How to Find a Job in Thunder Bay, Canada

February 26, 2021


  • Nicky Van Zyl

“Small city with big possibilities” - that is how Thunder Bay, Ontario is described. The city with a population of 110,000 people is situated in northwestern Ontario on the shores of the world's largest freshwater lake - Lake Superior and it is about a 15-hour drive from Toronto.

Thunder Bay has been on the radar lately since it joined the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), designed to attract foreign workers and entrepreneurs to settle in smaller regions in Canada with great economic potential to expand. Thunder Bay is one such city with a high demand for workers in various industries, from cooks, nurses, engineers to truck drivers. Find out more about the Pilot and employment opportunities in the city!

What is the Thunder Bay, Rural, and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)?

The RNIP is a community-driven immigration program that is designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to live and work in Thunder Bay. Successful candidates must first and foremost meet the community requirements of the city in order to receive a Community Recommendation. Thereafter, they can apply to the federal government for permanent residency in Canada.

Rural Northern Immigration Pilot
Federal Requirements Community Requirements
Language Proficiency - Managerial and professional jobs: CLB/NCLC 6
Trade and technical jobs: CLB/NCLC 5
Intermediate skilled jobs: CLB/NCLC 4
Language Proficiency: Candidate exceeds required language proficiency in at least two of the four abilities
At least 1 year of work experience At least two to five years of work experience (work experience must match the duties within the job offer)
Proof of connection to the community, i.e. familial ties Settlement plans that prove the candidate plans to live in Thunder Bay.
Valid job offer Valid job offer in a priority occupation

One of the most important requirements of the immigration pilot is to obtain a valid job offer from a designated employer. Below, five tips on how to find work in Thunder Bay, Canada from overseas.

How to Find a Job in Thunder Bay, Canada

1. Find out if your occupation is eligible in Thunder Bay under the RNIP


Those who wish to immigrate to Thunder Bay, Canada through the RNIP must obtain a valid full-time job offer in one of the below-mentioned occupations. These occupations are listed as priority positions that meet the economic and hiring needs of employers in the city. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) system is used to categorize jobs in Canada under different skill levels. If your industry features in a major NOC group such as NOC 11, you can search the system to find associated job titles in that NOC group.

Eligible Occupations in Skill Level A
NOC 11 - Professional occupations in business and finance
NOC 211 - Physical science professionals
NOC 212 - Life science professionals
NOC 213 - Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers
NOC 214 - Other engineers
NOC 215 - Architects, urban planners and land surveyors
NOC 30 - Professional occupations in nursing
NOC 31 - Professional occupations in health (except nursing)
Eligible Occupations in Skill Level B
NOC 12 - Administrative and financial supervisors and administrative occupations
NOC 22 - Technical occupations related to natural and applied sciences
NOC 321 - Medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
NOC 3233 - Licensed practical nurses
NOC 3237 - Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
NOC 4212 - Social and community service workers
NOC 4214 - Early childhood educators and assistants
NOC 6311 - Foodservice supervisors
NOC 6321 - Chefs
NOC 6322 - Cooks
NOC 633 - Butchers and bakers
NOC 634 -Specialized occupations in personal and customer services
NOC 727 - Carpenters and cabinet-makers
NOC 728 - Masonry and plastering trades
NOC 729 - Other construction trades
NOC 731 - Machinery and transportation equipment mechanics (except motor vehicles)
NOC 732 - Automotive service technicians
NOC 733 - Other mechanics and related repairers
NOC 7251 - Plumbers
NOC 9215 - Supervisors, Forest Products Processing
Eligible Occupations in Skill Level D
NOC 673 - Cleaners
NOC 761 - Trades helpers and laborers
Eligible Occupations in Skill Level O
NOC 01 - Specialized middle management occupations
NOC 02 - Specialized middle management occupations
NOC 03 - Specialized middle management occupations
NOC 06 - Middle management occupations in retail and wholesale trade and customer services
NOC 07 - Middle management occupations in trades, transportation, production, and utilities

2. Discover jobs in Thunder Bay on job sites

There are various job sites that Thunder Bay employers use to advertise their job positions. Foreign workers can start by consulting the City of Thunder Bay website for listed employment opportunities aimed at RNIP candidates. Another thing candidates must keep in mind is that their job offers must be from eligible Thunder Bay employers. To become eligible, employers must also apply to the RNIP.

In addition, foreign workers can also check the Canadian job bank for suitable jobs as well as other mainstream job platforms such as Monster Canada, Workopolis, and Indeed.

3. Be flexible

Small cities may not come with a wide range of specialty positions. Foreign workers who have been working in very niche industries may have a hard time finding identical jobs in Thunder Bay, Canada. This does not mean a complete career change but they may want to think about how they can utilize their current skills in industries related to their previous occupations. The more willing foreign workers are to adapt, the more successful they’ll be in the job hunt.

4. If possible, visit Thunder Bay to network


While it’s completely possible to network on social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, the old-fashioned method of meeting people face-to-face may prove to be more effective when looking for a job in a small city with a close-knit community. There are various networking events and local community groups that foreign workers can attend to introduce themselves and find interested employers. The Rural Northern Immigration Pilot also places more importance on foreign workers with ties to the city and those with experience of living in small cities.

Foreign workers without job offers can visit the city on a visitor visa.

5. Update and localize your resume


A resume is the first thing employers see before meeting the candidate, and it can be the deciding factor if the candidate gets a callback or not. A well-written resume in the Canadian format with scannable information that has been translated to English (if needed) can significantly increase a foreign job seekers’ success rate in finding a job in Thunder Bay, Canada.

Job seekers should also include cover letters that explain why employers should invest their time in hiring them instead of a local. The letter should substantiate how they can be assets to the company and not go into personal details about their current circumstances. It’s important that candidates adapt their cover letters to each new company and job position they apply for.

Benefits of Working in Thunder Bay, Canada

Low cost of living and low land costs for start-up businesses


One of the major attractions of small cities and Thunder Bay, in particular, is the low cost of living compared to metropolitan areas. The average household income is $66,163 and combined with the low cost of living, people enjoy more disposable income. A single-detached home can be purchased in Thunder Bay for under $200,000.

With competitive land costs, construction costs, and zero development charges, Thunder Bay is an ideal location for expansion and new construction for start-up businesses in all sectors. A foreign entrepreneur with a good business plan can immigrate to Canada through the Start-Up Visa Program, to set-up a shop in Thunder Bay.

Cost of Land in Thunder Bay Canada

Source: Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission

Enjoy a well-balanced life


Residents enjoy a well-balanced life between work and free time. The average commute time in Thunder Bay is 10 minutes and cities and suburbs are close to lakes, beaches, forests, and parks. Don’t think for one second that this small city is dull. With a modern downtown district filled with

vibrant restaurants and bars and a beautiful waterfront,

young professionals from all over the world are starting to take note of this hidden gem in Ontario. Throughout the summer, Thunder Bay streets are lined with outdoor patios, music, festivals, and events.

Do You Want to Immigrate to Thunder Bay?

These five tips are guaranteed to increase your chances of finding a job in Thunder Bay, Canada! Keep in mind that the RNIP is only one path out of many that foreign workers can apply through to move to Canada, and settle in Thunder Bay. For more information about the Canadian immigration process, simply fill in the form below for a consultation with our visa professionals.