According to the US Department of Labour, Bureau of Labour Statistics the Standard
(http://www.bls.gov/soc) Occupational Classification (SOC) system is used by Federal statistical
agencies to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting,
calculating, or disseminating data. All workers are classified into one of 840 detailed
occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, detailed
occupations are combined to form 461 broad occupations, 97 minor groups, and 23 major
groups. Detailed occupations in the SOC with similar job duties, and in some cases skills,
education, and/or training, are grouped together. In the united States general questions
concerning the SOC may be sent by email or faxed to 202-691-6444.
The applicable classification system in Canada is the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the authoritative resource on occupational
information in Canada. It is used daily by thousands of people to understand the jobs found
throughout Canada’s labour market. The NOC 2011 updates both the National Occupational
Classification 2006 of Human Resources 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.
According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, “[t]he National Occupational
Classification 2011 (http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/NOC/English/NOC/2011) is a 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
Each broad occupational category has a unique one digit code number and is composed of one or more
Each major group has a unique two-digit code number and is composed *of one or more minor groups.
major groups. 40 major groups
The first digit of this code indicates the broad occupational category to which the major group belongs.140
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 groups belong.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.