Skip to main content
The 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) is a statistical classification of the different occupational groups of the working population, including the military work force in the country. It is basically patterned after the 2008 International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) released by the International Labor Organization (ILO) but with modifications to suit the national situations and requirements. The PSOC is primarily used as basis for manpower and educational planning, program formulation, policy decision-making and serves as useful guide for statistical operations and activities, such as censuses and surveys.
The conceptual framework of PSOC follows that of ISCO which is based on two important concepts:
  • Skill - defined as the ability to carry out the tasks of a given job

  • Job - defined as a set of tasks and duties carried out, or meant to be carried out, by one person for a particular employer, including self-employment.

Furthermore, there are two (2) criteria used in classifying occupations in the 2012 PSOC:
  1. Skill level - used in classifying occupations at the highest level or the major group level and measured operationally by considering one or more of:

a. the nature of the work performed in an occupation;
b. the required level of formal education; and
c. the required amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience
  1. Skill specialization - used in classifying occupations in sub-major groups, minor groups and unit groups and considered in terms of four (4) concepts:

a. the field of knowledge required;
b. the tools and machinery used;
c. the materials worked on or with; and.
d. the kind of goods and services produced
The classification structure consists of four levels, as follows:
  • 10 major groups (one-digit code) - the highest level of occupation aggregate and represent broad fields of work

  • 43 sub-major groups (two-digit code) - represent the second level of aggregation

  • 130 minor groups (three-digit code) - represent the third level of occupation aggregate

  • 436 unit groups (four-digit code) - represent the fourth level of occupational groupings.

All levels of occupation aggregate are completed by definitions given for each title. The definition of an occupation is given in the form of a short opening statement describing the general functions of the occupation followed by an enumeration of the main tasks performed while the codes serve as symbols not only to denote levels of occupational groupings, but also to give some indications of the nature of the occupations covered.
The major groups comprising the 2012 PSOC are:
1          Managers
2          Professionals
3          Technicians and associate professionals
4          Clerical support workers
5          Service and sales workers
6          Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers
7          Craft and related trades workers
8          Plant and machine operators and assemblers
9          Elementary occupations
0          Armed forces occupations
Major Group 1. Managers - workers in this group plan, direct, coordinate and evaluate the overall activities of enterprises, governments and other organizations, or of organizational units within them, and formulate and review their policies, laws, rules and regulations.
Major Group 2. Professionals - workers in this group increase the existing stock of knowledge, apply scientific or artistic concepts and theories, teach about the foregoing in a systematic manner, or engage in any combination of these activities.
Major Group 3. Technicians and associate professionals - workers in this group perform mostly technical and related tasks connected with research and the application of scientific or artistic concepts and operational methods, and government or business regulations.
Major Group 4. Clerical support workers - workers in this group record, organize, store, compute and retrieve information related, and perform a number of clerical duties in connection with money-handling operations, travel arrangements, requests for information, and appointments.
Major Group 5. Service and sales workers - workers in this group provide personal and protective services related to travel, housekeeping, catering, personal care, or protection against fire and unlawful acts, or demonstrate and sell goods in wholesale or retail shops and similar establishments, as well as at stalls and on markets.
Major Group 6. Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers - workers in this group grow and harvest field or tree and shrub crops, gather wild fruits and plants, breed, tend or hunt animals, produce a variety of animal husbandry products, cultivate, conserve and exploit forests, breed or catch fish and cultivate or gather other forms of aquatic life in order to provide food, shelter and income for themselves and their households.
Major Group 7. Craft and related trades workers - workers in this group apply specific knowledge and skills in the fields to construct and maintain buildings, form metal, erect metal structures, set machine tools, or make, fit, maintain and repair machinery, equipment or tools, carry out printing work, produce or process foodstuffs, textiles, or wooden, metal and other articles, including handicraft goods.
Major Group 8. Plant and machine operators and assemblers - workers in this group operate and monitor industrial and agricultural machinery equipment on the spot or by remote control, drive and operate trains, motor vehicles and mobile machinery and equipment, or assemble products from component parts according to strict specifications and procedures.
Major Group 9. Elementary occupations - occupations in this group involve the performance of simple and routine tasks which may require the use of handheld tools and considerable physical effort.          
Major Group 0. Armed forces occupations - this major group includes all jobs held by members of the armed forces. Members of the armed forces are those personnel who are currently serving in the armed forces, including auxiliary services, whether on a voluntary or compulsory basis, and who are not free to accept civilian employment and are subject to military discipline. Included are members of the army, navy, air force and other military services, as well as conscripts enrolled for military training or other service for a specified period.
  • Changes/improvements in concept:

  1. To align with the 2008 ISCO, Group 0 in the 1992 PSOC no longer pertains to "Special Occupation" but is now referred to as "Armed Forces" in the 2012 PSOC to consist of military occupations only. Each major group in the 2012 PSOC now includes the category, "not elsewhere classified" to account for workers whose occupation cannot be identified/classified, and new workers seeking employment which previously fall under Group 0 – Special Occupations along with armed forces in the 1998 PSOC.

  2. Deleted "supervisors" occupation from Group 1 since other types of supervisors also exist in other major occupational groups. Moreover, in the 2008 ISCO, "supervisors" are not considered managers since they do not have budgeting and other important decision-making functions. With these modifications, "supervisors" categories in Group 1 are now distributed in relevant major occupational groups where their skills belong or are related.

  3. A distinction is now made between "market oriented" and "subsistence" agriculture, forestry and fishery workers under Major Group 6.

  4. Cashiers and ticket clerks, formerly under Group 4 (Clerks) in 1992 PSOC, were transferred to Group 5 (Sales and Service Workers) because these are sales related occupations.

  5. Some occupations involving use of equipment/tools that were formerly classified under Group 7 and 8 but which require more advanced skills/ education or extensive training are now part of Group 3 (Technicians).

As a result, the titles of some major occupational groups have been changed to reflect these changes.
  • Changes in the broad structure to highlight new or emerging occupations:

Similar to the 2008 ISCO, new sub-major groups were created in the 2012 PSOC by splitting some major groups in the 1992 PSOC as follows:
  • Sub-major Occupational Group 13 - General managers and managing proprietorships in the 1992 PSOC was split into two (2) sub-major groups namely:

Sub-major group 13 - Production and specialized services managers and
Sub-major group 14 - Hospitality, retail and other services managers. This sub- major group further provides a separate code for minor group 141- hotel and restaurant managers which was not highlighted before in the 1992 PSOC.

  • Sub-major Occupational Group 21 - Physical, mathematical and engineering science professionals in the 1992 PSOC was split into two sub-major groups:

Sub-major group 21 - Science and engineering professionals
Sub-major group 25 - Information and communications technology (ICT) professionals

  • A separate code for Sub-major group 26 - Legal, social and cultural professionals was also created. This new sub-major group is part of sub-major group 24 - Other professionals in the 1992 PSOC.

  • A new sub-major occupational group and new unit groups were created in the 2012 PSOC for the "green " or environment-friendly occupations not found in the 1992 PSOC. These include:

Sub-major group 96 - Refuse workers and other elementary workers, and 
Unit group 2143 - Environmental engineering
Unit group 9611 - Garbage and recycling collectors, among others.
  • Sub-major Occupational Group 41- Office clerks in the 1992 PSOC was split into three sub-major groups in the 2012 PSOC namely:

Sub-major group 41 - General and keyboard clerks 
Sub-major group 43 - Numerical and material recording clerks 
Sub-major group 44 - Other clerical support workers.
On the other hand, Sub-major Group 42- Customer service clerks in the 1992 PSOC remained unchanged in the 2012 PSOC.
  • Sub-major Group 51- Personal and protective services workers in the 1992 PSOC was split into three (3) sub-major groups in the 2012 PSOC:

Sub-major group 51 - Personal service workers 
Sub-major group 53 - Personal care workers 
Sub-major group 54 - Protective services workers 
On the other hand, Sub-major Group 52 – Sales workers in the 1992 PSOC remained unchanged in the 2011 PSOC.
  • New separate codes for sub-major group were created in major group 9:

Sub-major group 94 - Food preparation assistants 
Sub-major group 95 - Street and related sales and service workers
Sub-major group 96 - Refuse workers and other elementary workers
The coding scheme of the 2012 PSOC has four-digit code with one-digit code representing the major group, two-digit code for the sub-major group, three-digit code representing the minor group and four-digit code as the unit group.
Group1992 PSOC2012 PSOC
Major group1010
Sub-major gropu3343
Minor group134130
Unit group438436


2012 PSOC1992 PSOC
Major GroupDescriptionsNo. of Sub-Major GroupNo. of Minor GroupNo. of Unit GroupMajor GroupDescriptionsNo. of Sub-Major GroupNo. of Minor GroupNo. of Unit Group
1Managers411311Officials of government and special-interest organizations, corporate executives, managers, managing proprietors and supervisors41347
3Technicians and associate professionals520843Technicians and associate professionals41867
4Clerical support workers48294Clerks2723
5Service and sales workers413405Service workers and shop and market sales workers2923
6Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers39186Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen51636
7Craft and related trades workers514667Trades and related workers41671
8Plant and machine operators and assemblers314408Plant and machine operators and assemblers31966
9Elementary occupations611339Laborers and unskilled workers31025
0Armed forces occupations3330Special occupations2612
  43130436  33134438
In this edition, three parts have been made for easy reference as follows:
  1. A Summary of Major, Sub-Major, Minor and Unit Group Titles which enumerates all the ten major groups and their respective sub-major groups, minor groups and unit groups.

  2. A Detailed Classification of the 2012 PSOC which represents the hierarchy of occupational groupings and their definitions, with corresponding 1992 PSOC Code and 2008 ISCO Code.

  3. An Alphabetic Index which lists specific occupations in alphabetical sequence with corresponding codes of the unit group where they belong.