In Canada, about 20 percent of occupations are regulated or licensed, including engineers and even some electricians. That means internationally trained professionals in careers that are licensed in Canada typically have to get licensed in Canada, which means examinations or further training.
We have prepared a Pre-Arrival Checklist of valuable information that will make arriving in Canada as smooth a process as possible.
Certification requirements vary
Licensing varies across each trade, however, and also depends on which province you’re in. For some trades, you need Canadian certification; for others, certification is not necessary. In some cases, you might need to be certified in one province, but not another. For example, while work as an electrician is not governed by a certification body in British Columbia, it is in other provinces like Ontario.
5 things to consider about licensing
If you think your trade is a licensed profession in Canada, here are five considerations:
1. Contact the appropriate licensing board in your province (each province will have its own).
2. If you’re not sure what body governs your occupation, go to www.WorkinginCanada.gc.ca, and type in your job (e.g.: electrician) in the “Job Search” field, plus your location. The search results will show you available jobs, as well as provide access to lots of information on the occupation from wages to licensing requirements and where to get them.
3. Most regulatory bodies have their own web sites that describe their licensing requirements including information on eligibility requirements, foreign credential recognition and registration fees.
4. When you contact the licensing board in question, it will be able to give you details on how to get your current credentials evaluated for its needs, and what you will need to accomplish to eventually be licensed in that profession in Canada. You often need Canadian work experience before you get your licence.
5. You might need to take some additional courses, upgrade your training, take a bridging program or pass an examination. You may also need to take a language test. There will be costs involved with these steps as well.