Job prospects Pharmacist in Canada

People working as a pharmacist have different job prospects depending on where they work in Canada. Find out what the future holds for them in your province or territory. These prospects are applicable to all Pharmacists (NOC 3131).

Note: These employment prospects were published in December 2021 based on the information available at the time of analysis. The next update will be in December 2022. To learn more, see our FAQs. You can also find additional information on the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard.

Job opportunities over the next 3 years

Explore future job prospects by province and territory.

Location Job prospects
Newfoundland and Labrador Fair Fair
Prince Edward Island Good Good
Nova Scotia Fair Fair
New Brunswick Good Good
Quebec Fair Fair
Ontario Good Good
Manitoba Good Good
Saskatchewan Good Good
Alberta Good Good
British Columbia Good Good
Yukon Territory Undetermined Undetermined
Northwest Territories Undetermined Undetermined
Nunavut Undetermined Undetermined
Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

To view this data on a map, go to: LMI Explore

Labour market conditions over the next 10 years

Take a closer look at the projected labour demand and supply for this occupation over the 2019-2028 period. For more information on future job trends, go to the Canadian Occupational Projections System.


SURPLUS: This occupational group is expected to face labour surplus conditions over the period of 2019-2028 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.

Employment in 2018


Median age of workers in 2018


Average retirement age in 2018


Detailed analysis

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 (2019-2028) 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 2019-2028. 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.

Over the 2016-2018 period, employment growth in this occupational group was slightly negative, as employment was lower in 2018 than it was in 2016. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 1.4% in 2018, which is close to its long-term average. However, despite the fall in the unemployment rate there were still almost two unemployed workers per job vacancy in 2018, indicating that a lack of available workers is unlikely to have limited employment growth. Hence, analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group.

For Pharmacists, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 12,500 , while 16,600 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

Although this occupational group has had a balanced market in recent years, projected job seekers are expected to be substantially higher to job openings, creating a surplus of workers over the 2019-2028 period. Job openings are projected to arise from both expansion demand and retirements. Employment growth (expansion demand) is expected to be slightly higher than the average for all occupations. Population aging is expected to lead to an increase in the share of the population in need of medication to treat health conditions, adding to the demand for pharmacists. However, job creation is projected to be significantly lower than during the 2009-2018 period. This is following the strong expansion in recent years as a result of the introduction of new pharmacies in superstores. Retirements are expected to account for 46% of all job openings, although the retirement rate in this occupation is expected to be lower than the national average. Workers in this occupational group tend to retire at a later age than those in other occupations, limiting the number of positions that will be available due to retirement over the projection period. With regard to labour supply, due to the highly specialized nature of this occupation, school leavers are expected to account for the vast majority of job seekers. About one fifth of all job seekers are projected to be immigrants getting licensed through the provincial or territorial regulatory body for both community and hospital pharmacists. A sizeable number of workers are expected to seek opportunities in managerial positions in the health sector or as retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621 – pharmacists opening their own drugstore).

Source Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC

Labour Market Information Survey
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