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 sent email confirmations containing a tracking/docket number for each public comment and reviewed all comments.

The proposed revision of the SOC for 2018 is now available for public comment through a second Federal Register notice published on July 22, 2016. As referenced in the notice, the SOCPC developed responses to each public comment, the 2018 hierarchical structure, and preliminary definitions for 2018 SOC occupations, available below.

  • Proposed hierarchical 2018 SOC structure: Type of change by detailed occupation (XLS)
    • Note: Spreadsheet includes separate tabs showing the deleted detailed, broad, and minor group 2010 SOC codes
  • Preliminary 2018 SOC definitions
    • with changes tracked (PDF)
    • without changes tracked (HTML) (PDF)

In addition to general comments on the SOCPC’s recommendations for the 2018 SOC, OMB welcomes comments specifically addressing: (1) changes to the 2018 SOC Classification Principles and Coding Guidelines recommended by the SOCPC; (2) the proposed hierarchical structure of the 2018 SOC, including changes to major, minor, broad, and detailed occupation groups; (3) the titles, placement, and codes of new occupations that the SOCPC is recommending be added in the revised 2018 SOC; and (4) preliminary definitions for revised and proposed 2018 SOC occupations.

To ensure consideration of comments on the SOCPC’s recommendations detailed in this notice, please submit all comments in writing as soon as possible, but no later than September 20, 2016. Commenters should follow the instructions detailed in the July 22, 2016 notice.

NEW Comments Received in Response to July 22, 2016 Federal Register notice (XLSX)

The SOCPC submitted its recommendations on the 2018 SOC to OMB in June 2017 and is awaiting OMB publication of the third Federal Register notice announcing its final decisions on 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 June 2017
OMB reviews SOCPC recommendations Late 2017
3rd Federal Register notice announcing the final 2018 SOC structure, and occupation codes and titles Pending OMB approval
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.