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Canada Employment Opportunities

A third reason that hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe are moving to Canada each year is that Canada has jobs! With the 11th largest economy in the world and a GDP of $1.396 trillion (2011), full-time employment in Canada continues to increase (e.g., 36,000 full-time jobs added across Canada in April 2013). Canada’s unemployment rate of 7.2% (as of April 2013) is also lower than that of the United States (7.5% as of April 2013). Of course, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Canada is not only next door to the world’s most powerful economy – the United States – but is also America’s #1 trading partner (June 2012)! If you are issued a Canadian student visa, Canada immigration may be an option for you after graduation, depending on your education, work experience, job skills, needs of Canadian businesses and other factors. This is because there is a severe labor shortage in Canada due to many Canadian citizens retiring; a mismatch between the education many Canadians are obtaining and the labor demands of the country for certain high-demand job skills; and Canada’s expanding economy. If you want to study abroad in Canada, you may want to do some research about what job skills are likely to be in high-demand in Canada and what educational programs can prepare you for these “hot jobs” because you might be able to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada after graduation!

As of 2011, approximately 76% of Canada’s workforce was employed in the services field, 13% in the manufacturing sector, 6% in the construction industry, 2% in agriculture, and 3% in other areas of the economy. The Canadian government reports that the country’s real GDP per capita in 2011 was $39,370 and that as of 2009, Canada was in 2nd place for having the highest average per capita GDP among the G-8 countries (with the US ranking #1 in this important indicator of economic well-being). Similarly, Canada’s average per capita GDP in 2009 of $37,808 was significantly higher than the average per person GDP of $33,016 for the OECD countries. The average net worth of Canadians is also among the highest on Earth – around $363,202 (2011), which is $40,000 higher than that of their American neighbors to the south who had an average net worth (2011) of $320,000!

Keep in mind as you consider applying for a student visa, Canada has excellent economic opportunities for those with the right education and experience (remember this when planning on what to study in school). For example, the building industry has been booming in various parts of Canada lately (for example, in British Columbia), and, consequently, heavy construction contractors have also been doing very well, receiving a median yearly salary (2011) of $56,659, increase in positions of 42.37% from 2006 to 2011, and rise in pay of 14.69% in this time frame. An architect in Canada received a median annual salary of $60,008 in 2011, this profession saw a growth in new positions of 65.56% between 2006 and 2011, as well as a healthy rise in salary of 10.79% in the same period. A construction estimator working in Canada earned a median yearly salary of $53,331 in 2011, saw a boost in positions of 63.37% from 2006 to 2011, and a salary increase of 11.09% during this timeframe.

Since Canada is rich in natural resources, there are a number of great jobs in this field. For instance, much of Canada’s economic growth, especially in the western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, has been fueled by the oil and gas industry, so it is not surprising that a petroleum engineer in Canada enjoyed an annual median salary of $90,002 in 2011, with petroleum engineers seeing an 85.29% increase in jobs from 2006 to 2011 and growth in salary of 12.51% during the same period. Chemical engineers in Canada enjoyed a median salary in 2011 of $72,800, surge in employment of 63.49%, and increase in salary during 2006 to 2011 of 12.0 percent. Another high-paying/high-growth job in Canada is natural science policy researcher, which had a median yearly salary in 2011 of $73,590, experienced an expansion in employment of 76.27% between 2006 and 2011, and also realized an amazing increase in salary of 25.42% in the 2006-2011 timeframe. Data analysts, with a median salary (2011) of $66,040 per year, saw an increase in jobs of 63.58% between 2006 and 2011, and boost in salary of 22.12% in the 2006-2011 timeframe.

Many people working in healthcare professions have also been doing well in Canada. For example, a health policy researcher in Canada had a median annual salary in 2011 of $66,560 and this profession saw an incredible 102% growth in jobs between 2006 and 2011 as well as an impressive 17.73% increase in salary in the same timeframe. Laboratory technician is a job that has realized recent healthy growth, with a median annual salary of $49,462 in 2011, expansion in jobs of 49.20% in 2006-2011, and rise in salary of 25.16% between 2006 and 2011. Nursing supervisor is yet another good-paying, high-growth job in Canada, earning a median salary in 2011 of $74,880, experiencing a spike in employment of 45.68% between 2006 and 2011, and enjoying a dazzling boost in salary of 23.63% in this period. Finally, a paramedic in Canada earned a median annual salary in 2011 of $54,974, saw new positions expand by 40.4% in 2006-2011, and an increase in salary of 16.33% during this five-year period. These are just some examples of Canadian jobs and salaries and job growth can, of course, vary over time and place. There are, naturally, many other great Canadian jobs in numerous professions available throughout this amazing country, but these examples are offered to illustrate that Canada has many excellent employment opportunities, particularly for high-demand occupations!

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