Eighteen months ago, Jodi Jensen was working for a national sports association, helping to develop athletic programs. Today, she has the job she’s always dreamed of: police officer. Jensen is a uniformed constable patrolling the streets of Calgary, responding to emergency dispatch calls and conducting criminal investigations.
Jensen, 27, is using a new and exciting set of skills in her job with the Calgary Police Department. She also has great benefits and a good salary that promises to get even better thanks to a progressive pay scale: After five years, Jensen will be pulling in more than $66,000 a year.
“I just love the challenge of the job and the excitement level,” says Jensen, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Calgary.
Anyone looking for a new job or who’s ready to switch careers might want to follow Jensen’s lead. By going after a position where demand usually exceeds supply and the pay is above average—Jensen vaulted into one of the country’s most promising occupations. The threat of terrorism and higher spending on security have contributed to the demand for more police officers—and provided an opportunity for Jensen.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) predicts about 2.7 million new jobs will be created over the next five years due to increased economic activity and increasing numbers retiring from the workforce.* Most jobs will value brains —two thirds, in fact, require post-secondary education or training.
If you carefully consider your—or your kids’—education and training, it’s possible to land one of these hot jobs. If you’re already working but want to trade up, you may need some retraining—but that’s something people do all the time, says Wayne Roth, senior advisor with the Policy Research and Co-ordination Directorate of HRSDC.
“In the old days you graduated from university, got a job, worked 35 years and said bye-bye,” he says. “Now, you can have eight jobs in your working life and three different careers.”
More than ever, today’s hot jobs are concentrated in the service sector, not manufacturing. Employment in services has been rising as assembly-line jobs move offshore, says Glen Hodgson, vice-president and chief economist with the Conference Board of Canada. “That’s globalization.”
Luckily, anyone who’s motivated and flexible can get the needed retraining to take advantage of the shift. If it’s your time to make the leap, one of these jobs is within your reach.
Working with HRSDC, which studies labour market trends, we’ve identified five fields likely to offer prom- ising job prospects in the near future. Within each, we’ve picked three positions with salaries, on the whole, above the national average. Here they are:
Concerns over both personal and home security, plus a rise in disposable income available for specialized, private health services are factors that add up to opportunities in this field.
“This is a really exciting job because you’re working with people who depend on your advice,” says John Service, executive director of the Cana- dian Psychological Association, adding that research is an important component of the job. Psychologists work in private practices, schools, criminal justice settings, universities, business and the health-care system. “You have a lot of options,” says Service.
Depending on your province, you’ll have to have a graduate, master’s or doctoral degree, and complete a licensing exam.
Salary range: $59,900-$88,900. For more information about this job, visit www.cpa.ca, the Canadian Psychological Association.
Interested in doing what Jodi Jensen does? You may need a college diploma or university degree, perhaps in law and security or social sciences. There’s also a three- to six-month training program and psychological tests. You must meet vision requirements and be in good shape.
Salary range: $59,600-$76,100. For more information, go to www.cppa-acpp.ca, the Canadian Professional Police Association.
More fire stations combined with early retirements have created a shortage of firefighters. “It’s been a big concern for fire services across Canada,” says Mike Eddy, president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. The job involves more than rescuing victims from fires and accident sites; you’ll have to respond to bomb threats and chemical spills, and help educate the public about fire safety.
Advises Eddy, “If you’re a loner, stay away, because what you’ll do is part of a team; your safety depends on it.” In addition to being fit, you’ll need a high school diploma and perhaps a college diploma in a related field. Medical training is usually provided.
Salary range: $56,700-$72,700. For more information, see www.cafc.ca, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
As waves of baby boomers hit 60, their medical needs will begin to increase. This, combined with a high number of retirements and an increasingly health-conscious population, add up to promising job opportunities in this field.
Bonnie Adamson, a registered nurse, combined continuing education and plenty of experience to work her way up to the job of president and CEO at Toronto’s North York General Hospital. “I wanted a leadership role so I could make a difference for the front-line staff who provide care 24 hours a day,” says Adamson, who is in her 50s.
Leadership and communication skills are crucial for this job, which involves supervising staff and consulting with boards of directors to set up programs, budgets and goals. Managers are needed everywhere in the health-care system, from small clinics to large hospitals.
Salary range: $56,400-$82,000. For more information, go to www.cchse.org, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives.
Canada is nearing a crisis of monumental proportions, warns the Canadian Nurses Association. By 2016 the country could face a shortfall of 31 percent of the registered nurses needed. As an RN, you’ll provide care to patients, but you can also specialize—in surgery, neurology, obstetrics. You must have a nursing diploma or degree, and extra training or experience if you specialize.
Salary range: $46,500-$64,000. For more information, visit www.cna-nurses.ca, the Canadian Nurses Association.
If you’re strong in science—and have a strong stomach—consider this hot job. You’ll either assist with autopsies and examine surgical specimens or perform autopsies under a pathologist’s supervision. For this job, you need either a bachelor’s degree in science or training and experience as a nurse, nursing assistant or medical laboratory technologist.
