Decoding the National Occupation Classification: What’s Your Code?

FEB 9, 2021



The Express Entry Program is one of the fastest ways to move to Canada. Due to the fact that it can get you to Canada in as little as 6 months, it is also the most popular route of applying to Canada. Because you will be competing with so many other candidates, it is imperative that you do the application properly. An important component of this application and one that confuses many applicants is which NOC code to pick. Keep reading to simplify everything related to these NOC codes and what you need to know to submit a good Express Entry application.

What is the National Occupation Classification (NOC)?

The purpose of the Express Entry program is to facilitate the faster immigration of eligible workers who can fill gaps in the Canadian labour market. To measure the sill of potential candidates, the National Occupation Classification (NOC) was established. This system assigns a four-digit code and job description for every occupation in the Canadian labour market. This is what the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses to measure your level of skills and work experience. During your Express Entry application, you will need to claim the NOC code that is relevant to your skills and experience. Claiming the wrong code could potentially be the reason your application is rejected, which you want to avoid at all costs.

How to Choose the Correct NOC Code



When claiming a NOC code in your Express Entry profile, it's important to note that your actual job title is not that important, but rather the skills and experience you have accumulated. If you have experience in a multitude of industries and positions, you will need to claim a different NOC code for each of these. To prove that you have indeed claimed the correct NOC codes, you will need to provide some supporting documents. These documents would include employment references, which is extremely important.

NOC Codes Formula

The first digit in a NOC code is to select the skill type, of which there are ten. It is measured from 0-9 and covers broad areas of work. The second digit in a NOC code defines the skill level. There are four skill levels, each one relating to two digits: A (0 and 1), B (2 and 3), C (4 and 5), and D (6 and 7). The skill level determines the education and skills required for an occupation. For instance, level A occupations typically require a university education.

Skill Types

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

Skill Levels

A-0 and 1-Occupations usually require a university education B-2 and 3-Occupations usually require a college education or apprenticeship training C-4 and 5-Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training D-6 and 7-On the job training is usually provided for occupations

Where To Next?


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Now that you know which NOC code to select when the time comes to submit your Express Entry application or even if you still need to clear some things up, you can get the ball rolling by speaking to one of our qualified and experienced RCIC’s at MDC who have helped many other people just like you to make their way to Canada.