BOX 5.1 Standard Occupational Classification: Criteria for Revised System


    The Classification should cover all occupation in which work is performed for pay or profit, including work performed in family-operated enterprises by family members who are not directly compensated. It should exclude occupations unique to volunteers.


    The Classification should reflect the current occupational structure of the United States and have sufficient flexibility to assimilate new occupations into the structure as they become known.


    While striving to reflect the current occupational structure, the Classification should maintain linkage with past systems. The importance of historical comparability should be weighed against the desire for incorporating substantive changes to occupations occurring in the workforce.


    Occupations should be classified based upon work performed, skills, education, training, licensing, and credentials.


    Occupations should be classified in homogeneous group that are defined so that the content of each group is clear.


    Each occupation should be assigned to only one group at the lowest level of the Classification.


    The employment size of an occupational group should not be the major reason for including or excluding it from separate identification.


    Supervisors should be identified separately from the workers they supervise wherever possible in keeping with the real structure of the world of work. An exception should be made for professional and technical occupations where supervisor or lead workers should be classified in the appropriate group with the workers they supervise.


    Apprentices and trainees should be classified with the occupations for which they are being trained, while helpers and aides should be classified separately since they are not in training for the occupation they are helping.


    Comparability International Standard Classification of Occupation (ISCO-88) should be considered in the structure, but should not be an overriding factor.

    SOURCE: SOC Federal Register Notice 1998:3.

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