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AMIA has been advocating for the Standard Occupational Code (SOC) Classification System to include a unique code relevant to medical informatics for a decade. We previously proposed three but two were denied due to “lack of evidence.” Health Informatics occupation (29-9021), HIM occupation (29-9022) and Health IT occupation (29- 9023). One of these did succeed, which is a big win. It wasn’t the informatics-specific one, but the Health IT code, which is still a win for us because it was the result of our advocacy.


The SOC Code is the United States’ Government’s system of classifying occupations. O*NET is an online database that contains hundreds of job definitions to help students, job seekers, businesses, and workforce development professionals to understand today’s world of work in the United States. It was developed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

Take Action

AMIA is advocating for a “clinical informatics” code and need your help! Review this Occupational Code Assignment (OCA) application to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and ask your organization to endorse this initiative.

Endorse the OCA application today!


Informational Webinar

Sep. 29, 2023

Watch the recording

Historically, the United States had the Dictionary of Trade, which was focused on blue-collar jobs. This Dictionary developed into O*NET with the changing professions and SOC was eventually developed in 2006. O*NET and SOC are largely aligned, but O*NET is a bit more specific and has a few more codes than SOC due to this transition.  

DOL, which developed O*NET and is the larger agency within which the Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS) sits. BLS collects, analyzes, and publishes reliable information on many aspects of the U.S. economy. OMB is the agency that publishes the SOC solicitation. We are working on finding a relevant contact there.

Where are we now?

    While a unique Informatics SOC code was our goal, there are many other, potentially better wins that are more achievable. The DOL has told us that SOC codes require an entirely unique field. If someone working as a nurse informaticist, as an example, is using the SOC, they will be coded to nurse, not informatics. As such, the SOC code structure is flawed. Other achievable wins that will support the Informatics field are:

    1. Adding phrases to existing O*NET codes such that when those phrases are searched, the government captures data  
    2. Gather materials members can use as a benchmark of the field today
    3. Document AMIA’s ongoing effort in this area  


    • AMIA’s 2017 SOC proposal rejected. Need more evidence.


    • SOC tells us that 2024 is the anticipated year for soliciting SOC comments.


    • AMIA partners with VA & decides to submit an OCA application to O*NET first to gather more data.


    • Comprehensive OCA application drafted, including clinical, administrative, technical informatics roles.
    • Supporting materials are added to complete the initial draft application. A plan for engaging internal and external feedback is created.


    • AMIA receives new info from O*NET, advises us to narrow application &  hire a 3rd party vendor​
      • Approved by AMIA Board of Directors


    • Application updated to “clinical informatics” and re-shared with O*NET contact, who provides more insight*


    • AMIA will solicit endorsement of final application*​
    • Submit O*NET OCA application*​
    • Ideally, O*NET provides us data on “clinical informatics”


    • BLS publishes solicitation for SOC comments in federal register​
    • AMIA submits comments to BLS with O*NET/vendor data & stakeholder endorsements


    • SOC Code ​

    Current codes that may apply to informatics


    • Dentists
    • Pharmacists
    • Therapists*
    • Physicians*
    • Surgeons*
    • Registered Nurses, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners
    • Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars

    *Some specialties listed and "All Other"


    • Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other Health Informatics Specialists
    • Clinical Data Manager

    What’s next?

    • Sign-on to endorse the OCA Application
    • AMIA will host a webinar overviewing this project on September 29, 2023
    • Submit the OCA Application to O*NET with the goal of creating either a new O*NET code or, more likely, substantiating the existing codes such that O*Net can capture data on work being done in the field  
    • Draft comments to the SOC Policy Committee when they solicit input on the SOC Code (anticipated: May 2024)
      • Point out the flaws of the SOC Code system for adequately capturing many fields in the modern workforce  
      • Advocate for the need to more adequately address clinical informatics  
    • Draft comments to the SOC Policy Committee when they solicit their second round of input (anticipated: 2026)
    • Potentially meet with the SOC Policy Committee
    • DOL released updated SOC in 2028 (anticipated)  


    Anticipated Timeline of Updating the SOC System

    1st Fed Reg notice soliciting public input  May 2024 – July 2024 
    SOCPC reviews input, research  Through 2025 
    2nd Fed Reg notice requesting comments  July 2026 – September 2026 
    SOCPC reviews comments and develops final recommendations  Through 2026 
    OMB reviews SOCPC recommendations  Late 2026 
    3rd Fed Reg notice announcing the final 2028 SOC structure, and occupation codes and titles  Spring 2027 
    OMB publishes 2028 SOC Manual  Summer 2027 
    Federal stat agencies implement  Beginning 2028