- Working in Biotechnology in Canada
- Before You Come to Canada
- Preparing to Work in the Biotechnology Sector
- Finding a Job in Canada
- Additional Resources
Canada is a world leader in biotechnology. We have an excellent research network, including hospitals, universities, government laboratories and private companies. Over the past twenty years, the Canadian economy has experiences a 77.2% growth in the number of biotechnology companies.
Most biotechnology companies in Canada are small to medium-sized businesses that are cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary. These companies may be involved in various stages of product development, including research, clinical and regulatory trials, production and marketing.
The biotechnology sector offers a wide variety of career opportunities in areas such as:
- Health Sciences
- Industrial Applications
- Life Sciences
- Natural Resources
There are many important things you can do to improve your chances for success before you come to Canada.
The FCRO provides you with helpful resources such as the Planning to Work in Canada? workbook and the Working in Canada Tool. Use these resources to find important information and to develop your job search plan
Language is a key factor for career success in Canada. You will need to prove your language skills in English, which is the working language in the biotechnology sector. This may require that you take a test. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada.
After you arrive in Canada, find immigrant services in your area including language training, job-search help and, in some cases, job placements.
In addition, BioTalent Canada’s online readiness modules can help you gauge your skills to determine your readiness to work in a typical Canadian biotechnology environment. These modules will help you assess your understanding of the Canadian work environment, occupation-specific language skills, understanding of document use and critical thinking skills.
BioTalent Canada has also created an online course called the BioSynergy Program to assist internationally educated professionals in integrating into the workplace. The BioSynergy Program contains modules on effective communication, building interpersonal relationships, lifelong learning and leadership skills. A coaching module is also available for those who would like to have a mentor.
Your official education, work and identity documents may also be important. This includes all your diplomas, course descriptions, final marks and supporting documents. It is much easier for you to request and organize your documents while still in your home country.
It is recommended that you obtain your documents in English or French, if possible. If your documents are not in English or French, you will need to have them translated.
The biotechnology sector requires individuals with scientific knowledge as well as skills in leadership, business, project management and communication. Most biotechnology organizations are small and staff often works in more than one role. Some larger organizations require more specialization.
It is important for you to demonstrate to employers that your skills meet Canadian standards. To help you do this, BioTalent Canada has launched the BioSkills Recognition Program for internationally educated professionals and new entrants into the sector. This program recognizes your real competencies and connects you with employers in the field.
To participate in the BioSkills Recognition Program, you must be legally authorized to work in Canada and must be fluent in English. You must first complete a BioTalent ePortfolio (a summary of your competencies, credentials and acquired skills) on BioTalent Canada’s job bank, the PetriDish. Once in Canada, you may be required to do a practical skills observation—a hands-on examination in which your skills will be reviewed by professionals in the biotechnology industry—or an applied workplace skills observation.
If your skills are recognized, you will receive a letter of recognition stating that you are BioReady, which means you have demonstrated the required skills for an identified job function and are recognized as competent in those functions for working in the Canadian bio-economy. If you are not recognized as BioReady, you will receive a letter informing you of the steps you can take to upgrade your skills, after which you may enrol in the BioSkills Recognition Program again.
You should take time to research job requirements and develop a plan for finding work.
It is essential that you understand the specific skill requirements for your occupation. The BioTalent Canada website provides an overview of the occupations included in the biotechnology field.
In addition, it is important to understand the biotechnology labour market. Our website provides you with the latest information on the biotechnology labour market environment across Canada. This will help you to target your job search by determining the locations and occupations where your skills are needed most.
Finally, you can explore current Canadian job opportunities through BioTalent Canada’s job bank called The PetriDish. Here, you can post your résumé, view job postings and sign up for job alerts to improve your chances of finding a job.
BioTalent Canada, BioReady and The PetriDish are registered trademarks of BioTalent Canada.