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1957 edition

Bulletin No. 1215
(Revision of Bulletin 998)

James P. Mitchell, Secretary
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D . C,

Price $ 4.00


This volume was prepared by the U. S. Department of Labor’s
Bureau of Labor Statistics with the cooperation of the following
Bureaus of the Department—
Bureau of Employment Security
Robert C. Goodwin, Director
Women’s Bureau
Alice K. Leopold, Director
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training
W. C. Christensen, Director
Bureau of Labor Standards
Paul E. Gurske, Director

and the—


The years ahead present a challenge to everyone concerned with education,
guidance, and personnel work. Our growing economy creates an expanding
need for skilled manpower that can be met only by e n a b lin g each individual
to use his capacities to the utmost. To this end, young people need the
best possible education, as well as competent guidance in selecting a career.
Schools and colleges have increasing enrollments and there is an increased
demand for guidance services; at the same time, there is a need for the
expansion of school facilities and teaching staffs. These expansions must
be planned in such a way as to prepare adequate numbers of trained workers
for each of the various occupations required by the Nation’s economy.
The Department of Labor is actively engaged in aiding the development
of a skilled and versatile work force, and contributes to this goal in several
ways. We promote the development of skills through apprenticeship and
other training programs within industry. We aid the State employment
services in their programs of providing placement and counseling services.
Finally, we carry on research and make information available on manpower
needs and employment opportunities in the various industries and occu­
pations, so that individuals can make their career choices, and educational
authorities and industry can develop their training plans, on the basis of
the best possible information.
As a major part of this research and informational program, the Depart­
ment is proud to present the third edition of the Occupational Outlook
Handbook, which, in its earlier versions, has been so useful to guidance and
personnel workers and to young people entering our labor force.

J ames P. M itchell , /Secretary of Labor
h i

Prefatory Note
This third edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook is being issued to replace
the second edition, Bulletin No. 998, which was published in 1951.
Recognizing that people interested in choosing a career need information on the
employment outlook in the Nation’s occupations, the Congress in 1940 provided for the
establishment of an Occupational Outlook Service in the U. S. Department of Labor’s
Bureau of Labor Statistics. The wide use of the first and second editions of the Hand­
book clearly attests the need for such information. More than 40,000 copies of the first
edition were sold, and more than 45,000 of the second. Many high schools, colleges, and
community agencies throughout the country rely upon the Handbook in their vocational
guidance services, as do Federal and State agencies offering counseling services—includ­
ing the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense, State rehabilitation
agencies, and offices of State employment services affiliated with the United States
Employment Service.
In view of the rapid changes which characterize the American economy, the Con­
gress in 1955 provided for a program of regular reappraisal of the employment outlook
and for the maintenance of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and its related publi­
cations on an up-to-date basis. This action made possible the present edition of the
Handbook and its subsequent biennial revision, as well as the initiation of a new periodi­
cal, The Occupational Outlook, which is being issued four times annually to provide
a flow of up-to-date information between editions of the Handbook.
The third edition includes new chapters on such significant fields as the physical
and biological sciences and the rapidly growing chemicals and atomic energy industries.
It also embodies a reappraisal of the employment outlook in nearly all the industries
and occupations described in the second edition, together with the latest available
information on earnings, training, and entrance requirements in these fields of work.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the coopera­
tion of hundreds of industrial firms, unions, trade associations, and professional societies
whose officials gave freely of their time in discussing employment trends in their
respective fields, in supplying information, and in reviewing and commenting upon
drafts of the various chapters. Contributions were made by the Women’s Bureau and
the Bureau of Employment Security of the U. S. Department o f Labor, the Agricultural
Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Education
o f the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The Veterans Administration
has also made a major contribution to the Handbook, since much of the basic research
underlying this edition was carried on over the past 12 years with the counsel and
financial support of that agency.
E w a n C lagtje, Commissioner of Labor Statistics

Letter from the Veterans Administration
The need for information on employment outlook to assist veterans in choosing
their vocational goals and in planning their courses of training was clearly seen by the
Congress when the Vocational Rehabilitation and Education programs were established
in 1943 and 1944.
Sound vocational rehabilitation and counseling practice requires that information be
available on the day-to-day demands of an occupation and that these requirements be
translated in terms of the counselee’s capacities, abilities, interests, needs, and aspirations.
It is equally important for the veteran undertaking training to see as clearly as possible
the expansion or decline in employment opportunities and the factors in our economy
and culture affecting the demand for varied products and services. In order to make
such information available on a systematic and comprehensive basis, the Veterans
Administration in 1945 initiated a program in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor
Statistics of the U. S. Department of Labor, and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics
of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. There is reason to believe that this program
constituted the first ambitious effort at long-range forecasting in a wide variety of
As a result of this cooperation, preliminary occupational outlook releases were pub­
lished in the fall of 1945 and spring of 1946. In August 1946, the first comprehensive
report was released as V A Manual M7-1, Occupational Outlook Information. In 1949
and 1951, two subsequent revisions, the first and second editions of the Occupational
Outlook Handbook, were issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with
the Veterans Administration. The present revision is the result of further research by
the Bureau of Labor Statistics which has been supported in part by the Veterans
It is gratifying that this Handbook, brought into being by the joint effort of two
major governmental agencies, not only has been of substantial benefit to veterans but
also has provided counselors throughout the Nation with a valuable resource in assisting
other young people and adults in the choice of a career or a course of training.

H . V. H igley , Administrator

Vetevans Administration

Letter from the Bureau of Employment Security
The Bureau of Employment Security welcomes this third edition of the Occupa­
tional Outlook Handbook. Local employment counselors of State employment services
have made good use of previous editions. We are, therefore, pleased to have this
expanded edition, which brings the occupational information up to date and gives
local office staffs a helpful reference document regarding most of the important occupa­
tional and industrial fields in our economy.
About 8 million job seekers come to local employment service offices each year.
About 850,000 of them receive employment counseling in these offices. Employment
service counselors use the Occupational Outlook Handbook as an important source of
national information to supplement the local, State, and national information they get:
through regular employment service channels. Employment service counselors also
encourage counselees to read the Handbook for information that will help them in
determining the extent of their interest in specific occupational fields and their possible
qualifications for entering them.
Occupational choice is so wide these days that the prospective worker needs reliable
and up-to-date factual information on which to base his vocational decision. We know
that knowledge of the occupational opportunities is but one side of the business of
selecting a life's work, though a vital one. Increasingly, people seek professional help
from counselors in analyzing their own interests and abilities, and in matching these
characteristics to job demands and employment possibilities. Such counseling help is
available in all 1,800 local employment service offices, along with job placement, testing,
and other related services. A brief description of what the USES local offices offer the
job seeker appears on page 10. On behalf of the Bureau of Employment Security and
its affiliated State employment security agencies, I extend to all readers of the Handbook
who are making occupational choices, an invitation to go to the nearest local office of the
State employment service if they desire additional information and assistance in formu­
lating their vocational plans.
R obert C. G o o d w ix , Director
Bureau of Employment Security

Letter from American Personnel and Guidance Association
Never before has the need for sound occupational information been so great. Rapidly
changing career patterns and the many vacancies in the employment market are two
conditions that have thrust individuals into unusual situations, whether planning careers
or shifting and modifying existing career plans. The kind of occupational information
that is needed includes information about occupations— authoritative, current, and
realistic— and information about trends of employment in the occupations. The Occu­
pational Outlook Handbook meets this need. The publication of the third edition is
most welcome.
Counselors of youth, of the unemployed, of adults who are changing their careers,
of the older workers, of various other groups depend upon the Occupational Outlook
Handbook. Particularly, do they depend upon the Handbook for helping to see the
future view of occupations. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an indispensable
tool for workers in guidance. In helping individuals reach vocational decisions, the
counselor must have knowledge of a world of work that is complex in nature and subject
to change. The counselor recognizes the impossibility of attaining an encyclopedic
knowledge of occupations. He must rely on information from numerous sources in
order to keep abreast of developments in the rapidly shifting work structure, and
attempts to keep up to date become ever more exacting labor for the conscientious. The
Occupational Outlook Handbook works for the counselor. Drawing on the countless
available resources, it presents information in usable, compact form ; it is the authorita­
tive source for occupational information, including employment trends.
The counselor is indeed fortunate to have this third edition in his possession and
can look forward not only to successive biennial editions but also to current outlook
information through the periodical The Occupational Outlook, wall charts, bulletins,
and special reports. The new Occupational Outlook program promises to furnish a
product embodying the results of a continuous and systematic research program.
Heartily and with pleasure I commend the Occupational Outlook Service of the Bureau
of Labor Statistics for a new and improved Handbook and for a more even and current
flow of occupational information.

C lifford P. F roehlich , President
American Personnel and Guidance Association

This Handbook was prepared in the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, Division of Manpower and Em­
ployment Statistics under the direction of Sey­
mour L. Wolfbein, Division Chief, and Harold
Goldstein, Assistant Division Chief for Analysis.
The general planning of the Handbook was
done under the direction of Helen Wood, Chief of
the Branch of Occupational Outlook and Special­
ized Personnel, who also provided general super­
vision over the research program on professional,
clerical, sales, service, and related occupations.
Stella P. Manor assisted in the planning, reviewed
the manuscripts for consistency with vocational
guidance standards, and supervised the assembly
of the manuscripts for publication. The research
on professional, clerical, sales, service, and related
occupations and the writing of these chapters
were carried on under the direct supervision of
Cora E. Taylor.
The research program and the writing of chap­
ters on trades and industrial occupations and
major industries were directed by Sol Swerdloff,
Chief of the Branch of Skilled Manpower and
Industrial Employment Studies, with the assist­
ance of Howard Posen. The long-range economic
projection studies were carried on under the direc­
tion of Mr. Swerdloff by Murray S. Weitzman.
Members of the staff of these two branches who
contributed sections were: William L. Copeland,
Mannie Kupinsky, Bernard Michael, William
Paschell, Pearl C. Pavner, Max A. Putzick,
Robert J. Posenthal, James J. Treires, Ber­
nard Yabroff, Gerard H. Cormier, Leo E. Gershenson, Annie Lefkowitz, Morton Levine, Harold
S. Liebling, Pose K. Wiener, Daniel P. Willis, Jr.,
Vincent H. Arkell, Evelyn P. Kay, Clare Shove,
Howard V. Stambler, William M. Topolsky, Mar­
ian A. Lacklen, Lorraine O ’G. Jones, and Carole
F. Papp. Arthur Schatzow assisted in the review
o f manuscripts and assembly of the Handbook
for publication. James W. Longley assisted in
the long-range economic projection studies. J.
Sue White, Catherine F. Delano, and Anna M.
Latimer provided research assistance, checked the
manuscripts for factual accuracy, and assisted in
other ways.

Introductory chapters on population and em­
ployment trends were prepared under the general
direction of Raymond D. Larson, Chief of the
Branch of Employment and Labor Force Analy­
sis, with the assistance of Sophia Cooper. Jacob
Schiffman carried on the research and wrote the
The chapter on earnings was written by Harry
M. Douty, Chief of the Bureau’s Division of
Wages and Industrial Relations.
Three members of the staff who left the Bureau
during the preparation of the Handbook also
made significant contributions. They are Richard
H. Lewis, formerly Chief of the Branch of
Skilled Manpower and Industrial Employment
Studies, Robert W. Cain, formerly in charge of
studies of scientific and technical personnel, and
Theresa P. Shapiro, who contributed sections on
professional occupations.
Reports on 13 occupations in which women pre­
dominate w ere prepared in the Women’s Bureau
of fche U. S. Department of Labor under the
general supervision of Anna Jo Behrens, Mar­
guerite W. Zapoleon, and Winifred Helmes. The
following individuals wrote the various reports:
Mildred S. Barber, Jean Campbell, Agnes W.
Mitchell, Kora Tucker, and Jean Wells.
The section on services to job seekers at public
employment offices was prepared by the Bureau
of Employment Security.
The chapters on agricultural occupations were
prepared in the Farm Economics Research D i­
vision of the Agricultural Research Service, U. S.
Department of Agriculture under the direction of
Wylie D. Goodsell, William H. Metzler, Ronald
L. Mighell, and Orlin J. Scoville, with the as­
sistance of W. H. Brown, H. C. Fowler, A. S.
Fox, R. B. Glasgow, Erling Hole, E. B. Hurd,
P. R. Kulp, E. J. Smith, and J. C. Volentine;
Pelagia Schultz, Information Division; Tom
Gardiner, Soil Conservation Service; John Speidel and Ralph Groening, Federal Extension Serv­
ice. Assistance was also given by E. C. Johnson,
Farm Credit Administration; and R. E. Kaugher,
Office of Education, in the Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare.

The Occupational Analysis Branch, Division
of Placement Methods, Bureau of Employment
Security, U. S. Department of Labor, gave ad­
vice and assistance particularly on matters of oc­
cupational classification and descriptions of
The photographs credited to the U. S. Depart­
ment of Labor were taken by James B. Lindley
of the Visual Services Section. Some photo­
graphs were supplied by various other Govern­
ment agencies as shown by the credit lines ac­
companying the pictures. The remaining photo­
graphs were contributed by: American Dental
Association; American Optical C o.; Bausch and
Lomb Optical Co.; D. C. Optometric Associa­
tion; American Security and Trust Co.; Ameri­
can Telephone and Telegraph C o.; Arizona State
Board for Vocational Education; National Edu­
cation Association; Bakelite Co.; Brookliaven
National Laboratory; Capitol Radio Engineering
Institute; CBS-Hytron; Chrysler Corp.; Ford
Motor Co.; General Motors Corp.

Detroit Edison C o.; Douglas Aircraft Co., In c.;
Lockheed Aircraft Corp.; North American Avia­
tion, Inc.; North Central Airlines; United Air
Lines; Dupont Chemical Co.; Jefferson Chemical
Co.; Eagle Clothing Co.; The Hecht Co.; Gen­
eral Electric C o.; Harper Hospital, Detroit;
Hickey Freeman Co.; Hilton Hotels; Mayflower
H otel; International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers; International Business Machines Corp.;
Marchant Calculating Machine Co.; The New
York Employing Printers Association ; Ransdall
Printing Co.; New York Central System; Nor­
folk and Western Railway; Rock Island Lines;
S a n ta Fe Railway; Union Pacific Railroad; The
Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey; The United
Horological Association of America, Inc.; The
IT. S. Steel Corp.; Washburne Trade School;
The Washington Post and Times Herald; The
Willamette Iron and Steel Co.; and The Zontian of Zonta International.

A great many trade associations, professional societies, unions, and other
organizations in industry are in a position to supply valuable information
to counselors or young people seeking information about careers. For the
convenience of users of this Handbook, the reports on occupations or indus­
tries list organizations or publications which may be able to provide further
information. While these references were assembled with care, the Bu­
reau of Labor Statistics has no authority or facilities for investigating
organizations. Also, since the Bureau has no way of knowing in advance
what information or publications each organization may send in answer to
a request, the Bureau cannot evaluate the accuracy of such information.
The listing of an organization, therefore, does not in any way constitute an
endorsement or recommendation by the Bureau or the Department of Labor,
either of the organization and its activities or of the information it may
supply. Such information as each organization may issue is, of course,
sent out on its own responsibility.




Points to keep in mind when using the handbook___________________________________________________

x vi

Putting the handbook to work________________________________________________________________________


Guide to the handbook________________________________________________________________________________


Where to go for more information or assistance_____________________________________________________
Keeping up to date on occupational outlook______________________________________________________
Services to job seekers at public employment offices______________________________________________


Economic and occupational trends______________________________________________________________________
Population and labor force trends^ _______________________________________________________________
Industrial and occupational trends____________________________________________


Earnings from work______________________________________________________________________________________



Professional, administrative, and related occupations__________________________________________________
Health service occupations__________________________________________________________________________
Physical and earth sciences_________________________________________________________________________
Biological sciences___________________________________________________________________________________
Social sciences_______________________________________________________________________________________
Other professional and related occupations_______________________________________________________


Clerical, sales, and service occupations___ ______________________________________________________________
Clerical occupations_________________________________________________________________________________
Sales occupations____________________________________________________________________________________
Service occupations_________________________________________________________________________________


Skilled trades and other industrial occupations________________________________________________________
Building trades______________________________________________________________________________________
Printing occupations________________________________________________________________________________
Mechanics and repairmen__________________________________________________________________________
Machining occupations_____________________________________________________________________________
Foundry occupations_______________________________________________________________________________
Forge shop occupations_____________________________________________________________________________
Other trades and industrial occupations___________________________________________________________


Some major industries and their occupations
Occupations in aircraft manufacturing____________________________________________________________
Occupations in air transportation_____________________________________________
Occupations in the atomic energy field________________________________________________
Occupations in the automobile industry________________________________________________
Banking occupations________________________________________________________________________________
Department store occupations_______________________________________________________________
Electric light and power occupations___________________________________________________
Electronics manufacturing occupations_________________________________________________
Hotel occupations_________________________________________________________________________
Occupations in the industrial chemicals industry_______________________________________
Insurance occupations______________________________________________________________________________
Occupations in the iron and steel industry_______________________________________________________
Occupations in the men’s tailored clothing i n d u s t r y ___________________________________
Petroleum production and refining occupations_____ _____________________________________________
Occupations in plastic products manufacturing________________________________________________
Radio and television broadcasting occupations___________________________________________________
Railroad occupations_______________________________________________________________________________
Restaurant occupations_____________________________________________________________________________
Telephone occupations_____________________________________________





CONTENTS— Continued

Agricultural occupations___________________________
Employment opportunities on farms_________
Specialized agricultural occupations__________
Government occupations___________________________
Civilian employment in Federal Government
Armed Forces__________________________________
State and local government___________________


Index I— Occupations classified by broad fields of work____________________________________________


Index II— Alphabetical index to occupations________________________________________________________




Professional, Administrative, and Related Occupations


T E A C H I N G _________________________________________
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers. _
Secondary school teachers______________________
College and university teachers________________


P H Y S IC A L A N D E A R T H S C IE N C E S — Con.
Geophysicists _ . _______________________________


H E A L T H S E R V IC E O C C U P A T IO N S ___________
Registered professional nurses__________________
Medical X -ray technicians______________________
Medical laboratory technicians_________________
Osteopathic physicians__________________________
Dental hygienists________________________________
Physical therapists______________________________
Medical record librarians_______________________
Occupational therapists_________________________


B IO L O G IC A L S C IE N C E S _________________________
Animal sciences_________________________________
Plant sciences____________________________________


SO C IA L S C IE N C E S ________________________________
Political scientists_______________________________
Sociologists____ __________________________________


O C C U P A T IO N S __________________________________


E N G I N E E R I N G ____________________________________
Aeronautical engineers__________________________
Ceramic engineers_______________________________
Chemical engineers______________________________
Civil engineers___________________________________
Electrical engineers________________________________
Industrial engineers_______________________________
Mechanical engineers___________________________
Metallurgical engineers_________________________
Mining engineers________________________________


P H Y S IC A L A N D E A R T H S C IE N C E S ____________


Clerical, Sales, and



Commercial artists______________________________








Home economists________________________________


Interior designers and decorators______________






Newspaper reporters____________________________


Personnel workers_______________________________


Psychologists - ___________________________________
Social workers___________________________________




ice Occupations


C L E R IC A L O C C U P A T IO N S ______________________
Secretaries, stenographers, and typists________


S E R V IC E O C C U P A T IO N S ________________________
Beauty operators________________________________


SA LES O C C U P A T IO N S ____________


Practical nurses and auxiliary nursing workers.





Skilled Trades and Other Industrial Occupations

B U IL D IN G T R A D E S ______________________________
Painters and paperhangers_____________________
Plumbers and pipefitters_______________________
Operating engineers_____________________________
Electricians (Construction)_____________________
Structural, ornamental, and reinforcing iron
workers____________________________________ _
Sheet metal workers____________________________



B U IL D IN G T R A D E S — Continued
Cement finishers_________________________________
Elevator constructors___________________________
Marble setters, tile setters, and terrazzo
Asbestos and insulating workers_______________
Construction laborers and hodcarriers________




Skilled Trades and Other Industrial Occupations— Continued

P R IN T IN G O C C U P A T IO N S ______________________


Composing room occupations___________________




Electrotypers and stereotypers_________________


Printing pressmen and assistants_______________


Lithographic occupations_______________________


Bookbinders and related workers______________


M E C H A N IC S A N D R E P A IR M E N ______________


Automobile mechanics__________________________


Business machine servicemen___________________


Diesel mechanics________________


M A C H IN IN G O C C U P A T IO N S ___________________
All-round machinists____________________________
Tool and die makers____________________________
Machine tool operators_________________________
Setup men_______________________________________
Layout m en______________________________________


F O U N D R Y O C C U P A T IO N S ______________________


F O R G E SH OP O C C U P A T IO N S __________________


P A T IO N S __________________________________________
Boilermaking occupations_______________________
Dispensing opticians and optical mechanics___
Instrument makers______________________________
Welders and oxygen cutters_____________________



Electronic technicians___________________________


Industrial machinery repairmen-----------


Jewelers and jewelry repairmen________________


Maintenance electricians________________________




Refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics. _


Watch repairmen________________________________


Some Major Industries and Their Occupations

T U R I N G ___________________________________________
Professional and technical occupations________
Managerial and clerical occupations___________
Plant occupations_______________________________


Pilots and copilots_______________________________
Flight engineers_________________________________
Airplane mechanics______________________________
Traffic agents and clerks___________________
Dispatchers and assistants______________________
Airport and air-route traffic controllers________
Ground radio operators and teletypists________


F I E L D _____________________________________________
Uranium mining_________________________________
Uranium ore milling_____________________________
Uranium refining________________________________
Enrichment of uranium_________________________
Reactor manufacturing_________________________
Radiation instrument manufacturing__________
Construction of facilities________________________
Reactor operation and maintenance___________
Research and development centers_____________
Government employment_______________________
Unique atomic energy occupations_____________


D U S T R Y __________________________________________
Professional and technical occupations------------Administrative and clerical occupations----------Plant occupations------------------------------------------------



B A N K IN G O C C U P A T IO N S _______________________
Bank clerks and related workers_______________
Bank officers_____________________________________


D E P A R T M E N T S T O R E O C C U P A T IO N S _______
Receiving, delivery, and related occupations. _


T IO N S ______________________________________________
Powerplant occupations_________________________
Transmission and distribution occupations____
Customer servicing occupations________________


P A T IO N S __________________________________________
Professional and technical occupations________
Administrative and office occupations_________
Plant occupations_______________________________


H O T E L O C C U P A T IO N S ___________________________
Bellmen and bell captains______________________
Front-office clerks_______________________________
Housekeepers and assistants. ___________________
Hotel managers and assistants_________________


IC A L S I N D U S T R Y _______________________________
Plant occupations_______________________________
Technical occupations___________________________
Administrative, clerical, and related occupa­




Some Major Industries and Their Occupations— Continued

IN S U R A N C E O C C U P A T IO N S ____________________
Insurance clerks and office-machine operatorsLife insurance agents____________________________
Property and casualty insurance agents and
I N D U S T R Y _______________________________________
Processing occupations__________________________
Mechanical, transportation, and plant service
Technical and office occupations_______________


C L O T H IN G I N D U S T R Y ________________________
Designing, patternmaking, and pattern grad­
ing occupations_______________________________
Cutting room occupations______________________
Sewing room occupations_______________________
Tailoring occupations___________________________
Pressing occupations____________________________
Other plant occupations________________________
Administrative and clerical occupations_______


O C C U P A T IO N S ___________________________________
Petroleum production occupations_____________
Petroleum refining occupations_________________


M A N U F A C T U R IN G _____________________________
Occupations in molding plants_________________
Laminating occupations_________________________
Fabricating occupations_________________________
Other plant occupations________________________
Technical, office, and sales occupations________




O C C U P A T IO N S __________________________________
Radio and television announcers_______________
Broadcasting technicians_______________________


R A IL R O A D O C C U P A T IO N S ______________________
Locomotive engineers___________________________
Locomotive firemen and helpers_____ __________
Train baggagemen_______________________________
Telegraphers, telephoners, and towermen_____
Station agents___________________________________
Railroad clerks___________________________________
Shop trades______________________________________
Bridge and building mechanics_________________
Signalmen and signal maintainers______________
Pullman conductors_____________________________
Pullman porters and passenger attendants____
Dining car cooks________________________________
Dining car waiters_______________________________


R E S T A U R A N T O C C U P A T IO N S _________________
Waiters and waitresses________ ._________________
Cooks and chefs_________________________________
Restaurant managers and assistants___________


T E L E P H O N E O C C U P A T IO N S ___________________
Central office craftsmen_________________________
Linemen and cable splicers_____________________
Telephone and P B X installers and repairmen.


Telephone operators_____________________________


Central office equipment installers_____________


Agricultural Occupations

E M P L O Y M E N T O P P O R T U N IT IE S ON FA R M SCorn belt farms_________________________________
Wheat farms_____________________________________
Cotton farms____________________________________
Tobacco farms___________________________________
Sugarcane farms_________________________________
Peanut farms____________________________________
Rice farms_______________________________________
Sugar beet farms________________________________
Western crop-specialty farms__________________
Fruit and nut farms_____________________________
Vegetable farms_________________________________
Dairy farms______________________________________
Poultry farms___________________________________
Livestock ranches_______________________________



T IO N S _____________________________________________


Agricultural extension service workers_________


Vocational agriculture teachers_________________


Agricultural research workers__________________


Agricultural economists_________________________


Agricultural finance workers____________________


Agricultural engineers___________________________


Soil scientists____________________________________


Soil conservationists_____________________________


Other professional work_________________________


Farm service work_______________________________


Government Occupations

G O V E R N M E N T __________________________________



A R M E D F O R C E S __________________________



Points to Keep in M ind
W hen Using the Handbook
This book answers many questions people
ask when they are interested in choosing an
occupation. It gives information on more
than 500 occupations and industries—on the
employment outlook in each of these fields,
the nature of the work, training, and other
qualifications needed for entry, lines of ad­
vancement, where jobs are located, and earn­
ings and working conditions. To find out
how the book is arranged and how to inter­
pret the information, see Guide to the Hand­
book (beginning on page 3).
What To Bear in Mind About Employment
Outlook Statements

All conclusions about the economic future
necessarily rest on certain assumptions. The
statements on the employment outlook in this
book assume that: (1) there will not be a
war; (2) the defense program will be con­
tinued at about the same level as in early
1957; and (3) the general level of business
activity will remain high and unemployment
low in the United States. Under other cir­
cumstances, the employment situation would,
o f course, be changed—in ways indicated in
the statements on the occupations likely to be
most affected.
Where To Go for Local Information

The picture of employment opportunities
given in this book applies to the country as
a whole, unless otherwise indicated. People
who want supplementary information on job
opportunities in their community should con­
sult local sources of information, particular­


ly the offices of State employment services
affiliated with the U. S. Employment Servvice. For suggestions as to other local
sources, see page 10.
How To Keep Up To Date on Occupational

This Handbook contains the most recent
information available when the book was
prepared in late 1956 and early 1957. To
keep readers up to date on new developments
affecting the employment outlook and on
changes in earnings and other items, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a pe­
riodical, The Occupational Outlook, four
times each year. To find out about this pub­
lication and how to order it, see Other Pub­
lications Useful to Counselors at the back of
the Handbook.
What Other Information Is Needed

A career decision means matching a per­
son and an occupation. Information on oc­
cupations and the employment opportunities
they offer is only part of that needed in this
process. The other part relates to the poten­
tial worker himself—his interests and apti­
tudes. People can obtain help in assessing
their own abilities and interests and in se­
lecting the occupations for which they are
the best suited from vocational counselors in
schools and colleges, State employment
service offices, Veterans Administration re­
gional offices and guidance centers, and
many community agencies.

Putting the Handbook to W o rk
Counselors, teachers, guidance supervisors, and
counselor trainers will welcome this revision of
the Occupational Outlook Handbook as an es­
sential tool in carrying out one very important
area of their work. As the name implies, the
Handbook deals with and interprets trends in
occupations. Basically, it is not a text in oc­
cupations, nor does it attempt to delineate
methods for use in disseminating the storehouse
of information which it contains. Rather, it
provides fundamental information about job
situations and future outlook which users can
apply to the full advantage of individuals as they
make career choices.
The last edition appropriately placed emphasis
upon the relative and often transitory nature of
much occupational information, and indicated the
need for those who use the Handbook to exercise
caution in making unqualified statements about
the characteristics of and opportunities in a par­
ticular job field. Developments some 5 years
later have heightened the necessity for this warn­
ing. The impact of automation as it increases
job opportunities for technically trained workers,
the ebb and flow of prosperity and depression,
shifts in industry from region to region, and the
changing demands for luxury and “ bread-andbutter” items— all these factors have made persons
who assist youth in career decisionmaking fully
aware of the most puzzling, if not hazardous, as­
pect of dealing with occupational data, i. e., the
fluctuant nature of the information available.
Professionally trained people who utilize the
Handbook will interpret its content in the light of
industrial developments and shifting economic
conditions within local areas, specific regions, and
throughout the Nation. Constant study of eco­
nomic developments and the utilization of in­
formation from all sources, particularly local and
regional employment offices, will provide valuable
4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 57 ----------- 2

supplementary data in aiding individuals to make
occupational decisions.
For these and other reasons, the Handbook fills
a real need in assisting counselors to pinpoint
trends and to make interpretations which will aid
youth materially in structuring consistent and
realistic plans for the future. While the Hand­
book provides data on national trends, counselors
and other professional people will be careful to
use these data in the light of information upon
specific conditions in local areas.
Use by Teachers of Occupations

A teacher of occupations will find that the
general plan of the Handbook makes it possible
to provide an overview of the major occupational
groups and the dominant trends in particular oc­
cupations. Fortunately, the specifics regarding
trends and outlook are also available so that the
Handbook serves the purpose of aiding the
teacher of occupations in providing students with
both general and specific information related to
an area of work. The teacher, no doubt, will wish
to secure information about local and regional
trends through such resources as the school coun­
selor and other agencies within the community.
Since the occupations teacher fully realizes the
fluctuant nature of occupational information, he
will impress upon students the necessity of in­
cluding all local findings in any study of a par­
ticular area of work.
Use by Counselees

The Handbook makes its leading contribution
to the counselee as he sets up a design of long­
term plans. At this stage in his high school
career, the student is forced to project his think­
ing and make some long-term decisions. He must
be able to determine the types of professional pre­
paration required if his occupational aspirations



indicate the need for such training. I f his pro­
posed occupation requires professional preparaT
tion, he should have information on internships
required and their availability. I f his interests
point toward technical training, he should explore
apprenticeship requirements, the value of formal
courses, and the extent to which on-the-job train­
ing supplements, or in some instances supplants,
formalized training. In this kind of setting, the
national data are most helpful in answering ques­
tions and in assisting the student to determine
whether he will be confronted with the need to
make a change in geographical location to secure
employment in his chosen field. The Handbook
figures will prove valuable in providing clues for
determining the regional location of greatest de­
mand for individuals with the skills he aims to
acquire. While most students in high school may
be able to make use of the Handbook, the teacher
of occupations and the counselor can aid them in
simplifying and interpreting the facts of per­
tinence to their long-range planning.

changes mentioned earlier materially affect job
opportunities and trends, make the counselor
trainer’s course on occupational information a
most difficult one to teach realistically. By utiliz­
ing the Handbook, the counselor trainer has at
his disposal an arsenal of facts which will enable
him to increase the proficiency of the counselorin-training in a field which requires constant reevaluation and reorientation. By concentrating
on how to use the facts available, rather than
amassing information on a few occupations, the
prospective counselor is placed in a position to
organize the information needed for counseling
his students more effectively and more beneficially.
In this connection, it is scarely necessary to say
that many of the books furnishing occupational
facts become obsolete almost as soon as they are
printed. By emphasizing the procedure of study­
ing an occupation by use of the Handbook and
other relevant information, the counselor trainer
provides the counselor with valuable techniques
which do not become obsolete as economic con­
ditions change.

Use by Counselors

The counselor, perhaps, will find the greatest
number of uses for the Handbook. During this
period of manpower shortages in certain key oc­
cupations, the information provided will aid the
counselor in assisting the counselee to evaluate
the pressures for recruitment into various oc­
cupational groups, and to weigh these in the light
of actual needs and realistic planning. Decisions
can then be made, in the light of the opportunities
available, to utilize fully the skills and aptitudes
of the counselee. While most counselors have
had some nonteaching work experience, it is un­
fair to assume that they possess detailed and
accurate information on a large number of the
jobs described in the Handbook. Therefore, the
volume is a valuable tool in supplementing the
occupational information which the counselor al­
ready has available from his experience, his
knowledge of the work world, and his more in­
tensive study of particular occupational fields.
Use by Counselor Trainers

The tentative nature of information about oc­
cupations, together with the fact that numerous

Use in Gathering Information on Occupations

Many factors in the dynamic economy found in
the United States contribute to a confusing pat­
tern of job possibilities as teachers of occupations,
counselors, or counselor trainers aid individuals
in gathering pertinent information upon occupa­
tional opportunities. These can best be integrated
if the resources of the Handbook are utilized to
aid individuals in the analysis and interpretation
of facts available through the Handbook. While
the national scene is more stable than local and
regional situations, users of the Handbook will
find that local figures become meaningful only as
national facts are applied to any one local setting.
Gathering facts pertaining to occupations is a
challenging process which is essential if students
are to find helpful and significant assistance as
they make occupational choices.
F r a n k L. S ie v e r s , Chief,
Guidance and Student Personnel Section,
Office of Education, U. S. Department
of Health, Education, and Welfare

Guide to the Handbook
Every year more than iy 2 million young people
enter the labor force. To provide these boys and
girls with the occupational information they need
to make a wise vocational choice is a matter of
obvious importance both to their life adjustment
and to the effective utilization of the Nation’s
manpower resources. For this reason, the Presi­
dent’s Advisory Committee on Education recom­
mended, in 1938, that an Occupational Outlook
Service be set up in the U. S. Department of
Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, to study the
employment outlook in the country’s major oc­
cupations and prepare reports for use in voca­
tional guidance. The Service was organized in
1940, but during World War I I devoted its re­
sources to manpower studies needed in connection
with the war effort. Immediately after the war,
the Bureau started the program of occupational

outlook research which led, in 1949, to the publi­
cation of the first edition of the Occupational Out­
look Handbook. A second edition appeared in
This third edition of the Handbook summarizes
the results of more than a decade of research, and
particularly of recent studies of the employment
trends and long-range outlook in more than 500
occupations. The reports on different fields of
work, which make up the major part of the book,
present the conclusions reached on employment
outlook, together with information on a number
of other topics of importance in vocational guid­
ance— for example, the nature of the work done
in each occupation, the training and other quali­
fications needed for employment, and earnings
and working conditions.

Contents of Handbook
Introductory Chapters

Before using the reports on different fields of
work, it is important to read the Guide to the
Handbook, which forms the present chapter.
Besides describing the content and organization
of the Handbook, this chapter tells how the in­
formation was obtained and discusses a number
of points which need to be borne in mind in
interpreting the occupational outlook statements.
The chapter following this one contains sug­
gestions regarding supplementary sources of in­
formation and describes how readers can keep up
to date on developments affecting the occupa­
tional outlook— a highly important matter in
view of the constant changes characteristic of the
American labor market. A brief description is
given also of the counseling, placement, and other
services available to job seekers at public employ­
ment offices. In choosing a field of work, young
people not only need information of the kind
given in the Handbook but also require help in
interpreting these data in the light of their own
aptitudes and interests.
Counselors in high
schools and colleges provide such assistance to
great numbers of students; regional offices and

guidance centers of the Veterans Administration
offer like services to many veterans; and counsel­
ing services are offered by many community
agencies. The local offices of State Employment
Services affiliated with the U. S. Employment
Service are of special importance as a source
of advice and assistance for workers seeking
Subsequent chapters describe the main trends
in the population, labor force, industries, and oc­
cupations of the United States and discuss the
earnings of American workers. These chapters
are designed to provide counselors with back­
ground information which will add perspective
to the reports on individual fields of w ork. They
should also be useful references for classes on
occupations and for students and other individ­
uals interested in obtaining a general view of the
world of work.
Reports on Major Occupations and Industries

The reports on different fields of work follow
the introductory chapters just mentioned. These
reports are arranged in chapters dealing with
groups of related occupations or with occupations



within specific industries, and these chapters are,
in turn, grouped into six major divisions of the
book. The first three divisions cover occupations
fhat are found in many industries and can best
be discussed outside the context of a particular
industry. They deal, respectively, with profes­
sional, administrative, and related occupations;
with clerical, sales, and service occupations; and
with skilled trades and other industrial occupa­
tions. The last three divisions of the Handbook
discuss occupations in a number of the country’s
major industries, in agriculture, and in govern­
Even in a book as large as this one, it is ob­
viously impossible to present information on all
of the many thousands of occupations in which
American workers are employed. The occupa­
tions selected for discussion include those re­
ported to be of greatest interest to school and
college students, veterans, and other young people
requesting guidance. Most of them require rela­
tively long periods of formal education or on-thejob training; the need for long-range outlook in­
formation is most acute in connection with the
choice of careers in such occupations. Another
criterion used in deciding which occupations to
cover was their relative size and the number of
employment opportunities they offer. Some
smaller fields have been included, however, either
because there is special interest in them or be­
cause reports regarding them could be prepared
readily in connection with studies of major oc­
cupations in the same industry.
Altogether, the more than 500 occupations dis­
cussed in the Handbook employ about 85 percent
o f all workers in professional and related oc­

cupations; 80 percent of those in skilled occupa­
tions ; 50 percent in clerical occupations; 45
percent in service occupations; and smaller pro­
portions in administrative, sales, and semiskilled
occupations. They also include the main types
of farming. Furthermore, each division of the
Handbook has an introduction which briefly de­
scribes the chief occupations and employment
trends in the broad field of work with which that
division of the book is concerned. These intro­
ductions contain background data designed to aid
the reader in interpreting the reports on different
occupations; they also provide some general in­
formation on many fields of work which could
not be covered in the occupational reports. The
Handbook may, therefore, serve as a guide to
the bewildering array of occupations in the
United States, besides providing specific informa­
tion on a large number of occupations of interest
to students, veterans, and other persons planning
to undertake prolonged training.

To assist readers in locating information on the
occupations in which they are interested, a list of
the occupational reports is provided following
the table of contents. Persons desiring informa­
tion on occupations related to a general field of
work—for example, artistic, technical, mana­
gerial, clerical, or manipulative work—may re­
fer to the Index to Occupations Classified by
Broad Fields of Work (the first of the two in­
dexes at the back of the book). Finally, an al­
phabetical index to occupations is provided for
ready reference.

The Occupational Reports
Subjects Covered and Sources of Information

Young people in the process of choosing a ca­
reer need many different kinds of occupational
information to aid them in this choice. They
need to know, for example, what the work is like
in various occupations, where the jobs are located,
how much training is required to enter each field,
and whether the field is likely to offer good
opportunities for employment when they complete
their training.
An outline of the topics which should be cov­
ered in occupational monographs has been pre­

pared by the National Vocational Guidance As­
sociation on the basis of its members’ experience
in vocational counseling. This outline served as a
guide to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in deter­
mining the subjects which should be covered in
the occupational reports. Although it was not
possible to discuss all the suggested topics in de­
tail, the occupational reports contain some data on
all major items listed in the N VGA outline which
were considered relevant to the occupation under
discussion. The subjects covered include: nature
of the work, the number of workers in the occupa­
tion, employment of women, types of employers,


geographic location of employment, training and
other qualifications needed, lines of advancement,
employment trends and outlook, earnings and
working conditions, and where to go for more in­
formation. In addition, the chapters on the oc­
cupations in particular industries include brief de­
scriptions of the goods or services produced
by the given industry and of its operations
and organization.
In order to obtain information on this variety
of topics for the hundreds of widely different oc­
cupations discussed in the Handbook, it was neces­
sary to draw upon many different sources. In
describing the nature of the work done, for ex­
ample, the sources looked to first were the Diction­
ary of Occupational Titles compiled by the U. S.
Employment Service, other job descriptions pre­
pared by that agency and affiliated State Employ­
ment Services, and job descriptions used by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics in connection with its
wage statistics program. In addition, occupa­
tional descriptions prepared by the U. S. Civil
Service Commission, professional societies, trade
associations, and other governmental and private
organizations were utilized extensively. The in­
formation on training and other qualifications
needed for employment came from an equal vari­
ety of sources—including the U. S. Department of
Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training,
State Employment Service offices, State licensing
boards, trade unions, trade associations, individ­
ual employers, professional societies, and college
placement agencies.
To indicate where the occupations discussed fit
into the classification system of the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles, “ D. O. T.” numbers are given
wherever possible, following the titles of the oc­
cupations discussed. By reference to part I I of
the dictionary, which contains a listing of occupa­
tions in order of their D. O. T. numbers, one can
find out in which broad occupational group an
occupation falls— for example, whether it is a
professional, clerical, service, or skilled occupa­
tion— and also determine its classification on a
much more exact basis. (For a description of the
D. O. T. classification system, see introduction to
Index I— Occupations Classified by Broad Fields
of Work.)
The sections on employment outlook in the oc­
cupational reports present conclusions based not
only on compilation of information from many



sources but also on extensive economic and statis­
tical analysis. Both the sources and the analytical
methods used in studying the employment outlook
are described in the following section, along with
some qualifications which the reader should bear
in mind in interpreting the outlook data.
The information presented on earnings and
working conditions represents the most recent
available when the Handbook was prepared for
the printer early in 1957. A large part of the
data came from Bureau of Labor Statistics sur­
veys of wages, other employment benefits, and
industrial hazards and from the Bureau’s studies
of trade union agreements. Here again, how­
ever, many different sources of information had
to be utilized— including surveys of the earnings
of professional personnel made by the National
Science Foundation and professional societies,
and information from the U. S. Civil Service
Commission on salaries of Federal employees.
Because of the variety of sources used, the figures
presented in the different occupational statements
refer to different periods of time, cover varying
geographic areas, represent different kinds of
statistical measures, and have varying degrees of
accuracy. Comparisons between the earnings
data for different occupations should, therefore,
be made with great caution. However, a general
picture of earnings in the United States is given
in the chapter on Earnings From Work. The
information there presented should be a useful
frame of reference in interpreting the earnings
data for a particular field of work.
The occupational reports could not have been
completed in their present form without the as­
sistance received from a great number of
companies, trade associations, trade unions,
professional societies, colleges and universities,
and government agencies. Officials of these or­
ganizations generously made available much un­
published as well as published material and
supplied a great deal of helpful information
through interviews. Furthermore, they reviewed
preliminary drafts of all the occupational re­
ports. The information and conclusions pre­
sented in each report thus reflect the knowledge
and judgment not only of the Bureau of Labor
Statistics staff but also of leaders in the field dis­
cussed, although the Bureau, of course, takes full
responsibility for all statements made.



How Employment Outlook Conclusions Were
Reached and How to Interpret Them

In providing employment outlook information
which will influence career decisions, it is neces­
sary to look ahead at least several years and, if
possible, several decades. The emphasis in the
employment outlook sections of the Handbook is,
therefore, on long-run employment prospects, al­
though information has been included also on
the employment situation in many fields of work
in 1956, when the reports were prepared, and on
the opportunities to be expected in the next few
Since the Handbook is designed primarily for
use by high school students and their counselors,
the employment outlook information is presented
in nontechnical language. Some indication is
given of the general factors considered in arriv­
ing at the conclusions stated, but no attempt is
made to describe fully the economic and statis­
tical analysis underlying them.
In these studies of the employment outlook, as in
all other appraisals of the economic future, it has
been necessary to make certain assumptions as to
the general economic and political environment in
the country. A catastrophe such as a war or a
severe economic depression would, of course, cre­
ate an employment situation entirely different
from that likely to develop under more favorable
circumstances. Young people can not build their
lifetime plans in expectation of such unpredict­
able catastrophes, however. In this Handbook, it
is, therefore, assumed that the general level of
business activity will remain high and unemploy­
ment low, that the country will remain at peace;
and also that it will continue to have a defense
program of about the same size as in 1956. For
practical purposes in vocational guidance, these
assumptions are believed to provide the most use­
ful framework for analysis. To avoid constant
repetition, the assumptions are seldom mentioned
in the reports on fields of work which would
probably be affected by a general decline in busi­
ness or a change in the scale of mobilization to
about the same degree as the economy as a whole.
On the other hand, in the statements on occupa­
tions where employment tends either to be un­
usually stable or to be subject to marked ups
and downs, these facts are indicated. Even in
the latter occupations, however, long-term trends
in employment are more important than short-

run fluctuations in appraising the outlook in
connection with an individual’s choice of a
lifetime career.
Since the factors which determine the demand
for workers and the available supply differ
greatly from one occupation to another, the
sources and methods used in the various employ­
ment outlook studies necessarily differed also.
Certain general patterns of research were fo l­
lowed, however.
The starting point in many studies was an
analysis of past and prospective population
trends, including the changes expected in popula­
tion of school and college age, in numbers of older
people, in employment of women, and in the con­
centration of population in and around cities. In
fields such as teaching, the health professions, and
many personal services, population factors have
a direct and obvious influence on employment op­
portunities. They are also of great importance
in many industries— for example, residential con­
struction, telephone communications, men’s cloth­
ing, and retail trade.
Changes in the volume of business and em­
ployment in each industry are brought about,
however, by many factors besides the population—
for example, by shifts in consumer preference
from one type of product or service to another,
by the development of new products which cut
into the market for old ones, by the general rise
in income levels which makes it possible for peo­
ple to afford more expensive items, and by tech­
nological developments affecting production meth­
ods and raw materials used. In studying the
outlook in a particular industry, the factors hav­
ing the greatest influence in that industry were
analyzed and projections were made of demand
for the industry’s products or services. These
projections were then translated into estimates
of the numbers and kinds of workers that would
be required to produce the indicated amounts of
products or services—in view of the relative num­
bers currently employed in different occupations,
productivity trends, probable further reductions
in the workweek, and other factors. Past trends
in employment were also given much weight in
arriving at the conclusions as to probable future
employment trends.
To assist in carrying through this analysis and
ensure that the assumptions made in the different
occupational studies were consistent, overall pro­
jections of the economy over the next two decades


were developed. This general analytical frame­
work included projections of the population, labor
force, gross national product, average hours of
work, employment in major industries, and re­
lated economic measures, by 5-year intervals up
to 1975. In all studies of separate occupations
and industries, the employment projections were
tied in with those derived from the projections of
the entire economy.
The decennial Censuses of Population and the
monthly Current Population Surveys conducted
by the Bureau of the Census provided the basic
data on population and labor force trends, both
for the overall projections and for the studies of
individual occupations and industries. The
analysis and intepretation of these data stemmed
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ continuing
program of labor force studies.
Equally indispensable to the studies of employ­
ment trends in major industries were the statis­
tics on employment in nonagricultural establish­
ments compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics. Each month, the Bureau prepares estimates
of employment, hours of work, earnings, and
labor turnover based on reports from about 155,000 establishments. Estimates are available for
a great number of different industries, for the
past quarter century or more.
Another Bureau program which contributed to
the analysis of future employment trends was its
studies of productivity and technological develop­
ments. Anticipated productivity trends and tech­
nological changes were allowed for in converting
the projections of demand for the products of a
given industry into estimates of the numbers of
workers who will be needed in that industry.
Information on the magnitude of industrial re­
search programs and on the employment of scien­
tists and engineers in research and other activities
from surveys conducted by the Bureau in co­
operation with the National Science Foundation
and other agencies has been extensively utilized
in studying the scientific and engineering profes­
sions. The findings with regard to the scale and
trend of industrial research activities have con­
tributed also to the analysis of employment pros­
pects in many science-based industries.
Still another Bureau project which played a
major role in the development of estimates of
future employment requirements in different oc­
cupations is the Occupational-Industry Matrix.
The matrix consists of a set of tables for 159 in­


dustry sectors which represent the entire economy
of the United States. For each industry sector,
the tables show a percentage distribution of em­
ployment among about 150 of the most important
occupations and also among the major occupa­
tional groups. The matrix was valuable in ap­
praising the effects of changing employment levels
in different industries on employment in specified
occupations. It was also useful in estimating the
numbers of workers currently employed in each
occupation. This was an important function,
since for many occupations the 1950 Census of
Population was the most recent source of basic
data on employment, and for many others only
fragmentary data were available which had to be
integrated by means of the matrix in order to de­
rive overall estimates of employment.
By bringing together and analyzing informa­
tion from these many sources, conclusions have
been reached as to prospective employment trends
in the occupations covered by this Handbook. In
general, increases in employment and, hence,
openings for new workers are anticipated. How­
ever, the expected gains in employment are by no
means an adequate indication of the total numbers
of job openings which will need to be filled. In
most occupations, more workers are needed yearly
to fill positions left vacant by those who leave the
occupation (to enter other occupations or be­
cause of retirement or death) than are needed to
staff new positions created by growth of the field.
Rarely do occupations grow fast enough so that
the reverse is true. Even occupations which are
declining in size may offer employment oppor­
tunities to many young people.
The number of openings likely to arise in an
occupation owing to deaths and retirements may
be estimated by reference to the Tables on W ork­
ing Life developed by the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics for both men and women. The tables are
similar to the actuarial life tables used by in­
surance companies as a basis for their premium
and benefit rates.
The value o f the tables in assessing employ­
ment opportunities is illustrated by a comparison
of two skilled occupations—painter (in construc­
tion and maintenance) and automobile mechanic.
Painters have a higher average age— and, there­
fore, a higher rate of deaths and retirements—
than do automobile mechanics; about 2.4 percent
of all painters retire or die every year, compared
with only about 1.1 percent of all automobile me-



chanics. The difference between these two rates
is so great that, even though the total number
o f automobile mechanics employed is much larger
than the number of painters (643,000 compared
with 390,000 in 1950), many more new workers
are needed each year to fill vacancies in painting
than in auto repair jobs.
In most occupations where men comprise the
great majority of workers, as they do in the trades
just referred to, the death and retirement rate
is generally between 1 and 4 percent. However,
the rate is usually somewhat higher in women’s
occupations, because so many women “ retire” to
get married or assume family responsibilities.
The replacement rate among stenographers,
typists, and secretaries, for example, is at least
6 percent a year.
Besides vacancies due to deaths and retirements,
many openings arise owing to transfers of
workers from one occupation to another. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics has made studies of
the occupational mobility of scientists and of
several groups of skilled workers (molders, elec­
tronic technicians, and tool and die makers).
However, information on the movement of
workers among occupations is still limited, and
further studies are needed to indicate the
full effect o f this mobility on employment
The types o f information mentioned so far in
this section all relate to the demand for workers.
In order to appraise the prospective employment
opportunities in an occupation, it is important to
have information also on the probable future sup­
ply of personnel. The statistics on high school
and college enrollments and graduations compiled
by the U. S. Office of Education are the chief

source of information on the potential supply of
personnel in the professions and other occupations
requiring extensive formal education. Data on
numbers of apprentices from the Bureau of A p ­
prenticeship and T railing provide some informa­
tion on new entrants into skilled trades.
Many of the statistical sources and analytical
approaches listed in-preceding paragraphs did not
exist, or existed in much more limited form, when
the first precursor of this Handbook was prepared
for the Veterans Administration in 1946. The in­
tervening decade has seen great progress both in
compiling the basic data needed for analysis and
projections of future trends affecting the employ­
ment outlook and in the development of analytical
techniques. The reader should bear in mind, how­
ever, that the art of economic forecasting is still
in an early stage of development and that it is, at
best, fraught with difficulty and uncertainty. It
is necessary to keep in mind also the basic assump­
tions underlying the forecasts—continuance of
generally high levels of economic activity and the
absence of large-scale war. The Bureau believes
that, within this general framework of assump­
tions, the basic trends affecting employment can
be discerned with sufficient accuracy to meet the
needs of young people preparing for careers.
Furthermore, since these trends change from time
to time and information on earnings and related
subjects becomes out of date quickly, provision has
been made for review of the reports at frequent
intervals. It is planned to make the results of this
review available through biennial editions of the
Occupational Outlook Handbook and through a
periodical publication, The Occupational Outlook
(described in the next chapter).

W here To G o for M ore Information or A ssistance
Young people using this Handbook may wish
to supplement the information in a number of
different respects. They may, for example, desire
information on occupations which could not be
covered in the occupational reports. They may
also wish more detailed information on the nature
of an occupation, training requirements, or other
subjects than could be included in these condensed
reports. Furthermore, they will often need in­
formation on the situation in particular localities,
to add to the nationwide picture presented in this
Suggestions as to sources of additional informa­
tion on the fields of work discussed are contained
in each of the occupational reports. In general,
the references given are limited to publications
prepared by government agencies and to the names
and addresses of professional societies, trade asso­
ciations, trade unions, and government agencies
having special knowledge of the given fields. For
suggestions as to other publications which might
be consulted, the reader is referred to the several
books and current indexes which list the great
numbers of pamphlets, books, and monographs
published on different occupations. These bibliog­
raphies, available in many libraries, may be use­
ful also in locating material on occupations not
covered in the Handbook.
The information on employment outlook, train­
ing requirements, earnings, and related subjects
given in the occupational reports summarizes the
situation in the United States as a whole. To
find out about current job opportunities, hiring
standards, or earnings in a particular community,
it is necessary to check with local sources.
In communities where there is a local office of
the State Employment Service, this is one of the
best places to obtain such information. The serv­
ices available in these offices are described on page
10 of this chapter.
There are also many other possible sources of
local information on occupations. The best source
of information on a profession may often be the
local branch of a professional society, such as the
American Medical Association, American Bar As­
sociation, or American Chemical Society. Simi­
larly, the local offices of trade unions will usually

have information on the occupations in which
their members are employed. It is also possible to
seek information directly from employers in the
industry or business in which one is interested;
lists of firms classified by industry can be obtained
through the local Chamber of Commerce or from
the classified section of the telephone directory.
Other sources of information on opportunities in
some localities are the special community occupa­
tional surveys made by some school systems and
other organizations.
For published information as to the occupa­
tions and industries which offer employment op­
portunities in each State and in or near each large
city, one may refer to the reports in the Occupa­
tions and Industries Regional Series prepared by
the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Veterans
Administration (listed at the back of the Hand­
book) . The facts contained regarding the fields of
work in which men and women are employed in
different communities are important in vocational
guidance, for two reasons—the great variation
among communities in the types of jobs available
and the fact that many young people prefer oc­
cupations in which there are local opportunities
for employment.
Information on earnings and working condi­
tions in important occupations is available for
a number of major labor market areas from an­
other series of reports prepared by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics. These reports, called Occu­
pational Wage Surveys, provide the following
kinds of information wherever possible: the num­
bers of workers in selected occupations in major
industries, average earnings in these occupations,
and job descriptions. In addition, wage rates and
weekly working hours are reported for some
groups of workers in office-clerical jobs, pro­
fessional and technical occupations, skilled main­
tenance work, and less skilled occupations. The
reports also show prevailing local practices in
regard to pensions, vacations, holidays, and sick
leave. A list of the Occupational Wage Surveys
available may be obtained from the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, IT. S. Department of Labor,
Washington 25, D. C.



Keeping Up to Date on Occupational Outlook
The occupational outlook program of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics is designed to keep
readers constantly up to date on occupational
outlook information.
The core of this program is the Occupational
Outlook Handbook. It is planned to issue revised
editions every 2 years hereafter. Each new edi­
tion will involve a thorough review of all infor­
mation presented and will incorporate revisions
wherever needed.
Futhermore, the Bureau’s
continuing research program should make it pos­
sible, with each new edition, to extend the cov­
erage of occupations in the Handbook. It is
planned to issue all editions both in bound form
and in the form of a series of reprints relating to
different fields of work—to meet the expressed
need both for a single reference volume and for
separate reports which can be filed by industry
or occupation and utilized by students interested
in particular fields of work.
To keep readers up to date between editions of
the Handbook on developments affecting employ­
ment opportunities and on the results of new
occupational outlook research, a new periodical,
The Occupational Outlook, is being issued four
times yearly during the months schools are in
session. The Occupational Outlook will be the
same size as the Handbook and each issue will
include a cumulative index to all issues since the
latest Handbook. Whenever an article in the
periodical supplements or supersedes information
presented in the Handbook, a statement will be

made to this effect, with a reference to the rele­
vant page of the Handbook, and the article will
be arranged so that it can be detached and in­
serted in the Handbook if desired. When a new
edition of the Handbook is published, it will in­
corporate the information contained in recent
issues of the periodical.
Besides these two publications, occupational
outlook bulletins will be issued at irregular inter­
vals. These bulletins will contain much more de­
tailed information on the outlook in various fields
of work than can be included either in the Hand­
book or in the periodical. They will be sum­
marized in articles in The Occupational Outlook.
Thus, the reader can locate easily and quickly
all up-to-date information published by the Oc­
cupational Outlook Service on the fields of work
in which he is interested. He can do this by
checking in only two places—the alphabetical
index in the latest edition of the Handbook and
the cumulative index in the latest issue of The
Occupational Outlook.
Directions for ordering the different Occupapational Outlook publications will be found at
the back of the Handbook. In addition, the Bu­
reau will be glad to place any user of this Hand­
book on its mailing list to receive announcements
of new publications and current releases sum­
marizing the results o f new studies. Anyone
wishing to receive such materials should send the
request to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United
States Department of Labor, Washington 25,
D. C. Please include postal zone numbers in the

Services to Job Seekers at Public Employment Offices*
Many of the readers of this Handbook want as­
sistance in choosing a suitable type of work and
in finding the right job. The reader who wants
professional assistance from trained counselors
and help in obtaining the right job should know
about the services offered by his local public em­
ployment office.
The U. S. Employment Service and affiliated
State Employment Services form a nationwide
organization which plays an important part in our
economy. Through 1,800 local offices, convenient­
ly located in cities and towns throughout the
♦P repared by the B ureau o f E m p lo y m en t Secu rity, U . S. D e­
p a rtm e n t o f L abor.

United States, this employment service finds jobs
for workers and workers for jobs.
Although the Employment Service is a FederalState system, each employment office is basically a
local community organization. It is concerned
with facilitating suitable and stable employment
for the community’s working population and with
adequately meeting the manpower needs of its
employers. And because of this concern, the local
office tries to do more than simply refer a worker
to a job— it tries to match the worker and job so
that the requirements of each are satisfied. To do
this, the public employment office has developed a
number of services that are available to all job


seekers. Many of them are particularly impor­
tant to young men and women about to enter the
world of work.
Counseling Services

Employment Service counseling assists people
in choosing a suitable field of work—both young
people leaving school and experienced workers
who wish or need to change their field of work.
The major purposes of employment counseling
are to help people to gain insight into their actual
or potential abilities, their interests, and their per­
sonal traits; to understand something of the na­
ture of the world of work; and to make the best
use of their capacities and preferences in the light
of available job opportunities.
In the Employment Service, the counselor has
at his fingertips a vast store of resources, includ­
ing testing facilities and labor market and occupa­
tional information.
Testing. Most local offices provide testing services,
including the General Aptitude Test Battery,
which measures basic abilities for many and
varied broad fields of work and for more than 500
specific jobs within these fields. These tests help
the applicant appraise his abilities. They may re­
veal aptitudes the job seeker did not know he
Labor Market Information. The State employ­
ment office counselor has information about jobs in
the community. He knows what kinds of jobs
prevail in local industry, which jobs are more
plentiful, what the hiring requirements and the
opportunities for promotion are, and what the
jobs pay. In addition, since his office is a part of
the nationwide employment service, it has infor­
mation regarding employment opportunities in
other areas all over the country.
Occupational Information. The Employment
Service office has occupational information which
helps the job applicant decide whether he is suited
to a particular kind of work. The Dictionary of
Occupational Titles, Job Descriptions, and the
other tools describe the work performed in the
various occupations and the training required,
lines o f advancement, physical demands, and
working conditions for most occupations.


Cooperative Arrangements wifh Other Com­
munity Groups. Local employment office coun­
selors work closely with other public and private
agencies and organizations which provide special
services that the job seeker may need in order to
become better prepared for employment. These
groups include educational, training, vocational
rehabilitation, and health and welfare agencies.
Placement Assistance

The primary objectives of the placement service
in the local employment office are to fill employers'
job openings with occupationally qualified work­
ers and to locate employment for workers (includ­
ing claimants for unemployment insurance) which
is suited to their skills, knowledge, and abilities.
The employment office placement service is de­
signed to eliminate the waste of “ hit-or-miss” job
Local Openings. State employment office person­
nel maintain regular contacts with local employers
and know their hiring needs and their jobs.
Placement interviewers receive requests from em­
ployers for all kinds of workers. Through the
local office, therefore, the job applicant has access
to a variety of job vacancies with many em­
ployers, just as the employer has access to many
applicants. When no suitable job exists for an
individual worker, the employment service may
attempt to solicit an opening for him from likely
Jobs Throughout the Country. The job clearance
system of the nationwide network of State em­
ployment offices offers the applicant an oppor­
tunity to qualify for jobs outside his area,
elsewhere in the State and the Nation, and even
in foreign countries. Each State Employment
Service prepares frequent inventories of hard-tofill jobs which are distributed to all other State
Employment Services. This makes it possible for
them to refer local workers to out-of-area jobs
for which they qualify.
Placement Aids. As in counseling, the informa­
tion on local job opportunities for industries,
occupations, and areas, and occupational require­
ments which is available in the employment offices
contributes greatly to getting the right job for
the worker and the right worker for the job.



Also available to the job seeker are aptitude and
proficiency tests which help determine whether an
applicant is qualified to perform satisfactorily on
specific jobs.
Services to Special Worker Groups

The Employment Service has developed tech­
niques and procedures for particular applicant
groups who may encounter special problems in
their search for suitable jobs.
Special services to youths include emphasis
on counseling graduating students and school
dropouts, and intensive efforts to promote em­
ployment opportunities for them. In many cities,
employment service offices have cooperative ar­
rangements with high schools to provide counsel­
ing, testing, occupational information, and place­
ment services to students prior to their graduation
as well as to other school leavers.
The State employment offices have long main­
tained an active program for helping applicants
with vocational handicaps. The emphasis is on
what these people can do with their abilities
rather than on what they cannot do because of
a disability.
The Employment Service provides special serv­
ices for veterans. In each local office there is a
veterans’ representative who is trained to know
veterans’ rights and benefits and who carries on

job promotion for veterans. In order to speed
their readjustment to civilian life, the State Em ­
ployment Services provide information service
to veterans at military separation and transfer
The Employment Service also has developed
techniques to deal with job problems of middleage and older workers. Special attention is being
given to assisting them to make realistic job
choices. Employers have been encouraged to re­
move age hiring restrictions and to hire only
according to the qualifications of the individual.
Similar attention is also being given to job
problems of members of minority groups and
others facing special difficulties in obtaining suit­
able employment.
How To Locate the Local Employment Office

The addresses and telephone numbers of local
offices of State Employment Services affiliated
with the U. S. Employment Service may be found
in local telephone directories. Job seekers, em­
ployers, schools, and public and private agencies
aiding clients to find employment are invited to
utilize the services of the public employment
offices in their communities and to avail themselves
of the fund of job information maintained in
these offices.

Economic and O ccupational Trends
To the student learning about occupations, to the
counselor engaged in explaining their intricacies,
or to the person seeking information on which to
base his selection of a course of training or a ca­
reer, it is important to understand the rapidly
changing nature of our economic life.
Constant change is the most significant aspect
of the occupational and industrial world in which
we live. Technological, industrial, and social
changes increase the need for workers in some
occupations, reduce the demand in others, some­
times create new occupations and throw old ones
into the discard, and continuously alter the con­
tent and character of every line of work.
The rapidity with which the occupational pic­
ture changes is illustrated in chart 1. In 1890, a

young man may have considered the choice be­
tween apprenticing himself to a cooper or to a
plumber. The occupation of cooper was a wellestablished skilled trade while that of plumber
was relatively new. Yet, within a 60-year period,
the number of workers who made their living as
plumbers or pipefitters increased almost fivefold,
while employment opportunities for coopers
shrank to a small fraction of their previous
What happened? With growth in population,
a shift of population from farms to cities, and
increases in average income, the demand for
houses with plumbing conveniences grew apace.
Increasing numbers of plumbers were needed to
install pipes and plumbing fixtures in new houses





and to repair or modernize plumbing in older
dwellings. Industrial and commercial expansion
also created a growing demand for plumbing and
pipefitting work in office buildings and industrial
plants. On the other hand, the occupation of
cooper declined as wooden barrels were displaced
for various uses by other types of containers, and
as factory methods were introduced in making the
wooden barrels still needed for certain uses.
Thus, one occupation grew tremendously, while
the other declined rapidly, because of population
growth, improvements in living standards,
industrial growth, and technological changes.
To young people looking forward to a lifetime
of work— and that means nearly half a century—
the fact that these changes occur is significant.
To the best of our ability, we must try to antici­
pate the changes and provide as much informa­
tion on trends as is possible. Although we can­
not foresee all that may happen, a real service
will have been performed if young people are
made aware o f the dynamic character of the
economy, and if they are prepared to expect
changes and to adjust to them. This means main­
taining the utmost flexibility by taking the broad­
est kind of training consistent with adequate prep­
aration for a particular occupation.
The number of changes made by individual
workers within the dynamic setting of growing
population and labor force and shifting industries
and occupations is great indeed. In a single year,
a large number of people leave the labor force
because of death, retirement, marriage, etc., while
an even greater number, largely young people or
married women, go to work. But this is only part
o f the story. The number of changes made by in­
dividual workers from job to job within an in­
dustry, from one industry to another, from State
to State, or from one occupation to another are
much more numerous than the movements into

and out of the labor force in any given period.
For example:
In a 27-month period during W orld W ar I I ,
over 7 million civilian workers changed from one
major occupational group to another.

In 1955, an average of 265,000 manufacturing
workers quit their jobs each month.
Between April 1954 and April 1955, almost 2
million people in the labor force had moved from
one State to another and more than 2 million
other workers had moved from one county to
another within a State. Taking into account the
families of these workers, the number of people
who move their place of residence is even greater.
Thus, in April 1955, about 10.4 million people
were living in a different county from the one in
which they had been living in April 1954, and
about 4.9 million of these people were living in a
different State.
Only in recent years have we been able to
measure the movements of individuals, and to
appreciate the extent and significance of this type
of economic change. These movements represent
the adjustments people make to a changing en­
vironment. Without these adjustments the labor
market could not function.
It is likely that most young people now in
school will want to make similar changes in the
course of their working life, either to improA^e
their position, or because the change is forced
upon them by loss of a job, poor health, or other
causes. This suggests once more the importance
of flexibility in preparing for an occupation.
To emphasize the changing character of oc­
cupational life, as well as to provide background
for the reports on trends and outlook in each oc­
cupation, the growth and changing composition
of population and the labor force, the major
trends in industry, and their effect on broad oc­
cupational trends will be reviewed in the next
few pages.

Population and Labor Force Trends

A basic factor underlying the occupational out­
look is the trend in population growth. Changes
in the size and composition of the population in­
fluence the amount and types of goods which will
be demanded at various times. These changes also
have a direct bearing on the supply of labor—

on the number and on the characteristics of the
persons available for work.
Over the past century the population of our
country has grown rapidly. This was particu­
larly true in the decades prior to World War I,
when the liea\^y influx of immigrants, the higli
birthrate, and the continuing reduction *of the



death rate all combined to increase our popula­
tion (chart 2).
Population growth has been closely associated
with expanding economic opportunity. The
rapidly growing domestic market for goods and
services, combined with great gains in technology,
provided the impetus for large-scale expansion of
manufacturing, railroads, public utilities, con­
struction, and other types of industry and busi­
ness. Employment opportunities grew apace.
Although there were, of course, great differences
in the rate of expansion among different occupa­
tions, there were very few trades or professions
which did not record a substantial gain in number
from one decade to the next.
Up until the outbreak of W orld W ar II, the
rate of population growth in contrast with the
numerical increase was declining. Restrictions
on immigration as well as the long-term decline
in the birthrate tended to slow down the rate of
population growth. During the depression years
of the 1930’s, there were sharp declines in the
rates of marriages and births, reflecting the effect
of unemployment and economic insecurity. As
a result, the average annual rate of population
increase dropped from 1.5 percent between 1920



and 1930 to only 0.7 percent in the following
decade (chart 2).


m il l io n s








^ S'











___l _ 1
_ ___1















U S. Bureau, of the Census



Record Number of Births
World War II marked the end of this down­
trend in the rate of population growth. There
was a sharp spurt in births during the early war
years. After a brief slackening during 1944 and
1945 when millions of young men were overseas,
marriages and births mounted to extremely high
levels. The number of babies born in 1947
reached 3.8 million compared to a yearly average
of 2.4 million during the period 1935 to 1939.
The annual number of births remained high (3.6
million) between 1948 and 1950 and then started
to climb again. By 1954 the number exceeded 4
million (chart 3).
As more and more babies born since 1940 reach
school age, pressure on school facilities and teach­
ers increases. The cumulative effect of the increas­
ing number of births is dramatically shown by
the sharp rise in the number of youngsters of
elementary school age (chart 3). In 1955, there
were 28 million children 5 to 13 years old compared
with less than 19 /2 million 10 years earlier. By



1960, they will total about S3/2 million— a rise of
14 million or almost 75 percent in a matter of 15
years. Since almost all youngsters in these ages
attend school, enrollments in elementary schools
will also show similar sharp increases (chart 3).
High school enrollments, on the other hand, were
still quite low in 1950. However, by 1955, the ef­
fect of increased births was beginning to appear
in high school enrollments and the full impact will
come in the early 1960’s. After the peaks have
been reached, both elementary and high school en­
rollments are likely to continue at very high
levels. It is estimated that the number of pupils
in secondary schools will increase from about
7y2 million in 1955 to about 1H/2 million in 1965.
The large number of births in recent years has
also been the major factor in increasing the rate
of population growth. The average annual rate
increased from 0.7 percent in the 1930’s to 1.4 per­
cent in the 1940’s and will probably climb further
to 1.6 percent in the 1950’s.
Many population specialists believe it is pos­
sible that the recent high birthrates will continue
for a number of years. I f the average birth­
rates for 1950-53 prevail through 1975, the total
population will reach almost 180 million in 1960
and over 220 million in 1975. In terms of an­
nual average percent increase, this w ould mean
1.5 percent for the period 1960 to 1975— as much
as in the 1920-30 decade.
The continuing rapid growth of the popula­
tion has very important implications for the oc­
cupational outlook. It means that in coming de­
cades there will be many more people to be fed,
clothed, housed, and provided with other con­
sumer goods and services; it will call for expan­
sion in production and employment in many
Increase in the Aged Population
Another important population trend which is
likely to continue for many years is the increase
in the number of elderly persons (chart 4). The
great advances in medicine and public health
have enabled more people to live longer. In
1900, for example, only about 4 out of every 10
babies could expect to survive until age 65; at
present, this proportion is about 7 out of 10. As
a result, the number of persons 65 or over has been
rising rapidly and their proportion of the total
population has been increasing.

1940, 1955, an d P ro jected 1965 an d 1975
Percent Change


Millions of Persons

Av i7-4k
*•* i m




1 /T W W q

\ // / /
' , /A


j! *3]

25 -34
Y ears
Y ea rs

U n d e r 14

P ro jected *

*A ssu m e s continuation of 1 9 5 0 -5 3 birth rotes
Source: u .S. Bureau of the Census

The number of persons 65 years or over tripled
between 1900 and 1940—from 3 million to 9 mil­
lion—while the total population increased by
about 75 percent. By 1955, the number of elderly
persons had increased to a little over 14 million.
I f recent trends continue these persons can be ex­
pected to number about 17^2 million in 1965 and
about 21 million in 1975— an increase of nearly
50 percent in the 20-year period, 1955-75.
As the number of older persons increases, we
can expect increasing demands for medical serv­
ices, for institutions to care for the aged, and for
those types of goods and services which meet their
needs. Problems of social security and old-age
pensions will become more and more important.
At the same time, we can expect increasing efforts
to provide more adequate employment opportuni­
ties for the older worker. As technological ad­
vances result in shifts in the demand for workers,
there will be increased need for guidance as to oc­
cupations which older persons might enter or for
which they might train.


Rapid Growth Among 1J to 21^-Year Olds
±In the period 1955 to 1975, the population group
14 to 24 years old is expected to increase most
dramatically. It is estimated that there will be a
jump of 72 percent in the 14- to 24-year age
group as against 35 percent for the youngest
group and 47 percent for those 65 years of age
and older. In 1955, there were slightly less than
243/2 million 14- to 24-year-olds, 2 million fewer
than in 1940 as a result of the low birthrates in
the 1930’s. In 1965, this group is expected to
number more than 34 million, and in 1975, about
42 million.
In the coming two decades, the unusually rapid
growth in the number of these young people will
present unprecedented demands on our high
school and college facilities. Their increased
numbers will also provide heightened demand for
housing and other commodities as they marry and
have children. At the same time, they represent
a source of increase in labor supply as they finish
school and start their work careers.
The Labor Force

Although the growth of total population has a
far-reaching effect upon the occupational outlook,
we are more directly concerned with the “ labor
force,” which includes not only employees who
work for wages or salaries, but also farmers, selfemployed businessmen, members of the Armed
Forces, and those persons who are unemployed
and looking for work. In 1955, the annual aver­
age number of persons in the labor force was
nearly 69 million— about 58 percent of the popula­
tion 14 years of age and over. Almost 21 million
or 30 percent of the total labor force were women.
In the past, the rapid growth of the labor force
largely paralleled the increase of population. The
factors which influenced population growth also
affected the rate of increase of the labor force.
The work force nearly doubled during the 30-year
period from 1890 to 1920 as large numbers of
persons immigrated to this country and the high
birthrates added large numbers of young workers
to the labor force. However, with the slowing
down in the rate of population growth there were
corresponding declines in the rate of increase of
the labor force. The annual average percent in­
crease in the labor force went down from 2.4 per­
cent for the period 1890-1900 to 1.6 percent for
4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 5 7 ------- 3


1920-30. The further drop to 1.2 percent in the
1930’s was due in part to the same economic forces
which brought sharp declines in the marriage and
birthrates— fewer youngsters, women, and older
people were in the labor force than might have
been the case if the depression had not curtailed
job opportunities.
In the 1940’s, with improving employment op­
portunities and wartime needs for additional
workers, the downward trend was reversed. Be­
tween 1940 and 1945, the manpower needs of the
Armed Forces and of industry brought into the
labor force 8 million workers over and above the
number expected on the basis of long-term trends.
While most of these “ extra” workers left the labor
force shortly after the end of World War II, the
annual average percent increase in the labor force
over the whole decade (1940-50) rose to 1.4 per­
cent. There has since been an acceleration in the
long-term increase in labor force participation of
adult women, partly as a result of work experience
gained during the war by women who had not
previously worked.
Population changes continue to play a decisive
role in labor force growth in the present decade.
Relatively small additions to the population of
working age occurred in the first half of this de­
cade, primarily because of the slump in marriages
and births during the depressed thirties. As a re­
sult, the annual rate of increase of the labor force
declined slightly to 1.3 percent, despite the eco­
nomic expansion during the Korean period. Be­
tween 1955 and 1965, the labor force is expected to
increase at about the same rate, rising from 69
million in 1955 to 79 million by 1965.
Trends in Labor Force Participation
Apart from overall population trends, there
have been significant changes in the extent to
which men and women of different ages have
participated in the labor force. Almost all ablebodied adult men between the ages of 25 and 55
normally work or seek work. Over the years
there has, however, been a steady increase in the
proportion of adult women working outside the
home, while the proportion of workers among
youth and among older men has been declining.
This is illustrated in chart 5 which shows the
proportions of different age and sex groups of
the population in the labor force in April 1920,
1950, and 1956.



The movement of women into the labor force
has resulted from a combination of factors. The
shift of population to the cities and the increased
importance of occupations such as clerical work,
selling, and teaching, resulted in a great expan­
sion of employment opportunities for women. At
the same time, the introduction of labor-saving
household devices made it possible for growing
numbers of women to accept jobs outside the
home. W orld War I I accelerated this trend since

many women who normally would not have
worked took jobs and remained in the labor
The trend toward increasing participation in
the labor force is particularly strong among
women 35 to 64 years old. Also one can see in
chart 5, a high proportion of women in their
early twenties work— about 45 percent. Though
many of these leave the labor force due to mar­
riage and the necessity of caring for small chil-


APRIL 1920, 1950, AND 1956






Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.


dren, large numbers of them return as the children
get older. In April 1956, 40 percent of women 45
to 64 years o f age were employed or seeking
In contrast to the trend for adult women work­
ers, the proportion of youth in the labor force
has been declining. There has been a steady
lengthening in the period of schooling, partly be­
cause of compulsory school-attendance laws, but
mainly because the skills needed by workers in
our complex society have required a greater
period o f formal training. Also, veterans educa­
tion provisions enabled many ex-servicemen to
obtain higher education during the past decade.
Though most of them are now out of school, the
influx into the labor market of these trained vet­
erans has further emphasized the importance of
advanced education as a means of entry into the
better paid occupational fields.
Although young people stay in school longer,
the availability of job opportunities in recent
years has caused many more students to take parttime jobs. Such part-time workers are counted
in the statistics as “ in the labor force.” I f they
were excluded, the proportion of young people in
the labor force would show an even greater
Older men, particularly those 65 and over, are
showing an increasing tendency to retire from
the labor force at earlier ages. Improved public
and private programs for old-age pensions and
assistance have the effect of encouraging the
earlier retirement of older workers. Further­
more, better economic conditions in the past 15
years have increased savings for retirement,
despite the rising cost of living.
The coming of W orld W ar I I caused a greater
proportion of older persons to take jobs or post­
pone retirement. However, with a resumption of
long-term influences and trends we find, for ex­
ample, that the proportion of men 65 years of
age and over in the labor force decreased from
45 percent in April 1950 to 40 percent in April
Despite this percentage decrease, the growth of
the older population has been so substantial as to
provide an increase in the absolute number of
workers 65 and over in the labor force. The
more than 55 percent increase in the population
65 years of age and over between 1940 and 1955
was accompanied by a 45-percent increase in the
number of persons of this age in the labor force


during this same period. Since the labor force
of all ages only increased 23 percent between these
same years, the older workers have thus assumed
a more important role in our Nation’s work force.
They are presenting a growing challenge to in­
dustry and to personnel workers to find places for
them in a complex industrial economy.
Movements Into and Out of the Labor Force
The labor force of the United States is not a
static or rigidly limited group of people. On
the contrary, it is a rapidly changing group.
Many people have a great deal of freedom in
their decisions to go to work or to quit work,
and the size of the labor force is quite flexible in
response to changing economic and social condi­
tions and to the needs and desires of
Thus far we have discussed the labor force in
terms of its size and composition at a particular
time, or in terms of net changes from year to
year. Estimates of this type do not reveal how
many different persons actually enter or with­
draw from the labor force each year. For ex­
ample, since 1950, Avhile the annual net increases
in the size of the labor force have averaged close
to one million, each year about 1% million young
persons entered on a work career after leaving
school and many married women returned to work
as their children reached school age. At the same
time, a substantial number of young women left
the labor force because of marriage and the birth
of children and many older workers withdrew
from the labor force because of death or
In addition to these entries into or withdrawals
from the labor force, there is a much larger
volume of temporary shifting in and out, depend­
ing on the season and on changes in personal cir­
cumstances. During 1955, for example, an aver­
age of about 6 million persons moved into or out
of the labor force from one month to the next.
Most of these shifts are temporary in character
and are largely accounted for by the intermittent
work activity of groups sucli as students and
housewives. These temporary movements tend to
follow a seasonal pattern. The beginning of sum­
mer vacations brings large numbers of young
people into the labor force; in the fall, there are
heavy withdrawals as students return to school.
In farm areas, many people enter and leave the



labor force each year in response to the changing
needs for labor in agriculture and related activi­
ties. In the city, the Christmas shopping season,
with its expansion of employment in retail trade,
brings many housewives and young people into
the labor market for a few weeks in November
and December. In addition, throughout the year,
there is a considerable amount of temporary labor
force entry and withdrawal arising from changes
in local employment conditions and in the per­
sonal situation of individuals.
There are, therefore, many more persons in the
population with some work experience than are
likely to be in the labor force at any one time in
the year. In 1955, for example, about 75% mil­
lion different persons worked during all or part
o f the year while the maximum number employed
in any one month was 65^ million. Although
many of the persons who worked only part of the
year are not available for w ork through the en­
tire year under normal conditions, they are im­
portant as a reserve group who may be attracted
into full-time jobs during periods of national
emergency, or when employment opportunities are
particularly favorable.
Rising Educational Levels of the Labor Force
The labor force has not only been growing
rapidly in size but its quality has been improv­
ing in terms o f basic educational preparation.
Nowadays more young people are going to school
for longer periods than formerly. For example,
at the time of the 1950 Census nearly half of the
persons 25 to 34 years of age had completed high
school while less than a fifth of the persons 55
years of age and over had this much schooling.
Furthermore, in comparison with the older group
almost twice as large a proportion of the younger
group had completed 4 years of college. In 1955,
the number of college degrees granted amounted
to 13.6 percent of the population 22 years of age
as compared with only 1.8 percent in 1900. The
number o f high school graduates equaled 62.0
percent of the population 18 years of age in 1955,
almost 10 times greater than the comparable 6.3
percent in 1900.
Many factors have contributed to this rising
educational level. Most States have raised the

minimum age at which children may legally leave
They have established laws which pro­
hibit the employment of youngsters under a mini­
mum age and which limit the kinds of work young
people may perform.
Moreover, greater concentration of population
in cities and metropolitan areas has made schools
more accessible to a much larger number of
people. Improved economic conditions have also
enabled more students to remain in school longer
than was previously possible.
Another factor is the increasing number and
complexity of skills demanded in modern indus­
try. To meet these needs, employers have raised
educational qualifications for many jobs, espe­
cially the more desirable ones. These higher
standards must be met not only by job applicants
but also by job holders seeking promotions.
Regional Differences

National trends in population and labor force
may not, of course, be indicative of changes in a
particular region or locality. In a Nation as
large and diversified as the United States, there
are bound to be geographic variations in the rates
of population and labor force growth; in part,
these variations reflect regional differences in
birthrates and death rates.
A more important factor, however, has been the
magnitude and pattern of migration between
States in response to economic opportunity. For
example, in the early 1950’s about 5 million per­
sons moved from one State to another each year.
Allowing for the fact that some of these inter­
state movers return to the States where they pre­
viously lived, the numbers involved indicate the
magnitude of the recent geographic movement of
The most rapid population growth between 1940
and 1955 occurred on the Pacific Coast and in ad­
jacent Mountain States, primarily because of a
very heavy net in-migration. The population in
the West increased by two-thirds between 1940
and 1955, while the national population increased
only by one-fourth.
In contrast, most of the Southern region (ex­
cluding the South Atlantic States) lagged behind


the national rate of population increase. In fact,
a few of the southern States showed net losses in
population. Here, too, migration was the dom­
inant factor. On the basis of birthrates, the South
would have had the fastest growing population.
However, this growth was largely offset by migra­
tion of southerners to other areas. Consequently,
the population of the South increased by only onefifth from 1940 to 1955.
The population of the North Central region
during this period also increased by about onefifth. This change resulted from a rise of about
25 percent in the Great Lakes States, and an in­
crease of only 10 percent in the Great Plains
States. Although the natural rates of population
growth were about equal in these two geographic
divisions, the Great Lakes States gained migrants
while the Great Plains States lost them.
In the Northeastern region, both the New Eng­
land and Middle Atlantic States had similar
patterns of population growth. With very little
change as a result of migration and with the
lowest natural rate of increase in the country, this
region had only a 16-percent population rise.
In the main, the recent shifts of population
have continued the long-run trends in population
movement in the United States. During World


War II, however, these movements were greatly
accelerated, as workers and their families poured
into the coastal shipbuilding and aircraft centers
and into the war production areas of Michigan,
Ohio, and other industrial States. Most of the
migrants stayed on after the war ended. In fact,
the flow of population into many of these areas
has continued at a high rate in the postwar period.
Closely related to the geographic patterns in
population growth are the regional variations in
labor force growth. Between 1940 and 1955, the
civilian labor force of the Nation as a whole in­
creased by 18 percent. In the West, the civilian
work force grew by 55 percent, reflecting mainly
the large influx o f migrants. On the other hand,
in the South, where considerable net-outmigration
occurred, the labor force increased by only 10 per­
cent. There was a 18-percent increase in the
Northeastern region and a 20-percent increase in
the North Central region.
These data indicate that a significant proportion
of young people growing up and going to school
in a given area move to other areas some time after
they reach working age. In helping young people
make vocational plans, it is necessary to be aware
of occupational trends throughout the Nation as
well as in their own localities.

Industrial and Occupational Trends
Recent Employment Trends

The 1930's

Young people in high schools and colleges today
have lived most of their lives through 15 years in
which employment opportunities have generally
been good. Things have not always been this way,
and a brief review^ of recent economic history will
help young people to gain proper perspective.
Trends in employment are shown in chart 6,
which extends from 1929 through the depression
of the thirties, World War II, and the postwar
period. In the top line is seen the gradual growth
of the labor force and rapid increase during the
war as students, women, and older workers re­
sponded to the manpower needs of the Armed
Forces and civilian industry.

The severe drop in employment in nonfarm in­
dustries that marked the onset of the depression—
from 37 million in 1929 to a little less than 29
million in 1933— is also shown. As a result of the
drop in employment and the growth of the labor
force, the number of unemployed increased from
about 1y2 million in 1929 to nearly 13 million in
Those in school today do not remember the de­
pression years; their attitudes are influenced more
by the conditions of relative prosperity since 1940.
Yet the thinking of their parents, of their teach­
ers, of the employers for whom they may work,
of the unions they may join, and of the leaders in



public life, is still strongly affected by the ex­
periences of the thirties. It will help in under­
standing much of the information on occupations
contained in the Handbook if one has a realization
of the difficulties of those years.
Among the general effects of the depression dec­
ade upon occupations and employment were these:
1. Young people particularly found it difficult
to get jobs. The rate of unemployment was high
among them, despite the fact that many continued
in school and were not classified as unemployed.
Older workers also found it difficult to get jobs.
2. Employers, faced with many job applicants
and the necessity to save money by having only
the most efficient workers, raised their hiring
The best trained or experienced
workers got the jobs. This hastened a long-term
trend toward a preference for applicants with
more education.
3. People got jobs where they could, and so
there was a great deal of occupational shifting
down the scale of skills. Many a professionally
trained and experienced worker took a clerical,
sales, or semiskilled job. Many a craftsman
worked in semiskilled or laborer jobs. Their
skills grew rusty from disuse.
4. To preserve the employment security of their
members, and to prevent poorly trained people
from entering their fields, some unions and pro­
fessional societies took action to tighten up en­
trance requirements. Often this went hand in
hand with the improvement of training. In the
professional fields, particularly, such action rep­
resented the continuation of a long-term trend
toward raising the standards of education and
5. Earnings, of course, dropped in nearly every
field of work.
6. In an effort to spread the available work
among as many people as possible, the workweek
was shortened in many industries.
A slow recovery began in 1936, temporarily set
back by a recession toward the end of 1937. By
1939, the year the war began in Europe, nonfarm
employment had increased by 7y2 million from the
low in 1933, but was still a million below its
average in 1929. However, unemployment had
been reduced by only 3y3 million from the peak

of nearly 13 million, since the labor force had
continued to grow.
Changes During and Since World War I I
The recovery was accelerated by the expanded
production for World War II. In a 5-year
period, 20 million additional people were taken
into military service and war-supporting indus­
try. Nonfarm employment rose rapidly from
36 million in 1939 to 45 million in 1944. The
Armed Forces, which had averaged about 300,000
throughout the decade of the thirties, added 11
million more men and women within 4 years. As
a result, the number of unemployed dropped from
914 million in 1939 to about two-thirds of a
million in 1944— most of these being workers
temporarily between jobs— and millions of addi­
tional people entered the labor force.
Hiring standards which had been stiffened dur­
ing the depression were relaxed. Skilled jobs
which had required a long period of training were
broken down so that the work could be done by
a number of quickly trained workers, often under
the supervision of a skilled worker. Young peo­
ple found it easy to get jobs. Older workers
postponed their retirement because their skills
were needed in industry and they could earn good
pay. Women whose children could do without
their care came into the labor market.
The period since the war has been one of gen­
erally good business conditions and high employ­
ment levels interrupted by only two temporary
recessions—in 1949 and 1954.
Immediately after the war, workers who were
no longer needed for munitions production were
hired by other industries. A heavy demand for
the products that had not been available during
the war, such as new houses, automobiles, and
washing machines, stimulated industry to invest
over $20 billion a year in plants and equipment,
and to hire more and more workers. At the end
of 1948, with the Armed Forces reduced from over
11 million to less than 2 million, nearly 60 million
people were employed, only 2 million unemployed.
By 1949, some of the backlog of consumer de­
mand had been worked through. Employment
decreased by about 700,000. Since the total labor




ANNUAL A V ER A G ES, 1929-56




st a tis tics

force was rising because of population growth,
the number of unemployed persons increased to
an average of 3.4 million in 1949—the highest for
any year since 1941.
A new upturn in business activity and employ­
ment began in early 1950, however. Gains were
accelerated in the middle of the year, owing to
the outbreak of hostilities in Korea and plans for
expanded defense production. Employment con­

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census,
U.S. Bureau of Labor S ta tis tie s

tinued to increase and unemployment to decrease
until the latter part of 1953. A t the close of the
Korean conflict, as business activity fell off from
these record levels, average employment dropped
by 1 million between 1953 and 1954. Unemploy­
ment doubled in this period averaging 3.2 million
for 1954.
In 1955, the economy recovered rapidly from
the 1954 downturn. A substantial job expansion



took place in the latter half of the year and in
1956, when average employment reached 65 mil­
lion and unemployment was down to 2*4 million.
Thus, in the 11 postwar years, the economy ad­
vanced rapidly and the number of jobs rose to
new highs. In the two economic setbacks we did
have, employment dropped by only a million or
less, in contrast to the 9 million drop in the 1930’s.




7 0 ------------------------------------------------------------------

Industrial Trends

The growth of the Nation’s work force in recent
years has been accompanied by marked changes
in the industrial distribution of employment.
Many powerful forces have contributed to these
changes. In the past three decades our country
has experienced periods of depression and pros­
perity and war and peace. Technological de­
velopments have been revolutionary. Products
and industries which were once of outstanding
importance are now in decline, and other products
and industries have moved into leading positions.
For example, the television, aircraft, and atomic
energy industries, to mention only a few, now play
a part in our economy which it would have been
impossible to foresee only a few years ago. It is
thus o f obvious importance to persons planning
careers to be aware of the trends in various indus­
tries, as well as of the substantial past and antici­
pated growth o f the labor force as a whole.
Shift From Farm to Non farm Employment
One of the most impressive long-term trends
in our national economy is the increasing pre­
dominance of nonagricultural as compared with
agricultural employment. In 1870, more than
half the people who worked for a living were
employed in agriculture. The United States was
mainly a country of farmers; its w ays of living
and habits o f thinking were influenced by this
fact. Indeed, today, in any group of students in
a city school, there will very likely be some wdiose
grandparents or parents lived and worked on
The significant change that occurred since
1870—the rapid growth of industry, commerce,
and other nonfarming employment—is shown in
chart 7. The number of nonfarm workers grew
from 6 million in 1870 to 52 million in 1950, while




bureau or l abor s t at i s t i cs








Gainful W orkers, 1870-1930-,
Labor Force, 1940 and 1950
Source: U.S. Bureou of the Census

the number of farmers and farm workers in­
creased from about 7 million in 1870 to a peak of
l i y 2 million around 1910, and since then actually
declined to about 7 million in 1950, the same level
as 1870. Farm employment continued to decrease
between 1950 and 1955— although the decline
appears to be slowing down.
On any farm today, one can see some of the rea­
sons why this happened. The farmer has ma­
chinery which makes it possible for him to
cultivate many more acres than could the farmer
years ago. With tractor and trucks both on the
farm and in the city, much less feed is needed for
horses and mules. Millions of acres that once
grew feed for work stock are now devoted to
food crops or to feed for cattle, hogs, and poul­
try. Moreover, farmers get more production out
of their farms as a result of improved scientific
methods, including the use of more fertilizer,
better seed, and improved breeds of livestock. By
1950, the average farmer produced nearly twice as
much as did the average farmer just before World
War I.


With these improvements in farming and with
improvements in storage and transportation of
food—canning, refrigeration, freezing and ware­
housing, for example—the American farmer is
able to provide food and other farm products for
more and more people. This makes it possible for
some of the young people who grow up on farms
to take advantage of opportunities in industry.



Shift From Manufacturing to Service Industries
Mainly because of the decline in the number of
people engaged in farming, employment in the
goods-producing sectors has not increased as much
as employment in the service-producing sectors of
the American economy. In this comparison, the
goods-producing segment of the economy includes
all wage and salary employees in the extractive
industries (coal, oil, gas, lead, zinc, etc.), construc­
tion (the building of homes, highways, factories,
and offices), manufacturing industries (steel,
clothing, machinery, autos, chemicals, etc.), and
all persons working in agriculture (feed, food,
and fibers). These industries turn out all of the
goods we produce. The service-producing seg­
ment here includes all wage and salary Avorkers
in activities which involve buying, selling, finan­
cing, transporting, communicating, servicing,
teaching, etc.
Chart 8 illustrates the growing importance of
the service industries. In 1919, annual average
employment was 14 million in the service indus­
tries and 26 million in the goods industries. By
1955, there Avere nearly 30 million persons em­
ployed in the service sector, 2 million more than
the 28 million employed in the goods sector.
The fact the more Avorkers are noAv engaged in
the production of services than of goods is an
important milestone in the evolution of the stand­
ard of living in the United States. In the first
50 years of the 20th century, the gross national
product per capita (adjusted for price change)
has doubled. This has been achieved with a labor
force which, as a percentage of the population,
has remained practically unchanged between 1900
and 1950 and with a labor force Avorking far
fewer hours now than at the turn of the century.
A t the same time, young people have been afforded
more time for education, older people more time
for retirement, and the population as a whole more

time for recreation and leisure. This tremendous
gain in output (much of wdiich is reflected in our
standard o f living) has been attained mostly
through major advances in technology Avhich have
been particularly dramatic in agriculture and
manufacturing. These adArances have made pos­
sible the enormous increase in the production of
goods with comparatively modest employment in­
creases and the employment of significantly in­
creasing numbers of Avorkers in the service
W h ile employment in the nonfarm sector has
about doubled in the past four decades, its indus­
trial composition during this period of rapid
growth has remained fairly stable. In most years,
manufacturing has accounted for about one-third
of all nonfarm Avorkers and trade for about onefifth.

The relative importance o f employment in

finance has also shown little change.
been decreases

There have

in the proportions of Avorkers en­

gaged in mining and transportation and increases
in the proportions working in goArernment and



















-”i - - - -1- - - - - - -1 - - - - r- — - - i- - - -1- - - - - - -1- - - - - -1--- - - - - - r

M ining

C o n str u c tio n

M a n u f a c tu r in g

S e r v ic e ,
T h an

O ther

P ro fe ssio n a l!/

T ra n s p o rta tio n


U tilities

T rad e

P r o f e s s io n a l
S ervices ! /

F in a n c e ,
an d

In s u r a n c e ,




Blue Collar Occupations:
Craftsmen and

White Collar Occupations:

fvS<xl Clerical

r------ 1 Service
I-------J Workers


Managers, Officials,
and Proprietors
Professional and Technical

Includes personal, business and repair, etc.; excludes domestic.
2 / Includes educational, m edical, le g a l, w elfare and religious, etc.


