Overview of the Health Care Industry
The Health Care and Social Assistance industry provides health care and social assistance to the people of B.C. Establishments in the health care sector offer/help clients with diagnosis and treatment services and providing residential care for medical reasons. Establishments include hospitals and clinics, ambulances, nursing or residential care homes. Establishments in the social assistance sector offer direct services to their clients such as counselling, welfare, child protection and child care, housing and food services.
The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is currently the largest employer in the province with 312,600 employed in 2019. The industry is expected to expand its workforce at a much faster pace than all industries as a whole over the next ten years up to 2029. The industry is projected to have 141,700 job openings over the 10-year period 2019-2029. Over half of those job openings (58 percent) are a result of replacement demand for retiring workers.
Healthcare and Social Assistance Jobs
Expected growth in employment
The workforce is predominantly female, and wages for women in this industry are notably 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.
See also: Welcome BC Employment Language Programs.
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
Occupations in High Demand in BC:
- Physician – General/Family Practice & Specialists
- Registered Nurse
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Nurse Practitioner
- Occupation Therapist
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Medical Radiation Technologist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Ultra sonographer
- Health Care Assistant/Care Aide
Additional high opportunity health care occupations in BC:
|Home Support Workers||6,610|
|Social & Community Service Workers||11,020|
|Medical Laboratory Technologists||1,520|
|Medical Laboratory Technicians||1,650|
|Medical Radiation Technologists||1,110|
|Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists||1,310|
|Respiratory Therapists & Perfusionists||570|
|Practitioners of Natural Healing||1,140|
|Amubulance Attendants & other Paramedical occupations||1,320|
Source: Good Jobs for Today & Tomorrow
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:
- WorkBC Career Profiles [search by job title]
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.
Employment Growth by Region – Health Care & Social Assistance, 2019-2029
BC is divided into 5 health regions. Information on health care openings in each region can be found at:
Online Job Postings
- Health Match BC
Free health professional recruitment service funded by the Government of British Columbia
- BC Health Authorities
Link to authorities’ websites and click on ‘Careers’
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
- Guide to Canadian health care facilities
Available at the Central Library