How to Find Employment in Alberta
There are many ways to find employment in Alberta. The bigger challenge is finding a career that you want to stay in for long-term.
Many newcomers work survival jobs while they work towards their careers. Working towards a career may require taking English classes, bridging programs or going to College or University. Luckily Alberta has many immigrant associations, resources and programs to help newcomers find meaningful employment.
The Alberta Government does have an “Employment Support” page that helps Albertans looking for work or facing layoffs. In addition, the Alberta Learning and Information Service(ALIS) has many valuable resources for searching and applying for employment. Both pages are excellent ways to start your job search. You can find many resources below to help you find employment in Alberta.
General Working in Alberta Resources and Organizations
**This is an amazing list made by the government listing all bridging programs, employment services and English language classes. You can find it for the major cities in Alberta below:
- For Calgary click here
- For Edmonton click here
- Working in Alberta: A guide for internationally trained and education immigrants
- **Momentum: A NGO that helps people with employment
- ** City of Calgary Youth Employment Centre
- Canada Visa: Alberta Economy and Employment
- Alberta Labour Market Information
- Alberta Labour Market Notes: Updated Monthly with current job market data.
- Getting your international credentials assessed with the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS).
- Visit an “ Alberta Supports Centre”, or apply online, to find supports and programs for your job search. You can click here to find an office near you.
Ways to find employment in Alberta
Upgrade your English: LINC/ESL Programs
The Government of Alberta: Improve your English Resources is a great resource for finding information on the multiple ways to improve your English. *Please note that to attend a LINC program you need to take a language assessment test and get a referral. Below are the assessment centres.
- Edmonton: Language Assessment, Referral & Counselling Centre (LARCC)
- Calgary: Calgary Language Assessment and Referral Centre (CLARC)
- Lethbridge: Southern Alberta Language Assessment Services (SALAS)
- Medicine Hat: Karen Ziemann Consulting: 1657 31 Street SE 403-527-5062
- Red Deer: Central Alberta Refugee Effort
- For a list of all testing centres in Canada click here.
Bridging Programs/Training Programs
- Here is a list put together by the Alberta Government that lists all “Training for Work Programs” that help individuals get back to work.
- The Alberta Government has an Integrated Training program that provides hands-on learning experiences, specific skills and helps newcomers bridge over to employers. The Integrate Training program includes immigrant bridging programs that focus on helping skilled immigrants with prior education or experience, gain employment.
- The Alberta Government’s Employment and Training Services Directory can be used to lookup training opportunities in Alberta.
Immigrant Agencies with Employment Assistance
Many immigrant agencies offer free employment counseling as well as courses to build your skills for the Canadian workforce. See below for many organizations in Alberta that offer assistance and courses for immigrants. If you live outside the main cities in Alberta search “employment counselling” and your location.
*Click here for a complete list of services in Calgary *check back here for updated lists
- Centre for Newcomers: Career Development and Job Search ServicesCalgary Immigrant Women Association (CIWA): Employment Services (Women only)
- Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society(CCIS): Professionals and Job Seekers’ Services
- The Immigrant Education Society (TIES): Employment Services and Training
- Young Women Christian Association (YWCA): Employment Resources Centre (Women only)
- Making Changes (Women only)
*Click here for a complete list of services in Edmonton * Check back here for updated lists.
- Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers: Employment Services
- Accès Emploi: Centre D’emploi Francophone En Alberta ( Francophone Only)
- Bredin Centre for Learning
- Changing Together: A Centre for Immigrant Women (Women only)
- Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization (SCERDO) Youth Employability Skills project
You may consider going to University or College in Alberta. Click here to find more information about post-secondary in Alberta. Click here for a detailed list of all the Colleges and Universities in Alberta, or look below for all the College and University websites. Check the list above to see who funds, public or private, the school as well as if they have any religious affiliation.
Some immigrant organizations offer help in applying for post-secondary education. Check out their websites above.
- Alberta Bible College (Calgary)
- Ambrose University College (Calgary)
- Bow Valley College (Calgary, Airdrie, Banff, Blairmore, Brooks, Canmore, Claresholm, Drumheller, Eden Valley, High River, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Morley, Pincher Creek, Red Deer, Stettler, Three Hills)
- Canadian University College (Lacombe)
- Concordia University of Edmonton (Edmonton)
- DeVry Institute of Technology (Calgary)
- Grande Prairie Regional College (Grande Prairie, Fairview)
- Keyano College (Fort McMurray)
- Lakeland College (Lloydminster, Strathcona County, Vermilion)
- Lethbridge College (Lethbridge)
- Medicine Hat College (Medicine Hat)
- NorQuest College (Edmonton, Stony Plain, Wetaskiwin, Edson, Westlock, Hinton, Whitecourt)
- Northern Alberta Insititute of Technology (NAIT)(Edmonton, Fairview, Grande Prairie, High Level, Peace River, St. Albert)
- Northern Lakes College (Slave Lake, Grouard)
- Olds College (Olds, Calgary)
- Portage College (Lac La Biche)
- Red Deer College (Red Deer)
- Southern Alberta Insititute of Technology (SAIT) (Calgary)
- Mary’s University (Calgary)
- Taylor College and Seminary (Edmonton)
- The King’s University College (Edmonton)
- Athabasca University (Athabasca)
- Grant MacEwan University (Edmonton)
- University of Alberta (Edmonton)
- University of Calgary (Calgary)
- Mount Royal University (Calgary)
- Alberta University of the Arts (Calgary)
- University of Lethbridge (Lethbridge)
Networking and Career Fairs
Networking can be a great way to find opportunities. The more people that you have in your network the more connected you are to potential opportunities and jobs. A person you met at an event may lead you to a great job in the future.
