O*NET OnLine Help Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP)

Specific Vocational Preparation is a component of Worker Characteristics information found in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (U.S. Department of Labor, 1991).

Specific Vocational Preparation, as defined in Appendix C of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, is the amount of lapsed time required by a typical worker to learn the techniques, acquire the information, and develop the facility needed for average performance in a specific job-worker situation.

This training may be acquired in a school, work, military, institutional, or vocational environment. It does not include the orientation time required of a fully qualified worker to become accustomed to the special conditions of any new job. Specific vocational training includes: vocational education, apprenticeship training, in-plant training, on-the-job training, and essential experience in other jobs.

Specific vocational training includes training given in any of the following circumstances:

  • Vocational education (high school, commercial or shop training, technical school, art school, and that part of college training which is organized around a specific vocational objective)
  • Apprenticeship training (for apprenticeable jobs only)
  • In-plant training (organized classroom study provided by an employer)
  • On-the-job training (serving as learner or trainee on the job under the instruction of a qualified worker)
  • Essential experience in other jobs (serving in less responsible jobs, which lead to the higher-grade job, or serving in other jobs which qualify).

The following is an explanation of the various levels of specific vocational preparation:

Level Time

  1. Short demonstration only
  2. Anything beyond short demonstration up to and including 1 month
  3. Over 1 month up to and including 3 months
  4. Over 3 months up to and including 6 months
  5. Over 6 months up to and including 1 year
  6. Over 1 year up to and including 2 years
  7. Over 2 years up to and including 4 years
  8. Over 4 years up to and including 10 years
  9. Over 10 years

Note: The levels of this scale are mutually exclusive and do not overlap.

U.S. Department of Labor. (1991). Dictionary of Occupational Titles (Rev. 4th ed.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.