Skip to the main content
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up
A A

Dictionary

Use this online dictionary when you’re reading the Easy Reading Job Profiles. 

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   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y 

A

  • 3-hour minimum – You can be sent home from work early. For example, you could be sent home after only 2 hours. But you must be paid for 3 hours at minimum wage. Or paid for 2 hours at your regular wage. It depends on what is higher. You must be paid the higher amount.
  • 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 an 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 for 3 or 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 OK to make sure the information is true.

B

  • 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.

C

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) – This is a deduction. You pay this with each paycheque. It is a % of your earnings. CPP will help support you when you are older and retire (stop working). You will get some money each month.
  • 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 a 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 she should hire you.
  • co-workers  Co-workers are the people you work with.
  • CPR (say: c-p-r)  CPR 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.

D

  • 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.
  • deductions  This is the money that is taken away from each paycheque. For example, income tax.
  • 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.

E

  • early childhood educator – An early childhood educator works with young children. Early childhood is the years before a child goes to school.
  • earnings  This is another word for your pay.
  • 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.
  • Employment Insurance (EI)  This is a deduction. You pay this with each paycheque. It is a % of your earnings. If you lose your job and it’s not your fault, you can apply for EI. You can also get EI for other reasons. For example, when you have a baby.
  • 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.

F

  • 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.
  • fired  Some workers lose their jobs because they did something wrong at work. For example, they stole money or hit someone.
  • 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.

   G

  • give notice  To give notice means to tell or warn a person that you will do something. For example, you can give your employer a 2-week notice in writing that you want to leave your job. That means you will leave your job in 2 weeks. The 2-week time is your notice period.
  • gross pay  This is all the money you earn before you take away deductions. Your wages, holiday pay, overtime pay and vacation pay can all be part of your gross pay.

H

  • 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.
  • holiday pay  Alberta has 9 general holidays. Some workers get paid more to work on a holiday. Some workers get pay even if they do not work on a holiday.
  • 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. Human Resource staff hire, train, and look after the work needs of workers. Sometimes it is called the personnel department.

I

  • immediate termination of employment  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.
  • income tax  This is a deduction. You pay this with each paycheque. It is a % of what you earn. Income tax is used to pay for things like roads and police.
  • 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.

J

  • 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.
  • just cause  This means the employer must have a good reason to fire a worker. The employer must have proof of that reason.

K

  • 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.

L

  • laid off  You may lose your job because there is no work. It is not your fault. You are laid off or let go. Sometimes, after a while, there is more work. You may be called back. This is a temporary layoff. A temporary layoff usually can not be longer than 59 days.
  • 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.

M

  • 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.
  • minimum wage  This is the lowest amount you can be paid each hour. You can be paid more. But for most jobs, it’s against the law to be paid less.

N

  • net pay This is how much you earn after you pay your deductions. It is the pay you get to keep.
  • notice period This is the time between when you give notice and when you do something. For example, you can give a 2-week notice that you will leave your job. The notice period is 2 weeks.
  • 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.

O

  • 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.
  • overtime  The law says you can work up to 8 hours a day or up to 44 hours a week for regular pay. For most types of work, if you work longer, it is called overtime. Some workers get paid more to work overtime hours. Their overtime pay will be at least 1.5 (one and a half) times their regular pay for those hours. Other workers get time off with pay instead of overtime pay.

P

  • 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 that 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.
  • pay period  The time from one payday to the next is a pay period. Pay periods are regular. They don’t change.
  • pension  A pension pays you money when you are older and stop working (retire). A little bit of pay is deducted on every paycheque for your pension. The Canada government has one you must pay into. It is called CPP. But some companies also have private pension plans that you can choose to pay for.
  • post-secondary school  Students go to post-secondary schools after high school. Post-secondary schools are technical schools, colleges and universities.
    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 than a year to finish.

R

  • raise  You may be a good worker. Or you may be working at the same place for a long time. Then your employer may give you more money. The extra money is called a raise.
  • 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 boss. 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.

S

  • 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 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • shift work A shift is usually 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.

T

  • 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 apprenticeship training, you get a ticket. It’s also called a journeyperson’s certificate.
  • time off with pay Sometimes workers who work overtime hours can choose to take paid time off work instead of being paid more. For example, if you work 5 hours overtime, you can work 7.5 hours less another day. But you must tell your employer first.
  • tips You may get extra money from customers for doing a good job. This extra money is called a tip. You may be able to keep all of your tips. Or you may have to share your tips with your co-workers.
  • 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.

U

  • union A union is a workers’ group. A union defends the rights of workers.
  • union dues Some workers belong to a union. If you are in a union, you must pay dues (money) to belong. You pay these dues as a deduction on every paycheque.
  • upholstery Upholstery is cloth that goes on sofas and chairs. If you want to make a sofa look new, you put on new upholstery.

V

  • vacation pay All workers earn vacation pay. It is a % of your regular pay. You can get vacation pay with each paycheque. Or you can get it when you go on vacation.
  • vinyl Vinyl is a kind of plastic. Some floors are covered with vinyl.
  • volunteer Volunteers give their time to places or 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 coordinator The person who looks after the volunteers. For example, volunteer coordinators train volunteers. They make schedules for the volunteers and show them what to do.

W

  • 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 in 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 boss may ask them to do many new things or different things. That change in their job puts pressure on them.

Y

  • year to date (YTD) YTD is how much of something on your pay stub (such as pay or deductions) has happened so far this year.
Was this page useful?
Top