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Working Wise: Careers in Demand

Dear Working Wise,

With the price of oil uncertain right now, I’m wondering which careers still offer a lot of opportunity.
Signed, Eager for a new career

March 23, 2016

Dear Eager,

The Alberta government publishes a number of different labour market forecasts to help job seekers and employers peer into the future.

These forecasts range from current labour shortages to 3, 5 and 10 years into the future.

You might want to check out Alberta’s Short-Term Employment Forecast 2015-2017, for instance. This forecast was released late last year and lists occupations from high anticipated demand to low demand.

High Demand Occupations

  • Software Engineers and Designers
  • Computer Programmers/Media Developers
  • Construction Estimators
  • Computer Network Technicians
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Retail Store Supervisors
  • Food Service Supervisors
  • Other Service Supervisors
  • Carpentry Trades Contractors/Sups.
  • Electrical Power Line/Cable Workers
  • Tilesetters
  • Plasterers/Drywallers/Finishers/Lathers
  • Glaziers
  • Automotive Technicians / Mechanics

Moderately High Demand Occupations

  • Senior Managers
  • Purchasing Managers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Computer Systems Managers
  • Retail Trade Managers
  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Other Services Managers
  • Construction Managers
  • Facility Operation/Maintenance Managers
  • Production Managers except Agriculture
  • Manufacturing Managers
  • Financial Auditors and Accountants
  • Business Services to Management
  • Recording/Distributing/Scheduling Supervisors
  • Bookkeepers
  • Civil Engineers
  • Electrical/Electronics Engineers
  • Industrial/Manufacturing Engineers
  • Information Systems Analysts/Consultants
  • Civil Engineering Techs
  • Mechanical Engineering Techs
  • Electrical/Electronic Engineering Techs
  • Drafting Technologists and Techs
  • User Support Technicians
  • Specialist Physicians
  • Registered Nurses
  • Therapy/Assessment Technical jobs
  • Public Relations/Communications
  • Dry Cleaning/Laundry Supervisors
  • Cleaning Supervisors
  • Wholesale Technical Sales Specialists
  • Cooks
  • Hairstylists and Barbers
  • Hotel Front Desk Clerks
  • Pipefitting Trades Contractors/Sups.
  • Mechanic Trades Contractors/Sups.
  • Installers/Repairers/Servicers Trades
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Telecommunications Line Workers
  • Telecommunications Install/Repair
  • Plumbers
  • Gas Fitters
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Carpenters
  • Cabinetmakers
  • Bricklayers
  • Roofers and Shinglers
  • Insulators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Mechanics
  • Taxi/Limousine Drivers/Chauffeurs
  • Automotive Installers/Servicers
  • Farm Supervisors/Livestock Workers
  • Nursery/Greenhouse Workers

Another helpful labour market forecast is The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) Alberta Industry Employment Outlook: 2015 - 2019 which looks 5 years into the future.

Once you have narrowed down your career options, you can use the Occupational Information (OCCinfo) database of more than 550 different careers to find out more about the jobs that interest you most. OCCinfo also offers an interactive way of exploring occupations in demand.

OCCinfo includes the typical duties, working conditions, salaries, required educational qualifications, appropriate training programs, common employers, employment advancement, and desired personal characteristics for each occupation.

If you would like any more help planning your career:

Good luck!

Photo Credit: © iStockphoto/ismagilov

Working Wise is a syndicated newspaper column prepared by the Government of Alberta to answer work-related questions from Albertans. Do you have a work-related question? You can send it to Charles Strachey (charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca), a manager with Alberta Community and Social Services.

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