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Industry Profiles
This section explores the various industries that make up Alberta's economy and influence its society. Each industry profile contains background information about the industry's sectors, jobs and workforce. Also, each profile consists of forecasts, analysis of recent performance, a snapshot of applicable wages and a look at employment trends.

Trends Affecting Alberta's Economy

No economy can operate in isolation. Alberta's economy is influenced by events, fluctuations in commodity prices, economic decisions from around the world and more. Seek additional sources of information when making plans for your career, education or business.

Occupations in Demand

Want to know what jobs Alberta employers will need to fill over the next few years? Researchers keep an eye on the labour market and put together lists of careers in demand. Take a look and see if one of these occupations might work for you.

Accommodation and Food Services

The accommodation and food services industry offers people a place to sleep and something to eat or drink when they are away from home. Accommodations can range from small-town campgrounds to hotels and large resorts. Food services include the morning's drive-through coffee or an evening meal at a favourite restaurant. In 2016, travellers in Alberta spent an estimated...

Avg. Wage
$15.65
Employed
144,300
Employment Trends
+1.5% from 2016 to 2019

Agriculture

Family farms, cattle ranches, trapping, hunting and fishing businesses, as well as beekeeping and ornamental-flower production operations are all part of Alberta's agriculture industry. These businesses cover about 50.3 million acres, or about a third of the province, a...

Avg. Wage
$20.57
Employed
50,900
Employment Trends
-0.1% from 2016 to 2019

Business, Building and Other Support Services

This industry helps businesses run smoothly. Part of the industry's makeup involves management, whether it's helping a company meet its desired goals or coordinating the efforts of employees. Administration makes up the rest of this industry. This includes services such as security, window cleaning, and temporary help. In some cases, these services are also provided t...

Avg. Wage
$23.69
Employed
79,500
Employment Trends
+0.6% from 2016 to 2019

Construction

Whether it's homes and workplaces, or the roads to reach them, the construction industry builds them. Construction workers build complex petrochemical plants, rebuild cities and towns affected by floods or other natural disasters, or renovate a single bathroom. In Alber...

Avg. Wage
$33.43
Employed
251,900
Employment Trends
-0.4% from 2016 to 2019

Educational Services

In Alberta, if you want to learn to read a book, drive a car, ski the Rockies, or become a doctor, you'll need to access the educational services industry. In 2016, the province had 2,388 public, private, separate, charter, and other K -12 schools. It also had dozens of post-secondary institutions.

Avg. Wage
$33.92
Employed
149,500
Employment Trends
+2.2% from 2016 to 2019

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing

From that first bank account where a child can stash a week's allowance, to a multimillion-dollar merger involving large corporations, the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry handles the money. It's where Albertans go to buy, save, borrow, invest, and i...

Avg. Wage
$29.96
Employed
106,000
Employment Trends
+1.6% from 2016 to 2019

Forestry and Logging With Support Activities

At 38 million hectares, Alberta's forests cover a land mass equal to the size of Japan. The provincial government allows an annual harvest of more than 31 million cubic metres of timber. Because harvesting is balanced with reforestation, forestry industry workers planted 74 million seedlings in 2016. Forestry and logging industry products include building supplies, ...

Avg. Wage
$42.80
Employed
4,000
Employment Trends
+5.4% from 2016 to 2019

Health Care and Social Assistance

Caring for the needs of a population's health and well-being calls for many services. That's why the health care and social assistance industry ranks among the top three industries for employment in Alberta year after year. From public health nurses and social workers t...

Avg. Wage
$30.99
Employed
273,000
Employment Trends
+2.3% from 2016 to 2019

Information, Culture and Recreation

When a familiar Alberta landscape flashes past in a Hollywood movie, score another point for the information, culture and recreation industry. Besides filmmaking, the industry also includes zoos, casinos, newspapers, telecommunications, theatre festivals, and professional and amateur sports. In 2015–2016, 79.5% of Alberta adults attended arts activities.

Avg. Wage
$23.92
Employed
76,300
Employment Trends
+1.7% from 2016 to 2019

Manufacturing

Companies that take one or more products and create new products from them are part of the manufacturing industry. These companies may smelt ore into iron or use that iron to make machinery. Manufacturers refine petroleum, process beets into sugar, or make dog food. Can...

Avg. Wage
$30.81
Employed
115,600
Employment Trends
+1.1% from 2016 to 2019

Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction

Energy helps to drive Alberta's economy. The province's oil sands are the third largest proven crude oil reserve in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Only about 3.4% of these oil sands can be mined. The other reserves are too deep and must be extracted by other methods. Alberta also produces about 68.0% of Canada's natural gas.

Avg. Wage
$42.80
Employed
135,800
Employment Trends
+1.1% from 2016 to 2019

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Legal contracts, complicated tax returns, energy research, and nanotechnology development are all part of the professional, scientific and technical services industry. This industry relies less on equipment and materials and more on the skills and knowledge of its worke...

Avg. Wage
$33.33
Employed
179,300
Employment Trends
+2.3% from 2016 to 2019

Public Administration

Employees in the public administration industry work in federal, provincial, and municipal government agencies that look after public programs. They range from health inspectors and firefighters to policy makers and police officers.

Avg. Wage
$38.14
Employed
97,100
Employment Trends
+0.1% from 2016 to 2019

Retail Trade

The retail trade industry allows the public to buy goods from either in-store or non-store retailers. In-store retailers sell everything under their roofs, from groceries to the latest motor homes. Non-store retailers sell their products through vending machines, door-t...

Avg. Wage
$22.38
Employed
246,400
Employment Trends
+0.8% from 2016 to 2019

Transportation and Warehousing

Alberta's transportation and warehousing industry stores and moves the goods Albertans produce. In 2016, it exported goods worth $78.8 billion from the province to 187 countries. Most of the exports were energy products shipped by pipeline and rail. This was followed by agricultural goods and processed food and beverages. The industry also moves people. In 2016, the...

Avg. Wage
$28.80
Employed
131,800
Employment Trends
+0.3% from 2016 to 2019

Utilities

The utilities industry looks after the delivery of water, electricity, and natural gas to your home as well as the disposal of sewage. As of August 2015, Alberta had 26,000 kilometres of transmission lines. This is more than four times the distance between Edmonton and...

Avg. Wage
$42.37
Employed
19,800
Employment Trends
+1.2% from 2016 to 2019

Wholesale Trade

Wholesale merchants bridge the gap between manufacturers and retailers. They buy large amounts of goods and distribute them to retailers, businesses, and institutions. These merchants normally operate from a warehouse or office and rarely look for walk-in traffic.

Avg. Wage
$22.38
Employed
83,700
Employment Trends
+1.5% from 2016 to 2019

Other Services

When Albertans need something fixed, improved, or looked after, they turn to the industry called "other services." These services can range from the tailor down the street to the social advocacy group with its head office in Edmonton. Barbers, car mechanics, pet groomer...

Avg. Wage
$24.93
Employed
122,400
Employment Trends
+1.7% from 2016 to 2019
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