Dare to be Different

 

Are you someone who marches to the beat of her own music or maybe you just don’t fit into the mainstream? Students often pursue traditional career paths such as doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse and there is nothing wrong with any of these paths.  What many students seem to forget is that there are other options. The path after graduation is not a straight line; it’s more like a bunch of squiggly lines that offer a variety of possibilities. So, before you narrow down your options, make sure that you do your research because there are often careers that you may not know about.

Every 2 weeks, we shine the spotlight on careers that are different. Who knows, you may just find what you’ve been looking for.

Want to read more from our L.A.? Check out these pages updated regularly: 

For more information on these career choices and further resources, visit Career Centre located at DV 3094 or contact 905-828-5451 to book an appointment.

 

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.

 

Flavourist

 

woman looking into a microscope

 What they do:

  • Create and duplicate various flavours.
  • Produce food product samples for testing and scrutiny.
  • Study the properties of proteins, fats, starches, carbohydrates, additives and flavour components.

Skills:

  • Basic understanding of microbiology, including microorganisms and food spoilage.
  • Flavour interactions with processed foods (carbohydrates, proteins, fats).
  • Knowledge of various laboratory techniques such as instrumentation, extraction, distillation and separation.
  • Understand basic tests used to determine sensory differences, matches, quantitative profiles.
  • Able to use databases, spreadsheets and industry-specific software.

Education:

  • Master’s/Doctorate in food or flavour chemistry.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry or food science for Junior Flavourist.

Earnings:

  • $39k - $96k
  • $65k average

Additional Information:

 

 

Art Therapist

 

What They Do 

  • Guide clients through artistic expression as a form of therapy 

Skills 

  • Compassion 
  • Patience 
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Artistic ability 
  • Listening  
  • Communication 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Attention to detail 

Experience 

  • Master’s degree in art therapy or master’s level diploma in art therapy  

Earnings 

  • Average $64k/year 

Additional information 

 

 

Maple Syrup Coordinator

 

 What They Do

  • Oversee production of maple syrup from tree to table

Skills

  • Attention to detail 
  • Management skills 
  • Comfortable working outdoors 
  • Team player  
  • Flexibility 
  • Organization  
  • Communication  

Experience

  • On-the-job training
  • Maple Syrup coordinator course

Earnings

  • $40k - $80k

 

 

Ophthalmic Medical Technician

 

 What They Do

  • Work with eye doctors to provide patient care (e.g., assist in eye surgery) 
  • Perform vision and diagnostic tests 
  • Supervise and train allied ophthalmic personnel 
  • Perform office management duties 

Skills

  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Efficiency 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Multitasking  

Experience

  • High school diploma 
  • College/hospital-based training program 
  • Supervised practical training 

Earnings

  • $42k - $60k 

Addition Information

 

 

Body Paint Artist

 

 What They Do

  • Create designs on human skin, using the body as a canvas 
  • Use water-based paints to create images that last anywhere from a few hours to a few days 
  • May work in the entertainment industry or for advertising agencies 

Skills

  • Colour Vision
  • Mechanical Skills
  • Physical Strength
  • Detail Oriented
  • Patience

Experience

  • High school diploma 
  • Painting/artistry experience 

Earnings

  • Average $34K

Additional Information

 

 

Orthotist / Prosthetist

 

What they do

  • Design and fabricate medical supportive devices such as artificial limbs and braces
  • Evaluate and interview patients to determine their needs
  • Take measurements and impressions of a patient’s body
  • Select materials to be used in orthotic/prosthetic devices
  • Instruct patients on how to use supportive devices

Skills

  • Communication
  • Detail-oriented
  • Patience
  • Physical dexterity and stamina
  • Problem-solving

Experience

  • Master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics
  • Certification
  • Complete residency

Earnings

  • Average $70k

Additional Information:

 

Cruise Ship Entertainer

 

What they do

  • Perform on stage with shows ranging from dancing and singing to comedy acts and magic 
  • Work anywhere from one show to regular shows for 6 months 
  • Be at sea for many weeks or months at a time 

Skills  

  • Performance abilities 
  • Interpersonal communication 
  • Organization 
  • Flexibility  

Experience

  • Professional experience as an entertainer 
  • Self-produced and self-contained shows 

Earnings 

  • Extremely varied; depends on the type of show and cruise liner 
  • $1,600 to $4,000 monthly 

 

 

