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Health Human Resources (HHR)

Working to meet B.C.’s seniors care staffing needs

British Columbia’s continuing care sector is in the midst of a health human resources crisis. This page is a resource for workers, employers, and students interested in seniors’ care careers.

Choose a career in care!

Choose a career in seniors care & living: You will provide support to frail and elderly clients while helping them to maintain a level of independence and improving their quality of life.

  • Enjoy A Rewarding Career—Caring for seniors is a fulfilling profession that matters. You can make a difference every day and build meaningful relationships with your residents and clients.
  • Job Opportunities—Find job opportunities in every community in B.C. and beyond. Over the next ten years, British Columbia will need 30,000 new seniors care and living workers like you.
  • Flexible Employment Options—Casual, part-time, or full-time work schedules are available with a variety of flexible options. Choose from day, evening, night and weekend shift schedules.
  • Choose Your Care Setting—Seniors’ care and living workers are employed in many work environments in BC, including long-term care homes, assisted living residences, retirement homes, and in clients’ own homes (home health).
  • Competitive Pay & Benefits—Earn a living wage, with many entry-level roles starting at $21/hr with benefits.
  • Earn while you learn—Gain valuable experience in non-clinical support roles while studying to achieve your dream career as a health care assistant, nurse or allied health professional. There are many career paths available in this sector.

Start your new career today. Visit our FAQ section down below to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

As our population ages, demand for seniors’ care services increases, meaning that seniors’ care and living workers are one of the fastest growing occupations in all regions of British Columbia, as well as across Canada.
  • WorkBC estimates that 33,100 new workers will be needed in the nursing and residential care sector over the next ten years to 2029.
  • The Government of British Columbia has committed to hiring over 7,000 additional healthcare workers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including 3,000 additional health care assistants (HCAs) and 2,000 nurses (RNs and LPNs).
Diverse career paths and opportunities are available in the seniors’ care and living sector, including:
  • Support services workers provide non-clinical supports to seniors, including companionship, housekeeping, non-medical health and hospitality supports, and promote independence. Common job titles include: health care support worker, dietary aide, housekeeping aide, laundry aides, cook, janitor, and more.
  • Workers in assisting occupations may care for seniors by providing provide personal care and assistance with medication, as well as supporting recreation, independence or rehabilitation. Common job titles include: health care assistants (HCAs), home health companions, therapeutic recreation assistants, and rehabilitation assistants.
  • Nurses provide leadership to other healthcare workers, develop individualized care plans for seniors, oversee medication delivery, and much more. Common job titles include registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered psychiatric nurse (RPN), and nursing supervisors.
  • Allied health providers support seniors with preventative, therapeutic, rehabilitative, mental, nutritional or diagnostic medical health services not otherwise provided by nurses, pharmacists or physicians. Common job titles include: physiotherapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), social workers, and dietitians/nutritionists,
  • Business and administrative professionals oversee non-clinical functions, including duties relating to marketing and advertising, finance, administration, human resources, and much more. Common job titles may include administrative assistant, director of support services, etc.
  • Leaders and managers provides leadership and direction to the entire organization, with responsibility for residents, clients, workers, and volunteers. Common job titles include CEO, Executive Director, Director of Care, and Site Manager.
Seniors living and continuing care workers can find employment in a diversity of care settings, including:
  • Long term care homes,
  • Assisted living residences,
  • Independent living residences,
  • Community care centres
  • Client’s own homes
Depending on the care setting, workers may work independently or in teams.
Seniors care and living workers can choose from a diversity of employment and scheduling options including positions that are:
  • full-time
  • part-time
  • casual.
Depending on your availability, you can choose to work days, evenings, nights and or weekends.
Seniors’ care and living workers are needed in almost every community in the province, including urban, sub-urban, rural and remote areas, as well as in Indigenous communities. Because seniors are aging all across Canada, you can find work in other provinces and territories as well. To learn more about the number of jobs expected in your community, visit WorkBC.ca.
People who choose careers working with seniors are looking to help other people and make a difference. Professionals in these professions see their career as honourable and rewarding. Important qualities include:
  • a desire to help others
  • compassion and empathy
  • critical thinking skills
  • patience with others
  • good verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • ability to adapt and be flexible
  • positive outlook on life
Workers in the seniors' care and living sector earn a living wage and enjoy access to benefits. Your compensation package will depend on your occupation and employer. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of B.C. has committed to increasing wages for seniors care workers, with wages in long-term care and assisted living starting at $21 per hour.  Workers in family-paid home health settings may learn starting wages between $16-$20 per hour.
In order to become licensed to practice as a nurse in British Columbia, you will need to apply to the BC College of Nurses and Midwives. The process will include a review of your education and a competency assessment. You may also be required to provide evidence that you meet the English language proficiency requirement. To learn more, visit the website for the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and read through the instructions to apply as an internationally educated nurse.

There are a number of resources available to help internationally educated nurses become licensed and find employment in BC. Here are just a few:
  • The Choose2Care program can provide financial aid and career navigation supports for those looking to find work as a health care assistant.
  • NursingJobs BC provides career navigation supports and financial assistance to internationally educated nurses.
  • The Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program is for newcomers living in any British Columbia community with training and skills as a Nurse (RN/LPN/RPN), Physician (General Practitioner or Specialist), Sonographer or Health Care Assistant (HCA). Working one-to-one with knowledgeable career coaches, you will gain valuable resources needed to launch your career in Canada’s health care system.
Healthcare workers in British Columbia need to read, write, speak and understand English to collaborate and effectively communicate with residents, clients, family members, their team and other healthcare professionals. The level of English required will depend on your role.
  • To learn about English scores required for nurses, visit the BC College of Nurses and Midwives.
  • To learn more about English scores required for health care assistants, visit the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.
If you would like to evaluate your level of English, the Government of Canada provides some resources that you can use. Click here.

Being able to speak multiple languages is often a benefit when working in healthcare. Speaking an additional language may allow you to speak in your resident/client's preferred language. If you speak multiple languages, make sure to list them on your resume and to let potential employers know about your language abilities.
There are many education and training opportunities to become a Health Care Assistant in BC. Here are just a few:
  1. You can view a full list of recognized health care assistant education programs on the Choose2Care website.
  2. BC Care Providers Associations offers a free health care assistant training program in partnership with accredited post-secondary institutions. You can learn more about program eligibility requirements by visiting our
  3. The Health Career Access Program is a government-funded employment and education program. New hires in the program start in a health care support worker position and receive paid training that leads to full qualification as a health care assistant.

BCCPA Partnerships

Health Care Assistant Training 

With funding from the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is offering Health Care Assistant (HCA) training in communities across B.C. Training is delivered in partnership with our educational partners Discovery Community College, Stenberg College, and SafeCare BC. BCCPA will cover the entire cost of tuition for participants, as well as provide financial supports for some living expenses (may include travel, childcare, personal protective equipment and/or technology for online learning). Program participants will receive skills training by way of the provincially approved curriculum for HCAs. The HCA program is delivered through a hybrid model, with theory delivered virtually, and the lab skills, clinical placements and practicums delivered in-person. Enhanced health and safety training delivered by SafeCare BC will help program graduates learn the skills that they need to stay safe at work. Training may include infection prevention and control, dementia education, safe resident handling, and violence prevention.

Learn if you are eligible for our HCA program today.

BCCPA Reports & Resources

10 Facts You Need to Know About the HCA Shortage in B.C.  Filling the Gap - March 2019  Situation Critical - June 2018 The Perfect Storm - April 2018

Worker Stories

Browse the video playlist to hear about careers in seniors care.