Skip to content

You are here

National Occupation Classifier of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Why do we need occupation classification and occupation classifier?

First of all, for grouping all existing occupations in the labor market, thus, we know what kind of jobs are in the country and how they are occupied by people, and for the further collection and analysis of the necessary statistical information on the labor market (accounting for the composition and staff distribution by occupation groups at different levels of classification, planning for additional staffing requirements, etc.; conducting population censuses, statistical data for periodic surveys on statistics labor, developed by the International Labor Organization, etc.).

Secondly, the collected statistics are analyzed and is the information basis for policies in various fields, such as employment, education, migration, attraction of foreign labor and etc.

For example, the classifier is necessary for the annual forecasting of the workforce need, the results of which are the basis for the formation of the public educational order for staff training and career guidance, so that pupils, students and their parents know the information about the current situation in the labor market, which occupations are more or less in demand, know a description of these occupations, including by the classifier of occupations.

Thirdly, the classifier covers the work of the employment services in the area of matching jobs that are provided by employers and matching applicants who have a particular occupation.

Fourthly, occupation classification ensures interrelation with the National Qualifications System, for example, occupational standards specify the codes of occupations according to the National Occupations Classifier.

All countries have their own national classification. There is also the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), which is developed by the International Labor Organization and is used by many countries as a benchmark.

Occupation classification systems in developed countries can be divided into 2 groups.

Some countries adhere to the ISCO structure and divide the enlarged groups hierarchically by classification levels (managers, technicians, clerical specialists, etc.).

For example, in Singapore, the ISCO structure is completely preserved, but at the same time the 5th level of occupation group was added that allowed to increase the number of basic occupation groups up to 1124.

Australia, by preserving the basic approaches of ISCO, slightly changed the structure and added the 5th level of occupation group (1014 occupation groups).

Other countries divide the enlarged groups of occupations by industry.

For example, in Germany, occupations are grouped according to the specialization of skills (agriculture, raw materials mining, construction, etc.), i.e. sections have industry-oriented division. Also, the 5th level of occupation group is added, where occupations are divided by qualification levels, taking into account the German qualification framework (1286 basic occupation groups are in total).

Occupation classification system used in the USA differs radically from ISCO and consists of 24 sections of enlarged groups (instead of 10 in ISCO and other developed countries) grouped by industry. At the same time, there is no link to the classification levels, which makes it difficult to determine the level of specialist training.

In Canada, occupation groups also have an industry-oriented division, but there is no 5th level of occupation group, which limits the scope of occupations (400 basic groups).

In general, the analysis of building the occupation classification system in developed countries showed the following.

Firstly, most countries do not apply norms and recommendations in strict accordance with ISCO and use transitional tables for international comparison.

Secondly, most countries add an additional (5th) level of occupation group. This allows them to expand the coverage of occupations and increase the number of basic groups from 1000 to 1300.

The first occupation classifier in Kazakhstan was developed in 1999 - the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan 01-99 "State Occupations Classifier" by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republican State Enterprise "State Information Standards Center" of the Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Committee for Statistics and Analysis of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Science-Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Approved and put into effect by the decision of the Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Certification of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated October 16, 1999 No. 22.

Then in 2005, the occupation classifier was updated in accordance with the ISCO as of 1988 and reissued by the order of the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated December 13, 2005 No. 473.

The classifier of 2005 had 4 levels of occupation group (the enlarged group, subgroup, compound group and basic group) divided by skill level and specialization - these are only 436 basic occupation groups, as a result of which some heterogeneous occupations are grouped together. For example, 152 occupations were combined under the code 1226, including such diverse occupations as the Head of Flight Security, the Wagon Depot Master, the Motorcade Manager, and others.

Thus, because of the insufficient classifier detalization, the collected statistics for today do not provide complete information about the structure of employment in the labor market, limit the opportunities for forecasting and do not allow effective solution of staff training issues.

That is why, decision was taken to develop a new occupation classifier according to the new structure, taking into account the best experience and the current situation on the labor market in Kazakhstan.

The new National Occupations Classifier (hereinafter - NOC) was developed by JSC "Workforce Development Center" of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The NOC is harmonized with the ISCO of 2008 and classifies occupations according to the level and specialization of the applied skills.

The objects of classification are occupations, not persons who perform work within the framework of this occupation.

The occupation is a set of works performed at the workplace that bring in earnings or income, characterized by a high degree of matching of the main tasks and duties performed.

The skill is the ability to perform specific tasks and responsibilities within a specific occupation, which has two characteristics:

- the level of skills determines the complexity and scope of tasks and responsibilities performed;

- the specialization of skills determines the nature and scope of tasks and responsibilities performed, taking into account the field of knowledge used, the tools and equipment used, the materials processed or used, and the types of produced goods and rendered services.

