Stunning turquoise lake in British Columbia, Canada

About British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada's most westerly province, and is a mountainous area whose population is mainly clustered in its southwestern corner. BC is Canada’s third-largest province after Québec and Ontario, making up 10 percent of Canada’s land surface. British Columbia is a land of diversity and contrast within small areas.

Coastal landscapes, characterized by high, snow-covered mountains rising above narrow fjords and inlets, contrast with the broad forested upland of the central interior and the plains of the northeast. The intense "Britishness" of earlier times is referred to in the province's name, which originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858.

English and French are Canada's official languages, with English being the main language of B.C. There are many other languages spoken in B.C. including multiple Aboriginal languages, Chinese, Panjabi (Punjabi), Korean, and more.

There's a lot to celebrate about British Columbia. Learn about British Columbia destinations. British Columbia cities. Tourism. Including British Columbia travel guides.

Quick facts about British Columbia:

  • Half of all British Columbians live in the Metro Vancouver area.
  • BC’s Provincial flag is five by length and three by width, and electronic images of the flag must never be electronically or mechanically altered, and must remain sized in scale.
  • There are 961 km of the Trans-Canada Highway in BC.
  • There are over 864 vineyards on more than 9,800 acres of land, which includes wineries and independent growers.
  • The northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail, one of the world’s longest hiking trails, is located in BC in Manning Park.

Careers and Job Opportunities in BC, Canada

For foreign nationals seeking to live and work in Canada, British Columbia should be considered a potential destination, due to a demand for skilled workers. As the case with the rest of Canada, BC’S workforce is expected to undergo a sizeable shift in the coming years. As the pool of younger workers becomes smaller than the number of ageing workers who are set to retire, hence the need for more skilled foreign workers.

chefs prepping dishes in ktichen

10 Jobs expected to be in high demand in British Columbia in the next decade

JOB TITLE

NUMBER OF JOB OPENINGS OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS

REGISTERED NURSES AND REGISTERED PSYCHIATRIC NURSES 24,660
TRANSPORT TRUCK DRIVERS 16,300
CARPENTERS 13,690
FINANCIAL AUDITORS AND ACCOUNTANTS 13,450
COOKS 10,210
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS AND ASSISTANTS 9,050
CONSTRUCTION TRADES HELPERS AND LABOURERS 8,170
ELECTRICIANS (EXCEPT INDUSTRIAL AND POWER SYSTEM) 7,230
HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATORS (EXCEPT CRANE) 6,760
WELDERS AND RELATED MACHINE OPERATORS 3,890

As Vancouver is the economic hub of British Columbia, most of these job openings will be on Vancouver Island.

Two-thirds of the projected 985,100 job openings created between now and 2022 will be due to retirement, and one-third to economic growth — especially in skilled trades, according to the B.C. 2022 Labour Market Outlook, a forecast of labour demand and supply trends carried out by the government of British Columbia.

About four out of five of those job openings will require some form of post-secondary education, the report said, while 44 percent of job openings will be in the skilled trades and technical occupations.

At the moment, about 70 per cent of B.C.’s labour force has some post-secondary education.

Cost of Living In British Columbia

woman buying fresh fruit at outdoor market

Over half of the population in British Columbia lives in Vancouver. Communities in B.C. are culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse, with immigrants accounting for approximately 27 per cent of our population. Find out some of the cheap places to live in B.C, Canada.

Below is a basic breakdown of monthly costs for two individuals sharing an apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • Rent: $900 – The total rent cost ($1800) is split between both roommates
  • Utilities: $80
  • Phone Bill: $80
  • Internet: $50
  • Groceries: $325 – This total cost ($650) is split between both roommates
  • Going out to eat (including nights out at bars/ clubs): $120
  • Monthly transit pass (2-zone): $124
  • Taxi costs: $40
  • Personal items (clothing/makeup/hygiene): $100
  • Leisure (gym pass/ movies/ events): $50

However, the cost of living in British Columbia varies depending on where you live.

Education in British Columbia

More than 426,000 students are enrolled in at least one course at one of the 25 public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia – taking classes at campuses, satellite locations or learning centres throughout the province.

A post-secondary education offers a great return on investment whether it is a diploma, trade or degree. For example, British Columbians with an undergraduate post-secondary degree can expect to earn an additional $827,000 over their lifetime. International students have also greatly benefited from the University of British Columbia, and are among some of the best performing students.

Opportunities

  • More than 32,000 new student seats – including 2,500 graduate student spaces – and seven public university campuses have been added to the public post-secondary system since 2001.
  • In 2014-15, 3,340 credentials were awarded to Aboriginal students, an increase of 706, or 26% over 2009-10.
  • More than 8,900 new spaces in health and medical programs have been added since 2001. This includes more than doubling the number of nursing spaces funded, adding almost 4,800 new student spaces to train registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, specialty nurses, nurses re-entering the workforce and licensed practical nurses, as well as nurses with advanced degrees.
  • Doubled the number of midwife spaces at UBC in 2012 to 20 first-year seats and added eight seats for internationally-educated midwives that started in January 2016.
  • The number of first-year spaces for medical students has more than doubled since 2001 from 128 to a total of 288 seats.

British Columbia Student Experience

International student graduating from university

Nearly 30,000 B.C. post-secondary students are surveyed annually within two years after graduation. The 2016 surveys showed 93% of all graduates were satisfied with their education.

  • Of former apprenticeship students:
    • 78% students took their training at a public post-secondary institution.
    • When surveyed, 86% had earned their “ticket”.
    • 97% of former traditional apprenticeship students were in the labour force and the median hourly wage for those employed was $32.
    • Of baccalaureate graduates:
    • 43% graduated from an arts or science program.
    • 47% had enrolled in further training.
    • 89% of baccalaureate graduates were in the labour force; of those not in the labour force, 72% were attending school full-time.
    • The median annual income of those who worked full time was $50,000.
  • Of diploma, associate degree or certificate students:
    • 81% of respondents with an associate degree or university transfer went on to further education.
    • 91% of respondents with a diploma or certificate were in the labour force, with a median hourly wage for those employed full-time was $20.

In addition to that, The University of British Columbia is always one of the highest ranked schools in Canada and has consecutively been considered one of the top 50 universities in the world.

So there you have it, British Columbia has a bit of everything. And is a truly remarkable place to live with a lot to offer its residents. The question is, will you move here? We think you should.

Click here to learn more about Vancouver, British Columbia.