The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is under development by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) National Compensation Survey (NCS) program in association with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The ORS seeks to provide job characteristics data to help the SSA in their disability determination process. Specifically, the ORS will gather job-related information regarding physical demands, environmental conditions, and vocational preparation requirements.


BLS conducted a small-scale test in Washington, DC, in November and December 2012. The report, "Occupational Requirements Survey, Phase 1 Summary Report, Fiscal Year 2013" (PDF) contains the findings of this test.

The second phase of testing was conducted in the Indianapolis, IN and Portland, OR, metropolitan areas from January – March 2013. The report, "Occupational Requirements Survey, Phase 2 Summary Report, Fiscal Year 2013" (PDF) contains the findings of this test.

The third phase of testing was conducted in the following metropolitan areas from April to June 2013:

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Kansas City, MO-KS
  • Nashville, TN
  • Orange County, CA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Providence, RI

The report, "Occupational Requirements Survey, Phase3 Summary Report, Fiscal Year 2013" (PDF) contains the findings of this test.

Additional testing will be conducted during "Fiscal Year 2014." A description of those tests can be found here.


ORS Publications

  • UPDATED ORS Information Sheet - February 2014 (PDF)


ORS Frequently Asked Questions


  • Occupational Outlook Handbook—provides data for 250 occupations, by nature of the work, working conditions, employment, job outlook and earnings, related occupations, sources of additional information, and training, other qualifications, and advancement.
  • Current Population Survey—Labor force, employment, and unemployment statistics for persons with or without a disability. These are estimates for the nation as a whole; data are not available by state.
  • Social Security Administration—information from the Social Security Administration on the Occupational Information System.
  • National Compensation Survey—change over time in labor costs and level of average cost per hour worked, and comprehensive data on incidence and provisions of selected employee benefit plans.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics—data on employment and wages for over 800 occupations and for about 400 nonfarm industries for the nation, plus occupational data for States and metropolitan areas.


Contact Us


The Office of Compensation Levels and Trends, Branch of Survey Information and Publications, will be glad to assist you with questions about any of the components of the Occupational Requirements Survey.

Ways to Contact BLS Directly

Email: Contact us

Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.)

Question-by-FAX: (202) 691-6647

Information and assistance is also available from any BLS regional office.


Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200 The Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339

Write or Personal Visit

Bureau of Labor Statistics
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. - Suite 4175
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001