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Is finding a job easier in Canada now than it was 10-15 years ago?

Canada The great white north. A BIG country with few people and LOTS of aviation.

Is finding a job easier in Canada now than it was 10-15 years ago?

Old 20th Jul 2017, 17:14
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tokyo
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Is finding a job easier in Canada now than it was 10-15 years ago?

I left Canada 10 years ago and have been living in Japan since.

I've been running an aviation related training business here with pretty decent success but I would like to get flying again.

I gave up on piloting as a career when I was younger because 9/11 happened just after I got most of my licenses and the industry was a complete wreck.

Some of my friends were working at Jazz-type carriers and were making something like 20k a year take-home pay, and no job security. I made significantly more money than that after coming to Japan and starting my business, and while I like my life in Japan, I would prefer to be flying. I don't want to be living on kraft dinner though. I'm getting married soon and 20k is not even close to enough especially considering I'll probably have to pay for additional licenses or certs myself.

Working at a Japanese airline is not realistic unfortunately, they groom Japanese candidates from junior high school age and put them in jets the moment they're done college.

How are instructor jobs doing these days? And after timebuilding, how do the options look? Is going up north still the only way, or are there different career routes? Has the pay increased?

Early 30's, low time but have most of the important licenses taken care of, speak English Japanese and French.
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Old 24th Jul 2017, 15:24
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
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Finding a job in Canada is extremely easy. The shortage is felt even here. You will take home much more than 20k lol. Joining as an FO Jazz or Georgian for example, which are AC Express carriers, you will take home between 3500 and 4000 a month. Upgrades to captains are quick also and you will take home almost double.
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Old 24th Jul 2017, 19:48
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Thanks for the reply.

Is the shortage real or anecdotal? When I was getting my basic licenses, people were talking about the "pilot shortage" both before and after 9/11 but I saw with my own eyes that my instructors and friends were having a hell of a time finding work. A number of them ended up going off to Africa and Asia to fly bush or float operations and were not earning real money, though they were building time and a few of them got their turbine time built up in this manner.

What are realistic time requirements for joining as an FO at a Canadian carrier now? Does the carrier pay for type ratings for something like a Q400 if you're coming in as someone with nothing but piston twin experience?
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Old 24th Jul 2017, 21:11
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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The shortage has begun... it's not at the "do you have a pulse and are you breathing" stage yet, but you are seeing people with 1000 to 1500 hours getting hired at airlines (feeders). Something that has not happened here since the 1970's. People are going straight from Flight Instructor to Dash 8 without having to go up north and work on a dock or a ramp. What used to take 10 years is now down to 5 or even 2 in some cases. Prospects for new hires will only get better because they were born in the right years. Money... well... the management here has had it really good for a really long time and they are having a difficult time admitting and adjusting to the new reality... so, don't expect a bag of gold at the doorway but I have faith it will improve.
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Old 6th Aug 2017, 03:04
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by paradoxbox View Post
Thanks for the reply.

Is the shortage real or anecdotal?
If you have an ATPL and some multi pic, you can pick any non-airline job you want, small operators are hurting a lot.

If you have the above and want to go the airline route, it is way easier than it was before, if you are willing to move.

If you don't have your ATPL, it's still not super easy. Getting the first 500 hours is still quite hard. 500 to ATPL is getting easier as well, but still no walk in the park.
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Old 6th Aug 2017, 16:33
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Africa
Age: 35
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If I can ask some advice

What the chances of getting a job, any aviation job, without the right to live and work? Are there any companies that will sponsor a pilot, of is it not going to happen?

I have 2000hrs, mostly on caravan's in the bush in Africa. Me and my wife both qualify for the express entry program and it would make it much easier to complete the process of PR if one of us just receives a job offer.

No ATPL yet because of night hours...bush flying....

My TC medical is done, and I am busy with the license conversion.

Any input would be appreciated
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Old 6th Aug 2017, 18:33
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Wayyyy easier, even regionals are parking planes right now due to lack of crew.

It's just the beginning, next year there's gonna be massive retirements and the new duty regs should be in effect. Just for the duty they expect about 25% more pilots per company.

Unless there's a major economic crisis the future looks bright for canadian pilots.
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 23:34
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by WickedWings View Post

What the chances of getting a job, any aviation job, without the right to live and work?
Pretty much zero.
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Old 9th Aug 2017, 07:07
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Paradox. There a company in Japan that will be receiving 10 Kodiak Quest turboprops , there might be some opportunities here in Japan.
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Old 9th Aug 2017, 15:56
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Thanks for the replies guys. I hope this thread can become a productive discussion about Canadian av employment.

Wickedwings, without a valid visa you're gonna be on hard times. I would strongly recommend gaming the system - Canada has a few laws that will enable you to get a job but you'll need to know somebody beforehand. Find someone who has a company that requires a specific skillset. IIRC the requirement is that the company has to advertise the job to Canadians first and then if the job can't be filled by Canadians, they are allowed to hire from overseas. If you can find a small business owner willing to do this for you, you're golden.