Note: Excludes groups with less than 2 percen t of in d u s try to ta l.



st a tistics

Source: U.S. B u rea u of th e Census


service industries. The proportion of construc­
tion workers has fluctuated from year to year
depending on business conditions.
Goods-Producing Industries
Manufacturing. Manufacturing industries em­
ploy the largest number of people and offer jobs
to many different kinds of workers: the unskilled
laborer, the machinist, the engineer, the stenog­
rapher, the production manager, and—more than
any other type of worker—the operative, or semi­
skilled worker (chart 9). Nearly half of all em­
ployees of manufacturing industries in 1950 were
The number o f jobs in manufacturing rises
sharply when general business conditions are good
and falls more than in most other industries
during depressions. Manufacturing employment
fell from about 10y 2 million in 1929 to 6% mil­
lion in 1932, but recovered gradually to 10 mil­
lion by 1939. This was followed by a very sharp
increase to 17Vs million by the peak war year of
1943. Manufacturing employment accounted for
as much as 41 percent of all nonfarm jobs during
World War I I and as little as 29 percent in 1932.
Aside from these abnormal periods, however,
manufacturing has usually accounted for about 1
out of every 3 nonfarm jobs.
Although manufacturing employment in 1955
was still somewhat below the wartime peak, it
appears that underlying its fluctuations there has
been a slowly rising trend since World War II.
Industrial production has expanded greatly in
these years, but this has been achieved with a rela­
tively small increase in employment because of the
tremendous rise in output per man-hour. The
likelihood is that this situation will persist during
the next few decades—that there will be a moder­
ate continued growth in manufacturing employ­
ment but even greater gains in production, made
possible by further technological advances and a
consequent rise in productivity. However, as in
the past, there will be varying trends in employ­
ment and productivity in different manufacturing
There has been a major employment shift in
manufacturing from nondurables (food, to­
bacco, textiles, etc.) to the durable-goods in­
dustries (automobiles, machinery, etc.). Em­
ployment in the hard-goods industries more than
doubled between 1939 and 1955, whereas employ­
ment in the soft goods industries rose by only 30


percent. In 1939, about 55 percent of all manu­
facturing employees were in nondurable goods in­
dustries; by 1955, only 42 percent were in these
industries— 7 million as compared to 9% million
in durables.
Increased productivity also made possible the
employment of proportionately fewer factory
workers in the production of such necessities as
food and clothing. Thus, textiles, apparel, and
food in the nondurable goods group employed less
than 1 out of every 4 factory workers in 1955 as
against 1 out of 3 in 1939. In the textile indus­
try, which in 1939 was numerically the most im­
portant employer in manufacturing, employment
declined in absolute numbers as well as relative
to all manufacturing employment. Among the
nondurable goods industries only chemicals—
which is closely related to durable-goods produc­
tion—grew as fast as the average for all durablegoods industries.
Most of the employment increase in the hardgoods industries was concentrated in machinery,
electrical machinery, and transportation equip­
ment (mainly motor vehicles and aircraft).
These industries employed more than 1 out of
every 4 factory workers in 1955 as compared with
1 out of 6 in 1939.
The major manufacturing industries and their
relative importance as a source of employment
are shown in chart 10.
Mining. This industry division is the only
major one showing a decrease in employment since
1919 (chart 11). While nonfarm employment
increased almost 85 percent since 1919, employ­
ment in mining declined by one-third. This de­
cline, persistent over the past 35 years, reduced
mining employment as a proportion of nonagricultural employment from a little over 4 percent
to 1.5 percent.
The overall decrease in mining employment
masked a series of divergent trends in employ­
ment among the individual mining industries.
Between 1939 and 1955, employment declined 62
percent in anthracite mining, 44 percent in bi­
tuminous coal mining and 2 percent in metal
mining. Over the same period, there were in­
creases of 65 percent in petroleum and natural
gas production and 41 percent in nonmetallie
mining and quarrying.
Construction. When general business conditions
are good people buy new homes and industry in'




are students and housewives during the rest of
the year.

Service-Producing Industries
Trade. The number of employees in retail and
wholesale trade is exceeded only by the number
in manufacturing. In 1955, employment aver­
aged 10.8 million. In addition, there were about
2!/2 million proprietors. Salesmen and sales­
women constitute the largest groups of employees
in trade, but there are also large numbers of
clerical workers, truck drivers, delivery men, and
building service workers, such as elevator opera­
tors and porters (chart 9 ).
Employment in trade more than doubled be­
tween 1919 and 1955. Though employment in
trade fell sharply at the beginning of the depres­
sion, it recovered quickly. By 1939, it was
actually above where it was in 1929. The number
of employees in trade decreased slightly during
the Avar but has since increased sharply.

vests in new plants; in bad times, families and
business firms put off spending that can be post­
poned. For this reason, employment in the con­
struction industry has fluctuated greatly over the
years. It dropped by almost 50 percent between
1929 and 1933, expanded sharply in the early
years of W orld War II as defense plants and
army camps were built, then dropped because of
wartime shortages of materials and labor. After
the war, employment in this industry showed a
relatively steady growth until 1951 and then re­
mained high at 2.6 million between 1951 and 1954.
In 1955, it reached 2.8 million, at which time there
were about 2% times as many construction em­
ployees as in 1919.
Agriculture. Farming is still one of the largest
fields of employment although it has declined for
several decades (chart 7). There are sharp sea­
sonal fluctuations in the number of farm workers.
The number of persons whose major activity is
farm work varies from 5 million in the winter
to about 8 million during the summer and early
fall when large numbers of additional family
members and hired help work on the farms.
Many of those who work during the peak season

Service industries in 1955 employed al­
most 6 million people in such di\7
erse fields as
automobile and other repair shops, laundries,
cleaning and dyeing establishments, hotels, bar­
ber shops, theaters, motion-picture production,
advertising, and many other categories not com­
monly thought of as in the ser\dce field. Be­
tween 1919 and 1955, employment in these in­
dustries almost tripled— the greatest percentage
increase of any industry group in this period.
Though the long-term upward trend was in­
terrupted for a time during the depression, serArice industries had more employees in 1939 than
in 1929. Service employment growth slowed
down again during the Avar. HoAvever, it has
climbed strongly and steadily since then.

Government. Government employment— local,
State, and Federal— was 6.9 million in 1955.
More than tAvo-thirds of the Avorkers Avere in
local and State governments, employed in such
occupations as teacher, nurse, engineer, typist,
and policeman. In shipyards, arsenals, and
printing plants, the Federal Government employs
many Avorkers in industrial occupations. A l ­
though people often think of the clerical worker
as the typical government Avorker, only a fifth of
government Avorkers Avere in this category in
1955. One of the largest Federal occupations is
that of mail carrier.















Government employment, following the pat­
tern o f service industries, was 2^2 times greater in
1955 than in 1919. It dropped back only slightly
from 1931 to 1933, increased during the balance
of the depression, and rose very sharply during
the war. Following a decline immediately after
W orld War II, it has increased every year since
1947, mainly in State and local governments.
Much of the rise in government employment is ac­
counted for by the government’s providing in­
creased services through the schools, public
health and sanitation, welfare work, and similar
fields. A larger defense establishment, services
to veterans, and a growing amount of research lias
increased the number of Government employees.
In addition to the civilians employed by the
Federal Government, there were 3 million men in
the armed services in 1955. The Armed Forces
use men and women in hundreds of different oc­
cupations, such as machinist, airplane mechanic,
and electrician, and give courses of training in
these and many other fields.
Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. The most
common occupations in this field are clerical.
There are also a large number of sales personnel.
A high proportion—nearly half—of the persons
employed in this industry are women. A great
number of these have clerical jobs in insurance
companies and banks. Many of the men are em­
ployed as insurance and real estate agents.
Employment in this industry more than
doubled from 1919 to 1955. This long-term up­
ward trend was interrupted twice—once by the
depression and once by W orld W ar II. From
1945 to 1955, employment in finance increased by
more than half with greater activity in building
and real estate, increasing purchases of insurance
and stocks and bonds, and expanded use of bank­
ing facilities.
Transportation, Communications, and Public
Utilities. In the transportation, communication,
and public utility industries, major sources of
employment are the railroads, trucking com­
panies, bus and transit lines, telephone and elec­
tric power companies, and the merchant marine.
Airlines and radio and television broadcasting
are smaller fields, but seem to be of considerable
interest to young people. The whole group of
industries employed 4 million workers in 1955,
of whom two-thirds were in transportation. Many

different occupations are included, such as loco­
motive engineer, truck driver, telephone operator,
musician, engineer, seaman, ticket agent, and
Pullman porter. The great majority of the work­
ers are men. Most of the women employed in
these industries are clerical workers.
Employment in these industries was nearly 4
million during most of the 1920’s—was about a
million less during the depression years— and has
since remained in the vicinity of 4 million. In
fact, there is practically no difference between the
employment figures of 1920 and 1955. Since total
nonagricultural employment increased consider­
ably during this period, the proportion employed
in transportation, communication, and public
utilities declined by nearly one half.
While employment in this division has re­
mained fairly constant, there have been very
large increases in freight carried, telephones in
use, and output of electricity as a result of greater
productivity. There have also been shifts in the
importance of the different industries within the
group. Thus, employment on interstate railroads,
still the biggest component of the transportation
field, fell almost 25 percent from 1947 to 1955;
employment in buslines and local railways
dropped 35 percent. The increases, as expected,
came in the newer modes of transportation— al­
most 40 percent each in trucking and warehousing
and in air transportation.
Geographic Changes in Industry

Nonagricultural employment in the United
States rose from 30 million in 1939 to 50 million
in 1955— a rise of about 65 percent compared with
a rise of 25 percent in the population. Employ­
ment in each of the States also increased during
this period but there was a very great variation
among them in rate of growth. The States in
the West, Southwest, Gulf, and South Atlantic
regions led the Nation in the rate of growth
(chart 12). Many of these States experienced
huge expansions in the number of nonagricul­
tural jobs. California and Texas together, more
than doubled their employment— from 2.9 million
in 1939 to 6.3 million in 1955.
The New England and Middle Atlantic regions
showed the lowest rates of increase from 1939 to
1955. States in these regions experienced em­
ployment gains substantially below the national
average, except Connecticut where the employ-




BY STATE, 1939-55

Percent Increase in|Nonagricultural

\ //X Under 64.0%
64.0% and under 75.0%
75.0% and Over


ment rise almost equalled the national rate. Con­
necticut expanded its employment considerably
in the fields of finance and insurance, trade, and
service, and maintained its concentration of
metalworking. Five of the six States with the
smallest increases are in the New England region.
The interior regions—the East North Central
(Great Lakes States) and the West North Central
(Great Plains States)—made employment gains
at approximately the national average rate. In
these two regions, the States which exceeded the
national average included Kansas with major new
production capacity for aircraft manufacturing
and such States as Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan,
with metalworking facilities.
One of the most interesting and significant de­
velopments during this period has been the pass­
ing of the Middle Atlantic region (New York,
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) from its long
time preeminence. In 1939, this region accounted

for the largest portion of employment in each
of the eight major industry divisions. By 1955,
however, the region had already lost its leader­
ship in three of the divisions (mining, construc­
tion, and manufacturing) and had almost lost the
lead in trade. The growing importance of petro­
leum and gas put the West South Central States
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas)
ahead in the field of mining. The East North
Central region had taken over the lead in con­
struction and manufacturing and had nearly as
much employment in trade as the Middle Atlantic
The Great Lakes States were, in 1955, less than
1 percentage point behind the Middle Atlantic
region in the proportion of nonagricultural jobs,
and may soon take the lead. The major factor
in this development seems to be the shift in manu­
facturing jobs. During the war, the Great Lakes
States overtook the Middle Atlantic in percentage



o f all manufacturing jobs. This lead has been
extended since then. In 1955, the Great Lakes
States had 29 percent of all manufacturing jobs
compared to 25 percent for the Middle Atlantic
Geographical shifts in nonagricultural employ­
ment can be explained in large part by different
rates of industry growth, particularly in manu­
facturing. Sharp gains in manufacturing in the
West and South since 1939—especially in Cali­
fornia and Texas—were the main cause of the
increased proportion of nonagricultural employ­
ment in these areas. The emergence of the Great
Lakes States as the country’s leading manufac­
turing area was the major cause for this region
being the only one outside of the South and West
to maintain its share of the Nation’s nonagricul­
tural workers.
The construction industry, where employment
had decreased very sharply during the depression,
showx the greatest relative employment increase,
about twice the percentage for manufacturing.
Construction accounted for a larger share of non­
agricultural workers in 1955 than in 1939 in 15
o f the 48 States. The greatest percentage in­
creases in construction were in the Pacific, Moun­
tain, and Great Lakes States. In 1939, California
had only half as many employees in this industry
as did New York, but in 1955, California out­
ranked New York in construction employment.
Although employment in mining declined be­
tween 1939 and 1955 for the Nation as a whole,
there were large increases in the petroleum-and
gas-producing areas of Louisiana, Oklahoma, and
Texas. These were not large enough to offset very
sharp drops in important coal-mining States, such
as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Alabama, and West
Virginia, and in metal-mining States, such as
The greatest gains in trade, service, finance, and
government were consistently in the South and
West, and accounted for much of the increased
proportion of nonagricultural jobs in these areas.
Florida’s great popularity as a resort center,
the expansion of trade around large military bases
in many of the southern and western States, and
the emergence of Dallas and Los Angeles as major
style centers, illustrate some of the factors which
generated the employment in trade in these re­
gions. In finance, insurance, and real estate,

Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco were
among the cities showing the largest increases.
Employment in the service industries had the
sharpest gains throughout most of the South and
West, particularly in Texas, and all of the Moun­
tain and Pacific States. Government employment
almost doubled in the South Atlantic, West South
Central, and Mountain States and increased
nearly 2y2 times in the Pacific States.
Between 1939 and 1955, transportation (includ­
ing communication and public utilities) showed
the smallest employment increase of any major in­
dustry, except mining. In fact, in 44 of 48 States
the proportion of the nonagricultural workers in
transportation declined. Even in most of the
South and West, where transportation had greater
employment increments than elsewhere, it grew
more slowly than other industries.
Despite these significant shifts in the location
of industry— generally to the South and West—
it is important to note that the basic geographic
structure of American industry is still very much
like it was some 15 years ago. The concentration
of industry and commerce, job opportunities,
manpower requirements, and labor supply re­
mains to a significant extent in the regions and
States where it had been more than a decade ago.
The geographical distribution of manufactur­
ing employment provides an illustration of this
point. As already indicated, the geographical
differentials in rates of growth of manufacturing
have been significant. Manufacturing jobs in
California increased almost 185 percent between
1939 and 1955, in contrast to only a 20-percent
rise in Massachusetts. Nevertheless, 1 out of
every 3 factory jobs in the Nation is still found
in the 9 States comprising the New England and
Middle Atlantic regions. Despite some very im­
portant geographic shifts, the first 15 States in
size of manufacturing employment in 1939 were
exactly the same 15 States in 1955.
In other industries, similar concentrations re­
main. The geographic area comprising the New
England, Middle Atlantic, Great Lakes, and
Great Plains States still employs about 6 out of 10
of the Nation’s workers in trade, finance, service,
and transportation, and over half of those in con­
struction and government. Only in the case of
mining does the combined South and West lead—
with 7 out of 10 workers.



Occupational Trends

The occupational picture in chart 13 shows the
broad areas o f work in which people are engaged.
It can be seen that more workers are employed in
the semiskilled group, including occupations such
as factory machine operators and truckdrivers,
than in any other major occupation group. Cleri­
cal workers make up the second largest group, and
the skilled craftsmen and foremen group is the
third largest. The clerical and service groups are
the only major groups which employ more women
than men.
The white-collar group of occupations, includ­
ing the administrative, professional and semipro­
fessional, clerical, and sales workers groups, ac­
counted for about 39 percent of the workers
employed in the Nation in July 1956. Among the

white-collar occupation groups, the clerical group
is the largest employment field for women and the
administrative field provides the largest number
of jobs for men.
The principal occupations within each major
group shown in chart 14 will be covered in later
sections of this Handbook, together with the
trends in the major groups. This section will
summarize data on long-term trends in the dis­
tribution of workers among the various socio­
economic occupational groups.
During the 40-year period from 1910 to 1950,
broadly significant changes were taking place in
the occupational composition of the labor force
(chart 14). One of the most notable changes was
the sharp decline in the proportion of farm work­
ers. Farm owners and tenants decreased from
16.5 percent of the work force in 1910 to 7.3 per-


Employment, July 1956


O p e r a f iv e s ,
















10 11
12 13






s e m is k ille d

C r a f t s m e n an d
Labo rers,


Fo re m e n

e x c e p t f a rm

C le r ic a l
A d m in is t r a t iv e
P r o f e s s io n a l a n d
S e m ip r o f e s s io n a
S a le s
S e r v ic e ,

e x c e p t d o m e s tic

D o m estic

S e r v ic e

P 0 0 Men
EW 1 Women

F arm

Labo rers
Fo rem en

F a r m e r s and
F arm M a n a g e r s



st a tistics

4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 57 -


Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census




Percent of Total Workers Engaged in Each Field








FARMERS, O w n ers and Tenants










LABORERS, Except Farm













Household, R estaurant, Ja n ito ria l, etc.














Including Salespeople



7 .6













so u r c e; u. s

. b u r ea u of t h e c e n s u s ,



cent in 1950. The proportion of farm laborers de­
creased even more, from 14.5 percent in 1910 to
4.5 percent in 1950. These declines stemmed from
the technological revolution in farming which
made possible a steady increase in output of farm
products with a declining number of farm work­
ers. Nonfarm laborers were the only other group
which declined over the entire 40-year period—
from 14.7 percent of the work force in 1910 to 7.6
percent in 1950. Increasing mechanization in
many nonagricultural industries was undoubtedly
the chief factor underlying this decline. Along
with future technological progress, we may expect
a continuing downward trend in the proportions
o f farm workers and nonfarm laborers.
The proportion of skilled workers decreased
from 13.5 percent in 1920 to 11.7 percent in 1940,
but then rose in 1950 to 13.6 percent— about the
same as the previous high in 1920. The growth
in the proportion of skilled workers between 1940
and 1950 was caused primarily by increases in
three groups o f skilled occupations: skilled con­
struction trades, mechanics and repairmen, and
Recent technological advances, popularly known
as automation, are expected to require additional
numbers of skilled workers for the design, produc­
tion, installation, and maintenance of new auto­
matic machinery. Additional skilled mechanics
and repairmen will also undoubtedly be needed to
repair the growing amount of complex mechani­
cal equipment, such as automobiles, television, and
household appliances, being used by American
Under the classification systems used in chart
14, the service workers group includes only such
occupations as household workers, restaurant
cooks and waiters, and j anitors. This group grew
in proportion from 6.8 percent of total workers
in 1910 to 8.0 percent in 1940 but decreased in rela­
tive importance by 1950 to 7.2 percent. The de­
cline in this socioeconomic group between 1940
and 1950 was caused by the decline in numbers of
private household workers. Assuming that the
country continues to have full or nearly full em­
ployment, it appears likely that the proportion of
household workers will continue to decline.
Workers in household jobs can move more easily


to other fields of work in periods of full employ­
ment. On the other hand, employment in restau­
rants and some other service occupations will
probably rise.
All the other occupational fields shown in chart
14 have gained steadily in relative importance
since 1910. Semiskilled workers increased from
14.7 percent of total workers in 1910 to 22.8 per­
cent in 1950. This rise was effected partly by the
trend toward increasing mechanization in many
manufacturing industries and partly by the rapid
growth of the service industries, which employ
large numbers of workers in this group. The in­
troduction of automation may tend, in comingdecades, to reduce slowly the proportion of work­
ers in semiskilled occupations in the manufactur­
ing industries. However, the number of semi­
skilled workers in the expanding service indus­
tries is expected to continue to grow.
Clerical and kindred workers, including sales­
people, are the group which grew most rapidly
between 1910 and 1950— from 10.2 to 21 percent
of all workers. In the future, the introduction of
automatic office machines may tend to reduce the
number of routine clerical jobs in industries such
as insurance, which employ many clerical workers.
However, changes are expected to be slow and
moderate, and in the clerical and sales group as a
whole, offsetting growth is expected.
Professional persons as a group increased be­
tween 1910 and 1950 from 4.4 percent to 7.3 per­
cent of all workers. Over the 40-year period, this
group grew in relative importance more than any
other group except the clerical and sales occupa­
tions. Future technological progress will un­
doubtedly tend to create increased demand for en­
gineers and other technical workers. Our in­
creasing population— and especially the growing
numbers of old and young people—is creating and
will continue to create a growing need for doctors
and other health service personnel, and for teach­
ers. Industry is using more and more accountants
and other professionally trained persons in admin­
istrative positions. Growing numbers of people
trained in the social sciences and human relations
will also be needed. Thus, the relative impor­
tance of the professional group may be expected to
continue to increase.

Earnings From W o rk
The purpose of this chapter is to throw some
light on the complicated subject of wages, salaries,
and other forms of labor income in the United
States. It is partly designed to suggest the range
o f earnings that young people entering the labor
market can expect to receive in the immediate
future. It is calculated also to point to certain
long-run trends in earnings that may have a bear­
ing on job decisions.
Earnings and Occupational Choice

In the process of occupational choice, a crucial
consideration clearly relates to the earnings or
income that a job affords. In addition to money
income, however, there are other factors that need
to be taken into account in evaluating alternative
types of employment. Jobs within the range of
an individual’s abilities, interests, and training
will frequently differ in a host of characteristics.
Some yield more of what economists call “ psychic
income” than others. In some fashion, a balance
must often be struck between money and psychic
income in making job choices.
The term psychic income may not be familiar,
but the concept is important and can be readily
illustrated. For example, an individual may place
a comparatively high value on leisure; partly for
this reason, he may decide on a college teaching
career, although other jobs within his field of
choice may offer greater money income. Another
individual may choose a routine job in the air-con­
ditioned comfort of a modern office rather than a
manual job offering higher earnings. The desire
to be one's own boss or to work at one’s own pace
undoubtedly explains many of the small enter­
prises that exist precariously in our towns and
cities; the proprietors, in many instances, could
make higher incomes if they were willing to be­
come the employees of others.
In substance, jobs may differ with respect to
such factors as the physical conditions under
which they are performed, the extent and type of
supervision required, the opportunity afforded for
initiative and individual recognition, the public
esteem in which they are held, the personal associa­
tions they foster, and the amount of leisure they

provide. Where choice between two or more jobs
is possible, these “noneconomic” factors should be
carefully considered. A job is more than a means
to a living; it helps materially to shape an indi­
vidual’s pattern of life.
It is appropriate, however, that prospective
money earnings should be given great weight in
occupational choice. The income that a job yields
will largely determine the level of well-being that
an individual and his family can enjoy. It is
plainly important that levels of living be suffi­
ciently high to sustain health and efficiency and to
provide for the education and training of children.
Beyond this, there are many satisfactions, both
material and cultural, that require income for their
Wage Rates, Earnings, and Supplementary Benefits

Earnings arise out of the production of goods
(clothing, radios) or services (haircuts, legal ad­
vice). They are payments to individuals for
physical or mental effort directed toward the satis­
faction of human wants. They measure, at least
in a rough way, the contributions that individuals
make to production. It follows generally that
earnings, on the average, will tend to be high when
output (in the sense of production per man) is
Rates of Pay. The productive services (work)
that individuals perform carry prices. These
prices are expressed in various ways, but they can
all be reduced to payments for a unit of time or
a unit of output. For example, a machinist in a
metalworking plant in Chicago may be paid $2.35
an hour. An experienced accounting clerk in a
Chicago office may be paid a salary of $85 a week.
These are examples of time rates of wages or
salaries. Time rates for manual workers are
typically set by the hour; for office, supervisory,
and professional workers by the week, month, or
The other basic type of rate is expressed in
terms of a unit of output. For instance, a worker
may receive 5 cents per piece for machining a
small metal part. An employee of an automobile


service station may be paid 85 cents for washing
a car. A television or furniture salesman may be
paid a commission (perhaps 5 percent) based on
the value of the goods he sells. These are all
forms of incentive rates. Earnings, in these cases,
depend directly on output. It is useful for many
purposes to compute an “ earned rate”—that is, a
rate related to time—for workers paid on an in­
centive basis. The earned rate is obtained by di­
viding earnings (excluding premium pay, if any)
by hours worked during a pay period. Thus, if
our service station employee washed 55 cars at 85
cents per car during a 40-hour period, thereby
earning $46.75, his earned rate per hour would be
$1.17 ($46.75 divided by 40).
Aside from the question of the duration of em­
ployment, the wage rate is the most important ele­
ment in earnings. A young person considering an
occupational choice will want first to find out as
definitely as possible what the basic rate of pay is.
Xo particular difficulties are presented in the case
of time rates. For jobs paid by the piece, it will
be necessary to determine as closely as possible the
expected “ earned rate” for the occupation in the
firm. This information will generally be fur­
nished by a prospective employer. Time-rated
occupations in particular may carry an entrance
rate, with progression to the full job rate depend­
ing on length of service, performance on the job,
or both. Piece or other types of incentive rates
may be combined with some sort of minimum earn­
ings guaranty.
Wage Rates and Earnings. The earnings that
a given wage or salary rate will yield depend
largely on the amount o f employment that can be
obtained at the rate. A comparatively high rate
per hour or per week does not necessarily mean
correspondingly high earnings over a year. The
relatively high hourly or daily rates for manual
work found in some types of employment, such as
building construction or longshoring, are due in
part to the fact that annual earnings are pulled
down by part-time work. Some industries, such
as clothing manufacturing, offer much more em­
ployment at some periods of the year than at
others. The earnings of independent profes­
sional workers, such as doctors, dentists, and law­
yers, whose fees are essentially piece rates, clearly
are affected by the volume of work they secure.
The wide range of earnings among lawyers, for
example, reflects not only differences in rates


(fees) but perhaps more importantly differences
in quantity of work (number and type of cases).
In evaluating the earnings potential of different
jobs, therefore, great attention should be paid to
stability of employment. Some people tempera­
mentally prefer a high rate of pay with intermit­
tent employment, but the choice should be deliber­
ate. On the whole, office, administrative, and pro­
fessional employees tend to have greater job se­
curity than employees paid on an hourly basis.
They are, by and large, more difficult to replace,
and the need for their services is not so closely
geared to changes in the outputs of the firms for
which they work. However, the job security of
many hourly rated workers is also quite high, es­
pecially in establishments and industries in which
production schedules are reasonably steady. The
seniority provisions of union agreements, which
govern the order in which employees are laid off
if staff reduction becomes necessary, provide a
measure of security to those workers with some
years of service with a firm.
It is difficult to look very far ahead. In some
situations, however, it is almost essential to think
in terms of lifetime earnings. The working life
of a professional athlete, for example, is compara­
tively short. An occupational decision might in­
volve a choice between professional baseball, with
the chance, but not the certainty, of high earnings
for a few years, and a career in electrical engineer­
ing, with reasonable assurance of steady earnings
over the long pull. Another example is the choice
for a young lawyer between salaried employment
with a government agency and independent prac­
tice with a chance at the glittering prizes that ac­
crue to a few at the top of the legal profession.
An instance on another level is the choice between
an occupation which offers a comparatively high
wage rate but requires more than average physical
stamina, and a physically less exacting job with a
lower wage rate. Over a lifetime, earnings may
well be greater in the second occupation.
Earnings and the Job Ladder. Consideration of
occupational earnings prospects over the span of
a working life obviously involves consideration of
the prospects for advancement from lower to
higher paying jobs. Almost any job can lead to
another; the absolutely dead-end job is a rarity.
Even the most routine work, if done well, can pro­
vide the way to a more responsible and better pay-



ing job. There may be an opportunity for on-thejob training for a more responsible position, or
the employee may have to exercise sufficient .initia­
tive to secure additional formal training, often
o f a specialized character, at local educational
Some entrance positions obviously offer better
prospects than others for salary progression or
job advancement, or both. The young college in­
structor, if he is reasonably competent, can look
forward to attaining full professorial rank; his
inclinations may lead him into a deanship or some
other academic administrative post. In public
school teaching, there is typically a steady pro­
gression from entrance salary to the top of the sal­
ary range, and again there are opportunities for
administrative positions within the school system.
In general, professional occupations over most of
an individual’s working life tend to offer higher
remuneration with advancing age, experience, and
The high school or college graduate entering
upon a business career has many possible avenues
open to him in production, marketing, finance, and
other aspects of business organization. In many
large business firms, promotion tends to be from
within, and opportunities will exist for alert
young people to move up the job ladder. In many
types o f service establishments, which tend to be
small, the acquisition of experience may provide
the basis for the opening of an independent busi­
ness. One of the limiting factors here is the need
for some capital from savings or a loan. But
many a service station, garage, television repair
shop, or small hotel has been opened by individ­
uals who began as employees in these types of en­
terprises. As suggested earlier, the psychic in­
come derived by many people from business pro­
prietorship must often compensate for money
earnings that are lower than the same individuals
could command as employees.
The fact must be emphasized, o f course, that
millions of individuals will remain within their
initial general white-collar or manual job cate­
gory throughout their working lives. Young peo­
ple who enter coal mining will tend to remain
miners; business-machine operators will tend to
remain in this general field; most factory opera­
tives will tend to form a permanent attachment
to some particular type of work. In these cases,
only limited increases in earnings from job shifts
can be anticipated; higher earnings and living

standards will result primarily from the general
rise in productivity in the economic system.
Premium Pay and Supplementary Benefits. The
discussion thus far has dealt with earnings as a
function o f the basic wage or salary rate and the
amount of employment available at that rate.
Under certain conditions, premium payments
may result in direct additions to money income.
The payment of a premium for work beyond the
daily or weekly standard of hours is now widely
embodied in legislation, collective bargaining
agreements, and employer practice. A special
premium for work on late shifts is frequently paid.
There are other types of premiums, but those for
overtime and late-shift work are the most common.
In addition to money earnings, most jobs typi­
cally yield a variety of benefits that represent
sources of leisure and security for employees and
items of expenditures for employers. There is no
uniformity in these benefits from industry to in­
dustry or even, very often, among firms in the same
industry. For this reason, attention should be
given to supplementary benefits in appraising job
opportunities in different companies or industries.
One important type of benefit involves payment
for time not worked, the most important items
relating to provisions for paid vacations, paid
holidays, and paid sick leave. Such benefits used
to apply largely to white-collar and professional
employees. In recent years, they have been widely
extended to manual workers.
Another important group of benefits includes
pension plans and health and insurance plans
financed wholly or in part by employers. The
growth of such plans during the past decade has
been remarkable. Private pension plans are de­
signed to supplement the retirement benefits to
which most workers are entitled under the Federal
Old-Age and Survivors and Disability Insurance
system. Health and insurance plans are frequent­
ly comprehensive in scope, including life, acci­
dental death and dismemberment, and sickness
insurance, hospitalization, surgical, and medical
care benefits. These benefit plans, if carefully
drawn and administered, contribute substantially
to the income security of employees, and should
be taken into account in weighing alternative job
opportunities. A new type of plan—supplemen­
tary unemployment benefits—has recently ap­
peared in the automobile, steel, and some other
industries, and is designed to increase employee


protection against loss of income through layoff;
workers laid off are paid extra weekly amounts by
their employers in addition to the unemployment
compensation benefits they receive from the State.
The Dimensions of Income From Work

In 1955, as table 1 shows, the national income
of the United States reached the staggering total
o f 324 billion dollars. O f this amount, 223 billion,
or 69 percent of the total, represented wages,
salaries, and other labor compensation. Actually,
income from work was greater than these figures
indicate. A portion of the 39 billion dol­
lars representing the income of unincorporated
enterprises— including farm, independent profes­
sional, and business enterprises—unquestionably
represented payment for personal services in pro­
duction. The income of a doctor, for example, or
o f a farm operator, clearly represents in part, pay­
ment for work.
T able

1 . — National


by distributive shares,

Distributive shares

National income
Compensation of employees
Income of unincorporated enterprises C
Rental income
Corporate profits 1
Net interest

Billions of




100. 0


1 Includes inventory valuation adjustments.
S o u r c e : U . S. Department of Commerce.

Most of our national income, therefore, is paid
out in return for the productive services of indi­
viduals. The mighty stream of labor income in­
cludes the wages of the unskilled laborer, the sal­
aries of the corporation president and of the vil­
lage school teacher, the compensation of the popu­
lar entertainer, and the earnings of the automobile
salesman. These occupations, which are simply
illustrative of the thousands of jobs by which men
make their living, offer different rewards in the
form of earnings. We now have to look a little
more closely at the earnings that occupations
Variations in Rates of Pay

It is necessary to return to the question of rates
of pay and to begin to think in terms of a structure


of rates. A structure of wage or salary rates is
simply an array of rates in a company, an indus­
try, or, in a broad sense, in the economy as a whole.
It can be thought of as a series of rates designed to
compensate workers for the varying skills and
abilities required in the production process.
Job Groupings. Some jobs are “ worth” more
than others. The “ worth” of one job relative to
another clearly depends largely upon the require­
ments of the two jobs and upon the number of
people available to fill them. The requirements
for some jobs are comparatively simple and in­
volve little training or skill or capacity to make
decisions. Next, there are very large numbers of
j obs that are essentially routine in nature, but that
may involve, for example, the operation of par­
ticular types of machines or other equipment, the
performance of various recordkeeping functions,
the exercise of judgment in limited areas, and so
on. A t the next level are jobs that may involve
all-round skill in a particular craft, responsibility
for the operation of highly complex equipment,
and capacity for decisionmaking within a defined
area of responsibility. These three categories of
jobs are by no means clear cut; one category tends
to shade into another. Taken together, they en­
compass the bulk of the jobs at which people work.
Tending to stand above this structure, but over­
lapping in terms of pay with the upper end, is
the broad range of managerial, professional, and
technical jobs.
Since the jobs actually found in industry are
so numerous and diverse, it is helpful to think in
terms o f these few broad classes. Each class
should be thought of as containing numerous jobs
differing greatly in specific content but roughly
similar in their general requirements. The first
three classes, taken together, can be viewed as con­
taining the manual and office jobs (literally thou­
sands of occupations) below the supervisory level.
Can anything very definitely be said about the
range of wage and salary rates within which these
jobs fall?
Nonsupervisory Manual and Office Jobs

As of late 1956, the effective range of rates for
the great bulk of nonsupervisory manual and o f­
fice workers in nonfarm jobs was between $1 and
$3 an hour. The legal minimum w^age for work­
ers covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards



Act became $1 an hour on March 1, 1956. Under
certain conditions, learners and handicapped
workers can be paid less than $1, but the legal
minimum establishes an effective floor to wage
rates for the approximately 24 million workers
covered by the act. In industries and employ­
ments not subject to the Federal minimum wage
law, such as retail trade and most service indus­
tries, an appreciable number of workers are paid
less than $1. Hence, $1 should be viewed as the
bottom of the structure of wage rates only in an
approximate sense; some workers will be found
at various rates below this level. It should be
clear, of course, that the actual minimum rate in
many firms and industries is above the legal mini­
mum, in many cases by a substantial amount.
At the upper end of the wage structure, a com­
paratively small proportion of the nonsupervisory
manual and clerical workers earn $3 an hour or
more. This group typically includes some of the
highly skilled long-service workers in industry;
a similar group, usually male, in office employ­
ment; some salesmen; and others. The median
hourly rate— that is, the rate below and above
which half the workers fall—is undoubtedly some­
what below $2 an hour.
This discussion of the range of wage rates for
the kinds of jobs at which most of us work may
be made clearer and given a touch of realism by
table 2. This table shows the actual distribution
of plant workers in two industries and of non­
supervisory clerical employees in another by wage
rates (or straight-time average hourly earnings).
The data in two cases relate to late 1955 and in the
third to April 1956. Industrial chemicals is a
relatively high-wage industry; plant employment
is confined largely to men, many of whom are
highly skilled. The table shows that less than onehalf of 1 percent of these workers had rates below
$1 an hour in August 1955. Since the $1 legal
minimum wage did not become effective unti]
March 1, 1956, it is clear that entrance rates in this
industry, for the most part, measurably exceed $1
an hour. At the upper end of the wage structure
in industrial chemicals, 14.6 percent of the work­
ers earned $2.50 an hour or more; in fact, a few of
these workers earned more than $3 an hour. The
middle half of the workers had hourly earnings in
the range of roughly $1.85 to $2.30 an hour.
The seamless hosiery industry differs in many
ways from industrial chemicals. Although the
chemical industry is located in all parts of the

United States, the manufacture of seamless ho­
siery is found predominantly in the South. About
three-fourths of the workers are women. The pro­
portion of skilled workers is comparatively small.
For these and other reasons, the wage structure
for plant workers in seamless hosiery differs
markedly from that in industrial chemicals.
The most striking fact about the seamless hosiery
wage distribution is that in April 1956 (shortly
after the $1 minimum wage became effective)
about one-fourtli of the workers earned exactly
$1 an hour and more than two-fifths of the plant
workers earned between $1 and $1.10 an hour.
The median wage was less than $1.20 an hour. But
even in this relatively low-wage industry, a few
workers were earning $2.50 an hour or more.
The third distribution relates to nonsupervisory
clerical employees of the Bell Telephone com­
panies. In October 1955, there were fairly large
groups of employees at each wage level between
T able

2 .— Percentage distribution of workers in selected

industries, by
selected dates





Percentage distribution of—

Average hourly earnings 1

Under $1.00
$1.00 and under
$1.10 and under
$1.20 and under
$1.30 and under
$1.40 and under
$1.50 and under
$1.60 and under
$1.70 and under
$1.80 and under
$1.90 and under
$2.00 and under
$2.10 and under
$2.20 and under
$2.30 and under
$2.40 and under
$2.50 and over

$1.20 $1.30$1.40
$ 1 .5 0 _______


0. 3
. 2
. 6
. 6
1. 5
3. 2
4. 2
4. 2
7. 0
9. 9
11. 7
10. 2
11. 0
8. 9
7. 2
4. 8
14. 6

Average hourly earnings____
$2. 07
Number of workers
153, 647

Bell System
April 1956


7 }

$1. 22
53, 065



19. 1
17. 0

9' 7
3. 2
2. 9
3. 8
$1. 61
120, 045

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends, holidays,
and late shifts.



T a b l e 3 .— Distribution of workers1 by hourly wage rates,2 selected plant occupations, Philadelphia, Pa., November 1955
Janitors, por­
ters, and

Hourly wage rates 2

Under $1.00______________________________________________________
$1.00 and under $1.10
$1.10 and under $1.2(|
$1.20 and under $1.30
$1.30 and under $1.40
$1.40 and under $1.50
$1.50 and under $1.60
$1.60 and under $1.70
$1.70 and under $1.80
$1.80 and under $1.90
$1.90 and under $2.00
$2.00 and under $2.10
$2.10 and under $2.20
_ _
$2.20 and under $2.30
$2.30 and under $2.40
$2.40 and under $2.50
$2.50 and under $2.60
$2.60 and under $2.70
$2.70 and under $2.80
$2.80 and under $2.90
$2.90 and under $3.00
$3.00 and over

1, 055

Average hourly rates
Number of workers

$1. 43
6, 591

. -

1 Data relate only to men.




$1. 65
11, 543







$1. 83
1, 868

$2. 35
1, 599

$2. 37
1, 253

2 Excludes premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends, holidays, and late shifts.

T a b l e 4 .— Distribution of workers by weekly salary rates, selected office occupations, Philadelphia, Pa., November 1955

Weekly salary rates

$30.00 and under $35.00
$35.00 and under $40.00
$40.00 and under $45.00
$45.00 and under $50.00
$50.00 and under $55.00
$55.00 and under $60.00
$60.00 and under $65.00
$65.00 and under $70.00
$70.00 and under $75.00
$75.00 and under $80.00
$80.00 and under $85.00
$85.00 and under $90.00
$90.00 and under $95.00
$95.00 and under $100.00
$100.00 and under $105.00
$105.00 and under $110.00
$110.00 and under $115.00
$115.00 and under $120.00
$120.00 and over
Average weekly salaries
Number of workers

Office boys


.. _

class B
(women )


class B

1, 338



_ _

__ _

$42. 00

$49. 00
1, 886

$46. 00
4, 145

$56. 50
4, 556

class A

$82. 50



$1.10 and $2 an hour. Less than one-half of 1
percent of the clerical staff earned less than $1
an hour; at the upper end, 3.8 percent earned $2.50
or more.
Additional light is thrown on the question o f
earnings in nonsupervisory manual and whitecollar jobs by tables 3 and 4. Table 3 shows the
distribution o f workers by wage rates for 3 rela­
tively unskilled and for 2 skilled plant jobs in the
Philadelphia, Pa., labor market in November 1955.
The average hourly rates for these jobs ranged
from $1.43 for janitors and porters to $2.37 for
maintenance machinists. It will be observed that
there was a considerable range o f rates for each
o f these jobs. For the great bulk of the workers,
rates fell between the limits we have been discuss­
ing—$1 to $3— with comparatively small propor­
tions o f the unskilled workers receiving less than
$1 and o f the skilled workers receiving more than
$3. The higher wage rates for unskilled jobs over­
lap the lower wage rates for skilled occupations.
Thus, although the average for laborers was 70
cents less than the average for electricians, the
highest paid groups of laborers received more than
the lowest paid groups of electricians.
Table 4 shows the same type of information (in
the form of weekly salary rates) for selected office
jobs in the Philadelphia area. Again a consider­
able range of rates for each job is indicated. Again
the salaries for different jobs overlap. General
stenographers, on the average, earned about $10.50
more a week than routine typists, but some
typists earned as much or more than some stenog­
raphers. The weekly salary rates of skilled ac­
counting clerks in a few cases exceeded $120 a
week; i. e., $3 an hour on a 40-hour week basis.
The salaries of most office boys ranged between
$35 and $45 a week.
The fact that there is typically a range of rates
for the same job in the same labor market,
rather than a single rate, need occasion no sur­
prise. One reason is that individuals doing the
same type of work differ in their productive capac­
ity, so that differences in rates reflect, to some
extent, variations among individuals. Rough
recognition is given to this factor in many firms
by the establishment o f a range of rates for each
job, with progression within the range depending
on merit, length-of-service, or both. Another
factor is that the duties or conditions attached to
a job may not be exactly the same among firms or
even within a firm. For example, rates paid to

laborers engaged in loading and unloading mate­
rials may vary somewhat depending on the type
and weight of the materials being handled,
whether the job is performed indoors or outdoors,
and on other job conditions. It must be recog­
nized, finally, that wage rates at any one time may
differ among firms or industries, even in the same
geographic area. As previously noted, the average
rate for janitors and porters in the Philadelphia
area in November 1955 was $1.43 an hour; their
average rate varied from $1.08 in service indus­
tries to $1.65 in public utilities. This spread may
be accounted for in part by variations in job
duties or conditions of work, but it may also reflect
a difference in wage level between these two types
of industry.
A Note on Wage Differentials. The wage rate
structure for nonsupervisory manual and office
jobs tends to be confined, as we have seen, to the
area between $1 and $3 an hour. A plant or an
office will have a hierarchy o f jobs with rates
ranging broadly within these limits. Jobs re­
quiring comparatively little skill or respon­
sibility or training will carry the bottom rates
in the wage or salary structure; the higher steps
in the pay ladder will be attached to jobs requiring
greater responsibility and skill.
What is the extent of the monetary reward—
there may well be other rewards and satisfactions
as well— for moving up the job ladder? Studies
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have revealed a
long-run tendency for pay differentials for plant
jobs to decline. In 1907, the skilled plant worker,
on the average, earned slightly more than double
the unskilled worker’s rate. By 1947, this differ­
ential had declined to approximately 50 percent,
and there was apparently some further narrowung
up to about 1953. During the past several years,
the tendency for skill differentials to narrow has
been arrested, if not reversed, and it seems prob­
able that increasing attention will be given to the
question of appropriate pay differences among
An analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
of pay differentials in major labor markets, based
on 1955-56 data, indicates that tool and die mak­
ers, a highly skilled plant occupation, had an
average (median) rate of 56 percent above that
for janitors. The fact must be emphasized that
this is an average; indeed, the wage rate differen­
tial in favor of tool and die makers ranged from


47 to 70 percent among the middle half of the
plants included in the study. Median wage d if­
ferentials for other skilled plant maintenance
workers ranged from 36 percent above the janitor
rate for painters and millwrights to 48 percent for
Several factors relating to labor supply appear
to account for the long-run tendency for wage dif­
ferentials to decline. One is the restriction of im­
migration after W orld War I, which had the effect
of reducing the supply of unskilled labor. An­
other factor is found in the rising educational
level of the working population; relatively fewer
people are available for unskilled jobs and a
greater proportion for more skilled occupations.
Moreover, technological change has altered the
nature of many “ unskilled” jobs. The janitor, for
example, may now operate scrubbing machines,
polishers, and the like, which enhance his output
and provide a basis for higher wages. Another
factor has been the tendency in collective bargain­
ing for relatively greater wage increases to be
negotiated for the lower paid and less skilled
One consequence of this complex of forces has
been some apparent alteration in the position of
office employees as compared with manual work­
ers. Even in the more routine jobs, office workers
at one time received not only higher pay, on the
average, than unskilled plant workers, but tended
also to receive more in the way of “ fringe” bene­
fits, such as paid vacations and holidays. In re­
cent years, this latter advantage has been sharply
reduced. In terms of pay, the study referred to
indicated that skilled male accounting clerks oc­
cupied about the same pay position as mainte­
nance painters, automotive mechanics, and pipe­
fitters. Men payroll clerks and tabulating-machine
operators generally ranked with truckdrivers.
Stenographers and material handling laborers
shared approximately the same pay position.
Other Types of Differentials. The American wage
structure for nonsupervisory manual and office
jobs, and for many other types of jobs as well, is
characterized by a variety of differentials that ap­
pear broadly to be related to such factors as in­
dustry, size of firm, and location. This is an
extraordinarily complex subject and cannot be
explored here. Available wage statistics do sug­
gest, however, that some industries offer higher
wages than others for comparable jobs; that wages


tend to be higher in large firms than in small;
that rates of pay tend to vary directly with size
of community; and that wages, especially for
plant jobs requiring little skill, tend to be lower
in the South than in the rest of the country.
Many qualifications need to be attached to these
generalizations, but they are descriptive of broad
conditions reflected in the wage structure.
Supervisory and Professional Occupations

It has been established that the wage or salary
rates for most nonsupervisory manual and office
jobs ranged between $1 and $3 an hour as of late
1956. Assuming full-time employment (say 2,080
hours annually), these rates yield from $2,080 to
$6,240 a year. How do salaries for supervisory,
technical, and professional occupations compare
with this range of annual earnings?
It is clear, in the first place, that there is con­
siderable overlap between the upper end of the
wage structure for manual and clerical jobs and
the lower end of the structure for supervisory,
technical, and professional occupations. This is
particularly true with respect to a number of pro­
fessional occupations in which large numbers of
workers are employed on a salaried basis. For
example, a survey by the American Federation of
Teachers indicates that in the academic year
1955-56, the average minimum (or entrance) sal­
ary for public school teachers with A. B. degrees
in cities of 10,000 population and over was $3,263.
The average maximum salary, reached over a pe­
riod of years, was $4,915. The lowest minimum
reported was $2,000 (in a small number of com­
munities) and the highest maximum, $7,050 (New
York City). Salary rates for holders of M. A.
degrees were generally somewhat higher. Libra­
rians, dietitians, and registered nurses are exam­
ples of other professional groups with average
earnings falling within the upper half of the
manual-worker office-employee range. The aver­
age salary rate for senior draftsmen, a technical
occupation, approximates the average rate for tool
and die makers, a top skilled manual job.
In many instances, professional and supervisory
functions may be combined, and rate progressions
tend to reflect this fact. In the Federal Civil
Service, for example, professional employees are
largely distributed among 11 grades, each with a
salary range. The range for the entrance grade,
as of 1956, w $3,670-$4,480 annually, and for the



top grade, $11,610-$12,690. Professional em­
ployees in the higher grades almost invariably
perform a variety of administrative and super­
visory functions related to their professional
duties. The same situation undoubtedly exists,
although perhaps to a lesser extent, among profes­
sional employees in industry.
Rates of remuneration for salaried professional
personnel tend to be fixed within limits that can
usually be roughly defined. The annual salaries
of most professional workers appear broadly to
fall between about $4,000 and $12,000, depending
on the occupation, age, education, and abilities of
the individual, and on a variety of other factors,
such as geographic location, that affect salary
rates. Some salaried professional employees earn
substantially more than the upper limit of this
indicated range, and the earnings of some are less
than the lower limit would suggest.
The range o f earnings among self-employed
professional workers— doctors, dentists, lawyers,
architects, and the like, engaged in independent
practice— is clearly much greater than among
salaried professional employees. The upper end
of the range is higher. The independent practice
of a profession contains an element of risk; Adam
Smith, more than 150 years ago, compared the pro­
fessions to a lottery in which many fail and a few
gain great prizes. This comparison may have
been something of an exaggeration in Adam
Smith’s time; it is certainly so today. The great
prizes remain; they provide one of the incentives
for those who undergo the training required for a
professional career. There are failures. The
odds against success are greater in some fields than
in others—professional entertainers, for example,
as compared with medical doctors— and the top
prizes seem correspondingly greater. This is only
another way o f saying that opportunity and
chance play greater roles in some fields than in
others. In some professions—medicine is an ex­
ample— an individual in independent practice, if
he has reasonable competence and capacity for
work, has a very high chance of achieving success
in terms o f income. In 1949, according to the
Bureau of the Census, 41 percent of the male phy­
sicians and surgeons, predominantly self-em­
ployed, earned $10,000 or more as compared with
only 5.1 percent of college presidents, professors,
and instructors.
Rates for supervisory jobs in industry vary
enormously, largely because of the great differ­

ences in the duties and responsibilities associated
with such positions. A foreman (the first level o f
supervision in a plant) may be responsible for the
work of half a dozen men, and his pay may be
closely related (say 10 percent higher) to the
wages of the men he supervises. The responsible
head of the enterprise may be paid 10 or 20 times
as much, perhaps even more. A man reaches a
higher level supervisory and administrative job
typically only over a considerable period of time
in which his capacity can be tested. As in most
areas of human activity, chance sometimes plays a
Wage or Salary Income, 1955

General Distribution of Workers by Wage In ­
come. Having tried, in a very rough way, to indi­
cate the range of wage or salary rates paid for hu­
man effort in production, we can now look at some
general statistics of income from wages and sal­
aries as developed by the Bureau of the Census.
These data relate to 1955. Table 5 shows the disT able 5.— Percentage distribution o f year-round, full-tim e
workers 1 4 years o f age and over by wage or salary income 1
and by sex, 1955
W a g e or salary incom e

M e n and
w om en

$1 to $499____________________
$500 to $999__________________
$1,000 to $1,499_____________
$1,500 to $1 ,999____ _________
$2,000 to $2 ,499_____________
$2,500 to $2 ,999_____________
$3,000 to $3 ,499______________
$3,500 to $3 ,999_____________
$4,000 to $ 4 ,499_____________
$4,500 to $ 4 ,999_____________
$5,000 to $ 5 ,999_____________
$6,000 to $ 6 ,999_____________
$7,000 to $9 ,999_____________
$10,000 to $14,999___________
$15,000 to $24,999___________
$25,000 and over




M en

Qi (First qnartile''
Q3 (Third quartile)



W om en




100. 0

100. 0

100. 0

$2, 640
3, 801
5, 032

$3, 162
4, 252
5, 478

$1, 953
2, 719
3, 434

1 Wage or salary income includes wages, salaries, Armed Forces pay, com­
missions, tips, piece-rate payments, and cash bonuses earned before deduc­
tions were made for taxes, bonds, pensions, union dues, etc.
S o u r c e : U . S. Bureau of the Census.



tribution of full-time workers by wage or salary
income for the country as a whole. The table re­
lates only to persons who worked as employees for
wages or salaries; it excludes self-employed pro­
fessional and other workers. Chart 15 is derived
from the first column of the table.

The lower end of the distribution (3.1 percent of
the workers are shown as receiving less than $500
in wage and salary income) is heavily affected by
the inclusion of “ year-round, full-time workers,”
such as farmers who received some income from
wages but the bulk of whose income was derived
from other sources (for example, the net proceeds
from the sale of farm produce).
Average Wage Income by Industry. Table 6
shows median (average) income from wages or
salaries in selected major industry groups in 1955.
Median income for men ranged from $3,801 in pro­
fessional and related services to $4,875 .in finance,
insurance, and real estate— a spread of almost
$1,100. The comparatively low average for pro­
fessional and related services may seem surpris­
ing, but it must be remembered that the earnings
of self-employed workers are not included in the
table. Thus, a legal office might consist of a law­
yer, a clerk, and two stenographers; the net earn­
ings of the lawyer would not be considered part
of wage and salary income.
T a b l e 6.— M edian wage or salary income 1 o f year-round,
full-tim e workers 1 4 years of age and over by selected major
industry group and by sex, 1 955
Median income
Major industry group
M en

There are several observations to be made with
respect to table 5. The median income from wages
and salaries in 1955, taking men and women to­
gether, was $3,801. This .is clearly well within the
range of rates of $l-$3 per hour indicated earlier
as applicable to most nonsupervisory plant and
office workers jobs and to many salaried profes­
sional workers. The median for men was $4,252
and for women $2,719. This difference between
the average level of income from wages and
salaries for men and women was, in considerable
measure, a reflection of differences in the occupa­
tions in which they were employed. It will be
noticed that the lower 25 percent of the workers
(this is what the “ first quartile” means), both
sexes combined, earned less than $2,640 and the
upper 25 percent (the “ third quartile” ) earned
more than $5,032. Only about 1.6 percent of the
wage and salaried workers earned $10,000 or more.

Transportation, communication, and
other public utilities
Wholesale trade
Retail trade
Finance, insurance, and real estate___
Business and repair services
Professional and related services
Public administration

$4, 257
4, 508



$2, 876

2, 127
3, 038
2, 955
3, 437

1 See footnote 1, table 5.
S o u r c e : U . S. Bureau of the Census.

Median salaries for women among the 5 indus­
try groups for which information is shown in table
6, ranged from $2,127 in retail trade to $3,437 in
public administration.
Average Wage Income by Major Occupational
Group. Table 7 shows median income in 1955 from
wages and salaries for men and women in eight
broad occupational groups. It also shows the first
quartile—the income below which the lowest one-



T a b l e 7.— W age or salary income 1fo r year-round, full-tim e workers, by selected major occupation group and by sex, 1 955
M en


Selected occupation group
First quar­

Managers, officials, and proprietors, except farm
Professional, technical, and kindred workers
Sales workers
_____ __
Craftsmen, foremen, and kindred workers
Clerical and kindred workers
Operatives and kindred workers
Service workers, except private household
Laborers, except farm and mine








First quar­


$2, 828

$3, 500

$4, 347

2, 451
2, 024
1, 240

3, 065
2, 489
1, 759

3, 568
3, 220
2, 332



1 See footnote 1, table 5.
S o u r c e : S. U . Bureau of the Census.

quarter of the workers fell, and the third quartile,
the income above which the highest one-quarter of
the workers fell. The middle half of the workers
in each occupational group had incomes between
the two quartiles (the interquartile range). The
data are set forth in graphic form in chart 16.
For male workers, the highest averages, as might
be expected, were for the managerial group
($5,584) and for professional and related workers
($5,382) ; the lowest median wage ($3,105) was
for laborers. It will be noticed that the middle
range for managers and officials ($4,163-$7,910)
was markedly wider than the interquartile range
for laborers ($2,143-$3,947). This reflects in part
the much greater range o f specific occupations
found in this group, as well as the greater tendency
for salaries to advance with age and experience.
The median wage for salesmen was not much
higher than for craftsmen, foremen, and kindred

workers, but their interquartile range was much
In the 4 occupational groups for which data for
women are shown, median salaries ranged from
$1,759 for service (except private household)
workers to $3,500 for professional, technical, and
kindred workers.
An important point brought out by chart 16
and table 7 is the wide range of wage and salary
income within each group of occupations and the
overlapping among the groups. For example, al­
though the median earnings of craftsmen were
nearly $700 more than the median for operatives,
the highest paid one-quarter of the operatives
earned more than the lowest paid half of the
Income Related to A ge and Education. Table 8
is designed to show in a general way the relation­
ship of income to age and educational attainment.

T a b l e 8 .— M edian income of men and women by selected age groups and educational attainment, 1949
Educational attainment

25-29 years

30-34 years

35-44 years

45-54 years

55-64 years


8 years of schooling
High school graduates
College graduates

$2, 255
2, 892
2, 928

$2, 557
3, 308
4, 227

$2, 803
3, 523
5, 142

$2, 912
3, 687
5, 549

$2, 601
3, 436
5, 142

$1, 171
1, 799
2, 668

1, 472
2, 591


8 years of schooling
High school graduates
College graduates
S o u r c e : U . S. Bureau of the Census.

1, 626
2, 098

$1, 067
1, 587
2, 207

$1, 193
1, 719
2, 470




By Selected Major Occupational Group and Sex, 1955^











Managers, Officials and
Proprietors, Except Farm
Professional, Technical
and Kindred Workers
Sales Workers
Craftsmen, Foremen and
Kindred Workers
Clerical and Kindred
Operatives and Kindred
Service Workers, Except
Private Household
Laborers, Except Farm
and Mine

----------- ,
------------------- 1
------------------- 1
-------------------- r

Professional, Technical
and Kindred Workers


Clerical and Kindred


Operatives and Kindred


^ #

Service Workers, Except
Private Household


____________________________ _______________________


i/W age or salary income includes wages,
salary, armed forces pay, commissions,
tips, p ie c e -ra te payments, and cash
bonuses earned, before deductions
were made for taxes, bonds, pensions,
union dues, etc.

J_________________ I_______________ __ L









NOTE*. The lower end of eoch bar morks the "lower quartile". One-quarter of the workers in the major occupational group
earned less than this amount.
The mark between the upper and lower end of eoch bar shows the median. Half of the workers in the major
occupational group earned more than this amount and half earned less.
The upper end of each bar marks the "upper quartile". O ne-quarter of the workers in the major occupa­
tional group earned more than this amount.





U. S. Bureau of the Census



The data relate to 1949. It will be observed that,
for men, there is no sharp difference in average
income at ages 25-29 as between high school and
college graduates; average income for those with
only 8 years of schooling, however, is consider­
ably below the level of those with greater educa­
tion. Thereafter, income tends to increase with
age up to the 45-54 year age bracket— and in­
creases faster for those with the most education.
Men with 8 years of schooling had average in­
come in the 45-54 year age group of 29 percent
above those in the 25-29 year age bracket; the cor­
responding percentage for high school graduates
was 27. For college graduates, however, the in­
crease was 90 percent. Another way of putting it
is that among the 45-54 year age group, male col­
lege graduates in 1949 had average incomes 91
percent above those with 8 years of schooling and
51 percent above high school graduates.
Among women, there is a very decided difference
in average income at the 25-29 year age level for
those with only 8 years of schooling and either
high school or college graduates. Thereafter, in­
come increases moderately among women high
school and college graduates up to the 45-54 year
age bracket and up to the 35-44 year group for
those with 8 years of schooling. These moderate
increases, as compared with those for men, sug­

gest that women as a group have more limited op­
portunities for job choice and advancement.
Money, Real Income, and Economic Progress

This brief discussion o f income from work has
been couched mainly in terms o f money income.
It is in this form that wage and salary rates are
quoted and that income is received. Money in­
come is useful, however, largely for the command
it affords over goods and services— for the pur­
chasing power it represents. The goods and
services that people buy with their money incomes
represent real income, and it is real income that
determines the standard of living that a people
can enjoy.
Real income and living standards tend to rise
when production per head increases. Increased
productivity can be reflected in higher money in­
comes or lower prices or both. Rising productiv­
ity is evidence of economic progress. It results
from technological improvements as embodied in
new machinery and other forms of capital equip­
ment, from scientific research that yields new
products or better products, and from the more
effective application of labor in production. The
rising educational level of the American labor
force is a key factor in economic progress.

Professional, Administrative, and Related Occupations
Professional and administrative occupations
have many attractions for young people consider­
ing the choice of a career. These occupations offer
opportunities for interesting and responsible
work, lead to relatively high earnings, and are at
the top of the ladder in prestige. However, they

can, as a rule, be entered only after long periods
of education and training, since a broad knowl­
edge of one’s field and judgment of a high order
are outstanding requirements for success in these
types of work.

Professional and Related Occupations
Professional occupations are of two main types.
The largest group of professions—including those
of engineer, architect, physician, lawyer, and
teacher—are concerned with developing or apply­
ing well-organized fields of knowledge. The
others, such as editor and actor, do not require as
much specialized, theoretical knowledge, but de­
mand a great deal of broad background knowl­
edge or creative talent, and skill acquired chiefly
through experience. Generally, the professions re­
quire either college graduation— often with an ad­
vanced degree—or experience of such kind and
amount as to provide a comparable background.
Licenses are required for practice in many pro­
fessions—medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, for
example; in these professions, the licensing au­
thorities determine the minimum qualifications
which members must have. Professional societies
also set up standards for membership, which tend
to define their respective fields. In many areas of
work, however, there is no clear-cut line between
professional and other classes o f workers.
When high school students are asked what kind
o f work they want to go into, a large proportion
o f them list professional occupations. This is
partly because the professions have prestige and
partly because many young people do not know
enough about the opportunities for interesting jobs
as technicians or craftsmen or in other nonpro­
fessional occupations.
It is not easy to prepare for and enter profes­
sional work. For most professions, one must com­
plete a long period of training and hard study in
competition with the very brightest students. In
many cases, one must pass difficult examinations
in the colleges and professional schools and be­
fore State licensing boards. Often, applicants are
not accepted for professional training unless their
school grades are high, and employers generally
give preference in hiring to graduates whose

grades in professional school put them high in
their class.
Besides the professions, there are a variety of
technical occupations which also require consid­
erable training, although less than is needed for
professional positions. People in these occupa­
tions work with engineers, scientists, physicians,
and other professional personnel. Their job titles
include, for example, those of draftsman, engi­
neering aid, and electronic, laboratory, or X-ray
technician. Employment as a technician requires
a combination of basic scientific knowledge and
manual skill, which can be obtained through about
2 years o f post high school education, such as is
offered in many technical institutes and junior col­
leges, or through equivalent on-the-job training.
Many of the duties of technicians may be per­
formed also by beginning professional workers.
However, because of their more limited educa­
tional background, technicians generally find it
much more difficult to advance to high-level posi­
tions than do professional workers.
The major professional, technical, and related
occupations are shown in chart 17. Teaching, en­
gineering, nursing, and accounting—each employ­
ing more than 375,000 persons—were, by far, the
largest professional occupations in 1950. Among
technicians, draftsmen were the largest group.
Employment Trends

The professions and closely related occupations
are one of the fastest growing groups of occupa­
tions in the country. From less than half a mil­
lion in 1870, the number of professional, technical,
and related workers rose to over 6 million in early
1956. This was a 17-fold increase— a rate of
growth 3 times as fast as that of the whole labor
force. Professional employment rose during each
of the eight decades since 1870 (chart 18). It

4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 5 7 -------- 5











Thousands of Workers

Elementary School

Engin eers
Teach ers,

Secondary School

A cco u n tan ts
P hysicians
L a w y e rs
C le rg y m e n
M usicians


D raftsm en
Jo u rn a lists
P harm acists

Medical ft Dental

So cial W o rk e rs


Chem ists
D entists
L ib ra ria n s
Perso n n el W o rk e rs
Photog rap h e rs
Sp orts Instructors
R elig io u s W o rk e rs
D esig n ers
M orticians
N a tu ral Scientists
(except engineers a chemists'!

S o cial Scientists
Technicians (n.e.c.)
Foresters & Conservationists
S u rv e y o rs
A rchitects
Therapists & H ealers (n.e.c.!
# Number of women too few to show on ch a rt
bu reau



st a tis tics

Source: U»S. Bureau of the Census and
B ureau of Labor S ta tis tic s



grew especially fast during the prosperous 1920’s
and more slowly during the depression years of
the 1930’s and the war years of the early 1940’s.
Since W orld War II, employment in the profes­
sions has again risen rapidly (chart 19).
A major reason for the increase in the total
number of workers in professional and related
occupations has been the development of new pro­
fessional fields. In 1870, the leading professions
were the traditional ones of medicine, the min­
istry, law, and teaching. Nearly 75 out of every
100 professional workers were in these occupa­
tions, compared with only about 40 out o f 100
The “ big four” professions o f 1870 have all
grown considerably since that time. By 1950, the
medical profession employed 3 times as many
people as 80 years before, the ministry and the
legal profession each employed about 4 times as
many, and teaching about 10 times as many. How­
ever, the number of people in scientific, engineer­



ing, and closely related professions was nearly
100 times greater in 1950 than in 1870—a growth
which has both contributed to and resulted from
the rapid development of science and engineering
during the past century. Other major professions,
not recognized as separate occupational fields in
1870, have also developed— for example, social
work, accounting, and personnel work. The
growth of these professions is related to the initia­
tion of extensive private and public programs in
the field of social welfare and also to the need for
specialists to deal with problems arising out of
the increasing complexity of economic life and
the growing size of business and Government or­
ganizations. The basic reasons for the develop­
ment of new professions are, thus, the extension
of scientific knowledge and the more complex
organization of society and of work. The trend
toward subdivision of professional fields into more
and more specialties is a continuing one, and
many professions are still in the early stages of
Along with the expansion in scientific and engi­
neering professions, there has been rapid growth
also in technical occupations. In the single decade
1940 to 1950, for example, employment of indus­
trial technicians increased by 150 percent. As
scientific and technical work has become more
highly organized, particularly in the laboratories
and engineering departments of large firms and in
Government agencies, more technical assistance
has been provided for the professional workers.
During World War II, when severe shortages of
engineers and scientists developed, it was discov­
ered that part of the work formerly done by these



professional workers could be handled by men with
less training, thus freeing the professional person­
nel for the more difficult tasks. In the postwar
period, with continuing shortages of engineers and
scientists, industries have hired more technical
assistants and probably would have taken on a still
greater number had it not been for the shortages
o f personnel which existed also in these technician
The growth o f the professions has brought with
it a great increase in the number of women as well
as of men professional workers. In 1956, 36 per­
cent of all professional and related workers were
women, compared with 27 percent in 1870. Women
professional workers are still concentrated in a
few fields— above all, teaching and nursing. How­
ever, in fields such as engineering and the sciences,
where there have been personnel shortages in re­
cent years, women have been finding increasingly
favorable employment opportunities.
Since the reasons for the growth of the profes­
sions are deeply rooted in our dynamic economy
and technology, there is every reason to look for­
ward to continued expansion in professional em­
ployment in future years. However, there will
naturally continue to be differences in the rate of
growth among professions, as is indicated in the
statements on most of the major professions in
following chapters.
Educational Trends

The growth of the professions has been ac­
companied by a great increase in the numbers of
young men and women graduating from college—
who are, of course, the chief source of professional­
ly trained workers. In 1890, only about 1 out of
every 100 young people of college age completed
a college course, and this proportion increased
only slightly during the following 30 years. After
1920, however the proportion of young people
completing college began to rise rapidly; by 1940,
it was 8 percent and by 1956, more than 13 per­
cent, as shown in the inset in chart 20. (The high
level reached in 1950 is artificial, reflecting the
large number of veterans who went to college un­
der the veterans education program and who, in
many cases, would have completed college earlier
if it had not been for the war.)
The recent rapid increase in the proportion of
young people graduating from college reflects a
number o f basic social trends. Family incomes

Thousands of Degrees

bureau of labo r sta tis tic s

Source: U.S. Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare, Office of Education

are higher, and more people can afford to put off
going to work and to pay the costs of education.
More families want a college education for their
children. Scholarships and loans are available
for more students; part-time work opportunities
are also available, particularly in times of labor
shortages. Finally, a college education is becom­
ing necessary for an increasing proportion of jobs.
In the professions, which are continuing to grow
in size and importance, a college education has
largely supplanted on-the-job training as a way
of preparing for professional employment.
Moreover, employers are giving preference to col­
lege-educated workers for more and more ad­
ministrative, sales, and other nonprofessional posi­
tions. Since these factors will probably continue
to be influential in the future, the proportion of
young people who graduate from college is ex­
pected to go on increasing for many years.
The population of college age is also growing.
The number of people aged 18 to 21 dropped to a
low point of 8.5 million in 1953, as a result of low
depression-year birthrates. Thereafter, the 1821-year-old population began to increase. By
1960, it will be 9.6 million, 13 percent higher than
in 1953; by 1965, 12.1 million, 43 percent higher;



and by 1970, 14.5 million, or 71 percent higher.
A ll this adds up to a great expansion in college
graduations, assuming that the Nation’s colleges
and universities can build the classrooms, labora­
tories, dormitories, and other facilities and hire
the faculty members needed to provide for the
greatly increased numbers of students. I f past
trends continue, it is likely that the number of
bachelor’s degrees awarded annually will be more
than double the current figure by the late 1960’s.
The rise, which is expected to be gradual during
the remainder of the 1950’s, will be accelerated in
the early 1960’s, and may be spectacular in the last
years of the 1960 decade. Projections prepared
by the U. S. Office of Education in March 1956 in­
dicate an increase from 311,000 bachelor’s degrees
granted in 1956 to 437,000 in 1960, to 567,000 in
1965, and to 766,000 in 1970.
The number of students taking graduate train­
ing has also risen very rapidly during past dec­
ades, and will probably continue to mount in the
years ahead. Graduate education means, of
course, continuing study in a university after one
has received the bachelor’s degree, which is usually
earned at the end of 4 years of college. The major
graduate degrees are the master’s degree (M. A.,
M. S., etc.)—usually earned through 1 or 2 years

of study beyond the bachelor’s degree— and the
doctorate (Ph. D., D. Sc., Ed. D., etc.), usually
requiring 3 or more years beyond the bachelor’s
degree. Graduate study is usually concentrated
in the major subject field of the student’s interest,
whereas undergraduate study is usually broader in
Charts 21 and 22 show the tremendous increase
in graduate degrees awarded since 1920 in all fields
taken together. The numbers of master’s and doc­
tor’s degrees granted reached unprecedented
heights in the early 1950’s, following the record
number of bachelor’s degrees granted a few years
before. After a slight decline in the mid-1950’s,
master’s degrees are expected to rise from about
58.000 in 1955 to more than 100,000 in 1965, if
past trends continue. The number of doctorates
awarded (8,800 in 1955) may also nearly double
in the same 10-year period. According to pro­
jections made by the U. S. Office o f Education, the
number of master’s degrees conferred may exceed
160.000 and doctorates may approximate 20,000
in 1970.
These projections obviously imply a great in­
crease in the supply of personnel available for
professional employment. Since the demand for
personnel is also expected to show continued





growth, there is promise of expanding employ­
ment opportunities for the increasing numbers of
college graduates. The anticipated increases in
college-trained personnel raise the possibility,
however, of increasing competition during the
1960’s for the better professional positions in at
least some fields of work, as indicated in the state­
ments on the various fields in following chapters.
Young people interested in entering a profession
should consider the trend toward requiring more
and more educational preparation for profes­
sional positions, which is likely to be reinforced
as more college-trained workers become available.
The extension of educational requirements for
professional work has been due basically to the
growing complexity of the various fields of science

and other professions, which has lengthened the
period of education and on-the-job training re­
quired for mastering the field. However, the in­
crease in college graduations has also contributed
to the trend; as more workers with graduate de­
grees become available, such degrees become in­
creasingly important in competing for employ­
ment in the fields. It is believed that these trends
will continue—that employers will require col­
lege education as a minimum qualification for
more and more different occupations or, at least,
will give preference to people with such educa­
tion; also that an increasing amount of graduate
education will be required by employers or State
boards of licensure in some occupations for which
college training is already a prerequisite.

Administrative and Related Occupations
Men and women in administrative and mana­
gerial work hold many different types and grades
o f positions. Their positions range from that of
proprietor o f a small business, such as a lunch
counter or corner grocery store, to that of presi­
dent of a giant corporation.
Altogether, about 6.5 million people—including
about 1 million women— were working as proprie­
tors, managers, and officials in 1956. Proprietors
of business firms—most often retail stores—repre­
sented about half of all persons in this field of em­
ployment. Salaried officials of business firms
made up the second largest group. However, there
are also several hundred thousand administrative
workers in Federal, State, and local government
agencies and in nonprofit organizations of many
Types of Administrative and M an agerial Jobs

Jobs in business management can be grouped in
several broad classes. At the top are the general
administrators o f large companies—the persons
who set broad policies and who have overall re­
sponsibility for the operation of the company or a
major segment of its activities. Included in this
group are such top officials as presidents, vice
presidents, general managers, division superin­
tendents, and men with similar titles. These top
executives make plans, set policies, and supervise
company operations in a general way.
Below the top officials are the administrative
personnel—such as plant managers, comptrollers,

sales managers, purchasing agents, credit mana­
gers, and buyers in stores—who direct individual
departments or special phases of a firm’s opera­
tions. In very large corporations, officials in
charge of these functions have great responsi­
bility and are often considered part of the top
The duties and responsibilities of the managers
o f small firms are obviously quite different from
those of officials o f large corporations. In the
smallest businesses, the proprietor acts as his own
general manager, sales manager, buyer, and book­
keeper. He may supervise his workers directly and
deal directly with customers. In some types o f
owner-operated businesses—for example, neigh­
borhood bakeries, shoe repair shops, and small
printing shops—knowledge of the particular trade
or technical process counts as much towards suc­
cess as does managerial ability. Nevertheless, the
pressure of competition is making a knowledge o f
business administration methods increasingly nec­
essary for proprietors and managers o f small
Training for Administrative Jobs

Business administration has been known tra­
ditionally as a field in which men of outstanding
ability and energy could rise without the aid o f
a college education. This is still true to a consider­
able extent, especially in small business. Each
year, thousands of persons without college train­
ing find opportunities to establish and manage


their own business enterprises. Furthermore, in
large firms some outstanding employees who are
not college graduates continue to move upward
into executive jobs. However, advancement to ad­
ministrative positions is becoming much more
difficult for such individuals. To a steadily in­
creasing extent, companies are hiring business ad­
ministration majors or other college graduates as
executive trainees and filling administrative posi­
tions by promotion of these trainees or of profes­
sional personnel such as engineers or accountants.
Even for college-trained employees promotion to
administrative jobs normally requires many years
o f experience, and only a few outstanding indi­
viduals can hope to achieve top level positions.
To prepare students for managerial jobs in in­
dustry, colleges and universities have set up spe­
cial courses of study in business subjects. Such
training programs are a relatively recent develop­
ment, with only a few in existence before 1900.
After 1920, as shown by chart 23, the number of
students graduating from business administration
courses increased very rapidly— from 1,500 in
1920 to 19,000 in 1940. A temporary drop in busi­
ness enrollments and graduations during World
W ar II was followed by a remarkable upsurge
after V -J Day. The tremendous flow o f veterans


and other students into business courses was re­
flected in the record number of business and com­
merce graduates in 1950 (72,000). In 1955, after
the veterans education program tapered off, there
were 42,000 graduates of such courses, many more
than before the war. Business education is now
second only to teacher training as a field of col­
lege education; graduates with majors in business
administration outnumber those in such large
fields as engineering, law, and medicine.
In all probability, the number of business ad­
ministration graduates will continue to rise, as the
total number of college graduates increases. It is
also likely that the emphasis on college training in
selecting personnel for executive positions in in­
dustry will increase further. However, there wall
continue to be many opportunities for persons
without college training to establish and manage
their own small businesses.
Employment Trends

Administrative and managerial work is a grow­
ing field of employment in the United States.
The proportion of workers employed as proprie­
tors, managers, and officials showed a steady rise
in each decade from 1910 to 1950, increasing from
6.5 percent to 8.7 percent of the total labor force
during the 40-year period.
The numbers of proprietors and managers rose
very sharply after the end of World War II, as
many veterans opened their own businesses and
companies filled administrative positions which
had to be left vacant during the war, because of
the manpower shortage. A peak was reached in
1949 (as shown in chart 24) ; for the next few
years, the numbers of proprietors and managers
either declined slightly or remained approxi­
mately the same. However, in 1955 and 1956,
employment in this broad occupational group rose
again; in the latter year, it exceeded 6.5 million,
a new peak.
A marked expansion in business activity and
total nonagricultural employment is expected in
the United States over the long run. Some in­
crease in the number of executive jobs will no
doubt accompany this general increase in employ­
ment. However, the gains in employment of pro­
prietors and managers as a group will probably
be slow.
In salaried administrative positions, the main
source of new job opportunities will be the need to



P ro p rie to rs, M a n a g e rs an d O ffic ia ls, E x c e p t Farm
M ill ions of Workers


’4 7











Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

replace executives who retire from business or
die. In general, the top jobs will, of course, be
filled by promotion of workers already employed
in intermediate executive positions. However,
these promotions will open opportunities farther
down the ladder and will make room at the bottom

for new graduates to enter as trainees. In view
o f the large proportion of executives in highranking administrative and technical jobs in in­
dustry who are in the upper-age brackets, a sub­
stantial percentage o f these executives will have
to be replaced during the next decade. Because of
this situation, there are likely to be favorable
opportunities for well qualified young men to enter
administrative work in the late 1950’s and early
A number o f managerial jobs are discussed in
separate occupational reports in this Handbook.
Among these jobs are those of hotel manager, res­
taurant manager, department store buyer, and
bank officer. Accountants and personnel workers
are examples of occupational groups, important
in the management o f many types of business en­
terprises, which have opportunities for advance­
ment to high-level administrative jobs. Many
members of other professions, such as engineers,
chemists, and lawyers, also advance to administra­
tive positions in industry and government. (See
index for page references.)

Teaching is the largest of all the professions.
Approximately l 1 million men and women in the
United States are full-time teachers, and thou­
sands of others teach on a part-time basis. Many
scientists, physicians, accountants, and members
of other professions teach one or more classes in
colleges and universities; similarly, large numbers
of carpenters, mechanics, and other craftsmen
teach part time in vocational schools.
No other profession offers so many employment
opportunities to women as teaching; even the
large field of nursing employs fewer than half the
number of women engaged in teaching. For men,
teaching is second only to engineering as a field of
professional employment. Women teachers far
outnumber men in kindergarten and elementary
schools. However, the numbers of men and
women are about equal in secondary (that is, jun­
ior and senior high) schools, and men hold about
three-fourths of all college and university teach­
ing positions.
The number of teachers needed by the Nation’s
schools depends chiefly, of course, on the number
of pupils enrolled. Enrollment, in turn, depends
to a large extent on the size of the school-age pop­
ulation. The high birthrates of the 1940 decade
(chart 3) have, in the past 10 years, brought un­
precedented increases in elementary school enroll­
ments. By 1956, the increased numbers of chil­
dren were beginning to enter the high schools, and
before the end of the decade the colleges will be
feeling the impact of the high birthrates. Enroll­
ments above the elementary school level are ex­
pected to increase even more than the school- and
college-age population, however, because of the
persistent increase in the proportion of young peo­
ple attending high school and college.
For many years, nearly all the children 6
through 13 years of age have been enrolled in
school, but in the last 25 years there has been a
spectacular rise in the proportion of youths of
high school age (14 through 17 years) and college
age (18 through 21 years) attending educational
institutions. In 1930, only about half the group
14-17 years of age attended school; by 1955, more
than 80 percent were enrolled. Similarly, the
proportion of the college-age population in edu-


cational institutions increased from about 12 per­
cent in 1930 to 33 percent in 1955. It is likely that
these trends will continue, particularly at the col­
lege level.
On the basis of population trends and a con­
servative allowance for further growth in the pro­
portion of high school graduates entering college,
a remarkable rise is anticipated in college and
university enrollment during the 15-year period
ending 1970, as shown in chart 25. The sizable
increases expected also in enrollments in elemen­
tary and secondary schools are shown, for the
period 1955 to 1965, in chart 26.
In order to staff the new classrooms that must
be provided for the rising numbers of students,
tens of thousands of additional teachers will be
needed annually. Moreover, still greater numbers
will be required, particularly in elementary and
high schools, to replace those who leave the pro­
fession. Although precise information is not
available on the number leaving the field each
year, it is conservatively estimated that at least



8 percent o f the elementary and 5 percent of the
high school teachers leave teaching annually.
Using these replacement rates and assuming 1
teacher for each 30 new pupils in the lower grades
and 1 for each 25 pupils in high schools, an esti­
mate has been made of the annual demand for
new teachers for elementary and secondary grades.
The total number of new teachers needed yearly,

through grade 12, is expected to range from about
150,000 in the late 1950’s to more than 165,000 in
the early 1960’s. (See chart 27.) Estimates
of the demand for teachers at each educational
level—in elementary and in secondary schools, and
also in colleges and universities—are discussed in
the following statements on these three broad
areas of teaching.



Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
(D. O. T. 0 -3 0 .0 2 and .11)

Nature of W ork

Elementary school teaching is the largest field
o f professional employment for women and is also
a growing field for men. In 1955-56, more than
700,000 classroom teachers (87 percent women)
and several thousand principals and supervisors
were employed in public elementary schools. In
addition, more than 100,000 teachers were em­
ployed in parochial and other private schools.
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers
usually work with one group of pupils during the
entire school day, teaching a wide range of sub­
jects and supervising various activities. How­

ever, in some school systems, teachers in the upper
elementary grades may instruct several groups o f
pupils in 1 or 2 subjects. Many school systems
also employ special teachers of art, music, and
physical education. Teachers in schools with only
a few students, especially in rural areas, may have
to teach all subjects in more than one grade.
Although the time spent in the classroom is
usually less than the average working day in
many other occupations, the elementary school
teacher must spend additional time each day on
such activities as planning work, preparing in­
structional materials, developing tests, checking
papers, making out reports, and keeping records.


Thousands of new teachers are needed each year in elementary

Conferences with parents, meetings with school
supervisors, and other professional activities also
frequently occur after classroom hours.
Where Employed

Elementary school teachers are employed in all
cities, towns, villages, and in many rural areas.
About half the teachers in grades 1 through 8 and
nearly all the kindergarten teachers are in towns
and cities with more than 2,500 population. A l­
though the number of 1-room schools is decreas­
ing as a result of reorganization o f school dis­
tricts, about 40,000 teachers are still employed in
these schools, which are located chiefly in the
North Central States.
Training and Other Qualifications

A ll States require every teacher in the public
schools to hold a certificate. The amount of edu­
cation required for certification differs consider­
ably from State to State, but there is a steady
trend toward uniform educational standards. In
1956, 81 States and the District of Columbia is­
sued regular teaching certificates only to persons
with at least 4 years of approved college prepara­
tion, and 12 other States required at least 2 years.
Only 5 States gave regular certificates for teach­
ing in the public elementary schools to persons
with 1 year or less of preparation.
Few States (in 1956, only Alabama, Iowa,
Michigan, Nebraska, and South Dakota) require
teachers in parochial and other private schools to
hold certificates. However, most States refuse to
accredit schools unless the teachers are properly


certificated; therefore, administrators of all types
of schools generally prefer to hire teachers meeting
State certification requirements.
In nearly all States, certificates are issued by
State departments of education on the basis of
transcripts of credits and recommendations from
approved colleges and universities. Certificates
may be issued to teachers from other States if
the necessary programs have been completed at
accredited colleges.
Every State and many individual school sys­
tems have certain additional requirements for pub1ic school teaching. For example, 25 States require
a health certificate, 29 require United States citi­
zenship or at least filing of the first papers, and
80 require an oath of allegiance. The prospective
teacher should find out about the exact require­
ments of the area in which he plans to work by
writing to the State department of education or
to the superintendents of local systems.
Most institutions of higher education offer
teacher preparation: however, the majority of ele­
mentary school teachers attend teachers’ colleges
or liberal arts colleges. In a 4-year teacher-train­
ing curriculum, the prospective elementary school
teacher spends roughly one-fourth of the time in
learning about children, the place of the school in
the community, and materials and methods of in­
struction—including practice teaching in an actual
school situation; the balance of the time is de­
voted to studying cultural and related subjects
common in the usual liberal arts program. Kin­
dergarten and elementary school teachers seldom
have a subject-matter m ajor; most of them receive
degrees in education.
Inexperienced teachers often start in rural
schools or small town systems. Opportunities for
advancement may come through annual salary in­
creases in the same school system, shifting to an­
other system with a higher salary schedule which
recognizes experience gained in another school
system, by appointment to a supervisory, adminis­
trative or specialized position, or by obtaining ad­
ditional preparation.
Employment Outlook

The shortage of elementary school teachers
which existed in 1956 is likely to continue into the
1960’s. The number of students preparing for ele­
mentary school positions falls far short of the de­
mand for new teachers. Fewer than 50,000 stu­
dents qualified for such teaching positions in 1956,



whereas twice that number were needed. The defi­
cit has been met by issuing short-term emergency
certificates to teachers not meeting regular require­
ments and by increasing the size of classes. Short­
ages have tended to be most acute in areas where
teachers’ salaries are lowest or where there are
many better paying employment opportunities in
other fields. It has been especially difficult to fill
positions in rural areas and small towns.
Enrollments in kindergarten and grades 1
through 8, which expanded from about 22 million
in 1950 to 29 million in 1956 owing to the high
birthrates following W orld War II, will continue
to rise during the rest of the decade. The U. S.
Office of Education points out that every 5 min­
utes, day and night, a new classroom of children
reaches school age. It is estimated that more than
a million students will be added to the elementary
school rolls each year until 1960, and more than
35,000 new teachers will be needed annually to
take care of the increase in enrollment.
Many more teachers will be required as replace­
ments than for new jobs, even in this period of
rapid growth of school population. Each year,
a large number of young women enter the teach­
ing profession and then withdraw because of mar­
riage or for other reasons. In addition, many
teachers will reach retirement age. The replace­
ment rate varies among States, but is conservative­
ly estimated at about 8 percent for the country as
a whole. At this rate, more than 60,000 elementary
school teachers will be needed annually to replace
those who will leave in the late 1950’s.
The demand for teachers to staff new kinder­
garten and elementary school classrooms is
expected to level off in the 1960 decade. Neverthe­
less, more than 100,000 new teachers will be re­
quired annually through 1965, unless replacement
rates are reduced considerably. This figure does
not provide for additional teachers needed to bring
about improvements such as lower pupil-teacher
ratios in overcrowded classrooms, replacement of
persons not meeting regular requirements, and ex­
tension of kindergarten facilities to all areas.
Barriers to the employment of certain groups,
particularly married women and older men and
women, are being continually reduced largely be­
cause of shortages of teachers. Members of these
groups tend to find opportunities especially good
in their own small communities, where lower sal­
aries or isolated living conditions may not attract

Earnings and W orking Conditions

Beginning salaries for kindergarten and ele­
mentary school teachers in 1955-56 were generally
between $3,000 and $3,500. A survey representing
65.000 women who graduated from college in June
1955 showed that nearly 45 percent were engaged
in teaching in elementary schools in 1956, at an
average annual salary of $3,242; this compares
with an average salary of $3,141 for all employed
women included in the survey.
The estimated average salary for all classroom
teachers in elementary schools (including those
with various amounts of experience) was $3,800 in
1955-56— an increase of about $1,000 over the past
5 years. Teachers in 15 States had salaries averag­
ing more than $4,000; in 12 States, salaries aver­
aged between $2,000 and $3,000.
Teachers’ salaries are usually lowest in rural
schools and highest in large city systems, where
educational and experience requirements are likely
to be high. According to a survey by the National
Education Association, median salaries for ele­
mentary school teachers and principals in public
urban schools in 1954-55 were as follow s:
Classroom teachers
Population of city

2,5 0 0 -4 ,9 9 9 _________
5 .0 0 0 - 9,999_______
10 .000 - 29,999_____
3 0 .0 0 0 - 99,999_____
100.00 0- 499,999__
500.000 and over___

Kindergarten Elementary

$4 ,041
4, 107
4 ,8 5 0

$3, 465
1 3, 591
1 3, 857
4 ,0 2 8
4 ,0 5 5
5 ,1 1 0

Teaching Supervising

$3, 919
3 ,9 9 6
4, 357
4, 677
4, 278
2 7, 475

$4, 773
5 ,1 7 5
5, 479
5, 897
6, 321
7 ,9 5 6

1 Includes kindergarten teachers.
2 A ssistant principals.

Most schools are in session about 9 months a
year. Teachers, therefore, have a long vacation
period, during which they often take summer
courses to help them obtain advancement and sal­
ary increases.
W here To Go for More Information

Information on schools and requirements in
a particular State is available from the State de­
partment of education at the State capital.
General information on teaching may be ob~
tained from :
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Office of Education, Washington 25, D. C.
National Education Association,
1201 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.



Secondary School Teachers
(D. O. T. 0 -3 1 .0 1 and .10)

Nature of Work

Secondary school teachers—those employed in
junior and senior high schools—usually specialize
in a subject-matter field such as English, history,
mathematics, or science. They teach several
classes every day either in their main field only or
in that field and 1 or 2 related subjects. The most
frequent combinations are English and history or
other social-science subjects; mathematics and
general science; and chemistry and biology or gen­
eral science. Teachers in fields such as home eco­
nomics, agriculture, commercial subjects, music,
art, and industrial arts are less likely to have
classes in other subjects.
Besides giving classroom instruction for from
20 to 30 hours each week, secondary school teachers
also develop and plan teaching materials, develop
and correct tests, keep records, make out reports,
consult with parents, and perform other duties.
Many of them supervise students’ extra-class ac­
tivities— sometimes after regular school hours.
Maintenance of good relations with parents, the
community, and fellow teachers is an important
aspect of their jobs.
Approximately 500,000 teachers, principals, and
supervisors were employed in the Nation’s public
and private secondary schools in 1955-56, to teach
about 8 million pupils. Nearly half the classroom
teachers in public secondary schools were men; the
proportion of women was somewhat higher in
private schools. Men outnumber women in super-

Teachers of mathematics are in great demand.

visory and administrative positions in both public
and private schools.
Where Employed

Secondary school teachers are employed in 4year high schools (grades 9-12), 3-year junior
high schools (grades 7-9), 3-year senior high
schools (grades 10-12), and 6-year combined
junior-senior high schools (grades 7-12). About
40 percent of the public secondary schools, which
enroll about 25 percent of the pupils, are of the
4-year type; the majority of these are located in
towns with a population of less than 2,500. Most
of the separately organized junior high schools
are in large cities.
Although nearly half of all secondary school
teachers teach in cities of 10,000 or more popula­
tion, about one-third are employed in communi­
ties with less than 2,500 population.
Training and Other Qualifications

A certificate is required by each State for sec­
ondary school teaching. The usual educational
requirement for a certificate is a bachelor’s degree,
with the equivalent of at least one-half year of
education courses, including student teaching, and
specialization in one or more subjects commonly
taught in secondary schools. A few States will
grant secondary certificates only to people with a
year of graduate work. Many school systems, es­
pecially in large cities, have requirements beyond
those needed for State certification. Some sys­
tems require additional educational preparation,
successful teaching experience, or special personal
College students preparing for secondary school
teaching usually devote from one-fourth to onethird of the 4-year course to their major, which
may be a single subject or a group of related sub­
jects. About one-fifth of the time is spent in edu­
cation courses—learning about children, com­
munity life, and materials and methods of instruc­
tion. The remaining time is devoted to general
or liberal education. Satisfactory teacher-training
curriculums are offered by universities with schools
of education (which prepare about 40 percent of
all high school teachers), by colleges with strong



education departments and adequate practice
teaching facilities, and by teachers’ colleges.
Although certification requirements vary among
the States, the person who is well prepared for
secondary school teaching in one State usually has
little trouble meeting requirements in another
State. A well-qualified teacher can ordinarily ob­
tain temporary certification in a State while he
prepares to meet any unusual requirements.
Qualified secondary school teachers may ad­
vance to positions as supervisors, assistant prin­
cipals, principals, superintendents, or other ad­
ministrative officers. At least 1 year of profes­
sional education beyond the first college degree
and several years of successful classroom teaching
experience are usually required for most super­
visory and administrative positions. A few ex­
perienced teachers are assigned to positions as
part- or full-time guidance counselors, visiting
teachers, or instructors of handicapped or other
special groups.
Employment Outlook

The shortage of secondary school teachers in
certain subject fields, which existed in 1956, is
likely to persist throughout the rest of the 1950’s.
As enrollments continue to increase during the
1960 decade, employment opportunities for sec­
ondary school teachers will expand greatly.
In 1956, demand exceeded the supply of quali­
fied personnel available for teaching mathematics,
science, and home economics, in nearly all parts of
the country. Many schools were also having diffi­
culty hiring teachers of girls’ health and physical
education, music, agriculture, industrial arts, and
commercial subjects. In some other subject fields,
the supply of teachers was greater than the de­
mand in a few localities. In general, those areas
where industries employed many persons having
college training in the sciences and where school
system salaries were low, were having the most
difficulty recruiting teachers.
The demand for high school teachers will con­
tinue to rise during the late 1950’s. Enrollments
in grades 9 to 12, which increased by about a mil­
lion during the first half of the 1950 decade, are
expected to expand by nearly 2 million over the
last half of the decade. The number of new teach­
ers needed each year to 1960 to take care of newly
formed classes will average more than 15,000. In

addition, at least double that number will be re­
quired to replace teachers who retire or otherwise
leave the teaching profession.
The supply of persons available to fill teaching
positions each year is difficult to estimate. In
1955, approximately 50,000 college graduates met
certification requirements for secondary school
teaching. However, by the fall of that year, more
than a third of the graduates were employed in
positions other than teaching, were in the military
service, had become homemakers, or were other­
wise lost to the teaching field. Similarly, a large
proportion of the 57,000 potential teachers grad­
uated in 1956 were not available for teaching posi­
tions. I f this situation persists throughout the
rest of the decade, well-qualified candidates seek­
ing to enter secondary school teaching will find
employment opportunities in most areas.
A growing number of teachers will be needed
during the 1960’s, when enrollments will expand
rapidly as a result of the high birthrates following
World War II. The great increase in population
reaching high school age, combined with the trend
for a growing proportion of young people to
enter and graduate from high school, will result
in a demand for more than 20,000 teachers each
year, on the average, to handle new classes during
the early 1960’s. The number of teachers needed
in the last half of the decade will be only slightly
lower. Throughout the 10-year period, vacancies
created by turnover will exceed the number of new
positions. Employment opportunities for teach­
ers are expected to continue to be best in science,
mathematics, and other subject fields where the
demand in private industry is also great, unless
there is a considerable decline in economic activity
with resulting unemployment. Under conditions
of economic decline, teaching will, as has been
demonstrated historically, become a highly com­
petitive field and certification requirements will
probably be raised.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Classroom teachers in secondary schools had an
average annual salary of about $4,350 in 1955-56.
In a few, predominantly rural, southern States,
their average salary was less than $3,000. In New
York, California, and New Jersey, it was more
than $5,000.
Junior high school teachers frequently receive



somewhat lower salaries than high school teachers
in the same school system; however, the trend is
toward equalizing salaries of teachers with the
same educational preparation regardless of grade
taught. Teachers of vocational education, physi­
cal education, and other special subjects often re­
ceive higher salaries for their work than do other
teachers in the same school.
Under the salary schedules in effect in most
school systems, teachers receive regular salary in­
creases as they gain experience and additional
Salaries of teachers are usually lower in towns
and small cities than in larger cities, but educa­
tional and experience requirements in large city
school systems are likely to be higher. On the
average, salaries of principals in the largest cities,
where administrative responsibilities are great,
are much higher than in towns and small cities.
According to a survey by the National Education
Association, median salaries for classroom teach­

ers and principals in public urban secondary
schools in 1954-55 were as follow s:
Classroom teachers
Population o f city

2,5 0 0 -4 ,9 9 9 _________
5 .0 0 0 - 9,999_______
1 0 .000 - 29,999____
3 0 .0 0 0 - 99,999____
10 0.000- 499,999_
500,000 and over_

Junior high High school

$3, 579
3, 751
4, 103
4 ,3 8 2
4 ,3 1 1
4, 931

$ 3 ,8 4 8
4 ,0 2 1
4, 385
4 ,6 8 6
4 ,6 5 0
5, 864

Junior high H igh school

$4, 650
5 ,2 6 2
5 ,8 2 4
6 ,5 0 0
6 ,8 7 0
8, 600

$5, 171
5, 607
6 ,3 6 6
7, 225
7 ,3 7 3
9, 692

W h ere To Go for M ore Information

Information on schools and requirements in a
particular State is available from the State de­
partment of education at the State capital.
General information on teaching may be ob­
tained from :
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and W elfare,
Office of Education, Washington 25, D. C.
National Education Association,
1201 16th St. N W , Washington 6, D. C.

