There has hardly ever been a better time to be looking for a job in Canada. With the economy firing on all cylinders, unemployment fell to 5.7 per cent in December, a level this country hasn’t seen in at least 40 years. And things seem to be continuing in that vein for 2018.
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Job openings are popping up all over, but there’s a handful of roles that top rankings across Canada and across a variety of industries in terms of the sheer volume of “wanted” ads, according to research by human resources giant Randstad.
Here are the top 10 most sought-after jobs:
This is the single most-needed role in Canada right now, according to Randstad. The term is a bit of a grab bag for a variety of different jobs, mostly in manufacturing and logistics. Specific duties can range from folding pastry on an assembly line in a food factory to moving heavy loads in a warehouse, said Carolyn Levy of Randstad Canada. This is usually contract work with large companies often turning to staffing agencies to supply workers when needed, she said. Pay is hourly and usually between $15.90 and $18.39. Qualifications vary depending on the role, but “experience generally trumps education,” Levy said. Although there’s been much talk about businesses swapping workers for machines and algorithms in a not so distant future, so far that hasn’t happened in Canada, according to Levy. Still, if you’re worried about robots, consider moving into skilled trades such as welder and machinist, she added.
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This is the second most in-demand job, and unsurprisingly so. Most businesses are about selling stuff, and with the economy doing well, they need people to help make those transactions happen. These are generally permanent jobs that pay between $52,000 and $62,000 a year for junior-level positions, Levy said.
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Every business also needs people who can file corporate taxes and manage the company’s finances. But the scramble to hire accountants also reflects the renewed health of the financial industry, Levy said. Pay ranges between $63,000 and $75,000 for the mid-level position that are most in demand right now.
Engineering project manager
These are folks who know both how to build stuff and how to manage people. With the federal government pumping money into infrastructure projects and the housing sector still hot in a number of local markets, the need for engineering project managers is high. Salary ranges between $74,000 and $92,000.
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This may be a job title that draws a blank look from most non-business people: What is it that you do exactly? But business analysts, especially those with some background in tech, are an essential role in most companies, Levy said. They are the folks who make sure that everyone knows how to actually use – and, ideally, make the most of – that fancy new piece of software the company just adopted, she said. With businesses having to constantly update their tech these days, it’s easy to see why they’re keen on business analysts with a background in IT. Salaries range between $73,000 and $87,000.
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Customer service representative
Again, since most business is about selling, most companies have customers, whether they are people or other corporations. And businesses need someone to make sure those customers stay happy. Those who have experience using so-called customer relationship management (CRM) software have a “huge advantage,” according to Randstad. Most jobs are nine-to-five but some roles might require evening shifts, Levy said. The good news is that having a university degree often isn’t a requirement. Experience involving customer service, such as having worked at a call centre, often trumps formal qualifications. Salary ranges between $37,000 and $43,000.
IT project manager
This is a job for geeks who also have people skills. It’s about leading teams of developers, analysts and other techies through complex IT projects. This role, which commands salaries between $92,000 and $114,000, is usually an upward move for tech professionals, Levy said.
Think of these as senior-level sales representatives, Levy said. Salary ranges between $75,000 and $92,000. And while you might not need a degree to be hired as a sales rep, you do normally need a degree or a diploma to make it to account manager.
Software is almost everywhere these days, not just in your desktop and smartphone, but also in things like your car and kitchen appliances. It’s no surprise that the folks who build software are everywhere, too. And not just in tech companies either, but in virtually every industry, from banking to the public sector. These roles require a technical degree or diploma, and salaries range from $83,000 to $99,000 for mid-level positions, Levy said.
There are a lot of job ads out there looking for people who can operate a forklift. That’s because more and more Canadians are shopping online, which has increased the need for companies to store goods in giant warehouses, from which your orders are shipped. And forklifts are essential to move stuff around in those warehouses.Currently, hourly pay is between $16.59 and $19.42. The job of forklift operator is, admittedly, a prime candidate for automation. But substituting human drivers with computers has high up-front costs, Levy said. For example, self-driving forklifts require changing the layout of warehouse aisles, she added. Jobs as forklift operators, like general labourer roles, “were presumed to have started to dwindle, but those jobs are still there,” Levy told Global News.
For now at least, it seems, there’s a job for everyone.
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