Why Are so Many Teachers Moving to Canada?

February 14, 2024


  • Shireen Fisher

In recent years, Canada has emerged as a highly desirable destination for teachers seeking new opportunities and experiences. With its renowned education system, diverse cultural landscape, and welcoming communities, the Great White North offers an attractive environment for educators looking to make a positive impact in their profession.

Teacher vacancy rates stood at around 4.3% in 2022, although some provinces reported rates exceeding 7%. The country projects significant job openings for school teachers in the coming years. Numerous factors drive the influx of teachers, From competitive salaries and extensive benefits to opportunities for professional growth and a high standard of living. We look deeper into why moving to Canada is a popular choice for so many.


Why so Many Teachers Are Moving to Canada?

Job Opportunities

Canada faces a significant shortage of teachers across various provinces, particularly in specialized fields such as French as a Second Language, special education, and early childhood education. This shortage presents a multitude of teaching jobs in Canada for qualified educators who are open to relocating.

According to Canada's Job Bank, projections show that there will be 121,100 jobs for Elementary school and kindergarten teachers over the next ten years. There are also expected to be 52,100 vacancies for Secondary school teachers over the same period.

Working in Canada offers teachers diverse career paths, opportunities to move into leadership roles, specialize in different areas, or pursue further education.

High-Quality Education System

Canada's education system consistently ranks high in international comparisons and is known for its quality and focus on student well-being. This attracts teachers seeking a stable and well-regarded educational environment.

As an educator, you will be happy to learn that Canada generally performs well in international assessments like PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), ranking above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average in reading, mathematics, and science. Over 90% of adults in Canada possess essential literacy and numeracy skills.The national high school graduation rate is around 88%, exceeding the OECD average. However, rates vary across provinces and demographics

When you take the leap to work as a teacher in Canada, you will be immersed in a new world of multicultural learning. The country's diverse population creates unique learning environments, enriching the teaching experience and potentially aligning with educators' values.

Attractive Work Conditions

Supportive work environments are a major draw for teachers considering opportunities in Canada. Many schools facilitate Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), where teachers collaborate on lesson planning, share best practices, and receive peer support.

New teachers are often paired with experienced mentors who provide guidance and support during their initial years.

Teachers in Canada also often have opportunities to contribute to curriculum development and school-wide initiatives, fostering a sense of ownership and shared responsibility.

Canada’s Immigration Pathways

Canada offers several attractive immigration pathways for qualified teachers seeking a new adventure. Your experience, qualifications, and language skills, as well as your desired province, will influence the best pathway for you.

Express Entry System

Canada's Express Entry System is a point-based system that allows you to create an online profile and receive points based on factors like age, education, work experience, language skills, and adaptability. Teaching professions often score high on demand and skill level criteria, giving teachers an edge in securing an Invitation to Apply (ITA). As an educator, you’ll be able to apply to the Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

Understanding the point system, optimizing your profile, and seeking professional guidance can significantly increase your chances of success. To apply, you need to:

If you meet these requirements, your application will be evaluated based on a points system. Learn more about how Express Entry to Canada works.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

If you have a specific Canadian province in mind where you would like to settle, then the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) might be the right path for you. This immigration category is overseen by 11 provinces and territories in Canada, including:

It is essential to note that Quebec operates its own immigration selection system, separate from the PNPs of other provinces.

Each province has its PNP with unique eligibility criteria and streams tailored to specific occupations, including teaching. Before applying for a specific PNP, it's crucial to ensure that you meet its requirements. Many provinces have dedicated PNP streams for teachers, making the application process more streamlined and focused.

Learn more about immigrating to Canada as a teacher.

High Standard of Living

While the term "high standard of living" can be subjective, Canada consistently ranks high in various international indices that measure factors contributing to overall well-being. Here are some specific aspects to consider:

  • Economic Stability - Canada enjoys a strong and diverse economy, with low unemployment rates and relatively high median incomes compared to many other developed countries. This translates to financial security and access to goods and services.
  • Safety and Security - Canada boasts low crime rates and is consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. This fosters a sense of security and peace of mind for residents.
  • Healthcare System - Canada's universal healthcare system gives residents access to quality medical care regardless of income. This significantly reduces stress and ensures everyone has access to necessary medical treatment.
  • Infrastructure and Amenities - Canada has well-developed infrastructure, including efficient transportation systems, clean water and sanitation, reliable energy grids, and access to parks and recreational facilities. These contribute to a comfortable and convenient lifestyle.
  • Multicultural and Inclusive Society - Canada's reputation as a welcoming and inclusive society draws many individuals seeking a diverse and accepting environment. Here's how this plays out.
  • Anti-discrimination Policies - Canada has strong anti-discrimination laws and policies protecting individuals based on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. This fosters a sense of belonging and respect for all individuals.
  • Opportunities for Integration - Canada offers various programs and initiatives to help newcomers integrate into society, learn English or French, and access settlement services. This facilitates a smooth transition and fosters a sense of belonging.

The Different Types of Teaching Jobs in Canada

In Canada, teaching jobs span various levels and subjects, from elementary to post-secondary education. Teachers at elementary and secondary levels focus on foundational skills and subject-specific knowledge, while special education teachers support students with unique needs. Post-secondary institutions offer positions for professors engaged in both teaching and research. These diverse roles cater to a wide range of interests and specialties, providing opportunities for educators to make a meaningful impact on students' lives. Below are just some of the positions you can apply to.