College and University Teachers
(D. O. T. 0 -1 1 .5 0 )

Nature of Work

More than 160,000 teachers were employed full
time in the Nation’s 1,855 colleges and universities
in 1956. In addition, thousands of teachers were
employed part time, especially in such fields as
medicine, law, and business administration. Men
predominated in most college teaching fields and
held about 95 percent of the positions in engineer­
ing, the physical sciences, agriculture, law, and
philosophy. About one-fourth of all full-time
teachers were women; only in nursing, home eco­
nomics, and library science were they in the
The chief function of college and university
teachers is instructing students in a specific sub­
ject field. More than half teach courses in social
science, fine arts, English, physical science, edu­
cation, or engineering. In addition to teaching
classes from 6 to 15 hours a week during the
academic year, the college teacher spends a con­
siderable amount of time preparing tests and other
materials for classroom use, checking and grading
student work, enlarging his own understanding
o f his subject, keeping up to date with develop­
ments in his field, taking part in academic admin­
istration, writing for publication, and lecturing

to civic and professional groups. Faculty mem­
bers also frequently engage in research; some act
as consultants to business, industrial, scientific, or
government organizations; a substantial number
become full-time administrators.
W here Employed

More than half of all faculty members are em­
ployed by universities; about 20 percent by liberal
arts colleges; from 5 to 10 percent each by teach­
ers’ colleges, by community (junior) colleges, and
by technical schools; and fewer than 5 percent by
theological and other professional schools.
The distribution of colleges and universities
among the States is extremely uneven, primarily
because of differences in population.
western States have but 1 or 2 colleges with only
a few hundred faculty members altogether. On
the other hand, a few States with the largest popu­
lations each have more than 100 institutions and
more than 10,000 faculty members. About half
of all college and university teachers are em­
ployed in the following eight States, each having
college enrollments, which exceeded 100,000 in
1956: New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illi­
nois, Massachusetts, Texas, Ohio, and Michigan.



Training and Other Qualifications

Graduate training, often including completion
of all preliminary work for the doctorate except
the dissertation, is a common requirement for col­
lege teaching. The doctor’s degree is frequently,
but not uniformly, required for promotion or ap­
pointment beyond the rank of instructor. How­
ever, outstanding students often assist in teaching
undergraduates while still taking graduate work.
A t some institutions, possession of a master’s de­
gree qualifies the holder for an instructorship, at
least when further graduate study is contemplated.
The doctor’s degree is required for the better
teaching positions, but requirements vary consid­
erably by type of appointment and institution and
by subject field. A survey of more than 600
degree-granting institutions in 1953-54 showed
that 84 percent required the doctorate for appoint­
ment to a full professorship, 44 percent, for ap­
pointment to an associate professorship, 15
percent, for an assistant professorship, and 3 per­
cent, even for an instructorship. The doctorate is
most likely to be required for teaching psychology,
biological sciences, physical sciences, social sci­
ences, and philosophy; it is least likely to be a
requirement in fields such as health and physical
education, fine arts, engineering, business and
commerce, and home economics.
Advancement depends to a considerable extent
on length of experience and educational at­
tainment of the teacher. Few" institutions grant
tenure (full status as a member of the staff on a
continuing basis) or give advancement to instruc­
tors with less than 3 years of service. Assistant
and associate professorships are attained only
after considerable graduate training or experience.
To advance to the rank of full professor usually
requires a number of years of successful college
teaching experience, as well as the Ph. D. degree.
Outstanding achievement, generally through re­
search or publications, often hastens advancement.
Employment Outlook

Openings for new entrants to college teaching
will be numerous in the late 1950’s and will in­
crease greatly during the 1960’s. Opportunities
will be best for those w ith doctoral degrees and
those who have completed all requirements for
the doctorate except the dissertation.

The demand for teachers is, of course, closely re­
lated to the number of students attending college.
In 1955-56, enrollment in institutions of higher
education was about 3 million. This was the high­
est enrollment ever recorded, despite the fact that
the college-age population (18 to 21 years) was
lower than at any time during the 1930’s and
1940’s. The proportion of young people attending
college more than doubled during these two dec­
ades and, by 1956, had risen to about one-third of
the 18 to 21 age group.
A great increase in the population 18 to 21 years
of age is in prospect. The number of young people
in that age group will rise by about 1 million be­
tween 1955 and 1960, by 2^2 million in the fol­
lowing 5-year period, and by 21 million between
1965 and 1970. At the same time, it is likely that
the extension of college education to a higher pro­
portion of young people will continue— owning to
such factors as rising family income, greater de­
mand for college-trained personnel, the increas­
ing number and proportion of the population who
finish high school and are, therefore, eligible to
enroll in college, and the accessibility of college
education to more of the population (through
community colleges and evening sessions and
through the greater availability of scholarships
and other financial aids). Assuming a moderate
increase in the proportion of the age group at­
tending college (less than 1-percent increase each
year) and assuming that training facilities will be
available, the number of students in 1970 will be
double the 1955 enrollment. To handle this in­
crease in enrollments, an average of about 10,000
additional teachers vT be needed annually to
1960, about 15,000 annually in the early 1960’s,
and more than 20,000 each year during the late
Besides the new teachers needed to take care of
expanding enrollments, about 10,000 may be re­
quired annually in the late 1950’s to replace per­
sons who retire or otherwise leave the profession.
The death and retirement rate will probably con­
tinue high for many years since, in 1955, approxi­
mately 8 percent of all full-time college teachers
were more than 60 years old and another 10 per­
cent were between 55 and 60. In addition, some
will leave teaching each year to enter other types
of employment ; the number leaving will depend
primarily on the level of business activity and on
conditions in the academic profession itself.



The supply of new college teachers comes
largely from students receiving graduate degrees.
The U. S. Office of Education estimates that the
number of doctorates conferred in the last half of
the 1950 decade will average about 8,800 a year
and will rise gradually during the early 1960’s to
approximately 15,000 in 1965. Similarly, the
number of master’s degrees will average close to
70,000 annually in the late 1950’s and may rise to
more than 100,000 in 1965. It is impossible, how­
ever, to predict the proportion of graduates who
will enter teaching. In 1955, when the demand
was probably for fewer than 20,000 new teachers,
more than 65,000 persons received graduate de­
grees ; nevertheless, shortages of teaching person­
nel were reported in several fields, particularly in
the physical sciences, engineering, and mathemat­
ics. In all likelihood, the supply of well-qualified
persons available for teaching positions will con­
tinue to be insufficient to meet the demand in many
subject fields throughout the 1960’s. (See index
for page numbers of separate statements on each
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Salaries of instructors averaged about $4,000 in
1956. In most institutions, the average salary of
assistant professors was at least $1,000 more than
that of instructors. Salaries of associate profes­
sors averaged between $5,500 and $6,500 in the
better paying small colleges and between $7,000
and $8,000 in large institutions. Salaries of pro­
fessors generally averaged between $8,000 and
$11,000 in the most adequately financed institu­
Salaries of teachers tend to be lowest in com­
munity colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and
women’s colleges; they are highest in State uni­
versities, technological institutes, and large pri­
vately controlled universities. Average salaries
in 1955-56 for teaching personnel in selected pri­
vately controlled institutions in New England and
the Middle Atlantic States were as follow s:

4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 57 --------6


women’s colleges__________________________________ $5, 630
small institutions_________________________________
6, 370
medium-size institutions__________________________ 6, 780
large institutions_________________________________

Average salaries of teachers in a group of wellfinanced institutions increased by about a third
from 1948 to 1956. Further increases seem likely,
partly as a result of large contributions by private
foundations and business corporations.
Many faculty members have some professional
income in addition to their regular salaries. The
chief source of supplementary income is other
teaching (often in summer sessions) not a part o f
the teacher’s regular duties. Consulting work is a
major source of extra income, particularly for
teachers of engineering and physical sciences. A
few teachers have considerable income from lectur­
ing and from royalties on publications. Those
who have achieved professional recognition are
the most likely to be offered opportunities to sup­
plement their regular salaries.
Retirement plans differ considerably by institu­
tion, but an increasing number of colleges and
universities are participating in the Government
social security program, often as an accompani­
ment to plans of their own. The greatest number
of institutions have set 65 years as the retirement
age, though nearly as many stipulate 70 years. In
any case, most institutions permit exceptions to
the age limit.
W here To Go for More Information
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Office of Education, Washington 25, D. C.
American Association of University Professors,
1785 Massachusetts Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.
National Education Association,
1201 1.6th St. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Professional societies in the various subject
fields will generally provide information on teach­
ing requirements and employment opportunities
in their particular professional fields. For names
and addresses of societies, see statements on
specific professions.

Medical and other health service occupations not
only are vital to the welfare of the country but also
are a major source of employment for both men
and women. In 1950, more than I 14 million per­
sons were employed in the health field, and since
then the number has undoubtedly increased.
Foremost among the health occupations are the
professions of nurse, physician, pharmacist, and
dentist, in which large numbers are employed.
Included also are a number of smaller professions
and several small groups of technicians and other
specially trained workers, such as dental hygien­
ists and X-ray technicians. In addition, many
workers are employed as hospital attendants and
practical nurses, occupations in which a lesser
amount of training is generally required.
Workers in the health field are employed in a
wide variety o f places including hospitals, sani­
tariums, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, nursing
homes, industrial plants, offices of private practi­
tioners, and patients’ homes. Although employ­
ment tends to be concentrated in the heavily popu­
lated and wealthy sections of the country and in
big cities, some health wmrkers are found in every
village and toAvn.
More than three-quarters of a million women
workers were employed in the health occupations
in 1950. O f these, well over half a million were
engaged in professional and technical wmrk.
Nursing, the largest of the major health service
occupations, is second only to teaching as a source
o f professional employment for women. Other
health related occupations in which women pre­

dominate are practical nurse and hospital attend­
ant, medical X-ray technician, laboratory techni­
cian, dietitian, dental hygienist, physical therapist,
occupational therapist, and medical record
About half a million men were in the health
field, chiefly in professional occupations. Medi­
cine ranks with engineering, accounting, teaching,
and law as a major profession for men. The health
professions in which men predominate offer many
opportunities for independent practice. For ex­
ample, in 1950, almost 90 percent of all dentists
and 65 percent of all physicians were selfemployed.
Employment in the health fields has been in­
creasing and is expected to continue to grow. The
country’s expanding population and the rising
health consciousness of the general public will be
reflected in a growing demand for medical, dental,
nursing, and other health services. In addition,
such factors as the extension of hospitalization
and other medical insurance plans, the rapid ex­
pansion of expenditures for medical research, and
continued provision of health care for veterans
and members of the Armed Forces point toward
the need for additional health personnel. More­
over, many new workers will be needed each year
to replace those who die, retire, or—particularly
in the case of women—leave the field for other rea­
sons. Thus, there wfill be many opportunities for
employment in the health occupations over the
next decade.

Registered1 Professional Nurses*
(D. O. T. 0-33)

Nature of Work

Registered professional nurses play an impor­
tant role in our Nation’s medical and health serv­
ices. They have the primary responsibility for
carrying out physicians’ instructions and supple­
menting their services by performing independ­
ent nursing functions. Most members of the
*Prepared by the Women’s Bureau of the U. S. Department of

profession are general duty nurses, primarily con­
cerned with the care and welfare of patients.
The tasks performed by such nurses include ad­
ministering medicines, ointments, and drugs; ob­
serving and reporting temperature, pulse, and
respiration; and evaluating symptoms and reac­
tions. Nurses also perform such therapeutic tasks
as changing dressings; bathing, massaging, and
feeding patients; and assisting in the education



The student nurse trains under the constant supervision of a
professional nurse.

o f patients regarding their condition and rehabil­
itation. A nurse who performs these duties may
be employed as a general staff nurse in a hospital,
health institution, or health agency; or as a
private duty nurse working for an individual pa­
tient. Regardless of the employer, the nurse works
under the direction of the attending physician.
Professional nurses may also specialize in some
aspects of patient care and treatment. A nurse
specializing in obstetrics, for example, may assist
the physician in the delivery room; an instru­
ment nurse may work exclusively in the operating
room, handling complex technical equipment in
connection with surgery; a nurse in a health
agency may provide patient care in a specific area
o f medical specialization, such as heart disease,
cancer, or infantile paralysis.
A growing field of specialization for nurses,
which includes duties outside of direct patient
care, is in public health education and improve­
ment. Here the emphasis is on prevention of dis­
ease and promotion of health and rehabilitation in
the community. As an employee of a public or
private agency concerned with health programs,
the nurse may perform such diverse functions as
demonstrating diet plans to groups of patients,
helping to prepare charts and booklets on home
health and sanitation, or providing information



about disease prevention to families of migrant
Nurses in industrial establishments are con­
cerned with the health needs of employees. They
may work in health service departments which
provide employees with emergency care, health
examinations, and health counseling. These
nurses may also assist in developing programs for
the prevention and control of accidents and occu­
pational diseases, and in maintaining sanitation
and safety standards in the plant. Nurses in doc­
tors’ and dentists’ offices work in a team relation­
ship with the physician, caring for patients and
performing laboratory and other services for the
Nurses who have college degrees in nursing edu­
cation or nursing administration may specialize in
these areas. Typical duties include teaching such
courses as nursing techniques or nursing ethics,
serving as executive secretaries on State boards o f
nurse examiners, or directing the activities o f
nursing personnel in hospitals.
Where Employed

In 1956, the number of employed professional
nurses was about 430,000, according to estimates
of organizations in the field of nursing. About
65 percent of the nurses worked for hospitals,
schools of nursing, and other institutions; 17 per­
cent for private individuals, 8 percent for physi­
cians and dentists in private practice; and the re­
mainder for public health agencies (6 percent)
or industrial establishments (4 percent). A ll
branches of the military service employ commis­
sioned nurse officers, and there are some jobs over­
seas with public or private social, religious, and
welfare agencies or with the Federal Government.
This occupation is second only to teaching in the
employment of professional women. Only 2 per­
cent of all nurses are men. Since the vast ma­
jority of communities maintain some health facili­
ties and services, nurses may be employed almost
anywhere in the country, provided they can meet
the State licensing requirements.
Training and Other Qualifications

Two types of schools, hospital-controlled and
college-controlled schools, offer the preparation re­
quired for professional nursing. Hospital schools
offer 3 years of training, leading to a diploma in



nursing. Collegiate schools offer from 4 to 5 years
of training leading to a bachelor’s degree; some
offer a program (open only to college graduates)
leading to a master’s degree. O f the 1,125 Stateapproved schools of nursing in the United States
in 1956, 83 percent were hospital schools which
had an enrollment of 93,530 diploma students, or
85 percent of all student nurses. The 194 col­
legiate schools had 16,374 students. Newer associ­
ate degree programs in the junior and community
colleges, usually 2 years in length, currently en­
roll approximately 1,000 students.
A high school diploma, usually from a college
preparatory course, is a minimum requirement for
admission to either a hospital or collegiate school.
Demonstrated competence in science and mathe­
matics may also be required. Some schools accept
only those students wdio have graduated in the
upper third or half of their class. A few schools
accept only students who have completed 2 years
of college work. The usual age limits for admis­
sion are a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 35

Tuition and other expenses of an education in
nursing vary widely among schools of nursing.
In most schools, some of the cost of the training
is compensated for by services which the student
nurse performs for the hospital. Training in hos­
pital schools is usually less expensive than in col­
legiate schools because the latter include a full
college curriculum. Scholarships and loans for
training in nursing are available from nursing
schools, and various civic and professional organi­
zations, women’s clubs, and business groups. The
Public Health Service, the Children’s Bureau, and
the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation of the U. S.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
also make some training stipends available for
graduate nurse education or for a specific field of
Professional nurses must be licensed to practice
nursing within a particular State. To obtain a
license, the nurse must have graduated from a
school approved by the State board of examiners
and must pass a State board examination. All
State boards use a uniform examination prepared
by the National League for Nursing, but each State
establishes its own passing grade. A nurse may
be registered in more than one State either by
examination or by endorsement of a license issued
by another State. Examination and endorsement

fees range from $5 to $30, depending on the State.
Hospital nursing usually begins with general
duty work from which nurses may advance to
progressively more responsible supervisory posi­
tions such as head nurse, supervisor, assistant direc­
tor, and director of nursing services. Advance­
ment is possible for both diploma nurses and de­
gree nurses; but degree nurses who are specifically
trained in nursing administration usually progress
much more rapidly to the higher administrative
and executive positions. Advancement may also
come with the acquisition of a clinical specializa­
tion in nursing.
A degree in nursing is usually required for entry
into the fields of public health nursing and nursing
education. Advancement in these fields is to pro­
gressively more responsible program planning
and consultant work.
Employment Outlook

A shortage of professional nurses, which has
existed since the 1940’s, was still very much in evi­
dence in 1956, when it was estimated that 70,000
additional nurses were needed. In consequence,
practically no age limitations were being placed
upon qualified professional nurses seeking to re­
enter the labor market. Furthermore, a number
of hospitals, which were faced with serious short­
ages of nurses, established child-care centers, or­
ganized special transportation facilities, and cre­
ated part-time jobs to facilitate the reemployment
of inactive nurses.
The shortage of nurses was not due to a drop in
the number of active nurses, which has greatly in­
creased in proportion to the population from 55
nurses per 100,000 population in 1910 to 259 in
1956, but rather to a rising demand. Factors
which have helped to create this increasing de­
mand include: The expansion of medical services
brought about by discoveries of new medical tech­
niques and drugs; the improved economic status o f
the population; the increasing participation o f
people in hospitalization and health plans; the
growth of preventive medical services; and the
changing composition of our growing population
with its increasing proportions of very young and
older persons who frequently require greater than
average medical care.
The demand for nurses is expected to continue
to be strong for the remainder o f the 1950’s and



during the early 1960’s. In addition to the nurses
who will be needed annually to fill new positions,
many will be needed to replace those who leave
the field. Leaders in the nursing field have esti­
mated that about 5 percent of all professional
nurses leave active nursing each year. Further­
more, since 1948 only about two-thirds of the nurs­
ing students enrolled each year have remained to
graduate. In 1955, it was estimated that nursing
schools must admit 58,000 students annually to
meet immediate needs and the needs of the next
few years. This figure exceeds by some 15,000 the
annual student nurse enrollment in each year
since 1948. Some of this demand will be met by
reentry— at least on a part-time basis—of inactive
nurses, estimated in 1951 to be approximately 40
percent of the total of all registered nurses.
(About two-thirds of these inactive nurses were
under 40 years of age in 1951.)
Demand for nurses with advanced preparation
in such specialties as psychiatric nursing, nursing
education, supervision and administration, and
public health work, is expected to rise even faster
than for less highly trained personnel through
the early 1960’s. Factors underlying this demand
are the increasing complexity of nursing functions
associated with new discoveries in medical knowl­
edge and techniques; the anticipated extension of
high quality nursing care to more people; and the
growing emphasis on preventive medicine through
improved and extended health education of the
population. College-trained personnel will un­
doubtedly continue to have excellent opportunities
in these specialties during this period.
Over the long run, the nursing profession is ex­
pected to expand because of the continuing effect
of those factors which have produced the present
demand, but also because of the anticipated popu­
lation growth. However, the nature of the expan­
sion in the profession is not clear. Some modi­
fications have already been made in the functions
o f professional nurses, and further studies are be­
ing directed toward the most effective utilization
o f nurses and the best patterns of training for the
occupation. A number of junior colleges and some
hospitals are experimenting with a 2-year pro­
gram o f training bedside nurses. Graduates of
these programs are eligible for the State board
examination in nursing. However, the growing
demand for highly trained degree nurses for ad­
ministrative, supervisory, and teaching jobs is
expected to continue.



Earnings and W orking Conditions

Average salaries of nurses employed in hospitals
in 16 metropolitan areas in 1956-57 ranged from
$58.50 to $75.50 a week for general duty nurses
and from $100.50 to $124.50 for directors of nurs­
ing. General duty nurses earned somewhat less
than medical record librarians, physical thera­
pists, and dietitians whose salaries were closer to
those of head nurses. The following tabulation
from a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey shows
average straight-time weekly salaries for general
duty nurses in these areas:
Atlanta_________________________________________________$59, 50
Boston__________________________________________________ 64.50
Buffalo_________________________________________________ 66.00
Chicago________________________________________________ 73.00
Cincinnati______________________________________________ 68.00
68. 50
Los Angeles-Long Beach______________________
Memphis______________________________________________ 69. 00
Minneapolis-St. Paul________________________________ 71.50
New York_____________________________________________
58. 50
Portland (O reg .)__________________________________ _
San Francisco-Oakland_______________________________ 75.50
St. Louis------------------------------------------------------------------------ 66.00

Professional nurses employed by industrial or
business establishments averaged from $61.50 to
$84.00 per week in 18 metropolitan areas during
late 1955 and early 1956. Some of the highest
salaries in the nursing field are paid to commis­
sioned nurses in the Public Health Service, where
annual earnings ranged from $4,063 to $11,745 in
1955. Private duty nurses earned from $12 to
$14 for a basic 8-hour day in most States in 1955.
Although information on starting salaries for
all nurses is not available, starting salaries of pro­
fessional nurses with college degrees compare
favorably with those of women in other profes­
sional occupations, according to a survey of June
1955 women college graduates conducted by the
National Vocational Guidance Association and
the Women’s Bureau of the U. S. Department of
Labor. Professional nurses averaged $3,438 an­
nually, according to this survey; and these earn­
ings were exceeded only by those of mathemati­
cians and statisticians, who averaged $3,848, and
of chemists, who averaged $3,900, annually.
The 1956-57 survey of hospital nurses in 14
metropolitan areas indicated that a majority of
nurses worked a weekly schedule of 40 hours and



received equal time off or straight-time pay for
overtime work. Almost all nurses received extra
pay for evening or night shifts. Almost all
nurses received at least 2 weeks of paid vacation
after a year of service.

vised, 1953. Superintendent of Documents, W ash ­
ington 25, D. C. Price 30 cents.

Information on career opportunities, schools,,
and preparation for the profession may be ob­
tained from :
Committee on Careers, National League for Nursing,
2 Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y.

W h ere To Go for More Information

Further information on opportunities in pro­
fessional nursing is available in the following
publication :

Information on salaries, working conditions,
and employment opportunities may be obtained
from :
American Nurses’ Association,
2 Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y.

The Outlook for Women in Professional Nursing
Occupations. Wom en’s Bureau Bull. 203-3, Re­

(D. O. T. 0 -2 6 .1 0 )

Nature of W ork

Physicians diagnose diseases and treat people
who are ill or in poor health. In addition, they
are concerned with the prevention of disease and
the rehabilitation of the injured or ill. They gen­
erally examine and treat patients in their own
offices and in hospitals, but also visit patients at
home when necessary. Some physicians combine
the practice of medicine with research or college
teaching. Others hold full-time research or teach­
ing positions, or perform administrative work in
hospitals, professional associations, and other or­
ganizations. A few are primarily engaged in
writing and editing medical books and magazines.
About half the physicians engaged in private
practice are general practitioners—often referred
to as “ family doctors” ; the others specialize in
the treatment of particular types of ailments. In
recent years, there has been a marked trend toward
specialization; 32 specialties are recognized by the
medical profession. Among the largest fields of
specialization are surgery, internal medicine, pedi­
atrics (medical care of children), obstetrics
(childbirth), gynecology (women’s diseases), psy­
chiatry (diseases and disorders of the mind),
radiology (use of X-ray, radium, and other radio­
active sources), ophthalmology (the eye and its
diseases), and otolaryngology (diseases of the ear,
nose, and throat).
W h ere Employed

About 210,000 physicians were professionally
active in the United States in 1955. The great ma­

jority—about 150,000—were engaged in private
practice. Approximately 25,000 were interns or
residents in hospitals, and another 15,000 held
regular positions on hospital staffs. About 10,000
physicians were serving as commissioned officers
in the Armed Forces, and more than 5,000 were
employed in Federal Government agencies, chiefly
in the hospitals and clinics of the Veterans Admin­
istration and the Public Health Service. The re­
mainder were employed in private industry, State
and local health departments, medical schools,,
research foundations, and professional organi­
In 1956, more than 40 percent of all physicians
were in the 5 States with the largest population:
New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and
Ohio. At the other extreme were 20 States which
altogether had fewer than 10 percent of the pro­
fession. The Middle Atlantic States and Xew
England had the highest ratio of physicians to
population; the South had the lowest. As a rule,
general practitioners are much more evenly dis­
tributed geographically than specialists, though
both are concentrated in big cities and in certain
regions of the country.
Training and Other Requirements

A license to practice medicine is required in all
States and the District of Columbia. To qualify
for a license, a candidate must graduate from an
approved medical school, pass a licensing examina­
tion, and—in half the States—serve a 1-year hos­
pital internship. (Although 24 States still permit
a physician to be licensed immediately upon grad-





h o t o g r a p h


U. S. D

e p a r t m e n t

o f


b o r

Surgeon and assistants form a team in performing an operation.

uation from medical school, it is universally recog­
nized that an internship is necessary for accept­
ance by the profession, regardless of specific State
requirements.) Nineteen States and the District
o f Columbia specify that applicants for medical
licenses must first pass an examination in the basic
sciences to become eligible for the medical licensing
Licensing examinations are given by State
boards. The National Board of Medical Exam­
iners also gives an examination which is accepted
as a substitute for State examinations by most
States. Although physicians licensed in one State
can usually obtain a license to practice in another

without further examination, some States limit
this reciprocity.
A t least 8 years of training beyond high school
is needed to become a physician—3 years of pre­
medical college study, 4 years of professional edu­
cation in a medical school, and 1 year as a hospital
intern. Some medical schools require applicants
to have completed 4 years of college education.
Premedical study must be in an approved college
and must include courses in English, physics, biol­
ogy, and inorganic and organic chemistry. In
addition, students are encouraged to acquire a
broad general education by taking courses in the
humanities and the social sciences.



In 1956, there were 76 approved medical schools
in the United States which awarded the degree of
doctor of medicine (M. D.) to students completing
the 4-year course of study. In addition, 6 ap­
proved schools offered 2-year courses in the basic
sciences; students completing these courses could
then transfer to a regular medical school for the
last 2 years of study. The first 2 years of medical
training are devoted to laboratory and classroom
work in basic medical sciences such as anatomy,
biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, microanatomy, and pathology. During the last 2 years,
the student spends most of his time working in
hospitals and clinics under the supervision of an
experienced physician and learns to take case his­
tories, perform examinations, and recognize dis­
eases. Following completion of the 4-year medi­
cal course, all students serve at least a 1-year
internship in a hospital.
To an increasing extent, young physicians are
taking further training beyond the 1-year intern­
ship. Those who plan to enter general practice
often serve an additional year as interns or resi­
dents in a hospital. A physician desiring to be­
come a specialist must spend from 2 to 4 years—
depending on the specialty—in advanced hospi­
tal training as a resident followed by 2 or more
years of practice in the specialty in order to qual­
ify for specialty board examinations. Doctors
interested in teaching and research may take grad­
uate work leading to the master’s or Ph. D. degree
in fields such as biochemistry and microbiology.
Every year, more young people apply to medi­
cal schools than can be admitted. Despite the ex­
pansion of training facilities, twice as many stu­
dents applied for admission in 1955 as could be ac­
cepted. However, the number of applicants has
decreased from the high point reached immedi­
ately after World War II when there were more
than three applicants for each medical school
In selecting students, each medical school estab­
lishes its own standards. As a rule, considerable
importance is attached to a good scholastic record,
the amount of premedical education (threefourths of the freshman medical class in 1955 had
completed 4 years of college), the premedical col­
lege attended, and the score earned on the Medical
College Admission Test which is taken by almost
all applicants. Consideration is also given to

character, personality, leadership qualities, and
other factors as evidenced in personal interviews
and by extracurricular activities in college. Place
of residence is important since many State-sup­
ported medical schools give preference to residents
of the States in which the schools are located.
The majority of newly qualified physicians
open their own offices. New graduates entering
the Armed Forces are usually commissioned as
first lieutenants or lieutenants (j. g.) and, if they
make military service a career, can rise to the rank
of colonel or the equivalent, and even higher.
Graduates of approved medical schools are eligible
for Federal Civil Service positions and for com­
missions in the U. S. Public Health Service.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities for physicians were excellent in
1956. Additional general practitioners were
needed in many parts of the country, particularly
in rural areas. Physicians were being sought for
the growing fields of public health, rehabilitation,
industrial medicine, and mental health. The con­
tinuing high birthrate was creating great demand
for obstetricians and pediatricians. Medical
schools reported unfilled faculty positions; there
was a shortage of qualified physicians for medical
research; and Federal, State, and local agencies
found it difficult to recruit doctors for salaried po­
sitions. Many vacancies existed on hospital staffs
and, despite the employment of 6,000 foreign in­
terns and residents, there were more than 7,000 un­
filled internships and residencies. The Armed
Forces absorbed many new graduates as replace­
ments for doctors completing military service.
During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the sup­
ply of new physicians is expected to increase stead­
ily. Many medical schools are planning to ex­
pand, several new schools will be in operation, and
three of the six 2-year basic science schools will be­
come 4-year medical schools. As a result, the
number of graduates is expected to rise from about
6,850 in 1955 to more than 7,300 by 1960 and to a
greater number by 1965. Moreover, graduates of
foreign medical schools may continue to add to the
supply. About 1,500 United States citizens were
studyirg medicine abroad in 1955, and the number
of foreign-trained physicians licensed annually
rose from about 300 in 1950 to 900 in 1955,



Despite this expansion in supply, the outlook
for physicians is expected to continue to be ex­
cellent throughout the early 1960’s. The majority
of new doctors will be needed to replace the more
than 4,500 physicians who die or retire each year.
The rest will be needed to keep pace with rising
demands for medical services.
In the long run, the country’s expanding popu­
lation, the rising health consciousness of the gen­
eral public, and the trend toward higher standards
of medical care point toward a steady increase in
the demand for physicians. Extension of prepay­
ment plans for medical care and hospitalization,
continued Government provision of medical care
for veterans and members of the Armed Forces,
and the growing use of preventive health meas­
ures such as periodic physical examinations in
industry will bring about a need for more doctors.
Expanded medical research activities will require
more trained investigators; public health pro­
grams will need qualified administrators; and
medical schools will have openings for additional
faculty members.
The rising demand for physicians’ services will
be offset to some extent by advances in medical
science and more efficient use of medical personnel.
The introduction of new drugs and medical tech­
niques, the more extensive use of assistants trained
in other health occupations, and the increasing
proportion of patients treated in hospitals rather
than at home will probably enable individual
physicians to care for more patients. Improved
roads and transportation facilities as well as the
movement of people from farms to urban areas
will continue to decrease the time needed to visit
patients. In addition, the growing tendency of
doctors to work together in groups is expected to
result in a more effective use of the physician’s
time. Nevertheless, population expansion and the
general rise in use of medical services are expected
to outweigh any lessening in demand arising from
other developments. For all these reasons, the
outlook over the long run is very bright for young
people who have proper qualifications and are able
te gain admittance to medical school.
Women physicians, who constitute about 5 per­
cent of the profession, will continue to find good
opportunities as general practitioners and as
specialists in pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics,
gynecology, internal medicine, and anesthesiology.



In 1956, almost 6 percent of all medical school
students were women. Only 3 schools had no
women in the freshman class; 1 school accepted
only women students.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

New graduates serving as interns in 1955 earned,,
on the average, $120 a month in hospitals affiliated
with medical schools and $170 a month in other
hospitals. In many cases, interns also received
room, board, and other maintenance. During the
first year or two of independent practice, physi­
cians may earn little more than the minimum
needed to pay expenses but, as a rule, their earn­
ings rise rapidly as the practice develops.
In 1951, the average income above expenses o f
all physicians—excluding hospital interns and
residents—was $12,500 a year. Earnings of indi­
vidual physicians depend on such factors as size
of community and region of the country in which
the practice is located, the income level of the peo­
ple cared for, and the physician’s skill and per­
sonality as well as length of experience. As a
rule, physicians engaged in private practice earn
more than those in salaried positions, and special­
ists usually earn considerably more than general
Many physicians work long and irregular hours;
half the physicians in private practice worked 60
or more hours a week, according to a 1949 survey.
Most specialists work fewer hours each week than
general practitioners. As doctors grow older,
they tend to work shorter hours. Many continue
in practice well beyond 70 years of age.
Where To Go for More Information

Persons wishing to practice in a given State
should find out about the requirements for
licensure directly from the board of medical ex­
aminers of that State. Lists of approved pre­
medical and medical schools, as well as general
information on medicine as a career, may be ob­
tained from :
Council on Medical Education and Hospitals, Ameri­
can Medical Association,
535 North Dearborn St., Chicago 10, 111.
Association of American Medical Colleges,
2530 Ridge Ave., Evanston, 111.



(D. O. T. 0 -2 5 .1 0 )

Nature of W ork

Pharmacists must understand the composition,
manufacture, and uses of drugs and be able to test
them for purity and strength. Their duties in­
clude filling prescriptions ordered by physicians,
storing and distributing medicines and narcotics,
and advising doctors on the uses and availability
of drugs. Compounding—the actual mixing of
.ingredients—is only a small part of the presentday pharmacist’s work, since many drugs are now
produced by manufacturers in the final form used
by the patient.
Many pharmacists working in drugstores per­
form a variety of sales and managerial duties be­
sides dispensing drugs. They may hire and super­
vise salesclerks, arrange window displays, and
purchase and sell magazines, candy, and other
merchandise in addition to medicines. Some re­
tail pharmacists, however, operate prescription
pharmacies which handle only drugs and medical
supplies. Pharmacists in hospitals fill prescrip­
tions and advise the medical staff on the selection
and effects of drugs; they may also manufacture
sterile solutions, purchase medical supplies, teach
in schools of nursing, and perform administrative
duties. Some pharmacists employed as “ detail
men” by drug manufacturers and wholesalers in­
troduce new drugs to doctors and sell pharmaceu­
ticals to other pharmacists. Others teach in col­
leges, perform research, supervise the manufac­
ture of pharmaceuticals, develop new drugs, write
for pharmaceutical journals, or do administrative
W h ere Employed

About 99,000 of the 111,000 registered pharma­
cists in the United States in early 1956 worked in
drugstores. H alf the 99,000 owned their own
drugstores or were partners in a pharmacy; the re­
mainder were salaried employees with no financial
interest in the pharmacies in which they worked.
O f the other 12,000 pharmacists, the greatest num­
ber were employed by drug manufacturers and
wholesalers and the next largest number worked
for hospitals. Approximately 600 were civilian
employees of the Federal Government, working
chiefly in hospitals and clinics of the Veterans A d­

ministration and the United States Public Health
Service. In addition, some served as pharmacists
in the Armed Forces, taught in colleges of phar­
macy, or worked for State and local government
agencies and other employers.
Although most small towns have at least one
drugstore with a pharmacist in attendance, mem­
bers of the profession are concentrated in or near
big cities. About 40 percent of the pharmacists
are in New York, Pennsylvania, California, Illi­
nois, and Ohio.
Training and Other Qualifications

A license to practice pharmacy is required in all
States and the District of Columbia. An appli­
cant must be a graduate from an accredited school,
pass a State Board examination and, in most
States, must also have 1 year of practical experi­
ence under the supervision of a registered pharma­
cist. In about 10 States, part or all of this experi­
ence must be acquired after graduation. All
States, except Yew York, California, and Florida
will usually grant a license without an examina­
tion to properly qualified pharmacists already
licensed by another State.
Four years of study beyond high school is the
usual requirement for graduation from pharmacy
college, although a longer period of training is
required by several schools. Some pharmacy col­
leges admit students directly from high school and
provide all the education necessary for graduation.
Other pharmacy schools provide only 3 years of
professional instruction and require all entrants to
have completed 1 or 2 years of prepharmacy train­
ing in an approved college. Emphasis in pre­
pharmacy training is usually on mathematics and
basic sciences such as chemistry and biology. Be­
ginning in April 1965, each accredited pharmacy
college will issue degrees only to those with 5 years
of college education, including at least 3 years in
pharmacy school. The first students affected will
be those who start their college training in 1960.
The bachelor’s degree awarded upon gradua­
tion from pharmacy college is sufficient educa­
tional qualification for most positions in the pro­
fession. However, the master’s or Ph. D. degree
in pharmacy or related fields such as pharma-



ceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacog­
nosy, or pharmacy administration are usually re­
quired for research work and college teaching.
Graduate training is also considered desirable for
pharmacists planning to work in hospitals. Those
interested in becoming hospital pharmacists can
sometimes secure 1- or 2-year hospital internships
which, in some cases, provide for graduate study
leading to an advanced degree.
Prospective pharmacy students should have a
good high school background in mathematics and
science. In addition, orderliness and a liking for
detail are desirable qualities for young people en­
tering the profession. For those planning to be­
come retail pharmacists, the ability to deal with
people and manage a business are of special im­
portance. In 1956, many of the 75 pharmacy col­
leges were not filled and qualified applicants could
usually expect to be accepted.
Most pharmacists begin as employees in retail
drugstores. After securing some experience, those
with sufficient funds sometimes open their own
pharmacies or buy established drugstores. A
pharmacist who gains experience in a chain drug­
store may advance to store manager or to a higher
executive position within the company.
Employm ent Outlook

The supply of pharmasicts in 1956 was generally
sufficient to meet the demand for their services
in most parts o f the country. As a rule, new grad­
uates could find work readily and, at the same
time, employers were usually able to hire all the
pharmacists they needed. Despite this overall
balance of supply and demand, not enough phar­
macists with graduate training were available for
college teaching and laboratory research.
Most beginning pharmacists will probably con­
tinue to find employment easily throughout the
1950’s. From 3,000 to 4,000 openings are expected
to occur each year as pharmacists leave the pro­
fession owing to death, retirement, or other rea­
sons. Furthermore, the anticipated gradual in­
crease in positions for pharmacists is expected to
create enough additional jobs to absorb the rest
o f each year’s graduates.
In the long run, a moderate but steady increase
is expected in the employment of pharmacists.
The country’s expanding population—especially
the growing number of old people and children—
and the rising standard of medical care point to an


ever-increasing demand for pharmacists’ services.
The trend toward bigger drugstores is expected to
continue, and some new stores will be added, par­
ticularly in new residential areas or suburban shop­
ping centers. Also, in view of the trend toward
shorter working hours, many drug stores will hire
additional pharmacists. Continued expansion in
pharmaceutical manufacturing and research is ex­
pected to provide more opportunities for pharma­
cists not only in production and research but also
in distribution and sales positions. Employment
in hospitals will probably rise significantly with
the construction of additional facilities and the
more extensive use of pharmacists for hospital
work. In both the drug industry and hospitals,
the demand will be greatest for pharmacists with
graduate training. Although many factors point
toward continuous growth in this profession, it
should be borne in mind that employment of phar­
macists is closely related to the prosperity of the
retail drug industry which, in turn, depends on the
general level of economic activity.
Women, who represent about 6 percent of all
pharmacists, will continue to find their best op­
portunities in laboratory work and hospital phar­
macy, although some are employed in all branches
of the profession. Women students are accepted
by all colleges of pharmacy and, in 1955, consti­
tuted 10 percent of both undergraduate and grad­
uate enrollments.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Beginning pharmacists employed in drugstores
generally earned between $80 and $110 a week in
1956; those operating their own drugstores had a
much wider range of earnings. It is difficult to
generalize on pharmacists’ earnings because they
are greatly affected by length of workweek, size
and geographic location of store, and many other
factors. Young pharmacists working in hospitals
and drug manufacturing firms generally earned
from $4,000 to $5,000 a year. The usual entrance
salary for pharmacists in the Federal Civil Serv­
ice was $4,525.
Retail pharmacists generally work more than
the standard 40-hour week. Drugstores are often
open in the evenings and on weekends and most
States require a registered pharmacist to be in at­
tendance at all times. Despite the trend toward
shorter hours, 45 or 48 hours is still often the basic
week for salaried retail pharmacists and many



work 50 or more hours a week. Self-employed
pharmacists often work longer hours. Those who
teach or work for industry, Government agencies,
or hospitals have shorter working hours.
Where To Go for More Information

Current requirements for licensure in a par­
ticular State may be obtained from the Board of
Pharmacy at the State capital.

Information on pharmac}^ as a career may be
obtained from :
American Pharmaceutical Association,
2215 Constitution Ave., Washington 7, D. C.

Information on entrance requirements, curriculums, and scholarships is available from the
dean of any college of pharmacy. A list of colleges
may be obtained from :
American Council on Pharmaceutical Education,
77 W est Washington St., Chicago 2, 111.

(D. O. T. 0 -1 3 .1 0 )

Nature of Work

Dentists are concerned with preventing and
curing tooth and gum disorders. They locate and
fill cavities, straighten crooked teeth, take X-rays
o f the mouth, and treat gum diseases. Dentists
also extract teeth and provide artificial ones to
meet the requirements of each patient. In addi­
tion, they examine the mouth for diseases which
may affect a patient’s general health. Dentists
spend most of their time taking care of patients,
but they also may devote some time each day to
laboratory work. The bulk of the laboratory
work, however, is generally sent to commercial
firms which make the dentures, inlays, or other ap­
pliances ordered by the dentist.
Most dentists provide all types of dental care
and are regarded as general practitioners; only
about 3 percent are recognized as specialists. A p ­
proximately half the specialists are orthodontists
concerned with straightening crooked teeth. The
next largest number, oral surgeons, perform op­
erations on the mouth and jaws. The remainder
specialize in periodontology (treating the tissues
supporting the teeth), prosthodontics (making
artificial teeth or dentures), pedodontics (chil­
dren’s dentistry), oral pathology (diseases of the
mouth), and public health dentistry.
Only 3 out of every 100 dentists are primarily
employed in teaching, research, or other work that
does not involve “ chairside” practice. However,
many dentists in private practice teach or engage
in research on a part-time basis.
Where Employed

Xinety percent of the 89,000 dentists profession­
ally active in mid-1956 were in private practice.

Some dentists specialize in care of children’s teeth.

O f the remainder, about 6,000 served as commis­
sioned officers in the Armed Forces; 1,200 worked
for the Federal Government—chiefly in the hos­
pitals and clinics of the Veterans Administration
and the Public Health Service; and about 1,700
held full-time positions in schools, hospitals, or
State and local health agencies. Women dentists
constituted only 2 or 3 percent of the profession.
Dentists are concentrated in big cities and in
certain regions of the country. In 1955, 4 States
(New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Illi­
nois) had almost 40 percent of the dentists



whereas 21 States had only 10 percent. The Mid­
dle Atlantic States (Delaware, District of Colum­
bia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsyl­
vania, and West Virginia) have the highest ratio
o f dentists to population, with 1 dentist for every
1,402 persons. New England has the second high­
est ratio and the Far West, the third. At the
other extreme, is the Southeast with only 1 dentist
for every 3,076 residents.
Training and Other Qualifications

A license to practice dentistry is required in all
States and the District of Columbia. To qualify
for a license, a candidate must be a graduate of an
approved dental school and pass a State Board
examination. One State, Delaware, also requires
new graduates to serve 1 year of hospital intern­
ship. Most State licenses permit dentists to en­
gage in both general and specialized practice. In
nine States, however, a dentist cannot call himself
a “ specialist” unless he has been licensed as such
after passing a special State examination.
In planning a career in dentistry, the student
should obtain information on requirements for
licensure in the State in which he hopes to prac­
tice. Educational and other requirements differ
somewhat among the States. Few States issue a
license without further examination even though
a dentist holds a license in another State.
Two years of predental college work followed
by 4 years of professional training in a dental
school are the minimum educational qualifications
for dentistry; 7 of the 46 dental schools in opera­
tion in 1956 required 3 years of predental study.
Predental education must include at least one halfyear course in organic chemistry and a full-year
course in each of the follow ing: English, biology,
physics, and inorganic chemistry.
In dental college, the first 2 years are usually
devoted to classroom instruction and laboratory
work in such basic sciences as anatomy, bacteriol­
ogy, and pharmacology. The last 2 years are
spent chiefly in gaining experience with patients
in the school’s dental clinic. The degree of Doctor
o f Dental Surgery (D. D. S.), awarded by most
dental colleges, or the Doctor of Dental Medicine
(D. D. M.) degree, conferred by a few schools, is
sufficient for entering general practice.
Those interested in research or teaching often
take graduate work in a basic science. Dentists
desiring to become certified specialists need 2 or 3



years of graduate education and several years of
specialized experience in order to qualify for spe­
cialty board examinations. Graduate training
may be obtained at graduate schools of dentistry
and also by serving an internship or residency at
1 of the 175 approved hospitals which offer these
Considerable competition exists for admittance
to dental schools. Despite the opening of several
new dental colleges, more than twice as many stu­
dents applied as could be admitted to the fresh­
man class in 1956. In selecting students, dental
schools give considerable weight to college grades
and amount of college education; over 75 percent
of the students enrolled in 1955 had at least 3 years
of college education and more than 40 percent had
a bachelor’s degree. In addition, all dental schools
participate in a nationwide dental aptitude test­
ing program, and scores earned on these tests are
taken into consideration along with other infor­
mation gathered about the applicant through rec­
ommendations or interviews. Place of residence
is also important as about one-third of the dental
schools are State-supported institutions which
usually give preference to residents of the State in
which the school is located.
The profession of dentistry requires a combina­
tion of manual skills and a high level of intelli­
gence. The dentist should have a good visual
memory, excellent judgment of space and shape,
delicacy of touch, and a high degree of manual
dexterity as well as the ability to master scien­
tific subjects. A liking for people and a good busi­
ness sense are helpful in achieving success as a
The majority of newly qualified dentists open
their own offices or purchase established practices.
Some start as assistants to other dentists in order
to gain experience and to save the money required
to equip an office. Dentists entering the Armed
Forces are commissioned as first lieutenants or
lieutenants (j. g.) and may progress to the rank
of colonel or higher. Graduates of recognized
dental schools are eligible for Federal Civil Serv­
ice positions and for commissions in the U. S.
Public Health Service.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities for dentists were excellent in
1956. There was a shortage of practitioners except
in some very large cities; Federal agencies and



State and local public health organizations found
it difficult to recruit sufficient dentists; and many
dental schools reported unfilled teaching and re­
search positions. In addition, the Armed Forces
absorbed about three-fourths o f the new graduates
as replacements for dentists completing military
service. Opportunities for beginning practice
were best in the West and South where the demand
for additional dentists was the greatest.
During the late 1950’s and the early 1960’s the
demand for dental services is likely to grow faster
than the supply of new dentists. Although the
number of dentists graduated each year is expected
to increase from about 3,000 in 1956 to an esti­
mated 3,700 graduates annually by 1965, most of
these new graduates will be needed to replace those
who die or retire. To keep pace with anticipated
population expansion, many more graduates will
be needed each year. These additional dentists
cannot be trained unless there is a greater increase
in dental school facilities than was contemplated
in 1956.
A steady increase is expected in the demand for
dental services over the long run. In addition to
the country’s expanding population, growing rec­
ognition of the importance of obtaining regular
dental care and the trend toward budget payment
and dental prepayment health plans will cause a
continuing rise in the demand for practitioners.
Expanded dental research activities will require
more trained investigators; dental public health
programs will need qualified administrators; and
dental colleges will have openings for additional
faculty members. A number of dentists will con­
tinue to serve in the Armed Forces. Although
better dental hygiene and fluoridation of com­
munity water supplies may prevent some tooth
and gum disorders, such measures—by preserving
teeth that might otherwise be extracted—may tend
to increase rather than decrease the demand for
dental care over the long run. Continued high
levels of national income will make more people
visit dentists regularly; on the other hand, a
major economic depression would undoubtedly
cause a drop in the use of dental services.
The introduction of new techniques, equipment,
and drugs as well as more extensive and effective
use of dental hygienists, assistants, and laboratory
technicians will probably enable individual den­
tists to care for more patients. Nevertheless,
population expansion and the huge backlog of

unmet dental needs coupled with the general rise
in use of dental services are expected to far out­
weigh any lessening in demand arising from other
Despite the overall shortage of dentists, there
is considerable variation in the success of indi­
vidual practitioners. One o f the major factors
in determining success is location. In general,
people who are well educated and those employed
in relatively well-paying jobs are most likely to
visit dentists regularly. Also, a practice can be
developed most quickly in small towns where the
new dentist can easily become known and where
there is less competition with established practi­
tioners. The dentist planning to open an office
should, therefore, choose his location carefully
and consider the number of other dentists in the
area, as well as the size, income, and educational
level of the population.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

During the first year or two of practice, dentists
often earn little more than the minimum needed
to pay expenses, but earnings rise rapidly as the
practice develops. In 1955, the average income
above expenses for all self-employed dentists was
about $12,500 a year, compared to $9,300 for all
salaried dentists, according to an American Dental
Association survey. Approximately 60 percent o f
all dentists earned between $7,000 and $17,000
annually; 20 percent earned less than $7,000; and
20 percent earned more than $17,000. Two per­
cent of all dentists reported incomes of $30,000 or
more. Specialists generally earned considerably
more than general practitioners, with ortho­
dontists reporting the highest average incomes.
Dentists in the Far West and South had higher
average incomes than those in other regions o f
the country. Dentists’ incomes tended to be low­
est in New England and the Middle Atlantic
States. Practitioners in medium-size cities (50,000
to 500,000 population) earned more, on the aver­
age, than those in either larger or smaller cities.
Most dental offices are open 5 days a week and
some dentists have evening hours. Although den­
tists averaged about 43 hours of work a week, al­
most one-fourth of those surveyed in 1955 reported
they spent 50 hours or more a week in the office.
The hours of work, however, are usually deter­
mined by the dentist himself, and many dentists
work fewer hours as they grow older. For this



reason, a considerable number continue in parttime practice beyond 65 years of age.
W h ere To Go for More Information

Persons wishing to practice in a given State
should find out about the requirements for licen­



sure directly from the board of examiners of that
State. A list of State boards, as well as informa­
tion on dentistry as a career, may be obtained
from :
American Dental Association,
222 East Superior St., Chicago 11, 111.

Medical X-Ray Technicians*
(D. O. T. 0-50.041

Nature of W ork

Medical X-ray technicians operate several types
o f X-ray equipment which photograph, or make
visible on a screen, internal parts of the body which
the physician wishes to examine for the purpose
o f diagnosing disease or injury. X-ray machines
are used to detect the presence of foreign matter
or injury and to discover any malformation or
malfunctioning of various parts of the human
body. In addition, they may be used for the treat­
ment of various diseases or injuries, particularly
cancer and diseases of the skin. The detection of
disease or injury by means of X-ray is usually
called “ diagnostic” X-ray, and treatment by X ray is usually called “ therapeutic” X-ray.
Medical X-ray technicians generally work under
the direction of a physician. Sometimes this
physician is a specialist in the use of X-rays who
is called a “ radiologist.” In taking photographs,
technicians position the patient under the X-ray
machine and regulate the controls to expose the
film. Because they are partly responsible for the
care and safety of patients undergoing treatment,
they must adjust and manipulate the equipment in
such a way as to minimize hazards of electric
shock, burns, and extraneous radiation. For
special types of X-ray work (for example, fluoroscopy), the technician may prepare the patient by
administering an X-ray “ opaque,” such as barium
salts. This opaque is a harmless chemical sub­
stance which the patient swallows in order to
shade various parts of the anatomy to give proper
visibility for X-ray purposes. In therapeutic
work with X-rays or radium (treating diseased
and affected areas of the body by exposure to X ray or radium), the technician works under the di­
rect supervision of a radiologist.
Some X-ray technicians working in hospitals or
medical laboratories that provide services to phy♦Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

sicians learn to operate other kind of apparatus,
in addition to those related to radiological work.
Equipment for diagnosing heart disease or brain
damage and for determining basal metabolism are
among those most commonly found in combina­
tion with the operation of X-ray and fluoroscopic
apparatus. Thus, an X-ray technician may learn,
on the job, how to operate the electrocardiograph,
the electroencephalograph, or the basal metabo­
lism apparatus.
Additional duties o f technicians consist of de­
veloping and drying X-ray film and keeping rec­
ords of services performed for each patient.
W here Employed

In 1956, some 50,000 to 60,000 persons were em­
ployed as medical X-ray technicians, of whom al­
most 18,000 were registered with the American
Registry of X -Ray Technicians. These registered
technicians are permitted to use the letters R. T.
(A R X T ) after their names, indicating that they
have secured at least the minimum required ex­
perience and passed the prescribed examination.
Women comprised about 70 percent of these regis­
tered technicians in 1956 and, probably, were a
majority of all medical X-ray technicians.
About a fourth of all medical X-ray technicians
were employed in hospitals in 1956. The remain­
der worked in medical laboratories, physicians’
and dentists’ offices, public health facilities, and
military establishments. Most technicians work
in large cities where there is concentration of
medical facilities and services; however, some are
found in smaller areas where a hospital or other
medical facility operates. In addition, the wide­
spread use of the X-ray for routine medical exam­
inations in various health, welfare, and industrial
programs of preventive medicine has brought
about the establishment of small mobile X-ray



Training and Other Qualifications

The most widely known and accepted training
course for X-ray technicians is that offered by
hospital schools approved by the Council of Med­
ical Education and Hospitals of the American
Medical Association. In 1956, there were some 450
o f these schools in operation throughout the
United States. Generally, they required a high
school education as a prerequisite for a 12- to 24month course o f training. Some, however, re­
quired additional education— in a few cases, as
much as 2 years of college. Preferred applicants
included graduate nurses and persons with some
nurse training or college science courses. In gen­
eral, some knowledge of physics, chemistry, alge­
bra, geometry, and biology is considered helpful
background for the technical courses included in
X-ray technology. The cost of training in ap­
proved hospital schools, aside from maintenance
expenses, is relatively low. Almost two-thirds of
these schools charged no tuition in 1953, and most
o f the remainder charged modest fees ranging up
to $100. A few were more expensive, but many of
the schools paid their students some sort of stipend.
Besides the approved hospital courses, one can
learn to operate X-ray equipment through train­
ing offered on the job, or through private schools
o f medical and X-ray technology. Those who re­
ceive only partial training, however, may have
difficulty in qualifying for X-ray jobs with a wide
range of assignments or responsibility.
To meet minimum requirements for registra­
tion with the American Registry of X-Ray Tech­
nicians, technicians must have had a high school
education or the equivalent thereof and 1 year of
training or experience under the direction of a
recognized radiologist, plus either (a) 1 additional
year of experience in an acceptable X-ray depart­
ment under the direct supervision of a physician
specializing in radiology, or (b) 2 additional years
under the direction of a physician who is not a
radiologist. Technicians must also pass an exami­
nation given by the Registry.
Employment Outlook

A shortage of qualified X-ray technicians was
evident in 1956, especially in communities with
small hospitals. The shortage was due, in large
part, to the rising demand for technicians to staff
rapidly expanding hospital and medical programs.

Also, the expansion of public health programs and
services and the growing interest in preventive
medicine have increased the number of oppor­
tunities in government employment.
During the past 20 years, there has been con­
siderable activity in the health field. Hospital
facilities have been continually expanding; sig­
nificant technological advances have occurred in
the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and in­
juries; and the expanded use of X-ray equipment
has been a part of this advance. Originally con­
fined to bone diagnosis and locating foreign bodies,
X-ray equipment is now widely used in such fields
as tuberculosis detection, examination of teeth,
and treatment of cancer, sinusitis, and certain skin
diseases. Industrial establishments, health de­
partments, tuberculosis hospital, and health asso­
ciations in many parts of the country are or­
ganized for the routine X-raying of large groups
of people as part of a program for disease pre­
vention and control. Many insurance companies
now include a chest X-ray as part of the physical
examination required for an insurance policy.
All of these developments contribute to a growing
need for medical X-ray technicians.
The demand for X-ray technicians is expected
to continue well into the 1960’s. It is estimated
that approximately 15,000 technicians will be
needed through 1961 to fill new positions. In ad­
dition, annual replacement needs will be relatively
high because of the large number of women in the
field, many of whom can be expected to leave for
marriage and family reasons. The supply of welltrained personnel will probably be insufficient. As
a result, many technicians will be trained on the
job in a limited number of skills, and technicians
with all-round skills and experience will have very
good employment opportunities. In order to sup­
plement full-time workers, employers will con­
tinue to offer opportunities for part-time work,
and mature persons with recognized training or
experience will have good chances for employment.
On the whole, opportunities for advancement
for X-ray technicians are fairly limited. Those
employed in large X-ray departments usually
have the chance to qualify for the job of chief
X-ray technician or, perhaps, assistant to the
chief. They also may be able to advance in their
positions by qualifying to teach X-ray techniques
to students in training. Authorities in the field
believe that, in general, technicians with a variety



of skills and experience have the best opportuni­
ties for promotion.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Starting salaries for registered X-ray techni­
cians were reported in 1956 at about $250 a month.
Xonregistered technicians reportedly started at
$200 a month or less. Experienced X-ray tech­
nicians were receiving about $300 to $400 a month
in 1956, while chief X-ray technicians earned $400
or more. A majority of medical X-ray techni­
cians in the Federal Civil Service in 1954 were
classified in positions that were paying between
$3,415 and $4,480 in 1956. Versatility and the
ability to supervise or instruct others are impor­
tant for the better paying positions.
Most full-time technicians work 8 hours a day
and 40 to 44 hours a week, and most are covered
by the vacation and sick leave provisions of the
organizations which employ them.
Good health and vigor are important require­
ments for this occupation. Those who work with



X-rays may be subject to the effects of radiation
and may become anemic unless precautions estab­
lished by radiologists are rigidly observed. Be­
cause of the hazards involved, great care is usually
exercised to protect the technician. Safety de­
vices, regular blood checks, and attention to diet,
fresh air, and sunshine are important to persons
engaged in this work.
W here To Go for M ore Information

Additional information about medical X-ray
technicians is given in the following publication:
The Outlook for Women as X -R ay Technicians.
Wom en’s Bureau Bull. 203-8, 1954. Superintendent
of Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price 25

Information, particularly on registration and
approved hospital schools, may be obtained from :
The American Registry of X -R ay Technicians,
Metropolitan Building, Minneapolis 1, Minn.
The American Society of X-R ay Technicians,
16 14th Street, Fon du Lac, W is.

Medical Laboratory Technicians*
(D. O. T. 0 -5 0 .0 1 )

Nature of Work

Medical laboratory technicians assist physicians
in the diagnosis and treatment of disease by per­
forming a variety of laboratory tests. They work
under the direction of a physician or other labora­
tory supervisor, such as a medical scientist (bac­
teriologist, biochemist, hematologist, or serologist)
or a highly trained laboratory technician (medical
technologist). Whereas some technicians conduct
only standard medical tests ranging from rela­
tively routine tests which can be learned on the
job to more difficult tests requiring some post high
school training in science and laboratory tech­
niques, other technicians (medical technologists)
nay perform a wide variety of difficult clinical
:ests which generally require college-level trainng as well as practical experience. A technician
nay take blood counts, make urinalyses, prepare
vaccines and serums, give biological skin tests,
neasure basal metabolism, analyze water or food
products for bacteria, prepare tissue specimen for
^Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.
4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 5 7 --------- 7

microscopic examination, or analyze stomach
In general, medical technologists make difficult
examinations with a minimum of supervision,
whereas technicians perform more limited tests
under relatively close supervision. Customarily,
technologists and technicians are responsible to a
pathologist (a physician who specializes in the
nature and causes of disease) ; however, techni­
cians often work under the direct supervision of a
technologist. Most medical technologists are
qualified to work in all fields of medical science,
but some prefer to specialize in a particular field,
such as bacteriology, biochemistry, serology, or
In a small laboratory, a technician may work on
a variety of tests. In a large establishment, how­
ever, each technician is usually assigned to a spe­
cialist who conducts only certain types of tests.
Most medical laboratory technicians, regardless o f
skill and training, perform tests or studies in con­
nection with examinations of patients; some do
research on new drugs or treatments or on the im­
provement of laboratory techniques; and somei



A medical laboratory technician using microscope.

Where Employed

In 1956, some 40,000 to 50,000 persons were em­
ployed as medical laboratory technicians, of whom
about 18,000 were medical technologists registered
with the American Society of Clinical Patholo­
gists. Women comprised almost 90 percent of the
registered medical technologists and, probably,
more than half of the technicians. An increasing
number of men have been entering both fields in
recent years, however.
About two-thirds of all medical laboratory
technicians (and technologists) work in hospital
laboratories. The remainder work in laboratories
o f private physicians, public health departments,
clinics, or research institutions. Some are em­
ployed as instructors in hospital or private schools
of medical technology. Most work in large met­
ropolitan areas since this is where the largest
medical facilities are located, but some will be
found wherever a hospital or medical laboratory
Training and Other Qualifications

Training for medical laboratory technicians
ranges from on-the-job instruction for the rou­
tine technician or laboratory assistant to a 4-year

college program leading to a bachelor of science
degree for the highly trained medical technologist.
High school graduates who have taken courses in
biology or chemistry may secure beginning jobs as
laboratory assistants or helpers and learn some of
the routine tests on the job. Or, they may take a
1- or 2-year course in a private school of medical
technology, qualifying them for work as a medical
laboratory technician. In general, however, the
increasing complexity of medical laboratory sci­
ence requires more theory and information than
most high school or short-term courses provide.
Therefore, some college or university training fol­
lowed by, or combined with, a recognized course
in medical technology is recommended.
The most widely recognized medical technolo­
gists are those designated as MT (A S C P )—Medi­
cal Technologists (American Society of Clinical
Pathologists). This official title may be used only
by those persons who satisfy the specific educa­
tion and training requirements established by the
American Medical Association and pass the ex­
amination for registration given by the Board of
Registry of Medical Technologists of the Ameri­
can Society of Clinical Pathologists.
The minimum training necessary for a person
desiring to become a Medical Technologist
(A SC P ) includes 2 years of accredited college
work and 12 to 24 months of training in a hospi­
tal school approved by the Council on Medical
Education and Hospitals of the American Medi­
cal Association. In 1955, more than 600 hospital
schools offering instruction in medical laboratory
work had been approved by the Council. About
three-fourths of the approved schools accepted ap­
plicants with 2 years of college; the remainder re­
quired more education for entrance. Length of
training time in approved hospital schools ranged
from 12 to 24 months, with 12-month courses most
common. The cost of training, aside from main­
tenance expenses, was relatively low. About twothirds of the approved schools charged no tuition,
according to a survey made in 1953. One-sixth
charged from $20 to $100 for the complete course,
and fewer than one-tenth reported fees ranging
from $105 to $425. A small number of schools,
which combined hospital training with a collegedegree program, required the regular tuition fee
of the affiliated university. Graduates of these
approved programs are eligible to take a qualify­
ing examination for registration with the Regis-



try of Medical Technologists of the American So­
ciety of Clinical Pathologists.
Many employers prefer, or require, that prospec­
tive employees be registered, or eligible for regis­
tration, with the American Society of Clinical
Pathologists. Although graduates of some pri­
vate schools are eligible for registration as medi­
cal technologists with the American Medical
Technologists (a different organization from the
one previously mentioned), they do not carry the
MT (A SC P ) title, and, therefore, are not ac­
cepted as fully trained technologists by certain
hospitals and clinics. Furthermore, the present
trend is toward a 4-year college program which
combines an approved hospital-school course with
academic education, leading to a bachelor of sci­
ence degree in medical technology. Such train­
ing is most likely to be required for the better po­
sitions. O f course, in the few States where licens­
ing is necessary for medical laboratory techni­
cians, the legal requirements specified by the State
must be met by any technician or technologist
working in that State.
Some of the important personal traits needed
for medical laboratory work are accuracy, de­
pendability, manual dexterity, and ability to fol­
low directions. Good eyesight is a basic physical
Advancement opportunities depend principally
upon the level of training and experience of the
individual and the size of the organization where
employed. Persons without college training are
likely to have limited opportunities for advance­
ment. In a large organization, a competent tech­
nologist or technician may become a supervisor of
a group of other technicians and assistants, or per­
haps, technical head of the laboratory. After ap­
propriate experience, one may become a specialist
in bacteriology, biochemistry, serology, or hema­
tology. Those interested in teaching may take ad­
vantage of new opportunities developing in the
training of new workers. Even for thoroughly
trained technologists, however, advancement is
largely limited to supervision or specialization,
since most positions above these levels are filled by
medical scientists with advanced degrees and
physicians who qualify as pathologists.
Employment Outlook

A substantial shortage of medical laboratory
technicians (especially those qualified for more



difficult work than routine clinical tests) was evi­
dent in 1956. Because shortages before this time
had been reported— for example, a survey of hospi­
tals in 1952 showed 15 percent of their laboratory
technician jobs vacant—a nationwide campaign to
recruit young people into the field was undertaken
in 1954. Despite this effort, the shortage is ex­
pected to continue because of the rising demand
for technicians and technologists to staff rapidly
expanding hospital and medical programs. Tn the
Federal Government, expanding medical facilities
and health services and increased emphasis on
health research have created a need for additional
The demand for all levels of medical laboratory
technicians is expected to increase for the re­
mainder of the decade and into the 1960’s. Since
many of the workers in this field are young women,
who may be leaving their jobs for marriage and
family responsibilities, many job openings will
be created. In addition, it has been estimated
that twice as many technicians with some college
training will be needed in the early 1960’s as there
were employed in 1956 because of the increasing
complexity of laboratory services and experimen­
tation with new drugs and techniques. The sup­
ply of college-trained personnel will undoubtedly
be insufficient to meet these needs owing in part
to the limited possibilities of expanding training
facilities. In view of this situation, technicians
without college training will continue to have
good opportunities for employment, particularly
in jobs requiring only limited theoretical knowl­
edge and skill. Also, opportunities for part-time
employment will continue to exist for persons
needed to supplement full-time staffs.
Mature persons who are adequately trained or
experienced will continue to have good employ­
ment opportunities, since the current shortage of
well-qualified personnel is expected to increase.
Although some of the approved training schools
do not accept applicants over 30 years of age,
several have no age restrictions on admissions.
Over the long run, employment for medical
laboratory technicians is expected to continue to
expand. Increased medical research and advances
in medical knowledge and practice depend upon
laboratory work and will require a growing num­
ber of laboratory technicians. The continuing
interest in preventive medicine and health and
hospitalization insurance, coupled with the rising
standard of living, will further increase the need



for hospitals, clinics, and public health services,
thereby expanding the demand for medical labo­
ratory technicians.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

A salary survey conducted by the Registry of
Medical Technologists of the American Society of
Clinical Pathologists in 1953 showed that the
median (average) salary reported by 6,700 regis­
tered medical technologists was between $3,300
and $3,600 a year. About one-fifth earned less
than $3,000, and about one-sixth, $4,200 or more.
Adequate data are not available for 1956, but one
report from the field indicates that the majority
of technologists were earning more than $3,500 a
year in 1956. A majority of medical technicians
in the Federal service in 1954 were classified in
positions that were paying between $3,670 and
$4,480 in 1956.
Starting salaries for medical technologists with
some college training were reported in 1956 to
range between $275 and $300 a month but were
somewhat lower for technicians with limited
training and skill.
Salaries vary from laboratory to laboratory, of
course, but they are likely to be determined largely
by the level of skill and responsibility of the posi­
tions. Thus, the worker with all-round skills is
likely to command higher pay than one who has
experience with only a limited number of tests.
Most full-time laboratory technicians work 8

hours a day and either 40 or 44 hours a week, and
most are covered by the vacation and sick-leave
provisions of the organizations which employ
them. Where night or emergency work is re­
quired, there are usually provisions for extra pay
or matching time off.
Few hazards exist in laboratory work because
of the high degree of care exercised in the han­
dling of specimens, materials, and equipment.
However, technicians must be willing to work in
surroundings where unpleasant odors, diseased
tissue, and blood are often present. Proper meth­
ods of sterilization and of handling bacteria and
tissue must be observed in order to prevent the
spread of disease.
W here To Go for M ore Information

Additional details about medical technologists
and technicians, as well as some related medical
laboratory jobs are given in the following publi­
cation :
Employment Opportunities for Women as Medical
Technologists and Laboratory Technicians. Wom en’s
Bureau Bull. 203-4, 1954. Superintendent of Docu­
ments, Washington 25, D. C. Price 25 cents.

Information, particularly on the MT (A S C P )
and approved hospital schools, may be obtained
from :
Registry of Medical Technologists of the American
Society of Clinical Pathologists,
700 South Council St., Muncie, Ind.

(D. O. T. 0 -3 9 .9 0 )

Nature of W ork

W here Employed

Chiropractic is a system of treatment based on
the belief that the nerve system largely determines
the state of health of the human body and that any
interference with this system impairs normal
functions and lowers the body’s resistance to dis­
ease. Chiropractors treat their patients primarily
by specific adjustment of parts of the body, espe­
cially the spinal column. Many also use such sup­
plementary measures as diet, exercise, rest, water,
light, and heat. Because of the emphasis on the
spine and its position, most chiropractors use X ray extensively in their practice. Chiropractic as
a system of healing does not include the use of
drugs or surgery.

More than 25,000 chiropractors were employed
in the United States in 1956, according to an esti­
mate by The National Chiropractic Association.
The greatest numbers were engaged in independ­
ent private practice. Some were employed by
athletic organizations and industrial firms; others
taught or did research work at chiropractic
schools. A few worked on the staffs of chiro­
practic clinics or as salaried assistants to estab­
lished practitioners. About 40 percent of all chiro­
practors were located in California, New York,
Texas, and Ohio.



Training and Other Qualifications

Most States and the District of Columbia regu­
late the practice of chiropractic and grant licenses
to chiropractors who meet certain educational re­
quirements and pass a State board examination.
As of 1956, four States—Louisiana, Massachusetts,
Mississippi, and New York—did not regulate the
practice of chiropractic nor issue licenses to chiro­
The type of practice permitted and the educa­
tional requirements for licensure vary consider­
ably from one State to another. Most States re­
quire 4 years of training in a chiropractic school
following high school graduation. Some also
require 1 or 2 years of preparatory college work
before chiropractic training. In a few States, con­
siderably less than 4 years of chiropractic educa­
tion is sufficient to qualify for a license. Qualified
chiropractors licensed in one State may generally
obtain a license to practice in another State with­
out further examination.
Approximately two-thirds of the 16 chiropractic
schools in the United States restrict their teaching
to manipulation and spinal adjustments. The
others offer a broader curriculum including train­
ing in such subjects as chiropractic physiotherapy
and clinical nutrition. In the 7 chiropractic
schools approved by the National Chiropractic
Association, the first 2 years of the 4-year curricu­
lum are devoted chiefly to classroom and labora­
tory work in subjects such as anatomy, physiology,
and biochemistry. The last 2 years are spent in
obtaining practical experience in the schools’
clinics. The degree of doctor of chiropractic
(D. C.) is awarded by all schools to students com­
pleting chiropractic training.
Most newly licensed chiropractors open their
own offices or purchase an established practice.
Some start as assistants to other chiropractors in
order to acquire experience and funds. A consid­
erable financial investment is usually necessary to
open an office and equip it properly. Among the
personal qualities considered desirable for a prac­
titioner is the ability to deal with people sympa­
thetically. The work does not call for unusual
strength or endurance but does require consider­
able dexterity with the hands.
Employment Outlook

The success of the new practitioner will depend
in large part on proper selection of a location for



practice. Opportunities for beginning chiroprac­
tors will continue to be best in those parts of the
country where chiropractic is most fully accepted
as a method of treatment. Moreover, small
towns or suburban areas, where the young practi­
tioner can become known more quickly than in a
big city, offer the best prospects for developing a
The wide variation in community acceptance and
in State laws is reflected in the concentration of
chiropractors in certain areas. The highest pro­
portion of chiropractors in relation to population
is in the Western States. In 1952, there were 30
or more chiropractors for each 100,000 persons in
California, Oregon, Kansas, and Colorado com­
pared with 15 chiropractors for each 100,000 per­
sons in the country as a whole.
Employment opportunities are expected to be
greatest for new entrants who are able to meet the
highest State licensing requirements, including
graduation from a 4-year course of 4,000 or more
hours. In view of the trend in many States to­
ward raising the educational requirements for
practicing chiropractic, thorough training will be­
come increasingly important.
Women are expected to continue to find good
opportunities in this field as some women and
children prefer to go to women chiropractors for
treatment. About 15 percent of the chiropractors
in practice are women, and all chiropractic schools
accept women as students.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

In chiropractic, as in other types of independent
practice, earnings are relatively low at the begin­
ning but rise after the first few years. Incomes of
individual chiropractors vary greatly with ability,
experience, the income level of the community,
office location, and other factors. It is estimated
that the average income above expenses was over
$8,000 a year in 1956.
W here To Go for More Information

Information on State licensing requirements
may be obtained by writing to the State board of
licensing in the capital of the State in which the
individual plans to practice. General information
on chiropractic as a career may be obtained from :
National Chiropractic Association,
National Building, Webster City, Iowa



(D. O. T. 0 -3 9 .9 2 }

Nature of Work

Where Employed

Optometrists are concerned with examining
eyes and with safeguarding and improving vision.
They use special instruments and tests to detect
vision problems and, when needed, prescribe eye­
glasses, eye exercises, or other treatment that does
not require drugs or surgery. Some optometrists
fill their patients’ prescriptions for eyeglasses and
do repair work in their own laboratories. A grow­
ing number include visual training, the use of cor­
rective eye exercises, in their practice. Some do
other specialized work such as fitting persons who
are nearly blind with telescopic spectacles, fitting
contact lenses, studying the relationship of vision
to highway safety, and analyzing lighting and
other conditions that affect the efficiency of
workers in industry. A few optometrists are en­
gaged primarily in teaching or research.
Optometrists should not be confused with
ophthalmologists, oculists, or opticians. Ophthal­
mologists and oculists are licensed medical doctors
who specialize in the medical and surgical care of
the eyes and may prescribe drugs or other treat­
ment, as well as lenses. Opticians (see index) fill
prescriptions for eyeglasses written by physicians
who are eye specialists or by optometrists; they
do not examine eyes or prescribe treatment.

Most of the 17,000 optometrists professionally
active in early 1956 were private practitioners with
their own offices. However, some were salaried
employees working as assistants to established
practitioners or for health clinics, hospitals, op­
tical instrument manufacturers, government agen­
cies, and department stores. A few taught in col­
leges of optometry or served as optometrists in
the Armed Forces.
Optometrists are located chiefly in large cities
and industrial areas where many people are en­
gaged in office work or other occupations which
place a strain on the eyes. Nearly 40 percent are
in the 4 States with the greatest population—Illi­
nois, California, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Many small towns and rural areas, especially in
the South, have no optometrists.

Training and Other Qualifications

A license is required in all States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia for the practice of optometry.
To obtain a license, one must be a graduate of an
accredited school of optometry and pass a State
Board examination. In some States, only gradu­
ates of certain accredited schools of optometry
are admitted to these examinations. A student
planning to become an optometrist should, there­
fore, choose a school approved by the Board of
Optometry in the State where he expects to
Five years of study beyond high school is the
minimum education needed to become an optome­
trist. Usually this consists of 2 years of pre­
optometry education in an approved college fol­
lowed by 3 years of training in an optometry
school. Some schools require a total of 6 years—
2 of preoptometry study and 4 in a school of op­
tometry. Preoptometry courses include mathe­
matics and the basic sciences of physics, biology,
and chemistry, as well as general education
courses. The curriculum in the school of optome­
try emphasizes not only the visual sciences but also
practical training in the school’s clinic. Most
schools give their graduates the degree of Doctor
of Optometry (O. D.) but some confer the degree



of Bachelor of Science in Optometry or Master
of Optometry. Optometrists who wish to spe­
cialize often take additional training. The mas­
ter’s or Ph. D. degree in physiological optics or a
related field is usually required for teaching and
research work.
Qualifications considered important for a pro­
spective optometrist are a liking for mathemati­
cal and scientific work, the ability to use delicate
precision instruments, mechanical aptitude, and
good vision. In addition, successful practice re­
quires the ability to deal with people tactfully.
In 1956, qualified applicants had an excellent
chance of admittance to 1 of the 10 schools of
The majority of optometrists start either by
setting up a new practice or purchasing an estab­
lished one. Some begin as assistants to established
practitioners, and young graduates are frequently
advised to do this in order to acquire experience
and funds. Although costly equipment is needed
to open an office, some equipment manufacturers
offer liberal time payment plans. Office location
is of major importance for a successful practice.
The optometrist should consider the number of op­
tometrists and medical eye specialists in the vicin­
ity compared with the number, occupation, age,
and income level o f the population requiring eye
Employment Outlook

In 1956, the number of optometrists was suffi­
cient to meet the demand for optometric services
in many parts of the country. Opportunities for
beginning practice were generally considered best
in small towns and in residential areas of cities
where the new optometrist could easily become
known and where competition with established
optometrists and medical eye specialists was not
as keen as in the business centers of large cities.
Areas, especially in the South, that had no opto­
metric services available also offered some oppor­
tunities for new graduates. Young people begin­
ning optometric training in the late 1950’s are ex­
pected to encounter less competition for desirable
locations and, in general, to find more favorable
opportunities upon graduation.
Enrollments in optometry schools rose sharply
immediately after World War II. The number
of graduates increased from a prewar level of ap­


proximately 400 in 1941 to about 1,500 in the late
1940’s, as veterans completed their training. The
consequent rapid expansion in the supply of pro­
fessionally trained personnel limited prospects for
a successful new practice in some localities in the
mid-1950’s. However, optometry school enroll­
ments have dropped considerably in recent years.
As a result, the supply of new optometrists in the
late 1950’s is expected to be less than the number
needed for replacements alone; it is estimated that
about 500 optometrists are needed each year to re­
place those lost to the profession through death,
retirement, or other causes.
The demand for eye-care services will continue
to grow over the long run. The importance of
good vision to efficiency at work and in school is
becoming more widely recognized; eye strain has
been increased by many aspects of modern living;
and the use of eyeglasses has come to be generally
accepted. The volume of eye-care services needed
will also be increased by the anticipated growth in
population, especially by the expected sharp rise in
the number of older people—the group most likely
to need glasses. Although the expanded demand
will be met in part by medical doctors who are eye
specialists, optometrists will continue to supply a
substantial proportion of all eye-care services.
Women optometrists, who constitute about 5
percent of the profession, have many opportuni­
ties to work as salaried assistants, especially in the
field of visual training. Those in private practice
have been particularly successful in work with
Earnings and W orking Conditions

In optometry, as in some of the other health
fields, a low income must be expected for the first
2 or 3 years of practice. However, as a practice
becomes established, earnings usually rise signifi­
cantly. In 1951, the average income above ex­
penses was about $5,500 for self-employed optom­
etrists under 30 years of age, according to a sur­
vey made by the American Optometric Associa­
tion, and almost $11,000 for those between 50 and
59 years—the age group with the highest earn­
ings. For all self-employed optometrists, the sur­
vey reported a mean net income of $7,750. Some
successful optometrists earned over $20,000 a year.
Optometrists practicing in towns and small
cities have higher net earnings, on the average,



than optometrists in large cities. However, there
are some successful practitioners in big cities who
have very high incomes. Although optometrists
in salaried positions may at first earn more than
the self-employed, earnings of those in practice
for themselves usually outstrip incomes of sal­
aried optometrists after a few years of experience.
Working hours in this profession are usually
regular, though often lengthy. Many offices are
open 6 days and at least 1 night each week. How­
ever, some practitioners keep only scheduled ap­
pointments. The nonstrenuous nature of the work
permits professional activity to continue among
those in the older age groups.

Where To Go for More Information

Additional information on optometry as a ca­
reer is available from :
American Optometric Association, Inc.,
4030 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis 10, Mo.

Information on required preoptometry courses
may be obtained by writing to the optometry
school in which the prospective student wishes to
enroll. The Board of Optometry in the capital of
the State in which the student plans to practice
will provide a list of optometry schools approved
by that State.

(D. O. T. 0 -3 4 .1 0 )

Nature of Work

Veterinarians (doctors of veterinary medicine)
are mainly responsible for the health and care of
animals. They are also concerned with the qual­
ity of meat and other animal products used as
food and with the control of about 80 animal dis­
eases that can be transmitted to man.
Most veterinarians are general practitioners
who diagnose and treat the injuries and diseases
of both large and small animals. They advise on
the care and breeding of animals and, by regular
physical examinations, tests, and vaccinations,
seek to prevent the outbreak and spread of dis­
eases. O f veterinarians who are specialists, the


o u r t e s y

o f

U. S.


e p a r t m e n t

o f


g r ic u l t u r e

Veterinarian taking a sample of blood from a cow for a brucel­
losis test.

greatest number work with pets, often operating
hospitals with boarding facilities; a few are poul­
try specialists; others confine their practice to
“ prize” livestock and thoroughbred horses. Some
veterinarians are engaged in inspecting meat,
poultry, and other foods—a public health service
of Federal and certain State governments. A
small number teach in colleges or do research on
animal diseases, drugs, and foods.
Where Employed

About 17,000 veterinarians— 5 percent of whom
were women— were professionally active in the
United States in 1956. O f these, over two-thirds
were in private practice. The second largest num­
ber worked for the Federal Government, chiefly
in the U. S. Department of Agriculture which
employed about 1,600 veterinarians full time and
over 5,000 on a part-time basis. Nearly 800 were
commissioned officers in the Veterinary Corps of
the Army and the Air Force. In addition, a sub­
stantial number worked for State and local gov­
ernment agencies. Some were also employed by
schools of veterinary medicine, State agricultural
colleges, animal food companies, and pharma­
ceutical companies that manufacture drugs for
Veterinarians practice in all parts of the coun­
try, although they are located chiefly in States
where a large percentage of the Nation’s livestock
is raised. States with the largest number of
veterinarians in 1956 were California, with about
1,500, and New York, Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio,



with over 1,000 each. Veterinarians in rural areas
deal chiefly with large animals, those in small
towns usually engage in general practice, while
those in cities frequently limit their practice to
pet animals.
Training and Other Qualifications

A license is required in all States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia for the practice of veterinary
medicine. To obtain a license, applicants must
usually be graduates of approved veterinary
schools and must pass a State Board examination.
A few States also require some practical experi­
ence under the supervision of a licensed veterina­
rian. A limited number issue licenses without
examination to veterinarians who have passed an
examination in another State.
Two years of preveterinary college work fol­
lowed by 4 years of professional study in a school
of veterinary medicine are the minimum require­
ments for the degree of Doctor of Veterinary
Medicine (D. V. M .). However, it may take 3
years to complete the preveterinary curriculum,
which concentrates on chemistry and other science
courses. The veterinary school training includes
considerable practical experience with animals as
well as laboratory work in anatomy, biochemistry,
and other scientific and medical fields. Veteri­
narians engaged in research or college teaching
are sometimes required to have the master’s or
Ph. D. degree in fields such as pathology, public
health, or bacteriology, in addition to the D. V. M.
There are 17 colleges of veterinary medicine in
the United States. Each year many more young
people apply for admission than can be accepted.
Some of the qualifications considered in selecting
students are : Good scholastic records, amount and
character of preveterinary training (in 1954, about
one-fourth of the students selected had a bache­
lor’s degree), a farm background, good health, and
a liking for animals. Opportunities for women
students are limited as most veterinary colleges
are reluctant to enroll them. Since veterinary
colleges are largely State supported, residents of
the State in which the school is located are almost
always given preference. In the South and West,
regional educational plans have been developed
that permit cooperating States without veterinary
schools to send a few students to designated re­
gional schools. The regional school is paid a stip­
ulated sum by the home State of each out-of-State



student. In other areas, schools may informally
decide to accept a certain number of students from
other States, often giving priority to applicants
from nearby States without veterinary schools.
Some veterinarians begin as assistants to, or
partners of, established practitioners. Many
establish their own practice and start with a modest
financial investment in such essentials as drugs,
instruments, and a car. Those operating animal
hospitals or purchasing an established practice
have to make a substantial investment. Newly
qualified veterinarians entering the Army or Air
Force are commissioned as first lieutenants. Be­
ginning veterinarians who are graduates of ac­
credited veterinary schools qualify for Federal
civil-service positions, such as meat and poultry in­
spectors, disease-control workers, and research as­
sistants. In addition, a program conducted by the
U. S. Department of Agriculture offers junior
students of veterinary medicine opportunities to
serve as trainees during the summer months.
Employment Outlook

The shortage of veterinarians which has existed
since 1940 is expected to continue—though to a
lessening extent—throughout the 1950's. In 1956,
private practitioners were in great demand; the
U. S. Department of Agriculture had over 150
salaried vacancies; colleges needed teachers and
research workers; and many State and municipal
health departments had unfilled vacancies. On
the other hand, some big cities were believed to
have sufficient pet practitioners.
The 7 schools established after W orld War I I
increased the supply of new veterinarians; an aver­
age of about 900 were graduated annually between
1950 and 1956. More than 400 of these were needed
each year to replace men lost to the profession
through death or retirement. Because many
veterinarians are in the older age groups, it is
anticipated that replacement needs will continue
to absorb a large number of the new graduates
throughout the early 1960’s.
A gradual expansion in the employment of vet­
erinarians can be expected in the long run. More
veterinarians will be needed to care for the in­
creased number of animals required to feed the
country’s expanding population. The trend to­
ward suburban living is expected to bring about
a large growth in the pet population and thus
create a greater demand for pet animal specialists.



Emphasis on scientific methods of raising and
breeding livestock and poultry will continue to in­
crease, and public health inspection and sanita­
tion programs are expected to grow. More teach­
ers will be needed to meet the anticipated rise in
agricultural college enrollment, and veterinary
research will expand further. In addition, de­
veloping programs in international public health
and atomic energy research will offer a few oppor­
The need for replacements and the anticipated
growth in demand for veterinary services, when
related to the limited number of veterinarians that
can be trained each year by existing schools, point
toward continued favorable opportunities for vet­
erinarians in the long run. However, the demand
for veterinary service is closely related to economic
conditions, as the market value of an animal usu­
ally determines the professional care that can be
afforded. Any major economic recession Avould
greatly affect incomes and employment opportun­
ities in large animal practice. Practice with pet
animals and government employment are less
likely to be influenced by economic changes.

Veterinarians beginning practice can generally
cover their expenses the first year and may often
add to their earnings by working part time for
government agencies. The average income above
expenses in 1950-51 was about $7,400 for veter­
inarians in private practice, according to an Amer­
ican Veterinary Medical Association survey. In­
come from private practice varies according to
length of time in practice, location, and type of
practice. Veterinarians specializing in practice
with pets in large cities or with thoroughbred
horses and other purebred animals generally earn
the highest incomes. Very successful practitioners
sometimes earn $20,000 or more a year.
Many private practitioners treat their animal
patients on the farm, in open fields, or in unheated
buildings. They are sometimes exposed to danger
of physical injury, disease, and infection. Work­
ing hours for those in private practice are likely
to be irregular, and veterinarians in rural areas
may have to spend much time in traveling long
distances. Veterinarians can continue working
well beyond the normal retirement age because of
the many opportunities for part-time employment
or practice.

Earnings and W orking Conditions

Beginning veterinarians employed full time by
the Federal Government in 1956 received $5,200
a year; after 6 months, they could usually qual­
ify for positions paying $5,440 annually. Summer
trainees in the U. S. Department of Agriculture
were paid at the rate of $3,670 a year. Veter­
inarians commissioned as first lieutenants in the
Army and Air Force received a base pay of over
$3,000 a year plus allowances for quarters and
subsistence. In 1954, veterinarians employed by
local public health agencies were paid median sal­
aries of over $5,200.

W here To Go for More Information

Additional information on veterinary medicine
as a career as well as a list of schools providing
such training may be obtained from :
American Veterinary Medical Association,
600 South Michigan Ave., Chicago 5, 111.

Information on opportunities for veterinarians
in the U. S. Department of Agriculture is avail­
able from:
Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of
Agriculture, Washington 25, D. C.

Osteopathic Physicians
(D. O. T. 0 -3 9 .9 6 )

Nature of W ork

Osteopathic physicians are members of a school
of medicine which emphasizes manual manipula­
tion but also uses surgery, drugs, and all other
accepted methods of medical care. Most are
“ family doctors” who engage in general practice.
These physicians usually have office hours, make
house calls, and also treat patients in osteopathic

hospitals. A few doctors of osteopathy are en­
gaged primarily in research, teaching, or writing
and editing scientific books and journals. A small
but growing number specialize in 1 of the follow­
ing 11 fields recognized by approved specialty
examining boards: Internal medicine, neurology
and psychiatry, ophthalmology and otorhinolar­
yngology, pediatrics, physical medicine and re­
habilitation, dermatology and syphilology, ob-



stetrics and gynecology, pathology, proctology,
radiology, and surgery.
W here Employed

Nearly all of the 12,500 osteopathic physicians
professionally active in the United States in 1956
were in private practice. Less than 5 percent held
full-time salaried positions, mainly in osteopathic
hospitals and colleges. A few were employed by
private industry or Government agencies.
Osteopathic physicians are located chiefly in
those States which place little or no limitation on
practice and also have osteopathic hospital facili­
ties. In 1956, slightly over half of all osteopathic
physicians were in the following 5 States: Cali­
fornia, with more than 2,000; Michigan, Pennsyl­
vania, and Missouri each with more than 1,000;
and Ohio, with more than 700. In each of 26
States, however, there were fewer than 100 osteo­
pathic physicians.
Training and Other Qualifications

A license to practice as an osteopathic physician
is required in all States. However, the scope of
practice allowed differs among the States. Many
States and the District of Columbia issue licenses
permitting osteopathic physicians to engage in all
types of medical and surgical practice.
States limit osteopathic practice, principally by
imposing restrictions on the use of drugs or sur­
gery by osteopathic physicians.
To obtain a license, a candidate must be a gradu­
ate of an approved school of osteopathy and pass
a State board examination. In 19 States and the
District of Columbia, passing an examination in
the basic sciences is a prerequisite for admission
to the professional examination. Some States
also require a period of internship after gradua­
tion from osteopathic school. A ll States except
Florida and Rhode Island will usually grant li­
censes without further examination to properly
qualified osteopathic physicians already licensed
by another State.
Three years of preosteopathic college work fol­
lowed by 4 years of professional study in an osteo­
pathic college are the minimum requirements for
the degree of doctor of osteopathy (D. O ). Pre­
osteopathic education must include a specified
number of credits in chemistry, physics, biology,
and English. During the first 2 years of profes­
sional training, emphasis is on basic sciences such



as anatomy, physiology, and pathology and on the
principles of osteopathy; the last 2 years are
largely devoted to work with patients in hospitals
and clinics.
After graduation, almost all doctors of oste­
opathy serve a 12-month internship at 1 of the 87
osteopathic hospitals which the American Osteo­
pathic Association has approved for intern train­
ing. Those who wish to become specialists must
have at least 3 years of additional training fol­
lowed by 2 years of supervised practice in the
Every year, more young people apply for ad­
mission to the 6 approved schools of osteopathy
than can be accepted. In selecting students, con­
sideration is given to grades in preprofessional
education, desire to serve as an osteopathic physi­
cian rather than as a doctor trained in other
schools of medicine, scores on medical aptitude
tests, and the amount of preosteopathic college
work completed (in 1955, 3 out of every 4 students
accepted had bachelor’s degrees). Considerable
weight is also given to a favorable recommenda­
tion by an osteopathic physician familiar with the
applicant’s background.
Newly qualified doctors of osteopathy usually
establish their own practice. A few work as as­
sistants to experienced physicians or become asso­
ciated with osteopathic hospitals. In view of the
variation in State laws regulating the practice of
osteopathy, careful study should be given to the
professional and legal requirements of the State
in which the osteopathic physician plans to prac­
tice. Also, the availability of osteopathic hospital
and clinical facilities should be taken into account
when choosing a location.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities for osteopathic physicians were
excellent in 1956 in those parts of the country
where osteopathy is a commonly accepted form of
medical care. A strong demand existed for addi­
tional doctors of osteopathy in California, Penn­
sylvania, and a number of midwestern States.
Also, there were growing opportunities in the
Southwest and Northwest. Prospects for begin­
ning a successful practice were generally consid­
ered to be best in rural areas, small towns, and city
suburbs, where the young doctor of osteopathy
could become known more easily than in the
centers of large cities.



The profession of osteopathy will probably con­
tinue to expand during the late 1950’s and through­
out the 1960’s. In recent years, growth has been
slow but steady, the total number of professionally
active osteopathic physicians rising from about
11,000 in 1950 to about 12,500 in 1956. Although
approximately 450 doctors of osteopathy are
graduated each year, many of these are needed to
replace those lost to the profession through death
or retirement. Growth is expected to continue at
about the same rate as in the early fifties unless
training facilities expand beyond the slight addi­
tions presently contemplated.
In the long run, opportunities for osteopathic
physicians will probably continue to be good
owing to the likelihood of increased public accep­
tance o f osteopathy, liberalization of certain State
licensing laws, and the establishment of additional
osteopathic hospitals. In addition, the demand
for all kinds of medical care—including the serv­
ices of osteopathic physicians—will continue to
grow owing to the increase in population, Gov­
ernment provisions of medical services for vet­
erans and members of the Armed Forces, the de­
velopment of prepayment plans for medical care
and hospitalization, and the underlying trend to­
ward higher standards of health care.
Women osteopathic physicians will continue to
find good opportunities not only in private prac­
tice but also on faculties of osteopathic colleges
and on the staffs of hospitals and clinics. A p ­

proximately 8 percent of all osteopathic physi­
cians are women. Although men and women are
equally eligible for admission to osteopathic col­
leges, the proportion of applications from women
has been declining. In 1956, women students rep­
resented less than 3 percent of the total enroll­
Earnings and W orking Conditions

As in many of the other health professions, in­
comes usually rise markedly after the first years of
practice. Earnings of individual doctors of oste­
opathy vary greatly with ability, experience, the
income level of the community served, geographic
location, and other factors. Surgeons and other
specialists usually earn more than those in general
Many osteopathic physicians work more than 50
and 60 hours a week. Those in general practice
work longer and more irregular hours than
surgeons and specialists.
W here To Go for More Information

Persons wishing to practice in a given State
should find out about the requirements for licen­
sure directly from the board of examiners of that
State. A list of State boards, as well as general
information on osteopathy as a career, may be
obtained from :
American Osteopathic Association,
212 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, 111.

Dental Hygienists*
(D. O. T. 0 -5 0 .0 7 )

Nature of W ork

Dental hygienists, working under the direction
o f licensed dentists, clean and polish patients’
teeth and give advice on proper diet and care of
the teeth.
Dental hygienists who work for private dentists
may also take and develop X-ray pictures of the
teeth, mix filling compounds, and do miscellaneous
clinical work, in addition to cleaning teeth and as­
sisting the dentist in his work on the patient.
Dental hygienists who are employed by school
systems usually go from school to school to ex*Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

amine the children’s teeth periodically and to refer
individuals to dentists. They may also give class­
room instruction, sometimes with visual aids, on
correct toothbrush technique and proper diet.
Some school systems require dental hygienists to
make home visits to explain to parents the im­
portance of good dental care.
Dental hygienists employed in hospitals or pub­
lic health clinics may be called upon to work with
bed-patients, as well as with those who are able to
move about. They may also assist in research
projects and give lectures to dental students on
various aspects of preventive dental health educa­



o u r t e s y

o f

U . S. P

u b l ic


e a l t h


se r v ic e

A dental hygienist cleans a child’s teeth prior to thorough
examination by the dentist.

