Jobs in the Service Sector

According to Monster, Canada’s service sector employs more than 10,000,000 people.

In addition, the service sector is often identified as a key growth industry.  The problem is that many job seekers don’t know what the service sector encompasses.  When they hear service sector, many people just think about jobs in hospitality and retail.  This is a very narrow view of this sector.  The service sector is dedicated to meeting people’s needs, and the jobs available are as varied as the needs themselves.   

Here are some examples of the opportunities available within the service sector: 

Caregiver:  Caregivers usually work out of patients’ homes or nursing care facilities.  Caregivers help patients to maintain their physical and cognitive health, make sure that they get nutritious meals, and help them with their personal care.  A caregiver may also assist with housekeeping, transportation, and social and emotional needs.  Caregiver positions may require the completion of a college program or an equivalent level of experience.

Hairstylist:  Hairstylists work in salons, barber shops, vocational schools, and sometimes in health care establishments.  Most positions require completion of a college or apprenticeship program, or an equivalent level of experience.

Sales:  There are sales positions available for every product or service imaginable.  Almost every organization will have a sales department (although they may have a different name for it).  There is no specific educational requirement for sales positions, and most employers will be more interested in seeing if you have a proven track record in achieving sales targets. 

Security Guard:  Security guards can work in stores, hotels, apartment buildings, health institutions, schools, and anywhere else in the public or private sector.  Security guards control access to establishments, patrol assigned areas, enforce regulations, resolve conflicts, and ensure that safety and emergency procedures are followed.  Most security positions will require completion of secondary school, and a college diploma may also be required.

Cleaner:  Specialized cleaners either work for cleaning companies, or are self-employed.  According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, specialized cleaners clean and refurbish building exteriors, carpets, chimneys, industrial equipment, ventilation systems, windows and other surfaces, by using specialized equipment and techniques.  Light duty cleaners are employed by hotels, offices, building management companies, hospitals, schools, and recreational facilities to do the general cleaning in the building.  There is no specific educational requirements for cleaning positions and most training is done on the job.

Esthetician:  Estheticians usually work in salons or are self-employed.  They provide specialized facial and body treatments to help clients enhance their appearance.  Depending on the needs of the salon, a college diploma, or certification may be required.  

Bank Teller:  Customer service representatives at banks and other financial institutions process cash withdrawls, deposits, cheques, bills and credit card payments, and certified cheques.  They also answer enquiries and respond to problems related to the customers’ accounts.  While a college diploma in business may make a candidate more attractive, the employer will also be looking for strong customer service skills and an aptitude for numbers.

Animal Attendant:  Animal attendants work in shelters, veterinary offices, kennels, and any other place where animals are kept.  Animal attendants prepare food, clean animal enclosures, provide animals with exercise, give animals medication, and keep accurate records.  While some of these positions may require enrollment at a related college program, most will just want to see that you have experience working with animals.

Community Worker:  Community workers can be found working in organizations dedicated to helping youth, the elderly, animals, people with a particular disease or condition, the environment, and countless other causes.  The types of positions available vary with the needs of the community.  What they have in common is that they help people.  While community worker positions usually require a college diploma in social work or a related discipline, an employer may consider an applicant with equivalent experience or a demonstrated passion for the particular cause.

Building Maintenance Worker:  Maintenance workers may be hired by property management companies, businesses, government offices, hospitals, schools, or independent contractors.  Maintenance workers perform general repairs and maintain the building and the grounds.  The job duties could include anything from replacing light fixtures, inspecting and repairing hot water tanks, repairing leaks and clearing plugged sewers and drains, or painting and repairing drywall.  Experience is more important than education with a maintenance job, but any specialized skills (such as HVAC, electrical, or plumbing) would be an asset.

While these jobs are very different, they all involve helping others.  If you want to be an ideal candidate for any of these positions, you need to demonstrate that you have a customer-focused attitude and that you genuinely enjoy working with people.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)


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