How to Work in Canada’s Hospitality Sector

September 26, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Canada is a popular international destination worldwide. Both tourists and immigrants flock to the shores of the North American nation, eager to capitalize on Canada's benefits and wonders. Canada’s hospitality sector has swelled in size and occupational variety to accommodate such a large group of newcomers to the country.

The lack of domestic labor needed to fulfill these new developments in Canada’s hospitality sector has opened up working opportunities for eligible foreign workers. If you have any hospitality working experience, now is the time to capitalize on the opportunity to work in Canada!

Ready to explore how you can work in Canada’s growing hospitality sector? Learn about the various work permits you can use to apply to work in Canada’s Hospitality Sector!

How to Work in Canada’s Hospitality Sector

One of the two primary requirements you must meet to work in Canada’s hospitality sector involves receiving a job offer from an employer operating in Canada’s hospitality industry. To help you find and receive a job offer in Canada, follow the steps outlined in the video below.

The following work permits provide the means to work in Canada for any immigrant who wants to work in the country's hospitality sector.

Work Permits

Once you’ve landed one of the hospitality jobs in Canada, you will likely need a work permit to come to Canada to do that job. There are several primary pathways to a Canadian work permit. The following are the best options for foreign hospitality workers:

Temporary Foreign Work Permit

To work in Canada’s hospitality sector, you can apply for a Temporary Foreign Work Permit (TFWP). A TFWP enables your Canadian employer to hire you for a hospitality job post they were unable to fill in the local labor market. To be eligible to apply, your prospective employer must demonstrate their inability to find local workers with the required skills and experience needed to fill job vacancies.

Your employer can accomplish this demonstration by applying for and receiving a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). You must ensure that the LMIA received by your employer was issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

The TFWP has several streams catering to specific occupations and industries, among which the most suitable for hospitality workers are the Home Care Provider Stream and the High and Low Wage Worker Streams. The TFWP grants employer-specific work permits, allowing you to work for only one Canadian employer for a specified period.

Find out more about Temporary Foreign Work Permits.

International Mobility Program

The International Mobility Program (IMP) is an immigration program facilitating Canadian employers hiring foreign workers based on specific economic and labor needs. It allows employers to hire non-Canadians to temporarily live and work in Canada without providing an LMIA. The LMIA exemption of the IMP enables Canadian employers to have more flexible access to potential employees. IMP streams include:

  • Post-Graduation Work Permit
  • Reciprocal Youth Exchange Agreements
  • International Free Trade Agreements
  • Intra-Company Transfer Program

Depending on the IMP stream you’re eligible to apply for, you will be granted either an open work permit, which allows you to work for any Canadian hospitality employer for a specified period across Canada or an employer-specific/closed work permit.

Learn more about the International Mobility Program.

IEC Working Holiday Program

Hospitality workers between 18 and 35 from one of the 35 participating countries can use the IEC Working Holiday Visa program to work and travel in Canada for up to two years.

Common hospitality jobs you can do while on your working holiday in Canada include:

  • Food service workers
  • Caregivers
  • Bartenders
  • Housekeepers

If your application is successful, you will receive an open work permit, allowing you to gain travel and gain work experience anywhere in Canada and change jobs at any time.

Please Note

One of the Working Holiday Visa program’s benefits is that the work experience gained from your one or two years working holiday in Canada can provide a pathway to Canadian permanent residency via programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Find out more about Canada’s Working Holiday Visa.

How to Get a Canada Work Permit

To apply for the three work permit programs mentioned above, you can find out more about how you can work in Canada below:

What Qualifications Do You Need to Work in Canada's Hospitality Sector?

The qualifications required to work in Canada's hospitality sector depend on the job.

Management-level Hospitality Jobs

To work as a Hotel and Restaurant Manager, you may need a master’s in business administration (MBA) or a degree in hotel or restaurant management. The Teaching, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) levels for hospitality managerial positions under the updated National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system are levels 0,1 and 2.

Mid to Senior-Level Jobs

Cooks, Chefs, and Sous Chefs in Canada need at least a vocational or college diploma and apprenticeship training in culinary arts. TEER levels for mid to senior-level hospitality positions are levels 2 or 3.

Entry-Level Hospitality Jobs

Entry-level hospitality jobs such as hotel front desk clerks, food servers, housekeeping staff, and valets require a secondary school diploma along with occupation-specific training to be eligible to apply. Hospitality jobs in Canada that are entry-level are categorized under TEER levels 4 and 5.

Top 10 Popular Hospitality Sector Jobs in Canada

Canada's hospitality industry offers many job opportunities. Here are the top 10 popular hospitality jobs in Canada with salary and in-demand occupations information obtained from Canada’s Job Bank.

Storekeeper (NOC 14401)

Storekeepers manage inventory and supplies in hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality establishments. They ensure that the necessary supplies, such as toiletries and cleaning, are stocked and readily available.

