Introduction to Edition 2016 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

Skip QuickSearch

Quick Search

End of Quick search

Table of Contents

Background

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 updates the National Occupational Classification 2011. It is the nationally accepted taxonomy and organizational framework of occupations in the Canadian labour market. The NOC has been developed and maintained as part of a collaborative partnership between Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada. This update of the classification reflects ongoing occupational research and consultation to incorporate information on new occupations. Each ten years, structural changes that affect the classification framework, such as the addition of new classes, are considered. The NOC 2016 represents an update, and uses the NOC 2011 classification structure.

The NOC is designed to classify occupational information from statistical surveys. It is also used in a range of contexts to compile, analyze and communicate information about occupations. Occupational information is of critical importance for the provision of labour market and career intelligence, skills development, occupational forecasting, labour supply and demand analysis, employment equity and numerous other programs and services. It provides a standardized framework for organizing the world of work in a manageable, understandable and coherent system.

The basic principle of classification of the NOC is the kind of work performed. Occupations are identified and grouped primarily in terms of the work usually performed, this being determined by the tasks, duties, employment requirements and responsibilities of the occupation. Factors such as the materials processed or used, the industrial processes and the equipment used, the degree of responsibility and complexity of work, as well as the products made and services provided, have been taken as indicators of the work performed when combining jobs into occupations and occupations into groups.

An occupation is defined as a collection of jobs, sufficiently similar in work performed to be grouped under a common label for classification purposes. A job, in turn, encompasses all the tasks carried out by a particular worker to complete their duties.

The NOC provides a systematic classification structure that categorizes the entire range of occupational activity in Canada. Its detailed occupations are identified and grouped primarily according to the work performed, as determined by the tasks, duties and responsibilities of the occupation. The NOC 2016 update incorporates emerging and new job titles and clarifies the content of unit groups.  Updates to the descriptions and job titles of some unit groups reflect added information, changes in terminology to correspond with current usage and the evolution of some occupations.

NOC 2016 maintains the structure of the NOC 2011 version and provides historic comparability. No major groups, minor groups or unit groups have been added, deleted or combined, though some groups have new names or updated content. Like NOC 2011, its organization is based on the dual criteria of Skill Type and Skill Level, to support relevant labour market analysis.

Structure and format of NOC 2016

The National Occupational Classification 2016, is based on the NOC 2011 four-tiered hierarchical arrangement of occupational groups with successive levels of disaggregation. It contains broad occupational categories, major, minor and unit groups.

10 broad occupational categories

Each broad occupational category has a unique one-digit code number and is composed of one or more major groups.

40 major groups

Each major group has a unique two-digit (except for major groups 01-05 and 07-09) code number and is composed of one or more minor groups. The first digit of this code indicates the broad occupational category to which the major group belongs.

140 minor groups

Each minor group has a unique three-digit code number and is composed of one or more unit groups. The first two digits of this code indicate the major group to which the minor group belongs.

500 Unit Groups

Each unit group has a unique four-digit code. The first three digits of this code indicate the major and minor groups to which the unit group belongs.

For example:

Code Title
0 Management occupations
00 Senior management occupations
001 Legislators and senior management
0011 Legislators
0012 Senior government managers and officials
0013 Senior managers - financial, communications carriers and other business services
0014 Senior managers - health, education, social and community services membership organizations
0015 Senior managers - trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.
0016 Senior managers - construction, transportation, production and utilities

The broad occupational category code, designated by a single digit, is repeated at all levels. Major group codes are created by adding a second digit. This digit appears in the second position at all lower levels in the structure. Minor group codes add a third digit. Finally, the 4-digit unit group codes contain the digit identifying the broad occupational group, followed by the digit identifying the major group and the digit identifying the minor group and a last digit identifying the unit group.

There are approximately 35,000 titles classified in the 500 unit groups of the NOC 2016. Some titles are clearly occupations, such as librarian and chef, while others reflect specializations within an occupational area, such as music librarian and pastry chef. Still others represent a range of jobs, such as furniture assembler and sawmill machine operator.

These titles are used to describe the work performed by many individuals holding similar jobs within an occupational area. The list of titles in the NOC is not meant to be exhaustive, but attempts to cover the most commonly used and universally understood labels that identify work in the labour market.

Abbreviations

Few abbreviations are used in this classification. Particular attention should be given to the abbreviation n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified). As an occupational qualifier it is occasionally used in the labels of major, minor and unit groups to refer to occupations not elsewhere classified (e.g. 065 Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.).

Language

The NOC is available separately in both official languages. It is important to note that the French version includes only titles commonly used in French and proper to the milieu and, therefore, these are not normally translations of the English titles. The classification structure is the same in both languages.

Unit group labels are presented in gender-neutral format in French identifying the masculine and feminine titles separated by a slash. Where relevant, this structure is used in English as well. The illustrative example titles and inclusions are also presented in gender-neutral format. The NOC descriptions are written using the masculine form as they refer to all workers within the included occupations. This has been done in order to lighten the text and to reduce reading burden.

Modifying terms

Modifying terms have been added to several job titles, as extensions, to designate the industrial sector or the domain of expertise. If applicable, this information is preceded by a dash at the end of the title (cashier supervisor – retail trade) to distinguish between similar titles. These modifying terms may also specify where the titles appear in the classification structure (painter – visual arts; painter – manufacture of motor vehicles). This information should be considered when coding job titles.

Format of unit group descriptions

Each NOC unit group description consists of several standardized sections which define and describe its content. Where ESDC uses 'Lead statement', 'Example titles' and 'Classified elsewhere', Statistics Canada uses 'Class definitions', 'Illustrative examples' and 'Exclusions'.

Lead statement / Class definitions

This section provides a general description of the content and boundaries of the unit group and indicates the main activities of occupations within the unit group. It also indicates the kinds of industries or establishments in which the occupations are found. The list of places of employment is not always exhaustive, but can assist in clarifying the occupations described and in differentiating them from occupations found in other groups.

