Skip to content
GSS > User-facing pages > Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) Extension Project

Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) Extension Project

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a coding framework used to classify occupations, enabling comparisons of occupations across different datasets. It assigns all jobs a 4-digit code based on the skills and qualifications needed for the job. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for maintaining and updating the SOC codes.

Some SOC users have said the existing 4-digit structure is not detailed enough for their needs. In response to this, ONS commenced a project to develop a more detailed version of the classification: The SOC Extension Project (SOC EXT).

We engaged with users to understand their needs for a more detailed SOC and used these findings to develop draft extensions of each SOC Major Group. We then collected further stakeholder feedback on these to refine and develop a final draft of the full framework.

A draft of the extended framework will be uploaded in full to this page soon.

Further details about our research including meeting minutes, stakeholder feedback reports, our methodologies and findings are available on request by emailing