Standard Occupational Classification

Updated timeline for the 2018 SOC

Revising the SOC is a multi-year process, during which the SOC Policy Committee (SOCPC) formulates recommendations for revisions that are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for consideration. For the 2018 revision, the SOCPC Committee began planning in early 2012, and expects to solicit public input through an initial Federal Register notice expected to be published in spring 2014. This process will lead to a proposed revision that is expected to be available for public comment through a second Federal Register notice in spring 2015 and publication of the final 2018 SOC codes, titles, and definitions in spring 2017.

The revision schedule is designed to minimize disruption to data providers, producers, and users by promoting simultaneous adoption of revised occupational and industry classification systems for those data series that use both. Given the multiple interdependent programs that rely on the SOC, this is best accomplished by timing revisions of the SOC for the years following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) revisions, which occur for years ending in 2 and 7. The next such year is 2018, which has the additional benefit of coinciding with the beginning year of the American Community Survey 5-year set of surveys that bracket the 2020 Decennial Census. Thus, OMB intends to consider revisions of the SOC for 2018 and every 10 years thereafter.

1stFederal Register notice soliciting public input Spring 2014
SOCPC reviews public input, Federal agency input, and conducts own research; develops recommendations to OMB Through 2014
2ndFederal Register notice requesting comments on SOCPC recommendations Spring 2015
SOCPC reviews comments and develops final recommendations to OMB Through 2015
OMB reviews SOCPC recommendations Late 2015
3rdFederal Register notice announcing the final 2018 SOC structure, and occupation codes and titles Spring 2016
SOCPC completes occupational definitions and SOC Manual Through 2016
OMB publishes 2018 SOC Manual Spring 2017
Federal statistical agencies implement 2018 SOC Beginning 2018

How you can help

The bulk of the information the SOCPC will use in developing recommendations to OMB is likely to come from the comments received in response to the Federal Register notices. Thus, the SOCPC encourages potential commenters to carefully review the information provided 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.

All comments should be submitted as responses to the Federal Register notices, using the submittal procedures described in the notices. This will ensure comments and recommendations are included on the dockets that the SOC Policy Committee will review.

The SOCPC encourages those interested in commenting, as well as others interested in the SOC, to monitor the SOC revision process on this website. To sign up to receive email notifications when this page is updated with new information on the SOC revision process for 2018, enter your email address in the “Subscribe to Standard Occupational Classification Update” box on the left-side menu of this page.