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Occupations pillar

The occupations pillar is one of the three pillars of ESCO. It organises the occupation concepts. It uses hierarchical relationships between them, metadata as well as mappings to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) in order to structure the occupations.

Occupational profiles

ESCO v1 contains 2 942 occupations. Each occupation concept contains one preferred term and any number of non-preferred terms and hidden terms in each of the ESCO languages. It also includes information on regulated professions that are relevant in the context of this occupation.

Each occupation also comes with an occupational profile. The profiles contain an explanation of the occupation in the form of descriptionscope note and definition. Furthermore, they list the knowledgeskills and competences that experts considered relevant terminology for this occupation on a European scale. ESCO distinguishes essential and optional knowledge, skills and competences.

The following list provides an overview of the metadata for ESCO occupations and relationships to other ESCO pillars:


Structure of the occupation pillar

The International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) serves as the hierarchical structure for the occupations pillar. Each ESCO occupations is assigned to exactly one ISCO-08 unit group (level 4). Thus, ISCO-08 provides the top four levels for the occupations pillar. ESCO provides the fifth and lower levels of the hierarchical structure with its list of occupations.

Occupation hierarchy in ESCO using ISCO-08

In addition, ESCO contains hierarchical relationships between ESCO occupations. This way, ESCO shows that specialisms are narrower in scope than a more generic occupation. For example, ESCO contains an occupation "bartender" and two specialisms "cocktail bartender" and "barista", which are hierarchically linked to it.


International Labour Organisation: ISCO website