Working in Vancouver is one of those things you will still be telling people about in 20 years time! Recently voted the world’s best city to live in for the third year in a row jobs in Vancouver range from ‘outdoorsy’ to professional and casual or seasonal. (See Best City article in the Economist)
For those looking for career jobs in certain professions, Vancouver’s jobs market offers plenty of opportunities for those prepared to fight for that dream position. You will be competing with Canadian citizens themselves as well as international students and other working holiday makers. Recruitment companies such as Randstad and Appleone are very well known and connected in Vancouver.
Register to get free access to our list of top working holiday employers in Vancouver and British Columbia, as well as use of our unique job search tool.
Trading, logistics and shipping are all busy industries with the Port of Vancouver being the largest in Canada. Forestry is another very active industry in Vancouver but all of this may be far too serious for the adventure and snow filled working holiday you have planned.
How about the movies instead? Vancouver is ranked as the 3rd largest film production area in North America, after only LA and New York, hence its nickname: Hollywood North. So if film production or acting is your thing, get your game face on! You might even be able to break into the industry at entry level making tea in the director’s trailer.
Tourism is the second largest industry in the City, so if you are looking to further your tourism career in Canada or just want a job as a tour guide or bar man to pay the rent and buy a ski pass – welcome to Vancouver.
For hospitality, and in particular bar and restaurant work in Vancouver, be prepared for a drop in hourly wage compared to Europe and Australia. This is disproportionately made up in service charge or tips. As you will find out there is a minimum expectation of 15 – 20% on all food and beverage here in Canada, so a waitress can earn on average $300 – $400 a night.
Consequently there is a lot of competition for server jobs, and you will need a minimum of 2 years experience to nab a good position. Another route is to work your way up the ranks starting as a food runner. (Meep, meep!)
It is best to arrive in the city before the two main tourist seasons, summer and winter. Similar to Whistler nearby, many working holiday visa-holders will arrive in town for the snow or the sun. So get into town during April or May to nab yourself a decent server position, or arrive in October and hit Cypress or Grouse ski resorts for a winter job in an urban area. See our Ski Resort Jobs section.
Register for your free WHC Jobs Kit with a list of Vancouver’s Top 25 Working Holiday employers from 2010, a working holiday jobs search tool, our resume guide and jobs fair calendar.