Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed practical nurses provide care for individuals, families and groups in a variety of health care settings. They may practice independently or as part of a health care team.

Also Known As

Nurse, Practical Nurse

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 3233.1: Licensed Practical Nurses

2006 NOC-S

  • D233: Licensed Practical Nurses

2011 NOC

  • 3233: Licensed practical nurses

2016 NOC

  • 3233: Licensed practical nurses

2021 NOC

  • 32101: Licensed practical nurses
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses work in a range of health care roles (such as acute care, long-term care, community and primary health clinics, education, occupational health, public health and leadership). Depending on the setting, they may perform many different tasks. They may work with  other health care professionals (such as registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, doctors and physiotherapists). Licensed practical nurses carry out many nursing duties independently. Their work depends on the nature and complexity of the care clients need. In many cases, licensed practical nurses are in leadership roles. They assign tasks to health care aides and manage client and family concerns.

In general, licensed practical nurses:

  • assess, plan, deliver and evaluate nursing care
  • use critical thinking and clinical judgment
  • document and share client data to ensure continuity of care
  • work with other health professionals, consulting as needed
  • speak on behalf of clients
  • teach the public about good health practices
  • take part in research.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 20, 2016
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Nursing can be physically, emotionally and intellectually demanding. Licensed practical nurses are often exposed to contagious diseases and may work with hazardous materials. They may work shifts, including evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. They may need to transfer patients with decreased mobility, or lift items weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Licensed Practical Nurses

2006 NOC: 3233.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in compiling information by monitoring patients' progress and monitoring established respiratory and intravenous therapy; in evaluating effectiveness of nursing interventions; and in administering medication and observing and documenting therapeutic effects


Interest in instructing patients and their families by providing safety and health education; in providing pre-operative and post-operative personal and comfort care; and in consulting with members of the healthcare team


Interest in operating medical equipment to perform nursing interventions such as taking vital signs, applying aseptic techniques including sterile dressing, ensuring infection control, monitoring nutritional intake and conducting specimen collection

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses need to have:

  • critical-thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • good communication and people skills
  • the ability to work on their own and as part of a health care team
  • the ability to motivate others
  • conflict resolution skills
  • a commitment to lifelong learning
  • empathy, honesty and integrity
  • a professional attitude.

They should enjoy working with people and using medical and computer equipment.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Licensed practical nurses

2016 NOC: 3233

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jul 30, 2022 and Dec 09, 2023.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Provide nursing services, within defined scope of practice, to patients based on patient assessment and care planning procedures
Attention to detail
Tasks: Monitor patients' progress, evaluate effectiveness of nursing interventions and consult with appropriate members of healthcare team
Construction Specialization: Team player
Tasks: Administer medication and observe and document therapeutic effects
Construction Specialization: Flexibility
Security and Safety: Criminal record check
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Dependability
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

In Alberta, licensed practical nurses must graduate from an approved practical nursing education program, or complete other education considered equal by the Registrar of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA). Practical nursing programs combine classroom learning, lab instruction, and clinical experience in different health care settings.

Legislation requires licensed practical nurses who specialize to complete an approved program or advanced certification. The CLPNA must authorize them to perform in that capacity. Specialties may include perioperative nursing / operating room, advanced orthopaedics, dialysis, immunization or advanced foot care.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Nurse - Licensed Practical

Licensed practical nurses apply nursing knowledge, skills and judgment to assess patients' needs and provide nursing care for patients and families. They care for clients throughout the life span and follow a systematic approach to nursing care, through critical thinking and clinical judgement.


Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Licensed Practical Nurses Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Registered members who are authorized by the College may perform restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves licensed practical nurses.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Nurse - Licensed Practical.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses work for:

  • acute care hospitals
  • continuing care facilities
  • community care agencies
  • assisted living centres
  • occupational health departments
  • primary care clinics and physicians’ offices
  • independent foot care businesses
  • ophthalmic clinics
  • schools
  • public health agencies
  • mental health facilities.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3233: Licensed practical nurses occupational group, 97.7% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3233: Licensed practical nurses occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 485 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Salaries vary considerably depending on the employer and on the employee’s responsibilities, experience and training.

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Government of Alberta website.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Licensed practical nurses

2016 NOC: 3233
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3233 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.00 $27.73 $26.29 $26.45
Overall $24.00 $32.88 $30.17 $31.23
Top $25.00 $35.88 $33.58 $34.63

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 20, 2016

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) website:

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 19, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?