Workers are classified into occupational categories based upon the work they perform and their skills, education, training, and credentials. Two examples of occupations are accountants and auditors and janitors and cleaners. Some occupations are found in just one or two industries, but many occupations are found in a large number of industries.
Most BLS occupation data use the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System, but some data are still based on an older occupational classification system. (See the SOC Implementation Schedule for more information.)
BLS publishes a large amount of information by occupation, including career information, employment levels and projections, and data on earnings and working conditions.
This publication describes the nature of the work, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects for a wide range of occupations.
Career Outlook articles provide data and information on a variety of topics—including occupations and industries, pay and benefits, and more. These articles are helpful for students, career counselors, jobseekers, and others planning careers.
Number of People Employed in Specific Occupations
BLS conducts an annual mail survey of establishments that provides data on employment and wages by occupation and industry for over 800 occupations and for about 400 industries throughout the Nation, and similar data for all states and selected metropolitan areas.
The monthly survey of U.S. households provides data on employment and earnings by occupation, along with age, gender, race, educational attainment, and other characteristics of workers in each occupation.
Wages by Area and Occupation
Wage data are available by occupation for the nation, regions, states, and many metropolitan areas. Wage data by area and occupation are from the National Compensation Survey, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, or the Current Population Survey. See Wages by Area and Occupation to determine which information suits your needs.
This program provides annual estimates of average hourly wages for occupations by selected job characteristics and geographical locations. The job characteristics include bargaining status (union and nonunion), part- and full-time work status, incentive- and time-based pay, and the level of difficulty and complexity of work.
More information: Wages by Area and Occupation.
Additional Data on Occupations
This program provides data on nonfatal illnesses and injuries on the job and on worker fatalities by occupation and other worker characteristics.
This survey provides information about the physical demands, environmental conditions, mental and cognitive demands, and vocational preparation requirements of occupations.
This program provides projections of the labor market 10 years into the future and other career information.
BLS data on workers with hourly earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage are described on the Overview of BLS Data on Minimum Wage Workers page.
Last Modified Date: September 20, 2019