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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.


what is it

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: what is ors.

why matters

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: why it matters.

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Latest Numbers

Physical demands of civilian workers

Sedentary work strength level 28.5% in 2021 Historical Data

Light work strength level 33.3% in 2021 Historical Data

Medium work strength level 28.2% in 2021 Historical Data

Heavy work strength level 8.9% in 2021 Historical Data

Very heavy work strength level 1.1% in 2021 Historical Data

Environmental conditions of civilian workers

Exposed to outdoors 33.0% in 2021 Historical Data

Quiet noise intensity level 13.6% in 2021 Historical Data

Moderate noise intensity level 79.1% in 2021 Historical Data

Loud noise intensity level 7.0% in 2021 Historical Data

Education, training, and experience of civilian workers

No minimum education requirement 30.0% in 2021 Historical Data

High school diploma education requirement 39.8% in 2021 Historical Data

Associate's degree education requirement 4.4% in 2021 Historical Data

Bachelor's degree education requirement 18.9% in 2021 Historical Data

Master's degree education requirement 2.6% in 2021 Historical Data

Professional degree education requirement 1.5% in 2021 Historical Data

Cognitive and mental requirements of civilian workers

Interaction with the general public 78.1% in 2021 Historical Data

Varying work pace 56.0% in 2021 Historical Data

Telework available 9.6% in 2021 Historical Data

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News Releases

Flexibility to pause work was available to 55.6 percent of civilian workers in 2021


The flexibility to pause work and take short, unscheduled breaks throughout the workday was available to 55.6 percent of civilian workers in 2021. Completing critical job functions was available while teleworking to 9.6 percent of workers.

Next Release

The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) for 2022 is scheduled to be released on November 17, 2022 at 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time.


The Economics Daily

The Economics Daily article image

Flexibility to pause work with unscheduled breaks available to 55.6 percent of workers in 2021

The flexibility to pause work and take short, unscheduled breaks throughout the workday was available to 55.6 percent of civilian workers in 2021. The choice of sitting or standing was available to 43.2 percent of civilian workers. Discretion over when tasks were worked on, or self-paced work, was available to 16.5 percent of workers, and 9.6 percent were able to complete critical job functions while teleworking. read more »