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Teacher jobs in Canada are desirable career paths for locals and newcomers moving to the country. The education system is one of the best in the world. The teacher salary in Canada is also one of the highest in the world. However, most provinces and territories have a shortage of qualified teachers, and they are looking for newcomers and internationally trained teachers to fill these roles. 

Great opportunities are available if you’re an experienced teacher in your home country, have recently qualified as a teacher abroad, or want to pursue a teaching career in Canada, 

If you plan to work as a teacher in Canada, it’s critical to understand the employment and job requirements before you arrive. Many jobs in Canada belong to regulated professions. And teaching is one of those professions. Newcomers to Canada often discover that they struggle to find work in their chosen profession after they arrive. This also applies to teachers who will have to get their international qualifications recognized and gain Canadian teaching experience.

What’s the best way to prepare for a teaching career in Canada?  Continue reading for a helpful overview.

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Teacher

Before You Move to Pursue Teaching in Canada

There is much to know about teaching in Canada. Before you arrive, it’s important to research the Canadian labour market and job requirements for teachers. It’s also essential to know how your international qualifications will be assessed. This information will help you make important decisions based on the amount of time, cost, and other factors that will allow you to teach in Canada.

There are steps that you can take to improve your chances of landing a teaching job when you arrive:

  • Research the labour market demand for teachers in Canada at the national, provincial, and municipal levels.
  • Contact the regulatory body for teachers in the province where you intend to settle in Canada to learn about the licensing process.
  • Learn what process steps you can take before and after you arrive.
  • Verify what documents you need to bring to Canada and whether they need to be translated. You may have to use a professional translation service in Canada.
  • Gather and organize your official education, work, and identity documents while still in your home country.
  • Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
  • Improve your language skills and enroll in language classes while you are in your home country and continue them when you arrive in Canada. You’ll need to prove your English or French language competency (depending on your destination province) or be tested.
  • Understand the teaching practice in Canada and familiarize yourself with the laws and legislation that govern teaching in the province where you will settle.
  • Check with the professional association that governs teaching in your home country and find out if they have any links with similar associations in Canada.
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What to Expect When Pursuing a Career in Teaching in Canada

There are many career paths you can pursue in the teaching profession. Some are more in demand than others. Understanding the current job market and employment outlook for the short term and long term will help you set realistic expectations.

Employment Outlook for Teacher Jobs in Canada 

There is a shortage of teachers at all levels of education in Canada. There are not enough trained teachers to meet the needs of schools across the country. Provinces are welcoming internationally trained teachers to move to Canada. This situation makes it easier for newcomers to find jobs once they arrive. 

There are jobs available at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. There are also opportunities to work in private schools and as substitute teachers. Working as a substitute may be a good option to gain experience while getting your teaching credentials once you move to Canada. There is greater demand for teachers in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

Start Your Research with the NOC Code for Teachers

Where should you start looking for teacher jobs in Canada? The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s reference for occupations. It provides job descriptions, occupational statistics, and labour market information. You can search by education level. The NOC codes for teachers are:

University professors and lecturers (NOC 41200)

Secondary School Teachers (NOC 21220)

Elementary School and kindergarten teachers (NOC 41221)

The NOC code provides example titles for teachers. These are titles that you can search for when conducting your job search.

NOC Code 41221 Elementary school and kindergarten teachers
Use the NOC 41221 to identify common titles for elementary school teachers.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Canada

In Canada, regulatory bodies in each province or territory set the requirements to practice teaching. And while the requirements can vary by jurisdiction, you will require a bachelor’s degree in education and a provincial teaching certificate.

For example, if you want to teach in Ontario, the Ontario College of Teachers requires you to:

  • Complete a minimum three-year postsecondary degree from an acceptable postsecondary institution
  • Complete a four-semester teacher education program  
  • Apply to the College for certification and pay the annual membership and registration fees
  • Complete the sexual abuse prevention program.

If you intend to specialize in special education or instruction of English or French as a second language, you may require additional training and certification. 

Unlike elementary and secondary teaching, teaching at the university or college level is not regulated. It’s up to the hiring department or institution to recognize your academic credentials obtained outside Canada. University teaching positions are competitive and normally they require that you have at least one graduate degree and a proven teaching record or academic publishing.

