Side Hustles and Alternative Careers in Canada

So you’ve landed in the big snow country and is searching for opportunities to make a decent living. One big positive aspect of Canada which influenced me to the core was the dignity of labour and how every job is well respected and there is no class difference in society between a banker and a truck driver. This was something new and refreshing for me as an Indian, who comes from a society which is deeply entrenched with the class sense and the novelty and notoriety that accompanies a particular job or trade. Here in Canada, the attitude is ‘man(woman) has to make a living’ and they engage in jobs to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

Here are a few honourable alternative careers that you could bank on as a new Canadian.

A. Long Haul Truck Driver

Gender neutral industry, yeah, you better ‘beliebe’ it. There are a lot of immigrants especially Indians from Punjabi community in India working in the Truck industry. And again, believe it or not, the industry is taking steps to actively attract more women recruits every year. This is a stable industry with good prospects in North America, as almost 90% of the freight movement is happening via long-haul trucks. And it pays really well, too. Add to it, the Uber’s and Google’s attempts to bring in driverless cars and trucks have reached a stalemate.

Here is the link to know all about getting a license as a commercial truck driver.

B. Transit Driver in Public Transportation 

Fancy a government job? With all the perks and benefits that accompany one? Do you enjoy the stability and security offered by a govt job? Can you beat the traffic? Do you enjoy driving? Maybe a career as a transit bus driver is for you.

Here is all you need to know to get a bus driver’s license.

A caveat is there are two kinds of transit transport management in Canada.

a) Government-owned and operated; Eg: Brampton Transit, Toronto Transport Corporation, Go transit operated by the Federal government of Ontario, Hamilton Transit etc;

b) Government-owned but operated by corporates eg: York Region Transit, Barrie Transit, Durham Transit etc.

Government-owned and operated management will have union protected jobs, with all the benefits. But if it is private management, there may not be job security and perks as much as the government operated ones.

C. Canada Post

Canada Post offers the cushion of a government job with the safety add-on as a union protected job. There are many opportunities in Canada Post from being a postman to logistics associate. You can find about a career with Canada post here.

D. Apple Plucking

Fruit Picking is a summertime job that many families enjoy doing outdoors in Canada. Depending upon who you ask, a fruit picker could make up to $28 per hour. It’s temporary work, but you get to be outside and earn good money picking apples.

You’re paid a set amount for each bin you fill. Bins are four feet by four feet and two feet deep and will hold about 1,000 pounds of apples. You could fill one in an hour.

Check these links and here.

E. Care-Aide Worker

If you’re looking for a job that requires a human presence and has almost close to zero chances of automation, look for healthcare jobs, involving precisely what the name denotes, care and empathy to fellow humans. You will require some sort of short-term training and membership with a provincial regulatory body. Many care-aide workers join additional training programs and proceed to enroll as registered nurses or specialists like anesthetics.

Here are some useful links, province wise.



F. Baby Sitting

Preferably ideal for school or college going ladies. Keep one eye wideout in the horizon, closely observing the kid, while the other one completes your assignments or watch Breaking Bad.

Here are some useful links here and here.

G. Dog Walking

Yes, this is a thing. Here are some useful links, here and here.

H. Bar Tender

How much money does a bartender make? No one really knows for sure. Apart from the hourly wages or salary, add to it the generous tips offered by tipsy customers and bartending could be a pretty lucrative side hustle.

To work as a bartender in Ontario, you must be at least 18 years of age and earn Smart Serve certification, which is approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Smart Serve is an online certification test. Topics include the effects of alcohol consumption, how to serve alcohol responsibly and legal issues related to serving alcohol. Mostly it is a case of going around, asking for openings, offering to pick up glasses for free or do a shift for free and if they take you in, go get the smart serve certification.

I. Taxi-Driver

Caveat: Be wary of Tom Cruise hailing your taxi for one last ride.

Requirements for driving in Toronto- Uber- here and here; Lyft- here

J. Shoveler.

Don’t mind some physical labour, in the snow? You can find snow shovelling jobs in Kijji and now there is even a dedicated application for it.

Do you have noticed any side gigs in Canada for students and new Canadians to explore? Let us and fellow canucks know below.

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