A recent survey has revealed that the Canadian trucking sector will face a significant shortage of 48,000 long-haul truck drivers by 2024. This poses an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to immigrate to Canada for this kind of work.
The Canadian government has been supportive of this development and is providing eligible foreign employees seeking work as truck drivers in the country with work visas.
This article will detail the job requirements, skills required, and the top provincial programs in Canada for truck driver jobs.
Truck Driver Job Requirements in Canada (With Visa Sponsorship)
To get a truck driver job in Canada as a foreigner and obtain visa sponsorship, it is essential to understand the job requirements. Below are the prerequisites:
- Work Schedule: Truck driver jobs in Canada include permanent, full-time, overtime, weekend, day, night, and evening works.
- Education: A secondary school diploma is preferred but not essential.
- Expertise: Heavy-duty driving expertise is a plus, but it is not essential.
- Language: The ability to communicate in basic or functional English is necessary.
- Certificates: Certificates, Licenses, memberships, courses, and other credentials will be required for this job.
- License: A valid driver’s license (Class 1 or A) is necessary, as well as the Air Brake (Z) Endorsement.
- Trucking and Equipment Types: Tractor-trailer, Flatbed, Refrigerated, Highway, Straight truck (4,600kg+ or 10,000lbs+ with 3+ axles).
- Safety and Security: Basic security clearance, criminal background check, driving record check (abstract), medical examination, and drug test are all required.
- Transportation and Travel: Willingness to travel throughout Canada and the United States, travel during the day, evening, or night, including overnight routes, and willingness to travel for long periods of time.
- Other Requirements: Candidates must be legally permitted to work in Canada and willing to operate in a two-person team to drive long-haul trucks.
To be successful as a truck driver in Canada, the following skills are required:
- Operating and driving straight or articulated trucks for the transportation of products and supplies.
- Cargo loading and unloading, tarping, and ensuring cargo safety and security.
- Planning trip routes and schedules using atlases and other planning tools.
- Receiving information and relaying it to the central dispatcher.
- Driving in a convoy or as part of a two-person squad.
- Inspecting the vehicle’s condition and inspecting the tires, lights, brakes, cold storage, and other equipment.
Top Provincial Programs in Canada for Truck Driver Jobs
If you’re seeking truck driver jobs in Canada, these are the top provincial programs for job seekers:
- British Columbia: A full-time job offer in long-haul trucking is the gold standard for candidates in British Columbia’s entry-level and semi-skilled category, which has over 400 positions on the job bank. Long-haul drivers can live in the province permanently.
- Quebec: Quebec leads the way in terms of provincial opportunities for truck drivers, with 837 job adverts now available. According to information on the Quebec government’s employment website, truck driver employment prospects are ‘excellent’ with their platform.
- Ontario: Experienced truck drivers who have a work offer in Ontario can follow a defined path to permanent residence in Canada. The NOC code for transport truck drivers (7511) was added to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream in July 2019.
- Alberta: Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, there are over 500 job openings on the employment bank for long-haul truckers. Both the Alberta Opportunity Stream and Alberta Express Entry programs are available for truck drivers.
- Manitoba: Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program Employers in Manitoba can hire foreign truck drivers through the federal Labour Market Impact Assessment for Temporary Foreign Workers process. Alternatively, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program allows businesses to hire outside of the LMIA procedure if they meet specific criteria such as recruitment efforts and compliance with provincial labor laws.
- Newfoundland and Labrador: NLPNP Skilled Worker and Express Entry Streams According to the Labour Market Outlook 2025 report in Newfoundland and Labrador, truck driving is an occupation that will require significant immigration to meet job vacancy demand. Trucking companies must apply to be eligible employers under the NLPNP’s Skilled Worker and Express Entry streams.
- Saskatchewan: Long-Haul Truck Drivers Sub-Category For individuals already working in Canada on a work permit, the Saskatchewan Immigration program has a separate Long-Haul Truck Drivers Sub-Category. This occupation also qualifies for the province’s Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand categories, which each draw targets certain occupations.
- Nova Scotia: Occupations In-Demand Stream In Nova Scotia, Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 7511) are one of two target jobs in the Occupations In-Demand Stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. This provides a clear path to permanent residence for drivers.
Wages for Truck Drivers in Canada
The hourly salaries of truck drivers in Canada are now competitive with national and provincial averages. According to job bank and Statistics Canada data, the median wage for truck drivers is slightly lower than the national average but can soar to more than $8 over that average, to $32 per hour, in several circumstances. As labor market demand rises in the future years, wages for truck drivers are projected to climb.
If you’re considering a truck driver job with visa sponsorship in Canada, then there are ample opportunities and programs available to you. We hope this article has shed some light on the various options that are available to you.
Don’t hesitate to explore the websites of the various programs to find out more about eligibility criteria and application processes.