The graph above from WorkPEI, using the North American Industry Classification- NAIC, shows the number of people employment in the many industries on PEI which gives an indication of the many career choices on PEI.
2019-20 overview of career opportunities on PEI in many sectors/industries:
Take a look at what industry representatives say about the employment options.
During the past year The Employment Journey covered many articles on the following sectors/industries and gained valuable information about the employment opportunities that exist on PEI.
Read about all of the career options that exist in each Sector/Industry on PEI.
Aerospace, Defence, and Marine
There have been some changes in this sector over this past year, and opportunities still very much exist with the right training. The Employment Journey has been able to stay updated as a result of our relationship with the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association.
“The economic importance of PEI’s Aerospace and Defence sector is huge,” says Allan Campbell, Provincial Director, Atlantic Canada Aerospace & Defence Association (ACADA). “Measured by the value of our exports, the sector ranks second, next to agriculture. Since its inception in 1992 at Slemon Park, it has been one of the fastest growing sectors on PEI. It employs about 1,200 people directly, and there are a lot of indirect jobs as well.
“PEI aerospace employers are recruiting for CNC Machinist, Technician, Engineer, Controller, specialty positions (PLC Programmer, PVD Engineer), Project Manager, and Management. One way to enter the aerospace field is to enroll in the Holland College Gas Turbine Engine Repair & Overhaul Technician program.
“Access to skilled labour can often be a challenge,” says Allan. “CNC Programmers and Machinists are probably the two aerospace occupations that companies are having the most difficulty staffing. Other positions requiring highly specialized skills can also be difficult to fill. Some employers have had to recruit off-Island.
“Labour challenges and labour shortages are not unique to PEI aerospace companies. We have an aging workforce, and there are more people exiting the workforce than entering it, which is creating labour shortages nationally.”
Hands-on mechanical skills, good hand-eye coordination, good knowledge base in mathematics, and a good grasp of technology are beneficial in this field. Soft skills such as attention to detail and analytical thinking are also important.
“We partner with Holland College and UPEI to make sure our efforts are aligned,” says Allan. “Our end goal is to point students in the right direction and give our educational partners the tools they need.”
Allan says that ACADA also plans to discuss with their partners the need for training programs for CNC operators on PEI. Currently, CNC Machinists go to Moncton for their second year of training.
For more information about this sector, click here.
With the Food Island Partnership and other events and initiatives of the Agriculture Sector Council, we had a great year of coverage. Farm labourers are in high demand and the Farm Technician Apprenticeship program is a great way to increase your skills and possibly your wages in this sector. We also try to help the Agriculture Sector Council promote their employment services to match employers with job seekers with a monthly listing in our Calendar of Events.
The Harvest & Prosper pilot program in 2017 provided farmers and agriculture companies with some much-needed staff. The project provided participants with temporary jobs, and some workers gained full-time year-round work.
“This project could lead to people being hired for long-term jobs with good wages and benefits,” says Laurie Loane of the PEI Agriculture Sector Council. “One of the biggest challenges in the agriculture industry is labour shortages, especially during harvest time,” says Laurie. “People who work in the industry struggle with transportation and child care because of the long hours and rural work locations.”
The Harvest & Prosper program addressed some of the human resource issues in agriculture. The program gave newcomers, social assistance recipients, and clients on disability support an opportunity to be exposed to this line of work. Coaches and mentors helped participants overcome barriers to employment. Prosper East and West is the new program name and commenced again in 2018.
For more information about the Agriculture sector, click here.
Auto Service & Small & Heavy Equipment Repair
We spoke with some companies that provided great insight into the many career opportunities in this field. Automobile and heavy equipment mechanics are in demand. As a result of the short supply of heavy equipment mechanics, some companies are willing to train on the job and apprentice those showing a strong interest and ability.
To read about companies who provide great careers in these trades, click here.
We continued to provide coverage about opportunities with car dealerships. A year ago, it was brought to our attention that there was a need to make people aware of the wide variety of job options that have good potential and provide year-round employment with advancement opportunities.
