Working in Canada

Are you looking for a job in Canada?

Canada is considered one of the best places to live in the world. The standard of living is very high, the surroundings are beautiful and the Canadians are known for being well educated, liberal and very friendly.

To help you turn your dream into a reality, here’s everything you need to know about working in Canada:


About Canada

Canada is enormous, it is the second biggest country in the world, after Russia, and has the largest coastline in the world.

Despite its size, Canada is sparsely populated, with a population of 36.9 million people. To put that in to perspective, the UK’s population is almost double that (at 64 million), despite it being  41 times smaller than Canada.

Amazingly, over half of Canada’s residents have university degrees, making it the most educated country in the world.

Canada’s landscape is breathtakingly beautiful with more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined, but it can get very cold with its lowest recorded temperature reaching -63 degrees Celsius in 1947.


Companies in Canada

Canada has its fair share of successful industries that continue to prosper every year. Although the Canadian market isn’t as large or diverse as some other markets in the world, it is every bit as stable even in the worst economic climates.

Whilst it thrives in banking, with organisations such as Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Bank of Nova Scotia, coming out on top, Canada also boasts career opportunities in a number of other fields.

The top five industries booming in Canada are:

  1. Agriculture: Canada is one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products in the world and due to its location it exports most of its crops to America. It is part of the World Trade Organization which means it practices fair-trading by ensuring that whatever it puts on the agricultural market doesn’t influence the price of crops in other countries. Canada’s agricultural sector is steadily growing every year.
  2. Energy: Canada has an abundance of oil and natural gas making it a world leader in energy resources, and home to leading companies like Suncor Energy Inc and Canadian Natural Resources Limited. It has also adopted solar and wind energy production as the next major industry, ensuring continued prosperity.
  3. Technology: Canada’s technology industry is one of the strongest in the world and continues to change due to a visa introduced by the government which is aimed at bringing in new tech companies from overseas.
  4. Services: Canada’s service sector employs almost three quarters of the entire country and within this sector industries like retail, business, education and health make up the largest portions.
  5. Manufacturing: Canada’s automotive parts production is one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the country. American and Japanese auto industries are attracted to its highly educated workforce and low labour costs making it a go-to destination for automobile manufacturing.


Graduate jobs in Canada

You will always be able to find a seasonal job in the hospitality and tourism sectors in Canada, but if you’re looking for permanent employment in the metropolitan areas, be prepared for some competition.

This is is because employers are actively encouraged to offer jobs to Canadian residents before considering foreign applicants.

However, with many industries prospering, jobs should be on the increase as well. Banking, insurance and retail dominate the major employers in Canada.


Canada work Visa

British Citizens don’t need a visa to enter Canada but will need to obtain a Electronic Travel Visa (an ETA) to enter Canada by air.

Working holiday visas are available to UK citizens aged 18-30, and last up to 24 months.  This must be acquired  prior to securing a job.

If you plan to be in Canada for more than a few years, or you’ve been offered a permanent position before relocating, you might need to consider applying for a permanent residency. This is likely to be arranged by your employer.

Find out what visa is best for you


Earning in Canada

The average full time salary in Canada is around £30,423 ($51,000) per annum, and minimum wage is £6.65 ($11.15) per hour.

However, what you earn will vary depending on the profession you choose.

For example a Retail Store Manager will earn around  £26,203 ($43,936) per annum, a Family Physician/Doctor will earn around  £87,738 ($147,072), and a Manufacturing Engineer will earn on average  £51,742 ($86,826).


Canada tax

Your residency status is one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to how you’ll pay tax in Canada.

Residents pay tax on their worldwide income, so if you are a resident in Canada and earn income from the UK , all of this income will be treated as taxable income. However, the UK has a double taxation treaty with Canada so that you will not be taxed twice on the same income.

The Canadian tax rates are progressive, so the more you earn, the more you’ll pay. The personal tax free allowance is £6,846 ($11,474) so you’ll pay tax on anything over this amount.


Living in Canada

Canada is a huge country, with ten provinces and three territories, so it is difficult to make a general statement about what living in Canada will be like. The west and the east have different climates and can feel culturally different.

Canada is officially a bilingual country. It is home to both English and French speakers but fluency in English is enough to navigate around the vast majority of Canadian cities and provinces.

Quebec is the only officially French -speaking province. The three largest cities in Canada are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Cost of living

The cost of living varies between provinces and between rural and urban areas. Vancouver is considered to be the most expensive place to live in North America. There is more information about the cost of living per city provided on The Expatistan website.


All cities and most major towns in Canada have a public transportation system with one or more ways to travel such as bus, train or subway. There are three rapid transit systems operating in Canada: the Montreal Metro, the Toronto subway and the Vancouver SkyTrain. The bus is the most common form of urban transportation in Canada.


Canada’s healthcare system is publicly funded. Canadian citizens and permanent residents pay for healthcare insurance through their taxes. If you are working in Canada your employer must make sure you’re covered by health insurance.

Prescription drugs, home care, long-term care and dental care are not usually covered by the Canada Health Act, which means most Canadians have to get private insurance. If you are in Canada doing casual work, you are advised to arrange private health insurance as treatment can be very expensive without it.


Benefits of working and living in Canada

Some of the key benefits of working in Canada include:

  • Excellent career opportunities
  • Safety and security
  • Great standard of living
  • First class healthcare system
  • Multicultural and harmonious communities
  • Space
  • Beautiful landscape


How to get a job in Canada

Ready to start planning? Here are our top tips for finding work:

  1. Remember to do your research. The size of Canada means that your lifestyle, work, climate and overall experience can vary greatly from place to place, so make sure you research thoroughly when choosing where to move to. If you have already decided on the job that you plan to pursue, then further research the right area for that job. For example, if you want to be an engineer in the oil and gas industry, then Calgary is a much better place for this than Toronto. If you are hoping to be an IT professional, then Ottawa is top of the list.
  2. Network. Connections give you a big advantage when it comes to finding work and developing your career, so networking is important. Canadians are very friendly and open people who are likely to point you in the right direction and share their contacts. A good way to network before you arrive is by joining online local community groups, there are often forums and pages on social media or expat websites that will offer advice and support.
  3. Create a Canadian style resume. Different countries have different requirements when it comes to job applications so make sure that you’ve looked in to what Canadian job posts ask for. They will definitely not ask you to disclose any personal information as that is against their human rights code. Canadian employees expect a resume to be no longer than two pages.
  4. Gain Canadian credentials. You may need to take extra courses or complete an exam to validate the credentials you have gained from your country of origin. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials provides you with information on the credentials that you need for certain occupations, make sure to research this so that you don’t let unrecognised international credentials prevent you from getting a job.
  5. Check if your job is on the skills occupation list. The skilled occupation list includes 50 categories, and if you can demonstrate that you have worked for one of the occupations in the list for at least one year then you are able to qualify for Canadian immigration as well as be considered for permanent residence.



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