How To Find the NOC Code That Gets You a Job in Canada?

August 19, 2019

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Posted by: Nicola Malcolm



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If you are considering immigrating to or working in Canada, knowing your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is the first thing you need to know. Whether it is filling your immigration application, getting your application accepted, knowing the demand for your profession or finding a job in Canada, NOC codes play an important role in your career and settlement in Canada.

What is NOC Code?

A NOC Code is the four-digit code set in place by Government of Canada to classify jobs of the basis of job duties and what work a person does.

How did the NOC system come into place?

Every year, millions of people from around the world apply to immigrate or work in Canada. Nearly 300,000 people are approved to make Canada their permanent home each year. This is done under three broad categories – economic immigration, family reunification and humanitarian considerations.

With a large influx of people from versatile nationalities, cultures and economies, the Canadian government has placed a standardised system to identify individuals’ professions. This standardised system is National Occupational Classification (NOC).

From immigrations perspective, Canada classifies professions in five main categories depending on the experience and type of skill and experience required. Once your job group is determined, immigration programs use the latest version of NOC to decide if a job or type of work experience meets their eligibility.

How are NOC codes created?

Well, you pick a NOC code which is the closest match to your current or previous job role or skill set. NOC is a collaborative project between Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada. It classifies more than 30,000 occupational titles in over 500 Unit Groups. Each of these is organized in 4 skill levels and 10 skill types. The NOC virtually covers every possible profession in the world at various hierarchical levels, and is one of the most trusted and comprehensive labour market information system.

To stay abreast of newer professions and job titles, the NOC is constantly updated.

How Do I Choose A NOC Code for Canada?

NOC codes are numeric codes assigned to professions recognized in Canada. Every profession, whether doctor, plumber, writer or a sales associate has a unique code number assigned to their profession.

Elements of NOC code _2

1241Administrative Assistant. Looking for jobs in this NOC? Find them here.

1 – Skill Type. Ranges from 0 to 9. Refer here.

12: Skill level. Major group.

124: Area, or domain of work. Minor Group.


Elements of NOC code


7521 is a NOC code for Heavy Equipment Operator.

7: Skill type - Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

75: Major Group Title - Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations

752: Area/Domain of work - If the candidate is not required to work on cranes, his NOC code becomes 7521.

Why should I know my NOC Code?

Knowing your NOC code is one of the most crucial aspect of working and settling as a new immigrant in Canada.

NOC code for Permanent Residency or work permit

If you have filled the application form for immigrating or working in Canada, you may already know that your NOC code is a huge factor deciding the result of your PR or work permit application. Your NOC helps the Immigration, Refuge, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to determine if your occupation is in demand in Canada.

Know your job prospects

By researching your NOC code, you can determine your career prospects in Canada. It is imperative to study the Canadian job market and know if your profession is recognised and has opportunities in Canada, before deciding to settle or work. For example, Ontario – the province that has the highest intake of immigrants across Canada, regularly updates the in-demand skills stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

Who else uses NOC code?

NOC codes are also used by statisticians, labour market analysts, career counselors and employers for real-time insights in Canadian job market.  Here are a few other scenarios where NOC is put to use:

  • Statistical data collection
  • Managing information databases
  • Analysing labour market trends

Researching about your NOC can help you smoothly transition in job search, deciding which province to settle in and plan your career in Canada. If you need help deciding your NOC code, or want to know the job prospects in the category you qualify in, contact our recruitment experts today.

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

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