NOC Codes

If you are planning on immigrating to Canada via Express Entry, you already know that the program is for skilled immigrants. With this in mind, you may want to see if your current job or the ones you have had make you eligible to apply.

For this, IRCC has National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. These codes are a standardized way of classifying occupations based on duties, types, and skill levels. NOC codes matched perfectly with your declared occupations are essential to prove that your work experience is acceptable by Canadian standards.

This article will explain what NOC codes are and what they are for. It will also give you an idea about what the numbers mean and how to find your NOC.

What Are NOC Codes And What Are They For?

A National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code is a series of digits that indicate the type of occupation. In other words, the NOC code tells the users of this data the type of work an employee has in Canada. For immigration, the NOC code tells IRCC the job equivalent of an applicant’s occupation outside Canada.

The NOC code is a four-digit code. Often, the first digit indicates the type of job. Here is a table of the NOC occupational categories.

0Managerial Occupations
1Business, Finance, and Administration
2Natural and Applied Sciences; Related Occupations
3Health/ Healthcare
4Education and Law; Social, Legal, Community, and Public Service
5Art, Culture, Recreation, and Sports
6Sales and Service
7Trades, Transport, and Equipment Operation; Related Occupations
8Natural Resources and Agricultural Production
9Manufacturing and Utilities

There are reasons for why IRCC needs this information. First, it allows IRCC to classify the type of work an Express Entry applicant has. Now, this needs to be clarified. The “type of work” does not necessarily mean the exact job a person has.

The NOC code classifies different jobs using a standardized set of letters and numbers. In short, the code tells IRCC the type of job you had, and it also tells IRCC your occupation’s equivalent in Canada.

This brings us to the second purpose of the NOC code. Because it classifies jobs both in and out of Canada, NOC codes are also used for statistical purposes. NOC codes make it easier for labour researchers and IRCC to see trends in different occupations without doing too much research on every specific job.

It is not only researchers who use this data. Economists and career developers also use this. As an immigrant, knowing the NOC code of a certain profession will also help you in your job search.

Finally, a NOC code has a certain combination based on not just the type of job. Every NOC code for a certain job or skill type comes with a letter. These letters are A, B, C, and D. These letters do not indicate the type of job, but these signify skill type level.  For example, 0 and A mean that the job indicated by a NOC code requires a high level of skill.

In summary:

  • The NOC code is a four-digit code that indicates the type of jobs in Canada.
  • The code tells IRCC your skill type by Canadian standards.
  • The code can be used for statistical and job hunting purposes.
  • The code tells IRCC the degree of skill required for a certain job.

IRCC made changes to the codes of the National Occupational Classification in 2016. Until the time of writing, the 2016 version of the NOC codes is still being used. You can see the updated list of NOC codes here.

NOC Skill Types

As mentioned earlier,  the letter that comes with a NOC code classifies jobs into skill types. In other words, this can give both you and IRCC an idea of the degree of skill required for a certain occupation in Canada. Knowing the skill type can be valuable for you, as an immigrant. With it, you can learn the qualifications for meeting a certain occupational classification.

Also, your eligibility for an Express Entry program depends on your job’s NOC skill type or classification. Many provinces across Canada require occupations to have NOC skill types of 0, A, and sometimes B. In other provinces, NOC skill types of C to D are still eligible for programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AINP).

Skill Type “0”

Jobs that have a skill type of “0” are managerial occupations. If you have had any experience in managing and supervising a team or a department of a company, this is the skill type your job would have. Managerial jobs do not need to be top-level management. Mid-level and supervisory levels also fall under this skill type.

Skill Type “A”

noc code for professionals express entry canada

If an occupation has an “A” NOC skill type, the said occupation is professional. By professional, we mean that it requires a university degree, at the very least. For some occupations like the ones in the health care field, a license may even be required.

Some examples of occupations that fall under this skill type are engineers, doctors, registered nurses, and physical therapists.

Skill Type “B”

“B” occupations are technical occupations. These jobs require a college (not university) diploma or training certifications in certain skills or trades. Besides technical certifications, apprentice training is also a must for these types of occupations.

Examples of jobs with a skill type of “B” are administrative assistants, firefighters, electricians, septic tank cleaners, and plumbers.

Skill Type “C”

A skill level “C” job is one that only requires a high school diploma. Skill level “C” occupations are still considered skilled jobs but do not require as much certification and training. Certain jobs under this skill level or type still require some form of licensure. For instance, driving a truck may not require training, yet one must have a professional driver’s license.

Other jobs besides driving trucks also require a high school diploma. Travel guides, hotel receptionists,  and landscapers are examples of skill level “C” workers.

Skill Type “D”

A job that has a skill level “D” requires training. However, this training is on-the-job. This means that training specific to a certain job is given. Since training is specific to a job position, this is given not by a technical authority or college but the place of work.

For instance, dry cleaning companies vary in their cleaning methods. Hence, if one were to work as a dry cleaner, training is provided by the company. This training will be different in another dry cleaning company.

In short, skill level “D” jobs require training from an employee’s company.

How To Find Your NOC Code

To help you find your NOC, the National Occupational Classification (NOC) site has a search tab that allows you to check your NOC code or codes (remember: it is possible to have multiple NOC codes for jobs you have had in the last 10 years).

To find the appropriate NOC code, you can either search by job title or by NOC code. Either way, you will be redirected to a list of occupations and their corresponding NOC codes and skill types. All you need to do is find and select which occupational classification is comparable to yours.

It is important to match not just your job title but your duties as well. You can do this by clicking on the job title. Once you have done that, you will be redirected to a page that shows you the job’s NOC code, skill type, and main duties and responsibilities.

In short, you need to match your job or jobs to the appropriate NOC code. Also, base your NOC code search on the duties and responsibilities of the job.

Your NOC code, job, and duties are essential because these are necessary for proving your work experience. To check further, IRCC will also be matching your job to the NOC database.


how to determine noc code canada express entry

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is a way for IRCC to determine your occupation’s type and skill level. Thus, on your part, it is important to look up the NOC codes of the jobs in your resume and documents to prove the validity of your work experience.

Choose Canada Magazine

Each member of our team at Choose Canada Magazine has been in Canada for over five years, and has helped dozens of people worldwide find their life in Canada.

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