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Dental workersFinding a job in Canada may be different than in your home country and you may need help finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s reference on occupations. It provides job descriptions, occupational statistics and labour market information.

Credentials recognition

All foreign trained dental hygiene graduates should contact the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB) for credential assessment. You can contact as well the appropriate regulatory body directly to find out about assessment procedures, but note that most are not set up to assess foreign credentials before you arrive in Canada.

Some regulatory bodies have made arrangements with evaluation services which offer expert advice on how qualifications obtained abroad are compared to Canadian credentials.

The NDHCB uses ICES IQAS and WES for foreign credential assessments, which are advisory only and do not guarantee recognition of your qualifications for employment or licensure in Canada.

Credentials assessment services  

If you are planning to enrol in a college or university program to upgrade your skills, contact the institution in which you plan to study and find out the steps you should take and the credential assessment agency you should use.

Make sure not to discount your international education and skills. Try to build on your existing knowledge and skills and explore university and college options thoroughly before deciding. You might be able to have advanced standing, transfer some of your credits and benefit from prior learning assessment options by using your international credentials and experience to gain credit or course exemptions. This way you will complete your program more quickly, without wasting money and repeating the education you already have.

World Education Services (WES)
Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
International Qualifications Assessment Service – Alberta (IQAS)
The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

To find more organizations and agencies providing credential evaluation, assessment and qualification recognition services click here. You can also visit the Foreign Credentials Referral Office for information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained workers like you succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.

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Best locations

There is currently a growing need for dental hygienists and dental therapists in Canada mainly because of the increased public awareness about oral health and dentists’ preference for dental hygienists over dental assistants. This trend is expected to continue, with the number of hygienists and dental therapists continuing the sharp rise over the next few years.

Most Canadian cities offer employment opportunities in dental hygiene sector. However, when looking for jobs, broaden your geographic area to include smaller cities and towns close to your target city. For example, if you intend to work in Toronto, you might find a job opportunity in nearby Hamilton, which is less than an hour’s drive from there.

Research and find out where there is demand for your area of the profession in Canada and accordingly decide where you want to settle.

Choosing a City.

Major employers

In Canada, dental hygienists are employed in dentists’ offices, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, government agencies and private industry.

According to the 2006 census data, 98% of dental hygienists in Canada worked in the health care and social assistance sector, for the most part in dentists’ offices (89%). About four percent were also found working in local community service centres. As few are expected to retire from their positions over the next few years, most new opportunities will open up primarily because of employment increase.

If you’re thinking about opening your own practice check out the CDHA website which provides the tools, courses, resources, and expert advice to get you started.

You can visit the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website to check for immigrant-friendly corporations and organizations which you might be interested in. This special designation recognizes Canada’s best employers for recent immigrants. These employers offer interesting programs to assist newcomers to Canada in making the transition to a new workplace — and a new life in Canada.