Latest release

Occupation experimental update version 1 (OCCEV1P)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable describes the primary job or occupation held by employed people in the week prior to Census Night. Occupation data in 2021 is available to the 6-digit level, allowing for a detailed look at occupation.

Occupation experimental update version 1 (OCCEV1P) has been created based on the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2021 and represents the 2021 Australian update. This update was limited to occupations relating to agriculture, cyber security, naval ship building and emerging occupations and relates to the Australian labour market only.

Scope

Employed persons aged 15 years and over

Categories

Occupation experimental update version 1 (OCCEV1P) is coded using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2021 Australian Update. The categories will be displayed below and available to download closer to the second release of Census data. 

Question(s) from the Census form

In the main job held last week, what was the person’s occupation?

    In the main job held last week, what was the person’s occupation?
    In the main job held last week, what was Person 1's occupation?

    Give full title.

    State the Person's occupation as completely as possible. Answer only for the Person's main job.

    For example: Registered aged care nurse, House cleaner, Retail sales assistant, Ore crushing machine operator.

    For public servants, provide occupation title and level. For example: Customer service officer APS 5.

    For armed services personnel, provide rank and occupation.

    Occupation

    Targeted supplementary questions for occupation

    On the online form there are targeted supplementary questions (TSQs) for the occupation question. TSQs are asked to clarify free text responses and are prompted by ‘trigger words’ entered into the response. Once a trigger word is entered a targeted supplementary question appears and a set of pre-defined response options is given to the respondent.

    For example, if the word 'nurse' was entered as the occupation, then extra questions are asked about the type of nurse occupation the respondent holds (see example in image below).

    The list of 'trigger words' and targeted supplementary questions are created by looking at common responses in the 'not further defined' coding categories from the previous Census data. 

    There are 13 TSQs for occupation. A full list of the questions, trigger words and response options are available in the downloads on this page.

      Example - targeted supplementary question

      Occupation example - Type of Nurse

      Example - targeted supplementary question

      In the main job held last week, what type of nurse was Person 1?

      Enrolled or division 2 nurse

      Nurse practitioner

      Midwife

      Nurse manager

      Registered nurse

      Registered nurse and midwife

      Other (please specify)

      What are the main tasks that the person usually performs in that occupation?

        What are the main tasks that the person usually performs in that occupation?
        What are the main tasks that Person 1 usually performs in that occupation?

        Give full details.

        Report the main tasks the person usually does each day. For example, shop owners may not sell goods themselves, but manage their business and supervise staff.

        For example: Nursing the aged, Cleaning houses, Selling clothing in a department store, Operating an ore crusher in a processing facility.

        For managers, provide the function managed. For example: Managing construction projects, Managing a hotel, Managing human resources.

        Tasks or duties

        For the main job held last week, what was the employer’s business name?

          For the main job held last week, what was the employer’s business name?
          For the main job held last week, what was the business's name?

          For self-employed persons, provide the name of the Person's business.

          For teachers, provide the name of the school.

          Business name

          What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where the person works?

            What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where the person works?
            What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where Person 1 works?

            Examples for industry or business of the employer: Secondary school education, Gold mining, IT consulting service, Domestic cleaning services, Apartment construction.

            More information

            Industry or business

              More information

              Additional information relating to the question on: What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where the person works?

              More information

              What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where Person 1 works?

              Examples for industry or business of the employer: Secondary school education, Gold mining, IT consulting service, Domestic cleaning services, Apartment construction.

              More information

              Describe the industry or business of the person's employer, not of their occupation. For example, if they are an accountant working for a motor vehicle manufacturer, please enter the industry as 'motor vehicle manufacturing'.

              State the industry as completely as possible.

              For self-employed persons, please describe the industry of their business.

                Example

                Occupation example - Description of business type, health response given

                Example

                What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where Person 1 works?

                Examples for industry or business of the employer: Secondary school education, Gold mining, IT consulting service, Domestic cleaning services, Apartment construction.

