Canada’s new NOC 

Canada's New NOC

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 
Legislative and senior management occupations 
Business, finance and administration occupations 
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations 
Health occupations 
Occupations in education, law, social, community and the Government services 
Occupations in arts, culture, recreation or sports 
Sales and service 
Occupations in trades, transport and equipment operators  
Occupations in production, natural resources and agriculture 
Occupations in manufacturing and utilities 
Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) 
Management occupations 
Occupations usually require a university degree 
Occupations that require a diploma or apprenticeship of two or more years/ supervisory occupations 
Occupations that require a diploma or apprenticeship of fewer than two years; or more than six months of on-the-job training 
Occupations usually require a secondary school diploma; or several weeks of on-the-job training 
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
skilled trades
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: 

NOC 2021 
Title of Hierarchy  Format  Digit  Represents: 
Broad Category  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. 

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou is a content writer with SettleCanada. He is a Political Sciences graduate and a keen follower of international affairs and contemporary history. He has a background in publishing and regularly dabbles in writing and game development projects. Janggoulal currently writes on issues related to Canadian Immigration.