Example titles / Illustrative examples

This section is a list of titles commonly used in the labour market. The titles are intended to illustrate the contents and range of the occupational group. This is not an exhaustive list of job titles.

Inclusions

This section provides a list of borderline job titles belonging to a particular NOC unit group. Inclusions are examples in classes where it might not be clear from reading both the class text and title that the example belongs in the class.

Classified elsewhere / Exclusions

This section clarifies the boundaries of the unit group by identifying related unit groups and similar occupations that are classified elsewhere. Unit groups or individual occupations are cited in this section when they bear a functional similarity to the unit group or when similar titles occur.

Main duties

This section lists some of the tasks or duties performed in the occupations in the unit group. Depending on the contents of the unit group, one of three formats is used.

  • A series of statements that can be applied to all occupations in the unit group. This format was selected for unit groups that contain a single core occupation, such as 1242 Legal administrative assistants and 2146 Aerospace engineers. This format was also selected for unit groups that contain a range of related titles that nevertheless share a set of common duties, such as 1411 General office support workers and 9417 Machining tool operators.
  • Two or more sub-sets of occupations with a series of statements that apply to each component. This format was selected for unit groups that consist of two or more sub-components which, while similar enough to be in the same unit group, can be described separately. Examples of unit groups with this format are 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists and 5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters.
  • A series of brief descriptive statements that are linked to specific occupations within a group. This format was selected for unit groups that contain a series of occupations which, while similar enough to be in the same unit group, can be described separately. Examples of unit groups with this format include 4423 By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers, n.e.c. and 5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts.

For some unit groups, a statement appears at the end of the tasks performed or main duties section, identifying specializations that exist within the occupational area encompassed by the unit group.

Employment requirements

This section describes the employment requirements for the unit group. Several types of requirements are identified in this section and are listed in the following order.

  • Type and level of formal education: for example, secondary school, college diploma, university degree. Efforts were made to be as specific as possible, though many unit groups have a range of acceptable educational requirements.
  • Specific training: for example, apprenticeship training, on-the-job training, training courses specific to an occupation.
  • Experience in another occupation: for example, supervisors usually require several years of experience in the occupation that they supervise.
  • Licences, certificates or registration: for example, regulatory requirements to practice in a regulated profession, special licenses to operate certain kinds of vehicles.
  • Other requirements: for example, athletic ability or artistic talent.

Note: Some occupations are designated as regulated professions and trades. Regulations are subject to change and may vary across jurisdictions. The most reliable information on regulatory requirements for occupations is found on the Web sites of provincial regulatory organizations and licensing authorities.

The Employment requirements section does not attempt to describe personal suitability requirements that are assessed by employers as part of the hiring process.

Some occupations have very definite employment requirements while for others, there is no consensus or a range of acceptable requirements exist. To reflect this variation in the labour market, this section describes employment requirements using the following terminology:

  • “... is required” - to indicate a definite requirement;
  • “... is usually required” - to indicate something that is usually required by the majority of employers, but not always required by all employers; and
  • “... may be required” - to indicate something that may be required by some employers, but on a less frequent basis.

Note: For reasons of brevity, in this section the term college includes the following types of post-secondary institutions: community colleges, CÉGEPS, technical institutes, trade schools and agricultural colleges. Where relevant, in some provinces, it may also include private training organizations, music conservatories and other non-degree granting institutions.

Additional information

This section appears in some unit group descriptions. It provides information on the following:

  • progression to other occupations (such as supervisory or management positions) based on transferability of skills from acquired occupational experience;
  • mobility patterns, such as inter- and intra-occupational transferability of skills (for example, identifying occupations that are part of internal lines of progression or specializations within a subject matter area);
  • trends and forthcoming changes in the unit group’s employment requirements; and
  • other information to clarify and define the unit group.

Related classifications

The classification of occupations does not stand alone but must be understood as being related to other classifications, such as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and that of Class of Worker. Each of these classifications supplements the NOC 2016 in presenting a rounded picture of the nature of a person's job.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

The industrial qualifier which may accompany the job title:

  1. Indicates the type of economic activity with which the job is usually associated. (It is important to note that the assignment of an industrial qualifier does not necessarily limit a job to that industry. These qualifiers are merely indicative of the possible areas of activity in which the job may be found.)
  2. Permits the assignment of similar titles to different occupation groups where the duties vary between industries.
  3. Aids in defining the specific occupations and helps the coder grasp the underlying principles of this classification.

The industry in which the individual is employed is determined by the kind of economic activity of the establishment. The establishment is usually a factory, mine, farm, store, other place of business or an institution for which a number of basic production variables can be compiled.

It is important to note the conceptual differences between an industry classification and an occupation classification. An establishment can employ individuals performing completely different occupations, and these are classified to appropriate occupational groups, but the industrial classification of each individual employed in the establishment should be the same and is determined by the nature of the product made or service rendered. In other words, the nature of the factory, business or service in which the person is employed does not determine the classification of the occupation, except to the extent that it enables the nature of the duties to be more clearly defined.

Class of Worker

Class of worker refers to an individual's employment relationship to the business in which he or she works, as employee or self-employed, including unpaid family worker, and thus provides another means of describing the work. The NOC 2011 does not indicate the class of worker classification for each occupation since many occupations contain both jobs held by employees and jobs of self-employed individuals. However, a general rule has been established for coding purposes and is discussed in full under the section on Coding.

Relationship between NOC and ISCO-08

The NOC is comparable to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) published by the International Labour Organization (ILO). While the NOC was originally developed in Canada in the 1980s, ISCO was also being reviewed and updated to produce ISCO-88. Communication between the NOC and ISCO research teams led to similarities, such as a similar conceptual framework that includes the Skill Type and Skill Level dimensions. The similarities between the NOC and ISCO increased in latest structural revisions (ISCO-08 and NOC 2011) cycle. However, certain conceptual differences between the NOC 2016 and ISCO-08 limit comparability. For instance, differences in skill level definitions and classification structure exist between NOC 2016 and ISCO-08, especially in the trades occupations. Subsistence occupations included in ISCO are not part of the NOC. For countries and regions in which subsistence activities are virtually non-existent, the ILO affirms that such activities may be excluded without loss of international comparability.

The concordance between NOC 2011 and ISCO 2008 can be used for the purpose of showing the relationship between NOC 2016 and ISCO 2008 since the structure is the same in both NOC 2011 and NOC 2016.

Overview of the NOC 2016 update

The purpose of the 2016 revision of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) has been to: update the classification to incorporate emerging occupations and new job titles while maintaining historical comparability; remove redundant or obsolete job titles to optimize readability and navigation of the NOC; incorporate editorial changes; integrate the concept of Inclusions at the unit group level; and add NOC major and minor groups definitions.

The structure of NOC 2016 remains unchanged from that of NOC 2011. No major groups, minor groups or unit groups have been added, deleted or combined, though some groups have new names or updated content.

Job titles changes at the unit group and minor group levels and updates to the definitions of some unit groups reflect added information, correction of terminology to correspond with current usage and the evolution of some occupations and where they are classified.

Many new job titles have been added to NOC 2016, which arise as the division of labour in Canadian society evolves, creating new jobs and new specializations, and as technological change brings with it new terminology. Some of the titles added to reflect such changes are: geodesist, medical archivist, crime scene examiner, corrosion technologist, video game tester and biomass plant technicians. Other added titles are modified versions, or alternatives, that appeared in previous versions of the NOC and have been added to help users find particular occupations. For example, power plant stationary engineer appeared in earlier versions of the NOC; operating engineer - power plant has been added.

To clarify the boundaries between occupations, a few titles have been re-assigned to a different unit group in NOC 2016. The impact of this on the comparability of data between 2011 and 2016 is negligible. For example, Admission director – health care has been moved from Managers in health care (0311) to Other administrative services managers (0114). This change will have a minimal impact on the unit groups affected, and provides a more appropriate placement. In all other cases where titles have been moved, this was done to clarify the boundaries and improve content description of these unit groups. For example, these titles ‘tax collector’ and ‘collector of taxes’ were being coded in Collectors (1435) rather than in Employment insurance, immigration, border services and revenue officers (1228).

With the transition to a paperless environment and content digitalization, significant format changes were made to the list of job titles contained in the NOC. To optimize the use of the NOC, redundant or obsolete job titles were removed. In the past, titles appeared in both in natural order (e.g., travel agent) and in inverted order (e.g., agent, travel). Inverted titles used a comma as a separator in the title string making it easier to find titles in a paper publication. As this concept became outdated and redundant in web publications and data files, more than 10 000 duplicates entries were removed for the NOC 2016.

The NOC is structured in accordance with the Generic Statistical Information Model (GSIM): Statistical Classifications Model. In order to comply with the demands of GSIM, the NOC was revised with the addition of Inclusions, to supplement the existing Illustrative examples and Exclusions. Inclusions are borderline cases for the unit group. They are presented separately in order to clarify the contents of the class. Note that creation of Inclusions do not change the boundaries of any NOC unit group. Moreover, definitions were developed for the NOC major and minor groups.

More information on these changes is available in the following tables which summarize the changes of note between NOC 2011 and NOC 2016.

Table 1 – Modified Unit Group Titles

NOC Unit Group From 2011 To 2016
0433 Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces Commissioned officers of the Canadian Armed Forces
1432 Payroll clerks Payroll administrators
4313 Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Forces Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces
7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
9213 Supervisors, food, beverage and associated products processing Supervisors, food and beverage processing
9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing
9461 Process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing
9465 Testers and graders, food, beverage and associated products processing Testers and graders, food and beverage processing
9617 Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing Labourers in food and beverage processing

Table 2 – Modified Unit Group Descriptions

Table 2 contains the list of the 314 of the 500 Unit Groups that were revised for the 2016 NOC revision. Some Unit Groups in this list reflect only editorial changes.

