About O*NET

The O*NET Program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. Valid data are essential to understanding the rapidly changing nature of work and how it impacts the workforce and U.S. economy. From this information, applications are developed to facilitate the development and maintenance of a skilled workforce.

Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated from input by a broad range of workers in each occupation.

O*NET information is used by millions of individuals every year, including those taking advantage of O*NET Online, My Next Move, and other publicly and privately developed applications. The data have proven vital in helping people find the training and jobs they need, and employers the skilled workers necessary to be competitive in the marketplace.

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Content Model: Anatomy of an occupation

Every occupation requires a different mix of knowledge, skills, and abilities, and is performed using a variety of activities and tasks. These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described by the O*NET Content Model.

Explore the interactive Content Model to see the range of occupational descriptors in the O*NET database.

O*NET-SOC Taxonomy: A spectrum of occupations

While the Content Model defines the information structure for a single occupation, the O*NET-SOC taxonomy defines the set of occupations across the world of work. Based on the Standard Occupational Classification external site, the O*NET-SOC taxonomy currently includes 974 occupations which currently have, or are scheduled to have, data collected from job incumbents or occupation experts. To keep up with the changing occupational landscape, the taxonomy is periodically revised; the last revision was in 2010.

Data Collection: Real-world information

The O*NET-SOC taxonomy defines the occupations, and the Content Model outlines which information is collected; the Data Collection program brings these frameworks to life with results from the working public.

For more about the data collection, view sample questionnaires based on the O*NET surveys, or visit RTI's O*NET site external site for information from the survey conductors.

Get started on a new career

My Next Move, My Next Move for Veterans and Mi Pr贸ximo Paso (targeted for Spanish-speaking career explorers) helps new job seekers, students, and other career explorers investigate over 900 occupations. These interactive web-based tools have easy ways to search careers:

Explore O*NET data from your browser

O*NET OnLine is a comprehensive web application for exploring the O*NET database, offering:

Professional assessment instruments

Using the O*NET Career Exploration Tools, students and workers may explore a range of career directions, based on their interests, work values, and abilities. Learn more about the Tools:

O*NET-SOC classification made easy

Designed specifically for job coding professionals, O*NET Code Connector makes it easy to match job orders to an occupation in the O*NET-SOC system. With a powerful keyword search and a concise, "at-a-glance" overview of occupations, this web application makes interactive job coding fast and simple.

O*NET information is relevant to many different audiences. Below you'll find some suggestions for different types of visitors:

Counselors: Connect people to appropriate occupations with resources like the Career Exploration Tools and O*NET OnLine. For self-directed career exploration, My Next Move is a great starting point. Mi Pr贸ximo Paso offers career exploration for Spanish speakers. My Next Move for Veterans supports veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce.

Students: Discover occupations you might enjoy, by taking the Interest Profiler assessment online or from your phone. If you've already got an occupation in mind, learn more about it from My Next Move.

Human Resources: The Toolkit for Business contains examples and case studies illustrating how O*NET information can help you with writing job descriptions or helping employees identify necessary skills for advancement. Learn more about occupations using O*NET OnLine.

Researchers: Our Reports and Documents section contains over 100 papers on the development and evolution of the O*NET database and tools. For detailed study, download the database itself to directly view the data, as well as statistical metadata describing the quality of the information.

Developers: Incorporate O*NET information into your application through O*NET Web Services. Find graphics and URLs for linking directly to O*NET sites. See related Crosswalk files for connecting other systems to the O*NET-SOC taxonomy.

If you have other questions about using O*NET, you might take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions. If you can't find the answer there, feel free to contact O*NET Customer Service (onet@onetcenter.org).