                More information

                Industry or business

                Health

                  Example - Targeted supplementary questions

                  Occupation example - Type of health service

                  Example - Targeted supplementary questions

                  What type of health service does Person 1's employer operate?

                  Hospital (except psychiatric hospitals)

                  Psychiatric hospital

                  Nursing home

                  General practice

                  Dentistry practice

                  Optometry practice

                  Physiotherapy practice

                  Ambulance service

                  Pathology or diagnostic imaging service

                  Federal government administration

                  State government administration

                  Retail pharmacy

                  Pharmaceuticals wholesaling

                  Pharmaceuticals manufacturing

                  Medical equipment wholesaling

                  Other (please specify)

                  What are the main goods produced or main services provided by the employer’s business?

                    What are the main goods produced or main services provided by the employer’s business?
                    What are the main goods produced or main services provided by the employer's business?

                    Describe as fully as possible, using two words or more.

                    For example: Providing education to secondary school students, Mining gold ore, Providing information technology advice, House cleaning, Construction of residential buildings.

                    More information

                    Goods produced/services provided

                      More information

                      Additional information relating to the question on: What are the main goods produced or main services provided by the employer’s business?

                      More information

                      What are the main goods produced or main services provided by the employer's business?

                      Describe as fully as possible, using two words or more.

                      For example: Providing education to secondary school students, Mining gold ore, Providing information technology advice, House cleaning, Construction of residential buildings.

                      More information

                      For self-employed persons, please describe the main goods and services provided by their business.

                      How this variable is created

                      This variable is primarily coded based on the write-in responses to questions asking for the person’s occupation title and main tasks performed. Other occupation questions may also be used to assist with quality coding.

                      Not all responses easily fit into an occupation as listed in the classification. In these cases responses are coded to a higher level of the ANZSCO 2021 Australian Update which covers any possible options for that response. These are more general ‘not further defined (nfd)’ codes and end in one or more zeroes.

                      Occupation coding is reliant on a variety of processes. All text response fields that contribute to occupation coding are first auto-repaired before being sent through an auto-coding process. The remaining responses that did not successfully achieve a code are examined by ABS clerical staff and independently assessed for an ANZSCO 2021 Australian Update code.

                      Responses with insufficient information to assign an ANZSCO code are coded to ‘Inadequately described’.

                      History and changes

                      This is a new variable for 2021 based on the 2021 Australian update to the ANZSCO.

                      Data use considerations

                      Collecting both occupation title and task information ensures more accurate coding of occupations. This data is essential for:

                      • labour market analysis
                      • policy formation

                      Changes in the occupational composition of the labour force are important for planning at the industry and geographic area levels.

                      The data is used in analyses of education and training needs, and as indicators for industry assistance programs.

                      Small area data on occupation are important in regional planning; in examining the occupational mobility of ethnic and other minority groups; and in measuring socioeconomic status variability between regions.

                      The introduction of targeted supplementary questions in the online Census has reduced 'not further defined' categories across some Occupations and classified responses into more detailed Occupation categories. 

                      Care should be taken when using this variable. The update is only relevant to occupations relating to agriculture, cyber security, naval ship building, and emerging occupations identified by the National Skills Commission. If these occupations are not relevant to your data needs, it is recommended to use the Occupation (OCCP) variable instead.

                      Lockdown

                      A number of regions across the country were in various stages of lockdown on Census day, and the week preceding it, resulting in a greater number of people being temporarily stood down on Census day. Guidance on how to correctly respond was provided at the time on the Census website, as follows: 

                      'If you were employed in the 4 weeks prior to the current lockdown period, but haven't been able to work in the last week due to COVID restrictions or requirement to self-isolate, please answer all questions reflecting your usual occupation. This includes your role (such as occupation and tasks performed) and information about your employer (such as industry and number of employees).'

                      Related variables and glossary terms

                      • Industry of employment (INDP)
                      • Occupation (OCCP)
                      • Occupation skill level (OCSKP)
                      • Occupation skill level experimental update version 1 (OCSKEV1P)
                      • Job