- To learn more on “how to network” visit the ALIS website found here
- LinkedIn Build your professional portfolio online and start building your digital network. You can get notifications of job openings through LinkedIn based on your skills and previous jobs.
- Look up events on Eventbrite. Click here to search “Alberta Networking events.”
- Many organizations have virtual and in-person career fairs. To find a current list of upcoming fairs in Alberta you can search “job or career fairs Alberta”, or click here for a list updated by the Alberta government.
- You can also lookup career/job fairs on Eventbrite. Click here to search “Calgary job fairs or Edmonton job fairs.”
- Jobs Canada Virtual Career Fairs
These 5 ways are not the only ways to gain employment. You can upgrade your skills by taking online or in-person classes. Many immigrant organizations offer a variety of free classes. You can also use one of the many free online platforms such as Coursera or Edx. Both require payment only if you’d like a certificate to show you completed a course. Finally, another option is to start your own business. Click here to watch our video and find resources on “How to Start a Small Business in Alberta.”
* Check out the “What Skills Do You Need to Work in Alberta” video page for more resources.
- Linguahouse: Job Hunting Lesson Plan
- ESL Library: Employment and Job Resources (Paid subscription required)
- Teach This: Jobs and Occupations (Some are free, some paid)
- Janis’s ESL: Job Search Resources
- Allthingstopics: Jobs and Work
- Getting a Job: Conversation Questions
Career-A job that you plan on having for a long time.
Lawyer- a person who practices or studies law;
Improve- to get better at something
Regulated- control or supervise certain jobs to make sure that workers have certain skills and education. They must get a licence or join a professional organization to do their job in Alberta.
Unregulated- Jobs that do not require a licence or monitoring.
Tools- Something that can help you do something.
Skills- the ability to do something
Education- information about or training in a particular field or subject
Field- a certain topic of study or area of activity or interest.
IQAS- International Qualifications Assessment Service- A service that looks at your experience and education and compares it with Canadian standards.
Alternative- A different choice
Coach- A person that teaches and motivate you towards a goal.
Support- to give or get assistance.
Credentials- qualifications, achievement, and personal quality, or aspect of a person’s background,
LINC- Language Instruction for Newcomers- An English learning program provided by the federal government to newcomers to Canada.
Bridging program- A program to prepare you for your career, or education for your career. It can also be a program between two post-secondary institutions or two organizations.
Immigrant organization- An organization that focuses on helping newcomers to Canada.
Short term goals-Something that you want to accomplish in the near future.
Long-term goals- Something you want to accomplish in the future, which could be years away.
Motivation- the reason or reasons you act or do something.
Focus- to not get distracted and stop doing something.
Employment counsellor- A person that helps you in your job search.
Expectations- Things that you want to happen.
Network- Your connections to other people and how they connect to others. It looks like a spider web.
Upgrade- To improve your skills, job and/or knowledge.
Certificate- A formal paper that says you completed a course or courses.
Form- a printed or typed document with blank spaces for required personal information.
Application- a digital or paper form used in making a request to join a program, organization, or company.
Meaningful- something that is important to you.
#1. What is a regulated job?
#2. What job did Isabelle have in her country?
#3. Does Isabelle want the same job?
#4. How does an Employment Counsellor help you find a job?
#5. What is an “alternate career”?
#6. What does an employment counsellor not do?
#7. Why should you get your credentials assessed from your country?
#8. What are LINC classes?
#9. Why does the Employment Counsellor suggest that Isabelle take a bridging program?
#10. Why is it important to make short-term goals?
#11. What are some ways to find employment in Alberta? * Choose all that apply.
Select all that apply:
#12. What course does Isabelle want to take at the College?
#13. How long does it take Isabelle to get her alternative career?
#14. Why should you call everyone who helped you get your job?
#15. Does Isabelle become a lawyer again?
- Knowledge Check (Word)
- Knowledge Check (PDF)
- Vocabulary (Word)
- Vocabulary (PDF)
- Canadian Government-Planning to Work in Canada Workbook
- Career Building Strategies for Service Providers working with Newcomers
- Job Seeker’s Handbook-An Introductory Guide to Finding Work
- University of Alberta- Job Search Guidebook
- Work Search Basics
- Working In Alberta- A Guide for Internationally Trained and Educated Immigrants
Acknowledgements of Actors: Heidy Rodriguez, Jocelyn Chugg, Tre Davis, Nura Mohamed
Acknowledgements of Voice Actor: Kanako Hiratsuka-Earle
Special thanks to the Government of Alberta: Community and Social Services and Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN) for assistance in content development.