The Department of Health developed a
simple word-matching computer program to code occupation
entries from vital records. The program has been used since
1992 to code birth and death certificates in Washington State.
The program is written in SAS
and can run on any computer that uses SAS. In routine use
here, the computer system codes 96-97% of the occupation
entries on birth and death records.
the accuracy of the program by comparing its output to codes
assigned by human coders. In the evaluation, it assigned the
correct code on 89% (95% confidence interval (87%, 91%)) of
the records it coded.
coding program is both efficient and accurate and can simplify
the process of coding occupation entries from vital records.
The program is adaptable and can be modified to use occupation
classifications other than the one used in Washington State.
Below are links
to a preprint describing the coding system, a table of the
occupation codes, the SAS programs used to code occupation,
and the occupational coding dictionary that the SAS programs