The Future Of The Agriculture Industry


Did you know that the agriculture industry employs 2.1 million Canadian citizens? If you didn’t, you’re not alone! Many people don’t understand how big of a role agriculture plays in Canada or where the industry is going to take Canadians (specifically students and grads) in the future.

Here are a few facts about the industry that indicate what makes agriculture an eggs-traordinary place to hatch your career now and in future years to come.

Shortage of workers

Statistics Canada predicts that from 2011 – 2020, there will be a shortage of workers to fill the available opportunities in most agriculture sectors. Here are the three key sectors outlined with the reflective shortages:

Contractors, Operators and Supervisors in Agriculture, Horticulture and Aquaculture: This sector is expected to have 90,000 roles available from 2011 – 2020 however, only 56,000 professionals to fill them. This includes professions such as Farmers, Farm Managers, Contractors, Supervisors, Nursery/Greenhouse Operators , Aquaculture Operations and Managers.

Technical Occupations In Life Sciences: Roles in this sector include Biological Technologists, Agriculture and Fish Products Inspectors, Forestry Technologists, Conservation and Fishery Officers, Landscape and Horticulture Technicians etc. This sector is also expected to face a shortage of workers as there will approximately be 18,000 jobs available but only 15,000 professionals to fill them from 2011 – 2020.

Life Science Professionals: This is the one sector that will have a good balance between job leavers and job seekers from 2011 – 2020. There are expected to be 10,500 job leavers and 10,900 job seekers for roles in this sector. Careers in the “Life Science Professional” sector include Biologists, Scientists, Forestry Professionals, Agricultural Representatives, Agriculture Consultants, and Agriculture Specialists.

What do these shortages or balances between job leavers and job seekers mean for you? It means that if you’re trying to hatch a career in this sectors that there will be a secure, meaningful, and rewarding career waiting for you in the future if you work for it!

Where are the jobs coming from?

Each of the three sectors above have a higher median in regards to the average age of employees. This means that there will be more professionals exiting the workplace for retirement. The industry is also expecting to experience expansion, development, and new investments for research.

With such a great potential for the industry to succeed, there will be more opportunities for students and new grads wanting to start their career in Agriculture to do so.

Here are some stats on each sector:

Contractors, Operators and Supervisors in Agriculture, Horticulture and Aquaculture

Average age of workers (2010): 60 years old

Average age of retirement (2010): 68 years old

Expansion demand: 9%

# of school leavers: 25,103

Technical Occupations In Life Sciences

Average age of workers (2010): 40 years old

Average age of retirement (2010): 59 years old

Expansion demand: 34%

# of school leavers: 14,998

Life Science Professionals

Average age of workers (2010): 42.1 years old

Average age of retirement (2010): 61 years old

Expansion demand: 36%

# of school leavers: 7,474

Where are the agricultural professionals coming from?

To fill roles available in each sector in Agriculture such as the three listed above, employers will be looking for well-educated candidates. For example; college and university graduates. There are also different specializations and designations available for those interested to enroll in if their degree needs an edge or more focus. You can find a full article on these designations here.

Want to learn more about the Agriculture industry? Head to the TalentEgg Agriculture Career Guide!

Source: Statistics Canada

About the author

Meghan Greaves is a Bachelor of Arts - Sociology and Marketing Management student at the University of Guelph. She also earned a Business Administration – Marketing (Co-op) diploma from Conestoga College in 2012. Meghan is currently completing a summer internship with TalentEgg as a Editorial & Marketing intern.