Job prospects Secondary School Teacher in Ontario

Job opportunities for Secondary school teachers (NOC 4031) are limited in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a secondary school teacher.

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

secondary school teacher
Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be limited for Secondary school teachers (NOC 4031) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to a few 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.

The labour market for secondary school teachers is expected to remain highly competitive during the forecast period. Over the past decade, the supply of secondary school teachers has been increasing steadily throughout, and had exceeded the number of available positions in Ontario, leading to an oversupply of qualified candidates. A controlled reduction of newly licensed Ontario teacher numbers over the last few years, the extension of Ontario's education program by an additional year, and a steady supply of new graduates are all expected to temper employment outcomes for this occupation.

In addition, the Ontario government announced a new education plan in March 2019 that will increase average class size limits for secondary schools from 22 students to 28. School boards in Ontario will now be asked to maintain a board-wide average class size of 28 or less for grades 9 to 12, but the average funded class size will be increased from 22 to 28 students per teacher. School operations funding granted to the 70+ school boards in Ontario has been adjusted downwards accordingly, as the average provincial per-pupil funding is projected to be $12,246 in 2019/20, a decrease of 0.4% from 2018/19.

Correspondingly, the Ontario government is projecting there will be a decrease of 3,475 teaching jobs on a net basis over the next four years, in a move that will save an estimated $851 million. The provincial government has recommended school boards delay hiring new teachers, as the current number of redundancy and/or layoff letters that has been issued to elementary and secondary school teachers total approximately 2,000 positions in Ontario as of May 1, 2019, while other positions in the education sector are being negatively impacted as well. However, the education ministry is introducing a $1.6 billion Attrition Protection Allocation fund for up to four years to protect front-line staff impacted by the proposed changes to class sizes, possibly allowing school boards to protect teachers from layoffs due to the reduced funding allocations.

Reflecting these developments, the latest 2019 provincial budget forecasts an increase of 2.4% in total education sector expenditures for 2019/20, less than the 6.6% increase in 2018/19. Included in these expenditures are spending on education infrastructure expenditures on schools, which are projected to decrease by 18.6% in 2019/20.

Secondary school teachers can expect to spend a relatively long time transitioning from term contracts, occasional supply work and/or multiple part-time positions to full employment. There has been an increase in the number of unemployed teachers working in occupations that do not require a teaching licence, such as private tutoring. Furthermore, under legislation introduced by the Government of Ontario in 2012, new public school teachers are required to start with occasional assignments before they can apply for permanent positions. This legislation does not apply to new public school French-language teachers.

The majority of Ontario's secondary school teachers are employed by the public school system. However, employment prospects may be somewhat better at private schools where more teachers are being offered regular teaching contracts. Although secondary school teachers employed by private institutions do not need to be certified by the Ontario College of Teachers, many private schools prefer to hire licenced teachers. Employment opportunities for Ontario-certified secondary school teachers are generally better outside of urban centres and outside of province. Teachers qualified in certain subject areas such as mathematics, computer studies, and science are in greater demand. French-language teachers and English-language teachers qualified to teach French as a second language, may also find it easier to secure employment.

Here are some key facts about Secondary school teachers in the Ontario region:

Labour Market Information Survey
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