Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Economic News Release
PRINT:Print
ORS ORS Program Links

Occupational Requirements Survey Summary

For release 10:00 A.M. (ET) Thursday, November 18, 2021					              USDL-21-2018

Technical information: 	(202) 691-6199   orsinfo@bls.gov  	www.bls.gov/ors
Media contact:	  	(202) 691-5902   pressoffice@bls.gov

			     OCCUPATIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2021

The flexibility to pause work and take short, unscheduled breaks throughout the workday was available 
to 55.6 percent of civilian workers in 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The 
choice of sitting or standing was available to 43.2 percent of civilian workers. Significant discretion 
over when tasks were worked on, or self-paced work, was available to 16.5 percent of workers, and 9.6 
percent were able to complete critical job functions while teleworking. Only permanent, and not temporary 
or ad hoc telework arrangements, such as those made in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, are included 
in telework estimates.

The ability to pause work was available to 95.3 percent of workers in computer and mathematical occupations, 
and 47.6 percent of these workers were able to telework. (See table 1.)

The ability to pause work was available to 97.3 percent of workers in management occupations, and 29.6 
percent of these workers were able to telework. (See table 1.) 

The ability to pause work was available to 42.4 percent of production workers and telework was not available 
to 99.8 percent of these workers. (See table 1.)

The ability to pause work was available to 69.5 percent of building and grounds cleaning and maintenance 
workers. None of these workers were able to telework. (See table 1.)

Environmental exposures and low postures 

Seven percent of civilian workers were exposed to loud noise, 7.5 percent were exposed to hazardous 
contaminants, 9.5 percent were exposed to heights, and 11.3 percent worked in proximity to moving mechanical 
parts. Low postures were required for 58.7 percent of civilian workers. (See table 2.)

Low postures indicate the percentage of workers required to complete critical tasks while crawling, crouching, 
kneeling, or stooping. The duration of low posture work is also provided where possible. When performing 
critical tasks in low postures is required, the use of certain low postures is measured. If the work does not 
dictate the use of a certain low posture, the worker’s choice of low posture is published. 

Thirty-six percent of carpenters were exposed to loud noise, and all carpenters were required to perform work 
in low postures. (See table 2.)

Loud noise exposure was present for 39.1 percent of highway maintenance workers. Low postures were required for 
98.6 percent of these workers. (See table 2.)

Thirty-five percent of bus and truck mechanics were exposed to loud noise, and 96.5 percent of these workers 
were required to perform work in low postures. (See table 2.) 

Stooping was required for 18.8 percent of civilian workers when completing critical tasks. Ten percent of 
workers were required to crouch, 7.3 percent were required to kneel, and 3.7 percent of workers were required 
to crawl. 

For civilian workers, the choice to perform critical tasks in the stooping posture was available to 39.0 percent 
of workers. The choice to crouch was available to 38.2 percent of civilian workers, kneeling was available to 
33.3 percent, and crawling was available to 5.1 percent.

Cognitive and mental requirements 
	*Interaction with the general public was required for 78.1 percent of workers. (See table 3.)
	*Work was checked by a supervisor more than once per day for 34.5 percent of workers.
	*More than basic people skills were required for 61.1 percent of workers.
	*A supervisor was present for 64.8 percent of workers.
Education, training, and experience
	*Thirty percent of workers had no minimum education requirement, and a high school diploma was required 
	 for 39.8 percent.
	*On-the-job training was required for 78.7 percent of workers.  
	*Prior work experience was required for 47.0 percent of workers. 
	*Credentials were required for 46.1 percent of workers. Licenses, a type of credential, were required 
	 for 19.4 percent of workers.  
Environmental conditions 
	*Thirty-three percent of workers were exposed to the outdoors. (See table 4.)
	*Constant outdoor exposure, more than 2/3 of the workday, was required for 4.3 percent of workers. 
	*Exposure to wetness was present for 34.1 percent of workers.
	*Personal protective equipment to mitigate noise was used by 10.7 percent of workers. 
Physical demands
	*On average, civilian workers spent 56.8 percent of the workday standing and 43.2 percent of the workday 
	 sitting.
	*Reaching overhead was required for 45.1 percent of workers. 
	*Keyboarding was required for 66.1 percent of workers, and frequent keyboarding, between 1/3 and up to 
	 2/3 of the workday, was required for 25.4 percent of workers.
	*A sedentary strength level was required for 28.5 percent of civilian workers. An additional 33.3 percent 
	 had a light strength level, and 28.2 percent had a medium strength level requirement. 

