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From the Winter 2023 Issue

The Overlooked Rewards of a Career in Condo Management

The Manager Shortage

Feature || By Dean McCabe, RCM

Condominium Management is a profession that, although it is almost 50 years old, is also very much in its infancy. The changes that the Ontario government introduced in 2017 served as a reset for our profession. The introduction of licensing began a new era that began to draw young people to the profession and frankly provided incentive for others to search for new opportunities outside of the management profession.

A look at the number of students taking condominium management courses over the past five years will show you that it is a rapidly developing alternative for people searching to start their working life or choose their next career.

Despite this recent interest in condo management, a conversation with anyone closely tied to our profession will likely include phrases like, “I don’t know how you do it…” or “I would never want your job”. Search social media, and you will be hard-pressed to find references to the positive aspects of Condominium Management. Unfortunately, this could serve as a deterrent to those considering our profession.

I’d like to counter these negative perceptions and change the narrative by sharing some of the positive aspects that draw people to pursue a career in Condominium Management in Ontario.

A Growing Industry

recent industry numbers show that Ontario has over 12,000 condominium corporations, and CMRAO figures as of March 2023 showed that there were only 2,528 general licenses issued and 1601 limited licensees. That means that in the near future, there will be room in the marketplace for more limited licensees to enter the workforce and begin their apprenticeship toward a General License. 

Affordable Educational threshold

The educational threshold to enter condominium management is not overly expensive. The total investment is in the neighborhood of $3,500 and requires completion of 6 courses which can be completed in 6 months to 2 years depending upon the pace of individual study. The courses cover a wide variety of topics, but do so at a very high level giving new entrants the opportunity to identify areas of the job that they wish to specialize in. In other words, a young person looking to find their calling does not have to invest years and tens of thousands of dollars to find themselves at the beginning of a career that they may not wish to pursue.

A Licensed Profession

Since 2017 a condominium manager is required to be licensed to practice. What this truly means is that in the last 6 years condominium management has morphed from a job to a profession. The complex nature of condominium development as well as the importance of consumer protection have created a climate where condominium managers have elevated responsibilities, more opportunities for elevated compensation, and the potential for elevated respect and standing in the marketplace. 

Diversity and Variety

One of the very attractive aspects to condominium management is the variety and diversity the profession affords. Condominium managers are exposed to a wide variety of issues, people, systems, problems, and solutions that present themselves in a position this diverse. Lawyers, engineers, auditors, city officials, tradespeople of all backgrounds, and of course residents from every walk of life make up the audience of a typical workday in this profession. The manager’s ability to deal with this diverse network of people and issues provides opportunities for an individual to expand their horizons – personally, professionally, and socially.

Earning potential in the first 5 years

One of the attractive elements in Condominium Management is the rapid escalation in salaries once an individual has obtained their General License. The understanding that entry level or limited licensee managers require a level of supervision and oversight that impacts their earning potential in the early stages of their career, is then offset by the fact that the time required is relatively short and provide the very real opportunity for managers to increase their annual salaries by 20% to 40% in the first 3 – 5 years. Obviously, individual skills, periodic market conditions and other variables can impact on the rate of salary growth, but for good managers entering the field this type of demand in the marketplace can attract young people to the profession.

Access to Apprenticeship Training

In order to understand the factors impacting salary potential, it is important to understand the roles and responsibilities that someone entering the profession could be faced with as they begin their journey.

A young professional will likely begin on-the-job learning in an administrative support role. As management professionals have faced increasing administrative workloads, the opportunity for young professionals to learn this important role in a hands-on work environment provides an entry-level salary as well as an opportunity to experience in your workday some of the important topics that are covered in the courses that are required to earn your general license.

The Limited License in Ontario was really structured to act as an apprenticeship that will allow a manager to work with a mentor or supervisor to coach them through the important first stages of their career. The benefit of working with a seasoned professional your first time through a budget, AGM, major reserve project or even the first challenging interactions with owners, tenants, or contractors. 

This entry-level license also enables managers to deliver the services that a Board will expect from a manager when you have earned the General License. 

An important part of entry into the condominium management profession is the planning of the first 2 or 3 years of your career. Set reasonable expectations, put yourself in a position to succeed and avoid the temptation to move too quickly. There will come a time after a year or so that you feel ready to move forward and may even feel that you have seen all of the situations that could come up – why are you not being given more of the responsibility and compensation that you crave and feel you are ready for? Just remember that many in this profession experience new challenges after 20 or 30 years in the management field. Expertise comes from repetition and experience and the stronger the foundation the longer and more successful you can expect your management career to be.

Career Rewards For Life

The work that we do takes special character traits and the ability to recognize changes in the communities that we manage. It demands the flexibility to adapt when the personalities and expectations of those on our Boards of Directors change.

It also rewards us with the opportunity to shape the future of communities of people. Those who excel in management will have the ability to communicate opportunities and shape the decision-making of the boards that choose to work with us.


Dean McCabe, RCM, is the President and Founder of Meritus Group Management Inc. and has been a property manager for over 28 years. Dean has been a member of the Board of Directors of ACMO and past President of the association for three terms.


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