Express Entry’s most in-demand jobs in Canada

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: January 17, 2024

Securing a job is often an important step for many temporary residents (those on a work, study, or visitor visa), in not just establishing themselves in Canada economically, but also in building eligibility for economic pathways to permanent residence (PR).

In light of this, many newcomers are interested in what the in-demand jobs are in Canada. This knowledge can help to better inform their employment search and enable their immigration journey.

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In an aim to better adjust immigration to labour force needs, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced Express Entry category-based selection draws to target candidates in the Express Entry pool who have experience in professions that Canada critically needs workers for. The categories that IRCC targets are made-up of in-demand occupations in five different fields:

  • Healthcare;
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM);
  • Trade;
  • Transport; and
  • Agriculture and agri-food.

As such we can look to the list of targeted professions to better understand not just what jobs are in-demand in the labour market, but also which jobs IRCC believes it must target to better support the Canadian labour market through immigration. Correlating these professions identified by IRCC with other in-demand occupations identified by human resource consulting firms, and popular job boards shows overlap among many identified professions.

Note: the below lists for Healthcare and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations will cover the most common job titles according to IRCC’s list. Occupation lists for the other categories will cover in-demand professions in full. For a full list of job titles and to access the “category-based selection” draw eligibility tool, find our dedicated webpage here. National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 codes of professions are also given for reference.

Healthcare occupations

Healthcare occupations cover workers in various positions, including physicians, physiologists, psychologists, and many more. Of these professions the most common work titles include:

Nurses

Targeted nursing professions here include:

  • Licensed practical nurses (NOC 32101);
  • Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates (NOC 33102);
  • Nurse practitioners (NOC 31302);
  • Physician assistants, midwives, and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
  • Nursing coordinators and supervisors (NOC 31300); and
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 31301).

Lab/medical assistants and technical medical staff

Targeted professions here include:

  • Medical laboratory assistants and related technical options (NOC 33101);
  • Medical laboratory technologists (NOC 32120);
  • Medical radiation technologists (NOC 32121);
  • Medical sonographers (NOC 32122);
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants (NOC 33103); and
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303).

STEM occupations

STEM occupations cover professions from a number of fields, including architects, data scientists, land surveyors and more. Among this category, the most common professional titles included:

Engineers

Targeted professions here include:

  • Civil engineers (NOC 21300);
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) (NOC 21311);
  • Electrical and electronics engineers (NOC 21310);
  • Engineering managers (NOC 20010);
  • Industrial and manufacturing engineers (NOC 21321);
  • Metallurgic and materials engineers (NOC 21322); and
  • Software engineers and designers (NOC 21231).

Business and computer systems specialists

Targeted professions here include:

  • Computer and information systems managers (NOC 20012);
  • Computer systems developers and programmers (NOC 21230);
  • Cybersecurity specialists (NOC 21220);
  • Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 21223); and
  • Information systems specialists (NOC 21222).

Trades occupations

The trades occupation category focusses on professions related to skilled trades needed for manufacturing, construction, repairs and more. These are:

  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers (NOC 73200);
  • Elevator constructors and mechanics (NOC 72406);
  • Machine fitters (NOC 72405);
  • Heating refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics (NOC 72402);
  • Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics (NOC 72400);
  • Carpenters (NOC 72310);
  • Plumbers (NOC 72300);
  • Electricians (except industrial and power system) (NOC 72200);
  • Welders and related machine operators (NOC 72106); and
  • Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers (NOC 72014).

Transport occupations

Transport occupations include professions that support commercial transport of people and goods. These occupations are:

  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors (NOC 93200);
  • Transport truck drivers (NOC 73300);
  • Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators (NOC 72604);
  • Engineer officers, water transport (NOC 72603);
  • Deck officers, water transport (NOC 72602);
  • Air traffic controllers and related occupations (NOC 72601);
  • Air pilots, flight engineers, and flying instructors (NOC 72600);
  • Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors (NOC 72404);
  • Railway carmen/women (NOC 72403); and
  • Managers in transportation (NOC 70020).

Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

Agriculture and agri-food occupations cover professions that are related to farming, landscaping, and production of food and produce. These occupations are:

  • Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and horticulture services (NOC 82031);
  • Agriculture service contractors and farm supervisors (NOC 82030); and
  • Butchers—retail and wholesale (NOC 63201).

Am I eligible for category-based selection?

To be eligible for these categories, candidates must have obtained at least six months of continuous work experience in the last three years, in Canada or abroad and already have a profile in the Express Entry application pool.

Once candidates have submitted a profile under one of the three Express Entry managed programs—the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)—they must wait until a relevant Express Entry draw that delivers an invitation to apply (ITA) for PR, based on their inclusion in one of the above professional categories, or their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. CRS scores are IRCC’s usual method of ranking immigration candidates based on their human capital factors.

Once an ITA is received, candidates (now applicants) have up to 60 days to submit a full application for PR. If this application is approved, applicants are granted PR status, and will receive a Confirmation or Permanent Residence (COPR). From here they are free to settle permanently in Canada.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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