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Civilian occupations required to spend the most time outdoors in 2020

June 25, 2021

If you enjoy fresh air and sunshine, we have data to inform your career choices. In 2020, 4.3 percent of civilian workers were required to spend more than two-thirds of their workday outdoors. Among landscaping and groundskeeping workers, 89.9 percent were required to spend more than two-thirds of their working time outside. This occupation includes greenskeepers, hedge trimmers, lawn caretakers, and shrub planters.

Percent of workers required to spend more than two-thirds of their workday outdoors, selected occupations, 2020
Occupation Percent constantly outdoors

Landscaping and groundskeeping

89.9%

Construction laborers

79.0

Highway maintenance

47.9

Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service

45.3

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

38.8

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

36.3

Coaches and scouts

13.8

Transportation and material moving

8.0

All workers

4.3

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

2.3

We also have information on jobs with fresh air and sunshine, but not too much. Among all civilian workers in 2020, 15.1 percent were required to be outdoors 2 to 33 percent of their workday. Among preschool teachers, except those teaching special education, 88 percent were required to spend 2 to 33 percent of their working time outdoors.

Percent of workers required to spend 2 percent to 33 percent of their workday outdoors, selected occupations, 2020
Occupation Percent occasionally outdoors

Preschool teachers, except special education

88.1%

Light truck drivers

82.0

Childcare workers

76.3

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

71.5

Carpenters

62.8

News analysts, reporters, and journalists

59.5

Construction managers

56.8

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

55.5

Bus drivers, transit and intercity

54.4

All workers

15.1

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. To learn more, see “Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2020.” Workers are defined to be outdoors when they perform their critical tasks outdoors and are unprotected and exposed to the elements. Occupations required to spend more than two-thirds of their working time outside are defined to be constantly outdoors. Occupations required to spend between 2 percent and 33 percent of their working time outside are defined to be occasionally outdoors. For more information about concepts and definitions in the survey, see the Handbook of Methods chapter.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Civilian occupations required to spend the most time outdoors in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/civilian-occupations-required-to-spend-the-most-time-outdoors-in-2020.htm (visited September 20, 2021).

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