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REGISTERED NURSES
(D.O.T. 075.1 18 through .378)

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

The nursing field, consisting of
registered nurses; licensed practical
nurses; and nursing aides, orderlies,
and attendants, accounts for about
one-half o f total em ploym ent am ong
health service workers. Nursing p er­
sonnel perform a variety of duties to
care for and com fort the sick, the
injured, and others requiring m edical
services.
This section deals in detail with the
three basic nursing occupations.
Registered nurses (R N 's) follow the
medical regim en prescribed by physi­
cians but often m ust draw on their
p ro fessio n al train in g to m ake in ­
d ep e n d en t ju d g m en ts in providing
nu rsing services. Som e reg istered
nurses, after advanced training, b e­
com e nurse practitioners and perform
services, such as physical exam ina­
tions, th a t traditionally have been
handled by physicians. Some nurses
becom e head nurses with responsibil­
ity for all nursing services o f a speci­
fied area o f an institution, for exam ­
ple, a pediatrics ward.

Licensed practical nurses provide
skilled nursing care to sick, injured,
and convalescent patients. They
work under the general supervision
of physicians and registered nurses,
and may som etimes supervise nurs­
ing aides, orderlies, and attendants.
Nursing aides, orderlies, and atten­
dants m ake up the largest group o f
nursing personnel. They serve meals,
feed patients, and do other tasks that
free professional and practical nurses
for work requiring professional and
technical training.
Persons who wish to becom e regis­
tered nurses, licensed practical nurs­
es, or nursing aides, orderlies, and
attendants should like working with
p e o p le b e c a u se th e y m u st w ork
closely with other m em bers o f the
health team and care for patients
who are uncom fortable and som e­
times irritable. Nursing workers m ust
be reliable and keep a level head in
em ergencies.

About 50 percent of the job openings in health
occupations during the next 10 years will be
for nursing personnel
Average annual openings, 1976-85
Nursing aides, orderlies,
and attendants

Other health occupations

.Licensed practical
nurses

Registered nurses
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

488



Nature of the Work
Nursing plays a m ajor role in
health care. As im portant m em bers
o f the health care team , registered
nurses perform a wide variety of
functions. They observe, evaluate,
and record symptoms, reactions, and
progress of patients; adm inister
m edications; assist in the rehabilita­
tion of patients; instruct patients and
fam ily m em bers in p ro p e r h ealth
m aintenance care; and help m aintain
a physical and em otional environ­
m ent that prom otes recovery.
Some registered nurses provide
hospital care. O th ers perform re ­
search activities or instruct students.
The setting usually determ ines the
scope of the nurse’s responsibilities.
Hospital nurses constitute the larg­
est group of nurses. Most are staff
nurses who provide skilled bedside
nursing care and carry out the m edi­
cal treatm ent prescribed by physi­
cians. They may also supervise p ra c­
tical nurses, aides, and orderlies.
H ospital nurses usually work with
groups o f patients that require simi­
lar nursing care. For instance, some
nurses work with patients who have
had surgery; others care for children,
the elderly, or the m entally ill. Some
are adm inistrators o f nursing serv­
ices.
Private duty nurses give individual
care to patients who need constant
attention. The private duty nurse is
self-em ployed and may work in a
home, in a hospital, or in a convales­
cent institution.
Office nurses assist physicians,
dental surgeons, and occasionally
dentists in private practice or clinics.
Sometimes they perform routine
laboratory and office work in addi­
tion to their nursing duties.
Community health nurses care for
patients in clinics, hom es, schools,
and other community settings. They
instruct patients and families in
health care and give periodic care as
prescribed by a physician. They may
also instruct groups of patients in
proper diet and arrange for im muni­
zations. These nurses work with com-

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

489

About three-quarters of all regis­
tere d nurses w orked in hospitals,
nursing hom es, and related institu­
tions. Com m unity health nurses in
governm ent agencies, schools, visit­
ing nurse associations, and clinics
num bered about 65,000; nurse edu­
cators in nursing schools accounted
for about 33,000; and occupational
h e a lth n u rse s in in d u stry , a b o u t
20,000. About 100,000 more worked
in the offices of physicians or other
health practitioners, or were private
duty nurses hired directly by p a ­
tients. Most of the others were staff
m em bers of professional nurse and
other organizations or worked for
State boards of nursing or research
organizations.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Employment opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be favorable through
the mid-1980’s.

m unity lead ers, teach ers, parents,
and physicians in community health
education. Some community health
nurses work in schools.
Nurse educators teach students the
principles and skills of nursing, both
in the classroom and in direct patient
care. They also conduct continuing
education courses for registered
nurses, practical nurses, and nursing
assistants.
Occupational health or industrial
nurses provide nursing care to em ­
ployees in industry and governm ent
and, along with physicians, prom ote
employee health. As prescribed by a
doctor, they
 treat m inor injuries and


illnesses occurring at the place o f
em ploym ent, provide for the needed
nursing c a re , arran g e for fu rth e r
medical care if necessary, and offer
health counseling. They also may as­
sist with health examinations and in­
oculations.
(Licensed practical nurses who
also perform nursing services are dis­
cussed elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Places of Employment
About 960,000 persons worked as
registered nurses in 1976. About
one-third worked on a part-tim e b a­
sis.

A license is required to practice
professional nursing in all States and
in the District of Columbia. To get a
license, a nurse must be a graduate of
a school of nursing approved by the
State board of nursing and pass a
written State com petency exam ina­
tion. Nurses may be licensed in more
than one State, either by examination
or endorsem ent of a license issued by
another State.
T hree types of educational p ro ­
grams— diploma, baccalaureate, and
a sso c ia te degree — p re p a re c a n d i­
dates for licensure. However, a mini­
mum of a baccalaureate degree is
preferred for those who aspire to ad­
m inistrative or m anagem ent p o si­
tions, and those planning to work in
research, consultation, teaching, or
clinical specialization, which require
e d u c a tio n a t th e m a s te r ’s lev el.
G raduation from high school is re­
quired for admission to all schools of
nursing.
Diploma programs are conducted
by hospital and independent schools
and usually require 3 years of train ­
ing. B achelor’s degree programs usu­
ally require 4 years o f study in a col­
lege or university, although a few
require 5 years. A ssociate degree
program s in junior and community
colleges req u ire ap p ro x im ately 2
years of nursing education. In addi­
tion, several program s provide li­
cen sed p ra c tic a l n u rses with the
training necessary to upgrade them ­

490

selves to registered nurses while they
continue to work p art time. These
programs generally offer an associate
of arts degree. In 1976, about 1,375
program s (associate, diplom a, and
baccalaureate) were offered in the
United States. In addition, there were
102 m aster’s degree and 12 doctoral
degree program s in nursing.
Programs of nursing include class­
room in s tru c tio n and su p erv ised
nursing p ra c tic e in hospitals and
h e a lth fa c ilitie s . S tu d e n ts ta k e
courses in anatomy, physiology, mi­
cro b io log y , n u tritio n , psychology,
and nursing. They also get supervised
clinical experience in the care of pa­
tients who have different types of
health problems. Students in bache­
lor’s degree programs as well as in
some of the other program s are as­
signed to com m unity agencies to
learn how to care for patients in clin­
ics and in the patients’ homes. Vary­
ing am ounts of general education are
combined with nursing education in
all three types of programs.
Students who need financial aid
may qualify for federally sponsored
nursing scholarships or low-interest
loans. Those who want to pursue a
nursing career should have a sincere
desire to serve humanity and be sym­
pathetic to the needs of others. Nurs­
es must be able to accept responsibil­
ity an d d ir e c t o r su p e rv ise th e
activity of others; must have initia­
tive, and in appropriate situations be
able to follow orders precisely or de­
termine if additional consultation is
required; and must use good judg­
ment in emergencies. Good mental
health is needed in order to cope
with hum an suffering and frequent
em ergency situations. Staff nurses
need physical stamina because of the
am ount o f time spent walking and
standing.
From staff positions in hospitals,
experienced nurses may advance to
head nurse, assistant director, and
director of nursing services. A mas­
te r ’s degree, how ever, often is re­
quired for supervisory and adminis­
tra tiv e p o s itio n s , as well as for
positions in nursing education, clini­
cal specialization, and research. Pub­
lic health agencies require a bacca­
la u re a te d eg ree for em p lo y m en t.
A dvancem ent may be difficult for
 not have a baccalaure­
nurses who do


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ate or m aster’s degree in community
health nursing.
A growing m ovem ent in nursing,
generally referred to as the “ nurse
practitioner program ” is opening
new career possibilities. Several post­
baccalaureate
program s prepare
nurses for highly independent roles
in the clinical care and teaching of
patients. These nurses practice in pri­
mary roles that include pediatrics,
geriatrics, community health, m ental
health, and medical-surgical nursing.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for reg­
istered nurses are expected to be fa­
v o ra b le th ro u g h th e m id -1 9 8 0 ’s.
Some com petition for m ore desir­
able, higher paying jobs is expected
in areas w here train in g program s
abound, but opportunities for full- or
part-tim e work in present shortage
areas, such as some southern States
and many inner-city locations, are
expected to be very good through
1985. F o r n u rses w ho have had
graduate education, the outlook is
excellent for obtaining positions as
adm inistrators, teachers, clinical spe­
cialists, and com m unity health nurs­
es.
Grow th in em ploym ent o f regis­
tered nurses is expected to be faster
than the average for all occupations
because o f extension o f prepaym ent
p ro g ram s for h o sp italiz atio n and
medical care, expansion of medical
services as a result of new medical
techniques and drugs, and increased
interest in preventive medicine and
rehabilitation of the handicapped. In
addition to the need to fill new posi­
tions, large num bers of nurses will be
required to replace those who leave
the field each year.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Registered nurses who worked in
hospitals in 1976 received average
starting salaries of $1 1,820 a year,
according to a national survey co n ­
ducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. This was above the
average for nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming.
Registered nurses in nursing hom es
can expect to earn slightly less than
those in hospitals. Salaries of indus­

trial nurses averaged $240 a week in
m id-1976, according to a survey co n ­
ducted by the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics.
In 1977, the Veterans Adm inistra­
tion paid inexperienced nurses who
had a diploma or an associate degree
starting salaries of $10,370 a year;
those with b ac calau reate degrees,
$12,131. Nurses em ployed in all F ed­
eral G overnm ent agencies earned an
average of $15,500 in 1977.
Most hospital and nursing home
nurses receive extra pay for work on
evening or night shifts. Nearly all
receive from 5 to 13 paid holidays a
year, at least 2 weeks of paid vaca­
tion after 1 year of service, and also
some type of health and retirem ent
benefits.

