Waterloo and its surrounding region has a strong knowledge-based and service-based economy. The city is part of Canada’s Technology Triangle (CTT) and boasts vibrant education, manufacturing and financial services sectors.
Job market in Waterloo
The technology sector, in particular, is dominant in Waterloo and contributes almost half of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Before the growth of the technology companies in Waterloo, the region was known for its insurance and financial services. These industries continue to employ a large number of Waterloo residents.
Education plays a significant role in Waterloo’s economy. The city is home to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a number of think tanks such as the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Institute for Quantum Computing.
Finding a job in Waterloo
The majority of expats who relocate to Waterloo are transferred through a company they have worked for in their home country or elsewhere. Highly-skilled expats are often headhunted or manage to secure a job before moving to the city.
For those without a secure job offer, the best place to begin the job search is online. Job portals and online classifieds are useful sources of information.
It is, however, important to remember that Waterloo is a small, developing city and its economy is not on the scale found in other Canadian cities. For this reason, networking is especially important. Having established contacts in one’s field of work will certainly help when it comes to finding a job in Waterloo, as networking provides expats with the opportunity to find out about jobs before they are advertised publicly.
Work culture in Waterloo
Working hours are typically 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. New arrivals will be pleased to know that Canada has strict laws in place which protect the rights of workers.
Expats working in Waterloo should ensure they have permanent residence or are in possession of a valid work permit.
►Read the Doing Business in Canada page for useful information on Canadian business culture and etiquette
Are you an expat living in Waterloo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Waterloo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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