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FLC Wage Data updated
July 1, 2021

Job Zones updated
July 1, 2021
See change history

Technical Support
& Help FAQ page.
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 O*Net™ Online page.
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 Skills Page.
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 areas.
  • The data may have been calculated using a smaller or larger geographic area depending on the number and size of respondents in each area.
  • 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 "2".
  • 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 "3".
  • 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 better matches.
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 information.

The Foreign Labor Certification Data Center is developed and maintained by the State of Utah under contract with the US Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification.