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What is the National Occupational Classification (NOC)?

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system developed by the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada updates the NOC code list every five years. It is a four-digit code that specifies the job title for each profession. These jobs are grouped which are based on:

  • Industry sector
  • Major groups, Minor groups and Unit groups.

The Government of Canada classified the NOC code into different job categories as Skill type 0 (zero), Skill Level A, Skill Level B, Skill Level C, and Skill Level D. The applicants applying for immigration under skilled worker, semi-skilled or unskilled worker programs, require this NOC code to specify their job category.



Skill Type 0 (Zero)

Management Related Jobs

Restaurant Managers

Mine Managers

Fishing/Shore Captains

Skill Level A

Professional Jobs which require University degree




Skill Level B

Jobs related to technical stream and skilled professions which usually require a university diploma or training as a beginner




Skill Level C

Intermediate jobs which usually require high school and/or employment specific training


Truck Drivers

Food and beverage attendants

Skill Level D

Labour jobs which usually provide on the job training

Fruit Pickers

Cleaning Staff

Oil field Workers

The immigrants use the NOC code for deciding if a particular job or a specific type of work experience qualifies their eligibility criteria.

The ‘’skilled’’ jobs fall under the categories with NOC Skill Type 0, Type A or Type B.

If one wants to enter Canada as a skilled immigrant, it is possible by applying through Express Entry. The employment type and the job duties carried by an individual must belong to Skill type 0, type A or type B to apply through Express Entry. The Express Entry system handles the applications for Canada permanent residence for these three categories:

If one is willing to enter Canada as a skilled immigrant (Atlantic Immigration Pilot)

The work type of an individual must meet NOC skill type 0, type A, type B, or type C.

If an individual’s job type belongs to Type C or Type D:

  • An individual may be able to enter Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), as every PNP has its criteria depending on the shortage in that specific province.
  • An individual may be able to enter Canada by applying through Atlantic Immigration Pilot (skill type/level 0. A, B, or C)
  • An individual who may be able to work in Canada for up to two years.

NOTE: Immigrants who arrive in Canada on a temporary visa cannot be known as permanent residents. They can apply to be permanent residents of Canada, depending on the eligibility criteria.

Knowing the right NOC Code:

Finding the right NOC is a complicated process, and individuals might fail to search for the correct NOC code which suits their occupation. When you are filling your application for Canada immigration, selecting the appropriate NOC code is an essential part. If an individual chooses a NOC code that does not match with the job experience, their Canada immigration application might face refusal by IRCC. It is crucial to be sure about the NOC code which you are choosing, and you must have supporting documents to prove your job duties. Each NOC code has a specific employment title having a lead statement along with the specifications of job duties and work responsibilities. If you would like to understand the process of finding your NOC code, one can refer to our website page on National Occupational Classification – NOC Code Canada.

For the Canadian immigration process, an individual’s work title is not the only element to be considered for immigration, but the NOC code is of utmost importance. It is because the responsibilities under a particular job title described in any country may vary from the duties in the Canadian job market.

Hence, your employment duties and experience must match with the lead statement along with the duties and responsibilities mentioned for that NOC code. Sometimes, an individual’s employment experience might fall under different NOC codes, and the official work title might fall under another NOC code. In such cases, the lead statement plays a critical role in deciding the NOC code for that individual.

The occupations under the NOC are organized using Skill Type as well as Skill Level. The majority of the times, the Skill Type is recognized by NOC’s first digit. Whereas, the second digit of NOC highlights the Skill Level. The Canada immigration programs typically fall under two occupations, namely high-skilled and the low-skilled. It accounts for the NOC’s Skill Level assigned to every profession.

The Industry of occupation: NOC Skill Type

The Skill Type for every NOC recognizes the sector of the profession. There are a total of ten NOC Skill Types matrix:

NOTE: The first number of majority NOC codes characterizes the occupation’s Skill Type.


0 Management
1 Finance, Business, and Administration
2 Natural and applied sciences
3 Health
4 Education, law and social, government and community services
5 Art, culture, sport and recreation
6 Service and sales
7 Transport, trade and equipment operation
8 Natural resources, food production and related agricultural work.
9 Manufacturing and utilities

How to find your NOC Code?

One can search for their NOC code depending on their Industry or by using the employment title. It is mandatory to check if the lead statement matches your job responsibilities and duties and your employment description.

NOC exclusions must be thoroughly read before choosing the NOC matrix. The one NOC Code you use, you will have to show that it is accurate by submitting the reference letters from your past company. If you enter the NOC code, which does not suit your profession, your application might be rejected even though you have submitted all the necessary documents.

To find the suitable NOC Code for your Canada immigration application:

  1. Visit the search page to find your NOC code.
  2. Search your employment title or the NOC code (if you are aware of it)
  3. Read the primary responsibilities and duties mentioned on the website, and match them with your job duties. If the NOC code does not match, then you will have to search for the accurate NOC Code.
  4. Write down the numeric code and the employment title. (E.g., 5121 Authors and writers)

If you are still struggling with finding the most appropriate NOC code for your occupation, you can take the help of our Canada immigration consultants at Elaar Immigration to be sure.

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