Occupation - minor groups

Important information:

We advised users that two occupation categories “5221 Metal forming, welding and related trades” and “5222 Tool makers, tool fitters and markers out” were incorrectly coded to “521 Metal forming, welding and related trades”. These should have been coded to “522 Tool makers, tool fitters and markers-out”. We also advised users that two occupation categories “2211 Generalist medical practitioners” and “2212 Specialist medical practitioners” were incorrectly coded to “21 Science, research, engineering and technology professionals”. These should have been coded to “22 Health professionals”. These were corrected on 27 July 2023. As Census 2021 was during a unique period of rapid change, take care when using Labour Market data for planning purposes.

Read more about this quality notice.


This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents aged 16 years and over in employment the week before the census in England and Wales by occupation. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Variable and dataset information

Area type

Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.

For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.

Lower tier local authorities

Lower tier local authorities provide a range of local services. There are 309 lower tier local authorities in England made up of 181 non-metropolitan districts, 59 unitary authorities, 36 metropolitan districts and 33 London boroughs (including City of London). In Wales there are 22 local authorities made up of 22 unitary authorities.


Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. However, you can choose to filter areas by:

  • country - for example, Wales
  • region - for example, London
  • local authority - for example, Cornwall
  • health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
  • statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA

Occupation (current)

Classifies what people aged 16 years and over do as their main job. Their job title or details of activities they do in their job and any supervisory or management responsibilities form this classification. This information is used to code responses to an occupation using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2020.

It classifies people who were in employment between 15 March and 21 March 2021, by the SOC code that represents their current occupation.

The lowest level of detail available is the four-digit SOC code which includes all codes in three, two and one digit SOC code levels.


Population type
All usual residents
Area type
Lower tier local authorities
England and Wales
Occupation (current)
105 Categories
  • 111 Chief executives and senior officials
  • 112 Production managers and directors
  • 113 Functional managers and directors
  • 114 Directors in logistics, warehousing and transport
  • 115 Managers and directors in retail and wholesale
  • 116 Senior officers in protective services
  • 117 Health and social services managers and directors
  • 121 Managers and proprietors in agriculture related services
  • 122 Managers and proprietors in hospitality and leisure services
  • 123 Managers and proprietors in health and care services
  • 124 Managers in logistics, warehousing and transport
  • 125 Managers and proprietors in other services
  • 211 Natural and social science professionals
  • 212 Engineering professionals
  • 213 Information technology professionals
  • 214 Web and multimedia design professionals
  • 215 Conservation and environment professionals
  • 216 Research and development (R&D) and other research professionals
  • 221 Medical practitioners
  • 222 Therapy professionals
  • 223 Nursing and midwifery professionals
  • 224 Veterinarians
  • 225 Other health professionals
  • 231 Teaching and other educational professionals
  • 232 Other educational professionals
  • 241 Legal professionals
  • 242 Finance professionals
  • 243 Business, research and administrative professionals
  • 244 Business and financial project management professionals
  • 245 Architects, chartered architectural technologists, planning officers, surveyors and construction professionals
  • 246 Welfare professionals
  • 247 Librarians and related professionals
  • 248 Quality and regulatory professionals
  • 249 Media professionals
  • 311 Science, engineering and production technicians
  • 312 CAD, drawing and architectural technicians
  • 313 Information technology technicians
  • 321 Health associate professionals
  • 322 Welfare and housing associate professionals
  • 323 Teaching and childcare associate professionals
  • 324 Veterinary nurses
  • 331 Protective service occupations
  • 341 Artistic, literary and media occupations
  • 342 Design occupations
  • 343 Sports and fitness occupations
  • 351 Transport associate professionals
  • 352 Legal associate professionals
  • 353 Finance associate professionals
  • 354 Business associate professionals
  • 355 Sales, marketing and related associate professionals
  • 356 Public services associate professionals
  • 357 HR, training and other vocational associate guidance professionals
  • 358 Regulatory associate professionals
  • 411 Administrative occupations: Government and related organisations
  • 412 Administrative occupations: Finance
  • 413 Administrative occupations: Records
  • 414 Administrative occupations: Office managers and supervisors
  • 415 Other administrative occupations
  • 421 Secretarial and related occupations
  • 511 Agricultural and related trades
  • 521 Metal forming, welding and related trades
  • 522 Metal machining, fitting and instrument making trades
  • 523 Vehicle trades
  • 524 Electrical and electronic trades
  • 525 Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors
  • 531 Construction and building trades
  • 532 Building finishing trades
  • 533 Construction and building trades supervisors
  • 541 Textiles and garments trades
  • 542 Printing trades
  • 543 Food preparation and hospitality trades
  • 544 Other skilled trades
  • 611 Teaching and childcare support occupations
  • 612 Animal care and control services
  • 613 Caring personal services
  • 621 Leisure and travel services
  • 622 Hairdressers and related services
  • 623 Housekeeping and related services
  • 624 Cleaning and housekeeping managers and supervisors
  • 625 Bed and breakfast and guest house owners and proprietors
  • 631 Community and civil enforcement occupations
  • 711 Sales assistants and retail cashiers
  • 712 Sales related occupations
  • 713 Shopkeepers and sales supervisors
  • 721 Customer service occupations
  • 722 Customer service supervisors
  • 811 Process operatives
  • 812 Metal working machine operatives
  • 813 Plant and machine operatives
  • 814 Assemblers and routine operatives
  • 815 Construction operatives
  • 816 Production, factory and assembly supervisors
  • 821 Road transport drivers
  • 822 Mobile machine drivers and operatives
  • 823 Other drivers and transport operatives
  • 911 Elementary agricultural occupations
  • 912 Elementary construction occupations
  • 913 Elementary process plant occupations
  • 921 Elementary administration occupations
  • 922 Elementary cleaning occupations
  • 923 Elementary security occupations
  • 924 Elementary sales occupations
  • 925 Elementary storage occupations
  • 926 Other elementary services occupations
  • Does not apply
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Protecting personal data

Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control.

In Census 2021, we:

  • swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area (very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority)
  • added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five – this might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation

Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.

Version history

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