Truck Driver Jobs in Canada 2024: Driving trucks is a popular job option for many people looking to immigrate to Canada. With a shortage of truck drivers in the country, Canada actively recruits foreign nationals to fill these positions. If you are interested in immigrating to Canada as a truck driver, this article provides complete details on types of truck driver jobs, requirements, salary packages and VISA sponsorship available in 2024.
Types of Truck Driver Jobs in Canada
Canada has a booming trucking industry providing lots of job opportunities for commercial drivers. There are well over 200,000 trucking companies in the country requiring more than 350,000 drivers currently. With 22% of the current workforce aging over 55 years, around 27,000 new recruits are needed per year for the next decade. Fortunately, truck driving is now classified as a Red Seal Trade making immigration straightforward under express entry for qualified international talents.
If you are keen on immigrating to Canada as a professional truck driver, there are primarily four types – long-haul drivers, short-haul drivers, specialized truck drivers and local delivery drivers. Each has its own licensing, experience and operational requirements summarized below. But salaries and demand are robust across segments making truck driving an attractive profession
Long-Haul Truck Drivers
Long-haul truck drivers transport goods between cities or provinces in Canada. They drive long distances and trips can last days or weeks. Common long-haul truck driver routes are Toronto-Vancouver or Calgary-Montreal.
Short-Haul Truck Drivers
Short-haul truck drivers transport goods within a city or region in Canada. Trips are shorter as they cover less than 160 km typically. Common short-haul routes include Vancouver-Okanagan Valley or Toronto-Ottawa.
Specialized Truck Drivers
Specialized truck drivers operate specific types of trucks transporting specialized loads. Examples include tanker trucks, refrigerated trucks, flatbeds, car carriers, etc. They need specialized licenses and training.
Local Delivery Drivers
Local delivery truck drivers transport smaller loads within a city. They operate medium-sized trucks and vans making store and home deliveries. Hours are more regular than long-distance hauls.
Requirements to Become a Truck Driver in Canada
To become a truck driver in Canada, you need:
Valid Truck Driving License
A Canadian Class 1 or Class 3 driver’s license is mandatory, depending on the vehicle. An equivalence test might be required if you have a foreign license.
Clean Driving Record
Any history of major driving violations can make your ineligible to drive trucks in Canada. A clean abstract is essential for most trucking jobs.
Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
Specialized TDG certification allows transporting hazardous materials. It requires passing a written exam.
English or French Language Skills
Truck drivers should possess basic language skills for reading signs, communicating with dispatchers, and completing paperwork.
High School Diploma
Most trucking companies prefer drivers with a high school diploma or equivalent for long-haul routes. Experience can substitute for education sometimes.
Salary Packages for Truck Drivers in Canada
The average salary for a long-haul truck driver in Canada is $65,000 per year. With overtime, it can reach $80,000 annually.
- Short-haul truck drivers make around $45,000 to $60,000 per year on average depending on experience and company size.
- Specialized truck drivers get paid $70,000 to $90,000 per year due to additional licensing requirements.
- Local delivery drivers earn around $30,000 to $50,000 per year working regular daytime hours.
Besides base salaries, benefits add another 10% to 20% value typically. Health/dental Insurance, RRSP contributions, bonuses, paid leaves and performance incentives are some common benefits. With perks, total compensation can reach $100,000 for long haulers.
Hourly Salary Packages for Truck Drivers Jobs in Canada
Besides attractive annual salaries, truck drivers in Canada also earn excellent hourly wages. Rates vary by experience, license class and transportation/delivery type.
Long-Haul Truck Drivers
The average hourly pay for long-haul truckers starts at $16 per hour for new drivers. With experience, it climbs to $25 per hour on average. Top earners make $35+ per hour.
Short-Haul Truck Drivers
Short-haul drivers earn $18 – $28 per hour depending on experience. New drivers start at around $18 per hour while veterans make $28+. Overtime and night shifts are paid extra.
Local delivery drivers earn $15 – $22 per hour on average. Extended delivery routes and refrigerated transports pay more $25+ per hour. Overtime on evenings and weekends is common.
With strong demand forecast, hourly wages for truckers should continue rising over the next decade across Canada. It creates an attractive profession for immigrants with commercial driving skills.
Complete Process of VISA Sponsorship for International Truck Drivers Jobs in Canada
Canada has high demand for immigrant truck drivers from abroad. Here is the step-by-step process for international candidates looking to immigrate as drivers.
First, check if you can transfer your existing commercial license to a Canadian equivalent through a recognition test. Alternatively, you may need to attend truck driving school in Canada first.
Research transport and logistics companies that frequently sponsor international talent. Getting a job offer before applying boosts visa success chances dramatically.
Educational Credential Assessment
Get your overseas diplomas and credentials evaluated by WES to prove educational equivalence to Canadian standards. High school or higher preferred.
Take a CELPIP or IELTS exam to prove functional English or French capability based on CLB 4 requirements before applying.
Applying for Express Entry
Create an Express Entry profile for the Federal Skilled Trades program. Employer sponsorship helps getting selected faster under FST.
Provincial Nominee Program
Alternatively, apply directly to PNPs in Ontario, BC, Alberta or Manitoba that recruit immigrant drivers abroad. These have expedited processing.
Getting Your VISA & PR:
Once approved under express entry or PNP, apply for a work permit and permanent residence to immigrate as a truck driver.
The process takes 6-12 months with high approval rates. Follow all steps accurately for smooth visa sponsorship.
Sponsorship is easy for truck drivers given the labor shortage. Priority is given to candidates with job offers from Canadian transport companies. Getting licensed before applying also strengthens your profile.
Canada needs over 20,000 new truck drivers by 2024. With excellent pay, benefits and visa sponsorship, it is an outstanding career option for immigrants. Getting qualified with the right license and applying under express entry or PNPs can make realize your Canadian dream.