Seafarer jobs in Canada

Seafarer jobs in Canada

It's not easy to sail the seas and oceans. But with such a profession it is possible to immigrate to Canada!

In the coming years Canada predicts a stable demand for seafarers. It is possible to immigrate with such a profession with or without an offer from a Canadian employer.

According to Job Bank, sailors are most in demand in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Seafarers' salaries

Seafarers' wages in Canada depend on a variety of factors: job requirements, qualifications, working conditions and employer location. Experienced seafarers tend to earn more than newcomers.

According to official data, on average, workers in this profession earn $52,981 CAD per year or $4,415 CAD per month. Seafarers in British Columbia have the highest average hourly rate at $28.1 CAD.

Sailors in Canada — what do they do?

According to the Canadian Occupational Handbook, Sailors in Canada may perform all or some of the following duties:

  • stand watch and operate a ship or self-propelled vessel under the supervision of a watch officer;
  • Conduct operation, maintenance and repair of deck equipment such as winches, cranes, cargo booms and ropes;
  • Assist ship engineers in scheduled maintenance and repair of ship engines, machinery and auxiliary equipment;
  • monitor engine, machinery and equipment indicators, record variables and report anomalies to the ship's engineer on watch;
  • lubricate moving parts of motors, machines and auxiliary equipment;
  • operate and maintain pumps and valves for transferring fluids with discharge;
  • clean engine parts and keep the engine room clean;
  • cleaning, painting the decks;
  • operate mooring lines and connect and repair ropes, wire cables and cordage.

Working as a sailor

Where and how do seafarers work in Canada?

Workers in this profession are most often employed on commercial or merchant ships. They stand watch, operate and maintain deck equipment, perform other duties on deck, and assist ship mechanics in the operation, maintenance and repair of engines, machinery and auxiliary equipment on board ships. Seafarers work for marine transportation companies and federal agencies.

Examples of posts:

  • sailor;
  • barge sailor;
  • the bosun;
  • the boiler man;
  • deck sailor.

Seafarers' work is not easy. It often involves physical work, extreme weather conditions, travelling and other difficulties. Seafarers must be prepared to spend considerable time away from their families and society in general.

Employment requirements

To be employed as a seafarer in Canada, a school education is sufficient. Once employed, training is provided, during which the employee receives the necessary certificates.

Work experience is required to secure higher positions and promotion to deck or ship mechanic positions is possible with experience, additional training and a Deck Officer Certificate from Transport Canada.

You can join the Sailors' Society of Canada, but it is not necessary for employment.


To become a seafarer in Canada, it is required to obtain a Canadian Maritime Certificate. To do so, the candidate must sign up at the Transport Canada Maritime Safety and Security Examination Centre and complete the appropriate forms.

Note that only Canadian citizens or permanent residents can work on ships. This means that you have to immigrate first, get a permanent residence permit, and only after that you can get a job.

How to immigrate to Canada

If you have experience as a seafarer, you can immigrate to Canada through one of the immigration programs suitable for this profession.

Many programs are suitable for workers in this field, for example:

For more immigration programs for seafarers, see here.

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