Career In Canada

PSW Ontario - Start Your New Career

If you live in the province of Ontario and are considering a new line of work you should take a few minutes to learn about one of, it not the, fastest growing employment opportunities in the entire province, that being the personal support worker industry.

For better or for worse we are now witnessing the expected growth of the "baby boomer" segment of the population in the province of Ontario. While baby boomer's are just one of many groups that require personal support worker care, they are the largest. Thus an increase in baby boomers is an increase in the overall PSW care numbers and in turn leads to the need for more PSW's. Pretty obvious, huh? For the record PSW's can also take care of youth's, individuals with mental and physical handicaps and hospital patients, amongst others.

To help ease the burden (harsh wording aside) of the increase of individuals requiring care, the government of Ontario allocated an additional 7 million specifically to the personal support worker industry in their 2008 budget. The money, which is to be spent by the end of 2011, has been earmarked for training, benefits and additional hiring. Training increases will see additional schools pop up across the province (personal support worker certificates can be earned at locations such as part-time learning centres, the type that offer high school courses and GED accreditations). Benefits for PSW's are increasing as well, as some employers have been given back pay to entice current and future personal support worker to stay within the profession. Lastly the budget calls for the hiring of 2500 additional workers across the province.

So far we have an increase in market size (baby boomers) and an increase in the governments support of the profession. Looking good. Now what does it take to become a PSW or to land a strong position.

Oddly enough, even with all of the increased spending in education, many employers do not require prospective employees to hold a certificate or a degree. That really illustrates just how much demand there is for support workers in the province. Don't read into this as a strike against education. Obtaining a certificate (which in accelerated format is only an eight month course) will help employees gain higher wages. Of course while some do not require a certificate, some do. This is on a per employer basis. Depending on where you train, courses typically range in cost from 00 to 00. This is a fairly small investment when one considers the potential return. The average wage for a personal support worker across the province is right around an hour. This is quite a strong wage when considering the relatively short time and monetary investment that it takes to become certified. PSW's are also expected to hold first aid and CPR certificates (both of which are fairly easy and cheap to obtain), along with a clean police record.

Prospective and current PSW's are one of the few career choices that allow workers to rest easy at night. With increased patient numbers, governmental budget increases and a cheap and short certification process, becoming a PSW in Ontario is a strong option in today's troublesome job market.

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