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Overview of the Transportation Industry


There is high demand for workers in the Canadian transportation industry. Between 2010 and 2030 the industry will need over 26,000 qualified workers, an increase of 31%.

Canada could experience a shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 truck drivers by 2020

Source: Conference Board of Canada

The Canadian truck transportation sector alone is expected to require at least 153,000 additional workers by 2021, an average of 14,100 per year.

Projected employment growth in BC [truck transportation]

2011 to 2012 2011 to 2017 2011 to 2021
British Columbia 4.6% 11.5% 13.7%

Source: Trucking Human Resources Canada

Employers report that it is difficult to recruit workers for all positions in the trucking industry, with transport trailer mechanics being the most difficult. There is also high demand for Class 1/AZ truck drivers.

Immigrants are seen as a key source of talent as transportation companies seek to meet their hiring needs in the years ahead.

The industry has responded by developing a number of programs to attract newcomers. These include:

  • initiatives to attract newcomers to remote locations of the province
  • corporate efforts to encourage diversity in the workplace
  • strategies for streamlining foreign-credential recognition

One such initiative is the ITA’s Immigrants in Trades Training program, which helps you overcome barriers to entering the trades, including jobs in transportation. This program can provide you with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counselling.

The BC Trucking Association has developed a tool to assist employers when hiring newcomers to Canada. This guide helps employers compare your professional driving experience in your home country to Canadian driving standards.

For more information on the transportation sector see:

Occupations in the Transportation Sector

The transportation industry is made of up numerous occupations, each with its own unique set of experience and training requirements. It includes the following sectors:

  • Truck transportation
  • Air, rail, water, and scenic and sightseeing transportation
  • Transit and ground passenger transportation
  • Pipelines, and postal service and couriers

Occupations in greatest demand in BC are Class 1/AZ truck drivers and truck/trailer mechanics. Most jobs in the trucking sector (60%) are with firms that conduct short haul trips.

Employment by Occupation (Canada)

Occupation 2012 2017 2021
Truck Drivers (Class 1/AZ and 3/D) 174,500 196,200 209,200
Truck / Transport Mechanics 15,630 17,570 18,740
Transport Trailer Technician 6,150 6,910 7,370
Parts Technician 2,670 3,010 3,210
Shunt Drivers 48,060 54,030 57,610
Truck Cargo Workers 31,360 35,260 37,600
Trucking Dispatchers 12,850 14,450 15,400
Trucking Freight Claims 3,730 4,200 4,480
Trucking Foreman 12,740 14,330 15,280
Total 307,700 346,000 369,000


Vacancy and Retirement Rate in the Trucking Sector by Occupation (2011)

Occupation Vacancy Rate Retirement Rate
Company Truck Drivers (Class 1/AZ) 4.3% 2.2%
Company Truck Drivers (Class 3/d) 4.1% 1.3%
Owner/Operator Truck Drivers 6.2% 2.2%
Truck / Transport Mechanics 6.1% 0.9%
Transport Trailer Technician 5.1% 1.1%
Parts Technician 0.3% 0.7%
Shunt Drivers 0.3% 0.1%
Cargo Workers 1.7% 0.4%
Dispatchers 2.1% 1.0%
Freight Claims 3.1% 1.6%
Foreman 1.5% 1.2%
All Occupations 4.2% 1.8%


BC Employment Outlook – Selected Occupations: 2010-2020

Transportation Trades 2010 2020 Annual Average Change
Machinery and Transportation Equipment Mechanics 21,210 23,610 1.1%
Automotive service technicians 25,110 28,710 1.3%
Crane Operators, Drillers, and Blasters 2,170 2,380 0.9%
Heavy Equipment Operators 13,700 15,270 1.1%
Other Mechanics 3,940 4,440 1.2%

Source: Tracking Trades Persons. Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table

For detailed information on any of the occupations in the transportation sector see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

About 66% of jobs in the transportation industry are in the Mainland/Southwest region of BC. The next largest employment regions are Vancouver Island/Coast and Thompson-Okanagan.

Employment by Region:

employment by region

Chart from WorkBC Industry Profile: Transportation & Warehousing.

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the transportation industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

Additional Resources