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03 August 2014

How to Know Your NOC Code and Filling up the Work Experience Form?

I have received few inquiries from my email Subscribers. One of which is about this problem, and it's time to clarify the issue.  Here are their messages...
" job positions are not exactly matched stated but the job description as I believe are all the same. One of example is System Administrator and my current position is Systems Engineer. There was no indicated main duties on the website but in general, the main duties of Systems Engineer covers with System Administrator description. I have a lot of positions where the job descriptions are covered on the list in NOC but the titles are not match.
Do you think the Canada Visa office would recognized that? Most of my COE has no job description included and even in contract letter has not stated as well..." - J.C. (please let me know if you want your name divulged)
" still confused. what will i write on the IMM0008 (E Schedule 3) work experience part:
From To Occupation NOC Years of Experience Main DutiesAsst. Res. Engineer 2131
Should i write my current job position under the Occupation Part or the equivalent based based on job duties?..." - M.A. (please let me know if you want your name divulged)

The advice and tips that I will provide you is based on my experience when I applied for the Federal Skilled Worker Canada.  I recommend that you seek second or third opinions to other advisers or agents as well.

Job Position or Title Explained
In every country, they have their own job titles which they think will easily attract the job seekers or also known as talents.

Like in Canada, a person who goes out and meet customers, repair the machines at the customer's site is called the JourneyMan.  While if you do this kind of job in Singapore, you can be called as a Service Engineer or Service Technician.  Doing this same kind of  job in Philippines is a Technician.
"a person who goes out and meet customers, repair the machines at the customer's site"
Canada - Journeyman
Singapore - Service Technician or Service Engineer
Philippines - Technician
As you can see, they are all doing the same kind of job, but they are tagged differently.  They differ in their job titles because of the terms used and according to the country's history.

Another example is the AutoCad Draftsmen and the AutoCad Draughtsman.  These two jobs have a similar job descriptions, but they have different job titles. This is because,
Draftsmen - American English
Draughtsman - British English
Job titling almost has the same concept of marketing, which you have to create the best name of the brand, in this case is the job, making it more locally recognizable and egoistically appealing.

Who doesn't want to have a job of cleaning floors with a namecard description of "Floor Manager"?

Same job, different titles.

What is NOC in Canada?
In the Federal Skilled Worker Program in Canada, we can encounter this name NOC or the National Occupational Classification.

According to the the Employment and Social Development in Canada (ESDC),
"The National Occupational Classification (NOC), provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labour market. It gives statisticians, labour market analysts, career counselors, employers and individual job seekers a consistent way to collect data and describe and understand the nature of work." -ESDC 
To ease up the confusion of job titles and descriptions, Canada had created a standard and listed it in the NOC with versions on year 2006 and 2011.

At the NOC, each job title has its own code, depending on the skill level, and it is classified and described in accordance with the standard.

How To Determine the Equivalent NOC 2011 Code?
The NOC 2011 occupation code is important when applying for the FSW Canada program.  It is the first factor that determines the eligibility of an applicant.  The applicant's occupation should be included at the 50 eligible occupations list.

But how do you know if your current or previous job is included in the list?

To have a complete NOC 2011 equivalency of your current or previous occupation, you need to provide an evidence such as a complete Certificate of Employment (COE) indicating the job description of your occupation and other details as required by the FSW Canada.

Check out the complete requirements at the STEP3 - Document Checklist (IMM5612) item #12

Now, this is the tricky part wherein you need to compare the job description of your occupation, that was written at your COE, with the occupation at the NOC 2011.

Let's take Equipment Engineer as our sample occupation .  This job title is totally out of the NOC 2011 list, but we can find a code for this and it takes time and effort.

Given that the following details were written at the COE:
Equipment EngineerAugust 2010 - August 2014
Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Write equipment handling specifications, technical reports, capacity computations, maintenance manual specifications, and maintenance schedules.
  • Conduct design reviews, inspection, and evaluates the performance equipment.
  • Troubleshoot machine using technical software.
  • Read and interpret electrical diagram.
  • Responsible for the layout preparation, scheduling, mobilization and installation of machines for production use.
We will visit the NOC 2011 Website and select the Classification structure menu (see photo below).  Then choose the classification that you think has the greatest similarity with the Equipment Engineering job and its corresponding responsibilities. 

So, we will choose #7 (see the photo and click to visit the site)

The Skill Type 7 will have a long list of occupational codes.  Scan through each occupation and find the closest match, and that is NOC 7242 (Industrial Electrician) with responsibilities that are similar with that of an Equipment Engineer.
7242 Industrial ElectriciansIndustrial electricians install, maintain, test, troubleshoot and repair industrial electrical equipment and associated electrical and electronic controls
Now, we can therefore state that the equivalent NOC of Equipment Engineer is NOC 7242 Industrial Electrician.

How to Fill Up the Form with the NOC Code?
Alright, we have now the NOC equivalent code.  Go to the application form IMM008 Schedule 3 Economic Classes - Federal Skilled Worker, item #12 - Work Experience

If you have another occupation and declared as your Primary, e.g. NOC 2241- Electrical and electronics Engineering Technologists and Technician , it should be in included in the 50 eligible occupations and meet the criteria for FSW Canada. 

Since NOC 7242 is a Skill Level B occupation, we can include this in the Work Experience.  Even though it has more than 4 years of experience, we can not make it as the primary because it's not included in the 50 eligible occupations list.

Take a look at the table below.

The space provided for the Main Duties is always not enough, you can write "Please refer to attached page" and create a document in A4 paper with the complete details of the duties.  Include it in this form as attachment.

