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  • Zubair Huda

Canada's Express Entry program focuses on the most in-demand jobs across the country

Obtaining employment is frequently a crucial milestone for numerous temporary residents, including those on work, study, or visitor visas, as it not only plays a key role in their economic integration into Canada but also contributes to their eligibility for permanent residence (PR) through economic pathways.

Given this context, many newcomers are curious about the sought-after job opportunities in Canada. Acquiring such information can enhance their understanding during the job search process and facilitate their immigration journey.

With the goal of aligning immigration with the needs of the labor force, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented Express Entry category-based selection draws. These draws are designed to focus on candidates within the Express Entry pool who possess expertise in professions that are crucial for Canada's workforce. The targeted categories by IRCC consist of occupations in high demand across five distinct fields:

  • Healthcare;

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM);

  • Trade;

  • Transport; and

  • Agriculture and agri-food.

Hence, examining the roster of targeted professions provides valuable insights not only into the current demand for jobs in the labor market but also sheds light on the specific occupations that IRCC deems essential for reinforcing the Canadian workforce through immigration. Aligning these occupations outlined by IRCC with other sought-after roles identified by human resource consulting firms and popular job boards reveals a significant overlap among various designated professions.

Please note that the lists for Healthcare and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations will include the most prevalent job titles based on IRCC's list. For the remaining categories, the occupation lists will encompass all in-demand professions. To access a comprehensive list of job titles and utilize the "category-based selection" draw eligibility tool, visit our dedicated webpage here. Additionally, National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 codes for reference are provided for each profession.

Healthcare occupations

Healthcare roles encompass a diverse range of positions, spanning from physicians and physiologists to psychologists and beyond. Within these professions, the most frequently used job titles are:

Professions targeted here are :


NOC code

Medical laboratory assistants and related technical options

NOC 33101

Medical laboratory technologists

NOC 32120

Medical radiation technologists

NOC 32121

Medical sonographers

NOC 32122

Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants

NOC 33103

Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals

NOC 31303

Licensed practical nurses

NOC 32101

Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates

NOC 33102

Nurse practitioners

NOC 31302

Physician assistants, midwives, and allied health professionals

NOC 31303

Nursing coordinators and supervisors

NOC 31300

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

NOC 31301

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations

STEM professions encompass roles from various fields, such as architects, data scientists, land surveyors, and more. Within this category, prevalent professional titles consist of:


NOC code

Civil engineers

NOC 21300

Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

NOC 21311

Electrical and electronics engineers

NOC 21310

Engineering managers

NOC 20010

Industrial and manufacturing engineers

NOC 21321

Metallurgic and materials engineers

NOC 21322

Software engineers and designers

NOC 21231

Computer and information systems managers

NOC 20012

Computer systems developers and programmers

NOC 21230

Cybersecurity specialists

NOC 21220

Database analysts and data administrators

NOC 21223

Information systems specialists

NOC 21222

Trade Occupations

The trades occupation category centers around skilled trades essential for manufacturing, construction, repairs, and related fields. These include:


NOC code

Residential and commercial installers and servicers

NOC 73200

Elevator constructors and mechanics

NOC 72406

Machine fitters

NOC 72405

Heating refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

NOC 72402

Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics

NOC 72400


NOC 72310


NOC 72300

Electricians (except industrial and power system)

NOC 72200

Welders and related machine operators

NOC 72106

Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers

NOC 72014

Transport occupations

Transport occupations encompass professions that contribute to the commercial transport of people and goods. These roles consist of:


NOC code

Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors

NOC 93200

Transport truck drivers

NOC 73300

Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators

NOC 72604

Engineer officers, water transport

NOC 72603

Deck officers, water transport

NOC 72602

Air traffic controllers and related occupations

NOC 72601

Air pilots, flight engineers, and flying instructors

NOC 72600

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors

NOC 72404

Railway carmen/women

NOC 72403

Managers in transportation

NOC 70020

Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

Agriculture and agri-food occupations involve professions associated with farming, landscaping, and the production of food and produce. These roles include:


NOC code

Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and horticulture services

NOC 82031

Agriculture service contractors and farm supervisors

NOC 82030

Butchers—retail and wholesale

NOC 63201

Do I meet the criteria for selection based on professional categories?

To be eligible for these categories, candidates must have obtained at least six months of continuous work experience in the last three years, in Canada or abroad and already have a profile in the Express Entry application pool.

Once candidates have submitted a profile under one of the three Express Entry managed programs—the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)—they must wait until a relevant Express Entry draw that delivers an invitation to apply (ITA) for PR, based on their inclusion in one of the above professional categories, or their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. CRS scores are IRCC’s usual method of ranking immigration candidates based on their human capital factors.

Once an ITA is received, candidates (now applicants) have up to 60 days to submit a full application for PR. If this application is approved, applicants are granted PR status, and will receive a Confirmation or Permanent Residence (COPR). From here they are free to settle permanently in Canada.


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