How To Become A Diplomat In Canada

How To Become A Diplomat In Canada

Do you want to be an ambassador and represent Canada abroad? If yes, then a career in Foreign Service would be great for you. Well, the process is pretty competitive. But if you are determined, you can surely do it. There is a wide range of career options for you in the Foreign Service across Canada. The perks and privileges that come with these jobs are unbelievable. In this article, we will explain how to be a diplomat in Canada. We will also discuss some career opportunities in Foreign Service. 

What Is A Diplomat / Foreign Service Officer?

Diplomats or Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) are people who represent their country to other governments. These professional officers are employed by the Canadian government’s Foreign Service. This service is a part of Global Affairs Canada. Their primary role is to engage with foreign governments and international organizations. Simply put, Foreign Service officers are required to represent Canada’s interests around the world. These interests include diplomatic, cultural, economic, and political interests. 

Foreign Service officers also attend the UN Security Council meetings and vote on numerous issues. They do a lot of things other than just attending international meetings. Diplomats also exchange scientific and technical information between governments. Foreign Service officers work with the management of national programs abroad. They also oversee immigration programs. In Canada, the average salary of a Foreign Service Officer is around $81,709 per year.

Here are the service areas that diplomats can work in:

  • International Trade
  • Political and Economic services
  • Management and Consular Assistance
  • Administrative Assistance
  • International Development

Education Criteria:

Applicants who want to be diplomats in Canada are required to have a four-year Bachelor’s degree. 

You don’t have to be a graduate in International Affairs. The academic requirements are very open. The Foreign Service is poised to gain from employees with a variety of academic backgrounds. 

  • Some Foreign Service assignments require political and cultural knowledge of the region of operation. In this case, a graduate degree in history or political science can be worthwhile.
  • Other Canadian missions might need proficiency in articulating trade deals with a foreign country. In this case, knowledge of law, economics, or finance can be helpful. 
  • Some trade operations are just for promoting specific industries, like energy. In this scenario, an engineering or natural sciences background is valuable.
  • It would be very favorable if you learn major languages such as French, Spanish, Arabic, or Chinese. It would be helpful to communicate with leaders of other countries. 
  • Furthermore, all candidates must complete a mandatory 52-week French training class.
  • In short, you can study whatever you’re excited about. You can use your passion in the work you do for the Foreign Service.

Tests and Exams:

After completing your four-year Bachelor’s degree, there’ll be a variety of tests and exams. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) will conduct the tests. You need to clear the tests that DFATD would consider to judge your fitness for the program. 

These tests and exams may include the following:

  • The Public Service Entrance Exam
  • The Graduate Recruitment Test
  • The Written Communication Proficiency Test
  • The Situational Judgment Test

If they like your performance in the tests, they will contact you for a prospective job interview.

The Essentials:

Here are some essentials that you need to know before considering this career.

  • The application process is enormously competitive and strict. Only the best of the best can get hired.
  •  Any high school graduate of at least 20 years of age can apply.
  • Diplomats tend to rotate positions every 2 – 4 years. They travel to different countries. However, it can also be difficult for their families to keep adapting to new places. 
  • Diplomats keep traveling from one place to another. So, children of diplomats might also experience difficulties in their studies. Finding an English or French teacher can be a problem.
  • Moreover, in some politically unstable countries, diplomats might have security risks. They are hot targets for kidnappings. 
  • Other hurdles include language barriers, cultural shifts, climate changes, and health concerns.
  • Learning foreign languages and decision-making skills are the most important for a successful diplomat career.

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Career Opportunities:

If you love traveling and want to work overseas, this can be a great career choice. Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted website at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the applicant’s work experience, academic background, and location. 

Here are some career opportunities that you can choose from:

1. Consular Officer

Average National Salary: $90,691 per year

Primary Duties:

  • Implementing consular policies.
  • Administering passport and citizenship programs.
  • Overseeing legal and notary services.
  • Managing the cost recovery of consular.
  • Developing or managing international relations.

2. Economic Officer

Average National Salary: $89,189 per year

Primary Duties:

  • Encouraging new businesses.
  • Managing Investments.
  • Creating economic opportunities.
  • Drafting free trade agreements.
  • Implementing development policies and programs.

3. Management Officer

Average National Salary: $61,217 per year

Primary Duties:

  • Working with foreign states and authorities.
  • Managing the operations of national embassies and delegations in host countries.
  • Managing the budgeting, security, real estate, and staff management within their embassies and consulates.
  • Negotiating with host countries on various issues.

4. Political Officer

Average National Salary: $95,823 per year

Primary Duties:

  • Developing negotiations and policies to benefit both countries.
  • Overseeing the political relationship between both countries.
  • Collaborating with policymakers.
  • Communicating with foreign governments.
  • Human rights and peacebuilding

5. Public Diplomacy Officer

Average National Salary: $85,686 per year

Primary Duties:

  • Facilitating negotiations that contribute to the creation of policy.
  • Improving the public image of their home country.
  • Educating citizens of the host country on subjects like Canadian history, traditions, and values.


Well, being a diplomat is undoubtedly a prestigious and most rewarded job of all time. The salaries are high and the perks are incredible. If you love working abroad, this may be a good career option for you. You can explore the Foreign Service Development Program for more details. We hope this article helps you to start your career as a diplomat in Canada.

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