Other Related Post:
Years of Work Experience, How to Compute?
Certificate of Employment or Letter of Reference for FSW Canada Concerns

Hope that this this post will help in your application. If you like this post or appreciate the author, please tick the LIKE button below.
If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at


If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at


Unknown said...

thanks ben..
very informative..
May God bless you always..

Ben Alagnam said...

You're welcome Madel and thank you for supporting my blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ben,

Glad to see ur website and that u r helping lots of people. I appreciate ur efforts. I m under process of applying for FSW but i need help to fill schdule 3/economic class question 12-b..i m asking this question on different forums but no one replied satisfactorily

I m applying under NOC 1212 (supervisor, finance,insurance,office workers). I joined the bank as a Management Trainee Officer and undertook two months class room based training and four months on job training and after that i was posted to a branch where i m performing duties that fall in noc 1212.
My question is what noc shud i mention for six months experience of management trainee?? Shud i leave it blank or write "unknown or n/a" ??

or should i include this training period under my primary noc 1212??? (but job duties do not match with 1212)

Plz guide...i emailed hrsdc and they replied there is no NOC for "occupations under training" and they advised me to refer to cic..but how can i contact them?

I m very tensed..plz help me brother.

Saud Khan

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi Saud,

Thanks for the compliment. Here's my view about your question.
If you are paid all throughout the training of 6 months that leads to your NOC 1212 job...that will be considered in your occupation.

All jobs require training or orientation, even companies offer 6 months probationary period where all you have to do is go for a training. As long as the training is part of your NOC 1212, as what you claim it, then it's part of your work experience.

But, if the training was done by other entity/company and it's unpaid, then you cannot declare this as part of your NOC 1212. This is not included as a job, but a schooling. It will not be included at the Schedule 3 Economic Classes item 12....

srikanth rokkam said...

Hi Ben,

I have experience on both NOC 2171 and 2174. Is there any thing some NOC has advantage?
2174 has more applications filled, 300+. where as
2171 has less filled,100-.
Any suggestion on this.


Ben Alagnam said...

If you have experience on both and you can provide the certificate of employment, i suggest to go to the fewer applicants. The fewer the competition is, the higher your chances.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ben, what occupation to enter in the economic classes form if i have 9+ years of experience with diff companies- same job descriptions (noc2241) but diff job titles?thanks!

srikanth rokkam said...


As all your experience fall under 2241, You can choose any one occupation from your 9+ years experience which you worked at least for one full continuous year.
Your latest or current position will be good.



Unknown said...


I have over 6.2 years of experience in NOC 2172. Please help with the format I should mention my experience in schedule 3 form question 12b.

Format 1
Database Admin 2172 2008-07 to 2014-12

Format 2
Database Admin 2172 2014-08 to 2014-12
Database Admin 2172 2013-01 to 2014-08
Database Admin 2172 2010-07 to 2013-01
Database Admin 2172 2008-07 to 2010-07

Thanks for your help.

Unknown said...


I have over 6.2 years of experience in NOC 2172 but with different employer. Please help with the format I should mention my experience in schedule 3 form question 12b.

Format 1
Database Admin 2172 2008-07 to 2014-12

Format 2
Database Admin 2172 2014-08 to 2014-12
Database Admin 2172 2013-01 to 2014-08
Database Admin 2172 2010-07 to 2013-01
Database Admin 2172 2008-07 to 2010-07

Thanks for your help.

Ben Alagnam said...

If those occupations have the same employer, do the format 1. If not, do format 2.

John MM said...

Hi Sir Ben,

I have a question regarding "Economic Class form" and the NOC listed under FSWP.

I am currently an "Avionics Technician" and it has an NOC code of 2244 and my main duties are very much identical to "Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians" with NOC 2241. NOC 2244 "Avionics Technician/Mechanic" was not listed in the current eligible occupation for FSWP.

I checked the NOC 2241 "electronics engineering technologist" and found at the bottom section that "avionics" is classified elsewhere and at "addition information" section states that NOC 2241 "There is mobility to other related occupations such as technical sales, electronics service technicians, instrument technicians and avionics technicians."

Please advice if I should put "electronics technologist" NOC 2241 in my (12a) primary occupation at "economic class form" although my current job has another classification as NOC 2244. Also at (12b) I should put avionics tech with NOC 2244 since it is my current job? Should I also put in "To (YYYY-MM)" the month I'm submitting my application and not up to "present"?

Hoping for your favorable response.

Thank & Regards,

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi John, choose the NOC code that best fits to your Avionics Technician occupation. As you mentioned, it is identical to Electronics Technologists. But, if it also fits with other NOC code and that code is listed at the 50 eligible occupations. You have to choose the NOC that has the least number of applicants (quota).

Reminder: Be careful in choosing the NOC code, the Job description's keywords should fit with your current job.

At the 12a, write Avionics Technician (your current occupation) then write 2241 at the equivalent NOC code.

At the 12b, indicate Avionics Technician and the code is NOC 2241 as well. The date is when you started working up to the date you'll submit your application if "Present" is not applicable at the forms.

Unknown said...

Hi Ben!

My work experience as an Internal Auditor falls under NOC code 1111 under Financial Auditors and Accountant categorized as level "A" on the matrix. To qualify for the provincial nomination in Saskatchewan, one of the requirements should be to provide proof of eligibility. My problem is, I am not a CPA. So does that mean that I should not use this code? But my work experience is similar as to the main duties described on the NOC. I looked for other codes and found 1431 Accounting and related clerks but it is categorized as level "C" and I don't really do most of the duties described therein. Please enlighten me. Thanks a lot!

Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada