Money & Career

Canada's 10 hottest job industries: Finance, construction, nursing, pharmacy and more

By: Yuki Hayashi / with updates by Adrienne Brown

©iStockphoto.com/GRADYREESEphotography Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/GRADYREESEphotography

Money & Career

Canada's 10 hottest job industries: Finance, construction, nursing, pharmacy and more

By: Yuki Hayashi / with updates by Adrienne Brown
From the skilled trades to mobile app developer, check out our list of top 10 hot jobs and discover the positions that are in demand across Canada. If you're stuck in a part-time job and want a real career, are deciding what to study, or are even considering a change in work, read on!

These trades and professions are booming, so if you have the training and aptitude for one of these gigs, you can expect good money, a relative amount of job security and the knowledge that companies are vying to hire you (you hot commodity, you!). And remember, the average worker changes careers -- not jobs, but careers -- three to seven times. So don't be afraid to take the plunge into something new.

Find your dream job
Regardless of the industry or job you're applying for, Peter Harris, Editor-in-Chief at Workopolis.com, has three tips for landing your dream job this year:

1. Target jobs carefully, don't just shotgun apply to every available position out there: 
Employers can easily spot a generic application and they are seldom impressed by it. What they want to see is a document that tailors your skills and experience specifically to the job that they posted, and that demonstrates what you can do for them. You don't get a job through sending out more applications, you get hired through better applications.

2. Focus on accomplishments in resumes and interviews: List your accomplishments, not your duties at your previous roles. Hiring managers know what job descriptions match your old job titles. The unique and interesting part is what you alone accomplished in that role. What set you apart? What have you done, learned or accomplished there that can be particularly useful to your potential new employer? Write those in your resume and tell those stories in job interviews. 


3. Promote your people skills and a solid work ethic: 
Since 67 per cent of Canadian executives surveyed by Workopolis say that they are having trouble finding candidates with the right attitude, work ethic, communication skills and team working abilities, candidates can really stand out from the crowd by demonstrating that they have all of those qualities in all of their interactions with employers.

You can do this by making sure that your resume is well-written and error free. Highlight the times you've gone the extra mile in order to accomplish goals. Focus on your collaboration with successful teams. Use the job interview to demonstrate your positive attitude, enthusiasm and work ethic.

10 hot jobs in Canada in 2013:

1. Financial managers and accountants

Demand for money managers is increasing as the private and government sectors are looking for whizzes who know the complexities of financial management.

What to expect: An unemployment rate less than half that of the Canadian average.

Tip: If you have knowledge of foreign finance or are fluent in a foreign language, consider yourself doubly attractive -- and pack your bags for a potentially jet-set international career.

Getting started: Visit the international Financial Management Association's website at fma.org.

2. Skilled tradespeople


If you don't want an office job but do want a salary that pays above the national average, this is the sector for you. Unfortunately (or fortunately for you, depending on how you look at it), the skilled trades have suffered stigmatization for a generation. As a result, a shortage of tradespeople is looming in the service (chefs, horticulturalists), construction (electricians, carpenters, plumbers), transportation (aviation technicians, automotive service technicians) and manufacturing (industrial mechanics, tool and die makers) sectors.

Tip: In the next two decades, 40 per cent of new jobs are supposed to be in the skilled trades and technologies.

Getting started: Visit careersintrades.ca for information on training (including paid apprenticeships).

3. Software and mobile developers

Most professions rely on some type of technology and software. Almost every other job out there (plus all the “fun stuff” we do!) relies on technology, and somebody must be designing and updating software, particularly for our smartphones and tablets. Many companies hire third parties to develop mobile apps for their customers or tailored software for their particular needs – you can be the one compiling and programming them.

What to expect: Unlike other in-demand jobs with openings due to retirement, this is a very young industry with new positions being created all the time. According to Harris at Workopolis.com, mobile application developers earn an average of about $91,000 per year.

Getting Started: Visit canlearn.ca for information on how to pursue different types of programming and software careers.

4. Registered Nurses

Canada's aging population means this sector's a dynamic place to be. A combination of factors will ensure a wealth of opportunity for nurses with college or university nursing degrees.

What to expect: Demand for Registered Nurses is expected to continue to increase through to 2020 – and the industry is growing faster than many other in-demand jobs, at that.

Tip: If you're intrigued by the industry but are looking for more flexibility, consider contract nursing or international and traveling positions.

Getting started: Check out the Canadian Nurses Association website at cna-nurses.ca


5. Psychologists, social workers and counsellors


If you're up for the challenge of dealing with difficult situations and helping people work out different life and personal problems, you might be a perfect candidate for this industry. There aren't enough people like you out there, it seems!

What to expect: Right now, this sector has a very low unemployment rate, so prospects are good. However, they're only going to get better: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada estimates that between now and 2020, there will be more opportunities in these occupations than there will be job seekers. Better yet, their wages are increasing every year at a faster rate than many other industries.

Getting started: Learn more about these careers through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.


6. Medical technologists or technicians

Jobs in the healthcare industry don't all involve direct contact with patients. There's plenty of behind-the-scenes work in labs to support doctors and hospitals.

What to expect: In Canada, there is currently about a zero per cent unemployment rate among medical technologists and technicians. On average, medical techs earn over $100,000 per year.

Getting started: Visit The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science or the Ontario Society of Medical Technologists websites for more information.

7. Human resource specialists or managers

Demand for human resources specialists and managers is increasing and expected to stay strong, as companies place greater emphasis than ever before on human resources issues such as recruitment, training, employee relations and retention.

What to expect: Prospects in this field are great. The unemployment rate for HR professionals has been decreasing steadily.

Getting started: HR.com has lots of industry information with a North American perspective. Visit the sites of business schools for MBA programs with a special focus on human resource management.

8. Pharmacists

A growing and aging population means more prescriptions needing to be filled. From hospital pharmacists to your friendly local pharmacist, there's greater demand for them than there are qualified grads or trained immigrants to fill the positions.

What to expect: Good pay, and many pharmacists are self-employed -- they own the pharmacies they work in.

Getting started: You must attend pharmacy school at a Canadian university and hold a Bachelor of Science degree. Check out the Canadian Pharmacists Association website at pharmacists.ca for info.


9. Audiologists, speech therapists and physiotherapists

Another health-related industry, specialized therapists are in high demand across the country. Specializing in speech-language pathology, audiology, occupational therapy or physiotherapy is a great way to ensure you move right into your chosen career and will allow you to help a variety of people every day.

What to expect: This industry has experienced a zero per cent unemployment rate for the past 15 years. There are consistent openings and the high demand for skilled professionals should last at least through 2020, according to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

Getting started: Most types of therapy jobs require a university degree and, in many cases, a Master's degree. Specific industry associations (such as the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the Canadian Academy of Audiology or the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists) have more information.


10. Construction managers

Whether residential or industrial, someone has to plan and oversee all the different parts and contributors to new building projects and make sure they work together (and on schedule) to produce a quality finished product.

What to expect: This career puts you on the number-crunching side of construction. You'll be managing major deadlines and huge teams. Harris says experienced construction managers can earn about $93,000 per year.

Getting started: Many construction managers start in a hands-on building job or in a related skilled trade, such as renovations or carpentry. An engineering degree can help take you to the next level. Visit careersintrades.ca for more.


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Canada's 10 hottest job industries: Finance, construction, nursing, pharmacy and more

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