Description of sections

Sections of a subgroup profile

Occupational code, title, and lead statement

The occupational code appears at the top of both pages of an entry. It is either identical to the four-digit NOC unit group code, or it has a digit added after a decimal identifying it as a subgroup of the original NOC unit group.

The title of the group follows the code on the first page. The titles are either those of the original NOC unit group or are taken from the Main Duties subgroup descriptions.

The lead statement, which provides a general overview of the occupation, is taken from the lead statement of the NOC unit group. When there are subgroups, this same pattern is followed.

Examples of job titles

The NOC and Career Handbook do not provide an exhaustive list of job titles. The list presents a conceptual boundary around an occupation by identifying the range of job titles contained within a group.

Main characteristics: Aptitudes, Interests, and Data, people, things

The Descriptor Profile provides, in narrative form, the Main Characteristics of an occupation by describing its predominant aptitudinal, interest and functional elements.

The Descriptor Profile highlights the aptitudes most relevant in the performance of the work. They are based on the same theoretical principles and level configuration as that of the predecessor of the NOC, the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of Occupations (CCDO), Volume 2. Aptitude ratings are further discussed in the Descriptor Definitions and Rating Methodology sections.

The interests for the occupation are assigned in order of predominance. Interests are based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI). They are highlighted, along with worker functions (Data / People / Things – DPT) as further qualifiers, to describe the involvement that a worker in the occupation will have with data/information, people and things. DPT is adopted from the scales used in the CCDO.

This interpretative narrative is based on the Main Duties section of the NOC unit group descriptions as well as on the assigned ratings for the above-mentioned scales. For some groups derived from NOC subgroups with little information, research, secondary sources and the CCDO were used to provide additional narrative content. The CCDO information is generally from Volume 2, which identifies skills rather than specific job tasks.

Physical activities and environmental conditions

The Physical Activities and Environmental Conditions scales follow the Main Characteristics. Refer to the Remarks section for the explanation of asterisks (*) used in both these scales.

Since there is no direct link between the ratings in these sections and the content presented in the NOC’s Main Duties, it was not possible to incorporate them into the narrative. However, they are an integral part of the Descriptor Profile for the occupation and provide important information for counsellor use.

The ratings for Physical Activities factors in an occupational profile do not indicate that persons with disabilities can or cannot perform the duties of that occupation. However, counsellors of clients with disabilities may find the information useful in terms of considering workplace accommodations that would enhance their client’s employability.

Employment requirements

In this section, the employment requirements from the NOC unit group are assigned indicators to provide a numerical reference for counsellors. The Education/Training Indicators identify a hierarchical order for types of education and training, and also incorporate two other criteria represented by "+" and "R" where applicable. These symbols indicate that requirements other than education and training are relevant for the occupation.


In this section, the Career Handbook presents information on establishments and industries of employment from the lead statement of the NOC unit group, and condenses it into a list. The information is not exhaustive but identifies the most common work settings for the occupation.

Occupational options

For most occupations there is some form of mobility such as transferability, lateral mobility, upward progression and specialization. Although these patterns of mobility are different, their presence indicates that there are skills or competencies that can be adapted from one occupation and applied to another. This section identifies the possibility for worker mobility within the group or the potential to move to other occupations.


This section is taken from the NOC and identifies occupations which are similar to, and may be confused with, the group. These similar occupations are referenced with NOC unit group codes. In some instances the information refers to individual titles within unit groups, or to the actual unit groups themselves.


The Remarks section provides free-standing comments as well as statements for Physical Activities and Environmental Conditions ratings that appear with an asterisk (*). Free-standing comments, which precede statements about ratings, usually provide information related to specializations for an occupation.

An asterisk for a Physical Activity rating will appear after that rating. There are no asterisks under Physical Activities in the sample group – 2212.1 Geological and Mineral Technologists. However, if an asterisk appeared beside Strength 2 Light, it would affect the meaning of the rating. Strength 2 Light – indicates that Strength for the occupational group as a whole is 2, which has the label Light. The presence of an asterisk would indicate that some jobs within the group have a rating of 3, which is labelled Medium. In general, an asterisk for Physical Activities indicates a level up for the rating.

For Environmental Conditions, an asterisk indicates that the potential condition in a group is limited to some jobs, not the occupation as a whole. For example, in 2212.1 Geological and Mineral Technologists, the asterisk for Hazards H8* Dangerous locations – indicates that this is a potential hazard for some but not all jobs within the group.

Profile summary

The shorter version of each profile identifies all the ratings in an abbreviated alphanumeric format, providing counsellors with a quick overview of the nature of the occupation.

Synopsis of descriptors and labels as well as descriptor definitions provide detailed information on the factor ratings, their labels, and levels. These sections are located following the References.

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