What you need to know about the changes to the NOC system

by Legally Canadian

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) system is used to determine an immigration applicant’s eligibility to apply for pathways to Canada including Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs. The system is designed to classify your job based on industry and type of work; type of experience, skill, and education required; and level of responsibility. Those are then compared to the skills required in the Canadian labour market and evaluated based on demand and shortages. On November 16 of this year, the system was revamped to better address the current realities. Here are the main things you need to know about the changes:

Firstly, skill levels have been replaced with the Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories. According to Service Canada, this new terminology is more precise, as the NOC assesses not the level of skills but the level of training, of formal education, of experience required to gain entry into each occupation, and the responsibilities associated with it. The change ensures clearer distinctions between the employment requirements associated with each TEER category. Though the relative number of broad categories is still the same (previously there were four, now there are five), the new distribution is designed to be more technically accurate, consistent, and reflective of the changing labour market. The general conversion works as follows:

Previous Tier NOC 2016New Tier under NOC 2021
Skill Level 0TEER 0
Skill Level ATEER 1
TEER 2
Skill Level BTEER 3
Skill Level CTEER 4
All OtherTEER 5

The new TEER categories are defined as follows:

TEER 0Management occupations
TEER 1Completion of a university degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate); orSeveral years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 2 (when applicable).
TEER 2Completion of a post-secondary education program of two to three years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; orCompletion of an apprenticeship training program of two to five years; orOccupations with supervisory or significant safety (police officers and firefighters) responsibilities; orSeveral years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 3 (when applicable).
TEER 3Completion of a post-secondary education program of less than two years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; orApprenticeship training of less than 2 years; orMore than six months of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience with some secondary school education; orSeveral years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 4 (when applicable).
TEER 4Completion of secondary school; orSeveral weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; orSeveral years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 5 (when applicable)
TEER 5Short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements.

Secondly, there are changes to the occupations in this new NOC structure. To keep in line with the evolution of the labour market, new unit groups were created for emerging occupations such as Data scientists and Cybersecurity specialists. New unit groups are created for occupations such as Financial advisors and Police investigators, as well as three new distinct groups for Software developers and programmers. Some sectors got a major revamp, such as the information technology, health and agriculture, postal services, and the military occupations.

Moreover, 16 new occupations have been elevated such that they are now eligible for Express Entry. Those are as follows:

  • Payroll administrators;
  • Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants;
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates;
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants;
  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants;
  • Sheriffs and bailiffs;
  • Correctional service officers;
  • Bylaw enforcement and other regulatory officers;
  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations;
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers;
  • Pest controllers and fumigators;
  • Other repairers and servicers;
  • Transport truck drivers;
  • Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators;
  • Heavy equipment operators; and
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.

Finally, three previously eligible occupations are now downgraded and no longer qualify for Express Entry:

  • Other performers;
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness; and
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners

Despite these changes, the need to get proper information when applying for any pathway to Canada remains constant. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you understand your options and position yourself so that you can hopefully be on a successful path to permanent residence, work, or study in Canada.

If you would like to know more feel free to contact us at info@legallycandian.com