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Canada’s immigration levels are set at a historic high of nearly 500,000 per year from 2024 to 2026.
Under these targets, economic growth takes priority, as immigrants are acknowledged by Ottawa to play an important role in the labor market.
Newcomers will ensure that the country has the skills needed to meet initiatives in sustainability, transitioning to a green (net-zero) and digital economy, and making sure that labor force gaps in critical sectors (such as health, STEM, trades, transport, and agriculture) are not a barrier to the success and expansion of Canadian businesses.
Since last year, the province’s oil and agricultural have been boosting the economy and creating jobs for both Canadians and skilled foreign workers and those in skilled trades. What’s more – the province says that it is expects its economy to continue to perform strongly in the coming months and years.
Real GDP is expected to rise by three percent this year, which is up 0.2 percent from the Budget 2023’s estimation, as per the 2023-24 First Quarter Fiscal Update and Economic Statement. This allows the province to be a nation-wide leader in economic growth.
“Although risks and uncertainty persist due to rising interest rates high consumer prices and other factors, Alberta’s economy remains well-positioned to withstand any challenges that arise,” read a Government of Alberta media release.
Alberta Accepts the Fourth-Most Immigrants of all Canadian Provinces and Territories
The main driver for the province’s economic optimism is population growth.
Alberta boasts one of the highest number of newcomers in Canada. In fact, in 2022, the province accepted the fourth-most immigrants out of any Canadian province or territory, at 52,573.
It does so through one of many immigration pathways, including either the federal Express Entry programs that tie into the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), or the province’s own economic immigration programs, including the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) Accelerated Tech Pathway, which offers a fast-track for candidates holding job offers in eligible tech occupations.
It thus becomes vital to take note of the jobs that are most in demand in the province right now. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the most attractive professions in Calgary, which has one of the highest proportion of immigrants in its population.
1. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 31301)
These health professionals are responsible for providing direct nursing care to patients, delivering health education programs, and providing consultative services related to issues that are relevant to the practice of nursing.
Nurses are employed in a multitude of settings, including but not limited to hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices, clinics, community agencies, companies, private homes, and public and private organizations. They may also choose to be self-employed.
As of November 2023, there are 330 job listings on the Indeed website for “nurses” in Calgary, Alberta. Job Bank, the federal government’s job-hunting website, gives five stars, its highest rating, for nurses’ job prospects in Alberta for the next three years.
This occupation comes with a median hourly wage of $45 per hour in Alberta, according to Job Bank data.
2. Transport truck drivers (NOC 73300)
Transport truck drivers are responsible for driving straight trucks or tractor-trailers to transport freight. Long-haul truck drivers operate heavy trucks over urban, interurban, provincial, and international routes. This includes duties such as planning trip logistics and obtaining required documentation to transport goods, and performing pre-trip, en route, and post-trip inspection of vehicle systems, equipment, and accessories.
Short-haul drivers and local transport truck drivers, on the other hand, operate over urban and short interurban routes. They may drive special purpose trucks such as tow trucks, dump trucks, hydrovac trucks or cement mixing trucks.
Truck drivers are employed by transportation, manufacturing, distribution, and moving companies, or may chose to be self-employed. In Alberta, as per the Job Bank, they have a median hourly wage of $28, which is the above the national average of $24.
3. Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 60020)
Business development – particularly when the economy is slowing down – is an extremely in-demand skill, making sales managers extremely valuable professionals in the Calgary economy.
Retail and wholesale trade managers are responsible for planning, directing, and evaluating the operations of businesses that sell goods or services at the retail/wholesale level.
“With experience and a proven track record, they can earn as much as $175,000 annually,” notes Randstad. “They close deals, develop new client relationships and bring revenue in, which is why companies are willing to pay a premium for the best talent.”
They work at companies that sell products for direct and personal consumption. Their duties include, but are not limited to:
- Managing inventory
- Studying market research and trends to learn about consumer demand, potential sales volumes and their competition
- Learning about their customers to understand what items would sell best
- Developing and carrying out marketing and merchandising plans
- Overseeing health and safety policies
4. Accounting and related clerks (NOC 14200)
Individuals working in this profession calculate, prepare, and process bills, invoices, accounts payable and receivable, budgets, and other financial records as per established procedures.
Both private and public sectors employ them.
