The NOC assigns a code, referred to as a NOC (pronounced as “Nock”) code, to every single occupation that exists in the Canadian labour market using the NOC matrix. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses NOC codes to evaluate every immigration applicant’s work experience. Whenever immigration applicants are asked to identify work experience, they must do so by indicating the NOC code that best fits their experience.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s national system of organizing and describing occupations. It can help you locate information about occupations found throughout Canada’s job market.
Every NOC code has an associated job title, lead statement, and list of major duties and responsibilities. For Canadian immigration purposes, your actual job title is not important in determining your NOC code.
NOC Skill Types
The first number of the NOC Code indicates the skill type. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) has divided all occupations in Canada into 10 different skill types:
For immigration purposes, the main job groups are:
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 sport
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 first digit of most NOC codes identifies the Skill Type of the occupation.
NOC Skill Levels
The second number identifies the occupation’s skill level. Combined, these two digits define the NOC “Major Group” for all occupations with the same skill level and skill type.
Skill Type 0 (zero): management jobs, such as:
Skill Level A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, such
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, such as:
Skill Level D: labour jobs that usually give on-the-job training, such as:
The NOC organizes occupations by assigning them both a Skill Type, and a Skill Level. Usually, the Skill Type is identified by the first digit of the NOC code and the Skill Level is identified by the second digit. Canadian immigration programs usually refer to occupations as being high-skilled or low-skilled. This refers to the Skill Level of the NOC code assigned to the occupation.
If you need to select your NOC code for immigration purposes, you may want to consult with an immigration professional to make sure you use the correct code. The sites below can help you get started.