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

February 5, 2024


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) System is crucial in various aspects of professional life, including immigration applications, job searches, career planning, and wage information.

Understanding and decoding your NOC code is essential for navigating these areas successfully. How can you decode your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code? Learn the step-by-step guide you can follow to know your Canada NOC code!

What is Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) System?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) System is a standardized framework the Canadian government uses to categorize and classify occupations. It helps organize and analyze labor market information, ensuring consistency in job descriptions and qualifications across various industries. The NOC system consists of a matrix of job titles, skill types, and codes, making identifying and understanding different occupations easier.

Learn more about Canada's National Classification System.

Steps to Decode Your NOC Code

Decoding your NOC code involves a systematic process while navigating Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) online NOC portal. The steps you have to follow are:

Step 1: Determine Your Job Title

The first step in decoding your NOC code is accurately determining your job title. Canada's NOC system assigns job titles based on a set of duties and responsibilities associated with that job. Hence, ensuring your job title reflects your primary duties and responsibilities as a worker is essential. It is important to be specific and avoid using generic titles that might not align with the NOC system.

For example, when searching for your job title, instead of typing in "Manager," consider phrasing the title like "Human Resources Manager" or "Sales Manager." Phrasing your job title in specific terms narrows the possibilities of the search results to only the most relevant information, increasing your chances of finding your job title.

Step 2: Search For Your NOC Code on the Online NOC Matrix

After you have determined your job title, search the NOC matrix. The NOC matrix is a comprehensive list of job titles and corresponding NOC codes. It is available online and can be accessed through the official IRCC government website. Search for your job title within the matrix, and once you have identified it, make note of the associated 5-digit NOC code aligned with your job.

Learn more about how to find your NOC code.

Step 3: Identify Your Jobs NOC 2021 Skill Type and TEER level

After finding your NOC code, the next step is identifying your NOC skill type. Under the 2021 NOC update, skill types are now structured into six major categories: the Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system. The TEER level indicates the education, training, experience, and responsibilities required for the occupation.

The NOC categories focus on different sectors of Canada's labor market and use classification variables such as the level of qualification needed for the job and the rank of your position within your job field.

The more knowledge, education, experience, expertise, and skills needed for your occupation, the higher it will be in the overall scheme of NOC Skill types and TEER levels. Your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is affected differently according to each NOC Skill type and TEER level.

Classification of NOC Skill Types according to TEER levels can be outlined as follows:

NOC 2016 NOC 2021
Skill Type 0 TEER Level 0
Skill Type A TEER Level 1
Skill Type B TEER Level 2
Skill Type B TEER Level 3
Skill Type C TEER Level 4
Skill Type D TEER Level 5

Step 4: Confirm Your NOC Code

The final step in decoding your NOC code is to confirm its accuracy. We recommend checking your job title, NOC code, NOC skill type, and TEER category to ensure the information they present aligns with your occupation's duties, responsibilities, and qualifications.

It is important to double-check your NOC code information to avoid making errors or discrepancies that could lead to complications and delays in various applications you have to make in Canada.

Why is it Important to Find Your NOC Code?

Finding, decoding, and understanding your NOC code is essential for several reasons, including immigration applications, job searches, career planning, and wage information. Let's explore each aspect in more detail:

Canada Immigration Application

When applying for immigration to Canada, knowing your NOC code is vital. The IRCC uses your NOC code to assess your eligibility for specific immigration programs. Your NOC code helps determine whether your occupation is in demand in specific Canadian industries, provinces, or territories.

Furthermore, it is also used to assess whether you meet the required skill type and TEER level to qualify for certain Canada immigration visa streams or pathways. Simply put, your NOC code directly affects your eligibility to apply for Canada's various immigration visa programs.

Find out more about Canadain visas.

Job Search in Canada

Knowing your NOC code can greatly assist your job search efforts if you are searching for a job in Canada. Many employers in Canada use the NOC system to advertise job vacancies, and they often list the corresponding NOC code in their advertised job postings. Canadian online job portals have also adopted the five-digit NOC code in their descriptions for job postings. Some of them include:

Knowing your NOC code enables you to identify job opportunities that align with your skills and qualifications.

Learn about the 4 step process to finding a job in Canada.

Plan Your Career in Canada

Decoding your NOC code also helps you plan your career in Canada effectively. By understanding the skill level and qualifications associated with your NOC code, you can identify the necessary steps to advance your career in your chosen field. You can also explore other related occupations within the same NOC skill type or TEER category, providing various career options.

Find Canada Wage Information

Knowing your NOC code can also help you access wage information for specific occupations in Canada. The Canadian government provides wage data based on NOC codes, allowing you to understand the average wages associated with your work.

This information can be valuable when negotiating salaries or assessing the earning potential of different job opportunities. The most trusted source of information for wages and salaries in Canada is Canada's Job Bank. You can also search for wage information on Canada's many professional and trade regulatory organizations.


What Should I do if I Cannot Find My Job Title or NOC Code?

If you cannot find your job title or NOC code in the matrix, consider searching for related occupations or titles that closely match your duties and responsibilities. Make sure you choose the closest match to ensure accuracy in your applications and processes. If unsure, seek guidance from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or contact the relevant Canadian government authorities for assistance.

Can my NOC Code Change?

Yes, your NOC code can change over time. Changing job duties, responsibilities, or qualifications may result in a different NOC code. It is essential to periodically review and update your NOC code to ensure it accurately reflects your current occupation and qualifications. This is especially important when applying for immigration programs or seeking employment opportunities in Canada.