Using an Occupational Database to Describe Job Characteristics R. Kelly Raley University of Texas-Austin Robert Reynolds University of Texas-Austin Jaira San Jose University of Texas-Austin Kate C. Prickett University of Chicago Rob Crosnoe University of Texas-Austin Abstract Many social theories link characteristics of work to other life domains such as family and health. Most large social science datasets collect data on employment status, occupation, work hours, and income, but autonomy, stress, support, and work activities likely also matter. In the absence of direct measures of these factors at the individual level, databases of occupational characteristics, like the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), can be a useful source of information. This study considers the potential benefits and limitations of using the O*NET to test theories about how work environments affect well-being. A particular concern is that variability in work environments might not be strongly related to occupation. Thus, in addition to describing the variables available in the O*NET, we also document variation in occupational characteristics within broad occupational groups (22 categories) and, where possible, within detailed occupational categories. Analyses show that there is substantial variation in some theoretically relevant characteristics of work across occupation and occupation group. This working paper has links to Stata and SAS data files with measures from O*NET version 20.