Immigration

How to Immigrate to Canada as an Occupational Therapist

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Are you an occupational therapist looking for new job opportunities in Canada? As a highly skilled and experienced worker, you can choose which of Canada’s 70+ immigration programs to apply through. If you immigrate to Canada as an Occupational Therapist (OT), you can also expect to earn a very attractive salary. Most experienced occupational therapists earn an average of $76,811, but can earn up to $100,225 depending on which province you choose to move to Canada.

There are currently hundreds of jobs available for occupational therapists in Canada, not to mention excellent benefits. If you choose to live and work in Canada as an occupational therapist, you will also enjoy amazing benefits, such as free public health care and primary and secondary education for you and your dependents. Canada is also one of the safest, most multicultural and friendly countries in the world, making it easy for you and your loved ones to settle into your new home in Canada.

There are several ways to immigrate to Canada, but we have highlighted the best Canadian immigration options for occupational therapists that are proving to be very successful when applying for a visa.

Jobs in Canada: Is There a Demand for Occupational Therapists in Canada?

Occupational therapists are and will be in high demand in almost all Canadian provinces over the next few years. The Job Bank’s recent Employment Opportunities in Canada report predicts a labor shortage for occupational therapists in the provinces nationally over the next three years, particularly in provinces such as British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan. This is due to significant growth in the medical sector, as well as the fact that qualified professionals who retire are being promoted earlier.

Over the next few years, an estimated 11,800 new jobs will be created due to expansion, creating thousands of employment opportunities for foreign healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists looking to work in Canada in the near future.

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How Much Does an Occupational Therapist Make in Canada?

As an occupational therapist, you can earn a very attractive salary if you choose to live and work in Canada. The average national salary is around $76,811, but you can earn up to $100,225 depending on which province or territory you work in and how much experience you have. Below are the average salaries (according to Neuvoo) for OTs currently in demand across the country:

Average Annual Salaries for Occupational Therapists in Canada
Occupation Average Salary/Year (CAD)
Alberta $68,347 – $80,000
British Columbia $71,653 – $84,000
Manitoba $54,848 – $69,000
New Brunswick $55,000 – $77,000
Newfoundland & Labrador $76,811 – $83,519
Northwest Territories $92,976 – $104,208
Nunavut $93,935 – $99,743
Ontario $61,713 – $78,000
Prince Edward Island $67,521 – $73,915
Quebec $58,958 – $59,000
Saskatchewan $77,535 – $88,110
Yukon $76,811 – $83,761

What Benefits Do Doctors Get in Canada?

When you find your dream job in Canada, you can expect it to come with fantastic work benefits, both for you and your family. Below are some of the fantastic professional benefits you can look forward to when you immigrate to Canada as an occupational therapist.

  • Extended health care such as prescription drugs, vision care, dental; (depending on employer)
  • Full family benefits including health and dental plan; (depending on employer)
  • Additional training;
  • Wellness Memberships (depending on the employer);
  • Life insurance;
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance;
  • Short and long term disability benefits;
  • Pension plan;
  • Paid vacation and holidays (30 – 36 days paid annual leave + sick days & other leave such as 10 – 18 official holidays);
  • Emergency (Compassionate) leave;
  • Work-life balance.

It is important to note that these benefits may vary from province to province, whether you are employed on a full or part-time basis as well as years of work experience.

How Can Occupational Therapists Apply for Canadian Immigration?

Applying for occupational therapy jobs in Canada, let alone navigating the Canadian immigration process on your own, can be an overwhelming task, but we’ve highlighted 4 essential steps to follow when applying for a visa.

Step 1: Choose your Destination

Deciding where you want to live and work in Canada is critical because it can help you narrow down your choices of visas or immigration programs. You may also find that while there are more well-paying job opportunities in a particular province or territory, they may not be affordable and the lifestyle may not be what you envision. So before you apply for a job in Canada, do some research on the province or territory of your choice and make sure it’s right for you and your loved ones. You can start by finding out where occupational therapists are in demand in Canada.

Step 2: Get Registered and Assessed

In order to live and work in Canada as an occupational therapist, you must first check to see if your degree is recognized in Canada. You can check this in the World Directory of Medical Schools. If it is recognized, you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). An ECA confirms that your degree, diploma or certificate is valid and meets Canadian standards. Below is a list of officially designated organizations that can do your assessment:

  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services;
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS); and
  • International Credential Evaluation Service.

Please note that once you arrive in Canada, you will be required to register with a Canadian Occupational Therapist Association in some provinces. It is best to check with the government of the province or territory you wish to move to for application procedures and fees.

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