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 : Dentists (3113)

Occupational Outlook
SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2019-2028 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Occupations in this Group
  • Dentists (3113)
Skill Type
Health occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require university education.
Employment in 2018
26,800
Median Age of workers in 2018
46.8 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 growth in this occupational group was substantially above the average for all occupations. The unemployment rate fell to reach 0.9% in 2018, a rate slightly below its long-term trend and significantly below the national average of 5.8%. However, the large majority of workers in this occupation are self-employed (87%), which explains the low unemployment rate. On the other hand, the number of usual hours of work has remained very stable over the past years, a characteristic that is different from the downward trend observed for the overall Canadian labour market. Hence, 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 period 2019-2028, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Dentists are expected to total 12,200, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 7,000 .

Although this occupational group has had a balanced market in recent years, projected job openings are expected to be substantially higher than job seekers, creating a shortage of workers over the 2019-2028 period. Job openings will result primarily from retirements. The retirement rate is expected to be slightly above the average for all occupations. Even though these workers tend to be older than the average, they also tend to retire at a later age. Job creation is projected to explain almost a third of the total job openings, as employment growth is projected to be slightly higher than the average for all occupational groups. Population growth and the increasing awareness of oral health problems are expected to lead to an increased demand for dental care over the next decade. However, this increase is expected to slow down as retirees are less likely to be covered by dental insurance plans. In addition, the creation of dental hygienists clinics that can operate without the presence of a dentist is also anticipated to limit employment growth in this occupational group. With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to represent the vast majority of job seekers. There will be a limited number of immigrants and workers from other occupations seeking jobs in this occupation. This is expected to result in a shortage of job seekers to fill all available job openings over the projection period. In order to prevent this, a substantial increase in the number of school leavers would be needed, which is unlikely in the short run due to the quotas set for dentistry programs and the number of years of education required to train dentists.

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: 4,000 33%
Retirements: 6,400 52%
Other Replacement Demand: 1,200 10%
Emigration: 600 5%
Projected Job Openings: 12,200 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 7,000 100%
Immigration: 1,500 21%
Other: -1,400 -20%
Projected Job Seekers: 7,000 100%
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