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 : Paramedical occupations (3234)

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
  • Paramedical occupations (3234)
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
38.5 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2021
63 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 growth in this occupational group was among the strongest of all occupations, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden increase in demand for emergency medical services. The unemployment rate fell to approximately 1.0% in 2021, well below the national average of 7.5%. As a result of a rising number of vacancies and very low unemployment, the ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies remained below the average for all occupations and fell beneath 1 in 2021, suggesting that a lack of available labour limited further employment growth in this occupation. The difficult working environment created by the 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 Paramedical occupations are expected to total 17,200, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 18,500.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2022-2031 period, it is expected that the shortage between labour supply and demand seen in recent years will continue over the projection period. Job openings are projected to arise from both employment growth and retirements. Retirements are projected to account for over a quarter of job openings. Pressures arising from these departures are anticipated to be below the national average, as workers in this occupational group are significantly younger than average despite their tendency to retire slightly earlier. Job creation is expected to account for about two-thirds of job openings. Similar to most occupations in the health sector, the aging population is expected to increase the demand for paramedical workers. Indeed, health problems associated with aging that require urgent transportation, such as a heart attack or a cerebrovascular incident, are expected to maintain the demand for paramedics. On the other hand, hospital centers are increasingly promoting cheaper means of transportation than ambulances for carrying patients between institutions, such as taxis, family members, and paratransit services. Despite these measures to reduce the need for workers in this occupation, employment growth is expected to be higher than the average for all occupations.

With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to account for the majority of job seekers. Indeed, most of these workers need to be licensed by a provincial or territorial regulatory body, which is expected to impose barriers for new job seekers coming from other occupations or immigration. Moreover, the nature of the work in this occupational group is very demanding, both physically and psychologically. It also requires extensive availability, as paramedics often work evenings, nights, and weekends. Working hours are very long and overtime is common. Nevertheless, positive mobility from other occupations in the health sector and emergency services is expected due to the recently tight conditions in this occupational group.

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: 10,900 63%
Retirements: 4,500 26%
Other Replacement Demand: 800 5%
Emigration: 900 5%
Projected Job Openings: 17,200 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 15,800 85%
Immigration: 500 3%
Other: 2,100 11%
Projected Job Seekers: 18,500 100%
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