Dear Working Wise:
I have a job in a warehouse right now, but I need a better-paying job so I can support my growing family. Do you have any suggestions for careers that I can move in to quickly and start making a better wage? Signed, Struggling
The best advice I can give you is to visit your local Alberta Works Centre and talk to a Career and Employment Consultant.
Your consultant can look at your needs and interests and provide advice and ideas you may never have considered.
You can find the office nearest you by visiting http://employment.alberta.ca/offices.
Other helpful career planning and job search resources include the ALIS web site http://alis.alberta.ca and the toll-free Career Information Hotline 1-800-661-3753, which is staffed by career consultants.
The trades may be a good option, because tradespeople earn a wage while they learn the trade.
Another option is truck driving. Your current job at the warehouse likely gives you an opportunity to interact with truck drivers. Use this opportunity to ask them questions about the job to see if you are interested.
Trucking is loaded with opportunities. A search for truck driver on the Canada-Alberta Job Bank www.jobbank.gc.ca yields around 400 job postings for nearly 2,000 job opportunities in Alberta.
And demand is expected to accelerate as Alberta’s energy industry expands and older drivers retire.
Trucking is a far bigger industry, filled with more variety and career paths, than many people assume.
Trucks transport nearly everything we touch from wood, fuel and chemicals to food, equipment and garbage.
Logging trucks, delivery trucks, boom trucks, long-haul tractor trailers, hydrovac trucks, tow trucks, tank trucks, refuse trucks and gravel trucks all need operators.
And trucking pays better than it used to with wages ranging between $15 and $40 per hour depending on the truck, required license, and if it is short-haul or long-haul driving.
Employers prefer to hire drivers who are over 21 years old, have no criminal record, have less than six demerits, and can be insured at a reasonable cost. Drivers who haul to the U.S. must be at least 21 and able to pass U.S. drug testing requirements.
Training requirements vary by the type of truck and some employers require additional tickets such as first aid, WHMIS, etc. For more information on the Truck Driver occupation, visit the OccInfo database of occupations at http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo.
Another great resource is the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council’s www.truckingcareeers.ca web site. The site features video profiles of occupations, explains the various career paths, and provides advice on how to get into the transportation industry.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.