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Occupational Profile

Demographer

Demographers plan and conduct research to study characteristics of human populations such as size, growth, composition, mobility and distribution.

  • Avg. Salary $80,589.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.22
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Demographic/Population Analyst, Population Specialist, Social Scientist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Demographer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Statisticians
NOC code: 2161.2
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to extend knowledge on the mathematical basis of statistics, and to develop statistical methodologies

METHODICAL

Interest in applying statistical theory and methods to provide information in scientific and other fields such as biological and agricultural sciences, business and economics, physical sciences and engineering, and the social sciences

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise on the applications of statistical methods and analyses

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Demographers study to determine the causes and consequences of changes in the characteristics of human populations. Much of a demographer's work involves:

  • developing registration systems and surveys to collect data
  • collecting and analyzing statistics concerning births, deaths and migration
  • collecting, describing and analyzing other population characteristics such as age, sex, marital status, ethnicity, ancestry, school attendance, education level, employment, occupation, income and household size and composition
  • producing estimates and projections of population size and other demographic characteristics
  • communicating analytic results in reports, academic papers and other documents.

In government and planning organizations, demographic statistics and projections are used to plan for and respond to population changes in an informed and reasonable manner. Changing demographics have far-reaching implications in many areas, including education, health and social programs. Therefore, identifying, tracking and predicting population trends is vital to organizations involved in activities such as drafting social and economic policy, planning city services and infrastructure, and developing public health, education and labour force strategies.

In business and industry, analysis of demographic data improves a company's understanding of:

  • who its current and potential customers are
  • how its markets are changing in size, location and characteristics
  • how products or services may have to change to respond to changing customer or client needs
  • where future opportunities might lie.

Demographers in applied business settings often take on th e role of market analysts. They plan, conduct research, write technical reports and present their findings to management and clients.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Demographers generally work standard hours in an office environment but may work overtime to meet project deadlines. Some travel may be required to collect data or conduct surveys.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Demographers need to possess:

  • an interest in societal trends
  • good mathematical and problem-solving skills
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to be objective, analytical and creative
  • the ability to translate social issues and questions into numbers
  • the ability to draw insights and conclusions from data
  • the ability to present data in a way that is easily understandable and useful.

Demographers should enjoy synthesizing data, applying demographic and statistical theories and methods, and advising others regarding statistical methodology and analytical techniques.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Most demographers have a university degree in sociology, economics, geography or statistics, and experience in applying statistical theories and techniques. Traditionally, a master's degree in demography, or in economics or sociology with a demography major, plus a background in statistics or mathematics has been the preferred qualification. However, graduates of marketing programs have begun to move into the field. The influence of computers in demography has also created job opportunities for computer science majors. Experience with statistical analytical programs, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programs or fluency in a second language can be a definite asset.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Athabasca University

Concordia University of Edmonton

Mount Royal University

University of Manitoba - Winnipeg

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Demographers are employed by:

  • Statistics Canada and other federal government departments
  • provincial and territorial government departments
  • research, policy and planning branches of large municipal governments
  • school boards, health authorities and social agencies
  • universities
  • international organizations working in areas such as development aid and population planning
  • public opinion polling firms
  • businesses and consulting companies such as market research and actuarial firms.

Demographers employed in private industry often have other duties that are not strictly demographic in nature. Those employed in universities may teach courses outside the field of population and carry out population-related research. Some demographers operate their own consulting businesses.

Advancement often requires a master's or doctoral degree.

Demographers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2161: Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Salaries vary considerably in this occupation.

Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
NOC code: 2161

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $25.79 $47.38 $34.59 $32.24
Overall $36.44 $61.81 $43.22 $42.58
Top $40.04 $66.81 $49.81 $46.89

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

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Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

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2015 Vacancy Rate

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Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Canadian Population Society website: www.canpopsoc.ca

Population Research Laboratory, Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta website: www.prl.ualberta.ca

Society of Edmonton Demographers website: sites.google.com/site/sedtoday/home

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Dec 01, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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