Occupation skill level experimental update version 1 (OCSKEV1P)

Latest release
Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period


This variable describes the skill level of a person's occupation. Level one is the highest level of skill and level five is the lowest level of skill. The skill level is set by the person's occupation (OCCP), rather than the skill level of the person themselves.

Occupation skill level experimental update version 1 has been created based on the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2021 Australian Update. This update relates to the Australian labour market only.


Employed persons aged 15 years and over


1Skill level one
2Skill level two
3Skill level three
4Skill level four
5Skill level five
9Skill level not determined
&Not stated
@Not applicable
VOverseas visitors

Number of categories: 9

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Unemployed persons, looking for either full-time or part-time work
  • Persons not in the labour force
  • Persons with labour force status (LFSP),not stated
  • Persons aged under 15 years

See Understanding supplementary codes for more information.

Question(s) from the Census form

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

Targeted supplementary questions for occupation

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

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

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

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

How this variable is created

This variable is created from the Occupation Experimental Update Version 1 (OCCEV1P) variable. An occupation is coded using the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2021 at the 6-digit level to determine the Occupation skill level for the stated occupations. The relationship between occupation and occupation skill level is defined in the ANZSCO. Each 6-digit occupation is assigned a single skill level, however, the higher level categories (e.g. ‘Managers’) may comprise occupations at multiple skill levels. Therefore some ‘not further defined’ (nfd) codes (e.g. 'Managers nfd') do not have a corresponding skill level in the ANZSCO. In such cases, 2016 Census data was used to determine which skill level should be assigned to the ‘not further defined’ code.

History and changes

This variable is new for 2021.

Data use considerations

It is possible for a highly skilled person to work in a low skilled job/occupation, and it's also possible for a low skilled person (or a person with low or no formal qualifications) to work in a high skilled job.

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 skill level (OCSKP) variable instead.

This variable is derived from the Occupation experimental update version 1 (OCCEV1P) variable. The non-response rate for Occupation experimental update version 1 (OCCEV1P) was 0.8% in 2021. 

Related variables and glossary terms

  • Industry of employment (INDP)
  • Occupation (OCCP)
  • Occupation skill level (OCSKP)
  • Occupation experimental update version 1 (OCCEV1P)
  • Job
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