Information For Important Work Decisions
"Reports of our 'demise' are greatly exaggerated!" ... Read More

SkillTRAN Alternate Titles for Occupations - How and why we do it

SkillTRAN’s development and use of alternate occupational titles begins with a review of the process followed by job analysts to construct the DOT.

HISTORICAL REVIEW

The 1991 Revised Handbook of the DOT describes the following about the process of job analysis (page 2-1):  “Jobs must be analyzed as they exist; therefore, each completed Job Analysis Report (JAR) must report the job as it exists at the time of the analysis, not as it should exist, not as it has existed in the past, and not as it exists in similar establishments.” On page 16-6, a section describes assignment of the DOT Title: “When the analyst determines that the establishment job is identical in all significant aspects (basic job tasks and worker requirements) to a published definition, enter in all capital letters the published Base or Undefined Related (UR) Title. …“

The 1991 DOT describes the following on page xix for (2) The Occupational Title

“Immediately following the occupational code in every definition is the occupational base title. The base title is always in upper-case boldface letters. It is the most common type of title found in the DOT, and is the title by which the occupation is known in the majority of establishments in which it was found. In the example, CLOTH PRINTER (any industry) 652.382-010 is a base title.”

The 1991 DOT further describes the following about its use of (4) Alternate Titles – page xxi:

“An alternate title is a synonym for the base title. It is not as commonly used as the base title. Alternate titles are shown in lower-case letters immediately after the base title and its industrial designation. … Alternate titles may not be used by public employment service offices in assigning occupational classifications. Alternate titles are cross-referenced to their base titles in the Alphabetical Index of Occupational Titles (p. 1185). A particular occupation may have a large number of alternate titles or none at all. Alternate titles carry the code numbers and industry designations of the base title.”

In the Introduction to the 1991 DOT, page xxi and the 1977 DOT, page xix discuss the issue of industry assignment as follows:

"In compiling information for the DOT, analysts were not able to study each occupation in all industries where it occurs.  The industry designation, therefore, shows in what industries the occupation was studied but does not mean that it may not be found in others.  Therefore, industry designations are to be regarded as indicative of industrial location, but not necessarily restrictive."

CURRENT CONTEXT

The 1991 DOT contains 12,741 unique DOT Occupational Codes and definitions. Twenty-one more were added in 1998 and 1 was deleted increasing the total number of unique DOT occupations to 12,761 unique DOT codes. A frequency count of the Date Last Updated (DLU) reveals that 10,298 of the 12,761 DOT occupations (80.7%) were last updated in 1977. So the vast majority of the occupations and their job titles are now nearly 40 years old! There has been lots of changes in those intervening 40 years, including the collapse of some industries, the consolidation of occupations in many industries, and complete obsolescence of yet others. New occupations have been created, yet precious little has been done in the DOT style of data collection to capture new and emerging occupational definitions.

Employers often use a new job title as a way to make people feel better about what they do, but do not change the core duties of the occupation. There is a key admission in the Introduction to the DOT (page xix) . “In compiling information for the DOT, analysts were not able to study each occupation in all industries where it occurs.” In today’s world of work, people are employed in occupations that are quite similar to existing DOT occupations. Particularly in industries in which the original DOT occupation was not studied, employers often use a different occupational title that essentially duplicates the duties and tasks of an existing DOT occupation. This new occupational title is a synonym for the base DOT title.

SKILLTRAN ALTERNATE TITLES

The lack of new and current synonymous titles is the cornerstone issue which has compelled SkillTRAN to take some positive action for its customers. Adding new alternate titles is done in the spirit of synonyms used by the Department of Labor for this very purpose - to make it easier for users of the document to find the master DOT code, title, and description. DOL did not permit use of the alternate titles by its own public employment service officers to assign occupational classifications, but it used the synonyms to point its users to the proper master DOT code and title. This is the same way in which SSA and others should use these titles. All citations in any matter or proceeding should be to the master DOT code and title. The synonyms are intended for search convenience only.

In its unique position serving thousands of customers across the country, SkillTRAN is often asked questions or it observes its customers answering questions posed by others attempting to locate a proper DOT code, title and definition for an occupational title that is not in the known, published DOT pool of base, alternate or unrelated defined titles. These customers most often include vocational experts or rehabilitation counselors who are already quite familiar with the DOT and are having difficulty coming up with the proper synonym to use to point to the title they “know” is already in the DOT. This prompts a sometimes vigorous and creative search by SkillTRAN using other synonyms or searching through the DOT by way of SOC, O*NET, Work Field, or MPSMS codes. Sometimes searching by DOT industry is helpful in the process of teasing out a DOT occupation that has already been defined but was not titled in the same way. It is only after receiving confirmation from the requesting party that the suggested base DOT occupation is the “right” code for the new synonym that SkillTRAN considers adding the new alternate title to a list of SkillTRAN developed synonyms. By confirming the synonym and corresponding DOT code and base title with the requesting party, SkillTRAN affirms the utility of the synonym for future users when it is added to the list of alternate titles. This makes subsequent lookup by this synonym highly effective for quickly getting to a suitable DOT code and title. It contributes to the overall “ease of use” and efficiency experienced by SkillTRAN customers in all settings.

