The province of Alberta is well-known for its wealth of natural resources, including its productive oil sands. Alberta’s multicultural cities are a destination of choice for newcomers from all over the world.
The government of Alberta regularly invites newcomers with the skills and experience to meet the province’s growing labour requirements to work and settle in Alberta as Permanent Residents (PR) through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.
This resource provides information on the job market in Alberta, including key industries, in-demand occupations for newcomers in the region, NOC codes, and median wage estimates, so you can arrive prepared to kick-start your career in Canada.
In this article:
- What are the top industries in Alberta?
- Which cities have the most job opportunities in Alberta?
- Which jobs are in demand occupations in Alberta?
- What is the minimum wage in Alberta?
- What is the unemployment rate in Alberta?
- How can I move to Alberta?
As you plan your move to Canada, choosing a province to settle down in is a huge decision. While the job market is an important factor to keep in mind, be sure to also research the local culture, major cities in each province, spoken languages, and cost of living in the region. Arrive’s Newcomer Guide to Canada’s Provinces and Territories is a great starting point.
- Mining, oil and gas industry: Alberta is a major exporter of petroleum products and gas. The sector offers many job opportunities for newcomers.
- Manufacturing industry: The largest manufacturing industries in the province are food and beverage, chemical products, refined petroleum, forest products, fabricated metals, machinery, plastics, rubber, and electronics.
- Services industry: The services sector is large and diverse, employing the bulk of Albertans. Industries in this sector include banking and financial services, construction, wholesale and retail trade, professional and technical services, education, accommodation and food services, and transportation.
- Agriculture and forestry: The agriculture and forestry industry is another large employer, producing food staples, dairy products, poultry, and forest products like pulp, paper, and timber.
- Calgary: The fourth most populous city in Canada, Calgary is home to a diverse set of industries, including energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, and aerospace.
- Edmonton: Edmonton is a major hub for the oil and gas sector. In addition, it also offers an abundance of job opportunities in advanced manufacturing, digital technology, financial services, transportation, life sciences, and agri-foods industries.
- Red Deer: The city of Red Deer offers employment opportunities in manufacturing, mining and oil and gas extraction, retail, construction, health care, and education.
- Lethbridge: The economy of Lethbridge relies on industries like health and education services, food and accommodation services, trade, construction, manufacturing, and other services.
The in-demand jobs have been compiled based on in-demand and priority occupations identified in the latest Provincial Nominee Programs and NOCs selected in recent PNP draws. The occupations listed in the sections below are not exhaustive and are subject to change as the labour market needs evolve.You can also use the Government of Canada’s Job Bank portal to conduct a trend analysis of average wages, eligibility criteria, and job requirements for your occupation in a particular city or province.
Service sector jobs in Alberta
- Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621): Managerial level positions in the services sector typically require a management degree or a graduate degree in a relevant field. Trade managers make a median wage of $42 CAD per hour.
- University professors and lecturers (NOC 4011): High-demand jobs in Alberta’s education sector pay well, with university professors receiving a median wage of $51 CAD per hour.
- Administrators for post-secondary education (NOC 0421): Administrators in the education sector earn a median income of $42.56 CAD per hour in Alberta.
- Retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211): Retail sales supervisors earn around $19.75 CAD per hour.
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics (NOC 7321): Automotive technicians make an average hourly income of $25.50 CAD.
- Food service supervisors (NOC 6311): As a food service supervisor, you can earn a median hourly income of $18.50 CAD.
- Social workers (NOC 4152): These in-demand occupations pay an average wage of $37 CAD per hour.
- Home support workers and housekeepers (NOC 4412): These jobs pay around $18 CAD per hour.
- Chefs (NOC 6321): Chefs earn a median hourly wage of $18.25 CAD.
- Insurance underwriters (NOC 1313): Insurance underwriters are in demand in Alberta. These jobs pay between $22 CAD and $68 CAD per hour, depending on skill and seniority.
Technology jobs in Alberta
- Information systems analysts and consultants, software engineers (NOC 2171, 2173): These in-demand engineering jobs pay a median wage between $47 CAD and $48 CAD per hour.
- Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174): Programmers and developers earn an average income of $39 CAD per hour.
- Graphic designers and illustrators (NOC 5241): To work as a graphic designer, you’ll need a degree or diploma in arts or design. You can expect to earn a median income of $28 CAD per hour.
- Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2232): Engineering technologists make an average of $36 CAD per hour.
- Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers (NOC 2262): These jobs pay a median wage of $38 CAD per hour.
Manufacturing jobs in Alberta
- Carpenters (NOC 7271): Skilled trades jobs, like carpentry, pay a median wage of $27 CAD per hour.
- Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operators (NOC 7302 and 7204): Equipment operators and supervisors in Alberta’s manufacturing sector make a median hourly wage of $37 CAD to $40 CAD.
- Supervisors in food, beverage and associated products processing (NOC 9213): These roles typically pay around $28 CAD per hour.
Health care jobs in Alberta
- Managers in health care (NOC 0311): Health care managers make a median income of $51 CAD per hour and usually require a management degree.
- Licensed practical nurses (NOC 3233): Licensed nurses earn a median income of $28 CAD per hour.
- General physicians and family physicians (NOC 3112): Many health occupations, including doctors, require a licence to practice in Alberta.
- Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists assistants (NOC 3212): Lab assistants and technicians are paid a median salary of $27 CAD per hour.
- Other assisting occupations in support of health services (NOC 3414): These in-demand roles pay a median wage of $20 CAD per hour.
- Paramedical occupations (NOC 3234): Paramedics can make between $21 CAD and $48 CAD per hour in Alberta.
- Medical administrative assistants (NOC 1243): The median hourly salary for these roles is $26 CAD.
- Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 3214): Senior medical technologists earn around $47 CAD per hour.
- Dentists (NOC 3113): As a dentist in Alberta, you can earn a median annual salary of $106,887 CAD. Some dentists even earn as much as $364,000 per year.
Agriculture jobs in Alberta
- Managers in horticulture (NOC 0822): Managers in the agriculture sector make a median hourly wage of $26.83 CAD in Alberta.
The minimum hourly wage in Alberta as of October 1, 2018 is $15 CAD. The minimum wage for students is $13 CAD per hour. These rates are currently under review.
In October 2021, Alberta’s unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent.
In addition to the federal Express Entry program, the province also invites permanent residents with valuable skill sets that align with the province’s in-demand occupations through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.
If you plan to stay in Alberta temporarily, you can also apply for a work permit or study permit. If you choose to apply for permanent residence and permanently settle in Alberta later on, any education credentials or work experience you gain in the province will contribute positively to your application.
Want to learn more about living in Alberta?
Check out our province-specific resources for more information:
- Provincial spotlight: Introduction to Alberta for newcomers
- How to apply for a health card in Alberta
- How to get a driver’s licence in Alberta
- Understanding your rights as a tenant in Alberta
- The school system in Alberta