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Economic News Release
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Occupational Requirements in the United States News Release

For release on 10:00 A.M. (EDT) Thursday, May 28, 2020						USDL-20-1102

Technical information: 	(202) 691-6199   orsinfo@bls.gov  	www.bls.gov/ors
Media contact:	  	(202) 691-5902   pressoffice@bls.gov

			OCCUPATIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2019

Interaction with the general public was required for 75.3 percent of civilian workers in 2019, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. For workers in office and administrative support occupations, 86.5 
percent were required to interact with the general public. Within this occupational group, 61.3 percent of 
payroll and timekeeping clerks and 100 percent of bill and account collectors had this requirement.(See 
table 1.) 

This release features cognitive and mental job requirements in the U.S. economy. These requirements refer to
the ability to pause work, ability to telework, pace and control of workload, how often work is checked, 
interpersonal skills, problem solving, supervision of others, whether a supervisor is on-site, verbal 
interactions, interactions with the public, and working around crowds. 

For workers in food preparation and serving related occupations, 85.1 percent were required to interact with
the general public. Within this occupational group, 28.1 percent of restaurant cooks and 100 percent of 
bartenders had this requirement.

Interaction with the general public was not required for 24.7 percent of civilian workers. Interaction with
the general public was also not required for 77.9 percent of software developers and 83.5 percent of 
industrial truck and tractor operators. 

Working around crowds was required for 4.3 percent of civilian workers and 48.3 percent of workers in 
protective service occupations. (See table 2.)

Within the protective services occupational group, 37.9 percent of correctional officers and jailers, 39.2 
percent of security guards, 69.4 percent of firefighters, and 81.5 percent of police and sheriff’s patrol 
officers were required to work around crowds. 

One hundred percent of compliance officers, industrial engineers, web developers, healthcare social workers,
carpenters, and tellers were not required to work around crowds.

A varying work pace was required for 61.1 percent of civilian workers. (See table 3.)

A consistent, generally fast work pace was required for 47.2 percent of workers in production occupations. 
Within this occupational group, 67.3 percent of team assemblers and 90.4 percent of packaging and filling 
machine operators and tenders had a consistent, generally fast work pace requirement.

A consistent, generally slow work pace was required for 24.7 percent of workers in healthcare support 
occupations and a consistent, generally fast, work pace was required for 21.9 percent. 

Education, training, and experience - This requirement includes the minimum formal education, credentials,
on-the-job training, and prior work experience necessary for average job performance. These requirements are
combined to calculate the specific vocational preparation (SVP), which refers to the amount of preparation 
time required for a typical worker to learn the techniques, acquire the information, and develop the skill 
needed for average performance.

Civilian workers
	• A bachelor’s degree was required for 18.1 percent of workers. No minimum formal education was 
	  required for 31.0 percent of workers and a high school diploma was required for 40.0 percent. 
	• On-the-job training was required for 80.1 percent of workers with a median of 14 days.
By occupation
	• A high school diploma was required for 100 percent of phlebotomists. Prior work experience was not
	  required for 70.7 percent and credentials were required for 48.7 percent of phlebotomists.
	  
Environmental conditions - These requirements include the various tangible or concrete hazards or 
difficulties that are in the vicinity of where a job’s critical tasks are performed. 

Civilian workers
	• Exposure to the outdoors was required for 33.4 percent of workers, where 4.2 percent had constant
	  exposure and 14.5 percent had occasional exposure.
	• A loud noise intensity level was present for 8.6 percent of workers, a quiet noise intensity level 
	  was present for 14.2 percent, and a moderate noise intensity level was present for 76.9 percent.
By occupation
	• All construction laborers (100 percent) were exposed to the outdoors, where 67.7 percent had 
	  constant outdoor exposure. A loud noise intensity level was present for 28.4 percent of these 
	  workers while a moderate noise intensity level was present for 71.2 percent.
	  
Physical demands - These requirements include the physical activities workers are required to perform for 
critical job tasks. The presence and, in some cases, duration of these requirements are published.