Salary range: $45,100-$60,000. For more information, go to www.cap.acp.org, the Canadian Association of Pathologists.
With as many as half the education workforce likely to retire by 2015, elementary, secondary and postsecondary teachers will be among the personnel in demand. Fortunately in most areas it’s expected there’ll be enough new teachers coming through the ranks to keep up with it. But the need to fill other jobs in education will be more urgent.
Demand for professors is high thanks in part to the need for a highly educated workforce. Good communication skills are a must since you’ll be lecturing and advising students. You must have a doctoral degree.
Barbara Jenkins, in her early 40s, is associate professor of communication studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. She says one of the best parts of this job is the flexibility: You can write the required academic papers and do the marking on your own schedule. “You have some freedom but none of the risks of being self-employed.”
Salary range: $76,600-$109,200 and up. For more information visit www.caut.ca, the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Teachers can become principals if they have plenty of classroom experience. This is a natural career path for those who want to work in management—you’ll direct staff, review programs and timetables, and manage the school budget.
Salary range: $68,400-$87,900. For more information, see www.cdnprincipals.org, the Canadian Association of Principals.
Are you a teacher who wants to move up the ladder? To work with a school board, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in education (and sometimes a master’s), plus experience as a senior teacher or department head.
Pat Stanley is superintendent of education with the Avon Maitland District School Board in southwestern Ontario. She supervises eight staff who train teachers in introducing new curriculums to students, and assessing whether they’re learning. She says the job takes organization, good communication skills and a positive outlook.
Recent projections estimate there will be almost one million skilled-trade job openings in the next decade or so. “The money can be quite good in the trades,” says the Conference Board’s Hodgson. “Often they pay more than white-collar jobs.”
Ron Sawlor, 34, of Lake Echo, N.S., was trained as a carpenter, but he’s now in charge of sales and estimates for Added Spaces, a home renovation business. He’s cashing in on a trend sweeping the country: Canadians spent a record $36 billion on home improvements in 2004, says the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation—a figure that has more than doubled since 1991.
To do Sawlor’s job—advise clients on what’s involved in their planned renovation and give estimates on total costs—takes good communication skills and experience in the home construction industry. A good start would be doing an apprenticeship. “I love my job,” enthuses Sawlor. “I get to deal with tons of people, and when the job is done, we’re heroes.”
Salary range: $40,800-$71,600. For more information, visit www.chba.ca, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
Contractor and Supervisor
In this job you hire and supervise any combination of skilled workers—electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers and plumbers—to build, for example, a factory. To qualify, you must finish high school and possibly have a community college diploma, but ideally have a trade certification plus experience as a tradesperson.
Salary range: $50,300-$80,000. For more information, go to www.cca-acc.com, the Canadian Construction Association.
In this high-tech job you may operate computerized switchboards and other equipment in electrical control centres overseeing the flow of power. You may be troubleshooting or looking for more efficient ways to distribute and regulate electricity flow. When there’s a problem, such as a storm, you’ll have to figure out how to restore power quickly and safely.
You could need a three- to five-year apprenticeship or more than three years experience plus college or related industry courses.
Salary range: $65,100-$95,500. For more information, visit www.career ccc.org, Canadian Career Consortium.
The business of doing business is getting ever more complex, creating opportunities in finance, information management and human resources.
Banking, Credit and Investment Manager
Demand is high for people who can oversee operations in banks, credit departments, insurance companies and other financial establishments. You’ll need strong analytical skills, be good at managing staff, and have a university degree or community college diploma in business administration, commerce, economics or a related field. You might also need a master’s degree.
Salary range: $69,400-$100,100. For more information, go to www.cim.ca, the Canadian Institute of Management.
Human Resources Specialist
Dave Barber, 37, of Regina, was working as a data processor when he saw a posting for a job in human
resources. “It was what I went to university for,” he says. For the past two years, he’s been working for the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission as a human resources (HR) specialist responsible for determining salary levels for government jobs. “You have to be able to build relationships,” he says, “because sometimes HR is caught in the middle of various people’s concerns and issues.” Barber’s new job pays 25 percent more than his previous one.
Companies also need people who can design training programs and interpret labour laws. You’ll need a university degree, professional development program or college diploma in personnel administration or a related field.
Salary range: $54,700-$81,100. For more information, visit www.ipma-aigp.ca, the International Personnel Management Association—Canada.
Financial and Investment Analyst
People who collect and analyze
information, then provide reliable investment advice to clients and companies are in demand, says HRSDC’s Roth, because more people want to retire earlier.
In this job, you might find yourself working for a brokerage house, bank, investment company, trust company or insurance firm. You need a bachelor’s degree in commerce, business administration or economics, and you may be required to get your Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Salary range: $68,000-$100,100.
For more information, go to www.cfainstitute.org, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.