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National Compensation Survey - Wages

Using The Census Occupation Index

About the Occupational Classification System Manual

A. Introduction To The Census Index
B. Format

1. BLS Modification to Census Index
2. Headings
3. Alphabetization
4. Cross-Indexing/Keywords
5. Census Index Occupation Coding And Industry Restrictions

a. Occupations titles with no industry restrictions
b. Occupations titles with industry restrictions
c. Occupations with additional restrictions
d. Not specified job titles (NS)
e. Keyword occupations
f. Industry "Any not listed above"
g. Class of worker categories

A. Introduction To The Census Index

The Classified Index of Industries and Occupations (the "Census Index") was developed to organize and make understandable the many thousands of industries and occupations as obtained from the decennial Census of Population. The 1990 Index lists approximately 21,000 industry and 30,000 occupation titles. The 30,000 titles from the Census Index will fall into one of the 500 occupation classifications used in the National Compensation Survey.

B. Format

1. BLS Modification to Census Index

The Census Index as used by BLS personnel is essentially a reproduction of the formal Classified Index published by the Census Bureau. BLS has made a few modifications to the Census version to accommodate the needs of the Bureau's programs.

One modification is BLS's addition of Major Occupation Group (MOG) alpha codes to each occupation. Although the Census does classify each occupation into one of 13 major occupation groupings, no alpha or numeric identification exists for the groupings. BLS combined the 13 Census groupings into 11 Major Occupation Groups (MOGs) and assigned a single alpha character to indicate the MOG of each occupation classification. For example, the Census classification of "fork-lift operator" is 856. The 856 occupation exists in the Transportation and Materials Moving MOG G. Therefore, the BLS Census classification is G856.

2. Headings

When using the Census A to Z index, the page lists the appropriate MOG and Census job titles in the left column and the industries affected in the right column.

3. Alphabetization

The titles listed in the Index are arranged alphabetically. When searching for a title, search for the word alphabetically but be aware of dashes, blank spaces, and more than one word titles.

 4. Cross-Indexing/Keywords

There are 13 common prefixes designated as "keywords" because of their frequent use. The prefixes are separate words that precede an occupation title, for example, "Engineer, Aviation." Occupation titles containing these keywords are listed only once in the Index and the location of the title corresponds to the alphabetic location of the keyword. For example, the occupation title "Chemical Engineer" will be found under "Engineer," and will not be found under "Chemical." The 13 keywords are:

1. Apprentice 2. Assembler 3. Assistant 4. Engineer 5. Helper 6. Inspector 7. Manager 8. Mechanic 9. Repairer 10. Salesperson 11. Supervisor 12. Teacher, Elementary and Secondary 13. Teacher, except Elementary and Secondary

Because of the many occupation titles within a keyword occupation, individual pages have been created for each keyword. The guide words are bold on the main alphabetical listing. The occupations within the keyword category page are preceded by two dashes ().

Other multiword occupation titles also may be listed only once. For example, "Landscape Contractor" is listed once as shown and is not listed again under "contractor." If the multiword occupation title is not found, try all possible orders of the title before concluding that the title is not listed. With 30,000 titles this listing is extensive but obviously not all inclusive.

 5. Census Index Occupation Coding And Industry Restrictions

The following examples should provide clarification of the industry restriction portion of the BLS Census Index.

a. Occupation titles with no industry restrictions

This is the simplest industry restriction. An occupation title with an "All Industries" Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) restriction identifies the occupation (once job duties have been verified) regardless of industry.

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
D377Accounts-Payable ClerkAll Industries

b. Occupation titles with industry restrictions

Most occupation titles have industry restrictions. An occupation matching the job description and SIC restriction(s) would be classified to the code provided. Note: Although it is important to follow SIC restriction(s), matching job duties is the primary method of occupation classification.

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
B013Media Director731
E599Sand Blaster15-17
F725Sand Blaster20-39
C253District Agent63,64
D376District AgentEXC. 63,64

A Media Director with corresponding occupation duties for B013 would be matched to B013 when the industry is advertising (SIC 731). If the same job title would exist in another industry, the job can not be initially matched by title but can be matched to B013 if the occupation duties are similar.

