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How to Understand EEO Job Categories

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A number of employment regulations exist to provide fair and safe workplaces for all people, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. One such compliance standard is the use of EEO classifications. Learn about how EEO categories are used and what they include.

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What are EEO categories?

In 1966, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began requiring companies with 100 or more employees to submit an EEO-1 report, classifying each of their employees as one of nine job categories. Classification is generally based on three criteria: responsibilities and primary duties, knowledge and training and level of skill the job requires.

Why are EEO categories used?

EEO-1 reports inform the EEOC on the gender, race and job level of each employee to ensure equal employment opportunity requirements are being met. EEO categories are particularly important for identifying industries, job categories and geographical areas where patterns of lacking job opportunities exist for women and minorities.

Related:New Employee Forms

Definitions and examples of EEO categories

There are nine EEO categories, but the first one is broken into two distinct groups for a total of 10 categories. The EEO categories are:

  • (1.1) Executive/senior-level officials and managers
  • (1.2) First/mid-level officials and managers
  • (2) Professionals
  • (3) Technicians
  • (4) Sales Workers
  • (5) Administrative support workers
  • (6) Craft workers
  • (7) Operatives
  • (8) Laborers and helpers
  • (9) Service workers

(1.1) Executive/senior-level officials and managers

This category includes the highest level positions within an organization. Individuals in this category plan, direct and create policies, formulate company strategies and report directly to the board of directors. Example job titles include:

  • Chief operating officers
  • Chief executive officers
  • Chief financial officers
  • Chief human resource officers
  • Chief marketing officers

(1.2) First/mid-level officials and managers

The second tier of the first category is generally reserved for individuals who report to and take action from those in the 1.1 EEO category. Most positions in this group implement the plans and strategies of the senior/executive level and oversee operations at a regional and divisional level. Job titles may include:

  • Vice presidents
  • Operational managers
  • Marketing managers
  • Financial managers
  • Education Administrators
  • Human resource managers

Related:What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Manager?

(2) Professionals

The official second EEO category normally includes roles that require professional degrees or certifications and a relative amount of experience to perform their job duties. Examples of jobs in this category include:

  • Training and development specialists
  • Financial analysts
  • Insurance underwriters
  • Computer programmers
  • Web developers
  • Chemical engineers
  • Sociologists
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors

(3) Technicians

The technician category is reserved for jobs that require specific applied science skills obtained through vocational or other training programs. Jobs in this category usually entail manual labor and technical work, which may include:

  • Civil drafters
  • Mechanical engineering technicians
  • Radio operators
  • Dental hygienists
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Athletic trainers

(4) Sales Workers

Employees involved directly in sales fit into this category. In order to classify an employee as a sales worker, they must spend more time selling then performing other job responsibilities. Job titles may include:

  • Retail workers
  • Travel agents
  • Real estate agents
  • Telemarketers
  • Product promoters
  • Loan officers

(5) Administrative support workers

This category includes individuals that generally work in an office setting. They are usually responsible for clerical duties like handling paperwork and records, answering phones and working on the computer. Examples of roles include:

  • Paralegals
  • File clerks
  • Dispatchers
  • Teacher assistants
  • Bank tellers
  • Customer service representatives
  • Receptionists

(6) Craft workers

Workers in this category have a special skill they are trained to do, that allows them to perform a very specific job. Many individuals in this category work in construction, mining and other industrial sectors. Jobs in this category may include:

  • Carpenters
  • Woodworkers
  • Auto mechanics
  • Electricians
  • Pipe layers
  • Bicycle repairers
  • Home appliance repairers
  • Tailors

(7) Operatives

Operatives employees with roles that are considered "semi-skilled". Operative duties require less complex training and consist of a broader range of skills than craft workers. Individuals in this category usually operate heavy machinery. Job examples are:

  • Loading machine operators
  • Engine assemblers
  • Bakers
  • Truck drivers
  • Butchers
  • Tool grinders
  • Printing press operators
  • Gas plant operators

(8) Laborers and helpers

Laborers and helpers are identified as "unskilled workers" that perform their job by carefully following detailed instructions. Jobs in this category generally need little training and includemore manual labor roles such as:

  • Landscaping and groundskeeping workers
  • Animal breeders
  • Forest and conservation workers
  • Carpenter helpers
  • Construction laborers
  • Farm workers
  • Vehicle cleaners

(9) Service workers

The service worker category includes jobs within the service sector, which may need formal training, but most require only related experience. Examples of jobs may include:

  • Cooks
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Home health aides
  • Nursing assistants
  • Dental assistants
  • Security guards
  • Bartenders

Specific examples of EEO codes

Below are two examples of how EEO categories might apply to a company. Keep in mind that you may not have each category within your business, so make sure you categorize your employees correctly.

Construction company EEO example

Here’s an example of how a construction company might categorize roles within the business:

  • (1.1) Chief Executive
  • (1.2) Construction manager
  • (2) Construction inspector
  • (3) Mapping technician
  • (5) Payroll and time-keeping clerk
  • (6) Electrician
  • (7) Welder
  • (8) Construction worker

Sales-related roles example

Here’s an example of how a sales chain would categorize its roles:

  • (1.1) CEO
  • (1.2) VP of sales
  • (2) Sales manager
  • (4) Sales representative
  • (5) Billing clerk
  • (6) Delivery driver

Frequently asked questions about EEO Categories

Which employers are required to file the EEO-1 report?

All businesses with at least 100 employees must file. Additionally, any federal contractors with a minimum of 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government must file.

Any private employers with less than 100 employees and federal contractors with less than 50 employees are not required to file an annual EEO-1 report by law.

What are the EEO categories for ethnicity and race?

The categories are as follows:

  • White (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • American Indian or Native Alaskan (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Asian (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Black or African American (not Hispanic or Latino)

Further reading

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