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Help and FAQs - Occupation Trends


  1. What are the levels of education and training information? How are occupations matched to education and training information?
  2. How are the employment trend data collected?
  3. What does the Education and Training level "Postsecondary Vocational Training" mean?
  4. What is the source of the wage data? How is wage data gathered? How often is the wage data updated?
  5. What is the source of the occupation trend data? How is occupation trend data gathered? How often is the occupation trend data updated?
  6. Do occupation and industry trend information take outsourcing into consideration?
  7. Why does the source for some of CareerOneStop's data say the data are a few years old? Is there more recent data?


  1. What are the levels of education and training information? How are occupations matched to education and training information?
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) education and training classification system consists of three categories of information assigned to each occupation. The categories are 1) typical education needed for entry, 2) commonly required work experience in a related occupation, and 3) typical on-the-job training needed to obtain competency in the occupation.

    Typical education needed for entry

    This category best describes the typical level of education that most workers need to enter the occupation. Occupations are assigned one of the following eight education levels:
    • Doctoral or professional degree
    • Master's degree
    • Bachelor's degree
    • Associate's degree
    • Postsecondary non-degree award
    • Some college, no degree
    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Less than high school

    Work experience in a related occupation

    This category best describes work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for other, more formal types of training or education. Occupations are assigned one of the following four categories that deal with length of time spent gaining related work experience:
    • More than 5 years
    • 1 to 5 years
    • Less than 1 year
    • None

    Typical on-the-job-training needed to obtain competency in the occupation

    This category encompasses any additional training or preparation that is typically needed, once employed in an occupation, to attain competency in the skills needed in that occupation. Training is occupation-specific rather than job-specific; skills learned can be transferred to another job in the same occupation. Occupations are assigned one of the following six training categories:
    • Internship/residency
    • Apprenticeship
    • Long-term on-the-job training
    • Moderate-term on-the-job training
    • Short-term on-the-job training
    • None
    For more detailed information about the education and training levels, refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

  2. How are the employment trend data collected?
    Occupations included in the employment projections generally reflect the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is used to gather occupational employment data. Some occupations are not identified separately in this classification but are included in aggregate categories. The national employment projections data include employment in both primary and secondary jobs. The state employment projections data include employment in primary jobs only. National employment numbers are rounded to the nearest 100; the majority of state employment numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. The percent change displayed on America's Career InfoNet was calculated on the unrounded numbers. In some cases this may result in a discrepancy between the employment numbers and the percent change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more detailed information on this data collection.

  3. What does the Education and Training level "Postsecondary Vocational Training" mean?
    This refers to vocational (occupation-based) school training above and beyond the high school level, which may also require passing an examination after completing the training.

  4. What is the source of the wage data? How is wage data gathered? How often is the wage data updated?
    Wage data are collected by each state through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the U.S. Department of Labor. National wage estimates are developed by BLS. State and national occupation infomation is classified using the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system. Wage data are updated on CareerOneStop annually. For more detailed information about the program or the survey refer to the OES webpage.

  5. What is the source of the occupation trend data? How is occupation trend data gathered? How often is the occupation trend data updated?
    Occupation trend data are collected by each state through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the U.S. Department of Labor. National trends estimates are developed by BLS. Occupation trends data are updated in two year cycles releaseing alternating annual updates of national or state data. Data that is unavailable is noted with a dash ( - ) or with N/A. For more detailed information about the program or the survey, refer to the Employment Projections webpage.

  6. Do occupation and industry trend information take outsourcing into consideration?
    The model used to produce the occupation and industry trends data does include outsourcing. The data reflects current outsourcing (in the current employment data) and any expected trends (trends analysis built into the model of estimation). However, the model is limited by the interpretation of the current data and assumptions about trends made at the time the data is produced. Recent economic indicators will not be reflected in this data. For more details about this, refer to an article about projections data and models in the Labor Market Review.

  7. Why does the source for some of CareerOneStop's data say the data are a few years old? Is there more recent data?
    An extensive data gathering process involving high data standards ensures that data estimates are accurate, while protecting the privacy of the participants who provide the data. As a result of this process, there is a lag in time between when the data is gathered and when it is released. CareerOneStop is updated with the newest data as it is released and provides the most recent data available.


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