Skip to the main content
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Edmonton 780-644-9992

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up


Use this online dictionary when you’re reading the Easy Reading Job Profiles. You can save or print the dictionary too.

You can

What do the symbols mean?

There are 8 symbols in the Easy Reading Job Profiles. The symbols are for 8 different groups of jobs. You can ask your career advisor or tutor about the symbol and the jobs in that group. The 8 groups of jobs are:

Clean things. These jobs are for people who like to clean things. They like to make things look good.

Drive or move things. These jobs are for people who like to drive a lot. They can find addresses and read maps.

Help or serve people. These jobs are for people who like to work with other people. They take care of people. They help people find answers to problems or questions.

Make or fix things. These jobs are for people who like to work with their hands. They also like to use tools and machines.

Prepare food. These jobs are for people who like to cook or bake. They may work on production lines to prepare meats and other foods.

Protect things or people. These jobs are for people who like to make sure things are safe. They often work outdoors.

Sell things to people. These jobs are for people who like talking to customers. People in these jobs work with products and money, too.

Work with living things. These jobs are for people who like to work with plants or animals.

What do the words in bold mean?

A   B   C   D   E   F   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   U   V   W 


  • academic upgrading – You can take courses as an adult to get your grade 12 diploma. This is called academic upgrading.
  • ad – is a short form for the word "advertisement."
  • advertise – When a employer advertises (or post) jobs, they let people know that they want to hire somebody.
  • apprenticeship – Apprenticeship is a kind of training for some jobs. Apprentices get training on the job and work experience. An apprenticeship is 1 to 4 years. Apprentices work 80% (say: per cent) of their time. They go to school for technical training 20% of their time. At the end of their apprenticeship, apprentices become journeypersons.
  • attitude An attitude is a way to think or feel about something. Attitudes can change the way a person acts. Attitudes can change the way other people act. For example, people like to be around someone with a happy attitude.
  • authorize the verification of information – Authorize means "to give permission." Verification means "checking if something is true." When you sign an application form, you tell the employer that it is OKAY to make sure information is true.


  • benefits – Every worker gets a pay cheque. But some companies give workers extras called benefits. For example, a health plan that helps pay for eye glasses, pills or a trip to the dentist.
  • bondable – Employers want to know if they can trust their workers. If you have no criminal record, then you can be insured, or bonded. Do you need to handle money in your job? If so, you may need to be bonded before an employer will hire you. For example, security guards who take money from one bank to another must be bonded.
  • building supplies – Building supplies are materials that people use to build and repair things. You can often buy these materials at home improvement stores. For example, wood or nails.
  • bulldozer – A bulldozer is a large machine that pushes dirt and sand on construction sites and on roads. Heavy equipment operators use bulldozers.


  • career advisor – A career advisor can be a teacher or counsellor. A career advisor helps you make plans and decisions. For example, plans about work or school.
  • cash register – Cashiers and clerks use cash registers. A cash register calculates (figures out) the total bill and prints receipts. A cash register has a drawer for money.
  • caterer – Caterers make food for parties, meetings and other events. They take the food to customers’ homes and businesses. Caterers often have their own catering company.
  • certificate – A certificate is an official piece of paper. It says that you finished a program or course. After high school, students who take a 1-year program often get a certificate. For example, a heavy equipment operator certificate.
  • child intervention record check – An employer may ask the government for a child intervention record check. First you need to sign a form. The form lets the employer ask for the record check. Then the government will tell the employer if you have caused a child to need protection.
  • classified section – Newspapers have many parts, or sections. The classified section has advertisements for jobs and other things.
  • confidential – Confidential information is private. For example, your medical information. Health care aides may get confidential information at work. They must not talk about the confidential information with their friends or other people.
  • construction site – Construction workers work at construction sites. For example, a construction site is the place for a new building or a road.
  • contact information – Your contact information is your name, address, phone number, cellphone number or email address.
  • controls – Controls are buttons and switches. Workers use controls to drive trucks and other equipment.
  • cover letter – A cover letter introduces you. It tells the employer why you want the job. It also tells the employer why they should hire you.
  • co-workers – Co-workers are the people you work with.
  • CPR – CPR (say: c-p-r) means cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Some people do CPR in health emergencies. For example, if a person’s heart has stopped. CPR may save a person’s life until an ambulance comes. You need training to do CPR.
  • criminal record – You have a criminal record if you were found guilty of a crime. For example, shoplifting.
  • criminal record check – An employer may ask the police for a criminal record check. First you need to sign a form. The form lets the employer ask the police to do a record check. Then the police will tell the employer if you have a criminal record.


  • decorate – When you decorate something, you make it look pretty or special. For example, you can decorate a cake with flowers. You can decorate a room with paint.
  • deliver – If you take something to somebody, you deliver it. For example, do you ever phone for a pizza? The restaurant will deliver the pizza to your house. Delivery truck drivers make all kinds of deliveries. For example, they deliver parts or supplies from one business to another.
  • diploma – A diploma is an official piece of paper. People who finish Grade 12 get a high school diploma. After high school, students who take 2-year courses often get a diploma.
  • disability – A condition with a person's body or mind that limits their actions or activities. For example, blindness or depression.
  • dress code The way companies want workers to dress at work. Some companies want workers to dress in suits. At other companies, it's okay to wear jeans. Sometimes the company puts its dress code in the employee handbook.
  • driver’s licence – Everyone who drives a car, truck or motorcycle needs a driver’s licence. Truck drivers and bus drivers need a special licence. For example, bus drivers need a Class 2 licence. Tractor-trailer drivers need a Class 3 licence. Other people who work as drivers may need a Class 1 licence.


  • early childhood educator – An early childhood educator works with young children. Early childhood is the years before a child goes to school.
  • emergency – An emergency can be a medical problem or a danger. For example, a heart attack or a fire. Security guards sometimes have to call the police or fire department about an emergency.
  • employee handbook Some companies give new workers a small book full of information. For example, a handbook can have important phone numbers. It can also have important information about holidays, safety and more.
  • employer – An employer is a person that hires workers.
  • equipment – When you work, you need to have the right equipment. For example, the right tools. Carpenters need hammers and saws. Pet groomers need scissors and combs. Workers also need safety equipment. For example, safety glasses and face masks.
  • expected salary – Your salary is how much you are paid to do your job. Your expected salary is how much you want to be paid. When an employer asks you about your expected salary, give a range. For example, $15.00 per hour to $17.00 per hour. Or, $30,000 per year to $34,000 per year. "Salary expectations" is another way to say expected salary.
  • experience – When you work at a job, you get experience. You learn how to do different things. If you have worked as a cook, you can say that you have experience. For example, an employer may ask you, “Do you have experience as a cook?”


  • feedback Feedback is information from your employer or co-worker about what you are doing well (or not so well). It is a chance for you to learn how to do something better.
  • first aid certificate – You get a first aid certificate after you take first aid training. If a person has an accident, he or she may need first aid. Maybe you can help that person until an ambulance comes. For example, you can try to stop the bleeding. You can keep the person warm.
  • foreperson – A foreperson is a supervisor on a construction site. For example, a labourer with experience may become a foreperson. A foreperson gives instructions to other workers. For example, heavy equipment operators. A foreperson is sometimes called a foreman.
  • forklift – A machine to move heavy loads. The 2 metal bars that slide under the load look like a fork.


  • hazard - Something that can be a danger to workers at a workplace. For example, loud machines or harmful liquids.
  • hoist and swing equipment – Some heavy equipment operators use hoist and swing equipment. This equipment is very tall. It can lift heavy machines. For example, it can lift something to the top of a high building. The equipment can also swing. When it swings, it can move something across to the other side of the building.
  • home improvement store – Some stores sell tools and products for fixing things. People can buy these things to work on their homes. For example, paint, ladders or toilets. They can improve their homes.
  • human resources - Many large workplaces have a human resources office. It hires, trains and looks after the work needs of workers. Sometimes it is called the personnel department.