Elementary school teacher helping student on desk

Credentials Recognition to Meet Teaching Job Requirements in Canada

One of the first things to do is learn what’s required to work as a teacher in Canada. This will allow you to identify if you meet the requirements, or what steps to take to meet them. A good place to start is with the regulatory body that governs the teaching profession in the province or territory where you intend to settle in Canada. They will advise you about the documents you need to provide as well as assessment fees. 

It’s important to take this step before you arrive in Canada. It’s also important to understand the licensure process and what the regulatory body expects of you. Once you have all the information, then you can begin the application process.

Credentials Assessment Services 

If you plan to enroll in a college or university program to upgrade your skills, contact the school that you plan to attend to inquire about the steps you should take and the credential assessment agency you should use.

World Education Services (WES) – Ontario

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – Alberta

The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) – British Columbia


To find more organizations and agencies providing credential evaluation, assessment and qualification recognition services click here.

Upgrading Your Skills to Meet Teaching Job Requirements

In addition to accreditation, upgrading your skills through a bridging program or other courses and workshops is an important part of your journey to becoming a teacher in Canada.

You may have strong teaching skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterward. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially concerning your soft skills. 

Employers in Canada expect you to be a good communicator and organized. They want you to know how to train a child, listen strategically, motivate students, praise a student appropriately, and give helpful feedback for others’ work.

Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages, English or French, is important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you live.

You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through school boards or settlement agencies. 


There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT).  And if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you better employment opportunities.

Bridging Programs for Teaching Careers in Canada

Bridging programs are an effective way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities, and immigrant-serving agencies offer teaching-related bridging programs. You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program suitable for you. Two popular bridging programs are in Alberta and Ontario:

Alberta

University of Calgary

Bridge to Teaching

The Bridge to Teaching (Bridge) program is an intensive and accelerated teacher education program that prepares passionate, caring and experienced foreign-trained teachers to teach in Alberta Schools. During the Bridge Program, participants focus on how to teach the Alberta Program of Studies in ways that engage students and how to assess students’ learning. Participants examine various educational policies and pedagogies that affect teaching and learning in Alberta and explore how the expectations for teachers and students compare to those in their previous country.

Ontario

George Brown College

College Teacher Training (Graduate Certificate)

The College Teacher Training Program provides occupation-specific communication and employment skills and training and experience in the Canadian classroom. It prepares internationally educated teachers to teach in the Canadian college environment. The program offers opportunities to network with college teachers and potential employers and provides opportunities to gain experience in the Canadian classroom.

Teachers College and Schools in Canada by Province

Post-secondary institutions across Canada offer teacher education programs. Below is a list of the top teacher colleges and schools in Canada:

Canada Education Rank 2023World University
Ranking 2023
UniversityCity
113University of TorontoToronto
222University of British ColumbiaVancouver
339McGill UniversityMontreal
465Western UniversityLondon
5=89Simon Fraser UniversityBurnaby
6=100University of MontrealMontreal
=7126-150University of AlbertaEdmonton
=7126-150University of OttawaOttawa
=7126-150Queen’s UniversityKingston
=10151-175University of CalgaryCalgary
=10151-175University of SaskatchewanSaskatoon
12176-200York UniversityToronto
13201-250Concordia UniversityMontreal
14251-300Université du QuébecQuebec City
=15301-400Université LavalQuebec City
=15301-400University of ManitobaWinnipeg
=15301-400University of VictoriaVictoria
=18401-500Ontario Tech UniversityOntario
=18401-500University of WindsorWindsor
=20501-600Lakehead UniversityOntario
=20501-600Memorial University of NewfoundlandNewfoundland and Labrador
Best universities in Canada for education degrees 2023

Teaching Associations in Canada

The associations listed below provide information about licensure and certification. They also offer professional development, education, and networking opportunities.