Civilian workers
	• Keyboarding was required for 64.4 percent of workers and 30.6 percent were required to keyboard
	  occasionally.
	• A median maximum weight of 20 pounds was lifted or carried by workers in support of critical 
	  tasks. A sedentary strength level was required for 27.0 percent of workers, medium strength level
	  was required for 28.5 percent, and a light strength level was required for 33.8 percent. 
By occupation
	• Keyboarding was required for 99.9 percent of physical therapists and 82.4 percent were required to
	  keyboard occasionally. The median maximum weight lifted or carried was 50 pounds and a medium 
	  strength level was required for 63.5 percent of physical therapists.
  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 |                                                                                                         |
 | Beginning with this release the Occupational Requirements Survey estimates will no longer be published  | 
 | at the 8-digit occupation detail. The 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system was used   |
 | to calculate these estimates. Further information is available at                                       |
 | www.bls.gov/ors/notices/2020/implementing-2018-soc.htm. 		                                   |
 |_________________________________________________________________________________________________________|
 
 
Table 1. Percentage of civilian workers required to interact with the general public, 2019
Occupation and occupational group Required Not
required
Standard
error

All workers

75.3 24.7 0.7

Management occupations

82.2 17.8 2.0

General and operations managers

80.3 19.7 4.3

Financial managers

70.1 29.9 5.6

Industrial production managers

51.6 48.4 8.4

Human resources managers

82.9 17.1 4.9

Architectural and engineering managers

47.1 52.9 10.5

Medical and health services managers

89.8 10.2 2.7

Business and financial operations occupations

72.5 27.5 2.8

Training and development specialists

57.8 42.2 8.0

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

39.2 60.8 5.3

Accountants and auditors

61.8 38.2 6.5

Budget analysts

44.5 55.5 9.6

Financial and investment analysts

31.2 68.8 9.1

Computer and mathematical occupations

37.7 62.3 3.9

Computer systems analysts

45.2 54.8 10.3

Computer network support specialists

31.4 68.6 6.3

Computer user support specialists

59.6 40.4 6.6

Network and computer systems administrators

40.2 59.8 8.8

Architecture and engineering occupations

44.6 55.4 4.8

Industrial engineers

45.2 54.8 13.3

Mechanical engineers

53.1 46.9 8.4

Life, physical, and social science occupations

57.8 42.2 11.8

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

86.5 13.5 2.7

Graphic designers

72.5 27.5 7.6

Food preparation and serving related occupations

85.1 14.9 1.6

Cooks, institution and cafeteria

66.9 33.1 4.2

Cooks, restaurant

28.1 71.9 8.4

Food preparation workers

69.6 30.4 8.7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

60.7 39.3 6.6

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

52.5 47.5 8.5

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

44.2 55.8 10.3

Office and administrative support occupations

86.5 13.5 1.9

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

81.6 18.4 5.2

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

66.7 33.3 3.5

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

74.5 25.5 7.4

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

49.5 50.5 6.3

Office clerks, general

84.7 15.3 3.9

Construction and extraction occupations

42.8 57.2 3.8

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

78.5 21.5 5.3

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

63.5 36.5 3.0

Maintenance and repair workers, general

71.6 28.4 5.5

Production occupations

10.2 89.8 2.1

Bakers

50.1 49.9 10.5

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

47.9 52.1 8.8

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

15.2 84.8 4.1

Transportation and material moving occupations

58.8 41.2 3.1

First-line supervisors of material-moving machine and vehicle operators

50.7 49.3 11.0

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

83.7 16.3 2.6

Industrial truck and tractor operators

16.5 83.5 3.8

Packers and packagers, hand

22.0 78.0 5.7

Stockers and order fillers

70.1 29.9 7.2

Note: Due to rounding, sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey


Table 2. Percentage of civilian workers required to work around crowds, 2019
Occupation and occupational group Required Not required Standard error

All workers

4.3 95.7 (1)

Educational instruction and library occupations

6.5 93.5 0.7

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

16.2 83.8 4.1

Protective service occupations

48.3 51.7 2.7

Firefighters

69.4 30.6 5.9

Correctional officers and jailers

37.9 62.1 8.7

Police and sheriff's patrol officers

81.5 18.5 5.4

Security guards

39.2 60.8 7.5

Food preparation and serving related occupations

9.4 90.6 1.0

Waiters and waitresses

29.1 70.9 4.8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

3.7 96.3 0.9

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

7.6 92.4 1.8

Personal care and service occupations

12.7 87.3 2.6

Office and administrative support occupations

0.5 99.5 (1)

Transportation and material moving occupations

3.1 96.9 0.6

Footnotes:
(1) Standard error is less than 0.5.

