The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is used by Federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data. All workers are classified into one of about 775 detailed occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, detailed occupations are combined to form about 450 broad occupations, about 95 minor groups, and 23 major groups. Detailed occupations in the SOC with similar job duties, and in some cases skills, education, and/or training, are grouped together.
The SOC system uses hyphenated codes to divide occupations into four levels: major groups, minor groups, broad occupations, and detailed occupations.
- 29-0000: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (major group)
- 29-1000: Health diagnosing and treating practitioners (minor group)
- 29-1020: Dentists (broad occupation)
- 29-1021: Dentists, general (detailed occupation)
There are a few minor differences between Emsi and standard SOC codes:
- Emsi does not use SOC codes for military occupations due to lack of good data. Emsi uses one aggregate code, 55-9999, for all 20 military occupations in standard SOC codes.
- Emsi uses a single aggregate code (25-1099) for all postsecondary teachers instead of the 38 detailed codes in standard SOC. This is due to lack of solid data and also to remain consistent with the BLS’s National Industry-Occupation Employment Matrix (NIOEM), which uses a similar code.
- Emsi adds the code 99-9999 for “Unclassified Occupation” to the Extended Proprietors class of worker in industries where we cannot reliably estimate occupations due to lack of data.
- Following OES, Emsi adds the code 25-3098 (Substitute Teachers).
Since the BLS’s OES program is Emsi’s primary source of occupation data, Emsi largely follows OES’s use of SOC codes. Emsi currently uses the OES’s SOC 2017, which OES released beginning with their 2017 data (released spring 2018). Emsi began using SOC 2017 data in its 2018.3 datarun.
Since OES is a three-year rolling survey, it will take them several years to switch fully to SOC 2018. Emsi will follow OES’s implementation of SOC 2018; therefore we anticipate switching to SOC 2018 with our 2022.3 datarun, which will be released shortly after the BLS releases OES in SOC 2018. For more information on the timeline for the switch, see this article.