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 : Veterinarians (3114)

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
  • Veterinarians (3114)
Skill Type
Health occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require university education.
Employment in 2021
Median Age of workers in 2021
44.3 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 growth in this occupational group was significantly above the national average. The unemployment rate remained well below the national average during the entire period and stood at approximately 1.0% in 2021. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies increased sharply over the period and there was consistently less than one unemployed worker per job vacancy, limiting the ability of employers to fill vacancies. The restrictions imposed during the pandemic and the increase in remote working led to an increase in pet ownership. Veterinarian clinics had limited spaces for new clients, which led pet owners to face difficulties finding veterinarian services for their pets. This is in addition to the difficulties that the kettle industry was facing to find appropriate mobile veterinarians in rural areas. 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 Veterinarians are expected to total 5,000, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 4,300.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be 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 will result primarily from retirements. The retirement rate is expected to be near the average of all occupations. Even though these workers tend to be older than average, they also tend to retire at a later age. Employment growth for veterinarians is also projected to be near the average of all occupations, representing just over a quarter of the job openings. As it was the case over the last decade, population growth should lead to an increase in the number of household pet owners of similar proportions. Improvement in the health services offered to pets and access to different pet insurance products are also expected to continue driving demand for veterinarian services. In addition, the ongoing reinforcement of animal food quality inspections and of livestock exports and imports should contribute to employment growth in this occupational group.

With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to account for the majority of job seekers over the projection period. Due to the highly specialized nature of this occupation and the regulations to practice, the contribution of immigrants is expected to be negligible. Net mobility is expected to be negative for this occupation, resulting from the departure of workers for roles as veterinary instructors and veterinary equipment and supplies salespeople.

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: 1,800 36%
Retirements: 2,500 50%
Other Replacement Demand: 400 8%
Emigration: 300 6%
Projected Job Openings: 5,000 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 5,200 121%
Immigration: 900 21%
Other: -1,800 -42%
Projected Job Seekers: 4,300 100%
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