When newcomers come to Canada, many are highly skilled in regulated fields, but because those fields are regulated, they can’t work in the same jobs right away, until they have re-licensed in their home province.
In Canada, regulated professions include engineers, biologists and medical lab technicians. When the highly-qualified workers arrive in B.C., they may begin to re-license in their occupation but that can take time and sometimes newcomers decide they don’t want to requalify. To get working right away using their skills, many people opt for alternative careers.
To be clear, an alternative career is not a survival job. Rather, an alternative career is a position that will use a newcomer’s skills and knowledge and be a satisfying alternative to his or her previous work. For instance, an engineer may take an alternative career as a project co-ordinator; a biologist may work as an environmental technician. In both cases, there is a possible future career progression and rewarding compensation.
ISSofBC’s new IMPACT project has an upcoming webinar on this topic. The IMPACT team (Immigrant Pathways to Alternative Careers in Technology) has been researching and talking to newcomers, employers and professional associations in the fields of Engineering, Life Sciences and Information and Communication Technology.
The first webinar will review alternative careers for newcomers in Engineering and Other Services. Our guests will be Mark Rigolo from APEGBC (the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC) and Geoff Sale from ASTTBC (the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC). You can join this webinar on Wednesday, January 20 at 10 a.m. PST. Please register at:
Many newcomers to Canada feel a little confused about where they can work if they have come from a regulated job. But the economy is booming and thousands of job openings are expected in coming years.
Mark your calendar to catch this webinar to get ideas for alternative careers in engineering and related services. If you have questions you’d like to ask, you can send them in advance of the webinar. Just use the comment section or the Q&A button. You can also email
If you happen to read this after the webinar has taken place, don’t worry. You’ll be able to watch a recording of the webinar on the ISSofBC You Tube Channel.
About the Author: Gwen Pawlikowski is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who has also worked as an ISSofBC employment counsellor with newcomers. She lives in New Westminster and loves the diversity of the Lower Mainland. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.