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Overview of the Health Care Industry


Health care workers are in demand in British Columbia. The health care sector is one of the largest and fastest growing in BC, with over 210,000 people working in this industry.

Health-related occupations will grow at a faster rate than other jobs in the coming years, as BC’s growing and aging population require more health services. This industry has a low unemployment rate and is generally not affected by changes in the economy.

Healthcare and Social Assistance Jobs

Expected growth in employment

expected growth in employment for healthcare and social assistance jobs

Source: WorkBC Industry Profiles

Females make up the majority of BC’s health care workforce. Wages for women in this industry are higher than in other industries.

Immigrants are seen as a key source of talent as health care organizations seek to meet their hiring needs.  The industry has responded by creating a number of programs to attract new workers.

One such initiative is the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program. This program helps you understand how to obtain credential recognition, education, and association membership in order to establish your health care career. It also provides assistance in overcoming language and cultural barriers in order to succeed in the Canadian workplace.

Health Match BC is a free health professional recruitment service funded by the Government of British Columbia. They recruit physicians, registered nurses and allied health professionals on behalf of BC’s publicly funded health employers.

The BC Provincial Nominee Program is for people with the skills, experience and qualifications needed by B.C. employers. This program is for individuals who would like to live and work in B.C. and become a permanent resident of Canada. You can apply to the PNP through the health care professional category if you are sponsored by or have a full-time job offer from a public health authority in targeted occupations.

For more information on the Health Care sector see:

Occupations in the Health Care Sector

The Ministry of Health has identified the following health professions as priorities:

Occupations in High Demand in BC:

  • Physician – General/Family Practice & Specialists
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Occupation Therapist
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Ultrasonographer
  • Health Care Assistant/Care Aide
  • Perfusionist

Source: British Columbia 2024 Labour Market Outlook

The chart below shows additional high opportunity health care occupations in BC:

NOC Code Occupation Job Openings
to 2024
Education Level
3111 Specialist Physicians 2,030 University
3112 General & Family Physicians 2,850 University
3113 Dentists 1,240 University
3131 Pharmacists 2,330 University
3142 Physiotherapists 1,540 University
3143 Occupational Therapists 760 University
3012 Registered Nurses 25,050 University
3211 Medical Laboratory Technologists 1,790 College or Trade Certificate
3212 Medical Laboratory Technicians  2,060 College or Trade Certificate
3215 Medical Radiation Technologists 1,210 College or Trade Certificate
3222 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists  1,460 College or Trade Certificate
3232 Midwives & Practitioners of Natural Healing  830 College or Trade Certificate
3233 Licensed Practical Nurses 4,030 College or Trade Certificate
3234 Amubulance Attendants & other Paramedical occupations  1,410 College or Trade Certificate
 3411  Dental Assistants 2,260 High School Diploma and/or Occupation-Specific Training
3413 Nurse Aides, Orderlies & Patient Service Associates  16,620 High School Diploma and/or Occupation-Specific Training

Source: British Columbia 2024 Labour Market Outlook

For detailed information on any of the occupations in the health care sector, including job description, educational requirements for working in BC, salary, and more, see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

The demand for health care workers is strong in all regions of the province

The largest numbers of jobs in this industry are located in Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Thompson-Okanagan regions.

BC is divided into 5 health regions. Information on health care in each region can be found at:

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the health care industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Directory of Canadian healthcare personnel
    Available at the Central Library
    362.11025 C21a
  • Guide to Canadian health care facilities
    Available at the Central Library
    362.105 C212ca

Additional Resources