Job prospects Support Services Assistant - Medical in Ontario

Job opportunities for Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413) are good in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a support services assistant - medical.

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities in Ontario

support services assistant - medical
Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be good for Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to several new positions.
  • A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Most employees in this occupation work in nursing and residential care facilities with a small proportion working in hospitals. Population growth and the ageing population are expected to generate job opportunities for nurses aides, orderlies and patient services associates in the coming years. Demand for this occupation could increase as efforts are made to increase the capacity of long-term care homes; leverage retirement homes and supportive housing providers to reduce hospital stays; and implement strategies to address dementia and palliative care.

However, the latest 2019 provincial budget spelled out a decrease in hospital infrastructure expenditures for 2019/20, falling by more than 10%, while the provincial health sector as a whole will see a 2.2% increase in funding, lower than the 4.9% increase from the previous year. While the operating funding of public hospitals is expected to increase in 2019/20, it is expected to increase by 1.3% over the year, compared to a growth of 6.3% the previous year.

In addition, the Ontario health sector as a whole will see significant changes in the medium-term. A process will be launched to consolidate 14 regionally based Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) that manage various aspects of employment for health practitioners in Ontario, and six provincial agencies, including eHealth Ontario and Cancer Care Ontario, into one single provincial health agency known as Ontario Health. As well, the provincial government has announced plans to reorganize health care providers into various coordinated teams focusing on patients and specific local needs in a new type of unit called Ontario Health Teams, with each Team to fall under a new funding structure.

Many nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates work as personal support workers in Ontario and having this background can improve their employment opportunities. Although the completion of a Personal Support Worker educational program or Medical Laboratory experience is not mandatory in this occupation, they are assets for potential workers. Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates tend to have a higher rate of staff turnover, in part due to the low share of full-time work, so new vacancies will arise as workers leave. Also, given the relatively large size of this occupational group and its older age profile, job openings are expected to be created from retirements.

Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates who are able to accommodate long shifts and work flexible hours will find their employment prospects greatly improved as hospitals and health care facilities may need these health professionals to provide 24-hour patient care. Due to the expansion of home and localized health care initiatives, health professionals who are able to travel will also have more job opportunities as some may be required to work at multiple facilities.

Here are some key facts about Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates in the Ontario region:

  • Approximately 93,400 people work in this occupation.
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates mainly work in the following sectors:
    • Nursing and residential care facilities (NAICS 623): 61%
    • Hospitals (NAICS 622): 13%
    • Ambulatory health care services (NAICS 621): 10%
    • Social assistance (NAICS 624): 8%
  • The distribution of full-time and part-time workers in this occupation is:
    • Full-time workers: 62% compared to 79% for all occupations
    • Part-time workers: 38% compared to 21% for all occupations
  • 61% of nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates work all year, while 39% work only part of the year, compared to 63% and 37% respectively among all occupations. Those who worked only part of the year did so for an average of 32 weeks compared to 31 weeks for all occupations.
  • Less than 5% of nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates are self-employed compared to an average of 12% for all occupations.
  • Breakdown by region

    Explore job prospects in Ontario by economic region.

    Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

    Source Labour Market Information | Prospects Methodology

    You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

    Job prospects elsewhere in Canada

    We expect that there will be a labour SHORTAGE for Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413) in Canada over the next 10 years.

    Learn more

Labour Market Information Survey
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