Canada continues to be caught in significant labor shortages, with over 800,000 vacancies open for foreign workers to fill. While there is a demand for workers across the skills spectrum, the need for essential workers is dire. Falling under this category is the social worker. So if you're exploring social work jobs in Canada, note that the job climate is favorable for this occupation. Let's look at the best provinces to apply for social work jobs in Canada and see how you can make your Canadian journey a reality.
Are Social Workers in Demand in Canada?
The demand for social workers grew significantly higher during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because people were confined to their homes for longer than usual, contributing to a rise in domestic disturbances and increased demand for social services. During this period, social workers serving clients in an office setting or visiting homes were encouraged to transition to virtual or telephone-based meetings whenever possible. But as the world has returned to normal, social worker demand remains high.
Social workers are listed on Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) system under the NOC code 41300, meaning you'll find many job opportunities in Canada. According to the country's Job Bank, there are expected to be around 22,600 new job openings for social work.
Areas in Canada Where Social Workers Are In-Demand
While there is a shortage of social workers all over the Great White North, below are the provinces with good job prospects for social work in Canada:
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Northwest Territories
- Prince Edward Island
Social Workers Salaries in Canada
The average salary for social work in Canada is around 68,427 CAD. This, however, depends on where you find a job in Canada.
|Average Salaries for Social Worker Jobs in Canada
|Prince Edward Island
Registration Requirements For Internationally Educated Social Workers in Canada
All internationally educated social workers must be registered to do social work in Canada. You must, therefore, ensure the following:
- Submit your academic credentials for assessment to the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW);
- Submit the completed credential assessment to the ACSW.
- If the assessment is approved, you may begin the registration process;
- Apply for Provisional Registration with the ACSW;
- Complete 1,500 hours of Social Work practice under the supervision of a Registered Social Worker.
- This could be paid, or unpaid experience;
- You must submit a current Criminal Record Check, references, and a personal declaration to ACSW to prove your good character and reputation; and
- Submit evidence of having professional liability insurance (insurance provided through your employer is acceptable).
If you are not currently working, you must forward evidence of your insurance to ACSW when you begin working.
Ways to Immigrate to Canada as a Social Worker
There are several ways in which you can immigrate to Canada as a social worker. The two below are the most popular and quickest ways to do so.
The Express Entry system is an excellent way for you to move to Canada as a social worker because it's a system that manages three federal economic immigration programs. They are the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
When applying through the Express Entry system, you can come to Canada as a permanent resident if successful. This is done by putting your application into a draw pool and other eligible applicants. Here you will be given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, determining your ranking in the pool. To qualify, you must meet or exceed the specific CRS cut-off score. If successful, you will have the chance to apply for Canadian permanent residency by receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
The benefits of the Express Entry system include:
- Earning CRS points as a qualified social worker
- Remaining in the CRS pool if you aren't successful the first time around
- Only a six month processing period
The Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an agreement that has been put in place for local provinces to nominate eligible economic immigrants who want to work and stay in a particular province.
To increase your chances of receiving a nomination from a province, the best practice is to apply where your skills are in demand. The more in demand they are, the better your chances. In this situation, you should look at the best provinces to apply for social work jobs in Canada to increase your chances of receiving a nomination.
One element contributing to your eligibility is your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which is generated from your eligibility assessment. You can calculate your CRS score using a CRS score calculator tool.
How to Apply to the Provincial Nomination Program
The first step in this process is to get approved by the province you've applied to. This can go reasonably quickly as it takes four to nine weeks. The second step can take longer, with medical, police, and security checks. This would be around six to eight months or even longer, depending on your application.
Applying for a nomination can be done in two ways.
Direct Application Process
If you're applying through this form of application, you need to send the application directly to the province you're applying to. You'll need to submit the paper application via mail or courier. Waiting for your results can take anywhere from 15 to 19 months.
Express Entry Application Process
Going through the Express Entry system will give you two options. They are:
- Expression of Interest
- This is where you can express interest in the province through your Express Entry profile. The province will nominate you if you have the right skills and experience. Remember, choosing a province where social work jobs are in demand is important.
- Apply through a Provincial Nominee Express Entry Stream
- Applying via the Express Entry system does have its perks, as the process will take a little over six to eight months.
How Can I Find a Social Work Job Opportunities in Canada?
Take a look at job websites such as:
What Languages Do I Have to Speak to be Able to Get a Job in Canada?
You must speak one or both of Canada's two official languages - English or French.