  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 |                                                                                                          |
 |          Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on the 2021 Occupational Requirements Survey   	    |
 | Response rates for 2021 were comparable with prior releases and no changes in estimation procedures were |
 | necessary. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/home.htm.			    |
 |__________________________________________________________________________________________________________|
 
 
Table 1. Percentage of workers with selected flexibilities, 2021
Occupation and occupational groupAbility to pause workChoice of sitting or standingWorkload is self-pacedTelework
YesNoStandard errorYesNoStandard errorYesStandard errorYesNoStandard error

All workers

55.644.40.543.256.8[1]16.5[1]9.690.4[1]

Management occupations

97.32.7[1]88.911.11.460.01.429.670.42.1

General and operations managers

97.62.40.890.29.81.661.83.127.972.13.5

Business and financial operations occupations

97.32.7[1]95.94.1[1]49.82.440.859.23.3

Computer and mathematical occupations

95.34.71.090.89.21.138.32.747.652.44.2

Computer user support specialists

83.116.93.871.528.55.82.91.228.072.06.2

Architecture and engineering occupations

93.86.22.685.514.53.751.15.029.370.72.8

Life, physical, and social science occupations

81.918.16.075.524.54.353.15.716.783.33.1

Community and social service occupations

82.018.02.982.717.32.221.82.412.587.53.5

Legal occupations

94.65.42.690.79.31.845.34.550.149.96.6

Educational instruction and library occupations

40.659.41.371.628.41.630.51.24.096.0[1]

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

74.225.84.172.227.83.027.83.427.372.72.3

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

42.157.91.533.366.71.43.90.81.798.30.6

Healthcare support occupations

37.662.42.820.279.83.6--0.899.2[1]

Protective service occupations

13.786.31.59.990.11.54.81.2---

Food preparation and serving related occupations

21.178.90.91.398.7[1]0.5[1]---

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

69.530.52.810.189.91.916.12.2-100.0[2]

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

62.637.49.45.694.42.28.91.8-100.0[2]

Personal care and service occupations

38.261.83.623.976.13.74.00.8-99.6[1]

Sales and related occupations

42.357.72.832.267.81.87.81.110.289.81.1

Office and administrative support occupations

72.427.60.981.318.70.910.40.69.390.71.2

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

71.828.213.035.464.68.5-----

Construction and extraction occupations

59.041.02.411.288.81.214.21.0-99.7[1]

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

69.730.32.420.579.52.911.82.4-99.2[1]

Production occupations

42.457.61.716.183.90.86.20.8-99.8[1]

Team assemblers

30.070.04.75.194.92.30.5[1]-100.0[2]

Transportation and material moving occupations

30.969.12.85.994.10.83.60.6---

[1] Standard error is less than 0.5.

[2] The standard error is not available for this estimate.

Note: Dashes indicate that the estimate was not publishable or there are no workers with the requirement. Due to rounding sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Table 2. Percentage of workers with environmental exposures and low postures, 2021
Occupation and occupational groupLoud noiseExposed to hazardous contaminantsExposed to heightsIn proximity to moving mechanical partsLow postures required
YesStandard errorYesNoStandard errorYesNoStandard errorYesNoStandard errorYesNoStandard error

