Industry Codes

Updated: August 30, 2016

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

At the start of your research, it may not be clear what specific industry you should be examining. A good strategy is to find out if your business idea is classified in an industrial classification system. These systems organize industries by assigning them a numeric code. The most commonly used system is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  Once you know your Industry Classification Code you can use this number to:

  • Find industry-specific statistics on government websites or in library databases
  • Generate lists of competitors in company directories

Another common classification system is the Standard Industry Code (SIC). NAICS have most replaced the SIC, but the SIC is still used by some commercial databases. Finding and using these classification systems to effectively search can be tricky, so don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help.

Try These

Type Code Description
NAICS 61 Educational Services
NAICS 61143 Professional and Management Development Training
NAICS 54 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
NAICS 54161 Management Consulting Services
NAICS 541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
NAICS 611690 All other schools and instruction
SIC 82 Educational Services
SIC 8299 Schools and Educational Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
SIC 87 Engineering, Accounting, Research, Management & Related Services
SIC 8748 Other Business Consulting Services

Search or browse all NAICS or SIC codes on the NAICS Association website. Some NAICS codes are different in Canada — you can search by keyword or browse Canadian NAICS codes at Statistics Canada or Canadian Industry Statistics. To search for a SIC code using a NAICS code and vice versa, use the NAICS & SIC Crosswalks.   

For more information about planning your industry research, including identifying your industry codes, check out the video tutorial for Module 3: Planning Your Industry Research.