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Definition

This copy of ANZSCO was made to demonstrate the Classifications capability of the Aristotle Metadata Registry. To view the official version of ANZSCO visit https://www.abs.gov.au/anzsco or follow the link to the Origin URI in the infobox to the right.


The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) First Edition was the product of a development program undertaken jointly by a project team from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Statistics New Zealand (Statistics NZ) and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for use in the collection, publication and analysis of occupation statistics. Subsequent revisions in 2009 and 2013 were undertaken by the ABS and Statistics NZ.

ANZSCO provides a basis for the standardised collection, analysis and dissemination of occupation data for Australia and New Zealand. The use of ANZSCO has resulted in improved comparability of occupation statistics produced by the two countries.

ANZSCO replaces the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition and the New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (NZSCO) 1999 used in Australia and New Zealand, respectively. ANZSCO is intended to provide an integrated framework for storing, organising and reporting occupation-related information in both statistical and client-oriented applications, such as matching job seekers to job vacancies and providing career information.

ANZSCO has been used in ABS and Statistics NZ censuses and surveys where occupation data are collected from 2006. ANZSCO has also been progressively introduced into administrative data collections.

BACKGROUND TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANZSCO
In support of the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement, the ABS and Statistics NZ have a policy of working towards developing harmonised statistical classifications.

The benefits of developing a joint occupation classification were noted as being the ability to produce a more up-to-date, relevant and conceptually sound classification, and the improved capacity for analysis of trans-Tasman labour market data.

The development of ANZSCO commenced in 2002 as a joint project between the ABS, Statistics NZ and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Formal consultations with stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand were undertaken between 2002 and 2005. These consultations informed stakeholders of progress and sought their views on a number of key issues affecting the overall design and structure of ANZSCO.

Early in the development of ANZSCO, it was necessary to agree on a common basis for harmonising the classification across the two countries recognising that some restructuring, expansion and contraction of the existing classifications would be necessary. For Australian users, a high level of comparability was maintained with ASCO Second Edition, by minimising the extent to which ASCO Second Edition unit groups were split and re-aggregated when designing ANZSCO unit groups.

UNDERSTANDING ANZSCO
To assist users to understand the detailed structure and content of ANZSCO, and to assist in interpreting statistics classified to it, the following information has been provided:

 

 


  • explanation of the conceptual basis of ANZSCO
  • description of the principal differences between ANZSCO and ASCO Second Edition and NZSCO 1999
  • explanation of the classification structure and codes
  • explanation of the format of the ANZSCO occupation and group definitions
  • definitions for all major, sub-major, minor and unit groups and occupations

 


UPDATES TO ANZSCO
An important consideration when developing a statistical classification is the need to build in sufficient robustness to allow for long-term usage. This robustness facilitates meaningful time series analysis of data assigned to that classification.

It is recognised that, for non-statistical uses of ANZSCO, there is a need for a classification which reflects the contemporary labour markets in Australia and New Zealand. To meet this need, minor updates to ANZSCO have been undertaken

To minimise disruption to time series data, updates will only be made at the occupation and possibly the unit group level. Updates will take the form of including newly emerging occupations and/or unit groups, merging declining occupations and/or unit groups with other occupations and/or unit groups, or changing titles of occupations and/or unit groups.

ANZSCO Version 1.2
The aim of the revisions to ANZSCO is to help ensure that ANZSCO remains a contemporary reflection of the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. This aim is constrained by the need to minimise disruption to data already classified to ANZSCO.
In 2012, representatives of the ABS and Statistics NZ undertook the second minor review of ANZSCO (version 1.2). The primary focus of this review was to make changes at the occupation (6-digit) level of the classification. This included the addition and deletion of occupations; changes to existing occupations titles, alternative titles and specialisations; and amendments to definitions within occupations to update and help clarify the scope and content of certain occupations. Consequent minor revisions were made to relevant Unit Group titles, lead statements and lists of tasks.

New occupations were only added where they were found to be statistically viable. That is, they met the minimum size guideline (as outlined in 'Statistical balance') and they would be able to be accurately and consistently identified in statistical surveys, censuses and administrative collections.

In the interests of maintaining data comparability at major, sub-major, minor and unit group levels, no structural changes were made to these levels. A number of title and definition changes were made to improve clarity. No new unit or minor groups were added.

The number of occupations identified in ANZSCO Version 1.2 represents a net increase of 9 compared to ANZSCO First Edition, Revision 1; 25 compared to ANZSCO; 37 compared to ASCO Second Edition and 458 occupations compared to NZSCO 1999.

CODING OCCUPATION INFORMATION
By themselves, the classification structure and the definitions are not intended as the primary means of assigning information about particular jobs to ANZSCO classes. Care needs to be taken when assigning information about particular jobs to ANZSCO classes because the same job titles can be used in different industries to describe different occupations (e.g. business analyst). Additionally, the titles used in ANZSCO are not an exhaustive list of all titles used by people to describe an occupation (e.g. brickie).

