How to Migrate to Canada as a Teacher: A Comprehensive Guide

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How to Migrate to Canada as a Teacher: A Comprehensive Guide

As a teacher, moving to Canada offers a great chance to further your profession while taking advantage of the country’s rich cultural variety. In this post, I will walk you through the immigration process step-by-step so that you have a thorough understanding of all the requirements to ensure a smooth transition.

Why you should move to Canada as a teacher

Canada may be a desirable place for a foreign-trained teacher to settle for a number of reasons, such as:

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#1. There is a shortage of skilled teachers at all levels of education in Canada:

Jobs at various teaching levels are available in Canada, whether you teach kindergarteners or college students. The states of British Columbia (B.C.), Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are the most affected by the shortage of teachers and substitute instructors. 

#2. The majority of Canadian provinces have a high demand for teachers.

You may probably expect a strong demand for qualified instructors anywhere in Canada where you choose to live. Many provinces accept globally skilled teachers as permanent residents (PR) to assist in closing skill gaps because there aren’t enough domestically trained teachers to meet the demands of the local labor market. Instructors are in great demand, which facilitates the hiring of qualified foreign instructors in Canada shortly after their arrival.

#3. In Canada, the salary of teachers is higher than in other nations.

After Luxembourg and Germany, Canada has the third-highest salary in the world for experienced primary and secondary school teachers, according to OECD data from 2021. While typical pay varies by province, years of experience, and teaching level, most newly hired teachers in Canada make more money than they did back home.

Read Also: Study and Work In Canada – All You Need to Know

What immigration programs are available for internationally-qualified teachers?

To become a permanent resident of Canada as a teacher, you can apply under a number of different immigration programs.

#1. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Express Entry program is a popular immigration program for skilled professionals in Canada. Instead of considering their occupation, applicants are chosen for permanent residence via Express Entry based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. 

Your age, education, work history, level of language competency, and other variables will all affect your CRS score. If you have a legitimate employment offer from Canada, a provincial nomination, or previous Canadian work experience or education, you may also be eligible for extra points. Being a teacher will not get you any extra points under the FSW program, but if you are invited to apply (ITA) under this category, you will have the freedom to live in any province or territory.

#2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

PNP programs allow Canadian provinces to nominate applicants who meet their labor market needs. You may be able to apply for PNP directly through the federal Express Entry program, or through another program, depending on the province you wish to relocate to.

If the province is hiring teachers at your level, you will have a better chance of becoming eligible for permanent residence (PR). Some provinces take into account the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code or codes of your prior job experience.

It’s crucial to remember that provincial labor regulations vary over time. Here are various PNP streams and draws that you should monitor as an instructor.

Province PNP streams for teachers
AlbertaAlberta Express Entry Stream: For qualified candidates from the Express Entry pool.
British ColumbiaSkilled Worker: For professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled workers.
ManitobaSkilled Workers Overseas: For experienced foreign workers who have the skills needed in the local labour market.
Nova ScotiaNova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: For foreign workers in the Express Entry system who meet Nova Scotia’s labour market needs.
New BrunswickNB Express Entry: For qualified candidates from the Express Entry system.
NB Strategic Initiative Stream: For French-speaking foreign workers with the skills, education, and experience to contribute to the province’s economy.
OntarioHuman Capital Priorities stream: For skilled workers with relevant work experience, education, and language proficiency in French or English.
French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream: For French-speaking skilled workers with relevant work experience, education, and language proficiency in both French and English.
SaskatchewanOccupation In-demand: For foreign workers who are skilled in an in-demand occupation, but don’t have a job offer in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Express Entry: For qualified candidates from the Express Entry pool.
Newfoundland and LabradorNL Express Entry Skilled WorkerFor skilled workers who have a job offer and an Express Entry profile.
Prince Edward IslandSkilled Workers Outside Canada: For foreign workers who have skills needed in the local labour market and a valid job offer.PEI Express Entry: For skilled workers in the Express Entry pool.

Read Also: How to Move to Work in Canada

#3. Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a government initiative that permits foreign nationals to work as skilled laborers and to pursue post-secondary education in any of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick (NB), Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). 

Teachers are not given preference over other professionals in the AIP; nevertheless, if you meet the language requirements and have at least 1,560 hours of paid work in the last five years (about 30 hours per week for a year), you may be eligible for the program.

An employment offer from a business in Atlantic Canada is one of the primary prerequisites for the Atlantic Immigration Program. Only after receiving a provincial license can you be hired as a teacher. This implies that you must obtain a provincial teaching certificate before applying for PR through the AIP.

How to work in Canada as a foreign-trained teacher

There are some requirements that you must fulfill before you can begin teaching in Canada. While the criteria vary by province and territory, the following list is applicable throughout much of Canada.

#1. Obtain an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)

If you finished your studies outside Canada, you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to check the validity and equivalency of your international degrees or credentials with Canadian ones. 

