Best Provinces to Apply for Social Work Jobs in Canada

Labour shortages are just one of the issues Canada is currently facing within the job market. This means they require skilled workers, occupations that have more available positions than others are classified as in-demand jobs.

If you’re a qualified social worker looking to take your skills to Canada, you’re in luck! Social workers are on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) list in Canada as NOC 4152, which means that your role as a social worker is in demand. Let’s have a look at the best provinces to apply for social work jobs in Canada to best optimize your chances of immigrating.

Areas in Canada Where Social Workers Are In-Demand:


While there is a shortage of social workers all over Canada, there are certain areas that are particularly high in demand for this occupation. They are as follows:

  • Alberta;
  • New Brunswick;
  • Nova Scotia;
  • Ontario;
  • Prince Edward Island;
  • Saskatchewan

The demand for social workers has risen significantly higher during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because people are confined to their homes for longer than usual periods, which has contributed to a rise in domestic disturbances and an increase in the demand for social services. British Columbia alone has grown employment by 1,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic.

Social workers serving clients in an office setting or visiting homes have been encouraged to transition to virtual or telephone-based meetings whenever possible. Demand for social workers is strong in general. The number of roles for this occupational group has been increasing due to factors, other than the pandemic, which are the boost in services for veterans, the growing needs of an ageing population and an increased emphasis on mental health and the psychological needs of youth.

How much do social workers earn in Canada?

The average salary for a social worker is around $62,893. This all depends on where you live and work in Canada.

Average Salaries for Social Jobs in Canada
Province Average Salary in CAD
Alberta $72,072
New Brunswick $65,747
Nova Scotia $72,262
Ontario $70,644
Prince Edward Island $58,825
Saskatchewan $71,732

Learn more about the Cost of living in Canada here.

What are the registration requirements for internationally educated social workers in Canada?


All internationally educated social workers must be registered in Canada in order to work as social workers in the country. The following needs to be done:

  1. Submit your academic credentials for assessment to the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW);
  2. Submit the completed credential assessment to the ACSW. If the assessment is approved, you may begin the registration process;
  3. Apply for Provisional Registration with the ACSW;
  4. Complete 1,500 hours of Social Work practice under the supervision of a Registered Social Worker. This could be paid or unpaid experience;
  5. You must submit a current Criminal Record Check, references, and a personal declaration to ACSW to prove your good character and reputation; and
  6. 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.

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Social Worker

There are several ways in which you can immigrate to Canada as a social worker, however, we have listed the two most popular and quickest ways to do so.

1. Express Entry

The Express Entry system is a great 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 systemyou are able to come to Canada as a permanent resident, if successful. This is done by having your application put into a draw pool along with other eligible applicants, here you will be given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score which will determine 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 residencyby receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

The benefits of the Express Entry system include:

  • You can immigrate to Canada with or without a job offer;
  • Having a qualification in social work will earn you CRS points;
  • If you aren’t successful the first time around you will remain in the Express Entry pool where you can improve your CRS score; and
  • The processing time of your application can take as little as 6 months, making it one of the fastest immigration systems in Canada.

This is one program you wouldn’t want to skip on, as the Express Entry system is issuing 105,500 Invitations to Apply (ITA) this year alone!

2. 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.

How do I apply for a Provincial Nomination Program?

The first step is to get approved by the province you’ve applied to. This can go fairly quickly as it takes four to nine weeks. The second step can take a little longer as it consists of 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:

  1. 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 it’s important to choose a province where social work jobs are in demand.
  2. 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 We Can Help You Move to Canada

Making the move to a new country can be quite overwhelming for anyone to do and doing so during a global pandemic only adds to that. By moving to Canada through your journey will become simpler and less stressful. We are working alongside experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who will make sure you are aware of all your options, as well as take care of all the nitty-gritty such as the documents that you’ll need and even submit them on your behalf.

Let us take care of the process so that you can focus on the best provinces to apply for social work jobs in Canada and start your journey!