Becoming an Employment Specialist

Dec 07, 2023

So, you’ve just graduated and are fresh out-of-school, or you’re interested in working in the field of employment services, but don’t know where to start. In that case, this is exactly the page for you!

Working as an Employment Specialist is a very rewarding job, as you are supporting a number of clients on their journey to finding meaningful work. By counseling clients on their employment needs and learning about the barriers that impact their job search, you are problem-solving, and coming up with solutions to help them move forward.

Barriers to employment

Barriers to employment can consist of a number of factors, such as being a newcomer to the country and/or speaking a different language, having mental health conditions, or visible/invisible disabilities that may impact a client’s ability to work or secure employment. One may also have experienced a gap in their work history, or lack the skills and education to meet a certain job’s requirements. Alternatively, they could also be experiencing other socio-economic factors or Social Determinants of Health that affect their means of finding employment (Government of Canada, 2023). By being an Employment Specialist, you can advocate for your client’s needs and help direct them to the appropriate resources.


In order to enter this field of work, candidates must hold a post-secondary degree or diploma, either in the field of Career Development, or related fields such as Social Services or Psychology and have relevant work experience (Centre for Skills Development, 2023).

The Role

These individuals will be performing a variety of tasks, such as registering clients for service and providing a general intake assessment (Centre for Skills Development, 2023), using the Common Assessment Tool (CAT), developed by the Government of Ontario. This assessment is an important instrument, as it helps identify other supports that clients may need, so that they are able maximize their employment success.

The role of an Employment Specialist also includes performing additional activities, such as creating an individualized Employment Assessment Plan (EAP), assisting clients with resume and cover letter development or revisions, mock interviews, writing case notes, communicating with Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) caseworkers, assessing clients’ eligibility for specialty programs, and delivering workshops.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in Employment Services, please feel free to view our Job Board for relevant postings, or to browse for any other opportunities that are available.