With a strong focus on bolstering its workforce, Canada seeks skilled individuals to address its worker-to-retiree ratio. In 2023, the country has already opened its arms to 465,000 newcomers, and the numbers are set to rise in 2024, with an expected 485,000 new immigrants finding their place in this diverse and vibrant nation.
Looking ahead to 2025, Canada is projected to welcome an impressive 500,000 foreign nationals, providing ample opportunities for truck drivers to contribute to the thriving labor market and bolster the Canadian economy further.
So, if you're ready to take the wheel and pave the way to a fulfilling life in Canada, keep reading, as we unravel the essential steps and requirements for your successful journey as a truck driver immigrant.
3 Steps to Become a Truck Driver in Canada
Step 1: Know Your NOC and the Employment Requirements
Ideally, you want to ensure you have a job offer with the right National Occupational Classification (NOC); lined up before you apply. Truck drivers fall under TEER 3 of the NOC 2021 system with the NOC code 73300. Here are other closely related driver's jobs:
|TEER||NOC Code||Job title|
|3||73301||Bus drivers, subway operators, and other transit operators|
|5||75200||Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs|
|5||75201||Delivery service drivers and door-to-door distributors|
To work in the trucker industry up in the North, you need to know the required criteria for your occupation. Below are the requirements for truck drivers in Canada according to Canada Job Bank:
- You should have completed secondary school.
- You can expect to have on-the-job training.
- You should have completed a driving course of three months from a designated school or college.
- You may require a Class 3 or D license for a straight-body truck.
- You may require a Class 1 or A license for longer combination vehicles.
- You may need an air brake endorsement, allowing the driver to operate vehicles with air brakes.
- You may be required to present a Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) certification if you transport hazardous, dangerous goods.
- Any additional licensing may be required, depending on the type of truck.
As per Canada Job Bank, the table below represents the provinces in Canada that are regulating the truck driver occupation:
|Location||Job title||Regulation||Regulatory Body|
|Alberta||Oil And Gas Transportation Services||Regulated||Apprenticeship and Industry Training office|
|British Columbia||Driver (oil And Gas Industry)||Regulated||Worksafe BC|
|Ontario||Propane Truck Operator||Regulated||Technical Standards and Safety Authority|
|Ontario||Tractor-trailer Commercial Driver||Regulated||Ontario College of Trades|
|Quebec||Line Truck Driver||Regulated||Emploi Québec|
|Québec||Truck Driver||Regulated||Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec|
Please note that the requirements may vary for each province, and your eligibility depends on what the province requires or the shortfall of your skill set. As a way forward, we advise that you check if the occupation is regulated in the chosen province before applying.
Step 2: Research the Job Prospects in the Province
Ultimately, you want to avoid ending up in a province that lacks employment opportunities in your field. Avoid this by conducting the necessary research on the provinces waiting to fill the gap of truckers in the labor market. Additionally, you would want to know a province's economic and social state before settling.
While you’re at it, we strongly advise that you research the program requirements as well. Bear in mind that the program criteria and employment requirements are two different aspects - the applicant must meet both sets of criteria.
Here are some job vacancies and salaries per province according to Indeed Canada:
|Province||# of Jobs Available||Average Annual Salary (in CAD)|
|British Columbia||2,194 jobs||From 80,000|
Step 3: Discover Which Immigration Programs are Available for Truck Drivers
Suppose you meet the criteria for both the program and the trucker job you’re applying for; you would have to select a province or territory of your choice or the province in which you’ve secured your job offer. Your next step would require you to find out the available programs for truck drivers.
Below are the available programs for truck drivers looking to live and work in Canada:
1. The Express Entry System:
As of November 2022, Truck Drivers can apply for immigration through the Express Entry System. This is a points-driven online system that comprises three immigration options that are highly accommodating toward the various needs and circumstances of immigrants. This system comprises the three following programs::
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
Because points drive the system, candidates with the most points will receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) before applying directly to the Express Entry programs. One of the best ways to get points and maximize your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada is via a Provincial Nominee Program.
2. Provincial Nomination Provincial (PNP):
Under the Provincial Nomination Provincial (PNP), immigrants who want to become a truck driver in Canada should demonstrate the appropriate skill set, education, and work experience. This program is province-specific, so your chances of being nominated under the PNP will depend on the province’s shortage of skilled workers. Furthermore, we urge candidates to double-check the availability of employment opportunities before settling.
Apply for the PNP as a Truck Driver under Express Entry - There are Two Options:
Reach out to the province or territory you want a nomination from under their Express Entry stream. If your skills are a match, the province or territory will send you a nomination, and after that, you should create an Express Entry profile - if you do not have one, create one to show that you have been nominated. The nomination will occur electronically through your account.
Create an Express Entry profile which will indicate which provinces or territories you want a nomination from. You may get a notification of interest and in this case, you can contact the province directly to apply to their stream. The nomination will occur electronically through your account.
3. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP):
This program is employer-driven, and it enables Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals who can fill the skill shortage in a province or territory. Before seeking out foreign talent, employers are encouraged to first explore the local Canadian market to fill the labor gap. Foreign workers who are successful under this program may require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which proves that your employer is authorized to hire an immigrant as a temporary foreign worker.