Feng Shui Consultant

 

What they do

  • Assist clients in incorporating the art and science of Feng Shui in their lives
  • Assess a space (ie. home, office, garden, etc.), considering colour, lighting, and organization
  • Empower clients physically, emotionally, and spiritually to help them fulfill their needs

Skills

  • Working knowledge of feng shui school(s) of thought
  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking

Experience

  • Online/on-location courses
  • Certification by Feng Shui Master (not mandatory)

Earnings

  • $20k - $60k

Additional Information

 

 

 

Braille Transcriber

 

What they do

  • Translating printed text into braille for blind and low-vision readers 
  • Ensuring information is conveyed accurately in braille 
  • Work among different categories like literary transcription, mathematical and music transcription, and proofreading  

Skills

  • Good command of written language, grammar, spelling, and formatting 
  • Ability to proofread and edit 
  • Careful and consistent  
  • Familiarity with literary braille code 

Experience

  • Certification for braille transcription 
  • High school diploma/Bachelor’s degree 

Earnings

  • $35k - $57k 

Additional Information

 

 

Able Seaman

 

What They Do

  • Help with normal operations of a vessel 
  • Maintenance of machinery, lines, and tools 
  • Engage in best safety practices and run safety drills 

Skills 

  • Knowledge of survival techniques  
  • Physically fit and capable 
  • Calm under pressure 

Experience 

  • At least 2 years’ experience at sea 
  • Qualification exams 
  • Training in duties required around all areas of the ship

Earnings

  • $43k - $78k 

Additional Information

 

 

Smoke Jumper

 

What they do

  • Jump into wildfires in areas not accessible by road 
  • Prevent fires from spreading uncontrollably 
  • Special forces of the fire service 

Skills

  • Meet physical and psychological requirements 
  • Quick thinking 
  • Parachuting 

Experience  

  • Fighting wildfires on the ground 
  • Extensive training 

Earnings

  • $46k - $77k

Additional Information

 

Lighting Designer

 

What they do

  • Design the lighting needed for a performance on camera or on stage
  • Create visuals for lighting, lasers, strobes, spots, and video screens
  • Work with directors, artistic directors, and/or lighting technicians

Technical skills

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Collaboration, communication
  • Excellent colour vision

Experience

  • Knowledge in art design, drama/theatre, electronics, physics, photography
  • Bachelor’s in architecture, electrical engineering, or related field

Earnings

  • $39k - $76k

Additional Information

 

Horticultural Therapist

 

 What they do

  • Use plants, and the process of planting, in psychological or physical therapy
  • Use a garden landscape to promote well-being for patients
  • Rehabilitate physically or psychologically ill individuals

 

Horticultural Therapy (HT) is a formal practice that uses plants, horticultural activities, and the garden landscape to promote well-being for its participants. HT is goal orientated with defined outcomes and assessment procedures. HT sessions are administered by professionally trained horticultural therapists. 

The horticultural therapist may work with people in virtually any type of healthcare or social service setting, for example, physical rehabilitation, mental health, vocation services, long-term care, hospice, corrections, special education, wellness and health-support, foster care or youth services. They may work in impoverished or socially disadvantaged communities, in public gardens or in retirement living. 

Skills

  • Motivated
  • Versatile
  • Communication skills
  • Empathetic

Experience

  • Knowledge related to basic horticulture; depth of horticultural knowledge varies from job to job
  • Knowledge of plants’ effects on physiology, psychology, and sociology
  • Specialist training in therapy

It would be advisable to obtain a degree or foundation degree in a subject such as botanical sciences, horticulture, horticulture leadership, education, nursing, social work, landscape design, educational psychology or occupational therapy. Certificate courses in horticultural therapy are available in universities and plant nurseries.

Earnings

  • $29k - $96k
  • Horticultural services enjoy an average income of $48,426 in Ontario. 

  • Horticultural therapists also tend to wear many hats – some go on to own their own successful businesses.  