Annual Average Salary: 64, 459.53 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory

Front Desk Clerk (NOC 64314)

Front desk clerks are the first point of contact for guests in hotels and other hospitality establishments. They check guests in and out, answer questions, and provide information about the establishment and the surrounding area.

Annual Average Salary: 42,876.22 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory

Bartender (NOC 64301)

Bartenders prepare and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, interact with customers, and maintain a clean and organized bar area.

Annual Average Salary: 41,951.83 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Yukon Territory

Restaurant Manager (NOC 60030)

Restaurant manager’s duties involve managing and overseeing the daily operations of a restaurant. They supervise staff, ensure customer satisfaction, and handle administrative tasks such as budgeting and inventory management.

Annual Average Salary: 57,038.66 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory

Spa and Wellness Manager (NOC 60040)

Spa and wellness managers are charged with supervising and managing the daily operations of spas and wellness centers. They manage staff, ensure customer satisfaction, and handle administrative tasks such as budgeting and inventory management.

Annual Average Salary: 78 670,80 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Quebec

Food Service Worker (NOC 65201)

Food service workers prepare and serve food in restaurants, cafes, and other hospitality establishments. They follow food safety regulations, maintain a clean work environment, and should provide excellent customer service.

Annual Average Salary: 39 860,91 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Yukon Territory

Housekeeper (NOC 62021)

Housekeepers are responsible for ensuring that guest rooms and public areas in hotels and other hospitality establishments are clean and well-maintained. They clean and sanitize bathrooms and bedrooms, change linens, and restock supplies.

Annual Average Salary: 47 209,32 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory

Cashier (NOC 65100)

Cashiers handle cash transactions in restaurants, cafes, and other hospitality establishments. They process payments, issue receipts, and provide excellent customer service.

Annual Average Salary: 37 394,33 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island

Kitchen Helper (NOC 65201)

Kitchen helpers assist chefs and cooks in restaurants, cafes, and other hospitality establishments. They prepare ingredients, sanitize kitchen equipment, and maintain a clean work area.

Annual Average Salary: 38 304,82 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: Manitoba, Nova Scotia

Hotel Manager (NOC 60031)

Hotel managers supervise and oversee the daily operations of hotels. They manage staff, ensure customer satisfaction, and handle administrative tasks such as budgeting and inventory management.

Annual Average Salary: 86 473,35 CAD

Most in-demand provinces: British Columbia, Quebec

Why Work in Hospitality in Canada?

Here are some of the key benefits of working in Canada’s hospitality sector:

Competitive Salaries

Canada's hospitality sector offers competitive salaries, providing workers with the opportunity to earn a livable wage. Wages for Hospitality jobs in Canada vary depending on the specific role, location and experience level. For example, Hotel Managers earn an annual average salary of 86 473,35. In contrast, Hotel Front desk clerks earn an average annual salary of 42,876.22 CAD according to Canada’s Job Bank.

Furthermore, A hotel manager in Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, earns an annual average salary of 85 229,24 CAD. In comparison, according to Canada's Job Bank, a hotel Manager in Nunavut, one of Canada’s most rural and least populous provinces, earns an annual average salary of 106 426,72 CAD. The salary difference shows how a sparsely populated location with high labor demands offers higher salaries to attract hospitality workers.

Variety of Employment Options

The hospitality sector in Canada is diverse, offering a wide range of employment options. Whether you are interested in working in a hotel, restaurant, resort, or event venue, plenty of opportunities are available to suit different interests and skill sets.

Stability and Growth

The hospitality sector is a stable industry in Canada, with consistent demand for qualified workers. Canada’s thriving tourism industry contributes to the stability of the hospitality sector, ensuring a continuous flow of job opportunities.

Professional Growth Opportunities

Working in Canada's hospitality sector provides ample opportunities for professional growth. Many Canadian employers offer training programs, further education, and leadership development conferences and retreats, allowing employees to develop new skills and climb the hospitality career ladder.

Thrilling Opportunities for Travel

For individuals who love to travel, working in Canada's hospitality sector offers exciting opportunities to explore different regions of the country. From vibrant cities to picturesque landscapes, Canada has a lot to offer in terms of travel experiences.

Friendly and Helpful Work Environment

The hospitality sector in Canada is known for its friendly and welcoming work environment. Working alongside colleagues who share a passion for customer service helps to create a supportive atmosphere and enables you to forge positive working relationships.


What Are Some Tips for Succeeding in the Hospitality Sector in Canada?

The key employee competencies desired by Canadian hospitality workers to ensure success include.

  • Develop strong communication skills in either English or French, Canada’s official languages which the country places great emphasis on for admissibility into the country
  • Demonstrate excellent customer service
  • Be adaptable and flexible
  • Build a strong network

What is Canadian Hospitality Like?

Canadian hospitality is renowned for its emphasis on showing warmth and friendliness to customers. Canadians are known for their polite nature, reflected in the hospitality industry. Canada's hospitality industry labor force is diverse, with establishments ranging from small bed and breakfasts to large hotels and resorts.