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 : Elementary school and kindergarten teachers (4032)

Occupational Outlook
BALANCE: Labour demand and labour supply are expected to be broadly in line for this occupation group over the 2019-2028 period at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Occupations in this Group
  • Elementary school and kindergarten teachers (4032)
Skill Type
Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services
Skill Level
Occupations usually require university education.
Employment in 2018
Median Age of workers in 2018
41.3 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2018
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 (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 in this occupational group increased at a pace that was two times stronger than the average for all occupations. Despite these job gains, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.3% in 2018, but remaining below the national average of 5.8%. However, the number of job vacancies increased at a slightly faster pace than the number of jobless workers in the occupation. As a result, the number of unemployed available to fill those vacant positions declined over the past three years, but remained well above the average among all occupations. It is important to highlight that seasonality plays an important role in the availability of workers in this occupation. In fact, during typical school months (usually September to June), the unemployment rate is often substantially below the average in other occupations. Hence, the analysis of key labour market indicators, such as the increase in the number of workers available to fill vacancies, 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 Elementary school and kindergarten teachers are expected to total 97,900, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 108,300 .

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period, the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period. Job openings are projected to arise mainly from retirements, accounting for almost half of job openings. Pressures arising from these departures are anticipated to be in line with the national average as workers in this occupational grouping have a similar age structure than in other occupations. Employment growth is also expected to be in line with the average for all occupations, primarily reflecting much stronger gains in population aged 5 to 17 as the children of the millennial generation will begin to reach the age where they start primary school.

In addition, the demographic outlook assumes that the Government of Canada will progressively increase the number of immigrants entering the country, with the primary goal of reuniting families, which could potentially raise the number of immigrants' children entering the primary and secondary school systems. On the other hand, population aging will continue to erode the federal and provincial tax bases, putting pressures on governments' expenditures in educational services. Furthermore, technology will also impact the demand for these workers. For example, with the use of learning management systems (LMS), students can access online resources to get assistance beyond the physical reach of their teacher. For students who need to spend more time practicing a concept, online exercises can also help them work at their own pace and still keep up with their peers. The growing use of educational tablets in the K-12 schooling system (i.e. from kindergarten to 12th grade) has brought mobility to the classroom while increasing productivity and improving learning. On the other hand, technology will also complement teachers tasks. For instance, they can utilize it to access virtual expert improvement courses (most are free) and make personal learning networks (PLN) to discover resources, share thoughts, and get support from colleagues that could potentially be beyond school geographical borders.

With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to account for the majority of job seekers. This occupational grouping is anticipated to attract a high proportion of school leavers due to, notably, good working conditions and the desire to make a difference in youth. Moreover, only a small number of new immigrants will start working in this occupational group because a provincial teaching certificate is required. Finally, a number of workers are also expected to leave this occupational group over the projection period. While some will accept a promotion to become school principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education (NOC 0422), others will simply opt for new challenges in occupations such as secondary school teachers (NOC 4031) or education policy researchers, consultants and program officers (NOC 4166).

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: 33,100 34%
Retirements: 50,600 52%
Other Replacement Demand: 6,800 7%
Emigration: 7,300 7%
Projected Job Openings: 97,900 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 135,500 125%
Immigration: 4,600 4%
Other: -31,900 -29%
Projected Job Seekers: 108,300 100%
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