FLC Data Center - Frequently Asked Questions
Use the DOT Crosswalk to find an OES occupation
The O*Net Online has a crosswalk between
the Dictionary of Occupational Titles classification and O*Net occupations.
The O*Net occupation can then be used to find wage data on this site.
The DOT and additional crosswalks are available at the
How do I determine the skill
and wage level?
Information on determining skill and wage levels under the revised prevailing wage
guidance for nonagricultural programs is available on the
Why can't I find ocupation
xx-xxxx (19-1011, 19-3001, etc) that I used to use?
Between the release of data for the 2005 calendar year and the 2006 calendar
year there were numerous changes to the list of occupations for which BLS releases
data. The main reasons for the changes were:
- To synchronize
the occupations used by BLS with the current SOC Directory of Occupations; Mostly
occurred in the residual (All Other) occupation codes;
- To provide more detailed occupational information
in cases where historically data had been released for a minor group classification
rather than the detailed occupations, or for occupations that previously had been
mapped to a residual code; For example in the past data was released for 25-4010
Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians. Now data is released for the detailed
occupations 25-4011 Archivists; 25-4012 Curators; and 25-4013 Museum Technicians.
- To provide more detail in the science specialties
for the ACWIA - Educational Research occupations; For example in the past the occupations
19-1001 and 19-1002 were used for Life Scientist as ACWIA eligible institutions.
Now the specialty occupations like 19-1021 Biochemists and Biophysicists, 19-1022
Microbiologists, etc. are available for use in the ACWIA database.
The decision the include or remove occupations was primarily
made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is responsible for the collection
of the wage data.
Why was there such a big change
in the wages from one year to the next?
All data is reviewed by BLS staff at
both the state and federal level. Because the data is created from a sample of employers,
rather than a required census, there are several possible explanations for anomalies
in the data:
- When comparing data from the 7/2016 update to previous
years data, a primary reason for differences may be the redefinition of the geographic
- The data may have been calculated using a smaller
or larger geographic area depending on the number and size of respondents in each
- The mix of high paying to low paying employers who
were sampled, or who responded may have shifted.
- Employers may have made different decisions classifying
the occupation; for instance some employers may classify an apprentice electrician
as an electrician, and some may classify them as an electricians helper.
- The mix of union to non-union respondents in an
area may have shifted.
In general, BLS does not revise the FLC Wage Data after
release. There is no provision that allows this site to revise the BLS estimates,
or to provide any alternative estimates based on data from previous years.
What are some ways to search faster? Search Hints
Make a list of your frequently used Area Codes and Occupation Codes. Knowing
the Area Code allows you to use the Quick Search and pick your desired occupation
from the provided list.
- When using the Quick Search you can enter a partial OES/SOC code (as little as four
digits, eg. 11-1). The resulting search will display a list of occupations
that start with the partial code. Each occupation will have a link allowing
you to check the wages.
What are Area Codes?
The Bureau of Labor statistics has established Metropolitan Statistical Areas that
are each identified by a four or five-digit Area Code. In addition, each state
has identified a number of Balance-of-State areas that are each identified by a
six or 7-digit Area Code.
Some Area Codes changed in July, 2016. Codes do not require padding with
a leading 0.
- If you don't know the Area Code you can find the area by using the Search Wizard
and picking the county or township from the provided list.
What are Occupation Codes?
There are four main structures used to classify occupations that are referenced
by the Online Wage Library.
The Occupational Employment Survey (OES) uses the Standard Occupational Classification
(SOC) for the collection of wage date. OES/SOC codes are seven-digit codes
in the format 99-9999.
The Online Wage Library cross-references OES/SOC codes to the O*Net™ occupational
classification system. O*Net™ is a superset of the SOC with some occupations
broken out into more detail and identified by a two digit decimal extension to the
SOC code. For instance, the SOC occupation 11-1011: Chief Executives is subdivided
by O*Net™ into the occupations 11-1011.00: Chief Executives, 11-1011.01 Government
Service Executives and 11-1011.02: Private Service Executives.
O*Net™ occupational information is included in the Online Wage Library because it
includes more detailed occupational definitions, as well as experience and training
requirements. The wages for the corresponding OES/SOC occupation apply to
all of the related O*Net™ occupations.
What is the Geographic Level (GeoLevel)?
If the data used to calculate the wage estimate came from the actual MSA or BOS
area the GeoLevel code will equal "1".
If there were no releasable estimates for the desired area then the wages area for
the area indicated plus its contiguous areas. This is signified by a GeoLevel
If there was no releasable estimates for the area, or for the area plus contiguous
areas the wage is calculated from statewide data, indicated by a GeoLevel equaling
- Finally, if there is no releasable estimate for the state, the national average
is used. This is indicated by GeoLevel "4".
How can I improve my Keyword Searches?
The Search Wizard allows you either pick an occupation from the provided list, or
to enter a keyword or phrase to find occupations that include that keyword.
A keyword search requires a minimum of 4 characters be entered.
If the keyword string exists in any part of the occupational title or description
that occupation is listed as a match.
- Sometimes better matches can be found if you leave the last few characters off of
the keyword. For instance, entering "secretar" rather than secretary provides
How do I choose Which Data Source to use?
Under normal situations you are required to use the All Industries Database for
the current time period. Changing the Data Source selection will update the
list of occupations you can choose from.
Unless the employer qualifies under ACWIA, the All Industries Database must be
used. Employers that qualify may use occupations and wages found in the ACWIA
- Education Industry database.
- Occupations designated R&D/NON R&D or ACWIA Only are found in the ACWIA
database and may be used for employees of colleges and universities, and other firms
exempted under ACWIA only. See the General Administration Letter 2-99 for more