British Columbia's skilled work force is expected to undergo an invisible shift in coming years as the pool of younger workers becomes smaller than the number of aging workers who have their eye on retirement. In a 10-part series, The Globe and Mail looks at the 10 jobs expected to be in highest demand in B.C. in the next decade. This is Part One.
For Lisa Walker, the upside of working as a registered nurse is clear: When patients arrive at the hospital – sick, injured or otherwise distressed – her job gives her a first-hand opportunity to provide comfort and relief.
"The best part of my job, when I was on the front line, absolutely was having good outcomes, helping people, knowing that you're making a difference in people's lives," she said. "Most people, when they're coming to the hospital, it's not a good day. It's possibly one of their worst days. Being able to support patients and families, that's the most rewarding part."
But Ms. Walker, currently on leave from work at Langley Memorial Hospital to sit on the B.C. Nurses' Union (BCNU) council, is also well familiar with the job's challenges. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses are the most in-demand skilled jobs in B.C.; about 25,000 will be needed by 2022, according to government statistics.
For those currently working as nurses, limited staffing often means long, high-stress shifts, growing workloads and lots of overtime.
"I spent quite a number of years working in the emergency room and that was very stressful," said Ms. Walker, whose daughter Kaitlyn is also pursuing a career in nursing. "Every day, we were coming to work with the department full and the waiting room full and the ambulances lined up. It just never seemed to end."
The BCNU has labelled several B.C. hospitals as being in "crisis" mode, telling tales of unsafe staffing levels, critically ill patients not getting speedy care and patient overflows into hospital hallways. And, with B.C.'s aging population – the proportion of Canadians aged 65 and older is projected to grow from one-in-seven to one-in-four by 2036 – the demand for health services is only expected to grow.
The overwhelming majority (96 per cent) of currently employed nurses are female, according to the most recent census statistics (2006), with more than half (53 per cent) between the ages of 45 and 64.
Click here or scroll down for fast facts on being a nurse:
British Columbia's skilled workforce is expected to undergo an invisible shift in coming years as the pool of younger workers becomes smaller than the number of aging workers who have their eye on retirement. In a 10-part series, The Globe and Mail looks at the 10 jobs expected to be in highest demand in B.C. in the next decade. Check back every Monday for the latest instalment.
- Introduction: Skills-training program aims to curtail a coming jobs crisis
- Part One: B.C. will need 25,000 nurses by 2022
- Part Two: More than 16,000 transport truck drivers needed in B.C. by 2022
- Part Three: Data predict 13,000 job openings in carpentry in B.C. over the next decade
- Part Four: Data show B.C. will need 13,450 financial auditors, accountants over the next decade
- Part Five: Stats say B.C. expects 13,600 job openings for cooks now until 2022
- Part Six: Early childhood education has great value but little reward
- Part Seven: With eyes on LNG boom, demand for construction workers in B.C. to rise
- Part Eight: Statistics estimate 7,230 electricians needed over the next decade in B.C.
- Part Nine: Almost 7,000 heavy-equipment operators will be needed in B.C.
- Part 10: B.C. expects LNG industry to boost demand for welders to 3,980 over next decade
In the table below, select an occupation to see more facts. We'll add details for a new job each week.
10 jobs expected to be in highest demand in B.C. in the next decade
|Job Title||Number of job openings over the next 10 years|
|Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses||24,660|
|Transport truck drivers||16,300|
|Financial auditors and accountants||13,450|
|Early childhood educators and assistants||9,050|
|Construction trades helpers and labourers||8,170|
|Electricians (except industrial and power system)||7,230|
|Heavy equipment operators (except crane)||6,760|
|Welders and related machine operators||3,890|
Areas with greatest needs
What you'll earn
According to census statistics, the provincial average salary is between
The provincial average full-time hourly rate ranges between