Download PDF


Working In Your Skilled Occupation

Job Description

You can learn about the job description for your occupation from:

  • Career Cruising
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Industry Overview

The demand for workers in British Columbia is expected to surpass the supply.

Several industries are expected to offer particularly strong job opportunities:

  • green technology, digital media and life sciences
  • traditional industries such as natural resources (growth through innovation)
  • service industries including health care, high-tech and retail sales

Workers have good reason to be optimistic.

Source:  Work BC, BC’s Economy

Job Outlook in BC

Job Openings in BC, 2017-2027

chart of job openings in BC, 2017-2027
Source: British Columbia 2027 Labour Market Outlook

Almost two-thirds of projected job openings in British Columbia to 2027 are expected to be in the Lower Mainland and Southwest region.

chart of employment forecast by region to 2027

Source: British Columbia 2027, Labour Market Outlook

Types of Employers

There are a variety of employer options for you in British Columbia depending on your occupation and preferences, for example company size or location.  BC is increasingly focused on medium and small business.

Self-employment is also an option to consider as contract work is becoming more common in British Columbia.


Average hourly wages of employees by selected occupation, British Columbia.

chart june 2018 average hourly wages by occupation

Source: Government of Canada, Statistics Canada

  • Job
    BC Salary Surveys: Click ‘Job Search’, Click ‘Member Service’
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page
    NOTE: Access at VPL locations only

Working Hours

Your working hours will vary depending on your occupation.

Short term contract and project work is becoming more common in BC.

Skills, Education and Experience


  • Essential Skills Profiles
    The Essential Skills Profiles describe how each of the key essential skills are used by workers in a particular occupation.

Education and Experience


You will want to find out if your Occupation is Regulated or Non-Regulated in BC.

Some professions and trades are regulated in British Columbia to protect public health and safety. This means that you require a licence or certificate from the assigned regulatory body to work in that occupation.

You can find the qualifications for your occupation at:


Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations.

Local Newspapers

The Vancouver Public Library has a wide variety of local newspapers.  For example, you can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at any VPL branch for free. Check the job postings daily and the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.


  • Available online or in print
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page
    Access at VPL locations only

Using a recruitment agency can be a useful tool in your job search. Recruitment agencies act as your representative. For more information see:

Online Job Postings

    Find jobs posted on a large number of company career sites and job boards

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Look for websites for associations related to your industry and profession, they may have a career section or job postings. Some of these professional associations offer job matching and career assistance services. For more information about Professional Associations, see section 5 of this guide.

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

To find other terms to describe your occupation look at:

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of potential employers. Contact them directly to find out if they are hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    Type your keywords and select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Professional Associations for skilled occupations are very common in BC and Canada. These associations can provide information and assistance.  Registration and fees are usually required for membership but not for information.

You can find associations and other organizations associated with your occupation by searching online or look at the following directory at VPL:

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Industry journals will give you current information about companies and industry news. Also, these journals will report events, such as conferences, you may want to attend for networking and information.

Business in Vancouver is an example of a good general journal available at VPL.

  • Business in Vancouver, 338.9711 B97b
    This journal has up to date information about business in the lower Mainland, such as growing industries or changes in an industry regulation and economic coverage.

There is also limited online access through the Business in Vancouver website.