How to Choose a NOC Code


As long as you’re planning to immigrate to Canada through an economic immigration program such as the FSWP, Federal Skilled Trades, Canada Experience Class or Provincial Nomination, you are going to have to choose a NOC code. This is a unique four-digit code that the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system assigns to every occupation in Canada’s labor market. These codes ultimately help Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) accurately evaluate candidates’ eligibility.


But as much as these codes are important, it can be tricky choosing the right one for you.


NOC codes and skill levels


The NOC system not only categorizes all the occupations in Canada but also provides information about them. This information includes job titles, descriptions, responsibilities, and required training. Ultimately, this system divides occupations into 5 categories:


  • Skill level 0


This covers skilled work, particularly management positions across all sectors. Examples include shore captains, chief executive officers, and restaurant managers.


  • Skill level A


This covers skilled work in professional occupations. Usually, you need to have a university degree to pursue these occupations. Examples are doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers, and architects.


  • Skill level B


This covers skilled work in technical occupations that require you to have technical training or a college diploma. Examples are plumbers, electricians, and chefs.


  • Skill level C


This covers intermediate-skilled work in occupations that usually require you to have a high school diploma and on-site training. Examples include truck drivers and restaurant servers.


  • Skill level D


This covers low-skilled work in occupations that don’t require extra schooling – they rely wholly on on-the-job training. Examples include oil field workers and fruit pickers.


How NOC skill levels affect your eligibility for different economic immigration programs


Truth be told, the skill levels of the previous jobs you’ve held determine the economic immigration program you’re eligible for. In fact, here is a list of the different programs available for immigration to Canada and the NOC levels they require:


  • Express Entry


To qualify for Express Entry under the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Federal Skilled Worker Program, your previous jobs need to have a skill level of 0, A, or B.


  • Provincial Nominee Programs


Depending on the occupations they need, provinces will nominate immigration candidates with previous jobs in skill levels 0, A, B, C, or D. Ultimately, the qualified levels will depend on the roles needed.


  • Temporary work visa/permits


If you’re looking to temporarily live and work in Canada, your previous jobs can be any of skill levels (0, A, B, C, or D).


  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot


To qualify to move to Canada through this pilot, your past work experience has to fall under skill levels 0, A, B, or C.


More helpful tips to choose a NOC Code


When immigrating to Canada or even looking for a job in the Great White North, you will need to find the right National Occupation Classification (NOC) code. This four digit code is used to classify all jobs in Canada. It is important to choose the correct code, as it will determine which jobs are available to you.There are several steps you can take to find the right NOC code:



It is important to note that not all jobs have an NOC code assigned to them. If your job not have an assigned code, you will need to use the “all other occupations” or “not elsewhere classified” code.


Here is an example of the importance of choosing a NOC Code:


Let’s say for example that you are a web developer. You can look up this job title on this website. The website will show you which NOC code applies to web developers. In most cases, the code for web developers is 2175. However, there are some exceptions. If you are a specialist in a particular area of web development, such as software engineering, then you would use the code 2173.


It is important to choose the correct NOC code, as it will dictate the specific subsets of your nominated immigration occupation. In the above example, there are two related occupations being substantially and significantly different. And this is the same for many occupations. Choosing the wrong NOC code could limit your opportunities in Canada.


If you are still unsure about which code to use, or if you have any other questions, you can take our online visa assessment for some further confidential information emailed directly to you.

Editor in Chief - at | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief -

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at and serves as Editor-in-Chief.