Occupational Requirements Survey Summary
Last Modified Date: December 22, 2020
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 12222020//
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
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.
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
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:
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.
For research papers on the ORS and testing activities please see information listed at