Where Employed

An estimated 6,000 dental hygienists were em­
ployed in 1956, most of them in the eastern States.
The majority of dental hygienists are women.
Most dental hygienists work in private dental
offices; some work in hospital clinics and other
health institutions; and some, in dental hygiene
schools. A few work in industrial plants. An in­
creasing number are being employed by public
school systems.
Training and Other Qualifications

Training for work as a dental hygienist may be
secured in 34 schools of dental hygiene located in
24 States. The Council on Dental Education of
the American Dental Association had, by October
1956, accredited 31 of these schools; the remaining
3 were under consideration. O f these schools, 22
are associated with the dental programs of uni­
versities ; the remaining 9 are parts of institutes,
colleges, or universities that do not have dental
A bachelor’s degree with a major in dental hy­
giene may be earned by completing a 4-year course



which includes 2 years of regular college training
in addition to a 2-year dental hygiene course. By
completing only this 2-year course, however, a
student may obtain a certiticate or diploma in den­
tal hygiene. The 2 years of training in dental
hygiene include instruction in the manual skills
involved in the work, methods of teaching, and
courses in anatomy, bacteriology, chemistry, nu­
trition, and X-ray. Special emphasis is placed
upon the dental aspects of these subjects, and the
student spends a substantial amount of time gain­
ing clinical experience.
Sufficient additional
courses to meet the requirements for the bachelor’s
degree are provided in the 4-year course.
To be admitted to an approved school of dental
hygiene, the student must have finished high
school. However, more and more schools are giv­
ing admission preference to students with some
college training. In 1956, three of the approved
schools would accept only students who had com­
pleted 2 years or more of college. Almost onethird of the 1,100 freshmen admitted to approved
schools in 1955-56 had 1 or more years of college
training. For those who plan to work in the field
of public health, the 4-year program is desirable.
The minimum age requirement for entrance
varies among approved schools; some schools ac­
cept students 17 years of age and over; others
accept only those who are 18 or over; still others
set a minimum age of 21 years. Maximum age
limits also vary, but most schools do not accept
students over 35 years of age.
According to a recent survey, costs including
tuition, supplies, and equipment fees in approved
schools averaged $977 for the 2-year dental hygiene
course. Approximately $644 of this amount was
for tuition. The cost of the 4-year degree pro­
gram would, of course, include tuition and fees
for an additional 2 years.
In order to practice, dental hygienists must be
licensed by the State Board of Dental Examiners
in the State in which they wish to practice. Upon
passing the licensing examination, the hygienist
becomes a Registered Dental Hygienist (R. D. H .).
Each State has its own statutory requirements,
and only a few States offer reciprocity. There­
fore, in order to relocate in another State, the den­
tal hygienist usually must take the State examina­
tion in that State.
Opportunities for advancement are relatively
limited for dental hygienists. Dentists in private
practice usually do not employ more than one



dental hygienist, which limits opportunities for
supervisory work. A few health departments and
school systems employ supervisors in dental hy­
giene, but the top positions as directors of dental
programs are usually held by dentists. With
additional training, however, the dental hygienist
may become a teacher in a school of dental
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for dental hygienists
were excellent in 1956. Although the number of
graduates (902) from approved schools in 1956
was almost double the number in 1950, reports
indicate that about twice as many could have been
employed. Shortages were especially acute in
Southern and Western States.
The demand for dental hygienists, which has
been increasing steadily over the past several
years, is expected to continue and expand over the
remainder of the decade and well into the 1960's.
Many openings are created each year by relatively
high turnover among young women in the field
who leave their jobs for marriage and family re­
sponsibilities. A recent survey showed that most
of the students in dental hygiene schools graduate
in their early twenties and that more than 5 per­
cent of them are married before graduation.
Growing emphasis on preventive health measures,
including early and regular dental care and ex­
panding dental programs in schools and in public
health services, will create additional openings for
the services of dental hygienists.

As a result of the expanding demand, mature
persons who wush to return to the profession or
who can secure adequate training can expect to
find good opportunities for employment.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Salaries for dental hygienists depend upon the
location of the job, the type of employer, and the
education and experience of the hygienist. Yearly
salaries for hygienists working full time during
1953 averaged $3,615. The averages varied from
$3,230 for those working in the Northeast to $4,908
for those working in the West. Highest average
earnings were reported by those working on a com­
mission basis for private dentists. Beginning an­
nual salaries in the Federal service in 1956 were
$3,175, $3,415, and $3,679, depending upon the
applicant’s qualifications.
A 40-hour workweek is usual for hygienists,
and working conditions are generally pleasant.
Paid vacations of 2 weeks are customary, but
longer vacations are given on some jobs.
W here To Go for More Information

Information on approved schools, training re­
quirements, and job opportunities may be secured
from the following organization :
American Dental Hygienists Association,
1735 Eye St., N W , Washington 6, D. G.

Information concerning licensing requirements
can be obtained from the State Board of Dental
Examiners in the State in which the dental hy­
gienist wishes to practice.

Physical Therapists*
(D. O. T. 0 -5 2 .8 0 )

Nature of Work

Physical therapists, under the general direction
o f physicians, assist patients with muscle, nerve,
joint, or bone injuries or diseases in trying to re­
cover use of the disabled parts of their bodies.
The principal disorders treated are fractures,
poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, arthritis, and physi­
cal injuries or deformities. Patients are prima­
rily those disabled in work, home, or highway ac­
cidents ; children crippled by poliomyelitis or
cerebral palsy; and war veterans.
*Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

Physical therapists treat patients by means of
physical exercises; applications of massage, heat,
light, water, or electricity; or by use of mechani­
cal apparatus. The recording and charting of
each patient’s progress is an important part of the
therapists’ duties. They also give diagnostic
muscle and nerve tests to obtain data useful in
planning a treatment program as well as in mak­
ing the changes needed as a result of progress and
prognosis. They usually are the ones who teach
patients needing braces and crutches how to use
and care for them. They also show patients and
their parents or other relatives how to continue
treatments at home.






o u r t e s y

o f


. S. D

e p a r t m e n t

o f

t h e


r m y

Army physical therapist giving electrical stimulation to the paralyzed m
uscles of a soldier patient’s leg.

In addition, physical therapists may be respon­
sible for clinical instruction of physical therapy
students, students of related professions, or non­
professional personnel (such as ward aides, order­
lies, and clerks, concerned with the care of pa­
tients. Since the therapists’ work is integrated
with that of other members of the rehabilitation
team responsible for a patient’s total care, they
must attend conferences at which the progress of
patients is considered. A rehabilitation team is
directed by a physician and may include a teacher,
nurse, medical and psychiatric social worker, oc­
cupational therapist, psychologist, speech ther­
apist, recreational worker, and vocational coun­
Although qualified therapists handle all types
of patients, some specialize in working only with
children, veterans, amputees, or victims of polio­
myelitis, cerebral palsy, or arthritis.
Where Employed

An estimated 7,800 qualified physical thera­
pists, of whom about 85 percent were women, were

employed in 1956. They were working princi­
pally in metropolitan areas throughout the coun­
try, but the northeastern and western States had
considerably more physical therapists in propor­
tion to population than did the southern or cen­
tral States.
About half of the qualified physical therapists
work in hospitals, where they treat mainly patients
recovering from surgery, fractures, or other in­
juries and disabilities. About half of these ther­
apists are employed by private, nonprofit hos­
pitals, and about one-fourth by hospitals of State
or local governments. Almost all of the re­
mainder work in hospitals operated by agencies of
the Federal Government, principally the Veterans
Administration, as well as the Armed Forces and
the U. S. Public Health Service. Most hospitals
with physical therapists are large general hospitals
but some specialize in services for children or the
chronically ill.
More than one-fourth of the physical therapists
are employed by rehabilitation or treatment cen­
ters, schools or societies for handicapped children,
and public-health agencies. Most of these organ-



izations provide regular treatment for chronic
The remainder work mainly in doctors’ offices or
clinics, teach physical therapy, or are engaged in
clinical or laboratory research in treatment pro­
cedures or in any of the basic sciences such as anat­
omy or physiology. A few physical therapists
serve as administrators or coordinators of depart­
mental programs in large facilities or as consul­
tants in governmental or private agencies.
Training and Other Qualifications

In 1956, 37 approved schools, including the
Army Medical Service program, offered training
in physical therapy. The majority of approved
schools were affiliated with large universities, often
through their medical schools. The others were
operated by hospitals, most of which had univer­
sity affiliations. All of the approved schools o f­
fered training to college graduates and 31 granted
a certificate in physical therapy to graduate stu­
dents completing 12- to 16-month courses. En­
trance requirements for admission to these courses
varied somewhat among schools but generally in­
cluded prior study of specific biological, physical,
and social sciences. About three-fourths of the
approved physical therapy schools also offer un­
dergraduate programs leading to a college degree.
The degree program generally is a 4-year course
open to high school graduates of good standing.
Some colleges, however, accept undergraduate col­
lege students who have completed 2 years of gen­
eral college work, including a certain number of
prerequisite science courses.
Annual tuition in physical therapy schools var­
ies from a minimum of $75 in a State university
(for State residents) to a maximum of $1,000 in a
private university. In 1956, numerous scholar­
ships were being offered to students in an effort to
attract more trained personnel into the field. The
National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis,
principal source of scholarship funds, requires
that its recipients work under a qualified physical
therapist for a year following completion of
Graduation from an AMA-approved school of
physical therapy is requisite for membership in

the American Physical Therapy Association, for
State licensure, and for voluntary registration
with the American Registry of Physical Thera­
pists. Many employers, particularly large hos­
pitals and organizations, hire only those persons
who meet the requirements of these organizations.
Legal registration, for which therapists must sat­
isfy certain educational and employment stand­
ards, is now required for practicing in 24 States,
while licensure laws are being considered in many
With the increase of schools in this field, nu­
merous teaching positions have become available
for physical therapists. These positions are gen­
erally open to those who have secured a college
degree and who have had general clinical experi­
ence, preferably for at least 3 years. Other ad­
vancement opportunities for physical therapists lie
in supervisory and administrative positions, but
these exist mainly in large hospitals and organi­
zations and are very limited in small centers
or offices.
Important characteristics needed by physical
therapists are emotional stability, a moderate
amount of manual dexterity, and a strong interest
in humanitarian service. Since physical thera­
pists must help patients and members of their fam­
ily understand the treatments given and prepare
them emotionally for changes that occur, a thera­
pist must have patience, resourcefulness, and a
sympathetic attitude toward patients. Good ver­
bal expression in giving instructions to patients
and relatives; ability to plan and organize time,
material, and work output; and physical stamina
are also needed.
Employment Outlook

The rising demand for physical therapists,
which began during W orld War II, continued to
be acute in 1956, when 5,800 job vacancies were
reported. This need existed despite the fact that
the number of graduates from approved schools
had almost tripled, rising from 238 in 1941 to 650
in 1955. The greater number of hospital beds and
the growing public interest in the rehabilitation
of all physically handicapped persons, including
the large number of World War II veterans, have



been responsible for increased staff requirements.
This need is expected to continue during the
remainder of the decade and well into the 1960’s,
as a result of the expanding use of physical ther­
apy in caring for the injured, diseased, and aged.
Vocational rehabilitation and crippled-children
programs, in which States are aided by Federal
funds, will further bolster the demand. More
physicians are also expected to recommend physi­
cal therapy for their patients, as techniques and
equipment for treating many other diseases im­
prove. In addition to these new positions, many
hundreds of job openings will result from turn­
over in the field, since the vast majority of workers
are young women who may be leaving their jobs
for marriage or family responsibilities. It has
been estimated that at least 3,000 new graduates
will be needed each year, through the middle
1960’s, for new positions and replacements.
Since the supply of graduates from approved
physical therapy schools is expected to be insuffi­
cient to meet these needs, employment opportuni­
ties should continue to be excellent through the
mid-1960’s. Opportunities will be good not only
for staff jobs but also for teachers in physical ther­
apy schools and for those engaged in research
Over the long run, employment for physical
therapists is expected to continue to expand, as
advances in medical knowledge increase the life
span of all the population, including the physically



cant. At the same time, a starting rate of $4,063
including rental and subsistence payments was
paid to therapists (second lieutenants) in the
Women’s Army Medical Specialist Corps and also
to junior assistants in the commissioned corps of
the U. S. Public Health Service.
A salary survey of hospital personnel made by
the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 15 metropolitan
areas indicated that weekly salaries of physical
therapists ranged from $65.00 to $87.00 in 1956
and early 1957. Average straight-time weekly
earnings and average weekly hours of physical
therapists in each of the survey areas are shown
Weekly average



40 .5
40 .0
40 .0

Los Angeles-Long Beach



Minneapolis-St. Paul

4 0 .0
40. 0
40 .0
40. 0
4 0 .0
4 3 .5
4 0 .0


$77. 00
6 5 .0 0
71. 50
78. 50
81. 50
74. 50
76. 50
82. 00
8 6 .0 0
87. 00

New York

39. 5

78. 00


3 9 .0

6 9 .0 0

Portland ( Oreg.)
San Francisco-Oakland

4 0 .0
4 0 .0

80 .00
83. 50

St. Louis

4 1 .0

77. 50

Salaries of supervisors were reported by the
A P T A in 1955 to range from $5,000 to $6,000 a
year. Administrators’ salaries ranged upward
from about $8,000 a year.

W here To Go for More Information

Starting salaries of new graduates in physical
therapy averaged $3,600 in 1956, according to a
survey of the American Physical Therapy Associa­
tion. A median salary of $4,400 a year was re­
ported for 3,300 physical therapists, about twothirds of the Association membership. Some
salaries were supplemented by maintenance and/or
meals and by the laundering of uniforms. En­
trance salaries for physical therapists in the Fed­
eral Civil Service (as set during the latter part of
1955) ranged from $3,670 to $5,440 a year, de­
pending on the previous experience of the appli­

4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 57 -


Additional information concerning women as
physical therapists is available in a U. S. Depart­
ment o f Labor’s Women’s Bureau publication The
Outlook for Women as Physical Therapists.
Bulletin No. 203-1, Bevised, 51 pp. Washington,
D. C. 1952. Price 20 cents.
Information may also be obtained from :
American Physical Therapy Association,
1790 Broadway, New York 19, N. Y.
American Registry of Physical Therapists,
30 North Michigan Ave., Chicago 2, 111.



Medical Record Librarians*
(D. O. T. 0—

Nature of W ork

W here Employed

Medical record librarians are responsible for
keeping complete and accurate records of patients’
illnesses and treatments. Primary use of the
patients’ records is made by physicians in studying
patients’ medical histories, diagnosing their ail­
ments, and prescribing patient care. Medical rec­
ords are useful to administrators in analyzing the
health services offered by their organizations and
in determining agency policies and procedures.
The records are also used in training medical per­
sonnel and in developing and evaluating new
treatments and medications.
The duties of medical record librarians include
collecting and cataloging medical and surgical in­
formation such as reports on X-rays and opera­
tions, laboratory findings, doctors’ orders, and
progress notations; checking and organizing these
data for completeness and accuracy; performing
or supervising the coding and indexing of reports
on various diseases and treatments; abstracting
and transcribing case histories to permanent rec­
ords; answering inquiries and preparing reports
on individual cases; aiding in the development or
improvement of procedures, forms, and methods;
and preparing analyses for the use of physicians in
their research work. (Medical record librarians
should not be confused with medical librarians,
who have charge of the library in a hospital or
medical institution and who work with books and
other publications. Medical librarians do not
work with patients’ records.)
In some hospitals, clinics, or other health organi­
zations, two or more medical record librarians may
be in charge of patients’ records, but often one
qualified medical record librarian, with the help
of clerical assistants, has full responsibility for all
the medical records of an organization.
The head medical record librarian may repre­
sent the department in hospital staff meetings and
may have to vouch for the accuracy of records if
they are subpenaed by the court. Because of the
importance of the medical record department in
many hospitals, the medical record librarian may
participate in major decisions affecting the operat­
ing efficiency of the hospital.

Over 6,900 persons were employed as medical
record librarians in 1956. Almost all w^ere work­
ing in hospitals. A few medical record librarians
were employed in clinics, medical research centers,
or medical departments of insurance companies
and large industrial concerns. According to a sur­
vey made by the American Hospital Association in
September 1955, almost two-thirds of their mem­
ber hospitals were utilizing the services of med­
ical record librarians. Almost nine-tenths of the
persons in the occupation worked full time.
Since most hospitals are located in or near
metropolitan areas, most medical record librarians
work in the major population centers of the coun­
try. More than one-fourth are employed in the
northeastern States.
Almost all medical record librarians are women,
although men are beginning to enter the occupa­
tion. In 1956, 99 percent of the members of the
American Association of Medical Record Librar­
ians were women.

♦Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

Training and Other Qualifications

Those seeking entry into this occupation today
find formal training essential, even though less
than 15 percent of the active medical record librar­
ians in 1953 were graduates of the 30 schools af­
filiated with hospitals or universities and ap­
proved by the Council on Medical Education and
Hospitals of the American Medical Association.
In the past, training w conducted by hospitals
themselves on an apprenticeship basis, but now
most hospitals prefer to hire graduates of ap­
proved schools.
Seventeen of the approved schools offer a 12month hospital course leading to a certificate in
medical record library science. Prerequisite for
enrollment in a certified course is 2 years of college
or graduation from a recognized school of nursing.
Six approved schools offer a 4-vear degree course
for high school graduates. Several have designed
a 12-month certificate course for college graduates
and 1 school has a 12-month degree course for those
with 3 years of college. Courses in the approved



schools include at least 160 hours of anatomy,
physiology, medical terminology, and funda­
mentals of medical science. In addition, all stu­
dents are encouraged to become proficient in
Tuition fees for certificate courses range from
no fee in the one federally sponsored school to
$425 in private schools. Tuition in degree-grant­
ing schools varies from $150 to $600 a year. Text­
book expenses approximate $40.
In July 1956, there were 3,473 persons listed in
a registry maintained by the American Associa­
tion of Medical Record Librarians. About 35 per­
cent of the medical record librarians employed on
a full-time basis in hospitals were registered.
Registration is considered to be a measure of pro­
fessional attainment in this field, and many hos­
pitals prefer to have at least one registered medi­
cal record librarian on their staff.
Requirements for registration are: Membership
in the Association; either graduation from an ap­
proved school or the combination of sufficient edu­
cation to qualify for admission to an approved
school plus pertinent work experience during 5
of the 6 previous years; and passing a written
Certain personal characteristics are required for
successful and satisfying work in this occupation.
Important among these are an interest in detail
and a willingness to be thoroughly accurate.
Since the medical information secured must be
kept strictly confidential, medical record librar­
ians must also be trustworthy. And in dealing
with worried members o f the patients’ families,
as well as with busy doctors, persons in this work
must be tactful and courteous.
Assignments to supervisory work, primarily in
large facilities, afford advancement opportunities
for medical record librarians. In a large medical
record department, the head medical record li­
brarian may be responsible for the work of other
medical record librarians and for a staff of typists,
surgical secretaries, file clerks, and clerical
Employment Outlook

The need for medical record librarians has been
growing steadily since the start of World War II.
As the number of hospitals and health facilities


has increased and new methods o f medical treat­
ment have been developed, the recordkeeping
function has become increasingly important. The
training o f qualified medical record librarians,
however, has not kept pace with the demand.
During the 1953-54 school year, student capacity
of the approved schools was about 220, but enroll­
ment was only about half that number. The
American Association of Medical Record Librar­
ians estimated that about 6,000 additional medi­
cal record librarians could have been advanta­
geously used in hospitals in 1956. A t the present
level of school enrollment, the supply of qualified
new workers will not be sufficient to meet the cur­
rent demand or that anticipated well into the
Over the long run, employment opportunities
are expected to be good for graduates of approved
schools. With the expansion of health facilities
and services, additional new jobs for medical rec­
ord librarians will be created. In addition, re­
placements will be needed for the young women
in these jobs who will leave for marriage or family

Starting salaries of registered medical record
librarians averaged about $4,600 in 1956. In addi­
tion, many hospitals provided free medical care
for their employees and some offered complete or
partial maintenance. The basic salaries were re­
lated not only to the nature and responsibility of
the position involved but also to the geographic
location and size of the institution where the medi­
cal record librarians were employed. A medical
record librarian in a small hospital, an assistant
medical record librarian in a large hospital, or an
inexperienced beginner often received less than
$3,600. Salaries of medical record librarians en­
tering the Federal Civil Service were set during
the latter part of 1955 to range from $3,670 to
$7,570 a year, depending upon the amount o f
previous experience.
Medical record librarians employed in hospitals
located in 16 metropolitan areas were reported to
receive average weekly salaries ranging from $68
to $86.50, according to a survey made by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1956 and early 1957.
Average straight-time hours and earnings of medi-



cal record librarians in each of the surveyed areas
follow :
Weekly average

Hours Earnings




Los Angeles-Long Beach____________________






Minneapolis-St. Paul_________________________ 40


New York_____________________________________ 40
Philadelphia___________________________________ 40


Portland (O reg .)____________________________



Weekly average



San Francisco-Oakland_____________________ 40
St. Louis______________________________________ 40

$84. 50
76. 00

Where To Go for Mere Information

Additional information on employment condi­
tions and opportunities for medical record li­
brarians is given in the following publication:
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and W elfare,
Public Health Service.
Health Manpower Source
Book, Sec. 6, Medical Record Librarians, 41 pp.
Washington 25, D. C. 1954. Price 30 cents.

Information may also be obtained from :
American Association of Medical Record Librarians,
510 North Dearborn St., Chicago 10, 111.

Occupational Therapists*
(D. O. T. 0 -3 2 .0 4 )

Nature of Work

Occupational therapists organize educational,
recreational, and prevocational programs which
involve a variety of activities, to assist in the
physical, psychological, and economic rehabilita­
tion o f injured and disabled persons.
After a physician makes his diagnosis and out­
lines treatment objectives for a patient, occupa­
tional therapists select and carry out a program
o f activities which will best meet the patient’s
needs. These activities may include typesetting,
weaving, painting, clay modeling, leather craft,
or photography. They may also involve training
in adjustment to daily living through group plan­
ning and participation in dances, concerts, plays,
and other activities.
Occupational therapists may supervise occupa­
tional therapy aides who teach a particular skill,
volunteer workers, and student therapists. Some
occupational therapists have administrative duties
as directors and assistant directors of an occupa­
tional therapy program; some specialize in work­
ing with various disabled groups; others may
serve as directors or teachers in approved schools
o f occupational therapy.

Association in January 1957. Most occupational
therapists are women, but an increasing number
of men are being trained for the occupation. A p ­
proximately 4 out of 5 occupational therapists
work in hospitals and other health institutions,

Where Employed

About 5,500 occupational therapists were regis­
tered with the American Occupational Therapy
♦Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.


o u r t e s y

o f


. S. P

u b l ic


e a l t h


e r v ic e

Occupational therapist helping a patient to recover use of
injured hand and arm.



such as school clinics, sanatoriums, and some homes
for the aged. Most of the remainder work in
special workshops or rehabilitation centers to
which patients come for treatment. These centers
are sponsored by hospitals, religious organizations,
or community agencies, such as associations for
the blind, the deaf, or cerebral palsied. A few oc­
cupational therapists are employed in home visit­
ing programs for patients unable to go to clinics
or workshops.
Training and Other Qualifications

Graduation from an approved school of occupa­
tional therapy is a general requirement for occu­
pational therapists. Graduates of schools ac­
credited by the American Medical Association are
eligible to take the national registration examin­
ation conducted by the American Occupational
Therapy Association. Upon successful comple­
tion of the examination, they may use the initials
O.T.R. (Occupational Therapist Registered) after
their names. Hospitals of the Federal Govern­
ment hire only registered occupational therapists.
In 1956, 30 colleges or universities offered
courses in occupational therapy approved by the
American Medical Association. For high school
graduates, this training included 4 years of college
work plus 9 months of supervised practice in hos­
pitals and health agencies leading to a Bachelor
of Science degree with a major in occupational
therapy. The majority of these schools also ac­
cept college graduates who may earn a certificate
in occupational therapy following 18 months of
specialized training.
Occupational therapists without experience be­
gin as staff therapists and may qualify as senior
therapists after 2 years of experience on the job.
Experienced therapists may become directors of
therapy programs in large hospitals, clinics, or
workshops, or teachers in occupational therapy
schools. There are also some key positions as
consultants with large institutions and agencies.
Personal characteristics needed in this occupa­
tion are emotional stability, a sincere interest in
medical work, and a sympathetic but objective ap­
proach to illness and disability.



Since World War II, the demand for occupa­
tional therapists has been increasing. The grow­
ing public interest in the rehabilitation of all
physically handicapped persons, including the
large number of war veterans; the demonstrated
success of occupational therapy programs in re­
storing persons to health; the help people receive
from the occupational therapist in adjusting to
their illness or disability and in increasing their
usefulness to themselves, their families, and their
communities—all these factors have been respon­
sible for the rising demand for occupational ther­
apists. Furthermore, increasing use is expected to
be made of occupational therapists in treating ill­
nesses and disabilities arising from industrial ac­
cidents, as well as in treating victims of cerebral
palsy, poliomyelitis, and heart disease. Antici­
pated expanded use of occupational therapy in
treating persons suffering from mental illnesses
and in rehabilitating the growing number of aged
persons will also increase the demand for
In addition to the new positions created by these
developments, many job openings will result from
turnover. In 1956, the number of jobs exceeded
the number of trained workers. It is estimated by
the American Occupational Therapy Association
that 8,000 additional workers will be needed by
In order to meet the expanding demand, more
students will have to enter training, and training
facilities will have to be expanded. The present
capacity of the approved occupational therapy
schools is 3,500 students, although in the 1955-56
academic year only 2,600 were enrolled. Grad­
uates in 1956 numbered 500. Even if schools were
filled to capacity, the supply of graduates would
be insufficient to meet the rising demand. Oppor­
tunities for men are especially good because of
the demand for their services in mental hospitals,
rehabilitation centers, and veterans’ facilities.
In the long run, employment for occupational
therapists is expected to continue to expand as
public understanding increases with regard to the
role which such therapy can play in facilitating
the adjustments of disabled persons and patients
with chronic illnesses.

Employment Outlook
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Opportunities for registered occupational ther­
apists seeking employment are expected to be ex­
cellent well into the midsixties.

Salaries of occupational therapists ranged from
$3,500 to $9,000 in 1956 according to the American



Occupational Therapy Association. The begin­
ning salary in the Federal Government in 1956
for occupational therapists without experience
was $3,670 a year; and those with at least 1 year
o f experience started at $4,525. Many State in­
stitutions were offering $4,000 a year in 1956 for
beginning therapists.
The 8-hour day, 40-hour week is customary,
with only a few institutions working a 44- to 45hour week. Vacation leave for therapists ranges
from 2 to 4 weeks annually. Many positions now
offer health and retirement benefits.

W h ere To Go for More Information

Additional information on occupational ther­
apy is available in a U. S. Department of Labor’s
Women’s Bureau publication The Outlook for
Women as Occupational Therapists. Bulletin
203-2 Bevised. Washington, D. C. 1952. Price
20 cents.
Detailed information on the field, on colleges
offering approved programs, and on scholarships
can be obtained from :
American Occupational Therapy Association,
250 W est 57th St., New York 19, N. Y.

Engineering is one of the largest professional
occupations, exceeded in size only by teaching and
nursing; for men, it is the largest profession. The
approximately 700,000 engineers in the United
States in 1956 contributed greatly to planning the
work of, and designing the machines, equipment,
roads, and buildings used by a majority of the
Nation’s 66 million employed workers. Engineers
give technical and, frequently, managerial leader­
ship in industry. They develop new products and
processes, design many types of structures, devise
the most efficient ways of obtaining minerals from
the earth, and contribute in countless other ways
to the technological progress of our civilization
and to the national defense.
Nature o f W ork

Engineers are concerned with transforming
natural resources into forms useful to mankind
and with doing this in the most efficient manner
possible. This emphasis on efficiency, which is
related to cost, is one of the main factors distin­
guishing the work of most engineers from that of
most scientists. A chemist may create a new com­
pound or a geologist may discover an oilfield. It is
the job of the engineer to figure out how the com­
pound can be manufactured or the oil extracted
at a cost low enough to be sold on the market.
In constructing a large building, it might be pos­
sible to insure safety by making the walls of solid
masonry 20 feet thick, but it is much more efficient
and less expensive to have an engineer calculate
just how much weight the walls will have to bear,
what other forces will affect them, and what safety
factors must be allowed. The engineer has to
decide which building materials would be the best
to use, considering the relative strengths and dura­
bility of the various materials, their cost, the
quantities needed, and the cost of the labor re­
quired in construction. These same types of fac­
tors have to be considered by engineers developing
and designing such diverse products as elec­
tronic equipment, home appliances, and diesel

Besides developing and designing new and im­
proved products, engineers perform various other
types of work. Their “ know-how” is used in ad­
ministration and management, particularly in the
industries in which engineering methods are most
important. Many supervise construction or the
operation of plants and mines. Others are en­
gaged in research, aimed at providing the informa­
tion needed in developing new products or meth­
ods of manufacture. Some, particularly trainees
or beginning engineers, do drafting, analysis or
testing, much of which is routine work. A sizable
number work for consulting firms or as indepen­
dent consultants, who advise their clients on en­
gineering matters. Many companies employ en­
gineers in selling their products, particularly
when the salesman must be able to discuss the tech­
nical aspects of the product and assist in planning
its installation and use. A relatively small but
exceedingly important group of engineers teach in
colleges, universities, or other engineering schools.
Most engineers specialize in some one branch of
the profession, although there is a trend away
from specialization in the early phases of training
and career development. At least 20 specialties
are recognized in practice and in engineering
school courses. Several of these, which are dis­
cussed separately later in this chapter, are aero­
nautical, ceramic, chemical, civil, electrical, indus­
trial, mechanical, metallurgical, and mining en­
gineering. (Agricultural engineering is discussed
separately under the chapter on Agricultural Oc­
cupations; see index for page number.) Work in
each of these areas involves specialized knowledge,
but there is a considerable body of basic knowledge
and methodology which is common to most areas
of engineering. Thus, engineers are often able to
shift from one branch to another, particularly in
the early stages of their careers.
Engineers frequently become specialists also in
a particular technology or in the engineering prob­
lems of an industry. In many instances, these
specialties cut across the traditional branches.
Nuclear engineering is an example of a growing
field of work associated with a new technology.



The engineer working in this field frequently has
considerable academic training in physics and
mathematics and often graduate training in nu­
clear engineering, but his bachelor’s degree is usu­
ally in chemical, mechanical, or one of the other
traditional branches of engineering.
W h ere Employed

The majority of engineers— about two-thirds of
the total number in 1956— are employed in private
industry. Virtually all manufacturing industries
employ some engineers. The branches of manu­
facturing employing the largest numbers are the
machinery, electrical equipment, and aircraft and
parts industries. Other industries which employ
sizable numbers of engineers include transporta­
tion and other public utilities, telecommunications,
construction, and industries producing motor ve­
hicles, chemicals and allied products, petroleum,
fabricated metal products and ordnance, primary
metals, and professional and scientific instruments.
Another large group of engineers— almost 20
percent in 1956— are employed by Federal, State,
and local government agencies. Estimates of the
proportions of engineers in still other types of em­
ployment are military ( active duty), about 5 per­
cent; self-employed (consulting firms), about the
same proportion or slightly less; and educational
institutions, about 2 percent. The remaining small
group are in a variety of other fields, in­
cluding commercial laboratories and nonprofit
Engineers are employed in every State, in small
cities as well as large. The profession also offers
opportunities for employment overseas. How­
ever, some branches of engineering are concen­
trated in particular industries or geographic loca­
tions (as indicated in the statements on the various
branches later in this chapter).
Training and Other Qualifications

Four years of college work leading to a bache­
lor’s degree in engineering is usually the minimum
educational requirement for engineering work.
Some engineers have, however, entered the pro­
fession with training in physics, one of the other
natural sciences, or mathematics. Others have
been able to enter the field without degrees but
only after long experience in semiprofessional
work and some college-level training. The pro­

portion of engineers with advanced degrees is
still small in most branches of the profession, but
graduate training is being emphasized in the se­
lection of personnel for an ever increasing num­
ber of jobs. Furthermore, training in some engi­
neering specialties, such as nuclear engineering,
is available chiefly at the graduate level.
It is important for prospective engineering stu­
dents to select an accredited school of engineering,
since persons trained at such schools generally
have the best employment opportunities. O f the
215 universities and engineering schools which o f­
fered training in engineering leading to a bache­
lor’s or a higher degree in 1956, 151 had curriculums which were accredited by the Engineers’
Council for Professional Development.
In the typical 4-year engineering curriculum,
the first year and part of the second are devoted to
basic preengineering subjects such as mathematics,
chemistry, and physics, and to courses in the liberal
arts—the humanities, social sciences, and English.
The last 2 years are devoted mostly to engineering
and advanced mathematics and science subjects,
with some differences in courses depending on the
branch of engineering in which the student is
specializing. Some institutions have 5-year pro­
grams, leading to the bachelor’s degree and a num­
ber of engineering schools have arrangements
with liberal arts colleges whereby a student spends
3 years in the liberal arts college and 2 years in the
engineering school and receives bachelor’s degrees
from both. Thirty-five institutions have coop­
erative plans under which students spend alternate
periods in attendance at college and in employment
in industry or government. Under such plans, the
normal 4-year curriculum is spread over 5 and
sometimes 6 years, but the graduate has the advan­
tage of about 2 years of industrial experience in
addition to his engineering degree.
With the rapid developments in science and
engineering, many employers in recent years have
stressed the need for engineers with a strong back­
ground in mathematics and the basic sciences.
Therefore, persons contemplating an engineering
career should rate well above average in mathe­
matics and science courses in high school and
should continue to obtain extensive training in
these subjects in college. There is also a demand
for engineering graduates with broad training in
other subjects, including the social sciences and
the humanities. Furthermore, many employers


emphasize the extracurricular college record of
prospective employees.
Beginning engineers may enter as trainees or
in the more routine jobs. Many industrial em­
ployers have special training programs for their
beginning engineers, designed to supplement col­
lege work with training in specific industrial tech­
niques and to aid in determining the type of work
for which the individual is best suited. With
experience, engineers can move up to positions of
greater responsibility. Those with ability and
interest can advance to high-level technical, super­
visory, and administrative jobs and even to top
executive positions.
Laws providing for licensing or registration of
professional engineers are in effect in all 48 States,
the District of Columbia, and 5 Territories. In
general, the purpose of the laws is to ensure that
engineering work which may affect life, health,
or property is done by registered engineers. The
various laws have different provisions as to the
types of work for which registration is required.
For example, in one State only civil engineers
have to register, although almost all other States
provide registration for those in all major
branches of engineering. In 1956, about 207,000
of the approximately 700,000 engineers in the
country were registered.
Registration laws are subject to frequent change
and improvement. Generally, requirements for
registration as a professional engineer are: Grad­
uation from an approved engineering college, plus
4 years of experience and passing of a State exam­
ination. Examining boards may accept a longer
period o f experience as a substitute for a college
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for engineers were
excellent in 1956. Demand for engineers in­
creased rapidly after World War I I —particularly
after the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in 1950,
when the needs of the expanded defense program
were added to those of the growing civilian econ­
omy. The supply of new engineering graduates
available during the early and middle 1950’s was
not enough to meet the rising demand. In 1956,
about 26,000 bachelor’s degrees in engineering
were conferred, somewhat more than were granted
in 1954 or 1955 (about 22,000 each year) but far
less than the peak number of about 53,000 granted


in 1950, when the largest number of veterans
graduated. It should be noted, however, that in
each year from 1954 to 1956 the number of degrees
awarded was considerably greater than the largest
number awarded in any year during, or prior to,
World War II (about 16,000 in 1942).
Employment opportunities for women engi­
neers, who still represent only a small proportion
of the profession, were very favorable in 1956.
Furthermore, there has been a recent trend for
employers to eliminate salary and other employ­
ment differences between men and women engi­
neers of comparable education and experience who
are doing similar work.
The outlook is for continued expansion of the
profession both in the next few years and over the
long run. Engineering has been one of the most
rapidly growing professional occupations in the
United States in the past 50 years, and there is
every indication that it will go on growing rap­
idly. Some of the major factors expected to raise
the demand for engineering personnel are con­
tinued growth of population and expansion o f
industry, increasing complexity of industrial tech­
nology as, for example, the trend toward auto­
mation of industrial procedures, and further
growth in expenditures for research and develop­
ment. The large sums spent for research and de­
velopment in recent years, by both industry and
Government, have broadened existing areas of
employment for engineers and opened up new ones,
such as computer technology and nuclear energy.
As scientific frontiers are further extended, addi­
tional areas of work for engineers will be provided.
In addition, a rise in engineering enrollments is
anticipated in colleges and universities, and this
will result in many openings in teaching. (See
statement on employment outlook in college and
university teaching; refer to index for page num­
ber.) The demand for engineering teachers was
already great in 1956, and most engineering col­
leges were having difficulty in recruiting faculty.
Besides engineers needed to fill new positions*
thousands will have to be trained annually to re­
place those who die, retire, or transfer to other oc­
cupations. Losses to the profession from deaths
and retirements alone were estimated to be about
10,000 a year in 1956 and were expected to rise
slowly in the future.
Along with the expected growth in demand for
engineers, an increase in the supply of graduates
is anticipated. I f the proportion of college grad-



uates majoring in engineering remains the same as
in recent years, the number of bachelor’s degrees
conferred in engineering will rise slowly in the
late 1950’s and early 1960’s and more rapidly
thereafter. In 1965, the number may be as high
as 56,000, more than double the number conferred
in 1956, according to estimates by the U. S. Office
of Education. Nevertheless, it is expected that
employment prospects for engineering graduates
will continue to be favorable through the early
1960’s, at least.
This conclusion is based on the assumption that
the Nation’s economy will continue to expand. It
also assumes that Government spending for de
fense, including research and development— a ma­
jor factor affecting demand for engineers—will re­
main high. I f Government spending for these
purposes should drop, the demand for engineers
would become less pressing. On the other hand,
a substantial increase in defense expenditures or
an acceleration in other Government programs
such as public works would intensify the demand
for engineering personnel.
For the student, the anticipated rapid growth in
engineering enrollments may mean increasing d if­
ficulty in entering the engineering school of his
choice. A number of land-grant colleges were al­
ready reporting crowded facilities in 1956. Un­
less facilities and teaching staffs are greately ex­
panded, colleges and universities may not be able
to accommodate all students wishing to enter engi­
neering schools, and some institutions may raise
entrance standards. In any case, the necessity for
adequate preparation and realistic appraisal of
aptitude for engineering work should be empha­
sized. In recent years, industry officials have con­
tinually stressed the need for high-quality men as
a more pressing problem than inadequate numbers
o f graduates. Even under favorable employment
conditions, the marginal student may not advance
far up the professional ladder. On the other hand,
there is every reason to believe that the demand for
engineering graduates with ability and thorough
training will remain high for many years to come.
The foregoing analysis relates to the outlook for
the engineering profession as a whole. The dif­
ferences among the various branches of engineer­
ing with respect to the current employment situ­
ation and expected future employment trends are
discussed in the statements on these branches later
in this chapter.
It will be noted that no evaluation of the future
supply of personnel in each branch is included in

these statements. Such evaluation is difficult for
a number of reasons. In the first place, the num­
bers of students majoring in the various branches
of engineering depend not only on the numbers of
young people of college age and the degree of in­
terest in the engineering profession but also on
many special factors, such as the availability of
training facilities and the relative employment
situation in the various branches at the time the
student decides to enter. Moreover, graduates
with a degree in one field of engineering often
find employment in another. This mobility of per­
sonnel is one of the reasons why differences in the
employment situation among the various fields of
engineering are likely to be moderate, at least
among the younger members of the profession.

Monthly starting salaries of new engineering
graduates with bachelor’s degrees and no experi­
ence are shown in the following tabulation, based
on a survey made by Engineers Joint Council in
the spring and summer of 1956.


Median Highest Lowest
(average) starting starting
salary reported reported

Chemicals and allied products _
Petroleum products and extraction-_
Primary metals, fabricated metal
products and ordnance, and
metal mining
Electrical equipment
Transportation equipment
Professional and scientific instru­
Other manufacturing and mining
industries and construction
Utilities and sanitary services- _
Miscellaneous services:
Research and development------375
Government (other than Federal)--











For engineering graduates with master’s de­
grees, starting salaries were approximately $50
to $100 a month higher than for those with only
bachelor’s degrees. For graduates with doctors
degrees, monthly starting salaries typically
ranged from $600 to $750. In early 1957, engi-



neering salaries were generally higher than in the
spring and summer of 1956, when the data shown
above were collected.
In the Federal Government, the beginning
salary for engineers with the bachelor’s degree and
no experience was $4,480 a year in 1956. Those
with the master’s degree and no experience could
begin at $5,335 a year, and those with the Ph. D.
and no experience at $7,035.
Most engineers can look forward to a marked
increase in earnings as they gain experience.
Thus, the median (average) yearly salary of
engineers with 10 years of experience was about
$8,000 in 1956, and that of engineers with 25 years
o f experience was about $10,200 (chart 28).

Ninety percent of the men in the latter group had
earnings of at least $7,100 a year and 10 percent
earned $15,000 or more. A few in top-level execu­
tive positions had much higher earnings than this.
In general, earnings of engineers are higher in
private industry than in other types of employ­
ment. Though engineers in government employ­
ment generally make less than those in private
industry, particularly in top-level jobs, their
salaries tend to be higher than those of engineering
educators. On the other hand, engineers in edu­
cational institutions can frequently supplement
their salaries with income from special research
projects, consulting work, publications, or employ­
ment during their vacations.


Annual Salary


Source: Engineers Joint Council 1956, Salary Survey



W h ere To Go for More Information

General information on engineering careers—
including student selection and guidance, profes­
sional training and ethics, salaries and other eco­
nomic aspects of engineering—may be obtained
from :
Engineers Council for Professional Development,
29 West 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.
Engineers Joint Council,
29 W est 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.
National Society for Professional Engineers,
2029 K St. N W , Washington, D. C,

Information on engineering schools and curriculums and on training and other qualifications
needed for entrance into the profession may also
be obtained from the Engineers Council for Pro­
fessional Development, and information on reg­
istration of engineers, from the National Society
of Professional Engineers.
Organizations which can furnish information
on the respective branches of engineering are listed
American Ceramic Society,
4055 North High St., Columbus 14, Ohio

American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical
Petroleum Engineers,
29 West 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.


American Society of Civil Engineers,
33 West 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
29 W est 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.
Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, Inc.,
2 East 64th St., New York, N. Y.

The above list includes only some of the many
engineering organizations. Other engineering
organizations are listed in two publications avail­
able in most libraries: Engineering Societies D i­
rectory, 1956, published by Engineers Joint Coun­
cil, and Scientific and Technical Societies of the
United States and Canada, published by the Na­
tional Academy of Sciences, National Research
Some engineers are members of unions. In ­
formation on engineering unions may be obtained
from :
The American Federation of Technical Engineers.
900 F St. N W ., Washington 4, D. C.
Engineers and Scientists of America (In d .),
Munsey Building, Washington 4, D. C.

See also statement on agricultural engineers
(refer to index for page number).
The U. S. Civil Service Commission, Washing­
ton 25, D. C., will furnish information on positions
available in Federal Government agencies. For
further information, see chapter on Government

American Institute of Chemical Engineers,
25 W est 45th St., New York 36, N. Y.
American Institute of Electrical Engineers,
33 West 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.
American Institute of Industrial Engineers,
145 North High St., Columbus 15, Ohio

(D. O. T. 0 -19.03)

Nature of W ork

W here Employed

Aeronautical engineering is a relatively new and
rapidly growing branch of the profession. En­
gineers in this branch work mainly on the design
of the structure of aircraft. However, they are
also concerned with all other phases of the plan­
ning, development, design, manufacture, and test­
ing of aircraft and their parts and equipment.
Aeronautical engineers usually specialize in
some area of work, such as structural design, aero­
dynamics, armament, electronics, propulsion sys­
tems, or production methods. Frequently, their
specialization also extends to particular types of
aircraft, such as commercial or military planes,
rockets, or guided missiles.

Most aeronautical engineers are employed by
aircraft and related industries. The largest num­
bers of these engineers are in the airframe indus­
try but many are employed by propulsion unit
(engine) and parts manufacturers. Some aero­
nautical engineers work for Federal Government
agencies, principally the Department of Defense,
the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics,
and the Civil Aeronautics Administration of the
Department of Commerce. Small numbers work
for commercial airlines, colleges and universities,
and other types of employers.
Employment in this branch of the engineering
profession is concentrated in the States where most


aircraft plants are located—chiefly California,
Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Washington, Kan­
sas, Texas, Maryland, Indiana, and New Jersey.
(The geographic location of the airframe and en­
gine and parts industries is discussed in more de­
tail in the chapter on Aircraft Industry Occupa­
tions; see index for page number.)
Employment Outlook

Employment prospects for aeronautical engi­
neers were excellent in 1956. In recent years, the
demand for these engineers has been greater than
the supply, largely as a result of the growing
emphasis on airpoAver for national defense since


the Korean emergency and the consequent enor­
mous expansion of the aircraft industry.
The long-run outlook is for continued expan­
sion of employment in this rapidly growing
branch of engineering. Assuming that Govern­
ment expenditures for aircraft, missiles, and re­
lated items continue to increase as expected, the
aircraft industry will probably continue to groAv.
Moreover, the need for intensive research and de­
velopment aimed at replacing obsolescent aircraft
with improved types and the increasingly com­
plex designs of airplanes and guided missiles, re­
quiring more and more engineering time to de­
sign and build, are expected to increase further the
demand for aeronautical engineers in future years.

Ceramic Engineers
(D. O. T. 0 -1 5 .1 1 )

Nature of Work

Ceramic engineers are concerned Avith the proc­
essing of clay, silicates, and other nonmetallic
minerals and Avith the manufacture o f products
from these raw materials; also with the construc­
tion and design o f plant equipment and structures.
Some are engaged in research and development
Avork or administration and management. Others
are employed in sales or teaching. A small num­
ber do consulting Avork.
Ceramic engineers usually specialize in one or
more products— for example, refractories (fireand heat-resistant materials, such as firebrick) ;
AvhiteAvare (such as porcelain and china dinnerAvare or high voltage electrical insulators) ; struc­
tural materials (such as brick, tile, and terra
cotta) ; glass; enameled m etals; abrasives; ce­
ments, limes, and plasters; and many others.
W h ere Employed

Most men in this branch of engineering are em­
ployed in private industry. The largest numbers
are in the stone, clay, and glass industries, but
others work in the iron and steel, electrical ma­
chinery, chemical, and other industries which
produce or use ceramic products. A small num­
ber work for government agencies, chiefly those
of the Federal Government. Some are employed
by educational institutions and by other organiza­
tions. A large proportion of all ceramic engineers

are employed in the States of Ohio, Pennsylvania,
New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California.
Employment Outlook

Ceramic engineering is one of the smaller
branches of the profession, and opportunities for
new entrants in any 1 year are relatively few.
Nevertheless, the demand for ceramic engineers
has in recent years exceeded the supply, and em­
ployment opportunities have been excellent both
for neAv graduates and for experienced men.
The long-run outlook is for continued growth
of employment in ceramic engineering. Increas­
ing use of glass, enameled metals, whitewares,
abrasives, and other ceramic products will require
research and design work to adapt these products
to various needs. The increasing use of cement
and structural clay products in construction will
also add to the opportunities for ceramic engi­
neers. NeAver areas of work in nuclear energy,
electronics, and jet and rocket propulsion will,
likewise, provide additional opportunities for
these engineers. For example, the development of
ceramic coatings which are corrosion-resistant and
capable of withstanding extremely high tempera­
tures has played an important role in the develop­
ment of jet engines. Problems posed by the de­
velopment of aircraft capable of still higher speeds
and greater altitudes will further increase the de­
mand for ceramic engineers as well as for other
engineers and scientists.



Chemical Engineers
(D. O. T. 0 -1 5 .0 1 )

Nature of W ork

Chemical engineers are concerned with the ap­
plication of chemistry and other sciences such as
physics and mathematics, and of engineering prin­
ciples to manufacturing operations which involve
chemical processes. They are responsible for the
design, construction, and operation o f equipment
and plants and for other engineering work re­
quired in utilizing chemical processes on an indus­
trial scale. Many of these processes have been
separated into a series of “ unit operations,” such
as mixing, crushing, grinding, crystallization, heat
transfer, distillation, and drying. A large part
o f the chemical engineer’s work involves the ap­
plication of one or more of these “ unit operations”
to the manufacture of a product.
The chemical engineer may specialize in a par­
ticular type of operation ( for example, heat trans­
fer, distillation, or drying) or in the products of
one industry (for example, petroleum, plastics,
rubber, food, or industrial chemicals). The ac­
tivities in which they are chiefly engaged are re­
search and development, plant operation, design,
and management.
W here Employed

A great many industries use chemical engineers.
However, most are employed by manufacturing
firms—chiefly in the chemical and petroleum in­
dustries. Some are employed in government

agencies, in consulting firms, or as independent
consulting engineers, and in college teaching.
Chemical engineers are employed to some extent
in all States, mainly in or around large industrial
areas. The largest numbers are in the States o f
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Cali­
fornia, Illinois, and Texas.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for chemical engi­
neers were excellent in 1956. In recent years, de­
mand for these engineers has exceeded the sup­
ply—largely as a result of the rapid expansion of
the industries in which most chemical engineers
are employed (chiefly chemicals and petroleum)
and of the tremendous growth of research and de­
velopment in these industries.
The long-run outlook is for continued growth in
this branch of engineering. Chemical engineering
is one of the youngest of the major fields of engi­
neering, and has grown rapidly in the past few
decades. The major factors underlying this
growth in past years will in all probability con­
tinue to be important in the future. In particular,
the chemical and petroleum industries are expected
to expand at a rate considerably faster than indus­
try in general. In these and other industries em­
ploying chemical engineers, including atomic energy, continued expansion of research and develop­
ment activity (in which about one-third of all
chemical engineers are employed) is expected to
accompany and contribute to industrial growth.

Civil Engineers
(D. O. T. 0 -1 6 .0 1 )

Nature of W ork

Civil enginering is the oldest branch of engi­
neering. Historically, the profession had only two
main branches, “ military” and “ civil.” However,
as technical knowledge expanded and industry
became more complex, other fields of engineering
developed. Today, civil engineers form 1 of the
2 largest o f the many branches of the profession.
They are concerned with the design and construc­
tion of roads, harbors, airfields, dams, tunnels,
water-supply and sewerage systems, transporta­

tion facilities, buildings, and many other types o f
structures. The field is so broad that many spe­
cialties have developed within it—the major ones
being structural, highway, hydraulic, railroad,
sanitary, and public health engineering.
A sizable proportion of all civil engineers are
in supervisory or administrative positions, rang­
ing from that of site supervisor of a construction
gang or head of a drafting department to toplevel executive posts. Large groups are employed
in design and related activities.



Civil engineers work in all parts of the country,
in every State and city. The largest numbers are
located in or near the larger industrial and com­
mercial centers. However, since civil engineers
are frequently called upon to work at construc­
tion sites, they are sometimes stationed in remote
areas of the United States or foreign countries.
Furthermore, they are often required to move
from one place to another to work on different
jobs, although many civil engineering positions in­
volve little or no travel.
Employment Outlook


o u r t e s y
o f
b u r e a u
m e n t o f In t e r i o r

o f

r e c l a m a t io n

, u

. S.


e p a r t


Civil engineers are concerned with the design and construction
of many types of structures.

Where Employed

About half of all civil engineers are employed
by Federal, State, and local government agencies.
The second largest group are in the construction
industry. In addition, many are employed by
consulting engineering firms or as independent
consulting engineers. Others work for public
utilities; for railroads; for banking, finance, in­
surance, and real estate firms (in such work as ap­
praisal of properties) ; and in educational institu­
tions. Still others are employed in the iron and
steel industries and other branches of manufac­

Employment opportunities for civil engineers
were very good in 1956. In recent years, civil
engineers have not been in as short supply as mem­
bers of some other branches of the profession, but
many civil engineering positions have remained
unfilled, particularly in State and local govern­
ments where salaries have been lower than in other
areas of work.
The outlook is for continued growth of civil en­
gineering. Construction activity, including not
only housing and industrial building, but also
water and sewerage systems, is expected to have
an upward trend for many years as a result of pop­
ulation growth and the expansion of the Nation’s
economy. The enormous highway construction
program voted by Congress in 1956 will create
many new jobs for civil engineers during the com­
ing decade. In addition, large numbers of civil
engineers will be needed each year to replace those
leaving the field. Civil engineers have a higher
average age than members of any other branch of
the profession, and consequently a higher rate of
retirements and deaths. The number of civil
engineers needed to replace men thus lost to the
profession was estimated at approximately 2,800
a year in 1956 and will probably rise slowly in the

Electrical Engineers
(D. O. T. 0-1 7.01 and .02)

Nature of Work

Electrical engineers are concerned with the
generation of electricity and its transmission and
use. They design, develop, and supervise the
manufacture of electrical and electronic equip­
ment—including electric motors and generators;

radio, television, radar, computers, and other elec­
tronic apparatus; and electrical appliances of all
kinds. They also participate in the design and
operation of facilities for generating and distrib­
uting electric power.
The major areas of work in this branch of engi­
neering include electronics, electrical machinery



and equipment manufacturing, telephone and
telegraph, power, illumination, and transporta­
tion. Electrical engineers usually specialize in 1
o f these broad areas of work or even in a subdi­
vision of some 1 area. Radio engineering, for ex­
ample, is an electronics specialty although it has
become recognized as a distinct branch of the pro­
A sizable proportion of all electrical engineers
are engaged in design, development, and research.
Another large group are employed in technical ad­
ministration. Others are employed in manufac­
turing operations or in technical sales.
Where Employed

Electrical engineers are chiefly employed by
electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers,
by electric light and power companies, and by
telephone and telegraph and radio and television
broadcasting companies. However, many mem­
bers of this profession are employed in other in­
dustries, and some are employed in government
agencies, in consulting firms or as independent
consulting engineers, and in college teaching.
Employment in this branch of the profession is
concentrated to a considerable extent in the in­
dustrial centers where electrical and electronic
equipment is manufactured. However, jobs with
electric light and power companies, telephone com­
panies, and radio and television stations are lo­
cated in every State—in small towns as well as
large cities.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for electrical engi­
neers were excellent in 1956. In recent years, the
number of job openings has exceeded the number
of electrical engineers available, and many em­
ployers have reported vacant positions which they
have not been able to fill. Demand has been es-

pecially great for electrical engineers with Ph.D.
In the last few decades, electrical engineering
has been among the most rapidly growing
branches of the profession. Today, it is 1 of the 3
largest branches of engineering. Since the initia­
tion of the defense program in mid-1950, the enor­
mous military needs for new and improved types
of electronic and electrical equipment have been a
major factor in the expanding demand for elec­
trical engineers. These defense needs, added to
those of the expanding civilian economy, have re­
sulted in marked growth in the electrical equip­
ment industry. Defense requirements have con­
tributed especially to the tremendous increase in
spending for research and development in this in­
dustry and hence to the demand for electrical engi­
neers in research activities. There has also been
rapid growth in the electric utility and the tele­
phone and telegraph industries—other large fields
of employment for electrical engineers.
The long-run outlook is for further growth in
this branch of the engineering profession. The
growth of the electrical equipment, electric light
and power, and telephone and telegraph industries
has been very rapid in the last half century, and
this growth is expected to continue at a rapid rate
with the greater use of electrical and electronic
equipment by the Armed Forces, by industry, and
in homes. Moreover, newer areas of work such as
atomic power generation, aviation electronics,
guided missiles, computers, and automation will
probably continue to require large numbers of elec­
trical engineers as well as other engineers and sci­
Besides those needed to fill new positions, a
sizable number of electrical engineers will be re­
quired to replace personnel lost to the profession
by retirement or death. The number needed to fill
such vacancies was estimated to be approximately
1,900 a year in 1956 and will probably rise slowly
in the future.

Industrial Engineers
(D. O. T. 0- 18. 1 )

Nature of Work

Industrial engineers are concerned primarily
with the efficient use of machines, materials, and
personnel in manufacturing and other industries.
They often specialize in such types of work as

the planning of plant layout so that the work will
flow efficiently from one step in the production
process to the next, or the selection and design of
machines and equipment to be used in manufac­
turing operations. Among their numerous other
specialties are time, motion, and incentive studies;


production methods and standards; cost control
and records; quality control; safety engineering;
and industrial relations.
W h ere Employed

A large proportion of all industrial engineers
are e m p l o y e d in manufacturing industries.
Others work in the construction and extractive in­
dustries, for utilities, and for the Federal Gov­
ernment. A number are employed by banks, mail­
order houses, life insurance companies, and other
large business organizations to improve the ef­
ficiency of clerical and other operations.
Employment in this branch of the profession is
concentrated in the highly industrialized areas of
the East North Central States (particularly Illi­
nois, Ohio, and Michigan), and the Middle A t­
lantic States (New York, Pennsylvania, and New
Jersey). Opportunities also exist in the growing
industrial centers of the southern and West Coast


Employment Outlook

Although employment opportunities for indus­
trial engineers were good in 1956, in recent years,
industrial engineers have not been in as short sup­
ply as members of some other branches of the
profession. However, the demand for these engi­
neers has exceeded the number available, largely
as a result of the rapid growth of the Nation’s
industries during the postwar period and of the
increasing complexity of industrial operations.
Growing recognition of the importance of scien­
tific management and safety engineering and the
role of industrial engineers in reducing costs and
increasing productivity have also stimulated de­
mand for personnel trained in this branch of engi­
neering. These same factors will probably con­
tinue to operate in the future—leading to a further
rise in employment of industrial engineers in the
late 1950’s and over the long run.

Mechanical Engineers
(D. O. T. 0-1 9.01 r .0 5, .8 1 , .91)

Nature of Work

Mechanical engineering is 1 of the 2 largest
branches of the profession. I f aeronautical and
industrial engineering, which are offshoots of this
branch, were included with it, mechanical engi­
neering would represent by far the largest branch
of the profession.
Mechanical engineers deal primarly with ma­
chines, power, and heat. They develop and design
machines such as internal combustion engines,
steam turbines, jet engines, and nuclear reactors,
which produce power from fuels and other sources.
They also develop a great variety of machines and
devices which use power—refrigerating and airconditioning equipment, elevators, machine tools,
printing presses, steel-rolling mills, and many
others. Mechanical engineers often supervise the
installation, operation, and maintenance of indus­
trial machinery. Since virtually all industries use
machines and require power, the work of the me­
chanical engineer underlies all kinds of industrial
Because the field of mechanical engineering is
so broad, many specialized areas of work have de­
veloped within it. Among them are automotive
engineering, marine engineering, railroad equip4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 5 7 --------9

ment, steam power and heating, ventilating and
air conditioning, hydraulics or fluid mechanics,
instrumentation, and machines for specialized in­
dustries, such as petroleum, rubber and plastics,
and woodworking.
W here Employed

Mechanical engineers are employed in every
major branch of manufacturing and in many non­
manufacturing industries. The largest numbers
are, however, in the machinery, fabricated metal
products, transportation equipment, iron and steel,
and other metalworking industries. A number are
employed in government agencies, educational in­
stitutions, and consulting engineering firms, or as
independent consulting engineers.
Though mechanical engineers are to be found in
all parts of the country, the large majority are in
nine States: New York, California, Ohio, Michi­
gan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massa­
chusetts, and Texas.
Employment Outlook

Employment prospects for mechanical engi­
neers were excellent in 1956. In recent years, the

1 14


demand for personnel in this branch, of engineer­
ing has been greater than the supply, and many
employers have been unable to fill vacant positions.
Mechanical engineering has been among the
most rapidly growing branches of engineering in
recent decades, particularly since W orld War II.
The tremendous growth of the metalworking in­
dustries, stimulated by the mobilization program
undertaken in mid-1950 and the defense program
o f more recent years, has resulted in a constantly
increasing demand for mechanical engineers. The
rapid expansion of research and development ac­
tivities in these industries has also added to the
demand for mechanical engineers’ services.

The long-run outlook is for further growth in
this branch of the profession. The metalworking
industries are expected to continue to expand.
Moreover, newer areas of work, such as atomic
energy, weapons development, and automatic as­
sembly will probably provide additional openings
for large numbers of mechanical engineers as well
as for other engineers and scientists.
Besides those needed to fill new positions, siz­
able numbers of mechanical engineers are required
each year to replace those who retire or die. Re­
cent estimates placed this number at approxi­
mately 2,100 in 1956, and it will rise slowly in the

Metallurgical Engineers
(D. O. T. 0 -1 4 .0 1

Nature of W ork

Metallurgical engineers are concerned with the
processing o f metals and their conversion into
needed products. These engineers usually work
in 1 o f 2 main branches of metallurgy. The first
of these extractive metallurgy, deals with the ex­
traction o f metals from their ores—with refining
and related processes. The other branch, physical
metallurgy, is concerned with the content and
structure o f metals and their alloys and with
methods o f converting refined metals into final
products having a specified strength and hardness
or other desired properties.
Persons working in the field o f metallurgy are
sometimes referred to interchangeably as metal­
lurgists or metallurgical engineers. However,
those known as metallurgists are likely to be en­
gaged in activities such as research and develop­
ment or analysis and testing, whereas those with
the title o f metallurgical engineers are engaged
mainly in directing the processing of ores.
W h ere Employed

Metallurgical engineers are employed chiefly
in metalworking industries—above all in the iron
and steel and nonferrous metals industries. The
metal mining industry also employs substantial
numbers. Small numbers hold positions in other
industries, government agencies, consulting
firms, research organizations, and educational

and .20)

Most metallurgical engineers are in the large
metal-fabricating centers of the country, mainly
in the Middle Atlantic States (Pennsylvania, New
York, and New Jersey) and in East North Central
States (Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana).
Those employed in the mining industry are
naturally located chiefly in metal mining regions.
Employment Outlook

Metallurgical engineering is one of the smaller
branches of the profession. However, the demand
for metallurgists and metallurgical engineers has
in recent years greatly exceeded the supply, and
employment opportunities have been excellent for
both new graduates and experienced men.
The long-run outlook is for further growth in
this branch o f the profession. The metalworking
industries are expected to continue to expand, and
increasing numbers of metallurgical engineers
will be needed to work on problems involved in
the adaptation of metals and alloys to specific
needs. The development of such items as super­
sonic aircraft, jet engines, and guided missiles, for
example, has created numerous new problems for
the metallurgical engineer. Also, the atomic
energy program has opened the door to a whole
new field in the study o f metals and their uses.
As the supply of high grade ores is depleted,
problems involved in processing low-grade ores
will further increase the need for metallurgical



Mining Engineers
(D. O. T. 0 -2 0 .0 1

Nature of W ork

Mining engineers are responsible for extracting
minerals from the earth and for the preliminary
processing of ore to remove rock or other un­
wanted materials. They plan and supervise the
construction and operation of mines. This work
involves the construction of mine shafts and tun­
nels, devising the means of extracting the minerals,
and planning the methods to be used in transport­
ing them to the surface. It may also involve the
design and installation of water supplies, electric
light and power facilities, and ventilation equip­
ment. Mining engineers are responsible for mine
safety. They often have to appraise the value of
mines or mineral deposits. Frequently, they also
direct any processing of minerals which is carried
out at the mine site in order to remove rock, earth,
or other substances with which the minerals are
mixed. Another important function of mining
engineers is exploration for ore-bearing rock or for
deposits of petroleum, coal, or other minerals; in
this work, they use a knowledge of geology, as well
as engineering and other scientific techniques.
Mining engineers frequently specialize in a par­
ticular type of mineral—metals, petroleum and
natural gas, coal, or nonmetallic minerals. They
may also specialize in a particular type of work,
such as mine safety, mine appraisal, or explora­
W h ere Employed

Mining engineers are usually employed at the
location of mineral deposits. For this reason,
they often work in out-of-the-way places— in
mountains or deserts. Those engaged in research,
teaching, management, or consulting may, how­

and .11)

ever, be located in large metropolitan areas. The
majority are employed in Texas, California, Penn­
sylvania, Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia,
Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Colorado.
Employment Outlook

Since mining engineering is one of the smaller
branches of the profession, opportunities for new
entrants in any 1 year are relatively few. Fur­
thermore, employment prospects for new gradu­
ates with a degree in mining engineering were less
favorable in 1956 than for those in most other
branches of engineering. The best opportunities
were in the exploration field—for graduates with
considerable training in geology, geophysics, and
other aspects of exploration technology.
Mining engineering is expected to grow over the
long run, although more slowly than most other
branches of the profession. As needs for metal in­
crease with the expansion of industry, and easily
mined deposits are exhausted, mining engineers
will be needed to devise ways of mining poorer de­
posits or those which are more difficult to work at
a competitive cost. Additional areas of employ­
ment for mining engineers will arise as the de­
velopment of new alloys and the discovery of new
uses for metals increase the demand for the less
widely used ores. The expanding field of atomic
energy, for example, has led to growing activity
in the search for and development of uraniumbearing ores. In the petroleum industry, which
has so far drawn chiefly upon the richer and more
accessible oilfields, exploration crews including
mining engineers with training in exploration
technology will be needed to locate and exploit
new oilfields, both in the United States and in
other areas of the world.

Natural science—the sum of man’s knowledge
o f the physical world and of the animals and
plants in it—had its beginnings many centuries
ago. A t first, scientific knowledge was so limited
that men o f science did not need to specialize.
Aristotle, for example, was familiar with all the
science known in his day and was the author of
books on both physics and animal life. Gradually,
however, the body of scientific knowledge became
too great for one individual to grasp in its entirety,
and scientists became specialists in different fields.
Today, the natural sciences are customarily
grouped into several broad categories: physical
sciences—chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathe­
matics; earth sciences—geology, geophysics, geo­
chemistry, meteorology; and life sciences— includ­
ing agricultural, animal, and plant sciences and
microbiology. Furthermore, most scientists now
specialize in subdivisions of these broad fields.
Physicists, for example, are usually specialists in
such areas as nuclear physics or optics; chemists,
in such branches as organic or inorganic chemistry.
The trend toward finer subdivision of the
sciences has, in recent years, gone hand in hand
with a blurring of the lines between the different
specialties. Information and techniques developed
by scientists working in one field have often, with
some new discovery, become the basis for the solu­
tion o f problems in a different field. New special­
ties, such as geophysics and biochemistry, have
come into being through a combination of the
knowledge o f two or more sciences. Thus, the
total body of scientific knowledge is interrelated
in many ways. No one branch of the natural
sciences is entirely independent of all others. This
chapter is, however, concerned chiefly with the
physical and earth sciences. The life sciences are
discussed in the next chapter.
It would be hard to exaggerate the importance
o f the natural sciences to the country’s economic
welfare and to the national defense. Neverthe­
less, they are relatively small fields of employ­
ment. The total number of scientists, including
life scientists, at all levels of professional training
was roughly 250,000 in 1956, or less than 0.5 per­
cent o f the total labor force. Total employment

in 1956 in the largest o f the sciences—chemistry—
was about 100,000.
Employment in the natural sciences has been in­
creasing steadily. From 1930 to 1956, when the
population as a whole increased by more than 30
percent, the number of scientists increased by
more than 400 percent. A substantial part of this
growth has occurred since the end of World
War II.
The rapid growth in the demand for natural
scientists is a reflection of scientific discoveries
which have led to new and improved products and
processes in a wide variety of industrial fields. De­
velopments in recent years in aircraft, in television
and radar, in atomic energy and associated tech­
nologies, and in a multitude of chemical products
are among the best known examples, but they are
only samples of a large number of uses of science
in the production of necessities and conveniences
for modern life. The sciences which have con­
tributed most conspicuously to these developments
are chemistry, physics, and mathematics. A num­
ber of life science specialties have also played im­
portant roles (as described in the chapter on A g ­
ricultural and Biological Sciences).
Some scientific specialties, such as astronomy
and certain branches of mathematics, are still
chiefly in the academic realm, with colleges and
universities providing most of the employment op­
portunities. For many of the natural science pro­
fessions, however, large fields of employment have
opened up in the laboratories of business and gov­
ernment during the past four decades. After
W orld War I, developments in the science of
chemistry formed the basis of a rapid growth of
the chemical industry, and a consequent great ex­
pansion in the chemical profession. Physics be­
came industrially important during the 1920’s and
1930’s and has grown very rapidly since World
War II. Mathematics has always been of funda­
mental importance to industry but its period of
very rapid growth, the seeds of which were sown
during W orld War II, began in the late 1940’s and
early 1950’s. Although chemistry fathered a new
industry, the impact of physics and mathematics


has not been predominant in any one industry but
rather in a number of different manufacturing in­
dustries, notably electronics, professional and
scientific instruments, and aircraft.
Generally speaking, scientific specialties which
do not have large-scale industrial applications are
very small fields of employment— affording oppor­
tunities chiefly in teaching for persons with ad­
vanced training. In order to offer sizable em­
ployment opportunities for persons with only 4
years o f college training, a science must have de­
veloped a field of application— for example, in
production or testing activities—where profes­
sional work can consist in applying established
principles or already existing knowledge to the
solution o f practical problems, rather than in con­
ducting research.
A long-run trend toward higher training re­
quirements is apparent in all the natural sciences.
There is a tendency to require more advanced de­
grees for many positions, especially in research,
and there is also a growing need for more trainingin related sciences. The trend toward greater spe­
cialization and the blurring of the lines of de­
marcation between the traditional fields, men­
tioned earlier, have made it necessary for a scien­
tist to know not only his own field but also those
parts of other fields that are related to his work.
Future trends of employment in the sciences
will be influenced by two main factors—the de­
mand for college and university teachers, and the
amount of expenditure for research and product
development. College and university teaching is
an important source of employment for scientists


with graduate training, particularly those with
Ph. D.’s. The expected expansion in college en­
rollments during the 1960’s and beyond will un­
doubtedly result in an increased demand for quali­
fied scientists as teachers. (See statement on col­
lege and university teachers, page 63.)
Expenditures for research and development are
an even more important factor influencing the
trend of employment in many fields of science.
Funds for these purposes expended by the Federal
Government, and by private industry and other
sources, have growm greatly since W orld War II.
The Federal Government, which has been the
source of about half of these funds, increased its
research and development spending about 500
percent between 1941 and 1953, primarily in con­
nection with national defense. Total expenditures
for research and development in 1953 were esti­
mated at more than $5 billion, and have undoubt­
edly risen substantially since then. Expenditures
for research and development by industry and
government are expected to continue their expan­
sion over the long run, and so should continue to
support the upward trend in employment of scien­
tists. However, materially reduced defense ex­
penditures would slow down or halt, temporarily,
the growth of scientific employment, as would any
major decline in the general level of economic
The employment outlook in the major branches
of the physical and earth sciences—chemistry,
geology, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology,
and physics—is discussed in more detail .in the fol­
lowing statements on each of these fields.

(D. O. T. 0 -0 7 .0 2 through .85)

Nature of W ork

Chemistry is by far the largest field of employ­
ment in the natural sciences. There were about
100,000 chemists in the country in 1956, about 6 to
8 percent of whom were women.
Chemists are concerned with the composition of
substances, the physical and chemical changes they
undergo; the way they react to ea,ch other; the
chemical processes required to obtain them from
nature or produce them synthetically; and the
ways in which they can be put to practical use. In
their jobs, chemists must often use mathematical

and chemical formulas, make precise measure­
ments, and w^ork with complex laboratory ap­
Because of chemistry’s vast scope, chemists
usually specialize in 1 of the 5 main branches—
organic, inorganic, physical, analytical chemistry,
or biochemistry. Often, they may even special­
ize in a subdivision of one of these branches. Or­
ganic chemists, the largest group, usually deal with
carbon compounds— substances chiefly derived
from animal and vegetable matter. Inorganic
chemists are chiefly concerned with compounds
of other elements, including most of the minerals



uses for existing ones. The others are engaged in
basic research, designed to extend scientific knowl­
edge rather than to solve any immediate practical
problem. In addition, sizable numbers of chemists
are engaged in technical administration, analysis
and testing, and teaching. Smaller numbers are
engaged in technical sales, production, technical
service, consulting, and other activities such as
patent work, technical writing, purchasing raw
materials, and marketing research.
Where Employed



Chemists m often make precise measurements and work with
complex laboratory apparatus.

and metals, but may also work with a few sub­
stances containing carbon such as carbonates and
carbides, which are usually classified as inorganic.
Physical chemists study the quantitative relation­
ships between chemical and physical properties of
both organic and inorganic substances— for ex­
ample, how these substances are affected by elec­
tricity, pressure, heat, and light. Biochemists are
concerned chiefly with chemical reactions occur­
ring in plants and animals, such as the effects of
food or chemicals on plant and animal tissues and
with the influence of chemicals on life processes.
Analytical chemists determine the exact chemical
composition of substances and thereby provide
controls for all types of chemical operations.
Some chemists specialize in a particular indus­
try or product such as petroleum or plastics. In
many instances, such work requires a knowledge of
more than one branch of chemistry. The specialist
in plastics, for example, may have to use physical
as well as organic chemistry.
The largest number of chemists are engaged in
research and development work. Most of these
work on applied research projects aimed at creat­
ing new products or improving and finding new

Most chemists—about two-thirds according to a
1955 survey by the American Chemical Society—
are in private industry, primarily in manufactur­
ing. The chemical industry employs the largest
number, but manufacturers of such diverse prod­
ucts as petroleum, food, primary metals, electrical
equipment, and rubber also use many chemists.
The proportions of chemists in other fields of em­
ployment in 1955 were: 15 percent in teaching. 9
percent in government (mostly Federal), 5 percent
in research institutes and consulting services, and
the remaining small group in a variety o f other
fields of employment.
Some chemists are employed in every State.
However, the greatest numbers are concentrated
in the major metropolitan areas of New York.
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and
Training and Other Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a major in chemistry is
usually considered the minimum entrance require­
ment for beginning chemists, but graduate train­
ing is becoming a prerequisite for an ever-increas­
ing number of jobs. More than 40 percent of the
chemists answering the American Chemical So­
ciety’s 1955 survey of its membership had Ph. D.
Chemists with the bachelor’s or master’s degree
are most likely to find employment in manufac­
turing industries—particularly in industrial chem­
icals. Sizable numbers also find opportunities as
research workers in government agencies, and
many of those with master’s degrees are employed
as graduate assistants or instructors in colleges
and universities while taking further graduate


In private industry, chemists with the bachelor’s
or master’s degree usually begin as trainees in
laboratory research or development work, in analy­
sis, testing, quality control, technical service, or
sales. With additional experience they may ad­
vance to positions of greater responsibility and
eventually to management positions. Many indus­
trial employers have special training programs for
chemistry graduates. These programs are de­
signed to supplement college training with specific
industry techniques and to aid in determining the
type of work best suited to the individual.
The doctorate is an extremely valuable asset in
obtaining most types of employment in the chemi­
cal profession. It is considered to be particularly
important for obtaining jobs in basic research and
is essential for a career in college teaching. Dur­
ing the 7-year period from 1949 through 1955,
more doctoral degrees were conferred in chemistry
than in any other subject field. Those receiving
the Ph.D. are most likely to enter research and
development work or teaching. In fields such as
biochemistry and physical chemistry, in which
teaching and research positions are predominant,
the doctorate is necessary for a high proportion of
the jobs.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for chemistry grad­
uates were very good in 1956. The demand for
chemists has increased rapidly since World War
II, principally as a result of the rapid expansion
o f the chemical, petroleum, and other industries
employing chemists and the enormous growth of
research in these industries. Furthermore, the
supply of new chemistry graduates was not suffi­
cient during the early 1950’s to meet the growing
About 6,800 bachelor’s degrees in
chemistry and biochemistry w^ere conferred in
1956, slightly more than in 1954 and 1955, but far
below the peak number of 10,794 granted in 1950,
when many W orld War I I veterans graduated.
Moreover, not all graduates with a bachelor’s de­
gree in chemistry are available for work in the
field. Many continue with graduate work before
entering employment in chemistry. Others go on
to studies in related fields such as medicine or leave
chemistry for other reasons.
The long-run outlook is for continued expansion
of employment in the profession. It is anticipated



that the industries employing most chemists will
grow at a rapid rate. In particular, the chemical
and petroleum industries, which together em­
ployed about one-third of all chemists in 1954, are
expected to expand considerably faster than in­
dustry in general. In these industries and many
others, continued expansion of research and de­
velopment activities (in which almost half of all
chemists are employed) is expected to accompany
and contribute to industrial growth. Not only is
further expansion anticipated in the research or­
ganizations of large companies, but more and more
small and medium-size companies are instituting
or expanding research programs which will re­
quire the services of chemists. Furthermore, the
enormous rise in enrollments anticipated in col­
leges and universities will result in many openings
in teaching. (See statement on college and
university teachers.)
In addition to those needed for expansion in
employment, many chemists will have to be trained
each year to replace those who die, retire, or trans­
fer to other occupations. Losses to the profession
from death and retirements were estimated to be
approximately 1,200 in 1955 and will rise slowly
in the future.
Along with the expected growth in demand for
chemists, a steady increase in the number of chemistry graduates is expected. Assuming that the
proportion of college graduates majoring in
chemistry and biochemistry remains the same as
in recent years, the number of bachelor’s degrees
conferred in these fields may be as high as 12,000
in 1965—approximately double the number con­
ferred in 1955. The numbers of masters and
Ph. D. degrees conferred each year are likely to
rise correspondingly a few years later.
Even after allowance is made for the fact that
not all chemistry graduates seek work in the field
of chemistry, it appears that the number of new
graduates at all degree levels available for w^ork
in the field could be about twice as great in 1965
as in 1955. Thus, there may be increased compe­
tition for the better paying professional entry
positions in chemistry. However, the rising de­
mand for chemistry graduates with ability and
thorough training will continue to provide favor­
able opportunities for employment and advance­
ment for such graduates for many years to come.
Employment opportunities for women chemists
were favorable in 1956. Furthermore, there has



been a recent trend for employers to eliminate
salary and other employment differences between
men and women chemists of comparable educa­
tion and experience who are doing similar work.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Chemistry graduates with a bachelor’s degree
and no experience had a median (average) start­
ing salary of $400 per month, according to a 1956
survey conducted by the American Chemical So­
ciety. For graduates with a master’s degree but
no experience, the median starting salary was $443
and for those with the Ph. D., $600. Women grad­
uates had a lower median salary than men—$375
compared with $407. Some graduates, of course,
earned more and others less than these average
figures. Ninety percent of those with bachelor
degrees received more than $330 and 10 percent
received more than $435. Starting salaries for
90 percent o f the Ph. D.’s were more than $420
per month, and 10 percent of them received more
than $639. The American Chemical Society sur­
vey also showed the following median monthly
starting salaries for chemists in different fields
o f employment:
Type of employer


Academic____________________________________ l 1)
Government_________________________________ 373
Contractor for FederalGovernment_______ 400
Research institute_________________________ 345
Industrial____________________________________ 410
Biological and pharmaceutical______ 345
Chemical________________________________ 410
Machinery andequipment----------------------410
Petroleum______________________________ 427
Plastics_________________________________ 425
Rubber___________________________________ 410
Other___________________________________ 405





W here To Go for M ore Information


Information on schools, scholarships, earnings
and other subjects may be obtained from :


Some idea of the earnings of chemists with
many years of experience can be obtained from a
1955 survey of American Chemical Society mem­
bers. For example, the median monthly salary
for male chemists with 24 years of experience was
$779. Ninety percent of these experienced men
reported earnings of at least $495 per month, and
about 10 percent earned $1,434 per month or more.

A few in top level executive positions had much
higher earnings than this. The median monthly
salary for women chemists with 24 years’ experi­
ence was $489—much lower than the comparable
figure for men. The difference in salary levels
between men and women was greater among
chemists with long experience than among those
in beginning positions.
In general, a chemist’s salary depends on the
type of employer for whom he works, the kind of
work he does, the extent and quality of his edu­
cation, and the amount of his professional experi­
ence, as well as individual ability. Earnings of
chemists are usually highest in private industry,
as indicated by the information on starting sala­
ries and also by other surveys. Government agen­
cies generally pay less than private industry but
more than educational institutions. A 1951 survey
indicated that, in every age group over 30, the pri­
vate industry employees with only the bachelor’s
degree had higher average incomes than Ph. D.’s
in colleges and universities— suggesting that the
type of employer for whom a chemist works is
likely to have even more effect on his earnings than
his degree. However, within a particular field of
employment, Ph. D.’s usually earn considerably
more than bachelors or masters with the same
amount of experience. Furthermore, earnings
levels are higher ,in some types of work than in
others. For example, chemists in administration,
technical sales, and industrial research tend to
earn more than those in analysis and testing.

American Chemical Society,
1155 16th St. N W , Washington 6, D. C.

Additional information on opportunities in the
field of chemistry may also be obtained from :
Manufacturing Chemists Association, Inc.,
1625 Eye St. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

For additional sources of information, see also
chemical engineers, industrial chemical indus­
tries, and petroleum industries.



(D. O. T. 0 -3 5 .7 3 )

Nature of Work

Physics is the science that deals with the physi­
cal or material universe in which we live. It is
the science of matter and energy and of the way
energy changes from one form to another. It is a
mathematical science in that its most basic char­
acteristic is the analysis and description of the
physical universe in mathematical terms. Engi­
neering and much of our modern technology are
based upon the theoretical descriptions and anal­
yses of physics.
The great majority of physicists are engaged
in research or college teaching, and many do both.
Research may be basic, directed to increasing
knowledge without regard to practical applica­
tion, or applied, directed to specific objectives.
Some physicists contribute to the basic knowledge
of their science primarily by making careful, sys­
tematic observations and performing experiments
to identify and measure the elements of matter and
energy and their interaction. Others contribute
by seeking to connect such observations into a the-

ory or system of equations describing the relations
between them. O f course, experimental physicists
are also concerned with theory, if only because they
are testing it, and theoretical physicists help guide
experiments. The difference is largely one of em­
Applied physics, which probably occupies the
majority of physicists, is primarily concerned with
applying the results of basic research to the solu­
tion of practical problems and with the develop­
ment of new devices for industry or for national
defense. For example, physicists specializing in
electronics, who study the emission, behavior, and
effects of electrons, may be engaged in developing
improved forms of such devices as vacuum tubes
and electron-tube circuits for use in many types of
equipment. Specialists in solid state physics are
concerned, among other things, with the behavior
of electrons, ions, and nuclei in solids. This work
has led to the development of such items as tran­
sistors which have some of the characteristics of
vacuum tubes and are being used in various types
of communications equipment.
Modern physics includes such a large area o f
knowledge that most physicists specialize in one
or more branches of the science—mechanics, heat,
light, sound, electricity and magnetism, electronics,
atomic and molecular phenomena, nuclear physics,
classical theoretical physics, or quantum me­
chanics. This list of fields is neither final nor com­
plete, however, since modern physics is changing
and expanding in too many ways to be neatly ar­
ranged in compartments.
Where Employed


Physicist observing the circular interference fringe from a mercury
vapor lamp. Length measurements based on the interference
pattern shown in the background can be made with an
accuracy of 1 part in 100 million.

The total number of physicists in 1955 was esti­
mated to be roughly 20,000. The largest number
of physicists, probably about one-half, are em­
ployed by private industry. About one-third work
for colleges and universities. The remainder are
employed by the United States Government, and
by foundations and other nonprofit organizations.
The most important industrial employers o f
physicists are the electrical equipment and air­
craft manufacturers. Other industrial employers
are the professional and scientific instrument in­
dustry, the chemicals and allied products industry
and the petroleum industry. Most physicists em-



ployed by private industry work chiefly on re­
search and development projects.
Most o f the physicists employed by colleges and
universities are engaged primarily in teaching, but
many are engaged full time in contract research
for Government or industry. A part of the U. S.
Atomic Energy Commission’s research, for ex­
ample, is done by college laboratories under con­
tract with the Commission.
Physicists working for the Federal Government
are employed principally by the Department of
Defense, the National Bureau of Standards and
other parts of the Department o f Commerce, the
Department of the Interior, and the Atomic
Energy Commission.
Training and Other Qualifications

Persons seeking careers as physicists must have
at least a bachelor’s degree with a major in physics
to enter the field, and graduate training should be
obtained if possible. Doctoral degrees are required
for many positions, and are definitely preferred for
many others. O f the approximately 10,000 physi­
cists who were surveyed in 1954-55 by the Ameri­
can Institute of Physics, in cooperation with the
National Register of Scientific and Technical
Personnel, about half held Ph.D. degrees and
about one-fourth held master’s degrees.
One of the primary personal qualifications for
physicists is a keen interest in finding out how
things work. A talent and liking for mathematics
is also required to accomplish anything of value
in physics. The importance of mathematics is il­
lustrated by Albert Einstein’s definition of physics
as “ the sum total of our knowledge which is ca­
pable of being expressed in mathematical terms.”
As much mathematics as possible should be in­
cluded in the studies of anyone interested in be­
coming a physicist; a serious deficiency in mathe­
matics is difficult to overcome.
Graduate training is especially important for
college teaching and research positions. Colleges
and universities employ a majority of the holders
of doctoral degrees and many of the holders of
master’s degrees, but only a small number of people
who have not gone beyond the bachelor’s degree.
A majority of physicists with bachelor’s degrees
are employed in industry, usually in applied re­
search and development rather than basic research.
However, many companies prefer to hire person­
nel with Ph. D.’s, because their research problems

are becoming so complex and advanced as to re­
quire the more complete training which the doc­
toral degree represents, and indications are that
this situation will become more common.
The training in physics at the bachelor’s degree
level is not usually sufficient for the full develop­
ment of a professional physicist, and many physi­
cists with only a bachelor’s degree do not work as
physicists but turn to nontechnical fields of em­
ployment or to work as engineers.
Employment Outlook

The employment situation for physicists was ex­
cellent in 1956 and is likely to remain very good
in the foreseeable future. In recent years, physics
has been one of the fastest growing fields of science.
It would have grown still faster, had it not been
for the shortage of qualified personnel. In all
probability, the demand for physicists will con­
tinue to mount for a long time.
The numbers of bachelor’s degrees awarded in
physics are also expected to increase—slowly dur­
ing the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, and more
rapidly thereafter, assuming that they follow the
trends anticipated in college graduation as a whole.
The numbers of students awarded graduate de­
grees may be expected to rise correspondingly a
few years later. Altogether, very good employ­
ment opportunities for physics graduates are in
prospect through the early 1960’s, at least, and
probably longer.
There are some differences in the outlook for
holders of doctoral degrees on the one hand, and
for holders of master’s or bachelor’s degrees on the
other. Modern physics is becoming so broad and
complex, and is expanding so rapidly, that the ad­
vanced training represented by the Ph. D. degree
is becoming more and more important. As noted
above, the training of a bachelor or master in
physics is not usually sufficient to develop a full}7
professional physicist, and holders of these degrees
are generally limited to applied research and de­
velopment in areas where basic research has al­
ready supplied the fundamental knowledge re­
quired. In these circumstances, the doctoral degree
will become increasingly necessary for employ­
ment, and particularly for advancement as a pro­
fessional physicist, unless the bachelor’s degree
comes to represent more training in physics than
it now does.


Persons qualified to do basic research or fairly
advanced applied research and development have
been and will probably continue to be in particular
demand. Research organizations, whether those
o f government, universities, or industry, have had
considerable difficulty in satisfying their require­
ments for physicists, and these requirements are
expected to continue to increase.
The employment situation for physicists in col­
lege teaching was excellent in 1956 for qualified
persons, and the demand will become greater as
college enrollments increase. A shortage of teach­
ers well qualified to teach at the graduate level will
be one of the chief obstacles in any attempt to in­
crease the supply of physicists.
The demand for physicists is largely dependent
on expenditures for research and development.
Total national expenditures for research and de­
velopment, wdiich have been increasing rapidly,
particularly in the last 10 to 15 years, were esti­
mated at more than $5 billion in 1953 and they
have continued to increase since then. The con­
tinued growth of these expenditures has been
largely responsible for the expanding demand for
In recent years, private industry and the Fed­
eral Government have been about equally impor­
tant as sources of funds for research and develop­
ment. I f funds devoted to these purposes by Gov­
ernment and industry continue to increase, as they
are likely to do, the demand for physicists will con­



tinue to expand. I f the growth in research and
development expenditures should slacken or even
level off, the demand for physicists would become
less pressing. Greatly increased research expendi­
tures, such as would result from further mobiliza­
tion, could only intensify the need for personnel.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

The median (average) annual professional
salary of physicists was about $7,275, according
to a 1954-55 survey conducted by the American
Institute of Physics. For physicists with Ph. D.’s,
the median salary was about $7,850; for those with­
out Ph.D.’s, about $6,600.
Salaries of physicists were materially higher in
1956 than in 1955. This upward trend in salaries
is likely to continue.
There are some potentially hazardous elements
in the working environment of many physicists,
notably in nuclear and radiation physics. The
precautions and safeguards used routinely in such
work, however, hold the actual accident rates very
W here To Go for More Information

Additional information on the physics profes­
sion may be obtained from :
American Institute of Physics,
335 East 45th St., New York 17, N. Y.

(D. O. T. 0 -3 5 .6 3 )

Nature of W ork

Geology is the largest field of employment in
the earth sciences. There were about 13,000 to
15,000 geologists in the United States in 1956, rep­
resenting approximately half of all earth scien­
tists in the country.
Geologists are concerned with the study of
rocks on and under the earth’s surface, and with
earth history as disclosed by rock formations and
fossils. They search for minerals and fuels and
study the physical processes by which changes in
the earth’s structure and surface features take
Most geologists spend a large part of time
in field work, usually in exploring areas to deter­

mine the underground structure of the earth and
the kinds of minerals or rocks that may be discov­
ered there. Field work may involve studying rock
cores and cuttings brought up by drills, examining
fossil remains of animal and vegetable life, re­
cording data in notebooks or on working maps
and aerial photographs, and collecting geological
specimens. Geologists also spend considerable
time in the laboratory, examining geological spec­
imens and doing research. A large number per­
form administrative functions and, to an increas­
ing extent, geologists are advancing to executive
positions, especially in the petroleum and mining
industries. In colleges and universities, geologists
often combine teaching with research and admin­
istrative work.



cerned with the form of the earth’s surface and
with the forces—such as erosion, glaciation, and
sedimentation—which cause changes in the land­
scape. Structural geologists study the structure
of rocks and the physical processes which produced
their structure.
Where Employed


o u r t e s y

o f


. S. G

e o l o g ic a l


u r v e y

Geologist examining rocks of the Cretaceous period in Alaska-

Geologists usually specialize in some branch of
the science.
Economic geologists are concerned
with finding and developing mineral resources.
Petroleum geologists, who locate and exploit petro­
leum and natural gas deposits, are also economic
geologists but are generally regarded as a separate
category of specialists because they constitute the
large majority of all geologists. Engineering
geologists are concerned with the application of
geological knowledge to the solution of engineer­
ing problems as, for example, locating desirable
sites for such structures as dam foundations.
Ground-water geologists deal with the sources,
quantity, and quality of ground water available
for agricultural, industrial, and domestic use.
Paleontologists are concerned with the identifica­
tion and classification of the fossils of animals and
plants from past geological periods. Stratigrabbers study the arrangement and relationships
o f rock layers and their chronological succession.
Petrographers study rocks, their origin, and com­
position. Mineralogists are concerned with the
physical and chemical properties of minerals and
the ways o f classifying them and of distinguishing
them from each other. Geomorphologists are con­

Most geologists in this country—probably about
3 out of every 4— work for private industry. The
great majority of these are in the petroleum and
natural gas industry, which utilizes personnel in
this profession chiefly in Texas, Louisiana, Cali­
fornia, and Oklahoma, although it also employs
some in nearly all other States and in foreign coun­
tries. In addition, some geologists are employed
by mining and construction companies, railroads,
public utilities, and manufacturing concerns— es­
pecially in the metal, stone, and clay products in­
dustries. A number of geologists work for con­
sulting firms or as independent consultants; their
services are utilized mainly by private companies
interested in exploration for, and extraction of,
minerals and fuels.
The remaining geologists in the country—
roughly one-fourth of the total number— include
a few on the staffs o f museums and nonprofit re­
search institutions, with the rest divided about
equally between college and university positions
and Government employment. Those in colleges
and universities teach not only in departments of
geology but also in mining, metallurgical, and
civil engineering, and in other departments. The
large majority of geologists in Federal Govern­
ment positions work for the Geological Survey of
the Department of the Interior. Other Federal
agencies employing geologists are the Bureau of
Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management,
and the Bureau of Mines of the Department of
the Interior; the Atomic Energy Commission; the
Corps of Engineers of the Department of the
Arm y; the Soil Conservation Service of the De­
partment of Agriculture; and the Federal Powder
Commission. State Government agencies also em­
ploy a number of geologists, many of whom work
on State surveys conducted in cooperation with
the Geological Survey. Most Government posi­
tions are located in continental United States,
though some Federal jobs are in the Territories and
possessions and in foreign countries.


Training and Other Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a major in geology is
usually considered the minimum entrance re­
quirement for persons seeking careers as geolo­
gists, and graduate training is a prerequisite for
an ever-increasing number of jobs. Some scien­
tists, however, have entered the profession with
training in petroleum and geological engineering
or in related sciences.
Training in geology is offered by a sizable num­
ber of colleges, universities, and institutes of tech­
nology. In 1955, bachelor’s degrees in the science
were awarded by about 190 institutions, master’s
degrees by about 85, and Ph. D.’s by about 35.
Educational institutions have varying course
requirements for the bachelor’s degree, although
certain basic subjects in geology must be taken
by students majoring in the science. In general,
the work in geology amounts to about one-fourth
of the total semester hours during the 4 years of
undergraduate study; usually about another
fourth of the work is in related natural sciences
and in mathematics; and the remaining half is in
general studies, such as English composition, eco­
nomics, and foreign languages. Some colleges
provide a special program of studies leading to a
bachelor’s degree in geology that allows as much
as half of the undergraduate course work to be
taken in the major field. In some schools of engi­
neering that offer undergraduate programs in pe­
troleum engineering and petroleum geology, as
much as 90 percent of the work may be taken in
the major field and related subjects.
For entry positions in private industry, the
bachelor’s degree is often adequate preparation,
especially when the applicant’s scientific training
has been thorough and has included extensive lab­
oratory and summer field work. However, at least
1 year of experience in the field is commonly re­
garded as necessary before a beginning geologist
with a bachelor’s degree is placed in a professional
position; many of the larger oil companies have
formal training programs to acquaint beginners
with their operations. A number of new gradu­
ates with bachelor’s degrees in geology are em­
ployed by Government agencies. Some Federal
agencies also appoint promising undergraduates
to summer jobs; upon graduation, such students
who meet qualifications may receive permanent
positions with the agencies.


Postgraduate training is extremely helpful to
geologists in competing for many professional
positions. The Ph. D. degree is generally required
for the more desirable college teaching positions
and is also needed for many research posts.
The student who plans a career in geology
should have an aptitude for science and mathe­
matics. He should like outdoor activities and
have considerable physical stamina, since geolog­
ical field work frequently necessitates camping
out, often under primitive conditions. A desire
to travel is important, in view of the frequency
with which geologists are required to move from
place to place in the course of their employment.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for geologists with
master’s and doctor’s degrees w ere very good in
1956. Well-trained geologists with bachelor’s de­
grees also had good job prospects, especially in
exploration work for the oil industry.
The outlook is for continued growth of the pro­
fession both in the near future and over the long
run. It is anticipated that the petroleum indus­
try will expand in this country, and that a mod­
erate increase will occur in employment of geolo­
gists for exploration activities in the United
States. It is also expected that major oil com­
panies will further extend their search for new
oilfields in foreign lands, providing increased em­
ployment opportunities abroad for American geol­
ogists. The demand for geologists in exploration
for minerals—including uranium and other ores
used in atomic fission— and water will also in­
crease. As the world’s petroleum, mineral, and
water resources diminish, it is becoming increas­
ingly difficult to locate new sources of supplies.
Thus, additional geologists with advanced train­
ing will be needed by industry to devise new tech­
niques for exploring deeper within the earth’s
crust and to search underseas areas, as well as to
do more extensive research and analysis of geo­
logical data. It is also expected that Government
agencies will require larger staffs of geologists.
For example, the Geological Survey, which has
geologically mapped only part of the total area
of the United States, will need more geologists for
the large amount of work of this type that remains
to be done. Furthermore, the number of students
majoring in geology is expected to increase in the
years ahead, along with college enrollments in



general. There will, therefore, be a significant
number of openings for teachers of the science.
(See index for page number of statement on col­
lege teachers.)
Besides geologists required to fill new positions,
some will be needed to replace those who die or re­
tire. However, losses to the profession from deaths
and retirements will not be numerous in the near
future, since geologists are a relatively young
Along with the expected growth in demand for
geologists, an increase in the number of geology
graduates is anticipated. In 1955, 2,456 degrees
in geology were conferred— 1,795 bachelor’s, 507
master’s, and 154 doctor’s degrees. The total num­
ber was far smaller than the peak figure of 3,649
degrees awarded in 1950, the year when most
W orld War I I veterans graduated. However, the
figure for 1955 represented a significant increase
above that for 1954, which was only 2,180 degrees.
The number of degrees in geology will probably
continue to rise moderately in the late 1950’s and
increase more rapidly in the 1960’s, assuming that
the proportion of college graduates majoring in
geology remains the same as in recent years.
Nevertheless, prospects for geology graduates with
ability and thorough training are expected to re­
main favorable through the early 1960’s. On the
other hand, new graduates with bachelor’s degrees
who have only minimal training may find it diffi­
cult to enter the profession, especially in view of
the increasing amount of scientific knowledge re­
quired for geological activities. Such persons may
be able to obtain only semiprofessional jobs in ex­
ploration activities and may find their opportuni­
ties for advancement severely limited.
Few women are currently employed as geolo­
gists. Their opportunities in field activities are
and will continue to be limited, largely because of
the rigorous nature of the work. However, some
well-qualified women will be able to find positions
as teachers in colleges and universities. Others,
trained in certain specialties such as paleontology
and petrography, will be able to obtain laboratory
positions in industry and Government.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Recent information on earnings of geologists in
private industry is limited to entrance salaries

paid by several major oil companies. In 1956,
these companies reported that monthly starting
salaries for geologists with bachelor’s degrees only
were typically as follows: $425 for those without
experience; $435 for those with some experience
unrelated to geology; and $445 for those with some
related experience. For geologists with master’s
degrees, typical salaries were reported to be as
follows: $475 for those without experience; $485
for those with some unrelated experience; and
$495 for those with some related experience.
Geologists with Ph. D. degrees were reported to be
earning $7,200 or more a year.
In the Federal Government service, the yearly
starting salary for geologists with bachelor’s de­
grees was $3,670 in 1956. Those with master’s de­
grees could begin at $4,525; those with doctor’s
degrees, at $5,440. Many experienced geologists
were receiving higher salaries. Those in super­
visory and administrative positions were earning
as much as $10,000 to $11,000 per year, and a few
in high-level posts had even larger salaries.
Earnings of geologists are usually higher in pri­
vate industry than in either Government agencies
or educational institutions. Those in university
positions, however, have the advantage of long
summer vacations during which they can supple­
ment their salaries by doing research, consulting,
or other work. Extra allowances are generally
paid geologists for work outside o f continental
United States.
Many geologists spend a great deal o f time
traveling, and may be away from home for ex­
tended periods of time. Their hours of work are
uncertain, because their activities in the field are
affected by weather conditions as w^ell as by travel.
W here To Go for M ore Information

Information on the profession and the employ­
ment opportunities it offers may be obtained from :
American Geological Institute,
2101 Constitution Ave. N W ., Washington 25, D. C.