Additional Information

 

Video Game Tester

 

 What they do

  • Test video games for glitches and bugs for programmers to fix
  • Play the game in as many ways as possible to test it thoroughly
  • Report findings to video game development teams

Skills

  • Experience with video games
  • Strong communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Technical writing ability
  • Detail-oriented

Experience

  • Good knowledge of video games
  • Knowledge of game design/computer science/video graphics/software

Earnings

  • $24k - $104k

Additional Information

 

 

Golf Ball Diver

 

What they do

  • Collect golf balls that have sunk into ponds
  • Either dive into the water or use roller technology

Skills

  • Diving skills
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Physical fitness

Experience

  • Entry-level certification from a diving agency

Earnings

  • $50k - $100k

Additional Information

 

Pet Food Tester

 

 What they do

  • Make sure pet food is nutritious and tasty
  • Appraise the smell of pet food
  • Write reports and come up with new ideas to enhance pet food quality

Skills

  • Developed taste buds
  • Animal knowledge
  • Research abilities
  • Creativity

Experience

  • Degree in nutrition
  • Pet nutrition certification

Earnings

  • $34k - $100k

Additional Information

 

White Hat Hacker

 

 What they do

  • Use hacking skills to identify security vulnerabilities
  • Investigate and improve hardware, software, or networks
  • Report security flaws to the company/owner responsible for fixing these issues

Skills

  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Intelligence
  • Strong technical and organizational skills

Experience

  • Degree in information security, computer science, or math
  • Experience and certifications in cybersecurity

Earnings

  • $22k - $187k

Additional Information

 

Sommelier

 

 What they do

  • Create and update wine lists in collaboration with chefs
  • Recommend food and wine pairings
  • Maintain the proper storage and serving of wine

Skills

  • Extensive knowledge of wines
  • Understanding of winemaking process
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to create tasteful food and wine pairings

Experience

  • Customer service and hospitality
  • Wine courses

Earnings

  • $30k - $80k

Additional Information

 

Ocularist

 

What they do

  • Construct, fit, shape, and maintain artificial eyes (ocular prosthesis)
  • Provide long-term care to patients who require one or more artificial eyes
  • Provide patients with complete instruction on the care and maintenance of their prosthesis

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Compassion
  • Dexterity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ocular anatomy knowledge

 Education

  • Ocularist training program from the American Society of Ocularist

Earnings

  • $60k - $100k

Additional Information

 

Foley Artist

 

 What they do

  • Devise and record every day sounds heard in film, TV, and video games
  • Use props to create sounds like the swishing of clothing, breaking of glass, footsteps, squeaky doors
  • Watch video footage and catalogue the needed foley effects

Skills

  • Deep knowledge of sound, music and rhythm
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Keen observation and sensitive listening
  • Time management

Education

  • Degree in sound design/music/film (not necessary)
  • Develop skills with hands-on experience

Earnings

  • $60k – $110k

Additional Information

 

Clinical Ethicist

 

What they do

  • Identify, analyze and resolve ethical problems that arise in clinical medicine
  • Offer guidance to patients, their families and professional staff on ethical, legal and policy issues
  • Aide in developing policy, doing research and providing education about ethics for others

Skills

  • Active listening and strong communication
  • Analyzing
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Collaboration
  • Reasoning

Education

  • Typically start in a career as a physician, nurse or health care administrator
  • Master’s/Doctorate in Ethics or Bioethics

Earnings

  • $47k - $80k
  • $65k average

Additional Information

 

Veterinary Acupuncturist

 

 

What they do

  • Insert needles into various pressure points on an animal’s body
  • Develop and implement treatment plans based on the individual animal’s needs
  • Treat conditions like arthritis, neurologic disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and muscle injuries

Skills

  • Independence
  • Empathy
  • Good communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Good with animals

Education

  • Licensed veterinarian
  • Additional training related to muscle physiology, anatomy and acupuncture techniques

Earnings

  • $56k - $123k
  • $80k average

Additional Information

 

 

    Hippotherapist

     

    a child on a horse ride with mother looking onward proudly

    What they do

    • Utilize horses and their movement for therapeutic purposes
    • A specialization reserved for rehabilitation therapists (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists)
    • Work in conjunction with a professional horse handler

    Skills

    • Understand the movement of horses and humans
    • Use clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice
    • Empathy
    • Communication
    • Interpersonal abilities

    Education

    • Master’s/Doctorate in physiotherapy, occupational therapy or speech and language therapy
    • Certification in hippotherapy

    Earnings

    • $17k - $122k
    • $77k average

    Additional Information

     

      Odour Tester

       

      What they do

      • Test the effectiveness of odours
      • Engage in laboratory testing to adjust a product’s chemical composition and improve or alter its smell

      Skills

      • Ability to distinguish between similar smells
      • Good communication
      • Foundational knowledge of computers