Some or all of the following duties are performed by them:
- Calculating, preparing, and issuing documents pertaining to accounts such as bills, invoices, inventory reports, account statements, and other financial statements using computerized and manual systems.
- Coding, totaling, batching, entering, verifying and reconciling transactions such as accounts payable and receivable, payroll, purchase orders, cheques, invoices, cheque requisitions, and bank statements in a ledger or computer system
- Compiling budget data and documents based on estimated revenues and expenses and previous budgets
- Preparing period or cost statements or reports
373 jobs for this profession are listed on Indeed for Calgary.
5. Heavy-duty equipment mechanics (NOC 72401)
These mechanics repair, troubleshoot, adjust, overhaul, and maintain mobile heavy-duty construction equipment. Some of them specialize in hydraulic-operated transmissions and attachments, drive trains, tracked vehicle suspensions and steering, as per Careers in Construction.
Work conditions usually involve construction site or construction company maintenance facility work. Wages for this profession vary from $25 to $55 in Alberta.
6. Software developers and programmers (NOC 21232)
The IT professionals falling in this bracket design, write, and test code for new systems and software to ensure efficiency. They also create the foundations for operative systems and run diagnostic programs to certify effectiveness. They are employed in computer software, computer and video game development firms, IT consulting firms, and IT units in public and private sectors.
Calgary is a hot-spot for skilled foreign workers seeking employment in this field, as the city’s tech sector is booming these days with investment pouring in and tech companies hungry for talent.
“This is one of the top jobs in part because businesses of all types and sizes need developers to create app solutions, develop or maintain in-house software or help implement cloud or other technologies,” notes Randstad.
“One of the lessons learned during COVID-19 lockdowns in recent years was that technology could make or break a business. Companies that seamlessly transitioned into remote work environments often fared better. Add to that the growing need to rely on data and automations to remain competitive, and it’s no wonder so many businesses are on the hunt for skilled developers.”
Wages for software developers are $39.83 in Alberta, with a high-end potential of $64.90 per hour.
7. General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 31102)
Working in an occupation that needs no introduction, family physicians and GPs diagnose and treat disease, physiological disorders, and injuries. They are the primary contact and providers of continuous care toward patients’ health management. They are usually employed in private practice, including group or team practices, hospitals and clinics.
The employment requirements are:
- A bachelor’s degree
In Quebec, completion of a college program and one year of pre-medicine university studies is usually required.
- Graduation from an approved medical school
Two to three years of family medicine residency training are required.
- Completion of the qualifying examinations of the Medical Council of Canada
Licensing by the provincial or territorial licensing authority are required.
The average annual salary for medical professionals, as per Indeed, is $261,522. With some additional training, it is possible to become specialized, in which case salaries in Canada increase even further.
8. Construction trades helpers and laborers (NOC 75110)
Construction trades helpers and laborers are involved in assisting skilled tradespeople and performing laboring activities at construction sites, quarries, and surface mines. Their employers are usually construction companies, trade and labor contractors, and surface mine and quarry operators.
As per the NOC 2021 Version 1.0 web page, the employment requirements for this profession are:
- Some experience as a general construction labourer for construction trade helpers.
- Some pipeline workers, such as stabbers, mandrel operators and pre-heater tenders, usually require one season of experience in oil and gas pipeline construction.
- Flagmen/women may require a traffic control certificate.
- Riggers and slingers may require a rigging certificate.
- On-the-job training may be provided.
There is a huge requirement for individuals in this sector, especially owing to Canada’s housing shortage.
9. Human resources managers (NOC 10011)
HR Managers are mainly in charge of planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and evaluating the operations of HR and personnel departments, and developing and implementing policies, programs, and procedures regarding HR planning, recruitment, collective bargaining, training and development, occupation classification and pay and benefit administration.
They find employment throughout the private and public sectors, and at extremely competitive salaries too. Glassdoor rates their base pay range as $77k to $108k a year, with an average additional cash compensation of $10,482.
10. Cooks (NOC 63200)
Cooks prepare and cook a variety of foods, and are employed in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions, central food commissaries, educational institutions, etc. They are also employed on ships and construction and logging campsites. The hospitality sector’s unprecedented labor shortage has bolstered chances for these professionals to find employment in Calgary.
It should be noted, however, that cooks and chefs do not fall under the same category, with the latter occupational title being categorized as NOC 62200.
Indeed shows 1,114 jobs for cooks in Calgary, Alberta, in November 2023.