NOCLabels
0011Legislators
0012Senior government managers and officials
0013Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
0014Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations
0015Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.
0016Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities
0111Financial managers
0112Human resources managers
0113Purchasing managers
0121Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers
0122Banking, credit and other investment managers
0124Advertising, marketing and public relations managers
0131Telecommunication carriers managers
0213Computer and information systems managers
0421Administrators – post-secondary education and vocational training
0422School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education
0431Commissioned police officers
0432Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers
0433Commissioned officers of the Canadian Armed Forces
0511Library, archive, museum and art gallery managers
0513Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors
0712Home building and renovation managers
0714Facility operation and maintenance managers
0731Managers in transportation
0821Managers in agriculture
0912Utilities managers
1111Financial auditors and accountants
1112Financial and investment analysts
1113Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
1114Other financial officers
1121Human resources professionals
1122Professional occupations in business management consulting
1123Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
1211Supervisors, general office and administrative support workers
1213Supervisors, library, correspondence and related information workers
1215Supervisors, supply chain, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations
1223Human resources and recruitment officers
1227Court officers and justices of the peace
1228Employment insurance, immigration, border services and revenue officers
1241Administrative assistants
1242Legal administrative assistants
1243Medical administrative assistants
1251Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations
1253Records management technicians
1312Insurance adjusters and claims examiners
1314Assessors, valuators and appraisers
1315Customs, ship and other brokers
1414Receptionists
1423Desktop publishing operators and related occupations
1432Payroll administrators
1434Banking, insurance and other financial clerks
1452Correspondence, publication and regulatory clerks
1454Survey interviewers and statistical clerks
1523Production logistics co-ordinators
1524Purchasing and inventory control workers
1525Dispatchers
2111Physicists and astronomers
2112Chemists
2113Geoscientists and oceanographers
2114Meteorologists and climatologists
2115Other professional occupations in physical sciences
2121Biologists and related scientists
2122Forestry professionals
2147Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2148Other professional engineers, n.e.c.
2151Architects
2152Landscape architects
2153Urban and land use planners
2154Land surveyors
2161Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
2171Information systems analysts and consultants
2172Database analysts and data administrators
2173Software engineers and designers
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2211Chemical technologists and technicians
2212Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
2221Biological technologists and technicians
2222Agricultural and fish products inspectors
2223Forestry technologists and technicians
2225Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists
2231Civil engineering technologists and technicians
2232Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
2233Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
2241Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2244Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors
2251Architectural technologists and technicians
2252Industrial designers
2253Drafting technologists and technicians
2254Land survey technologists and technicians
2255Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology
2262Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers
2263Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
2264Construction inspectors
2271Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors
2272Air traffic controllers and related occupations
2275Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
2281Computer network technicians
2282User support technicians
2283Information systems testing technicians
3011Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
3012Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
3111Specialist physicians
3112General practitioners and family physicians
3113Dentists
3121Optometrists
3124Allied primary health practitioners
3125Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
3131Pharmacists
3132Dietitians and nutritionists
3141Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
3142Physiotherapists
3143Occupational therapists
3144Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
3211Medical laboratory technologists
3212Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
3214Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
3215Medical radiation technologists
3216Medical sonographers
3217Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.
3219Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
3222Dental hygienists and dental therapists
3232Practitioners of natural healing
3233Licensed practical nurses
3234Paramedical occupations
3237Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
3411Dental assistants
3413Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
3414Other assisting occupations in support of health services
4012Post-secondary teaching and research assistants
4021College and other vocational instructors
4031Secondary school teachers
4151Psychologists
4152Social workers
4154Professional occupations in religion
4155Probation and parole officers and related occupations
4156Employment counsellors
4161Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers
4163Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants
4164Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers
4167Recreation, sports and fitness policy researchers, consultants and program officers
4168Program officers unique to government
4169Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.
4211Paralegal and related occupations
4214Early childhood educators and assistants
4216Other instructors
4217Other religious occupations
4311Police officers (except commissioned)
4312Firefighters
4411Home child care providers
4412Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations
4422Correctional service officers
4423By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers, n.e.c.
5111Librarians
5112Conservators and curators
5125Translators, terminologists and interpreters
5131Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
5132Conductors, composers and arrangers
5133Musicians and singers
5134Dancers
5135Actors and comedians
5136Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
5211Library and public archive technicians
5212Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries
5223Graphic arts technicians
5226Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
5231Announcers and other broadcasters
5232Other performers, n.e.c.
5241Graphic designers and illustrators
5242Interior designers and interior decorators
5243Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
5244Artisans and craftspersons
5252Coaches
6311Food service supervisors
6312Executive housekeepers
6313Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
6314Customer and information services supervisors
6321Chefs
6322Cooks
6331Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
6332Bakers
6341Hairstylists and barbers
6342Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners
6343Shoe repairers and shoemakers
6344Jewellers, jewellery and watch repairers and related occupations
6345Upholsterers
6346Funeral directors and embalmers
6511Maîtres d'hôtel and hosts/hostesses
6513Food and beverage servers
6521Travel counsellors
6522Pursers and flight attendants
6523Airline ticket and service agents
6524Ground and water transport ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks
6525Hotel front desk clerks
6531Tour and travel guides
6532Outdoor sport and recreational guides
6533Casino occupations
6541Security guards and related security service occupations
6552Other customer and information services representatives
6561Image, social and other personal consultants
6562Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations
6564Other personal service occupations
6611Cashiers
6621Service station attendants
6623Other sales related occupations
6711Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
6721Support occupations in accommodation, travel and facilities set-up services
6722Operators and attendants in amusement, recreation and sport
6731Light duty cleaners
6732Specialized cleaners
6733Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
6741Dry cleaning, laundry and related occupations
6742Other service support occupations, n.e.c.
7201Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
7203Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
7204Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
7231Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
7232Tool and die makers
7233Sheet metal workers
7235Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
7237Welders and related machine operators
7245Telecommunications line and cable workers
7246Telecommunications installation and repair workers
7247Cable television service and maintenance technicians
7252Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
7284Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
7291Roofers and shinglers
7311Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
7312Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
7313Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
7314Railway carmen/women
7315Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
7321Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
7322Motor vehicle body repairers
7331Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
7332Appliance servicers and repairers
7333Electrical mechanics
7334Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
7335Other small engine and small equipment repairers
7361Railway and yard locomotive engineers
7362Railway conductors and brakemen/women
7371Crane operators
7372Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction
7373Water well drillers
7384Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.
7442Waterworks and gas maintenance workers
7452Material handlers
7511Transport truck drivers
7512Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators
7513Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs
7521Heavy equipment operators (except crane)
7522Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers
7532Water transport deck and engine room crew
7533Boat and cable ferry operators and related occupations
7622Railway and motor transport labourers
8232Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
8241Logging machinery operators
8252Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
8261Fishing masters and officers
8262Fishermen/women
8412Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators
8421Chain saw and skidder operators
8431General farm workers
8432Nursery and greenhouse workers
8441Fishing vessel deckhands
8442Trappers and hunters
8611Harvesting labourers
8612Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers
8613Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers
8614Mine labourers
8616Logging and forestry labourers
9211Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
9212Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
9213Supervisors, food and beverage processing
9215Supervisors, forest products processing
9222Supervisors, electronics manufacturing
9232Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing
9241Power engineers and power systems operators
9243Water and waste treatment plant operators
9411Machine operators, mineral and metal processing
9412Foundry workers
9413Glass forming and finishing machine operators and glass cutters
9414Concrete, clay and stone forming operators
9416Metalworking and forging machine operators
9421Chemical plant machine operators
9422Plastics processing machine operators
9423Rubber processing machine operators and related workers
9431Sawmill machine operators
9436Lumber graders and other wood processing inspectors and graders
9441Textile fibre and yarn, hide and pelt processing machine operators and workers
9442Weavers, knitters and other fabric making occupations
9445Fabric, fur and leather cutters
9461Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing
9462Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
9463Fish and seafood plant workers
9465Testers and graders, food and beverage processing
9472Camera, platemaking and other prepress occupations
9473Binding and finishing machine operators
9521Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
9522Motor vehicle assemblers, inspectors and testers
9523Electronics assemblers, fabricators, inspectors and testers
9524Assemblers and inspectors, electrical appliance, apparatus and equipment manufacturing
9525Assemblers, fabricators and inspectors, industrial electrical motors and transformers
9526Mechanical assemblers and inspectors
9527Machine operators and inspectors, electrical apparatus manufacturing
9531Boat assemblers and inspectors
9532Furniture and fixture assemblers and inspectors
9533Other wood products assemblers and inspectors
9534Furniture finishers and refinishers
9535Plastic products assemblers, finishers and inspectors
9536Industrial painters, coaters and metal finishing process operators
9537Other products assemblers, finishers and inspectors
9618Labourers in fish and seafood processing

Table 3 – Placement of Titles in Unit Groups

Some job titles were moved from one unit group to another to better define the content of the unit groups.

