I've reached the age in life where I'm beginning to see more forms asking for my Employment Category (listed below) but I am yet to work out which section applies to me.

I'm not a manager or supervisor, and I've been working for too long to be a Junoir, but how skilled am I?

I work a lot with current web technologies, as well as Object Oriented programming languages. I'm quick to learn and usually the first to find an answer to a new problem. I don't want to simply assume that I am Skilled over Semi-Skilled, but I haven't seen any guidelines for placing yourself within a category online.

More specifically, can you provide an example of Skilled, Semi-Skilled and Unskilled work so I can place myself based on your descriptions?

Select employment category

  • Senior Management
  • Management Professional
  • Supervisor
  • Skilled
  • Semi-Skilled
  • Unskilled
  • Junior
  • Other
  • Unemployed
  • 3
    What is the context here? Who wants this information? Are you filling in a form? If so, why is "not asked" an option? I don't think this makes sense as an abstract question. – user45590 May 5 '16 at 10:32
  • @dan1111 Most recently I saw this list on an insurance form, however I disagree that this doesn't make sense as an abstract question. Regardless, I have removed the two options that were causing you confusion. – pappy May 5 '16 at 11:07
  • 2
    The question is hard to answer without knowing why someone wants the information. Negative votes are probably due to the vagueness. – user45590 May 5 '16 at 11:14
  • You say that, but while you've been showing off your 2000+ reputation, someone else has provided an accurate and well worded answer. You can complain as much as you want, but sometimes you just have to accept you are wrong. We don't come here for bureaucracy. We come here for answers. – pappy May 5 '16 at 11:20
  • @pappy, my comments are intended to help clarify the question so that you get a better, more useful answer. They aren't intended to attack you. – user45590 May 5 '16 at 12:38

I would place being a programmer as being skilled labour.

The following information is taken from nolo.com:


Unskilled work involves simple tasks and doesn't usually require one to exercise judgment. It typically requires only a month or less to learn. Many, but not all, unskilled jobs require physical strength or coordination.

Examples: parking lot attendant, cleaner or janitor, fast food worker, line operator, messenger, sewing machine operator (semi-automatic), construction laborer, information desk clerk, vegetable harvester/picker (and some other types of farm workers).


Semi-skilled work requires paying attention to detail or protecting against risks but it doesn’t include complex job duties. Semi-skilled work doesn't require you to have advanced training or education and typically takes between three and six months to fully learn a semi-skilled job.

Examples: retail salesperson, security guard, telephone solicitor, waiter/waitress, bartender, flight attendant, taxi driver, laundry operator, nurse's assistant.


Skilled work requires workers to use their judgment to make decisions and may require them to measure, calculate, read, or estimate. Skilled work often has specific qualifications such as educational degrees or professional training and usually requires intellectual reasoning and problem-solving skills. It typically takes six months to a year or more to learn a skilled job.

Examples: secretary or administrative assistant, sales representative, customer service representative, tailor, nurse, office clerk, teacher or teacher's aide, fast food cook, travel agent.

  • Very helpful. Thanks very much! I must say, I'm surprised by while roles fit into which category, but I can clearly see I fit into the skilled category. – pappy May 5 '16 at 11:22
  • Odd that CSR and secretary appear in the same category as nurse and teacher. – Myles May 5 '16 at 14:17
  • @Myles: I work in a call centre, and a typical speed to competency for many customer service reps is 6 months here (though it may be because products are quite high tech and/or the processes are always changing) – WorkerWithoutACause May 5 '16 at 14:19
  • @WorkerWithoutACause I worked in a call center for a cell phone company while in university. People trained for a month then were pretty much fully competent a month or two after that. Also those people were not the cream of the crop, completing high school was not a prerequisite for working there. – Myles May 5 '16 at 14:23
  • @Myles: Interesting. This is likely to get off topic quite quickly, but I wonder what the 'optimal' amount of training is for a CSR? – WorkerWithoutACause May 5 '16 at 14:31

Programming is normally considered a M&P (Managerial And Professional ) so the best fit is Management Professional.

Skilled as some one else suggested is totally wrong skilled is for blue collar trades like blacksmithing , carpentry and plumbers.

M&P is a HR term that encompasses all professional grades even if they don't have any direct reports.

  • Management implements having people that you manage. Programming - this is not the case unless you are a team lead. In the OP the poster mentions he does not manage – Ed Heal May 5 '16 at 20:55
  • This is correct. – pappy May 5 '16 at 20:57
  • @EdHeal They are lumped together as an equivalent grade basically graduate entry and salaried = professional. – Pepone May 5 '16 at 20:57

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