This page highlights the most promising occupations over the 2021-2023 period. Occupations are organized by broad occupational category.
There could be up to 63,600 job openings in Nova Scotia over the next few years. Almost half of all openings will be from job growth. Much of this growth is due to the labour market’s recovery from COVID-19 measures.
Just under half of the openings are expected to be in the Halifax region. Just over half of those openings will come from job growth. The remainder will come from turnover. Turnover is expected to be moderately higher outside of Halifax due to the older workforce.
0 - Management
Management occupations account for about 35,400 jobs – or 7.8%, of Nova Scotia’s total employment. There could be up to 5,900 openings over the next few years. Employment is evenly split between Halifax and the rest of the province. Managers work in all sectors of the economy.
Positions linked to high growth industries—like construction and the IT sector—are likely to have higher growth. Some – like corporate sales managers – may see the number of positions decline.
Below are the in-demand management occupations:
- Administrators – post-secondary education and vocational training
- Computer and information systems managers
- Construction managers
- Engineering Managers
- Home building and renovation managers
- Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers
- Managers in health care
- Managers in social, community and correctional services
- Manufacturing managers
- Retail and wholesale trade managers
- Senior managers - financial, communication and other business services
1 - Business, Finance and Administration
Business, finance and administration is the second-largest occupational category in Nova Scotia. It employs 67,900 workers – or 15% of total employment. There could be up to 9,370 openings over the next few years. More jobs are found in the Halifax region (58%) than the rest of the province.
Economic growth will create demand for many services related to this group – like banking, insurance, and transportation of goods.
Below are the in-demand business, finance and administration occupations:
- Accountants and financial auditors
- Advertising, marketing and public relations professionals
- Business management consulting professionals
- Human resources and recruitment officers
- Human resources professionals
- Medical administrative assistants
- Other financial officers
- Property administrators
- Shippers and receivers
- Supervisors – finance and insurance office workers
2 - Engineering, Math, Science and Information Technology
There were about 30,100 jobs in these occupations – or 6.6% of Nova Scotia’s total employment. There could be up to 5,690 openings over the next few years. Most employment (69%) is in the Halifax region. Computer and information systems professional and technical occupations provide the most jobs in this group.
Two-thirds of the openings in this skill level are likely to be in professional occupations. High growth rates are predicted for IT-related occupations. Some occupations related to the natural sciences will have flat or even negative growth.
Below are the in-demand engineering, math, science and information technology occupations:
- Computer engineers (except software engineers)
- Computer network technicians
- Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- Construction estimators
- Database analysts and database administrators
- Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
- Engineer officers, water transport
- Information systems analysts and consultants
- Information systems testing technicians
- Other professional engineers
- Software engineers and designers
- User support technicians
- Web designers and developers
3 - Health
There were 43,300 workers in health occupations in Nova Scotia – or 9.5% of Nova Scotia’s total employment. There could be up to 6,335 openings in the next few year. Slightly more workers are employed outside of Halifax (54%).
Most workers (89%) are employed in in-demand occupations – the highest percentage of the 10 occupational categories. Growth in health occupations will likely be above average due to the increased demand for health services from an aging population. Turnover is expected to create just under half of all openings. Registered nurses and continuing care assistants are the largest occupations in this category and will have the most opportunities.
Below are the in-demand health occupations:
- Audiologists and Speech-language Pathologists
- Continuing care assistants, nurse aides, orderlies and patient services associates
- Dental assistants
- Dental hygienists and dental therapists
- Family physicians and general practitioners
- Licenced practical nurses
- Massage Therapists
- Medical laboratory technologists
- Medical radiation technologists
- Nursing coordinators and supervisors
- Occupational therapists
- Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
- Other professional occupations in health diagnosis and treating
- Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
- Registered nurses
- Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
- Specialist physicians
4 - Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
Education, law and social, community and government services employed 53,500 workers in Nova Scotia – or 11.7% of the workforce. There could be up to 5,515 openings in the next few years. Slightly more (56%) work in Halifax.
Job growth in this group is likely from rising demand for services like home support, mental health, and child care. However, many of these services are government-funded, so growth is subject to fiscal constraints.
Below are the in-demand education, law and social, community and government services occupations:
- Social workers
- Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers
- Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers
- Paralegals and related occupations
- Early childhood educators and assistants
- Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations
5- Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport
Art, culture, recreation and sport is the smallest occupational category with 11,500 workers - or 2.5% of total employment. There could be up to 1,495 openings in the next few years. Most of the jobs are in the Halifax region (68%).
Some occupations in this group were strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are likely to have above-average growth as they recover. Due to the younger age profile of the main occupations in this category, turnover will likely be somewhat low.
There are no in-demand occupations in this category. The occupations below have an average outlook and are the largest in this category for share of employment.
6 - Sales and Service
Sales and service is the largest group in Nova Scotia with 121,200 workers - or 26.6% of total employment. There could be up to 17,495 openings in the next few years. The share of jobs is close to evenly split between Halifax (53%) and the rest of the province (47%).
Many occupations in this category are experiencing a rebound following the loosening of pandemic containment measures. Sales and service has the second-highest growth rate among the 10 categories. Nearly three-fifths of openings will be from growth.
Below are the in-demand sales and service occupations:
- Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
- Cleaning supervisors
- Food and beverage servers
- Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
- Food service supervisors
- Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
- Light duty cleaners
- Other customer and information services representatives
- Real estate agents and salespersons
- Retail salespersons
- Retail sales supervisors
- Sales and account representatives – wholesale trade (non-technical)
- Security guards and related security service occupations
- Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers
7 - Trades and Transportation
Trades and transportation employed 63,000 workers - or just under 14% of the workforce. There could be up to 8,425 openings in the next few years. The share of jobs is close to evenly split between Halifax (46%) and the rest of the province (54%).
Solid growth is likely in this group due to activity in the construction industry. Population growth is driving up the number of housing starts, while several large, multi-year highway and healthcare projects are also impacting the demand for construction workers.
Below are the in-demand trades and transportation occupations:
- Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
- Concrete finishers
- Construction trades helpers and labourers
- Contractors and supervisors – electrical trades and telecommunication occupations
- Contractors and supervisors – other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
- Crane operators
- Floor covering installers
- Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
- Heavy equipment operators (except crane)
- Industrial electricians
- Machinist and machining tooling inspectors
- Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
- Residential and commercial installers and servicers
- Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
- Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
- Transport truck drivers
8 - Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
There are 13,100 workers in farming, fishing, forestry and mining - or 2.9% of the total workforce. It is the second smallest group in Nova Scotia. There could be up to 1,430 openings in the next few years. Most openings are outside the Halifax region (80%).
Workers in natural resources, agriculture and related production are likely to have the slowest job growth in this group. Uncertainty in the forestry industry could lead to job losses in some occupations.
Below are the in-demand farming, fishing, forestry and mining occupations:
9 - Manufacturing and Utilities
Manufacturing and utilities employed 16,500 workers - or 3.6% of the total workforce. There could be up to 1,945 openings in the next few years. Job growth will create less than 1/4 of job openings. Turnover will likely be above average. Most job openings are outside the Halifax region (74%). Labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities may have fewer positions available in the next few years.
Below are the in-demand manufacturing and utilities occupations: