April 21, 2003








Acting Administrator
Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research




Release and Availability of the Spanish Translation of the O*NET 4.0 Database

  1. Purpose. To announce the release and availability of the Spanish translation of the O*NET 4.0 Database. The content of this O*NET database, in Spanish, is congruent with the English version of the O*NET 4.0 database. It may be used by states, public and private organizations to develop Spanish language products and applications incorporating O*NET information.

  2. Background. Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the country. In an effort to provide better government services to the 8 million Hispanics in the U.S. who have limited English proficiency, the U.S. Department of Labor contracted for a Spanish translation of the content in the O*NET 4.0 database.

    A number of states have a large Spanish-speaking population who seek services from One-Stop Career Centers. The Spanish language version of O*NET information can be included in state workforce information systems. Such systems could also provide links to information about education and training opportunities in English as a second language and occupational skills training. The Department has no current plans to develop a Spanish language version of O*NET OnLine.

    The O*NET database provides 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 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; hence there is a built-in linkage to other occupational data, such as employment and wages.

  3. Spanish Translation of the O*NET 4.0 Database. O*NET 4.0 Database product provides information to help serve the occupational information and career exploration needs of the single largest limited English proficiency (LEP) population in the United States.

    The Spanish O*NET 4.0 Database maintains the same format and structure to facilitate its incorporation into Spanish language occupational information systems and applications by software developers and vendors. The translation process, carried out by Aguirre International, included extensive review by bilingual academics and workforce investment professionals from a variety of Hispanic cultures.

    The translated database includes the O*NET Content Model (domains, descriptor categories, descriptors and definitions), occupational titles and definitions for the over 300 O*NET breakout occupations (SOC titles and definitions were previously translated by the State Department), and over 10,000 O*NET task statements.

  4. Distribution/Availability The Spanish Translation of the O*NET 4.0 Database is available for download from the O*NET Center Web site at: under the heading, “Database 4.0 Spanish.”

    For a copy of the completed translation and a report of the process used, visit the O*NET Center Web site at:

  5. Inquiries. For further information about the Spanish Translation of the O*NET 4.0 Database or to learn about other products or programs related to the O*NET System, see the O*NET project Web site at For specific questions, 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.