      Education

      • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry

      Earnings

      • $38k - $100k

      Additional information

       

      Colour Expert

       

       

      What they do

      • Specialize in the complex effects of colours
      • Combine colour psychology, current trends, demographic statistics and colour design theories to best incorporate colour into a project
      • Create colour solutions for anything from the layout of a room, to the logo of a company, to appealing product design

      Skills

      • Analytical skills 
      • Artistic ability
      • Computer skills
      • Customer service
      • Product knowledge

      Education

      • Bachelor’s degree in cosmetology/business/fine arts/specialized sales and merchandising/industrial and product design

      Earnings

      • $49k – 70k

      Additional information

       

      Image Consultant

       

       

      What they do

      • Advise clients on clothes, hairstyles, makeup, jewelry and colors
      • Meet with individual clients’ or conduct group seminars
      • Give advice on posture, manners and business etiquettes
      • Develop plans to improve clients’ images and take them to clothing stores

      Skills

      • Creative and artistic
      • Sense of fashion, colour and style
      • Communication skills
      • Good with people
      • Confident and energetics

      Education

      • Completion of related university/college programs and courses covering fashion, design and cosmetology

      Earnings

      • $25K - 75K

      Additional Infomation

       

      Wildlife Technician

       

       

      What they do

      • Track and catch animals in wild
      • Examine animals to assess health levels
      • Attach tags to animals so they can be tracked
      • Keep detailed logs and write reports

      Skills

      • Detail-oriented and analytical
      • Communication
      • Committed to wildlife and the environment
      • Observational and ability to work in rural areas
      • Physical strength and stamina

      Education

      • Bachelor’s degree in conservational wildlife biology or a college diploma in fishing and wildlife technology (three to four years)

      Earnings

      • $25k - 78k

      Additional Information

         

        Chiropodist

         

         

        What they do

        • Treat foot problems with casts, braces and physical therapy
        • Perform minor surgery, such as removing ingrown toenails
        • Prescribe medications related to foot care
        • Recommend orthotics for patients who have problems walking

        Skills and Attributes

        • Dedicated
        • Patient and compassionate
        • Enjoy working with people
        • Communication skills
        • Analytical

        Education

        • Bachelors in Chiropody Program (three years after university)

        Earnings

        • $50k – 75k

        Additional Resources

         

        Director of Photography

         

        Director of Photography

        What they do

        • Help choose what visual styles to choose
        • Determine the and number of cameras, lenses and light equipment
        • Design each shot and sequence with regard to camera angle and movement
        • Adjust setting settings such as focus and exposure

        Skills Required

        • A mix of creativity and technical expertise
        • Able to work to strict deadlines
        • Good vision and sense of colour
        • Determined and self-innovated
        • Enjoy meeting and working with new people
        Education
        • Programs involving film and video, production, photography or film studies

        Earnings

        • $30-100K

         

          Gerontologist

           

           

          What they do

          • Some work at community service agencies that reach out to older people
          • Others research how ageing affects the human body and mind
          • Aim to improve the quality of our lives as we age
          • Can work at either adult daycare programs or long-term care centres

          Skills Required

          • Good with people
          • Caring
          • Sensitive to the needs of others
          • Flexible
          • Organized
          • Good listener
          Education
          • Master’s or a PhD degree in gerontology

          Earnings

          • $25k - $140k

            Astrobiologist

             

             

            What They Do

            • Study the possibility of life beyond Earth
            • Understand how life originates
            • Study life present in extreme conditions on Earth
            • Study different planets and moons for life-supporting conditions
            • Search for radio signals from extraterrestrial life

            Work-Related Skills

            • Advanced Biology, Astronomy and Biology skills
            • Analytical and critical thinking
            • Problem solving and interpersonal

            Earnings and Education

            $35k - $100k with a degree in astronomy and biology 

             

            Horticultural Therapist

             

            What They Do

            Horticultural Therapy (HT) is a formal practice that uses plants, horticultural activities, and the garden landscape to promote well-being for its participants. HT is goal orientated with defined outcomes and assessment procedures. HT sessions are administered by professionally trained horticultural therapists.

            Working Conditions

            The horticultural therapist may work with people in virtually any type of healthcare or social service setting, for example, physical rehabilitation, mental health, vocation services, long-term care, hospice, corrections, special education, wellness and health-support, foster care or youth services. They may work in impoverished or socially-disadvantaged communities, in public gardens or in retirement living.

