Job prospects Veterinarian in Canada
People working as a veterinarian 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 Veterinarians (NOC 3114).
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.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Undetermined Undetermined|
|Prince Edward Island||Limited Limited|
|Nova Scotia||Fair Fair|
|New Brunswick||Undetermined Undetermined|
|British Columbia||Good Good|
|Yukon Territory||Undetermined Undetermined|
|Northwest Territories||Undetermined Undetermined|
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.
BALANCE: Labour demand and labour supply are expected to be broadly in line for this occupation group over the 2019-2028 period 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
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 slightly. The unemployment rate also rose, but from an already low of 0.7% in 2016 to 1.3% in 2018, a rate still well below the national average of 5.8%. Although there are significantly fewer unemployed workers per job vacancy than the average for all occupations, the simultaneous rise in employment and the unemployment rate suggests that a lack of available workers is not restricting 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 Veterinarians, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 3,600 , while 3,900 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
As job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2019-2028 period, it is expected that the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years will continue over the projection period. Job openings will result primarily from retirements. The retirement rate is expected to be similar to the average for all occupations. Even though these workers tend to be older than average, they also tend to retire at a later age. Employment growth for veterinarians is projected to be similar to the average of all occupations, representing a quarter of the job openings. As it was the case over the last decade, population growth should lead to an increase in the number of household pet owners. Improvement in the health services offered to pets and access to different pet insurance products are also expected to continue fueling the demand for veterinarian services. In addition, the ongoing reinforcement of animal food quality inspections and of livestock exports and imports should also contribute to employment growth in this occupational group. However, certain specializations within the occupation may experience bottlenecks, most notably large animal veterinarians who tend to serve the agriculture industry. These workers usually have to be mobile and visit different farms, while fewer veterinarians are choosing to live far from urban centres. With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to account for the majority of job seekers in this occupation over the projection period. However, there are limited school spots for students. As Canada's veterinary schools are region-based, applicants can only apply to one of the five schools based on where they are considered a resident. The exception is Alberta's residents, who can apply to Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon and the University of Calgary. Due to the highly specialized nature of this occupation, the contribution of immigrants is expected to be negligible, while a number of veterinarians should leave this occupational grouping to become veterinary equipment and supplies salesperson (Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade, NOC 6221).
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