Titles NOC 2011 Unit Group NOC 2016 Unit Group
admission director – health care 0311 0114
tax collector; collector of taxes 1435 1228
fire suppression crew foreman/woman - forestry 8211 2223
prevention officer - occupational health and safety 4165 2263

NOC classification criteria

The two major attributes of jobs used as classification criteria in developing the NOC are skill type and skill level. A description of skill levels is presented first as the definitions of skill types incorporate some information related to the concept of skill level. Other factors, such as industry and occupational mobility, are also taken into consideration.

Skill level

Skill level is defined first of all by the amount and type of education and training required to enter and perform the duties of an occupation. In determining skill level, the experience required for entry, and the complexity and responsibilities typical of an occupation are also considered in relation to other occupations.

Four skill level categories are identified in the NOC. Each major, minor and unit group is assigned to one of the skill levels.

The skill level categories are broad aggregates, reflecting four commonly accepted educational, training or preparatory routes for entering employment. Requirements for individual unit groups or occupations may overlap between the boundaries of the skill levels. For example, some occupations can be entered with either a university degree or a college diploma. When the entry requirements for a unit group or occupation reflect a range of possible educational and training specifications, skill level placement of the group was determined by considering several factors. These include the requirements most generally demanded by employers, the minor group context, complexity of overall responsibilities and knowledge requirements as well as further training and specialization acquired on the job.

The classification describes the educational and training requirements for occupations. However, the education and experience of particular job incumbents may not correspond exactly to the level described. Individuals may be over-qualified for their work or they may work in occupations for which the entry requirements have changed after they became employed.

It is important to note that the skill level categories are not intended to designate socio-economic status or prestige. Rather they are intended to reflect actual occupational entry requirements. These requirements are expressed in terms of the formal educational system and other types of training specified by employers.

Management occupations, while considered a skill type, are assigned to the skill level A category. These occupations are at the top of organizational hierarchies and as such, are characterized by high levels of responsibility, accountability and subject matter expertise gained through either formal education or extensive occupational experience. Management occupations span the entire classification structure and are found in all sectors or areas of the labour market. A range of factors are taken into consideration as determinants for employment in management occupations.

The skill level categories of the NOC are outlined and defined below.

NOC skill level criteria - education/training and other criteria

Skill level A
  • University degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate)
Skill level B
  • Two to three years of post-secondary education at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP or
  • Two to five years of apprenticeship training or
  • Three to four years of secondary school and more than two years of on-the-job training, occupation-specific training courses or specific work experience
  • Occupations with supervisory responsibilities are also assigned to skill level B.
  • Occupations with significant health and safety responsibilities (e.g., fire fighters, police officers and licensed practical nurses) are assigned to skill level B.
Skill level C
  • Completion of secondary school and some short-duration courses or training specific to the occupation or
  • Some secondary school education, with up to two years of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience
Skill level D
  • Short work demonstration or on-the-job training or
  • No formal educational requirements

Skill level is referenced in the code for all occupations with the exception of management occupations. For all non-management occupations the second digit of the numerical code corresponds to skill level. Skill levels are identified as follows: level A – 0 or 1; level B – 2 or 3; level C – 4 or 5; and level D – 6 or 7.

Skill type

Skill type is defined as the type of work performed, although other factors related to skill type are also reflected in the NOC. One of these factors is similarity with respect to the educational discipline or field of study required for entry into an occupation. Another factor is the industry of employment where experience within an internal job ladder or within a specific industry is usually a prerequisite for entry. The 10 skill types, 0 to 9, are presented below and are also identified in the first digit of the NOC numerical code for all occupations. 

The ten broad occupational categories of the NOC are based on skill type.

0. Management occupations

skill type category contains legislators, senior management occupations and middle management occupations. While management occupations are defined as a skill type, they are also found throughout all other skill type areas of the classification. The first digit of the code for all management occupations is 0.

These occupations are considered to be at the top of the organizational hierarchy of workplaces or businesses. Decision-making that affects the organization as a whole, or departments within organizations, is undertaken by management. As such, management is characterized by high levels of responsibility, accountability and subject matter expertise. Expertise is acquired through either formal education or extensive occupational experience. For these reasons all management occupations in the NOC 2011 are also included within skill level A.

1. Business, finance and administration occupations

This category contains occupations that are concerned with providing financial and business services, administrative and regulatory services and clerical supervision and support services. Some occupations in this category are unique to the financial and business service sectors; however, most are found in all industries.

Often, occupations at skill levels A and B are supplied from educational programs specific to the profession or occupation. Some occupations at skill level B are also supplied from experienced workers in related administrative support occupations.

2. Natural and applied sciences and related occupations

This category contains professional and technical occupations in the sciences, including physical and life sciences, engineering, architecture and information technology.

Occupations in this skill type category require post-secondary education in an appropriate scientific discipline. Progression from occupations in skill level B to occupations in skill level A is usually dependent on completion of additional formal education.

3. Health occupations

This category includes occupations concerned with providing health care services directly to patients and occupations that provide support to professional and technical staff. Most occupations in this skill type category require post-secondary education in a related health care program. Progression from occupations in skill level B to occupations in skill level A is usually dependent on completion of additional formal education. Occupations in skill level C require short training programs.

4. Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services

This skill type category includes a range of occupations that are concerned with law, teaching, counselling, conducting social science research, developing government policy, and administering government and other programs.

