Job prospects Pharmacist in Ontario

Job opportunities for Pharmacists (NOC 3131) are good in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a pharmacist.

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

Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be good for Pharmacists (NOC 3131) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to several new positions.
  • Not many positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Pharmacists are employed in a variety of industries, but a significant majority are concentrated in the retail sector, mainly working in pharmacies and drug stores. Hospitals are also key employers. In Ontario, the number of pharmacists has grown over the past few years—nearly doubling in size from a decade ago. As the population continues to increase and grow older, the need for prescription drugs and health services will increase, supporting demand for these professionals. The increasing rate of some chronic diseases in the population will support medication management, further adding to the demand for this occupation.

However, increased competition and expected tightening in this segment of the retail industry may affect job prospects, especially for small independent pharmacy stores. The lowering of both generic and patented drug prices over the forecast period could impact costs for pharmaceutical companies and distributors, and could filter into increased costs for pharmacies and health and personal retailers. In addition, children, teens and young adults aged 24 and under with private health benefits will no longer be eligible to receive free prescriptions through OHIP+.

Pharmacists' duties include, under specific circumstances, providing the flu shot vaccination, prescribing smoking cessation medications, and renewing or adapting existing prescriptions. Pharmacists that are injection certified will have improved prospects. Pharmacists with knowledge and experience of various computer programs should have an improved outlook. The continued roll-out of e-prescriptions in Ontario will provide more secure dispensing, with fewer errors. Pharmacists must ensure that their computer systems meet national requirements. In addition to full-time work, part-time opportunities are also available.

The practice of pharmacy is regulated by the Ontario College of Pharmacists. The College has developed a new cannabis strategy for pharmacists to lay down a framework for the production, distribution and sale of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, for which sale has begun as of October 2018.

Here are some key facts about Pharmacists in the Ontario region:

Labour Market Information Survey
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