Job prospects Paramedic in Ontario

Job opportunities for Paramedical occupations (NOC 3234) are good in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a paramedic.

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 Paramedical occupations (NOC 3234) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to several 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.

In Ontario, workers in this occupational group are engaged in providing ambulatory health care services and are mainly employed by private ambulance services, hospitals, and local, municipal and regional government departments. The demand for these health professionals may be greater in rural and remote communities, as it can be difficult to attract and retain these workers. Population growth and a steadily aging demographic are expected to increase the need for medical emergency services, translating into greater prospects for this occupation. Given the high stresses of this position, which can include irregular hours and physically demanding tasks, employment needs will mainly arise from staff turnover.

The scope of this job has grown and continues to grow beyond its traditional duties. A recent change to the responsibilities of paramedics includes expanding the scope of paramedics to provide on-scene treatment and making decisions about transporting patients to destinations other than hospitals when other care facilities are deemed more appropriate. Today's paramedics are beginning to use new technology such as ultrasound to diagnose patients with serious injuries and drones that can spot serious collisions and deliver medical equipment to the scene faster.

At the same time, employment growth in this field is influenced by the level of funding for emergency services in local areas; therefore, budgetary reductions can impact job prospects, as the provincial health sector will see a 2.2% increase in funding to $63.5 billion, lower than the 4.9% increase from the previous year. While the rate of growth in this profession has been steady over the last ten years in Ontario, growth could slow down over the forecast period given the province's plan to merge 59 municipal and local ambulance services in Ontario into 10 regional ambulance providers.

All paramedics generally start at the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) level. Basic paramedic training consists of a two-year college program and on the job training under supervision of a preceptor. To increase career opportunities, some PCPs may consider further training to move to Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) or Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) positions. In addition, some critical care paramedic may specialize in certain areas of emergency response and may respond directly to an emergency scene via helicopter.

Increased competition for entry-level placements has led some students to obtain supplementary college training or get a university degree prior to starting a paramedic training. Those working in paramedical occupations with a broad range of skills and several years of experience will have a more favourable outlook. Compared with other professions, ambulance attendants and other paramedical occupations host fewer vacancies because of limited training placements. As a result, some of the initial job openings will be for part-time or casual work.

Here are some key facts about Paramedical occupations in the Ontario region:

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