Published by Gabriel Oliveira
on April 18, 2020

FSW Step 4 - Find your NOC

As we mentioned previously, the Federal Skilled Worker Program is all about skills. And there are specific ones being looked for by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

They need to know exactly what is it that you do for a living, so they can evaluate what you bring to the table.

Because each part of the world might call the same job by different names, Canada has an official list with codes and descriptions for each profession.

At this point, you need to find the code for your profession on that list.

National Occupational Classification

So, the "list" is called National Occupational Classification (NOC) System

It is veeery comprehensive - has around 30,000 job titles, gathered into 500 unit groups. So it is highly probable that yours is there.

For each profession, there is a code (that you need to know), and a failrly detailed description, to help you make sure you found the right one.

How the NOC system works

Besides the code, each occupation also has a skill level associated to it.

There are 5 different skill levels. "Zero" is the highest one, which is for manager-type roles. And "D" is the lowest one, which includes job that don't need much studies/preparations, like cleaning staff.

On the Express Entry context, applied to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the rule is that your job title must belong to a category which skill type is 0, A or B.

Skill Level Description Examples
0 (zero) Management jobs Restaurant manager, factory manager, etc.
A Jobs that usually require university diploma Doctor, scientist, engineers, etc.
B Jobs that usually require technical trainning Chefs, plumbers, electricians, etc.
C Jobs that usually require high-school or job-specific trainnings Butcher, truck driver, food servers, etc.
D Jobs that usually require on-the-job trainning Fruit pickers, cleaning staff, etc.

So, for an example, if you are a super market cachier, that is classified as Skill Level C, which doesn't make the cut.

How to find your profession code

  1. Look for your profession by job title on the official NOC website.
  2. Once you find it, confirm that the description, duties, requirements, etc. match your profession.
  3. Write down the NOC number (i.e. 2173) - you will use it when you create your Express Entry profile.

FSW Steps

FSW Step 1 - Understand the whole process

FSW Step 2 - Check eligibility

FSW Step 3 - Inform dependents

FSW Step 4 - Find out your NOC

FSW Step 5 - Get passport(s) ready

FSW Step 6 - Do English Exam

FSW Step 7 - Get an ECA

FSW Step 8 - Create and submit profile

FSW Step 9 - Wait for ITA

FSW Step 10 - Fill out the online form

FSW Step 11 - Get Police Certificates

FSW Step 12 - Get Medical Exams

FSW Step 13 - Get Proof of Funds

FSW Step 14 - Get Work Experience Letters

FSW Step 15 - Translate all documents

FSW Step 16 - Scan and upload documents

FSW Step 17 - Pay the fees

FSW Step 18 - Submit application

FSW Step 19 - Receive request for Biometrics

FSW Step 20 - Schedule and do Biometrics

FSW Step 21 - Wait for approval

FSW Step 22 - Send passport to VAC

FSW Step 23 - Receive COPR + visa

FSW Step 24 - Arrange travel

FSW Step 25 - Do the landing

FSW Step 26 - Receive PR Card


Jose Alejandro Ortega Mantilla Jul 19, 2021 20:32:42


Luciano Vogler Xavier Jul 20, 2021 21:41:48


Luciano Vogler Xavier Jul 20, 2021 21:41:48


Luciano Xavier Vogler Jul 20, 2021 21:42:43


Gabriel (Author) Jul 22, 2021 19:41:49

Hi Luciano, try to look for it on this page:

Yamit Yepes Orozco Jul 24, 2021 02:42:24


Kevin Jul 25, 2021 06:06:34


Andres Jul 25, 2021 17:46:30

Hi Gabriel, while I am currently waiting the gov response for my PGWP (in the meantime with implied status) my spouse will be submitting a new Open Work Permit application grounded on my PGWP status (previously, it had been issued based on my Student Status). Revising the requirements we noticed that I have to include in that application my payslips, contract and other info on my job, for my spouse's elegibility. To my surpise, it is required that I (as "principal foreign worker") am employed in an occupation falling within NOC skill type 0, skill level A or B. Despite I hold a PhD and a Masters Degree, I have recently started my first job in Canada, that, unfortunately is considered skill C. Do you think my degrees will be taken into account for determining my NOC, or only my current employment in Canada? I also hold a tenured professor position abroad (working remotely), would that count for the NOC? What's your take on this? Thanks!

Gabriel (Author) Jul 27, 2021 17:11:34

Hi Andres... I really don't know much about OWP and PGWP... But unfortunately, from what you are saying, it doesn't sound like they would take your degrees for NOC, no. NOCs are all about work experience, which is a separate thing from studies. Also your experience abroad not sure.. you mentioned they expect you to be (currently) employed right? Not work experience. Again, I'm saying all of this based on what you wrote, so really not sure. These very specific cases, when there's a lot in play, I believe to be worth to go for a professional consultant that you trust. I can recommend you one if you need, but one that you already trust would be even better. Sorry, wish I could help you out more.

Renata Lima Aug 04, 2021 20:48:53


Taotao Aug 12, 2021 16:40:03

Hi Gabriel, my major is assets evaluation and worked as a valuator. I found that 1314 is Valuator. But I have a question about its employment requirements. It says "Valuators usually require a bachelor's degree or college diploma in accounting, business or commerce and accreditation with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators based on successful completion of its business and security valuation program." I have master degree in accounting. But I am confused about "accreditation with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators based on successful completion of its business and security valuation program." I worked at a company as a valuator to value the business and products. Can I use this NOC code?

Gabriel (Author) Aug 16, 2021 16:27:24

Hm... I see your point. Reading the text, I'd say you need that validation from that institute. But these things can be tricky. My recommendation is to get in touch with that institution and ask for guidance. If you hit a wall there, maybe consider getting help from a trusted consultant. Really wish I could help you more, but that is super specific, sorry about that. Let me know if you need a good consultant recommendation!

ade Aug 20, 2021 10:59:25


ade Aug 20, 2021 10:59:25


ade Aug 20, 2021 10:59:25


ade Aug 20, 2021 10:59:26


twinimanda Nov 04, 2021 21:15:11

Hi Gabriel, thanks for the excellent pieces of information, I have some concerns please, I am a community health worker(diploma) with furthered education in public health, for years I have been working with community-based organizations which are of the not-for-profit group and taking up the role of a monitoring and evaluation officer/trainee if find NOC 4165 related to my field as most health delivery services issued are sources for research, although it doesn't say much on monitoring and evaluation of health programs. I just want to know if I am on track, please?

Gabriel (Author) Nov 15, 2021 05:55:20

Hi, thanks for the nice feedback! Really not sure about that specific NOC... don't wanna say something without being 100% safe. But I'd recommend focus on the NOC description more than on the title itself - IRCC cares more about the duties and responsabilities (if yours match NOCs) than anything else!

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