The U. S. Civil Service Commission, Washing­
ton 25, D. C., will furnish general information on
positions available in Federal Government agen­
cies. For further information on such positions
and how to apply for them, see chapter on Govern­
ment Occupations.





(D. O. T. 0 -3 5 .6 5 )

Nature of Work

Geophysics is an overall term covering a num­
ber o f sciences concerned with the physical aspects
o f our planet. Geophysicists deal with the meas­
urement and utilization of the earth's forces—
magnetic, electrical, gravitational, radioactive,
seismic (the forces causing earthquakes), and geo­
thermal (the forces resulting from the earth’s in­
terior heat and solar radiation). Some geophysi­
cists study these forces from the standpoint of the
physics of solid bodies (the solid earth) ; others
from the standpoint of the physics of gases (the
atmosphere) ; and still others from the standpoint
of the physics of liquids (the oceans and other
bodies of water).
Exploration geophysicists (sometimes known as
prospecting geophysicists) are the largest group
of geophysical scientists. They use the techniques
of various geophysical specialties to search for
sites where oil and minerals may be located. Most
of them conduct or participate in field parties,
which may also include economic geologists, pe-



S . G E O L O G IC A L S U R V E Y

A field party using electromagnetic equipment to locate uranium
deposits in the Colorado Plateau.

troleum engineers, and other workers. Those who
act as party chiefs not only supervise the field
work but are also responsible for the interpreta­
tion of the exploration data. In addition, some
exploration geophysicists supervise petroleum
and natural gas production operations, or conduct
research on some phase of prospecting.
The second largest group of geophysical scien­
tists are hydrologists who are concerned with the
water supply of the land areas of the earth, both
at the surface and underground. Some hydrolo­
gists work on such projects as water supply for
particular cities, irrigation, flood control, and soil
erosion. Others specialize in the control and re­
moval of sediment which collects in river beds and
harbors. Still others are concerned with glaciers,
snow surveys, and the use of permanently frozen
land areas.
The other smaller groups of geophysical scien­
tists covered by this statement are oceanographers,
seismologists, geodesists, volcanologists, special­
ists in terrestrial magnetism and electricity, and
Oceanographers study the
ocean in all its aspects, including its effect on the
atmosphere, the sea bottom, and the shores. Those
concerned with physical oceanography work on
such projects as searching for petroleum deposits
in tidewater and underseas areas, planning ways
to prevent fouling of water in areas where oil is
being drilled, and providing information needed in
amphibious landings or the use of aircraft in res­
cuing men adrift at sea. Marine biologists, who
study the fish and other animal and vegetable or­
ganisms which live in the sea, are sometimes classi­
fied as oceanographers although they are not geo­
physicists. Seismologists study earthquakes and
the transmission of vibrations through the earth’s
interior. They provide information used in de­
signing bridges and other buildings in earthquake
regions, as well as in exploration for oil and
minerals. Geodesists measure the size and shape
of the earth, determine heights of mountains and
hills, survey and map large areas of the earth’s
surface, and study the variations in the force o f
gravity in different parts of the earth. Voleanologists are concerned with the origin, location, and
activity of volcanos, hot springs, and similar phe­
nomena. Geomagneticians study magnetic and
electrical processes in and about the earth, includ-



ing such phenomena as sunspots, the aurora, and
the transmission of radio waves. Tectonophysicists are concerned with the structure of mountain
ranges, continents, and ocean beds; the properties
o f natural materials forming the crust of the
earth; the underlying strata in the earth’s crust;
and the physical forces that cause movements and
changes in its crust.
Meteorology is another specialty which is fre­
quently classified as a geophysical science. How­
ever, this specialty is discussed in a separate
statement (immediately following this one), since
it represents a separate field of training and em­
W h ere Employed

It is difficult to estimate the number of geophysi­
cists in the country. Only individuals employed
in exploration generally use the title of geophysi­
cist. In other geophysical activities, scientists
usually have job titles which describe their spe­
cializations (for example, hydrologist, seismolo­
gist, geodesist) or their academic training (for
example, physicist or engineer). The number of
geophysicists in the country in 1956 has been vari­
ously estimated at from 7,000 to 10,000, depending
largely on how many groups of scientists with
titles other than that of geophysicist are included
in the estimate.
Over half of all geophysicists Avork for private
industry— chiefly for the petroleum industry. In
addition, some are employed by exploration firms
or in consulting services, and small numbers work
for mining companies and in still other industries.
Geophysicists in private industry are employed
mainly in the southwestern and western sections
o f the United States, where most of the country’s
large oil fields are located, although many work
in foreign countries where American firms are
carrying on prospecting activities.
The second largest field of employment for geo­
physicists is the Federal Government. The Fed­
eral agencies employing most geophysical sci­
entists are the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the
Navy Hydrographic Office, the Geophysical Re­
search Division of the Air Force’s Cambridge Re­
search Center, the Geological Survey, and the
Atomic Energy Commission. In addition, a rela­
tively small number of geophysical scientists are
employed in colleges and universities, and still

smaller numbers work for State Governments and
for private research institutions.
Training and Other Qualifications

Geophysics is relatively new as a subject of
organized instruction leading to degrees. Many
students planning to enter geophysics still obtain
their training in geology, physics, mathematics,
or engineering, as did many present members of
the profession. There is a gradual trend, how­
ever, toward the establishment of separate de­
partments and curricula in geophysics.
Training leading to a bachelor’s degree in geo­
physics may be obtained in only about 10 institu­
tions. These undergraduate programs provide
training chiefly in exploration geophysics, though
the curricula may have other titles— such as geo­
physical technology or geophysical engineering.
Some students take undergraduate training in ex­
ploration geophysics at colleges offering degree
programs in engineering geology and petroleum
geology. Other students prepare for exploration
Avork by combining geology and physics in an
undergraduate program.
To enter a geophysical specialty other than ex­
ploration geophysics, an applicant must, as a rule,
have graduate training, although it is sometimes
possible to qualify through extensive undergrad­
uate work in science and mathematics plus on-thejob training. Graduate degrees are becoming in­
creasingly important in competing for the more
desirable positions. The doctor’s degree is usual­
ly essential for teaching careers and is frequently
required for positions involving fundamental re­
A student interested in obtaining a graduate de­
gree in geophysics should locate a university or
institute of technology which has an extensive pro­
gram in geology, mathematics, physics, and engi­
neering and offers opportunities to carry out re­
search projects in the particular geophysical sci­
ence in which he is interested. Such institutions
are limited in number; in 1954, only 26 institutions
aAvarded the master’s degree and 10 institutions
granted the doctor’s degree in geophysics.
New graduates with bachelor’s degrees Avho are
hired for geophysical Avork in .industry or Govern­
ment are usually given on-the-job training in the
application o f geophysical principles to the p roj­
ects of the particular employing agency. I f the
new employee’s college Avork did not include


courses in geophysics, he is taught geophysical
methods and techniques as part of his on-the-job
Some promising undergraduates have an oppor­
tunity for summer employment with Federal agen­
cies. On these summer jobs, they receive practical
training. Upon graduation from college, they
may obtain permanent positions with the agencies.
Similar opportunities are also provided by some
exploration companies.
The prospective geophysicist needs an aptitude
and interest in mathematics and physical sciences.
He should have considerable physical stamina and
should like to travel, since geophysicists often lead
a rigorous outdoor life and explore remote areas of
the earth.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for geophysicists
were excellent in 1956. Graduates with master’s
and doctor’s degrees were especially sought by em­
ployers, and graduates with bachelor’s degrees
were also in demand.
The outlook is for continued growth of the pro­
fession both in the next few years and over the long
run. As natural resources located at or close to
the surface of the earth become depleted, more
geophysicists will be needed to find new sites of
fuel and minerals at greater depths underground
and underwater, or under the shallow cover of ex­
traneous material such as a heavy forest or sand
and gravel deposits. The increasing complexity
of exploration work and growing recognition of
the importance of basic research in the geophysical
sciences will add to the demand for geophysicists
with advanced training to do research and to de­
velop new geophysical techniques and instruments.
The demand for geophysicists for research work
will probably be stimulated also by the Interna­
tional Geophysical Year (1957-58). Scientists
participating in this project—sponsored by more
than 50 nations, including the United States—will
study many aspects of man’s physical environment.
Their findings are expected to create increasing
interest in geophysical research.
In all probability, the oil industry will continue
to offer the largest number of employment oppor­
tunities for geophysical scientists. An increas­
ing number of these scientists will most likely be
assigned to exploration work in foreign countries,
427675°— 57------- 10



particularly in the Middle East, South America,
North Africa, and Canada. In addition, mining
companies are expected to employ growing num­
bers of geophysicists to find new mineral deposits.
In Federal Government agencies, mounting civil
and military demands will necessitate larger staffs
of geophysicists to do such work as the mapping
of land and water areas, investigation of water re­
sources and flood control, research in radioactivity
and cosmic and solar radiation, and exploration
of the outer atmosphere for rocket flights. The
anticipated rise in college enrollments, including
students majoring in geophysics, will result in in­
creased openings for teachers of the geophysical
sciences. (See index for page number of state­
ment on college teachers.) Furthermore, some
geophysicist positions will become vacant as a re­
sult of deaths and retirements, although such
openings will not be numerous in the near future
since geophysicists are a relatively young group.
Along with the anticipated growth in demand
for geophysicists, a rise in the number of geo­
physics graduates is likely to occur. In 1954, the
last year for which information is available, only
328 degrees in geophysics were granted—206
bachelor’s, 100 master’s, and 22 doctor’s degrees.
Small as are these figures, the numbers of bache­
lor’s and doctor’s degrees were almost double, and
the master’s degrees were more than twice, those
conferred in 1953. It is expected that the number
of degrees in geophysical sciences will continue to
rise in the late 1950’s, and to increase more rapidly
in the 1960’s. However, the number of geophysics
degrees awarded is a wholly inadequate measure
of the supply of new scientists who enter the pro­
fession. In the past, the great majority of persons
entering geophysics earned their degrees in other
sciences. It is anticipated that the total supply of
new scientists who become available for the pro­
fession will continue to be much greater than the
number who earn degrees in geophysics.
Nevertheless, employment prospects are ex­
pected to be very good in this profession through
the early 1960’s, at least, particularly for persons
with degrees in geophysics. Good employment
opportunities are anticipated also for those who
qualify through degrees in allied sciences.
Few women are employed at present as geo­
physicists. Their employment opportunities in
field exploration are and will be limited because
of the strenuous nature of the work. However,
well-qualified women will be able to find positions



in offices and laboratories, or as teachers in colleges
and universities.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Detailed information on earnings of geophysi­
cists is available only for Federal Government em­
ployees. In 1956, annual starting salaries in some
Federal Government agencies were $4,480 for in­
experienced geophysicists with bachelor’s degrees;
$5,335 for those with master’s degrees; and $6,115
for those with Ph. D ’s. Many experienced geo­
physicists were receiving higher salaries. Those
in supervisory and administrative positions were
earning as much as $10,000 to $11,000 a year, and
a few in high-level posts had even larger salaries.
Geophysicists working for private industry gen­
erally have higher earnings than do those em­
ployed by Government agencies and educational
institutions. Teachers in universities, however,
have the advantage of long summer vacations in
which to supplement basic salaries by doing con­
sulting, writing, and research work. Geophysical
scientists working outside continental United

States usually r e c e i v e extra bonuses and
The duties of geophysicists, particularly in be­
ginning jobs, often require prolonged absences
from home. Work schedules are usually irregular
and hours are frequently determined by travel,
weather conditions, and the requirements of field
W here To Go for More Information

Additional information on careers in geophysics
may be obtained from :
American Geophysical Union,
1515 Massachusetts Ave. NW ., Washington 5, D. C.
Society of Exploration Geophysicists,
Box 1536, Tulsa 1, Okla.

The U. S. Civil Service Commission, Washing­
ton 25, D. C., will furnish information on Federal
Government positions in the geophysical sciences.
For further information on such positions and
how to apply for them, see chapter on Government

(D. O. T. 0 -3 5 .6 8 )

Nature of W ork

Meteorology is the science of the atmosphere.
Its aim is complete understanding of the physical
processes which produce “ the weather.” Weather
forecasting and the collection and dissemination
of weather data are the best known applications
o f meteorology. Meteorologists, however, are con­
cerned also with a wide variety of other topics,
ranging from the study of photochemical proc­
esses in the outer atmosphere to the effect of dayto-day changes in temperature on sales by retail
Synoptic meteorologists make up the largest
group in the profession. They interpret current
weather data—air pressure, temperature, humid­
ity, wind direction—reported by observers in
many different places and make short- and longrange forecasts for given localities and regions.
Other meteorologists are in several smaller
branches of the profession. Climatologists, for
example, investigate past records on wind, rain­
fall, sunlight, temperature, and humidity for a
given area, and make analyses of probable weather

conditions in the areas for some future time. D y ­
namic meteorologists study the physical laws of
air movement. Physical meteorologists study the
atmosphere’s chemical composition and electrical
properties; solar radiation; the transmission
through the atmosphere of light, sound, and radio
waves; and all the factors affecting clouds and
rainfall. Scientists specializing in applied me­
teorology (sometimes called industrial meteorol­
ogy) are concerned with the relationship be­
tween weather and human activities, biological
processes, and industrial operations. For exam­
ple, they make special forecasts for individual
companies, conduct climatological studies for
large-scale agricultural producers, induce rain or
snow in a given area after determining optimum
conditions for cloud seeding, and work on such
problems as smoke control or air pollution.
Growing numbers of meterologists in both Gov­
ernment and private employment are engaged in
research, ranging from daily practical problems
to basic theory. The increasing use of the atmos­
phere as a medium of transportation and com­
munication has focused attention on the meteor-





o u r t e s y

o f


. S. W

e a t h e r

b u r e a u

Briefing airline pilots on weather conditions along flight route.

ological aspects of rockets, guided missiles, earth
satellites, radio propagation, cosmic rays, and
auroral activity. In addition, research is being
conducted on such subjects as long-range forecast­
ing, radioactive “ fallout,” severe weather phenom­
ena, weather control, aircraft icing, and solar
Meteorologists who teach in universities or col­
leges may also do research or act as consultants.
In colleges without separate departments of
meteorology, they may teach subjects such as
geography, mathematics, physics, and geology as
well as meteorology.
Where Employed

In 1956, there were more than 6,000 meteor­
ologists in the country. O f these, approximately
2,500 were on active duty as officers in the Air

Force, and some were in the Army and Navy. In
addition, the A ir Force employed approximately
175 civilian meteorologists, and the Army and
Navy together employed about 100. Meteor­
ologists on active duty are usually engaged in
weather forecasting for military operations,
whereas most civilian meteorologists in the Armed
Forces conduct research.
Approximately 2,250 meteorologists were work­
ing for the United States Weather Bureau, at 315
stations located in all parts of the continental
United States, Alaska, the Arctic, Puerto Rico,
Hawaii, Guam, and other places in the Pacific
area. Other Government agencies, such as the
Forest Service and the Soil Conservation Serv­
ice of the Department of Agriculture, and the Na­
tional Advisory Committee for Aeronautics of
the Department of Defense, also employed some



Aside from Government, the main fields of em­
ployment for meteorologists are airlines, educa­
tional institutions, and weather consulting serv­
ices. Approximately 250 meteorologists were
working for commercial airlines in 1956— forecast­
ing the weather along their companies’ flight
routes and briefing pilots on the weather condi­
tions they might encounter. Colleges and uni­
versities with departments of meteorology em­
ployed 150 meteorologists, and other colleges with­
out separate departments probably employed
about an equal number. In 1956, 27 private
weather services throughout the country employed
150 meteorologists to deal with their clients’
special weather problems. In addition, a number
of large companies in the aircraft, insurance, utili­
ties, and other industries employ meteorologists
on a full-time basis. Some meteorologists work
for companies that design and manufacture
meteorological instruments and balloons. Other
meteorologists present weather programs for
radio and television stations. A few are employed
as editors and librarians.
A small number of women meteorologists are
employed mainly as teachers in colleges and uni­
versities. A few work as forecasters for the
Weather Bureau. Some women are on active mili­
tary duty as meteorologists in the Air Force.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most meteorologists have at least a bachelor’s
degree, and many also have a master’s degree or
a doctorate. Though some have acquired their
technical knowledge through many years of work
experience, the attainment of professional status
without completing college training is becoming
more and more difficult, as the scope of meteorology
widens through the increase in scientific knowl­
edge and the development of new techniques.
In the Armed Forces, officers are sent to educa­
tional institutions for a year or more to train in
meteorology and are then assigned to meteorologi­
cal work. Ex-servicemen, with training and ex­
perience of this type, are given preference for
civilian positions with the Armed Forces and can
also qualify for positions with other employers of
weather personnel.
For beginning positions with the Weather Bu­
reau, the usual requirement is a bachelor’s degree
with a specified minimum number of hours’ train­
ing in meteorology and related subjects. Other

employers have similar requirements. The young
person who wishes to become a meteorologist
should plan, therefore, to complete a 4-year college
program including courses in mathematics, phys­
ics, and meteorology. Bachelor’s and graduate
degrees in meteorology are granted by only about
17 universities, but many other universities offer
courses in the subject.
Meteorologists with only bachelor’s degrees
qualify mainly for employment in synoptic mete­
orology. Graduate training is desirable for work
in the other, more specialized branches of the
profession, and for teaching and research.
The Weather Bureau has an in-service training
program for its workers. Each year, scholarships
are granted to Weather Bureau meteorologists, to
enable them to take more advanced and specialized
training. A student-aid program is also conducted
by the Weather Bureau. Eligible high school
graduates and college students preparing for a
career in meteorology may obtain summer jobs
with the agency until they receive degrees. They
may then be employed as meteorologists.
Promotions in the Weather Bureau, as in other
Federal Government agencies, are given according
to Civil Service regulations. (See chapter on
Government Occupations.) With the airlines, the
chances for advancement are limited. However,
some meteorologists in the largest companies may
attain positions as supervisory meteorologists.
Airline meteorologists are also able to qualify as
dispatchers, after considerable work experience.
Some well-trained meteorologists, with a back­
ground in science, engineering, and business ad­
ministration, may find their best opportunities for
advancement in the profession through the estab­
lishment of their own weather consulting services.
Among the personal characteristics needed by
meteorologists are mathematical aptitude and an
interest in physical science. Since most of the
work is performed in an office, unusual physical
stamina is not generally required. For some jobs,
the ability to draw quickly and neatly is important.
Employment Outlook

In 1956, employment opportunities for meteor­
ologists were very good. The Weather Bureau
was seeking meteorologists, both new graduates
and experienced men. Private companies also re­
ported difficulty in recruiting these scientists, es­
pecially for research positions.


Additional meteorologists were needed by the
Weather Bureau in 1956 not only to fill vacancies
in weather forecasting positions but also to staff
several new or expanded programs of hurricane
research, air pollution research, storm warning,
and flood forecasting which were authorized by
Congress in 1955. The increase in demand for
meteorologists resulting from these programs came
at a time when the number of new graduates avail­
able for work in meteorology was declining. In
1955, only 60 bachelor’s degrees in meteorology
were granted— fewer than half the all-time record
number (143) awarded in 1950, when most of the
veterans graduated. Furthermore, graduates with
majors in other fields, such as physics and mathe­
matics, and some training in meteorology have
been difficult to attract into weather forecasting
or research, because of the many opportunities
open to them in their major fields. Officers leaving
the armed services have also gone, in most in­
stances, into other fields of work, instead of seeking
civilian positions in meteorology.
Employment of meteorologists in the Weather
Bureau is expected to increase further until the
end of the 1950’s, at least, as a result of the re­
search programs already authorized by Congress—
although the exact size of the Bureau's staff, like
that of all other Federal agencies, depends on the
appropriations enacted each year. The Weather
Bureau estimated in 1956 that it would need about
100 meteorologists yearly for the next 3 years, to
fill new positions or replace workers who die, re­
tire, or leave for other reasons. The Bureau also
looks forward to continued growth of its research
programs beyond this period, in view of the wide
public interest in these projects. Further increase
in the Bureau’s forecasting staff is also anticipated
over the long run because the continued expansion
in civilian aviation will probably result in the
building o f new airports and weather stations.
Employment opportunities for meteorologists
are also expected to increase in weather consulting
services and on the staffs of private companies.
More and more businessmen are utilizing weather
and climatic data in planning their operations,
and are turning to industrial meteorologists for
assistance in solving their weather problems. As
the value of this type of service receives further
recognition, the demand for industrial meteorolo­
gists will continue to grow.
Opportunities for meteorologists with the air­
lines, however, will be limited. In 1956, these



companies were seeking a few exceptionally quali­
fied meteorologists with advanced scientific knowl­
edge for research work on problems relating to
the use of jet planes. In the normal airline posi­
tions connected with flight operations, occasional
opportunities are expected as workers die, retire,
or transfer to other positions. Future increases
in the number of airline meteorologists are likely
to be small. Although air traffic will no doubt
continue to increase rapidly, the airline meteorolo­
gists who forecast weather conditions in given
areas will generally be able to service the addi­
tional flights.
In colleges and universities, opportunities for
meteorologists are expected to rise over the next
decade, with the increase in college enrollment.
The Armed Forces will also have some openings
for civilian meteorologists.
Altogether, the outlook is favorable for future
growth in meteorology. Since this is a small pro­
fession, the number of job openings arising in
any one year will not be large. On the other hand,
the numbers of graduates coming into the field
will also be small in the near future (assuming
that the proportion of college students majoring
in meteorology remains about the same as in the
past few years), and these graduates should have
very good employment opportunities through the
1950’s, at least.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Beginning meteorologists in Federal Govern­
ment agencies were paid $4,480 a year in 1956.
For the majority of experienced workers in Gov­
ernment positions, salaries ranged from $5,335 to
$7,035 a year. Meteorologists in supervisory and
administrative positions were earning as much as
$10,000 to $11,000 a year, and a few in top-level
posts had still higher salaries. Workers stationed
outside the continental United States were paid
an additional cost-of-living allowance. For per­
sonnel in Hawaii, this allowance amounted to 20
percent of the worker’s basic salary; for those sta­
tioned elsewhere, it was 25 percent. The provi­
sions for salary increase, paid vacations, sick
leave, pensions, life insurance, and other benefits
are the same for meteorologists as for all other
Federal Civil Service employees. (See chapter on
Government Occupations.)
Recent earnings data for meteorologists in pri­
vate industry are available only for the airlines.



Most airlines divide their meteorologists into two
classes with different salary scales. In 1956, class
A meteorologists with airlines had a starting sal­
ary of $400 and a top salary of $695 a month—
reached after 9 automatic yearly increases. In
recent years, the airlines have had few, if any,
class B meteorologists, who are inexperienced
college graduates; after passing a company exam­
ination, such meteorologists are transferred to
class A positions. The salary range for class B
personnel was from $300 to $350 a month in 1956.
Under the union contracts which cover most air­
line meteorologists, provision is made for raising
salary scales when the cost of living rises. A few
meteorologists in top supervisory positions with
airlines earned between $10,000 and $12,000 a year
in 1956.

Jobs in weather stations—which are operated
on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week—often involve
night work and rotating shifts. Most stations are
located at airports or other places in or near cities.
However, some are in isolated and remote spots.
W h ere To Go for M ore Information

General information on the profession may be
obtained from :
American Meteorological Society,
3 Joy St., Boston 8, Mass.

' The United States Weather Bureau, Washing­
ton 25, D. C., will answer inquiries on employment
opportunities with that agency, and will provide
information on its student-aid program.

(D. O. T. 0 -3 5 .7 6 )

Nature of W ork

There are three broad classes of mathematical
work— pure or theoretical mathematics, applied
mathematics, and mathematical computation.
Theoretical mathematicians are concerned with
the logical development of mathematical systems
and the study of relations among various mathe­
matical forms. Their studies represent a form of
logic dealing with methods of mathematical rea­
soning and analysis rather than with the uses or
applications of these methods.
Applied mathematicians are concerned chiefly
with analyzing the relations among the parts of a
problem, and describing these relations in terms
of a mathematical system. A mathematician of
this type needs not only competence and imagina­
tion in mathematics, but also knowledge of the
field such as physics or engineering in which he is
working. Pure and applied mathematics are not
always sharply separated in practice. Many im­
portant developments in theoretical mathematics
have arisen directly from practical considerations.
For example, the infinitesimal calculus was de­
veloped by Isaac Newton to deal with physical
problems involving the velocity and acceleration of
moving objects— phenomena which could not be
described satisfactorily in earlier systems of math­
The third broad type of mathematical work con­
sists of using known mathematical formulas to ob­

tain numerical answers to specific problems. Such
work requires a high degree of skill in computa­
tion, but does not require the advanced training
and inventiveness needed by the first two types
of mathematicians. The great bulk of mathe­
matical work done in scientific research and de­
velopment, as well as in statistics and business, is
of this type.
W here Employed

The total number of mathematicians in 1955
was roughly 20,000, of whom about 3,000 held Ph.
D. degrees. Relatively few mathematicians are
women—only about 9 percent, according to a
1954-55 survey of professional mathematical so­
ciety members.
The largest number of mathematicians—more
than two-fifths of the total in 1955— are employed
by private industry. A somewhat smaller num­
ber work for educational institutions, chiefly col­
leges and universities. The rest are employed by
Government agencies, chiefly the Department of
Defense and the Department of Commerce, and by
foundations and other nonprofit organizations.
The principal industrial employers of mathe­
maticians are the aircraft and the electrical-equip­
ment manufacturers. The primary metals, chemi­
cals, and petroleum industries also employ


significant numbers of mathematicians. It is esti­
mated that these five industries account for about
a third of all mathematicians employed in
Most o f the mathematicians employed by in­
dustry hold bachelor’s degrees only. A substan­
tial majority of those holding Ph. D. degrees are
employed by colleges and universities.
Training and Other Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a major in mathematics
is usually required for employment as a mathema­
tician. However, a degree in some other subject
with a strong minor in mathematics may be ade­
quate for the less complicated beginning positions.
The training requirements for mathematicians
for teaching and nonroutine research positions are
often substantially higher. It is occasionally pos­
sible to enter these fields with the training repre­
sented by a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, but
a substantial number o f positions require graduate
training. The Ph. D. degree is required for many
college and university teaching positions and for
the more advanced research work. It is important
for advancement, especially to the most desirable
For teaching and for research in pure mathe­
matics, training in nonmathematical subjects is
not specifically necessary; but for teaching and re­
search in applied mathematics, training in the
field to which mathematics is to be applied is essen­
tial. For most applied mathematicians, the field
o f application is physics and related branches of
engineering. Other fields of application are busi­
ness and industrial management, economics, sta­
tistics, chemistry, and biology.
The development in recent years of high-speed
electronic computers has brought a growing need
for mathematicians particularly qualified to work
with these machines. Knowledge of the methods
of numerical analysis is especially important.
Setting up the sequence or program for the ma­
chine to follow also calls for special training.
Employment Outlook

The employment situation for mathematicians
in 1956 was very good at all levels of training, and
excellent for holders of Ph. D. degrees. The situa­
tion will remain very favorable for the next 4 to
6 years at least, especially for applied mathema­



Employment of mathematicians as teachers in
colleges and universities will increase substan­
tially, both to take care of the much larger en­
rollments expected in the 1960’s and to meet the
growing need for more advanced mathematical
training in many fields o f study. The increased
demand for college mathematics teachers will
largely be a demand for Ph. D.’s, but there will
continue to be many positions for holders o f
master’s degrees. Colleges and universities will
also continue to provide most of the employment
opportunities for specialists in the relatively small
field of theoretical mathematics.
Another factor which will tend to increase
employment of mathematicians is the expected
further growth in the demand for their services in
scientific research and development. This demand
is associated with the development of high-speed
electronic computing machines which make pos­
sible more extensive use of mathematics than is
practical with slower calculating equipment. It is
chiefly a demand for applied mathematicians to
work on physics and engineering problems.
In all probability, private industry and the
Federal Government wfill continue to increase their
expenditures for physics and engineering research
and development, and thus raise the demand for
mathematicians. I f the growth in research ex­
penditures should slacken, however, or increase
more rapidly than now anticipated, the demand
for mathematicians would change accordingly.
The new high-speed electronic computers are
also opening up new fields of application for
mathematics in business management. Large com­
puters not only provide accounting and other data
more rapidly, but also make possible analyses o f
business operations which were not practicable
with less advanced equipment.
The broad new opportunities for applied mathe­
matics which have been created by the great speed
of the electronic computers insure a substantial
and growing demand for mathematicians, but
the amount of this demand, the lines along which
it will develop, and the rapidity of the develop­
ment cannot now be foreseen with any exactness.
The demand generated by these computers— in
scientific research and development, in business
management, and in other areas—is a demand for
employees who can apply mathematics to specific
problems, not simply for mathematicians as such.
Undoubtedly, a part of this demand will be satis­
fied by including more advanced mathematical



training in the education of engineers, biologists,
and specialists in other fields to which mathe­
matics is applied. Nevertheless, there will be a
growing demand for applied mathematicians who
combine a high degree of mathematical compe­
tence with a broad knowledge of the field of ap­
plication. There will also be an expanding de­
mand for people to do mathematical computation
work. The long-run outlook is thus one of in­
creasing demand, although the exact size and na­
ture of the increase are not yet foreseeable.
The numbers of new college graduates with
bachelor’s degrees in mathematics will rise in the
late 1950’s and continue to grow, at an accelerating
rate, during the 1960’s, if graduations in this field
follow the trends expected in college graduations
as a whole. The numbers of mathematicians
awarded graduate degrees tend to follow the trend
in bachelor’s degrees with a time lag of several
years. However, employment opportunities for
mathematicians are expected to remain very good
through the early 1960’s, at least, and probably

survey of those belonging to professional societies.
For mathematicians with Pli. D.’s, median salary
was about $6,700; for those without Ph. D.’s, about
Mathematicians in private industry tend to have
higher incomes than those in other types of em­
ployment. In 1951, for example, the median an­
nual professional income of mathematicians with
Ph. D.’s was about 20 percent greater in private
industry than in Government employment, and
about 54 percent greater than in colleges and uni­
versities. Mathematicians without Ph. D.’s had
a median 1951 income in private industry that was
about 12 percent greater than in Government, and
about 34 percent greater than in colleges and
In the United States Government, the starting
salary for mathematicians with Ph. D.’s but with
no experience was $7,035 a year in 1956. The start­
ing salary for mathematicians with bachelor's de­
grees only was $4,480.
W here To Go for More Information
American Mathematical Society,
190 Hope St., Providence, R. I.

The median (average) annual salary of mathe­
maticians was about $6,300 according to a 1954-55

Mathematical Association of America,
University of Buffalo, Buffalo 14, N. Y.

The biological sciences are concerned with the
structure of living organisms, and with such proc­
esses as birth, growth, death, and heredity. They
cover the entire range of life, from the largest ani­
mals and plants to creatures too tiny to be seen
without the aid of powerful microscopes and too
dement ary to be called either plant or animal.
Some biological scientists are concerned with
basic research, aimed at increasing our knowledge
if living things and of the relations existing among
:hem, regardless of whether such knowledge is of
immediate practical use. Others are concerned
vvith the application of biological knowledge and
research methods to practical problems in agriculure, forestry, medicine, and other fields. This
chapter is concerned with the biological sciences
is research and teaching fields. The large applied
liological science fields are discussed elsewhere in
lie Handbook. (For statements on agricultural
•esearch workers, dentists, foresters, nutritionists,
ihysicians, and veterinarians, see index.)
Jature of Work

The work o f biological scientists lends itself
nore readily to detailed specialization than does
hat of most other scientists. It is very difficult
o classify and define clearly and without overapping each of the many areas of interest in which
ndividuals are working, and there is disagreement
s to the best general system of classification.
Three of the ways in which the work of biological
dentists can be classified are according to the
lifferent kinds of living organisms studied, the
afferent points of view from which they can be
tudied, and the different methods of study which
an be used.
When the biological scientists are classified acording to the types of organisms studied, they fall
tito 2 or 3 main groups. One group is concerned
fith the study of animal life and another with the
tudy of plant life. A third group—microbioloists, who study very small organisms— is often
onsidered to represent another major division of
be biological sciences.

Each of these broad groups can be divided fur­
ther. Examples of the fields in which animal
scientists specialize are: entomology, the study o f
insects and similar forms of life ; parasitology, the
study of animal parasites that live on or within
man or other animal life ; ichthyology, the study
of fish and fishlike form s; mammalogy, the study
of mammals; and herpetology, the study of reptiles
and amphibians.
The plant sciences also have a number of sub­
divisions. Some of them are: mycology, the study
of fungi; algology, the study of algae; silvicul­
ture, the study of trees; and horticulture, the study
of the production and breeding of all types of
food and ornamental plants except field crops.
The field of microbiology is regarded as a dis­
tinct category by a number of authorities, al­
though others have classified it as a subfield o f
plant science. It is concerned with the study o f
micro-organisms, including bacteria, and their ef­
fects on plants, animals, other micro-organisms,
and dead organic material.
Biological scientists also specialize in studying
living organisms from different points of view.
For example, a type of organism can be studied
from the point of view of evolution, the way or­
ganisms have developed to their present forms;
or of systematics and taxonomy, concerned with
the identification and classification of organisms;
or of genetics, concerned with what characteristics
are inherited and with the mechanism of heredity.
Some other points of view are composition and or­
ganization,, concerned with the structure of whole
organisms or systems of organs; function, con­
cerned with the processes by which organisms
move, eat, and otherwise function as living sys­
tems ; and ecology, concerned with the relation be­
tween organisms and their environment.
A third way to look at the work of biological
scientists is according to the methods used in
studying biological problems. Among the most
important methods are those of mathematics,
chemistry, physics, physiology (the study of bio­
logical mechanisms and processes), morphology
(concerned with physical structure), and field ob137



servation. The use of these methods in the bio­
logical sciences has led to the development of spe­
cialties such as biochemistry, biophysics, and bio­
metrics which lie on the border between the bio­
logical sciences and other fields.
Taken together, these three systems of classify­
ing the interests and activities of biological sci­
entists show the range and diversity of these sci­
ences, arising naturally from the amazing variety
and complexity of living things. A description
o f the work of a biological scientist requires all
three systems of classification. One interested in
heredity may, for example, employ the methods of
chemistry and use mice as the particular organism
studied. Another scientist with the same central
interest and working on the same kind of animal
may make considerable use of mathematical meth­
ods. A particular research project may be con­
cerned with several types of organisms which can
be profitably studied from several points of view
at the same time, employing more than one method
o f study and analysis.
This chapter is organized into separate sections
on the animal, plant, and microbiological sciences.
References are made within the sections to the
larger and more important fields of specialization
which often are not concerned with a specific class
of organism but deal rather with broader problems.
W h ere Employed

The total number of biological scientists in 1956,
including agricultural research workers of com­
parable training, was estimated to be more than
50,000. About 15,000 to 16,000 of these scientists
held the doctor’s degree.
Women represent a larger proportion of the per­
sonnel in some branches of the biological sciences
than in other natural science fields. They consti­
tute more than 10 percent of all biological sci­
entists taken as a group and over 20 percent of the
The largest group of biological scientists are
those who teach in colleges and universities, where
a majority combine research with their teaching
duties. A 1954-55 survey of about 15,000 biologi­
cal scientists and agricultural research workers, all
of whom had graduate degrees or bachelor’s de­
grees and 4 years of experience, found that the ma­
jority o f the scientists surveyed— 51 percent—were
employed in colleges, universities, and other edu­
cational institutions. The second largest number,

28 percent, worked for governmental agencies, and
the smallest, 21 percent, worked in private indus­
try. A majority of all biological scientists em­
ployed by governmental agencies worked for the
Federal Government; others worked for State and
local government agencies. The most important
industrial employers were the chemical, food, and
paper industries.
The relative importance of educational institu­
tions, government agencies, and private industry
as sources of employment for different groups of
biological scientists is indicated in the sections that
follow. The employment pattern described above
refers to the biological sciences as a whole.
Training and Other Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a major in one of the
biological sciences is the minimum requirement foi
employment in these professions, and more ad
vanced training is required for many positions
Most of the biological sciences offer opportunities
for persons with bachelor’s degrees to work a:
technicians or junior research workers. The rang*
o f positions for which the bachelor’s degree is ade
quate preparation is wider in certain specialties ii
the animal sciences (particularly entomology
and in some aspects of microbiology than in othe
biological sciences, but more advanced academi
training is very advantageous for advancemen
and for the more desirable beginning position
even in these fields. In general, however, th
bachelor’s degree is sufficient for jobs involvin
production and operations work, inspection an
testing, technical sales and service, and routin
applied research.
The master’s degree usually indicates more ir
tensive training in a relatively narrower field o
specialization than is required for the bachelor
degree. This degree is regarded as sufficient qua!
fication for entry into many professional positioi
in the new graduate’s field of specialization, ii
eluding those in college teaching and basic r<
search, but without a doctor’s degree the ran£
of employment opportunities and possibilities fc
advancement are both restricted. Holders of ma
ter’s degrees are considered well qualified pr<
fessionally for high school teaching posts, a
though a teaching certificate is an addition
requirement for such positions in public school
The Ph. D. degree is generally considered e
sential to full professional status in the biologic


sciences. It is practically a necessity for higher
level teaching positions, and is extremely import­
ant for positions involving independent research,
which usually require the full training and dem­
onstrated capability represented by a Ph. D. de­
gree. In some fields of specialization, notably
genetics and most aspects o f experimental biology,
an overwhelming majority of the personnel have
Ph. D.’s.
Some scientists with a medical degree teach or
do basic research in the life sciences, particularly
anatomy, physiology, or medical applications of
microbiology. They frequently hold additional
degrees in biological sciences, obtained in the
course o f further training in their chosen specialty,
and such training is usually equivalent to the
Ph. D.
In addition to training in biological science sub­
jects, persons planning to specialize in these sci­
ences need training in chemistry, in physics, and,
to an increasing degree, in mathematics. Biome­
try, biostatistics, and other methods o f mathemati­
cal analysis are becoming important tools in
the biological sciences. Extensive training and
practice in laboratory techniques and the use of
laboratory equipment is also very important.
Most research and teaching in the biological sci­
ences require skill in laboratory work which can
be developed only through practice.
There has been a definite upward trend in the
educational qualifications needed in these sciences.
There are a few fields in which the Ph. D. degree
is a virtual requirement, and it is becoming more
important to employment and to the better posi­
tions in all fields.
Employment Outlook

The general employment situation was good in
1956 for biological scientists as a group. Qualified
graduates at all levels of training were able to find
employment related to their specialties, and cer­
tain highly trained specialists— for example,
physiologists, pathologists, and biophysicists with
Ph. D. degrees—were particularly in demand.
The outlook for the near future, through the
early 1960’s, is probably about the same. There
will be good opportunities for well-trained per­
sons, especially those with Ph. D.’s. However,
there is likely to be continued competition for the
better positions in many fields of specialization,
and some specialities will offer wider employment


opportunities than others. The demand for per­
sons with bachelor’s degrees to work as technicians
will undoubtedly grow with the growth of the
sciences as a whole. But continued rise in the edu­
cational qualifications required for biological
science positions—which is to be expected— would
mean further limitations on advancement oppor­
tunities for persons without graduate degrees.
The biological sciences have been and are a
growing field, and their growth has never been
more rapid than in the past decade, but it has pro­
ceeded at a slower pace than that o f the physical
sciences as a group. One of the main reasons for
this difference is that the physical sciences have
benefited from large expenditures for research and
development in connection with national defense,
iru which the biological sciences have had only a
limited share.
Nevertheless, growth in research expenditures
may be the most important factor tending to in­
crease demand for biological scientists over the
long run. In these as in other scientific fields, ex­
penditures for research and development have
been rising since the end of World W ar II. (See
p. 142.) Research in the biological sciences is being
actively supported on an increasing scale by sev­
eral government agencies and by a number of pri­
vate foundations. In most cases, the public or
private organization supporting research has a
particular objective, such as a health problem,
which it seeks to advance. However, the many
different aspects to these complex problems lead
to support of a wide variety of research projects
calling for many types of biological scientists.
Another important factor which will tend to in­
crease the demand for biological scientists is the
substantially larger college and university enroll­
ments expected in the 1960’s and thereafter. The
resulting increase in demand for teachers will be,
to a large extent, for Ph. D.’s, for whom college
teaching is a major field of employment. How­
ever, there will also be an increase in college open­
ings for qualified holders of master’s degrees.
(For statement on college teaching opportunities,
see index.)
Thus, over the long run, the outlook for the
biological sciences is one of substantial continued
growth, although the rate of growth is uncertain
and the specialties which will be most affected can
be described in only the most general terms. The
potentialities for research in the biological
sciences are many. In the complex problems of

1 40


human health and disease, in applications of
biology to industrial problems, and in other areas,
completion of research projects serves only to
highlight the need for new research and for
specialists well qualified to conduct it.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

The 1954-55 survey of biologists sponsored by
the National Science Foundation revealed a
median annual salary of about $6,275 for the per­
sons covered by the survey. Those with a Pli. D.
degree had a median annual salary of about $6,750,
while for those without the Ph. D., all of whom
had a bachelor’s degree plus 4 or more years of ex­
perience, the figure was about $5,850.

The income of biological scientists, like that of
almost everyone else, has risen in recent years.
For example, a similar survey made in 1951 found
the median annual income of Ph. D.’s to be about
$6,200. indicating an increase of about $550 from
1951 to 1954-55. Incomes have increased further
since 1955.
W here To Go for More Information
American Institute of Biological Sciences,
2000 P St. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental
9650 Wisconsin Ave., Washington 14, D. C.
U. S. Department of Agriculture,
Washington 25, D. C.

Animal Sciences
Nature of W ork

Animal scientists are concerned with the study
o f the basic processes of human and animal biol­
ogy. Specialists in the various aspects of animal
science are the largest group of biological scien­
tists. The majority of animal scientists teach or
do research, and many do both.
There are many occupational specialties in the
animal sciences. Some of the larger broad divi­
sions are entomology, zoology, physiology, anato­
my, pathology, and the science of nutrition.
Entomologists are concerned with the study of
insects and the ways in which they affect human
beings, animals, and plants. Some entomologists
specialize in identifying and classifying insects—
an enormously difficult undertaking, since there
are more than 75,000 species of insects in the
United States and Canada alone. This is an im­
portant field because proper identification of in­
sects is basic to controlling them and thus to
preserving food supplies and controlling disease.
Many entomologists are engaged in research on
methods of insect control through the use of chemi­
cals, predatory birds, other insects, other biologi­
cal methods such as insect diseases, or mechanical
means. Other entomolgists study ways of utilizing
beneficial insects— for example, honeybees, which
not only produce valuable quantities of honey and
wax but are also essential in pollinating crops so
that they will mature and yield good harvests.
Zoologists include students of all phases of ani­
mal life—the origin, classification, life history, be­

havior, life processes, diseases, and parasites of
animals, and the ways in which animals influence
and are influenced by their environment. Some
zoologists make field trips to study animals in
their natural environment and collect specimens.
Others work mainly in laboratories, dissecting and
studying dead animals or conducting experimental
studies with live ones. Zoologists who specialize
in the study of certain classes of animals usually
identify themselves with their specialties, which
include, for example, the study of birds (ornithol­
ogy), snakes (herpetology), fish (ichthyology),
and mammals (mammalogy). Teachers and
others whose work cuts across several of the animal
science fields usually use the title of zoologist.
Physiologists study the functioning of organ­
isms during life and how life processes operate.
They may specialize in the study of the heart, cir­
culatory system, glands, nerves, cell activities, or
digestive, excretory, reproductive, or other sys­
tems. They conduct experiments to determine the
effects of environmental factors on life processes.
The knowledge gained in such studies provides
the basis for the work of many other specialists,
such as pathologists, pharmacologists, or nutri­
Anatomists study the form and structure of
animal organisms. They may study structures
visible to the naked eye, those of microscopic size,
the development of organisms before birth (em­
bryology) or the structure and organization of any
of the specialized organs of animals. Most anato­
mists specialize in human anatomy.




o u r t e s y

o f


. S.

a t o m ic


n e r g y


o m m is s io n

Physiologist removing blood from a rat’s tail vein in an experiment to determine whether cysteine—an amino acid—will prevent
the oxidation of tissue and cell destruction that result from radiation.

Pathologists study the causes and processes of
disease, degeneration, and abnormal functioning
in animal organisms. They may specialize in the
study of the effects of diseases, parasites, and insect
pests on organs and tissues; in histology, which is
the microscopic study of animal and plant tissues;
or in the structure or anatomy of diseased organs.
The term pathologist is normally reserved for stu­
dents of human pathology (medical pathology) ;
specialists in animal pathology are usually veteri­
narians ; and plant pathologists study plant
Nutritionists study the processes through which
human beings and other animals utilize fo o d ; the
kinds and quantities of food elements—such as
minerals, vitamins, fats, sugars, and proteins—

which are essential to maintain the best state of
health; and how these food elements are trans­
formed into bodily substances. Nutritionists also
make analyses of foods to determine their composi­
tion in terms of the food elements essential to
Where Employed

More than half of all animal scientists are em­
ployed by colleges and universities. About a third
work for agencies of the Federal and State Gov­
ernments, usually the former. Fewer than 1 in 10
works for manufacturing industries, and a still
smaller number are employed by research and con­
sulting services, foundations, and various non­
profit organizations.



The animal scientists employed by the Federal
Government are chiefly entomologists, parasitolo­
gists, and animal physiologists on the staffs of the
Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Health,
Education, and Welfare. In State governments,
the main employers of animal scientists are the
State agricultural experiment stations, which uti­
lize entomologists, nutritionists, and other types
of specialists in research work.
Entomologists are predominant among the ani­
mal scientists in private industry. Food com­
panies, particularly large milling and baking
companies, employ them to develop methods of
protecting stored foods from insect pests, and
chemical firms use them to do research in develop­
ing and testing insecticides. In addition, ento­
mologists are employed to provide technical serv­
ices in connection with the sale and proper use of
Training and Other Qualifications

The level of education needed for entrance into
the animal sciences is determined largely by the
field of specialization and the type of work per­
formed. The educational requirements of different
types of employment are greatly influenced by
these two factors.
The bachelor’s degree is sufficient training for
employment only in certain segments of the ani­
mal sciences—for example, entomology. In gen­
eral, the bachelor’s degree is sufficient preparation
for certain positions connected with the adminis­
tration and enforcement of government regula­
tions designed to prevent the spread of diseases or
to control pests, and for other jobs involving
fairly routine functions. The master’s degree in
one of the animal sciences .is sufficient qualifica­
tion for some teaching positions in colleges and
universities, and for some research positions. The
Ph. D. degree, however, is generally considered es­
sential for the attainment of full professional
status in the animal sciences. It is practically a

necessity for higher level teaching appointments,
and for positions involving independent research
into basic problems. Top-level positions in teach­
ing, basic research, and administration require the
full training of the Ph. D.
In summary, although there are positions in
some of the animal sciences for persons holding'
only the bachelor’s degree, graduate training is
often needed to compete for the better jobs. Per­
sons interested in careers in the animal sciences
should obtain graduate training, and preferably
a Ph. D. degree, if at all possible.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for animal scien­
tists were good in 1956 and were expected to re­
main good at least through the early 1960’s.
Expenditures for scientific research in the ani­
mal sciences have been increasing since the end of
World War II. In recent years, the Federal Gov­
ernment has given increased support to this re­
search—notably through the National Institutes
o f Health and the National Science Foundation.
The U. S. Department of Defense is also an im­
portant source of research funds for the animal
sciences. Voluntary health agencies, such as the
cancer, tuberculosis, and heart societies, also sup­
port basic biological research in the animal sci­
ences. The trend toward increased expenditures
for research in the animal sciences is expected to
The substantially increased college and univer­
sity enrollments expected in the 1960’s and there­
after will bring an increased demand for teachers
in this field as in all others. The increased de­
mand for teachers and for research personnel, is
expected to lead to continued growth of employ­
ment in the animal sciences.
For information on Earnings and Working
Conditions and Where To Go For More In for­
mation and for further information on Employ­
ment Outlook, see the Introduction to this chapter.

Plant Sciences
Nature o f W ork

Plant scientists are divided among three main
fields of specialization—botany, plant pathology,

and plant physiology—each of which includes a
number of subspecialties. These scientists, a much
smaller group than animal scientists, chiefly teach
and do research.


Botanists are concerned with basic knowledge of
plants in general, rather than with any one of the
various specialized fields which have developed
from the general field of plant study. Some bot­
anists are interested primarily in the identification
and classification of plants (plant taxonomy).
Others specialize in studies of the structure of
plants and plant cells (plant morphology and his­
tology), or in studies of the influence on plants
of such environmental factors as rainfall, temper­
ature, and soil (plant ecology). Another impor­
tant field of botany is the collection of basic in­
formation on the raw material resources which hu­
man beings obtain from plants (economic botany).
Plant pathologists (also known as phytopathol­
ogists) are specialists in the causes and control of
plant diseases produced by parasitic organisms,
viruses, chemicals, and other agents. Some spe­
cialize in the pathology of a specific plant or group
of plants, such as forest trees, vegetable crops, orn­
amental plants, and field crops. Others work only
with certain organisms or groups of organisms af­
fecting plants, such as fungi, viruses, or bacteria.
Plant physiologists study the life processes of
plants—the ways in which they grow, develop,
and reproduce. They are concerned with the ways
in which plants are affected by nutrients and other
chemicals and by environmental factors, such as
soil, temperature, moisture, and light. They also
study the effects of certain chemicals— such as
growth regulators, fungicides, and insecticides—
on the development of plants and the quality of
plant products.
W h ere Employed

The majority of plant scientists are employed
in colleges and universities. The second largest
group work for government agencies, both Fed­
eral and State. The remainder, a relatively small
proportion, are employed by private industry and
by foundations and other nonprofit organizations.
Training and Other Qualifications

The Ph. D. degree is needed for full professional
development in the plant sciences, as in most areas
of biology. It is of first importance for college
and university teaching, which is the chief source


of employment for plant scientists, and it is equal­
ly important for research. In both college teach­
ing and research, there are positions for persons
with master’s degrees, but the opportunities for
advancement open to them are likely to be limited.
People with the bachelor’s degree can work as
technicians in the plant sciences, but it is extreme­
ly difficult to rise to higher positions without a
graduate degree, preferably the Ph. D.
With few exceptions, undergraduate majors in
plant science specialties are not offered by col­
leges. It is generally recommended that students
obtain, during the first 4 years of college, the
broadest possible training in all branches of bi­
ology and in related sciences. The competent bi­
ologist needs to have both an intensive knowledge
of his own specialty and a broad background in
the fundamentals of biology and related sciences
in order to interpret better the results of his
studies and experiments. Training in chemistry,
physics, mathematics, and statistics is also needed
by plant scientists.
Employment Outlook

The employment situation was good in 1956 in
the relatively small field of the plant sciences, and
it was expected to remain fairly good for the next
few years.
The most important factor tending to increase
employment in this field of science is the higher
college and university enrollments expected in
the late 1950’s and thereafter. This will create a
demand for plant scientists with Ph. D. degrees
primarily, but there will be increased demand for
plant scientists with master’s degrees as well, to
teach the increasing number of students.
Another important factor which will probably
tend to increase employment of plant scientists
over the long run is the increasing support of re­
search, by private firms as well as by government
agencies. Much of this support is given in con­
nection with agricultural research, but there has
been increased support for other aspects of plant
science research as well.
For information on Earnings and Working Con­
ditions and Where To Go for More Information,
and for further information on Employment Out­
look, see the Introduction to this chapter.



Nature of W ork

W h ere Employed

Microbiologists specialize in the study of bac­
teria, viruses, molds, and other organisms of mi­
croscopic or smaller than microscopic size. The
terms microbiology and bacteriology are some­
times used interchangeably, but microbiology is
the broader term and is preferable when referring
to the study of all microscopic organisms. Like
other biological scientists, microbiologists usually
specialize in some particular aspect of their field.
Agricultural specialists study bacteria, molds,
algae, and protozoa and other micro-organisms in
soils, and the relation of such organisms to soil
fertility; to the growth, processing, and storage
o f crops; and to plant diseases. They also study
micro-organisms which affect the health of
Industrial specialists include scientists who de­
velop methods o f using beneficial molds and bac­
teria in processing dairy products, beer, wine,
vinegar, and other food products. Some industrial
microbiologists study micro-organisms which at­
tack materials, such as textiles, leather, metal, and
wood, to determine the cause of spoilage or de­
terioration. Many industrial microbiologists are
engaged in research on antibiotics and other prod­
ucts produced through the aid of micro-organisms,
in a search for new products or new methods of
production. Testing and inspection of biological
production is another important aspect of their
Medical specialists study organisms which cause
infectious diseases. They aid in the diagnosis of
diseases by identifying disease-producing organ­
isms found in body fluids or excretions and provide
information about the sensitivity of such organ­
isms to various remedies. Virology (the study of
viruses causing diseases in animals or plants), im­
munology (the study of the mechanisms by which
the body fights off infection), and serology (the
study of animal fluids, including blood serum) are
closely related fields.
Public health specialists apply the findings of
microbiology in maintaining health standards for
water supplies, milk, and other foods, and in the
control and prevention of contagious diseases.

Colleges and universities are the largest em­
ployers of microbiologists with graduate degrees,
with private industry second as a field of employ­
ment for this group, and government agencies
third. For microbiologists with only bachelor's
degrees, however, private industry is the largest
field of employment.
The most important industrial employers of mi­
crobiologists at all degree levels are drug and other
chemical firms and food processing companies,
which use these scientists both in research and in
connection with the control of manufacturing
processes. Other industrial employers are paper
and leather manufacturers.
Most of the microbiologists and bacteriologists
working for the Federal Government are em­
ployed by the Public Health Service, the Veterans
Administration, the Department of Agriculture,
and the Department of the Army. Those em­
ployed by State and local governments work in
public health departments and as research workers
at agricultural experiment stations.

Training and Other Qualifications

The minimum training requirement for posi­
tions in microbiology is a bachelor’s degree. This
degree is adequate preparation for a variety of
positions in private industry and in government
agencies, which involve testing and inspection or
routine research performed under the direction
o f a senior research worker.
For more independent research and for entry
positions in teaching, the master’s degree is needed.
In microbiology as in other biological sciences,
this degree usually indicates that the individual
has received considerable training in some field
of specialization and is thus qualified for entry
positions in this specialty.
The Ph. D., however, is generally considered es­
sential for the attainment of full professional
status in microbiology, like most other biological
sciences. It is practically a necessity for higher
level teaching appointments, and for positions in­
volving independent research into basic problems.


Persons interested in these types of work will find
their opportunities restricted without the Ph. D.
Training in physics and mathematics is valuable
in microbiology, as in other biological sciences,
and extensive training in chemistry is essential.
Employment Outlook

The employment situation for microbiologists
with graduate training was good in 1956, but there
was competition for jobs as technicians or junior
research workers among those with only bachelor’s
degrees. The situation was expected to remain
very much the same for the next several years.
The field of microbiology has experienced a
steady growth in the past, which Avill probably
continue for some time. The United States
Government has given increased support to both
basic and applied research in microbiological spe­
cialties, principally through the National Insti­
tutes of Health, the National Science Foundation,

4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 57



and the Department of Defense. The research ex­
penditures of private industry and of various pri­
vate nonprofit agencies have also been increasing.
The potentialities of microbiological research for
both industrial and medical applications are very
large, and the trend toward increased expenditures
for research and for product development activi­
ties in microbiology is likely to persist, creating
new employment opportunities at all levels of
training but most especially for Ph. D.’s capable
of undertaking independent research and direct­
ing the research activities of others.
The greatly enlarged enrollments expected at the
colleges and universities in the next decade will
also increase opportunities in teaching for micro­
biologists with doctor’s or master’s degrees, espe­
cially the former.
For information on Earnings and "Working Con­
ditions and Where To Go for More Information,
and for further information on Employment Out­
look:, see the Introduction to this chapter.

The Social Science Professions
The social sciences are concerned with the whole
range of human history and activities, from the
origin of man to the latest election returns. Social
scientists, however, generally specialize in one of
several major branches of social science, each of
which is a study of human behavior from a differ­
ent viewpoint. Those specializing in anthropology
study primitive tribes, reconstruct lost cities and
civilizations, and are concerned with the cultures
and languages of all nations. Economists study
the ways in which men make a living and analyze
the factors which help or hinder them in satisfy­
ing their material needs. Historians describe and
interpret the events of the past. Political scien­
tists are concerned with the problems of govern­
ment. Sociologists deal with the behavior and
relationships of groups, including the family, the
community, minorities, and others.
Besides these basic social science fields, there are
a number of closely related fields, some of which
are covered in separate statements in this Hand­
book. (See statements on statisticians, psycholo­
gists, and social workers.)
An estimated 35,000 people were professionally
employed in the basic social sciences in 1956;
fewer than 10 percent of the total were women.
Because of overlapping—not only among the
closely related basic social science fields but also
with such fields as business administration,
foreign service work, and high school teaching—
it is extremely difficult to determine exactly the
size of each social science profession. Economists
are, however, the largest group of social scientists,
followed by political scientists, historians, sociolo­
gists, and anthropologists.
The majority of all social scientists are employed
by colleges and universities. (See chart 29.) The
Federal Government is the second largest em­
ployer, especially of political scientists and econo­
mists. Except for economists, private industry
employs comparatively few persons in professional
social science positions, but there is a trend toward
hiring increasing numbers of college graduates
who have majored in the social sciences as trainees
for administrative and executive positions in a
variety of industries. Eesearch councils and other


nonprofit organizations provide an important
source of employment for anthropologists and
Training and Other Qualifications

Graduate training is required for most profes­
sional work in the social sciences. Completion of
all requirements for the Ph. D. degree, except the
doctoral dissertation, is commonly required for
appointment to the position of college instructor
in large colleges and universities, and the doctor­
ate is a prerequisite for appointment to the rant
of professor in many colleges and universities.
Undergraduate training is sufficient for appoint­
ment to many beginning positions in the Federal
Government, but persons with graduate degrees
may enter at a higher grade. Even in private in­
dustry where a high proportion of currentlj



employed social scientists have only bachelor's
degrees, there is growing emphasis on the im­
portance of graduate training for professional
The great majority of all social scientists have
graduate degrees. However, the proportion hold­
ing a Ph. D. degree varies considerably by field of
specialization. For example, nearly 70 percent of
the historians included in a recent survey had the
Ph. D. degree, but only about 40 percent of the
political scientists had attained the doctorate.
Employment Outlook

Employment in the social sciences is expected
to increase moderately during the remainder of
the 1950 decade and more substantially during the
1960’s, largely because of the anticipated increase
in need for teachers in colleges and universities.
(See statement on college and university teachers,
page 63.) Some increase in employment is also
expected in both government and industry, as a
result of the growing reliance on the use of social
science methods in solving the economic and social
problems of industry and the Nation. In addition
to personnel required for new positions, more than
1.000 social scientists will be needed each year to
replace those who die, retire, or leave for other
The supply of professional personnel .in the so­
cial sciences comes largely from students obtain­
ing graduate degrees. In the 5-year period end­
ing June 1955, about 20,000 master’s degrees and
5.000 Ph. D. degrees were awarded in the social
science fields. (See table.) It is anticipated that
during the next 10 years (1956-65), 3 times as
many master’s and doctor’s degrees will be granted
as in the earlier 5-year period. These estimates
are based on the assumption that the proportion
o f social science degrees granted will remain the
same as during recent years and that college en­
rollments and graduations will continue to rise
as rapidly as current forecasts suggest.
Employment opportunities for new Ph. D.’s
were good in 1956 and will probably continue to
be favorable in most social science fields during
the remainder of the 1950 decade and the early
1960’s, despite the anticipated rise in the number
o f degrees granted in the social sciences. Econo­
mists with the Ph. D. degree and those with all

the Ph. D. requirements except the doctoral dis­
sertation are expected to find exceptionally good
employment opportunities and it is likely that
those with only a master’s degree will also have
good opportunities, provided they are well trained
in a particular specialty and in statistical research
methods. In the other social science fields, those
with only master’s degrees may meet considerable
competition for professional positions.
College graduates with only a bachelor’s degree
in the social sciences are likely to find opportuni­
ties for professional employment increasingly
limited. Many of these graduates will probably
find work in related fields of business or public
administration, social work, and high school
teaching; a considerable number will enter fields
of work unrelated to their field of study. How­
ever, education in the social sciences has a basic
value other than vocational training—that of
helping individuals to meet their personal and
social responsibilities in everyday living.
Total number of graduate degrees conferred by higher educa­
tional institutions in the social sciences, 1951— 5
Subject field

All social sciences
Political science 1
Social science, not elsewhere classified___


Ph. D .

21, 161

4, 946


1, 183
1, 608


1 Includes international relations and public administration.

Source: Compiled from U. >S. Office of Education, Annual Reports on
Earned Degrees Conferred by Higher Educational Institutions.


Starting salaries for social scientists employed
as instructors ranged from $3,000 to $4,000 in large
colleges and universities in 1956. Generally, posi­
tions with the higher salaries required the Ph. D.
degree, or completion of all requirements for this
degree except the doctoral dissertation, and some
experience—often obtained as a graduate teaching
assistant. In a majority of colleges and universi­
ties, salaries of professors were roughly double
the instructor’s salary, and in a few cases consid-



erably more than double. (See statement on col­
lege and university teachers.)
In 1956, beginning salaries for social scientists
entering the Federal Government in professional
or administrative positions were $3,670 a year for
inexperienced graduates with only the bachelor’s
degree and $4,525 for those with the master’s de­
gree or equivalent in education and qualifying ex­
perience. A ll new candidates for such positions
were expected to meet the requirements of the
Federal Service Entrance examination.
section on The Federal Government.)
Entrance salaries for social scientists hired as
business trainees in private industry are generally
comparable with those offered other college gradu­
ates for similar employment. Beginning salaries
for men graduates with a major in economics and
considerable training in business related subjects
were around $350 a month in 1956. Starting sal­
aries of social scientists entering the field of mar­
ket research were somewhat lower. Salaries of
social scientists entering nonprofit organizations
were about $300 a month for research positions
and slightly lower for administrative and oper­
ating positions, particularly in the field of social
welfare and recreation work.
Women social scientists generally had sub­
stantially lower starting rates than men in 1956,
partly because they were more frequently em­
ployed by nonprofit organizations or were em­
ployed in nonprofessional jobs. Women social
scientists, performing the same type of work as
men, generally earn substantially less than men
o f comparable age, experience, and level of educa­
tion. A 1952 survey of earnings of social scientists
indicated that women Ph. D.’s earned on the aver­
age about $1,000 less than men, even though they
were an older, and presumably more experienced,
Social scientists in fields which have a relatively
high proportion of workers employed by the gov­
ernment and private industry earn more, on the
average, than those in specialties largely confined
to college and university employment. The 1952
survey of the earnings of social scientists indicated
that median annual salaries of economists and po­
litical scientists were $6,500 and $5,900, respective­
ly, and those of historians, sociologists, and an­
thropologists were $5,300 or less. Average sal­
aries have risen since that date—perhaps as much
as 10 percent by 1956.

In all fields, social scientists with the Ph. D. de­
gree earned substantially more, on the average,
than did those with the master’s degree, as shown
in the following tabulation of median annual sal­
aries received in 1952.


Econom ists_______________________________ 5,400
Historians_________________________________ 4,200
Political scientists_______________________
Sociologists________________________________ 4,100

Ph. D.


Salaries of social scientists employed by colleges
and universities vary little by subject specialty; in
1952, median salaries ranged from $5,000 for his­
torians to $5,500 for economists. Salaries in large
institutions with many graduate students tend to
be substantially higher, especially for professors,
than salaries in smaller institutions.
Many social scientists earn income in addition
to their regular salaries. Summer teaching is the
principal source of such income in all fields, but
consulting work is an important source of supple­
mentary income for economists, political scientists,
and sociologists. Income from royalties is a more
common source of supplementary earnings for his­
torians. Social scientists regularly employed by
colleges and universities are the group most likely
to have additional earnings. Comparatively few
Federal Government employees have supplemen­
tary income: when they do, their chief additional
activity is teaching.
W h ere To Go for More Information

Additional information, particularly on em­
ployment trends and outlook, is given in the fol­
lowing publication:
Employment Outlook in the Social Sciences, Bureau
of Labor Statistics Bull. 1167, 1954. Superintendent
of Documents, Washington 25, D. C.
Price 30 cents.

The results of a survey of the characteristics and
earnings of social scientists are published in the
following report:
Personnel Resources in the Social Sciences and Hu­
manities, Bureau of Labor Statistics Bull. 1169, 1954.
Superintendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C.
Price 70 cents.

Additional information on educational require­
ments for economists and sociologists may be
found in the following publications prepared by


the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Veterans
Educational Requirements for Employment of Econ­
omists, Y A Pamphlet 7-8.4, 1955. Superintendent
of Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price 15 cents.


American Historical Association,
Library of Congress Annex, Washington 25, D . C.
American Political Science Association,
1726 Massachusetts Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.
American Sociological Society, New York University,
Washington Square, New York 3, N. Y.

Educational Requirements for Employment of Sociol­
ogists, Y A Pamphlet 7-8.8, 1955. Superintendent of
Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price 15 cents.

Information on opportunities in related fields
of work in the foreign service is given in :

Information on the respective branches of social
science may be obtained from the following pro­
fessional organizations:

New Opportunities in the U. S. Foreign Service, U. S.
Department of State Publication 6284, 1956. Superin­
tendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price
15 cents.

Information on how to find out about U. S.
Civil Service examinations in social science and
related fields is given in section on The Federal

American Anthropological Association,
Logan Museum, Beloit College, Beloit, W is.
American Economic Association,
Northwestern University, Evanston, 111.

(D. O. T. 0 -3 6 .0 1 )

Nature of Work

Anthropology, the study of man and his works,
is the smallest of the social science fields. Prob­
ably not more than a thousand persons, including
archeologists, were professionally employed in this
field in 1956. More than a fifth were women—a
higher proportion than in any other social science
Most anthropologists specialize in cultural or
social anthropology—usually in either archeology
or ethnology. Archeologists visit the places where
earlier civilizations are buried and make excava­
tions to look for the remains of people and their
homes, clothing, utensils, and ornaments. For
example, archeologists working in Asia Minor are
digging up the temples of the Hittites and have
found whole libraries of hieroglyphics, which re­
veal the history of a people once powerful enough
to challenge the Egyptian Pharaohs but com­
pletely forgotten until recent times. Archeologists
working in the sands of New Mexico are salvaging
the remnants of Indian village civilizations before
they are destroyed by the tide of new highways
under construction there. The reconstruction of
Williamsburg, Va., illustrates the work of arche­
ologists in reconstructing the life of colonial
America. Ethnologists may spend long periods
living among primitive tribes, under difficult con­
ditions, so they can learn their ways of life at first

hand. The ethnologist takes accurate, detailed,
and complete notes describing the physical char­
acteristics of the people, their social customs and
material possessions, usually learning their lan­
guage in the process. He also collects examples of
their pottery, tools, weapons, and other articles.
Few persons specialize in physical anthro­
pology. These anthropologists apply intensive
training in human anatomy and biology to the
study of human evolution and growth, and to the
scientific measurement of the physical differences
among the races of mankind.
College teaching is the principal function of
most anthropologists. However, research is the
major work of nearly one-third of all anthro­
pologists, including many in government agencies
and nonprofit organizations, as well as a sub­
stantial proportion of those employed in colleges
and universities. A good many are employed in
library and museum work, administration, or op­
erational activities. A few are engaged primarily
in consulting, writing, or other activities.
W here Employed

Most teachers of anthropology are on the facul­
ties of the small group of institutions (24 in 1955)
conferring graduate degrees in anthropology.
Anthropologists in other types of work are em-



ployed in museums, libraries, areas under gov­
ernment supervision—parks, monuments, trustee­
ship territories and others—and frequently in
foreign lands, at the sites of field explorations
financed by research organizations. (See chart
Training and Other Qualifications

Persons with bachelor’s degrees in anthro­
pology may occasionally qualify for teaching as­
sistant ships or for positions as field or research
assistants, particularly in connection with arche­
ological studies. However, it is increasingly dif­
ficult for those without graduate training to ob­
tain any but temporary positions in this field.
The usual minimum entrance requirement for pro­
fessional work in anthropology is a master’s degree
and some experience in field work. New graduates
with master’s degrees in anthropology may quali­
fy for positions as instructors in colleges and uni­
versities and for entrance positions in research
and administration or library and museum work.
Although it is occasionally possible to advance to
higher level positions on the basis of experience,
it is generally necessary to obtain the Ph. D. de­
gree for better positions in all fields of employ­
Some training in physical anthropology and in
archeology is necessary for all anthropologists.
Trained anthropologists are also expected to ob­
tain experience by doing basic research in the field.
Undergraduate students may begin their field
training by accompanying expeditions as laborers.
They may gradually advance to supervisory posi­
tions in charge of the digging or collection of ma­
terial and may finally take charge of a portion of
the work of the expedition. Most anthropologists
prepare doctoral dissertations based on data col­
lected in the course of independent field research;
they are, therefore, experienced fieldworkers by
the time they obtain the Ph. D. degree.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities were good in 1956
for highly trained anthropologists in most fields
o f specialization. However, there appeared to be
an oversupply of social anthropologists owing to
the sharp decline during the early 1950's in the

use of anthropologists as program officers and
consultants in foreign aid programs. In most
fields of anthropology, persons without the doc­
torate faced very keen competition for profes­
sional positions in 1956, since demand was limited
largely to replacement needs. Those specializing
in archeology had somewhat better employment
opportunities as a result of some new government
projects involving the salvage of objects of arche­
ological value that might be destroyed by the pro­
posed vast network of new highways. These
salvage operations, financed partly by Federal
funds and partly by State museums and universi­
ties, also provided a considerable number of tem­
porary summer jobs for students of anthropology
and were expected to continue to do so for the
remainder of the 1950’s at least.
Employment o f anthropologists by colleges and
universities is expected to rise slowly during the
remainder of the 1950 decade and substantially
during the 1960’s (see statement on college teach­
ers on p. 63). An average of 40 to 50 instructors
may be needed annually to meet the needs result­
ing from expansion in college faculties and the re­
placement of faculty members who retire, die, or
leave for other types of work. Employment o f
anthropologists in other fields of work is likely
to remain fairly stable—with new hiring limited
largely to replacements, which may not exceed 25
a year.
New graduates with Ph. D.’s in anthropology
will probably have favorable employment oppor­
tunities through the early 1960’s, at least (assum­
ing that the proportion of graduate students spe­
cializing in this field does not become substan­
tially higher than in recent years). Graduates
with only the master’s degree, however, are likely
to face persistent competition for professional po­
sitions. Those with training in social psychology
may find positions in related fields of work, espe­
cially in personnel and industrial relations and in
public opinion and market research. Others may
find jobs in public administration and in nonprofit
organizations and civic groups, which prefer per­
sonnel with social science training as a general
Information on Earnings and Where To Go fo r
More Information is given at the beginning of this



(D. O. T. 0 -3 6 .1 1 )

Nature of Work

Economics is the largest of the basic social
science fields, with about 15,000 persons employed
primarily as economists in 1956. In addition,
many other people not classified as economists were
employed in work which required some training
in economics.
Economists study the ways in which men make
their living and the factors which determine their
success or failure in satisfying their material
needs. All economists must have a broad back­
ground in economic theory; most specialize in one
or more fields in which economic principles are
applied. Some economists are concerned with such
problems as the control of inflation, the prevention
of depression, and farm, wage, tax, and tariff poli­
cies. Some develop comprehensive theories to ex­
plain the causes of employment and unemployment
or the ways in which international trade influences
world economic conditions. Others are concerned
with the collection and interpretation of data on
a wide variety of economic problems.
Economists are employed principally as teachers
in colleges and universities, as professional work­
ers on economic research projects in government
agencies, and, to a lesser extent, in private industry
and nonprofit research organizations. (See chart
29.) Those employed as college teachers not only
guide students in learning the basic principles and
methods of economics but frequently engage in
writing, lecturing, or consulting activities. They
do much of the basic research on fundamental
problems in economic theory and formulate many
of the new theories and ideas which directly or in­
directly influence economic thought in industry
and government.
Most government economists do research and ad­
ministrative work. They may plan and carry out
studies involving the collection of basic economic
data and may use these data to analyze problems
in such areas as the consequences of changes in
technology, industrial organization, government
policy, or the demand for and supply of goods or
manpower. They write reports on their findings
and may be called upon to present reports before
policymaking bodies. The largest numbers of
economists in the Federal Government are spe­
cialists in agricultural, business, international


h o t o g r a p h

b y


. S. D

e p a r t m e n t

o f


b o r

An economist using statistical charts to explain employment

trade and development, labor, and fiscal economics.
In addition, many economists in the Federal
Government are employed as statisticians, foreign
affairs specialists, intelligence specialists, or as pro­
fessional workers in other positions which require
substantial training in economics.
Economists employed by large business firms
perform mainly administrative and research du­
ties. They may concentrate on problems relating
to domestic business conditions, markets and prices
of company products, government policies affect­
ing business, or international trade. Their main
purpose is to provide management with informa­
tion to be used in making decisions on problems
such as the timing of new financing or the advis­
ability of expanding the company’s business by
adding new lines of merchandise or by opening
branch plants in new areas. Some economists are
self-employed and act as consultants, mainly to
business firms.
Where Employed

About half the professional economists are
employed by colleges and universities; approxi­
mately a third work for government agencies—
primarily Federal; a small but growing number
are employed by private industry; and a few serve
in research agencies and community organizations.
Economists are found in nearly all university
towns and cities. The largest number of econo-



mists are in the Washington, D. C., area, where
more than three-fourths of the economists in the
Federal Government are located. Economists in
private industry are usually employed in cities
where the home offices of large corporations are
located. The New York City and Chicago metro­
politan areas have the largest concentration of
economists in private industry, as well as in non­
profit research organizations.
Training and Other Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a major in economics
is sufficient for many beginning research jobs in
government and private industry, although per­
sons employed in such jobs are not always re­
garded as professional economists. All economic
research work requires a good background in the
core subjects—economic theory, history, and meas­
urement. Since beginners are usually concerned
mainly with the collection and compilation of
data, a thorough knowledge of statistical proce­
dures is especially important. Those who have had
several courses in mathematics and statistics
usually have better employment opportunities
than those with only the minimum requirements
in these subjects. It is possible to advance to more
responsible research jobs involving considerable
analysis or supervisory duties on the basis of ex­
perience, but there is a trend toward requiring
further academic training for advancement to
high-level positions.
Young people with bachelor’s degrees in eco­
nomics can usually qualify for the same types of
jobs as most college graduates with a major in
business administration. Industrial and business
firms often hire graduates as management trainees,
rotate them through various departments to ac­
quaint them with company activities, and then
assign them to positions where they are most
needed or best fitted. Whether or not the employee
is finally assigned a job which makes specific use
of his training in economics depends largely on
the needs of the company.
The master’s degree is generally the minimum
requirement for appointment to the position of
college instructor, though graduate assistantships
may be awarded to outstanding students working
toward their master’s degree. Completion of all
the requirements for the Ph. D., except the dis­
sertation, is necessary for appointment to the posi­
tion of instructor in many large colleges and uni­

versities. In government or private industry,
economists with the master’s degree can usually
qualify for research-related positions of a some­
what higher level than those open to holders of
only the bachelor’s degree.
The Ph. D. degree is necessary for attaining a
professorship in a high-ranking college or uni­
versity and is an asset in obtaining many types of
jobs, such as administrator or director of research
projects in the government, a research council,
foundation, or business organization.
Employment Outlook

The job market for well-qualified economists
is expected to continue to be very good throughout
the rest of the 1950 decade. In 1956, the demand
for economists was strong, and shortages of per­
sonnel with experience or graduate work were re­
ported in some specialized fields, particularly in
agricultural marketing economics and transporta­
tion. The shortage of agricultural marketing
economists was largely the result of a pronounced
increase in demand, beginning in the mid-1950’s,
for personnel to do research in the various State
agricultural experiment stations. In addition, the
slow but steady rise in the use of marketing eco­
nomists in private industry continued. During
the late 1950’s, a moderate rise in the demand for
economists in the Federal Government and in pri­
vate industry, coupled with a marked increase in
the demand for economists to teach in colleges and
universities, is expected to create numerous em­
ployment opportunities for economists with grad­
uate training. Although inexperienced college
graduates with only a bachelor’s degree in eco­
nomics will have few opportunities for employ­
ment as professional economists, they will prob­
ably continue to be in demand as market research
assistants and as administrative and management
trainees in industry and government.
Employment of economists will increase sub­
stantially in the college teaching field during the
1960’s (see statement on college teachers) and to
a moderate extent in other fields. Colleges and
universities may need as many as from 500 to
600 new instructors annually to handle rapidly
increasing college enrollments and to replace fac­
ulty members who retire, die, or leave for other
fields of work. Several hundred economists are
also likely to be required annually to meet ex­
pansion and replacement needs in industry, gov-


ernment, and nonprofit organizations. Private
industry is expected to employ a growing number
of economists, as businessmen become more ac­
customed to relying on scientific methods of ana­
lyzing business trends, forecasting sales, and
planning purchasing and production needs.
Employment of economists in the Federal Gov­
ernment is likely to increase somewhat, as the
importance of more extensive data collection and
analysis by government agencies is more widely
recognized as a guide to policy planning in gov­
ernment and industry. The demand for agricul­
tural economists in the State agricultural
experiment stations will continue to rise, if present
plans for increased expenditures for research
under the Federal Research and Marketing Act
of 1946 are carried out.
Employment prospects for economists with the
doctorate are expected to be very good—better
than for other social scientists—through the early
1960’s, at least. Assuming the proportion of


graduate degrees granted in economics remains the
same as in the post-World War II period, the
number of new Ph. D.’s will probably be consid­
erably less than the number of new college in­
structors needed. As a result, employment oppor­
tunities for economists who have fulfilled all
requirements for the doctorate except the dis­
sertation will also be very good. Although there
may be considerable competition for professional
positions among economists with lesser qualifica­
tions—in view of the anticipated increase in their
numbers—it is likely that most economists with
graduate training will be able to find professional
employment, especially if they have adequate
training in statistics and mathematics. Those
with only a bachelor’s degree are likely to continue
to find relatively limited opportunities for pro­
fessional employment as economists.
Information on Earnings and Where To Go for
More Information is given at the beginning of this

(D. O. T. 0-36.91)

Nature of W ork

Historians study the records of the past and
write books and articles describing and analyzing
past events, institutions, and ideas. They may
specialize in the history of a specific country or
region or in a particular period of time—ancient,
medieval, or modern. Sometimes they study cer­
tain phases of history, such as the economic and
social life of a country or period; international,
diplomatic, military, church, political or cultural
history, or other specialized areas. Most his­
torians specialize in United States history or in
modern European history. Some historians, usu­
ally called archivists, specialize in selecting, pre­
serving, and making available documentary ma­
terials of historical value.
Most historians are employed as teachers in col­
leges and universities. (See chart 29.) Small but
increasing numbers are engaged in research and in
archival, library, and museum work, mainly for
government agencies but also for historical socie­
ties, special libraries, and private industry. Fre­
quently, college teachers also do historical re­
search, writing, and lecturing, and are occasion­
ally employed as consultants. Government his­
torians do mainly original research, or adminis­
trative work and writing in connection with re­

search projects. They examine, analyze, and
evaluate original source materials—letters, memo­
randa, circulars, official records and reports, books,
pamphlets, and articles—and prepare reports and
special studies. Historians in the Defense Depart­
ment may prepare confidential studies based on
classified materials or may prepare pamphlets and
books for publication. Those engaged in museum
or special library work may edit historical ma­
terials, prepare exhibits, and do related work.
Some are experts in such areas as the development
of various types of transportation (trains, cars,
aircraft) ; others are specialists in colonial furni­
ture, art, architecture, costumes, or other objects of
historical interest.
W here Employed

Roughly 6,000 to 7,000 persons were employed
as historians in 1956, exclusive of high school his­
tory teachers, who are not usually classified as his­
torians, although some have had considerable pro­
fessional training. Approximately 80 percent of
the historians were employed in colleges and uni­
versities. About 10 percent were employed in
Federal Government agencies, principally the Na­
tional Archives and the Defense Department.
Small numbers were employed by other govern-



ment organizations (State, local, and interna­
tional), by nonprofit foundations, research coun­
cils, special libraries, museums, and by large
Since history is taught in all institutions of
higher education, historians are found in all col­
lege communities. About half the historians and
three-fourths of the archivists in the Federal Gov­
ernment are employed in Washington, D. C. His­
torians in other types of employment usually
work in localities which have museums or librar­
ies with collections adequate for historical re­
Training and Other Qualifications

Graduate education is usually necessary to qual­
ify as a historian. A survey of historians em­
ployed in 1952 indicated that more than twothirds had doctorates and nearly all the rest had
master’s degrees. While a bachelor’s degree with
a major in history is sufficient training for many
beginning jobs in archival work and may some­
times be accepted for beginning positions in Fed­
eral, State, and local governments, persons in such
jobs are not usually regarded as professional his­
torians. A major in history in college undergrad­
uate work is often recommended by employing
agencies for jobs in international relations and
Since beginning jobs open to college graduates
with only a bachelor’s degree in history are likely
to be concerned with the collection and preserva­
tion of historical data, a knowledge of archival
work is helpful. Graduate training or its equiva­
lent in experience is required for advancement to
higher level positions.
The master’s degree .in history is the minimum
requirement for appointment to the position of
college instructor, but the Ph. D. degree is usually
necessary for appointment in a large college and
university. The doctorate is indispensable for at­
taining high-level college teaching, research, and
administrative positions in the field of history.
Most professional historians in the Federal Gov­
ernment and in nonprofit organizations are re­
quired to have the Ph. D. or the equivalent.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for well-qualified
historians were better in 1956 than at any time
since the Korean conflict, primarily because of the

increased demand for college history teachers.
The demand for historians in the Federal Govern­
ment also increased slightly in 1956, mainly in con­
nection with research on defense-related historical
studies and museum work. In general, the supply
of historians with the Ph. D. degree was adequate
to meet the demand. Shortages were reported
only in such exceedingly small and narrow special­
ties as aeronautical history and museum work.
Historians with the master’s degree faced consid­
erable competition for professional positions, and
those with the bachelor’s degree had few, if any,
opportunities for employment as historians. Col­
lege graduates who had majored in history were in
moderate demand for high school teaching posi­
tions and for administrative and management
trainee jobs in government. They were also find­
ing some employment opportunities as administra­
tive assistants in nonprofit foundations, civic or­
ganizations, and private industry, although such
positions were often unrelated to their specific
Employment of historians in college teaching is
expected to increase moderately during the re­
mainder of the 1950 decade and more rapidly dur­
ing the 1960’s. (See statement on college teach­
ing.) An average of 500 new instructors will
probably be needed annually to teach new classes
made necessary by expanding enrollments, and to
replace those teachers who retire, die, or leave for
other types of work. Employment of historians
outside the college teaching field is likely to rise
very slowly, and will be affected by any change in
congressional appropriations for Government
agencies using this type of personnel. Probably
fewer than 100 new historians will be required an­
nually to fill all vacancies outside the college teach­
ing field.
Historians with the doctorate are expected to
have favorable employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s
throughout the remainder of the 1950’s and the
early 1960’s (assuming that the proportion o f
graduate students majoring in this field does not
become greater than in recent years). Those with
only the master’s degree in history will probably
continue to encounter keen competition for profes­
sional positions, and those with only the bachelor’s
degree will find it increasingly difficult to advance
to professional employment.
Information on Earnings and Where To Go for
More Information is given at the beginning of this



Political Scientists
(D. O. T. 0 -3 6 .9 6 )

Nature of W ork

Political science is the study of government—
wliat it is, what it does, and how and why. Politi­
cal scientists are interested in government at every
level—local, county, State, regional, national, and
international. The greatest number of political
scientists specialize in public administration;
many specialize in American Government or inter­
national relations, and smaller numbers specialize
in fields such as public law, history of political
ideas, political parties, and public opinion and area
College teaching is the principal function of
political scientists. However, substantial numbers
o f political scientists are engaged in administra­
tive or operational work, most frequently in the
areas of personnel work, budget analysis, munici­
pal or rural administration. Perhaps a tenth of
political scientists specialize in r e s e a r c h .
These research workers may make surveys of gov­
ernment agency operations to discover the amount
and kind of work performed and may prepare
analyses designed to show how well agency per­
formance accomplishes the intended legislative
purpose or what changes in legislation or adminis­
trative management seem necessary. A few po­
litical scientists specialize as consultants to college
or municipal research bureaus, civic and taxpay­
ers’ associations, and government agencies. Some
political scientists serve as legislative aids to
Political scientists probably numbered fewer
than 10,000 persons in 1956. However, it is ex­
ceedingly difficult to estimate the number of per­
sons in this profession, since only those teaching
political science in colleges and universities can
be clearly identified. The field of applied public
administration, in which many political scientists
specialize, is very broad and political scientists fre­
quently do work similar to that done by persons
with training in many other fields, including busi­
ness administration, accounting, law, and the other
social sciences.
W h ere Employed

Approximately the same number of professional
political scientists are employed by government
agencies and by institutions of higher learning.

(See chart 29.) Fewer than 10 percent of politi­
cal scientists are employed by all other types of
employers including nonprofit organizations and
private industry.
Political science teachers are found in nearly
every college community in the United States,
since courses in political science and government
are widely taught. Since most other political
scientists are employed by government agencies,
they are likely to be located in Washington, I). C.,
other large cities, or in State capitals.
Training and Other Qualifications

Graduate training is generally required for pro­
fessional employment in the field of political
science. A master’s degree in public administra­
tion is generally considered sufficient for political
scientists in government service or in nonprofit
research and civic organizations concerned with
problems of public administration. Completion of
the requirements for the Ph. D. degree, except the
doctoral dissertation, is the usual prerequisite for
appointment to the position of college instructor,
and the Ph. D. degree is generally required for
advancement to the position of professor.
College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in
political science find this background sufficient
for some entrance-level positions in government
and in research organizations. A few find posi­
tions which offer training in management or in­
volve research into problems of government ad­
ministration. Persons in such work may advance
to high-level positions and achieve recognized
professional status in the field of political science
on the basis of experience. Most college grad­
uates with a major in political science who enter
government agencies or private organizations are
employed as personnel assistants, budget analysts,
or investigators, and in other administrative types
of work which may also be open to persons with
training in business administration, economics, ac­
counting, and many other fields as well as political
College graduates with a major in political
science frequently continue their education either
in political science or in law, since political science
is the most common undergraduate major of stu­
dents planning a law career. More than 100 col-



leges and universities offer graduate training in
public administration; a majority of these offer
field training, frequently in the form of an intern­
ship, which requires the student to perform an ad­
ministrative assignment in a government organi­
zation for a limited period.
Employment Outlook

The rising trend in the employment of political
scientists is expected to continue in the late 1950's
and throughout the 1960 decade. While most of
the increase will be in the college teaching field,
a moderate rise is also anticipated in State and
local government employment.
Employment opportunities for well-qualified
political scientists were good in 1956, with special­
ists in public administration and public finance
most in demand. Rising employment of political
science teachers in colleges and universities pro­
vided the bulk of the new job opportunities for
those with the Ph. D. degree or its near equiva­
lent. The need for better trained personnel in ad­
ministrative positions in government agencies re­
sulted in an increased demand for political scien­
tists with a master’s degree in related fields of spe­
cialization. Federal Government agencies con­
cerned with defense activities and foreign affairs
were recruiting political scientists with graduate
training relating to the problems of certain major
geographic areas; a good knowledge of the lan­
guages used in the areas was also usually required.
Some graduates with the master’s degree in politi­
cal science, as well as a few well-qualified persons
with the bachelor’s degree, were finding oppor­
tunities in research or administrative work in non­
profit agencies working on problems of public ad­
ministration. A number of political scientists
who met certification requirements entered high
school teaching.
Employment of political scientists in the col­
lege teaching field is expected to rise slowly dur­
ing the remainder of the 1950 decade and more

rapidly during the 1960’s. (See statement on col­
lege teachers on p. 63.) Employment will prob­
ably rise moderately in other fields. Colleges and
universities may need an average 300 of new in­
structors annually to teach new classes and to re­
place those leaving the college teaching field. A
moderate rise in the employment of political
scientists trained in public administration is an­
ticipated as a result of the growing stress on the
value of specialized and technical training in
many areas of government operation, particularly
at State and local government levels. Several
hundred political scientists, trained in various
phases of public administration, will be needed
annually to meet expansion and replacement needs
in government agencies. No substantial change is
foreseen in the employment of political scientists
in other types of work.
New Ph. D.’s should find good employment op­
portunities in college teaching during the late
1950’s and throughout the early 1960’s, assuming
the same proportion of students major in political
science as in recent years. Political scientists who
have completed all requirements for the Ph. D. ex­
cept the doctoral dissertation will also find good
opportunities to enter college teaching. Those
with specialized training in public administration
and public finance are likely to find good employ­
ment opportunities for professional work in gov­
ernment and civic agencies. Political scientists
with master’s degrees in other specialties may face
considerable competition for professional posi­
tions and many will enter other fields of work.
New graduates with only the bachelor’s degree will
probably continue to find professional employment
opportunities in the political science field severely
limited. However, this background will be most
helpful to those planning to continue their studies
in law, foreign affairs, journalism, and other re­
lated fields.
Information on Earnings and Where To Go for
More Information is given at the beginning of
this chapter .

(D. O. T. 0-3 6.31 )

Nature of W ork

Sociologists study the many groups which men
form—families, tribes, communities, nations, and
a great variety of social, religious, professional,
business, and other organizations. Sociologists

trace the origin and growth of these groups and
analyze their activities and the influence they have
on their members. Some sociologists are primarily
concerned with the characteristics of particular
kinds of social groups and institutions; others are
more interested in the ways in which individuals


are affected by groups to which they belong. The
major specialties in sociology are social organiza­
tion—including social psychology—and applied
sociology which includes human relations in in­
dustry, penology and corrections, and regional and
community planning. Other specialties are intergroup relations, family problems, social effects of
mral and urban life, research methodology, popu­
lation problems, and public opinion surveys.
College teaching is the principal source of em­
ployment for sociologists. However, research is
the major function of a growing number of soci­
ologists, including many in college and university
research organizations as well as a high propor­
tion of those in the Federal Government and in
nonprofit research foundations. Some sociolo­
gists are employed in administrative, management,
or operational activities, and a few are engaged in
consulting work.
Sociological research involves the collection of
data—often through personal interviews, the
preparation of case studies, administration of tests,
carrying out o f statistical surveys, and writing of
reports. Sociologists may make studies of indi­
viduals, families, or communities in an attempt to
discover the causes of social problems—such as
crime, juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, poverty,
and dependency—the sources of family conflict,
the normal pattern of family relations, or the d if­
ferent patterns of living in communities of vary­
ing types and sizes. They may collect and compile
data from official government sources and make
statistical analyses to show the trends in popula­
tion growth and the extent of population move­
ment in different parts of the country. Some soci­
ologists are specialists in survey procedures, in
such fields as public opinion research, market re­
search, and mass methods of communication and
advertising—including radio, television, news­
papers, magazines, and circulars.
Sociologists in administrative work may super­
vise research projects or the operation of welfare
agencies, or marriage and family clinics. Those
in operational work may be employed as coun­
selors, recreation workers, case workers, or proba­
tion and parole officers. Sociologists engaged in
consulting work may give advice on such diverse
problems as probation and parole procedures to be
used in the treatment of delinquents, city plan­
ning, or the most effective methods of advertising
to promote public interest in particular products.


Perhaps 5,000 persons were professionally em­
ployed as sociologists in 1956. In addition, many
persons were employed in positions requiring some
training in this field, including many in social,
recreation, and public health work. It is exceed­
ingly difficult to estimate exactly the numbers o f
professional sociologists. Many sociologists out­
side the teaching field are classified under some
other job title. In the Federal Government, for
example, sociologists may be designated as social
science analysts, public welfare research workers,
analytical and survey statisticians, and intelli­
gence research specialists.
W here Employed

Approximately three-fourths of the profes­
sional sociologists were employed in colleges and
universities in 1956. About one-eighth were in
government agencies—Federal, State, local, and
international. A few sociologists were employed
in research councils and other nonprofit organiza­
tions. Not more than 5 percent were employed in
private industry or were self-employed.
Sociology is taught in almost all institutions of
higher learning. Many of these institutions have
social science research organizations which do re­
search on sociological problems. As a result, most
sociologists are located in college communities.
Training and Other Qualifications

Undergraduate training in sociology is gener­
ally regarded as preliminary to further study in
this field or in social work or as preparation for
meeting one’s personal and social responsibilities
rather than as training for professional employ­
ment. Nevertheless, a bachelor’s degree with a
major in sociology is sufficient qualification for
some types of jobs in the field of sociology. Per­
sons with such training may be employed as inter­
viewers, or as research assistants working under
close supervision. Although it is occasionally
possible to advance in such work solely on the basis
of experience, graduate training is the usual pre­
requisite for higher level positions. Sociolgists
with bachelor’s degrees may also be employed as
case workers, counselors, recreation workers, or
administrative assistants in public and private
welfare agencies. However, the best positions in
welfare agencies are commonly reserved for per-



sons with specific training in social work. Those
with sufficient training in statistics may obtain po­
sitions as beginning statisticians. Those who
meet local certification requirements may enter
high school teaching. However, a substantial
proportion of sociology majors with only a bach­
elor’s degree enter occupations unrelated to their
specialized training.
The master’s degree in sociology is the usual
minimum requirement for appointment to the po­
sition of college instructor but, in many of the
larger institutions, the completion of all require­
ments for the Ph. D. degree except the doctoral
dissertation is required. Outstanding graduate
students may often qualify for teaching assistantships while completing their training for a higher
Sociologists with the master’s degree can gen­
erally qualify for administrative positions and re­
search-related jobs of somewhat higher level and
less routine character than the positions open to
those with only the bachelor’s degree. They may
be given responsibility for conducting specific por­
tions of a survey or preparing analyses and re­
ports under the general direction of an experi­
enced research worker. They are apt to have op­
portunities for advancement to supervisory work
in both public and private agencies.
The Ph. I), degree is essential for attaining a
professorship in a high ranking college or univer­
sity and is commonly required for sociologists
av I i o direct major research projects, hold impor­
tant administrative positions, or act as consultants
in government organizations, philanthropic or
other welfare agencies, research foundations, mar­
riage and family clinics, and business firms.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for sociologists are
expected to increase moderately during the last
part of the 1950 decade and substantially during
the early 1960’s. Most of the demand will con­
tinue to be in college teaching; however, research
is a growing field for sociologists.
Sociologists with advanced graduate training
had better employment opportunities in 1956 than
at any time earlier in the decade. State univer­
sities and agricultural experiment stations were
actively recruiting rural sociologists for staff posi­
tions involving research and extension work as

well as teaching, owing to increased Federal ap­
propriations for a rural development program.
A few sociologists with advanced training in sta­
tistics and social psychology were finding new em­
ployment opportunities in private industry in the
area of market research. The supply of sociolo­
gists with advanced training appeared to be suf­
ficient, however, to meet the increased demand.
Graduates with no training beyond the minimum
required for the master’s degree faced keen compe­
tition for professional positions as sociologists
and many entered related fields such as social
work, vocational rehabilitation, and recreation.
Most sociologists with only a bachelor’s degree
entered fields of work unrelated to their major
field of study.
Throughout the 1960’s, expanding college en­
rollments and other factors will increase the de­
mand for sociologists. (See statement on college
teaching.) Colleges and universities may need
as many as 300 new sociology teachers each year,
on the average, to meet expansion needs and to
replace faculty members who resign, retire, or
die. The demand for sociologists trained in re­
search methods, including advanced statistics, will
probably continue to increase, although slowly, in
the areas of rural sociology, population research,
and market research. Some expansion is also ex­
pected in connection with studies of acute social
problems such as juvenile delinquency, broken
homes, and the increasing proportion of old peo­
ple in the population.
The number of sociologists with the Ph. D. de­
gree will probably rise somewhat more slowly
than the demand through the early 1960’s, at least
(assuming graduations in this field follow the
general trend of total graduations). As a result,
employment opportunities for both Ph. D.’s and
those who have completed all requirements for
the doctorate except the dissertation are expected
to be good during this period. New graduates
with only the master’s degree will probably con­
tinue to face considerable competition for posi­
tions as professional sociologists. Those with spe­
cialized training in statistics and survey research
methods and some training in population or rural
problems or in social psychology are likely to
have the best employment opportunities.
Information on Earnings and Where To Go for
More Information is given at the beginning of
this chapter.

