Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Search for Occupational Projection Summaries (2019-2028)

The current COPS projections were completed in 2019, well before the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in exceptional and abrupt economic and labour market disruptions in Canada as well as abroad. However, the focus of the COPS projections is on long-term trends in occupational labour markets, not on short-term developments. At the moment, these long-term trends are not expected to be affected markedly by the COVID-19 outbreak as its impacts are generally foreseen to be temporary.

Note: The projections were developed for 293 occupational groupings that cover the entire workforce, using the 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC). For additional information on these groupings, please visit the COPS Occupational Groupings' Definition. For more information about the methodology used to assess each occupation, please click here.

Search Result : Technical occupations in physical sciences (2210)

Occupational Outlook
BALANCE: Labour demand and labour supply are expected to be broadly in line for this occupation group over the 2019-2028 period at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Occupations in this Group
  • Chemical technologists and technicians (2211)
  • Geological and mineral technologists and technicians (2212)
Skill Type
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require college or vocational education or apprenticeship training.
Employment in 2018
33,800
Median Age of workers in 2018
39.1 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2018
65 years old

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

Over the 2016-2018 period, employment in this occupational group declined. This was reflected in an increase of its unemployment rate, reaching a level above the national average in 2018, but below its historical norms. As the number of job vacancies increased, the number of unemployed workers per job vacancy declined and was close to the national average in 2018. Hence, the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group over the 2016-2018 period.

Over the period 2019-2028, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Technical occupations in physical sciences are expected to total 7,400, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 5,700 .

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period, the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period. Retirements are expected to account for about half of job openings, a proportion that is noticeably lower than for other occupations (about 59% of job openings). Workers in this occupational group are generally younger than the average and tend to retire at a later age than those in other occupations, resulting in a retirement rate that is lower than the average rate of all occupations. Employment growth is expected to be similar to the average of all occupations, which is in contrast with the flat performance that was recorded over the 2009-2018 period. This occupational grouping gathers chemical, geological and mineral technologists and technicians. Many chemical technologists and technicians are employed in the chemicals manufacturing industry, which will benefit from the greater economic growth in the United States and from a weaker Canadian dollar to boost its exports. Moreover, the increased public awareness of environment safety and the adoption of stricter laws to protect the environment are expected to further increase the volume of work required from these workers. Similarly, the number of geological and mineral technologists and technicians is also expected to increase over the projection period. These workers are mostly employed in the mining, oil and gas extraction industries, which will have a more optimistic outlook than in the recent years, benefitting from expected price gains in several base metals (including gold, copper, uranium and silver) and from the fact that Canada remains among the top mining jurisdictions in the world in terms of policy, geography and investment attractiveness.

With regard to labour supply, the majority of job seekers are projected to come from the school system. A noticeable number of qualified candidates in this occupation are also projected to come from immigration. However, a significant number of workers, more than half of potential job seekers, are expected to seek opportunities in other occupations such as supervisors, mineral and metal processing (NOC 9211), which can provide them with better prospects and/or higher salaries.

Projection of Cumulative Job Openings and Job Seekers over the Period of 2019-2028

This table contains data related to Projected Job Openings.
Level Share
Expansion Demand: 2,200 30%
Retirements: 3,700 50%
Other Replacement Demand: 700 9%
Emigration: 800 11%
Projected Job Openings: 7,400 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 14,900 261%
Immigration: 4,300 75%
Other: -13,400 -235%
Projected Job Seekers: 5,700 100%
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