Collecting and Using Industry and Occupation Data

More about Classification Systems

Census Industry and Occupation Codes

Census industry and occupation codes were developed to translate text responses into standard numeric values or codes for surveys sponsored by the Census Bureau, such as the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey.

Within the Census classification system, industry is coded first, then occupation. This is because the Census industry code sometimes limits which occupation codes are valid or may be included in an industry. For example, the Census occupation code for a laborer within the agriculture industry (coded as 6050) is different than the Census occupation code for a laborer within the construction industry (which is coded as 6260).

  • Census industry codes are derived from the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and generally correspond to NAICS 3- or 4-digit codes. NAICS codes are more detailed than Census industry codes.
  • Census occupation codes are derived from the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), and generally correspond to SOC 2- to 6-digit codes. SOC codes are more detailed than Census occupation codes.
  • For both industry and occupation, the Census codes are less detailed than the NAICS or SOC codes to protect individual respondents of Census surveys or health surveys.
Here is an example of how NAICS codes are related to Census industry codes:
The Census industry code 0770 for CONSTRUCTION includes the following NAICS codes (as well as others):
  • Roof Contracting (NAICS 238160)
  • House Painting Contracting (NAICS 238320)
  • Building Contractor (NAICS 238120)
blue bracket Construction (Census industry code 0770)
Here is an example of how SOC codes are related to Census occupation codes:
The Census occupation code 9120 for BUS DRIVER includes the following SOC codes (as well as others):
  • School bus drivers (SOC 53-3022)
  • Transit and intercity bus drivers (SOC 53-3021)
blue bracket Bus Driver (Census occupation code 9120)

More detailed information about Census codes can be found on the Census Bureau websiteexternal icon

The Alphabetical Indexes of Industries and Occupationsexternal icon are comprehensive lists of specific industry and occupation titles used to describe Census industry and occupation codes. Because multiple industry and occupation titles map to a single Census industry and occupation code, these indexes contain over 21,000 industry and 31,000 occupation titles in alphabetical order with corresponding numeric codes. The indexes can help you understand what types of specific industries and occupations fall within each code.  The indexes are continuously updated with new industry and occupation titles by reviewing participant responses from the most recent Census and other public health surveys.

Census Coding Schemes

The following are Census coding schemes NIOSH has used over the last twenty years. The census coding scheme includes two classification systems: (1) Census industry codes and the corresponding NAICS codes or (2) Census occupation codes and the corresponding SOC codes. These codes are also included in output generated by the NIOSH Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding System (NIOCCS).

2012

Census 2012 Industry Codesexcel icon
Census 2012 Occupation Codesexcel icon

2010

Census 2010 Industry Codesexcel icon
Census 2010 Occupation Codesexcel icon

2002

Census 2002 Industry Codesexcel icon
Census 2002 Occupation Codesexcel icon

2000

Census 2000 Industry Codespdf icon
Census 2000 Occupation Codespdf icon
Census 2000 Military and Non Paid Worker Industry and Occupation Codes excel icon[XLS – 11 KB]

Census Crosswalks

Crosswalk coding is the mapping of a code from one industry and occupation classification system to another or to a different code within the same industry and occupation classification system for a different year.  NAICS and SOC are regularly revised. Census codes are revised following NAICS and SOC revisions.

NIOSH/National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Codes

Since the 1980s the NCHS and NIOSH have collaborated on coding death certificates and in doing so, agreed to:

  • identify non-census codes for those whose longest industry and occupation was military service since death certificates do not include as much detail as the Census.
  • include certain codes for people who were not in the civilian workforce, such as housewives, volunteers, students, and those without sufficient information.
Military and Non-paid Tables

These NIOSH/NCHS codes continue to be assigned in NIOCCS. They are not Census codes and would not be found in Census documentation. These have changed over the years when Census assigned actual industries or occupations for codes we used previously. In 2002, the NIOSH/NCHS codes changed to 4-character codes when Census changed to 4-character industry and occupation codes.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

NAICS codes are updated every 5 years by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to include industry and economic changes. A NAICS code may be up to 6-digits. Each digit in the code is part of a series of progressively narrower industry categories, and more digits in the code signifies greater classification detail.

In a NAICS code, the first two digits define the 20 broad sector groupings:

In a NAICS code, the first two digits define the 20 broad sector groupings
Sector Description
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
22 Utilities
23 Construction
31-33 Manufacturing
42 Wholesale Trade
44-45 Retail Trade
48-49 Transportation and Warehousing
51 Information
52 Finance and Insurance
53 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
55 Management of Companies and Enterprises
56 Administrative Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
61 Educational Services
62 Health Care and Social Assistance
71 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
72 Accommodation and Food Services
81 Other Services (except Public Administration)
92 Public Administration

Within each of the sectors, the groupings are broken down farther.

  • The first 2-digits represent the sector.
  • The first 3-digits represent the sub sectors within a sector.
  • The first 4-digits represent the industry groupings with a subsector.
  • The 5-digit code is the NAICS code for each industry grouping.
  • The 6-digit code is the national industry.

For example, 331221 is the 6-digit NAICS code for the industry: Rolled Steel Shape Manufacturing

33 Sector code for Manufacturing

331 Subsector code for Primary Metal Manufacturing

3312 Industry grouping code for Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel

33121 National industry code for Iron and Steel Pipe and Tube Manufacturing from Purchased Steel

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)

SOC codes are updated by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and may be up to 6-digits. The occupations in SOC do not relate to any industry code. SOC codes are updated every 5 years.

The first two digits define the 23 major groupings.

The first two digits define the 23 major groupings
Major Group Description
00-0000 All Occupations
11-0000 Management
13-0000 Business and Financial Operations
15-0000 Computer and Mathematical
17-0000 Architecture and Engineering
19-0000 Life, Physical, and Social Science
21-0000 Community and Social Service
23-0000 Legal
25-0000 Education, Training, and Library
27-0000 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media
29-0000 Healthcare Practitioners and Technical
31-0000 Healthcare Support
33-0000 Protective Services
35-0000 Food Preparation and Serving Related
37-0000 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance
39-0000 Personal Care and Service
41-0000 Sales and Related
43-0000 Office and Administrative Support
45-0000 Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
47-0000 Construction and Extraction
49-0000 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
51-0000 Production
53-0000 Transportation and Material Moving

Each of the major groups are broken down further:

  • Major group: first 2-digits
  • Minor group: 3rd digit
  • Broad occupations: 4th and 5th digits
  • Detailed occupations: 6th digit

For example, 47-2131 is the SOC code for Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall

  • 47-2131           47 is the major group code for Construction and Extraction
  • 47-2131           47-2 is the minor group code for Construction Trade Workers
  • 47-2131           47-213 is the broad category code for Insulation Workers
  • 47-2131           47-2131 is the detailed occupation code for Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall
Page last reviewed: November 9, 2021