How to find your NOC code
All occupations in the Canadian labor market gets its job description from the nationally recognized system called the National Occupational Classification (NOC). NOC is a standardized system which defines a four-digit code to every single occupation in the country. You can easily find the appropriate NOC code of your occupations.
What is a NOC code? (National Occupational Classification)
The NOC code is the NOC matrix to assign a code all occupations that exist in the Canadian labor market. This code is called a NOC code.
As a candidate, your work experience is assessed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), using the given NOC codes according to your occupation.
When IRCC asks you to classify your occupation, you can do it by entering the most relevant NOC code with your work experience. Please note that some economic immigration streams only allow candidates with specific work experience in occupations defined by specific NOC codes. Therefore, its crucial for a candidate to get an understanding of how these NOC codes work.
Please note that you may even get a refusal on your application if the NOC code you provided does not match your work experience. Therefore, it is important that all candidates should know how to select the right NOC code.
Before claiming your NOC codes
Remember that, you need to select the most relevant NOC code and as well as the reference letter to prove it. The visa offices review your reference letter to find out your work experience and skill level.
The reference letter should include:
- Company letterhead;
- The signature of the responsible officer/supervisor;
- The responsible officer/supervisor’s name and as well as the job title printed beneath the signature;
- Firm’s contact information,
NOC codes provide the appropriate job title, and also key duties and responsibilities of the occupation.
Let us note that your achieving most of the duties and responsibilities listed in the lead statement and work experience is more important than your NOC code. This is why your work experience must match the given duty and responsibilities.
Sometimes the associated NOC code of your job title does not match your experience. For this reason, your work experience may be listed under several NOC codes.
Occupations are defined by the NOC are assigned both a Skill Type and a Skill Level. In most cases, the first digit of the NOC code determines the skill type. Accordingly, the second digit of the NOC code refers to a Skill Level. Skill Level of the NOC code is assigned to the occupation in order to determine whether the occupation is high or low skilled.
How to find your NOC Skill Types?
The NOC skill type is used in order to determine the industry of the occupation given these ten Skill types in the NOC matrix. You can find out the skill type of your occupation by looking at the first digit of NOC codes:
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.
How to find your NOC Skill Levels?
While determining NOC skill type, the amount and type of education and as well as training which is required to perform the duties of the occupations are considered. Also, the NOC Skill Level identifies complexity and responsibility which is typical for that occupation.
NOC matrix assigns four skills levels to occupations. These are the occupations that are usually required:
A: University education
B: College education or apprenticeship training
C: Secondary school and/or occupation-specific training
D: On-the-job training
In general, the second digit in NOC codes determines Skill Level each of these occupations:
A – 0 or 1 B – 2 or 3 C – 4 or 5 D – 6 or 7
While the first digit of a NOC code refers to the Skill Type, the Skill Level is identified by the second digit.
Please note that Management Occupations is an exception which is assigned Skill Type code is 0. Every employment industry has management occupations. Therefore, the second digit of all management occupations refers to the industry of occupation.
To be briefer, we can take a look at the following example. If you are an information systems manager then your occupation would be indicated as NOC 0213. In this scenario, 0 represents a management position while the second digit, 2, points out that you hold a position in the national and applied sciences industry.
Is my occupation high-skilled or low-skilled work?
In general, if your occupation is identified as Skill Level A or B, or in Skill Type 0 then your occupation is considered to be high-skilled work. However, occupations in Skill Level C or D is classified as low-skilled work. Please note that you may come across “semi-skilled” work classifications in some immigration programs. In this case, semi-skilled work includes all occupations which classified as NOC Skill Level A, B, or C, or in Skill Type 0.
What are Major or Minor NOC Groups?
In some cases, you can see that immigration programs might display occupations as NOC Major or Minor Groups in their guides.
The first both two digits of a NOC code together refer to Major groups. As an example, we can mention to most occupations in the health industry which are classified as Major Groups 31. These occupations are Skill Type 3 and university education is generally a requirement (Skill Level A). NOC code that in all these occupations will begin with 31.
Minor Groups themselves group together similar occupation within each major group and refer to the first three numbers. For example, you can see the first two digits of each minor group, like social workers (4152) and family counselors (4153), also refer to the major group which it belongs to.
How to find your NOC code
You can easily find the appropriate NOC code of your occupations. You can use both your industry or keywords, such as your job title, to make a search in NOC matrix. Please note that the lead statement must match your job description. Also, it is important that you perform most of the duties displayed under the relevant NOC code for your occupation.
You should also notice that there are several NOC exclusions. Given that, if your occupation also matches ones of the NOC codes listed as an exclusion you may not claim that occupation, even your occupations seem to match a specific NOC code.
It is important that you provide relevant reference letters from your past employers, regardless of which NOC code you select. In some cases, your occupation might match several NOC codes. In that case, you will need to claim the most suitable one that fits your experience. Please note that your application might be refused if the visa officer finds out that your occupations fit a different NOC code than you claimed.