The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) National Compensation Survey (NCS) program. The ORS gathers job-related information regarding physical demands, environmental conditions, mental and cognitive demands, and vocational preparation requirements.
- Estimates for sitting, and standing or walking requirements are now available through the database tools and 2018 dataset.
- NOTICE The ORS website is undergoing a redesign which will include improved navigation and more dynamic pages. The addresses of renamed webpages will be temporarily forwarded to the new addresses. If you encounter issues with any of the ORS webpages or files, please contact us online or over the phone: 202-691-6199.
On-the-job training was required for 76.8 percent of U.S. workers in 2018. The average length of on-the-job training was
about a month (34 days) and the median training time was about 14 days.
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- Occupational group profiles (HTML)
- 2018 dataset (XLSX)
- Standard errors (HTML)
- Handbook of Methods (HTML) (PDF)
- The Economics Daily (HTML)
- Social Security Administration endorsement letter (PDF)
- June 2017 Web version (PDF) Print version (PDF)
- Information graphics (PDF)
Work schedule and leveling:
- August 2018 (PDF)
- July 2017 (PDF)
- May 2016 (PDF)
- September 2015 (PDF)
- Observational collection compared to critical task threshold interview collection in the Occupational Requirements Survey, 2018 (PDF) (HTML)
- Assessing the Reliability of Conversational Interviewing, 2016 (PDF)
- Response Rates for the Pre-production Test, 2016 (PDF)
- Occupational Requirements Survey: results from a job observation pilot test, November 2016 (HTML) (PDF)
- Using Calibration Training to Assess the Quality of Interviewer Performance, 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- ORS Pre-production Job Observation Report, November 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- ORS Pre-production Final Report, September 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- ORS Pre-production Collection Activities Report, June 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Methodological Issues Related to ORS Data Collection
- Executive Summary, January 2015 (PDF)
- Full Report, February 2015 (PDF)
- Fiscal Year 2014 Summary Report, 2014 (PDF)
- Fiscal Year 2014 Test Plans, September 2013 (PDF)
- Phase 3 Summary Report, 2013 (PDF)
- Phase 2 Summary Report, 2013 (PDF)
- Phase 1 Summary Report, 2013 (PDF)
- Testing the Collection of Occupational Requirements Data, 2013 (PDF)
Data Review and Validation
- Data Visualization Methods, 2016 (PDF)
- Building Quality Assurance for the Occupational Requirements Survey, 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Occupational Requirements Survey Data Review Process, 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Validation of Estimates in the Occupational Requirements Survey, 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Analysis of Approaches to Validating Data, 2014 (PDF)
Estimation and Validation
- ORS Pre-production Estimation and Validation Report, September 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Imputation Methodology, 2016 (PDF)
- Variance Estimation, 2016 (PDF)
- Estimation Processes Used in the Occupational Requirements Survey, 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Estimation Considerations, 2014 (PDF)
- The Occupational Requirements Survey: estimates from preproduction testing, November 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Dynamics of Occupational Change, July 2016 (PDF)
- Occupational Requirements Survey Sample Design, 2015 (HTML) (PDF)
- Sample Design Evaluation, 2014 (PDF)
- Current Population Survey—Labor force, employment, and unemployment statistics for persons with or without a disability. These are estimates for the nation as a whole; data are not available by state.
- Occupational Employment Statistics—data on employment and wages for over 800 occupations and for about 400 nonfarm industries for the nation, plus occupational data for States and metropolitan areas.
- Occupational Information Network (O*NET)—provides comprehensive occupational descriptions and data for use by job seekers, workforce development offices, human resources professionals, students, researchers, and others.
- Occupational Information System Project—provides information from the Social Security Administration on the Occupational Information System.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook—provides data for 250 occupations, by nature of the work, working conditions, employment, job outlook and earnings, related occupations, sources of additional information, and training, other qualifications, and advancement.
- National Compensation Survey—change over time in labor costs and level of average cost per hour worked, and comprehensive data on incidence and provisions of selected employee benefit plans.
The Office of Compensation Levels and Trends, Branch of Survey Information and Publications, will be glad to assist you with questions about any of the components of the Occupational Requirements Survey.
Ways to Contact BLS Directly
Email: Contact us
Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.)
Information and assistance is also available from any
BLS regional office.
Services for individuals with a sensory impairment
Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200 The Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339
Write or Personal Visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Requirements Survey
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. - Suite 4160
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001
Physical demands of civilian workers
Sedentary work strength level
26.6% in 2018
Light work strength level
26.6% in 2018
Medium work strength level
35.5% in 2018
Heavy work strength level
9.6% in 2018
Very heavy work strength level
1.7% in 2018
Environmental conditions of civilian workers
Quiet noise intensity level
15.9% in 2018
Moderate noise intensity level
75.1% in 2018
Loud noise intensity level
8.8% in 2018
Education, training, and experience of civilian workers
No minimum education requirement
31.5% in 2018
High school diploma requirement
40.7% in 2018
Associate's degree requirement
3.8% in 2018
Bachelor's degree requirement
17.9% in 2018
Master's degree requirement
2.3% in 2018
Professional degree requirement
0.9% in 2018
Doctorate degree requirement
0.5% in 2018
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