The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) National Compensation Survey (NCS) program. The ORS gathers job-related information regarding physical demands, environmental conditions, mental and cognitive demands, and vocational preparation requirements.

ORS Contact banner


ORS Special Notices


ORS News Release

Preparation time to perform a job is 4 hours to 1 month for 30.3% of workers in 2017


The preparation time to successfully perform a job was between 4 hours to 1 month for 30.3 percent of workers in 2017. For another 19.1 percent of workers, the required preparation time was between 2 to 4 years.


ORS Database


Database Name Special
Tables Text Files
Occupational Requirements
Occupational Requirements Survey
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More Tools

  • Series Report — already know the series identifier for the statistic you want? Use this shortcut to retrieve your data.
  • Public data Application Programming Interface (API) – provides access to economic data from all BLS programs. For more information, see the Public Data API information and resources page.


ORS Production Materials

  1. Overview flyer (June 2017) - Web version (PDF) Print version (PDF)
  2. Information sheet — June 2017 (HTML) (PDF)
  3. Social Security Administration endorsement letter (PDF)
  4. Collection forms
    • Work schedule and leveling:
      • Government (PDF) Private (PDF)
    • ORS elements:
      • Government (PDF) Private (PDF)
  5. Collection manual (PDF)
  6. Standard Errors (HTML)
  7. ORS Occupational group profiles (HTML) (PDF)
  8. ORS 2017 dataset (XLSX)


  1. Dynamics of occupational change (PDF)
  2. Data Visualization Methods (PDF)
  3. Imputation Methodology (PDF)
  4. Assessing the Reliability of Conversational Interviewing (PDF)
  5. Response Rates for the Pre-Production Test (PDF)
  6. Variance Estimation (PDF)

All ORS Production Materials

ORS Pre-production

BLS testing of the Occupational Requirements Survey included:

  1. Evaluating whether the National Compensation Survey (NCS) can produce estimates of sufficient quantity and quality to meet the needs of the SSA;
  2. Determining survey design options and developing processes, protocols, aids, and collection procedures to meet SSA data needs; and
  3. Providing documentation to the SSA summarizing the work performed by the BLS, conclusions drawn, and recommendations for future data collection, testing, and research.

All ORS Pre-production Materials


ORS Frequently Asked Questions

  • Occupational Information System Project—provides information from the Social Security Administration on the Occupational Information System.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Testing the Collection of Occupational Requirements Data presented at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings.


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.)

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 4160
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001