The Survey of Employer-Provided Training (SEPT) program provides detailed information on training by major industry division and by size of establishment from surveys conducted in 1993 and 1995.

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Measuring Workplace Training

  • The 1993 Survey of Employer-Provided Training (SEPT93) provides a comprehensive base of information on the nature and existence of formal training provided or financed by employers. Nearly 12,000 private establishments of all sizes were surveyed to determine what types of formal training were provided during 1993.
  • The 1995 Survey of Employer-Provided Training (SEPT95) provides information on the amount of formal and informal training provided by employers as well as the amount employers spent on selected training expenditures. This survey was conducted during personal visits to more than 1,000 private establishments with 50 or more employees from May through October 1995. A representative of the establishment provided information on the hours and costs of formal training and randomly selected individual employees provided information on their hours of both formal and informal training.

Types of Training

  • Formal Training: Training that has a structured, formal,and defined curriculum; it may be conducted by supervisors, company training centers, businesses, schools, associations, or others. Formal training includes classroom work, seminars, lectures, workshops, and audio-visual presentations.
  • Informal Training: Training that is unstructured, unplanned, and easily adapted to situations or individuals. Examples include having a co-worker show you how to use a piece of equipment or having a supervisor teach you a skill related to your job.
  • SEPT data are used by government, private industry, and the academic community to determine the major types of training that American workers receive from their employers. Types of training include the following:
    • Basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills training is training in elementary reading, writing, arithmetic, and English language skills, including English as a second language.
    • Occupational safety training provides information on safety hazards, procedures, and regulations.
    • Employee health and wellness training provides information and guidance on personal health issues such as stress management, substance abuse, nutrition, and smoking cessation.
    • Orientation training introduces new employees to personnel and workplace practices and to overall company policies.
    • Awareness training provides information on policies and practices that affect employee relations or the work environment, including Equal Employment Opportunity practices (EEO), affirmative action, workplace diversity, sexual harassment, and AIDS awareness.
    • Communications, employee development, and quality training is training in public speaking, conducting meetings, writing, time management, leadership, working in groups or teams, employee involvement, total quality management, and job reengineering.
  • Job skills training that includes:
    • Management training is training in supervising employees and in implementing employment practices. Examples include training in conducting employee appraisals, managing employees, resolving conflicts, following selection/hiring practices, and implementing regulations and policies.
    • Professional and technical skills training is training in professional areas such as engineering, nursing, accounting, science, law, medicine, training, education, and business; or in technical areas such as drafting, electronics, and medical technology.
    • Computer training includes training in computer literacy, security, programming, use of standard commercial and other software, and methods for developing software applications.
    • Clerical and administrative support skills training is training in areas such as typing, data entry, filing, business correspondence, and administrative recordkeeping, including budget and payroll.
    • Sales and customer relations training is training in areas ranging from how to maintain or improve customer relations to specific selling techniques. Examples include training in how to deal with angry customers and information about specific product lines.
    • Service-related training includes training in the traditional service occupations-food, cleaning, protective, or personal services. Examples include training in waiting tables, preparing food, using cleaning equipment, conducting security work, providing care for children or the elderly, tailoring, and barbering.
    • Production-and construction-related training is training in areas such as operating or repairing machinery and equipment; manufacturing, assembling, distributing, installing, or inspecting goods; and constructing, altering, or maintaining buildings and other structures.


Frequently Asked Questions


Contact SEPT

Division of Information and Marketing Services
(202) 691-5200