The main focus of the NOC is placed on the type of work performed, and not on whether the employee employed in a particular occupation is more or less qualified than another employee within the same occupation.

For example, three different teachers with different levels of education and work experience will be classified in one main group, since their duties are similar - it is to teach.

The structure of ISCO-08 is grouped at the level of 4 characters, in addition to which the 5th level of occupation group (the 5th code character) was added to the NOC in order to avoid combining the heterogeneous occupations into one group and to provide their detailed coverage, as a result, occupations were expanded and detailed from 426 to 1274 groups.

If earlier we could say that the country needs to train roughly 200 doctors, and we did not know their specialization, today we do know what kind of doctors are in need of training: cardiologists, surgeons and so on.

Thus, the classifier uses a hierarchical method of classification, i.e. each group is divided at each level, and a sequential coding method, i.e., each group is numbered sequentially.

ХХХХ-Х, where

ХХХХ-Х – Main group;

ХХХХ-Х – Subgroup;

ХХХХ-Х – Small group;

ХХХХ-Х – Basic group;

ХХХХ-Х – Occupation group.


Exaples of building NOC:

2 – Professional specialists;

21 – Professional specialists in science and technology;

214 Professional specialists in technology, excluding electrical technicians;

2147 – Oil and Gas Engineers;

2147-1 – Engineers for drilling crude oil and natural gas.


At the 6-characters level, examples of occupations (XXXX-X-XXX) are presented, that is, a wide range of examples of what the actual name on the labor market can have occupations that are part of the group of occupations. This is done to make it easier for users to use the classifier. Examples of the occupations name were introduced in the NOC for the convenience of the NOC users. For example, when collecting statistics during surveys and filling in statistical forms, as well as when coding the data presented. Or, for example, when registering vacancies and providing employment services.

The connection between the NOC and the National Qualifications Framework and the Sector Qualifications Framework is of interest for solving the issues regarding the qualifications system development, and lies in the fact that the level of skills in NQF and SQF is one of the criteria for classifying occupations.

Occupation standards and certification, along with the NOC, are one of the main tools for effective interaction of the labor market and education.

The occupation standard is, somewhat, a technical task from the business to train specialists, and the criteria and requirements of occupation standards will allow an independent assessment and award of qualifications jointly with enterprises.

Nowadays in Kazakhstan, there is a certain number of developed occupation standards, but they are all developed by different methods. Taking into account international experience, it is recommended to develop occupation standards by occupations according to the NOC. In order to do that it is necessary, first of all, to determine the priority of occupations on the occupation standards development, taking into account the prospects for the development of industries, the demand for employment in the labor market and etc.

"Today, jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science, we are working on developing a table of matching between specialties and occupations, which will become a common language for the labor market and the educational system, and will allow pupils and students to answer the question of what job i can hold after completing education in the chosen specialty or what kind of specialty to choose to work after the completion of education? "- А.С. Molchanovskaya, the NOC developer, the director of the Labor Market Analysis Department of the JSC "WDC".


A lot of work has been done to update the classifier by now.

The NOC was sent for consideration to all state and local executive bodies of regions, Almaty and Astana, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken", associations, as well as large enterprises (selectively for all types of economic activity, about 300 enterprises).

Over 2,500 proposals were received, that is why the new classifier will reflect the peculiarity of the Kazakhstani economy. All occupations were reconsidered taking into account the third modernization of Kazakhstan and the fourth industrial revolution; more than 5 thousand new occupations were added, such as the robotics technician, the technician-programmer for servicing industrial robots, the mechatronics engineer, who are in demand now during the automation of production.

The NOC is supported by the main players in the labor market, coordinated with all local executive bodies of regions, Almaty and Astana, with 21 state agencies, 38 employers' associations, the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, and 20 different organizations.

The new NOC was approved by the order No. 130-od dated May 11, 2017 of the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and will be implemented from January 1, 2018.

The occupation classifier is updated every 5 years by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the the Republic of Kazakhstan, but it is possible to do this earlier if necessary. A huge role for the NOC update is played by employers' associations and employers themselves who know which occupations are outdated and which appear on the market, but, unfortunately, not interested in participating in the NOC update due to the achievement of their own goals.

All questions and suggestions can be sent to nockz2017@gmail.com, which will be taken into account in the future when the NOC will be updated.

Changed on 18 September, 2017 - 11:12
Achievements over the years of independence of RK
Targeted social assistance
Best social projects implemented in Kazakhstan
The Republican contest «Enbekzholy»
Skills and jobs