Newfoundlander Jim Burke moved to Fort McMurray in 2005 to be closer to his son and grandchildren. The abundance of work the area offered also appealed to him. Jim specializes in adult instruction and has been teaching for 40 years.
When he first arrived he had to wait for his Alberta teaching certificate before he could work in his field. In the meantime he wanted to work and utilized the Alberta Labour Market Information Centre (LMIC) where he researched jobs in the area. “I had to wait for my certificate and working appealed to me. I found a job as a night auditor at a hotel very quickly.”
When he received his Alberta teaching certificate he started to focus on adult instruction. He teaches safety training, First Aid and personal development courses.
Workers moving to Wood Buffalo from another part of Canada, or from outside Canada, may need to take some steps to get their professional or trade credentials recognized in Alberta. This process can be very fast in some cases, but in other cases it may take some time or require some additional training or education.
The first step is to compare your credentials (degree, certification, trade documents etc.) to what is required in Alberta.
- Professionals from other provinces will generally find the process quite quick and simple. Contact the local professional association or the Alberta association related to the profession.
- Trades workers from other provinces should bring their trade certification papers, and if possible obtain Red Seal qualification in their province of origin. Most employers, especially employers on oil sands sites, require their workers to be ticketed journeypersons. Workers with experience but no certifications, or workers who are apprentices, can transfer their experience and training to Alberta qualifications. It will take some time, and some training or hours may have to be completed in Alberta.
- Professionals or trades workers from outside Canada should expect that it will take some time and possibly some additional training, education or experience before their credentials are fully recognized in Canada. For workers from outside Canada, it can be very frustrating to find that they can't work in their professions. The resources below will help with realistic expectations regardings how long it might take to get international credentials recognized. (See the English as a Second Language section.)
Links to information on how to get credentials recognized in Alberta:
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- Regulated Professions (information for workers with international qualifications)
- Regulated Trades (information for workers with international qualifications)
- Working in Alberta (general information)
- Interprovincial Standards Red Seal (for trades workers from other provinces)
- Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (for all trades workers)
- Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
- Alberta Learning Information Service CERTinfo (Certification and Registration Requirements for Employment in Alberta)
- Alberta Learning Information Service OCCinfo and WAGEinfo (Wage and Occupation information for workers in Alberta)
- Professional Associations in Alberta