The 10 Worst Jobs in Canada
(and what they pay)
By Peter Harris
Think your job is bad? Canadian Business
magazine has released its list of the top 10 worst jobs to have this
year, as ranked according to the number of opportunities available and
fluctuations in potential salary. Here are the career paths you don't
want to be on.
It turns out that pretty much any jobs
involving lumber, paper, or harvesting have crummy pay and declining
demand. Factory work is also declining as the lingering effects of the
recession continue to take their toll. Textile production is nearly gone
from North America as most of these jobs have shipped out to places like
China, Bangladesh and Mexico. And film processing and development is
doomed everywhere. Digital cameras killed it.
The top 10 worst jobs in Canada (and
their median salaries):
processing machine operator - $33,000
The decline in demand for plastics
has meant that employment in this industry has been on a ten year
machine operator - $37,500
New technologies continue to replace
many of the people who used to work in this field.
worker - $43,700
Canadian Business calls this one of
the "best of the worst jobs" because of the relatively high pay, but
manufacturing jobs worldwide are on the decline because of the
wood, pulp and paper processing - $39,500
Not only does this job have declining
opportunities and low pay, but it's also physically demanding and
quite dangerous. The job ranking site Careercast.com actually rated
lumberjack as the worst job in the world last year. However,
Canadian Business has found worse jobs to have in Canada. Read on.
processing machine operator - $38,500
Similar to the workers in plastic,
demand for rubber products has gone down resulting in a surplus of
workers and few opportunities.
office clerk - $35,360
While there are still roles for
specialized office workers, the general clerk is usually the first
person let go when companies cut back. Most of their tasks are just
foisted onto their remaining coworkers to absorb.
labourer - $22,360
Harvesting is physically demanding
hard work for very little pay. In fact this is such an undesirable
job to have that many Canadians won't do it. Farmers routinely bring
in foreign workers for the harvest season.
3. Weaver or
knitter - $29,000
Labour overseas is cheaper, and
customers want low prices for textiles. The garment industry has
been in steady decline in Canada for decades. There are very few
opportunities left for people in this field.
and film processor - $23,000
Nobody develops film any more.
Technology strikes again: digital cameras have, in a relatively
short time, completely obliterated what was once a thriving
1. Pulp mill
operator - $56,000
Oddly, according to Canadian
Business, the worst job to have in Canada this year is also the
highest paying of the bad jobs. However, working in a pulp and paper
mill is not a good career path to be on in 2013. The paper industry
has been hit by the global economic downturn, a pine beetle
infestation, increased costs, and an increasingly paperless world.
Get out now.
Source: Canadian Business,
"The top 10 worst jobs in Canada"
The Ten Best Jobs in Canada
for 2013 (and how to get them)
By Peter Harris
Earlier this week we took a look at the
worst jobs in Canada this year as ranked by changes in salary and the
declining number of jobs. Well, that was the bad news. The good news is
there are numerous other fields that offer increasing pay and
Canadian Business Magazine has put
together a list of the top jobs in Canada that offer a minimum salary of
at least $60,000 with projected growth and that are actively hiring
right now. Helpfully, they've also pointed out the barrier to entry for
each, so you'll know what qualifications you'll need to get hired.
So, as ranked by demand for workers and
recent salary growth, here are the top ten jobs in Canada for 2013,
their median salaries, and how to land them:
Aerospace engineer - $75,000
In this role you will use a range of computer systems and
high tech equipment to make sure that the design and components of
aircraft or spacecraft are all functioning properly. To land this
job, you'll need an engineering degree. See Aerospace engineer
opportunities on Workopolis.
Chemical engineer - $78,000
You’ll need to have a bachelor of applied science or a
chemical engineer degree for this job, but the good news is that
right out of school, chemical engineering is one of the highest
paying degrees for entry-level jobs. New grads can earn a starting
salary of $50,000-60,000$. See chemical engineering jobs.
government manager - $96,000
High-level bureaucrats earn close to the six-figure mark, but
this takes working your way up through the ranks of the civil
service. (And surviving the winds of political change.) However, to
get started all you need is generally a relevant university degree
and (especially for federal government jobs) bilingualism.
See jobs in government relations on
Workopolis, or visit the Canadian public service's hiring site.
Real estate & financial manager - $80,000
There is such a demand for workers that many financial
institutions are actively hiring people from unrelated backgrounds
and offering them in-house training programs. However, to be
successful, you'll need an in-depth grasp of financial systems.
Sales experience and/or a business or finance degree are
recommended. See jobs on real estate or finance jobs.
Lawyer - $80,000
To become a lawyer you need to complete the LSAT (Law School
Admission Test) and a three to four year degree. Candidates also
have to "article" (working under the supervision of an experienced
lawyer for 10 months) and successfully complete the Bar Admission
Course. See lawyer jobs.
