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Finding a Job in Canada—Understanding the NOC Matrix

NOC Matrix means National Occupational Classification Matrix (Canada). The NOC matrix is a standardized system that categorizes all the occupations in the Canadian labor market. Every occupation is allotted a NOC code along with an associated job title, lead statement, and list of major duties and responsibilities.

Barring exceptions like international graduate streams or business immigration programs, virtually all applicants must fulfill two basic conditions to qualify for skilled worker immigration in Canada—work experience and a valid full-time permanent job offer from an eligible employer.

Now, whether your past work experience is relevant to the Canadian job market and whether employers will be interested in hiring you or not will depend on your NOC codes. Read ahead to find out why your National Occupation Classification code is so important and relevant for immigrating to Canada.  

Understanding the NOC Matrix of Canada

The NOC matrix is a standardized system that categorizes all the occupations in the Canadian labor market. Every occupation is allotted a NOC code along with an associated job title, lead statement, and list of major duties and responsibilities.  

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The NOC Matrix categorizes all Canadian occupations into ten broad Skill Types and four Skill Levels.

Skill Type is assigned numbers between 0 and 9. Skill Type 0 covers all management occupations, Skill 3 includes all Health occupations, and Skill Type 6 covers all sales and service occupations.

Skill Levels are identified the letters between A and D. Skill Levels A and B are high-skilled positions while C and D are low-skilled occupations. All management occupations i.e. all Skill Type 0 occupations are considered Skill Level A positions.

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Understanding the NOC Code

The NOC code is a four digit code with each digit providing specific information about the occupation. To consider an example, NOC 7253 is assigned to the occupation of gas fitters.

Importance of the NOC Code

Every NOC code details the main duties covered under the position and the employment requirements that you must fulfill to qualify for this position.

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Simply put, your Canadian or foreign work experience will be considered valid and relevant to your Canadian immigration application only if you fit within the NOC matrix of Canada.

If you want to qualify for a gas fitter job vacancy in Canada, then you must have performed the duties listed under NOC 7253 in your previous jobs. Further, you must fulfill the employment requirements detailed under this NOC code.

Further, your position should not be included in listed exclusions. Supervisors of gas fitters cannot apply under NOC 7253 because it has been listed as an exclusion to this code. There is a separate code for that you must select it accordingly.  

This brings us to why working with a professional immigration attorney when choosing your NOC code is so important.

  • Your past work experience must be described properly by using the right NOC code. The wrong code may result in your immigration application being rejected.
  • Multiple codes may apply to a single position. You need to choose the one that fits your duties best, which requires a thorough understanding of the nuances of the various codes.
  • Further, some immigration programs or streams may be restricted to specific NOC codes. Choosing your code strategically can speed up or delay your chances of immigration significantly.
  • The NOC code you choose must be backed with documentary proof in the form of reference letters from your past employers.
  • You may have held multiple job positions and performed different duties in the past. So, you will have to choose a primary NOC code along with separate NOC codes for other positions.
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Nothing can be more frustrating than complications in your job-search efforts or immigration application merely because you chose the wrong NOC code or could have chosen a more appropriate code. Protect your future by seeking timely professional assistance for a stress-free immigration experience.

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