The National Occupational Classification, or NOC, is Canada’s system for describing occupations. The NOC system accounts for roughly 30,000 different jobs in 500 unit groups, organized according to skill level and broad occupational category. Each unit group is identified by a four-digit NOC code; for example, NOC 0111 is a Financial Manager, NOC 1111 is an Accountant, and so on.
How to Understand the NOC Codes
Each of the four digits in a NOC Code represents something different. For Canadian Immigration purposes, the most important digit is the 2nd one.
- The first digit of the NOC code represents one of ten broad occupational categories, or sectors. Particularly noteworthy is the first category, 0, representing Management Occupations. Senior Managers in NOC 0013, 0014, 1015, and 0016 include Vice Presidents or General Managers of companies, and are assessed much more points under Express Entry than other occupations.
- The second digit of the NOC code helps identify occupational skill level:
- 0 or 1: This denotes Skill Level A: Professional jobs that regularly require a university degree
- 2 or 3: These are Skill Level B: Technical jobs and skilled trades that regularly require a college diploma, specialized training, or apprenticeship training
- 4 or 5: These are Skill Level C: Intermediate skilled jobs that regularly require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training; and
- 6 or 7: These are Skill Level D: Entry level or Labour jobs that regularly have on-the-job training
For Canada Immigration purposes, if the NOC code’s second digit is 0, 1, 2, or 3, the occupation is considered “high-skilled.” If the NOC code’s second digit is 4 or lower, the work that is being done is considered “low skilled.”
- The third digit of the NOC code is where major groups are further subdivided into minor groups. There are currently 140 minor groups listed under the NOC system.
- Finally, the fourth digit in the NOC code identifies each occupation’s specific unit group. There are currently 500 unit groups listed under the NOC system.
10 Occupational Categories
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