The occupational classification system used during Census 2000 consists of 509 specific occupational categories for employed people arranged into 23 major occupational groups. This classification was developed based on the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual: 2000, which includes a hierarchical structure showing 23 major occupational groups divided into 96 minor groups, 449 broad groups, and 821 detailed occupations. For Census 2000, tabulations with occupation as the primary characteristic present several levels of occupational detail.
Some occupation groups are related closely to certain industries. Operators of transportation equipment, farm operators and workers, and healthcare providers account for major portions of their respective industries of transportation, agriculture, and health care. However, the industry categories include people in other occupations. For example, people employed in agriculture include truck drivers and bookkeepers; people employed in the transportation industry include mechanics, freight handlers, and payroll clerks; and people employed in the health care industry include occupations such as security guard and secretary.