Coding of Occupation and Industry

The UW Survey Center employs a staff of occupation and industry coders trained to use the 1990 Alphabetic Index of Industries and Occupations. Coders typically work in pairs, double-coding each other's work. Supervisors review all codes that do not agree, and later meet with individual coders to review discrepancies.

Coders are trained to use hard-copies of the 1990 Alphabetic Index, the Alphabetic Index of Military Occupations, and the Production Coder Manual published by the Bureau of the Census, but the majority of coding is done using software developed by UWSC staff. This software searches a database of occupation and industry titles and returns all titles that match the search parameters. The resulting titles and codes are sorted by group and displayed graphically, allowing coders to quickly review all variations on a given title. This program was designed for use with UWSC CATI projects, where interviewers are trained to probe for specific information related to all jobs, but it can also be streamlined for use with other projects (where occupations and industries are described in less detail).

The UWSC coding program records the code and title assigned to every occupation or industry, along with detailed information about the search patterns used by each coder. The titles can be used by clients to analyze the occupation and industry codes in more detail, and UWSC coding supervisors routinely use them to review employee's work.

At the present time the UWSC does not use the Census 2000 coding system, although the Coding software has been adapted for use with the 1950 Puerto Rican Index of Industries and Occupations, and crosswalks are available for the 1980 Census.