- Canada has a growing demand for healthcare workers across a variety of occupations and settings.
- Entry-level healthcare jobs have few requirements aside from basic healthcare experience and skills such as communication, customer service and organisation.
- Indians with medical credentials or training can gain provincial and federal credential recognition and complete licensing requirements to work in regulated professions.
Canada has a growing economy, diverse job market and low employment rate. The growing healthcare sector has created high demand for expat and immigrant workers from India, and the many types of jobs available in healthcare come with high wages and steady career tracts.
If you’re interested in working in one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, check out the following information on the best healthcare jobs and how to find them.
Immigrate to Canada
Canada has one of the highest immigration rates in the world and accepted more than 401,000 new permanent residents1 in 2021, and many immigrants are accepted through economic immigration categories.
Skilled workers with Canadian or foreign work experience who meet education and other criteria can set up a profile with the Express Entry system. The system evaluates and ranks your profile based on various factors.
If you’re eligible, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) will send you an invitation to apply for permanent residence. You’ll need to provide supporting documents,2 provide medical exam and background check results, have your fingerprints and photo taken and pay processing fees.3 If your application4 is approved, you’ll receive a permanent resident visa.
Provincial Nominee Class
Most provinces in Canada operate Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) to fill employment gaps and provide immigrants with permanent residence paths. Each province has unique programs that target certain groups and, as such, have varying requirements or criteria. Application processes likewise vary.
To be nominated by a province or territory, you must follow instructions according to their respective websites and contact them directly. Participating provinces include:
- British Columbia6
- New Brunswick7
- Prince Edward Island11
- Nova Scotia13
- Northwest Territories14
- Newfoundland and Labrador15
If a province agrees to nominate you, you can update your Express Entry profile to show you’ve been nominated.
Employment and Salary Projections
Healthcare is a necessity and consequently mostly unaffected by economic fluctuations, instead mostly affected by government expenditures on health and social programs. As such, the sector continues to grow year over year and has a consistent demand for healthcare workers, with more than 450,000 jobs16 created between 2008 and 2018 and an employment rate of 2.8%.
Salary projections vary widely across healthcare jobs as some occupations have much more demanding training and work environment demands than others. The lowest average salary is $178,000 compared to a high average of $534,000 per year.
Licensing and Education Requirements
Canadian healthcare institutions may not immediately recognize international training, licensing or credentials, but newcomers must have foreign licences and certificates recognized before they can work certain regulated occupations.
The credential assessment process17 compares your qualifications to the requirements in the province where you’ll live and identify any credential or training gaps. You’ll then contact a regulatory body in your province for the next steps to getting your credentials recognized. Some regulatory bodies impose fees for credential assessment.
For example, international medical graduates must:
- Confirm Canada recognizes their degree.
- Verify requirements with medical regulatory authorities.
- Submit their medical credentials for verification.
- Study with MCC Preparatory Products.
- Take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination.
- Receive a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada.
Telehealth jobs use electronic information and telecommunications technologies to facilitate long-distance health care, health education, public health and health administration. Nurses, physicians and other healthcare workers can provide telehealth services on a part- or full-time basis or in conjunction with clinical work. Requirements for these jobs are generally the same, but telehealth workers should be comfortable working with virtual conferencing software and remote diagnostic tools.
In addition to provincial telehealth services, many telehealth companies hire for a variety of healthcare roles. These companies include:
- Inkblot Therapy18
- Virtual Clinics20
Health promotion is an essential component of public health, and health promoters conduct community outreach and develop and implement community organisation strategies. These strategies relate to promoting health behaviours, supporting healthy public policies and facilitating healthy environments.
Exact duties may vary depending on the employer, but health promoters’ responsibilities generally include delivering community presentations, connecting individuals with health providers and creating health promotion materials. Requirements likewise vary, but job candidates should possess a university education and experience in community health, social work or a related field.
Employment opportunities for health promoters are available with nonprofit organisations and government agencies. The average salary of a health promoter in Canada is $41,166.
Medical assistants or medical office assistants are responsible for clinical and administrative tasks under a senior medical professional’s direction. They work in medical offices, clinics, hospitals, assisted living facilities and other medical facilities. Their daily duties vary but involve providing customer service, processing payments and invoices, communicating with insurance companies, updating patient records, maintaining inventory and other administrative tasks.
Most jobs require some experience in a medical setting, but entry-level jobs may only require experience in administration, customer service or office management, as well as strong communication and organisational skills. Medical assistants in Canada make an average salary of $47,688.
Nursing assistants, also called healthcare assistants, provide basic care to patients in hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities. Their duties include responding to patient calls, providing daily assistance and wellness support to patients, preparing patients for examinations and tests and monitoring vitals.
These jobs are usually entry-level and don’t have strict requirements aside from communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to follow directions. Some nursing assistants work in more complicated or demanding contexts and may require additional experience or education. Nursing assistants earn an average base salary of $44,094 per year.
Registered nurses (RNs) are medical professionals who represent one of the largest portions of the healthcare system. They perform a wide range of duties, work directly with patients and healthcare professionals and provide hands-on care in a variety of medical and community settings.
In most settings, RNs perform daily duties such as assessing and monitoring patients, administering physician-prescribed medications, assisting physicians and surgeons in treatments and educating patients on conditions and care.
To become an RN in Canada, you must have completed relevant education at an approved institution and hold a valid nursing registration, meet requirements according to provincial regulatory bodies,24 apply for a licence and write a licensing exam. The average salary for an RN is $87,503.
Physicians are professionals who practise medicine and may specialise in many areas of medicine such as surgery, cardiology, oncology or anesthesiology. Specific tasks may vary depending on specialisation, but regular duties include performing diagnostics, interacting with patients, treating and managing medical conditions, prescribing drugs and ordering medical procedures.
Physicians may work in hospitals, private practices, research centres and many other settings. Newcomers to Canada must provide proof of accredited education and training, pass licensing examinations and fulfil other requirements according to provincial and federal standards.
Salaries vary according to specialisation and seniority, but the average salary for physicians is $214,592.
Therapists, psychologists, clinicians and counsellors are mental health professionals who evaluate clients’ mental health and provide therapeutic treatments depending on their specialisation or treatment setting. Their responsibilities include maintaining records and reports, preparing client summary reports, assessing and interpreting client cognitive and behavioural results and preparing therapeutic plans.
Most therapists possess a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, but requirements vary depending on the province and hiring agency. The average salary for a therapist is $87,512.
Pharmacists prepare and dispense medications to treat and manage illnesses and work in retail stores, hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities. They understand how drugs interact with the body and other medications and use this knowledge to prepare correct prescription dosages. In addition to filling prescriptions, pharmacists administer vaccines, consult with other healthcare professionals, manage other pharmacy employees and educate customers on medication use and basic health topics.
Pharmacy is a regulated profession and, as such, has strict education and training requirements. To become a licensed pharmacist, you must hold an accredited pharmacy degree, gain credential recognition, satisfy any provincial requirements and complete a national board examination.25 Pharmacists earn an average of $103,737 per year.