Sources of Additional
Information
For information on approved
schools of nursing, nursing careers,
loans, scholarships, salaries, working
conditions, and em ploym ent o p por­
tunities, contact:
Coordinator, Undergraduate Programs, De­
partment of Nursing Education, Ameri­
can Nurses’ Association, 2420 Pershing
Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108.

For career information and a list of
schools of nursing, contact:
Career Information Services, National League
for Nursing, 10 Columbus Circle, New
York, N.Y. 10019.

In fo rm atio n ab o u t em p lo y m en t
opportunities in the V eterans A d ­
ministration is available from:
Department of Medicine and Surgery, Veter­
ans Administration, Washington, D.C.
20420.

LICENSED PRACTICAL
NURSES
(D.O.T. 079.378)

Nature of the Work
Licensed practical nurses (L P N ’s)
help care for the physically or m en­
tally ill and infirm. U nder the d irec­
tion o f physicians and reg istered
nurses, they provide nursing care

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

th at requires technical knowledge
but not the professional education
and training of a registered nurse.
(See statem ent on registered nurses.)
In C alifornia and Texas, licensed
practical nurses are called licensed
vocational nurses.
In hospitals, LPN ’s provide much
of the bedside care needed by pa­
tients. They take and record tem per­
atures and blood pressures, change
dressings, adm inister certain p re ­
scribed medicines, and help patients
with bathing and other personal hy­
giene. They assist physicians and reg­
istered nurses in examining patients
and in carrying out nursing proce­
dures. They also assist in the deliv­
ery, care, and feeding of infants.
Some practical nurses work in spe­
cialized units such as intensive care
units, recovery rooms, or burn units.

491

They perform special nursing proce­
d u re s an d o p e ra te so p h istic a te d
equipm ent to provide care for seri­
ously ill or injured patients. In some
instances, experienced LPN ’s super­
vise hospital attendants and nursing
aides. (S ee sta te m e n t on nursing
aides, orderlies, and attendants.)
LPN ’s who work in private homes
provide day-to-day patient care that
seldom involves highly technical pro­
cedures or com plicated equipm ent.
In addition to providing nursing care,
they may prepare meals, see that p a­
tients are com fortable and help keep
up their morale. They also teach fam ­
ily mem bers how to perform simple
nursing tasks.
In doctors’ offices and in clinics,
LPN ’s prepare patients for exam ina­
tion and treatm ent, adm inister m edi­
cations, apply dressings, and teach

LPN’s
 provide much of the bedside care needed by hospital patients.


patients prescribed health care regi­
mens. They also may make appoint­
ments and record information about
patients.

Places of Employment
In 1976, about 460,000 persons
worked as LPN ’s—about three-fifths
of them in hospitals. Most of the
others worked in nursing homes,
clinics, doctors’ offices, sanitariums,
and other long-term care facilities.
Many worked for public health agen­
cies and welfare and religious organi­
zations. Some self-employed nurses
worked in hospitals or in the homes
of their patients.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
All States and the District of C o­
lumbia regulate the preparation and
licensing of practical nurses. To be­
come licensed, applicants must com ­
plete a course of instruction in prac­
tical nursing that has been approved
by the State board of nursing and
pass a written examination. Educa­
tional requirem ents for enrollm ent in
S tate-approved training program s
range from completion of eighth or
ninth grade to high school grad u ­
ation. Many schools do not require
completion of high school but they
give preference to graduates. Phys­
ical examinations and aptitude tests
are usually re q u ire d . Volunteer hos­
pital work can provide a useful back­
ground for p ra ctical nursing, but
most applicants have no prior work
experience.
In 1976, over 1,350 S ta te -a p ­
proved programs provided practical
nursing training. Trade, technical, or
vocational schools offered more than
half of these programs. O ther p ro­
grams were available at junior colleg­
es, local hospitals, health agencies,
and private educational institutions.
Several program s operated by the
Arm y for m ilitary personnel also
were S tate-approved for practical
nurse training. G raduates from these
programs are eligible for licensure.
Practical nurse training programs
are generally 1 year long and include
both classroom study and clinical
practice. Classroom instruction cov­

492

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ers nursing concepts and principles
and related subjects including anat­
om y, physiology, m edical-surgical
nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, psy­
chiatric nursing, adm inistration of
drugs, nutrition, first aid, and com ­
ply their skill to an actual nursing
situation through supervised clinical
experience—usually in a hospital.
T hose who wish to becom e li­
censed practical nurses should have a
deep co n cern for hum an w elfare.
They must be emotionally stable be­
cause working with sick and injured
people sometimes can be upsetting.
As part of a health care team , they
must be able to follow orders and
work under close supervision. Good
health is very im portant, as is the
physical stamina needed to work
while standing a great deal.
A dvancem ent opportunities are
limited without additional training or
formal education. In-service educa­
tional programs prepare some LPN ’s
for work in specialized areas, such as
post-surgery recovery rooms, or in­
tensive care units. Under career lad­
der programs, nurses’ aides may at­
tend training to becom e LPN’s while
continuing to work part-tim e. Simi­
larly, in some cases, L PN ’s may pre­
pare to becom e reg istered nurses
while they continue to work parttime.

Employment Outlook
The em ploym ent outlook for
LPN’s is expected to be very good
through th e m id -1 9 8 0 ’s. E m ploy­
ment is expected to continue to rise
much faster than the average for all
occupations zn response to the needs
of a growing population and expand­
ed public and private health insur­
ance plans. A lso, newly licensed
practical nurses will be needed each
year in large num bers to replace
those who die, retire, or leave the
occupation for other reasons.

ning L P N ’s an a n n u a l salary o f
$7,408 in 1977.
Many hospitals give pay increases
after specific periods of satisfactory
service. Practical nurses generally
work 40 hours a week, but often this
workweek includes some work at
night and on weekends and holidays.
Many hospitals provide paid holidays
and vacations, health insurance, and
pension plans.
In private homes, LPN’s usually
work 8 to 12 hours a day and go
home at night. Private duty nursing
affords a great deal of independence
to the practical nurse in setting work
hours and determ ining the length and
frequency of vacations.

Sources of Additional
Information
A list o f State-approved training
programs and information about
practical nursing is available from:
National League for Nursing, 10 Columbus
Circle, New York, N.Y. 10019.
National Association for Practical Nurse Edu­
cation and Service, Inc., 122 East 42d St.,
Suite 800, New York, N.Y. 10017.

For information about a career in
practical nursing, contact:
National Federation o f Licensed Practical
Nurses, Inc., 250 West 57th St., New
York, N.Y. 10019.

In fo rm atio n ab o u t em ploym ent
opportunities in U.S. Veterans A d­
m inistration hospitals is available
from your local V eterans Adminis­
tration hospital, as well as:
Department of Medicine and Surgery, Veter­
ans Administration, Washington, D.C.
20420.

NURSING AIDES,
ORDERLIES, AND
ATTENDANTS
(D.O.T. 355.687 through .887)

Earnings and Working
Conditions
The average starting salary of
LPN ’s in hospitals was about $9,100
a year in 1976, according to a nation­
al survey conducted by the Universi­
ty of Texas Medical Branch.
Digitized forederal hospitals offered begin­
F FRASER


Nature of the Work
Nursing aides, orderlies, and atten ­
dants perform a variety of duties to
care for sick and injured people. O th­
er job titles include hospital atten­
dant, nursing a ssista n t, auxiliary

nursing worker, geriatric aide, and (in
mental institutions) psychiatric aide.
Nursing aides and orderlies answer
patients’ bell calls and deliver m es­
sages, serve meals, feed patients who
are unable to feed themselves, make
beds, and bathe and dress patients.
They also may give massages, take
tem peratures, and assist patients in
getting out of bed and walking. O r­
derlies escort patients to operating
and examining rooms and transport
and set up heavy equipm ent. Some
a tte n d a n ts may w ork in h o sp ital
pharmacies or supply rooms storing
and moving supplies.
The duties of nursing aides depend
on the policies of the institutions
where they work, the type of patient
being cared for, and—equally im por­
tant—the capacities and resourceful­
ness of the nursing aide or orderly. In
some hospitals, they may clean pa­
tients’ rooms and do other household
tasks. In others, under the supervi­
sion of registered nurses and licensed
practical nurses, they may assist in
the care of patients. The tasks p er­
formed for patients differ consider­
ably, and depend on whether the pa­
tien t is confined to bed following
major surgery, is recovering after a
disabling accident or illness, or needs
assistance with daily activities b e­
cause o f infirm ity caused by a d ­
vanced age.
A nother occupation similar to
nursing aide is homemaker-home
health aide. Working in the homes of
patients, they perform duties similar
to those of nursing aides, as well as
doing the cooking and other light
housework. (See statem ent on hom e­
m aker-hom e health aides elsewhere
in the Handbook.)

Places of Employment
About 1 million persons worked as
nursing aides, orderlies, and atte n ­
dants in 1976. Most work in hospi­
tals, although a rapidly growing num ­
ber work in nursing hom es and other
institutions that provide facilities for
long-term care and recuperation.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Although some em ployers prefer
high school graduates, many, such as

493

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

Veterans Administration hospitals,
do not require a high school diploma.
Employers often accept applicants
who are 17 or 18 years of age. O th­
ers—particularly nursing homes and
m en tal h o s p ita ls —p re fe r to hire
more m ature persons who are at least
in their mid-twenties.
Nursing aides generally are trained
after they are hired. Some institu­
tions com bine on-the-job training,
under the close supervision of regis­
tered or licensed practical nurses,
with classroom instruction. Trainees
learn to take and record tem pera­
tures, bathe patients, change linens
on beds th at are occupied by pa­
tients, and move and lift patients.
Training may last several days or a
few months, depending on the poli­
cies o f the hospital or other institu­
tion, the com plexity o f the duties,
and the aid e’s aptitude for the work.
Courses in home nursing and first
aid, offered
by many public school


Employment Outlook
Employment of nursing aides is
expected to increase faster than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s. In addition to those
needed because of occupational
growth, many thousands of nursing
aides will be needed each year to
replace workers who die, retire, or
leave the occupation for other rea­
sons.
Although most jobs for nursing
aides and orderlies currently are in
hospitals, most new openings will be
in nursing homes, convalescent
homes, and other long-term care fa­
cilities. Major reasons for expected
occupational growth are the increas­
ing need for medical care of a grow­
ing population, including a larger
proportion of elderly people, and the
increasing ability of people to pay for
health care, largely as a result of the
growth in public and private health
insurance.

