Opinion

Muskens: Best job list offer some surprising areas of opportunity

You’re unemployed and you want a good job that pays well and has high job security. Where do you start?

Last week a national Canadian business magazine published a list of the best jobs for 2012. The interesting thing about this list is it is based on what’s happening right now in Canada.

So it comes as no surprise that the number one job is a petroleum engineer—a professional whose main task it to find out how best to get oil out of the oil sands. This profession has had an 85 per cent increase in demand since 2006.

Another profession that has witnessed increased demand is construction management.

Although in Kelowna there may not be a lot of construction work, Alberta and Saskatchewan are booming and retirements in this field are creating openings for Red Seal certified managers. This demand is a direct result of two decades of parents pushing their kids into university programs, as opposed to trades schools.

Another in-demand job is pharmacy. Pharmacists have a median income of $93,600 annually. I met a young man a few months ago who works as pharmacist in a local department store, and with his base wage, extra pay for shift work and other monetary incentives to stay with his company, he is making well over $100,000 per year, which is pretty good for a 28-year-old.

Other high demand jobs were nursing supervisors, electrical and telecommunications contractors, data analysts, chemists and chemical engineers and health policy specialists.

Most of these jobs do require a degree and will require you to go back to school for at least four years.

But not all high demand jobs require a university education.

Other high demand jobs in the trades include ironworker at number one, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic, heavy construction contractor, electrician, miner, plumber, oil and gas drilling worker, heavy-duty equipment mechanic, roofer, crane operator, and general labourer.

Other areas in which demand is higher than average is the health care sector. Many of these jobs such as lab technicians usually require a diploma similar to the medical laboratory technologist program at BCIT.

Paramedics were also on the list. To become a paramedic in B.C. you must complete the Primary Care Paramedic 30-credit certificate program through the Justice Institute, which now offers this program in Kelowna.

Other above average in-demand health careers included dental assistant and health services assistant.

For those interested in office work there were a variety of professions to consider. The first on the list for high demand careers was a public relations specialist. This type of work usually involves writing press releases and promoting the brand of a specific company or industry. Immigration and revenue officer was also high on the list, this job is most likely with the federal government. Immigration due to labour shortages is and will continue to be a big issue in the next 20 years.

It’s interesting to see a list of jobs where growth in demand is expected. I’m surprised by some, but not others.

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