A Sand Blaster with corresponding occupation duties for E599 would be matched to E599 when the industry is construction (SICs 15-17). If the job title exists in the manufacturing industry (SICs 20-39), match the job to F725 if the duties of the job are appropriate to this census occupation.

A District Agent with duties corresponding to C253 would be matched to C253 in the insurance industry (insurance agents and carriers - SICs 63,64). If the job title exists in any other industry besides the insurance industry and the occupation duties match, the classification is D376.

c. Occupations with additional restrictions

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
K413Lieutenant92 (Fire Department)
C274Cosmetician531 (Department Store)

Match Lieutenant to K413 when occupation duties match and the occupation is with a fire department.

Match a Cosmetician to C274 if occupation duties match and the occupation is with a department store.

d. Not specified job titles (NS)

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
K459Front Desk Clerk,
  Bowling Or Skating
D317Front Desk Clerk, N.S.701
K459Front Desk Clerk, N.S.791,793,794,799
D379Front Desk Clerk, N.S.Any Not Listed Above

Match a Front Desk Clerk, Bowling or Skating, in industries 791, 793, 794, or 799 to K459 if the job duties are similar. If the Front Desk Clerk is not specified (NS) for SICs 791, 793, 794, or 799, and the job duties correspond to K459, match the job to K459. For other Front Desk Clerks (NS), in SIC 701 or any other SIC not listed, the correct match depends on job duties and SICs. The suggested matches are D317 and D379 respectively. The job duties must be reviewed to verify these occupational matches.

e. Keyword occupations

An indented job title with dashes is actually a subtitle under a keyword occupation (see above regarding keywords).

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
B008—Industrial RelationsAll Industries
C243—Insurance Office63,64
K415—Internal Security52-59
D307—Inventory ControlAll Industries

The keyword occupations range from a few hundred to over a thousand subtitles per keyword. The subtitles are also listed alphabetically under the keyword. Because of the many subtitles per keyword, it may be necessary to scroll through several pages before the desired job title is found.

f. Industry "Any not listed above"

Job titles with several industry restrictions may also have a catch-all category for industries that are not specified.

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
E617Section Hand10-14
E503Section Hand22
F779Section HandMfg. EXC.22
H889Section HandAny Not Listed Above

For those Section Hand occupations with specific SIC restrictions, the occupations are classified in the corresponding classification if the occupation description matches. For any Section Hand occupation outside of the SICs above (outside of 10-14 and 20-39), the occupation is matched to H889 if the occupation description matches.

g. Class of worker categories

The class of worker entry can aid in classifying occupations. This category usually distinguishes private industry workers, government workers, and workers in their own business.

CodeCensus Job TitleIndustries Affected
A223Milk TesterExc. LGOV 96
B036Milk TesterLGOV 96

Match the milk tester to the appropriate classification of worker, government or private industry, when the job duties match.

There are several class of worker abbreviations. The abbreviations and explanations follow.



PRWorker of a private company, business, or individual
PR, NONWorker of a private, not for profit, tax-exempt or charitable organization
GOV, FGOV, SGOV, LGOVWorker of Federal, State, or Local government
OWN, OBI, OB, OBNIWorker in own business, practice, or farm (incorporated and not incorporated)
WPWorker without pay

These abbreviations appear in the BLS Census Index. Self-employed workers, owners, and proprietors are not in scope for the NCS surveys.

Census Occupation Index Listing:

A | Apprentice | Assembler | Assistant | Ba-Be | Bi-Bl | Bo | Br-By | C-Ce | Ch-Cl | Co-Com | Con-Cyt | D-Dir | Dis-Dy | E | Engineer | F-Fix | Fl-Fu | G | H | Helper | I | Inspector | J | K | L-Le | Li-Ly | M-Mem | Men-Myc | Manager | Mechanic | N | O | P-Pe | Ph-Pol | Pom-Py | Q | Ra-Rer | Repairer | Res-Ru | Sa-Se | Sh-Sp | Sq-Sy | Salesperson | Supervisor | T-Te | Th-To | Tr-Ty | Teacher, elementary and secondary | Teacher, except elementary and secondary | U | V | W | X-Z |

Last modified: October 16, 2001