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 : Architects (2151)

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
  • Architects (2151)
Skill Type
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require university education.
Employment in 2021
Median Age of workers in 2021
44 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2021
69 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 significantly in 2019, but fell during the pandemic, but still ending the period with employment slightly higher than 2018. The unemployment rate increased only slightly, remaining relatively low and significantly below the national average. In addition, the number of job vacancies increased substantially in 2021. With higher unemployment and job vacancies, the number of unemployed workers per job vacancy remained close to 1, well below the national average over the period. Overall, the analysis of these and other key labour market indicators suggests that the demand exceeded substantially the supply in this occupational group over the 2019-2021 period.

Over the period 2022-2031, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Architects are expected to total 5,400, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 5,700.

This gap is not considered to be statistically significant, which means that the number of job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2022-2031 period. As such, the labour shortage conditions seen in recent years will not clear and are expected to persist over the projection period. Most job openings are projected to arise from retirements. The retirement rate is expected to be below the average of all occupations. While these workers tend to be slightly older on average compared to other occupations, they tend to retire quite later in their career. Still, retirements will represent about 52% of total job openings, a proportion that is slightly lower than the average of all occupations (about 59% of openings). Employment is expected to grow at a slower pace than the average of all occupations over the projection period. The demand for architectural services is expected to be contained by the small decline anticipated in residential investment (including new home construction) over the projection period, as a result of the surge in housing prices and higher mortgage rates in the short term, and the downward trend in household formation resulting from population aging in the longer term. That said, increasing urban population should help support demand for new residential buildings and mixed-use properties containing retail, office and residential components, which would require the expertise of architects to develop. On the trade side, there is some potential to increase exports of architectural services as demand for Canadian expertise is growing rapidly. In addition to the relatively low value of the Canadian dollar which maintains price-competitiveness, particularly in the United States, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is expected to enable the industry to bid on service contracts within the European market.

Regarding labour supply, given the important level of enrolment in post-secondary programs, about 58% of job seekers are expected to come directly from the school system, mostly bachelor graduates and to a lesser extend Master and PhD graduates. The projected number of school leavers alone is projected to be larger than the number of total job openings, given the popularity of these programs. New immigrants are also expected to be a major source of labour supply in this occupation, accounting for about 42% of total job seekers. Foreigners seeking employment in this occupational group from countries that have a free trade agreement with a labour component with Canada could be eligible to work in Canada, making it easier for them to enter and permanently remain in the country. Given the relatively important supply of workers and following historical patterns, a significant number of workers will seek opportunities in other related occupations like technical occupations in architecture, drafting, surveying, geomatics, and meteorology (NOC 2250). This negative mobility will be sufficient to offset the large number of school leavers and immigrants, relatively levelling the projected flows of job openings and seekers over the projected period and allowing the recent situation of labour shortage to persist over the long run.

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: 1,600 30%
Retirements: 2,800 52%
Other Replacement Demand: 600 11%
Emigration: 400 7%
Projected Job Openings: 5,400 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 6,500 114%
Immigration: 4,700 82%
Other: -5,600 -98%
Projected Job Seekers: 5,700 100%
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