To consistently and reliably allocate occupation information from responses in statistical collections to the correct position in the ANZSCO structure, the minimum information required is occupation title and tasks performed. Restricted use can also be made of industry and employer information when it is available.

To enable easier and faster coding of occupation information, the ABS and Statistics NZ have developed their own Windows-based coding systems. These coding systems are based on an index (or codefile) of responses given in ABS and Statistics NZ collections and are rule-based to ensure that coding is performed in an accurate, consistent and efficient manner. Primary importance is given to the occupation title. Extensive use is also made of main tasks performed in the job.

Classification Structure


The structure of ANZSCO has five hierarchical levels - major group, sub-major group, minor group, unit group and occupation. The categories at the most detailed level of the classification are termed 'occupations'. These are grouped together to form 'unit groups', which in turn are grouped into 'minor groups'. Minor groups are aggregated to form 'sub-major groups' which in turn are aggregated at the highest level to form 'major groups'.
These are the same hierarchical levels that are used in ASCO Second Edition and NZSCO 1999.
The following is a profile of the ANZSCO structure with hierarchy descriptions and examples. The complete listing of the major, sub-major, minor and unit groups and occupations follows later in this chapter.

Each major group comprises a different number of sub-major, minor and unit groups and occupations. The following table illustrates the distribution of these categories between the major groups.

STANDARD CODE SCHEME

One, two, three, four and six-digit codes are assigned to the major, sub-major, minor and unit groups, and occupations respectively.
Within each major group, the sub-major groups are ordered firstly by skill level and then alphabetically. Residual 'other' sub-major groups are listed last. Sub-major groups comprising occupations at multiple skill levels have been ordered firstly on the basis of their highest predominant skill level, then alphabetically.
Within each sub-major group, the minor groups are ordered alphabetically, with the exception of residual 'miscellaneous' minor groups which are listed last. Similarly, within each minor group, the unit groups are ordered alphabetically, with the exception of the residual 'other' unit groups which are listed last.
The occupations within each unit group are essentially in alphabetical order, with the exception of 'general' occupations which are listed first, and residual 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) categories which are listed last. This ordering is more expedient than necessary and it is not considered that the addition of any new occupations, which may disrupt this ordering, will affect the usefulness of the classification.
The occupational profile of Australia and New Zealand is likely to change over time due to factors such as technological change and changes in the industrial profile of Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, from time to time, it may be necessary to add or delete occupations from the list of occupations separately identified in ANZSCO.
If it becomes necessary to identify an additional unit group or occupation, it will be allocated the next available four or six-digit code in the numerical sequence of codes of the minor or unit group to which it is being added. Similarly, if a unit group or occupation ceases to have sufficient numbers of persons employed to justify it continuing to be separately identified in the classification and it is consequently deleted from the classification, its code would not be reallocated as this would be likely to cause confusion with time series data.
It should be noted that the separately identified occupations are not allocated codes ending with the digits '0' or '9'. These are special purpose codes used to denote supplementary or operational (not further defined) codes in the case of '0' and residual (not elsewhere classified) categories in the case of '9' (see Supplementary or operational codes and Codes reserved for residual categories).
The ANZSCO code scheme is devised so that any future changes to the classification structure can be easily accommodated. However, in order that the classification remains a standard, users should not make arbitrary changes to the structure. Rather, they should contact the ABS or Statistics NZ and identify any apparent problems they encounter in the course of implementation, data collection or data analysis. ANZSCO will be revised at a suitable time so that all users continue to use the standard classification.

Codes reserved for residual categories

For each unit group of the classification structure, a six-digit code, consisting of the four digits of the unit group followed by the digits '99', is reserved as a residual 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) category. All occupations which are not separately identified in the classification structure are included in the 'nec' category of the unit group to which they relate. Residual categories are only identified in the classification structure if they are needed. ANZSCO currently identifies 79 'nec' categories.
The decision to include particular occupations in an 'nec' category rather than as substantive categories is based on their lack of numerical significance in Australia or New Zealand.
For each minor group, codes are reserved for residual categories at the unit group level. These codes consist of the minor group code followed by '9'. These categories are termed 'Other' and consist of separately identified occupations which do not fit into any of the unit groups contained within the minor group, on the basis of the classification criteria. The classification contains 21 'other' categories at the unit group level.
For each sub-major group, codes are also reserved for residual categories at the minor group level. These codes consist of the sub-major group code followed by '9'. These categories are termed 'Miscellaneous' and consist of separately identified unit groups which do not fit into any of the minor groups contained within the sub-major group, on the basis of the classification criteria. The classification contains eight 'miscellaneous' categories at the minor group level.
For each major group, codes are reserved for residual categories at the sub-major group level. These codes consist of the major group code followed by '9'. These categories are termed 'Other' and consist of separately identified minor groups which do not fit into any of the sub-major groups contained within the major group, on the basis of the classification criteria. The classification contains three 'other' categories at the sub-major group level.
It should be noted that residual categories are part of the ANZSCO structure. They should not be created or used merely to 'dump' responses that cannot be coded to any separately identified category in the classification because of insufficient detail in the response. See Supplementary or operational codes.

