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Handbook of Methods Occupational Requirements Survey Presentation

Occupational Requirements Survey: Presentation

The Occupational Requirement Survey (ORS) website provides access to the ORS estimates through the news releases, database query tool, Excel dataset, factsheets, and occupation and occupational group profiles.

ORS users may include:

  • Jobseekers
  • Researchers
  • Insurance companies
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Data users with in nonprofits
  • Employment agencies
  • State and federal agencies
  • Disability community
  • Vocational rehabilitation experts
  • Human resource professionals
  • Medical professionals
  • Actuaries

ORS data are used for a variety of purposes:

  • Assisting the Social Security Administration in its disability adjudication process.
  • Using data for new opportunities in research, such as in academia or government.
  • Tracking the nature of work.
  • Benchmarking job descriptions or developing targeted recruiting plans.
  • Helping insurance companies assess risk management.
  • Assisting temporary-help firms to properly match an employee to job openings.

Preliminary and final estimates

The 2018 reference year (first wave) estimates are considered final and include data collected between September 2015 and July 2018 from three sample groups.

The 2019 reference year (second wave) estimates include data collected between September 2018 and August 2019, which is the first of five sample groups. The 2019 to 2022 reference year estimates are considered preliminary as data from each sample group will be added to the previously collected data in order to produce the latest reference year estimates.

Second wave estimates are considered final when the 2023 reference year estimates are published. These estimates will include data from the five sample groups collected as part of the second wave.

Accessing data

Preliminary estimates in each wave will be replaced with the latest estimates each year until the final set is published. The 2018 reference year estimates are considered final for the first wave and will remain accessible on the ORS website indefinitely.

Current and historical data are available through the database query tool which include:

  • Top picks is a listing of occupational requirements selected by the ORS program to provide users with an overview of most requested statistics
  • Data finder allows users to conveniently search multiple data sets all at once. Users can extract specific data by searching by keyword or by filtering through multiple topics, measures, and attributes.
  • One-screen data search allows users to select individual or multiple series from a simple, one-screen form.
  • Multi-screen data search allows users to choose data using a form-based query application that spans several screens.

Text files can be downloaded through the time series page, which also includes a description of these files and the structure of ORS series.

In addition, occupation group profiles providing an overview of job requirements for a specific occupation are available.


Although the occupational requirements estimates may have many uses, it is important to consider the survey limitations. Estimates are subject to sampling error, which may cause deviations from the results that would be obtained if the actual requirements for jobs in all establishments could be used. Nonsampling error is present in surveys as well. (See the Calculation section for more information.) The ORS program advises against making comparisons with previously published ORS estimates, as each set of estimates reflect changes in employment (weighting), sample size, as well as collection and estimation procedures. ORS estimates are not a time series and instead reflect job requirements for the published reference period.

Corrections policy

In the event that BLS identifies estimation, collection, or processing errors which result in statistically significant different estimates, the ORS program will identify the incorrect estimates and provide a notice to users on the BLS errata page regarding whether the error will be suppressed or corrected

Last Modified Date: September 29, 2020