Three teachers standing and smiling in hallway

National Teaching Associations

Canadian Teachers’ Federation

Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne (AUFC)

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)

Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS)

Colleges Ontario

Universities Canada

Canadian Association of University Teachers

Canadian Education Association

National Association of Career Colleges (NACC)

Provincial/Territorial Regulatory Bodies

Province or TerritoryRegulating Body
AlbertaAlberta Teacher Certification
British ColumbiaMinistry of Education
Department of Education and Literacy, Teacher Certification Unit
New BrunswickDepartment of Education, Teacher Certification
Newfoundland and LabradorDepartment of Education, Teacher Certification
Nova ScotiaDepartment of Education, Registrar of Teacher Certification
OntarioOntario College of Teachers (OCT)
Prince Edward IslandDepartment of Education and Early Childhood Development, Registrar’s Office
QuebecQuébec – Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, Direction de la formation et de la titularisation du personnel scolaire
SaskatchewanSaskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board
YukonYukon Education. Teacher Certification
Provincial & Territorial Regulating Bodies

Other Provincial Associations

Here are some additional provincial associations to consult when learning about your options to become a teacher in Canada.

Alberta Teachers’ Association

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation

Manitoba Teachers’ Society

Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association

New Brunswick Teachers’ Association

Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Immigrant Networks

Professional immigrant networks (PINs) are member-based associations or networks created by and for immigrant professionals that seek to:

  • Create a forum to contribute to and enrich their respective communities, and
  • Help members find meaningful employment and achieve their professional goals.

PINs organize networking events, mentoring, and information sessions. They also provide professional development opportunities such as workshops, training, and connections to job opportunities.

Three teachers having a conversation, looking at a paper.

How Much Do Teachers Make in Canada?

Teacher salaries in Canada are some of the highest in the world. They rank third overall, only behind Luxembourg and Germany. How much you make depends on many factors such as your province, experience, teaching level, and specialization. Most newcomer teachers have a higher salary in Canada compared to their home country. 

Wages are typically higher in the territories (Nunavut, Yukon, Northwest) because of the challenges in hiring qualified teachers and the higher cost of living.

Teacher salary in Canada (primary teacher)

Here are the latest primary school teacher salaries in Canada:

ProvinceLow ($/hour)Median ($/hour)High ($/hour)
Alberta26.9242.3053.49
British Columbia25.0036.5450.00
Manitoba24.0040.8752.88
New Brunswick24.0037.9544.58
Newfoundland and Labrador32.0544.2357.69
Northwest Territories35.0048.7257.69
Nova Scotia19.8035.9547.25
Nunavut26.0455.4866.58
Ontario25.0043.9654.95
Prince Edward Island22.5036.0646.67
Quebec24.7338.4649.88
Saskatchewan25.6440.8752.01
Yukon16.0041.0357.28
Average Primary School Teacher Salary by Province

Teacher salary in Canada (High school teacher)

Here are the latest high school teacher salaries in Canada:

ProvinceLow ($/hour)Median ($/hour)High ($/hour)
Alberta28.8545.6755.49
British Columbia27.6740.8752.20
Manitoba26.4442.3152.31
New Brunswick25.6434.3842.79
Newfoundland and Labrador26.4444.2360.92
Northwest Territories30.5850.1364.42
Nova Scotia27.8841.3552.53
Nunavut27.5155.4369.18
Ontario31.1547.7460.00
Prince Edward Island24.0438.4645.64
Quebec27.4740.2651.08
Saskatchewan30.7743.2752.60
Yukon31.5047.6351.70
Average High School Teacher Salary by Province

Teacher Salary in Canada by Major City

Where you choose to live will have an impact on your average annual teacher salary. Here’s a list of the highest average teacher salary in Canada by city:

  1. Nunavut (any city): $107,576
  2. Winnipeg, Manitoba: $102,002
  3. Edmonton, Alberta: $101,162
  4. Toronto, Ontario: $96,398
  5. Halifax, Nova Scotia: $94,607
  6. Saskatchewan (any city): $93,433
  7. Vancouver, British Columbia: $89,810
  8. Montreal, Quebec: $82,585

Best Locations to Find Teacher Jobs in Canada

There are hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, and teaching centers across Canada and you can find jobs in many cities or towns. However, finding a job today may be a challenge if you want to work in the provinces of Ontario, B.C., and Nova Scotia, where the supply exceeds the demand. It will be helpful to focus on the provinces and cities that are seeing population growth. There will be a higher demand for teachers in areas with population growth.

The figures from the last census in 2021 show that of the 10 fastest-growing census metropolitan areas in Canada, four are in Ontario, and two each are in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. Other areas to focus on and where the shortage of teachers will be more severe are the historically underserved northern and rural areas of the country. With the boom in skilled trades, there’s also a need for instructors at community colleges, technical institutes, and vocational schools. 