School principal & administrator - $90,000
To become a principal, you need to have an undergraduate
degree, your teaching certificate, and experience teaching. Many
regions also require advanced degrees and the completion of a
principal training program. See school principal and / or
Electrical & telecommunications contractor
Contractors are in demand across the country, and
generally work for themselves as independent companies. To achieve
this status, you start by becoming a certified electrician. This
requires a four-year apprenticeship that combines studying with
actual on-the-job training. See electrical contracting jobs.
Petroleum engineer - $93,500
Canada's booming oil and gas sector has made workers in
this sector a hot commodity. You'll need an engineering degree to
start. Then think about what kind of job you want in the field.
Drilling engineers decide how to extract oil and gas, production
engineers care for the operation of wells, and reservoir engineers
gauge how much oil and gas is left underground. Alternate career
paths can focus on workplace safety or environmental issues. See
petroleum engineering jobs.
Head nurse & health-care manager - $75,000
Becoming the head nurse is an important career step that
allows you to earn more money, tackle bigger challenges and take
control over more aspects of the environment you're working in. To
land this role, you'll first need a four-year nursing degree,
followed by on-the-job experience. Some nurses then earn a master of
science in nursing as part of an MBA or a master of health care
administration. Either of these can boost your chances of climbing
up in the ranks. See nursing jobs.
- Oil & gas
drilling supervisor - $75,000
Supervisors in this field supervise a team of workers
drilling for oil or gas, operating rigs, or providing oil and gas
well services. They work for drilling and well service contractors
and by petroleum producing companies. While a college diploma in
petroleum engineering technology or Petroleum Industry Training
Service (PITS) courses may be required, successful on-the-job
experience is generally considered more important than formal
education for reaching the position of supervisor. See oil and gas
Source: Canadian Business,
The Top Ten Best Jobs in Canada
The Pros of Parttime Jobs
By Matthew Tarpey,
For many recent graduates, life isn’t
going exactly as planned. The rocky job market has many wondering when
they’ll put their education to use at a real, full-time job. But rather
than simply accept unemployment until things turn around, they should
consider taking a part-time position.
There are a number of reasons why recent
grads should look more seriously at part-time jobs. Chief among them is
money. It never hurts to have a little income, and it’ll get your
parents off your back. Student loan debts may be due soon, plus the
sooner you’re able to start saving money, the sooner you’ll be able to
move out of your parents’ house. Not to mention having an active social
life requires having cash.
Filling a résumé gap
But the benefits go much deeper than
funding weekend partying and staving off financial problems. A part-time
job shows prospective employers that you can take life seriously and be
proactive. Employers may question gaps in a candidate’s résumé,
especially ones that stretch over a long period of time. Show employers
that you’re responsible by taking a part-time job to help pay off your
student loans while looking for more permanent employment.
Gaining experience in
your field of interest
When researching part-time positions,
look for ones that would give you experience in your desired field and
possibly introduce you to professional contacts that may be useful down
the road. For many employers, a candidate’s prior experience is an
important factor, and professional referrals remain the most trusted and
widely used method among hiring managers for filling vacancies. A
part-time job in a related field is often more beneficial than a
full-time position in an unrelated one.
Even if your part-time job isn’t in your
desired field, it is still a good way to round out a résumé, as well as
prove you’re a driven self-starter. It may also lead to letters of
recommendation, which will be invaluable in your job search.
time-management and organization skills
Taking a part-time job will also help in
your quest to find sustainable employment in less direct ways, such as
improving your time management. With nothing to do each day but fill out
the odd job application and make a phone call or two, it’s easy for an
unemployed job seeker to get distracted and disorganized. A part-time
job can help create structure that is likely to spill over into the rest
of your life and prepare you for a full-time schedule.
A part-time job makes a great transition
into the hustle and bustle of the daily work force. So, while it may not
be what you originally wanted, any chance to put yourself to work, fill
résumé gaps and build worthwhile experience should be looked at as an
What Does It Take to be
By Susan Ricker,
Job-searching can feel like being a
contortionist, trying to fit and shape yourself to exactly what the job
description asks for. Often times you need to tweak your experience and
skills to match their phrasing. But what if you find yourself easily
meeting the job’s requirements or even surpassing them? While you may
feel confident you’re a sure pick for the role, hiring managers may deem
you overqualified. Where’s the line between a perfect fit and
overqualified? Learn how to understand if your qualifications will work
for or against you, and why hiring managers care.
