What is my occupation called in Canada?

Researching your occupation will help you learn about job opportunities and find the job that is right for you.

Follow these three steps before you begin looking for a job in Canada:

Step 1) What is the name of my occupation in Canada?

Job titles and descriptions are not universal. What your occupation was called in your home country may be different than what it is called in Canada. Canada uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to classify the over two million job titles in its Definition oflabour market.

Job Bank can help you find the name and a description of your occupation in the NOC system. A Job Market Report will tell you what the main tasks of your occupation are and what skills are needed.

Step 2) Is my occupation regulated or non-regulated?

What does regulated mean?

There are two types of jobs in Canada: Definition ofregulated occupations and Definition ofnon-regulated occupations.

Regulated Occupations

About 20 per cent of jobs in Canada require you to have a licence before you can begin work for public safety reasons. Jobs that require a licence are called regulated occupations. Regulated occupations include nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers, accountants and electricians. You need special education and experience before you can get your licence to work in most regulated occupations. Generally, two main types of occupations are regulated in Canada:
  • Regulated professions (for example, doctors, nurses and lawyers); and
  • Apprenticeable (Skilled) trades (for example, plumbers and electricians).

Note: Some organizations accept the credentials of workers from other countries. The provincial or territorial regulatory agency that regulates your occupation can tell you whether there is a special agreement with your home country.

In order to work in a regulated occupation, you usually need to have:
  • taken a university or college program;
  • completed practical (hands-on) experience under the supervision of licensed workers in the occupation; and
  • passed examinations.
You often need Canadian work experience before you get your licence. Within each province and territory, a regulatory body exists for each regulated occupation. A regulatory body is a non-governmental organization that regulates an occupation for the government. The names and contact information for regulatory bodies can be found in Job Bank. Most regulatory bodies have their own Web sites that describe their licensing requirements including information on eligibility requirements, foreign credential recognition, and registration fees.

Note: To get a licence, you may need to go back to school, work under supervision, or pass exams. You may also need to take a language test. Getting a licence after you immigrate may take a long time and can be expensive.

Non-Regulated Occupations

Non-regulated jobs do not require a Definition oflicence.

Tip: The non-regulated job market is an excellent place to begin your career in Canada. If you are a foreign trained professional, you can work in a non-regulated job while you become licensed in a regulated profession, or to gain Canadian work experience.

Non-regulated jobs range from those that require years of education and training—such as computer analysts or biologists—to those that require little formal training—such as food and beverage servers or housekeepers. Non-regulated jobs range from entry level to management level.

For non-regulated occupations, Definition ofemployers will be interested in learning about your education and work experience. This information can be summarized in a Definition ofrésumé.

In addition, employers may be interested in the Canadian equivalency to your educational credentials that were obtained outside of Canada. Refer to the How do I get my Skills Recognized? section for more information.

Are the requirements to be a teacher the same in Toronto and in Vancouver?

Each Canadian province and territory has its own standards, laws, and requirements for jobs. This means that the requirements to be a teacher may be different in Toronto and Vancouver because these cities are in different provinces. With a specific city or region in mind, you can focus your Definition ofjob search on the specific standards, job opportunities, and Definition ofworking conditions in that location.

Credentials Assessment

Credential assessment in Definition ofregulated professions is usually completed by a regulatory body.

If your occupation is regulated it is important to know:

  • What licence is needed
  • How long it takes to get a licence
  • How much it costs to get a licence
  • If the licensing process can start overseas
  • If there are bridging or specialized training programs available

Discuss these questions with the regulating body that is responsible for your occupation. The names and contact information for regulatory bodies can be found in the Job Bank website.

Apprenticeable Trades

In Canada, many Definition ofskilled trades are learned through provincial or territorial Definition ofapprenticeship programs. These are often called Definition ofapprenticeable trades.

An apprenticeship is a period of supervised training leading to Definition ofcertification in a specific trade. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training and in-school instruction.

Some apprenticeable trades require licences and others do not. Contact the provincial or territorial apprenticeship office near you to learn more about particular standards and qualifications in each province or territory.

If you want to work in a regulated apprenticeable trade, you must apply to the Definition ofapprenticeship authority in the province or territory where you will settle. They will assess your credentials, training and experience to see if you meet their standards.

Step 3) What are the prospects and opportunities for my occupation in different parts of Canada?

The Labour Market Information displayed in Job Bank can help you make an informed decision about your future. Through a Job Market Report, you will learn:

  • average hourly Definition ofsalary rates for an occupation in a given location; this information can be compared to other locations
  • what jobs are currently available (as reported in Canada's National Job Bank)
  • lists of potential Definition ofemployers
  • what are the prospects for your occupation
  • which associations and unions are related to the field you have chosen

This information can help you decide where to live and find a job.