Skills that will get you jobs, Part II – Blue collar heroes

Skills that will get you jobs, Part II – Blue collar heroes

In Part I of this series we explored a number of rapidly expanding IT fields. In this part we’ll talk about jobs that require a more hands-on approach. Most of these professions feature on the list of eligible skilled occupations for Australian Visas, as well as Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program. In other words, any of these qualifications can greatly improve your chances of migrating to a developed country as a skilled professional.


This is one of many professions where skilled tradespeople are perpetually in short supply. Australia has a shortage of carpenters, joiners, and cabinetmakers. The situation is similar in Canada and some EU countries. Carpenters are employed in all kinds of industries including manufacturing, construction, housing, packaging, etc. It is a truly universal skill. Carpentry jobs are open to both men and women. It is common for a carpenter to earn between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. In addition to trade skills one must be trained in the applicable occupational safety standards which can be specific to country, employer, Coxons radiators or workplace.

Electrical experts

Australia has a shortage of auto electricians, line workers, and general electricians. Canada needs service technicians for business and household electrical equipment. It also needs electricians for industrial environments and power systems. These professions do not require college degrees in electrical engineering. However they do require the applicant to hold a license to practice the trade. Electricity is ubiquitous. All industries have employment opportunities for electricians. Even unlicensed foreign-trained electricians can find employment as trade assistants. However, they earn significantly less. Licensed electricians can earn at par with any other tradespeople. The salaries of licensed electricians are better than the national averages in both Canada and Australia.


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Many types of farming in developed countries are highly mechanized, and are considered skilled jobs. Occupations in agriculture include beef cattle farmers, dairy cattle farmers, livestock farmers, poultry farmers, sheep farmers, all manner of crop farmers, aquaculture professionals, and apiarists. Experienced farm workers can earn between $35,000 and $55,000 a year. Some types of farming are more skilled and pay higher. However, the real income is in being a farm owner. Certain types of farm produce are notably more profitable than others. These include gourmet food, culinary herbs, some cash crops, and organic crops. Many agricultural subsectors depend heavily on a migrant workforce. Farm work can be physically demanding. The occupational health and safety of farm workers in developed nations is markedly better than most migrants’ countries of origin.


A range of culinary businesses suffer from shortages of well-trained professionals. Chefs, cooks, bakers, and butchers are in high demand. A professional qualification and some experience in a culinary profession are all you need to find well-paying overseas jobs. Thousands of migrant workers are employed in hospitality companies in countries such as Australia, Canada, and the UK. Some even get to travel the world aboard luxury cruise ships. These migrants regularly send remittances via money transfers to support their families in their home countries. Minimum wage rates are markedly higher in the developed world. This is why services cost more and professionals earn more. The service occupations which are currently in short supply include hairdressers, stylists, tailors, dressmakers, shoemakers, jewelers, upholsterers, and many more. As with other professions, a formal qualification in your trade is usually a prerequisite to qualifying for a visa.


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Industrial employers also suffer from a scarcity of skilled workers. These shortages can be regional or seasonal. The governments of specific states or regions often act as sponsors of migrant work visas in these categories. The industrial professions currently in high demand and short supply include toolmakers, sheet metal workers, fabricators, fitters, bricklayers, roofers, painters, and others.

In summary

There are many paths to migration. In several geographies tradespeople are in greater demand than knowledge workers. They also often get paid more. Sometimes having the right skill set is more important than qualifying on a points-based migration system. Skills are certainly helpful, but from a visa perspective so is certification. Being good at what you do can literally take you places.

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