Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Occupation (based on the National Occupational Classification [NOC] 2021 Version 1.0)

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: November 30, 2022


Occupation refers to the kind of work performed in a job, a job being all the tasks carried out by a particular worker to complete his or her duties. An occupation is a set of jobs that are sufficiently similar in work performed.

Kind of work is described in terms of tasks, duties and responsibilities, often including factors such as materials processed or used, the industrial processes used, the equipment used, and the products or services provided. Occupations are generally homogeneous with respect to skill type and skill level.

Occupation applies to the contribution of labour to that part of economic activity that is within the production boundary defined for the System of National Accounts.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 (25% sample).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over, in private households, who worked since January 1, 2020. The variable usually relates to the individual's job held during the week of Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8, 2021. However, if the person did not work during that week but had worked at some time since January 1, 2020, the information relates to the job held the longest during that period.

Question number(s)

Coded variable: Questions 46 and 47


See the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0.


Data are available for:

(a) the employed person;

(b) the labour force - persons who were either employed or unemployed in the reference week. Unemployed persons who worked prior to January 1, 2020, or who never worked, are shown in the data under the category 'Occupation - Not applicable';

(c) persons with recent work experience; they are those who have worked at some point in time between January 2020 and May 2021, regardless of whether or not they were in the labour force in the reference week;

(d) variant of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0 for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM);

(e) variant of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0 for Analysis by TEER (Training, Education, Experience and Responsibility) categories.

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