In Canada, agriculture is one of the important sectors and each year, thousands of immigrants apply to Canada’s farming sector. However, immigrating to Canada as a farm worker is a great decision and comes with a wide range of benefits. As a foreigner, securing a farming job in Canada can be a great opportunity to multiply your earnings, enjoy a good quality of life, and promote Canada’s agricultural sector.
Do you have years of farm experience? Immigrating to Canada as a farm worker will open doors to new opportunities. Canada’s agriculture industry faces an extreme shortage of workers, and the situation is expected to get worse due to the large numbers of existing farmers retiring. Although, agriculture jobs are not just farm labor, but also jobs in quality control, packaging, supply chain, marketing, finance, and lots more.
However, immigrating to Canada as a farm worker temporarily demands that you have a valid work permit. A work permit is a temporary residency permit that allows you to live and work in Canada for a specified time. Moreover, you are not permitted to work in Canada without a valid work permit because of your foreign resident status.
In Canada, a general farm worker may earn an average salary of $42,450 annually or $22.50 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $35,515 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $96,000 per year. In this article, we’ll provide detailed information on finding farm jobs in Canada and provinces where farmers are in demand, Read on.
Farm Labor Shortage
Have you asked yourself the question why Canada is in dire need of farm workers? It’s simple. Canadian farms are in dire need of more workers because a lot of Canadians prefer not to work on farms. However, plenty of these farm jobs are seasonal and most Canadians want a year-round job.
Furthermore, Canadians consider farm work too tough or the pay is too low. Also, farms are located in remote areas where many of the citizens do not desire to live. Therefore, Canadian farmers have hired temporary farm workers from other countries in the past years.
Securing Farm Jobs in Canada
Although there are sufficient opportunities for foreign workers, the job market and recruitment process may differ from what you’re used to back in your country. Therefore, getting a job in Canada as a foreign resident may be difficult but not impossible. In some cases, you do not require any educational certification to secure a farm job but you’ll need one if you are aiming for the top farm worker positions.
For instance, in British Columbia, you do not need a certification to be a farm worker. Many farmers learn the skills they need on the job, or by having a family farm background. However, you can become a farm laborer without training but if you wish to go further in your career, you’ll need a diploma or degree in related agriculture subjects.
We have compiled some tips you’ll find helpful in securing farm jobs in Canada.
1. Understand The Agriculture Job Market
In provinces across Canada, the demand for agricultural jobs varies. The following provinces, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba engage in crop and pig farming. While, the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia have large commercial fishing industries.
In addition, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec have most of Canada’s fruit industry. Therefore, it is essential to research which parts of Canada have the most demand for the agriculture jobs you’re interested in. It’s also a good idea to understand what skills employers are looking for in your field and when the recruitment season starts.
2. Look For Job Listings On Online Portals
Job portals such as Job Bank, Farm Jobs Canada, Monster, Indeed, and LinkedIn are online portals to look for available job opportunities. Ensure you read the job characterizations to get a better understanding of the work you’ll be expected to do and the skills and experience you require. Most of the job listings will also tell you whether the job is full-time or part-time, the salary range, and the benefits you’ll get if you get the job offer.
3. Sign-up With Farm Worker Recruitment Agencies
Several employment agencies specialize in recruitment for farming jobs in Canada, such as GreenTech Resources Ltd. and Agricultural Employment Alberta Ltd. Some recruitment agencies may also be able to help foreign residents with their work permit processing. However, it’s essential to note that, recruitment agencies in Canada do not charge job applicants any fee for their service. The employer pays them once they fill the positions available.
4. Create a Canadian-style Resume
The Canadian-style resume format differs from the one used in your home country, therefore you must create one. Employers in Canada are hoping to see your achievements and skills on your resume, rather than just the job responsibilities you had in previous roles. Furthermore, some Canadian employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to shortlist resumes that best match the job description, so ensure you include the keywords from the job listing on your resume.
5. Build a Professional Network
Networking is an important part of Canada’s work culture, and it’s a great way to find job openings that aren’t advertised online. You can build your network in Canada by connecting with people you know directly or indirectly who’ve moved to Canada to work in the agriculture section. You may also be able to contact Canadian farm operators, professionals at agri-food companies, and agricultural recruiters on online portals like LinkedIn.
Once you make an initial connection, you may request a chit-chat to learn more about the agriculture industry and hiring processes. The idea is to nurture meaningful relationships with professionals in the industry so you can leverage those connections to get referrals for jobs.
6. Prepare For Job Interviews
If you’re lucky and your resume is selected, you may be invited for numerous interview rounds before getting a job offer. Usually, the interview process will focus on evaluating your skills, experience, and suitability for the job. Endeavor to prepare for your job interview by
practicing your responses to some of the commonly asked interview questions.
Farming Provinces of Canada
Provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, are into the majority of Canada’s crop farming. Although, Alberta has the most animal operations of any province while, Saskatchewan produces the most durum wheat, lentils, and canola. Manitoba on the other hand, is abundant in pig farms and second in potato production.
However, British Columbia produces enormous quantities of fruits, vegetables, eggs, and aquaculture, as well as the largest grape growers. The province of Ontario has the most poultry farms, second in pig farming. It also has the largest number of cannabis-growing operations. Ontario farmers also produce the most corn and apples in Canada.
Quebec happens to be the largest producer of blueberries in Canada and has the largest number of dairy farms and cows. Furthermore, in Atlantic Canada, farming is split equally between crops and livestock (including aquaculture). Potatoes are a popular crop in this region. There are also several large food product manufacturers here.
The General Duties of Farm Workers in Canada
Farm workers are those situated on the farm land and they perform some or all of the following duties.
- They plant, fertilize, cultivate, spray, irrigate, and harvest crops on the farm.
- They also feed, milk cows, and care for livestock and poultry.
- Farm workers operate and ensure perfect working conditions for farm machinery and equipment.
- Detect disease and health problems in crops, livestock, and poultry.
- They check the farm produce for perfect quality and prepare for the market.
- Set and monitor water lines, airflow, and temperature in barns, pens, and chicken coops.
- Farm workers are in charge of cleaning stables, barns, barnyards, and pens.
- General farm workers can become specialized in a particular type of crop or livestock production through experience.
There are no specific education or training requirements for farm workers in Canada. However, a college certificate or specialized courses related to farming, such as farm equipment mechanics and agricultural welding are available. A course or certificate in first aid may be an advantage.
Immigrating to Canada as a farm worker is a dream of many foreigners. Canada has long been known as a hub for agricultural employment opportunities. In addition, Canada has offered farm workers an opportunity to migrate as an individual or with their families on a temporary or permanent basis.