Tips on Coding
With over 40,000 job titles, classifying the "world of work" on a consistent and
comparative basis across geographies and sectors of the labour market is not an
easy task. Deciding on the best National Occupational Classification (NOC) code
to apply over other possible choices is a complex activity. With much differentiation
of duties, as well as parallels, with other job descriptions it is difficult to
determine the best fit. These challenges can be minimized with the use of a few
Coding correctly is largely dependent on the information you have on hand, and the
more the better. There are some very important points to keep in mind:
- Job titles alone are not sufficient for accurate matching. Given that some employers
may have created similar occupational titles to those found in the NOC, but with
differing descriptions, using the title only to decide on a match may not deliver
the best result.
- If you have a job title with a job description, the easiest way to classify occupations
is to use the Search (or Quick Search),
located on the left menu bar. Search for the exact title, or very similar titles,
and then verify that the main duties and employment requirements match your job
- The job, or the work performed, is what is coded and not the worker or the credential
(i.e. if a person is a chemist by education but the job is for a botanist,
the botanist job description should be applied).
- As most jobs require multitasking or performing more than one duty, usually a 51%
rule can be used as a guideline. Simply put, 51% of the job functions must be contained
in the main duties of the selected NOC description. For example, a receptionist
may have some duties that are similar to those of a data entry clerk. However,
if only 30% of the individual's time is spent doing strictly data entry clerk
activities then the job should be classified under receptionist.
If you do not have a job description prepared already, then the ideal resource at
your disposal is the Employers' Handbook. This product will help you address the
challenges of creating and classifying job descriptions.
In all cases, the true power of the NOC is its coding system which identifies occupations
with a four-digit number. The first 2 numbers in the code identify the important
attributes of Skill Type and Skill Level for the occupation. The last 2 numbers
of the code provide further specificity to better define the occupation. Some additional
hints on coding a job description include:
- Conducting an initial examination of the relationship between Skill Types (columns)
and Skill Levels (rows) in the Matrix
to get an idea of the broader levels of occupational aggregations. This provides
you with an overview of the structure of the NOC and helps you understand the links
between education/training or experience needed for a job (i.e. Skill Levels), and
the sector of the labour market or the kind of industry where the occupation is
found (i.e. Skill Types).
- Identifying additional determinants for employment including: responsibility for
decision-making, organizational leadership capabilities, and ownership of real property
and capital (especially for management occupations).
- Reviewing other Occupational Descriptions for