What is the NOC
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a categorization of all occupations in Canada for data collection and analysis of the labour market. It is developed and maintained by Statistics Canada in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
The first edition of the NOC was published in 1992. It has been updated with new versions in 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2021. A major structural revision occurs almost every ten years- including the latest 2021 version.
What were the recent changes to the NOC codes
Canada’s NOC has been updated regularly since its introduction in 1992. The most recent revision was made in 2021 and will come into effect during the latter half of 2022.
The changes listed on the Government’s site include:
- Structural changes include the addition, aggregation or merging, and splitting of occupational categories.
- The current four NOC skill-level structure will be replaced by a six-category system that represents the Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER categories).
- Adopt a five-tiered hierarchical arrangement of occupations.
- A new five-digit codification system to replace the old four-digit system.
What is the new Structure of the National Occupational Classification?
The complete NOC codes and structure list are available on the Government’s website. Here’s a summary of the categories under NOC 2021 :
|Broad occupational category|
|0||Legislative and senior management occupations|
|1||Business, finance and administration occupations|
|2||Natural and applied sciences and related occupations|
|4||Occupations in education, law, social, community and the Government services|
|5||Occupations in arts, culture, recreation or sports|
|6||Sales and service|
|7||Occupations in trades, transport and equipment operators|
|8||Occupations in production, natural resources and agriculture|
|9||Occupations in manufacturing and utilities|
|Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER)|
|1||Occupations usually require a university degree|
|2||Occupations that require a diploma or apprenticeship of two or more years/ supervisory occupations|
|3||Occupations that require a diploma or apprenticeship of fewer than two years; or more than six months of on-the-job training|
|4||Occupations usually require a secondary school diploma; or several weeks of on-the-job training|
|5||Occupations usually require short-term work demonstration and no formal education|
NOC 2016 ‘Skill Level’ and NOC 2021 ‘TEER categories’
Below is a table on the government site that shows the current system compares against the new TEER category.
|Old NOC 2016||NOC 2021 TEER categories|
|Skill type 0||TEER 0|
|Skill level A||TEER 1|
|Skill level B||TEER 2 and TEER 3|
|Skill level C||TEER 4|
|Skill level D||TEER 5|
What are the new NOC codes?
A complete list of all occupations, their TEER category and NOC code can be found on the Government’s site.
When will Canada implement the NOC 2021?
The 2021 National Occupational Classification (NOC) will come into effect on November 16, 2022.
How will the 2021 NOC affect immigration?
Many immigrants and immigration programs will be affected by this change. A list of the updated changes to the Work experience categories is given below:
|Eligibility criteria||Canadian Experience Class||Federal Skilled Worker Program||Federal Skilled Trades Program|
|Level of work experience||Canadian work experience in any NOC TEER:
|Work experience in an occupation in:
|Work experience in
under key group
TEER 2 or TEER 4
- Atlantic Immigration Program –As per the government site, the candidate’s work experience must be in one of the following NOC 2021 TEER categories:
- TEER 0 (management jobs such as restaurant managers or mine managers)
- TEER 1 (professional jobs that usually need a degree from a university, such as doctors, dentists or architects)
- TEER 2 (technical jobs and skilled trades requiring at least two years of college or apprenticeship, or occupations with supervisory or safety responsibilities such as police officers and firefighters)
- TEER 3 (technical jobs and skilled trades requiring less than two years of college or apprenticeship or six months of on-the-job training)
- TEER 4 (intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and several weeks of job-specific training, such as industrial butchers, long-haul truck drivers, or food and beverage servers)
- Provincial Nominee Program: The portal notifies applicants that the applications received on or after November 16, 2022, must comply with the updated 2021 version of the NOC.
- Caregivers program: The Notification for applications to the Home Childcare Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot states:
- Home child care provider- NOC 4411 to be replaced with NOC 44100
- Home support worker- NOC 4412 to be replaced with NOC 44101
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: The program provides a separate application portal on or after November 16, 2022. This page complies with the new NOC 2021.
- Agri-food pilot: The portal has a notification that it will switch to the 2021 NOC after November 16, 2022.
- Out-of-status Construction Program: The program will be switching to the NOC 2021 after November 16, 2022. The new NOC occupations eligible for this program are:
- NOC 2021 Major Group 72 occupations
- NOC 2021 Major Group 73 occupations
- NOC 2021 Major Group 75 occupations
How to make sense of the Canada’s new NOC code
The government website gives a detailed methodology to make sense of the new NOC 2021 codes. We borrow the details for the tables below:
|Title of Hierarchy||Format||Digit||Represents:|
|Broad Category||X||First Digit – X||Occupational categorization|
|Major Group||XX||Second Digit xX||TEER categorization|
|Sub-major Group||XX.X||xx.X||Top Level of the Sub-Major Group|
|Minor Group||XX.XX||xx.XX||Hierarchy within the Sub-Major Group|
|Unit Group||XX.XXX||xx.XXX||Hierarchy within the Minor Group|
Note: The first digit identifies the Occupation, and the second digit identifies the TEER. Therefore, the first two digits together are identified as the Major Group. The next three digits identify their hierarchy within the groups.
Why was it necessary
The 2016 version of the NOC had two categorizations:
- Broad Occupational Category- Classifies according to the educational discipline/ field required for the Occupation.
- Skill Level- represents the education and training required for the Occupation.
The problem was that it created a large group of 211 occupations (42%) under the ‘Skill level- B,’ which impeded proper analysis and data gathering for that Skill level.
Also, ‘Skill Level’ was an improper characterization, given that training and education (which comprise Skill Level) are not considered skills in the labour market.
National Occupational classification 2021 revises this practice by creating a new Training Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) for better categorization of occupations.
Recent applicants and those looking to immigrate in the near future should be aware of the changes. Look for notifications in the immigration portals and try to stay informed on how your immigration stream will be affected by it.