SOME EXAMPLES

During the last 30+ years of direct customer service, SkillTRAN has added more than 1,000 synonyms as SkillTRAN alternate titles to help its customers more quickly locate DOT codes and titles. Customers should always cite the formal DOT code, master title, and description when building work history or suggesting hypothetical alternate occupations that a claimant could perform. Here are some examples of synonymous job titles as associated with a base DOT code and master title.

DOT Code DOT Base/Master Title SkillTRAN Alternate Title
003061034 ELECTRONICS-DESIGN ENGINEER CAD DESIGNER
003061046 ILLUMINATING ENGINEER BUILDING-ILLUMINATING ENGINEER
019081018 POLLUTION-CONTROL ENGINEER NOISE-ABATEMENT ENGINEER
041061022 AQUATIC BIOLOGIST LIMNOLOGIST
041061050 GENETICIST DNA SYNTHESIS
045107058 SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY COUNSELOR
045107058 SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE COUNSELOR
078362042 POLYSOMNOGRAPHIC TECHNICIAN SLEEP SPECIALIST
099224014 TEACHER, ADVENTURE EDUCATION WILDERNESS LEADER
110107010 LAWYER CONTRACTS ATTORNEY
110117022 LAWYER, CORPORATION BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL COUNSEL
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER BAPTIST MINISTER
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER BUDDHIST MONK
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER EVANGELICAL MINISTER
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER METHODIST MINISTER
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER MINISTER
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER MISSIONARY
120107010 CLERGY MEMBER RABBI
131067026 HUMORIST GAG WRITER
131067038 PLAYWRIGHT DRAMATIST
153227014 INSTRUCTOR, PHYSICAL PERSONAL TRAINER
160162010 ACCOUNTANT, TAX CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
160162018 ACCOUNTANT CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
160162022 ACCOUNTANT, BUDGET CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
160162026 ACCOUNTANT, COST CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
160167022 ACCOUNTANT, PROPERTY CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
160167026 ACCOUNTANT, SYSTEMS CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
160167058 CONTROLLER CFO/CONTROLLER
169167030 MANAGER, DATA PROCESSING CIO - CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
189157010 BUSINESS-OPPORTUNITY-AND-PROPERTY-INVESTMENT BROKER HOUSE FLIPPER
195107034 SOCIAL WORKER, PSYCHIATRIC CASE MANAGER
237367022 INFORMATION CLERK GREETER
250257014 FINANCIAL PLANNER MANAGED CARE ANALYST
272357022 SALESPERSON, HORTICULTURAL AND NURSERY PRODUCTS SALESPERSON, GARDEN CENTER
293357014 FUND RAISER II BELL RINGER
299667010 BILLPOSTER AD SET
339137010 MANAGER, HEALTH CLUB FITNESS CENTER MANAGER
372667010 AIRLINE SECURITY REPRESENTATIVE TRANSPORATION SECURITY OFFICER (TSO)
372667010 AIRLINE SECURITY REPRESENTATIVE TSA SECURITY SCREENER
406684014 GROUNDSKEEPER, INDUSTRIAL-COMMERCIAL MOWER, LAWN
406684014 GROUNDSKEEPER, INDUSTRIAL-COMMERCIAL CUTTER, GRASS
410674010 ANIMAL CARETAKER VETERINARIAN ASSISTANT
524685034 ICER, MACHINE FROSTING MACHINE OPERATOR
599684010 EQUIPMENT CLEANER BEER TECHNICIAN
620684014 AUTOMOBILE-MECHANIC HELPER ENGINE DISASSEMBLER
869367014 MEASURER WINDOW SALES ESTIMATOR
891687030 TUBE CLEANER AIR DUCT CLEANER
904687010 TRACTOR-TRAILER MOVING VAN DRIVER HELPER LUMPER
909663010 HOSTLER TRUCK SPOTTER
915687018 LUBRICATION SERVICER OIL CHANGER
921663058 TRACTOR-CRANE OPERATOR SHREDDER OPERATOR
921683050 INDUSTRIAL-TRUCK OPERATOR FORK-LIFT-TRUCK OPERATOR/DRIVER
955687022 GARBAGE COLLECTOR SANITATION WORKER
955687022 GARBAGE COLLECTOR WASTE DISPOSAL WORKER/TECHNICIAN
970661010 ENGROSSER CALLIGRAPHER
Add your comments here