Jobs for Foreign Medical Graduates in Canada

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    Abhijeet Singh

    Content Curator

    Among the best jobs in Canada, Healthcare and medical industry are in the third position to generate the most number of employment. In the Canadian business and economic affair, there has been a surge, however, the aging population has opened up the opportunities for medical practitioners across the country.

    The healthcare industry in Canada has medical practitioners from around the globe. Approximately one-quarter of the total, are IMGs (International Medical Graduates). The most number of IMGs as per the official records of Canadian Medical Body is reported to be from-

    • South Africa
    • India
    • Libya
    • The U.S.
    • Pakistan

    The most number of long-term jobs in medical sphere is for Registered Nurses, Dentists, General Practitioners/ Family Physicians and Specialists.

    Read High Paying Jobs in Canada for International Students

    Most Popular and High Paying Medical Jobs in Canada

    There are a plethora of jobs available for medical students in Canada. Among these the topmost preferred options with good average pay include:

    Job Type Average Salary
    Specialists Up to CAD 465,000
    Dentists CAD 120,000- 240,000
    General Practitioners CAD 120,000- 240,000
    Pharmacists CAD 90,000-120,000
    Veterinarians CAD 80,000- 120,000
    Registered Nurses CAD 55,000- 65,000

    As per the Canadian government’s official statistics, the job opportunities in the above healthcare fields are likely to increase in coming years. The reasons cited for this rise, as speculated is because Canadian Population is aging. Hence, the job prospects for both domestic and international medical degree holders seem fruitful.

    Nursing Jobs in Canada

    Canada has been an attractive destination for those seeking job opportunities in Nursing field for its robust healthcare system. Those with specialized skills in emergency department are highly sought applicants.

    International Degree Holders

    To work in Canada you must get your international credentials tested and get a license if you are an international degree holder. However, the process differs for each city and territory, so before looking for a job, you must choose a destination prior to getting into process. If applying for any of the following job positions, apply to National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).

    • Registered Nurse (RN)
    • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
    • Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)

    Veterinarian Jobs in Canada

    Veterinarians have been in demand in Canada as pet owners spend more on animal care and technological and medical advancements enabling better care for animals. Generally, a veterinarian works for 8-10 hours a day. The occupation can see a growth of 1.4% in British Columbia itself.

    International Degree Holders

    International degree holders must be registered with the College of Veterinarian Medical Association (CVMA) to work as a veterinarian. Also, successfully complete National Examining Board (NEB) examinations and receive a Certificate of Qualification. You can apply for jobs of the following nature:

    • Aquatic Veterinarian
    • Specialist, medical oncologist
    • Specialist, internal medicine
    • Associate veterinarian
    • Fish health veterinarian

    Pharmacists Jobs in Canada

    From the past few years, pharmacy is seen to have evolved for positive and generate a lot of jobs. Pharmacists in Canada are now recognized as the medication expert of the healthcare team in Canada. The job opportunities are going to flourish in the future.

    International Degree Holders

    Enrolment in NAPRA’s Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada is a mandatory step towards licensure in Canada for international pharmacy graduates (IPGs). The job opportunities available are:

    • Clinical Pharmacist
    • Information support pharmacist
    • Pharmacist- Drug Information Specialist

    Dentist Jobs in Canada

    There is an increasing demand for dentists in Canada due to population growth, an aging population and technological advancement in diagnosis and treatment. Though the demand is throughout Canada, you may want to consider the fast-growing provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and rural areas throughout the country.

    International Degree Holders

    The regulatory bodies recognize the certificate of National Examining Board of Canada (NDEB). However, you have to be graduated from an accredited program in Canada or the USA – and with some conditions, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland) to write the exam. If you graduate from a dental program outside of the mentioned countries, you will be considered internationally educated dentist thus, have to take a two-year qualifying program to sit for the exam.

    Medical Jobs in Canada- Education Level

    High School Diploma

    If you have a High School Diploma in the medical field, you can go for entry-level job positions. To work in the below-mentioned fields, one does not necessarily obtain a degree, only a high school diploma is enough to land in these jobs.

    Job Type Average Annual Salary
    Home care aide CAD 20, 170
    Medical Assistant CAD 28, 850
    Medical Biller CAD 34, 350
    Nursing Assistant CAD 24, 010
    Psychiatric Technicians and Aides CAD 26, 880

    Associate Degree

    An associate degree in Healthcare studies can open a wide array of job opportunities. A prospective candidate can earn up to CAD 50000 annually. Earning an associate degree is a quick return on your educational investment. It is expected that these professions will see a growth in the next ten years by nearly 38 percent. Job prospects for such candidates are:

    Job Type Average Annual Salary
    Dental Hygienist CAD 68,250
    Diagnostic Medical Sonographers CAD 65,380
    Respiratory Therapist CAD 54,280
    Radiologic Technologists and Technicians CAD 54,340
    Occupational Therapy Assistant CAD 47,490

    Bachelor’s Degree

    A bachelor’s degree holder in Medical Studies has plenty of job opportunities in Canada. Since, healthcare sector is highly focused and expected to flourish in the coming years, so the job opportunities will also grow two-folds. The average salary offered to a bachelor’s degree holder is in the range of CAD 45,000 to CAD 85,000.

