2021 Targeted Update of ANZSCO Proposed Changes

Closed 20 Oct 2021

Opened 23 Sep 2021


Updating the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations

The ABS is producing a targeted update of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

UPDATE: The Cyber Security and Emerging Occupations proposed changes files have been updated on 08/10/2021 to correct inconsistent information regarding the occupations 'Software Tester' and 'Software Engineer' respectively. More information on the corrections are contained in annotations within the relevant files attached in the RELATED section below.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has partnered with several Australian Government agencies to produce a targeted update of the ANZSCO. The ANZSCO, which is jointly managed by the ABS and Stats NZ, describes and covers occupations in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. For more information on ANZSCO please read How does ANZSCO work.

The ANZSCO Australia Update 2021 is due for release on the 23 November 2021. The first round of public consultation opened in June 2021 and was open for five weeks. This round of consultation is the final public round before publication and will remain open for four weeks.

Why are we consulting?

This consultation process is an opportunity for users of the classification to review the changes that are proposed for inclusion in the ANZSCO Australia Update 2021 and provide feedback on those changes.

While ANZSCO has previously had some minor updates, it largely reflects the original 2006 version, which was based on the 2001 labour market. While some occupations have not changed much over this period, others have changed considerably, and new occupations have emerged. For more information please read Updating ANZSCO.

Selected occupations in the following areas have been reviewed. Note that these may include some occupations of interest to broader industry (for example, electrician).

  • Agriculture, including fisheries and forestry
  • Cyber Security
  • Naval Shipbuilding
  • Emerging Occupations in the National Skills Commission publication Emerging Occupations.

For further detail please read the attachment found in the RELATED section at the bottom of the page: “Detailed list of occupations within scope for 2021 Targeted Update”.

Submissions are sought regarding any inaccuracies, unintended significant impacts of the proposed changes to occupation groups, as well as any key implementation issues for users. Alternate suggestions accompanied with documentation and evidence to support your claims is encouraged. For example, significant impacts on educational pathways.

The proposed changes to occupations are detailed in separate attachments for each target review area, found in the RELATED section at the bottom of the page.

Impacts on official statistics

Changes to the classification have been considered and balanced with the need to maintain mutual exclusivity of occupation groups, and stability of the classification for analysis across time. Skill levels were also considered to reflect the range and complexity of the set of tasks undertaken in the occupation.

Most occupation data are output at the highest level of the classification (1, 2 or 3-digit level) and the targeted update aims to maintain stability at these levels, enabling analysis of the labour market across time. However, some changes are being considered to the Minor Group level (3-digit level), including the addition of one new Minor Group within Major Group 3 (Minor Group 363 Primary Production Supervisors and Specialists) and further detail within Major Group 8 (Minor Group 842 Farm Workers and 843 Forestry and Garden Workers), to better reflect the modern agricultural workforce. The new Minor Group addition will have implications for representation of middle management/supervisory roles across ANZSCO in a range of areas.

The ABS is also keen to understand any impact of this proposed change to vocational education and training pathways. Consequently, additional targeted consultation specific to these Minor Group changes will be undertaken throughout this consultation phase.

Occupation data at more granular levels (4 and 6-digit level) will be impacted by the targeted update with more finely detailed and/or newly created occupation groups included. Changes also include the removal of occupation groups that have become redundant. Users will be provided with information to help understand the changes in the classification and the impact of those changes on their data and timeseries.

Future ANZSCO updates

Proposed changes to occupations that fell outside of the 2021 targeted update were not reviewed this round. The ABS has commenced development of a new approach to maintaining the ANZSCO to keep it reflective of the contemporary labour market. This will be informed by stakeholder consultation in early 2022 and include seeking feedback on the prioritisation of the focus of future updates.

If you would like more information, please email anzsco.maintenance@abs.gov.au.


  • General Public


  • Labour Market