Find your NOCFind your NOC by choosing the correct National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code is essential if you apply for Permanent Residency under Express Entry, a Provincial Nominee Program or Quebec Experience (PEQ).

All programs have different requirements, and different jobs qualify for different programs.

Your job experience will only be considered if you provide extensive documentation. For that, you must find your NOC code first.


Many programs require that you have experience in a NOC O, A or B position. For some Provincial Nominee Programs, NOC C and D occupations are accepted. The system assigns a four digit code and job description for every occupation and allows you to position yourself and your experience in the context of the Canadian labour market. The nationally recognized and standardized system is used by the Canadian and provincial governments to evaluate your work experience.


You cannot afford to make any mistakes here. You must find your NOC code when applying under one of the economic immigration programs is essential and failing to do so can easily be the end of your immigration plans.


Every NOC code entails the following elements:

  • example job titles
  • lead statement
  • list of major duties and responsibilities.


To find your NOC, just must understand the structure first. Every NOC has 4 digits. For example, NOC 0651 is the code assigned to managers in customer and personal services. The first digit of a NOC code always stands for the Skill Type.


There are currently nine different Skill Types:

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 Ressources, agriculture and related production occupations
9 Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities 

Every NOC that starts with a zero stands for a management position and, provided that the performed tasks comply with the respective lead statement, can be used for an application for Canadian Permanent Residency under the Federal Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Experience Class and Quebec Experience Class (PEQ). Hence, the customer manager from our example could use his experience under the above referenced immigration programs. There is no need to look into the three remaining digits.


When a NOC does not start with 0, it is important to look at the next digit. Unless the NOC begins with 0, the second digit refers to the Skill Level of the occupation.

For example, NOC 2233 is the Code for Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians. Since the NOC does not start with 0, it is not a management position. For Express Entry and PEQ, the applicant will therefore have to prove that his Skill Level falls either under NOC A or NOC B. The Skill Level refers to the educational required for the performed job. But, once again, the officer will not take your education into consideration when assessing if you fall under the NOC you claim. What counts is that your performed duties comply with the lead statement and the list of duties of said NOC.

Skill level             Number               Educational level

A                             0 and 1                 Occupation usually requires university education

B                             2 and 3                 Occupation usually requires college education or apprenticeship training

C                             4 and 5                 Occupation usually requires secondary school and/or specific training

D                             6 and 7                 On-the-job training is usually provided for occupations

The Industrial engineering technologist (NOC 2233) falls under a NOC B profession and, depending on the situation, should apply under PEQ-Skilled Temporary Worker Stream, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker program, the Federal Skilled Trade program or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

Each of your past professional experiences has its own NOC code. Immigration officers require that you claim a primary NOC code for your current position and the applicable NOC codes for each of your past positions.

It is important to understand that your actual job title and education are not important when your file is examined. What really matters is that your work experience matches the lead statement, and that you have performed most of the duties and responsibilities listed.  Depending on the performed duties, the officer might decide you do not fall under a certain NOC category, although your official job title might give a different impression. In other words: A specific title on your business card means, as such, not a lot.


Is it important to collect employment verification letters for your current job and each past job. By this, we do not mean a personal reference/recommendation you would use for your job search.

What we mean is a letter including the following elements:

  • employment length
  • job title
  • detailed list of employment duties/responsibilities
  • your last salary
  • hours worked per week

The detailed list of your employment duties is the most important part

If you have been promoted or changed jobs within the same company, this must be demonstrated in the employment verification letter.

We understand that it can be a bit difficult to get a reference letter after having left a job for a while, and it can be even more difficult to get one from your current employer. Therefore, it is important to keep track of all documentation relating to your professional experience, such as pay stubs and income tax declarations. Training certificates and excerpts from the company website can also back up your application. However, the most important piece of documentation is your employment verification letter.

There is no guarantee in life, and this also applies to your immigration plans. It is up to the visa officer to decide whether or not you meet the requirements of the claimed NOC position. Therefore, it is crucial to gather as much supporting documentation as possible.

If you have doubts about the right NOC code or the required documentation for your application, please contact us for a consultation.