Canada's Fastest Growing Jobs in 2021

If you’re considering changing careers or you lost your job during the pandemic, you might be wondering, what jobs are in high demand in Canada? The pandemic essentially changed the job market overnight, affecting industries across the board ranging from tech to production and manufacturing. Canada's job market is radically different than it was just one year ago.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for workers in essential retail, customer service, warehouses, and information technology outpace the market and set to continue well into 2022. Jobs related to ecommerce, IT, and healthcare are necessary to weather and recover from the pandemic.

In this article, you'll learn about the top-10 most in-demand jobs in Canada in 2021, as well as the relevant skills for each career. According to Randstad, “If you have any strong skills in any of these areas, you’ll be a sought-after candidate among employers in 2021 and beyond.”

Additionally, we take the breakdown a step further and look at projections for 2022’s employment trends. To get an idea of just how in-demand these jobs are, we tally up how many open positions for these job titles were listed on Indeed in each province and note the demand for each role. You can imagine that with staffing firms, other job board sites, and some companies only advertising positions on their website, there are potentially even more openings than what’s currently listed on Indeed.

1. Customer Service

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed customer service job openings to the top of the list. Consumers cancelling plans and needing refunds or simply getting answers to a company’s COVID protocol had support lines receiving record calls in 2020 and early 2021. While some of the confusion may have died down now, customer service representatives are still in high-demand. Many companies have closed their storefronts, reduced them, or simply moved to fully virtual operations. Plus, many call centre positions are remote so you can work from anywhere.

Open Positions: There are over 37,700 open customer service positions across Canada with a whopping 19,479 in Ontario and 9,072 in British Columbia.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

2. Delivery Drivers

Delivery driver

Social distancing also had a major effect on restaurants and retail stores. They had to change how they operate quickly to adapt with the suddenly different COVID safety guidelines and online ordering or shopping landscape. With this came a surge in demand for delivery drivers. Last mile delivery, long haul truck drivers, and food delivery drivers are in high demand currently. Delivery applications and B2B delivery logistics company’s hiring trends are also on the rise.

Open Positions: There are almost 5,000 delivery driver positions currently open across Canada.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario and British Columbia.

3. Essential Retail Clerks

Essential retail stores are struggling to stay staffed. You’ve probably seen the long lines at the grocery stores and longer wait times for curbside grocery pick up. Pharmacies, grocery stores, bulk stores, discount stores, and other essential retailers can’t keep up with the traffic coming through their stores. Despite taking every precaution they can from masks to plexiglass barriers, these workers are being exposed every day to potentially coming into contact with the COVID-19 virus and many aren’t comfortable with continuing to work these jobs.

Open Positions: There are currently 1,746 for this position across the country but the openings for this position spike each quarter to between 3,000-5,000 openings.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

4. Security Analysis and Architects

Stay at home orders drove the use of online channels to new heights. We’re using the internet for more of our daily tasks than we ever have before. To put it into perspective, can you recall when at the beginning of 2021 Slack was down crippling companies abilities to communicate internally? Whether it’s communicating, buying something, work, entertainment, or banking, our online actions need to be encrypted for our safety. That’s where security specialists come in. Cybersecurity, especially, is expected to be a sought-after talent throughout the next decade. In fact, the number of jobs for cyber security professionals in Canada is growing by 7% every year, and the annual average salary for a cybersecurity professional in 2020 is $97,000.

Open Positions: There are currently 3,043 listed for this role.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

5. Administrative Assistants

With many companies moving away from working in the office and toward working from home, administrative assistants are needed to help support the big transition. Plus, legal, health and safety, operations, marketing, customer service, HR, and accounting departments are much busier than usual. Many companies didn’t have administrative assistants for these departements before the COVID-19 pandemic because they weren’t inundated with requests before. Many administrative assistant positions are listed as remote.

Open Positions: There are over 5,000 Administrative Assistant roles open in all provinces.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

6. Procurement and Supply Chain Specialists

The essential retail sector is thriving like never before. With the shipping industry nearly doubling overnight, supply chain specialists are in huge demand to help keep shelves stocked. This is especially true in essential retail stores and warehouses. Any procurement specialists with experience managing a supply chain and networking with distributors are sought-after professionals right now.

Open Positions: There are currently 1,464 open roles in this field.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

7. IT Support and Help Desk

The rapid adoption of remote work has upped the need for IT support tenfold. It’s a “seismic shift,” Randstad says, and it looks like these positions will be important for the long haul. Hardware, VPNs, home networks, and video conferencing are all supported by IT professionals. Not to mention, the developers and engineers who create those virtual tools in the first place! Some of these jobs can be done remotely, but many IT roles require some in-person presence.

Open Positions: There are 6,742 IT positions open at this time but this role tends to spike quarterly.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

8. Warehouse Workers

Supply chain in warehouse

Along with essential retail clerks and supply chain specialists, warehouse workers are desperately needed right now. In order to distribute products ordered online, warehouse workers are needed in full-force. There are thousands of openings for order pickers, forklift operators, truck drivers, packers, and other warehouse positions.

Open Positions: There are 10,318 warehouse positions open right now. It is the third most-in-demand position in Canada.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan.

9. Cleaners and Maintenance Workers

With continually changing health and safety guidelines being implemented throughout the year to keep both employees and customers safe during the pandemic, businesses need more people to help with cleaning and sanitizing. Essential work environments like grocery stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and hospitals are beefing up their cleaning staff and hiring regularly.

Open Positions: With 11,291 open roles for this category, it is the second most-in-demand job in Canada.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

10. Registered Nurses

Becoming a registered nurse takes time and with the pandemic raging, healthcare facilities have struggled to keep their shifts staffed properly. Hospitals, clinics, long-term care homes, and other healthcare facilities are noticing that the shortage of nurses is “more acute than ever,” and it doesn’t look like this shortage is going away any time soon.

Open Positions: There are 8,851 open positions for registered nurses across Canada. This is one of the only positions listed in the top 3 most-in-demand for every province.

High-Demand Areas: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

What is the fastest growing industry in Canada?

The fastest growing industries in Canada are the ones who adapted well to the pandemic out of necessity. These sectors are predicted to continue growing well into 2022 as well. Whether it’s providing healthcare to combat the pandemic, making sure essential supplies get where they need to go, or allowing customers to shop online during lockdown, these are the businesses who held up Canada’s economy during the pandemic.

  • Health Care
  • Supply Chain Logistics
  • E-Commerce
  • Security
  • Construction

Looking at tech specifically, these are the top-8 most in-demand roles in 2021 as e-commerce and our reliance on software and databases skyrockets:

  1. Developer / software engineer
  2. IT project manager
  3. IT business analyst
  4. Database analyst
  5. Quality assurance analyst
  6. Security analysts & architects
  7. Business system analyst
  8. Network engineer

According to Randstad, the average IT annual salary in 2021 is $87,300, up over $5,000 compared to the previous year.

Top tech jobs in Canada in 2021

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What jobs will be in demand in 2022 in Canada?

Evolution of work

Based on 2021’s most in-demand jobs and the fastest growing sectors, it’s predicted that these roles will continue to grow in Canada during 2022:

  • Registered nurses
  • Warehouse workers
  • Supply chain specialists
  • Technology professionals, especially those who work with work from home technologies:
    • Software developers
    • Software quality assurance analysts and testers
    • Computer systems analysts
    • IT support
  • E-commerce professionals and market research analysts

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