How to Find an Occupational Title and Code
Occupational titles and codes in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) are
based on the type of information presented in the lead statement and task element
statements described in the previous section: worker actions; the purpose or objective
of these actions; machines, tools, equipment, or work aids used; materials processed,
products made, subject matter dealt with, or service rendered; the nature and
complexity of instructions followed; and the job tasks actually performed by the worker.
The more complete and comprehensive the information you are able to assemble
about the tasks performed by a worker or required by an employer on a particular job,
the easier it will be to determine the appropriate classification.
The Three Occupational Arrangements
There are three different arrangements of occupational titles in the DOT: the
Occupational Group Arrangement, the Alphabetical Index, and the Industry
Arrangement. All of these can assist you in identifying and classifying jobs.
(1) The Occupational Group Arrangement
In this revised edition, as in the fourth edition, the primary method of identifying or
classifying jobs is by use of the Occupational Group Arrangement (pp. 13 - 946). For
job placement and referral purposes, if you have obtained sufficient information from
the worker seeking a job, or the employer placing an order, this is the preferred
method to use. The other two arrangements of titles are supplementary and should
be used in conjunction with the Occupational Group Arrangement. Using the
Occupational Group Arrangement saves time by eliminating the extra step of referring
to other sections of the DOT.
To use the Occupational Group Arrangement:
(a) Obtain all the relevant facts about the job.
(b) Find the 1-digit occupational category which seems most likely to contain the job.
(c) Find the most appropriate 2-digit occupational division of the category.
(d) Find the best 3-digit group within the division.
(e) Examine the occupational definition under the group you have selected and choose
the most appropriate title. Read the definition for the title selected carefully before
deciding if this is the best possible classification. If it does not correspond closely with
the information you have collected, repeat steps (b) to (d) to find the most appropriate
In the process of choosing the appropriate occupational category, division, and group
(steps b - d) you will develop information about the job which will be helpful in
classifying it. When you are trying to find the most appropriate definition in the
occupational group selected (step e), remember that jobs requiring more responsibility
and independent judgment have lower worker functions numerals and will be found
near the beginning of the occupational group, while those requiring less responsibility
and independent judgment have higher numbers and will be found nearer the end.
(2) The Alphabetical Index of Occupational Titles
The Alphabetical Index is the second basic arrangement of codes and titles in the
DOT. In this section, titles are shown first, including their industry designation. Titles
with two or more words, such as ACCOUNT-CLASSIFICATION CLERK (clerical), are
treated as one word for purposes of alphabetizing. Following the industry designation,
you will find the 9-digit code for the occupation. This will help to find quickly the title
and its definition in the Occupational Group Arrangement (OGA). The Alphabetical
Index is useful if you are sure of an occupational title, including its industry
designation, and just need the 9-digit code, or if you are reasonably sure of a title and
its industry designation, but there is more than one such title in the same industry
(indicated by a Roman numeral), you could use this index to get the 9-digit codes of
the various titles in order to locate and check out their definitions in the OGA.
Although it is unwise to classify a job or application based on its title alone, the
Alphabetical Index is useful in some situations to identify definitions that are possibly
To use the Alphabetical Index:
(a) Look through the index for the title of the job as you know it. If you find it, write
down the 9-digit code printed to the right of the title. Using this code as a guide, find
the definition for the title in the Occupational Group Arrangement. Read the entire
definition before deciding whether it is the most appropriate classification.
(b) If you cannot find the job title, or if the definition appears inappropriate, look for
another title. Some clues are:
Invert the title: maintenance carpenter
Contract the title: rubber-belt repairer
Find a synonym: car mechanic
Consider such factors as:
. Job location
PARKING LOT ATTENDANT; STOREROOM CLERK
. Machines used
PUNCH-PRESS OPERATOR; MACHINE FEEDER
. Materials used
LOG LOADER; PLASTIC-TILE LAYER
. Subject matter
ACCOUNTING CLERK; CREDIT ANALYST
. Services involved
CLEANER AND PRESSER; BROKER
. Activity performed
. Job complexity
MACHINE SETTER; WELDING-MACHINE TENDER
If you have information on several of these factors, however, it may be more
appropriate to use the Occupational Group Arrangement.
Some titles listed in the Alphabetical Index are not used in public employment service
operations. ``Master'' and ``Term'' titles do not have occupational codes and
consequently cannot be used. They are easily recognized since the words ``Master
Title'' or ``Term Title'' appear in place of the code to the right of the title. Alternate
titles, which are synonyms for, but less commonly used than base titles, are not
standard titles for classification purposes in Job Service operations. They are also
easily recognizable since they are in lower-case letters.
(3) Occupational Titles Arranged by Industry Designation
The Industry Arrangement of titles (pp. 1027-1224) may be useful if you have limited
information about a job. You may know the industry in which the job is located, but
have little or no information about such things as products made, materials used,
services rendered, and other essential data. The Industry Arrangement can also be
of assistance if a person wants to work in a particular industry, or if you need to learn
more about related jobs in the industry.
To use the Industry Arrangement:
(a) Look through the industry titles and read their definitions. Select the one most
likely to contain the particular job.
(b) Survey the occupational titles listed under the selected industry. Choose the title
which seems appropriate to the job, and write down the nine-digit code to the right of
the title. Using this code as a guide, find the definition in the Occupational Group
Arrangement. Read the entire occupational definition before deciding if it is the
most appropriate classification.
The basic purpose and use of each of the three arrangements of occupational titles is
Use . . .
THE OCCUPATIONAL GROUP ARRANGEMENT
If you . . .
- have sufficient information about the job tasks
- want to know about other closely related occupations
- want to be sure you have chosen the most appropriate classification using the other arrangements
Use . . .
OCCUPATIONAL TITLES ARRANGED BY INDUSTRY DESIGNATION
If you . . .
- know only the industry in which the job is located
- want to know about other jobs in an industry
- your client wants to work in a specific industry
Use . . .
THE ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF OCCUPATIONAL TITLES
If you . . .
- know only the job title and cannot obtain better information