(D. O. T. 0 -0 1 .)

Nature o f W ork

Accounting is the second largest field of profes­
sional employment for men. In 1956, roughly
350.000 accountants and auditors were engaged in
professional accounting work, including some
55.000 certified public accountants (C P A ’s) who
had passed rigorous examinations and met educa­
tional and experience requirements prescribed by
law in their State. Fewer than 10 percent of all
accountants, and 2 percent of the C P A ’s, were
Accountants compile and analyze business rec­
ords and prepare financial reports, such as profit
and loss statements, balance sheets, cost studies,
and tax reports. The major fields of employment
are public, private, and government accounting.
Public accountants provide their services on a fee
basis to various business enterprises and the gen­
eral public. Private accountants, often referred
to as industrial or management accountants, han­
dle the financial records of a single business firm
and work on a salary basis. Government account­
ants work on the financial records of government
agencies or of private business organizations and
individuals wr
hose dealings are subject to govern­
ment regulation. Accountants in any field of em­
ployment may specialize in such areas as auditing,
tax work, cost accounting, budgeting and control,
or systems and procedures. Public accountants,
however, are most likely to specialize in auditing
or tax accounting; private accountants, in man­
agement or cost accounting. Many accountants in
the Federal Government are employed as Internal
Revenue agents, investigators, and bank examin­
ers, as well as in regular accounting positions.
W h ere Employed

The majority of accountants are employed by
private industry, with the greatest number in
manufacturing establishments. Perhaps a third
o f all accountants, including a substantial major­
ity o f the C P A ’s, are in public accounting. Fed­

eral and State Governments employ nearly onetenth of the total.
Private accountants are found wherever large
business or industrial establishments are located.
Public accountants are mainly concentrated in
major metropolitan centers, but the proportion in
smaller communities is rising because growing
numbers are going into business for themselves,
and major national firms are continuing to open
additional branch offices.
Training and Other Qualifications

Training in accounting is offered in a wide vari­
ety of institutions, including 4-year colleges and
universities, junior colleges, accounting and other
private business schools, and correspondence
schools. However, a bachelor’s degree with a
major in accounting or a closely related field is
usually required for the better positions, particu­
larly in public accounting. Four years of college
education with 24 semester hours in accounting,
or an equivalent combination of education and ex­
perience, is required for junior professional posi­
tions in the Federal Government. Practical ex­
perience is of great value in qualifying for profes­
sional accounting work. In 1956, more than 40
colleges offered internship programs in coopera­
tion with public accounting firms, and occasionally
with large corporations, which enabled students
to obtain several months of experience, thus im­
proving their job opportunities.
In nearly half the States, only those who are
licensed or registered may call themselves C P A ’s
or public accountants. Information on registra­
tion and certification should be obtained directly
from the State Board of Accountancy in the State
where the student plans to practice. Most States
require at least 2 years of public accounting ex­
perience or the equivalent for the CPA license.
Although some States have no specific educational
requirement, the trend is toward requiring a 4year college degree with a major in accounting.
New York, New Jersey, and Florida require C PA



candidates to be college graduates and similar re­
quirements are pending in several other States.
A ll States use the CPA examination provided by
the American Institute of Accountants. An in­
creasingly large proportion of those passing the
examination in recent years were college grad­
Inexperienced accountants usually begin with
fairly routine work. Junior public accountants
may be assigned to counting cash, verifying addi­
tions, or performing other detailed work. They
usually advance to semisenior positions in 2 or 3
years and to senior positions within another 2 or 3
years. Those able to deal with top executives in
industry may eventually become supervisors, man­
agers, or partners in larger firms. Many become
independent practitioners. Beginners in private
accounting may start as ledger or cost clerks, time­
keepers, junior internal auditors, or, occasionally,
as trainees for technical and executive positions.
They may rise to chief plant accountant, chief cost
accountant, senior internal auditor, or manager of
internal auditing, depending on their specialty,
and some become controllers, treasurers, and even
corporation presidents. In the Federal Govern­
ment, new accountants are hired as trainees and
are usually promoted in a year or less. Although
advancement may be rapid for able accountants,
particularly in public accounting, those with in­
adequate training are likely to be assigned to rou­
tine jobs with little opportunity for promotion.
Employment Outlook

A shortage of qualified accountants, especially
for public accounting and cost work, was evident
in 1956. The shortage, most marked in the Mid­
west and Far West, was due both to a sharp drop
in supply (the number of accounting graduates
declined by nearly 50 percent between 1950 and
1954) and to a rising demand for accountants to
assist management in controlling rapidly expand­
ing business operations. Employment opportun­
ities for accountants in the Federal Government
were also greatly increased because of major re­
visions in accounting procedures.
The demand for accountants is expected to con­
tinue to be strong for the remainder of the decade
and during the early 1960’s. As many as 10,000
accountants may be needed annually during this
period to replace those who die, retire, or transfer
to other occupations, and at least half as many will

be needed each year to fill new positions, unless
there should be a major drop in the general level
of business activity. Demand for college-trained
accountants will rise faster than for less broadly
trained personnel, because of the increasing com­
plexity of the accounting profession and because
more States are requiring CPA candidates to be
college graduates. I f the proportion of college
graduates majoring in accounting remains the
same as in recent years, the numbers receiving de­
grees in this subject field will rise gradually—
from about 8,000 in 1955 to nearly double that
number by the midsixties. These graduates are
likely to have very good employment opportuni­
ties, at least through the early 1960’s, and gradu­
ates of private business and accounting schools
should also have good job prospects during this
period. The greatest number of jobs will continue
to be in major industrial centers, but there will
be many openings in small industrial communities.
Over the long run, accounting employment is
expected to expand because of several factors:
The greatly intensified emphasis on the use of ac­
counting information for management guidance;
the complex tax systems; the growth in size and
number of publicly held business corporations ac­
countable to stockholders for their operations;
and the increasing use of accounting services by
small business organizations. Highly trained ac­
countants will be in even greater demand as con­
sultants on management problems, such as plan­
ning of new systems and procedures for use with
electronic data-processing equipment.
Increasing numbers of women will be engaged
in professional accounting, though most public
accounting firms still hesitate to employ them—
because of tradition, objections from clients, or
because women are considered unsuited for travel
or factory assignments. However, those women
who rank high among graduates with accounting
majors and who secure the CPA certificate will,
in time, undoubtedly break down many of these
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Starting salaries for inexperienced professional
personnel in New York City public accounting
firms averaged about $55 a week in small firms
and $60 in medium-size firms early in 1956, ac­
cording to local placement officials. In general,


salaries were higher in large firms throughout the
country. Major CPA firms serving large business
corporations were offering from $350 to $400 a
month to college graduates with very good aca­
demic records and attractive personalities; pri­
vate business firms of comparable size paid some­
what higher starting salaries. Salaries of senior
personnel with 5 years’ experience were approxi­
mately double the starting rate. Starting salaries
tend to be higher in many localities, particularly
in the Midwest and the Far West. A survey cov­
ering 87 firms actively recruiting college men
majoring in accounting, indicated an average
monthly starting salary of $352 in 1956.
The Federal Civil Service entrance salary in
1956 was $3,670 for junior accountants and audi­
tors, and $4,525 for those with slightly higher
qualifications. Higher level jobs are usually filled
by promotion from within.
Since most public accounting work is done in
the offices of the firm’s clients, physical working
conditions may vary from a modern office to an
inconvenient, noisy factory. Public accounting
work is seasonal and accountants usually work
under great pressure during the busy season, from
late November to March, and may put in a sub­
stantial amount of overtime. Working condi­
tions for private and government accountants are
generally the same as for most other office workers,
including the standard 40-hour workweek. Audi­
tors in private industry and government and staff
members of large public accounting firms may be
required to do considerable traveling.


W here To Go for More Information

Information, particularly on C P A ’s and on the
aptitude and achievement tests now given in many
high schools and colleges and by many public ac­
counting firms, may be obtained from :
American Institute of Accountants,
270 Madison Ave., New York 16, N. Y.

Further information on specialized fields of ac­
counting may be obtained from the following
National Association of Cost Accountants,
505 Park Ave., New York 22, N. Y.
Controllers Institute of America,
2 Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y.
The Institute of Internal Auditors,
120 W all St., New York 5, N. Y.

Information on collegiate training in account­
ing may be obtained from :
The American Accounting Association,
The College of Commerce and Administration,
Ohio State University, Columbus 10, Ohio

Additional information on employment trends
and outlook in accounting is given in the following
U. S. Department of Labor publications:
Employment Outlook in Accounting, Bureau of Labor
Statistics Bull. 1048, 1951. Superintendent of Docu­
ments, Washington 25, D. C. Price 20 cents.
Employment Opportunities for Women in Profes­
sional Accounting, Women’s Bureau Bull. 258, 1955.
Superintendent of Documents, Washington, 25, D. C.
Price 20 cents.

(D. O. T. 0—

Nature of W ork

Architects plan and supervise the construction
of buildings and other structures. Their goal is
to design structures which are safe, useful, and
pleasing to the eye.
When an architect gets a commission for a
building, the first thing he does is to confer with
the client to determine what his needs are. For
example, if a school is to be built, the architect
must consider, among other things, the size of
the school district and how fast its population is
growing; the need for a place to park school buses;
the entrances and exits needed in case of fire; the
4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 5 7 --------- 1 2

amount of corridor and staircase space required so
that students can move quickly from one class to
another; and the location, size, and equipment o f
the lunchroom.
After studying all the requirements of a build­
ing, the architect draws up preliminary plans,
which are submitted to the client for his approval.
Any alterations the client may suggest are incor­
porated in the final design, which includes the
ground and floor plans and vertical cross sections,
as w ell as the exterior of the building. The design
is then translated into working drawings, which
show the exact dimensions of every part of the
structure and where plumbing, heating, and other



equipment are to be placed. A t this stage, con­
sulting structural, mechanical, and heating engi­
neers are called in (except on small jobs where the
plumbing and heating contractors provide all the
engineering services needed). The engineers’ me­
chanical drawings are then coordinated with the
architect’s working drawings, and specifications
are prepared listing the materials to be used in
construction, the equipment, and, in some cases,
the furnishings to be installed.
The building is now “ off the board,” but the ar­
chitect’s responsibility is by no means over. He
prepares a list of the building contractors to be
invited to bid and receives their sealed bids. He
assists the client in deciding which bid to accept
and in drawing up the contract between client
and contractor. The architect also acts as the
client’s representative in relation to the contractor,
making sure that the design is not altered and that
the materials specified in the contract are used in
the construction. I f problems arise, he may act
as arbitrator between client and contractor.
The typical architect is, or expects to be, in prac­
tice for himself, either alone or with a partner and
a few assistants.
However, large-scale projects, such as the Em­
pire State Building or Radio City, obviously can­
not be undertaken by small firms. The increased
volume of complex structures, including public
buildings, in recent years, has led to the establish­
ment of more large firms, which can be expected to
carry out an even higher proportion of all archi­
tectural commissions in the future.
As a rule, architects handle a wide variety of
projects and do not confine their practice to a par­
ticular kind of building.
Moreover, there is relatively little specialization
o f work along functional lines even within the
larger firms. Where there is specialization, it is
usually in design, administration, specification
writing, and construction supervision. In some
middle-size firms and in most large ones, there is
more design work than the principals can do them­
selves, and one or more men are employed as de­
signers. The writing of specifications is another
well recognized specialty; some architects even
confine their practice to this work, hiring them­
selves out on a free-lance basis. The architect, or
a member o f his staff, makes several inspection
trips a week to the proj ect under construction. On
larger projects, there is also a full-time resident
inspector who reports to the architect. Most em­

ployees in architectural firms, however, are en­
gaged on the working drawings of the various
projects, the scope of their activity and the degree
of their responsibility depending on their ability
and experience.
W here Employed

As of July 1956, there were 22,554 registered
architects. In addition, more than 5,000 people
who had not received a license were working as
According to the 1950 Census, only 4 percent of
all employed architects were women. An even
smaller proportion (less than 1 percent) of all the
registered architects that year were women. One
of the reasons that more women do not become
architects is that the normal path of progress is to
enter one’s own practice, and women are likely to
encounter special obstacles in independent practice.
About half of all architects are self-employed,
as individuals or members of a firm of architects.
Most of the others are employees of architectural
firms. Some architects work for engineers, build­
ers, real-estate firms, and other businesses with
large construction programs.
Another small
group is employed by various government agencies.
A few are full-time teachers in schools of
Members of the profession are found in all parts
of the country, mainly in metropolitan areas. In
1955, more than half of the registered architects
were in the following seven States: California,
Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsyl­
vania, and Texas. New York leads all other States
in the number of registered architects with 14 per­
cent of the total.
Training and Other Qualifications

A license is required in all States, the District
of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska
for the practice of architecture, where safety of
life, health, and property is involved. Require­
ments for admission to the licensing examination
vary among States, but generally include gradua­
tion from a recognized professional school fol­
lowed by 3 years of experience. (Most States
accept a long period of experience as a substitute
for graduation from an architectural school.)
To be accredited as a recognized professional
school, a school of architecture must offer at least


a 5-year course, usually leading to the bachelor
o f architecture degree. The great majority of
schools of architecture admit qualified high school
graduates, but some require 1 or 2 years of prepro­
fessional education in a college or university.
Entrance requirements vary from one school to
another, generally conforming to the standards set
for the liberal arts college with which the school
or department of architecture is affiliated. Prac­
tically all architectural schools emphasize a
knowledge of high school mathematics as a condi­
tion for entrance, however. Training or facility
in both freehand drawing and drafting are im­
portant tools for an architect, thougli not a re­
quirement for entering a course in architecture.
Although a typical curriculum in architecture
includes some general subjects—usually English,
a physical science, a social science, and some elec­
tives—the larger part of the student’s time is de­
voted to professional and technical subjects, in­
cluding the history of architecture, graphic pres­
entation, building materials and structure, archi­
tectural design, specification writing, working
drawings, and professional practice.
Success in architecture requires an unusual com­
bination of abilities—not only the capacity to mas­
ter technical complexities but also a gift for ar­
tistic creation and a flair for business and for
human relations. It is often recommended that,
to gage his interests and potentialities, a young
person should, if possible, spend some time in an
architect’s office before entering architectural
school. Architectural students are also encour­
aged to work in architects’ offices or for building
contractors during summer vacations. Summer
work in an architect’s office gives the student some
knowledge of practical problems and an advan­
tage over the inexperienced graduate when he
looks for his first regular job.
Usually, the new graduate begins as a junior
draftsman, entrusted only with display drawings
or minor construction or equipment details in
the working drawings. As his proficiency in­
creases, he is entrusted with more complex work.
After 3 years, he usually graduates to a chief or
senior draftsmanship, with responsibility for all
the major details of a set of working drawings.
I f he continues to work for an architectural firm,
he will probably progress to a job captaincy, with
responsibility for a full set of working drawings
and the supervision of other draftsmen. A job
captain may also drawTup the preliminary plans


for a structure. Some men who remain employees
in architectural firms become designers rather
than job captains, whereas others branch off into
specification writing. An employee who is par­
ticularly valued by his firm may be designated an
associate, and may receive a share of the profits
as well as his salary. As noted above, however,
the architect’s usual goal is to enter his own prac­
tice and about half achieve this goal.
Employment Outlook

With construction activity at a high level, the
employment situation for architects was very good
in 1956, and the outlook for the next decade was
considered favorable.
Most architects w ork on nonresidential projects,
such as office buildings, stores, schools, hospitals,
clubs, theaters, and government buildings. The
demand for architects’ services depends primarily
on the volume of such construction, although the
increasing complexity of modern buildings and
homeowners’ new awareness of the value of archi­
tects5 services have meant their somewhat greater
utilization in construction. Nonresidential con­
struction, at record levels in 1955 and 1956, is
expected to increase much more in the future.
The volume of such construction may, by 1965,
be more than 50 percent greater and, by 1975, more
than 100 percent greater than in 1955. Resi­
dential construction, which also employs some
architects, is likewise expected to double over the
next 20 years. Thus, the demand for architectural
services will continue to expand substantially.
These predictions represent the general trends
anticipated in the construction industry and the
architectural profession over the long run. In the
past, long-run trends in the construction industry
were interrupted by marked ups and downs. Dur­
ing periods of sharp decline in construction activ­
ity, there was serious unemployment among archi­
tects and many of them were forced out of the pro­
fession. Since World War II, however, the pol­
icies of the Federal Government have played a
major role in determining the volume of construc­
tion, and it is expected that, in the future, the in­
dustry and the profession will be more stable than
they were before the war.
Besides positions created by the expected in­
crease in demand for architectural services, sev­
eral hundred openings are likely to arise yearly
owing to deaths and retirements. The numbers



of new architectural school graduates available to
fill these vacancies and new positions will rise in
the late 1950’s and the 1960’s, assuming that grad­
uations in this field follow the trend anticipated in
college graduations as a whole. These new grad­
uates are likely to have good employment oppor­
tunities through the early 1960’s.
The outlook for women architects is much more
uncertain than for men. In 1956, a woman who
was a good draftsman could readily obtain em­
ployment, and this situation was expected to con­
tinue, but chances of advancement are limited for
most women architects. Few women achieve an
associateship or establish themselves in private
practice, although there are and have been some
outstanding women architects.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The range of salaries for new graduates of rec­
ognized architectural schools was wide in 1956, the
amount paid depending on prevailing wages in the
particular area, the ability of the candidate as
shown by his drawings, and the firm’s reputation
and ability to pay. New graduates who had
worked during the summer while attending archi­

tectural school (most students have been able to
obtain summer jobs in recent years) commanded a
starting rate on their first regular job of from $60
to $90 a week in 1956, based on reports from a few
selected employers. Draftsmen with 3 or more
years’ experience had salaries ranging up to $150
a week; job captains, specification writers, and
other senior employees earned up to $200 a week.
Some architects in private practice earn a good
deal more than high-paid salaried employees of
architectural firms. But the range of incomes is
very wide. In 1950, for example, some independ­
ent architects earned less than $3,000 a year while
others had professional incomes of $25,000 or
more. Undoubtedly some of those with low in­
comes had not been long in private practice. The
young architect who starts his own office often goes
through a period when his expenses are greater
than his income. The need for a financial reserve
in the initial period of practice and the wide range
of earnings are characteristics of all self-employed
professional groups.
W here To Go for More Information
American Institute of Architects,
1735 New York Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Commercial Artists
(D. O. T. 0 -4 4 .)

Nature o f W ork

Commercial artists design and draw illustra­
tions for advertisements, books, magazines, post­
ers, displays, and television commercials. In ad­
dition, they may retouch photographic prints,
prepare charts and maps, draw movie cartoons, do
freehand and mechanical lettering, design labels
for containers, and sketch and color greeting cards.
In contrast to painters and others engaged in the
fine arts who have a free choice of subject matter
and method of presentation, the commercial artist
does work to fit the requirements of a specific client
or employer. O f the approximately 80,000 artists
and art teachers employed in 1950, it is estimated
that the majority were commercial artists.
Commercial art work requires skills ranging
from creative planning, designing, and drawing to
relatively mechanical operations. Many artists
specialize in a particular technique or type of
commercial art. Among the most important

specialists are layout men who choose and arrange
the positions of pictures and lettering so as to
attract the eye; illustrators who are primarily con­
cerned with making the sketches and drawings;
and letterers who design and execute the appro­
priate lettering, either freehand or with the use of
mechanical aids.
W here Employed

The largest employers of commercial artists are
advertising agencies, commercial art studios, print­
ing and publishing companies, television and mo­
tion picture studios, and department stores. A
number work for Federal Government agencies,
principally the Departments of the Army, Navy,
and Air Force. Others fill positions in sign shops,
mail-order houses, calendar and greeting card com­
panies, and a variety of other business establish­
ments. A few commercial artists teach in art


Commercial artist preparing copy for newspaper ad.

schools. Many are free-lance artists who work in­
dependently on specific assignments and generally
sell their services to several different employers.
Some commercial artists who hold salaried posi­
tions also do free-lance work.
Most commercial artists are employed in big
cities, such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia,
Los Angeles, and Detroit where the largest users
of commercial art are located.
Training and Other Qualifications

Artistic ability is the most important qualifi­
cation needed to become a commercial artist. In
addition, a considerable amount of training in the
techniques of commercial art is required. This
may be obtained in art schools, in commercial art
courses offered by public vocational high schools,
and through practical experience on the job.
Training in the fine arts is not generally consid­
ered appropriate preparation for employment as
a commercial artist.
The most widely accepted training for commer­
cial artists is that given in art schools or institutes
which specialize in teaching commercial and ap­
plied art. To enter art school, a high school
education is usually, but not always, required.
Some schools admit only those applicants who
demonstrate talent by submitting acceptable work
samples. The course of study generally takes 2


or 3 years and a certificate is awarded on gradua­
tion. However, a growing number of art schools,
particularly those connected with universities, re­
quire 4 years of study and confer a bachelor’s
degree—commonly the bachelor of fine arts
(B. F. A.) degree. In these schools, commercial
art instruction is supplemented by cultural sub­
jects such as English and history.
The first year in art school may be devoted to
the study of such fundamentals as perspective,
design, color harmony, composition, and use of
crayon, pencil, pen and ink, and other artistic
mediums. Subsequent study generally includes
drawing from life, advertising layout, lettering,
typography, illustration, and highly specialized
courses in the student’s particular field of interest.
Good drawing technique, creative imagination,
and artistic judgment concerning the harmony of
color and line are basic requirements for a success­
ful career in commercial art. The various spe­
cialties, however, differ in some of the specific
abilities required. For example, letterers and
retouchers must be able to do precise and detailed
work requiring excellent coordination, whereas
the qualifications most needed by illustrators are
that they be highly imaginative and able to draw
well. For commercial artists engaged in free­
lance work, the ability to sell both ideas and fin­
ished work to employers or clients is very
Beginning commercial artists need on-the-job
training before they are judged to be qualified for
more than very routine jobs. These artists are
generally assigned to work such as erasing
smudges from art work, filling in colors on ex­
perienced artists’ drawings, and doing pasteup
work (using scissors and a pot of paste to assemble
the components o f an advertisement or other art
w ork). In this field, advancement is based largely
on the individual’s artistic talent and creative abil­
ity. Those with the necessary qualities can become
layout men, letterers, illustrators, or other spe­
cialists. After a few years of experience, some
commercial artists leave salaried employment for
free-lance work.
Employment Outlook

Talented young artists who were trained at
good schools found employment opportunities very
favorable in late 1956. Less well-trained begin-



ners who could demonstrate talent were, as a rule,
able to obtain employment readily. As in the
past, many young people who lacked sufficient tal­
ent or training were seeking to enter the field, and
these faced keen competition. Commercial artists
with specialized skills—particularly in lettering,
layout, pasteup, and typography—were in greater
demand than those with only general training.
However, employment opportunities for begin­
ning illustrators were limited since, in this spe­
cialty, experienced free-lance artists are used
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, employment
and advancement opportunities are expected to
continue to be good for talented and well-trained
entrants. Some young people with only average
ability will also probably be able to enter the field,
but they will have very limited chances for ad­
vancement. A number of new job openings will
arise as a result of the anticipated expansion of
the field. In addition, young commercial artists
will be needed to replace those wdio die, retire, or
transfer to other types of work. Most oppor­
tunities for employment will continue to be in the
large cities which serve as the commercial art
centers of the country.
A gradual increase in employment of commer­
cial artists is expected over the long run. The
upward trend in business expenditures for all
kinds of visual advertising will be reflected in a
growing demand for commercial artists; the tele­
vision industry and packaging design are expected
to offer expanding areas of employment; and
other forms of art such as poster and window dis­
plays, greeting cards, calendars, and movie car­
toons will also probably employ an increasing
number o f artists. In addition, the growing field
o f industrial design is expected to need more art­
ists who are qualified to work with engineering
concepts. On the other hand, greater use of
photography may continue to affect adversely the
demand for illustrators, although those with con­
temporary styles may still do well as magazine
fiction illustrators. It should also be borne in
mind that a major economic recession would de­
crease overall employment opportunities by re­
ducing advertising budgets.
Women with exceptional artistic talent will con­
tinue to find employment in all aspects of commer­

cial art work, but opportunities will probably
remain limited for most women commercial art­
ists. Work as fashion illustrators in department
stores is the major source of employment open to
women artists. However, some do free-lance
work, and others hold positions with printing and
publishing houses, greeting card companies, ad­
vertising agencies, commercial art studios, and
government agencies.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Inexperienced commercial artists earned, on the
average, between $40 and $60 a week in 1956 al­
though some started at higher salaries. The
amount earned varies with the beginner’s talent as
revealed by his portfolio of samples, his training,
the particular job, the type of firm, and geo­
graphic location. After a few years of experience,
qualified artists may expect to earn about $100 a
week. Art directors, designers, executives, wellknown free-lance illustrators, and others in top
positions generally have much higher earnings.
A 1955 survey (made by Art Direction maga­
zine) of 2,500 art directors and other commercial
artists in top positions showed that about 75 per­
cent earned between $5,000 and $15,000 annually.
More than 20 percent made $15,000 or more an­
nually, and fewer than 5 percent earned less than
$5,000 a year. Earnings were higher in New
York City than in any of the other 20 cities in­
cluded in the survey; the median (average) salary
was between $15,000 and $20,000 yearly in New
York. In Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los An­
geles, Miami, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia, the
median salaries were between $10,000 and $15,000
annually. Nearly 1 out of every 3 salaried persons
surveyed also did free-lance work.
Salaried commercial artists generally work 35
to 40 hours a week, but sometimes must work long
hours under a considerable amount of pressure in
order to meet deadlines. Free-lance artists us­
ually have irregular working hours.
W here To Go for More Information

Information on schools, employment trends, and
earnings is available from :
National Society of Art Directors,
115 East 40th St., New York, N. Y.



(D. O. T. 0 -3 9 .9 3 )

Nature of Work

Dietitians plan adequate diets and menus to help
people maintain or recover good health. They
may also help educate people regarding good food
Administrative dietitians administer and direct
food service programs for large public and pri­
vate institutions. They arrange for the purchase
o f food and supplies and supervise the mainte­
nance of sanitary conditions in kitchens and pan­
tries. They are also responsible for the selection
and training of employees who work with food.
They may help the director of a dietetic depart­
ment formulate departmental policy, coordinate
dietary service with activities of other depart­
ments, and assist with the management of the
Therapeutic dietitians are directly responsible
for nutritional service to patients. They confer
with doctors and nurses about the patients’ nutri­
tional problems, visit patients to explain their
individual food needs, and help them maintain
diets prescribed by the physician. Therapeutic
dietitians may work in hospital clinics for out­
patients—often with the title of clinic dietitian.
In the clinics, they discuss diet problems with in­
dividual patients or with groups of patients, such
as diabetics, to help them follow physicians’ orders.
They may also demonstrate how food is prepared.
Some dietitians continue their training in grad­
uate classes and become public health nutritionists.
The work of the public health nutritionist is prin­
cipally that of technical consultation and in-serv­
ice education for health, welfare, and education
personnel who come into direct contact with the
public. A State public health nutritionist, for
example, may visit State hospitals and sanatoriums throughout the State and consult with the
personnel in charge of food service on the ade­
quacy of the inmates’ diets, sanitation practices,
and kitchen layouts. They may hold community
conferences with members of various local health
units to improve public understanding of the nu­
tritional use of food. They may speak or advise
on nutrition at meetings of such groups as dentists,
nurses, health officers, and camp leaders. They
♦Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

The hospital dietitian is responsible for planning nutritional
and attractive meals for patients of all ages.

may work for the prevention of dietary deficiency
diseases in a region or determine the extent of
malnutrition in a community.
Where Employed

More than 22,000 persons were employed as
dietitians and nutritionists in 1950, according to
the census. A ll but a small percent of them were
The largest number of dietitians work in hos­
pitals. The American Hospital Association re­
ported over 9,700 dietitians employed in hospitals
in 1955. Nearly 9 percent of them were working
part time. General and special hospitals (except
psychiatric and tuberculosis) employed 8,600
dietitians; psychiatric hospitals, 700; and tuber­
culosis hospitals, 400.
Many dietitians work in institutions for the
aged, in correctional institutions, and summer
camps for children. Some supervise school-lunch
programs or food service in schools, on trans­
portation lines, or in commercial and industrial
establishments. Others work as consultants for
Federal, State, and local governments to assist
less experienced personnel with problems of ad-



ministration and operation of food service pro­
grams. A few are self-employed and work as
consultants, serving private patients in conjunc­
tion with a physician or group of physicians.
Most public health nutritionists work for Fed­
eral, State, and local health departments. Over
400 public health nutritionists were employed in
1955. Approximately 275 of these w^ere in State
and local health agencies and the remainder were
in the Federal Government and voluntary health
and welfare agencies. A few are employed abroad
as advisors to foreign governments.
Training, Other Qualifications, and A dvancem ent

To qualify as a professionally trained dietitian,
it is necessary to complete a 4-year course in the
home economics department of an accredited col­
lege or university and obtain a bachelor’s degree.
The course must include a specialty in foods and
nutrition with related courses in the physical and
social sciences, such as chemistry, psychology, and
sociology. Those who expect to become adminis­
trative dietitians should also take courses in insti­
tutional management.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, many
graduates spend a year as dietetic interns in 1 of
the 65 hospitals or training centers approved by
the American Dietetic Association. The intern is
usually provided room, board, and professional
laundry without cost, and may also receive a small
monetary stipend. United States Government
hospitals pay $2,000 for the year of internship,
but the intern reimburses the Government for
room and board. Completion of an approved
internship is accepted by many employers as evi­
dence of adequate training, and preference is given
job applicants who have this training. Com­
pletion of an internship or 3 years of experience,
1 year of which has been supervised by a member
o f the Association, makes a dietitian eligible for
membership in the American Dietetic Association.
Dietitians planning to become public health nu­
tritionists take graduate courses in public health
nutrition in 1 of about 15 colleges or universities
offering such advanced training. These courses
lead to the degree of Master of Science with a
major in nutrition.
Some junior colleges or vocational schools offer
2 to 3 years of training in dietetics. This train­
ing, however, does not qualify persons for profes­

sional-status jobs. Such individuals may be em­
ployed as dietetic aids or sandwich girls or may
have charge of the food service in some small
Good advancement opportunities exist for the
experienced dietitian and nutritionist. After a
few years’ experience in a small hospital or as an
assistant on the staff of a larger institution, a
dietitian may be promoted to a chief dietitian’s
job. Nutritionists may advance to such posts as
nutrition consultant or director of nutrition serv­
ices in a State or local public health department
or voluntary health and welfare organization.
Dietitians who prefer to work in the educational
field and who meet the requirements, may find
good opportunities as home economics teachers in
high schools and colleges, or schools of nursing.
(See index for reference to statements on home
economists and on secondary school and college
teachers in this Handbook.)
Employment Outlook

The supply of qualified dietitians and public
health nutritionists has not kept up with the de­
mand, the shortages being most marked in the
East and Midwest. Not enough qualified persons
are entering the profession to provide replace­
ments for those who leave and to fill new positions
resulting from expansion in employment in the
food service and nutrition fields. In the 5-year
period from 1950 to 1955, an average of 1,000 new
positions were created annually in hospitals. This
increase alone exceeded the number of newly
trained dietitians who became available each year.
In 1955-56, only 674 dietetic interns w ere in train­
ing; 173 internships remained unfilled.
The shortage of trained dietitians and nutri­
tionists is expected to continue well into the 1960’s.
The expansion of hospital programs, school-lunch
programs, and programs in expanding facilities
for the aged point to an increasing need for fully
trained dietitians.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Salaries offered in mid-1955 ranged from $3,420
to $4,560 yearly for inexperienced staff dietitians
who had completed their internships, and from
$3,540 to $5,520 for dietitians with 4 to 5 years of
experience, according to the placement service o f
the American Dietetic Association.

1 69


In 1955, dietitians in very large nonfederal hos­
pitals were reported to receive as much as $10,000
a year. In 1956, beginners in Federal hospitals
received an annual salary of $3,670. Qualified
persons with 1 year of experience could receive a
starting annual salary of $4,525. Annual salaries
for dietitians in the Federal service range up to
A survey of hospital personnel, made by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that in 14 met­
ropolitan areas surveyed in 1956 and 1957, average
weekly salaries of hospital dietitians ranged from
$68.50 in Atlanta to $84.50 in Chicago. Most of
these dietitians worked an average of 40 hours per
week. The average straight-time weekly earnings
and hours of hospital dietitians in the survey areas

Weekly average

Portland (Oreg.)__________________________
San Francisco-Oakland___________________
St. Louis___________________________________

A tlanta.
Dallas _
Los Angeles-Long Beach.
Memphis _

____ _______

42. 5
40. 5
40. 5
41. 5
40. 5
40. 0
40. 0
40. 0
40. 0
41. 5




The Outlook for Women in Dietetics, Bulletin No.
234-1, U. S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau,
available from the Superintendent of Documents,
U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25,
D. C. Price 25 cents.




The U. S. Civil Service Commission, Washing­
ton 25, D. C., has information on the requirements
for dietetic interns and dietitians in Federal Gov­
ernment hospitals. (See also chapter on Govern­
ment Occupations. Refer to index for page
Further information on employment opportu­
nities is contained in the following publication:

Weekly average


W here To Go for More Information

fo llo w :


Hour 8

A list of accredited colleges, universities, and
internship centers, and information on scholar­
ships and employment can be obtained from :
American Dietetic Association,
620 North Michigan Ave., Chicago 11, 111.
American Home Economics Association,
1600 20th St., N W .VWashington, D. C.

(D. O. T. 0-4 8 .)

Nature of W ork

In making an airplane, a house, a ship, or almost
any other product, manufacturers and construc­
tion companies need detailed plans giving dimen­
sions and specifications for the entire product and
each of its parts. The workers who draw these
plans are draftsmen. They translate the ideas
and calculations of engineers into exact drawings
and sketches, using such instruments as compasses,
dividers, scales, T-squares, protractors, and tri­
angles. In many companies, draftsmen are sup­
plied with drafting machines which combine
several of these measuring and guiding devices,
making preparation of drawings faster and easier.
Draftsmen in higher grade positions, such as
that of design draftsman, generally work from
sketches, specifications, or field notes furnished by
an engineer, architect, or designer. They have the
important job of transforming ideas into actual

drawings generally called layouts. Their work
may include making calculations concerning the
strength, quality, and cost of materials; such cal­
culations may require the use of engineering hand­
books and tables. In many drafting rooms,
draftsmen known as detailers are responsible for
making working drawings of details or parts o f
the machine or article to be manufactured. De­
tailers usually work from layouts prepared by
design draftsmen. Other draftsmen designated
as checkers examine each drawing for errors.
Tracers may also be employed to make corrections
and to prepare the drawings for blueprinting by
copying them in ink on transparent cloth sheets,
although, in recent years, photoreproduction o f
final pencil drawings has been rapidly eliminatingthe need for tracing in ink. Tracers’ work is
mostly routine and requires relatively little
knowledge or skill.



Practically all draftsmen specialize in some par­
ticular field of work. The largest fields are
mechanical, electrical, aeronautical, structural,
architectural, naval architectural, and topographi­
cal drafting.
W h ere Employed

Drafting is a large occupation, employing about
125,000 persons in 1950, of whom about 7 percent
were women. The occupation has grown consid­
erably since that time.
The industries which employ the most drafts­
men include construction and the following
branches of manufacturing: Machinery, electrical
equipment, aircraft, motor vehicles, chemical
products, and fabricated metal products. Many
draftsmen work for engineering and architectural
consulting firms, and sizable numbers are em­
ployed by Federal, State, and local governments.
Although some are employed in every State and in
small as well as large cities, the greatest number of
draftsmen work in the Northeastern, Middle A t­
lantic, and North Central States.
Training and Other Qualifications

A person can acquire the specialized training
needed to become a draftsman from a number of
sources, including technical institutes, junior col­
leges, extension divisions of universities, colleges
offering special 2-year programs, technical high
schools, correspondence schools, and trade schools.
A person can also become a draftsman by serving
a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship or by some other type
of on-the-job training combined with part-time
schooling. In any case, the training should in­
clude mathematics, physical sciences, mechanical
drawing, standard methods of lettering, and trac­
ing. Many of the higher grade jobs require a
knowledge o f the industry involved.
Persons with little or no training begin their
drafting careers as trainees (sometimes called
tracers) or apprentices and later advance to junior
draftsmen. Those with specialized training can
usually start directly in junior drafting positions.
From such positions, advancement is possible to
senior draftsman, and then to design draftsman.
Some workers eventually advance to chief or
leader draftsman. From top drafting jobs, it is
possible to advance to design and engineering po­
sitions, especially if additional training in mathe­

matics and science is obtained. Many graduates
of engineering and architectural schools start
their careers in the drafting rooms but usually ad­
vance rapidly into professional positions.
Many agencies of the Federal and State Gov­
ernments hire trainees and apprentices in addition
to experienced draftsmen. As in industrial or­
ganizations, workers in government employment
advance as they gain in skill and experience.
A person desirous of a drafting career should
have an aptitude for detail and for visualizing
objects; artistic ability is not generally required.
Good eyesight is important, since drafting in­
volves close work.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for well-trained
draftsmen were excellent in 1956. Job prospects
for persons wishing to begin a drafting career as
an apprentice or trainee were also very good. The
demand for draftsmen increased rapidly after the
outbreak of hostilities in Korea in 1950, when the
needs of the defense program were added to those
of an expanding civilian economy. During the
middle 1950’s, not enough trained draftsmen were
available to meet the growing demand, and many
employers reported difficulty in filling jobs.
Employment of draftsmen will probably con­
tinue to increase both in the near future and over
the long run. As the engineering and scientific
occupations grow, more draftsmen will be required
as supporting personnel. Moreover, the industries
employing most draftsmen are expected to expand
further; and with the increasing complexity of
industrial operations, design problems will become
more and more involved, adding to the need for
well-trained draftsmen. In addition to drafts­
men needed to fill new positions, many will be
required each year to replace those who die, retire,
or move into other fields. Losses to the occupation
from death and retirements alone were estimated
to be about 1,600 during 1956 and will rise slowly
in the future.
This analysis assumes a continued high level of
employment and business activity in the country
as a whole. It also assumes that Government
spending for defense— a major factor affecting
demand for draftsmen—will remain high. A sub­
stantial cut in defense spending or a sharp drop
in business activity in the metalworking or con-


struct ion industries would reduce the demand for
draftsmen. On the other hand, a substantial in­
crease in defense expenditures or an acceleration
in other government programs such as public
works would intensify the demand for draftsmen.

Average straight-time weekly earnings of
draftsmen in 17 cities in the winter of 1955-56
were as follow s:



In early 1957, indications were that draftsmen’s
salaries in most cities and for most skill levels
were at a higher level than those shown in the
In the Federal Civil Service, the entrance salary
for trainee draftsmen who were high school grad­
uates without experience was $2,960 in 1956. For
those with post-high school education and train­
ing in drafting, entrance salaries were higher.
The majority of experienced draftsmen working
for the Federal Government earned between $3,670
and $4,525 in 1956, and some earned still higher


Newark-Jersey C ity ___
New York City
New Orleans
Middle W est:
Minneapolis-St. Paul. _
St. Louis
Far W est:
Denver.. ___ __
Los A n gele s-L on g
Beach ___
San Francisco-Oakland


$58. 00 $71.

52. 50

63. 00
71. 50
62. 50


Chief or

50 $100. 00 $129. 50
00 108. 50 144. 50
97. 50 132. 50
85. 00 113. 00





138. 50
107. 50





104. 00

129. 50

80. 50
79. 50
77. 00

98. 50
97. 50
94. 50

130. 50
118. 00
118. 50

General information on drafting careers may be
obtained from :
American Federation of Technical Engineers,
900 F St. N W ., Washington 4, D. C.
The American Institute of Architects,
1735 New York Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

130. 50

84. 50

W here To Go for More Information

N ote : Tabulation includes male draftsmen only.
ficient data to warrant presentation.

Information on training opportunities may be
obtained from :
Engineers Council for Professional Development,
29 W est 39th St., New York 18, N. Y.
National Home Study Council,
1420 New York Ave. N W ., Washington 5, D. C.
National Council of Technical Schools,
1507 M St. N W ., Washington 5, D. C.

Dashes indicate insuf­

The U. S. Civil Service Commission, Washing­
ton 25, D. C., will furnish information on positions
available in Federal Government agencies. For
further information on such positions and how to
apply for them, see chapter on Government

(D. O. T. 0 -3 5 .0 7 )

Nature o f W ork

Foresters are concerned with growing and man­
aging forests and utilizing their resources. The
forest-land manager is responsible for all the re­
sources and activities in his area, including recrea­
tional facilities, wildlife, and grazing land, as well
as timber. One part of his job is to protect valu­
able lands from fire, destructive insects, and dis­
ease. Other important duties include estimating
the amount of timber in a forest area, appraising

the value of forest lands, selling or buying timber,
and planning and supervising the cutting of timber
so that mature trees are removed and younger ones
left for future logging operations. Professional
foresters regard trees as a crop which should be
harvested in such a manner that the amount of
timber cut will not exceed the new growth.
Because the work of the forester covers such a
wide range of activities, numerous specialties have
developed. Wood utilization, for example, begins
with the logging of timber and also includes the



few by the Department of Defense and other Fed­
eral agencies. In addition, about 1,800 worked for
State Governments and about 250 for county and
municipal governments.
College teaching and other educational activi­
ties, including extension work and university re­
search, provided employment for approximately
750 foresters. The remaining 1,800 held a variety
of jobs. This group included specialists in such
closely allied fields as wildlife, range management,
tree culture, forest engineering, and watershed
Training and Other Qualifications


o u r t e s y

o f



. D

e p a r t m e n t

o f


g r ic u l t u r e

The forest-land manager is responsible for all the resources and
activities in his area. This district ranger and grazing permit
holder are inspecting range conditions in one of the national

various industrial phases of converting wood into
consumer products. Other specialties include
wildlife management, range management, forest
economics, and recreation work. Some of these
specialties are rapidly becoming recognized as dis­
tinct professions. Foresters may also specialize
in such activities as research, editing and writing,
extension work (educational work regarding scien­
tific forestry practice among farmers, logging
companies, and the public), and teaching at the
university level.
W h ere Employed

Roughly 17,000 professional foresters were em­
ployed in forestry and closely allied fields in 1956,
according to estimates made by the Society of
American Foresters. The largest group, nearly
7,400, were in private industry, working mainly
for lumber, pulp and paper, and veneer and ply­
wood companies, though some were in business for
themselves as consultants or managers of their own
land. Although the number of consultants is
small, this field represents a growing source of em­
ployment for professional foresters.
Nearly as many foresters were in government
as in private employment. About 5,000 worked
for the Federal Government, mainly in the Forest
Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Some were employed by the Department of the
Interior, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and a

Four years of college work leading to a bach­
elor’s degree in forestry is usually the minimum
educational requirement for entrance into the pro­
fession. Students are almost always required to
spend one summer in summer camps operated by
their college. They are also encouraged to gain
first-hand experience in forest or conservation
work during other summers.
Training in forestry leading to a bachelor’s or
higher degree was offered in 1956 by 37 schools,
26 of which were accredited by the Society of
American Foresters. The curriculum in most of
these schools included a foundation of essential
courses in five areas: (1) silviculture (methods of
growing and improving forest crops) ; (2) forest
protection (from fire, insects, and disease) ; (3)
forest management (which includes the study of
mensuration or measurement of the amount, con­
dition, and types of timber and timber products,
surveying, and mathematics through trigonom­
etry) ; (4) forest economics; and (5) forest utili­
zation (the harvesting and marketing of timber
and other forest resources).
Most schools offer an additional year’s training
leading to the master’s degree and some offer doc­
toral training. Although graduate training is not
essential for entrance into the profession, the mas­
ter’s degree is generally required for teaching or
research positions and the doctorate is highly de­
sirable for such posts.
Some foresters have entered the profession with
training primarily in a related field such as horti­
culture, botany, or agronomy. Also, specialists in
forest engineering have entered with engineering
degrees and wood technologists with degrees in
chemistry, physics, or engineering.


In addition to adequate training, qualifications
for success in the field of forestry include sufficient
physical stamina to perform the many arduous
tasks required and a willingness to work much of
the time in isolated areas. Since many forestry
jobs also involve public contacts, the forester must
have facility in dealing with people.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for forestry grad­
uates were good in 1956 and are expected to remain
favorable throughout the 1950’s. The demand for
foresters has risen rapidly since the end of World
War II, principally as a result of large-scale ap­
plication of scientific management to forest lands
owned by private industry. Growth o f allied
fields—such as wildlife management, wood utili­
zation, recreation, and range management—has
also provided many new positions. On the other
hand, the number of forestry graduates declined
sharply during this period, from the record high
o f 2,394 in 1950 to 852 in 1955, the lowest level
since the years immediately following World War
II. A steady increase in the number of forestry
degrees granted is expected after 1955, however,
along with the anticipated continued growth in
employment opportunities. As in recent years,
there will probably be particular need for wellqualified personnel with advanced degrees for re­
search positions.
The long-run outlook is for continued expansion
o f employment in forestry. The country’s grow­
ing population and rising living standards well
tend to increase the demand for lumber, paper,
and other major forest products, although the de­
mand for these products will also be influenced by
any changes in the general level of business activ­
ity affecting construction and other major wood
using industries.
Recent trends emphasizing
scientific forestry practice are expected to con­
tinue. Companies in the forest product industries
are becoming increasingly aware of the profitabil­
ity of improved forestry and logging practices
and new technical developments for utilizing the
entire forest crop. Moreover, further advances in
research and in wood utilization and technology
are needed to reduce costs and develop new and
improved products, especially in view of the con­
stant competition from products made of metals,
plastics, and other materials.


The extent o f employment opportunities for
foresters will also depend on whether or not a
shortage of timber develops in this country. As­
suming continuation of present trends in forest
management, most authorities believe that growth
of timber during the next 20 years will be sufficient
to meet the expected increase in demand for wood.
I f during this period the demand for timber
should rise much more than anticipated, scientific
forestry practice would undoubtedly be extended
and intensified. For example, one of the largest
potential sources of future employment opportu­
nities for foresters is the 4.5 million small owners
of forest land, whose holdings comprise more than
half the Nation’s commercial timberland. At
present, only a small fraction of these lands are
under professional forestry management. I f de­
mand for timber increases enough so that these
small owners find it profitable to utilize foresters’
services, additional job opportunities will become
Employment of foresters in the Federal Gov­
ernment has grown steadily during the past dec­
ade and it is expected that the growth will con­
tinue for a number of years. In early 1957, the
Forest Service of the U. S. Department of A gri­
culture anticipated that their future demand for
foresters would grow at an even more rapid rate
than in the past. Among the major factors which
are expected to affect this growth are the growing
volume of timber cut on Federal lands, and the
trend toward more scientific management of these
lands. O f course, funds necessary for the intensi­
fication of scientific management on Federal lands
are subject to congressional approval.
State Government agencies also will probably
continue to expand their employment of foresters.
Forest fire control and other Federal-St ate coop­
erative programs such as providing technical ad­
vice to owners of private forest lands, are being
channeled more and more through State organiza­
tions. Growing demands for recreation facilities
in forest lands are likely to result in expansion o f
State parks and other recreation areas.
In addition to openings created by the growing
need for professional foresters, some vacancies
will occur as a result of deaths and retirements.
However, such openings will not be numerous dur­
ing the 1950’s and 1960’s, since foresters are a rela­
tively young group.



Along with the expected growth of employment
in the profession, a rise in the number of forestry
graduates is likely to occur, especially after 1960.
I f young men with degrees in forestry continue to
represent the same proportion of all college grad­
uates as in recent years, the number of bachelor’s
degrees granted each year in forestry will, by the
middle 1960’s, be almost twice the 1955 figure and,
by 1970, will be about as high as in the peak year
1950. Graduating classes of this size may likely
encounter competition for the better paying pro­
fessional entry jobs in forestry, unless scientific
management of forests expands faster than is in­
dicated by present trends.
Opportunities for women in the profession of
forestry are and probably will continue to be,
few—largely because of the necessary field work,
much of which is rigorous and in isolated places.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Starting salaries for new forestry graduates
with bachelor’s degrees were often between $6,600
and $4,500 in private industry in 1956, according
to the Society o f American Foresters. In more
responsible jobs, such as managing a company
forest, salaries were typically $7,500 to $9,000.
Foresters holding executive positions in land man­
agement or wood procurement were reported to
earn from $10,000 to $15,000, and those who were
officers of corporations usually received from
$15,000 upward. In addition to their salaries,
foresters in private industry may be furnished
nonmonetary benefits such as rent-free houses,
fuel, and the use of company transportation.
In the Federal Government, the beginning sal­
ary of foresters with only the bachelor’s degree
was $3,760 per year in 1956. Those with a master’s
degree could begin at $4,525 and those with a
doctor’s degree at $5,440 if employed in research
work. In late 1956, Federal starting salaries for
forestry graduates with bachelor’s degrees were
raised to $4,210 and for those with master’s degrees
to $4,930 per year. Beginning salaries for for­
estry graduates with doctoral degrees remained
at $5,440 per year. In addition, the salary sched­
ule provides for periodic increases above these base
salaries. Individuals in administrative and super­
visory positions received higher salaries. For ex­
ample, in the Forest Service, forest rangers in
charge of a district earned from $5,440 to $7,465,

annually. Supervisors of national forests re­
ceived from $7,570 to $10,065, and regional for­
esters who administered a number of national
forests as well as cooperative activities with States
and private landowners received from $11,610 to
$12,690 a year. When living quarters are fur­
nished, a salary deduction is made. The amount
varies with the value and kind of accommodations
but was usually from $200 to $600 per year in 1956.
Salaries for foresters employed by the States
have been generally somewhat lower than those
paid by the Federal Government. In recent years,
however, salaries paid by many State Governments
have increased so that they are now close to those
paid in Federal employment.
Salaries in teaching and research in a college or
university depend upon the institutiton and the
position held. In the 26 schools of forestry
accredited by the Society of American Foresters,
1956 salaries average about $3,000 for beginning
instructors and ranged from $5,000 to $12,000 for
professors. Heads of departments or schools earn
between $6,500 and $14,000 a year.
As part of his regular duties, the forester must
spend considerable time out of doors under all
kinds of weather conditions. Many foresters put
in extra hours in travel and in emergency duty
such as firefighting. Travel often involves ab­
sence from home for extended periods of time,
particularly in beginning jobs. The young for­
ester is also likely to have his headquarters shifted
frequently. With advancement to more respon­
sible positions, he can expect a more permanent
The hazardous nature of many forestry jobs is
indicated by the fact that insurance companies
often require extra premiums for forest rangers
and others whose duties involve working alone in
remote areas. Foresters working in logging and
sawmilling may also face accident hazards. A l­
though injury rates in these industries have been
reduced, they are still far above the average for
manufacturing industries.
W here To Go for More Information

Additional information on the profession of
forestry and on accredited schools may be obtained
from :
Society of American Foresters,
825 Mills Bldg., 1.7th and Pennsylvania Ave. N W .
Washington 6, D. C.

Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture,
Washington 25, D. C.
American Forest Products Industries, Inc.,
1816 N St. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Additional information on career opportunities
in forestry and on schools providing instruction is
given in the following Government publications:


U. S. Department of Agriculture, Careers in Forestry.
Miscellaneous Publication No. 249, 1955. Superin­
tendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price
15 cents.
Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, For­
estry Schools in the United States, 1951. U. S. De­
partment of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington
25, D. C. Free.

Home Economists*
(D. O. T. 0—
12.10 through 0—

Nature of the W ork and W here Employed

Home economists are employed in a wide variety
of specialized occupations. At least half of the
approximately 70,000 home economists in the
country work for Federal, State, or local govern­
ment agencies as home economics teachers, exten­
sion service workers, dietitians or nutritionists,
and research workers. They work in secondary
schools and colleges, hospitals and other institu­
tions, and in government agencies which provide
services directly to the public. Other home econ­
omists work mainly for private schools and hos­
pitals, commercial or industrial eating establish­
ments, for business and manufacturing firms, and
for newspapers, magazines, and radio and televi­
sion broadcasting companies.
Although home economics is generally consid­
ered a woman’s field, a growing number of men are
entering various home economics professions.
Some men are employed in teaching, merchandis­
ing, interior design, and family counseling, but
most of them specialize in foods and institution
management. In 1955, nearly 500 men were ma­
joring in home economics (about 1 percent of the
number of women home economics majors).
The largest group of home economists (about
42,000) are teachers, of whom about 27,000 are em­
ployed in the public schools; about 500 in private
and parochial schools; approximately 3,000 in
colleges and universities; and 11,000 in adult edu­
cation programs. (For information on teaching,
see statements on secondary-school teachers and
college and university teachers in this Hand­
book. Refer to index for page numbers.) An
additional 5,000 are employed as extension service
workers (see chapter on Professional and Other
Agricultural Occupations). More than 20,000 are
employed as dietitians (see statement on dieti­
♦Prepared by the W o m e n ’ s B ureau , U. S. D ep artm en t of Labor.

Another group of 3,500 specialists are home
economists in lousiness. They are employed in
commercial establishments which manufacture or
distribute products or services used in the home,
or are associated with magazines, newspapers, ra­
dio, and television.
More than a thousand of this group of special­
ists are known as home-service workers and are
employed by gas or electric utility companies ; an­
other 400, known as equipment workers, are em­
ployed by manufacturers of household equipment,
such as washing machines, kitchen cabinets, or
cooking utensils. They demonstrate the use of the
company’s equipment in the customer’s home and
advise on the effective use of fuel. They may ad­
dress groups of retailers, homemakers, or young
people, prepare newspaper articles or booklets, or
make personal appearances on radio or television
Home economists in food manufacturing, num­
bering about 1,000, interpret the needs of con­
sumers to food manufacturers and prepare recipes
and other material for consumers. They may test
and develop new products, improve present prod­
ucts, write cookbooks or directions on food pack­
ages, and answer consumers’ queries.
About 450 others are employed in journalism,
radio, and television. They write articles and
feature stories on foods, clothing, and other
topics of household interest. Some home econ­
omists in radio and television personally pre­
sent their educational programs.
Possibly 250 additional specialists have various
types of work in the advertising and public rela­
tions fields with companies producing or distribut­
ing all types of homefurnishings, household sup­
plies, and services.
The field of textiles and clothing employs more
than 100 home economists who advise on fibers and



fabrics available for clothing and household fur­
nishings and their economical and functional use.
Some of these specialists are employed in research.
Others are employed as advisers by dress-pattern
companies, clothing manufacturers, laundry and
dry-cleaning establishments, and a few chain cloth­
ing stores for which they write news stories and
booklets, plan educational and promotional pro­
grams, and engage in other public-relations work.
In addition to these experts, other home economists
with a knowledge of textiles and clothing are fash­
ion coordinators or personal shoppers. A few
work as fashion designers. Some enter the retail
clothing field and work up to positions as buyers
or other executives. (See chapter on Department
Stores.) A related field is that of interior design
where the home economist designs interior decora­
tions, arranges displays for business establish­
ments, and counsels on home decoration.
Some home economists specialize in housing, ad­
vising architectural firms on home planning, equip­
ment arrangements, and the selection and use of
household appliances. A few are employed in
finance, where they advise bank customers on fam­
ily spending and saving in relation to the house­
hold budget.
Related Fields of Work. Home economists also
work in research laboratories, specializing in the
analysis, development or use of foods, equipment,
or household supplies, or other aspects of home
economics. The U. S. Department of Agriculture
employs about 140 home economists in research
on clothing, equipment, food preparation, nutri­
tion, and general household economics. Some are
employed in research by other Federal agencies,
State agricultural experiment stations, colleges,
and commercial establishments.
About 300 home economists are employed by
State, county, city, and voluntary agencies in the
social-welfare field. They act as advisers and con­
sultants to work out budget standards for families,
taking into account the funds needed for shelter,
food, clothing, and household supplies to provide
minimum healthful living standards.
Training in home economics is useful in a num­
ber of other related fields. About 250 specialists
in child development and family relations are em­
ployed as teachers in nursery schools, kinder­

gartens, recreation centers, or children’s institu­
tions. A few work as counselors and consultants
in rehabilitation programs.
Training and Ofher Qualifications

About 500 colleges and universities grant de­
grees with majors in home economics. Most col­
leges and some other organizations interested in
education offer promising students scholarships,
fellowships, and loans—the latter sometimes with­
out the payment of interest.
Completion of a 4-year course leading to a bach­
elor’s degree in a home economics department of
an accredited college or university is required for
professional work in home economics. Under­
graduates majoring in home economics usually
take certain general or basic courses, including
such subjects as English and the humanities; so­
cial, physical, and biological sciences; psychology;
art and design; child development; family rela­
tionships; foods and nutrition; health and hy­
giene; home management and family economics;
housing; household equipment and homefurnish­
ing; and textiles and clothing.
Additional professional courses are taken, de­
pending on the area of specialization, A student
majoring in dietetics, for example, would take ad­
vanced courses in dietetics, nutrition, and food
economics, as well as chemistry, bacteriology, and
such subjects as institutional organization and
administration. Persons majoring in dietetics
often serve 1-year internships in hospitals or other
training centers after receipt of the bachelor’s de­
gree, as indicated in the statement on dietitians
elsewhere in this Handbook. A student majoring
in textiles and clothing would be required to take
advanced courses having a direct relationship to
that specialized field. A person preparing to
teach would need to fulfill the general require­
ments for teachers, in addition to having a major
in home economics. Some types of work, such as
certain kinds of research and college teaching
positions, require a master’s or a doctor’s degree.
Among personal qualifications, home economists
must like to work with people and be interested in
them. They must be able to work with persons
with different standards and backgrounds and
should have a capacity for leadership with the
ability to inspire cooperation.



Employment Outlook

Earnings and Working Conditions

For a number of years, the demand for home
economists has far exceeded the supply. In this
predominantly woman’s occupation, many oppor­
tunities are created each year by the high turnover
due to marriage and home responsibilities.
The shortage of home economists in the high
school teaching field is especially critical. Onethird to one-fourth of all secondary teaching posi­
tions become vacant yearly, and it is estimated
that as many as 5,000 home economics graduates
are needed annually for replacement purposes.
In addition, teachers are needed in schools that are
expanding their home economics departments or
installing such departments for the first time.
Additional teachers are needed also to take care of
expanding enrollments in secondary schools.
Since 1950, the number of college graduates with
home economics majors who have prepared to
teach has increased only slightly, from 2,886 to
3,124; moreover, some of the home economics
graduates who prepare to teach do not, in fact,
become classroom teachers.
In other specializations, the need is also great.
The demand far exceeds the supply in the expand­
ing fields for home economists in research and in
business. Home economists with advanced de­
grees are needed especially in college teaching,
administrative work, and research.
The shortage of home economists is expected to
continue well into the 1960’s. The increasing de­
mand for their services in many fields, population
growth, and the insufficient numbers of graduates
in home economics indicate a growing need for
persons trained as home economists for an in­
definite period.

Salaries in this profession depend greatly upon
the field of work and amount of experience.
The average beginning salary for a high school
teacher of home economics was slightly under
$4,000 a year in 1956. Experienced teachers in
city school systems averaged $4,800 in large com­
munities, with some exceeding $6,000. College
professors of home economics average about
$7,000, with deans and department heads receiv­
ing up to $12,000 a year.
The lowest paid group of home economists in
business received $3,000 but some experienced
workers in this field w^ere paid up to $10,000 or
Hours o f work may be irregular for some home
economists, as for example, those engaged in pro­
motional and advertising work who are expected
to be available for evening meetings or other
nightwork. On the other hand, research workers
and others employed in business and manufactur­
ing establishments may work a 40-hour week or
less. Most home economists outside of the teach­
ing field receive up to a month of paid annual
leave or vacation. Adequate paid sick leave, re­
tirement pay, and insurance benefits are generally
available also.
W here To Go for More Information
American Home Economics Association,
1600 20th St., N W , Washington 6, D. C.

Information on U. S. Civil Service examina­
tions is given in the chapter on Government Oc­
cupations. (See index for page numbers.)

Interior Designers and Decorators
(D. O. T. 0 -4 3 .4 0 )

Nature of W ork

Although artists have for centuries been em­
ployed to beautify palaces and public buildings,
interior decorating as a distinct occupation in this
country is only about 50 years old. Nowadays,
interior designers and decorators plan and super­
vise the furnishing of private homes and other
structures, including offices, hotels, restaurants,
stores, and ships. They also work on theater, mo­
tion picture, and television set decorations.
427675°— 57------ 13

On most decorating jobs, the structure is deter­
mined before the decorator arrives on the scene—
that is, the walls, doors, windows, heating outlets,
and the like are in place. The decorator then se­
lects and arranges the furniture, draperies, wall
and floor coverings, lighting fixtures, lamps, and
other decorative accessories, and may also design
cupboards, bookcases, and other “built-ins.” On
some jobs, he may also work with the architect in
planning the interior of a new building or in re-



modeling an old one. This work is known as
interior design.
The first step in a decorating job is usually to
prepare a color scheme and a plan showing the
placement of the furniture, accessories, and floor
and wall coverings. The decorator may also—and
for larger assignments usually does—make draw­
ings or water colors of the finished interior, to
illustrate his scheme. As a rule, he must furnish
complete cost estimates for the client’s approval.
The second step is to assemble the furnishings. A
good deal of the decorator’s time goes into selecting
the furniture, textiles, rugs, and decorative acces­
sories and into supervising the painters, upholster­
ers, and other craftsmen who work on the interior
and the furnishings. His job is not finished until
everything is in place and in good order.
W here Employed

According to one estimate, there were somewhat
more than 10,000 interior decorators in 1956, many
of whom were women. In addition, there were
undoubtedly many other people, some of them
part-time workers, who considered themselves in­
terior decorators but who had little training in
the field.
A sizable proportion of decorators have their
own establishments. Some of these are “ consulting
decorators,” who have no stock of furniture or
fabrics to sell. More often, however, decorating
establishments do have some furniture, decorative
accessories, and fabrics for sale, since they find
these attract clients for their services. Such dec­
orating establishments vary greatly in size; many
are operated by a single decorator with 1 assistant;
others employ as many as 15 or more salespeople
and decorators.
In recent years, large retail stores have become
increasingly important as sources of employment
for decorators. Most leading department and fur­
niture stores have a decorating department. One
of the main functions o f the department is to help
in the store’s sale of its merchandise, though the
decorators are rarely restricted to the store’s stock
in their plans for interiors. Department store
decorators may also act as “ homefurnishings co­
ordinators,” who advise the merchandising divi­
sion and buyers concerning style and color trends
in homefurnishings; this function is expected to

become increasingly important. In addition, small
numbers of interior designers and decorators are
employed by architects, antique dealers, industrial
designers, periodicals which feature articles on
homefurnishings, and manufacturers in this field.
Since the business requires being near centers of
population, the majority of decorators are located
in large cities and their suburbs.
Training and Other Qualifications

Some of the successful interior decorators have
“ grown up” with this comparatively new field of
work, and it is still possible to become a decorator
with little or no formal training. An untrained
person or one with very little training is at a dis­
tinct disadvantage in trying to enter the field,
however, since very few reputable decorating firms
or department stores will accept such people in
beginning jobs. The best preparation for becom­
ing an interior decorator is a 3-year course from a
recognized art school, or a 4-year college course
leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a
major in interior decoration.
Personality plays an important role in the ca­
reer of an interior decorator, since his success will
in good measure depend on his ability to sell. The
decorator who has his own establishment needs
business ability, as well as good salesmanship and
a pleasing personality. The high school student
who plans to become an interior decorator should
also have some aptitude for drawing and an inter­
est in art.
The course of study in interior decorating us­
ually includes the principles and history of art,
freehand and mechanical drawing, painting, and
study of the various materials, such as woods and
fabrics, with which the decorator works. In ad­
dition, business courses such as salesmanship and
business arithmetic are of great value.
The new graduate is not accepted as a qualified
decorator, but is expected to serve an informal
apprenticeship in the field, either with a decorat­
ing firm or in a department store. The apprentice
may act as a receptionist, as a shopper with the
task of matching materials or finding accessories,
as a stockroom assistant, or as an assistant drafts­
man. Not all new graduates obtain these informal
apprenticeships, since there are usually fewer
openings than graduates. Those who fail to ob-


tain these jobs are advised to work as salespeople
in fabric, lamp, or other homefurnishings estab­
lishments or departments, to gain experience in
dealing with customers. Such experience will
make it easier to obtain an apprenticeship with a
decorating firm or department. It may also ulti­
mately lead to a career in merchandising or as a
The length o f the on-the-job training period
varies, depending on the individual’s performance
and the establishment’s requirements. In many
cases, the apprentice progresses from simple to
more complex assignments without a change of
title. In other cases, the young worker may be
promoted to “ assistant decorator” and given full
responsibility for a limited assignment, such as a
single room. In any case, it is likely to take at
least from 1 to 3 years before one advances to the
position of decorator. After additional experi­
ence, the decorator may advance to head of a deco­
rating department in a store, may open his own
decorating establishment, or may develop into a
stylist or homefurnishings coordinator.
Employment Outlook

Not long ago, only wealthy people and a limited
number of businesses and institutions used the
services of interior decorators. In recent years,
however, decorating service has been made avail­
able to the general public at lower cost and people
have become increasingly aware of the contribu­
tion a decorator can make to the comfort and
beauty of a home. As a result, the demand for
interior decorating has been growing and is ex­
pected to increase in the future. Despite this
growth, however, the field has remained very com­
petitive, and new entrants still find it difficult to
gain a foothold.
One reason for the competitive character of the
field is the ease of entrance resulting from the lack
o f established and accepted standards. Anyone
who wishes to call himself a decorator can do so ;
and many women, having furnished their homes to
their own and their friends’ satisfaction, start a
small decorating business. Consumers often have
no way of evaluating the services offered by deco­
rators, and will sometimes choose the amateur
whose services may appear less expensive.


In recent years, department and furniture stores
have played an increasingly important role in in­
terior decoration for the home. A t the same time,
the growing volume o f commercial and institu­
tional work has most often been placed with the
larger decorating establishments. It is expected
that the larger establishments, both stores and
decorating firms, will gain an increasing share of
the expanding decorating business. This develop­
ment will make for greater orderliness in the trade
and provide increased opportunities for regular
employment, as opposed to private practice. On
the other hand, interior decorating, like all luxury
trades, has in the past had marked ups and downs
depending on general economic conditions, and
would undoubtedly again suffer sharp reverses
during a period o f economic decline.

Entrance salaries for graduates of interior deco­
rating schools or of college courses in interior
decorating were typically between $45 and $60 a
week in 1956, according to limited data for deco­
rating departments and establishments in some
eastern cities. Assistant and full-fledged deco­
rators may be paid either a straight salary, a
salary plus commission or bonus, or a straight
commission. The earnings of most department
store decorators are usually figured directly as a
percentage of their sales. Decorating establish­
ments may also offer their employees a proportion
of the profits, particularly if the customer is the
employee’s personal contact.
Independent decorators, like decorating firms
and department stores, rarely charge a fee for
their services. They generally rely on the profit
which they make on furnishings sold to customers
for their income.
The fact that earnings are so closely geared to
sales means that, for both employed and independ­
ent decorators, the income range is very wide.
Some decorators barely earn a living, whereas
others make $20,000 or more a year.
W here To Go for M ore Information
American Institute of Decorators,
673 Fifth Ave., New York 22, N. Y.



(D. O. T. 0 -2 2 .)

Nature o f W ork

Lawyers (attorneys) advise clients on their
legal rights and obligations and represent them in
courts of law. In addition, they negotiate settle­
ments out o f court and represent clients before
quasi-judicial or administrative agencies of the
government. They may also act as trustees,
guardians, or executors. Government attorneys
play a large part in administering Federal and
State laws and programs; they prepare drafts of
proposed legislation; establish procedures for law
enforcement; and argue cases in the courts. Some
lawyers serve as judges in Federal, State, and
local courts. Others are primarily engaged in
teaching, research, writing, or administrative
Most lawyers are engaged in general practice
and handle all kinds of legal work for their clients.
An increasing number, however, specialize in par­
ticular phases of the law or in certain types of
legal work. The branches of the law in which
lawyers are most likely to specialize include: ad­
ministrative, admiralty, corporation, criminal,
estates and wills, international, labor, patent, real
estate, trust, and tax law. Some attorneys devote
themselves entirely to trying cases in the courts.
Others never appear in court and limit their work
to activities such as drawing up legal documents,
conducting out-of-court negotiations, or doing the
legal work necessary to prepare for a trial.
Many persons with legal training are not em­
ployed as lawyers but are in other occupations
which require some knowledge of law. They may,
for example, be F B I agents, insurance adjustors,
tax collectors, probation officers, credit investiga­
tors, or claims examiners and adjudicators.
W h ere Employed

About 80 percent of the 220,000 lawyers listed
by the American Bar Association as professionally
active in 1955 were in private practice. More
than two-thirds of the private practitioners were
in practice by themselves; more than one-fourth
were in a partnership; and the remainder—only
about 5 percent—worked for other lawyers or law

The greatest number of salaried attorneys are
employed by government agencies. In 1955,
about 8,000 held positions with municipal govern­
ments. The Federal Government employed ap­
proximately 6,000 attorneys, chiefly in the Depart­
ment of Justice, the Department of Defense, and
the Veterans Administration. About another
3,000 were military personnel serving as attorneys
in the Armed Forces. A few thousand were em­
ployed by State Governments. More than 7,000
held judicial positions.
The second largest number of salaried lawyers
work for private companies, including large man­
ufacturing firms, banks, insurance companies, real
estate firms, and public utilities. Most of the re­
mainder teach in law schools. Some lawyers
combine salaried and independent practice; others
do legal work on a part-time basis while primarily
employed in another occupation.
Although lawyers practice in all parts o f the
country, including small towns and rural areas,
they are concentrated in cities and in the States
with the greatest population. In 1955, about 30
percent of all lawyers were in New York City,
Chicago, Washington, D. C., Los Angeles, Boston,
Detroit, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Almost
half were located in the following States: New
York, California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, and
Training and Other Qualifications

Before a lawyer can practice in the courts of any
State he must be admitted to the bar of that State.
Applicants must pass a written examination, with
the exception that, in a few States, graduates of
certain in-State law schools are admitted to the
bar without examination. I f a lawyer has been
admitted to the bar in one State, he can usually
be admitted to practice in another State without
taking an examination, provided he is of good
moral character and has a specified amount of
experience. The right to practice before Federal
courts and agencies is controlled by special rules
of each court or agency.
To qualify for bar examinations in most States,
an applicant must have completed 2 or 3 years of
college w ork and, in addition, must be a graduate


of a law school approved by the American Bar
Association or the proper State authorities.
Some States will accept study in a law office in­
stead of, or in combination with, study in a law
school—though this method of training is now
rarely used. A few States require a period of
clerkship in a law office after graduation. A
number of States require registration and ap­
proval by the State board before students enter
law school.
O f the 165 law schools in operation in 1955, 127
were approved by the American Bar Association
and the others—chiefly night schools—were ap­
proved by State authorities only. A substantial
number of full-time law schools also have night
divisions designed to meet the needs of part-time
students; some law schools have only night
classes. Four years of part-time study is usually
required to complete the night-school curriculum.
In 1955, more than one-third of all law students
were enrolled in evening classes.
Six years of full-time training after high school
are generally required to become a lawyer. As
a rule, this consists of 3 years of college study
followed by 3 years in law school. However, law
schools which have a 4-year, full-time curriculum
may accept students after 2 years of college work.
On the other hand, some schools require appli­
cants to have a college degree. Specific college
subjects are not generally required for entrance
into law school. Students interested in a particu­
lar aspect of the law may find it helpful to take
related courses; for example, engineering and
science courses would be useful to the prospec­
tive patent attorney, and accounting would be use­
ful to the future tax lawyer.
Although qualified young people interested in
a legal career can usually obtain admission to
a law school, they may not always be able to en­
roll in the school of their choice. Some of the
more widely known schools frequently have more
applicants than they can accept. In selecting stu­
dents, law schools generally consider college
grades, amount of college education, the particu­
lar college attended, and recommendations made
by college professors. A number of law schools
require applicants to take the standard law school
admission test, and several give their own apti­
tude tests.


The first 2 years of law school are generally
devoted to fundamental courses such as contracts,
criminal law, property, torts, and equity. The
third year is composed largely o f elective courses
in specialized fields such as tax, labor, or corpora­
tion law. Practical experience is often obtained
in the school’s practice court where the students
conduct trials under the supervision of experi­
enced jurists. Upon graduation, the degree of
bachelor of laws (LL.B.) is awarded by most
schools, although a few confer the degree of juris
doctor (J.D .). Advanced study is often desir­
able for those planning to specialize in one branch
of the law or to engage in research and law school
Most beginning lawyers start in salaried posi­
tions although some go into independent practice
immediately after passing the bar examination.
Young salaried attorneys usually act as assistants
(law clerks) to experienced lawyers. As a rule,
their work is limited to research such as check­
ing points of law; they rarely see a client or
argue a case in court. After several years of sal­
aried employment, during which time they can
obtain experience and funds and become known
to potential clients, many lawyers go into practice
for themselves.
Employment Outlook

Young lawyers starting independent practice
in 1956 encountered considerable competition from
established attorneys, particularly in large cities.
Law school graduates in the top 10 percent of
their class had good opportunities for obtaining
salaried positions with well-known law firms, on
legal staffs of corporations and government agen­
cies, and as law clerks to judges. Graduates of
the less widely known schools and those with
lower academic ratings often experienced diffi­
culty in finding salaried positions as lawyers. An
appreciable number were not working as lawyers
but held government and industry positions which
required some legal training.
During the late 1950's and early 1960’s, at least
5,500 lawyers will be needed each year to replace
those who die, retire, or otherwise leave the pro­
fession. Some additional graduates will also be
required to fill new jobs created by the expected



gradual increase in demand for legal services.
However, the supply of lawyers will probably
be more than sufficient to meet the demand even
if the number of law school graduates increases
at a somewhat slower rate than that anticipated
for all college graduates. As a result, the legal
profession is expected to remain highly competi­
tive and some law school graduates may have to
seek employment in related work.
Young attorneys entering private practice will,
as in the past, generally face a Starvation pe­
riod” of several years while they build up their
clientele. Prospects for establishing a new prac­
tice will probably continue to be best in small
towns and expanding suburban areas since, in big
cities, competition with other lawyers tends to be
keener, overhead costs are higher, and the diffi­
culties of becoming known to potential clients are
greater. On the other hand, opportunities for
salaried employment will be limited largely to
big cities where the chief employers of legal
talent—government agencies, law firms, and big
corporations— are generally located. For able
and well-qualified lawyers, good opportunities to
advance will continue to exist in both salaried
employment and private practice.
A gradual increase in the legal profession is
expected over the long run, primarily as a result
of the continued growth of business activity and
the country’s anticipated population expansion.
The trend toward more complex legislation at
Federal, State, and local levels points toward the
need for more salaried lawyers as well as for more
independent practitioners. In addition, the in­
creased use of legal services by low- and mid­
dle-income groups—stimulated in part by lawyer
reference plans and legal aid societies—will add
to the long-term growth in demand for lawyers.
The growing complexity of business and govern­
ment activities is expected to create a steadily ex­
panding demand for lawyers who are specialists
in such fields as corporation, patent, administra­
tive, labor, and international law. Moreover, con­
siderable numbers will continue to be needed as
replacements for those who leave the profession.
Opportunities for women lawyers, who com­
prised less than 3 percent of the profession in
1955, will probably continue to be limited for some
time to come. Although more than half of all

women lawyers are employed in salaried posi­
tions, a substantial number are in practice for
themselves. Many women lawyers hold positions,
not as attorneys, but in occupations requiring a
knowledge of law.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning salaries for young lawyers are gen­
erally highest in large law firms and Federal
agencies. Those employed by medium-size law
firms, corporations, and banks generally earn
somewhat less, and inexperienced lawyers work­
ing for small law offices or engaged in legal-aid
work usually receive the lowest salaries. The be­
ginning lawyer in practice for himself generally
makes little more than his expenses during the
first few years and often has some other source
o f income.
Lawyers in practice less than 5 years earned,
on the average, about $5,000 in 1954, according to
a U. S. Department of Commerce survey. As a
rule, beginners in practice for themselves earned
less than those in salaried positions. The aver­
age annual income above expenses for all lawyers
surveyed in 1954 was approximately $10,200.
About 5 percent of the lawyers reported earnings
of $25,000 or more a year. On the average, in­
comes of lawyers in large cities were higher than
those of lawyers located in small communities.
Earnings of salaried attorneys employed by law
firms were generally highest in large firms.
Lawyers often work long hours and under con­
siderable pressure when a case is being tried. In
addition, they must keep abreast of the latest laws
and court decisions. However, since lawyers in
private practice are able to determine their own
hours and workload, many stay in practice until
well past 70 years of age.
W h ere To Go for M ore Information

The specific requirements for admission to the
bar in a particular State may be obtained from
the clerk of the Supreme Court or the secretary
of the Board of Examiners at the State capital.
Information on law schools and on law as a career
is available from :
The American Bar Association,
1155 East 60th St., Chicago 37, III.



(D. O. T. 0 -2 3 .2 0 )

Nature of W ork

Librarians are concerned with making knowl­
edge and information available to the public,
chiefly through such printed or recorded materials
as books, periodicals, pamphlets, and reports.
Since a number of libraries have recently begun to
loan phonograph records and film, as well as books,
librarians may also be concerned with these medi­
ums. Librarians select and purchase books and
such other materials as the library loans or uses;
classify, catalog, and circulate books and other
loan items; publicize library services; investigate
the reading interests of people served by the li­
brary in order to meet these needs; do research to
secure facts or information requested; and guide
readers of all ages to books and information suited
to their individual interests.
Librarians may also collect, review, and abstract
published and unpublished materials in order to
prepare bibliographies and book reviews which
make information about books and other publica­
tions more readily available to the public. Some
librarians serve as advisers to schools or other or­
ganizations on bibliography and references for
In a small library, the librarian may perform all
of these duties, whereas in a large organization
different librarians may handle each function.
Some may specialize in a particular subject-matter
area. For example, a medical librarian maintains
and distributes a collection of medical texts, refer­
ence books, and research materials relating to the
medical profession; a law librarian maintains and
circulates materials used in the legal profession;
a children’s librarian assists children with their
school and leisure interests by securing and dis­
tributing books and other reading materials of
particular importance to children; and a business
librarian selects, reviews, collects, and distributes
books and periodicals on developments in business
and industry.
W here Employed

Librarians are employed in public libraries and
in libraries maintained by public and private
schools, colleges, and universities, government
♦Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

agencies, research associations, and business and in­
dustrial firms. In the United States in 1950, more
than 55,000 librarians were employed, of whom
almost 90 percent were women. About two-thirds
of these women were employed in public libraries
or in the libraries o f public schools. In recent
years, more men have been entering the library
field partly because o f the increased salaries being
offered, the growing emphasis on library service
in scientific and technical fields, and improved op­
portunities for advancement to administrative
In 1956, most of the librarians—some 44,000—
were employed by the 7,500 public library systems
in the United States. The remainder were em­
ployed by school, college, special, and Federal
Government libraries, including libraries serving
the Armed Forces, and United States Information
Service libraries in all parts o f the world.
Many elementary and secondary schools had
their own libraries, and about 1,850 libraries were
maintained by colleges and universities. More
than 3,000 special libraries were operated by re­
search agencies and private firms. These special
libraries serve the particular interests of the em­
ploying organization rather than the wide range of
public interest. For example, the library of a
scientific research organization deals exclusively
with materials suited to the conduct of specified
areas of research, whereas an insurance company
library concentrates on materials related to the
insurance business. An estimated 150 libraries
were run by agencies of the Federal Government.
The Library of Congress, which is an agency of
the Federal Government, is the outstanding ex­
ample of a comprehensive library operation. It is
the largest library in the United States. Accord­
ing to law, a copy of every book or pamphlet which
has been copyrighted in this country must be de­
posited in this library.
Although most libraries are located in cities
and towns, a new type of library (the bookmobile)
has been developed in recent years to serve large
geographical areas. About 1,000 of these book­
mobiles were in use in 1956, traveling from village
to village to provide library services to people who
w ould otherwise have had to travel long distances
to reach a library. Similarly, bookmobiles are



used in some large cities where they prove more
effective and economical than established branches
in outlying areas.
Training and Other Qualifications

Positions as librarians in small school or public
libraries and in the Federal Government may be
secured after completion of a 4-year under­
graduate course in library science at a college or
university. Approximately 500 colleges and uni­
versities offered such courses in 1953. In addi­
tion, some positions for special librarians may be
open to persons with specialized education and
experience in a particular field, such as law, medi­
cine, engineering, or business, even though they
have had no library training.
In recent years, however, the trend has been
toward requiring the completion o f a 1-year cur­
riculum in a library school, following graduation
from a 4-year college, for “ professional libra­
rians.” Entrance requirements for professional
library schools commonly include: (1) graduation
from an approved 4-year college or university; (2)
a superior undergraduate academic record; (3)
evidence, through credit or examination, of a thor­
ough knowledge of the fundamentals of library
work; and (4) a reading knowledge of at least
one foreign language. Also, skill in typing is
usually expected o f students in library schools.
Most library schools grant the master’s degree
upon completion of 1 year’s residence work in
library science plus an extra summer semester or
quarter. In 1956, there were 35 o f these graduate
schools in the United States and Canada which
were accredited by the American Library Asso­
ciation Committee on Accreditation.
Many library positions require more than 1
year of specialized courses in library science. Cer­
tain positions for special librarians, for example,
require completion of courses dealing with the
subject matter with which the librarian will work.
For example, a librarian who intends to spe­
cialize in a scientific field would have to take
courses in mathematics and chemistry, physics, or
engineering, depending upon the particular spe­
cialty; and a business librarian would have to
study economics, business management, account­
ing, and finance.
Advancement for the librarian may come
through transfer to a larger library or by promo­
tion to a higher grade position in the same li­

brary. Promotions to administrative positions
or to specialized work are also possible after addi­
tional education or experience. It should be
noted, however, that advancement to higher level
or specialized positions may be limited to “ pro­
fessional librarians” who have completed gradu­
ate training in an accredited library school.
Since certification is required for many library
positions and the requirements therefor may be
established by local, county, or State agencies,
these requirements should be investigated by the
student through the school or college counselor or
the American Library Association.
Employment Outlook

Library schools and associations reported a na­
tionwide demand for well-trained librarians in
1956. There were an estimated 10,000 unfilled
positions for professional librarians that year.
Since World War II, the number of degrees
granted in library science has been less than 2,000
a year, and library schools have regularly reported
100-percent placement of graduates. According
to a 1953 survey, there was a shortage of grad­
uates from accredited library schools to fill jobs in
cataloging, library work with children, school
librarianships, and special library services in sci­
ence and technology. It has been estimated that
there were some 6,000 openings for school librari­
ans in 1954 and at least 1,000 openings in the spe­
cial library field in 1955. Most of the latter were
in science and technology. Less than 15 percent
of the library school graduates in 1954 entered the
special library field, and only about 2 percent were
in science and technology. The majority of grad­
uates took school or public library positions.
The demand for librarians is expected to con­
tinue and to increase for the remainder of the
1950’s and well into the 1960’s. The expanding
school population and improved standards for
school libraries will necessitate the employment
o f a growing number of fully trained librarians.
Many additional openings will be created by turn­
over among young women in the field who leave
their jobs for marriage and family reasons. Spe­
cial librarians, particularly in science and tech­
nology, will be greatly in demand as a result of the
increasing interest in industrial research.
The supply of graduates from accredited library
schools is expected to be insufficient to meet these


needs. Therefore, employment opportunities for
trained workers will continue to be very good
throughout this period. Those with special train­
ing in the sciences will have excellent opportuni­
ties, and mature workers, as well as those who can
work only part time, will have good chances for
Over the long run, employment for librarians,
particularly the specialists, is expected to expand,
as more and more new information becomes avail­
able and the complexity of our sources of knowl­
edge increases.


eral Government in 1956 were $3,670 and $4,525
for librarians, depending upon the extent of their
education and experience. Library assistants
were hired at $2,690 and $2,960.
The typical workweek for librarians is 40 hours
and may include evening work in those libraries
that remain open evenings. The 5-day week is
becoming common, and the usual vacation after
a year’s service is 4 weeks. In school libraries, the
work year customarily coincides with the school
W here To Go for Further Information

Earnings and W orking Conditions

Geographical region, size of city, size and type
o f library, and degree of responsibility and tech­
nical skill required are important factors in­
fluencing librarians’ salaries. In 1956, the average
salary for beginning library school graduates was
$3,800 at year. Special librarians reported sal­
aries beginning at $4,000, with science-technology
specialists receiving about $1,000 more. A 1955-56
survey of 110 universities with large graduate
programs showed salaries ranging from $5,800 to
$15,900 a year for chief librarians. Their average
salary was $9,200. Entrance salaries in the Fed­

Additional information, particularly on schools,
requirements, and scholarships or loans may be
obtained from :
American Library Association,
50 E. Huron St., Chicago 11, 111.

Information on requirements and placement of
special librarians may be secured from :
Special Libraries Association,
31 East 10th St., New York 3, N. Y.

Information about school library systems may
be secured from :
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Office of Education, Washington 25, D. C.

Newspaper Reporters
(D. O. T. 0 -0 6 .7 1 )

Nature o f W ork

Reporters collect information on news events
and write news stories for publication in daily or
weekly newspapers. They gather information by
interviewing people, consulting police and other
public records, observing events as they happen,
and by doing research in libraries. As a rule, re­
porters take brief notes while collecting facts and
type their stories upon return to the office. Some­
times, to meet deadlines, they telephone the in­
formation to other reporters, known as “ rewrite
men,” who write the stories for them.
Big city dailies frequently assign some reporters
to special “beats,” such as police stations or courts,
to cover news originating in these places, while
local news which develops elsewhere is handled
by general assignment reporters. News on cer­
tain subjects such as sports, politics, and religion
is often dealt with by specialists in these fields.

Reporters on small newspapers not only cover all
aspects of local news but may also take photo­
graphs, write headlines, lay out inside pages, and
even write editorials. On the smallest weeklies,
they may also solicit advertisements, sell subscrip­
tions, and perform general office work.
Newspaper reporting is only one of several oc­
cupations open to young people trained in jour­
nalism. Persons with this background may also
work for general circulation magazines, trade,
business, labor, and other specialized periodicals;
for radio and television stations, advertising agen­
cies, and public relations firms; and for govern­
ment agencies. These related activities are not
dealt with in this statement.
O f approximately 60,000 editors and reporters
employed in the printing and publishing indus­
tries in 1950, it is estimated that about half were
newspaper reporters. Although women composed
almost one-third of the combined group, the pro-



Newspaper reporter phoning in a story to the city desk.

portion of newspaper reporters who were women
was much smaller.
Where Employed

The majority of reporters are employed by daily
newspapers and most of the others work for week­
ly papers. In addition, some reporters are em­
ployed by press services and newspaper syndicates.
Reporters work in cities and towns of all sizes
throughout the country. O f the approximately
1,800 daily and 9,000 weekly newspapers pub­
lished in 1956, the great majority were in small
towns. Sizable numbers of reporters, however, are
located in cities since each large city daily employs
many reporters whereas a small-town paper gen­
erally has only a few.
Training and Other Qualifications

Although talented writers with little or no
academic training beyond high school can become
reporters, an increasing number of newspapers
require applicants to have a college education.
Some editors prefer college graduates with a de­
gree in journalism while others consider a degree
in liberal arts equally desirable.

Professional training leading to a degree in
journalism can be obtained in morei than 150
colleges; about 100 of these have separate depart­
ments or schools of journalism. The typical 2year journalism curriculum is given during the
junior and senior years of college and is about
equally divided between cultural and profession­
al subjects. Professional subjects offered students
preparing to become newspaper reporters include
reporting, copyreading, editing, feature writing,
and the history of journalism. Graduate training
is a relatively recent development and, although
a number of schools award master’s degrees, only
a few offer programs leading to the doctor’s de­
gree in journalism. In 1956, most schools and
departments of journalism were not overcrowded
and qualified applicants had an excellent chance
of admittance.
Young people who wish to prepare for news­
paper work by obtaining a liberal arts background
in college should take English and specialized
courses in writing as well as subjects such as so­
ciology, political science, economics, history, and
psychology. Those without college training usu­
ally qualify by gaining experience on rural,
small-town, or suburban papers. The ability to
write well and to report the news accurately are
important for success in this field, as are such per­
sonal qualities as a “nose for news,” persistence,
initiative, resourcefulness, and an accurate
Most beginners become “ cub” reporters on week­
ly or small daily newspapers. However, some
college graduates start as copy boys on large city
papers and occasionally obtain promotions to re­
porting jobs. Other graduates are hired directly
for reporting positions by some large newspapers
that prefer to train them on the job. In competing
for regular positions, it is helpful to have had
experience as a “stringer”—one who covers the
news in a particular area for a newspaper and is
paid on the basis of the stories printed.
“ Cub” reporters are assigned to such work as
summarizing speeches, covering relatively unim­
portant meetings or interviews, writing obituaries,
and handling minor news events. As they gain
experience, they may advance to covering more
important developments or are assigned to a
a “ beat” or special subject. For experienced re­
porters, advancement is possible to positions such
as columnist, or correspondent, or editor. News­
papermen also progress by moving to reporting


jobs with larger papers or with press services and
newspaper syndicates. Some reporters eventually
advance to top executive positions or become pub­
lishers. Others transfer to related fields such as
advertising, radio, television, or public relations.


papers. However, on some newspapers, women
reporters are used on the same types of jobs as
men. Women also have many prospects for
employment in related fields of journalism.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Employment Outlook

Weekly or daily newspapers located in small
towns and suburban areas offered the most op­
portunities to young people seeking work as news­
paper reporters in 1956. City dailies provided
some opportunities for beginners to start as copy
boys with a chance of later advancement to re­
porting jobs. In addition, city newspapers occa­
sionally employed beginners to fill openings for
reporters, although experienced reporters were
usually hired for such positions and there was
considerable competition for reporting jobs in
most large cities. Beside these opportunities in
reporting, openings in related fields such as ad­
vertising, trade and technical publishing, radio,
and television were readily available to new col­
lege graduates with journalism training.
During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, most
opportunities to enter newspaper reporting are
expected to result from the need to replace re­
porters receiving promotions to editorial or other
higher level positions, transferring to other fields
of work, or lost to the profession through death
or retirement. Although newspaper circulation
is likely to grow" and the number of pages per
newspaper is expected to increase, newspapers
will probably be able to take care of this ex­
pansion without a comparable rise in employ­
ment of reporters. Prospects for beginners are
expected to remain best on small-town and subur­
ban newspapers. On such papers, preference will
probably continue to be given to beginning re­
porters who are versatile and able to help with
photography and other aspects of the work and
who are acquainted with the community. In
view of the interest and attraction of newspaper
work, there will probably always be many young
people seeking to enter the field. Howsver, talent­
ed individuals will—in the future as in the past—
have a good chance of breaking into and advancing
in the profession.
Special opportunities for women are to be
found in reporting on subjects such as society
new-s, food, fashions, clubs, and beauty culture for
the society page of the women’s section of news­

Many daily newspapers have negotiated con­
tracts with the American Newspaper Guild which
set minimum wages for beginning reporters and
provide for salary increases to be given an­
nually for the first few years. In 1956, Guild
minimum rates for reporters without any previous
experience ranged from about $45 a w-eek on a
few of the smaller daily papers to more than $70
a week on a number of big city dailies. However,
the majority of newspapers with Guild contracts
paid beginning reporters between $50 and $65 a
week. Young people starting as copy boys earn
much less than new reporters.
Guild minimum rates for experienced reporters
in 1956 ranged from $100 a week on the smaller
papers to $130 a week and more on some big city
papers. Well-qualified and experienced reporters
are often paid salaries higher than the minimum
rates called for in Guild contracts. Some partic­
ularly successful reporters on city dailies earn
more than $200 a week.
Newspaper reporters on city papers generally
work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, although their
hours are often irregular. Many o f those em­
ployed by morning papers start work in the after­
noon and finish around midnight. Large city
papers pay overtime rates for more than 40 hours
of work a week and often provide various em­
ployee benefits such as paid vacations, group
insurance, and pensions.
W h ere To Go for M ore Information

Information about opportunities with daily
newspapers may be obtained from :
American Newspaper Publishers Association,
370 Lexington Ave., New York 17, N. Y.

Information on union wage rates is available
from :
American Newspaper Guild, Research Department,
1126 16th St., NW ., Washington 6, D. O.

Names and locations of all daily newspapers
and a list of departments and schools of journal­
ism are published in Editor & Publisher Inter­
national Yearbook, available in most large news­
paper offices and public libraries.



Personnel Workers
(D. O. T. 0—
39.81 through .8 3, .85 through .88, and 0— .7 0 through .78)

Nature o f W ork

W here Employed

Personnel workers are concerned with helping
management make the most effective use of em­
ployee abilities. They are responsible for the
development of recruiting and hiring procedures
and for the maintenance of personnel records. In
addition, they may counsel employees, advise man­
agement in disciplinary matters such as the dis­
charge of employees, classify jobs, plan wage and
salary structures, develop safety programs, and
conduct research in personnel methods. Labor
relations, employee training, and the administra­
tion of retirement and other benefit plans are also
important aspects of their work.
workers in schools and colleges who counsel stu­
dents or are otherwise concerned with student
problems are not dealt with in this report.)
Personnel work ranges from policymaking to
routine administrative activities and includes a
number of highly specialized functions. Indus­
trial relations directors, personnel managers,
training directors, and others in executive posi­
tions are generally concerned with formulating
policy and advising management. Positions such
as job analyst, personnel counselor, salary and
wage administrator, and labor relations specialist
require specialized training. Some personnel jobs
deal with administrative details and procedures
which are of a routine nature.
The types of personnel jobs found in a company
depend on the size of the company and the extent
of its personnel activities. In a small business,
one person may handle all the personnel work and,
in some cases, also have other duties. In a very
large organization, on the other hand, the per­
sonnel department may have several hundred em­
ployees with highly specialized duties. The great­
est number and variety of personnel positions are
to be found in big companies whose personnel pro­
grams include labor relations, training, safety, job
classification, and other specialized aspects of em­
ployee relations. Some business organizations
limit their personnel activities largely to recruit­
ment, handling of disciplinary problems, and
maintenance of personnel records; these companies
need fewer personnel workers.

