Job Characteristics Based on the Dictionary of Occupational Titles


This measure, (Job Characteristics Based on the Dictionary of Occupational Titles) developed by Roos and Treiman (1980), uses information provided in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to describe substantive complexity, motor skills required, physical demands, and undesir­able working conditions of an occupation. The DOT, developed by job ana­lysts in the United States Department of Labor, describes 46 characteristics of 12,099 job titles. Roos and Treiman factor-analyzed these 46 characteris­ tics and found four dimensions: substantive complexity, motor skills, physi­cal demands, and undesirable working conditions. The DOT and perceptual measures such as the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) differ in many ways. The DOT ratings of job complexity are based on functional requirements of jobs and worker trait requirements, aspects not directly measured in the JDS. In addition, the DOT is a general index that applies to entire job titles, whereas the JDS assesses the unique perceptions held by individual jobholders toward their jobs.


The coefficient alpha for the measure of job complexity was .90, alpha for motor skills was .95, and alpha for physical demands was .87 (Watson & Slack, 1993).


The motor skills rating was positively correlated with overall job satisfaction, the complexity rating correlated positively with satisfaction with the work itself, and the physical demands rating correlated negatively with satis­ faction with co-workers (Watson & Slack, 1993). Job complexity correlated positively with employee age, job variety, identity, significance, autonomy, feedback, and scope. Job complexity correlated negatively with exhaustion and being female (Xie & Johns, 1995).


Roos, P.A., & Treiman, D. J. (1980). DOT scales for the 1970 census classi­ fication. In A. Miller, D. Treiman, P. Cain, & P. Roos (Eds.), Work,jobs, and occupations: A critical review of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Items were taken from text, p 339. Copyright© 1980 by National Academy Press. Reproduced with permission.


 The dimensions of substantive complexity, motor skills, physical demands, and undesirable working conditions are composed of 22 of the 46 character­ istics reported for each job title in the DOT. The values for each of the DOT variables listed below each dimension are averaged to calculate the score for each dimension.

Substantive complexity:

DATA (worker function) GED (training time) SVP (training time) INTELL (aptitude) VERBAL (aptitude) NUMER (aptitude) ABSTRACT (interest)

REPCON (temperament for repetitive or continuous process)

Motor skills:

THINGS (worker function) MOTOR (aptitude) FINGDEX (aptitude) MANDEX (aptitude) COLORDIS  (aptitude) SEE (physical demand)

Physical demands:

EYEHAND (aptitude) CLIMB (physical demand) STOOP (physical demand)

LOCATION (working condition) HAZARDS (working condition)

Undesirable working conditions:

COLD (working condition) HEAT (working condition) WET (working condition)

This content is licensed under a CC-BY license. The CC-BY licenses grant rights of use the scales in your studies (the measurement instrument and its documentation), but do not replace copyright. This remains with the copyright holder, and you have to cite us as the source.

Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Job Characteristics Based on the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Retrieved from DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163