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Canada to overhaul National Occupational Classification (NOC) system


Canada is all set to overhaul its National Occupational Classification (NOC) system and introduce new NOC codes in 2021. These new codes will be implemented in the late 2022 and those who are planning to migrate to Canada through either the Express Entry or the Provincial Nominee Program need to take notice of these changes to ensure a smooth immigration process.

Once the new system is implemented, the applicants will have to use this five-digit NOC 2021 codes structure, which will replace the four-digit version of 2016. The “TEER category”will replace the Skill Level classification that exists today. Instead of classifying occupations as Skill Levels A, B, C and D, they will be classified at TEER category 0-5. There will be six TEER categories as opposed to four Skill Levels. Occupations which were previously listed at NOC Skill Level B will be redistributed, some will move to TEER Category 2 and some will move to TEER Category 3.

2016 NOC Codes ( Skill Levels) 2021 NOC Codes (TEER Categories)
  TEER Category 0
Skill Level A TEER Category 1
Skill Level B TEER Category 2
Skill Level C TEER Category 3
Skill Level D TEER Category 4
  TEER Category 5


TEER Categories and Express Entry

Any details about how the new NOC codes system will change the Express Entry system have not been revealed yet. However, as still months are left for these changes to be implemented, we may expect this to happen in the near future. If the Express Entry eligibility is restricted to those with occupations at TEER Category 0, 1 and 2, those in the Skill Level B Occupations, which have been redistributed to TEER Category 3 may no longer be eligible for Express Entry. Another possibility also exists where Express Entry is expanded to include more TEER categories.

Other changes

Besides changes in the form of TEER categories, we may also expect changes including addition of new occupations and changing names of occupations. For example, data scientists will have their own NOC code and they will be able to apply under the new NOC code 21211. Besides, cyber security specialists, web designers, financial advisors, nurse practitioners and business systems specialists, among other professionals will have their own NOC codes when the new system comes into effect.

NOC 2021

Under the new NOC system, occupations have been classified into 10 broad occupational categories(BOCs) and they indicate the first digit of your five-digit NOC code.

Broad Occupation Category Occupation Corresponding first digit
BOC 0 Legislative and senior management occupations 0
BOC 1 Business, finance and administration occupations 1
BOC 2 Natural and applied sciences and related occupations 2
BOC 3 Health occupations 3
BOC 4 Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services 4
BOC 5 Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport 5
BOC 6 Sales and service occupations 6
BOC 7 Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations 7
BOC 8 Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations 8
BOC 9 Occupations in manufacturing and utilities 9


TEER category determines the second digit of the code. TEER defines an occupation in terms of training, education, experience and responsibilities of that occupation.

TEER Category  Eligibility requirements
TEER Category 0 Management
TEER Category 1 A university degree OR previous experience and subject matter expertise obtained from a related occupation found in TEER 2 (when applicable)
TEER Category 2 Completion of a 2-3 year post-secondary education OR a 2-5 apprenticeship training program; OR occupations with supervisory or significant safety responsibilities such as police officers and fire fighters; OR several years of experience in a related occupation from TEER 3 (when applicable).
TEER Category 3 Completion of a post-secondary education program of less than two years; OR
completion of an apprenticeship training program of less than two years; OR
6+ months of on-the-job training, training courses, or specific work experience with some secondary school education; OR several years of experience in a related occupation from TEER 4 (when applicable).
TEER Category 4 Completion of secondary school; OR several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; OR experience in a related occupation from TEER 5 (when applicable).


The third digit of your five-digit NOC code will indicate sub-major group and the fourth digit will indicate the minor group of occupations.

The minor group, which is the unit group or occupation, is the fifth digit of your NOC code.

Do you plan to migrate to Canada? Know in detail about eligibility requirements and procedures by talking to the Canada immigration experts of CanApprove. Contact us now!


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