Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Immigration Corner | What are NOC codes?

Published:Tuesday | April 9, 2019 | 12:12 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell

What is an NOC code? I was talking to a lady who told me that she could help me to move to Canada since she said I had the right NOC code. She wanted me to pay her some money to help me, but I’m a little scared. I want to understand more about this NOC code and how it can help me to live in Canada. How do I know if I have the right code? Thanks for your time.


Dear DF,

Before I go into details about what is the NOC code, I want to first caution you that only lawyers, immigration consultants and some paralegals are authorised by the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to submit an application on your behalf. It is your duty to check the regulatory bodies for lawyers, to see if an individual is a lawyer in good standing with a province such as the Law Society of Ontario or check with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council before engaging the services of the individual.

What is a NOC code?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a national system used by the Government of Canada for organising and describing occupations in Canada. This description is updated every five years by the government agencies and published as a guide for job seekers, employers and the department of IRCC. The NOC will identify job descriptions, educational requirements, the required skills and related occupations or exclusions.

The NOC is utilised by IRCC as it classifies occupations according to their skill level and skill type. The occupations are identified by a four-number code which is called the 'NOC Code'. This code represents different classifications based on industry, education and the skills required.

IRCC has stipulated that in order for individuals to qualify under the express entry system under categories such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programmes, Federal Skilled Trade Programme, Canadian Experience Class and some Provincial Nominee Programmes, individuals need to clearly demonstrate that they have experience in the categories skills types A, B and O. The skills types are classified into the various NOC codes.

Skill Types

Skill type O are jobs that usually managerial positions such as, restaurant managers, customer service manager, human resources manager, and senior managers in a banks, insurance company or a public relations firm. Examples of these NOC codes are NOC 0011, 0015, 0016, 0114, 0111.

Skill A are professional jobs that require a university education and include occupations which are associated with business, finance and administration, e.g., NOC 4011, 5134, 5136, 3144. Examples of skill A occupations include doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, engineers, surveyors, financial auditors, administrative assistant, paralegals, event planners, accounting technicians, financial managers, accountants, to name a few.

Skills Type B include technical jobs and skilled trade’s occupations such as NOC 4214, 7237, 7253. Skill type B occupations usually require college, community colleges vocational or apprenticeship training. This is includes chefs, cooks, meat cutters, plumbers, welders electricians and related occupations.

It is important to know your NOC code for your occupation before applying for permanent residence of before doing a job search in Canada. You will find that job boards will use NOC codes to organise their job postings and most importantly, if you are making an application under the express-entry system for permanent residence, you will be required to identify the NOC in which you have the most work experience. The government of Canada will use the NOC lists to see if you qualify for permanent residence. Many province will list their in-demand occupations using the NOC codes.

Some people find this process complicated and therefore if you need help to select your NOC code for immigration purposes, I strongly recommend that you consult with an authorised immigration professional to make sure you use the correct codes when submitting your application to live permanently or work in Canada.

Deidre Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bar. Find her on or call 613.695.8777. Send your questions and comments to