Quoted, Compiled, and Adapted from Various U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Information Sources
The 2018-2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) was released on Oct. 24, 2017, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The OOH release occurred simultaneously with publication of new employment projections for the 2016-2026 decade. In the past, at least several months would elapse between the projections’ data release and the OOH’s physical publication. With the online OOH publication, the delay no longer exists. In fact, this OOH release is the earliest ever. Frankly, I'm not sure the BLS is labeling this OOH as "2018-2019"; I am calling it that based on past tradition and to help distinguish the "editions." The OOH is one of the nation’s most widely used career information resources.
BLS currently releases new employment projections every 2 years. However, in an effort to enhance the timeliness of the projections data and the OOH, the Employment Projections program plans to transition to an annual release of projections. Moving to annual projections will allow new research to be incorporated into the published projections sooner, improving the overall quality. In addition, non-projection information in the OOH will be updated in real time, rather than once every 2 years.
Per the projections, employment is expected to increase by 11.5 million over the next decade, an increase from 156.1 million to 167.6 million. Health-care industries and their associated occupations are projected to account for a large share of new jobs projected through 2026, as the aging population continues to drive demand for health-care services.
The OOH includes information about 575 detailed occupations in 325 occupational profiles, covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy. Each profile features not only the 2016–26 projections, but also details on the job outlook, work activities, wages, education and training requirements, and more.
|New OOH includes occupational videos.|
Select profiles in the OOH now include career videos on the Summary tab of profiles, to the right of the Quick Facts box.
In addition, the wage information in the OOH is now updated on an annual basis. The OOH reflects May 2016 wages from the Occupational Employment Statistics program and will be updated with May 2017 wages in the spring of 2018.
A graphic representation of projections highlights appears in the Career Outlook online.
Navigating the OOH Homepage
There are several ways to find career information about a detailed occupation:
- Occupation Group Search. The OOH is broken into clusters of similar occupations. To find an occupation, you may browse the occupational group of interest on the left-hand side of the homepage. Clicking on a group results in a landing page of similar occupations together with their respective job summaries, typical entry-level education, and median pay. Typical entry-level education and median pay can be quickly sorted by clicking the arrows at the top of each column.
- Occupation Finder. The occupation finder (located toward the top of the homepage) makes it easy to search for occupations by entry-level education, on-the-job training requirements, projected number of new jobs, projected employment growth rate, median pay, or a combination of these five characteristics.
- Search Box. You may also search for occupations by entering a title into the “Search Handbook” box at the top right side of the homepage.
- A–Z Index Search. You may use the alphabetical index to look for an occupation.
- Browse Occupations. Clicking on these buttons takes you to three distinct pages: highest paying occupations, occupations projected to be the fastest growing, and occupations projected to have the most new jobs created.
- Featured Occupation. With each visit to the OOH homepage, a different occupation will be featured that you can click on and explore.
- OOH Glossary. The OOH Glossary includes terms frequently used in the occupational profiles and related pages, including general economic concepts, such as seasonal employment and the labor force; definitions of BLS resources, such as surveys and classification systems; and terms particular to the OOH, such as education and training categories.
- Question Mark (?). Certain terms in the profiles have question marks next to them. You can click on the question mark to read the definition of a term or about the section.
How OOH Profiles Are Organized
Each occupational profile in the OOH is made up of nine separate “pages” or tabs, as follows.
1. Summary Page
Quick-facts table; this feature summarizes key information about the occupation, including:
- Median pay
- Entry-level education
- Work experience in a related occupation
- On-the-job training
- Number of jobs in the base year
- Job outlook
- Employment change
- Summary information describes each occupation by basic characteristics (see items 2–9)
2. What They Do
- Definition of the occupation
- Typical duties
- Specialties within the occupation
3. Work Environment
- Number of jobs in the base year
- Work setting, including potential hazards and physical, emotional, or mental demands
- Employment by largest industries
- Work schedules, including information on hours worked and seasonality of work
- Injuries and illnesses (if relevant)
4. How to Become One
- Typical entry-level education requirements
- Important qualities that are helpful in performing the work
- Typical on-the-job training needed to attain competency in the occupation (if relevant)
- Licenses, certifications, and registrations (if relevant)
- Work experience in a related occupation (if relevant)
- Other experience (if relevant)
- Advancement (if relevant)
- Median annual or hourly wages: top 10 percent in wages earned, bottom 10 percent in wages earned, and wages earned in top-employing industries
- Chart showing median annual or hourly wages in the occupation in comparison with median annual or hourly wage for all occupations
- Work schedules
- Union membership (if relevant)
6. Job Outlook
- Projected change in level and percentage of employment, including a discussion of the following factors affecting occupational employment change: industry growth or decline, technological change, demand for a product or service, demographic change, change in business patterns
- Chart showing projected rate of employment growth in the occupation in comparison with the projected rate of growth for all occupations
- Job prospects, including expected level of competition (if applicable) and factors that may improve job prospects
- Table showing employment projections data for the occupations covered in a profile, with a link to a spreadsheet that details employment by industry for those occupations
7. State and Area Data
- Links to sources for employment, wages, and projections data by state and area
8. Similar Occupations
- List of similar occupations, with summaries of their job duties, typical education level needed to enter the occupation, and median pay
- Similar occupations are selected on the basis of similar work performed and, in some cases, on the basis of the skills, education, and/or training needed to perform the work at a competent level.
9. More Info
- List of outside associations, organizations, and government agencies that provide career information for specific occupations
- Links to O*NET, which provides comprehensive information on key characteristics of workers and occupations