2020-01-19 – High demand and job vacancies for long-haul truck drivers (HGV Drivers) remains an ongoing challenge in the Canadian transportation industry. Government policies offer Canada work visas to qualified foreign workers looking for jobs in Canada, in this occupation.
The Canadian trucking industry is facing a shortage of long-haul drivers to the tune of 48,000 by 2024, meaning those seeking Canada immigration have an excellent opportunity.
With an average age of 47 and rising, the sector has one of the oldest workforces, with a third of drivers over 55, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
Typically, a long-haul trucker might spend up to 14 days at a time on the road, working 12-hour shifts, with three days off in between.
The average salary ranges from $55,000 to $65,000, although drivers are often paid bonuses by the mile, enabling them to earn significantly more.
A search of Canada’s federal government’s job bank reveals more than 2,600 vacancies, each one of them with a possible route to a Canada visa.
Job Bank Vacancies for Truck Drivers
|Prince Edward Island||13|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||7|
This kind of demand means experienced applicants are likely to be successful with Canada immigration if applying to any of the provincial nominee programs.
Interested candidates begin the process by obtaining a confirmed job offer that is approved by immigration Canada. Ideally, an approved job offer will be in a province that offers Canadian permanent residence under a long-haul driver pilot project.
Immigration.ca, through our in-house recruitment enterprises Skilled Worker and Global Recruiters of Montreal, works on behalf of a number of employers to source qualified foreign long haul drivers. Qualified candidates will receive a temporary Canada work permit. After a period of transition, candidates can apply for Canadian permanent residence (Canada immigration) under provincial nomination programs (PNP).
Truck Drivers: Provincial Nomination Programs
Quebec leads the way in terms of provincial vacancies for truck drivers, with 837 job ads currently live. Labour market information on the Quebec government’s employment website says employment prospects for truck drivers are ‘good’. The Quebec Skilled Worker Program’s Areas of Training list offers 9 points out of a maximum 12 for heavy-duty equipment mechanics (7312) and automotive service technicians, truck mechanics and mechanical repairers (7321). Read more on Quebec immigration.
The NOC code for transport truck drivers (7511) was one of three occupations added to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream in July 2019. It means that experienced truck drivers with a job offer in Ontario have a specific pathway to Canadian permanent residence. Read more on Ontario immigration.
In British Columbia, which has more than 400 vacancies on the job bank, the gold standard for candidates for its entry-level and semi-skilled category is a full-time job offer in long-haul trucking. The province offers permanent residence for long-haul drivers. Read more on British Columbia immigration.
Long-haul drivers are also a key sought-after profession under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, showing more than 500 vacancies on the job bank. Truck drivers qualify through both the Alberta Opportunity Stream and Alberta Express Entry. Read more on Alberta immigration.
Employers looking to hire truck drivers in Manitoba are advised to use the federal Labour Market Impact Assessment process for Temporary Foreign Workers. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program only permits companies to hire outside the LMIA process when specific conditions are met including recruitment efforts and in terms of the province’s labour law. Read more on Manitoba immigration.
Prince Edward Island
Truck drivers already working temporarily in Prince Edward Island qualify for permanent residence through the Critical Worker Category. Read more on Prince Edward Island Immigration.
Newfoundland & Labrador
In Newfoundland & Labrador, the Labour Market Outlook 2025 report identifies truck driving as an occupation that will require significant immigration in order to fulfil job vacancy demand. Trucking companies must apply to be eligible employers for the NLPNP’s Skilled Worker and Express Entry streams. Read more on Newfoundland immigration.
Saskatchewan immigration has a specific Long-Haul Truck Drivers Sub-Category for those already working in Canada on a work permit. The occupation also qualifies under the province’s Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand categories, for which specific occupations are targeted with each draw. Read more on Saskatchewan immigration.
The Nova Scotia Nominee Program’s Occupations In-Demand Stream lists Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 7511) as one of two target occupations. This gives drivers a clear pathway to permanent residence. Read more on Nova Scotia immigration.
Truck Driver Wages and Duties
Hourly wages for truck drivers are currently competitive with both national and provincial averages.
According to job bank and Statistics Canada data, the median wage is slightly below the national average, although it can rise to more than $8 above that average to $32 an hour in many cases.
As labour market demand increases, as is expected over the coming years, wages for truck drivers are likely to rise.
Truck Driver Hourly Wages in Numbers
|Low||Median||High||Average hourly wage all occupations|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||13.5||20||35||23.74|
|Prince Edward Island||12||16.5||27||19.03|
Source: www.jobbank.gc.ca and Statistics Canada
Typical Truck Driver Duties
- Operate and drive straight or articulated trucks, weighing over 4600 kg with three or more axles to transport goods and material to destinations
- Oversee all aspects of vehicles, such as the condition of equipment, loading and unloading, and safety and security of cargo
- Perform pre-trip inspection of vehicle systems and equipment such as tires, lights, brakes and cold storage
- Perform emergency roadside repairs
- Obtain special permits and other documents required to transport cargo on international routes
- Record cargo information, distance travelled, fuel consumption and other information in log book or on-board computer
- Communicate with the dispatcher and other drivers using citizens’ band (CB) radio, cellular telephone and on-board computer
- May drive as part of a two-person team or convoy
- May transport hazardous products or dangerous goods.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Currently, the primary avenue for trucking companies to hire workers from overseas is through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Qualified applicants receive a Canadian visa and depending on the province, can transition to Canadian permanent residence.
To take the temporary worker route, an employer must first seek a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
What This Means For Employers
Employers are encouraged to consider securing an LMIA or nomination under PNPs to ensure long term retention of employees.
Canadian employers can access unparalleled immigration legal services and help with the recruitment of foreign workers through our in-house enterprises, Skilled Worker and Global Recruiters of Montreal.
Employers are assisted under a fixed fee basis for both recruitment and immigration services. Approved candidates are brought to Canada in the shortest time possible. Employers can directly benefit from one of Canada’s leading online immigration firms to meet both their recruitment and immigration requirements.
Interested employers wishing to seek assistance are invited to contact us here for further information.
What This Means For Candidates
If you are an immigrant looking to come to Canada on a temporary work permit, you can follow a step by step guide here.
Find out whether you qualify for Canada by completing our free online evaluation. We will provide you with an evaluation within 1-2 business days.