Occupation NOC Code Salary Range (CAD per year) Duties
Early Childhood Educators 42210 24,040 - 52,750 Work with children from birth to kindergarten, helping them develop their social, emotional, and cognitive skills. This may involve creating lesson plans, providing individualized instruction, and playing with the children.
Elementary School Teachers 41221 43,750 - 99,250 Teach children in grades 1 to 5 or 6, depending on the province or territory. Cover many subjects, such as math, language arts, science, and social studies. Develop lesson plans, assess student progress, and communicate with parents.
Secondary School Teachers 41220 47,120 - 102,240 Teach children in grades 7 to 12. Typically specialize in one or two subjects, such as English, math, science, history, or physical education. Develop lesson plans, assess student progress, and communicate with parents.
Special Education Teachers 41220 Same as Secondary School Teachers Work with students who have special needs, such as learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or emotional disabilities. Provide individualized instruction and support to help these students succeed in school. Collaborate with other professionals, such as speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists.
Vocational and Technical Teachers 41210 36,540 - 82,240 Teach students the skills to get jobs in specific trades or occupations. Work in various settings, such as community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs. Develop curriculum, deliver instruction, and assess student progress.
University and College Professors 41200 56,560 - 140,120 Teach courses at universities and colleges. Typically, they have a Ph.D. in their field and conduct research in addition to teaching. Develop curriculum, deliver lectures and mentor students.

The Benefits of Teaching in Canada

Teaching in Canada offers numerous benefits, making it an attractive career choice for educators. Below are some of the key benefits you can expect.

High Job Security

High job security is a hallmark of the teaching profession in Canada, primarily due to the enduring and consistent demand for educators across the country. This steadfast need for teachers stems from various factors, including population growth, retirements, and ongoing educational reforms. As schools strive to maintain appropriate student-teacher ratios and meet mandated educational standards, they continuously seek qualified professionals to fill teaching positions.

Consequently, teachers can often enjoy a sense of stability and confidence in their careers, knowing that their skills and expertise are consistently valued and sought after in the Canadian education system. Additionally, the essential role that teachers play in shaping future generations ensures that the demand for their services remains resilient, contributing to the overall high job security prevalent in Canada's education field.

Health and Insurance Benefits

In Canada, teachers are typically provided with comprehensive health and insurance benefits and regular salaries. These benefits serve as crucial supplements, ensuring educators have access to essential healthcare services and financial protection.

Health benefits often include coverage for medical expenses, such as doctor's visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays, helping to alleviate the financial burden of healthcare costs. Insurance packages may encompass life insurance, disability insurance, and dental coverage, offering teachers additional peace of mind and security for themselves and their families.

Compensation packages often include retirement plans, such as pensions or contributions to retirement savings accounts, ensuring teachers have long-term financial stability beyond their active years of service.

These robust health, insurance, and compensation packages demonstrate the value placed on educators' well-being and contribute to their overall job satisfaction and security within the Canadian education system.

Professional Growth and Development

The Canadian education system emphasizes professional growth and development, offering teachers numerous opportunities to enhance their skills and advance their careers.

This commitment to ongoing learning makes teaching a fulfilling and rewarding career choice for educators who aspire to positively impact students and contribute to the nation's educational excellence.

Teachers in Canada have access to various professional development programs, workshops, and conferences designed to expand their knowledge base, refine their teaching strategies, and stay abreast of emerging trends in education.

Additionally, many schools and districts support further education, such as pursuing advanced degrees or certifications, allowing teachers to specialize in specific areas or advance into leadership roles.

By investing in the continuous improvement of educators, Canada demonstrates its dedication to fostering a highly skilled and motivated teaching workforce, ultimately benefiting students and society as a whole. This commitment to professional growth and development underscores teaching as a dynamic and fulfilling profession in Canada.

Requirements For Teaching in Canada

The requirements for teaching in Canada can vary depending on the province or territory you want to teach in, the level of education you're interested in (elementary, secondary, etc.), and whether you're a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. However, some general requirements apply across the board


A bachelor's degree in education (B.Ed.) is typically required for most teaching positions. For the secondary level, you may also need a degree in the subject you intend to teach.

Provincial Teacher's Certificate

All teachers in Canada require a teaching certificate issued by the provincial or territorial government where they want to work. This usually involves completing a teacher education program and passing required exams.

Language Proficiency

Fluency in English or French is essential, depending on the school board and province. Some provinces may require bilingual certification.

Character Reference and Background Checks

You must provide good character references and undergo criminal record checks. Some provinces also require additional checks like child abuse registry clearances.

Recent Teaching Experience

While not always mandatory, experience can make you a more competitive candidate.

Familiarity with Canadian Curriculum

Understanding Canadian schools' specific curriculum and approaches can be advantageous.

Fitness to Teach

This includes physical and mental fitness, and some provinces may require specific assessments.


I want to Work as a Teacher in Canada, But I Obtained My Qualification in My Country of Origin. Will This be Valid?

If you have a foreign qualification, you must verify its recognition in Canada beforehand. Should it be acknowledged, acquiring an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) may be required. This process validates the authenticity and equivalence of your degree, diploma, or certificate to Canadian standards.

I Would Like to Work in Canada as a Teacher Before I Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency. Do I Need a Canadian Work Permit?

Yes. You need a Canadian work permit to work in Canada legally. By obtaining a work permit, aspiring teachers can fulfill legal requirements, gain valuable professional experience, and contribute to the Canadian education system. It is important to understand the process of applying for a work permit and ensure compliance with Canadian immigration regulations to pursue teaching opportunities successfully.