The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System is a United States government system for classifying occupations. It is used by U.S. federal government agencies collecting occupational data, enabling comparison of occupations across data sets. It is designed to cover all occupations in which work is performed for pay or profit, reflecting the current occupational structure in the United States. The 2010 SOC includes 840 occupational types.[1]

Users of occupational data include government program managers, industrial and labor relations practitioners, students considering career training, job seekers, vocational training schools, and employers wishing to set salary scales or locate a new plant.

The SOC codes have a hierarchical format, so for example the code "15-0000" refers to occupations in the "Computer and Mathematical Occupations" category, and "15-1130" is a subset for "Software Developers and Programmers".[2]

The SOC does not categorize industries or employers. There are parallel category systems for industries used with SOC data, most commonly NAICS.

Other countries

National variants of the SOC are used by the governments of the United Kingdom,[3] Canada,[4] Spain[5] the Philippines,[6] and Singapore.[7]



The SOC was established in 1977, and revised by a committee representing specialists from across U.S. government agencies in the 1990s.[8] SOC codes were updated again in 2010, and on November 28, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a Federal Register notice detailing the final decisions for the 2018 SOC.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  2. ^ 2010 SOC Major Groups at
  3. ^ "Standard Occupational Classification 2010 (SOC2010)". Archived from the original on 2011-09-11.
  4. ^ "Occupational Classifications and Concordances". Archived from the original on 2005-11-06. Retrieved 2005-09-08.
  5. ^ "Clasificaciones nacionales". Archived from the original on 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2006-08-09.
  6. ^ "NSCB - Standard Classification Systems - Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC)". Archived from the original on 2005-08-25. Retrieved 2005-09-08.
  7. ^ "STATISTICS SINGAPORE - Statistical Resources - Statistical Classifications - Singapore Standard Occupational Classification (SSOC) 2000". Archived from the original on 2005-07-20. Retrieved 2005-09-08.
  8. ^ Revising the Standard Occupational Classification System, June 1999, pages iii, 1.
  9. ^ "Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System".