Earnings and Working
Conditions

systems and other community agen­
cies, provide a useful background of
knowledge for the work. Volunteer
work and tem porary summer jobs in
hospitals and similar institutions also
are helpful. A pplicants should be
healthy, tactful, patient, understand­
ing, emotionally stable, and depend­
able. Nursing aides, as other health
workers, should have a genuine d e­
sire to help people, be able to work
as part of a team , and be willing to
perform repetitive, routine tasks.
Opportunities for prom otions are
limited without further training.
Some acquire specialized training to
prepare for better paying positions
such as hospital operating room tech ­
nician.
To becom e licensed practical
nurses, nursing aides must com plete
the year of specialized training re ­
quired for licensing. Some in-service
programs allow nursing aides to get
this training while they continue to
work part time.

Nursing aides, orderlies, and atten ­
dants earned salaries that were below
the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Nursing aides employed full
time by nursing homes and related
facilities earned considerably less
than those in hospitals. Depending
on the experience of the applicant,
starting salaries of nursing aides in
V eterans A dm inistration hospitals
ranged from $125 to $140 a week in
1977. The average salary earned by
nursing aides employed by the Feder­
al Governm ent was $185 a week in
1977.
With few exceptions, the sched­
uled workweek of attendants in hos­
pitals is 40 hours or less. Because
nursing care must be available to pa­
tie n ts on a 2 4 -h o u r-a -d a y basis,
scheduled hours include nightwork
and work on weekends and holidays.
A ttendants in hospitals and similar
institutions generally receive paid va­
cations which, after 1 year of service,
may be a week or more in length.
Paid holidays and sick leave, hospital
and medical benefits, shift differen­
tials, and pension plans also are avail­
able to many hospital employees.

494

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Sources of Additional
Information
Information about em ploym ent
may be obtained from local hospitals




and nursing homes. Additional infor­
m ation about the work of nursing
aides, o rderlies, and atten d an ts is
available from:

Division of Careers and Recruitment, Ameri­
can Hospital Association, 840 N. Lake
Shore Dr., Chicago, 11 . 60611.
1

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION
OCCUPATIONS

P e rs o n s d is a b le d by a c c id e n t,
bum s, strokes, and disease, as well as
the em otionally disturbed, all benefit
from the care given by therapy and
rehabilitation workers. A fter an ac­
cident o r serious illness leaves a vic­
tim fully o r partially disabled, phys­
ical therapists, and physical therapist
assistants and aides work to restore
the patient to the fullest possible lev­
el of activity. Occupational therapists
and occupational therapy assistants
and aides guide the disabled further
along the road to realizing a satisfy­
ing and productive life. They teach
disabled and em otionally disturbed
clien ts skills and crafts th a t help
build co o rd in a tio n and self-confi­
dence, and, in many cases, prepare
them to return to work. They also
help the elderly in nursing homes by
involving them in interesting and ab­
sorbing hobbies. Also described in
this section are speech pathologists
and audiologists, who specialize in
helping those with speech and hear­
ing p ro b le m s to o v e rc o m e th e ir
handicaps.
Anyone considering work in one of
these fields should have a genuine
concern for the physical and em o­
tional well-being o f others. Em otion­
al stability and the ability to m aintain
a pleasant disposition and a positive
outlook also are im portant, because
these workers often deal with clients
affected by severe handicaps.
O ther occupations also provide
opportunity for work with the dis­
abled and handicapped. R ehabilita­
tion counselors give personal and vo­
cational guidance to the physically,
m entally, o r socially handicapped.
Em ploym ent counselors work with
the disabled as well as the able-bod­
ied in career planning and job adjust­
m en t. B o th o c c u p a tio n s are d e ­
scribed elsewhere in the Handbook.




OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPISTS
(D.O.T. 079.128)

Nature of the Work
O ccupational therapists plan and
direct educational, vocational, and
recreational activities designed to
help m entally and physically disabled
patients becom e self-sufficient. They
evaluate the capacities and skills o f
clients, set goals, and plan a therapy
program together with the client and
m em bers of a medical team which
m ay in clu d e ph y sician s, physical

th e ra p ists, vocational counselo rs,
nurses, social workers, and other spe­
cialists.
About two therapists out of five
work with emotionally handicapped
patients, and the rest work with
physically disabled persons. These
clients represent all age groups and
degrees of disability. Patients partici­
pate in occupational therapy to de­
term ine the extent o f abilities and
limitations; to regain physical, m en­
tal, or em otional stability; to relearn
daily routines such as eating, dress­
ing, writing, and using a telephone;
and, eventually, to prepare for em ­
ployment.
O c c u p a tio n a l th e ra p is ts te a c h
manual and creative skills such as
weaving and leather working, and
business and industrial skills such as
typing and the use of power tools.
These skills are taught to restore m o­
bility and coordination and to help
the patient regain physical and em o­
tional stability. Therapists also plan
and direct games and other activities,
especially for children. They may de­
sign and make special equipm ent or

Occupational therapists help handicapped people prepare for employment.
495

496

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

splints to help disabled patients.
Besides working with patients,
occupational therapists supervise
student therapists, occupational th er­
apy assistants, volunteers, and auxil­
iary nursing workers. The chief occu­
pational therapist in hospitals may
teach medical and nursing students
the principles of occupational th er­
apy. Many therapists supervise occu­
pational therapy departm ents, coor­
d in a te p a tie n t a c tiv itie s , o r are
consultants to local and State health
departm ents and m ental health agen­
cies. Some teach in colleges and uni­
versities.

Places of Employment
About 10,600 occupational th era­
pists were employed in 1976. About
4 out of 10 occupational therapists
work in hospitals. Rehabilitation cen ­
ters, nursing homes, schools, outpa­
tie n t c lin ic s , c o m m u n ity m e n ta l
health centers, and research centers
em ploy m ost o f the others. Some
work in special sanitariums or camps
for handicapped children, others in
State health departm ents. Still others
work in hom e-care programs for p a­
tien ts u n able to atten d clinics or
workshops. Some are members of the
Armed Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A degree or certification in occu­
pational therapy is required to enter
the profession. In 1976, 49 colleges
and universities offered programs in
occupational therapy which were ac­
credited by the A m erican Medical
Association and the American O ccu­
pational Therapy Association. All of
these schools offer bachelor’s degree
program s. Some have 2-year p ro ­
grams and accept students who have
completed 2 years of college. Some
also offer shorter programs, leading
to a certificate or a m aster’s degree
in occupational therapy for students
who have a bachelor’s degree in an­
other field. A graduate degree often
is required for teaching, research, or
administrative work.
Course work in occupational th er­
apy program s includes physical, bio­
logical, and
 behavioral sciences and


the application of occupational th er­ tions; som e th erap ists pursue a d ­
apy theory and skills. These p ro ­ vanced education and teach or do
grams also require students to work research.
for 6 to 9 m onths in hospitals or
Employment Outlook
health agencies to gain experience in
clinical practice. G raduates of ac­
Employment in this occupation is
credited educational program s are
eligible to take the Am erican O ccu­ expected to grow much faster than
pational Therapy Association certifi­ the average for all occupations due
cation examination to become a reg­ to public interest in the rehabilitation
is te r e d o c c u p a t i o n a l t h e r a p i s t of disabled persons and the success
(OTR). O ccupational therapy assis­ of established occupational therapy
tants who are certified by the associ­ program s. Many therapists will be
ation (C O T A ’s) and have 4 years of needed to staff hospital rehabilitation
approved work experience also are departm ents, community health cen ­
eligible to take the examination to ters, extended care facilities, psychi­
b ec o m e re g is te re d o c c u p a tio n a l atric centers, schools for children
therapists. Those C O T A ’s consider­ with developm ental and learning dis­
ing this path of entry to the occupa­ a b ilitie s , an d c o m m u n ity h o m e
tion should contact the Director o f health programs.
However, the increasing num ber
Certification of the Am erican O ccu­
of graduates from occupational th er­
p a tio n a l T h erap y A sso cia tio n to
identify the types of experience re ­ apy programs may exceed the num ­
quired to qualify for the examination ber of openings that will occur each
year due to growth in the occupation
and to determ ine the availability of
and replacem ent of those who will
suitable work settings.
die or retire. As a result, new gradu­
Entry to educational programs is
ates may face com petition in some
keenly com petitive and applicants
geographic areas through the midare screened carefully for previous
1980’s.
academic perform ance to select
those m ost likely to com plete their
Earnings and Working
studies successfully. Persons consid­
Conditions
erin g th is p ro fe ssio n , th e re fo re ,
should have above average academ ic
Beginning salaries for new gradu­
perform ance and consistent grades ates of o ccupational therapy p ro ­
of “ B” or better in science courses,
grams working in hospitals averaged
including biology and chem istry. about $12,000 a year in 1976, ac­
College students who consider trans­ cording to a national survey conduct­
ferring from another academ ic disci­ ed by the University of Texas M edi­
pline to an occupational therapy p ro ­ c a l S c h o o l. S om e e x p e r ie n c e d
gram in their sophom ore or junior t h e r a p i s t s e a r n e d as m u c h as
year need superior grades because $17,000, and some adm inistrators as
c o m p etitio n for e n tra n c e to p ro ­ m uch as $25,000 to $30,000 . In
grams is m ore intense after the fresh­ 1976, the average salary of experi­
man year.
enced occupational therapists was 1
Personal qualifications needed in
1/2 times the average earnings for all
the profession include a sympathetic nonsupervisory workers in private in­
but objective approach to illness and dustry, except farming.
disability, maturity, patience, imagi­
In 1977, beginning therapists em ­
nation, manual skills, and the ability ployed by the V eterans A dm inistra­
to teach. In addition to biology and tion (V A ) earned starting salaries of
chemistry, high school students inter­ $10,370 a year. The average salary
ested in c a re e rs as o c c u p a tio n a l paid occupational therapists working
therapists are advised to take courses for the V A was about $ 16,000 at that
in health, crafts, and the social sci­ time.
ences.
Many part-tim e positions are avail­
Newly graduated occupational able fo r o c c u p a tio n a l th e ra p ists .
therapists generally begin as staff Many therapists work for more than
therapists. A dvancem ent is chiefly to one em ployer and m ust travel b e­
supervisory or adm inistrative posi­ tween job locations.

497

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

Sources of Additional
information
For more information on occupa­
tional therapy as a career, write to:
American Occupational Therapy Association,
6000 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md.
20852.

Those C O T A ’s interested in quali­
fying for the examination to become
a registered occupational therapist
(OTR) through acquired work expe­
rience should contact the Director of
Certification*at the above address.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
ASSISTANTS & AIDES
(D.O.T. 079.368)

Nature of the Work
Occupational therapy assistants
work under the supervision of profes­
sional occupational therapists to help
rehabilitate patients who are physi­
cally and m entally disabled. They
help plan and im plement programs of
educational, vocational, and recrea­
tional activities that strengthen pa­
tients’ muscle power, increase m o­
tion and coordination, and develop
self-sufficiency in overcom ing dis­
abilities.
O c cu p atio n al th erap y assistants
teach clients self-care skills such as
dressing, eating, and shaving; workrelated skills such as the use of power
tools; and recreational and social ac­
tivities such as games, dramatics, and
gardening. They also may teach cre­
ative skills such as woodworking, ce­
ramics, and graphic arts.
Assistants must be able to teach a
broad range of skills because of the
wide variety of patients. They may
work either with groups or with indi­
vidual patients. W hen treating p a­
tients with diseases, assistants usually
work under the supervision of profes­
sional o cc u p atio n al th erap ists. In
other situations, such as organizing
crafts projects for handicapped per­
sons living in institutions, they may
function indep en d en tly, with only
periodic co n sultation with profes­
sionals.
Occupational therapy aides order
supplies, prepare work m aterials, and
help maintain tools and equipment.



Occupational therapy assistants must be able to teach a broad range of skills.

They also may keep records on p a­
tients, p rep are clinical notes, and
perform other clerical duties.
Some small occupational therapy
departm ents may consist only of a
therapist and one other worker. In
these cases, the assistant or aide may
assume m ost of the duties of an occu­
pational therapist, within the limits o f
his or her training.

Places of Employment
About 8,900 people worked as
occupational therapy assistants and
aides in 1976. Almost half of all
occupational therapy assistants work
in hospitals. Others work in nursing
homes, schools for handicapped chil­
dren and the mentally retarded, reha­
bilitation and day care centers, spe­
c ia l w o rk s h o p s , an d o u tp a tie n t

clinics. A small num ber are members
of the Arm ed Forces.
O ccupational therapy aides work
in the same locations as assistants,
but they generally are most often
em ployed in hospitals.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Two types o f e d u c a tio n a l p ro ­
grams prepare occupational therapy
assistants: junior or community col­
lege program s that award an asso­
ciate degree upon com pletion and
vocational or technical programs of
about 1 year’s duration. In 1976, 42
sch o o ls o ffered e d u c a tio n a l p ro ­
gram s approved by the A m erican
O ccupational Therapy Association.
Most of these are 2-year college p ro­
grams leading to an associate degree.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

498

About one-third are 1-year vocation­
al and technical school programs. In
addition, the Armed Forces operate
a school to train occupational th er­
apy assistants.
G raduates of these programs who
successfully complete the written na­
tional proficiency exam ination are
certified by the Am erican O ccupa­
tional T herapy Association and re­
ceive the title Certified Occupational
Therapy Assistant (C O TA ). In 1976,
about 2,640 employed occupational
therapy assistants were C O TA ’s.
Approved
program s
combine
classroom instruction with at least 2
months of supervised practical expe­
rience. Courses include the history
and philosophy of occupational th er­
apy, occupational therapy theory and
skills, anatom y and physiology of the
human body, the effect of illness and
injury on patients, and hum an devel­
opment. Students also practice skills
and crafts they later will teach to pa­
tients.
Applicants for training programs
must be high school graduates or the
equivalent. Among the subjects rec­
omm ended for high school students
interested in the occupational th er­
apy field are health, biology, typing,
and the social sciences. Preference
sometimes is given to applicants who
have taken courses in science and
crafts and have previous work expe­
rience in a health care setting.
Occupational therapy aides train
on the job in hospitals and other
health care facilities. The length and
content of their training varies d e­
pending on the level of difficulty of
the duties that aides are expected to
perform.
O ccupational therapy assistants
and aides should like people, have
good physical and m ental health, and
be able to establish and maintain
effective interpersonal relationships.
They also should have manual skills
since they must teach clients how to
use tools and materials.
Occupational therapy assistants
and aides who work in large health
facilities begin with routine tasks and
may advance to more responsible
ones as they gain experience. A
COTA with 4 years o f approved
work experience may take the exami­
nation to becom e a registered occu­
patio n al th
e ra p ist (O T R ) w ithout


com pleting the remaining 2 years of
study for a bachelor’s degree in occu­
p atio n al th era p y . T h o se C O T A ’s
considering this path o f entry to the
o c c u p a tio n a l th e ra p y p ro fe ssio n
should contact the D irector of C erti­
fication o f the A m erican O ccu p a­
tional Therapy Association to identi­
fy the types of experience required to
qualify for the examination.

Employment Outlook
The em ploym ent of occupational
therapy assistants and aides is ex­
pected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations, due to
public interest in the rehabilitation of
disabled people. All types of health
care institutions, especially nursing
homes and com m unity health cen ­
ters, will need m ore occupational
therapy assistants through the mid1980’s.
Em ployment opportunities for
occupational therapy assistants are
expected to be very good through the
m id-1980’s, particularly for gradu­
ates of approved program s. Many
openings will be created each year by
growth in the occupation and even
more will occur as workers die, re ­
tire, or leave the field for other re a­
sons.
The num ber of educational p ro ­
grams for occupational therapy assis­
tants is expected to increase, with the
result th a t assistants in some geo­
graphical areas may face com petition
for jobs. On a national basis, how­
ever, the supply of graduates is likely
to fall short of requirem ents.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, annual salaries generally
ranged from $7,500 to $9,000 for
in e x p e rie n c e d assistan ts. E x p e ri­
enced o cc u p atio n al therapy assis­
tants ea rn ed betw een $8,500 and
$12,000 a year, according to the lim­
ited in fo rm atio n available. T hose
who co m p leted an approved p ro ­
gram generally earned higher starting
salaries than beginners without any
training. O ccupational therapy assis­
tants working for the Veterans A d­
m inistration earned starting salaries
of $7,408 annually in 1977, and the
average of salaries paid to all occupa­
tional th era p y assistants with the

F e d e ra l G o v e rn m e n t was a b o u t
$ 11,500 a year.
O ccupational therapy aides earned
beginning salaries of about $6,200 a
year in 1976, according to the limit­
ed information available.
O ccupational therapy assistants
and aides occasionally may work
evenings, weekends, and part time.

Sources of Additional
Information
For inform ation about work o p ­
p o rtu n ities and program s offering
training for occupational therapy as­
sistants, contact:
American Occupational Therapy Association,
6000 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md.
20852.

Those C O TA ’s interested in quali­
fying for the examination to become
a registered occupational therapist
(OTR) through acquired work expe­
rience should contact the D irector of
C e rtific a tio n , A m erican O c c u p a ­
tional Therapy A ssociation, at the
above address.

PHYSICAL THERAPISTS
(D.O.T. 079.378)

Nature of the Work
Physical therapists help persons
with muscle, nerve, joint, and bone
diseases or injuries to overcom e their
disabilities. Their patients include ac­
cident victims, crippled children, and
d isa b le d o ld e r p e rso n s. P h y sical
therapists perform and interpret tests
a n d m e a s u r e m e n ts fo r m u s c le
strength, m otor developm ent, func­
tional capacity, and respiratory and
circulatory efficiency to develop p ro ­
grams for treatm ent in cooperation
with the p a tie n t’s physician. They
ev alu ate the effectiv en ess o f the
treatm ent and discuss the patien ts’
progress with physicians, psycholo­
gists, o ccupational therapists, and
o th er specialists. W hen advisable,
physical therapists revise the th era­
peutic procedures and treatm en ts.
They help disabled persons to accept
their physical handicaps and adjust
to them. They show m em bers of the

499

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

own homes. Still others work in phy­
sicians’ offices or clinics, teach in
physical therapy ed u catio n al p ro ­
grams, or work for research organi­
zations. A few serve as consultants in
government and voluntary agencies
o r a re m e m b e rs o f th e A rm e d
Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Physical therapists develop programs for treatment of disabled persons of all ages.

p atien ts’ families how to continue
treatm ents at home.
T h erap eu tic p ro ced u res include
exercises for increasing strength, en­
durance, coordination, and range of
motion; electrical stimuli to activate
paralyzed muscles; instruction in car­
rying out everyday activities and in
the use of helping devices; and the
app licatio n o f m assage, heat and
cold, light, water, or electricity to
relieve pain or improve the condition
of muscles and skin.
Most physical therapists provide
direct care to patients as staff m em ­
bers, supervisors, or self-employed
practitioners. Physical therapists usu­
ally perform their own evaluations of
patients; in large hospitals and nurs­
ing homes, however, the director or
assistan t d ire
 c to r of the physical


therapy departm ent may handle this
work, which requires extensive train­
ing and experience. Therapists may
treat patients with a wide variety of
problems, or they may specialize in
pediatrics, geriatrics, am putations,
arthritis, or paralysis. Others teach or
are consultants.

