June 24th, 2024

Is a career change worth the cost of entering into it?

By Lethbridge Herald on March 24, 2022.


Salaries have very much been in general conversations of late and the soaring cost of living is likely to make those discussions even more intense as government tries to balance its budget and employers try to be profitable while employees watch their salaries have less and less purchasing power. 

In the midst of all this I am considering changing careers. I’m considering entering quite a specialized field with some scary entry conditions. 

My future job is one I know I will love but pursuing it comes with great risk since it would require me to work for less than $10,000/year for approximately 10 years. After that point, if I am one of the best in my apprenticeship I may be hired at entry level.

From that point on, with adequate performance, I can expect regular career progression accompanied by increases in remuneration. My problem, however, is given the risk involved, how much is reasonable to expect from that starting salary? 

Obviously, I’ll have to live on loans during the 10-year apprenticeship period so I’ll have to be repaying loans. Since my 10-year apprenticeship is approximately the same length as a program to be a medical doctor it seems worthwhile to consider that as example.

Apparently the average starting salary for a family doctor in Canada is about $250,000 with career progress after that as experience grows. 

Is $125,000 reasonable for me to expect? Perhaps not. I won’t be holding the lives of people in my hands. 

Perhaps a starting salary of half that is more appropriate. What do you think? In actual fact, if you half that again you’re close to my expected starting salary. 

I’m anticipating starting at a mere 25 per cent of the starting salary of a physician. After 10 years of training, why would anyone make that deal?

S.U. Posin


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