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.


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what is it

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: what is ors.

why matters

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Latest Numbers

Physical demands of civilian workers

Sedentary work strength level 26.6% in 2018 Historical Data

Light work strength level 26.6% in 2018 Historical Data

Medium work strength level 35.5% in 2018 Historical Data

Heavy work strength level 9.6% in 2018 Historical Data

Very heavy work strength level 1.7% in 2018 Historical Data

Environmental conditions of civilian workers

Quiet noise intensity level 15.9% in 2018 Historical Data

Moderate noise intensity level 75.1% in 2018 Historical Data

Loud noise intensity level 8.8% in 2018 Historical Data

Education, training, and experience of civilian workers

No minimum education requirement 31.5% in 2018 Historical Data

High school diploma requirement 40.7% in 2018 Historical Data

Associate's degree requirement 3.8% in 2018 Historical Data

Bachelor's degree requirement 17.9% in 2018 Historical Data

Master's degree requirement 2.3% in 2018 Historical Data

Professional degree requirement 0.9% in 2018 Historical Data

Doctorate degree requirement 0.5% in 2018 Historical Data

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News Releases

On-the-job training required for 76.8% of US workers in 2018


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.


The Economics Daily

The Economics Daily article image

Physical requirements in food preparation and serving jobs

Reaching overhead was required for 44.5 percent of workers in all occupations in 2018. Among food preparation and serving occupations, however, reaching overhead was required for 65.0 percent of workers. Each of the five cook occupations requires most workers to reach overhead. Nearly all cook jobs also require workers to reach at or below the shoulder. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

Beyond the Numbers article image

A look at teachers’ job requirements, employer costs, and benefits

In light of this traditional fall routine, this Beyond the Numbers article uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) program and the National Compensation Survey (NCS) to explore the educational and physical requirements for teachers at different levels in the educational services industry. read more »