In 2015, there were 574 full-time and 22 part-time jobs in this sector. We wrote about the job choices and that it’s not only about selling and fixing cars – you can be a Chief Financial Officer or General Manager or work in marketing or human resources, for example – it’s big business.
To explore career options further, click here.
Bioscience is known as a sector that provides employment for a wide range of qualifications from entry level to PhD.
PEI Bioscience companies focus on:
- Human health & nutrition
- Fish health
- Animal health & nutrition
- Human/animal health diagnostics
- Contract manufacturing services
- Medical devices
We follow announcements especially of new and expanding companies, and followed up on companies we covered in the year prior. We also keep a close eye on the activities of the PEI BioAlliance. We were able to profile the many careers and steps people take to advance in the industry.
Since 2005, the number of people working in the Biotechnology industry on PEI has more than tripled. Last year, the PEI BioAlliance announced an industry development strategy that expects revenues to double and 500 new jobs to be added by 2020.
We constantly receive new job postings from Vivian Beer, HR with BioAlliance, and we share this information through social media.
For more information about the bioscience sector, click here.
Career Development Profession
Career Development Professionals work with people of all ages to help them to manage their learning, work, leisure, and transitions. The goal of career services is to help people to pursue learning and to find work which is personally meaningful and to learn how to manage transitions in today’s ever-evolving labour market, read more.
The EJ have been noticing a rising need for more people to enter this field. As a result of this rising trend we have been doing more articles.
On PEI, they are employed in settings such as:
- Employment Assistance Services
- Community Sector Network -organizations/agencies- Non-profit
- Labour Market Information Specialties
- Department of Workforce & Advanced Learning
- Service Canada
- Industry Sector Councils / Associations
- Department of Education, Early Learning & Culture
- Private Employers-Human Resources departments
- Post-Secondary Education & Training Institutions- Career Services
For more information about career options in this field on PEI, click here.
Construction- Residential/Commercial/ and Road & Bridge Building
There is a great demand for trades people in the Construction sector both residential and commercial and the Road Building sectors. Most jobs are full-time, year-round with the exception of some of the crew who work in road and bridge construction.
Construction- commercial and residential:
According to the WorkPEI Employment Analysis published in June, 2019, from May 2018 to April 2019, employment in construction has gone up 8.6 percent, from 5,800 to 6,300.
Employment opportunities have gone up due to the boom the industry has experienced over the last few years. At the same time, trades are starting to see retirements, and these employees need to be replaced immediately. In March 2019, a news release from the provincial government shed light on the great opportunities that exist in these trades.
“The aging of the population is affecting the number of construction workers required,” says Sam Sanderson, General Manager of the Construction Association of PEI (CAPEI). “The shortage of skilled trades people regionally and nationally is becoming a serious issue. Carpenters, Project Managers, Estimators, Site Supervisors, Electricians, and Floor Installers are in demand. Qualified Heavy Equipment Operators are also difficult positions to fill.”
According to the PEI Economic Update 2018, the construction sector should continue to see gains through 2019 due to strong demand on both the residential and non residential front. New housing construction will continue to accelerate.
Labour shortages, an issue in 2018, are projected to continue into 2019 in construction, aquaculture, fish processing and agriculture, retail sales, accommodation, and food services.
According to a press release from BuildForce Canada dated January 31, 2019, the PEI construction industry is expecting its busiest season ever in 2019. There were more than 1,000 housing starts on PEI in 2018, propelled by strong economic growth. Housing starts are expected to rise to 1,300 units per year by 2021.
Road and bridge building:
“There is a shortage in skilled labourers and heavy equipment operators,” says Melissa Paquet, Executive Director of the PEI Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association. “Qualified Heavy Equipment Operators and Mechanics are difficult positions to fill.”
“Anyone interested in working in this industry is welcome to contact our office. I can put people in touch with most of the road building companies in operation on PEI. Job seekers can send me a resumé, and I will forward it to our members.
