Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Search for Occupational Projection Summaries (2022-2031)

The 2022 COPS exercise was developed using the 2016 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The 2016 NOC has 500 occupations. However, many of these occupations are small in terms of employment. Such occupations were combined into broader groupings according to the specific tasks of each occupation. By grouping small occupations with similar tasks together, 293 occupational groupings were obtained. Although NOC already has a more recent version (2021), the model’s input data were only available in the 2016 version of the NOC at the time of the development of the projections.

For more information on the 293 occupational grouping used in COPS, please visit the COPS Occupational Groupings' Definition.

Search Result : Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists; Medical radiation technologists & Medical sonographers (3214)

Occupational Outlook
SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2022-2031 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Occupations in this Group
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (3214)
  • Medical radiation technologists (3215)
  • Medical sonographers (3216)
Skill Type
Health occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require college or vocational education or apprenticeship training.
Employment in 2021
Median Age of workers in 2021
40.2 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2021
62 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 (2022-2031) 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 2022-2031. 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. It is important to note that COPS does not identify imbalances that may temporarily appear during specific years, unless they will persist over the longer run.

Over the 2019-2021 period, employment in this occupational group increased at a faster rate than the average for all occupations. Workers in this occupation were heavily involved in the care of individuals infected with COVID-19. The unemployment rate remained extremely low, hovering around 1.0% in 2021, well below the national average of 7.5%. As a result of the very low unemployment rate (and limited number of unemployed workers) and a high, and growing, number of job vacancies, there was consistently less than one unemployed worker per job vacancy, limiting the ability of employers to fill vacancies. The difficult working environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the burnout of many medical professionals. Moreover, the rapid spread of COVID-19 left many health care practitioners out sick or in isolation. Hence, the analysis of these and other key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill all job openings in this occupational group.

Over the period 2022-2031, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists; Medical radiation technologists & Medical sonographers are expected to total 20,100, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 19,400.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2022-2031 period, the labour shortage conditions seen in recent years are expected to continue over the projection period. Half of all job openings are projected to result from employment growth. Similar to most health occupations, employment growth in this occupation is expected to be stronger than the average for all occupations. This strong growth is mostly due to the aging population. The growing number of seniors is anticipated to lead to an increase in the demand for diagnostic services related to respiratory and cardiovascular health conditions. Additionally, respiratory therapists will continue to play a key role in the rehabilitation of individuals who suffered acutely from COVID-19. Moreover, the arrival of new medical technologies and techniques, as well as the introduction of more advanced equipment, will increase the demand for technologists. About 40% of the job openings will result from retirements, although the retirement rate is expected to be slightly lower than the national average. Workers in this occupational group are generally younger and tend to retire at an earlier age than in other occupations.

With regard to labour supply, given the specific skills that are needed to work in this occupation, school leavers will account for the vast majority of job seekers (91%), while immigrants will account for less than 10% of all projected seekers.

Projection of Cumulative Job Openings and Job Seekers over the Period of 2022-2031

This table contains data related to Projected Job Openings.
Level Share
Expansion Demand: 10,000 50%
Retirements: 8,000 40%
Other Replacement Demand: 1,100 5%
Emigration: 1,000 5%
Projected Job Openings: 20,100 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 19,300 99%
Immigration: 1,900 10%
Other: -1,800 -9%
Projected Job Seekers: 19,400 100%
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