The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH )—updated every 2 years by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—is a career guide that describes, for hundreds of occupations,
The 2012–13 online edition of the OOH was completely redesigned to make it more visually appealing and to enable users to find career information more easily. The new version also incorporates a reader-friendly, written-for-the-Web style. The OOH homepage was redesigned as well, to feature multiple search methods in addition to other information.
As a teacher, you are in a position to help your students plan their future. Through the OOH, students can access valuable occupational information that can help them make career choices. By familiarizing yourself with the new features of the reinvented OOH, you will be in a position to quickly and effectively help your students use this valuable tool.
Although the information included in past editions of the OOH are still available in the redesigned version, each online profile is now made up of eight separate “pages”: a summary page highlighting key occupational characteristics of the occupation and seven additional pages, each describing one aspect of the occupation, such as pay or the job outlook.
Another new feature of the redesigned OOH is an Occupation Finder on the homepage, which makes it easy to search for occupations by median annual pay, typical entry-level education, typical on-the-job training requirements, projected number of new jobs, projected employment growth rate, or a combination of any of these five characteristics. In addition, students can browse occupations by highest paying, fastest growing, or those resulting in the most new jobs.
Here are more details on the ways to find information about a particular occupation:
As mentioned in the “New Features” section, each occupational profile in the 2012–13 edition of the OOH is made up of eight separate “pages”: a summary page highlighting key characteristics of the occupation and seven additional pages, each describing one aspect of the occupation, such as pay or the job outlook:
Employment projections are based on assumptions about economic and labor force growth. These assumptions reflect long-term trends, but because the economy is affected by unforeseeable events, assumptions and projections are subject to error. For more information, please visit the Employment Projections program.
In describing projected employment change in an occupation, the OOH uses growth adjectives such as “faster than average,” “average,” “slower than average,” and “decline.” The average projected employment growth rate for all occupations combined is 14 percent.
BLS employment projections are national in scope and do not always reflect local conditions. State employment projections are developed by state employment service agencies. State projections are available on the Projections Central site.
In addition, the projections describe expected employment change over the entire 2010–20 decade; employment change is expected to vary within that 10-year period. Furthermore, besides job openings that stem from employment growth, many more openings will occur from the need to replace workers who retire or permanently leave an occupation for other reasons. In the case of occupations for which replacement needs are particularly significant, these job openings are discussed.
In addition to publishing the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed other sources of career information that might be useful to teachers and students:
Occupational Outlook Quarterly (OOQ). This is a career guidance magazine that includes articles about specific occupations and industries, types of training and education, and methods for exploring careers and finding jobs. The OOQ also summarizes current labor market research and presents profiles of unusual careers. This publication is available in print as well, via a subscription through the Government Printing Office.
Employment Projections This site includes prepared tables, searchable databases, and technical publications about the employment projections.
Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey homepage. The OES survey provides wage and employment data on more than 800 occupations and shows how wages and employment vary by geographic area and industry. The annual OES chartbook is available online.
Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey homepage. The CES survey has comprehensive data on earnings, hours, and employment for a specific industry or group of industries via customized tables.
Current Population Survey (CPS) homepage. The CPS survey provides employment and earnings data related to demographic variables such as age, sex, race, and educational attainment.
The U.S. Department of Labor
Youth Rules! uses simple language to explain the laws that govern youth employment.
America’s Career One Stop provides links to career resources, including a library of occupational information.
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) provides information about various characteristics of occupations, such as major tasks performed in the occupation, physical requirements, and required skills. Career assessments and other teaching tools also are included.
MyNextMove is a U.S. Department of Labor career search site that allows users to search for careers by keyword, industry, and interest. There is also a special search for veterans.
The U.S. Department of Defense
The MyFuture.com page is a career search database that provides information related to training, including both college and military training options.
The U.S. Department of Education
Gateway to 21st-Century Skills is a database of lesson plans. Some of these lesson plans relate to careers and can be adapted for use with the OOH.
The text in the Occupational Outlook Handbook is in the public domain and can be reproduced without further permission. The Bureau requests appropriate citation. In addition, one may link to this site without obtaining special permission. Information from the OOH will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 1 (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1 (800) 877-8339.
Publish Date: Thursday, March 29, 2012