Occupations in this skill type category usually require completion of a related post-secondary program. Progression from occupations in skill level B to occupations in skill level A is not usually possible without completion of additional formal education.

5. Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport

This skill type category includes professional and technical occupations related to art and culture, including the performing arts, film and video, broadcasting, journalism, writing, creative design, libraries and museums. It also includes occupations in recreation and sport.

This category is characterized by occupations which are linked by subject matter to formal post-secondary educational programs but which have, for the most part, a range of acceptable qualifications. Occupations in this category are also characterized by a requirement for creative talent, such as for designers and performers, or for athletic ability. Unit groups for occupations that usually require university graduation in a professional discipline, such as journalism or library science, have been classified in skill level A. Most others have been classified in skill level B in recognition of the wide range of entry routes that are possible.

6. Sales and service occupations

This skill type category contains sales occupations, personal and protective service occupations and occupations related to the hospitality and tourism industries.

Occupations in skill level B of this category can be linked, for the most part, to formal post-secondary or occupation-specific training programs. Others are characterized by periods of formal on-the-job training other than apprenticeship. Progression from occupations in skill level C or D to those in skill level B usually require completion of related training programs. Some progression through experience is possible for supervisory positions.

7. Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

This skill type category includes construction and mechanical trades, trades supervisors and contractors and operators of transportation and heavy equipment. These occupations are found in a wide range of industrial sectors, with many occurring in the construction and transportation industries.

This category includes most of the apprenticeable trades, including all of those related to the construction industry. Other occupations in this category usually require completion of college or other programs combined with on-the-job training. Progression to supervisory or self-employed contractor status is possible with experience. There is limited mobility or transferability of skills among occupations in this category due to specific apprenticeship, training and licensing requirements for most occupations.

8. Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations

This category contains supervisory and equipment operation occupations in the natural resource-based sectors of mining, oil and gas production, forestry and logging, agriculture, horticulture and fishing. Most occupations in this category are industry specific and do not occur outside of the primary industries.

Occupations within skill level B of this category generally require completion of college or other post-secondary training programs. Some, however, are characterized by industry-based training and progression through experience.

9. Occupations in manufacturing and utilities

This category contains supervisory and production occupations in manufacturing, processing and utilities.

Occupations in this category are characterized by internal progression and on-the-job training. Workers typically start out in these occupations at entry-level positions and progress to increasingly higher skilled occupations through experience. Mobility between employers or industries may be limited by seniority provisions of collective agreements. The occupations in skill level B of this category are increasingly technical in nature and post-secondary training programs are required for some.

Industry

Industry and occupation are separate variables which can be cross-tabulated to provide detailed information on employment. However, many occupations are found almost solely within one particular industry. For example, mining and automobile assembly occupations occur each within their respective industrial sectors.

During the original research and development of the NOC, it was realized that in many industries, occupational mobility is determined more by internal job ladders than by functional specialization. In consequence, some unit groups include workers of a particular skill level within a specific industry. Although the occupational breakdown resembles in part an industrial breakdown, the variables remain separate and distinct.

Industry was used in the development of classification categories for senior management occupations, for occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production and for occupations in manufacturing and utilities.

Occupational mobility

In developing the NOC, an effort was made to consider mobility or transferability of skills between occupations. The objective was to develop unit groups where the potential for mobility, or substitution of workers, would be greater within the group than between groups. Movement within groups usually follows when the group is homogeneous in skill level and skill type, indicating increased potential for transferability of competencies and development of specialization. Movement between groups, or inter-occupational mobility, usually reflects a change in skill level (e.g., vertical mobility) or a change in skill type (e.g., acquisition of new responsibilities and diversified skills).

The degree of occupational mobility that exists for unit groups varies. Many unit group descriptions include a statement that indicates the potential for, and type of, mobility that characterizes the unit group.

Other classification considerations

In addition to the previously mentioned criteria, other factors were considered in determining the boundaries between unit groups and the contents of each group. These additional factors were the size of the unit groups and the codability or operational feasibility of the groups. Codability relates to the ease of accurately coding or assigning reported job titles from survey respondents to the occupational groups of the classification.

The size (or estimated number of workers) of the unit group was considered for reasons of statistical reliability and confidentiality. Generally, unit groups which contain fewer than 1,000 Canadian workers have not been delineated.

Because the NOC structure is used to code responses to Census of Population, Labour Force Surveys and other surveys, it must provide a set of unit groups that can be used for this operational application. The insufficient precision of some survey responses and ambiguities of language were given consideration in finalizing the unit groups.

Issues and conventions of the NOC

Some of the many issues that were encountered in the development of the NOC and the conventions adopted in response are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Management occupations

Management occupations present a special problem for reliable coding of occupational survey responses. In many cases there is little indication of the level of responsibility, the size of the enterprise or division managed, or the field of specialization.

To be of practical use, a classification of managers must be a compromise between the theoretically optimal and the practical solutions.

Senior management occupations (in major group 00) have been divided on the basis of industry of employment into six unit groups.

Middle and other management occupations are divided into three major groups, 18 minor groups and 42 unit groups on the basis of specialization (e.g., Purchasing managers) or industry of employment (e.g., Postal and courier services managers). In certain cases (e.g., Managers in transportation) groups defined by industry also contain managers in that specialization regardless of their industry of employment. 

Supervisors

Supervisors and foremen/women have generally been classified in skill level B.

In most cases, professional and technical occupations are supervised by managerial or professional personnel respectively. However, where supervisors are identified for professional and technical groups, they are generally classified in the same unit groups as the occupations supervised.

Supervisors in the following occupational categories have been classified in supervisor unit groups or minor groups separate from the workers supervised:

  • administrative services occupations
  • nursing occupations
  • sales and service occupations
  • trades and transport and equipment operators
  • occupations in natural resources and agriculture
  • occupations in manufacturing and utilities.

Most minor and unit groups in the occupational categories listed above have a corresponding supervisory group. Occasionally, as in minor group 431, Occupations in front-line public protection services, supervision is provided by managers and there are no corresponding supervisory groups in major group 43.

