10 jobs in B.C. that increased in demand due to COVID-19

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: August 5, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way we work.

Granted, many sectors were negatively affected by shutdowns related to the pandemic, such as the tourism and hospitality sectors. However, some sectors saw a surge in job vacancies.

The federal government carried out research on how the pandemic is affecting the labour force in each province and territory. From this research, here are 10 jobs that has increased in demand during the pandemic in B.C. Jobs below are listed in order of their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.

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1. Payroll administrators (NOC 1432)

These professionals collect, verify and process payroll information. They also determine pay and benefits to an organization’s employees as well as maintain the payroll record.

After the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment for this job slightly dropped (16 per cent drop in April 2020 compared to April 2019).
However, employment levels began to gain traction again as demand increases. Many employers need to address unexpected revenue loss because of the pandemic, and are in dire need for payroll administrators to limit employee costs.

2. Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)

These professionals analyze and test systems requirements and implement information systems development plans, policies and procedures. They also provide their recommendations on information systems issues.

This occupation saw an upward trend after the beginning of the pandemic, and is expected to continue post-pandemic. This is because many businesses began depending on their employees working from home. As a consequence, they needed innovative technology and secure data access.

3. Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)

Computer programmers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for software, data processing and operating systems and communications software. Interactive media developers focus on mobile apps, training software, computer games, film, video and other media.

They write, modify, integrate and test computer code for software, data processing, computer games, film, video and more.
Employment for these professionals saw a significant increase after the beginning of the pandemic. This is to provide required computer software for employees who are working from home.

4. Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (NOC 4413)

These teacher assistants provide support to students and help teachers with teaching and other tasks. They tend to focus on teaching and behaviour management.

Employment for this job increased by a whopping 44 per cent in April 2020, compared to April 2019.

Many schools in B.C. had to shift to online learning because of COVID-related-restrictions. After in-class learning resumed, funding was increased to support health and safety measures and new learning groups, including teacher assistants.

Teacher assistants will continue to play a crucial role in the classroom, whether that classroom is in-person, online or both.

5. Technical sales specialists (NOC 6221)

Professionals such as technical sales specialists sell technical goods and services to governments, as well as commercial and industrial establishments. Some also work in wholesale trade.

After the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, employment for these professionals dropped significantly. However, by May, employment for technical sales specialists recovered and continued to increase.

6. Cooks (NOC 6322)

Cooks prepare and cook food. They work in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and other establishments.

Restaurants were closed to dine-in customers in March 2020 and many cooks lost their jobs. Many restaurants shifted to online ordering and home delivery, which increased the need to hire more cooks.

Many cooks are also wanted by innovators who rent our commercial kitchens. These kitchens deliver food but are not attached to a restaurant. This means that demand for cooks has gone up, even if they are not hired to work in a traditional setting.

7. Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6733)

These professionals clean and maintain commercial, institutional and residential buildings. Building superintendents are responsible for the operation of the establishment.

They saw a significant uptick in demand after the pandemic was declared in March 2020. This is because of an increase in need of heavy-duty cleaning and sanitization to curb the spread of COVID-19.

8. Material handlers (NOC 7452)

Material handlers handle, move, load and unload materials. Employment for this job almost doubled (an increase of 91 per cent) in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

The increased demand is because of the need to load and unload essential items like food, cleaning products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

9. Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)

These truck drivers operate heavy trucks and transport goods over short distances, interprovincially and internationally. These professionals deliver goods during the COVID-19 pandemic to various industries.

The B.C. Truckers Association and the B.C. government made changes to address the needs for truck drivers during COVID-19, such as inspection stations, rest areas and food trucks.

10. Underground production and development miners (NOC 8231)

These professionals drill, blast and operate mining machinery to extract coal and ore in underground mines. They also construct tunnels and passageways to make it easier to carry out mining operations.

Employment dropped significantly for these professionals after the pandemic was declared. However, there are now new employment opportunities and higher demand.

How you can immigrate to B.C. if you work in one of these occupations

Economic immigration to Canada’s provinces is designed to address labour market needs to support Canada’s economic growth. There are pathways to permanent residence for those with work experience in a province’s in-demand occupations.

If you have experience in one of the following occupations, you may use your skilled work experience towards a permanent residence application through the Express Entry system.

  • information systems analysts and consultants;
  • computer programmers and interactive media developers;
  • technical sales specialists;
  • cooks;
  • underground production and development miners.

These jobs are considered "skilled" according to their NOC codes. You will be able to apply under one of Canada’s three main economic class immigration programs:

In addition, British Columbia has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). If you have an Express Entry profile, this opens the doors to the province’s enhanced PNPs, such as the Express Entry British Columbia (EEBC).

EEBC allows skilled workers, health care professionals and international graduates to apply for a provincial nomination for permanent residence.

British Columbia regularly holds B.C. Tech draws. These draws allow the technology sector to attract and retain the skilled workers that they need to continue to grow the industry. The province’s tech draws focus on 29 eligible occupations, including information systems analysts and consultants, and computer programmers and interactive media developers.

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has other immigration streams for those with work experience in other lower-skilled jobs.

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