The relationships between brain tumor mortality and occupation and socioeconomic status (SES) were evaluated in a death certificate-based case-control study. The cases consisted of 904 white men aged 20 years and older who died of a brain tumor in Washington state between 1969 and 1978. For each case a white male control of the same age was chosen. A consistent pattern of increasing risk with increasing SES was seen for all brain tumors as well as for gliomas and astrocytomas. After adjustment for SES, stationary engineers were found to be at excess risk across all histologies based on six cases vs no controls with lower 95% confidence intervals of 2.3 for all brain tumors, 2.8 for gliomas (based on three cases), and 2.1 for astrocytic tumors (based on two cases). Excesses of astrocytic tumors also were observed for petroleum refinery workers (OR = 8.8, CI = 2.2-35.2), forestry workers (OR = 8.5, CI = 1.1-63.4), and cleaning service workers (OR = 2.7, CI = 1.1-6.7).