Careers In Health

Here are some of the careers available in Canada, along with educational requirements and other useful information. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. visit your campus career centre to find out more about careers in the field.


In Canada, chiropractors are educated through programs offered at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto, and the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). Both programs are accredited by the Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory and Educational Accrediting Boards (CFCREAB).

  • Minimum of three years of university before eligible for admission.
  • CMCC program involves four years of full-time study, including a one-year internship.
  • UQTR program involves five years of study following graduation from a Cégep health science program.


The first step is a bachelor’s degree (with major credits in Foods and Nutrition) from a university offering an accredited dietetic education program. Next is successful completion of an accredited practical experience program. The final step is registration with the regulatory body (college or association) in the province in which you intend to practise.

  • Most provinces require successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE).
  • To enter the profession via the graduate degree route, you must complete the master’s degree; you will also likely need to obtain volunteer experience in a practice setting, under the direction of a dietitian.

Health Records Management/Health Management

Many positions are available in this diverse field. Search under “Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems” on the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society website ( A variety of MBA programs are available, providing leadership in healthcare management.

Medical Doctor

Most students entering medicine have a degree or previous post-secondary education with at least a B+ GPA. Subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology may be helpful, and a range of studies in non-medical areas is also recommended. Volunteer experience related to your medical field of interest is also essential. In 2006–2007 there was a 25% success rate for medical school applicants. McMaster University, which does not require applicants to write the MCAT, had a 4.9% success rate for all applicants in 2007–2008.

  • Three to four years in basic medical school, followed by a residency of two to seven years (depending on specialty or focus).
  • Mandatory written exam to practise medicine in Canada.

Medical Laboratory Technologist, Pathologists’ Assistant

These positions may require a Bachelor of Science degree, a Medical Laboratory Science degree or a two- to three-year college diploma and a period of supervised training. Certification by the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science and registration with a provincial regulatory body (in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta) may also be required.

  • Most provinces have separate, specialized programs in cytotechnology; British Columbia and Ontario have programs in clinical genetics.

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary healthcare system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Universities and colleges may choose to call the naturopathic degree they confer either the “Doctor of Naturopathy” or the “Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine” degree; these are two different names for the same degree.


Although some provinces still accept a nursing diploma, most require a baccalaureate in nursing (BN or BScN). A degree program takes four years.

  • Entrance requirements differ from one school to another. Generally, admission requirements are high school with senior-level English or French, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology.
  • Completion of either an approved diploma program or a baccalaureate in nursing are required to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE).

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists are university trained and complete a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised fieldwork (on-the-job training). By 2010 all Canadian graduates wishing to enter practice as an occupational therapist must hold a master’s degree.

  • The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) recommends that you contact the individual university for admission requirements, course descriptions and curriculum.
  • Graduation from a professionally accredited program is typically required to write the CAOT Certification Examination, which you must pass to work in some provinces.

Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist Assistant

These professionals help rehabilitate patients with physical and psychological ailments under the supervision of an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

  • Sciences, volunteer experience and a community college diploma are required.

Paramedic/Emergency Medical Technician

Requirements vary by province. Most provinces require secondary school completion, first aid and CPR, a valid driver’s licence and physical conditioning.

  • To become a paramedic in Ontario, candidates must also pass the Ministry of Health’s Advanced Emergency Medical Care Attendant certification examination following completion of their program.
  • Community colleges and private vocational schools may offer training; programs recognized by the Canadian Medical Association allow for national mobility.


Currently there are nine universities in Canada with pharmacy schools. To practise pharmacy in Canada you need:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from a Canadian university.
  • To complete a national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
  • Practical experience through an apprenticeship/internship program.

Requirements vary by province. Additional information is available by searching provincial regulatory authorities.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other healthcare products to patients. They perform tasks such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information or health matters to a pharmacist.

  • Candidates must graduate from a Canadian pharmacy technician program accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs, and pass the PEBC Pharmacy Technician Evaluating Examination.


Canada has 14 physiotherapy programs across the country. Starting in 2010, universities will no longer offer bachelor’s degrees in this field; anyone who wants to be a physiotherapist will have to complete a master’s degree.

  • An undergraduate degree, usually with specific prerequisites, is required to qualify for admission to master’s entry-level programs.
  • Graduates of physiotherapy programs must complete the Physiotherapy Competency Examination.

Radiography, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine Technologies

A college diploma or university degree may be required for this cluster of professions, which includes:

  • Magnetic resonance technologist – uses magnetic resonance imaging scanners to capture specific images ordered by a physician to aid in patient diagnosis.
  • Radiation therapist – performs prescribed radiation therapy to destroy the abnormal cells causing the patient’s illness.
  • Nuclear medicine technologist – carries out diagnostic imaging and some treatment procedures; acquires images that help pinpoint the nature of a disease and how it is affecting the body.

Speech Pathology/Audiology

Professional training in speech-language pathology or audiology is available at the master’s level at nine Canadian universities. Given the limited number of spaces in graduate schools, it is not unusual for Canadians to complete their degree in the U.S. Requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in audiology and/or speechlanguage pathology, or equivalent.
  • Completed practicum.
  • Clinical certification exam and other requirements set out by the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

by Anne Markey

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One Response to “Careers In Health”

  1. James Shaw

    Healthcare services have diversified into so many specialties and sub-specialties. This provides good employment opportunities for all.


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