    Job Type Average Annual Salary
    Medical and Health Service Managers CAD 84,270
    Registered Nurse CAD 64, 690
    Health Educators CAD 45, 830
    Clinical Laboratory Technician CAD 46, 680
    Dietitians and Nutritionist CAD 53, 250

    Master’s Degree

    Obtaining a Master’s degree allows one to specialize in specific aspect of medical and healthcare scenario and apply that knowledge practically. Being standard sign, a master’s degree can let you earn between CAD 70,000 and CAD 90,000.

    Job Type Average Annual Salary
    Health Administrator CAD 84, 270
    Mental Health Therapist CAD 69, 005
    Speech Language Pathologist CAD 69, 870
    Occupational Therapist CAD 69, 870
    Physician Assistant CAD 90, 930

    PhD Degree

    For many fields of specializations within the Medical and Healthcare sector, obtaining a Doctorate degree is the penultimate requirement to declare you as an individual with advanced knowledge of the respective field. Some of the prominent PhD degree holders work for renowned health organizations. To name a few, NIH, FDA, CDCP, etc. This high degree opens many doors in different industries connected to healthcare like justice, finance, and media as well.

    Job Type Average Annual Salary
    Professor of Public Health CAD 50,000- CAD 100,000
    Behavior Scientist CAD 70,000- CAD 120,000
    Nursing CAD 70,000- CAD 129,000
    Vaccine Researcher CAD 150,000
    Medical Director CAD 225,500

    Medical Degree Specializations

    Acquiring a specialization in medical field offers handsome salaries and job opportunities. Since the need for specialized individuals in particular fields of medicine is highly demanded, therefore, such individuals are highly compensated. Some of the highest paying specialists in Medical industry are:

    Job Type Average Annual Salary
    Orthopedic Surgeon CAD 464,500
    Cardiologist CAD 461,364- 447,143
    Gastroenterologist CAD 441,421
    Urologist Cad 424,091
    Hematologists CAD 396,000

    Research and Innovation in Medical Field

    Canada has always been at the forefront of innovation and research work in the field of medicine and healthcare. Few achievements in Canadian Research and Innovation kitty include-

    • First HIV Preventive Vaccine- In 2011, Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and his research team at University of Western Ontario in London developed HIV Preventive Vaccine.
    • Discovered Anti-Malaria Agent- Over 200 million people all over the world are affected by Malaria each year. To combat this situation, Dr. Lakshmi Kotra at University Health Network in Toronto (2007) discovered a synthetic compound KP-15.
    •  First Cancer Tumor Antigen- Professors from McGill University discovered First identifiable cancer tumor antigen. Dr. Gold and Dr. Samuel’s discovery resulted in development of first blood test for the diagnosis of cancer in 1970.

    As far as Research and Innovation in Medical sphere are concerned, many of you can enroll yourself for fellowship programs offered at various universities within Canada. Apart from that, there are numerous types of jobs for interested individuals. Some of the job type in research and innovation for medical aspirants include:

    • Clinical Research Physician- Oncology
    • Forest Soil Research Scientist
    • Senior Scientist, Pipeline Research
    • Sr Medical Science Liaison II, Hematology (Bleeding Disorder)
    • Clinical Researcher- Rheumatology

    Universities Offering Jobs in Research Areas

    • Northern Ontario School of Medicine- Research Coordinator, General Surgery
    • University of Calgary- Education Research Assistant in Department of Medicine
    • University of British Columbia- Research Assistant, Tech 3
    • Dalhousie University- Undergraduate Medical Education Assessment Specialist

    Employment in Canadian Healthcare Industry Over the Years

    The healthcare industry has seen a substantial rise in the number of individuals employed over a period of 5 years. As per the reports published on, annual employment stats are:

    Year People employed
    2013 1,746,267
    2014 1,779,600
    2015 1,817,081
    2016 1,876,621
    2017 1,916,241

    Long Term Job Vacancies in Healthcare Industry

    Duration of job vacancies is highly dependent on certain factors including the educational demands and skills. Some of the other components include-

    • Economic and labor market conditions
    • Age
    • Level of education
    • Years of required experience, etc.

    As per the 2016 statistics of long term job vacancies in health sector are expected to remain high. Ministry of Industry, Canada survey reflects that occupation in health has 16% long term job vacancies. Interestingly, the most number of such jobs are prevalent in the North with a proportion of 17%.

    The push is due to aging population which is exerting upward pressure on demand for health services, hence generation of more jobs in this sector.

    Challenges for International Degree Holders

    Although medical and healthcare industry in Canada is right in the game at global platform, however, it is relatively difficult for International Medical Graduates to practice their field in the country. The challenge as an immigrant takes a two-fold turn when one gets into the formalities of the medical regulatory body’s framework. Some of the barriers are:

    • Language and communication barrier
    • Cultural challenges
    • CMPA Liability and Protection and Support
    • Getting a license