Article

May 2013

Implementing the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification in the Occupational Employment Statistics

Nurse practitioners, web developers, and fundraisers were among the occupations for which the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program published data for the first time as part of the May 2012 OES estimates release, which occurred on March 29, 2013. All of these occupations were added as part of the 2010 revision of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, used by federal government agencies producing statistical data. Although the OES program began implementing the 2010 SOC with the May 2010 OES release, because of unique features of the OES methodology, data for some new 2010 SOC occupations could not be published until the release of the May 2012 estimates. This article presents data highlights for occupations published for the first time in the May 2012 OES estimates; outlines the implementation of the 2010 SOC process; provides examples of different types of revisions to the SOC structure, ranging from minor editing changes to the addition of new occupations; and discusses the effects of these revisions on the OES data.

Nurse practitioners earned an annual mean wage of $91,450 in May 2012, nearly $24,000 more than registered nurses who are not advanced practice nurses. Annual mean wages for web developers were less than $45,000 in West Virginia and Montana but more than $75,000 in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia. State colleges and universities employed 42 percent fewer fundraisers than private sector colleges, despite higher overall employment.

Nurse practitioners, web developers, and fundraisers were among the occupations for which the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program published data for the first time as part of the May 2012 OES estimates release, which occurred on March 29, 2013. All of these occupations were added as part of the 2010 revision of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, used by federal government agencies producing statistical data. Although the OES program began implementing the 2010 SOC with the May 2010 OES release, because of unique features of the OES methodology, data for some new 2010 SOC occupations could not be published until the release of the May 2012 estimates. This article provides an overview of the implementation of the 2010 SOC in the OES program. The first half of the article presents data highlights for occupations published for the first time in the May 2012 OES estimates. The remainder outlines the implementation process; provides examples of different types of revisions to the SOC structure, ranging from minor editing changes to the addition of new occupations; and discusses the effects of these revisions on the OES data.

Data highlights for new 2010 SOC occupations

In addition to introducing nurse practitioners (an advanced practice nursing occupation), web developers, and fundraisers, the May 2012 OES release introduced data for several other occupations, including two more advanced practice nursing occupations, eight additional healthcare-related occupations, three computer occupations, two human resources occupations, and two occupations related to renewable energy. Table 1 contains employment, hourly and annual mean wages, and annual median wages for SOC 2010 occupations published for the first time in the May 2012 OES estimates.1 The following subsections present additional data for selected occupations from table 1.

Table 1. National occupational employment and wages for 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) occupations published for the first time in the May 2012 Occupational Employment Statistics data
2010 SOC code2010 SOC titleEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wageAnnual median wage

00–0000

All occupations130,287,700$22.01$45,790$34,750

13–1071

Human resources specialists394,38029.1660,66055,800

13–1075

Labor relations specialists75,93027.0256,21054,660

13–1131

Fundraisers48,53026.5555,22050,680

15–1122

Information security analysts72,67042.9389,29086,170

15–1134

Web developers102,94031.7866,10062,500

15–1143

Computer network architects137,89045.1994,00091,000

15–1152

Computer network support specialists167,98030.2762,96059,090

21–1094

Community health workers38,02018.0237,49034,620

25–2051

Special education teachers, preschool21,770(1)57,77052,480

29–1128

Exercise physiologists5,82022.8947,61044,770

29–1141

Registered nurses2,633,98032.6667,93065,470

29–1151

Nurse anesthetists34,18074.22154,390148,160

29–1161

Nurse midwives5,71043.7891,07089,600

29–1171

Nurse practitioners105,78043.9791,45089,960

29–2035

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists29,56031.4565,41065,360

29–2057

Ophthalmic medical technicians29,17017.1135,59034,240

29–2092

Hearing aid specialists4,98022.4946,78041,430

29–9092

Genetic counselors2,00026.8455,82056,800

31–1015

Orderlies53,92012.3525,70023,990

31–9097

Phlebotomists100,38014.8630,91029,730

39–4031

Morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors23,07025.3352,69046,840

47–2231

Solar photovoltaic installers4,71019.5340,62037,900

49–9081

Wind turbine service technicians3,20023.2348,32045,970
Notes:

(1) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries, depending on how they are typically paid.
Note: Excludes residual (“all other”) occupations.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2012 Occupational Employment Statistics data.

Registered nurses and advanced practice nurses. Under the 2000 SOC, all registered nurses, including advanced practice nurses, were classified under a single occupational category. The 2010 SOC breaks out three types of advanced practice nurses into separate occupations:

·         Nurse anesthetists, who administer anesthesia, monitor patients’ vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia

·         Nurse midwives, who diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team

·         Nurse practitioners, who diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team

All other types of registered nurses are classified under a redefined registered nurses code. Even after the three types of advanced practice nurses were excluded, the redefined registered nurses occupation remained the fifth largest occupation in the United States, with over 2.6 million jobs in May 2012. About 62 percent of registered nurses were employed in private, state government, and local government hospitals. Industries with the highest employment of registered nurses also included ambulatory health care services (17 percent); nursing and residential care facilities (7 percent); federal, state, and local government, excluding state and local government schools and hospitals (6 percent); and educational services (3 percent).

Notes

1 Table 1 excludes residual (“all other”) occupations.

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About the Author

Audrey L. Watson
Watson.Audrey@bls.gov

Audrey L. Watson is an economist in the Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics.