraps don’t work if you don’t have boots. Sorry.

            Lots of people are good at marketing things….they’re salesmen, and the only reason they suceed is the gullibility of others. One born every minute, they say….and two to take him.

            They once did a profitable business in snake oil. Today it’s politics and religion.

          • You are genuinely stupid.

          • Noop, I just disagree with you. Get over yourself.

          • Challenge: Name a career/job where a degree in “Women’s Studies” might be of value, that is outside of academia, and might actually be a net tax paying pursuit (i.e.of private sector, commercial value). While you’re doing that, I’ll dig up those Bigfoot photos….

          • Law, medicine, psychology, teaching, public affairs,social work, retail management…in fact, anywhere people are involved since women are HALF THE PLANET.

          • Sorry. Public affairs, social work, and teaching are all non-taxPAYING pursuits, as they are net recipients of tax dollars. A career in law or medicine would not be advanced by a Women’s Studies degree.

          • Sorry, all those people pay taxes.

            And yes, in order to treat women in medicine, or help them in law….a knowledge of women, their history, inventions etc is necessary.

          • how about bio-chemistry, then. I know of 2 who can’t get jobs despite having masters degrees. one is working in retail, the other is a hospital porter

          • If they can’t get jobs in bio-chemistry, the problem is them not the field.

            Be serious here.

          • With that routine you must also be sportin’ a sweet round belly, a lard-laden behind, and the arteries of a cardiologist’s dreams. He’ll prolly name his yacht after you…..posthumously.

          • Losing weight, actually. Had to. It’s increasingly hard to get underneath the race car to check the convertor, and even harder to stand back up afterwards…

          • It isn’t only trades people that go to technical schools to be educated. Paramedics are educated there as well as people who study marketing and certain types of accounting. Journalism and television arts programs are also taught there.

          • you obviously have never looked at what you need to get into a college level plumbing, carpentry or electrician class, have you? seriously grade 8? How damned elitist are you ?

          • You want a trade, go to trade school.

            You want an education, go to university.

            Just don’t complain to me about it….because I don’t care about your class resentment.

          • Next you’ll be saying the drug lords would making more money if they just went to university. It is possible to make money without university, which is not to say people should not go to university. You’re out on another one of your silly limbs.

        • Are you denying the underground economy? I have a friend in the wine business who barters with his dentist. I’ve done a lot of reno’s in the last few years and there is usually one price and another for cash. Everyone hates paying cash so it’s an easy sell. There’s are estimates of the dollar volume of these transactions and the CRA are always on the hunt. It’s not a plumber thing, it’s a human nature thing.

    • Those are averages. You do understand how a population is distributed about the mean don’t you?

      • “…average pay for the top five to 10 percent in their fields.. . ” I would not expect a symmetrical distribution around the average of a truncated distribution. Actually, this particular choice of reporting statistic seems designed to confuse or mislead.

      • Duh yeah. Or in your case, yeah Duh. LOL What is your problem?

    • Well keep plugging away there fatty and one of these days maybe you can put one of them over the top.

      By the way, if this is the one you’ve been, “Aaaah, waiting for,” you’re leading a much more useless life than your fabulous output of 7 or 8 thousand (7,522) dumb comments could ever lead us to believe.

      • I don’t bother talking to people who are at the ‘poopy head’ stage of discourse. Sorry.

        • Well you’re up to 7,529 posted pieces of idiocy so I suppose we should all be relieved that at least you’re not talking to yourself.

          • Lots of other posters have far more than me….although why it would concern you I don’t know.

            Find something else to do with your time. Adults are talking here.


          • 7,532 posted pieces of idiocy and counting.
            Doesn’t look like adult behavior to me Chico

          • pretty sure she is a Toronto area university student who has never held a real job in her life but is sure she is so much more important than any who actually do work for a living

  2. Not to forget.. all figures are gross numbers. in more ways than one!. Plumbers make more than Toronto Realtors!

  3. Become a Dental Hygienst-$55.00 to $60.00 per hour in Alberta!

  4. Emily can talk all she wants , it does not change reality. I have never met more bitter people than unemployed Masters degree grads . If you love your child, encourage a lifetime love of learning but insist on marketable skills and a work ethic. Poverty crushes self esteem.

  5. being the in law of one of those plumbers making almost that much as a journeyman, I have to state that those are only the master, unionized plumbers making that much.and that is after 6 to 10 years of an apprenticeship.

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