The equivalent of an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree in education and child development is typically required for instructors in kindergarten and primary schools. You need to hold an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree in education and the subject you want to teach in Canada if you want to work as a secondary school teacher. Higher education roles, such as university professors, have stricter qualifications, and you could need a master’s or doctorate in your subject.

#2. Apply for a provincial teaching certificate and license.

In Canada, becoming a teacher is a regulated profession that requires obtaining a license from a province or territory. Fortunately, you can begin the process of becoming certified to teach before you even travel to Canada. Applying to the College of Teachers or the teaching regulatory authority in your province or territory as soon as you know where you wish to settle is advised because certification can take some time.

A statement of professional status, your teaching certificate from your home country, and your academic transcripts are required to be submitted with your certification application in the majority of provinces. You will be issued a teaching certificate or a Certificate of Qualification upon approval of your application.

Note that certain teaching positions don’t require a teaching credential. You might be eligible to teach in Canada without a Certificate of Qualification from your local regulator if you fit into any of the following categories, although each province or territory has its own list of exceptions:

  • International language teacher
  • English or French as a second language teacher. You may, however, require a Teacher of English/French as a Second Language (TESL/TFSL) certification. 
  • Adult continuing education teacher
  • Early childhood, daycare, or Montessori teachers
  • Music teachers
  • Tutors
Visit your provincial/territorial regulator’s website for more information on the certification process:                                  Ontario College of Teachers
British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Teacher Regulation Branch
Alberta Education
Manitoba Professional Certification Unit (PCU)
Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board
Education Quebec
Nova Scotia Office of Teacher Certification
New Brunswick Office of Teacher Certification
PEI Education and Lifelong Learning Certification and Standards Section
Northwest Territories Teacher Certification (CertiED NWT)
Yukon Teacher Certification
Nunavut Teacher Certification

Read Also: How to obtain a Canada Work Permit with a Master’s degree

#4. Show that you can teach. 

The majority of provinces and territories will not provide a teaching credential until they have verified your moral character. Character references and criminal background check records from your own country or other areas where you have lived or worked in the past may be required.

Positive professional references from your previous or current employers in the education sector can also be necessary. To be eligible for certification, you must additionally finish a sexual abuse prevention program in some provinces, such as Ontario.

#5. Submit your language proficiency test result in English and/or French.

The majority of provinces and territories use English as their principal language of instruction. To demonstrate your English language skills, you will need to submit the results of language tests, such as the CELPIP or IELTS. Depending on the province or territory, a different minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score may be required. You must speak and write fluent French and English if you want to work as a teacher in Quebec or in a Francophone school in another province.

#6. Show your experience as a teacher and knowledge of the Canadian curriculum.

Having recent teaching experience will help you when you start applying for teaching positions in Canada, even if it is not necessary to obtain a provincial teaching certificate.

Your acquaintance with Canadian culture and education is another crucial component that the majority of provinces and territories consider. Should the educational system in your country of origin differ markedly from that in your province or territory in Canada, you might need to enroll in further training in your area. A supervised practicum and a few education-related courses are usually included in this training program, which has a maximum duration of one year.

Read Also: Top 10 High-demand Jobs in Canada for Immigrants

The most in-demand jobs for teachers in Canada 

Qualified teachers are needed in many regions and territories to fill the gaps in the local labor market. Based on current data from provinces and territories across Canada, the most sought-after teaching positions are as follows:

Province In-demand teaching jobs
British Columbia (B.C.)University professors and lecturers (NOC 41200, previously 4011)Colleges and vocational teachers (NOC 41210, previously 4021)Early childhood educators (NOC 42202, previously 4214)
QuebecUniversity professors and lecturers (NOC 41200, previously 4011)College and vocational teachers (NOC 41210, previously 4021)Post-graduate teaching assistants (NOC 41201, previously 4012)High school or secondary school teachers (NOC 41220, previously 4031)Elementary and Kindergarten teachers (NOC 41221, previously 4032)
AlbertaUniversity professors and lecturers (NOC 41200, previously 4011)
Nova ScotiaEarly childhood educators and assistants (NOC 42202, previously 4214)
New BrunswickUniversity professors and lecturers (NOC 41200, previously 4011)
Newfoundland and LabradorUniversity professors and lecturers (NOC 41200, previously 4011)High school or secondary school teachers (NOC 41220, previously 4031)
Prince Edward IslandUniversity professors and lecturers (NOC 41200, previously 4011)
Canada’s territoriesEarly childhood educators (NOC 42202, previously 4214)School principals and administrators (NOC 40021, previously 0422)

How much money do teachers make in Canada? 

High school or secondary school teachers earn between $26.92 and $53.85 per hour.

College and vocational teachers earn between $18.19 and $58.53 per hour.

University professors or lecturers make between $24.62 and $76.92 per hour in Canada.

School principals and administrators earn between $33.46 and $64.84 per hour in Canada,

Read Also: What Are The Highest-Paying Stem Courses In Canada?




  • Okechukwu Liberty is a graduate of Mass Communication and a content writer for AfterSchoolAfrica. He is dedicated to researching scholarship and empowerment opportunities to students looking to study abroad.

    Content Research Writer

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