December 20, 2014

Unskilled, Semi-Skilled and Skilled Work – What Do These Terms Mean?

Unskilled work – Unskilled occupations are the least complex types of work. Jobs are unskilled when persons can usually learn to do them in 30 days or less.

Examples of unskilled jobs are:

  • clerk/typist
  • surveillance system monitor
  • hand packer
  • circuit board assembler
  • restaurant dishwasher

Semi-skilled work – Semiskilled occupations are more complex than unskilled work and distinctly simpler than the more highly skilled types of jobs. They contain more variables and require more judgment than do unskilled occupations. Even though semiskilled occupations require more than 30 days to learn, the content of work activities in some semiskilled jobs may be little more than unskilled. Therefore, close attention must be paid to the actual complexities of the job in dealing with data, people, or objects and to the judgments required to do the work.

Examples of semi-skilled jobs are:

  • chauffer
  • room service waiter
  • carpenter
  • nurse’s aide
  • administrative assistant

Skilled work – Skilled occupations are more complex and varied than unskilled and semiskilled occupations. They require more training time and often a higher educational attainment. Abstract thinking in specialized fields may be required.

Examples of skilled jobs are

  • chemists
  • architechts
  • school band directors
  • physicians
  • attorneys
  • CEO of a business
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Jonathan Ginsberg represents Social Security disability claimants in Georgia. In practice for over 23 years, Jonathan publishes a widely known disability blog, a podcast and several disability web sites. In 2004, Jonathan published a "how to" book about Social Security disability called the Disability Answer Guide. Jonathan lives with his wife and 2 children in Atlanta.