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2021 National Occupation Codes (NOC)

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

NOC 2021: Changes are coming to the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

Understanding Your NOC in 2021

In 2021 there will be a major structural revision to the existing NOC classification. This is the first major overhaul since 2011 and will replace the 4-digit structure of the existing NOC 2016 version with a five-tiered arrangement based on two categories named as Occupational categories and TEER Categories which are identified in the first two digits of the 5-digit NOC code. Read on to understand what this means for you!

What is a NOC?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) Canada is a classification system that assigns a code and job description to every occupation. This classification system involves compiling, analyzing, and communicating information about different occupations based on labour market information. It is largely used for employment-related programs and the economic classes of immigration.

This kind of information is essential to get insights into the labour market, labour supply, career intelligence, occupational forecasting, employment equity, job training, and skills development. The NOC system makes it very easy to organize occupations in a very understandable and coherent manner.

Purpose of the NOC

The primary purpose of NOC is to collect, process, present an analysis of data from multiple sources in a systematic manner. It increases the coherency and efficiency of the statistical system. Every NOC code is linked with a series of job titles, a lead statement, and a list of related duties and responsibilities.

In the Canadian Labour market, NOC is a nationally accepted and efficient framework for occupations. It is available in both official languages, English and French, and the classification structure is the same in both languages. However, the French version includes the titles used most commonly in French, which is why these are not the translation of English titles.

Choosing the Right National Occupation Code

Choosing the right NOC code is very important in your immigration application. Moreover, choosing a NOC code that doesn't match your work experience, may result in your application being returned to you. So, be deliberate in your NOC choice and be sure that you have documentation to support your choice.

NOC 2021 - The Technical Information

As mentioned, the 2021 structural revision to the existing NOC classification is the first major overhaul since 2011. The new structure of NOC 2021 (Version 1.0) uses a five-tiered hierarchical arrangement having broad (1st digit), major (2nd digit), sub-major (3rd digit), minor (4th digit), and unit groupings (5th digit). It is now based on two categories named as Occupational categories and TEER Categories which are identified in the first two digits of the 5-digit NOC code. Each digit corresponds to a different category or group number. As the first digit identifies occupation and the second digit tells about TEER, they are known as the Major group.

What This Means For You

In the new NOC, many occupation names have changed in addition to the TEER categories. This means that National Occupation Codes that previously signified skilled work, may no longer have this designation. As such, you must be careful to review your NOC and be sure that it remains eligible for for express entry classes of immigration.

According to the Government of Canada, this new 2021 NOC code will be in use in the second half of 2022. Until then, work permit applicants and Canadian immigration will continue using the existing NOC hierarchy, which was updated in 2016.

For more information, or for assistance in determining your NOC, please contact us and book a consultation.


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a 6th-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help? We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.


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