Top 7 healthcare jobs in Canada for foreigners and immigrants
Canada continues to face major labour shortages in its healthcare sector. This makes the sector a top opportunity for foreign healthcare workers to come to Canada on temporary work permit.
The healthcare sector is also one of the top ways to eventually become a Canadian permanent resident.
Canada’s healthcare sector already faced serious labour shortages even before coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic worsened labour shortages in the sector.
This is a great opportunity for foreigners with experience, training and education in healthcare to immigrate to Canada.
In March, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) alerted that the need for more healthcare workers in the country is at a critical point. The CMA warned:
Two years into the pandemic, organizations representing health workers across the country are sounding the alarm that Canada’s health care system is collapsing.
Without immediate action, there is little to hope for in the future. While Canadians are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and public health measures are being loosened, the same cannot be said for health workers.
On top of severe exhaustion and burnout from working through two years of COVID-19, healthcare workers now face both massive system backlogs and a shortage of colleagues to cope with demands.
Canada investing in foreign healthcare worker immigration
In light of the critical need for foreign healthcare workers, Canada is investing further in programs to encourage their interest in Canada.
For example, in June 2022, Canada announced a $1.5 million project to help foreign healthcare workers get their credentials assessed and recognized in Canada.
Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, said this will help foreign healthcare workers fill important jobs in Canada.
The key aims of the project include:
- identifying problems that foreign health care workers face in getting credentials recognition
- speeding up the process of credential recognition and removing barriers to working in the health care sector; and also
- making policy recommendations to address foreign health care workers concerns and issues
In April 2022, Canada’s province of British Columbia (BC) also announced recruiting foreign health care workers with $12 million funding. The is to recruit foreign health care workers by making it easier – and cheaper – for Canada to recognize their credentials.
The BC initiative recruitment program will include:
- marketing campaign to promote B.C. to internationally educated nurses
- new website to provide information on available supports
- foreign nurses recruitment support
- financial support for foreign nurses, and also,
- programs to encourage them remain in BC as permanent residents
“This investment is an exciting step in providing more support for internationally-educated nurses who want to work in B.C.,” says Michael McMillan, president and chief executive officer of the Health Employers Association of BC.
- Quebec needs Francophone nurses – $65M budget for 1,000 nurses
- Ontario seeks 6,000 foreign-trained nurses by March 2022
BC will provide $9 million in bursaries to help foreign-trained nurses pay for credential assessment fees. That will benefit about 1,500 nurses in the first year alone.
Those bursaries will range from $1,500 to $16,000, depending on the credential assessment or upgrading.
Top 7 healthcare jobs in Canada NOCs and wages
1. Registered Nurse (NOC 3012)
Indeed.ca job website shows 12,939 postings for registered nursing jobs in Canada as of Sept. 13, 2022.
Registered nurses in Canada earn a median wage of $51,246 to $94,321 per year for a 37.5-hour work week.
2. Licensed Practical Nurses (NOC 3233)
Foreigner healthcare workers can get Licensed Practical Nurses jobs in Canada without as much education or experience as registered nurses.
Indeed.ca listed 2,928 job postings for these healthcare workers as of September 2022.
In Canada, licensed practical nurses wages are between $42,900 and $64,798 per year based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
3. Hospital Administrator (NOC 0014)
Hospital administrators are typically managerial hospital staff. Their core duty is to ensure quality patient care and clinical services are achieved within hospital budget.
Healthcare managers in Canada earn between $38,961 and $182,227 based on management position level.
4. Medical Laboratory Technician (NOC 3212)
Laboratory technicians are responsible for performing patients medical tests and the sanitary safety of medical laboratory equipment.
Medical laboratory technicians in Canada are paid between $36,172 to $78,000 per year based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
5. Medical Administrative Assistant (NOC 1243)
Medical administrative assistants are the first people patients typically see in a hospital when they walk in and register. They are also responsible for keeping patients records properly filed.
Medical administrative assistants in Canada earn between $31,200 and $56,335 per year based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
6. Medical Secretary (NOC 1243)
There is going to be a shortage of roughly 4,000 medical secretaries in Canada during the decade that will end in 2028, forecasts Job Bank.
Canada anticipates some 56,000 medical secretary job vacancies over the next 5 years. That’s over 10,000 positions that foreigners can apply for each year.
In Canada medical secretaries salaries are between $31,200 and $56,335 per year based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
7. Home Support Worker (NOC 4412)
Home support workers provide daily homecare to people with medical or companionship needs.
It is estimated that there will be 33,900 home support workers job vacancies in Canada in the next five years.
Canada has one of the world’s oldest populations. Some 9 million Canadians will reach the retirement age of 65 by the year 2030. The need for foreign home support workers will be constantly a top IRCC priority given these statistics.
In Canada home support workers can earn from $26,247 to $45,006 based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
Impact of immigration on Canada healthcare sector
- Immigrants account for 1 out of every 4 health-care sector workers.
- In Canada, immigrants make up 37% of pharmacists, 36% of physicians, 39% of dentists, 23% of registered nurses, and 35% of nurse aides and related occupations.
- More than 40% of newcomers to Canada between 2011 and 2016 who were working in the health-care sector were employed in the important areas of nursing and residential care facilities, as well as home health-care services.
- Registered nurses: 23%
- Nurse aides, orderlies, and related: 35%
- Pharmacists: 37%
- Physicians: 36%
- Dentists: 39%
- Dental technologists and related: 54%
All statistics are from the Statistics Canada 2016 Census.
Percentage of immigrants in Canada’s health-care occupations
Out of the total Canada health-care immigrant workers between 2011 and 2016, some 40% were employed in residential care facilities, nursing or home health-care services. These facilities have experienced some of the worst outbreaks and fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic
How to become Canadian PR as foreign healthcare workers
Most popular among foreign healthcare workers are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). To be eligible for these programs, it is important to have skilled healthcare work experience.
Neither program requires a candidate to have a job offer. However, having one can significantly increase your likelihood of successfully applying for Canadian permanent residence.
Canada uses the Express Entry system and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to score and rank immigration applications. The CRS assigns a score to candidates based on the information you entered in your federal Express Entry profile. Candidates are put into a pool of other candidates. IRCC periodically conducts draws from this pool to invite highest scorer for PR.
The CEC requires one year of work experience in Canada, within the last three years. Applicants must prove scores, across all four language competencies.
FSWP requires an applicant to have at least one year of work experience from anywhere within the last ten years. They must additionally score at least 67/100 on the six-factor test that assesses candidates’ education level and language skills.
FSWP applicant also must score a CLB 7 in English or NCLC 7 in French on all four language competencies. Those are: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
In addition, many Canadian provinces have more than one program that target foreign nurses in their Provincial immigrant nominee programs (PNPs). Through the PNPs, Canadian provinces are able to select candidates who meet their labor and skilled jobs shortages and recommend them for Canadian permament residency.
Foreign nurses are a top target of the PNPs. This is because they are in high demand due to nurse shortages in Canada.