The problem for both
job seekers and employers
A person’s career tends to ascend with
higher titles and more responsibility as time goes on. “An overqualified
job seeker is someone who, because of salary, experience or education,
is considering taking a step down in job or pay out of short-term
convenience or personal necessity,” says Jeff Zinser, principal of Right
Recruiting, LLC. Although this may sound like a plus for employers, who
can benefit from the extra skills and experience, overqualified
applicants can be viewed as a flight risk. “This situation is a problem
for employers because there is a high probability that the person will
leave the job as soon as a position at their historical level appears.
In many situations, once the person becomes productive, they leave. Then
the employer needs to refill the position. Job specifications and
requirements are designed to fill professional positions with people who
will be happy and challenged for the long term.”
Send the right message
The hiring manager has valid reason to be
concerned about overqualified applicants, but job seekers are willing to
settle if a job is needed immediately. How can you translate your
experience to be interpreted as hire-friendly without lying? “We never
recommend editing or omitting vital information like experience or
education from a résumé to prevent from being labeled overqualified,”
says Peter Zukow, general manager at Lock Search Group, a recruitment
and staffing firm. “Instead it is important to tailor a résumé to the
specifications of the role. Highlight the qualifications and experiences
that are most applicable to the role. If an individual misrepresents
themselves on their résumé, it can be extremely embarrassing or even
lead to immediate disqualification if uncovered during interview or
Address the issue
No matter how experienced a job seeker
is, the key to convincing an employer that you’re the right person for
the job is making a clear business case for yourself and the company.
After you’ve tailored your résumé to include key phrases and experience
the description asks for, take the time in your cover letter and
interview to address your overqualifications. Acknowledge your
overwhelming credentials and how this position fits into your career
path, as well as how the business can benefit from your experience. Also
come prepared with ideas for how you can fit into the company culture
and business values. An ideal job has responsibilities that play to your
strengths and challenge you, so find duties in the description that you
would like to get better at and communicate your approach to this
position as a learning opportunity.
Being an overqualified job seeker doesn’t
have to result in instant rejection. Research the roles you’re applying
to and how your experience can benefit the team as well as yourself.
Employers look for a job candidate who’s a good company fit and will be
around for a while. By making it clear you’re interested in the job and
have more to learn from that particular role, you’ll make it clear that
you are the best person for the job.
Are You Really Qualified
for that Job?
By Sonia Acosta, Special to
You did it. Four years of college went by
in a haze of parties, new experiences and hopefully at least a few dozen
textbooks. Now it’s time to go out into the world and get a job. Should
be easy, right? You’ve done your part, and someone out there owes you a
Companies are looking for qualified
workers that will bring something to the table and help their businesses
move forward. Beyond a college degree, you will need to show prior
experience, concrete skills, emotional intelligence, tenacity and a
myriad of other qualities.
Here are three tips to help you navigate
the thin line between qualified and entitled and honestly evaluate your
skills as a recent graduate or entry-level worker.
Jaime Radow, a certified life coach in
Scottsdale, Ariz., poses five questions that can help recent graduates
and entry-level workers take the first important step in any job search,
evaluating your brand as an employee.
- What education do I have? “This list
should include everything from college, to those 10 years of dance
classes, to that weekend workshop you took in film making,” Radow
says. “Write it all down. Don’t edit yourself.”
- What experience do I have? “Paying
jobs and internships obviously make the list, but also include that
six months of volunteering at the retirement home, i.e., skills
gained, communication with the elderly, patience and compassion,”
Radow says. “Even selling baseball cards or Girl Scout cookies as a
kid is sales experience. You may amaze yourself with all of the
things you can do.”
- What do I enjoy doing? Here again,
it is important that you do not edit yourself, Radow advises. List
your passions and interests, and be honest about what these are.
- If I could have any job, what would
it be? Why? Dig deep. Think about what you really want to do and
what you envision yourself doing for a living. When you’re honest
with yourself about the kind of job you’d like to have, you’re more
likely to find a good fit.
- What jobs do I believe I am
qualified for, and what is the pay range for my level of experience?
Based on the skills and experiences you’ve listed, what kind of
positions do you think you’re qualified for? Research these
positions online, and find out what the starting pay is in your
Once you’ve evaluated your personal
brand, make an honest and well-rounded appraisal of your skills. Step
one gets you started, but here is how to take it to the next level.
Julie Bauke, career strategist and
president of The Bauke Group based in Cincinnati, Ohio, suggests you:
- Make a list with three columns:
good/very good at, can do it/adequate at and not so good at/don’t
ask me to do this.
- Collect honest feedback from those
you have worked with — professors, peers, former/current managers —
and compare that to your own self-assessment.
- Get your mind around the fact that
you are not great at everything. No one is.
”I once spoke to a group of about 75 MBA
students and asked who in the room was really great at managing large
amounts of detail,” Bauke says. “Every hand went up. There’s no way.
Honestly evaluating the experiences you have already had, plus your gut,
plus feedback from others, will point you in the right direction.”
