It’s not business: 5 most in-demand careers in Canada

most in-demand careers in Canada
Canada is known for offering high quality education and career opportunities. Source: AFP

The natural move to make after graduating from university is to secure yourself a job, and if you’re an international student in Canada, your career prospects aren’t looking too shabby.

Canada’s reputation as a land of opportunity extends beyond its excellent universities. Their thriving economy means that there’s a growing demand for skilled professionals. Choosing the most in-demand careers in Canada increases your chances of securing employment and even qualifying for permanent residency if that’s your ultimate goal. 

most in-demand careers in Canada

Many business graduates in Canada are struggling to find jobs. Source: AFP

Is studying business in Canada worth it?

Like many metropolitan cities with booming business hubs for national and international business, Canada has its fair share of business-related work opportunities too.

However, 2024 data shows there is a disproportionate focus on business programmes compared to fields with higher job demand.

According to CBC News, from 2018 to 2023, business-related programmes received the most study permits, accounting for 27% of all approvals. Essential sectors like healthcare and skilled trades, on the other hand, received far fewer international students despite having more job openings. 

The oversaturation of the job market in business-related fields has left many graduates struggling to find jobs. This situation is especially worse for international students, who often come to Canada seeking new opportunities and a better life.

In the end, those students often find themselves unemployed or taking on jobs that do not pay well. 

Healthcare-related jobs top the most in-demand careers in Canada

As is the case for the rest of the world, the shortage of workers in the healthcare industry means that healthcare jobs are one of the most in-demand careers in Canada.

In fact, in early 2024, the Canadian government announced an 86 million CAD (approximately US$63 million) investment in health professional accreditation to address the country’s labour shortage.

They’re even helping internationally educated health professionals (meaning those who did not receive their healthcare accreditation in Canada) to secure jobs in the country. In 2022, more than a third of licensed pharmacists in Canada were internationally educated, followed by physicians, with 27% of the workforce being international medical graduates. 

This offers a promising field for international students, ensuring better employability prospects post-graduation and the possibility of earning their PR.

5 most in-demand careers in Canada

most in-demand careers in Canada

With the healthcare industry on the rise, nurses are in high demand. Source: AFP

1. Registered nurse

Average salary: US$87,763

As the number of jobs in the healthcare field is on the rise, it is no surprise that the job of a registered nurse is one of the most in-demand careers in Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of nurses and the role they play in maintaining public health. Registered nurses are essential not only in hospitals but across different healthcare areas, including clinics, long-term care facilities, and community health centres. 

In 2022, Ontario needed 6,000 more nurses across all healthcare sectors. In 2023, the need rose to 10,110, followed by 13,200 in 2024. By 2027 the province is expected to need 20,700 additional nurses, growing to 33,200 by 2032.

As a registered nurse, your duties will include monitoring and recording patient vitals, creating and implementing care plans, administering medications, and assisting with medical procedures. 

But it doesn’t stop there. You will also educate and support patients and their families, manage administrative tasks and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure optimal patient outcomes. 

To become a registered nurse, you must complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and register with the nursing regulatory body in the province or territory you are in.

most in-demand careers in Canada

Accountants continue to be in high demand as they are needed by the majority of businesses. Source: AFP

2. Accountant 

Average salary: US$62,785

Accountants have a vital role as they manage and analyse financial information across all sectors. Every business, regardless of its industry, relies on accountants to ensure profitability and compliance with financial regulations. 

Accountants oversee budgets, track revenue and expenses, conduct audits, and advise on taxation matters. This constant need for accountants has created a steady demand for accounting professionals in private and public institutions. 

The demand for accountants in Canada is outweighing the available skilled talent. Several provinces, such as Saskatchewan, Quebec, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, have a demand for accountants that will remain high until 2028.

As such, as an international student in Canada, the high demand for accountants means that finding a job after graduation is easier compared to other fields. This could also increase your chances of securing permanent residency, as accountants are on the list of occupations in demand under the Express Entry immigration system.

The good news is that many universities in Canada offer excellent accounting programmes. This includes the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, McGill University, and Queen’s University. 

most in-demand careers in Canada

Canadian labour market trends have found that customer service jobs in Canada are in high demand. Source: AFP

3. Customer service representative 

Average salary: US$64,977

Customer service representatives are among the most in-demand careers in Canada. They are the frontline of businesses, creating client relationships and managing conflicts to maintain satisfaction and happiness. Due to this, they are needed across various industries, including retail, financial services, information technology, and hospitality. 

The job has a range of responsibilities that focus on facilitating smooth interactions between customers and organisations.

You will interact directly with clients, addressing inquiries, providing assistance and resolving any issues or concerns that may arise. Whether it’s through phone, email or live chat support, you will play a huge role in maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Randstad reports that research predicts an additional 11,300 customer service jobs in Canada will be added to the market between 2019 and 2028, but only 10,600 skilled job seekers will fill these roles.

Luckily for most, no particular degree is required for the role. Still, having previous experience working in a customer-facing role and showing good communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills will put you ahead of your competition.

most in-demand careers in Canada

The shortage of veterinary professionals means that veterinarians make the list of the most in-demand careers in Canada. Source: AFP

4. Veterinarian 

Average salary: US$122,320

The animal side of the healthcare sector is facing a worldwide shortage too. According to the Canadian Occupational Projection System, there will be 5,000 expected veterinary job openings between 2022 and 2031, while the expected number of job seekers is 4,300.

Veterinarians often work in private clinics, animal hospitals, research facilities, or government agencies. They are essential in maintaining the health and well-being of animals, offering services from routine check-ups to surgical procedures.

Beyond treating illnesses and injuries, you will also provide preventive care, administer vaccinations, and advise pet owners on nutrition and wellness. You may specialise in areas such as small animal medicine, equine medicine, exotic animal care or public health. 

To pursue a career as a veterinarian in Canada, you must first complete a degree programme at a recognised veterinary school. The programme must be accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and meet the standards set by the provincial veterinary regulatory body. 

After obtaining a veterinary degree, you must then get a license to practice, as veterinary medicine is a provincially regulated profession. 

most in-demand careers in Canada

Welders are one of the most in-demand careers in Canada. Source: AFP

5. Welder

Average salary: US$60,677 

As a country with a huge manufacturing industry, welders are always in demand, making them one of the most in-demand careers in Canada. New job openings are expected to increase to 17,700 by 2031.

Welders play a huge role in ensuring the structural integrity and safety of these projects, making their expertise highly valued. In their career, they use their technical skills to fuse metal pieces together effectively, whether constructing buildings, fabricating machinery or repairing pipelines.

While formal education isn’t always required, becoming a skilled welder requires learning through apprenticeships or trade school programmes. Here, you will gain hands-on training in different welding techniques, safety protocols and blueprint reading, equipping you with the practical skills needed.

The time frame to become competent is 6,000 hours, which is around three years and consists of 5,280 hours of on-the-job work experience and 720 hours of in-school training.