Personnel workers are found in nearly all types
of business enterprises as well as government agen­
cies. O f the more than 50,000 personnel and labor
relations workers employed in 1950, well over half
worked for private industry. Industries employ­
ing large numbers are steel, automobile, and ma­
chinery manufacturing, telephone and other utili­
ties, department stores, petroleum refining, and
chemicals. About one-third of all personnel and
labor relations workers are employed by Federal,
State, and local government agencies, chiefly those
of the Federal Government. In addition, a num­
ber are college teachers of personnel administra­
tion, industrial relations, and similar subjects.
Some work independently, generally as manage­
ment consultants or labor relations experts. Most
personnel workers are located in big cities and in
the highly industrialized sections of the country.

Training and Other Qualifications

A college education is becoming increasingly
important for personnel work. However, many
personnel executives are not college graduates but
entered the field by advancing from production,
sales, or clerical jobs, and this method of entry is
still open for some jobs in private industry. For
professional positions with the Federal Govern­
ment, a bachelor’s degree is generally needed.
Some specialized positions in both private indus­
try and government service require advanced
training beyond the bachelor's degree.
College courses in personnel management, busi­
ness administration, public administration, psy­
chology, statistics, economics, political science,
sociology, English, and public speaking are re­
garded as desirable preparation for personnel
work. Although some employers in private in­
dustry prefer college graduates who have majored
in personnel administration, many consider such
training too specialized and prefer those with a
general business administration background.
Other employers consider a well-rounded liberal
arts education the most desirable preparation for
personnel work. Young people interested in gov-


ernment positions are often advised to major in
public administration, political science, or person­
nel administration; however, those with other
academic backgrounds are also eligible for govern­
ment employment.
For some positions, more specialized training
may be necessary. Jobs involving testing and
counseling often require a bachelor’s degree with
a major in psychology or even a graduate degree
in this field. An engineering degree may be
needed for work dealing with time study or safety
standards, and a degree in industrial relations may
be helpful for work involving labor relations. A
background in accounting and law is also very use­
ful for those aspects of personnel work dealing
with wages, pension and other employee benefit
plans, and labor relations.
Most employers perfer personnel workers who
have had firsthand experience with the operations
o f the company and with the type of work per­
formed by the employees. For this reason, many
firms recruit new personnel staff members from
their own employees—in which case, other quali­
fications often outweigh educational background.
On the other hand, some companies and govern­
ment agencies hire only college graduates and put
them through in-service training programs that
teach both the operations of the organization and
specific personnel procedures. College graduates
may also be employed directly for beginning jobs
in personnel work as junior interviewer, personnel
clerk, assistant job analyst, or labor relations
Qualities regarded as desirable for success in
personnel work are the ability to speak and write
well, plus more than average skill in working with
people of all levels of intelligence and experience.
In addition, the prospective personnel worker
should have a liking for detail, a high degree of
persuasiveness, and an attractive appearance.


through in-service training programs for junior
personnel workers conducted by large companies
and Federal Government agencies. In general,
employment prospects will be best for college
graduates with specialized training in certain as­
pects of personnel work such as psychological
testing, safety engineering, counseling, and indus­
trial relations.
A gradual increase in the demand for personnel
workers is expected over the long run. The antici­
pated expansion in the country’s labor force will
create a need for more personnel workers to carry
on existing types of activities. In addition, a
marked growth is expected in many aspects of per­
sonnel work. Increased recognition of the im­
portance of the “ human factor'’ in industry will
bring about a demand for more executives trained
in employee relations; wider use of psychological
testing by employers will result in a need for ad­
ditional staff; and growth of in-service training
programs and their application to new problems
will increase the size of training staffs. The de­
mand for more labor relations experts is also ex­
pected to continue. Extension of employee serv­
ices, growing emphasis on safety, development o f
pension and other benefit plans, and intensified
research activities also point toward a future de­
mand for more trained personnel workers. More­
over, additional workers will be needed to replace
those lost to the field through retirement or death
and for other reasons.
Opportunities for women, who constitute ap­
proximately one-fourth of all personnel workers,
are expected to continue to expand. Prospects will
remain best in organizations which have many
women employees such as department stores, tele­
phone companies, and government agencies. A l­
though advancement opportunities will probably
continue to be limited, a growing number o f
women are expected to attain top positions.

Employment Outlook
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Some opportunities to advance to personnel
work will be available in the late 1950’s for quali­
fied young people willing to start in production,
clerical, or subprofessional positions. However,
new graduates seeking to enter professional per­
sonnel positions directly from college are expected
to face keen competition in many parts of the
country. A number of opportunities for immedi­
ate professional employment will be offered

Beginning salaries for college graduates in pro­
fessional personnel positions typically ranged
from $3,000 to $4,500 a year in 1956. In the Fed­
eral Government, beginners with bachelor’s de­
grees started at $3,670 a year and those with mas­
ter’s degrees at $4,525. Prospective personnel
workers who held clerical, production, or subpro­
fessional positions generally earned lower salaries.



The average salary paid personnel directors and
others in top positions in 1956 was approximately
$10,000 a year. However, annual salaries ranged
from less than $5,000 in some small companies to
more than $60,000 for vice presidents in charge of
personnel or industrial relations in some giant
Employees in most personnel offices generally
work 40 hours a week. However, during periods
of intensive recruitment, strikes, or other unusual
situations, considerable overtime work may be re­
quired. As a rule, personnel workers are paid for
holidays and vacations.

W h ere To Go for More Information

General information on personnel work as a
career may be obtained from :
The American Society for Personnel Administration,
Kellog Center, East Lansing, Mich.

General information about public service ca­
reers, including personnel work, may be obtained
from :
Public Personnel Association,
1313 East 60th St., Chicago 37, 111.
American Society for Public Administration,
6042 Kimbark Aye., Chicago 37, 111.

(D. O. T. 0-3 6.21 through .26)

Nature o f W ork

Psychologists study the behavior of people and
use the knowledge gained to help individuals ad­
just successfully to home, social, school, and work­
ing situations. Many teach in colleges and uni­
versities or engage in research. Others apply psy­
chological principles and methods in such activi­
ties as diagnosing and treating mental disorders,
measuring aptitudes, counseling, and selecting
workers for jobs. Altogether, in early 1956, there
were about 20,000 professionally employed psy­
chologists, of whom approximately one-fourth
were women.
Psychologists may be divided into two major
groups: Those who specialize in the applied fields
of psychology and generally work directly with
people, and those who specialize in the basic sci­
ence fields and are employed mainly in research
or college and university teaching. The largest
number of psychologists, over one-third, are spe­
cialists in clinical psychology, an applied field
which deals primarily with problems of malad­
justed or disturbed people. They interview, give
diagnostic tests, and provide group or individual
psychotherapy. Specialists in counseling psychology, the second largest field, help students, the
physically handicapped, and other individuals
achieve educational, vocational, and social adjust­
ment. Psychologists specializing in the other ap­
plied fields may deal with educational methods,

personnel selection, and the efficiency of workers
on the job. Many specialists in the applied fields
do research work and college teaching—often on a
part-time basis.
The basic science fields employ about one-fifth
of all psychologists and include such specialties as
social, experimental, and physiological psychol­
ogy. A few examples of problems on which spe­
cialists in these fields may do research are: How
leadership qualities are developed; how color is
recognized; and how the brain functions under
conditions of extreme fatigue.
W h ere Employed

Colleges and universities employ more than onethird of all professional psychologists. Federal
Government agencies—chiefly the Veterans A d ­
ministration, the Department of Defense, and the
Public Health Service of the Department of
Health, Education, and Welfare— employ the sec­
ond largest group. In addition, large numbers
work for State and local government agencies.
Sizable groups also work for elementary and high
schools, private industry, and nonprofit founda­
tions, hospitals, and clinics. A small number serve
as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces and
the Public Health Service. A few psychologists,
less than 5 percent, are in independent practice.
In addition to positions with the title “ psychologist,” there are many personnel and administrative


jobs filled by persons trained in psychology.
Most psychologists are employed in large cities and
in university towns.
Training and Other Qualifications

The master’s degree with a major in psychology
is generally the minimum requirement for profes­
sional employment in the field of psychology. The
Ph. D. degree is needed for many beginning jobs
and is almost essential for advancement. The
bachelor’s degree is not considered sufficient edu­
cation for professional employment, but some
young people with this degree secure jobs of a rou­
tine nature in psychological work and in related
work where training in psychology is helpful.
A Ph. D. in clinical or counseling psychology
usually requires 4 or 5 years of graduate study,
including 1 year of internship or supervised ex­
perience. In these specialties, the trend toward
practical training often also extends the minimum
time needed to earn the master’s degree from 1 to
2 years. Specialists in the other psychological
fields frequently complete the doctoral program
in 3 or 4 years and can secure the master’s degree
in 1 year.
Most graduate schools prefer students with wellrounded educational preparation and do not re­
quire an undergraduate major in psychology.
Students are selected primarily on the basis of
college grades and their performance on aptitude
tests. Emotional stability, interest'in people, and
social maturity are considered especially impor­
tant for those preparing to enter the applied fields.
Many graduate students receive financial help
from universities and other sources, either in the
form of part-time employment as assistants or
outright grants as fellows. Several Federal agen­
cies provide funds to graduate students either di­
rectly or through the educational institution giv­
ing the training. The Veterans Administration
offers a large number of 4-year doctoral traineeships, chiefly in clinical and counseling psychol­
ogy, during which time students are paid for parttime employment with that agency. The Public
Health Service supports doctoral traineeships in
clinical psychology. The Office of Vocational Re­
habilitation offers 2-year traineeships in vocational
rehabilitation counseling, primarily for those
working toward the master’s degree.



Beginning psychologists wfith master’s degrees
qualify for jobs assisting in the administration
and interpretation of psychological tests, analyz­
ing and collecting statistical data, counseling in
schools, performing routine administrative and
personnel duties, or acting as vocational rehabili­
tation counselors. Those with doctorates qualify
for more responsible research, clinical, and coun­
seling positions as well as for teaching in colleges
and universities. In considering the qualifications
of psychologists, some employers are placing in­
creasing emphasis on a sound knowledge of mathe­
matics and of the biological and physical sciences.
To enter Government employment, psycholo­
gists must usually qualify through the Civil Serv­
ice system. Those desiring to qualify for inde­
pendent practice must meet certification or li­
censing requirements in an increasing number of
Nine States—Arkansas, Connecticut,
Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Tennessee,
Virginia, and Washington—had such require­
ments in 1955.
Employment Outlook

The strong demand for well-qualified psycholo­
gists which existed in early 1956 was expected to
continue for several years. However, some inex­
perienced young people with only master’s degrees
were having difficulty finding work as psycholo­
gists, and this situation may persist.
Employment of psychologists will increase sub­
stantially during the 1960’s; though perhaps at
a slower rate than between 1945 and 1955 when
the number in the profession tripled. In addition
to the country’s growing population, the following
factors point toward long-term expansion of the
profession: Increasing recognition by schools,
government agencies, and private industry of the
contributions that can be made by this relatively
new science; growing concern about mental health
needs, resulting in a tremendous increase in State
funds available for the treatment of the mentally
i ll; and the emergence of the Federal Government
as a major sponsor of psychological research not
only within the Government but also in universi­
ties and private industry.
A considerable expansion is anticipated in the
number of psychologists employed by State agen­
cies. Currently understaffed mental hospitals and



mental hygiene clinics will need many clinical
psychologists. Employment of vocational reha­
bilitation counselors in State programs is expected
to increase from 1,600 in 1955 to more than 4,500
by the early 1960’s, and will draw primarily upon
psychologists with the master’s degree who have
specialized in rehabilitation work. In addition,
the number of psychology teachers needed by col­
leges and universities w ill rise considerably, par­
ticularly during the 1960’s (see statement on col­
lege and university teachers, p. 63), and substan­
tial growth is expected in the number of psycholo­
gists employed in elementary and secondary
schools. The trend toward greater use of psycho­
logical techniques by private industry is likely to
continue, thereby creating new openings for ex­
perimental, personnel, and human engineering
The Federal Government, which employed 60
percent more psychologists in 1954 than in 1951,
will remain an important source of employment.
Many openings for psychologists with Ph. D.’s
are expected at Teterans Administration hos­
pitals. Such hospitals employed 600 clinical and
100 vocational counseling psychologists in 1955,
and it is estimated they will need about 1,500
clinical psychologists and from 500 to 1,000 addi­
tional vocational counseling psychologists by the
early 1970’s. The Department of Defense will
probably continue to have some openings for re­
search psychologists who are specialists in ex­
perimental, physiological, human engineering,
and personnel psychology. It should be kept in
mind, however, that the number o f Government
positions is dependent on funds appropriated an­
nually by Congress.
In addition to newly created jobs, some va­
cancies occur each year owing to deaths and re­
tirements. However, such openings will be rela­
tively few for several years since psychologists
are a young group. The transfer of psychologists
to work of a purely administrative nature also
creates some job vacancies.
Most employment opportunities for women
psychologists will probably continue to be in
clinical and counseling psychology; in 1955, about
half the women professionally employed as psy­
chologists were clinical psychologists. Women
often find it difficult to secure work with psycho­

logical consulting firms, in some kinds of mili­
tary research, or as industrial psychologists.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Beginning salaries in early 1956 were generally
around $5,000 for well-trained psychologists with
Ph. D.’s. However, in the Federal Government
and private industry, some psychologists with the
doctorate started at $6,500. Those with only a
master’s degree generally began at salaries be­
tween $3,600 and $4,500.
Median earnings of psychologists—disregard­
ing differences in training and experience—were
$6,400 in 1954, according to a survey of 13,000
psychologists, chiefly members of the American
Psychological Association. Psychologists work­
ing for private industry or consulting firms had
median earnings of $7,000; those in the Federal
Government or in the Armed Forces, $6,700; and
those in colleges or universities, $5,800. Ph. D.’s
averaged $7,800 a year and psychologists with
only master’s degrees, $5,100. Women Ph. D.’s
had median earnings of $6,000, and those with
master’s degrees, $4,500. A ll these figures include
not only regular salaries but also any additional
income received from professional work, such as
summer teaching and consulting.
W h ere To Go for More Information

General information on the professional, place­
ment opportunities, and a list of universities with
approved doctoral programs in clinical and coun­
seling psychology may be secured from :
American Psychological Association,
1333 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Information on traineeships and fellowships
may be secured from colleges and universities
with graduate psychology departments and from
the following government agencies:
Chief, Vocational Counseling, Department of Medi­
cine and Surgery or Chief, Clinical Psychology Divi­
sion, Veterans Administration, Washington 25, D. C.
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, U. S. Department
of Health, Education, and W elfare, Washington 25,
D. C.
Training and Standards Branch, National Institute
of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, Maryland



Social Workers*
(D. O. T. 0 -2 7 .0 6 to 0 -2 7 .5 0 )

Nature of the W ork and W here Employed

Social workers help people to solve their fam­
ily, health, financial, or other problems which
jeopardize their welfare. They provide financial
aid, advice, and assistance in such matters as
finding a job, arranging for medical care, or
securing low-cost housing. They seek to change
the attitudes and behavior of individuals when
necessary to aid them in caring for themselves
more effectively and in improving their relation­
ships with others.
O f the 80,000 or more social workers in the
country (most of whom are case workers) about
two-thirds are government employees, mainly in
public assistance or other welfare programs ad­
ministered by State, county, or city governments.
The remainder are employed by voluntary agen­
cies, supported by contributions, endowments, or
fees paid by those served. In proportion to the
population, more social workers are employed in
the North than in the South and more in the East
than in the West. More work in urban than in
rural areas. About 2 out of 3 are women.
Social Caseworkers Working With Families.
Most social caseworkers work directly with indi­
viduals and families who have difficulties such as
those arising from poor relationships between hus­
band and wife or between parent and child, poor
household management, ill health, or lack of in­
come. More than 36,000 caseworkers in public
assistance or other government welfare programs
arrange for financial aid for the blind, aged, dis­
abled, and unemployed and for children lacking
one parent or both. Caseworkers may help em­
ployable people find jobs. They may also arrange
for medical care or for the distribution of food
and clothing to their clients.
Besides caseworkers in government agencies,
over 5,000 family workers are employed by pri­
vate agencies, for the most part to counsel troubled
people. Only emergency financial aid is given
by these private organizations as needy persons
are referred to public assistance agencies. Among
the larger of the private agencies in most cities
are those affiliated nationally with the Family
♦Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.
4 2 7 0 7 5 ° — 5 7 --------1 4

Service Association, Catholic Charities, Jewish
Family Service, various Protestant churches, the
Salvation Army, and the National Travelers’ Aid.
Child-Welfare Workers. More than 14,000
social caseworkers in both government and pri­
vate child-welfare agencies perform such services
as placing neglected or mistreated children in fos­
ter homes, providing a temporary housekeeper in
a home where the mother is in a hospital, counsel­
ing a youthful offender who has been brought be­
fore the juvenile court, aiding the unmarried
mother and her child to find a satisfactory place
in the community, or providing appliances for
a crippled child.
School Social Workers. More than 1,000 school
social caseworkers are employed in at least 500
school systems on a full-time basis. Other school
social workers have classroom duties and devote
only part of their time to social work. A school
social worker may visit the home of the child with
poor attendance, give guidance to aggressive or
excessively shy children, or seek the causes of poor
progress in the case of an intelligent child. Most
of these workers are employed in large school sys­
tems. Seven States have legislation which pro­
vides for these services on a local basis.
Medical Social Workers. An estimated 6,000
social caseworkers work with doctors and nurses
to aid patients when personal or emotional needs
retard recovery. They are employed by public
health departments, in hospitals, clinics, and
health centers. They may work on such pro­
grams as those concerned with polio, heart disease,
cancer, tuberculosis, and rehabilitation. The
medical social worker may, for instance, aid a
child amputee to develop a more healthful attitude
toward his handicap, work with an uncooperative
patient shying away from surgery, or instruct a
discharged patient’s family on his diet and care.
The medical social worker helps both the patient
and his family to understand the recommendations
of the physician.
Psychiatric Social Workers. Nearly 2,300 so­
cial caseworkers are employed in mental hospitals



or clinics and similar agencies for adults and
children. They help the psychiatrist and other
members of the psychiatric team plan for the
patient and they interpret to the patient’s family
the meaning of mental illness. They also work
with the patient after he returns home as well as
with his family and community agencies.
One of the large employers of psychiatric social
workers is the Veterans Administration. In vet­
erans’ hospitals and clinics, medical and psychiat­
ric social workers are used interchangeably and
both are known as clinical workers; in 1956, they
numbered over 1,350.
Social Group Workers. A social group worker
works with organized groups of all ages to de­
velop the individual and to foster socially desir­
able behavior. Leisure-time activities programs
may include handicrafts, games, hikes, dancing,
and the like. Specially planned groups may also
be set up for the treatment of emotionally dis­
turbed persons or for redirecting the behavior of
delinquent youth, under the guidance of fully
trained social group workers.
Many of the 9,000 workers in this field are em­
ployed by youth-serving social agencies and set­
tlement houses. Others work for the American
Red Cross, recreation departments, camps, re­
ligious organizations, and such agencies as the Girl
Scouts and the Camp Fire Girls. A small but
increasing number are employed in hospitals,
clinics, public social agencies, and in community
programs for older workers.
Community Organization Workers. An esti­
mated 2,000 to 3,000 social workers are employed
by community chests, community welfare coun­
cils, and other community agencies which have
responsibilities for health and welfare planning.
They have such duties as determining whether ad­
ditional social organizations are needed or recom­
mending changes in social organizations already
in existence to avoid duplication of effort. Some
community organization workers set up and con­
duct fund-raising campaigns and supervise the
disbursement of collected funds as directed by the
community council.
Other Social Workers. Social workers are
found performing a variety of other services.
They work in all types of institutions, serving
such groups as aged persons, delinquents, and

adult offenders. About 3,000 are engaged in cor­
rectional work with those on probation or parole.
Some 800 are teachers in schools of social work,
almost half of them working part time. An esti­
mated 500 specialists are in the social work re­
search field in large cities and research centers,
measuring the effectiveness of the social services
rendered and seeking ways to improve methods
of operation.
Some experienced social workers from the
United States serve in other parts of the world.
They may work as consultants in the rehabilita­
tion of the disabled, as teachers in schools or sem­
inars, or as administrators in setting up agencies
and schools. They may be employees of the Fed­
eral Government, the United Nations or one of its
affiliated groups, national professional associa­
tions, or private agencies such as the American
Friends Service Committee, the American Red
Cross, United Hebrew Immigrants Aid Society,
the Young Women’s Christian Association, and
the Catholic Relief Service.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancem ent

The social work profession considers 2 years
of graduate training, in 1 of the 51 approved
schools of social work in the United States, as
a desirable standard for professional social work­
ers and is encouraging adherence to this standard
by educators and employers of social workers. In
these schools, the student is helped to develop
an ability to perform social work functions
through classroom courses, field work, and re­
search. Basic training is the same for all types
of workers. For admission to schools of social
work, the applicant must have earned a bache­
lor’s degree in an approved liberal arts college.
For the student planning to become a social
worker, undergraduate work should include such
courses as economics, political science, psychology, sociology, statistical methods, and the bio­
logical sciences. English composition and public
speaking courses help in preparing records, inter­
viewing, and participating in meetings and
conferences. Possibly 200 colleges and universi­
ties offer upperclassmen one or more under­
graduate, introductory courses in social work.
About half of them offer 10 or more semester hours
in an organized sequence and are members of
the Undergraduate Division of the Council of
Social Work Education. Although these courses


are not required for entrance to graduate schools
of social work, they give the interested student an
excellent introduction to the work.
In addition to adequate training, a student in
social work should have a warm interest in people
and in social problems, a mature and unbiased
outlook, and should be able to exercise good judg­
ment. Students at all levels will find helpful
such experiences as serving as a part-time volun­
teer, or as a summer employee, in camps, social
settlements, hospitals, and social agencies.
In relation to the number of students in this
field, more financial aid for students with good
academic records is available for graduate study
in social work than in most professions. In 1955,
approximately 70 percent of graduate social work
students were receiving such aid. Scholarships
are offered by graduate schools, private agencies,
foundations, civic groups, and State Govern­
ments for those with good scholastic standing.
Sometimes aid is offered contingent upon the stu­
dent’s pledge to return to work for the financing
agency. Agencies often grant leave o f absence
and give scholarships to promising employees to
encourage graduate study. In other instances,
students are paid for part-time social work, thus
providing funds for their professional education.
Such, however, is the shortage of qualified per­
sonnel in this profession that about three-fourths
of the social workers in 1956 had less than 1 year
o f professional education. The proportion of
those with graduate preparation ranges from 22
percent among public assistance workers to 60 per­
cent among child-welfare workers. In some large
cities, where higher salaries are paid, the propor­
tion of all types of social workers with 2 years
o f professional education reaches 72 percent.
Some assisting or aide positions, however, (nota­
bly in public-assistance programs) may be entered
without a bachelor’s degree.
As workers gain experience and demonstrate
ability, they have many opportunities for ad­
vancement into higher level positions, such as
senior staff member, supervisor, executive, teacher,
or research worker. However, advancement is
limited for those lacking graduate professional
education in an accredited school of social work.
Employment Outlook

Nearly 7,000 students were enrolled in gradu­
ate schools of social work in 1955; more than
1,500 students earned a master’s degree in that


year. Following a 20-percent decrease in enroll­
ment between 1950 and 1954, there was a 30percent increase in the number of students between
1954 and 1955. Even after this recovery, the ca­
pacity of these schools was not being fully
utilized. Not enough graduates are entering
the field to replace those who are retiring, to
fill vacancies, to enlarge existing services, and to
man new services.
An estimated 10,000 vacancies existed in 1956
throughout the entire field of social work. There
were numerous examples of specific shortages.
Three thousand vacancies were reported in the
public assistance and child-welfare fields in 1956
and more than 100 vacancies existed in the Veter­
ans Administration. Several hundred social
workers were also needed in each of the following
fields: Corrections, mental health, rehabilitation,
school work, and group work. Many of the 2,000
positions in the Red Cross, some overseas, were
unfilled. Qualified instructors in the schools of
social work were also in short supply. For the
next several years, from 800 to 1,000 new workers
fully trained personnel in supervisory positions.
In view of the widespread gap between the num­
ber graduating from social work schools and the
existing vacancies, and the rapid rise in popula­
tion, authorities in this field expect the shortage to
last for 10 years or longer and to become increas­
ingly severe. This situation has caused agencies
to employ persons without professional social work
training for nonsupervisory positions and to place
fully trained personnel in supervisory positions.
Men hold the majority of positions in the field
o f probation and parole, in group work, and in
community organization. They are in great de­
mand for administrative positions in all agencies,
as medical and psychiatric social workers in the
Veterans Administration and military hospitals,
and in rehabilitation work. The proportion of
men in social work is gradually increasing.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The salaries of social workers vary greatly from
State to State. In 1956, graduates of professional
schools without work experience were paid $3,600
or more as beginning salaries. In some of the
larger cities, experienced social workers with 2 or
more years of graduate training were paid a
median (average) annual salary of $4,345. Childwelfare workers and probation and parole officers
were paid slightly less than this average salary



and psychiatric social workers somewhat more.
The Federal Government through its civil serv­
ice system employs a few college graduates who
have had undergraduate training in introductory
social work courses at entrance salaries of $3,670.
For those with 2 years of training in a professional
school of social work, the entrance salary is $4,525;
and for those with both 2 years of graduate train­
ing and 2 years of experience, the entrance salary
is $5,440.
Administrators in public and private agencies
with heavy responsibilities may be paid $10,000
or more a year, with salaries reported up to
$35,000. Positions in administration and in com­
munity organization are usually better paid than
other positions, and men generally command
higher salaries than women.
The workweek for social workers is usually from
35 to 40 hours. In a few agencies, 24-hour service
is maintained so that shifts are rotated among the

workers. Social work positions generally provide
such benefits as retirement pensions, paid sick
leave, and vacations.
W here To Go for More Information

General information on the field of social work,
including lists o f approved graduate schools,
undergraduate colleges, and universities which o f­
fer courses of social-welfare content, and avail­
able scholarships, may be obtained from:
Council on Social Work Education,
345 East 46th St., New York 47, N. Y.

A series of eight bulletins on the outlook in social
work, published by the Women’s Bureau of the U.
S. Department of Labor in 1950-51, is available in
many libraries.
Information on entrance into the public service
may be found in the chapter on Government Oc­
cupations in this Handbook.

(D. O. T. 0 -3 6 .5 1 )

Nature o f W ork

The charts and graphs displayed in magazines
and newspapers, and those hanging on the walls
o f many business offices usually represent the
findings of studies planned by statisticians or by
persons with substantial training in statistical
methods. Statisticians’ work involves the collec­
tion and analysis of data on a wide variety of
subjects, such as changes in temperature, the
financial value of a college education, growth in
the yield of corn per acre, increase or decrease in
sales, or changes in employment and earnings.
Their findings may extend scientific knowledge
or provide information needed for government
and business planning and administration or in
other activities.
Statisticians specialize, as a rule, either in math­
ematical statistics or in an applied field. Math­
ematical statisticians develop and test experimen­
tal designs, sampling techniques, and analytical
methods which lead to more efficient procedures
for obtaining and interpreting quantitative infor­
mation. Applied statisticians use statistical tech­
niques in making studies of specific subject fields.
The applied statistician usually remains in his
own subject-matter field or in a related field of

study, but the mathematical statistician may easily
transfer from one field to another.
Because statistics is a tool vdrich is used by
specialists in a variety of fields, it is frequently
impossible to distinguish people who are prima­
rily statisticians from those who are chiefly sub­
ject-matter specialists with a knowledge of
statistics. For example, the applied statistician
who provides quantitative information on eco­
nomic conditions may be called an economist,
while the one who designs experiments on the
growth of animals under different diets and en­
vironments may be classified as a biologist. Sim­
ilarly, the mathematical statistician who develops
new statistical methods applicable to all problems
which can validly be expressed in numerical terms
may be classified as a mathematician. (See state­
ment on mathematicians, p. 134.) Furthermore,
clerical workers who perform mathematical com­
putations or prepare charts or tables are some­
times called statisticians. This overlapping of
fields makes it difficult to determine the number
of statisticians. However, it is broadly estimated
that, in 1956, there were about 15,000 professional
workers whose major interest was in statistical
methods and their application to problems in par­
ticular fields. Only a small proportion of these
were mathematical statisticians.


Most statisticians are engaged in research or
perform administrative or supervisory functions
in connection with research programs. Some are
employed as college teachers—often combining
teaching with research or administrative activities.
Others act as consultants.
The research statistician has two main func­
tions: (1) To devise methods of obtaining, clas­
sifying, and summarizing quantities of data so as
to provide usable information; and (2) to analyze
the data and prepare reports on the findings. The
design of surveys based on scientifically selected
samples is often the statistician’s principal task.
In planning surveys, statisticians choose the
sources from which the needed data can be obtained
most readily, draw up questionnaires or report
forms, and prepare instructions for collecting the
data. They also make plans for tabulating the
data, analyze the tabulations, and present the
findings in summary tables, charts, and written
W h ere Employed

The largest employer of statisticians is the Fed­
eral Government. Every major Federal agency
employs some members of this profession, although
more than two-thirds of all statisticians on Fed­
eral payrolls are in the Departments of Defense,
Commerce, and Agriculture. Private industry
employs a large and growing number of statis­
ticians, particularly in market research and qual­
ity control work. Colleges and universities are
a major source of employment for mathematical
statisticians. Other statisticians are employed by
State and local governments, nonprofit founda­
tions, and research organizations.
Training and Other Qualifications

Students planning careers as statisticians can
obtain the necessary minimum training in many
institutions, although only a few colleges and
universities grant degrees in statistics. A bache­
lor’s degree with a major in mathematics or eco­
nomics and a minor in statistics is the most
usual educational preparation for an entry job
leading to a professional position as a statisti­
cian. Essential courses in mathematics include
college algebra, plane trigonometry, analytical
geometry, and differential and integral calculus.
In addition, at least one course in statistical


methods is necessary. Advanced courses in math­
ematics and statistical theory are considered de­
sirable for many jobs and essential for some.
Furthermore, all statisticians not qualified as
mathematical statisticans need thorough training
in some subject-matter field.
The minimum requirements for the position of
junior statistician in the Federal Government
were, in 1956, a bachelor’s degree with 15 semes­
ter hours in statistics (or in a combination of
mathematics and statistics, including at least 6 se­
mester hours in statistics) and with 9 semester
hours in 1 of several subject-matter fields. Many
private firms have similar minimum prerequi­
sites for entrance positions. In addition, for
many quality control positions, statisticians need
engineering training and courses in the applica­
tion of statistical methods to manufacturing
processes. For market research and forecasting
work, a major in business administration or a re­
lated field is also helpful.
First jobs for inexperienced college graduates
with only bachelor’s degrees are likely to involve
much clerical work. Since this work often re­
quires the use of adding and calculating machines,
ability to operate such machines is extremely
helpful. In most types of employment, the sta­
tistician must also have considerable knowledge
of tabulating equipment. Although persons with
only bachelor’s degrees may be able to advance
to more responsible positions on the basis of ex­
perience, there is a trend toward requiring further
academic training, especially in the subjectmatter field, for advancement in analytical and
survey work.
The master’s degree in statistics or mathematics
is required for many entry positions in mathe­
matical statistics and is almost indispensable for
promotion to high-level positions in this field.
This degree also qualifies the statistican for teach­
ing in a department of mathematics in many col­
leges and universities. However, a doctoral de­
gree is required for appointment as instructor in
some high-ranking institutions and is essential for
advancement to a professorship in many colleges.
The doctorate is also an asset in obtaining highranking administrative positions and consulting
work outside the college teaching field.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for well-qualified
statisticians are expected to increase substantially



during the remainder of the 1950 decade and dur­
ing the 1960’s. Most of the opportunities will be
in industry, but moderate increases are expected
also in other types of employment. Statisticians
with graduate degrees in mathematical statistics
will have the best employment opportunities.
In 1956, the demand for statisticians was very
strong and shortages were reported in many
specialized fields, particularly in mathematical
statistics. Persons with broad training in mathe­
matics and statistics and a knowledge of engineer­
ing or the physical sciences were in demand for
many types of work, including quality control and
programming for electronic computing equipment.
Increased Federal appropriations for agricultural
marketing and rural development research pro­
grams created new opportunities for agricultural
statisticians both in the Federal Government and
in State agricultural experiment stations. In the
long run, employment of statisticians will probably
increase at least as fast as employment in profes­
sional occupations as a group.
Mathematical statisticians with graduate train­
ing will be in demand in private industry to aid
engineers in designing experiments and in devel­
oping methods of testing new equipment, in pro­
duction quality control work, and in operations
research. It is anticipated that companies will
also rely more and more on the work of statisti­
cians in analyzing and forecasting sales and busi­
ness conditions and in modernizing their account­
ing procedures. With the growing use of elec­
tronic computing machines, there will be an
increasing demand for statisticians who are able
to plan work so as to make the most efficient use
o f such equipment.
The number of teachers of statistics is also ex­
pected to rise, owing to increasing college enroll­
ments (see statement on college teachers, p. 63)
and because many colleges are likely to offer more
courses in statistics as the importance of statistical
training in other fields of study becomes more
widely recognized. The number of statisticians
in government agencies is also likely to rise mod­
erately. Additional personnel are expected to be
needed to analyze the increasing amount of statis­
tical data available on the operations of expanded
programs in such fields as social security, health,
and education; also, a large number will continue
to be employed in long-term programs involving
collection of economic data of many kinds. In

addition to those needed for expansion in employ­
ment, several hundred statisticians will be required
yearly to replace those who resign, retire, or die.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Men college graduates with good training in
statistics generally have about the same entrance
salaries in private industry as other college grad­
uates employed as business trainees. Women
graduates who have specialized in statistics gen­
erally receive higher entrance salaries than women
college graduates in most other professional fields.
Beginning salaries for men graduates with a major
in statistics averaged about $350 a month in pri­
vate industry in 1956; for women, entrance
salaries averaged about $330.
Beginning salaries for statisticians in the Fed­
eral Government were $3,670 a year in 1956 for
inexperienced graduates with only a bachelor’s de­
gree and $4,525 for those with the master’s degree
or its equivalent in education and experience.
Statisticians earn more, on the average, than
persons working in the closely related social science
fields. A 1952 survey of the earnings of social
scientists indicated that the median (average)
annual salary of statisticians was $6,800, somewhat
higher than the median for economists ($6,500)
and much higher than the comparable figures for
other social science fields. Salaries of statisticians,
like those of other professional workers, have
risen substantially since 1952.
W h ere To Go for M ore Information

Additional information on employment trends
and on educational requirements for statisticians
is given in the following publications:
Employment Outlook in the Social Sciences. Bureau
of Labor Statistics Bull. 1167, 1954. Superintendent
of Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price 30 cents.
Educational Requirements for Employment of Stat­
isticians. Veterans Administration Pamphlet 7-8.9,
1955. Superintendent of Documents, Washington 25,
D. C. Price 15 cents.

Information on the characteristics and earnings
of statisticians is contained in the following report
on a statistical survey:
Personnel Resources in the Social Sciences and Hu­
manities. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bull. 1169, 1954.
Superintendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C.
Price 70 cents.

Clerical, Sales, and Service Occupations
Clerical Occupations
The clerical workers who take care of the vast
amount of correspondence, recordkeeping, and
other office duties necessary to the operation of
modern businesses and government agencies are
one o f the largest occupational groups in the
United States. About 1 out of every 8 persons
at work in the country in 1956 was in a clerical
or closely related job. Altogether, about 9
million men and women were employed in occu­
pations classified by the Bureau of the Census as
“ clerical and kindred.” (See chart 30.)


Nature and Location of Clerical Work

The major clerical occupations are shown in
chart 31. Stenographers, typists, and secre­
taries—by far the largest group of clerical work­
ers classified separately by the Census—totaled
about iy 2 million in 1950. Bookkeepers were the
second largest group with more than 700,000
workers. Other clerical occupations with more
than 100,000 workers each include those of tele­
phone operator, shipping and receiving clerk,
cashier, mail carrier, and office-machine operator.
Many officeworkers are designated simply as
“ clerks.” There are also large numbers in clerk

Clerical work is the largest of all areas of employment for women.


Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.

positions with more specific titles which indicate
the type of work done—for example, file clerk,
billing clerk, credit clerk, time clerk, payroll
clerk, or postal clerk. These clerks and many
others who were not classified separately by the
Census made up more than one-third of all clerical
employees in 1950.
Clerical work is the largest of all areas of em­
ployment for women. In 1956, about 1 out o f
every 4 employed women was an office worker.
The number and proportion of women in clerical
occupations have been rising steadily over the
years. Women outnumbered men in these occu­
pations for the first time in 1940, and by 1956, twothirds o f all clerical workers were women. More
than 90 percent of the telephone operators; the
stenographers, typists, and secretaries; and the
attendants in physicians’ and dentists’ offices ar&
women. Women also fill more than three-fourths
of the jobs as bookkeepers, cashiers, and office199




Employment, 1950



Stenographers, Typists,
and Secretaries

Thousands of Workers




i >


Telephone Operators
Shipping and Receiving Clerks


Mail Carriers
Office Machine Operators


Bank Tellers
Ticket Agents
Messengers and Office Boys


Attendants, Physician’s and
Dentist’s Office
Telegraph Operators

of labo r

s t a t is t ic s

machine operators. Only in one large occupa­
tion— office-machine operator—was there a rise
from 1940 to 1950 in the proportion of men em­
ployed. Nevertheless, about 3 million men were
employed in clerical and related work in 1950.
More men than women w ere working as shipping
and receiving clerks, mail carriers, bank tellers,
ticket agents, messengers, and telegraph opera­
tors, as well as in many smaller occupational
groups such as vehicle dispatchers, bill collectors,
railway mail clerks, and baggagemen.
Clerical workers are employed in all industries,
since some office work is essential in nearly every
business. However, an increasing proportion of
clerical workers are employed in finance, service,
and related industries—principally in banks, in

S ource1 U. S. Bureau of th e Census

insurance and real estate companies, and in profes­
sional and business services. More than onefourth of all officeworkers were employed in this
group of industries in 1956, whereas only a little
more than one-fifth o f such workers were em­
ployed in manufacturing. Wholesale and retail
trade, government, and transportation, communi­
cation, and other public utilities also employed
large numbers of clerical workers.
Clerical jobs are to be found in the smallest o f
towns—everywhere that business is carried on.
However, the great concentration of employment
is in the largest cities where the central offices of
insurance companies, banks, and corporations are
located or where large government offices are



Training and Other Qualifications

Graduation from high school is the usual mini­
mum educational requirement for entering cleri­
cal jobs. Additional business courses or some
college work may be required for jobs requiring
specialized skill. The most widely sought office
skills—stenography and typewriting—may be ob­
tained either through high school or business
school courses. Ability to do some typewriting
is an asset in qualifying for most types of cleri­
cal work. The operation of many kinds of office
machines, such as adding machines, special book­
keeping machines, and billing machines, is often
taught on the job. A good many large firms offer
training courses in the use of equipment such as
telephone switchboards, dictating machines, or
electric typewriters, and a few firms finance busi­
ness school training for employees on company
time if they agree to stay on for a stated period of
employment. Many companies participate in
work-study programs with local high schools;
pupils who have been in such programs usually
are given preference when seeking employment.
Some employers give aptitude and other tests to
applicants for office jobs. Reading comprehen­
sion, numerical skill, and good knowledge of spell­
ing and grammar are important in obtaining a
job and essential to advancement. A good per­
sonality and ability to get along with others are
rated high in qualifications necessary for success
in office work.
College graduates often enter clerical occupa­
tions to gain experience in a particular industry or
business and later work up to professional or ad­
ministrative positions. Young people who enter
with little education may never advance far and
may leave for other types of jobs. However, com­
panies often prefer to hire people with only mini­
mum qualifications for clerical positions, since
they are more likely to be satisfied with and remain
on jobs of a routine nature than are persons with
more advanced training.
Promotion from a beginning clerical job may be
first to a minor supervisory position and then to
that of section head. Many preferred jobs—secre­
tary, information clerk, customer relations clerk,
and others requiring a general knowledge of com­
pany policies and procedures—are frequently filled
by promotion from the ranks of clerks and typists.
Although seniority is an important consideration


in selecting clerks for promotion and transfer,
emphasis is also placed on the individual’s ability
and personal qualifications for the new job.
Employment Outlook

Large numbers of openings will occur each year
in clerical occupations. Most of the employment
opportunities will result from employee turnover,
which is exceptionally high in this field. A 1955
survey of several hundred firms with office staffs
ranging from fewer than 50 to more than 1,000
workers indicated an average annual turnover rate
of 40 percent, about half of which resulted from
young women leaving their jobs to marry or care
for their children. In addition to the many jobs
expected to become available because of continu­
ing high replacement rates, a number of new op­
portunities are likely to result from employment
The shortage of clerical workers— particularly
of stenographers and secretaries— which had been
evident in most cities for several years was still
pronounced in 1956. Many business firms were
hiring people who in previous years when more
workers were available would have been consid­
ered unsuited for office work. These included
persons in the older age groups, high-school-age
youths, and handicapped workers; many were em­
ployed on a part-time basis. In general, employers
were well pleased with these workers and are likely
to continue to recruit from their ranks. The ex­
tensive use of older women is indicated by the rise
in the median age of women office workers from
31 years in 1951 to 33 years in 1956.
A rapid rise in the number of clerical workers
and in the proportion these workers represent o f
the total working force has been a marked fea­
ture in the growth of American industry over the
years. In 1910, only 1 in 20 American workers
was engaged in clerical work. By 1940, the pro­
portion of clerical workers had risen to 1 in 10
and, in 1950, it was 1 in 8 employed workers.
In 1956, the proportion of clerical workers was
a little higher than in 1950.
The remarkable increase in employment of cleri­
cal workers has taken place despite—sometimes
even because of—the introduction of new laborsaving equipment and more efficient management
methods. For example, the dial telephone, far
from slowing down the growth in the number o f



telephone operators, stimulated the use of tele­
phone services and increased the demand for tele­
phone operators, so that their numbers rose faster
between 1940 and 1950 than the number of cleri­
cal workers as a group. Similarly, the introduc­
tion o f electric typewriters, duplicating equip­
ment, machines to take dictation, and other im­
provements in methods of writing and copying
letters and reports failed to halt the rise in em­
ployment of secretaries, stenographers, and typists
whose number rose by 50 percent between 1940
and 1950. Only in a few small clerical occupa­
tions, such as bill collector, messenger, and tele­
graph operator, was there a decline in numbers
during this decade.
Underlying this growth has been the tremen­
dous increase in the size and complexity of busi­
ness organizations, which has added greatly to
the volume of recordkeeping and communication
required. Centralized management services have
been established to aid in the control and coordi­
nation of these enlarged organizations, and this
has brought about expansion in such areas as
advertising, research, accounting, personnel ad­
ministration, insurance, and employee benefits.
These activities have added vastly to the amount
o f paperwork involved in business management.
A t the same time, the greater volume o f tax and
other reports to government agencies further in­
creased the amount of office work required of in­
dustry, and has also greatly increased clerical
work in government offices.
In the near future and over the long run, cleri­
cal employment is likely to continue to rise owing
to the same factors that have brought about pre­
vious increases. However, industry has begun
to make a determined attack on the problem o f
clerical costs and is introducing new equipment
designed to handle a rising volume of work without
a corresponding increase in the number of clerks
required. A few large insurance companies,
banks, and industrial firms had already installed
electronic data processing equipment by 1956 and
thereby reduced their need for clerks in many
routine operations. Although these machines
have created a number of new jobs, many of which
require considerable skill and are relatively well
paid, their net effect is a reduction in the number
o f clerical workers needed to perform a given vol­
ume of work. However, electronic data process­
ing machines are expensive and complicated and

it will doubtless take a number o f years before
they are widely used, even in the very large or­
ganizations able to buy and effectively use them.
It is probable that a more important factor af­
fecting employment of clerical personnel will be
the more widespread use in small firms o f the less
expensive types of office equipment, such as im­
proved bookkeeping machines, calculators, add­
ing machines, and photographic and other dupli­
cating equipment. Whereas the use of these ma­
chines increases the employment of certain types
of office personnel (mainly office-machine opera­
tors), their net effect is the accomplishment of
more work with fewer people.
Taking into account the basic growth factors
in the clerical field and the efforts of business to
reduce clerical costs by the use of more automatic
equipment and other means, it appears likely that
employment in clerical occupations will continue
to increase, but at a slower pace than during the
past several decades. There is already some evi­
dence of a slowing down. I f the number of cleri­
cal workers had continued to rise as rapidly after
1950 as it did in the previous decade, the total
number of clerical workers in 1956 would have
been nearly 10 million, compared with an actual
total of somewhat less than 9 million. Further­
more, the rise in the number of clerical workers
has been due in part to increased employment o f
part-time workers. For example, between Octo­
ber 1955 and October 1956, more than three-fourths
o f the increase in total employment was accounted
for by part-time workers.
Employment opportunities in the clerical field
may be greatly affected by changes in the level
o f business activity. There are usually plenty of
people in the labor force with the qualifications
needed for most office jobs. However, the com­
paratively low salaries offered limit the number
o f applicants when other jobs are available. On
the other hand, when business activity declines
keen competition is likely to develop, since the
supply of workers available for clerical employ­
ment is increased by displaced workers from
many other occupations.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

The most common hiring-rate range for in­
experienced clerical workers, including typists,
was from $40 to $42.50 a week in the winter of


1955-56, according to a survey of earnings in 17
labor market areas by the U. S. Department of
Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest
paid ofiiceworkers were men classified as account­
ing clerks (class A ) whose average weekly salaries
ranged from $75 to $95.50 a week. Among women
office workers, secretaries were generally the high­
T able


est paid, with salaries ranging from an average
of $61.50 in Providence, R. I., to $81 in Detroit,
Mich. Accounting clerks (class A ) usually were
the second highest paid among women officeworkers. Average salaries of women in the major o f­
fice occupations in the 17 labor market areas
surveyed are shown in table 1.

1 . — Average weekly salaries for women in 14 office occupations

keeping keeping Clerks, Clerks,
count­ count­
opera­ opera­
class B
class A class B
class A class B

Newark-Jersey C i t y . . __________ $62.00
................ .
Philadelphia . . . . _________________
Atlanta __________________________
62. 50
Dallas_____________ _____ _________
M em phis
New Orleans....... ............... ___
M iddle W est:
Chicago_____ ___________
Detroit __ ______
_ ____ __ _
M ilw aukee. __ . _
Minneapolis-St. Paul
St. Louis____________________ ____
Far W est:
D e n v e r .______________ _________
Los Angeles-Long Beach......... ..
69. 50
_ ___________
San Francisco-Oakland__________



Com p­

K ey­

, 17

areas, winter 1 9 5 5 -5 6


$63.50 $58.50 $45.00
63.50 New York 46.00

Secre­ Stenog­ board
taries raphers, opera­
class A

class B




50. 50




54. 00

48. 50


46. 50
43. 50




56. 50



55. 50
53. 50
47. 50
49. 50







48. 50






51. 50



42. 50




58. 50

66. 50





58. 50


60. 50



68. 50

Source: U . S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ofiiceworkers in Detroit and in the Los A n­
geles-Long Beach area received the highest aver­
age salaries, about 6 percent more than the sala­
ries paid in New York City. New Orleans officeworkers received the lowest salaries, on the aver­
age— about 20 percent less than those in New York
Pay levels for office workers tend to be higher in
manufacturing than in most nonmanufacturing
industries. However, salaries in public utilities
frequently exceed those in manufacturing estab­
The most usual work schedule for full-time officeworkers in the cities surveyed was a 5-day week of
40 hours. About two-thirds of the women office
workers in finance, insurance, and real estate o f­
fices worked less than 40 hours a week. In New
York City, where a high proportion of all clerical
workers are employed in such offices, 7 out of 8
women ofiiceworkers had a workweek of less than
40 hours—most typically 35 hours.
Ofiiceworkers usually receive at least 6 paid
holidays a year and 2 weeks’ paid vacation after

a year’s employment. Related benefits usually in­
clude life insurance, hospitalization and surgical
insurance, pay continuation in case of accident or
illness, and some type of retirement pension plan.
W h ere To Go for More Information

Information on clerical workers in different
fields of employment is given in the chapters on
various industries—especially those on the bank­
ing, insurance, and telephone industries— and in
the chapter on Government Occupations. (See
Information on training is available from :
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Office of Education, Guidance and Student Personnel
Section, Washington 25, D. C.
United Business Education Association, (A depart­
ment of the National Education Association)
1201 16th S t, N W , Washington 6, D. C.

Information on private business schools may be
obtained from :
National Association and Council of Business
Schools, 601 13th St., N W ., Washington 5, D. C.



CD. O. T. 1 -0 1 .0 2 , 1 -0 1 .0 3 ; 1 -0 2 .0 1 , .0 2 , .03)

Nature o f W ork

Jobs in bookkeeping range from entry positions
as clerk or machine operator to the highly respon­
sible post of head bookkeeper. Bookkeeping clerks
perform routine tasks such as recording and post­
ing items by hand; in small businesses, they may
also perform related duties such as typing, filing,
answering the telephone, and mailing statements.
Bookkeeping-machine operators may use relatively
simple machines to record only one type of data
or may operate complicated machines that record
a great variety of information. General bookkeep­
ers, who are employed chiefly in small establish­
ments, keep complete and systematic records of
their employers’ business transactions, recording
items in journals and on special forms, posting
ledgers, balancing books, and compiling reports.
In large establishments which employ many office
workers, a bookkeeper may have charge of one
section of the records, such as accounts payable
or accounts receivable. The head bookkeeper in a
large office has responsibility for all aspects of his
department’s work.
W h ere Employed

About 800,000 workers were employed as book­
keepers in 1956; more than three-fourths of them
were women. Well over one-third of all bookkeep­
ers are employed by wholesale and retail trade
establishments, one-fifth by manufacturing firms,
and about one-sixth by finance, insurance, and real
estate firms. Substantial numbers are employed
also by public utility firms, business and profes­
sional services, and construction companies.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most employers require applicants to be gradu­
ates o f high schools, business or vocational schools
or, in some instances, o f junior colleges. A busi­
ness course which includes training in many office
functions such as typing, shorthand, and the use
o f adding and other office machines, as well as busi­
ness arithmetic and bookkeeping procedures, will
usually be especially helpful in obtaining a book­
keeping job, particularly in a small office. An
increasing number o f large companies offer some
on-the-job training or participate in cooperative

programs, under which high school students ob­
tain school credit for part-time work. Experience
of this kind is of considerable advantage in obtain­
ing full-time employment after graduation. P o­
sitions as head bookkeepers usually require either
education in accounting or extensive experience.
Employment Outlook

Many employment opportunities for book­
keepers are expected during the remainder of the
1950’s and the early 1960’s. In this large occupa­
tion with its high proportion of women, the rate
o f turnover is very great. There is constant de­
mand for new employees to replace young women
who leave after a few years of employment to take
care o f their families. In addition, a moderate
number of new jobs will become available as the
field continues to expand. However, the trend
toward breaking down bookkeeping functions into
office-machine operator and other routine clerical
jobs is likely to continue, and the vast majority of
openings will be in such jobs. Employment op­
portunities for bookkeepers who are required to
assume responsibility for a complete set of books
will probably continue to be good, although such
jobs will be relatively few in number and will
generally be filled by promotion from within or
by persons with accounting training or experience.
The great majority of openings for hand book­
keepers will be in relatively small offices.
Over the long run, the growth in the number
o f bookkeepers is likely to be slowed down
markedly because of the increasing use of office
machines. The more extensive use o f bookkeeping
machines and related equipment in small firms and
the further introduction of electronic computers
in very large offices wfill make possible a very great
increase in the amount of work performed, with
little if any increase in the number of bookkeepers.
Nevertheless, some new jobs for bookkeepers will
rise each year because of such factors as the grow­
ing emphasis on scientific management in industry,
increasingly complex tax systems, and the general
growth of the economy. (See also statement on
accounts, page 159.)
(Information on Earnings and Where To Go for
More Information is given in the introduction to
this chapter.)



Secretaries, Stenographers, and Typists*
(D. O. T. 1 -3 3 ; 1 -3 7 .1 2 , .1 4 , .1 8 , and .32)

Nature of W ork

More women are employed as secretaries, ste­
nographers, and typists than in any other field of
work. Over 1y2 million persons, of whom 95 per­
cent were women, were engaged in this work in
1950, and since then the number has increased
Typists spend a major portion of their time in
typing copies o f printed or written materials.
This work may range from simple copying to the
typing o f complex tables and manuscripts. In
addition, many typists perform such other clerical
duties as filing, recording information in longhand, sorting mail, and operating calculators,
tabulators, and duplicating and other office
Stenographers, besides typing, take dictation in
shorthand; a small number use a stenotype ma­
chine. A few stenographers become specialists in
foreign languages, legal or police work, or public
or court stenography. Court reporters must be
able to record accurately difficult technical lan­
guage at high rates of speed for several hours at
a time.
Secretaries also have stenographic duties, but,
in addition, they usually handle many business de­
tails for their employers on their own initiative,
such as acknowledging correspondence, scheduling
appointments and meetings, and obtaining infor­
mation. Some secretaries specialize in legal, medi­
cal, private, social, or other types of secretarial
Many secretaries and stenographers also use
voice recorders from which they transcribe
W h ere Employed

Typists, stenographers, and secretaries are em­
ployed by practically every kind of business in the
United States, as well as by government, religious
and social organizations, and other nonprofit
groups. In 1950, in the United States as a whole,
almost 8 out of 10 of these workers were private
wage and salary workers; nearly 2 out of 10 were
in government jobs; and the remainder were selfemployed or unpaid family workers. Though
^Prepared by the W o m e n ’ s B ureau , U . S. D ep artm en t o f L abor.

typists, stenographers, and secretaries are em­
ployed in urban centers throughout the country,
in 1950, approximately 6 out of 10 such workers
were located in the Northeast and North Central
Training and Other Qualifications

Typists must have training not only in typing
but also in spelling, vocabulary, punctuation,
grammar, and correspondence procedures. Secre­
taries and stenographers must have, in addition
to the typist’s skills, the ability to take dictation
quickly and accurately. The following table
shows some generally acceptable average workingspeeds :
Class of worker

Words per minute

Beginning stenographer___ 8 0 -1 0 0 _______
Senior stenographer
100-140 _
Court reporter
150 or more__
General or clerk typist
Technical typist
Dictating machine typist _


2 5 -3 5
3 5 -4 0
55 -6 5


4 0 -5 0
5 0 -6 0
70 -8 0
4 0 -5 5
50 -6 5
4 5 -6 5

Completion of a business course in high school,
junior college, or business school often satisfies
the basic requirements for entrance into this field.
For the better paid positions, particularly those
classified as secretarial, additional training in busi­
ness subjects and on-the-job experience are usually
necessary. The ability to use office machines, such
as voice recorders, calculators, or tabulators, is
helpful for many jobs. Many positions require a
knowledge of the terminology of a particular field,
such as law, medicine, or engineering, or the abil­
ity to use a foreign language.
Persons working as secretaries, stenographers,
and typists have good possibilities for advance­
ment to higher level positions. A typist with
training and ability in shorthand may advance to a
stenographic job. A typist may also become an
expert operator of one or more office machines that
require special skill. Stenographers may advance
to positions as secretaries, administrative assist­
ants, office supervisors, or operators of one or more



special office machines. A secretary can become an
executive secretary or an administrative assistant,
or fill other advanced positions requiring the em­
ployee’s specialized knowledge of the particular
industry or business. Frequently, advancement
for typists, stenographers, and secretaries comes
in the form of greater responsibilities and higher
salaries without any change in job title. Further­
more, some of today’s successful business people
started their careers as stenographers or typists
and advanced to highly responsible positions
after extensive experience in a particular type of
Employment Outlook

High school graduates with typing skills were
in great demand in most areas of the United States
in 1956. Competition was keen for the services
of stenographers in most metropolitan areas.
Openings for secretaries, however, have generally
been fewer in number than openings for typists
and stenographers. Since many secretarial posi­
tions are filled by promotion from stenographic
and typing positions within the same organiza­
tion, the number of such vacancies that reach the
open market is somewhat restricted.
A shortage of competent secretaries, stenogra­
phers, and typists has existed in many areas since
W orld War II. The continued high level of eco­
nomic activity has necessitated expansion in this
field of work, as in others. In addition, numerous
job openings are created because many young
women leave the labor market to assume family
In the long run, employment will continue to
rise because of continued expansion of private
business and government activities. Since turn­
over rates will probably remain high among the
young women in the field, there will be many job
Stenographers and secretaries
will probably continue to have a wider choice of
jobs than persons with only typing skills.
Stenographic and typing positions generally
offer steady employment. Unless there is a major
decline in economic activity, these workers are
usually assured o f jobs.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Earnings o f secretaries, stenographers, and
typists are greatly influenced by the location of

the job, the size and type of the business, the
responsibility or skill level required, and the length
o f the workweek. Average weekly salaries o f
women secretaries, stenographers, and typists, ac­
cording to a 1955-56 survey by the Bureau o f
Labor Statistics of office workers in 18 metropoli­
tan areas, are shown in the following table:
Metropolitan area




Class A

Class B

Atlanta, Ga
_______ $71. 00 $59. 50
$53. 50 $47.
Chicago, 111__________ 78. 50 66. 50 $73. 00 65. 00 55.
Dallas, Tex __
70. 00 60. 50
54. 00 46.
Denver, Colo________ 70. 50 59. 50 66. 00 55. 50 48.
Detroit, Mich_______
81. 00 69. 50 81. 00 67. 00 53.
Lawrence, Mass
67. 00 54. 50
Los Angeles, Calif___ 79. 50 68. 00 79. 50 64. 00 55.
Memphis, Tenn
62. 50 54. 00
54. 00 43.
Milwaukee, Wis
74. 50 58. 50
58. 00 48.
Minn eapolis-St. Paul,
68. 50 56. 50
54. 00 47.
New Orleans, L a ____ 67. 50 54. 50
49. 50 42.
New York, N. Y ____ 78. 50 63. 00 72. 50 61. 50 53.
Newark-Jersey City,
N . J_______________
75. 50 61. 50 66. 00 58. 50 51.
Philadelphia, Pa_____ 70. 50 56. 50 66. 50 54. 00 46.
Portland, Oreg
75. 00 63. 00
60. 00 51.
Providence, R . I ____ 61. 50 51. 50 59. 50 50. 50 45.
San Francisco, Calif_ 79. 00 68. 50
62. 00 54.
St. Louis, M o ___
73. 00 59. 00 64. 00 58. 50 49.


In the Federal Civil Service in 1956, typists
could secure jobs with annual starting salaries o f
$2,960 or $3,175, depending upon the difficulty
o f the job. For stenographers, annual starting
salaries were $2,960, $3,175, and $3,415, again
depending upon the difficulty of the assignment.
A workweek of less than 40 hours is customary
in many offices. In 17 of the 18 metropolitan
areas covered by the 1955-56 survey, secretaries,
stenographers, and typists worked an average of
38 to 40 hours a week; in one area, the average
was 36 hours.
Two weeks’ paid vacation each year, after the
first year of service, is usual in private industry.
Some firms provide 1 week of paid vacation during
the first year of employment and many firms pro­
vide 3 weeks of paid vacation after 15 years of
Office workers also receive a number of holi­
days with pay. National holidays are usually



granted, and some workers are given State and
local holidays.
A substantial number of employers provide
group insurance for their office work force. In
some instances, the premium cost is paid by the
employer; in some, the cost is shared by employee
and employer; and in others, the entire premium
is paid by the employee. Insurance coverage may
be sickness and accident, hospitalization, life, or
a combination of these.
Retirement or pension plans are also becoming
more common in private industry. In 1956, from
50 to 84 percent of all office workers in the 18
major metropolitan areas studied were employed
in firms with retirement or pension plans.

Sales O
Sales workers are the link between producers of
goods or services and the people who use them.
The things they sell include all items produced
by American business—houses, airplanes, sheet
steel, industrial machinery, gasoline, clothing,
food, insurance, stocks and bonds, needles, and
pins, to cite a few illustrations from a virtually
endless list. Their customers include not only
housewives and other individual consumers but
also government agencies and business enterprises
of all kinds.
Among the many different types of sales work­
ers are manufacturers’ sales representatives who
sell to wholesalers, other manufacturers, and re­
tail stores; wholesale salesmen, who sell to retail
stores; insurance agents and real estate salesmen,
who sell both to business organizations and to in­
dividuals; newsboys, including those delivering
papers to homes; and salesmen and saleswomen
employed by retail businesses such as food, de­
partment and apparel stores, service stations, and
automobile agencies.
(See chart 82.)
A lto­
gether, more than 4 million workers were em­
ployed in sales occupations in 1956.
Nature of W ork and Training

Because of the wide variety of products sold
and the many different classes of consumers that
buy them, sales jobs differ greatly as to duties,
knowledge and level of education required, and
personal characteristics needed. There is, like­
wise, a very great range in earnings among the
different types of sales positions.


W here To Go for M ore Information

Information may be secured from :
The National Secretaries Association,
222 W est 11th St., Kansas City 8, Mo.
Office Employees’ International Union,
1012 14th St., N W ., Washington 5, D. C.

Training information is available from:
United Business Education Association (a depart­
ment of the National Education Association),
1 2 0116th St., N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Information about private business schools may
be obtained from :
National Association and Council of Business Schools,
601 13th St., N W ., Washington 5, D. C.

Sales clerks in retail trade are by far the largest
group of sales workers, representing more than 60
percent of the total number in 1950. Some sales­
persons in stores— for example, those selling fur­
niture or major electrical appliances—must know
a great deal about the merchandise they sell.
However, most sales clerks merely display mer­
chandise, assist the customer in making a selec­
tion, and receive payment or make out a charge
slip. In some branches of retail trade, such as
five and ten cent stores, persons without high
school diplomas find opportunities as sales clerks.
However, high school graduation is now being
required to an increasing degree for the better
selling jobs in department and many other types
of stores. (See chapter on Department Store
Salesmen working for manufacturers or whole­
salers must usually have a thorough knowledge o f
the products they sell and know how each product
can meet the needs of their customers. In many
jobs, especially in the manufacturing field, tech­
nically trained men such as engineers, chemists,
and pharmacists are required. Training courses
in sales techniques are given new salesmen by most
large companies, and courses in salesmanship arc
offered by many universities. In addition, at
least several years of experience are usually re­
quired to become fully established as a salesman
in this area of work. Many of these salesmen
must travel extensively and be away from home
much of the time. Most work on a commission
basis, rather than on straight salary, and conse-





Employment, 1950





Thousands of Workers




~ I

Insurance Agents and Brokers

Real Estate Agents and Brokers
Food Stores
Department and General Merchandise Stores
Wholesale Trade
Apparel and Accessories Stores
Motor Vehicles and Accessories Retailing
Five and Ten Cent Stores
Drug Stores
Furniture and Housefurnishings Stores
Hardware and Farm Implement Stores
Household Appliance and Radio Stores

/ / /

Lumber and Building Material Retailing


Shoe Stores




la b o r

s t a t is t ic s

quently their earnings may vary considerably
from month to month or from year to year, de­
pending on business conditions and other factors.
Insurance agents and brokers must be able to
pass a qualifying examination and obtain a State
license before they can sell insurance of any type.
Most States also require real estate agents and
brokers to obtain a license. Both of these grow­
ing occupations require mature personnel with a
high degree of selling ability. (See chapter on
Insurance Occupations.)
The job of newsboy is unique in sales work be­
cause it is the only occupation in the field which
affords employment primarily for children. It is
usually a part-time job conducted on a neighbor­
hood basis. More than half of the nearly 100,000
newsboys employed in 1950 were under 16 years
o f age.

Source: U.S. Bureau of th e Census

The position of advertising salesman or agent
is still another example of the many different types
of jobs to be found in the sales field. Advertising
salesmen are employed primarily by advertising
agencies and publishing companies, but increasing
numbers are employed as program-time salesmen
for radio broadcasting and television companies.
Although men predominate in the sales field—
particularly in such areas as wholesale trade,
manufacturing, insurance, and real estate—selling
is becoming an increasingly important source o f
employment for women. Within retail trade,
more saleswomen than salesmen are employed in
the following types of stores: five and ten cent,
department and general merchandise, apparel and
accessories (except shoes), drug, jewelry, and
florist. On the other hand, men constitute a ma­
jority of the sales force in retail establishments



selling automobiles, lumber, fuel, hardware, gaso­
line, household appliances and radios, furniture
and housefurnishings, liquor, and shoes.
Employment Outlook

A rise in employment of sales personnel is antici­
pated over the long run, but the rate of growth is
uncertain. Employment in sales occupations rose
by a fourth between 1940 and 1950 and by 8 per­
cent between 1950 and 1956— about as fast as the
rise in the labor force as a whole over the 16-year
period. (See chart 33.) However, much of the
M illions


Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.

increase in employment during this period was
the result of hiring more women part-time work­
ers—most of them for jobs in retail trade— and of
a shortening of the standard workweek. The



total number of man-hours worked by sales per­
sonnel undoubtedly increased much less than the
number of sales workers employed. Employment
also rose much more slowly than retail sales—
since greater use of self-service techniques and
other improvements in sales procedures and equip­
ment have enabled many stores to handle more
business without a proportionate increase in their
sales force.
These factors will probably continue to limit
the growth of retail sales employment in the fu­
ture. However, in view of the long-run upward
trend in retail sales, some further gains in employ­
ment of sales personnel are likely, so long as the
general level of economic activity remains high.
Much of the growth will take place in expanding
suburban communities, as new or branch stores of
various types are opened to meet the needs of local
Employment is also expected to rise in the ex­
panding fields of insurance and real estate. In
addition, young men with engineering and other
technical training will continue to be in strong
demand as salesmen for manufacturers and whole­
salers. The increasing complexity of much of the
equipment sold to industry makes it necessary to
use highly trained technical salesmen to aid cus­
tomers in learning to use equipment and to adapt it
to their needs.
In the future as in the past, most of the job
openings for sales workers will occur as a result
of turnover. Each year thousands of employ­
ment opportunities will arise— especially in retail
trade— from the need to replace salesmen and
saleswomen who transfer to other jobs or drop
out of the labor market.

Service Occupations
About 7y2 million workers were employed in
service occupations in 1956. Included in this total
were domestic service workers in private house­
holds ; workers who provide protection to life and
property, such as firemen and policemen; personal
service workers, including barbers, beauticians,
and practical nurses; and institutional service
workers, such as janitors, waiters, cooks, and ele­
vator operators. (See chart 34.)
Service occupations should not be confused with
service industries. Service industries—which in­
427675°— 57-------15

clude hotels, automobile repair shops, amusement
enterprises, and advertising agencies—employ not
only workers in service occupations but also many
professional, clerical, and skilled workers, such as
mechanics, copywriters, actors, and stenographers.
On the other hand, many workers in service occu­
pations are employed outside the service indus­
tries; janitors in factories and porters on railroad
trains are examples of service occupations found
in manufacturing and in transportation industries.
Many service occupations require considerable




Employment, Except in Private Households, 1950


Thousands of Workers



Waiters and Waitresses
Janitors and Sextons
Guards, Watchmen,and Doorkeepers
Attendants, Hospital and Other Institution
Policemen and Detectives
Beauticians and Manicurists
Practical Nurses
Charwomen and Cleaners
Firemen, Fire Protection
Housekeepers and Stewards
Elevator Operators
Counter and Fountain Workers
Attendants, Recreation and Amusement


skill and training; others are comparatively un­
skilled. Protective service jobs in government
agencies are, for the most part, filled on the basis
o f competitive examinations. Candidates for such
work may have to meet very rigid requirements,
especially with respect to age, height, health,
strength, and emotional stability. F B I agents are
also required to be graduates of either law or
accounting schools. Many personal service work­
ers need specialized vocational training; some,
such as barbers and beauty operators, must usually
obtain a license in order to qualify for regular em­
ployment. Chefs and cooks in restaurants must
have either specialized training or considerable
experience. On the other hand, such workers as
kitchen helpers, maids, charwomen, and janitors
need little, if any, training.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

Employment Trends and Outlook

Private household workers, numbering 2 million
in 1956, are the largest group in the service field.
However, the proportion which domestic workers
represent of all service workers is declining. In
1940, domestic service workers made up about 40
percent of all service workers, whereas in 1950,
they comprised approximately 25 percent. The
number of domestic workers fell sharply during
W orld War II, as is likely to happen whenever
there is an acute shortage of labor. Since the war,
the number of private household workers has risen
again but not as fast as service employment in
Employment in service occupations other than
those in private households has risen sharply since
1940. Between 1940 and 1950, the number of
service workers outside the home rose by more than



one-third— faster than the labor force as a whole.
Employment of these workers has continued to rise
more rapidly than the labor force, recording a
gain of 18 percent between 1950 and 1956. (See
chart 35.) The fastest growing service occupaCHART 35
(E x c e p t in P riv a te

H o usehold s)



Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

tion for which Census data are available has been
that of attendant in hospitals and other insti­
tutions—employment in this occupation more than
doubled between 1940 and 1950.
During this period, employment rose 50 percent
or more in the following service occupations: bar­
tenders, cooks, charwomen and cleaners, practical
nurses, and professional and personal service at­
tendants not elsewhere classified. The number of
waiters and waitresses, including counter and
fountain workers, increased 40 percent. Only two
large service occupations declined in size between
1940 and 1950—the number of boarding- and
lodging-house keepers declined 60 percent and em­
ployment o f barbers and beauticians dropped 8
percent. A substantial majority of the workers
who entered service occupations during the 1940's
were women; between 1940 and 1950, the pro­
portion of women in service occupations, except
private household work, rose from 38 to 45 percent.
Employment of service workers reflects the
changing patterns of American living. Among
the major reasons for the rise in service occupa­
tion employment, particularly outside private
households, has been the urbanization of the popu­
lation; the remarkable increase in the number of
people employed in manufacturing and other non­


agricultural industries; and rising income levels.
Between 1940 and 1955, nonfarm employment rose
more than 50 percent—about twice as fast as the
population. Much of this increase was accounted
for by a substantial rise in the number and pro­
portion of working women in the labor force.
These factors have greatly increased the need for
services such as meal preparation and the care of
the sick which, in former years, were provided to
a much greater extent in the home. Between 1940
and 1950, half the rise in the total number of serv­
ice workers outside private households was ac­
counted for by greater employment in eating and
drinking places and in hospitals and other health
institutions. During this period, there was also
an extremely sharp rise in the number of service
workers in educational institutions, mainly to care
for the many large, new consolidated schools and
to provide meals for the many children who no
longer brought lunches with them or went home at
midday as was formerly the custom.
The growth of cities has also helped to create
a greater demand for protective service workers.
The number of such workers—firemen, policemen,
and detectives—rose more than 30 percent during
the 1940’s, somewhat faster than the labor force
as a whole, though much more slowly than many
other service occupations.
In the long run, employment in service occupa­
tions will probably continue to rise substantially.
As in the recent past, most of this growth is ex­
pected outside private households. Nevertheless,
some rise in employment of domestic workers is
likely, in view of the increasing number and size
of families and the rising number of working
mothers with young children. However, most job
openings for workers in all service occupations,
both in and outside private households, will result
from the need to replace the thousands of workers
who annually leave their jobs. Turnover is high
in these occupations for several reasons—the high
proportion of Avomen, especially in private house­
hold work; the many temporary and part-time
jobs; and the relatively Ioav rates of pay in un­
skilled and semiskilled occupations. These fac­
tors Avill no doubt continue to operate creating
many thousands of job openings each year.
Additional information on service Avorkers in
several fields of employment is given in the chap­
ters on the Hotel and Restaurant industries and
the statements on barbers, beauty operators, and
practical nurses. (See index.)



(D. O . T. 2 -3 2 .0 1 )

Nature o f W ork

Barbers spend most o f their time cutting hair.
They also provide customers with other personal
services such as shaves, facial and scalp massages,
shampoos, and hair singes. In addition, they
sometimes sell hair tonics, shampoos, and related
preparations, and give advice on care of the hair
and scalp. Barbers must know the latest hair
styles and be alert to follow customers’ instruc­
tions on the type of haircut they prefer. They
must also try to finish each haircut in the way
best suited to the shape of the customer’s head.
A barber builds up a steady trade not only by
giving good haircuts but also by putting customers
at ease, giving them quick and courteous serv­
ice, and keeping a clean, attractive shop. In small
shops, a barber may keep his own work area clean
or take his turn sweeping the shop. Each bar­
ber is usually responsible for keeping his barbering tools sterilized and sharpened. Barbers who
run their own shops have responsibilities common
to many small businesses, such as ordering sup­
plies, paying bills, and hiring and managing em­
W h ere Employed

More than 195,000 barbers were working in ap­
proximately 100,000 barbershops in 1950. A few
thousand were employed in beauty shops and
combined barber and beauty shops. The typical
barbershop is a small (1- or 2-man) establish­
ment in which the shopowner himself does all or
part of the work. However, shops employing sev­
eral barbers are to be found in large hotels and
office buildings in downtown areas of cities and
in a growing number of suburban shopping
A ll cities and towns and most villages have bar­
bershops. However, barbers are concentrated in
large cities and in the most populous States.
Training and Other Qualifications

A license is required for both apprentice and
master barbers in all States except Virginia. To
obtain a license as an apprentice, the prospective
barber must, in nearly all States, be a graduate o f

a State-approved barber school, pass a written ex­
amination, and demonstrate his ability to perform
barber services in a practical examination given
by the State board of barber examiners. In addi­
tion, most States require entrants to be at least
16 or 18 years of age, to have completed the 8th
grade, and to meet certain health requirements.
After receiving a license, the trainee must w
as an apprentice in a barbershop for a specified
period (18 months in most States). After com­
pleting this apprenticeship and, in most States,
passing a second set of written and practical ex­
aminations, the trainee may be licensed as a jour­
neyman (experienced) barber. Barbers who
move to another State must usually take licensing
examinations given by that State.
More than 100 public vocational schools and
private barber colleges offer barber training.
Courses are usually 6 or 9 months in length and
include 1,000 or more hours of training. The
prospective barber mainly studies basic barber
services—haircutting, shaving, massaging, and fa­
cial and scalp treatments— and, under supervision,
practices these services on people. In addition to
attending lectures on barber services and the use
and care of barber tools, students take courses in
anatomy, sanitation, and hygiene, including the
recognition of skin diseases. Instruction is also
offered in salesmanship and general business
Apprentice barbers may obtain their first jobs
through employment services operated by the bar­
ber school they attended, through the barber’s
union, or through personal contacts in their local
communities. Experienced barbers may advance
by opening their own shops, by becoming man­
agers of large shops, or by moving to shops which
have more customers. Those who open their own
shops must, of course, have the necessary capital
to buy or rent quarters and equipment. The
usual cost of equipping a 1-chair barbershop is
roughly estimated at $1,500. However, costs d if­
fer greatly, since barbers can sometimes buy used
equipment and fixtures at low prices or may de­
cide to pay above average prices in order to get
the best equipment. Each barber usually buys
his own scissors and other tools while in barber
school, at a cost of about $50 to $65.



Employment Outlook

Several thousand openings for barbers are ex­
pected each year during the late 1950's. Most
openings will arise from the need to replace barbers
who retire, die, or transfer to other fields of work.
The death and retirement rate among barbers is
high since they are an older group than workers in
many other occupations; in 1950, half of all bar­
bers were over 48 years of age and about a fifth
were 60 or older. In addition, some experienced
barbers, as well as many apprentices, have been
attracted to other types of jobs—which have been
relatively easy to obtain under the favorable eco­
nomic conditions prevailing in recent years. The
need for replacements will probably continue to
create many openings for apprentice barbers dur­
ing the rest of the 1950 decade.
Total employment in barbershops has been de­
clining over the past 20 years. Among the factors
contributing to the decline in number of barbers
employed are the extensive use of mechanical and
electrical razors which enable men to shave them­
selves easily, the raising of training requirements
for new entrants to barbering, and the fuller use
of the time of the barbers who have remained in
the trade. The decline in employment has become
slower during recent years, but the number of
young men in the occupation has decreased; the
median (average) age of barbers rose from 44
years in 1940 to 48 years in 1950. The ease with
which young men, as well as experienced barbers,
can obtain other jobs may lead to a further drop
in the number of barbers in the late 1950’s pro­
vided that the level of overall employment remains
high. Such a drop in numbers of barbers would
result in steadier work and more business for
barbers remaining in the field, since the growth
in population is constantly tending to increase the
total demand for haircutting services. On the
other hand, if an economic downturn should occur,
thousands of barbers at work in other occupations
might reenter barbering. This would create
keener competition for barber jobs and curtail
opportunities for newcomers to enter the field.
Over the long run, the growth of population
will undoubtedly bring about an upturn in the
total number of barbers needed. The small (1or 2-man) barbershop will probably remain the
most common type of establishment: however, the
continuing shift of population to suburban com­



munities should result in more opportunities to
open large shops in these areas and in a need for
larger staffs in shops already established there.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Barbers earned, on the average, between $3,000
and $4,000 in 1956. However, some barbers in
the most desirable locations earned more than
$5,000. These figures include tips, which often
are an important part of barbers’ earnings. Bar­
bers tend to increase their earnings as they acquire
a personal following. Those who own shops or
are managers of large shops have the highest earn­
ings. Most barbers not in business for themselves
are paid on a commission basis—usually 60 to 70
percent of the money they take in—or receive sal­
aries plus commission. However, some are paid
straight salaries. A barber’s income depends in
part on the location of the shop, since the income
level and tipping customs of the community, the
competition from other barbershops, and the
prices which can be charged all affect earnings.
Haircut prices, for example, range from less than
$1 in some communities to $2 in others. Earn­
ings, of course, depend also on the barber’s skill
and personality, which help build up a personal
Barbers often have a longer workweek than
employees in many other occupations—usually
45 to 50 hours or more. Most shops are open 6
days a week, but nowadays more and more bar­
bers are working only 5 or 5y2 days.
General good health and stamina are important
for barbers, since they must stand on their feet
for long periods and, much of the time, work
with both hands above shoulder level. Although
barbers often are continuously occupied during
peak periods, there is frequently slack time which
they usually use to take care of their tools or at­
tend to personal matters. One-week vacations
are common; some employees receive 2-week va­
cations. Some union contracts provide insur­
ance and medical benefits.
The principal union which organizes barbers—
both employed barbers and barbershop owners—
is the Journeymen Barbers, Hairdressers, Cosme­
tologists, and Proprietors’ International Union
of America. Barbershop owners or managers
may also belong to the Associated Master Barbers
and Beauticians of America.



Where To Go for More Information

Journeymen Barbers, Hairdressers, Cosmetologists,

Information on State licensing requirements
may be obtained from the State board of barber
examiners at each State capital.
General information on the occupation of bar­
bers may be obtained from :

12th and Delaware Sts., Indianapolis 7, Ind.

and Proprietors’ International Union of America.

National Educational Council,
Associated Master Barbers and Beauticians of
537 South Dearborn St., Chicago 5, 111.

Beauty Operators*
(D. O. T. 2—3 2 .1 1 through .3 1 )

Nature of Work

The great majority of workers in beauty shops
are all-round operators who provide their cus­
tomers a variety of services, largely related to the
care of the hair. They cut, style, shampoo, curl,
bleach, dye, or tint the hair. In addition, they give
facial and scalp treatments, remove superfluous
hair, arch and tint eyebrows, and give manicures.
In large shops, operators may specialize in one
phase of the work, as, for example, hair styling,
hair dyeing, permanent waving, manicuring, or
Where Employed

Beauticians work in all parts of the country, in
both large and small communities. The majority
are employed in small establishments employing
1 to 3 beauty operators in addition to the owneroperator, or are self-employed. Some large shops
may employ 25 or more all-round operators and
a number of specialists.
According to a trade report, more than 110,000
commercial beauty shops were operating in 1955.
In addition to operators who work in these shops,
some operators are employed at Government bases
in foreign countries, on cruise ships, and in hos­
pitals and other institutions.
The proportion of men among beauty operators
is relatively small; available reports from some
local areas indicate a ratio of about 2 percent. The
men are for the most part in management jobs or
in specialized occupations, such as hair styling.
Training and Other Qualifications

A beauty operator is required to obtain a license
from the State cosmetology board in all States
*Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.

A beauty operator putting finishing touches on customer’s hair.

except Delaware and Virginia. The license is
granted upon payment of a small fee (usually $5
to $10), after the applicant successfully passes an
examination in both theory and practice of cos­
metology. In order to take the examination, the
applicant must satisfy certain requirements in­
cluding usually a minimum age of 16 to 18 years,
a health certificate, and completion of a cosmetol­
ogy course in an approved private beauty school or
a public vocational school. In a few States, the
boards require that a beauty-school graduate gain
experience in a commercial beauty shop under a
special arrangement as a “junior operator” before
taking the examination.
Courses in the more than 900 private schools
reported in 1955 usually consist of from 1,000 to
1,500 clock hours of combined classroom work and
practice in beauty service. In the majority of
these schools, students could complete the courses
in from 6 to 9 months. Cosmetology programs in
public vocational schools are usually given in



connection with other high school courses leading
to a vocational high school diploma. Thus, be­
sides learning the skills of the occupation, students
generally take academic subjects offered in the
4-year, high school curriculum.
Apprenticeship training in a beauty shop is ac­
cepted as qualifying the applicant for the exami­
nation by about half the State boards. The pe­
riod of apprenticeship is usually longer than the
term in a private school and requires, in addition
to instruction on the job by an approved operator,
certain study courses in subjects related to the
The first job may be one of assisting an experi­
enced beautician. After 3 months to a year on the
job, the beginning operator may become an all­
round operator performing a variety of opera­
tions. Later, the operator may specialize in one
particular type of work (for example, as hair
stylist, hair dyer, facial or scalp specialist, or per­
manent waver) or become a manager in a large
shop. Those with adequate capital may set up
their own shops, working alone or employing other
beauticians. A trained and experienced operator
may also find work as a teacher in a beauty school,
as a representative for a manufacturer of cos­
metics or beauty-shop equipment, as an electrologist, or as an inspector for a State licensing
board. For some of these specialized positions,
additional training may be needed, since many
State boards require teachers, shop managers, and
electrologists to obtain special license. Further­
more, many States set higher age, education, and
experience requirements for the teaching license.
To be a success, the beauty operator should be
able to establish friendly relationships with peo­
ple. Dexterity is necessary in handling the hair;
and a sense o f form and artistry in cutting and
styling is important, as are ability and willingness
to understand instructions and customers’ wishes.
In addition, the work requires a great deal of
standing, except, of course, for persons who do
manicuring only.



expensive home-permanent wave kits helped
women meet the shortage of beauty services which
existed during and after World War II, it did not
prevent further growth of the beauty service in­
dustry. The State Board Cosmetology Guide re­
ports that the number of beauty shops in the
United States increased from 1950 to 1955 by al­
most 10,000.
In 1950, the decennial census reported 190,000
women employed in beauty occupations. This in­
cluded beauticians, manicurists, and barbers, as
well as managers and proprietors of beauty shops.
The number of operator licenses reported by State
cosmetology boards for 1955 for both men and
women was more than 15,000 above 1950.
In addition to jobs created by expansion, tens
of thousands of job opportunities will be created
annually by turnover in the beauty service field.
This is a type of work in which a large number of
young women are employed (almost one-third
were under 30 years of age in 1950) and in which
the turnover is high, because many leave to marry,
raise families, or take other jobs.
The expected outlook assumes a continuation of
the present high level of economic conditions.
Changes in economic conditions are apt to have a
marked effect on beauty-shop employment. A l­
though women usually attach great importance to
beauty services, they are likely to cut this expense
if their income is reduced.
There are reasonably good opportunities for
employment in this field for mature and older per­
sons. In 1950, about one-fifth of the employed
beauticians were 45 years of age or older. Op­
portunity for part-time work is another important
feature of beauty-shop employment.
Some opportunities also exist for handicapped
persons. Manicuring can be done by persons un­
able to stand for long periods of time; and there
are instances of blind persons who are experts in
massage treatments and deaf persons who special­
ize in electrology.

Employment Outlook

Earnings and W orking Conditions

Expansion in employment is expected to con­
tinue in this occupation because of the demands of
the growing population and the tendency for an
increasing proportion of women to patronize
beauty shops. Although the introduction of in­

The majority of beauty operators, working in a
shop for an employer, are paid a basic wage plus
a commission. “ H alf of take beyond double,” the
usual formula, means that twice the operator’s
basic wage is subtracted from total fees paid by



the operator’s customers, and one-half of the bal­
ance is paid to the operator as commission. How­
ever, some operators may be paid only a salary or
only a commission. Information from scattered
sources indicates that, in 1955, a beginning beau­
tician was paid a basic wage ranging up to $50 a
week, depending upon the type and location of
shop. (A number of States have minimum-wage
rates applicable to beauty operators.) By build­
ing up the number of customers, the earnings of
the beautician can be increased substantially.
Highly experienced operators may earn from $75
to $100 a week, and stylists and specialists in ex­
clusive shops as much as $150 or more a week, not
including tips. Tips paid directly to the operator
also increase earnings. In some shops, where cos­
metics are sold directly to customers, a small com­
mission (up to 10 percent) may be paid to the
beautician who sells these products.
Incomes of shop owners vary widely, from those
o f the beautician with a small shop who works
only part time to those of the owner of an exclu­
sive beauty salon in a large city.
Most employed beauticians work from 40 to 48
hours a week, although shop owners frequently
work longer hours. Hours may be irregular,
however, frequently including evening and Satur­
day work. Some States have overtime-pay pro­
visions for hours beyond a specified minimum.

Beauticians employed in establishments such as
department stores usually participate in the em­
ployee-benefit plans of the organization, including
sick and vacation leave and pensions. Some shops
allow their employees at least a week of vacation
with pay.
Two unions for beauticians are active in the
United States: the Journeymen Barbers, Hair­
dressers, Cosmetologists and Proprietors’ ^Inter­
national Union of America and the Barbers and
Beauty Culturists Union of America, both affili­
ated with the A F L -C IO .
W h ere To Go for More Information

State boards of cosmetology can supply infor­
mation on licensing and other requirements.
Local vocational schools and private beauty
schools can provide information on how the stu­
dent can meet these requirements. A list of fed­
erally aided vocational schools that offer beauty
courses is published by the U. S. Department of
Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Educa­
tion, Washington 25, D. C. The following pub­
lication includes detailed information about the
beauty service field:
Employment Opportunities for Women in Beauty
Service. Women’s Bureau Bull. 260, 1956. Superin­
tendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C. Price
25 cents.

Practical Nurses and Auxiliary Nursing Workers*
(D. O. T. Practical Nurse, 2 -3 8 .2 0 ; Nurse Aide, 2 -4 2 .2 0 ; Orderly, 2 -4 2 .1 0 )

Nature of W ork

Practical nurses and auxiliary nursing workers,
who perform specified nursing duties for the
physically or mentally ill and help maintain a com­
fortable environment for them, have become in­
creasingly important members of the medical
team over the past decade.
Practical nurses, also known as licensed voca­
tional nurses or licensed nursing attendants, are
primarily concerned with providing care and
treatment to patients, under the supervision of
physicians or professional nurses. As members
of nursing teams in hospitals and health agencies,
practical nurses perform many of the duties for­
merly carried by professional nurses, thus freeing
professional nurses for those aspects of patient
♦P repared by the W o m e n ’ s B ureau , U . S. D ep artm en t of L a bor.

care and treatment requiring more extensive
formal training and specialization of skills than
practical nurses have acquired. Duties of a prac­
tical nurse include observing and recording symp­
toms and reactions of patients; giving prescribed
treatments and medications, and carrying out per­
sonal hygiene measures for the patient. Other
duties, such as making beds, serving meals, or
caring for hospital equipment, may also be per­
formed by practical nurses, although in many hos­
pitals these tasks are assigned to persons of lesser
training, such as nursing aides, attendants, or
ward maids.
In private homes, practical nurses carry out the
instructions of the attending physician or public
health nurse, and they must exercise considerable
judgment in recognizing nursing situations which
are beyond their training and skill. Besides car-



ing for the patient, practical nurses may be re­
sponsible for certain housekeeping duties in the
home which are necessary to the patient's health
and well-being. Practical nurses in doctors' o f­
fices assist physicians or professional nurses in
the examination of patients, give simple medica­
tions or treatments, carry out routine laboratory
tests, and perform some clerical duties. In indus­
trial establishments, the duties of practical nurses
may vary from providing first aid and emergency
care to employees at the place of business to homevisiting services.
Auxiliary nursing workers, such as nursingaides, hospital attendants, ward maids, and or­
derlies differ from practical nurses in that their
training is acquired on the job, and the more re­
sponsible duties of practical nurses are not as­
signed to them. Auxiliary workers are also re­
garded as members of nursing teams, sharing pa­
tient care to a limited extent, working under the
supervision of professional or practical nurses.
Auxiliary workers may be assigned such duties as
feeding or bathing patients, keeping patients’
rooms in order, changing linens, answering calls,
and performing other tasks to assure the patients’
comfort. In private households, auxiliary nursing
workers may be known as mother’s helpers or visit­
ing housekeepers.
W here Employed

By far the largest number of practical nurses
and auxiliary nursing workers are employed in
hospitals and nursing homes. According to a 1955
survey of the American Hospital Association, hos­
pitals employed some 400.000, of whom 10 percent
were practical nurses; 36 percent, hospital at­
tendants; 34 percent, nursing aides; 7 percent,
ward maids; and 6 percent, orderlies. Small num­
bers of practical nurses and even smaller numbers
of auxiliary nursing workers are employed in pub­
lic health agencies, industrial establishments, and
doctors’ offices.
Practical nurses take positions in private homes
also. In 1950, according to the decennial census,
there were some 70,000 private duty practical
nurses. it is unlikely that a significant increase
bas occurred in this total, since the more recently
brained practical nurses tend to find work in hos­
pitals or other health agencies.
Although nursing traditionally has been re­
garded as a woman’s occupation, large numbers of




men work in nursing services as orderlies, hos­
pital attendants, and psychiatric aides. Some men
are also employed as practical nurses, as well as
professional nurses.
Training and Other Qualifications

Before 1945, the majority of practical nurses
were either self-trained or learned their skills
through practice on the job. During the past dec­
ade, however, training requirements have become
increasingly formalized, licensing procedures have
been instituted by most States, and standards of
performance on the job have been established.
Today, most practical nurses receive formal train­
Practical nurse training may be obtained in
schools approved bv State boards of nursing in
States which provide for licensing of practical
nurses, or by State boards of vocational education,
or by the National Association for Practical Nurse
Education (N APN E) which offers a school ac­
crediting service. Some schools have the approval
of more than one of these organizations.
Approved schools are of two types: those oper­
ated by public-school systems, usually as a part of
a State or local vocational school or adult educa­
tion program; and private schools controlled by
hospitals, health agencies, educational institutions,
or community organizations. The past two dec­
ades have seen a tremendous growth in the number
of training facilities. In 1930, there were 11 ap­
proved schools. In 1956, there were 412 schools
which admitted 15,500 new students.
The usual period of training for practical nurs­
ing is 1 year, although there are variations among
States, with courses ranging from approximately
9 to 18 months. About one-thircl of the course
time in approved programs is spent in classroom
work, and two-thirds is devoted to clinical experi­
ence in hospitals. A few extension and refresher
courses are also available for practical nurses who
wish to obtain additional training or who are pre­
paring to qualify for licenses.
Tuition for practical nurse training runs up to
approximately $200, but in some programs there
is no charge for tuition. Vocational education
programs under public-school systems may charge
tuition for nonresidents only. There are, how­
ever, incidental expenses for books, equipment,
or uniforms in all these programs. Tuition



scholarships, stipends, and allowances for room
and board are available in a number of schools.
To be accepted by approved training schools,
candidates usually must be between 18 and 50 years
of age, although occasionally persons as young
as 17 years or between 55 and 60 years are ad­
mitted. Applicants over 25 years of age usually
must be at least eighth grade graduates, and ap­
plicants under 25 years must have completed 2
years of high school. Limitations on admitting
married and older women to training programs
seldom apply in practical nursing. O f the 1954
graduates from public school programs, twothirds were or had been married; the average age
of all 1954 graduates was 35 years.
Applicants are generally required to take an
aptitude test and to submit letters of personal
reference. Personal interviews, evaluation of
school records, and other selection devices are
commonly used in practical nursing today.
The licensing of practical nurses is a compara­
tively recent development, most of the legisla­
tion having been enacted since 1945. By 1955,
however, all States except Colorado and West
Virginia and the District of Columbia provided
for the licensing of practical nurses. In most
States, a license can be obtained by completing an
approved training program and passing a State
examination; by State endorsement of a license
issued by another State having equal standards;
or by a waiver issued for a limited time to experi­
enced, but not formally trained, women in States
that have recently passed licensure laws.
Auxiliary nursing workers usually receive their
training in the hospitals and clinics in which they
are employed. Training on the job varies among
institutions, from a week to 3 months. Profes­
sional nurses may give classroom instructions and
demonstrate techniques, and trainees may perform
specified practice work. In other cases, training
may be informal and consist of daily instructions
for work assignments given by supervisors.
There are few^ specified educational or experi­
ence requirements necessary for auxiliary nursing
worker trainees. Unlike practical nurses, they are
not licensed workers. They usually can qualify
for jobs if they are at least 17 years of age and
are physically able to perform the tasks required.
However, an eighth grade education is often

Employment Outlook

A substantial shortage of both auxiliary nurs­
ing workers and licensed practical nurses, par­
ticularly of the latter, was evident in 1956. As a
result, there were practically no barriers of age,
sex, marital status, race, or religion to the employ­
ment of persons in good health who were educa­
tionally qualified for these occupations.
Over the past 15 years, there has been a sharp
upward trend in the number of practical nurses
who have received formal training and who have
been employed in hospitals. For example, between
1953 and 1954 the number of professional nurses
in hospitals increased by 3.2 percent, but the num­
ber of practical nurses increased by 12.6 percent.
Nevertheless, a shortage has existed because of
expanding health services for an increasing popu­
lation and a rising demand for practical nurses to
perform some of the duties formerly assigned to
professional nurses.
The demand for practical nurses and auxiliary
nursing workers is expected to continue strong for
the remainder of the 1950’s and well into the 1960’s.
The success of using practical nurses and auxiliary
nursing workers as members of nursing teams,
working under the supervision of professional
nurses or physicians, indicates that there will be
an expanded use of these workers in most hospitals
and health agencies. In particular, psychiatric
aides, who have been trained to work with dis­
turbed patients in mental institutions, will be in
great demand. All types of nursing workers who
have received training for their jobs will have
good employment opportunities throughout this

Average salaries of women employed as practi­
cal nurses in hospitals ranged from $38 to $63
a week, according to a survey made by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics during 1956 and 1957 in 14
metropolitan areas. Male practical nurses aver­
aged from $50.50 to $67.50 a week. Women nurs­
ing aides, whose duties were more routine than
those of practical nurses, had average weekly
salaries ranging from $29 to $59. Male nursing
aides, who are usually called orderlies, had aver­
age salaries ranging from $36.50 to $62.50 a week.
The following tabulation shows average weekly



salaries for men and women practical nurses and
nursing aides in each of the survey areas:

Nursing aides

Los Angeles-Long
Portland (Oreg.)____
San Francisco-Oakland
St. Louis





M en


M en





56. 00


66. 00

43. 00
55. 50


59. 00
36. 50

62. 50
47. 00

63. 00
44. 50

67. 50
58. 50




50. 50
63. 50

A regular 40-hour workweek was reported for
the majority of practical nurses and nursing aides
covered by the salary survey of hospital personnel.
For a few, however, the workweek ranged as high
as 48 hours. The large number of practical nurses
not employed by hospitals— particularly those on
private duty—had varying lengths of workweek,
depending on the type of employer.



Graduates of approved practical nursing schools
or persons who have had equivalent training in
hospitals, upon passing a written examination for
civil service, were hired by the Federal Govern­
ment at $3,175 per year in 1956. Auxiliary nurs­
ing workers without prior training or experience,
who qualified for employment by passing an apti­
tude test, were hired at $2,960.
W here To Go for M ore Information

Additional details about practical nurses and
auxiliary nursing workers are given in a U. S. De­
partment of Labor’s Women's Bureau publica­
tion. The Outlook for Women as Practical Nurses
and Auxiliary Workers on the Nursing Team,
Bulletin No. 203-5. 66 pp. Washington, D. C.,
1953. Price 40 cents.
Information about these occupations may also
be obtained from :
National League for Nursing, Committee on Careers,
2 Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y.
National Association for Practical Nurse Education,
654 Madison Ave., New York 21, N. Y.
National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses,
250 W est 57th St., New York 19, N. Y.

