What is O*NET?


What is O*NET?
How Does O*NET Work?
How Can O*NET Help You?
What Data Does O*NET Include?

Learn More about O*NET!
How Can I Access O*NET?

What is O*NET?

O*NET, the Occupational Information Network, is a unique, comprehensive database of worker competencies, job requirements, resources and more! As the replacement for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), O*NET will be the nation's primary source of occupational information. O*NET is a timely, easy-to-use resource that supports public and private sector efforts to identify and develop the skills of the American workforce. It provides a common language for defining and describing occupations. Its flexible design also captures rapidly changing job requirements. O*NET’s innovative online design moves occupational information into the technological age. Don't be confused – whether you have seen it spelled onet, ONET, o-net, o net, O-NET, O NET, or O*net, it all refers to O*NET, the Occupational Information Network.

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How Does O*NET Work?

By using a contemporary, interactive skills-based database and a common language to describe worker skills and attributes, O*NET transforms mountains of data into precise, focused occupational intelligence that anyone can understand easily and efficiently.


The framework that organizes O*NET data is a skills-based structure called the Content Model. The Content Model classifies data into six domains, “windows” that look into many aspects of work -- from descriptions of the worker to requirements of the work. To learn more about the O*NET content model, go to http://www.onetcenter.org/content.html.

O*NET OnLine offers users the opportunity to:

  • Find occupations to explore
  • Search for occupations that use your skills
  • Look at related occupations
  • View occupation snapshots
  • View occupation details
  • View occupational titles
  • Use crosswalks to find corresponding occupations in other classification systems
  • Connect to other online career resources
  • Access comprehensive help information on line
  • Find occupational job outlook data

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How Can O*NET Help You?

For Employers: O*NET can expand the pool of candidates for open positions, help develop job descriptions quickly, define job-specific success factors, refine recruitment and training goals, etc.

Employers Can Use O*NET to:

  • Expand the pool of quality candidates for open positions
  • Develop job descriptions quickly and easily
  • Define employee and job success factors
  • Align organizational development with workplace needs
  • Refine recruitment and training goals
  • Design competitive compensation systems


For Workforce Investment Board Members (WIBs): WIBs are in the position to ensure that useful, appropriate tools, such as O*NET, are disseminated throughout the local workforce development system.

O*NET can help WIBs follow the 7 principles of WIA by:

  • Providing tools that streamline services
  • Empowering individuals
  • Ensuring universal access
  • Offering local flexibility
  • Improving youth programs


For Career Counselors and Educators: O*NET can help assist teachers and career counselors with preparing adults or students for careers by providing tools to understand the knowledge and skills required for occupations.

O*NET can help Counselors and Educators by providing:

  • Occupational outlook data
  • Occupation & work characteristics/requirements
  • Labor market information
  • Data as resource for developing curriculum design
  • Resources for career counseling and career guidance


For Workforce Development Professionals: O*NET helps to quickly create resumes; explore options that capitalize on knowledge, skills, and abilities; create skills-match profiles; and improve partnerships by using a common language for occupational information.

Workforce Development Professionals can use O*NET to:

  • Develop job orders and resumes
  • Create skills-match profiles
  • Explore career options that capitalize on knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs)
  • Target recruitment efforts for improved job matching
  • Improve partnerships by using a common language for occupational information.


For Job Seekers/Individuals: O*NET can help you refine your job search by describing the skills, experience, and worker characteristics.

Job Seekers/Individuals can use O*NET to:

  • Identify which jobs match interests, skills, and experience
  • Explore career growth profiles using the latest labor market data
  • Research requirements for a “dream” job
  • Maximize earning potential and job satisfaction
  • Know what it takes to be successful in a chosen field and related occupations

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What Data Does O*NET Include?

The O*NET database includes information on skills, abilities, knowledge, work activities, and interests associated with occupations. This information can be used to facilitate career exploration, vocational counseling, and a variety of human resources functions, such as developing job orders and position descriptions and aligning training with current workplace needs.

Information in O*NET is available for over 950 occupations. Each occupational title and code is based on the most current version (1999) of the Standard Occupational Classification system.

The database used in O*NET OnLine is based largely on data supplied by occupational analysts using sources such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). To develop data for this database, analysts evaluated and refined existing occupational data, then applied these data to the O*NET Content Model.

In addition, the O*NET coding structure has been aligned to the newly revised Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). All government agencies are moving toward the SOC as the one standard system. O*NET, as one of the first systems to align with the SOC, will serve as the model for other programs that will be implementing a similar transition.

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Learn More about O*NET!

For more detailed information and descriptions of how to use O*NET and its functions, visit the online tutorials on the O*NET Academy Site at www.onetacademy.com.

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How Can I Access O*Net?

To access the O*NET database, go to http://online.onetcenter.org/.

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