“Job seekers can also contact company owners directly to ask what skills they are looking for and how to get into positions.”
For more about Commercial Construction, click here.
For more about Residential Construction, click here.
For more about Road and Bridge Building, click here.
Areas in Culture/Creative:
- Crafts and Design
- Live Performing Arts
- Film, TV and Media Arts Production
- Interactive Media
- Visual Arts
- Music and Sound Recording
- Museums, Archives, Libraries, & Heritage
- Writing and Publishing
Jobs are seasonal or short term in nature and self-employment is high in this sector. Mark Sandiford, Executive Director of CreativePEI (formerly called Culture PEI) is a great contact for us as we promote opportunities in this sector. Mark loves to get out there and speak to groups about their options. There are also training programs taking place that we have been promoting as a great gateway for people to enter good careers, such as Theatre Production Mentorship training.
In 2017, the Government of PEI released Cultivating Growth – A Five Year Action Plan for the Culture and Creative Industries. Highlights of the report include renewed annual investment in the PEI Art Bank, a local Film Media Fund, and investing in public art, festivals, and events.
For more info about the Culture/Creative sector on PEI, click here
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is the national centre of expertise for the digital/computing economy.
In its monthly snapshot of the digital/computing economy labour market, ICTC showed 3,000 people work in this sector on PEI as of March 2019.
See monthly labour market updates in the sector here.
A recent ICTC report called The Next Talent Wave: Navigating the Digital Shift – Outlook 2021 highlights an acute demand for people with expertise in this field.
Employment is in steady and growing demand within major industries such as Manufacturing, Public Administration, Finance and Insurance, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
This industry has a strong impact on all industries, including Healthcare, Transportation, and Agriculture. Because of advancements in technology, the nature of the work is changing.
The top five occupations experiencing labour shortages according to ICTC research area:
- Computer and Information Systems Managers
- Computer Engineers (expert Software Engineers and Designers)
- Database Analysts and Database Administrators
- Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
- Graphic Arts Technicians
By the fall of 2019, ICTC will be launching iAdvance, a suite of data analytics, capacity building tools, and web platform to assist Canadians pivot to in-demand digital jobs in an increasingly changing economy and labour market shifts. For more information on iAdvance, click here.
For more information about the Digital/computing industry, click here.
Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Educators work in designated and non-designated early childhood centres, and in licensed centres in full-day or half-day programs, family resource centre programs, school-aged programs, and licensed family home care.
Jobs in Early Childhood Centres
- Director or Supervisor
- Early Childhood Educators
- Substitute Caregivers
- Special Needs Assistant/Inclusions Support Worker
- Early Childhood Educator Assistants
Substitute Early Childhood Educators require a criminal record check and vulnerable sector check, must be 18 years of age or older, and have emergency first aid certification. They do not require Early Childhood Care and Education training, although some experience working with children is beneficial.
To further explore careers in Early Childhood Education, click here.
Finance, insurance, real estate, and leasing
This industry has so much promise and opportunity. We are seeing more opportunities with banks and investment agencies such as Invesco. When hiring, they seem to take into consideration transferable skills such as money management and customer service.
Some job titles
- Insurance adjuster
- Financial clerk
- Financial and investment analyst
For more information, click here.
Fisheries and Aquaculture
These two sectors need help to continually get the word out that jobs are available. Over the last two years, we also promoted the bursary programs offered to students working in these two sectors.
Working in fish processing plants across the Island has expanded to more months of work than what was available five years ago. They most often run from May until December, and mussel and oyster production is year-round and companies often offers benefits. Students can earn a good amount of money during the summer and during the school year because of the many hours of work available, and wages are increasing a bit each year.
For the second time, we did an interview with Fisheries and Ocean Canada, Catch Certification Program Operations Centre, Tignish. It was an indication of retirement starting to open positions within government. This opportunity was to create a casual list. Those working on a casual basis are able to apply for internal jobs. The background required to be on the casual list was not extensive. It could be basic administration skills, so again it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.
