The fishing industry is one of the large players in Canada’s economy, employing over 72,000 people annually and contributing over $7 billion in exports. While some positions are seasonal, there are a lot more that are year round. If you are thinking about finding a fisherman job in Canada, or any job in the fishing industry, you are making a smart choice. People in Canada’s fishing industry are paid very well, especially in comparison to Europe and with continuous employment, you could be eligible for permanent residency in Canada. The industry is primarily concentrated on the west coast in the Atlantic provinces, which is great news given the Atlantic Immigration Pilot’s pathway to permanent residency for hard working semi-skilled people such as fishing plant labourers, cleaners and cutters. There is also a significant industry in the rich waters of British Columbia’s east coast as well as in major inland and prairie lakes. Let’s get into what kind of job opportunities you may find and how you can etch your name into the rocks of the legendary Canadian sea dogs.
Fishing Vessel Deckhand
Becoming a commercial fisherman in Canada takes one of two things, a connection such as a family or a friend that already skippers a fishing vessel, or hard work, determination and skill. Commercial fishermen in Canada are highly skilled individuals who understand boat maintenance and repairs, navigation, both old and new, fishing methodology, both old and new, and most importantly a deep knowledge of the ocean and marine life, particularly fish migration patterns and weather. How much skippers will pay deckhands varies from vessel to vessel; the median income for deckhands in Nova Scotia last year was $56,425. The reason for the variation is because in most cases deckhands make a percentage of what the boat makes. There is no prerequisite training for the job of a deckhand, all you require at the start is good eyesight and health, a strong mental fortitude and a commercial fishing license. As you may know, there is far more to the fishing industry than just the men and women harvesting the fish from the oceans and lakes. Here are a few more positions that you could secure a job in, in Canada.
Fish Plant Labourer
Atlantic Canada has a number of fish and seafood processing facilities. Fish plant workers earn a very good salary, an average of $25,350 per year for continuous non-seasonal work. Fish cutters, seafood preparers, machine operator and lobster processor are a few of the opportunities available in fish plants across Canada. Meat cutters and fishmongers NOC code is B-6331. Other fish and seafood plant workers are classified NOC C-9463. Keep this in mind when we get to the Canadian immigration options below.
Fish-Processing Plant Manager
A skilled position with a number of openings across Canada. Managerial positions typically require a post-secondary education of a minimum of three years or significant experience in management. There are a number of Canadian institutions that offer courses in this field and if you were to graduate from a Canadian institution, your chance of obtaining permanent residency would be very high, especially if you secured a job offer as manager or supervisor in the food processing industry. The average salary for a Fish-plant manager with 5 years of experience is around $80,000 a year.
Fish Farm Manager
This highly-skilled position typically requires a post-secondary education of a minimum of three years in a field related to aquaculture. There are a number of Canadian institutions that offer courses in this field and if you were to graduate from a Canadian institution, your chance of obtaining permanent residency would be very high, especially if you secured a job offer as a fish farm manager. The fish farm industry is increasing exponentially year on year in Canada which will create a serious demand for experienced professionals in the coming years. The average salary is $100,000 a year.
Permanent Residency in Canada
The Canadian government has temporarily lifted the requirement for employers in the fish and seafood industry, amongst others, to do a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before being able to hire foreigners. This means you can obtain a job offer faster because there is less red tape. It also means the Canadian government really wants you, and so there are a number of immigration pathways available to you:
Through the Express Entry program, you can be granted permanent residency in as little as six months, without a valid job offer. The Federal Skilled Trades Program allows candidates that fall under the B skill category of the NOC to apply for permanent residency in Canada, these positions include:
Supervisors - food and beverage processing
Meat cutters and fishmongers
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
If your CRS score is too low for the Express Entry program, or you don’t feel like waiting until you are selected from the pool of applicants, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) offers permanent residency to applicants with a valid full-time job offer under NOC 0, A, B, C & D. Pretty much all of them.
Supervisors - food and beverage processing
Meat cutters and fishmongers
Fishing Vessel Deckhands
Labourers in fish and seafood processing
Fish and seafood plant workers
The AIP was designed to address the labour shortages in the four Atlantic provinces; Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. All occupations in the fishing industry are in high demand in Atlantic Canada. So if you have a full time valid job offer in one of the four provinces listed above, you can apply for permanent residency at the same time as you apply for your Canadian work permit, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements, there is no reason you should not receive PR status.
How We Can Help You Immigrate to Canada
There are two ways to get your immigration journey started right now. The first is to create your Express Entry profile, and await an invitation to apply for permanent residency. The second is to obtain a valid job offer, get your work permit and apply to the relevant immigration program simultaneously. These are the two main pathways the Canadian government is allowing potential immigrants to enter Canada at the moment. The whole immigration process can be quite slow and frustrating, and that is 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 choose 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.