Numerous Opportunities Await Physiotherapists in Canada Amidst Projected Job Shortage

A multitude of employment prospects are on the horizon for physiotherapists in Canada, with federal forecasts indicating a substantial demand for qualified professionals over the next nine years. The Job Bank, an authoritative federal government platform for job exploration and career planning, has highlighted a burgeoning gap of hundreds of vacancies requiring proficient physiotherapists to fill them from 2022 to 2031.

According to the Job Bank’s insights, the period between 2022 and 2031 is anticipated to witness a substantial total of 14,300 new job openings for physiotherapists, encompassing both expansion demand and the need for replacements. The persistent scarcity of labor witnessed in recent times is poised to extend into this forthcoming decade.

Despite Canada’s commendable immigration efforts that have resulted in record-breaking levels of newcomers, employers are projected to grapple with an ongoing challenge of recruiting for these specialized roles. This situation creates an opportune moment for adept foreign nationals to secure permanent residency in Canada. A significant development in this context emerged earlier this year when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unveiled plans to direct Canada’s Express Entry system toward 82 occupations, spanning healthcare, technology, trades, transport, and agriculture, including the field of physiotherapy. Notably, the flagship Express Entry system had hitherto focused solely on immigration programs without targeting specific vocations.

The amendments, announced in late May, usher in greater responsiveness within the Express Entry streams, such as the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program, Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and certain segments of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). The intent behind these changes, as underscored by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, is to alleviate Canada’s persistent labor shortages and foster economic growth by aligning immigration pathways with the nation’s workforce requirements.

“I have consistently heard from employers nationwide about chronic labor shortages,” Fraser emphasized. “The adjustments to the Express Entry system will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers, fostering growth and success for businesses. Simultaneously, this initiative will bolster our economy while catering to the needs of French-speaking communities.”

The prognosis is particularly noteworthy for the physiotherapy sector, which, as per the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system (code 31202), is poised for remarkable growth over the next decade. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association, in a submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills, and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, highlighted the impending disparity between burgeoning demand and the entry of new professionals in the field. The aging population and increased life expectancy are expected to intensify the demand for healthcare practitioners, including physiotherapists, thereby exacerbating an existing shortage in this profession.

In terms of remuneration, the median hourly wage for physiotherapists in Canada varies between $25 and $49.68, averaging at $41.03, as revealed by the Job Bank. This attractive earning potential further solidifies the appeal of the profession. Ultimately, physiotherapists in Canada have the potential to earn a median annual income of up to $96,876.

In summation, the Canadian job landscape is primed with substantial opportunities for aspiring and qualified physiotherapists, underscoring the critical need for their expertise across the nation.