All workers

7.0[1]7.592.5[1]9.5[1][1]11.388.7[1]58.741.30.5

Management occupations

1.9[1]2.497.6[1]3.50.80.83.496.60.619.380.71.0

Business and financial operations occupations

0.5[1]0.699.4[1]1.60.50.50.799.3[1]12.088.01.4

Computer and mathematical occupations

---100.0[1]0.8[1][1]-99.9[1]22.877.21.6

Architecture and engineering occupations

2.91.08.092.01.911.12.02.013.186.93.527.672.44.1

Life, physical, and social science occupations

1.30.527.672.45.28.71.51.57.792.32.548.351.73.3

Community and social service occupations

---99.00.5-[1][1]-100.0[1]30.469.62.9

Legal occupations

---100.0[2]-[2][2]-100.0[2]11.488.62.9

Educational instruction and library occupations

1.80.61.898.20.50.7[1][1]1.099.0[1]53.846.22.0

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

8.32.4-98.90.85.31.51.5-98.11.037.162.94.3

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

0.7[1]7.492.60.8-[1][1]1.498.6[1]75.025.01.8

Healthcare support occupations

--2.997.10.6-[2][2]1.099.0[1]82.917.12.0

Protective service occupations

14.61.425.874.22.028.52.02.09.790.31.982.317.72.2

Food preparation and serving related occupations

9.41.51.498.6[1]1.5[1][1]7.792.30.980.619.41.8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

8.11.520.579.51.821.21.31.327.872.21.597.32.70.5

Personal care and service occupations

11.41.510.489.61.82.00.90.90.899.2[1]73.726.33.8

Sales and related occupations

0.5[1]1.198.9[1]5.1[1][1]1.198.9[1]62.237.81.5

Office and administrative support occupations

0.9[1]-99.6[1]0.7[1][1]0.799.3[1]23.476.60.9

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

35.39.8-92.04.928.77.87.830.669.47.589.1-7.8

Construction and extraction occupations

21.32.230.969.11.765.82.02.049.350.72.193.36.72.2

Carpenters

36.07.228.171.96.786.54.84.884.415.66.0100.0-[1]

Highway maintenance workers

39.17.245.954.17.046.26.06.076.323.74.598.6-1.1

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

16.31.434.265.81.352.12.82.850.449.62.295.84.20.8

Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

35.08.961.538.58.750.610.810.862.537.56.096.5-2.8

Production occupations

22.51.318.781.32.010.71.21.248.651.41.869.530.51.0

Transportation and material moving occupations

18.71.86.593.50.910.71.61.613.886.21.184.815.21.2

[1] Standard error is less than 0.5.

[2] The standard error is not available for this estimate.

Note: Dashes indicate that the estimate was not publishable or there are no workers with the requirement. Due to rounding sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Table 3. Percentage of workers required to interact with the general public, 2021
Occupation and occupational groupRequiredNot requiredStandard error

All workers

78.121.90.5

Management occupations

88.611.41.0

General and operations managers

89.210.82.2

Business and financial operations occupations

79.220.82.6

Human resources specialists

87.013.05.1

Computer and mathematical occupations

51.348.73.8

Web developers

53.646.410.0

Architecture and engineering occupations

62.937.12.9

Civil engineers

77.922.17.7

Life, physical, and social science occupations

69.830.25.2

Chemists

56.943.18.1

Legal occupations

98.41.60.6

Educational instruction and library occupations

97.52.5[2]

Instructional coordinators

85.714.35.9

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

82.917.11.8

Graphic designers

66.133.97.6

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

96.93.10.5

Nurse practitioners

100.0-[3]

Healthcare support occupations

96.43.60.6

Personal care aides

95.34.71.4

Protective service occupations

98.02.00.7

Correctional officers and jailers

93.46.62.0

Food preparation and serving related occupations

86.213.80.6

Chefs and head cooks

84.715.33.4

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

55.544.53.3

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

79.420.63.4

Personal care and service occupations

98.41.60.7

Childcare workers

100.0-[3]

Sales and related occupations

99.8[1][2]

Cashiers

100.0-[3]

Office and administrative support occupations

89.410.61.0

Office clerks, general

86.613.42.0

Construction and extraction occupations

43.756.31.4

Construction laborers

22.477.65.1

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

65.134.91.7

Automotive service technicians and mechanics

76.623.44.9

Production occupations

15.384.71.4

Machinists

11.688.42.8

Transportation and material moving occupations

61.138.91.4

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

82.817.25.6

[1] Estimate is less than 0.5 percent.

[2] Standard error is less than 0.5.

[3] The standard error is not available for this estimate.

