About the NOC 2011

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The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the nationally accepted reference on occupations in Canada. It organizes over 40,000 job titles into 500 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 manage the collection and reporting of occupational statistics and to provide understandable labour market information. The structure and content of the NOC are also implemented in a number of major services and products throughout the private and public sectors.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), in partnership with Statistics Canada (STC), update the NOC according to 5-year Census cycles. Revisions are 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 2011 Web site is informative and helpful.


Research and Development for the NOC 2011 Revision

The NOC is a standard that classifies and describes occupations in the Canadian economy. It is the foundation for occupational statistics and labour market information. Research on occupational evolution, work skills and competencies is an ongoing process. This section outlines the methods and procedures used to revise and unify the 2006 editions of the NOC and the National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S).

Several contributing factors informed the 2011 revision process. They include a detailed study of NOC and NOC-S users following the 2006 update; the public on-line consultations conducted in advance of the 2011 revision by Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada; and the establishment of a jointly-chaired interdepartmental committee on the 2011 revision of the classification.

Input and proposals were obtained from all of these initiatives. The most significant feedback included the following: unify the NOC and NOC-S classification structures and eliminate the differences between them; use one coding framework only and preferably the numerical coding of the NOC; increase the number of major groups to the degree possible for alignment with the NOC-S; and include skill level within the classification system.

Revision proposals were also received directly from a wide range of sources. Input was provided by labour market analysts, occupational regulatory and professional organizations, sector groups, employment and career counsellors, immigration specialists, industry experts, employers and educators.

Research analysts were assigned responsibility for NOC skill type categories to review and prioritize all of the input. Analysts also examined secondary sources of information such as occupational analyses and standards, research papers, as well as on-line information including country-wide job postings and employment advertisements in their research. Job analysis studies and contracted research were initiated for some occupational areas and data from sources such as the Census, the Labour Force Survey and other labour market studies were consulted.

For many areas of the classification there was general satisfaction with the content of the occupational groups and their placement within the overall classification structure. Research conducted for non-structural changes to content, such as updating of main duties, employment requirements and inclusion of emerging job titles, was validated by occupational specialists and employers.

Some occupational areas required in-depth research. An examination of how restructuring and use of technology had affected the nature of the work, the boundaries of occupational groups and their position in the classification structure was necessary to accurately reflect these occupations in the current labour market.

Following the analysis phase, revision proposals were compiled into a consolidated and standardized NOC revision template for internal review. Proposed revisions were forwarded to Statistics Canada for internal review to assess implementation concerns related to coding, historical continuity and other statistical considerations. The joint working committee met monthly to discuss issues and arrive at consensus on final decisions. All structural and content revisions implemented for NOC 2011 were agreed upon by both Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada. NOC 2011 represents a structural revision and unification of the former classification systems.

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Foreword and Introduction

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 2011 and its classification principles and criteria, please refer to the Introduction.


The significant revision undertaken to update the descriptive contents of the classification and to harmonize the NOC-S and NOC structures is presented in several concordances. The concordances identify the movement from NOC and NOC-S 2006 to the unified NOC 2011.

Please refer to the Concordances to learn more.