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  • Writer's pictureC&A Insights Team

Changes to NOC System

Updated: May 14

Canada uses NOC 2016 to evaluate its immigrants’ profile. However, starting in November 2022, the government of Canada, along with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), will be using NOC 2021. With that, the ways in which the profile of immigrant applicants will be evaluated will change along with the new NOC system.

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Changes to NOC System

National Occupational Classification (NOC) System

The National Occupational Classification System (NOC) is used to systemize occupations. Your occupation is classified using the National Occupation Code (NOC) code system. Canada’s immigration uses NOC to find out if a certain job or even work experience type meets their eligibility criteria. With that, it determines whether the job is skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled. NOC codes are essential when applying for Canada's immigration programs since they determine which programs you will be eligible for. These occupations are grouped based on the applicants’ duties in their jobs and what work they do.

Major Changes in the NOC System

1. Replacement of Skill Levels with TEER Categories

In the NOC 2021, not only are skills assessed, but also the level of training, formal education, and job experience needed to get into each occupation, as well as the responsibilities associated with each occupation. TEER stands for: T – raining E – ducation E – xperience R – esponsibilities

2. Number of TEER Categories

In NOC 2021, a new six-category framework has replaced the NOC's present four-category "skill level" framework, describing the number of fields of training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER) required before entering each occupation. As of 2021, there are no longer four skill types (i.e., NOC A, B, C, and D), but six TEER categories: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

TEER Categories

Types of Occupation



Management Occupations

This classification includes occupations that usually require a significant level of management experience, such as:

  • Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Managers

  • Financial Managers


Occupations that usually require a university degree

Occupations that fall under this category require a high level of specialized knowledge obtained through a university degree, such as:

  • Financial Advisors

  • Software Engineers


​Occupations that usually require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years, or supervisory occupations

Occupations such as:

  • Computer Network and Web Technicians

  • Medical Laboratory Technologists


Occupations that usually require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of less than 2 years, or more than 6 months of on-the-job training

Occupations such as:

  • Bakers

  • Dental Assistants and Dental Laboratory Assistants


Occupations that usually require a high school diploma, or several weeks of on-the-job training

Occupations such as:

  • Home Child Care Providers

  • Retail Salespersons and Visual Merchandisers.


Occupations that usually need short-term work demonstration and no formal education

Occupations in this category typically require no formal education and provide on-the-job training, such as:

  • Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers

  • Delivery Service Drivers and Door-to-Door Distributors

3. NOC Becomes a 5-Tiered Classification System

On the NOC 2016, codes only have four digits. In NOC 2021, codes are five digits. Sample:

NOC 2016

NOC 2021

3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

31301 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

Starting in November 2022, Canada will use the five-digit code. Every digit represents a meaning. 1st Digit - Represents broad and occupational category 2nd Digit - Represents TEER category 1st 2 Digits - Represent Major Groups Together 1st 3 Digits - Represent Sub-Major Group 1st 4 Digits - Represent Minor Group Full 5 Digits - Represent the Unit / Occupation

4. Additional Occupations in the Classification System

Several changes have been made to occupations in the new NOC 2021. To keep up with the evolution of the labour market, these changes to occupations are being made. There are 516 occupations included in the new NOC 2021, compared with 500 in the previous NOC 2016. Here is the list of the 16 newly added occupations, which will be eligible under Express Entry in 2022:

  1. Payroll administrators

  2. Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants

  3. Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

  4. Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants

  5. Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

  6. Sheriffs and bailiffs

  7. Correctional service officers

  8. Bylaw enforcement and other regulatory officers

  9. Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations

  10. Residential and commercial installers and servicers

  11. Pest controllers and fumigators

  12. Other repairers and servicers

  13. Transport truck drivers

  14. Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators

  15. Heavy equipment operators

  16. Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.

5. Ineligible Occupations

Meanwhile, here is the list of the ineligible occupations for Express Entry in November 2022:

  1. Other performers

  2. Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

  3. Tailors, dressmakers, furriers

  4. Milliners However, these occupations will still be eligible under other immigration programs, such as the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP).

NOC 2021’s Impact on Express Entry

NOCs help IRCC determine whether a candidate qualifies for Express Entry. As of now, candidates can only submit an Express Entry profile if they possess NOC skill types A, B, or 0. With the new NOC system, occupations in TEERs 0, 1, 2, and 3 will be eligible for Express Entry.

Want to Find Your NOC Code Before the New NOC System StartS in November?

Find Your NOC Code Here. Knowing your NOC code is as important as your application. It is a key part of your application process that can help you apply for special immigration programs in Canada. It is an essential part of your application and should be confirmed with a professional before you submit it. It can often be tricky to select your NOC Code, and selecting the wrong one may result in missed opportunities. Book a consultation with us or give us a call at +1-604-484-9474 and our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) will assist you in finding your NOC code to increase the chance of your immigration program approval.

A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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