Work In Canada: A Guide And Employment Opportunities

Updated 19 September 2023

Many people want to work abroad to get exposure, develop their careers and access high-paying job opportunities. Canada is a popular choice for those who wish to immigrate for professional reasons. Learning about the employment opportunities in Canada and the necessary requirements for working there can help you make an informed career decision. In this article, we list reasons to work in Canada, outline the skills shortages there, discuss what to do before applying for a role, provide tips for finding a job, describe the language requirements and answer some FAQs about this topic.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Why Work In Canada?

Many people who are looking for employment abroad want to work in Canada. The country has several economic and financial centres, such as Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Here are some reasons why Canada is an attractive destination for those who want to work abroad:

  • Economic opportunities: Canada is one of the world's largest economies, with consistently low unemployment rates, according to the Canadian national statistics office.

  • Growing industries: The country is a preferred choice for many people, as it has several thriving industries, such as healthcare, petroleum and energy, e-commerce, information technology services, food production and processing and mining.

  • Work permits and permanent residency: Visas and work permits are relatively easy to obtain for skilled professionals as there are several dynamic paths for immigration and permanent residency.

  • Social security: As of 2023, according to the Canadian government, Canada has mandatory employee benefits, such as life insurance, pension and government-mandated social benefits.

  • Employee-friendly policies: As of 2023, according to the Canadian government, the federal minimum wage in Canada is $16.65 per hour, although it can vary significantly within provinces, and the official work week is 40 hours.

  • Family-friendly environment: The country has recorded consistently low crime rates, is home to reputable educational institutions and has progressive parental leave policies.

  • Diverse landscape and climate: Canada has many natural attractions and experiences a wide variety of climates, along with some strong weather conditions in various regions.

  • Culture and traditions: The country has a rich and diverse culture with thriving culinary, artistic and social industries.

Related: Writing An International Resume Format (With Template)

Skill Shortages In Canada

Canada has several policies and programmes to attract immigrants and skilled employees. To compensate for labour shortages in high-demand sectors, the immigration policies set annual targets to welcome new immigrants and permanent residents to the country. According to the country's labour trends, the following roles and industries are experiencing a shortage:

  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

  • Accounting

  • Information technology services

  • Administrative assistants

  • Construction

  • Manufacturing

  • Healthcare

  • Digital marketing

  • Transportation and delivery

  • Accommodation and food services

  • Human resources

  • Engineers (electrical, mechanical and aerospace)

  • Veterinarians

  • Electricians

  • Welders

Depending on the prevailing market conditions, the Canadian government offers expedited entry and visa application processes for skilled personnel in specific industries. You can learn more about this by checking the Canadian government's website.

Related: STEM Skills: Definition, Examples And How To Develop Them

Getting A Job In Canada

As of 2023, according to the Canadian government, you require a (SIN) before you can work in Canada. It can be more challenging if you are looking for a job before moving to Canada, as employers are likely to prefer Canadian natives over foreign employees. Before you apply for a job, make sure to do the following:

  • Check your eligibility. To find out which type of visa is the most suitable for your application, check the government's website for immigration and citizenship. Answering a few simple questions can help you determine the best pathway to test your eligibility.

  • Prepare all documents. The government has listed all the necessary documents for people who are visiting Canada. It is also imperative to prove your financial capacity, medical fitness and legal history.

  • Improve your English or French language skills. Those who do not speak English as their first language usually require a minimum score on certain tests. People in Canada also speak French.

Related: How To Get Finance Jobs Abroad Step-By-Step (With Salaries)

Tips For Finding A Job In Canada

If you are eligible and have the required qualifications, you can try to get a work permit, apply for permanent residency or look for a job where your future employer can support your application. Many people relocate and then look for jobs, as it is generally easier to manage interviews and documentation in person.

The hiring process is usually standard, wherein you submit the initial application and receive an invitation for an interview, although can vary across industries and organisations. Individuals with the required permits and documents might find it easier to secure interviews. Note that Canadian employers usually require candidates to submit a resume rather than a CV. The Canadian government offers the following tips for finding a job:

  • Get all vital information. Access government resources, support groups and other reliable information sources to help with your job search.

  • Get in touch with immigrant organisations. The government offers resume writing, job search training and other services to help immigrants and others find jobs. Get in touch with organisations and look for government websites that provide similar support services.

  • Apply for jobs and network. Attend job fairs, look for online postings and use the services of employment agencies. Talk to people in your network who have moved to Canada and ask for references.

  • Volunteer and improve your skills. You can work as a volunteer to get Canadian work experience and build your network. This can also be an opportunity to improve your language skills.

  • Apply to the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program. This provides eligible participants with temporary work experience and training. Make sure you check your eligibility before applying.

  • Look for a mentor. Canadian professionals and business leaders offer free coaching to newcomers. Look for local immigrant organisations and associations to contact such mentors.

  • Start your business. Starting your own business in Canada requires a comprehensive business plan, additional supporting documents, resources and conditions. Contact local immigrant-serving organisations and government authorities to see how you can meet these conditions.

Language Requirements To Work In Canada

Canada has two official languages: English and French. Fluency in one of them is usually adequate to communicate in most Canadian cities and provinces. If you do not speak English as your first language, the government requires you to provide language test results from an authorised organisation. The government-approved tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).

Related: Language Skills: Definition, Examples And How To Improve

FAQs About Working In Canada

Here are some FAQs and their answers about working in Canada:

Is it necessary to be an employee in the skills or professional category to become eligible for employment in Canada?

No, fulfilling this condition is not required to be eligible for working in Canada. You can apply for permanent residency in Canada even without a job offer from a Canadian employer. If you have a valid job offer and the required skills, you may find it easier to get approval for an Express Entry.

Can I move to Canada with a part-time job offer?

Yes, you can relocate to Canada with a part-time job offer. Canadian companies usually offer employees a full- or part-time job. Those who get a part-time offer usually obtain a temporary work permit.

What are open work permits?

Open work permits do not require a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. These are usually available to spouses or law partners of certain permit holders or other categories of people, such as asylum seekers, spouses or law partners of international students and destitute students.

How can I submit an application for a work permit in Canada?

You can submit your application online along with the required documents. There is usually a fee for submitting applications. You can get more information at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a Canadian government department.

How can I get more information about working in Canada?

Several Canadian departments collect and share information related to employment opportunities. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) and the IRCC can provide the latest information and updates. The NOC collects labour data and publishes reports related to wages regularly.

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