Working in Calgary

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Calgary traffic
Alberta is famous for its extensive oil resources. This, teamed with the permissive local economic policies, contributed significantly to the province’s economic boom. However, in recent years the tides have started to change. Things have now begun to become far more competitive where once expats had little trouble finding employment in Calgary.

Job market in Calgary


Economic activity in Calgary still centres mostly on the petroleum industry. Alberta has the lion’s share of Canada’s oil industry. Petroleum companies such as BP, EnCana, Imperial Oil, Suncor Energy, Shell, TransCanada and Nexen Inc all have their headquarters in Calgary. While Calgary was a great place for expats with expertise in the oil and gas sectors, this industry has recently suffered some blows and, as a result, landing a job in this field has become more competitive. However, expats with the right qualifications and skills will still find decent employment prospects in the city.

Agriculture and tourism are also significant employers. Engineers, geologists, financial service providers and IT specialists will find plenty of job opportunities in the city.

The growth of the city, especially over the past decade, has also had far-reaching infrastructural effects on Calgary, with a considerable amount of suburban and inner-city development taking place. This has created lots of opportunities for those with skills in architecture, urban planning and construction. The population growth in the city has also increased the need for teachers and healthcare professionals.

Finally, as Calgary seeks to discard its image as the most ‘cultureless’ of major Canadian cities, there has been a considerable amount of investment in the media and the arts.

In terms of working culture, expats, especially those from Western Europe and the US, will have no problem slotting into the Canadian workplace. A highly developed, efficient country, Canada is, by all accounts, a dream for committed professionals. As in most Western countries, business in Canada operates on a 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday basis.

Finding a job in Canada


In most cases, expats need to have a job already secured before they are able to obtain a permit to work in Canada. The majority of people relocate as a result of intra-company transfer with a company they were previously working for in their home country.

For those without a firm job offer in place, the best way to start searching for a position in Calgary is to consult local job listings online. The Canadian Job Bank provides a good starting point and there are plenty of good job portals to assist job seekers.

The career sections of bigger newspapers such as the Calgary Herald are also worth perusing. 

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