What is the NOC in Canada? We explain in simple words!
There are no immigration programs in Canada that do not require your occupation to meet a certain NOC level. What does this mean?
For many immigrants, Canada's national system of occupational organization and description remains a rather complex concept. Almost every country has its own unique classifier that describes the job duties, working conditions and other nuances related to a particular profession. In Canada, such a classifier is called the NOC (National Occupational Classification).
The NOC is often used by employers to describe jobs or vacancies. The classifier is also used by many government agencies (including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to identify skill shortages in the Canadian labour market and to describe the requirements of immigration programs.
NOC is also used by students, employees, guidance counsellors, educational institutions and training organizations.
Canada updates the classifier every 5 years.
How the NOC is organized
The NOC classifier contains more than 30,000 occupations that are divided into type and skill levels for immigration purposes:
Skill Type 0: management jobs, e.g:
- restaurant manager;
- mine manager;
- shore captain.
Skill Level A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, e.g:
Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as
Skill level C: intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or job-specific training, e.g:
- industrial butcher;
- long-haul truck driver;
Skill Level D: labour jobs that usually give on-the-job training, e.g:
- fruit picker;
- cleaning staff;
- oil field worker.
Occupations of all skill levels are divided into 10 skill types (level one), level two consists of 40 major groups, level three consists of 140 minor groups, and the last level consists of 500 unit groups.
The NOC uses a 4-digit number to identify occupations. For example, the 6332 code identifies the occupation of a baker.
The first digit of the NOC code indicates the skill type. The skills themselves are divided into 10 categories:
- 0 — management occupations;
- 1 — business, finance and administration occupations;
- 2 — natural and applied sciences and related occupations;
- 3 — health occupations;
- 4 — occupations in education, law and social, community and government services;
- 5 — occupations in art, culture, recreation and sports;
- 6 — sales and service occupations;
- 7 — trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations;
- 8 — natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations;
- 9 — occupations in manufacturing and utilities.
The second digit defines the skill level of the occupation. Taken together, the first and second digits define the 'core group' code for all occupations with the same skill level and skill type.
The third figure divides the main groups into 140 occupational categories. These are called minor groups.
Finally, the fourth represents unit groups". The 500 groups include numerous occupational names.
How to find out your NOC
If you have already wondered about the relevance of your profession in Canada, you have seen that most often the requirements of immigration programs specify only skill levels (0, A, B, C, or D). Simply put, the more prestigious and well-paid your chosen profession is, the higher the skill level requirements are.
For example, for a registered nurse, the NOC lists the A level of complexity.
To find out if you qualify for the program, you need to know what level your occupation corresponds to, and for this, you need to know its four-digit code.
We have developed a unique system that not only helps you to find out your NOC and required skill level, but also shows you a list of immigration programs that suit you, and whether you need a license to work in Canada.
Moreover, you will learn:
- the average wage for the selected NOC in Canada;
- the minimum, average, and maximum hourly rates in all provinces;
- the demand for the occupation by province;
- the number of people who have already been granted permanent residency in Canada under this NOC.
Once logged in, you will receive up-to-date information on the launch of immigration programs, information sessions, and job fairs.
How to use this tool?
1. Enter the name of your profession in the field highlighted in red. For example, we choose the Environmental Engineer. Once you start entering the first letters, the system will suggest appropriate names in the drop-down list. If your profession is not on the list, it is worth trying to find its synonym.
2. After that, you will see the occupation description. Check if it corresponds to the skills you have. If not, try entering the profession name again and choose another option from the drop-down list:
3. Once you click True, you will be redirected to a page with a detailed description of the profession, its NOC, and all immigration programs that are suitable for you with links to provinces.
Note that in order to get a full access to the tool, you need to buy the necessary amount of our project's internal currency, coins, and you can get acquainted with all the nuances of immigration in your chosen occupation.
NOC for immigration to Canada
Knowing your occupation's NOC code before you immigrate or look for work in Canada can make the process easier and faster!
Canada uses the NOC to determine requirements for its immigration programs. Also, official Canadian job search sites, such as Job Bank, organize job postings by NOC codes, so if you know your NOC code, you can easily find the jobs that suit you.
If you want to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker through the Express Entry system, your profession and work experience must meet the NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Levels A or B. There are three immigration programs in the Express Entry system:
If you want to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker through the Atlantic Immigration Program, your work experience must meet the skill type/level 0, A, B, or C.
If your occupation and work experience match the skill level of C or D, you can choose one of the provincial immigration programs.
There are separate immigration programs for some professions, such as the caregiver programs.
You can also get acquainted with the hierarchy and structure of the NOC classifier on the official website of the Government of Canada, but pay attention that our service provides more complete information collected from various official sources.