Job prospects Psychologist in Canada

People working as a psychologist 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 Psychologists (NOC 4151).

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 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 Good Good
New Brunswick Good Good
Quebec Good Good
Ontario Fair Fair
Manitoba Good Good
Saskatchewan Good Good
Alberta Fair Fair
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

You can also look at 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.


SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage 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 in this occupational group declined each year, but this was after reaching its highest level in 2016. Job losses were reflected in a small increase of the unemployment rate, but remaining well below the national average of 5.8%. However, the unemployment rate for this occupation has historically been low, mostly because about 50% of the workers are self-employed. On the other hand, the job vacancy rate was below the national average, signaling fewer available jobs in comparison to the overall employment size of the occupation. Hence, the analysis of key labour market indicators, such as the decline in employment, suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group.

For Psychologists, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 15,700 , while 13,700 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 openings are expected to be substantially higher to job seekers, creating a shortage of workers over the 2019-2028 period. Job openings are projected to arise from both expansion demand and retirements. Employment growth is expected to be much stronger than the average for all occupations, fueled by the population's greater awareness of social issues such as population aging, mental health, learning issues/disabilities and violence. On the risk side, this strong growth could potentially be limited by constrains on public spending. Positions left vacant because of retirement are expected to account for about half of available jobs. The retirement rate is expected to be stronger than the average for all occupations. Psychologists are generally substantially older than workers in other occupations, but tend to retire around the same age. This creates strong pressures to fulfill vacant positions, just to maintain employment levels.

With regard to labour supply, psychologists are a regulated occupation and in most provinces in Canada workers need to have a doctorate degree in order to be able to work. Without a PhD degree, workers must work in some closely related occupations for some years before being granted the right to work as a psychologist. As a result, occupational movers are projected to account for the majority of job seekers. Most of them will come from being university professors and lecturers (NOC 4011) or post-secondary teaching and research assistants (NOC 4012) in the psychology field, as well as social workers (NOC 4152) or family, marriage and other related counsellors (NOC 4153). Given the high educational requirement, school leavers are expected to represent only around 36% of job seekers, a proportion that is below the average among all occupations of about 77%. Finally, new immigrants are expected to account for only 8% of job seekers. The successful completion of the written Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the registration with the regulatory body required in all provinces are also expected to limit the number of individuals seeking employment in this occupational group.

Source Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC

Labour Market Information Survey
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