Skilled Trades and O ther Industrial Occupations
The trades and other industrial occupations—
skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled—together pro­
vided jobs for nearly 4 out of 10 employed workers
in the United States in 1956. The men and women
in these jobs perform key functions in the econ­
omy. They help transform the ideas of the scien­
tists and the plans of the engineers into goods and
services. They help operate transportation sys­
tems, communication facilities, and atomic instal­
lations. They build homes, office buildings, and
factories. Many work in factories where they
build, install, control, maintain, and repair the
tremendous amout of machinery needed by a
complex industrial society. Others repair auto­
mobiles, television sets, and washing machines.
The efficient operation of the Armed Forces also
depends on skilled workers in uniform as well as
upon civilian craftsmen to produce weapons, ve­
hicles, ships, tanks, planes, and communications
To young people who have mechanical or man­
ual interests and abilities, the trades and other
industrial occupations offer the bulk of employ­
ment opportunities. Within this area, there is a
wide range of occupations varying in skill and
earnings from the unskilled laborer to the highly
skilled tool and die maker.
Although the jobs in the trades and industrial
occupational groups can be classified into three
categories— skilled, semiskilled, or unskilled—
there is no clear-cut dividing line between the skill
levels and, therefore, skill classifications must al­
ways be somewhat arbitrary. This is so because
the nature of the work performed in these jobs
often changes as new machines or methods are in­
troduced. Thus, some of the types of work for­
merly done by skilled craftsmen have been broken
down into several simpler jobs, each requiring a
much shorter period of training than was orig­
inally demanded of the craftsmen. These simpler
jobs can be performed by workers who are usually
classified in the semiskilled category but, in some
cases, they still retain the title of a skilled worker.
Similarly, job titles sometimes fail to reflect
levels of skills. For example, the job title “ car­
penter” may designate workers at various skill

levels, ranging from those who are able to work
from blueprints in fashioning a complicated struc­
ture to those who have little more skill than handy­
men, using only a saw and hammer. Also, workers
classified as “ operatives” by the Census Bureau are
generally considered to be semiskilled, but some
might be considered skilled based on their train­
ing, functions, and earnings.
During the past two centuries, the occupational
structure of our economy has undergone a major
but gradual transformation as a result of the wide­
spread introduction of machinery and mass-pro­
duction techniques. The emergence of the factory
system of production, which emphasized the di­
vision of labor and specialization of function,
changed our economy and resulted in the appear­
ance of many new skills and trades. New occu­
pations arose and others were drastically altered.
The manufacturing industries, with their greater
potential for division of labor, were particularly
influential in these occupational changes. The
groupings of kinds of labor into such categories
as skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled was primarily
a result of factory production.
Trends in the last half century suggest that the
principal effect of the steady advance of technol­
ogy, in the factories and on the building site, has
been to reduce dramatically the proportion of un­
skilled workers in the work force. At the same
time, the proportion of semiskilled workers in our
labor force has increased significantly and the per­
centage of skilled workers has remained relatively
Today, many people believe we are on the thresh­
old of a new age of industrial progress which may
affect the future occupational structure of the
labor force. Rapid increases in the industrial ap­
plication of scientific knowledge and invention,
particularly in the field of electronic controls and
computers, are making possible the increasing
“ automation” of work processes. Automation is a
term which has been used increasingly in the past
few years to describe this most recent phase of
America’s industrial development. Although au­
tomation has been defined in many ways, it is gen­
erally agreed that, in our factories, it involves the


use of electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneu­
matic, or other devices to feed, control, handle, and
adjust the machinery and equipment used in a pro­
duction process.
Automatic technology to date has had limited
application in industry generally and, therefore,
it is still too early to know the full impact it may
have on employment and occupational skills. Em­
ployment in skilled and semiskilled groups is ex­
pected to continue to increase during the next
decade despite the anticipated increasing use of
automation. It appears that the increasing appli­
cation of automation during the next decade will
cause moderate changes in skill requirements
among the trades and other industrial occupa­
tions. Except for the semiskilled group, these
changes will broadly represent extensions of past
trends in occupational employment that have re­
sulted from advancing technology. A moderate
increase in the relative importance of skilled work­
ers is anticipated. The increasing amount of com­
plex and costly automatic machinery will require
more highly skilled craftsmen to make, install,


operate, and maintain this machinery. The longterm decline in the relative importance of the un­
skilled is expected to continue as machine power
is increasingly substituted for these workers.
The semiskilled group, as a proportion of the
work force, will be relatively stable. Semiskilled
workers have been one of the fastest growing occu­
pational groups, but as simple, repetitive opera­
tions such as the feeding or manipulation of a
machine are taken over by automatic devices, the
growth of this group will be slowed.
The reports on the trades and other industrial
occupations which follow are grouped by industry
or field of work, rather than by level of skill, since
this is the most useful grouping for practical vo­
cational guidance. The occupations which are
found in a wide variety of industries, or in indus­
tries for which an entire chapter has not been pre­
pared, are included in this section of the Hand­
book. The great majority of the trades and other
industrial occupations, however, are described in
the section, Some Major Industries and Their

Skilled Workers
Our Nation's economic and military strength
depends to a great extent on the initiative, compe­
tence, and skills of its craftsmen. The contribu­
tions of our physicists, engineers, chemists, and
other professional workers to our national security
and well-being are transformed into goods and
services by a skilled, intelligent, and flexible
work force.
Skilled workers make the patterns, models,
tools, dies, jigs, machines, and equipment without
which industrial processes could not be carried out
by semiskilled and unskilled workers. Skilled
craftsmen repair the equipment used in industry
as well as the mechanical equipment and appli­
ances used by consumers. They also construct
our homes, buildings, and highways.
Skilled workers require a thorough and com­
prehensive knowledge of the processes involved
in their work. They exercise considerable inde­
pendent judgment and often have a high degree
of manual dexterity. In some instances, they are
responsible for valuable equipment or products.
Workers in skilled occupations usually require an
extensive period of training.
Young people should consider seriously the
greater advantages which the skilled trades offer

compared with semiskilled or unskilled jobs. With
training and experience in a craft, a man often
has a wider choice of jobs. It is possible to
shift to other jobs within an industry as well as
to jobs in other industries. Such a worker is able
to handle not only the skilled job in the plant but
also, if necessary, one requiring less skill, and he
is, therefore, more valuable to his employer than
the person who can operate only one machine. In
many plants, the skilled worker, who understands
the whole process, is given preference in promo­
tion to a foreman’s job. Knowledge of a craft
pays off in job security and usually in earnings as
well. Skilled workers appeared to have steadier
employment according to the 1950 Census, which
showed that a larger percentage of these workers
were employed 50 or more weeks in 1949 compared
with either semiskilled or unskilled workers.
Also, their average income in that year was nearly
20 percent higher than that of semiskilled workers
and almost 60 percent more than that of unskilled
laborers. The skilled occupations also provide op­
portunities for self-employment. The prospect o f
becoming an independent contractor, for example,
is an important incentive for some people to enter
the skilled building trades. Many other crafts­
men open up their own small repair shops.



The key functions performed by craftsmen
suggest why employment in the skilled occupa­
tions has grown from about 5 million skilled work­
ers and foremen in 1940, or about 1 out of 9 of our
civilian working population, to about 8.7 million,
or about 1 out of 7, in 1956. Continued growth
in the number of skilled jobs is expected in the
next decade. Many other job opportunities for
young persons to become craftsmen each year will
result from the need to replace skilled workers who
die, retire, or transfer to other fields of work.
Changing technology and economic conditions
will affect job opportunities for skilled workers
in many occupations and industries. As mechan­
ical equipment becomes more widely used, the large
and growing mechanics and repairmen group of
occupations should provide many thousands of job
opportunities for auto mechanics, industrial ma­
chinery repairmen, maintenance electricians, diesel
mechanics, business machine repairmen, and re­
frigeration and air-conditioning mechanics and re­
pairmen. In the building trades, substantial num­
bers of job openings for skilled workers are ex­
pected to occur as a result of the anticipated sharp
rise in the level of construction activity. The
major skilled machining occupations—tool and die
maker, machinist, machine tool operator, set-up
man, and layout man—should provide large num­
bers of job openings in many industries. Employ­
ment of skilled craftsmen in petroleum refining
and in the chemical industry— particularly instru­
ment repairmen, pipefitters, electricians, and main­
tenance mechanics—is expected to grow at a faster
rate than total employment in these highly auto­
mated industries. In the skilled printing trades,
moderate growth of employment is anticipated.
Employment of skilled workers in the automobile
and aircraft industries is expected to increase
numerically and percentagewise as a result of these
industries’ increasing dependence on automatic
operations; job opportunities will be particularly
favorable for maintenance workers such as mill­
wrights, industrial machinery repairmen, and
Skilled workers are employed in almost every
industry, but the largest numbers are employed in
manufacturing and construction. About 40 per­
cent of the craftsmen were in the manufacturing
industries and 25 percent in the construction in­
dustry, according to the 1950 Census of Popula­
tion. O f all employed craftsmen, 84 percent were

wage or salary workers for private employers,
about 10 percent were self-employed, and about
6 percent were government workers. The build­
ing trades generally had a fairly large percentage
of self-employed. Other individual occupations
with large proportions of self-employed included
automobile mechanics and shoemakers. As might
be expected, employment of the skilled work force
was concentrated in the more highly industralized
States. Five States with more than half a mil­
lion craftsmen each—New York, Pennsylvania,
California, Illinois, and Ohio—accounted for
about 2 out of every 5 skilled workers. Job op­
portunities for skilled workers, however, are
found in every State.
More than half of the country’s skilled workers
in 1950 were employed in 3 skilled occupational
groupings—building trades, mechanics and repair­
men, and machining occupations. The Census
also reported that more than half a million work­
ers were employed in each of 3 skilled occupa­
tions— carpenters, automobile mechanics and re­
pairmen, and machinists; in addition, there were
more than 800,000 foremen. (See table.) There
were 15 skilled occupations with more than 100,000
workers each. Most skilled occupations, however,
had relatively small numbers of workers.
E m p l o y m e n t i n selecte d s k ille d o c c u p a t i o n s , 1 9 5 0



of workers


(in thou­

Total craftsmen, foremen, and kindred

7, 700. 7

100. 0

Mechanics and repairmen
1, 690. 9
642. 8
Radio and television
73. 9
70. 6'
Railroad and car shop
48. 0
Office machine
17. 0
N ot elsewhere classified
838. 6
902. 4
Foremen (not elsewhere classified)
840. 7
Machinists _
503. 5
Painters, construction and maintenance. _
389. 6
____ _____
304. 3
Plumbers and pipefitters. _ _
273. 9
Stationary engineers
214. 3
Linemen and servicemen, telegraph,
telephone, and power
210. 3
Compositors and typesetters_____________
172. 6
Brickmasons, stonemasons, and tile
___ _
164. 4

22. 0
8. 4

1. 0


2. 7
2. 2
2. 1

E m p l o y m e n t i n s elected s k ille d o c c u p a t i o n s , 1 9 5 0 —


of workers
(in thou­

Toolmakers, diemakers, and setters
Tinsmiths, coppersmiths, and sheetmetal
w o r k e r s _______
B a k e r s _____________
Excavating, grading, and road machine
operators __ __ _
Cranemen, derrickmen, and hoistmen___
Inspectors (not elsewhere classified)
Tailors and tailoresses
_ ______
Locomotive engineers
M illw rights._ _ __ __
All other craftsmen, foremen, and kin­
dred workers



153. 9

2. 0

118. 7
115. 4

1. 5
1. 5




061. 3


13. 9

Source: U . S. Bureau of the Census.

The relative importance of occupations within
the skilled group has been changing. Those oc­
cupations which are concerned with the repair and
servicing of machinery and equipment have shown
the greatest proportionate growth in recent years.
This has been largely the result of the increasing
mechanization of our industrial and business proc­
esses and the greater use of electrical and mechan­
ical appliances in our homes. Between 1940 and
1950, the mechanics and repairmen group of skilled
occupations about doubled. Large relative gains
w^ere also made in the building trades—particular­
ly for cement and concrete finishers, carpenters,
plumbers and pipefitters, and electricians. How­
ever, in some skilled occupations employment de­
clined over the decade; among these were tailors,
blacksmiths, metal molders, and paperhangers.
Skilled labor requirements have fluctuated with
the needs of the economy and national defense.
During the depression of the 1930’s, the de­
mand for skilled workers was severely reduced.
Training of young persons had virtually stopped
and restrictions on immigration adopted in the
1920’s had curtailed a major source of skilled
labor. During World War II, the need for rapid
and substantial expansion of the skilled labor sup­
ply was partially met by recruiting skilled workers
from among the unemployed and those engaged
in less skilled occupations. Also, the number of
hours worked was increased and semiskilled and
other workers who had brief training or some
qualifying experience were temporarily up-graded
to craft or foreman jobs. Skilled jobs w^ere broken


down so that they could be performed by less
skilled workers. The skilled labor supply was
also increased by intensive training programs.
In the immediate post-World War I I period,
employment of skilled workers rose sharply with
the expansion in construction activity and in­
creased industrial activity needed to supply the
pent-up demand for consumer products. (See
chart 36.) Employment of these workers declined
in late 1949 and early 1950, but rose sharply to
meet the mobilization production requirements
during the Korean hostilities. After some decline
at the end of the Korean hostilities, the number
of skilled workers continued its upward trend;
by the end of 1956, about 8.7 million craftsmen,
foremen, and kindred workers were employed.
Employment of skilled workers is expected to
exceed 10 million by 1966 as a result of such factors
as the trend in the growth of the population and
labor force, prospective growth in industry, and
the changing occupational patterns within indus­
try. There will be differences in the rate of em­
ployment growth in the various skilled occupa­
tions in the next decade. For example, as mechan­
ical equipment becomes more widely used the
mechanics and repairmen group of occupations
should grow at a faster rate than the skilled labor
force generally. Similarly, the building trades



should show a rapid growth as a result of the
anticipated sharp rise in the level of construction
activity. On the other hand, the skilled print­
ing trades, one of the larger groups of skilled
workers, will increase at a slower rate than the
average of the skilled work force.
Skilled workers are developed in the United
States in several different ways. Some workers
acquire their skills through apprenticeship or
other formal training programs; others qualify
by picking up the skills of their trades through
experience on the job, or by working with skilled
craftsmen. Some young persons also learn the
skills or part of the skills of a trade in vocational
Most training authorities agree that the best
way to learn a trade is through a formal appren­
ticeship program. Apprenticeship is a period of
on-the-job training, supplemented by related trade
instruction, which is designed to acquaint the ap­
prentice with the materials, tools, skills, and
principles of the trade. The apprenticeship pro­
vides the worker with a balanced knowledge of
his trade and the ability to perform required op­
erations competently. The formal apprenticeship
agreement stipulates the years of overall training
and the number of hours of training the appren­
tice is to receive in the various aspects of the trade.
Most apprenticeships run for periods varying from
2 to 4 years—but some last as long as 6.
Apprenticeship has a number of advantages
over less formal methods of learning a trade. An
apprentice receives broad training and experience
which enables him to adjust more easily to chang­
ing job requirements. He is likely to be more ver­
satile and able to work in a wider range of jobs.
The completion of an apprenticeship gives the
worker a recognized status which gives him an

advantage in securing new jobs as well as greater
job security. Many firms select their foremen
from among their apprentice-trained workers be­
cause they are likely to be thoroughly familiar
with all aspects of the work being performed.
Many companies have established training pro­
grams which are not apprenticeships but which
provide workers with on-the-job training and, fre­
quently, with supplementary classroom instruc­
tion. In these programs, new workers begin on
the simplest tasks under the direction of a fore­
man or an experienced worker. They move to
progressively more difficult work until they achieve
the necessary skills.
Many persons, in moving from one semiskilled
job to another with different employers, pick up
knowledge and skill which eventually enables
them to become skilled workers. Many young
people also learn the rudiments of a skilled trade
by attending vocational, trade, or technical schools.
A small proportion of these graduates are able to
move directly into jobs in their trade and, after
acquiring experience on the job, are able to qual­
ify as skilled workers. In other cases, young per­
sons who are already employed in semiskilled or
unskilled jobs have been able to move into the
skilled categories by taking vocational courses re­
lated to their work.
Many young men acquire skills in the armed
services which enable them to qualify or shorten
their training period for skilled jobs in civilian
life. It is estimated that a fourth of the young
men in the armed services are given extended
school and on-the-job instruction which helps to
prepare them for many skilled or technical occu­
pations such as automobile mechanic, electronic
technician, airplane mechanic, electrician, office
machine repairman, and painter.

Semiskilled and Unskilled Workers
In 1956, nearly 13 million men and women—
about one-fifth of the total workforce—were “ op­
eratives,” the Census designation for those who are
often called semiskilled workers. (See chart 37.)
Like all broad occupational classifications this one
contains jobs varying widely in the nature of the
work, in earnings, and in levels of skill. For ex­
ample, truck driving, one of the largest occupa­
tions in the semiskilled group, may call for skill in
driving, knowledge of routes and traffic rules,
ability to make minor repairs, some clerical work,

and independent responsibility and judgment. On
the other hand, some machine operator jobs in
industry require only the repetition of a halfdozen different motions all day long— reach for a
metal blank and put it in the machine, pull the
lever, press the button, take out the piece of metal,
which now has been stamped or cut, and place it
on a pile, reach for another metal blank, etc. Such
a routine can be picked up in a day and mastered
in a few weeks. Many other semiskilled jobs re­
quire a number of months to learn.



With some exceptions, such as the truckdriver’s
occupation, semiskilled jobs generally are fairly
routine and repetitive. Often they pay fairly well,
particularly when a worker’s pay is based on the
amount of his production, under an incentive sys­
tem. Unlike the skilled worker, the semiskilled
worker does not need to invest many years of his
life learning a trade, but frequently this is a dis­
advantage. Because of his limited training, he
is less valuable to employers and thus may have
lower earnings and less job security. However, the
semiskilled worker can more easily adapt to new
opportunities as they arise. Should the chances
for employment disappear in one field of work, as
often happens when some new process displaces

4 2 7 6 7 5 ° — 5 7 ---------1 6



an existing one, it is usually the semiskilled man
who most readily writes off his investment of time
and experience in that field, finds another job and,
in a brief period of training, learns the new
Rather than intensive training in a vocational
school in one type of work, a semiskilled worker
should have some familiarity with different types
of work— machine shop, woodworking, weldings
electrical work, etc. He does not need to attain
proficiency in any one of these fields, but does need
a familiarity with the different types of processes
and machines so that lie can adapt readily to them.
Semiskilled workers have been one of the fastest
growing occupational groups in the American la­
bor force. For example, in 1930, they made up
about 16 percent of the Nation’s labor force, and
by 1950, they had increased their proportion to
about 23 percent. During the 1955-66 decade
semiskilled Avorkers will obtain a substantial share
of the expected large increase in total employment.
HoAvever, employment in this group, as a propor­
tion of the total Avorking population, is expected
to be relatively stable.
The increased employment of semiskilled Avork­
ers has been accompanied by a long-term downAvard trend in the relative importance of unskilled
laborers in the Avork force. This trend is likely
to continue as a result of further mechanization in
materials handling and construction equipment.
In 1956, about 3.5 million persons were employed
as laborers in industry (excluding those on farms
and in mines).
Unskilled laborers Avork in jobs which require
no preAuous education or special training. The
Avorker can learn the task he must perform in a
very short time on the job. Unskilled jobs fre­
quently involve manual handling and moving of
heavy objects or materials. Such jobs are
found mainly in manufacturing, construction, and

The largest group of skilled workers in the
American labor force are employed in the building
trades. These craftsmen constitute a related group
o f workers' primarily because they are all closely
identified with the construction process. Alto­
gether, there were about 2.8 million building
trades craftsmen in mid-1956— about one-third of
all the skilled workers in the United States. The
more than two dozen skilled building trades vary
greatly in size. The great majority of the skilled
building craftsmen are employed in six major
trades—carpenters, painters, plumbers and pipe­
fitters, bricklayers, operating engineers, and con­
struction electricians—each with over a hundred
thousand workers. The 1.2 million carpenters
alone accounted for about 40 percent of all skilled
building trades workers. By contrast, only a few
thousand workers were employed in each of sev­
eral trades including marble setters, terrazzo
workers, tile setters, glaziers, stonemasons, and
elevator constructors.
There are several reasons why young men should
consider one o f the building trades as a career.
They offer especially good opportunities for those
who are not planning to go to college and who are
willing to spend several years in learning a skilled
occupation. Well-trained journeymen can find
job opportunities in all parts of the country.
Their hourly wage rates are generally much higher
than those o f most other manual workers and they
may enjoy more economic .independence. Jour­
neymen with business ability have greater oppor­
tunities to establish their own business than
workers in many other skilled occupations. His­
torically, employment in most building trades has
expanded despite technological developments.
A principal disadvantage of work in the build­
ing trades is the sharp employment fluctuations
that result from changes in general business con­
ditions. In the past, declines in building trades
employment have been much greater than those
in most other industries. Another disadvantage is
that even during years of high levels of construc­
tion activity, annual earnings of workers in the
building trades are somewhat limited by the sea­
sonal nature of construction work. Time is lost
as a result of bad weather and other interruptions.

In addition, construction jobs generally are of
short duration and building craftsmen must spend
time in finding their next job. Continually chang­
ing, and sometimes inconvenient, places of em­
ployment are also disadvantageous.
W h a t Are the Building Trades?

Building trades craftsmen are skilled workers
employed mainly in the construction, maintenance,
repair, and alteration of homes and other types of
buildings, highways, airports, and other struc­
tures. The wide range of materials and skills
used in construction work has permitted speciali­
zation of various work operations; accordingly,
building trades workers who use essentially the
same materials or skills have tended to become
identified with distinctive trades. For example,
brickmasons and stonemasons work with masonry
materials. Although operating engineers work
with no particular materials, they have a group of
related skills which enables them to handle vari­
ous types of excavating, grading, hoisting, and
other equipment.
The building trades consist primarily of jour­
neymen (skilled workers) who generally must
have a high level of skill and a sound knowledge
o f assembly and construction operations. They
are often assisted in their work by tenders, ap­
prentices, and laborers.
Journeymen may be grouped into three broad
classifications—structural, finishing, and mechan­
ical. However, some craftsmen— for example,
carpenters—may do finishing as well as structural
work. Generally, the building trades are classified
in one of these three categories, as follows:
Structural—carpenters, bricklayers, stonema­
sons, cement or concrete masons, structural iron
workers, ornamental iron workers, reinforcing
iron workers (rodmen), riggers, boilermakers, and
operating engineers.
Finishing—lathers, plasterers, marble setters,
tile setters, terrazzo workers, painters, paperhangers, soft-floor layers, glaziers, roofers, and
asbestos workers.
Mechanical—plumbers and pipefitters, mill­
wrights, construction electricians, sheet metal
workers, and elevator constructors.



All but a few of these skilled trades are de­
scribed in detail individually, later in this chapter.
These descriptions are necessarily brief and incom­
plete. They do not apply fully to all localities be­
cause of local differences in the scope of the various
trades. Also, they are not statements or recom­
mendations concerning the jurisdiction of these
trades and are inappropriate for use in jurisdic­
tional negotiations, or the settlement of jurisdic­
tional disagreements.
W here Building Trades Workers Are Employed

Building trades workers are employed mainly
in the contract construction industry; others work
on “ force-account” construction, are self-em­
ployed, or use their construction skills mainly in
maintenance work in industries other than con­
struction, particularly manufacturing.
The building craftsmen who work in the con­
tract construction industry are employed by gen­
eral and special-trade contractors. General con­
tractors may be classified as building (residential,
commercial, or industrial), highway, or heavy con­
struction contractors since most of them limit their
operations to one of these activities. They con­
struct buildings and other structures (dams,
bridges, roads, etc.), taking full responsibility for
the complete job, except for any specified portions
of the work that may be omitted from the general
contract. Ordinarily, general contractors do most
of the work with their own crews, but they often
subcontract particular phases of the construction
job to special-trade contractors.
Special-trade contractors usually do the work
of only one trade (for example, painting or elec­
trical work), or of two or more closely related
trades (plumbing with or without heating, or
plastering with or without lathing). Beyond fit­
ting their work to that of other trades, they have
no responsibility for the structure as a whole. The
special-trade contractors obtain orders for their
work from general contractors, architects, or from
property owners. Repair work is almost always
done on direct order from the owners, occupants,
architects, or rental agents.
There are several hundred thousand contractors
(both general and special-trade), most of them
operating in local areas. The great bulk of them
are fairly small—generally employing fewer than

2 27

10 workers. However, some firms are quite
large—employing several thousand workers each.
Skilled building trades craftsmen are also em­
ployed by government agencies and business es­
tablishments which do not use the services of a
contractor but do their own construction (forceaccount) or repair work.
Many building trades craftsmen are selfemployed. Self-employed journeymen work di­
rectly for many property owners on small jobs.
They may be paid by the hour or the day, or they
may be paid an agreed price for the job, either pro­
viding the materials and including them in the
price or using materials provided by the owner.
Self-employment is most common in carpentry
and painting, but is also found in most other skilled
building trades.
In some of the trades, work may be performed
away from the construction site. For example,
sheet metal workers may be employed in shops
where ducts are fabricated for installation in a
building. Many building trades craftsmen are
also employed to do maintenance work in fac­
tories, stores, mines, hotels, and almost every other
type of large business establishment.
A skilled building craftsman’s work is identi­
fied with a specific trade, such as carpentry or
bricklaying, rather than with an individual con­
tractor or even a broad group of contractors.
Thus, a carpenter may be employed mainly by a
particular builder but, in the course of a year, he
may be employed by a concrete contractor to build
forms for a concrete bridge; by an electrical or
plumbing contractor to build a temporary struc­
ture at a large construction site; or he may con­
tract to do a small repair job on his own.
Building trades craftsmen are employed in al­
most every community. These widespread oppor­
tunities are important for young persons inter­
ested in a career in the skilled building trades.
Once they learn one of the trades they can find
jobs not only in their own community but in almost
any part of the country. Employment of these
workers is distributed in much the same way as
the Nation’s population. Thus, employment is
concentrated in the industralized and highly pop­
ulated areas. Nine States—New York, California,
Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan,
New Jersey, and Massachusetts—accounted for
more than 50 percent of total employment in the
skilled building trades.



Training, Other Qualifications, and A dvancem ent

Apprentice training under a formal apprentice­
ship agreement registered with a State apprentice­
ship agency or the U. S. Department of Labor’s
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training is con­
sidered by training authorities generally to be the
best way to acquire the all-round proficiency of a
skilled building trades worker. Apprenticeship
is a prescribed period of on-the-job training sup­
plemented by related trade instruction which is
designed to develop skill and to make the ap­
prentice familiar with the materials, tools, and
principles of his trade. It provides him with a
balanced knowledge of his field of work and en­
ables him to perform its operations competently.
In addition to the apprenticeship method, many
skilled craftsmen have learned their trades in­
formally. Most of these workers have picked up a
trade through several years of on-the-job ex­
perience. Generally, they first worked as laborers
and helpers and learned the skills of a trade by
working with and observing the work of ex­
perienced craftsmen. Some building craftsmen
have acquired their skills, or part of their skills,
by attending vocational or trades schools.
Generally, apprentices in the building trades
are required to be between the ages of 17 and 25,
and in good physical condition. A high school
education or its equivalent, with course work in
mathematics and the sciences, is desirable. Often,
applicants are given tests to determine their apti­
tude for a particular occupation. For some skilled
building trades, it is important to have consider­
able manual dexterity, mechanical aptitude, a
discerning color sense, and an eye for quickly de­
termining proper alinement of materials.
The formal apprenticeship agreement generally
stipulates a training period of 3 to 5 years of rela­
tively continuous employment and training, sup­
plemented by at least 144 hours a year of related
classroom instruction. The journeymen on the
job and the foreman explain to the apprentice how
the work is done and show him how different op­
erations are performed and how different tools are
used. Ordinarily, most of this instruction is given
by a particular journeyman to whom the appren­
tice is assigned. The apprentice is required to do
work of progressively increasing difficulty and
with progressively less supervision.
Related classroom instruction varies among the
trades, but usually includes courses such as:

History of the trade; characteristics of the ma­
terials used; shop mathematics as related to the
trade’s w ork; rudiments of engineering where
appropriate (particularly for pipework, ventilat­
ing systems, and electrical work) ; sketching, ele­
mentary drafting, and interpretation of draw­
ings; safety practices; and special-trade theory
such as color harmony for painters and elemen­
tary sanitation for plumbers. Such related in­
struction is seldom offered in small communities
where there may be only a few apprentices and a
small number of journeymen in a particular trade.
In these areas, apprentices receive instruction
through courses offered in the local high school
or by itinerant instructors, generally furnished
by the State. Other subject matter requirements
are met through personal instruction by local
journeymen and contractors or, in some cases, by
correspondence courses.
The formal registered apprenticeship agree­
ments also recommend the length of time the ap­
prentice is required to work in each major opera­
tion of the trade as well as his rate of pay at
successive levels of advancement. The apprentice
is paid at an advancing rate, usually starting at
40 to 50 percent of the journeyman’s pay. The
apprentice’s rate increases at 6-month intervals
until a rate of about 90 percent of the journey­
man’s rate is reached in the final months of train­
ing. Often, advanced apprenticeship standing
and pay are given to apprentices for trade skills
acquired in the Armed Forces, or through trade
school instruction. Advanced standing is granted
on an individual basis and is usually determined
by a demonstration of trade skill and knowledge.
In most communities, the apprenticeship pro­
grams are supervised by joint apprenticeship com­
mittees composed of representatives of the local
employers or employer groups and the union local.
In these cases, the apprentices sign their appren­
ticeship agreements with these committees. The
committee determines the need for apprentices in
the locality and establishes minimum apprentice­
ship standards of education, experience, and train­
ing. Where employers cannot provide the diver­
sity of experience necessary to give an apprentice
all-round instruction in the various branches of
the trade, or relatively continuous employment
over the entire period of apprenticeship, the
committee transfers the apprentice to another
employer. Where specialization by contractors is
extensive—for instance, in electrical work—it is



customary for the joint committee to rotate appren­
tices among several contractors in the trade at in­
tervals of about 6 months. In some large cities
the local joint apprenticeship committee employs
a coordinator to supervise the apprenticeship pro­
In areas where these committees have not been
established, the apprenticeship agreement is solely
between the apprentice and an employer or em­
ployer group. Many journeymen have received
worthwhile training under these types of appren­
ticeship programs, but these programs may involve
some element of risk for the apprentice. In such
instances, there is no joint committee to supervise
the training offered, to settle differences over the
terms and conditions of apprentice training, or to
arrange a transfer in cases of personal incompat­
ibility between the apprentice and the employer.
The apprentice's training depends principally on
his employer’s business prospects and policies. I f
the employer lacks continuous work or does only a
restricted type of work, he cannot provide the ap­
prentice with the all-round training needed to de­
velop journeyman skills.
In many localities craftsmen, most commonly
construction electricians and plumbers, are re­
quired to have a journeyman’s license to work at
their trade. To qualify for these licenses, they
must pass an examination showing a well-rounded
knowledge of the job and of State and local regula­
More detailed information concerning the train­
ing, other qualifications, and advancement of
building trades workers is given later in this
chapter in the discussion of the individual occupa­
tions in the building trades.
Advancement opportunities for building trades
craftsmen are quite varied. For example, a journevmen may become a foreman in charge of his em­
ployer’s crew. In most localities, small jobs are
run by “ working foremen” who work at the trade
along with members of their own crews except
when engaged in supervisory or management du­
ties. On very large jobs, the foremen do no actual
production work. A craftsman can also become an
estimator for a contractor. In this job he esti­
mates material requirements and labor costs in
order to enable the contractor to bid on the work
of a particular construction project. Some crafts­
men advance to jobs as superintendents on large
projects. Other craftsmen become instructors in
trade and vocational schools.


In addition, many thousands of journeymen
have become contractors.
Sound journeyman
knowledge is a great help in assuring success as
a contractor. However, the successful contractor
must also have the ability to plan work, to foresee
needs and problems, to direct others, to estimate
material and time requirements for jobs on which
he is bidding, and a sound knowledge of business
practices and financing.
xAwards of contracts on the basis of competitive
bidding, relatively moderate fixed capital require­
ments, liberal credit arrangements to facilitate the
purchase of materials, and the possibility of con­
ducting a fairly substantial business from the pro­
prietor’s home, all combine to make it easier to
enter a small contracting business in the construc­
tion industry than it is to start a small business
in many other industries. Because it is easy to
enter the contracting business, competition is usu­
ally very keen, especially for smaller jobs. For
larger jobs, considerable working capital and in­
vestment in equipment are necessary. Some States
or municipalities require contractors to be li­
Employment Outlook

A continued upward trend in the employment
of skilled building trades workers is expected dur­
ing the late 1950’s and the 1960’s. The rate of
employment increase for these craftsmen is ex­
pected to be greater than the rate of growth of
the Nation’s total labor force. In addition to open­
ings resulting from an increase in employment,
thousands of job opportunities for new workers
to enter the building trades will result from the
need to replace skilled workers who die, retire, or
transfer to other fields of work.
The favorable employment prospects for these
skilled workers will result primarily from the ex­
pected large rise in the level of construction ac­
tivity, continuing the post-World War II trend.
The postwar construction trend can best be illus­
trated by an examination of construction expendi­
tures. Total construction expenditures (including
maintenance and repair) rose from $20 billion in
1946 to about $60 billion in 1956 (actual expendi­
tures not adjusted for changes in price levels).
The rate of growth for new construction during
the same period was even greater— from $12 bil­
lion to $44 billion. Expenditures for maintenance
and repairs about doubled—increasing from about



$8 billion to nearly $16 billion. The post-World
War II growth of the construction industry can
also be seen in the increase in construction em­
ployment. For example, in contract construction,
which employs a majority of the skilled building
craftsmen, employment in the 1946-56 decade rose
from 1.7 million to about 3 million, or about 80
The same factors which accounted for the rapid
postwar expansion in construction activity are ex­
pected to result in a further growth in the con­
struction industry during the 1956-66 decade.
These include the high level of personal and cor­
porate income, the rising volume of business ac­
tivity, the growth in population and number of
households, the size of governmental expenditures
for highways, schools, etc., and defense expendi­
During the 1946-56 decade, personal disposable
income rose from $1,126 per capita to more than
$1,700, the population increased by about 19 per­
cent, and households by about 25 percent. As­
suming a continued high level of business ac­
tivity, personal disposable income is expected to
increase significantly during the 1956-66 decade.
Population and households are expected to in­
crease by about a sixth during this period. Rec­
ord highway construction expenditures are antici­
pated in the next 10 years under the Federal Gov­
ernment’s multi-billion dollar highway develop­
ment program. The continuing shift of popula­
tion from the cities to the suburbs will result in
a growing demand for all types of new construc­
tion such as hospitals, schools, churches, and com­
mercial establishments. Other factors that will
contribute to a high level of construction activity
include anticipated high level defense require­
ments for construction work; increased construc­
tion requirements generated by new and expand­
ing industries; and demands for maintenance, re­
pair, and modernization work for a constantly in­
creasing number of buildings and other structures.
An analysis of these and other factors affecting
the volume of construction indicates an increase in
construction activity of about 40 to 50 percent
during the 1956-66 decade. In terms of constant
(1955) dollars, total construction expenditures
(including both new construction and mainte­
nance and repair expenditures) over the next
decade may reach $85 to $90 billion compared with
about $60 billion in 1956.

This large increase in construction activity is
expected to result in a substantial increase in the
employment of building craftsmen. However,
employment is expected to increase at a slower
rate than expenditures. Continued technological
developments in construction methods and equip­
ment will permit greater output per construction
worker. The technological changes which can be
foreseen at the present time are not likely to re­
sult in large declines in employment in the large
building trades. The experience of the past 50
years shows that the skilled building trades gen­
erally have been able to adapt to technological
changes and continue to grow.
Employment of building trades craftsmen in
maintenance jobs in factories, commercial estab­
lishments, schools, and large residential projects
is also expected to increase substantially in the
1956-66 decade.
There will be differences in the rate of growth
among the various building trades. Employment
growth will be most rapid for bricklayers, cement
and concrete masons, operating engineers, sheet
metal workers, plumbers and pipefitters, and elec­
tricians and less rapid for paperhangers, painters,
stonemasons, marble setters, and building laborers.
Employment of carpenters will also increase sub­
stantially and this trade will continue to be the
largest single occupation in the building trades.
(A more complete statement covering employ­
ment opportunities in each trade is given in the
discussions of individual occupations in this
One of the principal sources of job opportunities
for new workers will result from replacement
needs. The building trades, with about 2.8 mil­
lion skilled craftsmen in 1956, represent a very
large field of work. Deaths and retirements alone
will create about 50,000 to 60,000 job openings
each year. Other openings will result from the
need to replace experienced craftsmen who leave
the building trades for other fields of work.
In July 1956, an estimated 103,080 apprentices
were in registered apprentice training programs
and perhaps 20,000 to 30,000 other apprentices
in programs which were unregistered. Oppor­
tunities for young men to receive apprentice train­
ing will be available in all parts of the country
during the 1956-66 decade. In addition, thousands
of other workers will be able to enter the trades


Some indication of the location %f future ap­
prenticeship opportunities is given in the follow­
ing geographical distribution of registered build­
ing trades apprenticeships as of July 1956:



Number of

Alabam a_____________

1, 387


1, 016


14, 162


1, 223


2, 480



District of Columbia

1, 202


2, 798


1, 994




9, 051


2, 149


Earnings and W orking Conditions

Hourly wage rates paid building craftsmen are
generally much higher than those paid most other
skilled workers. However, because construction
work is seasonal and time is lost for other reasons,
average annual earnings are not as high as the
hourly rates of pay indicate. Nevertheless, an­
nual earnings of these craftsmen, as a group,
compare favorably with those of other skilled
The hourly rates of pay for skilled workers in
the building trades vary by trade and locality.
Generally, the highest hourly rates are paid in
the larger communities. (Wage rates for a trade
may also vary within the same city depending
upon the type of work performed and the work­
ing conditions.) The average minimum union
hourly wage rates as of July 1, 1956, for 22
selected occupations in 52 large cities, as reported
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are shown

T o ta l___________________________________________ 103, 080





1, 300


1, 439




1, 487


2, 548


5, 196


2, 688




2, 995

M ontana____________




N evada_____________


New Hampshire____


New Jersey_________
New Mexico________

2, 289

New Y ork__________

8, 689

North Carolina_____

1, 842

North Dakota______



7, 336




1, 013


3, 906

Rhode Island-----------


South Carolina_____


South Dakota______



1, 981


4, 989



Verm ont____________



1, 278


2, 152

West Virginia______



2, 610

W yom ing___________



hourly rate

All building trades___________________________________ $3. 04
3. 22
Asbestos workers___________________________ 3. 29
3. 62
Carpenters___________________________________ 3 .1 3
Cement finishers____________________________
Electricians (inside wiremen) ______________ 3. 34
Elevator constructors_______________________
Marble setters______________________________
Mosaic and terrazzo workers______________

3. 36
2. 93
3. 43
3. 28
3. 28



Roofers, composition_______________________
Roofers, slate and tile______________________
Sheet metal workers_______________________

3 .1 7
2. 96
3. 08
3. 20
3. 50

Structural-iron workers____________________
Tile layers___________________________________

3. 30
3. 22


Helpers and laborers____________________________
Bricklayers’ helpers________________________
Building laborers___________________________
Composition roofers’ helpers_______________
Elevator constructors’ helpers______________



Marble setters’ helpers_____________________
Plasterers’ laborers________________________
Plumbers’ laborers__________________________
Terrazzo workers’ helpers_________________
Tile layers’ helpers__________________________





Union rates for these occupations are those ne­
gotiated between trade unions and employers.
They do not include overtime, bonuses, and pay­
ments for special qualifications or other reasons.
Average union hourly rates for many of the indi­
vidual building crafts in selected cities are in­
cluded in the discussion of these occupations later
in this chapter.
Forty hours was the standard workweek for a
majority of building trades workers in 1956.
Time-and-a-half was generally paid for hours
worked beyond the standard workday of 8 hours.
Time-and-a-half or double-time rates were usually
paid for work on Saturdays and Sundays or on
holidays. Travel pay to and from work was com­
monly paid to building trades workers whenever
their work was outside a specified local area.
A substantial proportion of organized building
trades workers are included in negotiated health
and insurance programs. A majority of the build­
ing trades workers in major cities are covered by
health and insurance programs financed almost
entirely by employer contributions. Pension plans
for building trades workers have become more
common in recent years.
A large proportion of skilled building trades
workers are members of trade unions affiliated
with the Building and Construction Trades De­
partment of the American Federation of Labor
and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
Construction work is active and sometimes
strenuous but great physical strength is generally
not necessary to perform the work capably. Much
o f the heavier work is now performed by ma­
chinery. Nevertheless, persons interested in be­
coming building craftsmen should be in good
physical condition. Prolonged standing, bending,
stooping, and working in cramped quarters are
frequently necessary. Exposure to cold and in­
clement weather is common as much of the work
is done outdoors or in partially enclosed structures.
During the winter, when the buildings are suffi­

ciently enclosed, artificial heat is commonly pro­
vided. Many persons prefer construction work to
other skilled occupations because they are able to
work outdoors.
Construction work is generally more dangerous
than work in manufacturing, but the risk of in­
jury is lessened considerably when proper work
practices are followed. In recent years, the safety
record of construction wmrkers in contract con­
struction work has improved.
W here To Go for More Information

Information on opportunities for apprenticeship
or other types of construction employment in a
particular locality may be obtained from individ­
ual construction firms, employer associations, or
locals of the building trades unions. Many ap­
prenticeship programs are supervised by local,
joint union-employer committees. In these in­
stances, an apprentice applicant may apply di­
rectly to the coordinator of the joint apprentice­
ship committee if there is one in his locality. In
recent years, there has been a trend toward in­
creased use of the local office of the State employ­
ment service as a source of information and a
contact point for apprenticeship openings.
For more information on jobs in the building
trades, a young man should write to the organiza­
tions listed below:
American Federation of Labor and Congress of In­
dustrial Organizations,
Building and Construction Trades Department,
815 16th St.. M V , Washington 6, D. C.
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
Munsey Trust Bldg., Washington 4, D. C.
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St.. X W , Washington 6, D. C.

For the names of labor organizations and trade
associations concerned with specific building
trades, see the individual discussions of the vari­
ous building trades later in this chapter.

(D. O. T. 5 -2 5 .1 1 0 through .830)

Nature o f W ork

Carpenters saw, fit, and assemble wood, plywood,
wallboard, and other materials and fasten these
materials by means of glue, nails, bolts, or wood
screws to form various structures. In addition,

they often install linoleum, asphalt tile, and sim­
ilar soft-floor coverings. They use handtools such
as hammers, saws, chisels, and planes as well as
power tools such as portable power saws, drills,
and rivet guns.



2 33

stairs. Specialization is more common in the large
cities; in small communities carpenters ordinarily
do all types of carpentry work. In rural areas
carpenters may also frequently do the work of
other craftsmen, particularly painting, glazing, or
Where Employed

Carpenter apprentices learn the trade through actual work

Carpentry work is commonly divided into 2
broad categories— “ rough” carpentry and “ finish”
carpentry. A skilled carpenter, however, should
be able to do both types of work. In rough work,
carpenters erect the wood frame buildings, includ­
ing subflooring, sheathing, partitions, floor joists,
studding, and rafters. They also install heavy
timbers used in the building of docks, railroad
trestles, and similar heavy installations. Rough
carpentry also includes the building of forms to en­
close concrete until it has hardened, the making of
chutes for pouring wet concrete, and the erection
of scaffolding and temporary buildings on the con­
struction site. In finish work, carpenters install
molding around floors and ceilings, wood paneling,
cabinets, exterior and interior trim, window sash,
door frames, and hardware. They also build stairs
and lay floors. Finish work carpenters must be
very accurate because their completed work is vis­
ible and because they often work with expensive
Although a skilled journeyman is expected to
know all aspects of carpentry work, there is much
specialization within the trade, because of the wide
scope of the work performed. For example, some
carpenters specialize in installing acoustic panels
on ceilings and walls. Others specialize in trim­
ming (the installation of mill work and finish
hardware), laying hardwood floors, or building

Most carpenters work in the construction in­
dustry and are employed mainly by contractors
and home builders at the construction site. They
work principally on building construction, al­
though many are employed on highway or other
nonbuilding projects. A large number do repair,
alteration, or modernization work. Many car­
penters alternate between wage employment for
contractors and self-employment on small jobs.
Many others work for Government agencies or
business firms which do their own construction
work. A large number of carpenters do mainte­
nance work in factories, hotels, office buildings, and
other large establishments. Carpenters are also
employed in shipbuilding, in mining, and in the
production of many kinds of display materials.
Carpenters are employed in almost every com­
munity in the country. Their employment dis­
tribution is generally similar to that of the Na­
tion’s population. The widespread employment
of carpenters is an important consideration for
young persons interested in learning this trade.
Beginning carpenters can not only find jobs in
their own communities but once they become jour­
neymen they can obtain jobs in almost any part
of the country.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Completion of a 4-year apprenticeship program
for carpenters is recommended by training au­
thorities generally as the best way to learn this
trade. A substantial proportion of carpenters,
however, have learned the trade informally. They
have picked up the trade by working for several
years as helpers or handymen, observing, or being
taught by, experienced carpenters. Many of these
persons have gained some of the knowledge of
their trade by taking correspondence o,r trade
school courses.
Apprenticeship applicants are generally re­
quired to be at least 17 years of age; a high school
education or its equivalent .is desirable. Good



physical condition and manual dexterity are im­
portant assets. Many apprenticeship programs
are under the supervision of local joint employerunion apprenticeship committees. Generally, the
apprentice .is covered by a written apprenticeship
agreement and the program is registered with a
State apprenticeship agency or the U. S. Depart­
ment of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and
The apprenticeship generally consists of 8,000
hours of on-the-job training plus a minimum of
576 hours o f related instruction. During the
apprenticeship period the apprentice learns how
to use and handle the tools, machines, and mate­
rials commonly used in the trade. He learns ele­
mentary structural design and becomes familiar
with the common systems of frame and form con­
struction. Because the work of the carpenter is
basic in the construction process, the apprentice
must also learn the relationship between carpentry
and the other building trades.
The apprentice receives related classroom in­
struction in drafting and blueprint reading,
mathematics applicable to layout work, and the
use o f woodworking machines. An illustration
of a 4-year apprenticeship work schedule for con­
struction carpenters follow s:
Type of work

Carpenters may advance to the position of car­
penter foremen. In addition, they may become
general construction foremen. Carpenters usually
have greater opportunities than most building
craftsmen to become general construction foremen
since carpenters are more familiar with the entire
construction process. Also, the proportion of selfemployed among carpenters is higher than among
most other skilled building trades. Some selfemployed carpenters are able to expand their ac­
tivities to contracting— hiring other journeymen.
Adequate financial resources and a sound knowl­
edge of business principles and practices, in addi­
tion to a knowledge of construction, are basic re­
quirements for success as a contractor.
Employment Outlook

Approximate hours

Total____________________________________________ 8, 000
Form building________________________________________
Build and place straight concrete fo r m s; build
and place irregular concrete forms ; build and
place concrete forms for stairways and floors,
walls and columns.
Rough framing_________________________________________1,
Floor, wall, roof, stair, scaffolding, etc., on both
house and heavy construction.
Outside finishing------------------------------------------------------------ 1,
Application of cornice and wall trim ; set door
and window frames ; application of trimming
fixtures; roof covering.
Inside finishing_________________________________________1,
Application of door and window tr im : fit and
sand doors and windows ; application of base­
boards and m oldings; construction and set­
ting cases, wardrobes, stair w o rk ; flooring.
Hardware fitting______________________________________
Application of hardware and fittings to exterior
and interior of building, doors and windows.








Batterboards ; partitions ; doors and windows ;
box-out in concrete walls.
Care and use of tools and woodworking ma­
chinery______________________________________________ 1, 000

Miscellaneous------------------------------------------------------Scaffolding, walkways, shoring, sheds, etc.

Hourly wages rates for apprentices start at
about 50 percent of the journeyman rate and
usually increase by about 5 percent in each 6month period until 85 to 90 percent is reached dur­
ing the last period of apprenticeship. I f ap­
prentice applicants have had experience or train­
ing directly related to the trade, such as training
in carpentry in a vocational school or experience
in the Armed Forces, they may be given advanced
apprenticeship standing.


There will be tens of thousands of opportunities
for young men to learn the carpentry trade dur­
ing the late 1950’s and the 1960’s. A substantial
increase in the employment of these workers is
expected as a result of anticipated higher levels of
construction activity. In addition, replacement
needs will create thousands of job opportunities
for new workers.
Employment of carpenters has increased rapid­
ly in recent years. Their rate of growth has been
much faster than that of the total labor force. The
number of carpenters employed increased from
about 550,000 in 1940 to 900,000 in 1950, and to
about 1,200,000 in mid-1956. The anticipated 40
to 50 percent increase in construction expendi­
tures in the 1956-66 decade (see discussion, p. 230),
will result in continued growth in this occupa­
Technological developments have affected and
are expected to continue to affect both the number
and skill requirements of carpenters. Construc­
tion materials that are processed off the site and
materials designed for easier and faster installa-



tions have become progressively more important.
There has also been a continued trend toward a
greater use of factory prefabrication of structural
building components as well as entire structures.
Nevertheless, a substantial increase in employment
of carpenters in construction is anticipated. A
growing number of carpenters will also be needed
in the maintenance departments of factories, com­
mercial establishments, large residential projects,
and government agencies.
The 1.2 million carpenters comprise the largest
single group of skilled workers in the country and
account for about two-fifths of all building trades
craftsmen. Because of the large size of this oc­
cupation replacement needs are very great. Deaths
and retirements alone will create about 20,000 to
25,000 job openings annually during the 1956-66
decade. Many other openings will result from
the need to replace workers who leave the trade for
other reasons.
Young men who obtain all-round skill training
o f the kind given under apprenticeship programs
will have especially favorable long-range job
prospects. These workers are in much greater de­
mand than the many persons in the trade who can
do only the simpler and more routine types of
carpentry work. They also have better opportuni­
ties for advancement.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of
Labor Statistics’ annual survey of union minimum
hourly wage rates in the building trades showed
that, as of July 1, 1956, the average union hourly
rate for carpenters in the 52 large cities surveyed
was $3.13. Among the individual cities the mini­
mum union hourly wage rates ranged from $2.25
in Charlotte, N. C., to $3.65 in Newark and New
York, as shown in the following tabulation (wage
rates for this trade may vary within the same city
depending upon the type of work performed and
the working conditions) :
Atlanta, Ga_______________________________________
Baltimore, Md___________________________________
Birmingham, A la________________________________
Boston, Mass_____________________________________
Buffalo, N. Y _____________________________________
Charlotte, X. C__________________________________
Chicago, 111______________________________________
Cincinnati, Ohio_________________________________
Cleveland, Ohio__________________________________
Columbus, Ohio__________________________________

$2. 80
2. 95
2. 60
3. 05
3.3 2
2. 25
3. 35
3. 30
3. 58
3. 00


Dallas, Tex______________________________________
$2. 88
Dayton, Ohio_____________________________________
3. 10
Denver, Colo_____________________________________
2. 98
Des Moines, Iow a_______________________________
3. 00
Detroit, Mich_____________________________________
3. 20
Erie, Pa___________________________________________
3. 15
Grand Rapids, Mich_____________________________
2. 88
Houston, Tex_____________________________________
2. 98
Indianapolis, Ind________________________________2. 88-3. 23
Jacksonville, Fla_________________________________
2. 60
Kansas City, Mo_________________________________
2. 90
Knoxville, Tenn__________________________________
2. 73
Little Rock, Ark_________________________________
2. 75
Los Angeles, Calif______________________________
3. 00
3. 00
Louisville, K y ____________________________________
Memphis, Tenn___________________________________
2. 55
3. 15
Milwaukee, W is_________________________________
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn_____________________
3. 00
Newark, X. J_____________________________________
3. 65
New Haven, Conn________________________________
3. 10
New Orleans, La_________________________________
2. 68
New York, XT Y _________________________________
3. 65
Oklahoma City, Okla____________________________
2. 73
2. 93
Omaha, Nebr____________________________________
Peoria, 111________________________________________
3. 21
Philadelphia, Pa_________________________________
3. 39
Pittsburgh, Pa_____________________________________ 2 .9 9 -3 .3 3
2. 80
Portland, Oreg___________________________________
Providence, R. I _________________________________
2. 73
Richmond, V a___________________________________
2. 30
3. 25
Rochester, X. Y ---------------------------------------------------St. Louis, Mo_____________________________________2. 95-3. 25
Salt Lake City, Utah____________________________
2. 75
San Antonio, Tex________________________________
2. 75
San Francisco-Oakland, Calif__________________
3. 00
2. 75
Scranton, Pa____________________________________
Seattle, W ash ___________________________________
2 .8 0
Spokane, W ash __________________________________
2. 90
Springfield, M ass________________________________
2. 83
Syracuse, X. Y ___________________________________
3. 05
Toledo, Ohio______________________________________
3. 33
Washington, D. C________________________________
3 .2 3

Because of the seasonal nature of much of con­
struction work and because of time lost for other
reasons, the average annual earnings of carpenters
are not as high as their hourly rates of pay
A large proportion of carpenters are members
of the LTnited Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America. A small number are mem­
bers of other unions. Union-employer contracts
covering carpenters often provide health insur­
ance and pension benefits financed either entirely
by employers or jointly by the workers and
Like other building trades the work of the car­
penter is active and sometimes strenuous, but ex­
ceptional physical strength is not required. Many



young persons like carpentry because they are
able to work out of doors. Prolonged standing as
well as climbing and squatting are often neces­
sary. Carpenters risk injury from slips or falls,
from contact with sharp or rough materials, and
from the use of woodworking machines.
W h ere To G o for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further in­
formation regarding carpentry apprenticeships or
work opportunities in this trade should contact
the carpentry contractors or general contractors
in his area, a local of the carpenters’ union
(United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners
o f America) or a local, joint union-employer

apprenticeship committee, if there is one in his
locality. In addition, the local office of the State
employment service may be a source of informa­
tion and a contact point for apprenticeship oppor­
tunities. Some local employment services screen
applicants and give aptitude tests.
Further information on apprenticeship in this
trade is also available from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
Munsey Bldg., N W ., Washington 4, D. C.
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of
Carpenters Bldg., 222 Michigan St., Indianapolis 4,
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St., N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Painters and Paperhangers
(D. O. T. 5 -2 7 .0 1 0 ; 5 -2 8 .1 0 0 )

Nature of W ork

Painters prepare surfaces and then apply paint,
varnish, enamel, lacquer, and similar materials to
the surfaces of buildings and other structures.
Paperhangers cover room interiors with paper,
fabric, or similar materials. Painting and paper­
hanging are distinct skilled building trades.
However, many of these craftsmen do both types
o f work.
One of the important duties of the painter—
especially in repainting—is to prepare the surface.
Bough spots must be sandpapered, dust brushed
off, grease removed, nail holes filled, and loose
paint removed by scraping or by heating with a
blowtorch and then scraping. Often, surfaces
must be covered with a prime coat or sealer to pro­
vide a suitable surface or base on which to apply
the new paint. Paint is applied to many kinds
of materials, including wood, structural steel, and
clay products, generally by means of a brush,
spray gun, or roller.
A painter must be skilled in handling brushes
and other painting tools, in order to apply paint
thoroughly, uniformly, and rapidly to any type
of surface. In addition, he must be able to mix
paints, match colors, and have a knowledge of
color harmony. He must also know the character­
istics of common types of paints and finishes from
the standpoints of durability, suitability for d if­
ferent purposes, and ease of handling and appli­

cation. A painter must know how to erect the
necessary scaffolding from which he often works.
Painters use spray guns to paint surfaces or
objects which are difficult to paint with a brush
such as lattices, cinder and concrete block, and
radiators. They also use spray guns on large areas
which can be sprayed with a minimum of prepara­
tion. When using a roller (a rotating applicator
covered with soft material) the painter rolls the
applicator over the surface to be covered.
In paperhanging, the worker first applies “ siz­
ing” (a prepared material which prevents suction
in the plaster and assures better adhesion of the
paper to the surface being covered). He then
measures the area to be covered and cuts the paper
to size. He mixes a paste and applies it to the
reverse side of the paper. (When working with
other wall coverings, such as those which are fab­
ric-coated, the paperhanger applies an adhesive in­
stead of a paste.) The paste-coated paper is then
placed on the wall or ceiling in strips and
smoothed into place with a dry brush. The paperhanger matches the adjacent edges of strips of
figured paper, cuts overlapping ends, and smooths
the seams between strips with a roller or other
special tool. In redecorating work it may be
necessary to remove the old paper by soaking or,
if there are many layers, by steaming. In many
cases, it is also necessary for paperhangers to do
minor plaster patching in order to get a smooth
surface for the paper.



W here Employed

Most painters and paperhangers work in the
construction industry, usually at the building site.
They work mainly for contractors engaged in new
building construction work. Substantial numbers
of painters and paperhangers are also employed
by contractors to do repair, alteration, or modern­
ization work. Hotels, office buildings, utility com­
panies, manufacturing firms, school boards and
other government units, and other organizations
that own extensive property, commonly employ
maintenance painters. When interior redecorat­
ing involves papering also, as in hotels or apart­
ment buildings, usually the maintenance painters
may also do the paperhanging.
In mid-1956, more than 400,000 painters and
about 20,000 to 25,000 paperhangers were em­
ployed in these trades. Their employment was
distributed throughout the country in about the
same geographic pattern as building trades work­
ers generally. New York, California, Texas,
Pennsylvania, and Illinois had especially large
concentrations of these workers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and A dvancem ent

Most training authorities agree that completion
o f a 3-year formal apprenticeship is the best way
to become a journeyman (skilled) painter or jour­
neyman paperhanger. A substantial proportion
of painters and paperhangers, however, have
learned the trade informally. They have picked
up the trade by working for several years as help­
ers or handymen, observing or being taught by ex­
perienced craftsmen. Workers without formal
apprentice training have gained acceptance as
journeymen more easily in these crafts than in
most of the other building trades. However, the
high level of competence achieved by journeymen
through apprentice training increases their em­
ployment opportunities and enhances their status
in any craft that has a large number of workmen
who are not thoroughly qualified.
Apprentice applicants are generally required
to be between the ages of 16 and 21 and in good
physical condition. A high school education is
preferred although not essential. Applicants
should have manual dexterity and a discerning
color sense. They should not be allergic to paint
fumes or to the various materials used in these
trades. Many apprenticeship programs are under


the supervision of local, joint employer-union ap­
prenticeship committees. Generally, the appren­
tice is covered by a written apprenticeship agree­
ment and the program is registered with a State
apprenticeship agency or the U. S. Department of
Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship for painters and paperhangers generally consists of 6,000 hours of onthe-job training plus related instruction. Many
apprenticeships combine painting and paperhang­
ing. During the apprenticeship period the ap­
prentice learns how to use and handle the tools,
equipment, and materials commonly used in the
trade. The trainee learns the relationship between
his work and the work performed by the other
building trades. He also receives related class­
room instruction in color harmony, paint chem­
istry, estimating costs, and how to make, mix, and
match paints.
An illustration of a 3-year apprenticeship pro­
gram for painters and paperhangers follow s:
Sandpapering, puttying, and priming of woodwork
Preparing and sizing of walls
Removing of wallpaper, calcimine, paint
Calcimining and whitewashing
Finishing walls with flat coat and enamel
Finishing wood trim with oil, enamel, or varnish
Preparing stains, staining, bleaching woodwork
Pore filling and shellacking
Lead stippling and starching walls
Outside painting
Applying various types of wall coverings
Matching and mixing colors
Rag and sponge stippling
Blending and glazing walls and woodwork
Graining, marbling, metal leafing
Stenciling, striping, spackling
Making putty
Operation, care and use of all tools and equipment
connected with the trade
Rigging, staging and scaffolding

Hourly wage rates for apprentices start at ap­
proximately 50 percent of the journeyman rate
and increase periodically until the journeyman
rate of pay is reached upon completion of appren­
ticeship. I f apprentice applicants have had ex­
perience directly related to the trade, such as ex­
perience in the Armed Forces, the applicants may
be granted advanced apprenticeship standing.
Painters and paperhangers may advance to the
position of foremen. They may also advance to
jobs as estimators for painting and decorating con­
tractors, computing material requirements and la­
bor costs. Some become superintendents on large



contract painting jobs, or they may start their own
business as painting and decorating contractors.
Success as a contractor, however, depends largely
on having adequate financial resources and a sound
knowledge of business principles and practices.
Employment Outlook

There will be thousands of opportunities for
young men to learn these trades during the late
1950’s and the 1960’s. Most of these opportunities
will arise from the need to replace experienced
workers who die, retire, or leave the trades for
other reasons.
The employment of painters and paperhangers
has increased at a slower rate than most of the
other building trades in recent years. It increased
by about 25 percent in the period 1940-56, com­
pared with a growth of more than 60 percent for
the skilled building trades as a whole.
Despite the anticipated large expansion of con­
struction activity during the 1956-66 decade (see
discussion, p. 229) employment of painters will
continue to grow slowly; employment of paperhangers will increase slightly or remain about the
Technological developments have affected and
are expected to continue to affect both the number
and skill requirements of painters. New types of
paint which are more easily applied and have im­
proved “ covering power” have made it easier for
inexperienced workers to do work which meets
standards of acceptability of some consumers.
Spray painting, which is used particularly on
large, unbroken interior surfaces, requires fewer
painters to do the same amount of work. More­
over, many items formerly painted at the building
site now come from a factory or shop with a prime
coat and often with a final coat. Aluminum build­
ing products which often require no painting have
become increasingly common in recent years.
These and other factors are expected to continue
to slow the growth of employment of painters.
Employment prospects of paperhangers will
continue to be limited by the substitution of paint
for wallpaper as a covering for interior walls in
residential and commercial buildings. The more
widespread use of fabric wall covering, however,
may improve somewhat the employment outlook
for these workers.
Because of the large size of the painter and
paperhanger group, replacement needs are very
great. Deaths and retirements alone will create

about 8,000 to 10,000 job openings annually during
the 1956-66 decade. Many other openings will
result from the need to replace experienced work­
ers who leave the trades for other reasons.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor
Statistics’ annual survey of union minimum hourly
wage rates in the building trades showed that, as
of July 1, 1956, the average union hourly rate in
52 large cities survey was $3.01 for painters and
$2.92 for paperhangers. Among the individual
cities the minimum union hourly wage rates
ranged from $1.75 in Charlotte, N. C., for both
painters and paperhangers, to $3.35 for painters
in Newark and $3.28 for paperhangers in Chicago,
as can be seen in the following tabulation (wage
rates for these trades may vary within the same
city depending upon the type of work performed
and the working conditions) :


Atlanta, Ga__________________________
$2. 75
2. 68
Baltimore, Md______________________
Birmingham, A la___________________
2. 75
Boston, Mass_______________________
2. 65
Buffalo, N. Y _______________________
3. 00
Charlotte, N. C_____________________
1. 75
Chicago, 111__________________________
3. 28
Cincinnati, Ohio____________________ 2. 73-3. 03
Cleveland, Ohio___________ _________
3 .1 5
Columbus, Ohio_____________________
2. 71
Dallas, Tex__________________________
2. 81
Dayton, Ohio_______________________
3. 00
Denver, Colo_______________________
2. 90
Des Moines, Iowa___________________
2. 75
Detroit, Mich_______________________
3. 08
Erie, Pa_____________________________
2. 70
Grand Rapids, Mich_______________
2. 60
Houston, Tex_______________________
2. 75
Indianapolis, Ind____________________
3. 00
Jacksonville, Fla____________________
2. 38
Kansas City, Mo____________________
2. 90
Knoxville, Tenn_____________________
2. 50
Little Rock, Ark____________________
2. 31
Los Angeles, C alif_________________
3. 01
Louisville, K y ______________________
2. 80
Memphis, Tenn_____________________
2. 56
Milwaukee, W is_____________________
2. 75
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn________
2. 85
Newark, N. J_______________________
3 .3 5
New Haven, Conn_________________
2. 90
New Orleans, La__________________
2. 40
New York, N. Y _____________________ 2. 85-3. 25
Oklahoma City, Okla_______________
2. 60
2. 50
Omaha, Nebr_______________________
Peoria, 111___________________________
2. 93
Philadelphia, Pa____________________
2. 90

$3. 00
2. 68
2. 75

3. 00
1. 75
3. 28
2. 73-2. 88
3 .1 5
2. 71
2. 81
3. 27
2. 90
2. 75
3. 08
2. 77
2. 85
2. 75
3. 00
2. 63
2 .9 0

2. 31
3 .1 3
2. 25
2 .5 6

2 .8 5

3 .1 5
2. 40

2. 60
2. 50
2. 93
2 .6 4


Pittsburgh, Pa_____________________
Portland, Oreg______________________
Providence, R. I ____________________
Richmond, V a_______________________
Rochester, N. Y ____________________
St. Louis, Mo_______________________
Salt Lake City, Utah_______________
San Antonio, Tex__________________
San Francisco-Oakland, Calif____
Scranton, Pa________________________
Seattle, W ash _______________________
Spokane, W ash _____________________
Springfield, Mass__________________
Syracuse, N. Y _____________________
Toledo, Ohio________________________
Washington, D. C__________________

$3. 00
2. 75
2. 50
2 .1 5
3 .0 3
3. 09
2. 50
2. 50
3 .1 0
2. 38
2. 81
2 .7 6
2. 70
2 .7 0
3. 02
3. 05



$3. 00
2. 88
2. 50
2 .1 5
3 .0 3
3. 09
2. 55
2. 50
3 .1 0
2. 38
2. 81
2.7 6
2. 70
3. 02
3. 05

A large proportion of painters and paperhang­
ers are members of the Brotherhood of Painters,
Decorators and Paperhangers of America. A
small number are members of other unions.
Union-employer contracts covering these work­
ers usually provide health insurance and pension
benefits, either financed entirely by employers or
jointly by the workers and employers.
Painters and paperhangers are often required
to stand for long periods of time, to climb, and to
bend at their work. A painter must have strong


arms because much of the work is done with arms
raised overhead. Painters and paperhangers risk
injury from slips or falls from ladders and
W here To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further in­
formation concerning painting and paperhanging
apprenticeships or work opportunities in these
trades should apply to a painting and decorator
contractor in his area; a local of the Brotherhood
of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of
America; or a local, joint union-employer appren­
ticeship committee, if there is one in his locality.
In addition, the local office of the State employ­
ment service may be a source of information and
a contact point for apprenticeship opportunities.
Additional information may be obtained from :
Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhang­
ers of America,
217-219 North Sixth St., Lafayette, Ind.
Painting and Decorating Contractors Association
540 North Michigan Ave., Chicago 11, 111.


National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St., N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Plumbers and Pipefitters
(D. O. T. 5 -3 0 .0 1 0 , .0 26 , .2 1 0 , .410)

Nature of Work

Plumbers and pipefitters are highly skilled
craftsmen who install, alter, and repair pipe sys­
tems. These systems provide steam heat, water
or other liquids, air, gas, or waste disposal facili­
ties for residences, industrial and commercial
buildings, and other structures.
In assembling pipe systems, plumbers and pipe­
fitters bend, weld, bronze, and thread pipes and
fittings. They also install fixtures, appliances,
radiators, and heating units. They cut openings
in walls for pipes and prepare the pipe for in­
stallation by cutting, reaming, and threading.
When pipes are joined, the joints are caulked,
soldered, threaded, or wiped, that is, molten solder
is poured over the joint, spread, and then shaped
with a cloth. After a pipe system is installed,
the plumber tests for leaks by filling the pipes
with water under pressure and checks the joints
for pressure drop with a gage.

Plumbers and pipefitters use handtools, such
as wrenches, reamers, drills, braces and bits, ham­
mers, chisels, and saws. They also use gas or
gasoline torches and welding equipment in their
work. Power machines are often used to cut, bend,
and thread pipes.
Hand-operated hydraulic
benders are also used to bend pipe.
This broad field of work is sometimes considered
to be a single trade. However, plumbers and pipe­
fitters do somewhat different types of work, par­
ticularly in large cities. Plumbers mainly install
water, gas, and waste disposal systems, particu­
larly those which must be connected to public
utility systems. Pipefitters install heating lines,
such as hot water, and steam fitting systems,
especially in industrial and commercial establish­
ments. For example, they install pipes for am­
monia systems in refrigeration plants, automatic
sprinkler systems, lines for compressed air and
industrial gages, and complex pipe systems in oil
refineries, chemical plants, and food plants.



Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement


h o t o g r a p h



. S. D

e p a r t m e n t

o f


b o r

Repair work keeps many plumbers busy, even during the slack
seasons for new construction.

Some plumbers and pipefitters specialize in gas
fitting and steam fitting. Gas fitters install and
maintain the gas fittings and the central gas main
extensions which connect the main gas line to
homes. Steam fitters assemble and install steam
or hot water heating systems.
Where Employed

Most plumbers and pipefitters are employed by
plumbing and pipefitting contractors in new build­
ing construction, mainly at the construction site.
A substantial proportion of plumbers are selfemployed or work for plumbing contractors
doing repair, alteration, or modernization work.
Some plumbers are employed in the installation of
pipe systems for government agencies and public
utilities, and some work in the construction of
ships and aircraft. Others are employed as main­
tenance workers in industrial and commercial es­
tablishments. Pipefitters, in particular, are em­
ployed as maintenance personnel in the petroleum,
chemical, and food-processing industries where
the industrial operations include the processing
o f fluids through pipes.
Jobs for plumbers and pipefitters are found in
almost every community in the country, but they
are concentrated in the highly populated and in­
dustrialized areas. Most journeymen who spe­
cialize in steam and hot water heating systems
are employed in large northern cities.

Most training authorities recommend a 5-year
apprenticeship program for plumbers and pipe­
fitters as the best way to learn all the aspects o f
the trade. A substantial proportion of these
craftsmen, however, have learned the trade in­
formally. They have picked up the trade or one
aspect of the trade by working for several years
as helpers, observing or being taught by experi­
enced craftsmen. Many of these persons have
gained some of their knowledge of the trade by
taking trade school or correspondence courses.
Apprentice applicants are generally required to
be between the ages of 16 and 25; a high school
education or its equivalent, including courses in
mathematics, physics, and chemistry, is desirable.
Applicants are often required to take aptitude
tests, particularly to determine whether they have
the high degree of mechanical aptitude required
in this field.
Most apprenticeship training programs for
plumbers and pipefitters are conducted under
written agreements between the apprentices and
local, joint employer-union apprenticeship com­
mittees, which also supervise the training. The
apprenticeship committee determines the need for
apprentices in the locality, establishes minimum
apprenticeship standards of training and, if neces­
sary, schedules a rotating work program. This
program is designed to give the apprentice diver­
sified training by having him work for several
plumbing or pipefitting contractors.
formal apprenticeship programs, the apprentice
is registered with the appropriate State ap­
prenticeship agency or the United States Depart­
ment of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and
The apprenticeship program usually consists
of 10,000 hours of on-the-job training plus related
instruction. During the apprenticeship period the
apprentice learns how to use and handle the tools,
machines, and materials commonly used in the
trade. The apprentice also receives related class­
room instruction in such subjects as drafting and
blueprint reading; mathematics applicable to lay­
out w ork; applied physics and chemistry; the use,
care, and maintenance of machines and equipment
used in the trade; and the local building laws and
regulations which apply to the trade.



An illustration of a combined plumbing and
pipefitting 5-year apprenticeship work schedule
follow s:
Type of work

Approximate hours

T o t a l ____________________________________________ 10,000
Install waste and vent pipes---------------------------------Install water pipe and hot water heating systemsInstall steam heating systems-------------------------------Install plumbing fixtures, set radiators, and
heating units---------------------------------------------------------Install pumps________________________________________
Install stokers, oil burners, gas furnaces, and
Install and pipe septic tanks, cesspools, and
Install panel and radiant heating systems-----------Install air-conditioning systems___________________
Install powerplant piping systems_________________
Testing of systems__________________________________
Repair work and boiler replacement_______________
Install and maintain control equipment_________
Shop work, use and care of tools, records, opera­
tion of pipe machine, and welding_______________

1, 700
1, 800
1, 500
1, 000
1, 000
1,1 00

Hourly rates of apprentices in this trade start
at about 50 percent of the journeyman rate and
increase by about 5 percent in each 6-month period
until a rate of 95 percent is reached during the last
period of the apprenticeship. I f apprentice appli­
cants have had prior experience or training direct­
ly related to the trade they may, in some instances,
be given advanced standing and pay. This ex­
perience or training may have been obtained in
the Armed Forces or through courses in public or
private schools.
In some localities, a journeyman’s license is re­
quired for plumbers. To obtain this license a per­
son must pass a special examination to demon­
strate his knowledge of the local building codes.
The examination also tests his all-round knowl­
edge of the trade.
Some journeymen plumbers and pipefitters may
become foremen for a plumbing contractor. Many
journeymen go into business for themselves. As
they expand their activities, they may employ
other workers and become plumbing and pipefit­
ting contractors. In some localities, contractors
are required to obtain a master plumber’s (jour­
neyman’s) license. Basic requirements for suc­
cess as a contractor are adequate financial resources
and a sound knowledge of business principles and
practices. A thorough knowledge of the pipe
trade and an understanding of construction prin­
ciples are also necessary.
427675°— 57-------17

2 41

Employment Outlook

A continued rapid rise in employment in this oc­
cupation is expected during the late 1950’s and the
1960’s. The rate of growth in this field will be
much faster than that for the Nation’s total labor
force. In addition to openings resulting from the
increase in employment, many job opportunities
for new workers will arise as a result of replace­
ment needs.
Employment in this field has increased rapidly
in recent years—from about 174,000 in 1940, to
274,000 in 1950, and to an estimated 315,000 in mid1956. Several factors contribute to the expecta­
tion of a continued rapid rise in employment in this
trade. Most important of these is the anticipated
40 to 50 percent increase in construction activity
in the 1956-66 decade. (See discussion, p. 230.)
Furthermore, plumbing and pipefitting has be­
come increasingly important in many types of con­
struction, particularly residential building. For
example, there has been a trend toward more bath­
rooms per dwelling unit. Moreover, the more
widespread installation of appliances such as
washing machines, dryers, and waste disposals re­
quires more plumbing work. The increasing num­
ber of installations of automatic heating systems
will also create more work for these craftsmen.
In addition, industrial pipe work is becoming
more important in industry generally and requires
more of these craftsmen for installation and main­
tenance work. For example, many industries,
particularly the chemical and petroleum indus­
tries, which use extensive pipe work for their
processing activities, are expected to expand their
facilities substantially during the 1956-66 decade.
Also, those industries which are automating their
production activities will require more pipefitting
work. The increasing industrial activities related
to atomic energy and the greater use of refrigera­
tion and air-conditioning equipment will also re­
sult in more work for plumbers and pipefitters.
On the other hand, some technological develop­
ments, such as the growing use of factory prefab­
ricated plumbing assemblies, may limit, to some
extent, the growth in the number of jobs for
plumbers and pipefitters.
In addition to job opportunities resulting from
the growth in the trade, the need to replace ex­
perienced workers who die, retire, or leave the
trade for some other reason will create thousands
of job openings for new workers each year.



Deaths and retirements alone will create from
6,000 to 7,000 job openings annually during the
1956-66 decade.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

Hourly wage rates for plumbers and pipefit­
ters are among the highest in the skilled building
trades and among skilled workers generally. A n­
other important consideration for young persons
considering plumbing and pipefitting as a career
is that annual earnings of these workers are
among the highest in the building trades because
plumbing and pipefitting are affected less by sea­
sonal factors than are most other building crafts.
The U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of
Labor Statistics’ annual survey of union minimum
hourly wages in the building trades showed that,
as of July 1, 1956, the average union hourly rate
for plumbers and pipefitters in 52 large cities sur­
veyed was $3.35, compared with $3.22 for all jour­
neymen in the building trades. Among the indi­
vidual cities the minimum union hourly wage rates
ranged from $2.75 in Richmond, Ya. for both
plumbers and pipefitters to $3.75 in Newark. New
York, and Philadelphia for plumbers and $3.85
in New York for pipefitters, as shown in the fol­
lowing tabulation (wage rates for these trades
may vary within the same city depending upon
the type of work performed and the working
conditions) :
'■ efitters

Atlanta, Ga_________
Baltimore, Md_____
Birmingham, A la___
Boston, M ass______
Buffalo, N. Y _______
Charlotte, N. C____
Chicago, 111_________
Cincinnati, Ohio___
Cleveland, Ohio____
Columbus, Ohio____
Dallas, Tex_________
Dayton, Ohio_______
Denver, Colo________
Des Moines, Io\va__
Detroit, Mich_______
Erie, Pa____________
Grand Rapids, Mich
Houston, Tex______
Indianapolis, Ind___
Jacksonville, Fla___
Kansas City, Mo----Knoxville, Tenn____
Little Rock, Ark----Los Angeles, C alif.

$3. 20
3. 20
3. 05
3. 20
3. 30
2. 85
3. 37
3. 50
3. 38
3. 25
3 .1 0
3. 25
3.1 7
3. 25
3. 46
3 .1 0
3. 38
3. 40
3. 30
3 .1 0
3. 15
3. 08
3. 08
3. 43


$3. 20
3. 20
3. 05
3. 15
3. 28
2. 85
3. 35
3. 28
3. 38
3. 25
3.1 0
3. 25
3.1 7
3. 25
3. 46
3. 10
3. 38
3. 10
3. 30
3 .1 0
3. 30
3. 08
3. 08
3. 53


Louisville, Ky
$3. 18
Memphis, Tenn
3.1 3
Milwaukee, W is
3. 21
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn
3.0 0
Newark, N. .T
New Haven, Conn
3. 25
New Orleans, La
3. 05
New York, N. Y
3. 85
Oklahoma Citv, Okl a
3 .1 5
Omaha, Nebr
3. 20
Peoria, 111
3. 35
Philadelphia, Pa
3. 75
Pittsburgh, Pa
3. 43
Portland, Oreg
3. 25
Providence, R. I
3.1 5
Richmond, Va
2. 75
Rochester, N. Y
3 .1 7
St. Louis, Mo
3. 55
Salt Lake City, Utah
3. 00
San Antonio, Tex
3 .1 8
San Francisco-Oakland, Calif___ __ 3 .4 5 -3 .6 9
Scranton, Pa
3 .1 0
Seattle, Wash
3 .1 5
Spokane, W ash
3.1 5
Springfield, Mass
3. 05
Syracuse, N. Y
3.2 3
Toledo, Ohio
3. 40
Washington, D. C
3. 51


3. 13
3. 21
3. 00
3. 75
3. 25
3. 05
3. 75
3 .1 5
3. 20
3. 35
3. 75
3. 43
3. 25
3. 15
2. 75
3.1 7
3. 55
3. 00
3. 18
3. 33-3. 45
3 .1 0
3. 15
3. 15
3 .1 0
3.1 6
3. 40
3. 41

A large proportion of plumbers and pipefitters
are members of the United Association of Jour­
neymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and
Pipe Fitting Industry of the U. S. and Canada.
Some are members of other unions. Union-em­
ployer contracts covering plumbers and pipefitters
often provide health insurance and pension bene­
fits either financed entirely by employers or jointly
by the workers and employers.
The work of the plumber-pipefitter is active and
sometimes strenuous, as in the other building
trades. Frequently, he stands for prolonged peri­
ods and occasionally he squats or works in
cramped or in other uncomfortable positions be­
cause much of the work is done in relatively inac­
cessible places. Since most of the work is indoors,
there is less exposure to unfavorable weather con­
ditions compared with many other building trades.
Workers in this trade risk the danger of falls
from ladders, cuts from sharp tools, and burns
from hot pipes or steam. The number of injuries
per million man-hours worked by employees of
plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contrac­
tors in the contract construction industry is lower
than that for contract construction as a whole, but
higher than the average for production workers
in manufacturing industries.

W here To Go for M ore Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further in­
formation concerning plumber or pipefitter ap­
prenticeships or work opportunities in the trade
should apply to a plumbing, heating, and air-con­
ditioning contractor in his area, a local of the
United Association of Journeymen and Appren­
tices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry
of the United States and Canada, or a local, joint
union-employer apprenticeship committee, if there
is one in his area. In addition, the local office of
the State employment service may be a source of
information and a contact point for apprentice­


ship opportunities. Some local employment serv­
ice offices provide such services as screening appli­
cants and giving aptitude tests.
Additional information may be obtained from :
Mechanical Contractors of America,
30 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1843, New York 20, N. Y.
National Association of Plumbing Contractors,
1016 20th St., N W , Washington 6, D. C.
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices
of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the
U. S. and Canada,
United Association Bldg.,
901 Massachusetts Are., N W ., Washington 1, D. C.
National Association of Home Builders,
162o L St., N W ., Washington 6, D. C.

Operating Engineers (Construction Machinery Operators)
(D. O. T. 5 -2 3 .0 1 0 through .9 2 0 , 5 -7 2 .9 1 0 , 5 -7 3 .0 1 0 through .5 20 , 7 -2 3 .0 1 0 through
.1 20 , .300 through .3 99 , .500 through .599, and .900 through .999)

Nature of W ork

Operating engineers operate, maintain, and re­
pair the various types of power-driven construc­
tion machinery. Included among these machines
are power shovels, cranes, derricks, hoists, pile
drivers, concrete mixers, paving machines, trench
excavators, bulldozers, tractors, and pumps. Some
of these machines, such as bulldozers, are relative­
ly simple to operate, but others, such as large
cranes, are complex and require coordination of
numerous controls. Thus, the range of skills is
wider among operating engineers than among
journeymen in any other building trade.
The broad range of skill requirements in this
trade may be illustrated by describing the work
performed by operating engineers in handling two
types of machines—a crane and an earth-boring
machine. The crane operator manipulates various
pedals and levers to rotate the crane on its chassis
and to raise and lower the crane boom and the
load line. The operator manipulates a number of
different attachments to the crane boom for various
construction purposes. For example, he manipu­
lates buckets for excavation work, pile drivers to
drive steel beams, wood and concrete piling into
the ground, and wrecking balls for demolition
work. Good coordination, skill in precision
handling of heavy equipment, and judgment in
estimating proper load size are among the essen­
tial aspects of the crane operator’s job. By con­
trast, the operation of earth-boring machines that
dig holes for poles or posts is one of the less skilled

tasks performed by operating engineers. The op­
erator sets the proper auger (drill) in the spindle,
starts the machine, and stops it when the auger
has penetrated to the proper depth.
Operating engineers are often identified by
titles describing the types of machines they op­
erate—for example, cranemen, bulldozer operator,
or derrick operator. However, the more ex­
perienced operating engineers can generally handle
a variety of construction machinery. These op­
erators work only on the more complex types of
machines, when jobs requiring such equipment are
available, because higher wage rates are paid for
the operation of such machines.
W here Employed

Most operating engineers are employed in con­
struction work. They work for contractors en­
gaged in highway, dam, airport, and other largescale engineering projects. They are also em­
ployed on large building projects requiring exten­
sive excavating, grading, and landscaping. Op­
erating engineers also work on small jobs, hoisting
concrete, structural steel, and other materials.
Others are employed by utility companies, manu­
facturers, and other business firms which do their
own construction work, as well as by State and
local public works and highway departments.
Relatively few operating engineers are self-em­
ployed. Those who are self-employed are owneroperators of equipment such as bulldozers and



In addition to construction work, operating
engineers are employed in factories and mines.
In some cases, the duties performed by these ma­
chine operators are about the same as those in
construction work. For example, operation of a
crane to unload cars of coal at a factory or powerplant is very similar to operation of a crane to
unload cars of sand and gravel for a paving job.
On the other hand, the nature of the work of a
steel pourer (craneman) in a steel mill differs con­
siderably from a crane operator in the construction
Operating engineers are employed in every sec­
tion of the country, but mainly in the larger urban
areas. This work, however, may take them to
remote locations where highway construction and
heavy engineering construction, such as dams, are
being built. The geographical distribution of
employment in this occupation is much the same
as for the building trades generally. (See dis­
cussion, p. 227.)
Training and Other Qualifications

Formal apprenticeship programs for operating
engineers are available in a few localities. For
the most part, however, entrance into construction
machinery operating jobs is informal. A young
man with an aptitude for working with machinery
and with some relevant experience such as truck­
driving, may begin work as an oiler or a helper,
or he may get a job operating one of the simpler
machines, such as an air compressor. As openings
occur he may be given a chance to operate some­
what more complicated machines, such as bull­
dozers or rollers. After some experience operat­
ing these machines, he is given the opportunity
to operate the more complex machines. Often,
informal instruction is given to new personnel by
experienced operators. Large contractors often
have a wide range of construction equipment, thus
affording opportunities to learn the operation of
successively more complex equipment.
Employment Outlook

A continued rapid rise in employment of con­
struction machinery operators is expected during
the late 1950’s and the 1960’s as a result of the an­
ticipated increase in the level of construction ac­
tivity. In particular, the growing volume of high­

way construction resulting from the Federal Gov­
ernment’s long-range multi-billion dollar high­
way development program, will provide thousands
of job opportunities for operating engineers.
Moreover, the trend in the postwar period toward
the increasing use of construction machinery shows
every indication of continuing. Larger, more spe­
cialized, and more complex machines, particularly
those used in earth-moving, as well as smaller ma­
chines suitable for small construction projects, are
continually being developed and are expected to
be used to a greater extent. The greater mechani­
zation of material movement in factories and mines
should also result in growing employment of these
workers outside of construction.
In addition to job openings resulting from the
expected growth of employment in this occupation,
the need to replace experienced construction ma­
chine operators who die, retire, or leave the trade
for other reasons will create many job opportuni­
ties for new workers. Deaths and retirements
alone will create about 3,000 to 4,000 job openings
annually in the 1956-66 decade.
Earnings and W orking Conditions

The wage rate structure for operating engineers
is more complicated than for any other construc­
tion trade. Hourly rates are established not only
for different types of machines, but often for ma­
chines of the same type but of different capacity.
Moreover, in some cases there are different rates
for the same machine, depending upon the type of
construction for which it is used. The wage scale
also varies among different parts of the country
and the operators of machines having the top wage
rates in one area do not necessarily receive the top
wage rates in other areas.
The following tabulation based on the United
States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor
Statistics' survey of union minimum wage rates in
the building trades in 52 large cities, as of July 1,
1956, shows the minimum union hourly wage rates
paid to two classifications of construction machin­
ery operators—shovel and bulldozer operators
(shovel operators are generally among the highest
paid construction machinery operators). (Wage
rates for these trades may vary within the same
city depending upon the type of work performed
and the working conditions.)


St. Louis, Mo_______________________
Salt Lake City, Utah_______________
San Antonio, Tex__________________
San Francisco-Oakland, Calif--------




Atlanta, Ga
$3. 05
Baltimore, Md
3. 40
Birmingham, Ala
2. 70
Boston, Mass
Buffalo, N. Y
3. 39
2. 65-2. 90
Charlotte, N. C
Chicago, 111
3. 60
Cincinnati, Ohio____________________
3. 33
Cleveland, Ohio_____________________
3. 58
3. 33
Columbus, Ohio_____________________
Dallas, Tex________________________
3. 36
Dayton, Ohio_______________________
Denver, Colo_______________________
2 .9 3
Des Moines, Iowa__________________
3. 10
Detroit, Mich_______________________
3.3 0
Erie, Pa_____________________________
3. 50
3.1 8
Grand Rapids, Mich________________
Houston, Tex_______________________
Indianapolis, Ind____________________
3. 18
Jacksonville, Fla____________________
2. 50
Kansas City, Mo__________________ 2. 85-3. 10
Knoxville, Tenn_____________________
2. 83
Little Rock, Ark____________________
2. 80
Los Angeles, Calif_________________
3. 30
Louisville, K y_______________________
3.1 5
Memphis, Tenn_____________________
2. 70
Milwaukee, W is_____________________
3. 31
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn________
3. 17
Newark, N. J_______________________
4. 20
New Haven, Conn___________________
3. 00
New Orleans, L a____________________
2. 88
New York, N. Y _____________________
4. 15
Oklahoma City, Okla----------------------- 2. 65-2. 90
3. 00
Omaha, Nebr_______________________
Peoria, 111___________________________
Philadelphia, Pa-----------------------------3. 79
Pittsburgh, Pa______________________
3. 60
Portland, Greg______________________ 2. 90-3. 38
Providence, R. I ____________________
3. 25
Richmond, V a______________________
2. 66
Rochester, N. Y _____________________
3. 48
3. 33
2. 85
3. 26



B u ll-





2. 35
3. 00
3. 08
3. 33
3. 08
3 .0 0
3. 08
3.1 0
3.3 0
2. 98
3. 08
2. 09
2. 58
2. 55
3. 05
3.1 5
2. 45
2. 92-3. 14
2. 85
-----2. 65
2. 88
3. 28
2. 60
2. 55
3.3 3
3. 16
3.4 0

2. 20
3. 13


Scranton, Pa_ _ _
Seattle, WT
Spokane, W7ash
Springfield, Mass
Syracuse, N. Y
Toledo, Ohio
Washington, D. C

___ .



3.3 6
3. 10-3. 45
3. 00
3 .4 3
3.4 0
3.4 3

dozers 1

$3 .06
3. 00

2. 55
2. 88
3 .1 2
2. 88

1Wage rates in individual cities may not apply to comparable
categories of construction m
A large proportion of operating engineers are
members of the International Union of Operating
Engineers. Union-employer contracts covering
these workers, in some areas, provide health in­
surance and pension benefits, either financed en­
tirely by the employers or jointly by the workers
and employers.
Much of the operating engineer’s work is per­
formed outdoors. The work is active and some­
times strenuous. The operation of some machines,
particularly bulldozers and some types of scrapers,
is physically wearing because the constant move­
ment of the machine shakes or jolts the operator.
W here To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further in­
formation regarding work opportunities in this
trade should apply to general contractors in his
area and to the local of the International Union
of Operating Engineers. In addition, the local
office of the State employment service is a source
of information and a contact point for employ­
ment opportunities.
Additional information may be obtained from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
Munsey Bldg., N W ., Washington 4, D. C.
International Union of Operating Engineers,
1125 17th St., N1V., Washington 6, D. C.

2. 95

(D. O. T. 5 -2 4 .0 0 0 through .199)

Nature of W ork

Bricklayers, sometimes called brickmasons, are
skilled craftsmen who construct walls, partitions,
fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures from
brick or other masonry materials. They also in­
stall the brick lining of kilns and industrial fur­
naces. In addition to laying brick, they build

structures with concrete block, cinder block, struc­
tural tile, terra cotta and gypsum block.
In laying brick, a bricklayer first spreads a layer
or “ bed” of soft mortar. After applying mortar
to one end of a brick, he places it on the bed of
mortar and taps it with a trowel into the desired
position. Then he cuts or scrapes off the excess
mortar. When necessary, he breaks bricks with



Bricklayers laying brick and measuring opening for window

a trowel or brick hammer to fit spaces too small
for whole bricks. As the work progresses, he
checks the vertical and horizontal alinement of
each course (row) with a gage line (tightly
stretched cord) and mason’s level. Using the
point of a trowel or a special finishing tool, he
finishes the mortar between the bricks to achieve
a neat appearance. I f two or more thicknesses of
brick are being laid the brickmason lays a “ bond”
course at regular intervals, that is, he arranges a
row of brick crosswise or in another “bond” pat­
tern in order to tie the bricks together. When the
bricklayer works with concrete block, structural
tile, or other masonry material, the work is essen­
tially the same.
Bricklaying requires careful, accurate work so
that the brick structure will have a neat and uni­
form appearance and the rows of brick will line up
with windows, doors, or other openings without
excessive cutting of brick. The tools of the trade
are almost all handtools, including chisels, trowels,
jointers (a narrow tool used to shape mortar
joints), bricklayer’s hammers, gage lines, plumb
bobs, and mason’s levels. Power saws for cutting
brick are also used. Journeymen (skilled) brick­
layers are usually assisted by hod carriers or help­
ers who supply them with bricks and other mate­
rials, mix mortar, and set up and move scaffolding.
Where Employed

The great majority of bricklayers work mainly
on new building construction. Some are employed
in sewer construction work in which they con­
struct manholes and catch basins. Repair and
maintenance work is much less important for brick­

layers than for other skilled building trades.
However, bricklayers do a considerable amount of
alteration work, especially in the larger cities
where construction of fire resistant partitions,
store front remodeling, and similar modernization
work, is often done.
Bricklayers also work for industrial establish­
ments, such as factories making glass or steel,
where furnaces and kilns require special fire brick
and refractory brick linings. For example, in
steel manufacturing, the bricklayer lines con­
verters, cupolas, ladles, and tapping spouts.
Bricklayers must have additional training to do
refractory brick work.
Jobs for bricklayers are found throughout the
country. Their employment, however, is concen­
trated in the more highly populated and indus­
trialized areas.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities agree that completion
of a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship is the best way
to learn this trade. However, a substantial pro­
portion of bricklayers have learned the trade in­
formally. They have picked up the trade by
working for several years as helpers or hod car­
riers, observing or being taught by experienced
bricklayers. Many of these persons have gained
some knowledge of their trade by taking trade
school courses.
Apprenticeship applicants are generally re­
quired to be between the ages of 17 and 24; a
high school education or its equivalent is desirable.
Good physical condition and manual dexterity are
important assets. Many apprenticeship programs
are under the supervision of local, joint employerunion apprenticeship committees. Generally, the
apprentice is covered by a written apprenticeship
agreement and the program is registered with a
State apprenticeship agency or the U. S. Depart­
ment of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and
The apprenticeship program generally consists
of from 6,000 to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training
plus related instruction. During the apprentice­
ship period the apprentice learns how to use and
handle the tools and materials of the trade. The
apprentice also learns the relationship between
bricklaying and other building trades. He re­
ceives related classroom instruction in reading
blueprints, layout work, and making measure-


ments and sketches. An illustration of a 3-year
apprenticeship work schedule for bricklayers
follow s:
Type of work

Approximate hours

Laying of brick_______________________________________ 8, 000
Mixing mortar, cement and patent m ortar;
spreading m ortar; bonding and tying.
Building footings and foundations.
Plain exterior brickwork (straight wall work,
backing up brickwork).
Building arches, groins, columns, piers, and
Planning and building chimneys, fireplaces and
flues, and floors and stairs.
Laying of stone_______________________________________
Cutting and setting of rubblework or stonework.
Setting of cut-stone trimmings.
Butting ashlar.


Pointing, cleaning, and caulking____________________
Pointing brick and stone; cutting and raking
Cleaning stone, brick, and tile (water, acid,
Caulking stone, brick, and glass block.


Laying of building units____________________________ 1, 700
Terra cotta and tile block cutting and setting.
Cutting, setting, and pointing of cement blocks,
artificial stone, glass blocks, and cork.
Building party walls (partition tile, gypsum
blocks, glazed tile, terra cotta).
Standardized firebrick.


Care and use of tools and equipment_______________
Trowels, briekhammer, plumb rule, scaffolds,
cutting saws, etc.


A bricklayer has to have an eye for straight lines
and proportions, and a knack for using his hands.
Since the other building craftsmen must usually fit
their work to his, he should know how the parts
of a structure fit together. A fair degree of physi­
cal endurance is necessary for handling moderate­
ly heavy materials hour after hour.
Hourly wage rates for bricklayer apprentices
start at 50 percent of the journeyman rate and in­
crease periodically until 95 percent of the journey­
man's rate is reached during the last period of the
apprenticeship. I f apprentice applicants have had
training or experience directly related to the trade
as, for example, in the Armed Forces or in a trade
school, they may be given advanced standing.
In some areas, formal apprenticeship programs
for bricklayers include brief, preliminary train­


ing at a vocational school or at another type of
pre-job training which is designed to give the ap­
prentice sufficient skill in the handling of tools
and materials to make him productive at the start
of his on-the-job training.
Bricklayers may advance to jobs as foremen.
They may also become estimators for a bricklaying
contractor where their jobs consist of computing
material requirements and labor costs. A small
number advance to the position of bricklaying
superintendent on large construction projects,
while others start their own bricklaying contract­