Find out the trades and professions that are most in demand, PLUS websites to get you started on your new job search.
By Yuki Hayashi
Canada's 10 hottest jobs: skilled trades, pharmacist, finance, dental hygienist and more
From the skilled trades to college professor, 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.
1. Financial manager
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 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 tradesperson
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. College or vocational school teacher
The boom in skilled trades means there's also a need for instructors at community colleges, Quebec's CEGEPs, technical institutes and other vocational schools.
What to expect: The number of job openings exceeds the number of candidates, especially with retirements expected over the years to come, plus increased government funding.
Tip: If your discipline is new technology or the skilled trades, your prospects are particularly good.
Getting Started: Go to Service Canada's website, jobfutures.ca, for more info.
4. Dentist or dental hygienist
Dentistry is a field you can really sink your teeth into, whether you've got the stamina to stick it out through three years of undergrad university studies plus four to five years of dentistry school or want to get working in this field sooner by becoming a dental hygienist.To obtain a diploma in dental hygiene, you can attend a private educational institution for a minimum of 16 months, or a 2 year program at a community college, or at the University of Manitoba and Dalhousie University. Also, dental hygiene degree programs are offered at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta. For more information on how to become a hygienist in your province, check out the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association's website.
What to expect: There are currently more job openings than there are qualified people to fill them, in both positions.
Tip: the industry will continue to grow as Canada's aging population requires more care, more Canadians enjoy dental coverage, and the booming demand for adult cosmetic dentistry continues (thank you, Hollywood!).
Getting started: The Canadian Dental Association's website has lots of info on the profession.
5. Computer and information systems managers
The 2001 slowdown in the computer industry didn't put a dent in this field. Wage growth is still better than average, as are actual wages (almost double the national average), while the unemployment rate is well below the national average.
Looking ahead: Overall, our reliance on computers at home and at work will continue to grow, meaning job security and continuous opportunities for training and growth.
Fun tip: Single gals, there are more men than women in this field, so industry conferences practically guarantee your BlackBerry will be full of new e-mail addresses of eligible bachelors.
Getting started: If you have experience as a programmer and a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related, field, you're in the running. Visit the government's CanLearn website for more info.
6. University professor
The Ivory Tower is also experiencing increased government spending on education and research, coupled with workplace demand for a highly trained and educated workforce.
What to expect: With below-average unemployment and above-average wages, plus a wave of retirements on the horizon, prospects are strong.
Getting started: Unless you've already got a Ph.D. in the closet, go online to research the post-grad university degree programs you'll need to embark upon if your heart is set on being a university professor.
7. Human resource specialist or manager
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: There are more job openings than job seekers in this field, so prospects are great. Just like you always thought, being a people person does pay off.
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.
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. Registered nurse
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.
Looking ahead: You'll be in high demand: there are more jobs than registered nurses due to retirement, enrollment in nursing programs is declining and there's a strong need for nurses internationally.
Tip: It's a great job if you love the idea of working in the U.S. or farther abroad, as well-paid international opportunities abound.
Getting started: Check out the Canadian Nurses Association website at cna-nurses.ca.
10. Retail manager
OK, OK, we all remember doing a McJob. But as the retail sector continues to grow, consumer spending is holding strong, and because there are more openings than there are job seekers in this field, finding employment is still relatively easy.
What to expect: If you're not hung up on high wages (managerial positions pay only slightly above the national average) but like flexible hours and love helping people, and you have transferable skills but perhaps no post-secondary education, this is the field for you.
Bonus: Expect great employee discounts.
Getting started: Apply to stores you think you might like working at, stressing your team skills, practical computer skills and passion for retail.