What are the top careers in demand for 2019 and 2020, and beyond to 2024? According to our research of the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) and two recent studies, healthcare professions are in the highest demand. Less than half of the careers which were in demand in 2018 [you’ll find our report here>>] are the top competitive contenders in 2019. In 2020, the demand for health care careers is predicted to eclipse other career choices. [See 2020 predictions below.]
With the release of a new report from CTV-News — albeit based on an in-house study — the top in-demand positions have shifted somewhat from the previous list.  Our own research, from the Canadian Occupational Projection System, shows that from now until 2024, healthcare will increase in prominence.
This is not surprising, given the rising demand for registered nurses, triggered by aging. Within five years, 20 percent of all Canadians will be aged 65 and older — predicting a five-year trend in health-oriented service careers.
From now until 2024: top 17 career positions
According to our search on the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS), which predict jobs demand by position between now and 2024, there will be significant demand in healthcare due to aging demographics. The top 17 careers by demand, according to COPS, is somewhat different to the CTV report (details below) — likely due to dates (2019-2024 for COPS versus 2019 for CTV report.)
According to COPS, the top 17 positions in order of job opening volume from now until 2024 (and with median wage taken from the Government of Canada Job Bank) will be:
- Registered Nurse: predicting 139,700 job openings, medium hourly wage $36
- Truck Driver: predicting 135,900 job openings, median hourly wage $21
- College or Vocational Instructors: 57,100 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $35
- Business Management Consultant: 49,300 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $34.62
- Welder: 30,800 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $35
- Licensed Practical Nurse: 25,900 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $35
- Occupational or Physiotherapy Therapist: 18,700 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $22
- Software Engineer or Designer: 18,600 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $43.27
- Aerospace Engineer: 14,300 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $42.79
- Industrial Electrician: 12,500 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $33.50
- Aircraft Pilot: 11,400 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $37
- Pharmacist: 11,300 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $46.89
- Psychologist: 10,000 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $40
- Steamfitter or Pipefitter: 9,800 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $35
- Construction Estimator: 6,600 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $29
- Veterinary Technician or Assistant: 5,700 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $17.15
- Dispensing Optician: 2,500 job openings predicted, median hourly wage: $23.08
Hottest for 2019: only 7 out of 15 the same as 2018
The hottest positions for 2019 (with any positions that also ranked in 2018 in bold) — where employers face the highest competition in terms of recruitment — are:
- Sales associate
- Administrative assistant
- General labourer
- Project manager
- Account manager
- Registered nurse
- Electrical engineer
- Human resources manager
New in-demand positions for 2019: retail is back?
As compared to last year’s report, seven positions are new to the “most demanded” roles, at least according to this internal report: developer, receptionist, cashier, registered nurse, electrical engineer, human resources manager, merchandiser.
Even though there is significant worry in the retail sector, merchandiser and cashier made the list. Merchandisers are a vital defensive role for retailers trying to retain walk-in traffic to bricks-and-mortar outlets.
Meanwhile, as compared to the ranked list from last year these positions dropped out of the top competitive roles (although clearly they are still high demand): engineering project manager, aerospace engineer, IT project manager, software engineer, machine learning engineer, industrial technician, and psychologist. We can’t read too much into the changes, since the reports and classifications are from different analysts, but it’s interesting to see the ongoing and emerging trends for 2019.
Emerging positions to watch and plan for
According to the report, there are ten emerging job positions in Canada. The majority of these are in the technology sector — and at least half requiring significant online expertise:
- Blockchain developer
- Automation engineer
- Artificial intelligence researcher
- Chief experience officer
- Live chat agent
- DevOps engineer
- Environmental engineer
- Cyber security specialist
- Data scientist
- 3D architect.
2020 and beyond
Not surprisingly, based on demographic shifts — with one in five Canadians to be over 65 by the year 2024 — we will see a fundamental shift into health care career demand, especially:
- Registered Nurse
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Occupational or Physiotherapy Assistant
- Dispensing Optician
- Veterinary Technicians or assistants (our pets are aging too.)
 Job Bank Data.