2018 SOC Revision Process

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, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) intends to consider revisions of the SOC for 2018 and every 10 years thereafter.

Timeline for the 2018 SOC

Revising the SOC is a multi-year process, during which the interagency SOC Policy Committee (SOCPC) will formulate recommendations for revisions that are submitted to OMB for consideration. For the 2018 revision, the SOCPC began planning in early 2012. 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.

The SOCPC will send email confirmations containing a tracking/docket number for each public comment and begin reviewing all comments. This process will lead to a proposed revision that is expected to be available for public comment through a second Federal Register notice in March 2016, followed by a second review period for the SOCPC. A third notice announcing the final 2018 SOC structure and occupation codes and titles is expected by Spring 2017, then publication of the final 2018 SOC codes, titles, and definitions for implementation in reference year 2018.

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 March 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 Spring 2017
SOCPC completes occupational definitions and SOC Manual Summer 2017
OMB publishes 2018 SOC Manual Summer 2017
Federal statistical agencies implement 2018 SOC Beginning 2018


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.

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.