Apprenticeships and T Levels are based on occupations recognised by employers. Our maps bring these together to show where technical education can lead. 

They help employers and individuals to understand routes for progression and how occupations at different levels link together.

View the occupational maps

1. What do the occupational maps show?

Apprenticeships and T Level qualifications are based on occupations. Our maps bring all these together to show where technical education can lead. A standard, explaining what someone in the occupation does, has been written or is in development for most of these occupations, although some await interest from employers.

The maps group occupations with related knowledge, skills and behaviours into pathways, making it easier to see the opportunities for career progression within that particular route. Within each pathway, occupations at the same level are grouped into clusters, to show how skills learnt can be applied to other related occupations.

2. Why use occupational maps?

Occupational maps provide a useful guide to show the technical education options available for employers as well as individuals and training providers who are interested in offering it.

To ensure the occupational maps remain up-to-date, each map is owned by a route panel, made up of industry experts.

Route panels use the maps to support decision making on apprenticeships, T Levels and route reviews and to help them identify additional occupations that need to be developed.

3. What is an occupation?

An occupation is a set of jobs whose main tasks and duties have a high degree of similarity across a relevant sector or sectors, rather than being associated with a single employer.

They must be:

  • transferable to a range of employers
  • sufficiently broad, deep and skilled to require at least a year of employment and training, with 20% of this being off-the-job
  • capable of providing full occupational competence for new entrants to the occupation
  • recognised and stand-alone

Route panels make recommendations on whether occupational proposals made by trailblazer groups meet these requirements as part of the approvals process.

Once an occupation is agreed, it is placed on the relevant occupational map.

4. Can occupations be on multiple routes?

An occupation will only appear on one occupational map. It will be placed in the map which has the best alignment with its knowledge, skills and behaviours.

5. How are the maps updated?

The UK economy is dynamic, and to reflect this the occupational maps are updated as occupations evolve and new ones emerge.

In addition to day-to-day changes to the maps, the Institute also carries out regular reviews. Currently, all maps are being scrutinised as part of our route reviews.

During the route review, we consider the map as a whole, identifying any gaps or standards that duplicate each other and amend the map accordingly. This is to ensure the maps are current and reflective of employer needs.

As part of the route reviews, we are carrying out public consultations to capture employer and industry feedback on the maps. 

6. Are T Levels included?

T Levels are qualifications, equivalent to A levels, at level 3. They are intended to provide enough training in one or more occupations to enable a learner to get a job. The content of the qualifications is based on the same standards used for apprenticeships.

We are planning to represent T Levels and the occupations they cover on the maps later this year.

Please note that some level 3 occupations have been identified by the post-16 skills plan as being appropriate solely for apprenticeships.

7. Are standards mapped to SOC codes?

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a common classification of occupational information for the UK and is published by the Office for National Statistics (

Within the context of the classification, jobs are classified in terms of their skill level and skill content.

It is used for career information to labour market entrants, job matching by employment agencies and the development of government labour market policies.

For more information about Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes for the UK please visit the Office for National Statistics website available at Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) - Office for National Statistics (

The Institute works with employers to design, develop and approve occupational standards. During the development process each occupation is mapped to the SOC code which is considered to be the closest match. You can download the occupations mapped to SOC 2010 codes spreadsheet (CSV file) below.

We do not give any guarantees, conditions or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of this mapping. We are not liable for any loss or damage that may come from your use of this information.

Occupational Standards mapped to SOC (2021) codes, closest match, 19 July 2021