Places of Employment
About 25,000 persons worked as
licensed physical therapists in 1976.
The largest num ber work in hospi­
tals. Nursing homes employ a grow­
ing num ber o f physical therapists,
and also contract for the services of
se lf-e m p lo y e d th e ra p ists . O th e rs
w ork in re h ab ilita tio n cen ters o r
schools for crippled children. Some
who work for public health agencies
treat chronically sick patients in their

All States and the District of C o­
lumbia require a license to practice
physical therapy. Applicants for a li­
cense must have a degree or certifi­
cate from an ac cre d ite d physical
therapy educational program and to
qualify must pass a State board ex­
am ination. Applicants may prepare
for State board examinations in phys­
ical therapy through one of three
types of programs, depending upon
p re v io u s a c a d e m ic stu d y . H igh
school graduates can earn a 4-year
bachelor’s degree in physical therapy
at a college or university. Students
who already hold a bachelor’s degree
in another field, such as biology or
physical education, can earn a sec­
ond bachelor’s degree or a certifica­
tion in physical therapy through spe­
c ia l p ro g ra m s la stin g 12 to 16
months. These applicants also have
the option of working for a m aster’s
degree in physical therapy.
In 1976, 11 certificate programs,
76 bachelor’s degree programs and 5
m aster’s degree programs were ac­
credited by the Am erican Physical
Therapy Association and the Am eri­
can Medical Association to provide
entry level training. There were also
17 other m aster’s degree programs
that provided advanced training to
those already in the field. One of the
c e rtificate program s is sponsored
jointly by the U.S. Army and Baylor
University; graduates are com m is­
sioned as officers in the Army.
The physical therapy curriculum
includes science courses such as
anatom y, physiology, neuroanatom y,
and neurophysiology; it also includes
specialized courses such as biom e­
chanics of m otion, hum an growth
and developm ent, and m anifestations
of disease and traum a. Besides re­
ceiving classroom instruction, stu ­
dents get supervised clinical experi­
ence administering physical therapy

500

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

to patients in a hospital or treatm ent
center.
Com petition for entry to all phys­
ical therapy programs is keen. Insti­
tutions offering a physical therapy
program each year receive many
more applications than the num ber
of existing places. Consequently, stu­
dents seriously interested in attend­
ing a physical therapy program must
attain superior grades in their earlier
studies, especially in science courses.
Personal traits that physical th era­
pists need include patience, tact, re­
sourcefulness, and emotional stabil­
ity to help patients and their families
understand the treatm ents and adjust
to their handicaps. Physical th era­
pists also should have manual dexter­
ity and physical stamina. Many per­
sons who want to determ ine whether
they have th e p e rso n a l q u alitie s
needed for this occupation volunteer
for summer or part-tim e work in the
physical th erap y d e p a rtm en t of a
h o s p ita l o r c lin ic . H igh sc h o o l
c o u rs e s th a t are u sefu l in c lu d e
h e a lth , b io lo g y , s o c ia l s c ie n c e ,
m athem atics, and physical ed u c a­
tion.
A graduate degree combined with
clinical experience increases oppor­
tunities for advancem ent, especially
to teaching, research, and adminis­
trative positions.

m ent opportunities will be best in
surburban and rural areas.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Starting salaries for new physical
therapy graduates averaged about
$ 1 1,200 a year in 1976, according to
a national survey conducted by the
University of Texas Medical School.
Earnings of experienced physical
therapists averaged about $14,000,
about one and a half times as much
as average earnings for all nonsupervisory w orkers in private industry,
except farming.
Beginning therapists employed by
the V eterans Adm inistration (V A )
earned starting salaries of $10,473 a
year in 1977. The average salary paid
therapists employed by the VA in
1977 was $15,700 annually; supervi­
so ry th e r a p i s t s m ay e a rn o v e r
$ 20 , 000 .

Sources of Additional
Information
Additional information on a career
as a physical therapist and a list of

accredited educational programs in
physical therapy are available from:
American Physical Therapy Association, 1156
15th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20005.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST
ASSISTANTS AND AIDES
(D.O.T. 355.878)

Nature of the Work
Physical therapist assistants and
aides work under the supervision of
professional physical therapists to re­
habilitate disabled persons so th at
they may again lead useful and p ro­
ductive lives. They work to restore
physical functions and prevent dis­
ability from injury or illness.
Assistants help physical therapists
test patients to determ ine the extent
of their capabilities and the best
treatm ent for them. Using special
therapy equipm ent, they apply heat,
cold, light, ultra sound, and massage,
and report to their supervisors on

Employment Outlook
Employment of physical therapists
is expected to grow faster than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s because of increased
public recognition of the im portance
of rehabilitation. As programs to aid
crippled children and other rehabili­
ta tio n a c tiv itie s e x p a n d , and as
growth takes place in nursing homes
and other facilities for the elderly,
m any new p o sitio n s for physical
therapists are likely to be created.
Many part-tim e positions should con­
tinue to be available.
H o w e v e r, th e ra p id ly grow ing
num ber of new graduates is expected
to exceed the num ber of openings
th at will o cc u r each year due to
growth in the occu p ation and re ­
placem ent of those who will die or
retire. As a result, new graduates are
expected to face some com petition
through th e
 m id -1 9 8 0 ’s. E m ploy­


Aide helps patient do therap eutic exercises.

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

how well the patient is responding to
treatm ent. Assistants help patients
perform therapeutic exercises to
build strength and increase m otion as
well as everyday activities such as
walking and climbing stairs. They
also help the physical therapist to
instruct patients on how to use artifi­
cial limbs, braces, and splints.
Physical therapist aides help pa­
tients prepare for treatm ent, and may
remove and replace devices such as
braces, splints, and slings and trans­
port patients to and from treatm ent
areas. They may help assistants or
therapists by supporting patients dur­
ing treatm ent. Aides care for and as­
sem ble treatm en t equipm ent. They
also m ake appointm ents, act as re­
ceptionists, and perform other cleri­
cal duties.
Som e sm all h ealth care in stitu ­
tions, such as small hospitals or nurs­
ing hom es, employ only one person
besides the therapist in the physical
therapy departm ent. In this case, the
assistant o r aide may assume m ost of
the duties o f the therapist, within the
limits of his or her training.

Places of Employment
A bout 12,500 persons worked as
physical therapist assistants and aides
in 1976. M ost work in physical th er­
apy departm ents o f general and spe­
cialized hospitals. O th ers w ork in
physicians’ or physical therapists’ of­
fices and clinics, rehabilitation cen­
ters, or nursing hom es for the chronic a lly ill a n d e l d e r l y . S o m e
com m unity and governm ent health
agencies, schools for crippled chil­
dren, and facilities for the mentally
retarded also employ physical thera­
pist assistants and aides. A small
num ber are m em bers o f the Arm ed
Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Training requirem ents for physical
therapist assistants are not uniform
throughout the country. In 19 States,
assistants are licensed. They must be
graduates o f approved 2-year asso­
ciate degree program s and pass a
written proficiency exam ination. A
few o f these States have a “ grandfa­
th e r” clause
 that allows the educa­


tional requirem ent to be waived for
those who learned their skills before
associate degree program s becam e
available. In States not requiring a
license, physical therapy aides can
advance to assistants by acquiring
the necessary knowledge and skills
on the job, although employers often
prefer graduates o f approved p ro ­
grams.
There were 37 approved program s
to train physical therapist assistants
in 1976. Most were in junior or com ­
munity colleges, and all led to an as­
sociate degree. Courses include his­
tory and philosophy o f rehabilitation,
hum an grow th and d ev e lo p m e n t,
anatom y, physiology, and psychol­
ogy. S tu d ies also co v e r ph y sical
therapist assistant procedures includ­
ing m assage, therapeutic exercises,
and heat and cold therapy. S uper­
vised clinical experience also is a re ­
q u ire m e n t o f p h y sic a l th e r a p is t
a s s is ta n t p ro g ra m s. T h e A rm e d
Forces operate schools to train phys­
ical th e ra p ist assistan ts, b u t this
training does not satisfy academ ic re ­
quirem ents for State licensure and no
degree is aw arded to graduates.
Physical therapist aides train on
the job in hospitals and other health
care facilities. The length and co n ­
tent of these training programs vary
widely, depending on the level o f dif­
ficulty of duties that aides are expect­
ed to perform , the particular services
r e q u ire d by p a tie n ts in the p ro g ra m ,
and the am ount of time professional
therapists spend in teaching trainees.
A p p lic a n ts a d m itte d to p h y sical
therapist aide training program s gen­
erally must be high school graduates
or the equivalent. Employers usually
prefer that aides have previous hospi­
tal experience as nursing aides.
High school courses that are help­
ful to physical th erap ist assistants
and aides are health, biology, psy­
chology, physical education, m athe­
matics, and typing.
Physical therapist assistants and
aides need good physical health.
They also need good manual dexter­
ity to adjust equipm ent, body coordi­
nation to assist in positioning p a ­
tients, and an interest in assisting the
physically handicapped. Em otional
stability is im portant because assis­

5 01

tants and aides must m aintain a posi­
tive, bright outlook while helping pa­
tients with very difficult handicaps.
Patience and the ability to recognize
and appreciate slight improvements
also are helpful.
As physical therapist assistants and
aides gain experience, they may ad­
vance to m ore responsible duties
with corresponding pay increases.
Some aides may becom e physical
therapy assistants on the basis of ac­
quired job experience. The opportu­
nities for aides to advance in this way
are best in areas where associate de­
gree program s for physical therapist
assistants are unavailable.
Physical therapist assistants with
an asso c ia te degree from an a p ­
proved program sometimes advance
to physical therapists by earning the
b ach elo r’s degree in physical th e r­
apy. A student thinking about this
option should arrange his or her asso­
ciate degree curriculum carefully to
correspond to the undergraduate re­
quirem ents of the bachelor’s degree
program under consideration.

Employment Outlook
Job opportunities for physical
therapist assistants and aides who are
graduates of approved programs are
expected to be excellent through the
m id-1980’s. In communities where
there are large classes in physical
therapist assistant programs, some
graduates may find it necessary to
move to other locations where no
associate degree programs are avail­
able. For the Nation as a whole, how­
ever, the num ber o f openings for
physical therapist assistants caused
by growth and replacem ent needs are
expected to far exceed the num ber of
graduates from these programs.
The num ber of physical therapist
assistants and aides is expected to
increase faster than the average for
all occupations as the dem and for
professional
physical
therapists
grows. Overall dem and in the field
stems from increased public aw are­
ness of the im portance of rehabilita­
tion and the growing num ber of nurs­
ing hom es which provide therapeutic
services to the elderly. E xpanded
physical therapy services planned by
hospitals, nursing homes, schools for

502

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

crippled children, facilities for m en­
tally retarded, and other health and
rehabilitation centers are expected to
further increase the need for physical
therapist assistants and aides.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, weekly salaries averaged
about $116 for beginning physical
therapist aides and about $170 for
those with experience, according to
the limited inform ation available.
Physical therapist assistants received
higher salaries than aides, beginning
at about $175 a week. Experienced
physical therapist assistants earned
as much as $325 weekly. Physical
therapist assistants working for the
V eterans
Adm inistration
(V A )
earned starting salaries of $ 115 a
week in 1977, and the average of
salaries paid to all physical therapist
assistants with the VA was about
$214 weekly.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation on a career as a phys­
ical therapist assistant or aide and on
program s offering training for phys­
ical th e ra p ist assistant is available
from:
The American Physical Therapy Association,
1156 15th St. NW„ Washington, D.C.
20005.

SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS
AND AUDIOLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 079.108)

Nature of the Work
A bout one out o f ten Am ericans is
unable to speak or hear clearly. Chil­
dren who have trouble speaking or
hearing cannot participate fully with
o th er children in play or in normal
classroom activities. A dults having
speech or hearing im pairm ents often
have p ro b lem s in jo b adjustm ent.
Speech pathologists and audiologists

provide d irect services to these peo­


Speech pathologists and audiologists help people overcome speech and hearing
disorders.

ple by evaluating th eir speech or
hearing disorders and then providing
treatm ent.
The speech pathologist works with
children and adults who have speech,
language, and voice disorders result­
ing from causes such as total or par­
tial hearing loss, brain injury, cleft
palate, m ental retardation, em otional
problem s, or foreign dialect. T he
audiologist prim arily assesses and
treats hearing problems. Speech and
hearing, however, are so interrelated
that, to be com petent in one of these
fields, one m ust be fam iliar w ith
both.
The duties of speech pathologists
and audiologists vary with education,
ex p erien ce, and place of em ploy­
ment. In clinics, either in schools or
other locations, they use diagnostic
procedures to identify and evaluate
speech and hearing disorders. Then,
in cooperation with physicians, psy­
chologists, physical therapists, and
counselors, they develop and im ple­
ment an organized program of th er­

apy. Some speech pathologists and
audiologists conduct research such
as investigating the causes of com ­
m unicative disorders and improving
methods for clinical services. Others
supervise clinical activities.
Speech pathologists and audiolo­
gists in colleges and u n iv ersities
teach courses in the principles of
com m unication, com m unication dis­
orders, and clinical techniques; p ar­
ticipate in educational programs for
physicians, nurses, and teachers; and
work in university clinics and re ­
s e a rc h c e n te r s . A lth o u g h m o s t
speech pathologists and audiologists
do some administrative work, direc­
tors of speech and hearing clinics and
coordinators of speech and hearing
in schools, health departm ents, or
governm ent agencies may be totally
involved in adm inistration.

Places of Employment
Over 38,000 persons worked as
speech pathologists and audiologists

503

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

in 1976. Over one-half worked in
public schools. Colleges and univer­
sities employed many in classrooms,
clinics, and research centers. The
rest worked in hospitals, speech and
hearing centers, governm ent agen­
cies, industry, and private practice.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

tion, and W elfare—the R ehabilita­
tion S ervices A d m in istratio n , the
M aternal and Child Health Service,
the Office of Education, and the N a­
tional Institutes of Health. In addi­
tion, some Federal agencies distrib­
ute money to colleges to aid graduate
students in speech and hearing p ro ­
grams. A large num ber of private o r­
ganizations and foundations also p ro ­
v id e f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r
education in this field.
Meeting the American Speech and
H earing A ssociation’s (ASHA ) re ­
quirem ents for a C ertificate of Clini­
cal C om petence usually is necessary
in o rd er to advance professionally
and to earn a higher salary. To earn
the CCC, a person m ust have a m as­
t e r ’s degree or its equivalent and
com plete a one-year internship ap ­
proved by the Association. Passing a
national written examination also is
required.
Speech pathologists and audiolo­
gists should be able to ap p ro ach
problems objectively and have a con­
cern for the needs of others. They
also should have considerable p a ­
tience, because a client’s progress of­
ten is slow. A person who desires a
career in speech pathology and audi­
ology should be able to accept re ­
sponsibility, w ork in d ep en d e n tly ,
and direct others. The ability to work
with detail is im portant. Speech p a­
thologists and audiologists receive
s a tis fa c tio n from seein g c lie n ts ’
speech or hearing improve as a result
of their work.

An increasing num ber of States
require a m aster’s degree or its
equivalent for speech pathologists
and audiologists. In addition, many
Federal programs, such as M edicare
and Medicaid, require participating
speech pathologists and audiologists
to have a m aster’s degree. Some
States require a teaching certificate
to work in the public schools. In 29
States, those offering speech pathol­
ogy and audiology services outside of
schools must be licensed. Licensure
requirem ents vary among the States.
U ndergraduate courses in speech
pathology and audiology programs
include anatom y, biology, physiol­
ogy, physics, sociology, linguistics,
semantics, and phonetics. Courses in
speech and hearing as well as in child
psychology and psychology of the ex­
ceptional child also are helpful. This
training usually is available at colleg­
es that offer a broad liberal arts pro­
gram.
In early 1977, about 228 colleges
and universities offered graduate
education in speech pathology and
audiology. Courses at the graduate
level include advanced anatom y and
physiology of the areas involved in
Employment Outlook
hearing and speech; acoustics; psy­
chological aspects o f com m unica­
The em ploym ent o f speech p a ­
tion; and analysis of speech produc­
thologists and audiologists is expect­
tion, language abilities, and auditory
processes. G rad u ate students also ed to increase faster than the average
take courses in the evaluation and for all other occupations through the
remediation of speech, language, and m id-1980’s. However, tem porary re­
hearing disorders. All students at the ductions in governm ent spending on
g rad u ate level receiv e supervised speech and hearing program s may
clinical training with clients having decrease the num ber of new posi­
tions available at any one time. Al­
communicative disorders.
A limited num ber of scholarships, though some jobs will be available
fellowships, assistantships, and train­ for those having only a bach elo r’s
eeships are available in this field. d e g re e , th e in c re a sin g em p h asis
Teaching and training grants to col­ placed on the m a ste r’s degree by
leges and universities that have pro­ State governm ents, school systems,
grams in speech and hearing are giv­ and Federal agencies will limit o p ­
en by a num ber of agencies of the portunities at the bachelor’s degree

level.
U.S. D epartm ent
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ of Health, Educa­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

While em ploym ent opportunities
for those with a m aster’s degree gen­
erally should be favorable, the large
num ber o f graduates entering this
field may cause some com petition.
Many openings will occur outside of
the large m etro p o litan areas and
some graduates will have to relocate
in order to find employment. C om pe­
tition for teaching positions in colleg­
es and universities will be very strong
throughout the period.
Population growth, which will in­
crease the num ber of persons having
speech and hearing problems, is one
of the factors underlying the expect­
ed ex p a n sio n in em p lo y m e n t o f
speech pathologists and audiologists
through the m id-1980’s. In addition,
there is a trend toward earlier recog­
nition and treatm ent of hearing and
language problems in children. Many
school-age children, thought to have
learning disabilities, actually have
language or hearing disorders which
speech pathologists and audiologists
can treat.
O ther factors expected to increase
demand for speech pathologists and
audiologists are expansion in expen­
ditures for medical research and the
growing public interest in speech and
hearing disorders. State and Federal
laws now require school systems to
provide equal educational services
for handicapped children, and M edi­
care and M edicaid program s have
expanded their coverage of speech
and hearing services.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1977, the annual starting salary
in the Federal G overnm ent for
speech pathologists and audiologists
with a m aster’s degree was $14,097.
Those having a doctoral degree were
eligible to start at $17,056. The aver­
age salary of all speech pathologists
and audiologists working for the Fed­
eral Governm ent was $21,804.
Salaries of speech pathologists o u t­
side of governm ent tend to be higher
in areas having large urban popula­
tions. Many speech pathologists and
audiologists, p articu larly those in
colleges and universities, supplem ent
their incom es by acting as consul­

504

tants, engaging in research projects,
and writing books and articles.
Many speech pathologists and
audiologists work over 40 hours a
week. Almost all receive fringe bene­
fits such as paid vacations, sick leave,
and retirem ent programs.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Sources of Additional
Information
State departm ents of education
can supply inform ation on certifica­
tion requirem ents for those who wish
to work in public schools.

A list of college and university
program s and a booklet on student
financial aid as well as general career
inform ation are available from:
American Speech and Hearing Association,
9030 Old Georgetown Rd., Washington,
D.C. 20014.

O TH E R HEALTH O C C U P A T IO N S

DIETITIANS
(D.O.T. 077.081 through .168)

Nature of the Work
D ietitians plan nutritious and ap­
petizing m eals to help people m ain­
tain or recover good health. They
also supervise the food service per­
sonnel who prep are and serve the
m eals, m anage d ietetic purchasing
and accounting, and give advice on
good eating habits. Clinical dietitians
form the largest group in this occupa­
tion; the others are adm inistrative,
teaching, and research dietitians. N u­
tritionists also are included in this
field.
Administrative dietitians apply the
principles of nutrition and sound
m anagem ent to large-scale meal
planning and preparation, such as
that done in hospitals, universities,
schools, and other institutions. They
supervise the planning, preparation,
and service of meals; select, train,
and direct food service supervisors
and w orkers; budget for and p u r­
chase food, equipm ent, and supplies;
enforce sanitary and safety regula­
tions; and prepare records and re­
ports. Dietitians who are directors of
a dietetic departm ent also decide on
departm ental policy; coordinate di­
etetic service with the activities of
other departm ents; and are respon­
sible for the dietetic departm ent bud­
get, which in large organizations may
am ount to millions o f dollars annual-

and im portance o f their diets, and
suggest ways to keep on these diets
after leaving the hospital or clinic. In
a small institution, one person may
be both the adm inistrative and clini­
cal dietitian.
Research dietitians conduct, evalu­
ate, and in terp ret research to im ­
prove the nutrition of both healthy
and sick people. This research may
be in nutrition science and ed u ca­
tion, food m anagem ent, or food serv­
ice system s and equipm ent. They
may conduct studies o f how the body
uses food. R esearch projects may in­
vestigate the nutritional needs o f the
aging, or persons with a chronic dis­
ease, or space travelers. Research di­
e titia n s usually are em p lo y ed in
medical centers or education facili­
ties, but also may work in com m unity
health programs. (See statem ent on
fo o d sc ie n tists else w h e re in th e
Handbook. )
Dietetic educators teach dietetics
to dietetic, m edical, dental, and nurs-

ing students and to interns, residents,
and other mem bers of the health care
team. They usually work in medical
and educational institutions.
Nutritionists may counsel individ­
uals and groups on sound nutrition
practices to m aintain and improve
health o r they may engage in teach­
ing and research. This work covers
such areas as special diets, meal plan­
ning and preparation, and food bud­
geting and purchasing. Nutritionists
in com m unity health may be respon­
sible for the nutrition com ponents of
preventive health and medical care
services. This includes planning, de­
veloping, coordinating, and adminis­
tering a nutrition program or a nutri­
tion com ponent as an integral part of
a com m unity health program. N utri­
tionists work in such diverse areas as
fo o d in d u strie s, e d u c a tio n a l and
health facilities, and agricultural and
w elfare agencies, both public and
private.
An increasing num ber of dietitians
work as consultants to hospitals and
to health-related facilities. Others act
as consultants to com m ercial en ter­
prises, including food processors and
equipm ent m anufacturers.

