April 14, 2003








Acting Administrator
Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research




Release of the O*NET® OnLine 4.0 Version and Companion Occupational Coding Tool, O*NET Code Connector

  1. Purpose. To announce the release of the new 4.0 version of O*NET® OnLine ( As an Internet application, O*NET OnLine allows users to view the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database. The new version of O*NET OnLine is easier to navigate, has enhanced search capabilities, and provides quicker access to information. To assist users in navigating this new version of the tool, attached is a desk aid entitled, Using the New and Improved O*NET® OnLine. This notice also announces the release of a related Internet site, the O*NET Code Connector ( This site uses the same enhanced search capabilities as O*NET OnLine to help workforce investment system professionals identify appropriate O*NET occupational codes and titles to assign to individual clients.

  2. Background. The U.S. Department of Labor has a dual leadership role both in assisting business to find high quality employees to fill jobs in demand and in encouraging and assisting workers to prepare for the jobs of the future. A key part of that effort is the Department of Labor’s investment in a labor market information infrastructure, which includes the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) system.

    The O*NET system permits the translation of information on occupations in demand into information on skill requirements. It uses a common terminology to describe occupational requirements such as knowledge, skills, and abilities; tasks and work activities; relevant education, training, and experience to prepare for that work; as well as information on work context and conditions. O*NET information helps job seekers, students, businesses, and workforce investment and human resources professionals make informed employment, training, and business development decisions. O*NET information on related occupational interests and work values assist labor market participants in selecting career goals and developing education and training plans for work that they are likely to find satisfying.

    The O*NET system supercedes the sixty-year-old Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) with current information that can be accessed online or through a variety of public and private sector career and labor market information systems. The O*NET system includes the O*NET database 4.0, O*NET OnLine 4.0, and the O*NET Career Exploration Tools™. (For further information, see the O*NET Resource Center at

    The O*NET database is a comprehensive source of occupational descriptors for more than 950 occupations covering the spectrum of the U.S. economy. There are ten broad categories of occupational descriptors: (1) skills, (2) abilities, (3) knowledge, (4) tasks, (5) work activities, (6) work context, (7) education and experience levels required, (8) job interests, (9) work values, and (10) work needs. Each occupation is rated on each of the over 200 descriptors regarding their importance for the occupation and the level required for that occupation. O*NET occupational titles and codes are based on the most current version (2000) of the Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC). The SOC is used by Federal agencies to collect and report occupational statistics such as employment, wages, and educational attainment.

    A web-based viewer for the O*NET database, O*NET OnLine, provides easy access to O*NET information. Using O*NET OnLine, job seekers, business, and human resources and workforce investment professionals can: (1) find occupations to explore, (2) search for occupations that use designated skills, (3) view occupation summaries and details, (4) use crosswalks that link other coding or classification systems to O*NET information, and (5) create and print customized reports outlining their O*NET search results. Information from the O*NET database is also available through a wide range of public and private career information products, including other web-based applications. In order to further enhance and complement incorporation of O*NET information into such applications, direct web addresses (application programming interfaces) are now available to link directly to specific O*NET occupational reports in O*NET OnLine.

    As a companion tool to O*NET OnLine, the O*NET Code Connector system was created specifically for workforce investment professionals responsible for client intake, record-keeping tasks, and reporting of performance results. The O*NET Code Connector permits a user to enter an individual’s job title and appropriately identify the O*NET occupation code and title that best describes the individual’s current or previous work experience. Having the most accurate O*NET code assignment can enhance career exploration, job search, and job placement services to the individual, by facilitating access to relevant labor market information and current job listings. In addition, local and state WIA services and outcomes are reported by aggregated O*NET codes on the quarterly Labor Exchange reports, ETA 9002.

  3. O*NET OnLine 4.0: New Features and Benefits. In 1998, the O*NET database could only be viewed using CD-ROM software. However, in 2000, the O*NET database went live on the World Wide Web with the inception of O*NET OnLine. Since that time, field research and feedback from users have assisted in improving and upgrading the usability of O*NET OnLine. The enhancements are described in an attachment entitled, Summary of New Features and Benefits of O*NET® OnLine 4.0.

  4. Distribution/Availability. Both O*NET OnLine 4.0 and the O*NET Code Connector are available to the public by accessing the following Internet websites:

  5. Inquiries. For further information about O*NET OnLine 4.0 or to learn about other products or programs related to the O*NET Project, see the National O*NET Project website at For specific questions on O*NET OnLine 4.0 or the O*NET Code Connector, e-mail:; call: 202-693-3660; or write to the: O*NET Project, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N5637, Washington, D.C. 20210-0002.

  6. Attachments.