For more about careers in these sectors, visit
This sector has seen a lot of attention and funding support from the province.This sector ties in agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries, which have been recruiting staff. It also saw some start-up businesses.
To explore the companies further, click here.
There are endless choices of occupations in healthcare on PEI in the private and public sectors. According to the WorkPEI Employment Analysis as of April 2019, the number of people who work in Healthcare and Social Assistance on PEI is 10,700.
A great way to explore these professions is to visit the Guide of Health Professions for PEI. The Health Career Guide provides key information on over 60 healthcare professions, click here.
PEI Public Service Commission continuously updates their casual staffing inventory for positions such as Social Workers, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Resident Care Workers, Administrative Support Workers, Clerical Support Workers, Medical Secretaries, Dietary Service Workers, Cooks, Correctional Officers, Heavy Duty Mechanics, Youth Workers, and Ward Clerks.
“We hire on an on-going basis for those positions, based on work demand,” says Maribeth Vos, Staffing Consultant. “When hiring, we look for the experience, education, and licensing relevant to each position.”
For a list of external competitions open to the public, visit www.gov.pe.ca/jobs. People can also submit an application to be included on a casual list in person, mail, fax, or email.
For tips on how to apply to healthcare jobs within the PEI Public Service Commission, click here.
To explore the many career choices and contacts in Healthcare on PEI, click here.
Island Technology Professionals (ITP)
ITP is a volunteer-run, independent certifying body for engineering/applied science technicians and technologists on PEI and represents 16 disciplines such as:
- Architectural and Building
The organization represents the designations “CTech”, “CET” and “AScT” which are symbols of achievement in engineering/applied science technology. The designations are recognized across Canada through the efforts of the provincial associations that make up the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT).
At the technologist level, Holland College offers Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Network Engineering Technology, Bioscience Technology, and Architectural Technology.
At the technician level, the college offers Construction Technology and Environmental Applied Sciences Technology programs. All programs are nationally accredited by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB).
Bryan Burt works with Network Operations at the provincial government’s Information Technology Shared Services. “Technologists and technicians need two years of experience in their field to earn a CET, CTech or AScT designation,” says Bryan. “With those designations, they are eligible to apply for jobs posted at the Canadian Technical Employment Network.”
Technologists and technicians are employed at companies such as Maritime Electric, Eastlink, BIO|FOOD|TECH, and with the provincial government.
Bryan says the majority of ITP’s members have a civil engineering technology or construction background. “They work with engineers and architects. Employers are looking for a lot of CAD specialists and industrial technicians.”
“Instructors in the Computer Networking Technology program are telling us their graduates are not having issues getting jobs,” says Trent Collicutt, past President and current Executive Staff Officer with ITP and he is an Enterprise Infrastructure Solution Architect with the Provincial Government’s Information Technology Shared Services.
For more information about the Island Technology Professionals, click here.
Justice & Public Safety
As a result of interviewing a corrections officer, this sector was added to the EJ website. The interview was a very good insight into all the career choices and opportunities in this field on PEI. Kim Kempton was Warden/Manager of the Provincial Correctional Centre for seven years and is now retired. Her journey to this field started over 30 years ago. After high school, she took a gap year. “I did not know what I wanted to do as a career, and I needed time to work it out.”
She worked as a waitress for a year, and then went to a small college in Vermont, USA, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. “The four-year degree in HR management was a springboard to great careers,” says Kim.
“In 1999, a one-year opportunity came up at the Correctional Centre. I thought I would not want to stay more than a year, but I never left. My past experiences correlated with this work and it was a fit for me. Looking back, I had a great career.”
- Correctional Officer
- Youth Worker
- Counsellor – addictions, family, and more
- Management and Supervisory positions
- Human Resources
- Probation Officer
- Victim Services Management
For more information about the many career choices in the Justice and Public Safety sector, click here.
Manufacturing continues to experience growth and we have been doing extensive coverage with companies such as Trout River Industries, Eastern Fabricators, MacDougal Steel, and others.
