Key Industries

Red Deer has a diverse economy with 62,224 jobs provided by over 4,000 businesses.

When evaluated based on labour force, the key industries in Red Deer include Health Care and Social Assistance; Retail Trade; Construction; Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas Extraction; Accommodation and Food Services; Manufacturing; and Educational Services. An overview of these key industries can be found below.

It’s also worth noting that the central Alberta region (Census Division 8) has the strongest employment concentration, relative to the province, in the sectors of Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas Extraction, as well as Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting.

Industry sectors within the central Alberta region that showed the largest employment growth over a 5 year period (2013-2018) were Administrative and Support for waste management and remediation services (45%); Health Care and Social Assistance (35%); Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (18%); Construction (17%); Accommodation and Food Services (12%); and Educational Services (7%).1

Red Deer's workforce has the skills and education that are well positioned to satisfy the needs of our growing hydrogen, renewable energy, and carbon sequestering industries. Learn more about this opportunity (pdf).

Key Industries in Red Deer

Health Care and Social Assistance

Health Care and Social Assistance: As the third largest city in Alberta, and the largest city in central Alberta, Red Deer has become a hub for health care and related services. The Red Deer Regional Hospital and Alberta Health Services are major employers in this industry and in all of Red Deer. A recently announced $1.8B expansion  to the Red Deer Regional Hospital will add an inpatient tower and ambulatory clinic building, and will encourage the growth of health-related businesses in Red Deer. The schematic stage is complete, and $810M has been committed over the next three years.

The Health Care and Social Assistance industry includes jobs in hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, as well as outpatient services. It also includes medical and diagnostic laboratories; home health care; ambulance; social assistance; community food, housing, emergency and relief services, vocational rehabilitation, daycare; and offices of health practitioners (doctors, dentists, optometrists, and chiropractors).2

Retail Trade

Retail Trade:  Red Deer’s retail industry represents firms that are engaged in offering goods and services directly to customers, and you can find clusters of box stores throughout the city.  In Downtown (Historic Downtown and Capstone) you will find smaller, trendy, unique stores.  To the north are the light industrial shops and businesses. These businesses service the City of Red Deer population and also attract customers from central Alberta, with 272,500 residents in the region.


Construction: The construction industry in Red Deer includes construction, repairs or renovations of residential, commercial or industrial buildings, as well as engineering works, and the subdivision and development of land.  Some examples of occupations in the Construction industry include: bricklayer; carpenter; electrician; roofer; and steam fitter-pipe fitter.2

The City of Red Deer is currently overseeing Residential, Commercial, Mixed-Use and Industrial developments such as TimberlandsCapstone and Queens Business Park.

The construction industry is supported by the Red Deer Polytechnic, which has a number of construction-related programs, including carpentry.  It is also supported by BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association – Central Alberta), and the RDCA (Red Deer Construction Association).


Manufacturing: Manufacturing is one of the driving forces behind Red Deer’s economic vitality, and virtually every component used in the oil and gas industry is manufactured here. Our manufacturers are leaders in supplying metal fabrication, petrochemicals and drilling equipment.

This industry is supported by the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing at the Red Deer Polytechnic, and the graduates from the various manufacturing-related trades are a huge asset for any existing and new businesses in Red Deer.

Accommodation and Food Services

Accommodation and Food Services: Red Deer’s Accommodation Services include short-term lodging such as hotels, motels, B&B’s, RV Parks and campgrounds. Food Services includes any business which prepares meals, snacks and/or beverages to customers for immediate consumption on or off the premises.  Some examples of occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services industry include: bartender; chef; hotel and motel desk clerk; restaurant manager; housekeeping attendant; and food service supervisor.2

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: Red Deer is known for the oilfield production services which support Alberta’s largest industry. The region’s expertise has been a source of innovation in the oil and gas sector. Companies in Red Deer are globally competitive, and sell and ship their products to customers all over the world.

This industry includes companies that are involved in exploring for crude petroleum and natural gas; drilling, completing and quipping wells; operating separators, emulsion breakers, desilting equipment and field gathering lines for crude petroleum; mining for coal, metal ore, liquids, and non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying; and other activities in the preparation of oil and gas up to the point of shipment from the producing property.2

Educational Services

Educational Services: The Educational Services industry in Red Deer includes public and private schools, colleges and training centres, as well as instruction and training services, and related support services such as food and accommodation for students.

Red Deer Polytechnic has been proudly serving their students and community in 1964 as Red Deer College. As of July 2021, their institution name is now Red Deer Polytechnic. In 2018, this post-secondary institution received approval to become a degree-granting institution.  Now as a polytechnic institution in central Alberta, they will continue to offer the same breadth of credentials and mix of programs in a variety of subject areas that we previously offered, including apprenticeships, certificates, degrees, micro-credentials, and degrees.

The Red Deer Public School system includes 28 schools within Red Deer which serve over 11,000 students, while the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools have 21 schools throughout central Alberta, serving over 10,000 students.

Additional Resources

Investment Opportunity Engine - The City of Red Deer makes big data available to businesses free of charge, through the Investment Opportunity Engine.  Launched in 2019, it has been providing businesses with valuable up-to-date information about the local economy, customers, competition, work force, and more. Access this information at Investment Opportunity Engine.

The Regional Labour Force Profile, March 2019, is the result of a municipal collaboration between The City of Red Deer, the Town of Blackfalds, Red Deer County, and the Town of Sylvan Lake.  After examining labour community flows, it became evident that the available workforce in the four municipalities expands to the census division of Division No. 8, resulting in this partnership. View the Regional Labour Force Profile (pdf).

Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) provides detailed Industry Sector Profiles on their website at Industry Sector Profiles.

The Government of Alberta provides detailed Industry Sector Profiles, with provincial data on employment numbers, expected growth, demographics, and wages at Industry Profiles.

The Alberta Occupational Demand Outlook 2021-2025 for the Red Deer Economic Region highlights 140 occupations and how they are expected to grow over a five-year period. The information is organized by occupation and year, and includes information on the number of jobs in each occupation, the percentage of the labour market they account for, and the percentage of projected growth.

The Government of Canada provides additional industry data on many economic indicators using the most recent data from Statistics Canada The Canadian Industry Statistics3 looks at industry trends and financial information, such as GDP, Labour Productivity, Manufacturing and Trade data.

1Regional Labour Force Profile, March 2019

2Government of Alberta, Industry Profiles

3Government of Canada, Canadian Industry Statistics 2022