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Industry taxonomy

Here’s a sampling of ways systems classify technical writers. It’s useful if you’re searching for industry information, exploring careers, comparing skills, or immigrating.

North American Industrial Classification System

Used in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to describe economic activity. NAICS classification for Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation breaks down this way:

  • 71 – Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
  • 711 – Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries
  • 7115 – Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
  • 71151040 – Technical Writing
  • 71151027 – Technical Manual Preparation

National Occupational Classification system

Used in Canada to describe occupational structure by skill type. NOC classification for occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport breaks down this way:

  • 5 – Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport
  • 51 – Professional Occupations in Art and Culture
  • 512 – Writing, Translating and Public Relations Professionals
  • 5121 – Authors and Writers
  • 5122 – Editors
  • 5123 – Journalists
  • 5124 – Public Relations and Communications
  • 5125 – Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters

International Standard Industrial Classification

The United Nations lists national classifications for activities and products. The ISIC classification for Arts, Entertainment and Recreation breaks down this way:

  • Section: R – Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Division: 90 – Creative, arts and entertainment activities
  • Group: 900 – Creative, arts and entertainment activities
  • Class: 9000 – Creative, arts and entertainment activities

This class includes activities of:
· individual artists such as authors, lecturers or speakers
· individual writers, for all subjects including fictional writing, technical writing
· independent journalists

Global Industry Classification Standard

Used in finance and market research. GICS classification for Information Technology breaks down this way:

  • 45 – Information Technology
  • 4510 – Software & Services
  • 4520 – Technology Hardware & Equipment
  • 4530 – Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment

Standard Industrial Classification Codes

Established in 1937 and still used by some programs at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission until NAICS is fully implemented. SIC classification for Services breaks down this way:

  • 70 to 89 – Services
  • 8900 – Miscellaneous Services NEC
  • 899935 – Technical Writing
  • 899906 – Technical Manual Preparation
  • 899903 – Proposal Writers
  • 899903 – Writers
  • 899913 – Editorial Services

By Pam Drucker

Documentation specialist, procedures writer

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