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Economic News Release
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ORS ORS Program Links

Occupational Requirements Survey Summary

FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EST), December 1, 2016	USDL-XX-XXXX				USDL-16-XXXX

Technical Information:	(202) 691-6199  NCSInfo@bls.gov  www.bls.gov/ors
Media Contact:		(202) 691-5902  PressOffice@bls.gov

		OCCUPATIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2016

A high school diploma was the minimum educational attainment required for XX percent of civilian 
workers in 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A minimum educational attainment 
is not required for XX percent of workers. (See chart 1.) //ORS Test 10052020//

Prior work experience was required for XX percent of all civilian workers, while XX percent 
required post-employment training and XX percent required a professional certification, license, 
or other pre-employment training. (See chart 2.)

For all civilian workers, approximately XX percent of workers require up to one month of specific 
vocational preparation (SVP). The SVP indicates the preparation time needed for a typical worker 
to attain necessary education, experience, and training necessary to successfully perform the job. 
About XX percent of civilian workers require between 4 and 10 years of SVP. (See chart 3.)

Chart 3. Specific Vocational Preparation, civilian workers, 2016
The Occupational Requirements Survey seeks to provide job-related estimates of physical demands, 
environmental conditions, mental and cognitive demands, and vocational preparation requirements 
of workers in the United States.

Work-related personal interactions are more frequently required for regular contacts than other 
contacts. Regular contacts are considered those people with whom a worker has an established 
working relationship. Other contacts include the public and those with whom the worker has no 
working relationship. A percent of workers are required to interact with regular contacts on an 
ongoing basis, and XX percent several times an hour.  For other contacts, XX percent of workers 
are required to interact on an ongoing basis and for several times an hour XX percent of workers 
have that requirement. (See chart 4.)

The ORS also captures adaptability requirements of an occupation that causes workers to adjust to 
changes in work routines within three work areas: location, schedule, and tasks. For X workers, 
the requirement to change work location as rare or never.  Changing work schedule was also rare or 
never for X percent of workers, and tasks rarely or never changed for X percent of workers. 

Civilian workers spent an average of XX hours sitting and about XX hours standing or walking per 
workday. The time spent for these two physical activities represents the amount of hours in the 
workday, standardized to eight work hours.  The estimates are also available as a percent of the 
day required to perform a physical activity.  A percent of workers are required to use a 
traditional keyboard for X percent of the day. (See chart 5.) 

A percent of civilian workers are required to work outdoors. Workers are considered as exposed to 
the outdoors when the exposure is part of typical job duties or the worker moves between job sites 
during the workday, and the worker is unprotected and exposure to the elements.  A percent of 
workers are required to perform work outdoors more than XX of the workday. 

Additionally, about XX percent of workers have job requirements exposing them to moving mechanical 
parts throughout their workday.  On average, the exposure to moving mechanical parts for these 
workers was XX hours or YY percent of the day. Personal protective equipment was used by XX percent 
of workers to mitigate the risk of serious workplace injuries or illnesses associated with moving 
mechanical parts.			   

Technical Note

Data in this release are from the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS), conducted by the U.S. 
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The ORS gathers job-related information 
regarding physical demands, environmental conditions, mental and cognitive demands, and vocational 
preparation requirements. This release contains 2016 estimates on occupational requirements for 
jobs within the U.S. economy for all civilian workers. Excluded are the federal government, the 
military, agricultural workers, private household workers, and the self-employed. Additional 
estimates by occupational group and industry are available through the public database query 
tools at www.bls.gov/ors/#data.

Sample size
The 2016 estimates are from a single sample of data collected from an establishment based survey 
using a national sample design. The BLS is building the survey and combining data over three sample 
years.  The full ORS sample, using the three sample years, is expected to reach approximately XX 
establishments. 

Data for the 2016 reference period were collected from a national probability sample of XX private 
industry and state and local government establishments.  The ORS estimates represent XX civilian 
workers in the United States. 

Measures of reliability
To assist users in ascertaining the reliability of ORS estimates, standard errors are made available 
shortly after publication of the news release. Standard errors provide users a measure of the 
precision of an estimate to ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. 
The standard errors are calculated from collected and imputed data, the BLS is researching methods 
for estimating the variance excluding imputed values. For further information see: 
www.bls.gov/ncs/ors/orse.htm. 

Occupational Classification
The occupational classification system used by the BLS is the Standard Occupational Classification 
(SOC) system (www.bls.gov/soc).  The ORS classifies occupations by eight-digit codes used by 
O*NET’s detailed occupational taxonomy referred to as “O*NET-SOC 2010 Occupations”. There are 840 
six-digit SOCs and 1,110 eight-digit SOCs, although military specific occupations (55-0000.00) are 
out of scope for the ORS.

Definitions of Major Terms
For definitions of major terms used in the ORS, please see the glossary beginning on page 108 of the 
ORS Collections Manual. Additionally, explanation of the ORS methodology can be found in the ORS 
Handbook of Methods www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ors.

Obtaining Information
For research papers on the ORS and testing activities please see information listed at 
www.bls.gov/ors.

	

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Last Modified Date: October 05, 2020