Note: Due to rounding, sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey


Table 3. Percentage of civilian workers by work pace, 2019
Occupation and occupational group Consistent, generally slow Consistent, general fast Varying
Estimate Standard
error
Estimate Standard
error
Estimate Standard
error

All Workers

11.0 0.5 27.9 0.8 61.1 0.7

Management occupations

11.5 1.7 31.0 1.9 57.5 2.1

General and operations managers

11.1 2.9 40.4 5.7 48.5 6.6

Human resources managers

13.0 3.3 29.3 6.1 57.8 6.5

Business and financial operations occupations

11.0 1.2 28.7 3.8 60.3 3.5

Human resources specialists

8.3 2.2 27.9 7.3 63.8 7.8

Architecture and engineering occupations

13.2 3.0 26.4 3.8 60.5 3.5

Life, physical, and social science occupations

13.0 3.8 18.5 4.4 68.5 7.4

Community and social service occupations

13.3 3.8 28.6 5.3 58.1 7.3

Educational instruction and library occupations

16.5 2.1 23.5 2.1 60.0 2.8

Elementary school teachers, except special education

15.1 4.2 21.6 3.6 63.2 5.2

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

12.0 2.4 28.8 7.3 59.2 6.2

Teaching assistants, preschool, elementary, middle, and secondary school, except special education

13.4 3.3 29.2 5.4 57.4 5.8

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

7.0 1.5 35.4 3.6 57.6 3.3

Nuclear medicine technologists

5.7 1.3 44.9 10.7 49.4 10.7

Healthcare support occupations

24.7 4.6 21.9 3.2 53.3 4.3

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

25.0 6.6 26.2 4.9 48.9 4.6

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

33.3 9.7 17.8 4.5 48.9 9.3

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

29.3 8.7 18.5 4.7 52.2 6.0

Personal care and service occupations

13.9 3.3 19.7 3.2 66.4 4.2

Sales and related occupations

5.9 1.5 14.5 1.3 79.5 1.4

Office and administrative support occupations

12.3 1.2 28.3 1.7 59.4 2.4

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

19.9 4.3 20.0 3.5 60.2 4.3

Receptionists and information clerks

12.4 3.6 17.7 5.0 69.9 5.9

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

12.5 2.7 17.9 4.2 69.5 3.4

Office clerks, general

19.4 5.7 27.7 4.6 52.8 5.1

Construction and extraction occupations

10.3 2.8 36.1 3.9 53.7 4.7

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

9.1 1.5 23.8 3.7 67.2 3.7

Production occupations

10.2 1.9 47.2 3.5 42.7 3.3

Transportation and material moving occupations

8.0 1.8 41.5 4.3 50.5 3.9

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

17.2 2.5 28.1 5.2 54.7 5.1

Note: Due to rounding, sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey


					Technical Note
									
The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) provides job-related information about the physical demands; 
environmental conditions; education, training, and experience; as well as cognitive and mental requirements
in the U.S. economy. Additional job requirement estimates are available at 
www.bls.gov/web/ors/ors-complete-dataset.xlsx and www.bls.gov/ors/data.htm. For information on estimation
concepts and methods see the Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ors/home.htm and 
www.bls.gov/ors/questions-and-answers.htm.

Sample size: The ORS is a nationally representative establishment-based survey. Estimates are produced from
a probability sample of 10,000 establishments. There were 6,900 private industry and state and local 
government responding establishments that provided approximately 33,300 occupational observations. The 2019
estimates represent 141,915,000 civilian workers. 

These estimates are from one of five sample groups and are considered preliminary. Data from all five sample
groups collected between September 2018 and July 2023 will be aggregated to produce the final estimates with
an expected reference year of 2023. 

Standard errors: To assist users in ascertaining the reliability of ORS estimates, standard errors are made
available with the release. Standard errors provide users a measure of the precision of an estimate to 
ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. Collected and imputed data are 
included in the standard error calculation. For further information and how to use the standard errors see
www.bls.gov/ors/se.htm. 

Major terms: Additional terminology and concepts are explained in the collection manual at 
www.bls.gov/ors/information-for-survey-participants/pdf/occupational-requirements-survey-collection-manual-
082018.pdf and the Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ors/home.htm. 

Critical job function - This is the main purpose and the primary pay factor for the job. It consists of 
critical tasks that are integral to the job.

Critical tasks - Activities workers must perform to carry out their critical job function(s).

Crowds - Working around crowds is present when the following five conditions are met: (1) many unfamiliar 
people are present considering the space available, (2) movement is restricted, (3) any given arrangement of
the crowd is temporary, (4) a certain level of disorganization is present, and (5) workers are not separated
from unfamiliar people by counters, dividers, or other objects.

General public - Includes interacting with individuals other than coworkers to perform critical tasks.

Strength levels - Reflect the amount of weight workers are required to lift or carry, how often, and whether
standing or walking is required to perform critical tasks in the workday. The strength levels indicate 
whether physical requirements are considered as sedentary, light work, medium work, heavy work, and very 
heavy work.

Last Modified Date: May 28, 2020