Note: Dashes indicate that the estimate was not publishable or there are no workers with the requirement. Due to rounding sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Table 4. Percentage of workers exposed to the outdoors, 2021
Occupation and occupational groupExposedNot exposedStandard error

All workers

33.067.00.5

Management occupations

24.076.01.2

General and operations managers

28.571.52.3

Business and financial operations occupations

8.991.11.1

Human resources specialists

2.098.00.8

Computer and mathematical occupations

1.498.60.5

Computer network support specialists

2.797.30.9

Architecture and engineering occupations

32.767.32.7

Civil engineers

83.116.96.1

Life, physical, and social science occupations

38.761.34.9

Physicists

-100.0[1]

Community and social service occupations

24.375.72.6

Community health workers

39.061.010.4

Educational instruction and library occupations

42.657.42.0

Instructional coordinators

4.695.42.0

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

30.569.52.9

News analysts, reporters, and journalists

94.15.91.7

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

7.892.20.7

Nurse practitioners

-100.0[1]

Healthcare support occupations

31.168.91.3

Personal care aides

49.850.25.3

Protective service occupations

89.110.91.1

Correctional officers and jailers

85.714.33.3

Food preparation and serving related occupations

33.566.51.2

Chefs and head cooks

10.090.03.3

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

73.726.33.4

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

40.159.95.3

Personal care and service occupations

52.547.55.1

Childcare workers

84.915.15.0

Sales and related occupations

26.673.41.7

Cashiers

24.475.61.6

Office and administrative support occupations

5.294.80.5

Office clerks, general

5.594.52.2

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

85.015.06.2

Construction and extraction occupations

94.06.00.7

Electricians

94.45.61.8

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

82.417.61.8

Automotive service technicians and mechanics

79.420.65.3

Production occupations

11.888.21.0

Machinists

7.192.92.5

Transportation and material moving occupations

58.341.71.5

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

93.66.43.0

[1] The standard error is not available for this estimate.

Note: Dashes indicate that the estimate was not publishable or there are no workers with the requirement. Due to rounding sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Table 5. Percentage of workers with specific vocational preparation requirements, 2021
Occupation and occupational groupSVP level 1SVP level 2SVP level 3
Short demonstration onlyBeyond short demonstration, up to and including 1 monthOver 1 month, up to and including 3 months
EstimateStandard errorEstimateStandard errorEstimateStandard error

All workers

2.8[1]31.00.54.6[1]

Healthcare support occupations

7.01.445.63.88.40.7

Personal care aides

16.46.562.18.66.33.1

Protective service occupations

2.80.529.61.98.30.9

Correctional officers and jailers

3.51.48.02.527.94.1

Security guards

1.1[1]59.14.75.61.3

Food preparation and serving related occupations

3.70.670.81.11.8[1]

Cooks, fast food

--86.04.8--

Fast food and counter workers

5.30.986.82.2--

Dishwashers

19.85.379.75.3--

Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge, and coffee shop

--94.11.3--

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

4.71.168.61.34.51.4

Janitors and cleaners

9.62.169.82.31.90.6

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

--91.72.7--

Personal care and service occupations

5.71.051.84.55.41.4

Animal caretakers

--84.33.5--

Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

--86.46.1--

Amusement and recreation attendants

5.22.492.52.8--

Recreation workers

--75.714.0--

Sales and related occupations

2.00.659.92.04.3[1]

Cashiers

--96.60.70.6[1]

Counter and rental clerks

--75.99.2--

Retail salespersons

5.41.976.11.63.20.5

Office and administrative support occupations

2.00.527.91.07.30.7

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

--67.210.114.16.9

Receptionists and information clerks

2.60.957.33.45.31.6

Office clerks, general

2.70.928.43.26.51.2

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

--42.58.7--

Construction and extraction occupations

3.50.822.31.77.61.4

Construction laborers

14.84.644.68.08.62.4

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

1.50.710.31.64.60.8

Tire repairers and changers

--75.810.1--

Production occupations

2.20.634.21.511.31.6

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

--91.15.1--

Helpers--production workers

--87.15.4--

Transportation and material moving occupations

7.70.955.42.17.10.7

Driver/sales workers

--80.95.1--

Bus drivers, school

8.61.978.84.36.83.0

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

12.55.878.86.8--

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

15.81.867.52.44.91.0

Packers and packagers, hand

14.25.177.13.7--

Stockers and order fillers

3.71.681.74.34.21.0

[1] Standard error is less than 0.5.

Note: Dashes indicate that the estimate was not publishable or there are no workers with the requirement. Due to rounding sum of estimates may not equal 100 percent.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey

Last Modified Date: November 18, 2021