Most of our promotions are for Welder and CNC Machinist careers, although there are other jobs in demand such as Sheet Metal Workers and Iron Workers.
To explore the many companies, post-secondary options, and careers, click here.
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services on PEI
This sector covers a broad range of careers, including:
- Legal Services
- Tax Preparation
- Computer Systems
- Scientific Research and Development Services
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Building Inspection Services
- Interior Design Services
- Research and Development in Physical, Engineering and Life Sciences
- Advertising Agencies
- Public Relations Services
- Market Research
- Translation and Interpretation Services
- Veterinary Services
Accounting services, computer systems services, marketing and sales, and translation services would all be considered in high demand.
To explore these professions further, click here.
On a year-to-date basis, retail/wholesale trade continues to be the largest employer on the Island, averaging 11,100.
Working in this industry has its challenges, with openings, some location moves, expansions, and closings. It is challenging for people to see this industry as a full-time career choice because of unpredictable hours, business vulnerabilities, and limited opportunities for full-time work.
For youth, this is very much a short-term occupation choice. The challenge is to attract youth and get them to successfully connect with employers, since the hiring process is mostly online. Also, many older people with low-level literacy skills work in this sector and face a daunting challenge of connecting with employers with the barriers of not being computer savvy.
Retail is a great starting point to gain experience in customer service, which is a sought after skill and ability that is transferrable to many other career choices.
This is an industry where we have done a number of self-employment articles.
To explore jobs and opportunities in this sector, click here.
We have put a heavy concentration on start-up information, self-employment initiatives, and small business community supports and resources by compiling a complete list of all the resources across PEI, click here.
We have covered a high number of self-employment initiatives in the last few years.
For more information about our coverage, visit www.employmentjourney.com/ and click Self Employment on the menu.
Jobs in tourism are many on PEI. The jobs are not just seasonal. Many are year-round. We write a lot of articles about opportunities in tourism because of the high need for companies to hire the right staff.
The industry provides 15,000 to 17,000 full-time, part-time, seasonal, and year-round jobs, which is equivalent to 7,700 full-time year-round jobs. Categories of work include:
- Accommodations: Housekeeping, front desk, general managers, and supervisors.
- Food & Beverage Services: Servers, bartenders, line cooks, chefs, kitchen staff, front end workers, supervisors and managers
- Travel Services: Visitor information counsellors and tour guides
- Transportation: Ferry boat captains, airport, taxi drivers, and motor coach drivers
- Recreation & Entertainment: Golf courses, bike rentals, outdoor adventures, and cultural events.
Tourism is the largest employer in rural PEI. As well, tourism is the biggest employer of youth on PEI. It’s often one of the first jobs for youth, which helps them develop essential skills for future careers. In addition, the seasonal aspect of the employment works well for them.
Housekeepers, line cooks, and prep cooks are all jobs that are in high demand. Transportation jobs tend to attract more mature workers. Many workers in transportation are due to retire soon, leading to more job opportunities. In addition, outdoor adventure tourism has the potential for a lot of growth, and could be a source for more jobs.
To explore further, click here
Brian Oulton, Executive Director of the PEI Trucking Sector Council, says there is such a demand for long-haul truck drivers and mechanics in this field, and as a result, trucks are left idle because the labour force is not in place.
Examples of careers in trucking:
- Truck Driver
- Heavy Equipment Mechanic
- Freight Broker
- Driver Trainer
- Parts Technician
- Safety and Compliance
- Human Resources
“Trucking is a growth industry,” says Brian. “The only thing stopping us from growing is people. Across Canada, there will be a need for 30,000 or more drivers and thousands more in private fleets in the next five to seven years.”
Brian is also very willing to visit employment groups in the communities to tell them more about the great opportunities in the trucking sector. As well, we promote their information sessions, which are held each month.
To explore further, click here.
To visit The Employment Journey Sector/Industry page, click here.
How to get started
To find services and programs to help you sort through all of the career options on PEI and to explore the ones that stand out for you, click here.