Occupational Requirements Survey

Pre‐employment Training Requirements: Fact Sheet

The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) provides information about the pre-employment training requirements for workers in the U.S. The job requirements reflect those necessary for workers to perform the critical tasks in support of the critical job functions, and not the capabilities, educational attainment, or experience of the worker. The percentage of workers with pre-employment training requirements and the length of time required to obtain a license, certification, or educational certificate are published.

The overall pre-employment training requirements are estimated using three sample groups collected over a three year period. The type of pre-employment training (license or certification) and duration estimates are calculated with two sample groups collected over a two year period, as survey questions were added to better understand pre-employment job requirements.

At times, the duration of pre-employment training cannot be separated from other preparation requirements (degree requirements, on-the-job training, or work experience). The ORS program captures this concurrent preparation time for pre-employment training as part of one of the other preparation requirements. For example, in some occupations, the duration of pre-employment training is part of the time necessary to attain a specific degree (ex. Bachelor’s degree) and no separate time is captured for pre-employment training. In this situation, pre-employment training is required, but there is no additional time separate from obtaining a degree, so pre-employment training is required but there is no additional time (“yes, no time”).

When there is time required separate from other preparation requirements, the percentage of workers with this type of pre-employment training requirements is published (“yes, with time”) as well as the length of time associated with that pre-employment training requirement.

Pre-employment training includes requirements for certifications, licenses, educational certificates, and other types of pre-employment training.

  • A certification is issued by a certification body, industry association, or professional association and acknowledges that occupation specific skills and abilities exist, and expires if not renewed.
  • A license is issued by a government agency and constitutes a legal authority to perform a specific occupation. Similar to a certification, a license expires if not renewed.
  • An educational certificate is issued by an educational institution (or a training provider) and certifies that an occupation specific program of study was completed. Educational certificates typically do not expire.
  • Other credentials are vocationally relevant but not specific to an occupation, and may include any credentials issued by a standardized body, may be relevant for a wide variety of jobs and occupations, and may expire or be valid for life. This category includes time spent in vocationally relevant credit and non-credit courses that do not result in a degree, license, certification, or educational certificate.


Apprenticeships, vocational training, non-credit courses, and credit courses that do not result in a degree are included in pre-employment training. Credentials that may be desirable but are not a job requirement, credentials not associated with any critical job tasks and only a hiring criteria requirement, and certificates of attendance or participation for training that is not vocationally relevant are not included in ORS estimates for pre-employment training. Collection procedures are available in the Third Edition of the Collections Manual.

About one-third (33.0 percent) of civilian workers are required to have pre-employment training. The distribution of requirements for workers by type is displayed in Chart A. For some occupations, other credentials make up the majority of pre-employment training. 1

 

 

 

The average number of days and time for each type of pre-employment requirements varies, as shown in Table 1. The number of days in the column on the right reflects the duration of pre-employment training requirements that have associated time.

Table 1. Percent of civilian workers with pre-employment training and associated time requirements, 2018
Type of pre-employment training Workers with pre-employment requirement
Total (in percent) With no associated time (in percent) With associated time
In percent Duration (in days)

Educational Certificate

1.8 0.3 1.5 231

License

18.3 12.5 5.8 215

Certification

7.5 3.3 4.2 138

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

As previously described, some occupations require pre-employment training time, while other occupations do not require additional time. Table 2. shows the five occupations with the highest percentage of “yes, no time” and “yes, with time” that are published.

Table 2. Percent of civilian workers with pre-employment training and associated time requirements by occupation, 2018
Occupations Total With associated time
Type of pre-employment training Percent of workers Yes/No Percent of workers

Acute Care Nurses

License 99.3 No 95.3

Physical Therapists

License 97.2 No 92.5

Lawyers

License 97.9 No 90.8

Registered Nurses

License 97.2 No 85.5

Critical Care Nurses

License 94.2 No 85.1

Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers

Certification 73.8 Yes 70.5

Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

License 100.0 Yes 69.1

Insurance Sales Agents

License 89.4 Yes 60.5

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

License 89.1 Yes 49.6

Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs

License 67.1 Yes 49.5

Note: Not all published pre-employment training requirement estimates are displayed, see www.bls.gov/ors for additional series.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Although pre-employment training is required for less than half of all civilian workers, it is more commonly required for certain occupations. Table 3. provides examples of detailed occupations with pre-employment requirements by type.

Table 3. Percent of civilian workers with pre-employment training requirements by occupation and type of requirement, 2018
Occupation Type of pre-employment requirement Percent of workers

Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

License 100.0

Lawyers

License 97.9

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

License 89.1

Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers

Certification 73.8

Surgical Technologists

Certification 66.0

Plumbers

License 58.3

Nursing Assistants

Educational certificate 36.1

Note: Some of the occupations in Table 3. require multiple types of pre-employment training in addition to the requirement type listed.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Within occupations, there can be multiple types of pre-employment training required. Licenses tend to be the most common requirement for pre-employment training for the select major occupations featured in Chart B, similar to the distribution for all civilian workers.

 

 

Chart B data table
Data table for chart B. Percent of civilian workers by occupational group with more than one type of pre-employment training requirement, 2018
Type of pre-employment training requirement Personal Care and Service Occupations Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations Construction and Extraction Occupations Education, Training, and Library Occupations Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

Educational certificate

3.3 2.9 2.7 2.7 4.2

Certification

15.2 17.6 10.0 10.9 20.2

License

19.2 13.6 19.3 55.4 75.5

 

END NOTES

1 In addition to providing information on pre-employment training required for workers, pre-employment training is also used to calculate Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP). SVP is the total preparation time necessary from pre-employment training, degree requirements, prior work experience and on-the-job requirements to perform the critical tasks in support of the critical job functions, and is published as a percent of workers in each level of SVP. SVP is are published as levels between 1 and 9, and reflect preparation time necessary (short demonstration lasting 4 hours or less to over 10 years, respectively). Additional information on preparation requirements is available in the minimum education requirements fact sheet and the Calculation section of the Handbook of Methods.

 

Last Modified Date: March 19, 2019