Thanks for the info Peak Tram Driver. I don't think I have much of a chance with them, my time is too low. Been flying since 10 years old but total loggable time is just not enough so I need to get my hours up to 2k+. Do you think speaking fluent English and Japanese is at all useful? I don't think converting my quals to the local JP equivalent would be a problem. I have something resembling a spouse visa in Japan (no restrictions on work).
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Old 12th Aug 2017, 10:45
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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What about the new Canada Immigration Express Entry system based on points?
I'm sure you can apply without a job offer.
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Old 13th Aug 2017, 09:59
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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I think speaking the local lingo helps a lot, plus have the right to work. I think try and convert your qualifications, and then keep trying . There's a shortage of pilots in Japan right now, very few Japanese are training overseas, so your in a good position. Where do u live in Tokyo? I live in Meguro, maybe get a beer one day and talk aviation!
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Old 16th Aug 2017, 05:59
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Thank you for the feedback. Much appreciated.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 03:48
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Job board

Hi there,

Im a foreign pilot planning to move to Canada around mid November. I will be doing the conversion of my ICAO ATPL and also have a 1 year work permit to start with.

What sites would you recommend to look for a job? I have corporate and general aviation experience. Is there a specific site for corporate aviation? I use a lot pilotcarearcenter... Well, Im not looking only for a corporate so, any site would help.

Thanks in advance! Keep it up.

Last edited by etiquetanegra; 6th Sep 2017 at 03:50. Reason: Grammar
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 19:09
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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There is a Corporate forum on the web site called avcanada.ca
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Old 7th Sep 2017, 15:36
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Based on what I read on avcanada, it certainly seems much easier than when I started 20 years ago, much lower hour requirements for the regionals. when I joined Jazz in 2005, I think the lowest time guy on our course of 26 guys had 5000 hours. I had 7000. Now 1500 is no problem.
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 21:17
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Dear pfvspnf, have you actually read the Corporate forum on avcanada.ca ? Your comment borders on being a troll.


By the way, the contraction "Who'll" means "who shall/who will".

Last edited by Kewbick; 8th Sep 2017 at 21:52.
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Old 9th Sep 2017, 23:37
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arvida no canadian regional has ever parked a plane for lack of crew. Jazz has a good flow program going right back to the air cadet program. Encore has lots of coolaid and free hugs and still manages to staff their Q's. They Encore has almost reached the end of their expansion to 45 tails. Despite having a few people not show up at ground school because better offers came in no flight has ever been cancelled for lack of crew.

paradoxbox I also started in 2001 and had to go into another industry for nearly a decade because of 9/11. Married a Japanese woman but sadly never moved there. Perhaps you're really living the dream and don't know it.
That said, plenty of smaller 703 companies are having trouble attracting and retaining people. I don't know if salaries have moved in the last 17 years or not but the amount of time you have to put up with crap has drastically decreased.

If I could suggest looking at jobs in Yellowknife you might be able to use your Japanese skills on your days off and make a couple of extra bucks. Some of the best flying I ever did was for a company up in Yellowknife. It's no shinagawa but as far as northern jobs go, it's a pretty good place to be. The company I used to work for is taking guys with less than 500 hours and putting them in the right seat of 705 machines. I don't have to tell you that this was unheard of 15 years ago (5 years ago for that matter).

I'm not on here often but PM me if you want to chat. Best of luck.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 23:05
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Toronto, ON
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Thanks guys!

Hi there,

Sorry for the lateness, I just come back to reality (Uruguay) after a week in Toronto.

Went there to get my first cat 1 medical and start the process of conversion of my Uruguayan (ICAO) ATPL. I did not have much time to visit companies, airports, etc I could only walk in at one company based at Buttonville and they shown interest on me, I even got an interview! After that, I got the feeling that with 1600TT, jet experience and ATPL won't be hard to get into a cockpit, but I'm aware that paycheck will be shameless at the beginning, I've no problem with that, I'm aware that I should start over again (regarding making money).

Now about Porter airlines, I applied, got interviewed and they told me to contact them again once I have the right to work in Canada and my license converted. I already have the right to work and a PR application in progress. The conversion it's something that I'm gonna do in December when I move there. Does anyone know how to prepare for the screening process? Most of the times you have only one shoot, and I'm exited to be part of Porter, I know that money it's not the best, but it's not only about the money, there might be other benefits that compensate your paycheck...

I would like to thank you guys for your replies and guidance, we may end up sharing a cockpit! Who knows.

Thanks: @Kewbick @GMC1500 @Willing_to_fly

Finally, last month I got interviewed by Copa Airlines, if anyone here would like to know about the process just DM me. In advance, I can tell you that there's an interview prep subscription at latestpilotjobs that it's JUST LIKE the real process, except for the ATPL questions which I have (21 out of 30).

Keep it up!

Last edited by etiquetanegra; 22nd Sep 2017 at 14:01. Reason: Misspelling mistake
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 07:35
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Congratulations on Porter and good luck
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