National Occupational Classification

The National Occupational Classification (NOC), provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labour market. It gives statisticians, labour market analysts, career counselors, employers and individual job seekers a consistent way to collect data and describe and understand the nature of work.

The NOC is used for:

  • defining and collecting statistics;
  • managing information databases;
  • analyzing labour market trends; and
  • extracting practical career planning information.

The NOC is developed and 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.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2006

Although the NOC has been updated, many organizations and federal government departments, including ESDC's Job Bank and Working in Canada (WiC) websites, will continue to use the NOC 2006 version for the next few years. The rationale for this decision is that it will take some time to convert the databases as well as to collect the labour market information, and to make the transition to NOC 2011.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011

The NOC updates both the National Occupational Classification of Employment and Skills Development Canada and Statistics Canada's National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S) 2006. This revised edition eliminates the differences between the two former systems.

The NOC tool classifies occupations with a four-digit code according to skill type and skill level. The digits of the NOC code reflect important information about the occupation it represents (e.g. 3113 Dentists - “31” indicates that this is a health occupation and it requires university level education).

Career Handbook - Second Edition

The Career Handbook is the counselling component of the NOC system. The Second Edition reflects the revisions made to the classification system in 2001.

The Career Handbook provides 923 occupational profiles for counselling based on NOC occupations and maintains the original descriptor scales, factors and presentation format. It includes information on aptitudes, interests, data/people/things interactions, physical activities, environmental conditions, education/training indicators, career progression and work settings.

The Career Handbook provides global ratings assigned to occupations to further define skills, worker characteristics and other indicators related to occupations that are important for career exploration and informed career decision-making. This counselling resource is used by a wide range of professionals for many applications, and by individuals engaged in self-directed career planning.

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