Also read: Best cities to find teaching jobs in Canada

Pursuing a Teaching Career in Canada

Pursuing a career in teaching starts with getting the right academic credentials based on the province where you plan to work. Below is valuable information to help you pursue an engineering career in Canada:

Major Employers for Teaching Jobs in Canada

Teachers in Canada look for jobs at the school board, and then at the school level. You can view a list of provincial school board associations that represent just over 250 school boards in Canada by visiting the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) website.

You can also visit Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website. This special designation recognizes Canada’s best employers for diversity and inclusion.

Large cities typically have more teaching jobs available. More people require more schools and more teachers. For example, The Toronto District School Board is the largest employer of teachers in Canada. It employs about 42,000 people in its 583 schools.

How to Become a Teacher in Canada

If you are a new immigrant to Canada and have an interest in becoming a teacher, there are a series of steps you will need to complete:

  • Get an undergraduate degree: Complete a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university in Canada
  • Decide where you want to teach: A teaching career can take many paths. Choosing where you want to teach will help you with graduate school selection. For example, if you want to teach in Alberta, it’s best to get your teaching certificate from a school in the same province. 
  • Consider the grade and subjects you want to teach: In Canada, you can teach at the primary, middle school, and high school levels. You can also specialize in different subjects. 
  • Go to teachers’ college: Complete a graduate program in education in the province you will teach. Complete all in-class and practical requirements.
  • Get certified: Apply for certification and complete all requirements. Search for teaching jobs: Start your search for your first teaching job.

How to Find Your First Canadian Teaching Job

Looking for a teaching job in Canada may be different than in your home country. The Canadian job market can be competitive and have different job application requirements. Use these tips to help you with your job search:

Teaching Job Search Techniques

The Canadian job market is very competitive, and jobs are difficult to find. So, you may need help to find job vacancies, update your resume, write cover letters, and prepare for interviews. Fortunately, many settlement services can help you with your job-finding efforts.

Here are some tips to help you search for teacher jobs:

  • Broaden your search and include alternative careers.
  • Seek out a mentor in the teaching sector such as a retired teacher. A mentor can give you valuable insight and advice and introduce you to their professional network.
  • Join teaching-related job-finding or networking clubs through settlement services.
  • Attend teaching-related career or job fairs.

Immigrant Settlement Agencies

Most settlement agencies and other immigrant-serving organizations offer help with finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Click the link to find immigrant services in your area.

Writing your Teaching Resume

You can improve your chances of gaining a teaching job by polishing your resume using these resume-writing tips:

Teaching Certificates

List all teaching certificates and other endorsements. Include completion dates or expected completion dates.

Experience

Break this section into separate subheadings such as teaching and related work experience. Experience can be paid or unpaid; including internships, observation experience, classroom management skills/strategies, teaching methods used, experience with students with functional needs, and interactions with parents.

List your teaching experiences in reverse chronological order.

Use action verbs and specific details such as grade levels taught, class size, and any other information that will help a reader visualize you in that experience. Include the job title, name of the school, and dates for each position.

The following are strengths and experiences you might consider including in your resume if they apply to you:

  • experience with kids
  • coaching
  • babysitting
  • teaching swimming lessons, skiing, or any subject or area of interest
  • management roles as they pertain to training
  • training in any area or subject, public speaking, acting experience as it applies to teaching, 
  • art experience as it applies to teaching
  • music experience as it applies to teaching.

Passion

Make sure you demonstrate your passion for teaching by adding your teaching philosophy to your resume. And communicate your commitment to student success, teaching, and learning.

Credentials

You are in the education business, so it makes sense that you use a resume strategy that highlights your academic credentials. So, include your credentials, certifications, and degrees on the first page under your opening resume profile. You can mention your most important teaching credentials in your qualification summary, which can be part of your objective field.

Accomplishments

A teacher’s resume must have strong accomplishments. Especially as a newcomer, you can include accomplishments from back home or in Canada. You can include your practicum/intern/volunteer experience and treat it just like a job on your resume. 

Other things you can list as accomplishments include delivering in-service training workshops for teacher colleagues, developing after-school programs or extracurricular activities, or having expertise in particular teaching methods or approaches.

