The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is a standardized and nationally recognized system that provides a code and job description for every occupation within the Canadian labor market. These codes describe the nature of various jobs and significantly impact the outcomes of immigration applications.

In this blog post, we will explain why NOC codes in Canada are important for the immigration process.

What is a National Occupation Classification (NOC) Code?

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is a standardized system that assigns a code to each occupation in the Canadian labor market using the NOC matrix. This system is used to classify and categorize jobs for statistical, administrative, and research purposes.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) maintains the NOC system. It regularly updates it to reflect changes in the Canadian labor market.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses NOC codes to assess each immigration applicant’s work experience. When applicants need to specify their work experience, they must identify the new NOC code of Canada that best matches their experience.

Some economic immigration streams are restricted to applicants with experience in occupations designated by a specific NOC number in Canada. Therefore, applicants must understand how NOC codes function.

Why NOC Codes are Essential in the Canadian Immigration Journey

National Occupational Classification codes are important for the immigration process for several reasons:

NOC Classification in Canada: The Canadian immigration codes offer a standardized method for classifying and categorizing various occupations within the Canadian labor market. This classification helps immigration authorities understand the nature of the work performed by individuals applying for immigration.

Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): Employers in Canada might need to secure an LMIA to hire foreign workers. NOC codes are integral to this process, as the job being offered must correspond to a specific NOC code, and employers must demonstrate efforts to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents before hiring a foreign worker.

Express Entry System: A key component of Canada’s immigration framework uses NOC codes to evaluate candidates’ eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Candidates receive points based on factors such as education, work experience, language proficiency, and job offers, with the NOC code of the offered position being a critical element.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Many Canadian provinces have their immigration programs, and the NOC codes of Canada are often used to assess candidates’ eligibility for these provincial nominee programs. Different regions may have specific demands for certain occupations, and the NOC code helps align the candidate’s skills with the province’s needs.

Skilled Worker Points System: Canadian NOC codes contribute to the points system used in various Canadian immigration programs. Points are awarded based on factors such as education, work experience, language proficiency, and age, and the NOC code of the applicant’s occupation is a factor in this assessment.

Remember, selecting the correct NOC code of Canada is one of the most crucial aspects of your immigration application. Suppose you choose a NOC code that does not accurately reflect your work experience. In that case, your application may be refused or returned. You must choose the appropriate NOC code and have the documentation to support it. Every NOC code includes a job title, lead statement, and a list of Canadian NOC duties and responsibilities.

Check the detailed information on Canadian work permits on our official website.

Understanding NOC Codes

The NOC system is hierarchical, with broad occupational categories at the higher levels (e.g., management occupations) and more specific job occupations at the lower levels (e.g., restaurant managers). Applicants and those seeking information about professions can use the new Canadian NOC code to understand the skills, duties, and qualifications associated with a specific job.

For Canadian immigration purposes, your job title is not crucial in determining your NOC code. Instead, your work experience must cohere with the lead statement, and you should have some or all of the listed duties and responsibilities. Your work experience might fall under multiple NOC codes, or your official job title might correspond to an NOC code that doesn’t match your experience.

The NOC categorizes Canadian occupations by assigning them a Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) category. Six different TEER categories range from TEER 0 to TEER 5. The second digit of your NOC code indicates your TEER category.

NOC codes are structured as follows:

  • The first digit is of the broad occupational category;
  • The second digit is of the TEER category;
  • The first two digits together show the major group;
  • The first three digits are of the sub-major group;
  • The first four digits are of the minor group, and
  • The full five digits demonstrate the unit group or the occupation itself.

Understanding NOC TEERs

TEER 0

It is about Management occupations.

TEER 1

  • University degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate) completion; or
  • Years of experience in a specific job from TEER category 2 (when applicable).

TEER 2

  • Completion of a 2-3 year post-secondary program at a community college, institute of technology, or CÉGEP; or
  • Completion of an apprenticeship program lasting 2-5 years; or
  • Roles with supervisory duties or significant safety responsibilities (e.g., police officers and firefighters) or
  • Extensive experience in a specific job from TEER category 3 (when applicable).

TEER 3

  • Completion of a post-secondary program of less than two years at a community college, institute of technology, or CÉGEP or
  • Apprenticeship training of under two years or
  • Over six months of on-the-job training, training courses, or specific work experience, along with some secondary school education or
  • Extensive experience in a specific job from TEER category 4 (when applicable).

TEER 4

  • Completion of high school; or
  • Several weeks of on-the-job training with some high school education or
  • Extensive experience in a specific job from TEER category 5 (when applicable).

TEER 5

Brief work demonstration with no formal education requirements. 

High-skilled and Low-skilled work occupation

The Canadian NOC is classified as TEER levels 0, 1, 2, or 3. These are considered high-skilled, generally requiring higher education or significant experience. TEER levels 4 or 5 are categorized as low-skilled, usually requiring secondary education, minimal training, or on-the-job experience.

Understanding Minor and Major Groups

Major Groups are identified by the first two digits of an NOC code and show broad occupational categories and education levels. For example, major group 31 includes most health industry occupations requiring a university education. Minor groups are identified by the first three digits of a NOC code and group similar occupations within each Major Group. For example, Minor Group 411 includes judges and lawyers, while Minor Group 415 includes social workers and family counselors.

How to Find Your NOC Code:

To find your NOC code:

  • Search the NOC Matrix on the ESDC website by industry or job title.
  • Ensure the lead statement and majority of duties listed match your job description.
  • Check for NOC exclusions to avoid disqualification.
  • Provide reference letters from past employers to verify your NOC code.
  • If multiple NOC codes match, choose the one that best fits your experience.
  • Be aware that visa officers will review your application and may reclassify your occupation if they find a more accurate NOC code.

Realize Your Canadian Dream with Chaudhary Law Office.

Chaudhary Law Office is here to guide you through the complexity of the Canadian immigration system. Our professional immigration lawyer ensures your path to a brighter future in Canada is smooth and successful. Trust Chaudhary Law Office to simplify your application process and begin a new chapter of your life.

Want to know more about the immigration appeal process? Call us at 416-447-6118 to schedule a consultation with our immigration lawyer!

How do I find my National Occupation Classification (NOC) code?

You can find your NOC code for Canada by visiting the NOC website, entering your job title or duties, and identifying the matching code.

How to get an NOC code for Canada?

To get your NOC code for Canada, identify your job title and duties, then search for them on the NOC website.

Which NOC is in demand in Canada?

NOCs in demand in Canada often include healthcare professionals, IT professionals, skilled trades, and financial auditors. 

What is the purpose of the NOC code?

The NOC code classifies jobs, helps in immigration assessment, and supports labor market analysis.

Who needs an NOC certificate?

Immigration applicants and employers need a NOC certificate to match job offers with the correct occupational criteria.

What happens if you don’t get NOC?

If you don’t get the correct NOC, your immigration application may be delayed or denied, employment issues may arise, and you may not qualify for specific provincial programs.

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