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Work in Canada - 8 Facts You Need to Know

Updated: July 11th, 2023

The Great White North is known worldwide for its booming economy. And with ongoing expansion across sectors, an aging population, and low birth rate, Canadian employers must turn beyond the country's borders to fill significant labor gaps. As a result, Canada offers foreign workers - like you - fantastic opportunities that can't be found elsewhere. But before you start to work in Canada, here are eight factors to help you understand what it will be like.

Canada Needs Educated People

Canada needs educated people | Work in Canada - 8 Facts You Need to Know

According to the 2023 World Population Review, Canada is currently the world’s most educated country, with 60% of its population holding a tertiary qualification. As a result, many of the country's key industries require workers to have obtained extensive education. Employers, therefore, prioritize skilled foreign workers, providing abundant job opportunities in Canada.

So if you have some tertiary education, you may have the opportunity to gain Canadian Permanent Residency via one of the country's over 80 immigration pathways. Be sure to explore the two most popular options - the Express Entry System and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), so you can access one of the many jobs for foreigners in Canada.

You should note that having a Canadian qualification before looking for jobs in Canada will be beneficial. So if you'd like to pursue an internationally-recognized Canadian program, learn more about how you can study in Canada.

Semi-skilled and Low- skilled Workers Also Play a Role in the Canadian Economy

While there is a huge demand for highly skilled and educated workers in Canada, there are also many opportunities for semi- and low-skilled workers. The Government of Canada greatly credits these workers for keeping the wheels of the Canadian economy turning. If you fall into this category, check out the top 10 jobs in Canada that you can apply to.

Graduates Often Work in the Career They Studied

According to Statistics Canada, 93% of recent graduates in Canada find a job in their chosen field two years after completing their studies. Let's look at your options to work in Canada once you graduate.

Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

The government of Canada has a great support system for recent Canadian graduates called the Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP). If you plan on studying in Canada, this program may allow you to find gainful, meaningful employment once you complete your studies.

The Canadian Work Permit

If you've completed your studies outside of Canada and don't plan on studying further, this doesn't mean you can't work in your chosen sector. With close to one million job vacancies nationwide, the opportunity to land your dream job could be waiting for you.

To be allowed to work in Canada, you will need a Canadian work permit. There are two to choose from:

  • An Open work permit - This will allow you to work for any employer in Canada, in any location.
  • An Employer-specific work permit: This permit limits who you can work for, where you can work and for how long you can work in Canada. Your employer will also have to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to prove that there were no Canadian citizens to fill the role they are hiring you for.

Learn how to get a Canadian work permit.

Tech Jobs in Canada Are in High Demand

Canada's tech industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the Canadian economy. According to the last Canadian ICT Sector Profile 2021, published in August 2022, there are over 45, 00 companies in the Canadian Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector. With such a huge tech sector comes the demand for workers with the skills to keep it flourishing. To make it possible for foreign workers to work in Canada's tech sector, the government of Canada has created multiple immigration pilot programs specifically focused on bringing skilled tech workers into the country. 

Discover Canada’s in-demand tech jobs.

Tech Pathways to Canada

If you have a tech background, you'll find several immigration programs to make your move to Canada possible. Your options include:

Tech Hubs in Canada

If you are looking for tech job opportunities in Canada, you may want to explore the country's tech hubs. They are as follows:

You Get Two Paychecks in Canada

You Get Two Paychecks in Canada

A great benefit of working in Canada is the bi-weekly paychecks. In Canada, it's widely accepted that employees get paid at the beginning and middle of each month. This ensures employees have disposable income throughout the month and prevents lower-income households from being left without funds for prolonged periods.

Canadian working culture has numerous quirks and differences from many countries worldwide. Their multiple short breaks, casual clothing every Friday, two paychecks, and relatively structured working hours prove that working in Canada may differ from what you're currently used to. But don't worry. Canada's hospitable, helpful nature will ensure you quickly find your feet.

Canadian Workers Have a High Quality of Life

From a purely financial perspective, Canadian workers generally have a high quality of life. Canada's cost of living and salaries vary widely, depending on your province, level of employment, and occupation.

The Minimum Wage in Canada

To give you an idea of the minimum wage in Canada, here is an estimate for each province and territory, according to Jobillico:

Province Minimum Hourly Wage
Alberta 15.00 CAD
British Columbia 16.75 CAD
Manitoba 14.15 CAD
New Brunswick 14.75 CAD
Newfoundland & Labrador 15.00 CAD
Northwest Territories 15.20 CAD
Nova Scotia 15.00 CAD
Nunavut 16.00 CAD
Ontario 15.00 CAD
Prince Edward Island 13.70 CAD
Quebec 14.25 CAD
Saskatchewan 14.00 CAD
Yukon "16.66 CAD

Covering the Basics in Canada

Getting by in Canada won't break the bank, but realistically speaking, you'll have to look at the place you are in, as prices differ per region. The cost of your basics, according to Numbeo, will look something like this:

Cost CAD
Milk (per liter) 2.75 CAD
Loaf of Fresh White Bread 3.26 CAD
Gasoline (per liter) 1.58 CAD
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.25 CAD
Monthly Pass 100.00 CAD
Basic utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for a 85m2 Apartment 199.09 CAD
Internet (per month) 85.46 CAD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,657.16 CAD

You May Get Lost in Translation

Canada has two official languages - English and French. Depending on your employer in Canada and province, your medium of instruction could be in either of these languages. Because of this, the Canadian government has a language requirement for all visa and immigration programs. These are mainly categorized under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

If you want to ensure your English-language ability is up to scratch for your immigration/ visa program and your job in Canada, you're in luck. We've got a complete International English Language Testing System (IELTS) preparation course to help you score high and quickly assimilate into the Canadian working environment.

Canada's Job Benefits are Second to None

Employment Benefits in Canada | Work in Canada - 8 Facts You Need to Know

Canada's excellent salaries are not the only perk of working in Canada - working in Canada means gaining some fantastic benefits of being part of the Canadian workforce.

The Canadian government has mandated that all Canadian workers get:

  • Pension
  • Legislated and parental leave
  • Employment insurance
  • Eye exams

You should note that most benefits are dependent on your Canadian employer and how they choose to run their company. To fully understand how these benefits work and how they will affect your work in Canada, make sure you do some research. Take a look at our guide on the benefits of working in Canada.

Your Job is Classified

Updated in November 2022, the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 is the new system used by the Canadian government. It classifies jobs according to training, education, experience, and responsibilities rather than skill levels.

The NOC 2021 replaces the existing four-category "skill level" framework with a six-category system, which is the most significant change. The new system specifies the amount of TEER (Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities) needed to enter each occupation. Ensure you learn more about the TEER system, as you must know the Canada NOC code for your occupation before applying for a work permit in Canada.


Who is Eligible to Work in Canada?

While there are several criteria for being admissible to Canada, the defining factor in someone's eligibility for a job in Canada is a Canadian work permit.

To get one of these, you must have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer who has completed a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Learn more about acquiring a Canadian work permit.

How Can I Find Job Opportunities in Canada?

One of the best ways to find jobs in Canada is to start online. Some of the best sites to find jobs in Canada are:

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