Introduction to Working for Government

The Canadian federal government is not only the largest employer in Canada, it consistently ranks among the top employers in the nation for overall employee satisfaction (see Maclean’s Magazine and The Globe and Mail Top 100 Employers.) With the broad range of job opportunities and competitive pay and benefits, government jobs are clearly some of the the most attractive career opportunities in Canada.

There are myriad reasons why you might want to work for the public service in Canada and because of these many of us are drawn to seek a rewarding, long-term career in government. However, in your job search it’s essential to know more than simply the prerequisites to work for the government—you need to know exactly where to find the opportunities that match your skill-sets, experience and disposition. Many of these jobs not subject to the explicit governance of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) and therefore aren’t advertised on the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) federal jobs website.

The good news is that GovJobs.ca connects you to every source for jobs in the public service. Furthermore, once you know where to find current job opportunities, we’ll show how to apply to them and let you in on the secrets that will help increase the odds of securing the position you want.

Thankfully, there are many online resources freely available to you–the matter is really one of knowing where to look. It’s hardly a secret that although improvements have been made in recent years, government information can be time-consuming and even difficult to locate. This is where GovJobs.ca can help. This site provides all the essential information you need in one place to see you through a successful government employment search and hiring process.  Finally–we wish you the best of luck in your job search!

Why Work for the Canadian Government?

There are significant advantages in working for the Canadian federal or one of the provincial or territorial governments. Aside from ranking among the largest employers in the nation, thus providing a certain degree of job security, government jobs offer numerous benefits and advantages. As stated on the federal government website, Canadian Government is Canada’s “Employer of Choice” and for good reason—few other employers in Canada can offer the range of opportunities, support, and dedication to its workforce that the public service can.

Diverse Employment Opportunities

When seeking employment, many people think that working for the Canadian Government involves mainly administrative and office-type positions. However, with 214 departments, agencies and federal crown corporations within the federal government alone, there are a huge range of opportunities available outside of clerical type work. As the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSCC) states, these include “…jobs ranging from geologists to test pilots, from economists to ships’ crews, from computer specialists to program managers.”

Not all government organizations are subject to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), so it’s important to know that not all governmental organizations are required to post jobs through the Public Service Commission of Canada website. This means that there are many more current openings available than you might realize.

The vast number of job openings available in broad-ranging fields is something that few employers can provide, and this is only one of many compelling reasons to consider the Canadian government for your next employer.

Substantial Pay and Benefits Packages

While a deep pool of job openings is important–what makes the government a truly competitive employer is the strong pay and benefits package that it provides for its employees.  This is where the Canadian government excels among other organizations in Canada.  Job compensation (i.e., earnings) is based on a pre-determined pay and benefits scale, which in many cases is determined through a process of collective bargaining.  This is one of the main reasons salaries are highly competitive in many occupations, often surpassing private-sector employers.

Government of Canada Rates of Pay

Easily the most common and enduring inquiry we receive regarding specific jobs is, “How much money can I make?” This is the perennial question that, while not the only concern, is crucial in making an informed employment or career choice. Given the broad range of job opportunities within the various government department and agencies, we can only here give a few examples from a selection of job types to give you an idea of the general range in government pay scales.

Keep in mind that public service rates of pay typically increase every few years and are often set through bargaining by he various government employee unions:

Sample Government Pay Rates (2016)

Administrative Services pay ranges from $29,000 to $108,000 per year

Machine Operators and Drivers start at $17.45 per hour and goes up to $32.04

University Teachers base pay starts at $36,000 and increases up to $140,000 per year

Medical Professionals range from $78,000 to $150,000 per year

Border Service Agents pay ranges from $51,000 to $114,000 annually

Ship’s Officers wages range from $21.00 to $56.70 per hour

Engineering and Scientific Support starts at $27,000 and up to $99,000 annually

Secondary Students wages range from $10.24 to $11.26 per hour

Post-Secondary Undergraduate Students earn from $12.77 to $20.51 per hour

For more detailed information, or to check the payscale of your trade or profession, here’s the Treasury Board of Canada government salary info website.

While these numbers represent a large range of salaries, they also represent compensation for a large range of positions, meaning that salaries are very much dependent upon the position and factors such as experience, length of employment with the government and quality of performance. It should also be noted that positions are subject to regular review, and the government has implemented a system of monetary reward and competitive performance-based pay raises. In addition, these numbers are subject to change as new agreements and adjustments result in new rates.

Now let’s take a look at a the broad range of Government of Canada careers that are available.