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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.

employment growth, job growth total employment 2019

Healthcare and Social Assistance Jobs

Expected growth in employment

Fastest_growing_industries_health_care Employment_outlook

Source: WorkBC Industry Profiles: Health Care & Social Assistance

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
  • Physiotherapist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Ultra sonographer
  • Pharmacist
  • Health Care Assistant/Care Aide
  • Perfusionist
  • Paramedics

Sources: British Columbia 2018 Labour Market Outlook, Work BC Health Care and Social Assistance

health occupations with the most job openings | 2019 - 2029

Source: WorkBC: Good Jobs for Today and Tomorrow

Additional high opportunity health care occupations in BC:

Occupation Job Openings
to 2025
Dentists 1,640
Home Support Workers 6,610
Social & Community Service Workers 11,020
Physiotherapists 1,850
Occupational Therapists 950
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:

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 industry employment growth and job openings by development regionSource: Work BC Industry Outlook Profile, B.C. Labour Market Outlook 2019 Edition – Health Care and Social Assistance

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

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

  • Health Match BC
    Free health professional recruitment service funded by the Government of British Columbia

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