Skills in Demand by Occupation

Top 10 Skills in Demand by Occupation

The skills employers look for the most vary by type of occupation. There are also skills employers look for across all occupations. The first chart list skills and certifications that are in demand across all occupations. The remaining charts list skills and certifications relevant to the occupational category.

To view skills in demand by industry visit our industry page. To view the occupations in each category check out the “browse jobs” link on the homepage.

Alt text: Common Top Skills Required. Skills: communication skills, customer service, English language, flexibility, interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork. Certifications: CPR certification, driver’s licence, first aid certification, WHMIS.


This category includes legislators, senior management, middle management occupations.

Alt text: 0-Management. Skills: planning, fast-paced setting, organizational skills, budgeting, time management, supervisory skills, project management, Microsoft Office, attention to detail, problem solving. Certifications: Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Project Management Professional (PMP), International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), Six Sigma, food safety certification, Certified Shopping Centre Manager (CSM), professional engineer, Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) Accreditation, Red Seal, Canadian Securities Course (CSC).

Business, Finance and Administration

This group includes financial and business services, administration and clerical supervision and support services. Some occupations in this category are unique to the financial and business services sectors however, most are found in all industries.

Professional occupations in this group like accountants, investment brokers, and human resources specialists are usually supplied from education programs specific to the profession. Some administrative and business occupations are supplied from experienced workers in related clerical occupations.

1- Business, Finance, Administration. Skills: attention to detail, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, organizational skills, time management, Microsoft Word, fast-paced setting, office administration, decision-making, accounting. Certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), Six Sigma, Red Seal, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Certification, Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB).

Engineering, Math, Science and Information Technology

This category includes occupations in sciences, engineering, architecture and information technology. 

These occupations require post-secondary education in an appropriate scientific or technical discipline. Advancement from technical to professional occupations usually requires additional education.

2 - Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology. Skills: attention to detail, fast-paced setting, planning, Microsoft Office, SQL (Structured query language), project management, agile software development, troubleshooting, organizational skills, problem solving. Certifications: Professional Engineer, Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), Project Management Professional (PMP), Six Sigma, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Certified Engineering Technologist (CET), CAMRT/CMRTO, Red Seal, Certified Financial Analyst (CFA). A+ certification.


This category includes occupations that provide health care services directly to patients and those that provide technical support to medical staff.

Advancement from medical and dental technical roles to professional occupations requires additional formal education. Advancement to supervisory positions requires experience in the occupations supervised. Support occupations in health are usually supplied from short training programs specific to the support area.

3 – Health. Skills: French language, business intelligence, critical thinking, planning, decision-making, problem solving, attention to detail, organizational skills, fast-paced setting, time management. Certifications: Registered Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse, Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) Certification, Continuing Care Assistant Certification, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification, Trauma Nursing Critical Care Course (T.N.C.C), Canadian Triage & Acuity Scale Certification (CTAS), Emergency Nursing Paediatric Course (E.N.P.C.), College of Family Physicians Certification (CCFP), Personal Support Worker Certification.

Education, Law and Social, Community and Government Services

Occupations in this category are concerned with law, teaching, counselling, conducting social science research, developing government policy, and administering government and other programs. Religious services and leadership roles are included in this category.

These occupations usually require completion of a related post-secondary program. Individuals who work as paralegals, social service workers or educators and instructors who are not part of the elementary, secondary or post-secondary school system are usually required to complete additional formal education to advance to professional occupations.

: 4 - Education, Law, and Social, Community and Government Services. Skills: planning, work under pressure, decision-making, French language, organizational skills, attention to detail, time management, business intelligence, fast-paced setting, Microsoft Office. Certifications: provincial teaching certification, personal support worker certification, health care aide certification, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) Certification, food safety certification, applied suicide intervention, Juris Doctor/LLB, Continuing Care Assistant certification, Red Seal, Project Management Professional (PMP).

Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

This category includes occupations in art and culture, including the performing arts, film and video, broadcasting, journalism, writing, creative design, libraries and museums.

