Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Search for Occupational Projection Summaries (2017-2026)

Note: The projections were developed for 292 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 2017-2026 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 2016
21,400
Median Age of workers in 2016
46.4 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2016
66 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 (2017-2026) 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 2017-2026. 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 2014-2016 period, employment growth in this occupational group was above the average for all occupations. However, the employment level remained below the peak reached in 2012. Similarly, the average hourly wage grew at a higher pace than the average for all occupations. The unemployment rate increased to reach 3.3% in 2016, a rate well above its long-term trend. Almost all workers are self-employed in this occupational grouping, which explains this low jobless rate. The mixed signals of key labour market indicators required the analysis of additional indicators, which suggested that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group over the 2014-2016 period.

For Dentists, over the period 2017-2026, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 8,500, while 7,400 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

Although this occupational group has had balanced market in recent years, projected job openings are expected to be substantially higher than job seekers, creating a shortage of workers over the 2017-2026 period. Job openings will result primarily from retirements. The retirement rate is expected to be similar to 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. Expansion demand is projected to explain more than one-quarter of the total job openings, as employment growth is projected to be similar to 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 be slowed down by the fact that 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 of 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 a shortage over the projection period, 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 2017-2026

This table contains data related to Projected Job Openings.
Level Share
Expansion Demand: 2,200 26%
Retirements: 5,000 59%
Other Replacement Demand: 1,000 12%
Emigration: 300 4%
Projected Job Openings: 8,500 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 5,800 78%
Immigration: 900 12%
Other: 700 9%
Projected Job Seekers: 7,400 100%
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