We understand that all of this can be a lot to process, so we’ve made it possible to get in touch with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) to guide you throughout your immigration journey.
The Application Process
At this point, you’ve ensured eligibility for the program and job you’re applying for. Now, see the steps below are the steps to apply for your trucker job irrespective of the program you choose:
- Step 1: Find Your NOC (truck drivers: NOC 73300)
- Step 2: Check Your Eligibility
- Step 3: Find a Job and Secure a Job Offer
- Step 4: Know Which type of Work Permit is Required
- Step 5: Gather all Supporting Documents and Fill in all Required Fields
As part of the process of checking your eligibility you need to calculate and generate a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). You can do this as a prospective immigrant by visiting our CRS calculator page here on our site.
Truck Driver Work Permit Canada Requirements
If you're a truck driver aspiring to work in Canada, obtaining a work permit is a crucial step. The work permit allows you to legally work in Canada for a specific employer and duration. Here are the essential requirements to apply for a Truck Driver Work Permit in Canada:
You must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer who is willing to hire you as a truck driver. The employer must have obtained a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
Work Experience and License
You should possess the necessary qualifications and work experience as a truck driver. A valid commercial driver's license (CDL) from your home country may be required, and you might need to meet specific driving experience criteria.
You may need to prove your proficiency in English or French, as these are the official languages of Canada. This can be demonstrated through language tests like IELTS or CELPIP (for English) or TEF (for French).
Clean Criminal Record
You must have a clean criminal record. Some criminal offenses can render you inadmissible to Canada.
Undergo a medical examination to ensure you are in good health.
Proof of Funds
Show that you have enough money to support yourself and any accompanying family members during your stay in Canada.
You will need to apply for a valid work permit to work in Canada.
The Best Truck Driver Jobs in Canada
This table showcases a range of exciting opportunities available across various locations in the country. From transporting goods and materials to ensuring timely deliveries and exceptional customer service, these trucking companies seek talented, dedicated drivers to join their teams.
Whether you're an experienced professional or just starting your journey in the industry, this compilation provides an overview of companies, locations, and corresponding salary details, giving you a glimpse into the possibilities that await you. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let's embark on a journey through the realm of truck driving opportunities in Canada!
|Company||Location||Salary (in CAD)|
|MJD Farms Ltd.||Dublin, ON||68,250 a year|
|P.M.G. Trucking Inc.||Carlsbad Springs, ON||54.600-56,550 a year|
|Canada Cartage||Montréal, QC||47,151 a year|
|Canada Cartage||Mississauga, ON||44,869 a year|
|Gordon Food Service||Prince George, BC||59,709 a year|
|Ditech Testing||Scoudouc, NB||70,000–100,000 a year|
|Canada Cartage||Edmonton, AB||Up to 95,000 a year|
|Gerdau||Ottawa, ON||From 27.04 an hour|
|Northern Ontario FastFreight Inc.||Haileybury, ON||60,000–70,000 a year|
|Lawry Target Express Inc.||Caledonia, ON||80,000 a year|
A Truck Driver Salary in Canada
According to Talent.com, the average truck driver salary in Canada is 47,049 CAD per year or 24.13 CAD per hour. Entry-level positions start at 39,598 CAD per year, while most experienced workers make up to 63,356 CAD annually.
The average salary for a truck driver is 26.11 per hour in Canada as of July 21, 2023.
Top Companies for Truck Drivers in Canada
|RWR Trucking Inc||39.43|
|Gangster Enterprises Ltd||39.34|
Why Consider Being a Truck Driver in Canada?
If you’re an experienced, skillful driver wondering how to become a truck driver in Canada, you’re on the right track.
Did you know that from 2019-2028, there will be 119,900 new job openings, leaving 96,600 new job seekers predicted to fill these trucker positions?
Now is the time to make your way up to the North and enjoy a low cost of living, a high quality of life, free universal healthcare, and an abundance of opportunities. You get to earn a decent wage and allow yourself to flourish in a country with a shortage of truckers - this increases the demand for your skills as a transport driver.
How Can We Help You Become a Truck Driver in Canada?
Because there are so many ways you can apply for working Canada as a truck driver, making the right choice that will allow you to move to Canada quickly and cheaply may be difficult. That's why our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants are here to assist you
Does Canada Need Truck Drivers?
Yes. Canada currently has a shortage of truck drivers, with 119,900 new job openings, leaving 96,600 new job seekers predicted to fill these trucker positions. You should be well on your way to Canada.
Is Truck Driving a Good Career in Canada?
Absolutely. Truckers make, on average, 26.00 CAD an hour, but this can go up to 70.00 CAD at some companies. This salary allows for a comfortable life, allowing truckers to build a long-term sustainable future for themselves and their families.
How Can a Foreigner Become a Truck Driver in Canada?
There are several immigration programs you can use to become a truck driver in Canada. Programs such as the Express Entry with three other accommodating programs, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Provincial Nominee Program, make immigration to Canada easy. However, foreign workers must ensure they have a job lined up from a designated Canadian employer.