Trades

All apprenticeable trades are included in skill level B. Their inclusion does not imply an exact equivalence of skill between all trades, but rather that they occupy a range that lies within the boundaries of this skill level category. Information on entry requirements is provided within each unit group description.

Inspectors, testers and graders

Generally, inspectors who require post-secondary education have been classified in separate unit groups in skill level B or with technicians and technologists, also in skill level B. Other non-technical inspectors, testers, graders and samplers have been included either in separate unit groups covering occupations in processing industries or in unit groups of assemblers and fabricators in manufacturing industries. This is reflective of patterns of employment found within industries and the increasing responsibility for quality control that is placed on manufacturing production workers.

Apprentices and trainees

Apprentices and trainees have been classified in the same unit groups as the occupations for which they are training. Similarly, interns, residents and articling students are classified with their respective professional groups.

This convention has been adopted of necessity to prevent a proliferation of unit groups of apprentices. It is not intended to imply equivalence or interchangeability of apprentices or trainees with fully qualified workers.

Coding to NOC 2016

The NOC provides an overall structure for classifying occupations according to kind of work performed . The lists of example titles are merely indicative of the types of occupations that fit within specific unit groups. The lists of example titles are not exhaustive nor are they intended to be.

When coding an occupation, all the relevant facts about the job and its environment should be obtained. These include the kind of work performed, the most important activities or duties, the job titles, the kind of business, industry or service, and the class of worker described earlier. The more complete and comprehensive the information the coder is able to assemble about the duties performed by a worker on a particular job, the easier it will be to determine the appropriate classification.

To code an occupation, it is possible to start with either the classification structure or the search tool.

Coding and the NOC 2016 classification structure

When using the NOC for coding, it is best to exploit the hierarchical nature of the classification. First the broad occupational category (skill type) which seems most likely to contain the job should be identified. Next the most appropriate major group within the broad occupational category should be found. Skill level can also provide a guide to locating major groups by considering titles with terms such as “technical”, “supervisor”, “helper”, and “labourer”. The process should be continued to find the most appropriate minor group within the major group selected. Finally the most appropriate unit group within the minor group selected should be identified. The unit group definition should be read carefully before deciding if this unit group offers the best possible classification. In addition, the example titles listed for the unit group should be examined to ensure that the choice is actually the best.

As indicated previously, the first two digits of each code convey meaning with respect to the group’s skill type and skill level category.

For all occupations, including management, the first digit of each code identifies the major, minor and unit group as belonging to one of the skill type categories. However, all management occupations are also included as part of skill level A.

For all non-management occupations, the second digit of each code identifies the major, minor and unit group as belonging to one of the four skill level categories.

For management occupations, the first two digits also convey meaning. The first digit is always 0 to convey management, while the second digit conveys the skill type category in which the management occupation is found.

The following charts summarize and illustrate the meanings embedded in the coding system.

The skill type category is…..when the first digit is…
Management occupations 0
Business, finance and administration occupations 1
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations 2
Health occupations 3
Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services 4
Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport 5
Sales and service occupations 6
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations 7
Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations 8
Occupations in manufacturing and utilities 9
The skill level category is… when the second digit is…
Skill Level A 0 or 1
Skill Level B 2 or 3
Skill Level C 4 or 5
Skill Level D 6 or 7

Important note:

For management, the first digit is always 0. Senior managers in major group 00 are generally managers of middle managers, therefore the second digit is also 0. For middle management occupations, the second digit represents the skill type categories, from 1 to 9, as above. All management occupations are included in skill level A.

Examples of codes and their meaning

9231

The first digit indicates skill type category 9

Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities

The second digit indicates skill level category B


6533

The first digit indicates skill type category 6

Sales and service occupations

The second digit indicates skill level category C


0212

The first digit 0 always indicates a management occupation

All management occupations are part of skill level A

The second digit indicates management in skill type category 2

Natural and applied sciences and related occupations


Coding procedures for problem responses

The procedure described above assumes responses contain sufficient information for coding. Unfortunately, depending upon the survey methods used, some responses may be problematic. This occurs when the information in the response is either vague or contradictory. Experience at Statistics Canada suggests the following approaches to resolving such problems.

1) Coding vague responses

It is suggested that vague responses be coded only to the level within the classification that is possible. Of course, before doing so, any information that is available about the respondent should be consulted.

2) Using education in coding

This is especially useful in coding occupational responses that are vague. The most reliable way of using education is as an exclusionary edit. Certain occupations require a minimum education and it is possible to exclude vague responses from being coded to such occupations if the respondent does not have the minimum education required. Great care must be taken when using education in occupational coding and it should only be used as a last resort.

3) Coding when the response contains contradictory information

Sometimes the responses will give a title and a description of work performed that are contradictory. A response "labourer, driving dump truck" is contradictory in terms of the classification, as driving a truck is not considered elemental work. This response should be coded as a truck driver in 7511 Transport truck drivers.

In general, it is best to let the description of the work performed predominate over titles when coding.

Some titles can be misleading. Titles that have manager as part of the title are sometimes not managers. For example, project managers and case managers are usually not managers and must be coded based on a description of their work. Special care must be given to responses that have manager, labourer, or consultant as part of the title as these terms have a variety of meanings in the workplace.

4) Coding responses containing two or more occupations

Where two or more occupations are reported in reply to a question on occupation, the first one mentioned should be coded unless there is additional information to suggest otherwise.

Classification rules to consider when coding

Managers

Managers are usually classified to the broad occupational category 0 Management Occupations. Within this category the senior managers that are the top of a management hierarchy as denoted by terms such as president, chief executive officer, etc. are classified in major group 00 Senior management occupations.

Managers with a management specialty, such as human resource management, are classified according to specialty in major group 01-05 Specialized middle management occupations. However, senior managers with a specialist responsibility would be classified with senior management in major group 00 Senior management occupations.

An attempt has been made to isolate many of the managers of small businesses by classifying managers of retail stores, restaurants, hotels and similar businesses in a separate major group 06 Middle management occupations in retail and wholesale trade.

