Bon apPetit! How to Work in Canada as a Chef

Is food your calling? There may be no better place to enrich your culinary skills than in a multicultural country like Canada. Asian, French, Indian, or Filipino cuisine - you name it, Canada has it. The exquisite mixture of flavors is largely due to the fact that the country is made up of seven million immigrants!

The majority of immigrants in Canada are working in highly sought-after jobs. And it just so happens that Canada is looking for people who know how to prepare good meals. If that’s you, read more to learn how you can work in Canada as a chef or cook.

Chefs and Cooks in Canada

nigerian-chef-in-canada-preparing-food

Many top chefs who you may recognize from the Food Network, like Chef Brad Long, Lynn Crawford, and Mark McEwan are proudly Canadian. These culinary masters draw their inspiration from the unique cultural diversity, fresh homegrown produce, and innovative culinary practices.

Did you know?

Canada assigns a unique code, known as the National Occupation Classification (NOC), to every type of job in the country. The code is largely used during the visa or immigration application process to award points to applicants based on their skill level. Employers also use the codes to craft their job descriptions, and your resume should reflect that you can perform similar job duties in order to get hired. Also, it is used by 11 of the 13 Canadian provinces and territories to indicate the skills that are in demand in their respective regions. Find out what job duties chefs and cooks should be able to perform in Canada.

Skill Level B - Trade Workers

  1. Chefs - NOC 6321
  2. Cooks - NOC 6322

What's Your Flavor?

Where to Work in Canada as a Chef or Cook

There is no shortage of restaurants, hotels, and event companies throughout Canada that are hiring chefs and cooks. But, if you really want to know where your skills are highly sought after then the provincial government websites are a great place to start. Every year, they publish lists of in-demand occupations in their region, and cooks and chefs tend to always make the cut.

Take a look below to find out which provinces are calling your name.

Where to look for jobs in Canada
Province In-Demand Jobs
Saskatchewan Chefs and Cooks
Alberta Food Service Supervisors
British Columbia Restaurant and Food Service Managers
New Brunswick Cooks
Prince Edward Island Chefs and Cooks
Newfoundland and Labrador Chefs and Cooks
Canadian Territories Chefs and Cooks

If that’s not enough good news, having skills that are in demand in a Canadian province or territory can help you work in Canada much easier and faster, or better yet, move to the country permanently with special immigration programs aimed at in-demand skilled workers.

How Much Can You Earn in Canada?

Group of young female friends having fun in restaurant, talking and laughing while dining at table.

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a chef in Canada is around $45, 825, but experienced chefs can make up to $77,903. If you’re a cook, you can expect an annual salary of $35, 080 - $51, 892 depending on your level of seniority. (And of course, free staff meals.)

See the table below for more specialist positions in culinary arts:

Payscale Average Salary
Job Title Average Salary in CAD
Head Chef $50, 128
Line Cook $35, 080
Corporate Chef $74, 220
Executive Chef $60, 388
Executive Sous-Chef $55, 845
Pastry Chef $46, 338
Sous Chef $43, 246
Baker $39, 494

How to Work in Canada as a Chef or Cook

Apply for Your Canadian Work Visa

To legally work in Canada you have to apply for a work visa. There are two types of work visas in Canada; an open work permit and an employer-specific work permit. An open work permit will allow you to work for any employer in the country, but this permit is only issued to foreign nationals in very specific situations. An employer-specific work permit, on the other hand, is the most common type of visa issued to foreign workers to work in Canada and requires you to have a valid job offer before applying.

Find out how you can work in Canada with a full eligibility evaluation today!

Get a Trade Certification

Trade occupations like chefs and cooks are regulated in Canada. That means you will have to get a trade certification to work in the country. Bear in mind that each province has its own regulatory body and depending on where you want to live and work you must apply for a certificate from the provincial regulatory body. For example, British Columbia allows foreign workers with extensive work experience in a trade to ‘challenge certification.’ This means that individuals who meet the criteria for a trade will not be required to go through the full certification program. Instead, they will be allowed to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s).

The regulatory body will also review your work history, talk to your employers and determine if you have the necessary experience to get a certification in Canada.

Red Seal Endorsement for Cooks

Cooks who want to work in Canada can take it one step further by obtaining a Red Seal endorsement. A red seal endorsement indicates that you have demonstrated the knowledge required for the national standard in a trade. The Red Seal endorsement promotes excellence to employers, instills pride in skilled workers, and allows you to work in any Canadian province without further training or examination. You can get a Red Seal endorsement on your provincial or territorial Certificates of Qualification and Apprenticeship by successfully completing a Red Seal examination.

Bring Your Culinary Skills to Canada

Chef preparing food, meal, in the kitchen, chef cooking in kitchen, Chef decorating dish, closeup

With over 100 immigration and visa programs available in Canada, there are many avenues to explore if you’re a skilled chef or cook who wants to live and work in Canada. The entry requirements differ depending on the program or visa you qualify for. For example, you may not need a job offer to start working in Canada as a chef or cook if you apply through the Federal Skilled Trade Worker Program.

Start your journey to Canada with the professional help of certified visa consultants. We can guide you through the intricate process from start to finish.