Focusing on the
According to Stu Coleman, partner and
general manager at Winter, Wyman, a recruitment company based in Boston,
the difference between entitled and qualified often balances on the turn
of one phrase or the choice of one word over another.
”You can’t assume anything,” Coleman
says. “Remember it [the interview] is an interview, not a meeting. Ask
questions, leading ones that will result in a conversation about how you
can add value. Ask what their opinion of you is, what concerns or
hesitations they may have.”
Maria K. Todd, president and CEO of
Mercury Healthcare International, cautions new graduates and entry-level
workers to avoid coming into an interview with an entitled attitude.
”I have been plagued with these
candidates who feel a sense of entitlement,” Todd says. “They walk into
an interview as if they are the ones who are very busy. They have no
idea about our company, and want to ‘cut to the chase’ with their deal
breaker offer to be employed for a minimum of $70K.”
As a recent graduate or entry-level
worker, it is important to have and exhibit confidence with a healthy
dash of modesty. Know your strengths and celebrate them, but be careful
not to give off an air of arrogance or entitlement. Employers want to
hire people who are confident but humble, enthusiastic and ready to roll
up their sleeves to help the business succeed.
researches and writes about job search strategy, career management,
hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder.
How College Grads can Succeed – or
at their First Jobs
Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder Writer
College graduates from 2008 and onward
have entered a tough economy and a competitive job market they may not
have felt prepared to face. After four years or more of classes, papers,
labs, homework and exams, it’s hard to hear that there’s not necessarily
a dream job waiting for them, or in some cases, any work at all.
How can you survive the uncertain economy
and still start a career? With some adjustments to your perspective,
planning for your future and developing a new work ethic, it’s possible.
Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder, author of “The Unemployed College Graduate’s
Survival Guide: How to Get Your Life Together, Deal with Debt, and Find
a Job After College,” tackles this subject and has some tips for
success. “I know that you were hoping to cash in your academic chips at
the pay-off window of life at this point, but there is simply too much
competition for employment right now to allow you to do that,” Snyder
says. “You’re going to have to shrug it off and adjust your expectations
and your behavior to match reality. So let’s talk about some productive
strategies and attitudes that will help you move forward into a bright
Starting at the bottom of the ladder
If you don’t have a new job lined up
after graduating, where can you start searching for work? “As a new
entrant to the workforce, you will probably be looking for an
entry-level job within an established organization,” Snyder says.
“Entry-level work, by definition, implies that you lack prior experience
in the field. Typically, entry-level workers are assigned the least
desirable tasks within an organization –sometimes called the ‘grunt’
work. This is how you are expected to ‘learn the ropes’ of a business.”
No matter what job you start off in,
remember that your main goal in this economy is to find a way to earn a
paycheck, even if the work isn’t what you dreamed of in college. “You’re
still going to have to pay your dues, though,” Snyder says. “The truth
is, you are in competition with a lot of other capable workers for good
work. Everybody wants to do the most interesting work and be paid well
for it, but there is only so much desirable work to go around. Those
with endurance and patience are most likely to reach the level where
they can claim the plum assignments. Remember: No one owes you
interesting work. You have to earn it.”
How not to succeed in your first job
If you find a job that leaves much to be
desired, don’t consider your time to be wasted or opportunities to be
lost. There are always ways to advance in any job or company. Yet, a
negative attitude is more detrimental to your career than any
Snyder says that by doing any of the
following, you won’t succeed in your first job:
- “Show up every day with a surly,
condescending attitude. Assume you are better than everyone else at your
job and be sure to drop not-so-subtle hints to let them know that you
feel you are too good to be working there. Make sure that your body
language communicates disgust, or at least abject boredom with the job.
Roll your eyes as a silent rebuke to others and sigh loudly, if
necessary, to indicate your contempt for them and for your job duties.
Complain incessantly about how unfair everything is. Act superior to
everyone, including your stupid boss who doesn’t know anything.
- “If your managers and co-workers still
don’t seem to get the message that you are better than they are, then
tell them outright that your job stinks and you deserve better than to
be working in this dump. Be sure to act insulted by all of your tasks
and assignments. That will surely convince them to start giving you some
more important work.
- “Complete simple tasks sloppily and
carelessly, if at all; obviously, they’re beneath you and not worthy of
your full attention. You are not going to bother showing management what
you are capable of accomplishing until you start getting some better
assignments. Expect your managers to recognize your inward greatness and
promote you to the position you deserve when they finally wake up and
see how deserving you truly are.”
Navigating a tough economy is its own
challenge, and accepting any job will help propel your career. A
negative attitude will hurt your future, but having a positive mindset
and treating your new job as a stepping stone will advance your career
more than you may realize.