Supplementary or operational codes

Supplementary or operational codes are used in statistical collections to process inadequately described responses or for responses which are outside of the scope of the classification.

In Australia, these codes are of two types:

 


  • six digit codes ending in two, three, four or five zeros; and
  • six digit codes commencing with one zero.

 


Codes ending in zero are described as 'not further defined' (nfd) codes and are used to code responses which cannot be coded to the occupation level of the classification, but which can be coded to a higher level of the classification structure.
For example, responses which cannot be identified as relating directly to a particular occupation category, but which are known to be within the range of occupations within a particular unit group are coded to that unit group. Such responses are allocated an nfd code consisting of the four-digit code of the unit group followed by '00'. For instance, the response 'Internal Medicine Specialist' does not contain sufficient information to be coded directly to any particular occupation category, but it can be coded to Unit Group 2533 Specialist Physicians, which encompasses all internal medicine specialists. It is thus allocated the code 253300 Specialist Physicians, nfd.
Codes commencing with zero are used to process responses which do not provide sufficient information to be coded to any level of the structure. They are also used to process responses such as 'housewife', 'pensioner' and 'student', which are not covered by the current definition of the labour force (see Standards for Labour Force Statistics, ABS cat. no. 1288.0). The standard set of such codes used in the ANZSCO Coding Index is available on request from the ABS.
Other codes commencing with zero may be defined by users to facilitate the processing and storage of data, when data sets coded to ANZSCO contain records for entities outside the scope of ANZSCO. For example, occupational activities which are wholly illegal in New Zealand and all States and Territories of Australia are excluded from ANZSCO.
In New Zealand, codes commencing with the digits '99' are used as supplementary or operational codes.

 

 

 


  • The code '997000' is used for legitimate/valid responses, such as 'public servant', which cannot be coded to any single occupation category because there is insufficient supporting information to accurately code to a specific category. This code is called 'Response Unidentifiable'.
  • The code '999000' is used for responses, such as 'housewife', 'pensioner' or 'student', which are not covered by the current definition of the labour force. This code is called 'Response Outside Scope'.
  • The code '999999' is used for non-response. This code is called 'Not Stated'.

 


It should be noted that supplementary or operational codes are not part of the classification structure. They exist for operational reasons only, and no data would be coded to them if sufficiently detailed responses or responses within the scope of the classification were obtained in all instances.

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The detailed structure of ANZSCO at each descending level of the classification can be found under the Downloads tab. This also shows the relationship between the groups and skill level.
The first three tables (Major Groups, Sub-Major Groups and Minor Groups) show the predominant skill levels applying to each group. Skill levels which apply to only a few occupations in each group are not shown.
In the next two tables (Unit Groups and Occupations), all skill levels applying to each group are shown.
A definitive list of all skill levels applying to each group in the classification is found in the definition for that group.

 

 

Classification Levels

Name Description Code structure #
Major groups

Major groups are:

  • the broadest level of ANZSCO
  • formed using a combination of skill level and skill specialisation to create groups which are meaningful and useful for most (statistical and administrative) purposes.

One-digit code

8
Sub-major groups

Sub-major groups are:

  • subdivisions of the major groups
  • distinguished from other sub-major groups in the same major group on the basis of skill level and a broad application of skill specialisation.

Two-digit code

43
Minor groups

Minor groups are:

  • subdivisions of the sub-major groups
  • distinguished from other minor groups in the same sub-major group mainly on the basis of a less broad application of skill specialisation.

Three-digit code

97
Unit groups

Unit groups are:

  • subdivisions of the minor groups
  • distinguished from other unit groups in the same minor group on the basis of a finer application of skill specialisation and, where necessary, skill level.

Four-digit code

358
Occupations

Occupations are:

  • the most detailed level of ANZSCO
  • subdivisions of the unit groups
  • distinguished from other occupations in the same unit group on the basis of detailed skill specialisation and, occasionally, skill level sets of jobs which involve the performance of a common set of tasks.

Six-digit code

1032

Origin

The original source for ANZSCO can be found online at: https://www.abs.gov.au/ANZSCO

References

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and its components is Copyright © Commonwealth of Australia. Material here is reproduced for educational purposes, and is reproduced in compliance with the Creative Commons 4.0 Licence.

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