5 - Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport. Skills: attention to detail, organizational skills, self-motivated, time management, decision-making, writing, fast-paced setting, occupational health and safety, Microsoft Office, work under pressure. Certifications: National Lifeguard Service (NLS) Certification, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), provincial teaching certification, Water Safety Instructor (WSI), fitness instructor certification, Lifesaving Bronze Medallion, Project Management Professional (PMP), Red Seal, Royal Conservatory of Music Certification, Program Management Professional (PgMP).

Sales and Service

This category contains retail and wholesale sales occupations and customer and personal service occupations related to a wide range of industries like as accommodation and food services, travel, tourism and cleaning services.  

Sales and service occupations can be linked, for the most part, to formal post-secondary or occupation-specific training programs. Others are characterized by periods of formal on-the-job training. Apprenticeship training is available for some specialized service occupations. Advancement from sales and service occupations to positions of increased responsibility, or supervision, usually requires occupational experience and may require completion of related training programs.

: 6 – Sales and Service. Skills: fast-paced setting, attention to detail, sales, organizational skills, work under pressure, decision-making, time management, problem solving, self-motivated, Microsoft Office. Certifications: food safety certification, SmartServe, Canadian Securities Course (CSC), Red Seal, cook certification, hairstylist licence, security guard clearance, Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB), medication administration certification, barber licence.

Trades and Transportation

This category includes trades supervisors and contractors, construction and mechanical tradespersons, operators of transportation and heavy equipment and trades helpers. These occupations are found in a wide range of industries, with many in the construction and transportation industries. 

This category includes most of the apprenticeable trades, including all those related to the construction industry. Other occupations in this category usually require completion of college or vocational education programs combined with on-the-job training. Helpers get training on the job site. Advancement to supervisory positions or self-employed contractor status is possible with experience. There is limited mobility or transferability of skills among occupations in this category due to specific apprenticeship, training and licensing requirements for most occupations.

7 – Trades and Transportation. Skills: attention to detail, fast-paced setting, organizational skills, time management, occupational health and safety, decision-making, troubleshooting, self-motivated, problem solving, ability to learn. Certifications: Red Seal, air brake endorsement, fall arrest protection training course, 4th period apprentice, 3rd period apprentice, 2nd period apprentice, forklift operator certification, 1st period apprentice, AZ class licence, automotive service licence.

Farming, Fishing, Forestry and Mining

These occupations include supervisors and equipment operators in the natural resource-based sectors of mining, oil and gas production, forestry and logging, agriculture, horticulture and fishing. Most occupations in this category are industry specific and do not occur outside of the primary resources industries. 

Occupations within this category generally require completion of college or vocational education programs. Some of these occupations, however, are characterized by on-the-job training and progression through experience.

8 - Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining. Skills: attention to detail, fast-paced setting, organizational skills, work under pressure, decision-making, forklifts, occupational health and safety, writing, self-motivated, French language. Certifications: Transport Canada Certification of Competency, Pesticide Applicator's Licence, chainsaw safety training, fishing licence, air brake endorsement, confined space entry training, Ironworker-structural and ornamental.

Manufacturing and Utilities

This category contains supervisory, production and labouring occupations in manufacturing, processing and utilities.  Occupations in this category are characterized by either technical training or internal progression, and on-the-job training.

Process control occupations in this category are increasingly technical and post-secondary training is usually required. For many occupations in this category, workers typically start out as labourers and advance to machine operation occupations through experience. Advancement to supervisory positions requires experience in the occupations supervised. Mobility in some of these occupations may be limited by seniority provisions of collective agreements or may require additional training.

9 - Manufacturing and Utilities. Skills: attention to detail, fast-paced setting, organizational skills, decision-making, French language, time management, self-motivated, occupational health and safety, troubleshooting, bilingual. Certifications: Power Engineer, Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), air brake endorsement, forklift operator certification, food safety certification, Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Certification, Red Seal, overhead crane certification, Certified Welder Bureau (CWB) Certification.

Source: Vicinity Jobs. Skills and Certifications by Level 1 Occupational Group. August 26, 2020 – August 25, 2021.

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