The Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program now allows foreign nationals who are heavy equipment operators to immigrate to Canada.

The change to the FSW which made that possible came on Nov. 16 last year, when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) added 16 new jobs to its list of eligible occupations.

IRCC increased the number of eligible occupations under the FSW on the same day the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 came into effect to 359.

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The 16 new occupations are all deemed to be jobs for which the worker must get a college diploma, an apprenticeship training of less than two years, or more than six months of on-the-job training.

The full list of newly-added jobs on the list of eligible occupations under the FSW includes:

  • NOC 13102 Payroll administrators
  • NOC 33100 Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
  • NOC 33102 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • NOC 33103 Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
  • NOC 43100 Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
  • NOC 43200 Sheriffs and bailiffs
  • NOC 43201 Correctional service officers
  • NOC 43202 By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers
  • NOC 63211 Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations
  • NOC 73200 Residential and commercial installers and servicers
  • NOC 73202 Pest controllers and fumigators
  • NOC 73209 Other repairers and servicers
  • NOC 73300 Transport truck drivers
  • NOC 73301 Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators
  • NOC 73400 Heavy equipment operators
  • NOC 93200 Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors

Heavy equipment operators, those workers who operate the heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures, in surface mining and quarrying activities, and in material handling, are in demand across Canada.

Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs Abound In Canada listed 2,707 jobs for heavy equipment operators in Canada in mid-January and Job Bank shows these workers earn a median annual income of $58,500 based on a standard work week.

They are typically employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors, public works departments and pipeline, logging, cargo-handling and other companies.

In Canada, the construction industry’s labour shortage is dire.

“We’ve moved from a shortage to a crisis, not only for Canada’s economy but for the construction industry,” Mary Van Buren, president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), reportedly told Daily Commercial News. “We had about 93,000 open jobs and that was as of September, October.”

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Paul de Jong, president of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCAC), reportedly told Daily Commercial News every single firm that belongs to PCAC is suffering due to a lack of workers.  

“Not only is that a frustration in terms of the practicality of it all, it actually becomes a serious problem with respect to the investment climate because a project owner will engage with a contractor to do a project and ask for a labour plan, and if the contractor is not able to furnish an airtight labour plan, the contractor may suffer a delay of scope of work,” he reportedly said.

Job Bank Rates Prospects For Heavy Equipment Operators As Moderate To Good For Next Three Years

Economic immigration through Express Entry, though, offers both a way for foreign nationals to get their permanent residence here and for employers to recruit qualified foreign nationals to fill heavy equipment operator positions in Canada.

Job Bank, the federal government’s job board, gives a ranking of moderate to good for the employment prospects of heavy equipment operators in most provinces across Canada for the next three years. 


Foreign nationals hoping to apply for permanent residence through the FSW must have one year of paid work experience within the last decade in jobs categorized as TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC 2021 system.

Applicants under this program must also take a language test to prove they possess sufficient language skills to establish themselves in Canada successfully. Language tests evaluate an applicant’s abilities with regards to:

  • listening
  • speaking
  • reading
  • writing

In order to be eligible for the FSW, an applicant needs to obtain at least the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 in all categories and show that he or she has enough money to support him or herself and any relatives upon arrival in Canada.

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