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Regulated Professions

Two men working on a machine


There are 2 types of jobs in Ontario: regulated and non-regulated.

Regulated professions and trades

A regulated profession is one that is controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law and governed by a professional organization or a regulatory body.

Generally 2 main types of occupations are regulated in Ontario:

  • Regulated occupations such as physicians, nurses, lawyers
  • Skilled trades such as plumbers and electricians

If you want to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you must have a licence or certificate or be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation.

Credential assessment and recognition is usually completed by a regulatory body (for example, 

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario). The regulatory body has authority to:

  • Set entry requirements and standards of practice to assess applicants' qualifications and credentials
  • Certify, register or licence qualified applicants
  • Regulate those operating in that occupation

Requirements for entry usually consist of technical examinations, a specified period of supervised work experience and language competency. If you want to work in a regulated occupation, you must be licenced.

It can take some time to get a licence, if you were trained outside of Canada. You might want to work in a non-regulated job in your field first. This can be a good way to use your skills and get Canadian work experience. Settlement.Org has excellent information for Alternative Jobs to Regulated Professions.

About 20 per cent of Canadians work in regulated occupations such as veterinarian, electrician, plumber, physiotherapist, medical doctor, engineer, etc. The system of regulation is intended to protect the health and safety of Canadians by ensuring that professionals meet the required standards of practice and competence.

Regardless of whether your occupation is regulated or not, it's always a good idea to find out how your foreign credentials translate in Canada.

Non-regulated professions

A non-regulated profession is a profession/trade for which there is no legal requirement or restriction on practice with regard to licences, certificates, or registration. The vast majority of occupations in Canada fall into this category. For some non-regulated occupations, certification/registration with a professional body is available to applicants on a voluntary basis, whereas for other non-regulated occupations there is no certification/registration available at all.

In general, applicants for non-regulated occupations will have to demonstrate to their potential employers that they possess the experience and training required for the job. Even when an occupation is not regulated, employers can still require that an applicant for a job be registered, licensed, or certified with the relevant professional association.

Is your occupation regulated or non-regulated?

Visit the Government of Canada Job Bank to find out if your occupation is regulated or non-regulated. Enter the name of your occupation in the box. Please note that the title of your occupation in your country may not match the titles shown. This tool will help you identify if your occupation is regulated or non-regulated and provides you with a detailed labour market information report (containing job duties, skill requirements, wage rates, etc.) for a chosen location in Canada, such as Ontario further broken down by municipality like Mississauga, Brampton and Peel Region.

Global Experience Ontario is another good resource where you can find out if your profession is regulated or not. They help internationally trained or educated individuals find out how to qualify for professional practice in Ontario.The Global Experience Ontario Centre is located in Toronto. However, you can call them at 416-327-9694 or 1-866-670-4094 or email: to get more information. You can also register for their free live webinars on various professions and trades.

If you are an internationally trained health professional, Health Force Ontario provides information on how to obtain your license in health profession.

Find your profession or Find your trade section of website also provides information and resources on how to get licenced, get help and find work in your profession in Ontario.