Immigration consultants are self-employed or employed by established consulting firms or post-secondary schools. Those who are self-employed must market their services and maintain professional credibility.
Immigration consultants employed by consulting firms may become team leaders and senior consultants. With experience in a consulting firm, many immigration consultants set up their own firms. Even experienced practitioners who leave salaried positions to become consultants must often subcontract their services to established consultants before building their own client base.
Immigration consultants are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
- Location in Alberta
- Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
- Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
- Size of the occupation
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
In Alberta, the E034: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.