Fast Facts

Revenue

The industry's annual revenues total $2.3 billion.
Source: Statistics Canada, Summary Statistics for Testing Laboratories, 2010

Number, Location and Size of Establishments

There are about 2,700 testing laboratory facilities in Canada.
Source: Statistics Canada, Summary Statistics for Testing Laboratories, 2010

The industry is concentrated in four provinces - Alberta has 39% of total lab facilities, Ontario has 28%, followed by B.C. at 15% and Quebec at 12%.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns, June 2011

Lab clusters, or locations where there is a concentration of lab operations, are evident in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns, June 2011

The industry is made up of many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). About three-quarters of all lab facilities in Canada have fewer than 10 employees. Across the country, there are only 12 lab locations with 200 or more employees.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns, June 2011

Employment

The testing laboratories industry in Canada employs about 20,000 people.
Source: CCIL based on Statistics Canada data

Education Level of Employees

Testing laboratories are a knowledge-based industry. Over 40% of the industry's employees are university graduates, largely with science and engineering degrees.
Source: CCIL based on Statistics Canada data

Wages, Salaries and Benefits

The industry pays about $975 million a year in wages, salaries and benefits.
Source: Statistics Canada, Summary Statistics for Testing Laboratories, 2010

Testing labs are labour-intensive businesses. Salaries, wages and benefits account for about one-half (47%) of the industry's operating expenses.
Source: Statistics Canada, Summary Statistics for Testing Laboratories, 2010

Average Annual Salary

The average annual salary per employee is about $50,000.
Source: CCIL based on Statistics Canada data

The industry provides "high-value employment with average wages and salaries greater than those found in the economy as a whole."
Statistics Canada, Innovation in Selected Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, 2005

GDP

GDP in the testing laboratories industry increased more than 20% between 2005 and 2011 - compared to an increase of 9% for the overall economy during the same period.
Source: CCIL based on Statistics Canada data

Major Markets

Testing labs serve a vast array of customers across the economic spectrum, including:

  • road building
  • ICI and residential construction
  • environmental
  • water and waste water
  • automobile
  • mining
  • pulp and paper
  • agriculture
  • food
  • pharmaceutical
  • oil and gas
  • manufacturing
  • metals production
  • biotechnology/life sciences


Types of Testing Services

The types of testing services provided by the industry in Canada include:

  • assaying
  • automobile proving and testing ground
  • biological (except clinical and veterinary)
  • calibration and certification
  • electrical
  • environmental
  • construction materials
  • film badge
  • fire insurance underwriters' laboratories
  • food
  • forensic
  • geotechnical
  • hydrostatic
  • industrial
  • mechanical
  • metallurgical
  • non-destructive
  • pharmaceutical
  • product testing
  • radiation
  • radiographic
  • radon
  • seed
  • soil
  • thermal
  • vibration
  • x-ray

Source: Statistics Canada