  • immediate termination of employment – Immediate termination of employment means being fired. What you write on your job application form must be true. If what you write is not true, the employer can fire you.
  • information interview - An information interview helps you get information about a job you want. You can talk to people who do this job. Or you can talk to the companies where you want to work. You can find out if the job will be a good fit for you.
  • ingredients – When you cook, you use many kinds of ingredients. For example, sugar, flour, meat or cheese.
  • instructions – Somebody tells you how to do something. That person gives you instructions. Instructions often have steps. “First you put on your hard hat. Then you get your tools. ”
  • interview – A interview happens when one person wants information from another person. For example, an employer wants to find a new worker. The worker will be asked questions at a job interview. The person who asks the question is the interviewer.


  • job fair – When many employers need workers, they get together and have a job fair. The job fair is held in a large room where each employer has a table or booth. People who need work can talk to the employers who are at the job fair. You can give your resumé to these employers.
  • job shadowing This type of training happens when you watch someone who has a job that you want to learn. You follow this person like a shadow. You watch this person for a day or 2. You can see what this person does at work.
  • journeyperson – A journeyperson has finished an apprenticeship. For example, apprentice carpenters work and study for 4 years. After that, they can become journeyperson carpenters. They get a special certificate. It is called a “ticket.” A journeyperson is also called a journeyman.


  • keywords – Keywords are important words. Keywords are used in job ads. They are the words that say what the employer is looking for. It is important to use these keywords in your resumé and cover letter.


  • loading dock – Truck drivers take products to the back of a building. They unload their trucks at loading docks. Loading docks have special doors. Loading docks have equipment for moving heavy things.
  • log book – Production workers write information in a special book. For example, they keep a record (log) of what they did or when they did it.


  • manager – Most workers have a manager. That person tells them what to do and checks their work. If you have a problem at work, you need to tell your manager. Some workers report to a supervisor, team lead or foreperson. Manager, supervisor, team lead or foreperson are all words used to describe a person who oversees work on the job.
  • materials – You use materials to make or repair things. For example, wood, tile and floor covering are materials.


  • nursing homes – People who cannot take care of themselves often live in nursing homes. Many of the people are old. Health care aides, nurses and other people take care of them.


  • observant – Some people notice many things. They are observant. For example, they see that someone is unhappy. They see that something is new or different.
  • online You must use a computer or a smartphone and the Internet to find something online.


  • pardoned conviction – You have a conviction if a law court finds you guilty of a crime. You also have a criminal record. But if the court pardons you, you have a pardoned conviction. This means your criminal record is gone.
  • patient – Patient people don’t get angry quickly. They are calm. For example, people who work in nursing homes have to be patient with the residents. Many of the residents are old and forget a lot. Servers sometimes have to be patient with customers.
  • patient – A sick person in a hospital is called a patient. Doctors, nurses and other hospital workers take care of patients.
  • post-secondary school – Students go to post-secondary schools after high school. Post–secondary schools are technical schools, colleges and universities.
  • preschool children – Preschool children are from 18 months to 5 years old. They don’t go to school. They may go to a daycare centre.
  • processing plant – Workers in processing plants make all kinds of products. For example, there are food processing plants and plastics processing plants. There are usually many steps in processing. Think of all the work to make sausages. Some workers kill the animals. Some workers cut up the meat. At the end of the process other workers make the sausages. Workers in plastics processing plants make plastic products. For example, plastic pipes for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • production line – Workers on a production line work together to make a product. Workers have different jobs. For example, one worker uses a machine to peel potatoes. Then that worker passes the potatoes to the next worker. The next worker cuts the potatoes up. Workers on a production line do the same thing again and again. A production line is also called an assembly line.
  • program A program is made up of many courses. It can be part of your training for work. When you finish the program, you may get a certificate or other documents. You can find programs at schools. Sometimes part of the program takes place at a workplace. For example, apprenticeship training programs. These programs can take longer that a year to finish.


  • receipt – A receipt is a piece of paper. It tells you how much you paid for something. It tells you how much change you got back. Cash registers print receipts.
  • record – Workers often have to keep records. They write on a piece of paper or in a small book. That is a record of their work. They can show it to their supervisor. For example, they write the time they did something. Or how much something cost.
  • references – When you look for a job, an employer will ask you for a reference. Employers want to know about you and your work. For example, they may want the name and phone number of your last employer. Or they may want a letter from an old employer. You can also get a reference from a co-worker or teacher.


