Ontario Labour Shortage: Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs In Canada’s Most Populous Province

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Ontario Labour Shortage: Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs In Canada’s Most Populous Province
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Canada Immigration News: Ontario’s restaurant sector is screaming for workers and so are the trades and agriculture, but healthcare is still the topmost in-demand sector in Ontario as this year draws to a close.

The need for skilled workers in Ontario is now so dire that provincial Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton is calling on Ottawa to double the number of these workers that can settle in the province.


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“I’ve called on the federal government to increase the number of skilled newcomers Ontario can welcome,” tweeted out Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton. “We are facing a historic labour shortage.

 “Our government wants to build back a better, stronger Ontario – but we need the people to do it,” he wrote.

Here are the Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs in Ontario based on the criteria of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program by job title and National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.


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1. Nurse Aides, Orderlies And Patient Service Associates (NOC 3413)

In mid-November, there were 126 positions for nurse aides in Ontario alone and 885 across the country.  In Ontario, these positions come with an average annual salary of $40,300 based on a 37.5-hour work week but that pay can go up to $60,450 depending on experience and the location of the job.

These are the people who assist nurses, hospital staff and physicians in the basic care of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities for the elderly and other healthcare establishments.

2. Home Support Workers And Related Occupations, Excluding Housekeepers (NOC 4412)

As the people who provide personal care and companionship for seniors, persons with disabilities and convalescent clients, home support workers usually provide care in the client’s home and often live there too. They can also be employed by home care and support agencies or be self-employed. 

In Canada, there were 1,093 such jobs posted on Job Bank in mid-November with roughly a third of these, 393, in Ontario. The position pays an average annual salary of about $35,100 in Ontario with more experienced workers topping out at about $57,600.

3. Residential And Commercial Installers And Servicers (NOC 7441)

The 71 jobs listed on Job Bank for residential and commercial installers and servicers vastly understates the tremendous demand for such workers, many of whom are snatched up by contractors before the jobs are ever posted anywhere. 

On the job website Indeed.ca, for example, there were 327 jobs for siding installers alone in Ontario in mid-November. There were another 212 jobs for door installers on the same website.

These are the workers who install products and systems around the house or business. That can include windows, doors, electrical appliances, water heaters, fences, play structures and septic and irrigation systems at residential, commercial or institutional properties. 

In Ontario, the average annual salary for these workers is $40,950 but they can be paid as much as $73,125 annually for putting in regular work weeks.

4. Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 7511)

There were more than 7,500 help wanted ads for drivers in Canada on Indeed.ca in mid-November, a huge labour shortage. Job Bank.ca pegs the prospects of finding employment in this occupational category as “good”, its highest rating.

The median annual wage for a trucker in Canada is $42,900 based on 37.5-hour weeks – but many truckers work much longer hours and earn more than that. At the upper end of the wage scale, these workers can earn up to $74,200 in British Columbia.

5. Heavy Equipment Operators (Except Crane) (NOC 7521)

Those workers who operate the heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures, in surface mining and quarrying activities, and in material handling work are in hot demand.

Job Bank listed more than 300 such jobs up for grabs in mid-November. Indeed.ca listed almost 2,200.

Employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors, public works departments and pipeline, logging, cargo-handling and other companies, these workers have a median annual income of $54,405 based on a standard work week. At the upper end, they can earn $75,075 for the same 37.5 hours per week. 

6. Construction Trades Helpers And Labourers (NOC 7611)

Those who own a good pair of construction boots and have even a bit of experience in the construction or mining industries are looking at a job hunter’s market when it comes to work as a construction trade helper or labourer.

Job Bank listed more than 1,400 such jobs in mid-November, with 255 of them being in Ontario.

These people help skilled tradespersons and perform labouring activities at construction sites, in quarries and in surface mines. They are employed by construction companies, trade and labour contractors, and surface mine and quarry operators.

Based on a 37.5-hour work week, these workers can expect to earn $40,950 in Ontario, with top earners bringing in $70,200 annually. 

7. Farm and Harvesting Workers (NOCs 8431 and 8611)

Although farm work tends to be heavily seasonal, Canadian farms are always looking for good workers, especially during harvest time. Job Bank pegs the outlook for farm work as “good”, its highest rating.

“Ontario has the greatest number of farms in the country with just over 25 per cent of all Canadian farms,” notes Job Bank. “The province is a key contributor to national crop production and livestock products. This creates an ongoing demand for these workers, especially in peak farming periods, as crops have to be processed within a short time to avoid losses.”

Farm hands in Ontario earn a median annual wage of $32,175 per year, based on a standard work week and year-round employment. In some regions of the province, upper wage earners can make up to $62,400 per year.

8. Industrial Butchers And Meat Cutters, Poultry Preparers And Related Workers (NOC 9462)

These are the people who slaughter livestock using stunning devices and knives, skin, clean and trim carcasses, cut beef, lamb, pork or veal carcasses or sides or quarters of carcasses into prime cuts for further cutting, processing or packaging, and remove bones from meat.

Ottawa is projecting that the labour shortage seen in recent years in this occupational group is expected to last for at least another six years. 

The median wage for these workers, based on full-time employment is $35,100 per year in Ontario but that can go to as high as $54,600 in the Toronto region.

9. Machine Operators, Mineral And Metal Processing (NOC 9411)

Mining companies operating in Ontario have jobs going begging for machine operators with almost 2,000 just jobs listed on Indeed.ca in mid-November.

They set up, prepare and adjust mineral ore, metal and cement processing machinery to carry out steps in metal processing, operate machines to grind, separate, filter, mix, treat, cast, roll, or refine the ore, and help out with machinery maintenance or repair.

In Ontario, that gives them a median annual income of $46,800. Top earners can make up to $77,766 per year based on full employment at a standard, 37.5-hour work week.

10. Industrial Painters, Coaters And Metal Finishing Process Operators (NOC 9536)

These workers operate and tend to machines or use brushes and spray equipment to apply paint, enamel, lacquer or other non-metallic protective and decorative coatings to surfaces of various products. 

Their fortunes tend to be closely tied to those of Ontario’s auto industry where many of them work.

In this province, these workers earn a median annual wage of $40,000 for full-time employment can make up to $64,300 per year in some regions of Ontario.

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