All other managers are classified according to the type of business managed within major group 07-09 Middle management occupations in trades, transportation, production and utilities.

Proprietors

As a general rule, the class of worker status, that is, whether the respondent works for wages or is self-employed, is not considered for classification purposes. An exception is made for proprietors in retail trade, food and accommodation services and residential home building. These are classified as managers to the following unit groups:

Code Title
0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers
0631 Restaurant and food service managers
0632 Accommodation service managers
0712 Home building and renovation managers

Contractors

Contractors are classified in several areas of the classification. General contractors in construction are classified in unit group 0711 Construction managers. Renovation contractors and home building contractors are classified in unit group 0712 Home building and renovation managers.

Contractors specializing in a specific trade such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc., are classified together with supervisors to the appropriate unit group for that trade. That is, a plumbing contractor is classified to unit group 7203 Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades.

Supervisors and foremen/women

Supervisors are classified to separate unit groups for supervisors where they exist. These are found in the following minor groups for supervisors:

Code Title
121 Administrative services supervisors
621 Retail sales supervisors
631 Service supervisors
720 Contractors and supervisors, industrial, electrical and construction trades and related workers
730 Contractors and supervisors, maintenance trades and heavy equipment and transport operators
821 Supervisors, logging and forestry
822 Contractors and supervisors, mining, oil and gas
825 Contractors and supervisors, agriculture, horticulture and related operations and services
921 Supervisors, processing and manufacturing occupations
922 Supervisors, assembly and fabrication

This unit group for supervisors is found outside of the supervisor minor groups:

Code Title
3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors

Where a separate unit group does not exist, supervisors are classified with the workers supervised. For example, in most professional major groups there are no separate unit groups for supervisors, the one exception being unit group 3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors.

Technical occupations follow a similar rule and there are no separate unit groups for supervisors in this area.

Even where separate supervisory unit groups exist, "lead hands" are not classified to them as previous research has indicated that supervision is usually only a minor part of such jobs.

Apprentices

Apprentices are classified within the groups for tradesmen/women. For example an apprentice carpenter is classified to the appropriate trade group, unit group 7271 Carpenters.

Helpers

Helpers are usually considered as labourers. Most helpers will be found in the building trades such as carpenter's helper, mason's helper, roofer's helper, etc. These jobs are not to be confused with formal apprenticeships and are not classified as tradesmen/women but are classified to unit group 7611 Construction trades helpers and labourers.

Labourers

Labourers are classified in separate unit groups in the following major groups:

Code Title
76 Trades helpers, construction labourers and related occupations
86 Harvesting, landscaping and natural resources labourers
96 Labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities

Sample questions for obtaining additional occupational information

The following questions indicate the type of information and the format that could be used to obtain the facts necessary to classify an occupation.

a) For whom did you work?

  • Name of firm, government agency, etc.
  • Department, section or plant.

b) What kind of business, industry or service was this?

  • Give full description; for example, paper box manufacturing, road construction, retail shoe store, secondary school, dairy farm.

c) What was your work or occupation?

  • Give full description; for example, police officer, trapper, primary school teacher, community health nurse, truck driver, artisan, hairdresser.

d) In this work, what were your main activities?

  • For example, law enforcement, skinning animals, teaching Grade 2, treating patients, driving a truck, carving soapstone, cutting hair.

e) In this job or business, were you mainly:

  • Working for wages, salary, tips or commission?
  • Working without pay for your spouse or another relative in a family farm or business?
  • Self-employed without paid help (alone or in a partnership)?
  • Self-employed with paid help (alone or in a partnership)

Variant for highly aggregated data

A variant of NOC 2016 has been developed jointly by Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. It is based on a review of actual practices in the analysis of highly aggregated occupational data, consideration of the highest aggregation level in the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) and consultation with potential users.

The variant consists of 10 groupings, from a. to j., that are a convenient and useful way to summarize and analyse more detailed classes. The first three classes are homogeneous on skill level. The remaining classes focus on skill type. All classes consist of entire major groups; no major group is split between classes of the variant.

Variant Aggregation Structure

Variant classesMajor groups included
a. Management 00 Senior management occupations 01-05 Specialized middle managers occupations 06  Middle management occupations in retail and wholesale trade and customer services 07-09 Middle management occupations in trades, transportation, production and utilities
b. Professional 11 Professional occupations in business and finance 21 Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences 30 Professional occupations in nursing 31 Professional occupations in health (except nursing) 40 Professional occupations in education services 41 Professional occupations in Law and Social, Community and Government Services 51 Professional occupations in Art and Culture
c. Technical and paraprofessional 22 Technical occupations related to natural and applied sciences 32 Technical occupations in health 42 Paraprofessional occupations in legal, social, community and education services 43 Occupations in front-line public protection services 52 Technical occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
d. Administration and administrative support 12 Administrative and financial supervisors and administrative occupations 13 Finance, insurance and related business administrative occupations 14 Office support occupations 15 Distribution, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations
e. Sales 62 Retail sales supervisors and specialized sales occupations 64 Sales representatives and salespersons – wholesale and retail trade 66 Sales support occupations
f. Personal and customer information services 63 Service supervisors and technical service occupations 65 Service representatives and other customer and personal services occupations 67 Service support and other service occupations, n.e.c. 34 Assisting occupations in support of health services 44 Care providers and educational, legal and public protection support occupations
g. Industrial, construction and equipment operation trades 72 Industrial, electrical and construction trades 73Maintenance and equipment operation trades
h. Workers and labourers in transport and construction 74 Other installers, repairers and servicers and material handlers 75 Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations 76 Trades helpers, construction labourers and related occupations
i. Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations 82 Supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agricultural and related production 84 Workers in natural resources, agriculture and related production 86 Harvesting, landscaping and natural resources labourers
j. Occupations in manufacturing and utilities 92 Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators 94 Processing and manufacturing machine operators and related production workers 95 Assemblers in Manufacturing 96 Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities

More information on the NOC

For information on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and its use for programs and services such as labour market information, job searches, working in Canada and immigrating to Canada, please contact Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).