About the NOC 2006

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The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the nationally accepted reference on occupations in Canada. It organizes over 30,000 job titles into 520 occupational group descriptions. It is used daily by thousands of people to compile, analyze and communicate information about occupations, and to understand the jobs found throughout Canada's labour market.

The NOC provides a standardized framework for organizing the world of work in a coherent system. It is used to collect and organize occupational statistics and to provide labour market information. The structure and content of the NOC is also implemented in a number of major services and products throughout the private and public sectors.

The NOC is updated in partnership with Statistics Canada according to 5-year Census cycles. It is based on extensive occupational research and consultations conducted across the country, reflecting the evolution of the Canadian labour market.

We hope that your session on the NOC 2006 Web site is informative and helpful.


Methods of Revision for the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

The NOC is a standard that classifies and describes the occupations in the Canadian economy. It is a foundation for labour market statistics and career information. The NOC must be revised periodically to reflect developments in technology, organizations and language of work in order to remain accurate and useful. Revisions have been made in five year cycles coinciding with Census intervals.

Prior to the 2006 update, consultations were held with Sector Councils, industry representatives and federal, provincial and territorial personnel to identify areas where changes could be required.

In some cases these consultations suggested that changes were desired at a structural level. However, by agreement with Statistics Canada, structural changes Footnote 1 are considered over a ten-year time frame to allow users of statistics to compare data from different time periods. These comparisons are important for identifying trends and would be hampered by changes to the classification structure. Therefore, updating for NOC 2006 was mainly restricted to changes such as adding new occupational titles to existing groups, validating and modifying content in unit group descriptions, and correcting and enhancing title indexes and concordances between English and French.

Analysts were assigned to occupational areas according to the skill types of the classification. Within an area of specialization, analysts reviewed user inquiries from the NOC inbox, correspondence from sectors and employers, and problems reported by statistical or program coding operations. They identified possible gaps, changes or new or emerging occupations. Analysts also reviewed available literature, sector studies, occupational standards, career information, industry web sites and job advertisements. Write-in information from Job Bank job orders was analyzed to identify changing tasks and certification requirements.

Other primary occupational research methods were available as needed to clarify issues of content for the occupational unit groups and titles. These methods were used in the original development of the NOC and included interviews with employers, observation-interviews with workers, subject matter expert group interviews, or surveys of employers or workers. Studies could be contracted or conducted in-house. For reasons of economy for the 2006 revision, contracted research was conducted in certain occupational areas and interviews were generally used only where needed to clarify issues identified by stakeholders, users and literature reviews.

Analysts prepared draft revisions, which were then reviewed with their supporting evidence by occupational classification experts within ESDC. Proposals were then sent to Statistics Canada for review and consideration of their impact, operational feasibility and codability. Finally the revisions were discussed and accepted, modified or rejected by a committee of classification experts from the two departments.

Future revisions of the NOC are expected to revisit the issue of structural changes, as well as the ongoing need to accurately represent the evolving characteristics of the world of work.

Structural changes involve modifying the conceptual boundaries of occupational groups, moving occupations to different groups or changing the hierarchical classification structure.

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Preface - Introduction

The NOC is revised according to census cycles. Following the significant revision with structural changes for the 2001 edition, the NOC was subjected to a minor update in 2006.

The NOC organizes the world of work in a standardized and structured format. It provides descriptive information about occupations in the Canadian labour market. To learn more about the organizational structure of the NOC 2006 and its classification principles and criteria, please refer to the Introduction to learn more.

NOC-S to NOC Crosswalk

The NOC-S to NOC concordance is a two-part coding system Statistics Canada has implemented in its publication to link the statistical aggregation to the NOC coding structure. This expended coding system allows users to relate data produced by Statistics Canada to the minor and unit groups of the NOC.

Please refer to the NOC-S to NOC concordance to learn more. The expanded eight-digit code reflects the NOC-S alphanumerical code followed by a decimal point and the 4-digit NOC code.