Places of Employment
About 45,000 persons worked as
dietitians in 1976. More than onehalf work in hospitals, nursing
homes, and clinics, including about
1,100 in the Veterans Adm inistration
and the U.S. Public Health Service.
Colleges, universities, and school sys­
tems employ a large num ber of dieti­
tians as teachers or in food service
systems. Most of the rest work for
health-related agencies, restaurants
or cafeterias, and large com panies
that provide food service for their
employees. Some dietitians are com ­
m issioned officers in the A rm ed
Forces.

!y-

Clinical
dietitians,
sometimes
called therapeutic dietitians, plan
diets and supervise the service o f
meals to m eet the nutritional needs
of patients in hospitals, nursing
homes, or clinics. Among their du­
ties, clinical dietitians confer with
doctors and oth er m em bers o f the
health care team about patients’ nu­
tritional care, instruct patients and
their fam ilies on the requirem ents



Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

C linical d ietitian s plan m eals for p atients
in hospitals, nursing hom es, or clinics.

A bachelor’s degree, preferably
with a m ajor in foods and nutrition or
institution m anagem ent, is the basic
educational requirem ent for d ieti­
tians. This degree can be earned in
about 240 colleges and universities,
usually in departm ents of home eco ­
nomics. College courses usually re­
505

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

506

quired are in food and nutrition, in­
stitu tio n m an ag em en t, chem istry,
bacteriology, physiology, and related
courses such as m athem atics, data
processing, psychology, sociology,
and economics.
For a dietitian to qualify for pro­
fessional recognition, the American
Dietetic Association (A D A ) recom ­
mends the com pletion after gradu­
ation of an approved dietetic intern­
sh ip o r an a p p ro v e d in d iv id u a l
traineeship program. The internship
lasts 6 to 12 months and the traineeship program 1 to 2 years. Both pro­
grams com bine clinical experience
under a qualified dietitian with some
classroom work. In 1976, 68 intern­
ship programs were approved by the
A m erican D ietetic A ssociation. A
growing num ber of coordinated un­
d e rg ra d u a te p ro g ram s, located in
schools o f m edicine and in allied
health and home econom ics depart­
ments of both colleges and universi­
ties, en ab le stu d en ts to com plete
both the requirem ents for a bache­
lor’s degree and the clinical experi­
ence req u irem en t in 4 years. The
ADA approves coordinated under­
graduate programs.
Persons meeting the qualifications
established by the A D A ’s Commis­
sion on Dietetic Registration can be­
come Registered Dietitians (R .D .’s).
R eg istratio n with the ADA is a c ­
knowledgement o f a dietitian’s com ­
petence.
E x p erien ced d ie titia n s may a d ­
vance to assistant or associate direc­
tor or director of a dietetic depart­
ment. A dvancem ent to higher level
positions in teaching and research
usually requires graduate education;
public health nutritionists must earn
a g ra d u a te d e g re e in th is field .
G rad u ate study in in stitutional or
business adm inistration is valuable to
those interested in adm inistrative di­
etetics.
Persons who plan to becom e dieti­
tians should have organizational and
administrative ability, as well as high
scientific ap titu d e, and should be
able to work well with a variety of
people. Among the courses recom ­
mended for high school students in­
terested in careers as dietitians are
home econom ics, business adm inis­
tration, biology, health, m athem at­

ics, and chemistry.


Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for
qualified dietitians on both a full­
time and part-tim e basis are expected
to be good through the m id-1980’s.
In recent years, employers have used
dietetic assistants trained in voca­
tional and technical schools and di­
etetic technicians educated in junior
colleges to help m eet the dem and for
dietetic services. Because this situ­
ation is likely to persist, em ploym ent
opportunities also should continue to
be favorable for graduates of these ^
programs.
E m ploym ent o f dietitians is ex ­
pected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through
the m id -1 9 8 0 ’s to m eet th e food
m anagem ent needs of hospitals and
extended care facilities, industrial
plants, and restau ran ts. D ietitians
also will be needed to staff com m uni­
ty health programs and to conduct
research in food and nutrition. In ad ­
dition to new dietitians needed b e­
cause of occupational growth, many
others will be required each year to
rep lace those who die, re tire , o r
leave the profession for other re a ­
sons.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Starting salaries of hospital dieti­
tians averaged $1 1,300 a year in
1976, according to a national survey
conducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. Experienced dieti­
tians received annual salaries ranging
from $13,900 to $25,300, according
to the A m erican D ietetic A ssoci­
ation. The median salary paid by col­
leges and universities to dietitians
with bachelor’s degrees was $13,900
a year in 1976. The median salary for
those with bachelor’s degrees w ork­
ing in com m ercial or industrial estab­
lishm ents was $14,400 a year; for
those in public and voluntary health
a g e n c ie s, $ 1 3 ,0 0 0 . F o r se lf-e m ­
ployed dietitians with a b ac h elo r’s
degree, the median salary was over
$16,000 a year in 1976.
The entrance salary in the Federal
G overnm ent for those completing an
approved internship was $1 1,523 in
1977. Beginning dietitians with a
m aster’s degree who had com pleted
an internship earned $14,097., In

1977, the Federal G overnm ent paid
experienced dietitians average sala­
ries of $18,109 a year.
Most dietitians work 40 hours a
week; however, dietitians in hospitals
may sometimes work on weekends,
and those in com m ercial food service
have somewhat irregular hours.
Some hospitals provide laundry serv­
ice in addition to salary. Dietitians
usually receive paid vacations, holi­
days, and health insurance and re­
tirem ent benefits.

Sources of Additional
Information
For inform ation on approved di­
etetic internship programs, scholar­
ships, em ploym ent o p p o rtu n itie s,
and registration, and a list of colleges
providing training for a professional
career in dietetics, contact:
The American Dietetic Association, 430
North Michigan Ave., 10th floor, Chica­
go, 111. 60611.

The U.S. Civil Service C om m is­
sion, W ashington, D.C. 20415, will
send in fo rm atio n on the re q u ire ­
ments for dietetic interns and dieti­
tians in Federal G overnm ent hospi­
tals and for public health nutritionists
and dietitians in the Public Health
Service, U.S. D epartm ent of Health,
Education, and W elfare, and in the
D istrict o f C olum bia go v ern m en t
programs.

DISPENSING OPTICIANS
(D.O.T. 713.251, and 299.884)

Nature of the Work
About 100 million people in the
United States use some form of co r­
rective lenses to improve their vision.
D ispensing o p tician s (also called
ophthalmic dispensers) receive lens
prescriptions from eye doctors (o p h ­
thalmologists) or optom etrists, d eter­
mine the size and style of eyeglasses
desired by the custom er, write work
o rd e rs fo r o p h th alm ic lab o ra to ry
technicians, and adjust finished glass­
es to fit the custom er. In many States
they fit contact lenses.
Dispensing opticians determ ine
where lenses should be placed in

507

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

relation to the custom er’s eyes by
measuring the distance between the
centers of the pupils. They also assist
the custom er in selecting the proper
eyeglass frame by measuring the cus­
tom er’s facial features and showing
th e v ario u s styles and c o lo rs o f
frames.
Dispensing opticians analyze and
interpet precriptions and prepare
work orders that give ophthalm ic
laboratory technicians the inform a­
tion they need to properly, grind the
lenses, and insert them in a frame.
The work orders include lens p re­
scriptions and inform ation on lens
size, color, and style. After glasses
are made, dispensing opticians use a
special instrum ent to check the pow­
er and surface quality of the lenses.

Opticians then adjust the frame to
the contours of the custom er’s face
and head so that it fits properly and
comfortably. Adjustm ents are made
with handtools, such as optical pliers,
files, and screwdrivers. A special in­
strum ent is used to check the power
and surface quality of the lenses.
In fitting contact lenses, dispensing
opticians follow ophthalm ologists’ or
optom etrists’ prescriptions, measure
the corneas of custom ers’ eyes and
then prepare specifications to be fol­
lowed by the contact lens m anufac­
turer. C ontact lens fitting requires
considerably more skill, care, and p a­
tience than conventional eyeglass fit­
ting. Dispensing opticians tell cus­
tom ers how to insert, remove, and


Dispensing optician adjusts finished glasses to fit the customer.


care for contact lenses during the ini­
tial adjustm ent period, which may
last several weeks. The dispensing
optician examines the patient’s eyes,
cornea, lids, and contact lens with
special instruments and microscopes
at each visit. Ophthalmologists or op­
tom etrists recheck the fit, as needed.
O pticians may m ake minor adjust­
m ents; lenses are retu rn ed to the
m anufacturer for m ajor changes.
The m ajority of dispensing opti­
cians are in the general practice of
designing and fittin g eyeglasses.
Some specialize in the fitting of cos­
metic shells to cover blemished eyes.
Still others specialize in the fitting of
prosthesis (artificial eyes). In some
shops, they may do lens grinding and
finishing and sell other optical goods
such as binoculars, magnifying glass­
es, and nonprescription eyeglasses.

