Occupational Requirements Survey

The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is a product of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The ORS provides job-related information regarding physical demands; environmental conditions; education, training, and experience; as well as cognitive and mental requirements for jobs in the U.S. economy.


  • Implementing the 2018 SOC and changes to occupational detail available Read More »
  • Link to notice on the BLS page of impact on COVID-19 on ORS. Read More »
  • Seeking public comment on possible changes to North American Industry Classification System for 2022 Read More »


what is it

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: what is ors.

why matters

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: why it matters.

read more »

Latest Numbers

Physical demands of civilian workers

Sedentary work strength level 26.6% in 2018 Historical Data

Light work strength level 26.6% in 2018 Historical Data

Medium work strength level 35.5% in 2018 Historical Data

Heavy work strength level 9.6% in 2018 Historical Data

Very heavy work strength level 1.7% in 2018 Historical Data

Environmental conditions of civilian workers

Quiet noise intensity level 15.9% in 2018 Historical Data

Moderate noise intensity level 75.1% in 2018 Historical Data

Loud noise intensity level 8.8% in 2018 Historical Data

Education, training, and experience of civilian workers

No minimum education requirement 31.5% in 2018 Historical Data

High school diploma requirement 40.7% in 2018 Historical Data

Associate's degree requirement 3.8% in 2018 Historical Data

Bachelor's degree requirement 17.9% in 2018 Historical Data

Master's degree requirement 2.3% in 2018 Historical Data

Professional degree requirement 0.9% in 2018 Historical Data

Doctorate degree requirement 0.5% in 2018 Historical Data

read more »

News Releases

In 2019, about 75% of civilian workers were required to interact with the general public


Interaction with the general public was required for 75.3 percent of civilian workers. In office and administrative support occupations, 86.5 percent of workers were required to interact with the general public and 10.2 percent of workers in production occupations had this requirement.


The Economics Daily

The Economics Daily article image

Physical requirements in food preparation and serving jobs

Reaching overhead was required for 44.5 percent of workers in all occupations in 2018. Among food preparation and serving occupations, however, reaching overhead was required for 65.0 percent of workers. Each of the five cook occupations requires most workers to reach overhead. Nearly all cook jobs also require workers to reach at or below the shoulder. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

Beyond the Numbers article image

A look at teachers’ job requirements, employer costs, and benefits

In light of this traditional fall routine, this Beyond the Numbers article uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) program and the National Compensation Survey (NCS) to explore the educational and physical requirements for teachers at different levels in the educational services industry. read more »