Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Canada is still experiencing labor shortages in many industries. Canada’s dynamic job market and flexible labor laws make it a popular destination for qualified foreign professionals who want to move abroad. This guide lists the occupations most in demand in Canada in 2022, in both traditional and emerging industries, and provides valuable advice on how to work in Canada.

Industries that are recruiting and the occupations most in demand in Canada

Despite changes in the market, there are still numerous vacancies in certain industries. Here are the main ones:

  • Healthcare: paramedics, nurses, licensed practical nurses (LPN), audiologists, orderlies, dentists, kinesiologists and pharmacists;
  • Food and customer service jobs: salespersons, cashiers, cooks, waiters and receptionists;
  • Social services and education: early childhood educators, babysitters, care of the disabled and elderly, social and community workers and psychologists;
  • Sales and marketing: sales representatives, business development managers, customer advisors, marketing managers, marketing analysts and digital marketing specialists;
  • Cross-department corporate positions: human resources managers, project managers, administrative officers, accountants and maintenance workers;
  • Computer science and information technology: computer consultants, graphic designers, web developers, programmer analysts, software designers, database analysts and network administrators;
  • Transport and logistics: warehouse workers, drivers, truck/equipment operators and material handlers;
  • Scientific professions: aerospace: aerospace engineers, statisticians and actuaries, mechanical engineering/industrial engineering and manufacturing technicians;
  • Other professions: machinists, mechanics, welders and architects.

Each Canadian province has different labor needs

The most important industries in Canada are agri-food, transportation, ICT, multimedia, aerospace, microelectronics, life sciences and mining. However, each region has different labor opportunities:

  • Quebec: video games (including Ubisoft), aeronautics and agri-food;
  • British Columbia: services and construction, manufacturing;
  • Alberta: oil and gas;
  • Manitoba: construction, services and manufacturing of goods;
  • Ontario: finance, business services, ICT, tourism, mining and forestry in the north, and manufacturing in the south.

The specific features of the Canadian job market

To meet this high demand and sustain its economic growth, Canada relies on immigration, which accounts for more than one-fifth of its 36 million inhabitants. A multi-year plan is in place to simplify the admission of foreign workers. In Montreal and Quebec, new residents benefit from the services of an immigration advisor who helps them integrate into Canadian society, including finding a school for their children.

Because of its Anglo-Saxon culture, Canada has employment rules similar to those in the United States.

  • The country’s flexible Labor Code encourages professional mobility: it’s easy for employees to leave an employer quickly, and companies can dismiss employees who underperform. The notice period is generally one week, but can be longer if employees have been with the company for more than two years, or if they hold a position of responsibility.
  • A written contract is not mandatory, and conditions can be agreed upon orally. Agreements often provide for a trial period ranging from a few weeks to several months.
  • English is the language of business, but French also has official status at the federal level. Being bilingual is therefore an asset, especially in Quebec, and also in other provinces such as Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan, where there are relatively large French-speaking communities.
  • The normal work week is 40 hours for full-time jobs, but there are exceptions, such as in the agricultural industry. For certain positions, the number of hours is limited to 32 or 35 hours a week. Overtime is common and is paid at a rate of 50% above 40 hours/week.

For catering and security professionals, working hours can vary considerably from week to week. This is also the case for those who opt for an « on-call » job and need to be available at all times.

  • In some regulated professions, such as healthcare and education, foreign training and diplomas are not recognized. It is therefore essential to verify the existence of a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between your country of origin and Quebec when planning to expatriate.
  • Employees are entitled to two weeks paid vacation per year, to be taken in the first year after hiring. This vacation entitlement increases to three weeks after three years of service with the same company. However, the employer may refuse to let employees take these vacation days all at once. The number of days of sick leave allowed is agreed upon by both parties at the time of hiring.
  • If employees work on a public holiday, the employer is obliged either to grant compensatory leave, or to pay compensation.
  • You need to be aware of the cultural aspects of the working world: avoid physical contact, don’t talk about personal problems, show adaptability and loyalty to the company, but also demonstrate reserve and neutrality.

Working under the wage portage system in Canada

Foreign workers have a flexible and secure solution for working in Canada: wage portage. Somewhere between entrepreneurship and salaried employment, this form of employment offers a high degree of autonomy, while also entitling workers to comprehensive social protection, including health coverage, mutual insurance, provident insurance, unemployment insurance and pension contributions.

The portage company also handles all the administrative tasks and provides personalized support for employees, so that they can work on their assignments in the best possible conditions and develop their business.