Specific Resume Keywords

Including keywords specific to the teaching job you want can help your resume stand out. It can also help your resume pass through applicant tracking systems and resume screening. You can get ideas for the keyword to include from the job advertisement and by researching the responsibilities of the teaching job. 

Some important keywords that could apply to your applicant are teaching and learning, curriculum development, curriculum planning, curriculum design, creative lesson planning, classroom management, classroom monitoring, interdisciplinary teaching approaches, or K-12.

Create A Teaching Portfolio

It’s helpful to bring samples of your work to job interviews, so creating your teacher portfolio can help you succeed in interviews. Your portfolio shows what you bring to the teaching job. You can include your resume, letters of recommendation, sample syllabi, and lesson plans in your portfolio.

Interview Techniques to Ensure You Meet Teaching Job Requirements

Once you are invited to attend an interview, you need to prepare. Use your self-inventory and your research about teaching in Canada to show how you are a perfect fit for the role. Prepare to answer questions with clear examples, like the way you prepare to lead a classroom.

You may be interviewed by a school team consisting of the principal, vice-principal, and one or two staff members, or you may be interviewed at the board level by a panel of interviewers. It’s important to show confidence during your interview, so practicing your answers is very important!

If you show any shyness or hesitancy, it could create doubt about your teaching ability. Be sure to reflect your interest in students and their needs when you respond to questions. Show that you hold yourself responsible for improving the social and academic achievement of your students. The interviewers will be listening for consistency between what you are saying and the information you included in your cover letter and resume. Clearly show how you meet the requirements to teach in Canada.

Sample Interview Questions for Teaching Jobs

Below are sample questions that you may be asked during teaching job interviews:

  • What is your educational philosophy?
  • How would you prepare to make a difficult phone call to a parent?
  • Describe a teaching strategy you used to maximize the learning potential of all students.
  • Describe any multicultural, gender-fair classroom practices you have used in the past and how you would ensure equality among your students.
  • How would you take advantage of resources within the community to enhance your teaching?
  • How do you use technology to enhance student learning?
  • Describe how you would prepare to teach a large amount of material. (Hint: Show a sample curriculum or discuss how you would use a curriculum map that includes learning objectives, assessments, activities, and standards)
  • What are educational issues or trends affecting elementary teaching? (For elementary teachers)

Of course, there are many other questions that you need to prepare for. Consider as well familiarizing yourself with the latest news or research about the student population of the school you are applying to. If you are applying for a position as a 3rd-grade math teacher, for example, there may be recent developments in teaching math to this age group that will be relevant to your teaching philosophy.

Learning about these developments and integrating them into the conversation will demonstrate your knowledge of relevant teaching methods, and commitment to teaching and distinguish you from the other candidates.

Informational Interviews to Learn About Teaching in Canada

An informational interview is a brief (20–30-minute) meeting with someone who currently works in teaching. Your goal is to learn more about teaching in Canada. You should not try to get a job during an informational interview but find out whether a particular position might be a good fit for your interests and your personality. 

An informational interview with a contact from your network can be an excellent source of career information. In addition to gathering information about teaching, you also learn about the teacher’s first-hand experiences and insights on teaching job requirements in Canada.

Networking to Find Teacher Jobs in Canada

As many job vacancies are not advertised, it’s helpful to connect with practicing teachers and others within your field. Building networks is an activity that can help you discover job leads and gather vital information about teaching in Canada. When you network with others, you also get insights about teaching in general or specific schools that you would like to work at. This information can serve to strengthen your resume, cover letter, and interview skills. Meeting with others is also a terrific way to expand your professional network.

Good places to network include conferences, associations, and other events where you can meet new people, build relationships, and share information.

LinkedIn is another important professional tool for networking. It is great to connect with former colleagues and employers, search for jobs, and get introductions and recommendations. You can also mingle with people in the teaching sector and join related professional groups.

Note that it’s not appropriate to ask a networking contact for a job, but if they know of any job leads, they may share them. Remember, that you must allow time to cultivate and grow the ties you establish through networking. 

Get more great tips for successful networking: Build Your Professional Network Before You Arrive.

With a positive outlook for teaching jobs in Canada, now is the time to check out your options. With international experience, passion, and talent, a teaching career is within reach!

Interested in learning more about working in Canada? Check out our Finding a Job in Canada resource page. We can help you achieve your career goals in Canada.