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 : Dentists (3113)

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
  • Dentists (3113)
Skill Type
Health occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require university education.
Employment in 2021
Median Age of workers in 2021
45.8 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2021
64 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 recorded a slight decline. The unemployment rate remained near its historical average around 1.0% in 2021. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies remained stable before recording a sharp increase in 2021. Despite the decline in unemployment and rise in vacancies towards the end of the period, the number of unemployed workers per job vacancy was well above the average of all occupations prior to 2021. However, this might not mean much for this occupation as 9 in 10 workers are self-employed. Hence, the analysis of these and other key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was largely sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group.

Over the period 2022-2031, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Dentists are expected to total 13,500, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 10,500.

Although this occupational group has had a fairly balanced market in recent years, projected job openings are substantially higher than projected job seekers, creating a shortage of workers over the 2022-2031 period. Job openings will result both from retirements (44%) and employment growth (43%). Workers in this occupation tend to be older than average; therefore, the retirement rate is expected to be slightly above the average of all occupations. Employment growth is also projected to be above average. 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. Additionally, the recently implemented Canada Dental Benefit will enable more Canadian families to access dental care, further increasing demand for these services. Nevertheless, these pressures could be lessened by population aging as seniors are less likely to be covered by private dental insurance plans and are not yet eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit. The speed and scope of the expansion of the Canada Dental Benefit will have a significant influence on demand for dental care and employment growth in related occupations over the projection period.

With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to represent the vast majority of job seekers. Given the strict regulations in place to practice in this occupation, there will be a limited number of immigrants and 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 2022-2031

This table contains data related to Projected Job Openings.
Level Share
Expansion Demand: 5,900 44%
Retirements: 5,900 44%
Other Replacement Demand: 1,200 9%
Emigration: 600 4%
Projected Job Openings: 13,500 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 10,000 95%
Immigration: 2,000 19%
Other: -1,500 -14%
Projected Job Seekers: 10,500 100%
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