The threat of automation has made many people anxious about the future of their jobs. Automated trucks could one day soon replace truckers. Even pizza delivery could now be done through automation.
But as some jobs wane (as has always been the case with advancement — chances are you don’t see positions open for lamplighters any more, either), other positions are created or grow in demand. 2018 will see certain jobs become more in demand as the nature of our world changes.
Daniel Culbertson, economist at job search site Indeed.com, says that there are plenty of jobs that humans need to do, even as automation grows.
“One of the most widely discussed global labour market issues is the risk that automation poses to the labour force,” Culbertson explains to Yahoo Canada Finance. “However, the threat posed by automation will not come to a head all at once, but rather will take years to unfold.
“The occupations at greatest risk are those that are comprised largely of routine tasks easily replicated by machines or software. It is also important to keep in mind that automation may not always be a destructive force, but rather will likely create new jobs as well.”
Job search site Indeed compiled a list of the five most in-demand jobs this year, and it shows that while technology certainly changes the way we work, different jobs are much more needed.
Title: Fulfillment Associate
Average Salary: $13.56/hour
Growth in Job Listings in 2017: 607 per cent
As so much of our shopping moves online, people are still needed to help fill those orders and make sure they get sent to the right place. Amazon is just one of the online retailers that is building new fulfillment centres in Canada. While some of Amazon’s locations are almost entirely automated, most of their locations still rely heavily on human hands and minds to make sure orders are correctly filled.
Title: Machine Learning Engineer
Average Salary: $102,555/year
Growth in Job Listings in 2017: 150 per cent
The Canadian government is investing millions in artificial intelligence development, and that’s creating lots of job openings. Engineers who specialize in machine learning and AI will have opportunities across multiple sectors as more commercial and consumer products automate.
Title: Family Medicine Physician
Average Salary: $248,580/year
Growth in Job Listings in 2017: 138 per cent
While automation has taken over many jobs, there are some things that are still better left to humans, and family doctor is one of them. The number of adults over the age of 65 continues to balloon in Canada, and the need for professionals to care for these people is growing, too. Medical professionals across many fields are sought after, but family doctor comes out at the top.
Title: Manufacturing Technician
Average Salary: $18.74/hour
Growth in Job Listings in 2017: 45 per cent
Another major area of investment for Canada is in manufacturing, and having people who know how to operate, care for and fix the machines involved is critical. Indeed.com points to NAFTA negotiation outcomes as worth watching in order to know exactly which manufacturing industries will see the most growth in coming years.
Title: Technical Recruiter
Average Salary: $47,991/year
Growth in Job Listings in 2017: 25 per cent
The demand for app developers, engineers, and other experts in the field of technology is undeniable. That’s creating a need for people who can identify the ideal candidates for a company. Technical recruiters need a combination of HR skills as well as expertise in software and analytics, making it a niche and in-demand position.
Good news for job seekers
Even if you don’t have the skills for these specific positions now, 2018 still holds a lot of promise for those seeking employment.
“The good news for job seekers is that Canada’s tightening labor market means that employers will likely have trouble filling positions,” says Culbertson. “It is a job seeker’s market, and this brightens the outlook for pay raises, opportunities for on-the-job training, and relaxed hiring requirements.
“Even though the odds are in their favour, job seekers can always improve their chances of landing the career they want by researching the growing skills in their field and working to improve their skill set.”