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Industry Profile

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Industry Profile

Legal contracts, complicated tax returns, energy research, and nanotechnology development are all part of the professional, scientific and technical services industry. Relying less on equipment and materials and more on the skills and knowledge of its workers, this industry sells expertise, which is typically acquired with a university or college education.

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the overall size of an economy. In 2015, the professional, scientific and technical services industry made up 4.9% of Alberta's GDP. This represents a 0.7% decline from 2012.

Sectors

  • advertising and public relations
  • architecture
  • engineering
  • graphic, industrial, or computer systems design
  • industrial or computer design
  • law
  • research and development
  • scientific and technical consulting
  • surveying and mapping
  • translation
  • veterinary services

Workforce

The professional, scientific and technical services industry employed 173,200 people in 2015. This is a decrease of 2,900 jobs (1.6%) from 2013.

  • 98,900 men worked in the industry in 2015 (down 3.1% from 2013).
  • 74,200 women worked in the industry in 2015 (down 0.3% from 2013).

Wages

The average hourly wage of $36.67 for the professional, scientific and technical services industry was above the provincial average of $29.06.

Graphic Designer
$31.88
Average Hourly Wage
Lawyer and Quebec Notary
$66.25
Average Hourly Wage

Industry Performance

Alberta's professional, scientific and technical services have been affected by the decline in oil prices, as low corporate profits and consumer confidence have reduced spending on legal, consulting, and accounting services. GDP in this industry declined by 5.3% in 2015 from the previous year, and employment dropped by 6.0% in the same period. Because of these contractions, investment in this industry is expected to decline by 9.8% in 2016.

Industry Outlook

As Alberta's energy industry moves toward recovery, demand will grow for professional, scientific and technical services, including research, legal advice, and engineering expertise. The need for high-tech advances in oil and gas means a greater demand for testing laboratories, computer systems and design, and traditional research and development (R&D). Furthermore, the growth of cloud-based technologies across many industries will also increase the demand for information technology services. The Conference Board of Canada, a not-for-profit research organization, predicts that Alberta's professional, scientific and technical services sector will grow by an average annual compound rate of 2.6% over the long term, faster than in any other province.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 2.3% from 2016 to 2019.

OCCinfo has more information about occupations in Alberta, including details about duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges. You can also find reports on region-specific information about wages, job vacancies, and hiring difficulties in this industry. Visit the Survey Analysis to learn more.

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