As one of the most versatile professions in the world, qualified welders are in high demand all across Canada. The country is a welders haven, practically every industry welders work in, is either established or up and coming in Canada. Positions in construction, fabrication, ship building, industrial maintenance and repair, railroad, aerospace, power generation and more are listed on job platforms that cater exclusively to our country. It will come as no surprise that average salaries are quite good too, depending on which part of the country you are working in. As with all heavy duty work, the tougher the conditions, the better the pay. In Canada you can move along that spectrum and find the spot that suits you best, where you are both comfortable and earning a great salary. Some of the salaries by province are:
- Vancouver, British Columbia – $50,000 a year in the areas surrounding the city, go north where it’s more beautiful and peaceful and earn around $55,000 a year
- Toronto, Ontario – as the province that employs the most welders, they also set the national average for the most part, $46,000 a year. The benefits of living in Ontario are endless, beautiful clean towns and cities, lakes and the Canadian rocky mountains; a higher quality of life all around
- Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – head up north where the winters are a little colder, but the days are longer and the solace is unrivaled. Welders make up to $80,000 a year in the NWT
- Atlantic Canada – the four provinces that make up the most beautiful region of Canada, the Atlantic coast, offer competitive salaries that make living amongst evergreen forests in a beautiful home a dream come true. The average salary for welders through this region is in line with the national average of $46,000 a year, but ship builders earn significantly more.
Because of the high demand for welders, there are numerous pathways to permanent residency in Canada available to you if you are qualified. There is also the option to become a red seal welder in Canada, but we will touch on that later.
There are over 70 immigration pathways for people to become permanent residents and eventually citizens in Canada. We will take a brief look at three of the most popular streams.
The most popular immigration program, the Express Entry system has the potential to offer applicants permanent residency in as little as six months. This immigration stream is dedicated to qualified individuals who work in managerial roles, professionals and skilled trades workers. The requirements to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are as follows:
- Skilled work experience – at least two years work experience within the last five years in a skilled trade before you apply
- A valid full time job offer (minimum contract of one year) or a certificate of qualification as a welder from a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
- Language ability – the day to day of your job may require that you are able to communicate effectively with clients, for this reason you will need to pass a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test and earn a minimum CLB score of 4 in all four sections; reading, writing, listening and speaking. A high level of proficiency is not required to score 4, just a basic command of English or French.
- Qualifications – there is no educational requirement, however it will boost your score if you have your qualification/certification credentials evaluated.
- Eligible – you must be eligible to immigrate to Canada, this means you cannot have a criminal record, you must be in good health and you must have legal status in the country you are living in now.
These and other additional factors all have a point value used to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. You will then be entered into the Express Entry pool from which the applicants with the best scores are selected in bi-monthly draws and sent Invitations to Apply (ITA’s) for permanent residency (PR) in Canada. If you are sent an ITA and can back up everything you have claimed in your application, you will be awarded PR status.
Provincial Nomination Program
You can apply for a provincial nomination in one of two ways. The first is to create an expression of interest in a particular province that you wish to live and work in on your Express Entry profile. This is a particularly effective method of securing an ITA as applicants who receive provincial nominations are awarded 600 points of the total 1,200 points available.
The second would be to create a profile on the province you wish to live and work in on the government website and submit an expression of interest directly to them. If they are in need of your skills, they will invite you to apply directly to the province and will motivate your application of permanent residency to the Canadian government. When the Express Entry pool is filled with high quality applicants, it could take a while to receive an ITA. This is an effective way to circumnavigate this issue. The requirements of the Provincial Nomination Programs are very similar to the Express Entry eligibility requirements, although sometimes not as stringent.
There are provinces with immigration streams under their PNP’s that make provision for welders who wish to live and work in the province, such as:
- Ontario – Regional Immigration Pilot,
- British Columbia – Skills Immigration Pathway,
- Nova Scotia – Occupations in Demand Stream,
- New Brunswick – Skilled Worker Stream; and
- Yukon – Critical Impact Worker Category.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
As we mentioned above, there are few places in the world more beautiful than Atlantic Canada. The four provinces of Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick all have coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean. Tall evergreen forests spotted with crystal clear lakes, mountain ridges and friendly small towns make up the majority of these smaller provinces. They are out of the way, quiet and peaceful and thus don’t attract a lot of attention from new immigrants. This is why these provinces formed the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP), designed to attract foreign immigrants with the skills to fill the gaps in their labour markets and help boost their local economies.
Within the Express Entry system you may find yourself a small fish in a big pond, in Atlantic Canada you will be a big fish in a smaller pond. If you are interested in settling and living in Atlantic Canada and want to secure permanent residency through the AIP, begin by securing a job offer in one of the participating provinces mentioned above. You can then apply for a Canadian work permit and, at the same time, can apply to the Atlantic High Skilled Program for permanent residency.
Become a Welder in Canada
If you are not already a certified welder, we urge you to consider doing your apprenticeship in Canada. Red Seal welding apprenticeships usually take three years to complete. You will do around 1560 hours of practical work with 8 week blocks of technical training per year for three years before writing your interprovincial final examination. If you are successful you will be awarded a Red Seal certificate. If you are already certified in another journeyman occupation, you can receive credit for hours and modules already completed, it will depend on the institution you are applying to.
You will get paid during this time, starting at around 60% of what a qualified welder earns, increasing year by year until you reach the level of certified Red Seal welder. There is a massive amount of room for advancement as you gain experience in the profession; welding inspectors, foremen and supervisors are in charge of entire welding teams and make around $97,500 a year.
Becoming a permanent resident after qualifying from a Canadian institution will not be hard at all. Aside from the fact that most provinces urgently need qualified welders and always will, they also want their skilled tradesmen to stick around, and thus offer numerous pathways for graduates to become permanent residents in Canada. After all, why would they want to train you only to have you take your expertise elsewhere, boosting another country or province’s economy.
How We Can Help You Immigrate to Canada
With all these options to choose from, it can be hard to be sure which is best suited to your skills or needs, and that’s when you know what you’re doing! But it doesn’t have to be. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only improve your chances of success in the Canadian visa application process, but you will get expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the Canadian government to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms and submit them for you.
We handle the paperwork while you find your dream job in Canada. All you have to do is complete our online form by clicking the link below and we’ll take care of the rest. It’s just that simple.