Standard Occupational Classification System
The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System is a United States government system of 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.
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".
The SOC does not categorize industries or employers. There are orthogonal category systems for industries used with SOC data, most commonly NAICS.
- Management occupations
- Business and financial operations occupations
- Computer and mathematical occupations
- Architecture and engineering occupations
- Life, physical, and social science occupations
- Community and social services occupations
- Legal occupations
- Education, training, and library occupations
- Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations
- Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
- Healthcare support occupations
- Protective service occupations
- Food preparation and serving related occupations
- Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations
- Personal care and service occupations
- Sales and related occupations
- Office and administrative support occupations
- Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations
- Construction and extraction occupations
- Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations
- Production occupations
- Transportation and material moving occupations
- Military specific occupations
The SOC was established in 1977, and revised by a committee representing specialists from across U.S. government agencies in the 1990s.  SOC codes were updated again in 2010, and the process for an update scheduled for 2018 is underway.
- Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) First Published 1939. Last complete update 1977. Last revised edition published (DOT, 4th ed.) in 1991. Now out of print, the DOT is used by Administrative Law Judges (as required by statute) to encode physical requirements of occupations to make Occupational Law determinations, and for research using its detail over the period covered.
- International Standard Classification of Occupations
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) (in Canada)
- Occupational Information Network (O*NET) Comprehensive information based largely on input from individuals who have personally performed over 970 'data-level' occupational categories; taxonomic information about 40 'non-data-level' categories (970+ 40 = a total of 1010 occupations); includes 840 SOC categories and many specialized O*NET-SOC categories.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) Created and maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
- Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- http://www.bls.gov/soc/major_groups.htm 2010 SOC Major Groups] at bls.gov
- Revising the Standard Occupational Classification System, June 1999, pages iii, 1.
- U.S. Department of Labor (2000). Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual (2000 ed.). Washington, D.C.