One of the occupations on the chopping block is "Clerk-Typist."

One of the occupations on the chopping block is "Clerk-Typist." By Mark Carrel / Shutterstock.com

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OPM Proposes Ditching 'Clerk-Typist' and Other Occupational Classifications That Are Rarely Used Anymore

As many as 28 white collar job titles and 19 trade and craft occupations could be eliminated or rolled into other classifications following an administrative review.

The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday announced that it plans to eliminate nearly 50 occupational codes for federal jobs because agencies have ceased using them to hire employees.

In a memo to agency human resources directors, OPM Deputy Associate Director for Talent Acquisition and Workforce Shaping Kimberly Holden said OPM must routinely remove and add occupational classifications to keep up with agencies’ needs.

“Position and job classification standards encourage uniformity and equity (e.g. equal pay for equal work) in the classification of positions by providing an established taxonomy for common reference and use in different organizations, locations or agencies,” Holden wrote. “As part of our role, we routinely review occupational series throughout the federal government considering federal agency usage and in comparison to industry trends. This effort supports the President’s Management Agenda: Modernizing Government for the 21st Century.”

Holden provided a list of proposed job categories to be removed from the list of federal occupational classifications, which includes 28 white collar occupations and 19 “trade, craft and labor” jobs. In each case, there are currently 25 or fewer employees across the federal government classified within the occupation.

The occupations must also be able to easily be reclassified into another occupational series. “Additional considerations for cancelling the proposed occupational series include the work is not agency-specific or agency mission critical work,” Holden wrote. “We are not proposing to cancel occupational series whose work is so specialized that it is not classifiable to any other series or which have individual occupational qualification requirements.”

An example of how occupations would be reclassified would be that current employees within the Correspondence Clerk Series would be transferred to the Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistance Series, which is in the same so-called “job family.”

Among the white-collar job classifications on the chopping block are Clerk-Typist; General Telecommunications; Nuclear Medicine Technician; music, theater and art specialists; and Laundry Operations Services. Among the trade jobs up for reclassification are upholstering, plastering, roofing, metal forging and baking.

OPM is soliciting comments on the proposal, both suggestions for additional occupations to be reclassified and objections to entries on the proposed list. Suggestions should be sent to fedclass@opm.gov, while objections should be submitted through individual agency chief human capital officers. Comments will remain open until Nov. 25.