Top 10 Survival Jobs in Canada and Salary Insights

When we think of jobs we would rather do, temporary jobs or survival jobs are not necessarily what comes to mind. For the most part, these temp jobs in Canada are just that, a means of survival. However, there is more to it than that. Besides being a means of putting bread on the table and keeping the lights on, survival jobs set a strong foundation for individuals looking to make it into a larger career field.

If you have ever tried to apply for a job in Canada, you know that most companies ask for that Canadian work experience. Well, this is where temp jobs come in handy. They give you that valuable experience that allows you to take up larger roles down the line. Having said that, they aren’t the most glamorous of career choices, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction. In this blog, we talk about some of the most popular temporary jobs in Canada that you should consider if this is a decision you are facing. Before we dive in though, we should understand the context of these jobs and where they fit in as per the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

Understanding the NOC System

The NOC is a classification system, as the name suggests, that groups jobs based on the duties performed and the work a person does. This plays an important role in the immigration process as well. There are generally five broad categories of classifications and each job role gets assigned a four-digit NOC code.

These classifications are:

  • Skill Type 0: Management jobs (Restaurant manager, mine manager, etc.)
  • Skill Level A: Professional jobs that require you to have a degree from a university. (Doctors, dentists, architects, etc.)
  • Skill Level B: Technical skilled trades that require a diploma or training as an apprentice, or both. (Chefs, millwrights, electricians, plumbers, etc.)
  • Skill Level C: Intermediate jobs that need a high-school diploma or job-specific training. (butchers, long-haul truck drivers, servers, etc.)
  • Skill Level D: These are general labour jobs and usually need on-the-job training. (General labourers, fruit pickers, etc.)

Top 10 Survival Jobs in Canada

Now that we have a point of reference, keep in mind that this list will just be temp jobs. We will also be focusing only on jobs that fall within the classification of Skill Level C and Skill Level D. With that said, let’s dive into it.

1. General Labourer

General labourers can come under a wide number of industries as the role is existent pretty much across the board. There will always be a need for people to do this work. Once again, due to the nature of the role, the duties can vary. Usually, it involves moving materials and equipment. They take on physically demanding jobs like excavating, demolition and so on.

Average Salary: $39,287/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 7611
Skill Level: D


Survival Jobs

2. Long-Haul Truck Drive

As a long-haul truck driver, you would drive trucks and trailer combination vehicles over long distances as the name suggests. This can be done to deliver livestock, materials, goods, and so on. This is a physically demanding job, as it requires long hours on the open road, all the while staying focused and alert.

Average Salary: $58,575/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 7511
Skill Level: C

“Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success.” – Virat Kohli, Indian Cricketer

3. Warehouse Workers

Now, this survival job is not limited to just warehouses and can also include Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers. It is an entry-level position most of the time and requires you to ensure items are where they are supposed to be, make sure things are packed and labelled, and also play a role in the loading and shipping.

Average Salary: $ 42,065/year (Salary Expert)
NOC Code: 6622
Skill Level: C

4. Server

Also known as a waiter or waitress, or even a barista or bartender at times is a person who serves customers of established food and beverages. Duties might also include explaining the menu to customers, communicating with the kitchen staff and so on. This is a minimum wage job and one that many will have heard of at some point.

Average Salary: $ 29,039/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 6513
Skill Level: C

Survival Jobs in the Retail Industry

5. Retail Sales Representative

People in the profession are also given the title of sales associate. They help customers find the right merchandise in the store. Their duties can also include making sure the shelves are stocked, assisting customers in other areas of concern and facilitating the transaction of goods like sales and returns.

Average Salary: $ 33,147/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 6421
Skill Level: C

6. Uber Driver

As most might know, Uber is a ride-hailing platform that connects customers with drivers. As an Uber driver, you would need to coordinate with customers, pick them up and drop them off at destinations and conduct transactions for services rendered.

Average Salary: $ 40,601/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 1414
Skill Level: C

7. Receptionist

As a receptionist, your duties would include greeting visitors, helping with the navigation and tracking of office schedules, coordinating and organizing meetings and so on. Of course, this could vary from one workplace to the next, but ultimately it comes down to you having exceptional organizational skills. Taking up survival jobs like this also requires a decent level of communication and people skills.

Average Salary: $ 36,571/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 7513
Skill Level: C

“Without labour, nothing prospers.” – Sophocles, Ancient Greek Tragedian

8. Security Guard

The duties and responsibilities of a security guard often include securing the premises and the personnel within. It could also include patrolling the property, monitoring surveillance and inspecting the building if need be. It boils down to keeping a location secure for the duration of your shift. Now, this could be a demanding job given the hours you work and the conditions you have to work in. In some cases, there could be a training seminar or a certification course that one might need to attend and pass to perform said duties.

Average Salary: $ 33,856/year (Glassdoor)
NOC Code: 6541
Skill Level: C

9. Dog Walker

As far as survival jobs in Canada go, this can be quite a pleasant one depending on how you feel about animals. Generally, dog walkers have the responsibility of walking the dogs. However, this can extend to grooming pets, feeding them, dog-sitting and so on. You need strong interpersonal skills to deal with clients and you need to be willing to work outdoors, regardless of the weather.

Average Salary: $ 29,250/year (
NOC Code: 6563
Skill Level: C

10. Au Pair

Au Pairs who are also known as nannies at times are usually hired to take care of young children. Now, you don’t just become a hired hand, rather, you become an extension of the family in a way. Responsibilities could include cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, taking the children from school to home and vice versa. Again, this could vary depending on the needs of the family. You do however need to have great interpersonal skills, be great with kids and have a lot of patience.

Average Salary: $ 27,300/year (
NOC Code: 4411
Skill Level: C

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