Canada is your best bet if you’re looking for firefighter jobs in an economically vibrant and culturally diverse country.
In its quest to attract and keep the best-skilled workers (firefighters inclusive) in Canada, the Canadian government has kept its borders open to immigrants in recent years. In 2022, Canada received 431,645 new permanent residents through various immigration pathways. Canada plans to exceed the previous year’s record by welcoming 465,000 immigrants in 2023.
As a skill in high demand in Canada, the Canadian government has made provisions to welcome firefighters among the number above. This is clearly stated in the NOC Code for firefighters in Canada (NOC 4312). However, to immigrate to Canada as a skilled firefighter, you must meet the requirements for Canadian skilled workers’ immigration.
What You Need to Be a Firefighter in Canada
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In addition to meeting the basic immigration requirements to Canada, you must also meet the following requirements to work as a firefighter in Canada:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Must have Canadian PR or citizenship
- Provide a valid standard first aid certificate, CPR level HCP
- Have no criminal convictions that have not been pardoned
- Valid, unrestricted Ontario “G” license (or equivalent for other provinces). The license must have no more than two infractions
- Have 20/30 uncorrected vision
- Valid physical fitness assessment, etc.
How Much Does a Firefighter Earn in Canada?
According to Talent.com, the average annual salary of a firefighter in Canada is $62,712 or $32.16 per hour. Entry-level firefighters earn $46,800, while experienced firefighters earn up to $80,293.
However, these salaries vary by province, job description, and company, as most provinces and companies pay far above the national average.
Top 7 Firefighter Jobs in Canada
There are many job roles you can take up as a skilled firefighter, depending on your level of experience and expertise. From fire inspection to prevention to working as a paramedic, industrial or wildland firefighter, or fire chief, firefighting in Canada goes beyond the extinguishing fire. Here are the jobs you can do as a firefighter in Canada:
1. Fire Inspector
The opportunities for fire inspectors in Canada are numerous. These people are in charge of sensitizing the public on the federal, state, and local fire codes and ensuring houses and properties are safe from fire hazards.
Fire inspectors are also tasked with inspecting building design plans to ensure safety measures are incorporated from the beginning.
According to PayScale, the average salary of a Fire Inspector in Canada is $65,000.
2. Paramedic Firefighter
In the case of fire incidents, paramedic firefighters provide emergency medical aid to injured survivors while the fire is being extinguished. They know how to combat and contain the fire and provide medical support to those in critical conditions.
Like other medical-related fields, the services of paramedic firefighters are in high demand in Canada. This has led many employers to take the painstaking approach of obtaining the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire foreign workers.
Paramedic firefighters in Canada earn an average annual salary of $66,854 and $32 per hour.
3. Wildland Firefighter
Canada is one of the leading agricultural food-producing countries in the world. This is because it puts its vast land mass to good use to ensure food security for Canadian citizens.
Canada’s vast land mass and agricultural practices have caused a high demand for wildland firefighters. These people are charged with wildland fire suppression, management, and control in Canada.
According to Glassdoor, wildland firefighters earn an average annual salary of $40,170 in Canada.
4. Industrial Firefighter
As one of the ten largest economies in the world, with a majority of its wealth coming from revenues made from manufacturing, Canada takes the safety of its industries seriously. That’s why there are many industrial firefighters in the country, yet there’s demand for more.
Industrial firefighters work to extinguish fires in industries and ensure people in the affected area are safely rescued. They are among the highest-earning firefighters in Canada due to skilled operations in dealing with hazardous materials emitted by industrial materials when burning.
Industrial firefighters earn an average of $108,224 per year in Canada.
5. Fire/Rescue Technician
Fire/Rescue technicians are trained to rescue fire victims from any environment. They have the capacity to dictate which part of a building or property is easier to break in from during a fire outbreak. They’re also charged with building rescue structures to ensure a fire is contained and extinguished within the shortest possible time.
In Canada, fire/rescue technicians are paid an average of $58,340 annually, or $30 per hour.
6. Fire Investigator
After a fire outbreak has been contained and extinguished, it is the duty of the fire investigator to investigate the cause of the fire. This is to prevent future occurrences, and if the fire is caused intentionally by people, ensure they’re handed over to law enforcement agencies for proper punishment.
To get a job as a fire investigator in Canada, you must have adequate knowledge and experience in fire science. Having police or military training will be an added advantage.
Fire investigators make an average of $111,702 per year in Canada.
7. Fire Chief
A fire chief is the head and controller general of a fire department. He oversees every branch’s operations and ensures a swift response to fire emergency calls.
The role of a fire chief isn’t always readily available, you have to earn it by working your way up the ranks. A fire chief has lots of experience in firefighting, inspection, and investigation and is also knowledgeable in human resource management.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary of a fire chief in Canada is $133,477.
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Firefighting jobs are in high demand in Canada. As an immigrant, if you have a wide experience in the field, it’s easier to have employers offer you job offers from Canada. However, it’s rare to have a Canadian employer offer you a job with visa sponsorship. But once you get yourself in Canada and take up a firefighting job offer, you’ll see how lucrative it is.