Canada, please stand up and be counted! Keep reading if you are a pilot seeking a change as pilot jobs in Canada are popping up and one could have your name on it.
Introduction – Pilot Jobs in Canada
There is something about Canada that finds it on a lot of bucket lists to visit. For pilots, Canada may not have been somewhere that was front of mind for a foreign pilot to fly there so we have put together this review to look at pilot jobs in Canada so you can find out if you need to be more curious. Let’s face it … Canadians seem like nice people, and it could be this fact that draws pilots from foreign lands. The word on the street is that as a general rule, pilots in the USA earn more than the equivalent in Canada, however with Emigrate Canada making it easier to get a visa for pilot job seekers, and if you are looking for an adventure, then the fine lands of Canada might just be for you!
Read on if you are at least intrigued because remember, Canada has some beautiful places to see, and working there might be the excuse you need.
Are pilots in demand in Canada?
We always look for clues when scoping out if pilots are in demand. Globally at the present time, the signs are as in your face as a warning light in a flight deck! Pilots are in demand in Canada even though Air Canada reports that they are confident in their pilot numbers due to ‘heavy crewing’ some flights to assist in keeping its pilots current on their widebody fleet. Heavy crewing simply means that they are carrying more than the required compliment to assist with recency exposure and for pilots to remain connected to their jobs. To understand why pilot jobs are in demand in Canada, we need to dig deeper.
Pre pandemic, we were already predicting a pilot shortage. Add in the pandemic where not all pilots wanted to come back, a slowed pilot training pipeline, and retirements and you have all the ingredients to raise a prediction of a chronic issue. In Canada’s case, there are also a number of low-cost carriers in the pilot market such as Flair, Air Canada Rouge, Swoop (owned by Westjet), and Westjet Encore.
With Airbus planning on 40,000 new aircraft over the next few years, Boeing sprouting a need for over 500,000 pilots globally, and Emigrate Canada bringing it home with express visas, we have a clear message.
Can a foreign pilot work in Canada?
A foreign pilot can absolutely work in Canada and Emigrate Canada is almost making it too easy! The NOC (National Occupation Code in Demand) for pilots is 2271 and you do not necessarily need to have a job lined up before you apply. You may be eligible for a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa if you have your pilot’s license and have worked as a pilot. Although this is exciting for foreign pilots, a wise word of advice is to understand that local pilots have worked for their conditions, and you may be met with strong opinions about this from local pilots.
If you are wanting to work in Canada as a pilot, always be respectful of what the local pilots have achieved and be ‘humble.’
How do you get a job as a pilot in Canada?
There are three main basic requirements to getting a job as a pilot in Canada which require methodical planning and execution. Luckily if you are a pilot, you already have these planning skills! And no, a university aviation college degree is not a requirement.
1. For licensing, the constraints of CAR Standard 421 apply. Within this, there are around five steps to work through which is not limited to, Class 1 Transport Canada medical, proof that you meet the experience requirement (logbook), complete the appropriate flight and test procedures – complete written tests for local knowledge, and a flight test in a multi-engine aircraft, complete your license application and of course pay a fee!
2. For a Visa and the right to work in Canada, you will need to apply through Emigration Canada.
3. For the job, you can either seek out the operators directly and apply or find an aviation employment agency, taking a look at the job postings, using the relevant job filters.
Is it easy to get a job as pilot in Canada?
Any shift to a foreign country has its challenges and Canada is no different. Right now, a pilot job in Canada is relatively simple as Emigration Canada has added pilots to the skilled migration list.
In saying that, for peace of mind, do your research and you may find an aviation employment agency that may be of assistance with job alerts, of course with a fee so also do your due diligence on cost.
What are the different pilot jobs in Canada?
Air Canada pilot
The info from Air Canada says that pilot applications exceed job vacancies and therefore preference is given to those that hold more of the criteria.
Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express
Air Canada Rouge is the low-cost arm and Air Canada Express is the feeder for Air Canada.
Now recruiting First Officers and Rapid upgrade First Officers
Nothing advertised currently but if this sounds like you then you have got to be in it to win it!
WestJet has a couple of advertised positions however remember it takes effort to advertise so find out if you can send in your CV or talk to someone anyway.
Transat Airlines is the third largest Canadian airline with at least one advertised position for a First Officer!
How many pilots work for Air Canada?
Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge have over 4000 pilots. As the flagship carrier displaying the country’s name, patriotism goes a long way towards being a choice for pilots, the second pilot employer being WestJet. In a sample survey of flight crew members and other employees in both airlines, Air Canada’s top item is work-life balance with WestJet’s being culture.
“Air Canada like every other company is not perfect. The benefits are amazing, even for part-timers; however, the starting pay is low. Considering the position is “premium”, the pay is not. If you are looking for above-average pay, look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for flexibility then Air Canada is a sure bet. “Concierge (current employee) – Toronto Pearson International Airport, ON – ca.indeed.com
How many pilots are unemployed in Canada?
After spending time looking for pilot unemployment numbers, the answer became clear in the post-pandemic uptake of pilots meaning that there are low numbers of unemployed. The difficulty facing the industry is a sparse number of people learning to fly, choosing aviation and choosing an airline career.
How much do Canadian pilots get paid?
Every airline has their own pay scales and conditions which vary based on supply and demand. For example, if there is a pilot shortage, the salaries and conditions improve and conversely, if there is a pilot oversupply, the reverse happens. It also depends on the expectations of pilots such as a pilot who applies to a low-cost carrier expecting certain salary and conditions whereas a pilot applying to Air Canada may have different expectations.
To give you an indication, an entry-level First Officer at Air Canada earns approximately $55K whilst a Senior Captain on the largest type (B777) can earn as much as $280K. Of course, this all depends on the number of hours flown as well. Generally, pilots in Canada earn less than their counterparts in the USA.
Conclusion – Pilot Jobs in Canada
One could be forgiven for assuming that all the pilot jobs are available only in the USA however we have established that pilot jobs in Canada are popping up and the process has become easier to get one, particularly for student pilots. When you fly with someone for hours on end, having someone friendly makes the job a whole lot more pleasant and Canadians are well known for being friendly!
Over the last twenty years, more low-cost airlines have started up in Canada, not only creating more competition but also more opportunities. As always, when considering any shift to any job, especially in a foreign country, do your due diligence, make sure you have a current passport, and please be respectful of the local pilot community. There are some pilot jobs in Canada and if you are seeking a change, why not go somewhere with beautiful scenery?!