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Standard Occupational Classification
  • The information on this page relates to the 2018 SOC, please see the 2010 SOC for information on the previous version of the SOC.


2018 SOC System


2018 SOC Downloadable Materials

  • 2018 SOC Manual (entire manual, PDF, 285 pages)
  • The 2018 SOC User Guide (entire guide, PDF):
    • What’s New in the 2018 SOC (PDF)
    • Classification Principles and Coding Guidelines, 2018 SOC (PDF)
    • Standard Occupational Classification and Coding Structure, 2018 SOC (PDF)
    • FAQs and Acknowledgements, 2018 SOC (PDF)
  • 2018 SOC Structure (PDF) (XLSX)
  • 2018 SOC Definitions (PDF) (XLSX)
  • Type of change by detailed occupation, 2018 SOC (XLSX)
  • 2010 SOC codes deleted from the 2018 SOC (XLSX)
  • Direct Match Title File, 2018 SOC (XLSX, PDF, 104 pages)
  • Chronological list of changes to the 2018 SOC Downloadable Materials (PDF)


2018 SOC Revision Process

On November 28, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a Federal Register notice detailing the final decisions for the 2018 SOC, including the final 2018 SOC codes, titles, and definitions, for implementation in reference year 2018.

Please refer to the PDF version of the notice, available below, for more detailed information.

  • NEW Federal Register Notice, November 28, 2017 (PDF)
  • Federal Register Notice, July 22, 2016 (PDF)
  • Federal Register Notice, May 22, 2014 (PDF)

As noted in the May 22, 2014 and July 22, 2016 Federal Register notices, the SOCPC responses to the comments received are provided below.

Revising the SOC for 2018 was a multi-year process, during which the interagency SOC Policy Committee (SOCPC) formulated recommendations for revisions that were submitted to OMB for consideration. For the 2018 revision, the SOCPC began planning in early 2012. The SOCPC encourages commenters interested in more background on the SOC to carefully review information provided before publication of the May 22, 2014 Federal Register notice in "Input Requested by the SOC Policy Committee," which is a section of "Revising the Standard Occupational Classification," a larger document that more fully describes the history and structure of the SOC.

On May 22, 2014, OMB published a Federal Register notice announcing review of the 2010 SOC manual for revision in 2018 and soliciting public comment on the proposed revision of the 2010 SOC Classification Principles; the intention to retain the 2010 SOC Coding Guidelines; the intention to retain the 2010 SOC Major Group Structure; the correction, change, or combination of selected 2010 SOC detailed occupations, and inclusion of new detailed occupations. The comment period for this notice closed on July 21, 2014. On July 22, 2016, OMB published a second Federal Register notice seeking public comment on the recommendations for the 2018 SOC, including the 2018 SOC structure and preliminary definitions. The third and final Federal Register notice announcing the 2018 SOC was published on November 28, 2017.

Timeline for the 2018 SOC

1st Federal Register notice soliciting public input May 22, 2014 to July 21, 2014
SOCPC reviews public input, Federal agency input, and conducts own research; develops and forwards recommendations to OMB Through 2015
2nd Federal Register notice requesting comments on SOCPC recommendations July 22, 2016 to Sept. 20, 2016
SOCPC reviews comments and develops final recommendations to OMB Through 2016
OMB reviews SOCPC recommendations Late 2016
3rd Federal Register notice announcing the final 2018 SOC structure, and occupation codes and titles November 28, 2017
Federal statistical agencies implement 2018 SOC Beginning 2018


Updating the Direct Match Title File

Overview. The Direct Match Title File (DMTF) lists associated job titles for detailed SOC occupations. Each of these titles is a direct match to a single SOC occupation. All workers with a job title listed in the DMTF are classified in only one detailed SOC occupation code. For example, because a "criminal law professor" would only be classified under 25-1112 Law Teachers, Postsecondary, the SOCPC would consider it a direct match. However, because a title such as "painter" could be classified in more than one occupation, including 27-1013 Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators, 47-2141 Painters, Construction and Maintenance, or 51-9124 Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, the title "painter" is not a direct match.

Requests for additions to the DMTF. Although the SOC revision for 2018 is complete, the SOCPC will continue to serve as a standing committee and periodically consult with OMB, particularly to consider new and emerging occupations and additional titles for the DMTF. Interested parties should submit their request and materials in support of their recommendation to the SOCPC. Supporting materials should include the specific job title in question and the specific SOC code and title believed to be a direct match. The SOC is a task-based classification that does not differentiate occupations based on education or certification, but rather on the work performed. Therefore, the SOCPC will require information regarding the work of individuals with that particular job title. Once all of the materials have been received, the SOCPC will consider the activities involved in the specific job, and whether these activities are unique to that job.

All submissions must coincide with the SOC Classification Principles.  The SOCPC encourages individuals and organizations to recommend additions to the DMTF by sending an email with the supporting material described above to Requests will be accumulated throughout the year and presented to the entire SOCPC for approval on a quarterly basis.


2018 SOC Publications


2018 SOC Crosswalks


Other Useful Links

  • Selected crosswalks are available from the Analyst Resource Center (ARC), a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration and the states to enhance information delivery to workforce customers in the employment, education and economic development sectors.


Contact Us


For additional information concerning the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, contact us at:
  • Email: Contact us
  • Telephone number: 202-691-6500
  • Fax number: 202-691-6444
  • Mail address: Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Suite 2135, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20212-0001