What is Canada NOC 2021 (TEER) System?

Canada NOC 2021If you have been planning to apply for a Canada visa or a work permit in the near future, then you have probably come across a change in the system. If not, then we have news for you! The Canada Immigration Department moved from the NOC 2016 system to the latest NOC 2021 (TEER) system on November 16, 2022. 

It may seem complicated at first. But using our expertise in Canadian migration, we have made things simple for you, much like our motto, “Immigration Made Simple!”. We at M-J Global have always kept up with the changes that are introduced in the immigration process and handled the transition smoothly. 

Here are a few things that you will learn about the NOC through this blog:

  • What is the NOC?
  • Revising the NOC 2016
  • Comparison between NOC 2016 and 2021
  • Why is TEER better?

What is the Canada NOC?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s grouping system that categorizes occupations under different codes. You can use the NOC to look up in which group an occupation is classified or to learn about its key responsibilities, educational qualifications, and other relevant information that you may need while applying for a job or work permit in Canada.

The NOC was created in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada (StatCan). It has been in operation since 1991 when the first version was issued. It is frequently updated and amended as new industries and jobs are established due to changes in the Canadian economy and societal structures. The NOC’s structural updates are done every ten years, and its contents are revised every five years to accommodate the ever-changing labor market. 

Revising the NOC 2016

The structure and format of the NOC 2016 are built on a four-level system of occupational categories. These categories are based on two major attributes of jobs: the “broad occupational category” and the “skill level” classifications. With the latest NOC 2021, jobs are classified based on the training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER) system. 

With the revision, the TEER system has introduced a six-category scheme that has replaced the framework of the NOC 2016, which divided skill type and skill level into four categories. The four-digit NOC codes and occupation codes have been modified to five-digit codes. The following is how the 5-digit codification works: 

  • The first digit is for the broad occupational category
  • The second digit for the TEER category
  • The first two digits together make up the major group
  • The first three digits make up the sub-major group
  • The first four digits together form the minor group 
  • The full five digits will give the unit group or the occupation itself.

For example, the NOC code for a financial manager would be 10010, with each of the digits representing one of its groups. To understand the breakdown further, follow this link.

Comparison of NOC 2016 and 2021

The majority of the jobs will remain in the TEER system, with some jobs moving across categories. Like the NOC 2016 skill level B jobs, they may fall under the NOC 2021 TEER 2 or TEER 3 jobs. 

Let us take a look at how the old and new NOCs compare with each other. Along with that, the occupational type and examples of each TEER level.

NOC 2016 NOC 2021 Occupation Type/Requirements Examples
Skill Type 0 TEER 0 Management occupations Financial managers, PR managers, Marketing and advertising
Skill Level A TEER 1 A University degree is required Engineers and financial advisors
Skill Level B TEER 2 College diploma, two years(or more) apprenticeship training, and supervisory occupation Supervisors, technicians, lab assistants
Skill Level B TEER 3 College diploma, less than two years of apprenticeship training, and more than six months of training on the job Dental practitioners, bakers
Skill Level C TEER 4 High school diploma and weeks of training on the job Salesperson, house staff, child care support
Skill Level D TEER 5 Short-term work demonstration and no formal education Delivery persons, drivers, gardeners, and landscape maintenance laborers

The new system affects many of the immigration programs, especially Canada Express Entry and, under it, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Apart from express entry, the Atlantic Immigration Program, Provincial Nominee Program, and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, to name a few, have also been affected by the change.

Why is TEER better?

These revisions improve how the system categorizes the differences in formal training and educational requirements. The increase in the number of categories is one major reason for that. 

  • It reflects the skill and knowledge development that come with job experience in a better way
  • The system also brings similar categories of occupations under one unit, reducing the chances of overlaps.  
  • The distribution of occupations is more balanced.

Overall, the TEER system is refreshing and helps demystify a lot of the categories that had become jumbled over the years. It will make it easier to figure out the NOC code for the occupation you wish to apply for. Go ahead with your plan to apply for your work permit or Canada visa; leave all the hassle of helping you understand the NOC system to M-J Global. We can always assist you every step of the way.


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