Canada has one of the largest economies in the world and an affordable cost of living, so it's no surprise that so many choose to live and work in the country
Known for its natural beauty, Canada is home to the world's longest coastline, Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, maple syrup and ice hockey. But did you know that the second largest country in the world also boasts a low crime rate and is regularly voted as one of the best and most peaceful places to live?
The fact that English is the main language (with French being spoken predominantly in Quebec province) is another huge draw for expatriates. Popular Canadian destinations for those seeking work in Canada include Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Oakville and St Albert.
Combine this with the friendly inclusive nature of its inhabitants and Canada becomes even more appealing.
Major industries include:
- food products
- natural gas
- transportation equipment
- wood and paper products.
Cryptocurrency, ecommerce, primary healthcare, tourism and information technology are all growth industries in the country.
Some of the biggest organisations in Canada include:
- Brookfield Asset Management (finance)
- Royal Bank of Canada (banking)
- Enbridge (oil and gas)
- Manulife (insurance)
- George Weston Ltd (food and drink)
- Magna International (automotive)
- Alimentation Couche-Tard (food and drink).
Popular graduate jobs
- electrical engineer
- HR manager
- registered nurse
Canada has a number of in-demand occupations in areas such as:
- Business - senior managers human resources managers, purchasing managers, financial analysts, advertising and marketing managers.
- Construction - electrician, construction workers, welders.
- Engineering - civil and environmental engineers
- Information technology - software developers and programmers and data analysts and scientists.
- Healthcare - doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lab technicians.
How to get a job in Canada
Employers consider Canadian natives before foreign workers, but job opportunities are available to all and in most cases posted online. You can start your job search at:
Networking often proves useful so make use of any connections you have in the country, be that family, friends or work colleagues.
You'll apply for jobs in a similar way as you would in the UK - with an initial application, either an online form or résumé. If successful, this often leads to an interview. As mentioned, Canadian employers will require a résumé rather than the UK standard CV and cover letter. A résumé is designed to be more concise and tailored to each job application. A writing guide, along with downloadable examples, can be found at Settlement.org.
The majority of summer jobs in Canada are in summer camps or hospitality and you can find opportunities at:
You'll need an International Experience Canada (IEC) working holiday visa to carry out summer work in the country.
Other forms of casual work include working at a vineyard or maple syrup farm or as part of the tourism industry at ski resorts for example.
If your budget allows you could also consider volunteer projects/placements in the country. This is a great way to add experience to your CV. See:
If you hold a Bachelors degree, are fluent in English and have hands-on teaching experience, becoming an English tutor may be the job for you.
With English being one of Canada's official languages, demand is relatively low for international English teachers. Canadian citizens are at a greater advantage for filling teaching positions, however there are a number of opportunities in Canada's larger cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver, for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).Be warned, though, competition to secure one of these posts is tough.
To find out more:
An internship is the perfect way for you to immerse yourself in Canadian culture, enhancing your skills and proving yourself to future employers in an exciting environment. In order to complete an internship in Canada, you'll need to secure the correct work permit or visa (see Canadian visas for more information).
If you're looking for an internship in Canada, here are some good places to start:
- BUNAC Vancouver Internship can last up to six months and is aimed at English-proficient students and graduates.
- Go Overseas offer a variety of different internships in the country.
Most people need either a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to travel to Canada. To find out which applies to you visit Government Canada where you can answer a couple of questions to assess your eligibility.
Anyone travelling into Canada must do so with the correct travel documents, and must be able to prove that they are:
- financially capable of supporting their trip
- a law-abiding citizen
- medically fit.
You will usually need either an open or employer-specific permit to work in Canada and you can find out which one best suits your needs at Government Canada - Types of work permits. If you're planning to be in Canada for more than a few years, you might consider applying for permanent residency. The rules and regulations surrounding residency are subject to change so check with Immigration and Citizenship ensure you have the latest information.
Canada is officially a bilingual country. It is home to both English and French speakers. Fluency in English will be enough to navigate around the vast majority of Canadian cities and provinces. Quebec is the only officially French-speaking province, although you'll likely be exposed to both languages wherever you're based.
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to prove your proficiency via an accredited online test. The Government of Canada approves two English tests:
- IELTS - International English Language Testing System
- CELPIP - Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
Explaining your qualifications to employers
As the Canadian higher education system closely resembles the structure of the UK system, many employers will have no trouble understanding your qualifications.
If your job is regulated, you will need to have your credentials assessed. Regulatory bodies vary between provinces and territories. If your job isn't regulated, the eligibility of your qualifications is usually down to the discretion of your employer.
For more information visit the Government of Canada credential assessment or the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).
Working life in Canada
On average you'll be expected to work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, although this will depend on the company and the role.
Workers are entitled to a minimum of two weeks' annual leave after one year of paid work; this increases to three after five years' service.
There are five public holidays in Canada (New Years Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day), with an additional six holidays for federal employees. Different provinces and territories also have their own unique holidays.
The average Canadian salary is CAD$50,000 (£29,481) to $60,000 (£35,377) a year and the minimum wage in any profession is set by each individual province. Generally, the cost of living in Canada is lower than that of the UK and USA, While Toronto and Vancouver are considered to be expensive places to live other areas such as Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal are less so.
To learn more about the Canadian tax system see Government of Canada - Canadian income tax rates for individuals.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in Canada.