            Education

            It would be advisable to obtain a degree or foundation degree in a subject such as botanical sciences, horticulture, horticulture leadership, education, nursing, social work, landscape design, educational psychology or occupational therapy. Certificate courses in horticultural therapy are available in universities and plant nurseries.

            Earnings

            Horticultural services enjoy an average income of $48,426 in Ontario.

            Horticultural therapists are expected to earn between $35k – $57k a year. Horticultural therapists also tend to wear many hats – some go on to own their own successful businesses. 

            For more information on this career choice and further resources, visit Career Centre located at DV 3094 or contact 905-828-5451 to book an appointment.

             

            Continuity Writer

             

             

             

            What They Do

            Just like a good novel, television programs show the growth and changes of a character. The wardrobe team, make-up artists and writers work to evolve the character’s look, dialogue, and personality as the character develops.

            All these details can be a lot to juggle, and, if handled wrong, can be confusing for a viewer. The Continuity Writer makes sure that doesn’t happen by reviewing every detail of the characters and plot, then making changes in order to keep the flow.

            As a Continuity Writer, you commonly work for a film or television producer.  Films and TV shows aren’t filmed in sequential order, so you ensure a character doesn’t use information that he doesn’t learn for a few more scenes. You also review facts and make sure the storyline flows. For example, you make that the character who vowed never to wear pink (ten episodes ago) doesn’t don rose-coloured gloves.

            Your Continuity Writer duties hold you accountable for knowing the characters’ history, beliefs, personalities, dreams, hang-ups, weaknesses, fears and likes. In addition to making sure the characters grow at the appropriate rate, you work in conjunction with the Continuity Supervisor to ensure that the scene is 'continual' with previous scenes. For example, you make sure it doesn’t abruptly turn from day to night or sunny to rainy. This helps keep the viewer engulfed in the story without distraction. You may also be responsible for writing show previews, station announcements and advertising content.

            Work-Related Skills

            • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
            • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
            • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

            Education

            • Bachelor's degree or higher

            Earnings

            • $44k – $109k

            For more information on this career choice and further resources, visit Career Centre located at DV 3094 or contact 905-828-5451 to book an appointment.

             

            Oceanographer

             

             

            What They Do

            • Study seas and oceans across the globe
            • They study the moving patterns of the oceans including currents, tides and waves
            • Some also study the ocean plant and animal life
            • They collect samples and readings to observe the changes in water level
            • Work on the rocks, minerals and fossils found on the ocean floor

            Work-Related Skills

            • Strong research expertise
            • Fieldwork experience
            • Scuba diving and boat handling certification
            • Excellent oral and written communication skillset

            Education

            • University Graduate degree in Oceanography or Marine Biology

            Earnings

            • $ 44k - $100k

             

            Art Therapist

             

             

            What They Do

            • Use to process of self-expression and creative artwork to restore a client’s functioning and explore their feelings
            • Work in traditional settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation and wellness centres

            Work-Related Skills

            • Strong understanding of visual art and mental health
            • Self-awareness and willingness to help out others
            Education
            • Psychology and visual art degree

            Earnings

            • $30k – $70k 

               

              Cytotechnologist

               

               What They Do

              • Examine cells for abnormalities or changes that indicate the presence of diseases
              • Prepare cell samples by mounting them on slides
              • Help pathologist make a diagnosis
              • Enter results into a computer tracking system and write reports

              Work-Related Skills

              • Concentration for long periods of time
              • Detailed-orientated
              • Communication Skills
              • Independent work
              • Decision making 

                  Education

                  • Diploma or bachelor’s degree in Cytology Programs
                  • Hands-on experience in labs is recommend

                  Earnings

                  • $40k – $70k

                   

                  Arborist: The Tree Experts

                   

                   

                  What They Do

                  • Plant and care for trees and shrubs
                  • Maintain and protect trees on constructions sites
                  • Preserve existing trees and plant new ones
                  • Treat diseased trees with sprays and injections

                  Work-Related Skills

                  • Passionate about trees
                  • Physical strength and stamina
                  • Comfortable with heights
                  • Hard-working and willing to work as a part of a team

                  Education

                  • Courses in horticulture and botany
                  • Diploma and Bachelor’s degree is preferred

                  Earnings

                  • $25k - $62k annually