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Young Canada Works

Type Of Work Experience

Some Work Project and Job Examples

YCW Students are most likely to be working in some of the following fields: Communications and Communication of Heritage (Interpretation); Sciences; Trades and General Labour; Corporate Services, and History. No two YCW locations are alike. The following section is meant to give you a general picture of YCW job possibilities - work projects are dependent on the opportunities available at the specific YCW location.

Communications & Visitor Services

Visitor Interpretation Centre
Visitor Interpretation Centre
© Parks Canada / Wilson, D. / H., 2003

Many YCW Students develop skills both in communications and visitor services. Frequently YCW Students are assigned work projects that span a variety of disciplines in either of these fields. Examples of jobs may include; marketing officer assistant, Parks Canada communicator, special events coordinator, visitor service attendant.

Examples of related-tasks may include;

  • Conducting visitor surveys to solicit feedback regarding their experience with Parks Canada.
  • Distributing promotional materials to tourism operators and answering their questions.
  • Writing and designing a poster to better inform visitors about site-specific information.
  • Assisting with the organization of a hiking event.
  • Welcoming visitors and presenting important information to make their stay pleasant and safe.
  • Grooming trails to improve the quality and safety of the visitor's experience.

Communication of Heritage (Interpretation)

YCW student period animators
YCW student period animators.
© Parks Canada / H., 2000

Educating and informing Canadians about natural and cultural heritage is the cornerstone of Parks Canada's function. If you work for us you will notice that aspects of informing Canadians about our heritage is integral to almost every job. The field of Interpretation at Parks Canada specializes in this area, and you may be fortunate to learn from these professionals by performing some of the following projects;

  • Re-enacting military parades and demonstrations in uniform.
  • Demonstrating period events or activities to visitors, such as serving high tea or panning for gold.
  • Assisting a National Park Interpreter with a bird watching event for a local group of senior citizens.
  • Performing a skit around the campfire that both informs campers about the dynamic relationships of the local ecosystem, and entertains them about its active features.


YCW student collecting and analyzing vegetation for ecological program
YCW student collecting and analyzing vegetation for ecological program.
© Parks Canada /, 2001

Science-based jobs can appeal to students either new or experienced to this area of study. A number of YCW locations offer the opportunity to work in variety of disciplines along side scientists, which could include; computer scientists, biologists, ecologists and Park Wardens working in resource conservation. Tasks may include:

  • Monitoring and measuring conditions in a biosphere plot.
  • Collecting data about endangered species by tracking, measuring and releasing animals.
  • Creating a new database to organize information collected during field research.

" Snaking (snake tracking) was the most interesting part of my job. I learned a great deal about snakes and the process of researching and documenting animal behaviour." - 2004 YCW Student

Trades and General Labour

YCW students clearing a trail
YCW students clearing a trail.
© Parks Canada / Gélinas, L. /, 2001

Parks Canada is responsible for maintaining everything from small paths, to stretches of highways, to buildings, and even heavy-duty equipment. Students assisting trade people and general labour employees perform a wide variety of tasks such as:

  • Building a boardwalk path to streamline visitor traffic in sensitive areas
  • Painting buildings to improve Parks Canada facilities.
  • Students with some knowledge about mechanics can also assist with the repair of everything from vehicles to small equipment.

Corporate Services

Corporate services-related work projects may be available in some YCW program locations. Business, human resources, finance and administrative oriented students could acquire practical experience lending support and applying their skill for these professionals. Some tasks may include;

  • Helping a Human Resources ( HR ) Manager conduct analysis and plan HR -related projects.
  • Conducting a cost benefit analysis for the Business Services Manager.
  • Assisting the Finance Officer reconcile records.

"I've gained more confidence in making decisions and I've learned a lot about leading by example. I've learned how to deal with stress and take on more responsibility." - 2004 YCW Student


Many students involved in Interpretation activities work in an historical setting or around artifacts every day. They get a window into this fascinating area of study. Some locations are able to offer more specific tasks related to historical research and conservation. These tasks may include;

  • Assisting a cultural resource specialist with artifact care and inventory to ensure resource integrity is maintained.
  • Observing an archeological dig.
  • Assisting with research that might contribute to a historian's study about the site and its relevant time period.

How Work Projects Are Designed

Work projects are designed by the Parks Canada staff at each participating YCW location. These projects are based on the needs of Canada's National Parks and National Historic Sites. YCW requires that all locations be selected based on their ability to provide a range of experiences to build students' skills.

No matter what the job, you will be serving Canadians by helping Parks Canada to protect, present and celebrate our country's natural and cultural heritage.