25 - 05 - 2017


Federal agencies have developed a variety of coding systems for classifying various types of economic activity.  The NCSC focuses largely on occupations, training programs and industries, and their relationships to each other. On this page, you will find brief descriptions of those classifications and links to more information. Visit our Crosswalks page for more information about links among these classifications.   You should also view our information about file formats before downloading any files from this site.


  • Occupational Information Network (O*NET): This classification is used by the Department of Labor to collect and distribute information about the characteristics of occupations.  Its occupations are based on the Standard Occupational Classification.  The National O*NET Center has developed an on-line viewer that uses the current production version. The NCSC has developed a variety of databases containing  O*NET data.  See our O*NET Database Version Directory for more information.   
  • Standard Occupational Classification (2010 SOC): The SOC is the federal government's official classification structure for occupations. All federal programs that classify workers use or are based on the SOC.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information about the2000 SOC , which is still in use in many statistical programs.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics (OES): This classification is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a survey of employers for gathering staffing pattern and wage information. The survey uses occupations from the SOC.
  • Census Occupations : Occupations used in the 2000 decennial census are based on the SOC. The classification was modified for use in the 2003 Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey and other surveys done by the census bureau. This revision, the 2002 census occupations, add another character to the 2000 census occupation codes by adding a zero after the 2000 code.

Training Programs

  • 2010 Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP-2010): The National Center for Education Statistics will start using this version for data collection from institutions for the 2009-10 school year.  That data collection effort will begin in the fall of 2010.
  • 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP-2000): The U.S. Department of Education uses this classification of training programs to gather counts of program completers and other information.


  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC): The Standard Industrial classification is a United States government system for classifying industries by a four-digit code.  Established in the 1930s, it is being supplanted by the six-digit North American Industry Classification System, which was released in 1997;  however, certain government departments and agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), still use the SIC codes.
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS): The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) has replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial classification (SIC) system.  NAICS was developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide new comparability in statistics about business activity across North America.