Difference between NOC Classification (2021) and NOC 2016

NOC 2021 has a similar structure to NOC 2016, however, four big differences will affect all economic immigration programs:

First: NOC 2021 is divided based on TEER rather than Skill Type/level. TEER stands for Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities which are essential in any job.

NOC 2016 had 6 categories that were based on skill type and level that included Skill Type 0, and Skill Level A, B, C, D. NOC 2021 is based on six TEER categories which are Teer 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Here is a short list that shows how the previous skill type/levels are replaced with TEER categories:

  1. Skill Type O is replaced with TEER 0
  2. Skill Level A is replaced with TEER 1
  3. Skill Level B is replaced with TEER 2 and TEER 3
  4. Skill Level C is replaced with TEER 4
  5. Skill Level D is replaced with TEER 5

Under NOC 2021, the following professions fall under each specific TEER:

  1. TEER 0: Management occupations such as advertising managers, marketing managers, public relations managers, financial managers, etc.
  2. TEER 1: Occupations that usually require a university degree such as financial advisors, software engineers, etc.
  3. TEER 2: Occupations that usually require either a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years or a supervisor occupations, such as Computer Network and Web technicians, Medical lab Technologists, etc.
  4. TEER 3: Occupations that usually require a either a college diploma, apprenticeship training of less than 2 years, or more than 6 months of on-the-job training such as Bakers, Dental assistants and Dental lab assistants, etc.
  5. TEER 4: Occupations that usually require a high school diploma or a several weeks on on-the-job training, such as Home child care providers, Retail salespersons, Visual Merchandiser, etc.
  6. TEER 5: Occupations that usually need short-term work demonstration and no formal education, such as Landscapping and grounds maintenance labourers, Delivery service drivers and door-to-door distributors such as Amazon delivery, Doordash, Skip the dishes, etc.

Moreover, all occupations are distributed across the 2021 TEER system in the following manner:

  • 9% of occupations fall under TEER category 0,
  • 19% of occupations fall under TEER Category 1,
  • 31% of occupations fall under TEER Category 2,
  • 13% of occupations fall under TEER Category 3,
  • 18% of occupations fall under TEER Category 4,
  • 9% of occupations fall under TEER Category 5.

For express entry purposes, only TEER 0, 1, 2, and 3 are eligible, however for provincial nominee programs, depending on the program, all 5 TEERs are eligible.

Second: NOC 2016 had 4-digit occupation codes, and NOC 2021 has 5-digit occupation codes.

It is important to understand that “Job” is the basic unit in the NOC system, several similar jobs are collected to create “Occupation”, and then one or more occupations are collected under separate “unit groups”. Previously, the 2016 NOC system had 4-digit occupation codes, while the new 2021 NOC system has 5-digit occupation codes.  

Third: Three occupations that were previously considered skilled occupations and were eligible for express entry under NOC 2016 are no longer eligible under NOC 2021, on the other hand, eighteen occupations that were previously not eligible under skilled immigration have now become eligible under skilled immigration programs such as FSWP, FSTC, CEC, and many PNPs. Moreover, twelve Skill level C occupations have been demoted to the TEER category (5) and therefore, these occupations become ineligible because the new NOC system only accepts occupations until TEER category 3 for the majority of the immigration programs.

It is not necessary to list all of these occupations here because you will need to confirm your job and occupation on the NOC website anyways.

Another difference that will probably not affect you so much is, NOC 2021 has updated either names or codes or both names and codes of the existing occupations. Therefore, if you want to know your NOC and your code, you will need to revisit NOC 2021 and research your current occupation, though your occupation might not have changed, the name and coding might have changed in NOC 2021.

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