How to become a Canadian Ambassador in 5 Steps

An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state.

Have you ever dreamed of travelling around the world as an ambassador? Or have you been thinking of how to become a Canadian Ambassador?

There is an awesome opportunity for you as we are going to look into how to become a Canadian ambassador, job prospects, career growth, and the benefits of becoming an ambassador.

An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or an international organization as the resident representative of their government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.

Responsibilities of an Ambassador

The responsibilities of an ambassador are numerous but to mention a few which are:

1. Protect citizens

As an officer of the foreign service, an ambassador is expected to protect the citizens of their home country in the host country.

2. Support prosperity

When two nations are conducting a trade, it is usually advantageous to both parties to have an ambassador and perhaps a small staff living in the other land, where they act as an intermediary between cooperative businesses.

3. Work for peace

One of the cornerstones of foreign diplomatic missions is to work for peace. This task can grow into a fight against international terrorism, the drug trade, international bribery, and human trafficking.

These activities are important and sensitive and are usually carried out in coordination with the Defence Ministry of the state and the head of the nation.

However, the primary duties of ambassadors are to maintain diplomatic relations with the receiving state and promote foreign policy strategies through international organizations.

They also supervise and lead all foreign service employees in the country where they work.

Another important responsibility of an ambassador is to notify their home country of any economic and political developments in the host nation and also meet directly with foreign leaders and representatives.

How to become an Ambassador

Below are the steps on how to become a Canadian ambassador:

Step 1. Earn a relevant bachelor’s degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree can go a long way in landing a role in this field. Education at this level has become a requirement across industries today and can increase your chances of making it into further rounds of consideration during job applications.

2. Earn a graduate degree

Unsurprisingly, the State Department lists an ambassador as a “senior-level” position, meaning that a high level of experience and education is generally required to achieve this career.

Often ambassadors and other diplomats have very specific expertise in a diplomacy-related field, which is why many individuals who seek to become an ambassador have advanced their education beyond the undergraduate level with a graduate degree that has an international focus.

3. Gain work experience

As with any career, gaining relevant, hands-on work experience is a crucial step in knowing how to become a Canadian ambassador. For that reason, you must take as many opportunities as you can during your time at the educational- and professional level to perfect your foreign language skills and develop true expertise in your country or area of focus.

Certainly, when working overseas, knowing several languages would be very helpful. It would be very beneficial to learn major languages such as Spanish, French, Chinese, or Arabic.

Knowing other languages would be very helpful too for better communication between the leaders of host countries.

In addition, all aspirants must complete a 52-week French training class, which is mandatory.

4. Take the Foreign Service Officer exam

The Foreign Service Officers (FSO) are an integral part of the US Government and assist in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. Working as an FSO is also a great opportunity to gain diplomatic experience and move forward toward the position of ambassador.

As with most US government positions, there are specific rules and requirements that apply to employment. For example, a foreign service representative must meet the following requirements:

  • Candidate must be a U.S. citizen when submitting a registration
  • Must be between 21 and 59 years on the date of submitting the registration.
  • Is between the ages of 21 and 59 on the date of appointment as an FSO.
  • Must be available for missions worldwide

The US Department of State has made some details about Foreign State officers available online. Potential career paths include working as consular officers, political officers, business officers, public diplomats, and administrative officers.

5. Receive appointment

You need to learn what you are doing, but no joke. The most important thing is to find a good mentor, or a mentor from a variety of disciplines, that goes beyond learning the trade as a junior diplomat.” says Friedrich Lohr, a faculty member in Northeastern’s Global Studies and International Relations program with prior diplomatic experience serving as a career officer in the German diplomatic service as Ambassador to North Korea.

“Try to be the jack of all trades. Diplomats are straightforward, dynamic yet humble, curious, disciplined, cautious but reliable, positive yet unobtrusive, and well-informed in many areas,” he said.

Is the work of an ambassador a good idea in Canada?

Yes, it is a good idea in Canada because ambassadors enjoy many benefits such as world travel, exposure to numerous cultures, opportunities to represent their country on the world stage, and job satisfaction in managing some challenging situations.

Ambassadors also get a range of other benefits including government-subsidized health care insurance, life insurance, and five weeks of vacation per year. There is always a need for ambassadors and that means there are always potential job opportunities.

The job opportunities are based on appointments, but there is usually a need for an ambassador in some capacity. Just as the responsibilities and focus of an ambassador can differ, so too can the salary for this position. But to achieve this, you need to know how to become a Canadian ambassador and those steps have been listed above.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualities of a good ambassador?

A good ambassador must be:

  • Loyal
  • must be a mediator and negotiator
  • must enjoy a cultural diversity
  • And, must be an effective communicator and integrates well.

What are the criteria to become an ambassador?

There is not a specific bachelor’s degree required, but you have to study something relevant such as political science, history, and International relations are the best three options. You can also study foreign languages since most ambassadors are at least bilingual.

How much does an ambassador earn?

The average salary for an ambassador is about $150.000, but the range may vary between $145,400 and $154,600.

How are Ambassadors Chosen?

The president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints ambassadors but in practice, the vast proportion of the selections are made in conformance to recommendations of a board of the foreign service.

Does the work of an ambassador require skills?

Yes. Ambassadors require skills that include:

  • Public speaking
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Networking
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving.

Is it hard to become an ambassador?

Becoming a Canadian Ambassador can be a process that is tricky and time-consuming. But with enough tenacity and a wise strategy, one day you can achieve your dream of being an ambassador. In most cases, you have to serve first as a civil servant of foreign services.


Becoming an ambassador is one of the most rewarding jobs of all time. It makes you go to different places and get exposed to different cultures and customs. We hope the steps on how to become a Canadian ambassador is of great help to you.