  • scan – Cashiers in a store can scan a product to find out the price. Cashiers use a special machine called a scanner. The scanner reads the bar codes on the label. It sends the information to the cashier’s cash register.
  • schedule – A schedule is a list or a plan about times. For example, truck drivers have schedules. Schedules tell what time drivers have to pick up something. Or what time they have to deliver something.
  • selected candidates – A candidate is someone who is applying for a job. Employers get applications from candidates. Employers only contact some of these people. Employers pick the candidates they want to contact. These are the selected candidates.
  • shift – A shift is the number of hours a person works. Many people work an 8-hour shift. For example, some businesses need workers 24 hours a day. They have 3 shifts of workers. Each shift is 8 hours. Some workers work a split shift. For example, a server may work 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • shift work – A shift is 8 hours long. Some companies run for 16 or 24 hours. They may need workers who can work in the evening or at night. This is called shift work.
  • shingles – Roofers put shingles on roofs. The shingles protect the roof. Shingles are made of different things. For example, wood, tile or asphalt.
  • skill – A skill is something you do well. You can use the words "I can" to start. For example, I can bake. Or, I can fix things.
  • sloped roofs – Some roofs are flat. Some roofs are sloped. The sides of sloped roofs often come to a point at the top. It is more difficult to stand on sloped roofs than on flat roofs.
  • stockroom – Businesses keep many products in a stockroom. For example, shelf stockers may get products from the stockroom. They put them on the shelves at the front of the store.
  • supervisor – Most workers have a supervisor. That person tells them what to do and checks their work. For example, forepersons are supervisors on construction sites. If you have a problem at work, you need to tell your supervisor.
  • supplies – Supplies are things you need if you want to do something. For example, you need supplies like flour and sugar for baking. Housekeeping attendants put bath supplies in hotel bathrooms. For example, soap and shampoo.
  • switch – You use a switch to turn a machine on or off. Switches are part of the controls on trucks and heavy equipment. Switches are also on kitchen appliances and power tools.


  • task – A piece of work. For example a janitor may have 4 tasks in a shift:
    1. Empty the wastebaskets
    2. Dust the furniture
    3. Vacuum the carpets
    4. Wash the floors
  • ticket – When you finish your apprentice training, you get a ticket. It's also called a journeypersons' certificate.
  • tractor-trailers – Tractor-trailers are large trucks that pull big trailers. For example, animals or food can go in the trailers.
  • trait – A trait is something you are as a person. You can use the words "I am" to start. For example, I am calm. Or, I am helpful.


  • union A union is a workers' group. A union defends the rights of workers.
  • upholstery – Upholstery is cloth that goes on sofas and chairs. If you want to make a sofa look new, you put on new upholstery.


  • vinyl – Vinyl is a kind of plastic. Some floors are covered with vinyl.
  • volunteer – Volunteers give their time to places and groups. Volunteers do not earn money for their work. People can volunteer with schools, hospitals, sports groups and other places. Being a volunteer is a good way to get job experience.
  • volunteer co-ordinator The person who looks after the volunteers. For example, volunteer co-ordinators train volunteers. They make schedules for the volunteers and show them what to do.


  • wages – "Wages" or "wage" is another word for salary. Your salary or wage is what you are paid to do your job. The word "salary" usually means how much you are paid per month or per year. The word "wage" usually means how much you are paid per hour.
  • WHMIS (say: wim-mis) WHMIS means Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Canada has a system of labels on hazardous materials (dangerous products). For example, paints and glue are hazardous materials. They must have the correct labels. The labels have different symbols. Some workers who use hazardous materials may have to take WHMIS training.
  • warehouse – A warehouse is a building where stores keep extra products. For example, you can choose a bed in a store. Then the store will get a bed for you from its warehouse.
  • work goal – A work goal is your plan about work. For example, do you want the same job for the next 2 years? Do you want a different job with the same company?
  • work well under pressure – Sometimes people have a lot of pressure at work. For example, other workers may be sick. You may have extra work to do. That can be a lot of pressure. If you continue to do your job well, you work well under pressure. Some people don’t work well under pressure. They don’t like changes. Their supervisor may ask them to do many new things or different things. That change in their job puts pressure on them.
Was this page useful?