NOC List

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a structured list of jobs with descriptive information about occupations across Canada’s labour market. It is used by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for processing of applications for the Skilled Workers and Professionals Program.

It is updated every 5 years by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) along with Statistics Canada (STC). The currently available list is the one updated in the year 2011. It is noteworthy that there is a methodology to the research and development that leads to the revisions in the list.  

NOC provides an opportunity to the statisticians, analysts, career counsellors, students, employers and individual job seekers to understand the nature of variety of work in Canada’s labour market in a standardised manner.

Detailed information on the NOC list including tutorial, search, career handbook, occupational structure matrix, FAQs and queries are available online.

There is a structure to the classification of the occupations listed. In order to select the desired skill one must chose from the following 10 categories. These represent the first digit of the NOC code and broadly indicate the area of work.

Skill Type Occupation
0 Management occupations
1 Business, finance and administration occupations
2 Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
3 Health occupations
4 Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services
5 Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
6 Sales and service occupations
7 Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
8 Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations
9 Occupations in manufacturing and utilities

Four different skill levels (from A to D) are denoted in the second digit if NOC code. These indicate the amount of training or education required for entering an occupation.

Skill Level
Skill Level
Nature of Education/ Training
Occupations usually require university education.
0 or 1 University degree at the bachelor's, master's or doctorate level.
Occupations usually require college or vocational education or apprenticeship training.
2 or 3 Two to three years of post-secondary education at a community college, institute of technology or CEGEP
Two to five years of apprenticeship training
Three to four years of secondary school and more than two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work experience.
Occupations with supervisory responsibilities and occupations with significant health and safety responsibilities, such as firefighters, police officers and registered nursing assistants are all assigned the Skill Level B.
Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training.
4 or 5 Some secondary school education, with up to two years of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience.
On-the-job training is usually provided for occupations.
6 or 7 Short work demonstration or on-the-job training
No formal educational requirements.
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