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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.


  • BLS is conducting a short survey to gather feedback on the ORS. Read More »
  • Notice of ORS staff attendance at ABVE conference in 2024. Read More »


The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is an establishment-based survey conducted by 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.

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: what is ors.

SSA is developing a new Occupational Information System (OIS) to replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) that is currently used to adjudicate disability claims. The new OIS will use ORS data to better define jobs that exist in our modern economy to support an accurate and fair disability determination process.

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: why it matters.

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Latest Numbers

Physical demands of civilian workers

Sedentary work strength level 29.3% in 2023 Historical Data

Light work strength level 32.9% in 2023 Historical Data

Medium work strength level 28.6% in 2023 Historical Data

Heavy work strength level 8.2% in 2023 Historical Data

Very heavy work strength level 1.0% in 2023 Historical Data

Environmental conditions of civilian workers

Exposed to outdoors 33.0% in 2023 Historical Data

Quiet noise intensity level 13.5% in 2023 Historical Data

Moderate noise intensity level 80.2% in 2023 Historical Data

Loud noise intensity level 6.1% in 2023 Historical Data

Education, training, and experience of civilian workers

No minimum education requirement 30.0% in 2023 Historical Data

High school diploma education requirement 40.1% in 2023 Historical Data

Associate's degree education requirement 4.3% in 2023 Historical Data

Bachelor's degree education requirement 19.3% in 2023 Historical Data

Master's degree education requirement 2.5% in 2023 Historical Data

Professional degree education requirement 1.4% in 2023 Historical Data

Cognitive and mental requirements of civilian workers

Interaction with the general public 79.2% in 2023 Historical Data

Varying work pace 52.9% in 2023 Historical Data

Telework available 11.4% in 2023 Historical Data

read more »

News Releases

A consistent and generally fast work pace is required for 38.9% of workers in 2023


A consistent and generally fast work pace was required for 38.9 percent of workers in 2023. Machinery, equipment, or software controlled the workload for 2.2 percent of workers, work was reviewed by a supervisor more than once per day for 33.3 percent, and 62.4 percent had a supervisor present.

Next Release

The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) for 2024 is scheduled to be released on November 19, 2024 at 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time.


The Economics Daily

The Economics Daily article image

The average job required 1,021 days of prior work experience in 2022

Prior work experience was required for 47.5 percent of workers and on-the-job training was required for 79.0 percent. On average in 2022, workers were required to have 1,021 days of previous experience. Prior work experience required for management occupations was an average of 1,996 days, while community and social services occupations required 723 days. read more »

Monthly Labor Review

Monthly Labor Review article image

Has the pandemic permanently changed job requirements?

This article reports on an examination of whether the pandemic led to changes in job requirements measured in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Requirements Survey. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

Beyond the Numbers article image

Minds at work: what’s required according to the Occupational Requirements Survey

How much problem-solving time goes into an architect’s job? What types of mental capabilities are required of employees who work in a telework environment? What types of interpersonal skills are required for customer service jobs? Mental and cognitive job requirements provide job seekers with important information on the soft skills needed for specific jobs and a sense of the demands of different occupations read more »