Places of Employment
About 14,500 persons worked as
dispensing opticians in 1976. Most
dispensing opticians work for retail
optical shops or departm ent stores
and other retail stores that sell pre­
scription lenses. Many also work for
o p h th alm o lo g ists o r o p to m etrists
who sell glasses directly to patients.
A few work in hospitals and eye clin­
ics and teach in schools of ophthal­
mic dispensing. Many dispensing op­
ticians own retail optical shops.
Dispensing opticians can be found
in every State. H ow ever, em ploy­
m ent is concentrated in large cities
and in populous States.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most dispensing opticians learn
their skills on the job. On-the-job
training in dispensing work may last
several years and usually includes
instruction in optical m athem atics,
optical physics, and the use of preci­
sion m easuring instruments.
Form al institutional training for
the dispensing optician is available
for high school graduates. In 1977,
15 schools offered 2-year full-time
courses in optical fabricating and dis­
pensing work leading to an associate
degree. In addition, large m anufac­
turers of contact lenses offer nonde­
gree courses in lens-fitting that usual­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

508

ly last a few weeks. A small num ber
of opticians learn their trade in the
Arm ed Forces.
High school graduates also can
prepare for optical dispensing work
through 3- to 4-year formal appren­
ticeship programs. A pprentices with
e x c ep tio n al ability m ay co m p lete
their training in a shorter period.
A pprentices receive training in o p ­
tical m athem atics and optical physics
and in the use of laboratory equip­
ment. In addition to technicial train­
ing, apprentices are given an oppor­
tunity to work directly with patients
in the fitting of both eyeglasses and
c o n ta c t lenses. T ra in e es also are
taught the basics of office m anage­
m ent and sales.
Em ployers prefer applicants for
entry jobs as dispensing opticians to
be high school graduates who have
had courses in the basic sciences. A
know ledge o f physics, algebra, ge­
om etry, and m echanical drawing is
particularly valuable. Interest in and
ability to do precision work are es­
sential. Because dispensing opticians
deal directly with the public, they
should be tactful and have pleasant
personalities.
In 1976, 19 States had licensing
requirem ents governing dispensing
opticians: Alaska, Arizona, C alifor­
nia, C onnecticut, Florida, G eorgia,
H aw aii, K entucky, M assachusetts,
N ev ad a, New Jerse y , New Y ork,
North Carolina, R hode Island, South
Carolina, Tennessee, V erm ont, V ir­
ginia, and W ashington. To obtain a
license, the applicant generally m ust
m eet certain minimum standards of
education and training, and also must
pass either a written or practical ex­
am ination, or both. For specific re­
quirem ents, the licensing boards of
individual States should be consult­
ed.
Many dispensing opticians go into
business for themselves. O thers may
advance by becoming m anagers of
retail optical stores or becom ing
sales representatives for wholesalers
or m anufacturers o f eyeglasses or
lenses.

through the m id-1980’s. In addition
to the jo b openings from em ploy­
m ent grow th, som e openings will
arise from the need to replace experi­
enced w orkers who retire, die, or
leave the occupation for other rea­
sons. The dem and for eyeglasses is
expected to increase as a result o f
increases in population and a greater
awareness of the need for eyeglasses.
State program s to provide eye care
for low-income families, union health
insurance plans, and M edicare also
will stim ulate dem and. M oreover,
the growing variety of fram e styles
and colors may encourage individ­
uals to buy m ore than one pair o f
glasses.
Em ployment opportunities will be
particularly favorable for dispensing
opticians who have associate degrees
in opticianry. O pportunities will be
best in m etropolitan areas because
many of the retail optical shops in
small com m unities are operated sole­
ly by owners and do not need dis­
pensing opticians.

Employment Outlook

A list o f schools offering courses
for people who wish to becom e dis­
pensing opticians is available from:

E m ploym ent o f dispensing o p ti­
cians is expected to increase faster

than the average for all occupations


Earnings and Working
Conditions
Hourly wage rates for dispensing
opticians ranged from $5 to $8 in
1976 based on inform ation from a
small num ber of union contracts.
Dispensing opticians who own their
own shops can earn considerably
more.
A pprentices start at about 60 p e r­
cent of the skilled w orker’s rate and
are in creased periodically so th a t
upon com pletion of the apprentice­
ship program , they receive the begin­
ning rate for experienced workers.
W orking conditions are generally
pleasant, quiet, and clean. Dispens­
ing opticians in retail shops generally
work a 5 1/2- or 6-day week.
Some dispensing opticians are
mem bers of unions. The principal
union in this field is the International
Union of Electrical, Radio and M a­
chine W orkers (AFL-CIO).

Sources of Additional
Information

National Academy of Opticianry, 514 Chest­
nut St., Big Rapids, Mich. 49307.

National Federation of Opticianry Schools,
300 Jay St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.

For general inform ation about the
occupation, contact:
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers, 1176 16th St. NW.,
Washington, D C. 20036.
National Federation of Opticianry Schools
300 Jay St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.
Opticians Association of America, 1250 Con­
necticut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.
20036.

HEALTH SERVICES
ADMINISTRATORS
(D.O.T. 169.168, 187.118, and
187.168)

Nature of the Work
Medical and health care is provid­
ed by organizations that vary from
large te a c h in g h ospitals to sm all
w alk-in clinics. Each o f these re ­
quires effective m anagem ent to func­
tion properly. Health adm inistrators,
u n d er th e g eneral supervision o f
boards o f directors or other govern­
ing bodies, provide this management.
A dm inistrators coordinate the var­
ious fu n ctio n s and activities th a t
m ake a health organization work.
They may do this personally, where
the organization is small, or direct a
staff o f assistant adm inistrators in
larger organizations. Health adminis­
trators m ake m anagem ent decisions
on m atters such as the need for addi­
tional personnel and equipm ent, cu r­
rent and future space requirem ents,
and the budget.
Some health services adm inistra­
tors, including those who m anage
hospitals or nursing homes, oversee
nursing, food services, and in-service
training programs. Assistant adminis­
trators usually direct the daily op era­
tions o f these departm ents; however,
the chief executive keeps inform ed
through formal and informal m eet­
ings with the assistants, the medical
staff, and others. In addition to these
m anagem ent activities, many health
a d m in istra to rs help to carry o u t
fundraising drives and prom ote p u b ­
lic participation in health programs.
This phase of the adm inistrator’s job
often includes speaking before civic

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

509

Adm inistrators coo rd inate the various activities of a health organization.

groups, arranging publicity, and co­
ordinating the activities o f the o r­
ganization with those o f governm ent
or com m unity agencies.

treatm ent for victims of particular
diseases or physical impairments.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and A dvan cem en t

Places of Employment
A bout 160,000 persons worked as
health services adm inistrators in
1976. Most adm inistrators work in
health facilities, including hospitals
(which employed about half o f all
adm inistrators), nursing and person­
al care homes, and health m anage­
m ent firms that provide adm inistra­
tive services to health facilities at a
specified contract price.
Some health adm inistrators work
for governm ent agencies, including
State and local health departm ents
and the U.S. Public Health Service.
In addition, the Federal G overnm ent
hires adm inistrators in V eterans Ad­
m inistration and Arm ed Forces hos­
pitals and clinics. O thers work for
voluntary health agencies that con­
duct research and provide care and



Educational
requirem ents
for
health services adm inistrators vary
according to the position’s level o f
responsibility and the size of the o r­
ganization. Generally, larger organi­
zations with m ore com plicated ad ­
ministrative structures require higher
credentials than smaller ones.
Applicants with m aster’s degrees
in health or hospital adm inistration
may be hired as associate or assistant
adm inistrators in hospitals, while
those with m aster’s degrees in public
health often find work as program
analysts or program representatives
in public health departm ents. Very
few m aster’s degree recipients take
entry positions in nursing or personal
care hom es, although many nursing
home adm inistrators pursue graduate
education while employed.

B achelor’s degree recipients usual­
ly begin their careers as adm inistra­
tive assistants or departm ent heads in
hospitals, or as assistant adm inistra­
tors in nursing homes. G raduates of
2-year, associate degree program s
generally are hired as unit directors
or assistant departm ent heads in hos­
pitals, o r as assistants to program
representatives in public health de­
partm ents. Some associate degree
holders find assistant adm inistrator
jobs in small nursing homes.
The Ph. D. degree usually is re­
quired for positions in teaching or
research, and is an asset for those
seeking adm inistrative jobs in the
larger, m ore prestigious health o r­
ganizations. Although some public
health departm ents still require chief
adm inistrators to be physicians, the
trend is away from this.
Adm inistrators in Armed Forces
hospitals usually are career military
personnel.
In 1976, over 40 bachelor and
associate degree programs in health
serv ices a d m in istra tio n w ere o f­
fered—the majority were 4-year curriculum s. In addition, th ere were
ab o u t 52 program s in hospital or
health services adm inistration th at
led to the m aster’s degree, and 19
schools of public health offered pro­
grams leading to a m aster’s degree in
public health.
To enter graduate programs, appli­
cants m ust have a bachelor’s degree,
with courses in natural sciences, psy­
chology, sociology, statistics, a c ­
counting, and economics. C om peti­
tion for entry to these programs is
keen, and applicants need above av­
erage grades to gain admission. The
program s generally last about 2 years
and may include some supervised ad­
ministrative experience in hospitals,
clinics, o r health agencies. Programs
may include courses such as hospital
organization and m anagem ent, ac­
counting and budget control, person­
nel adm inistration, public health ad­
m inistration, and the economics of
health care.
All States and the District of C o ­
lumbia require that the adm inistrator
of a nursing or personal care home
be licensed. R equirem ents are not
uniform, but they generally specify a
level of education, such as a bache-

510

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

lojc’s degree, plus som e am ount o f
experience in the field.
Personal qualifications needed for
success as a health adm inistrator in­
clude initiative and an in terest in
h elp in g th e sick . A d m in is tra to rs
should be able to work with and m o­
tivate people, and organize and di­
rect large-scale activities. They also
should enjoy public speaking.
H ealth adm inistrators advance in
the profession by taking increasingly
m ore responsible positions. For ex­
am ple, som e hospital adm inistrators
begin their careers in small hospitals
in positions with broad responsibil­
ities, such as assistant adm inistrator.
They advance by moving to jobs as
associate or ch ief ad m inistrator in
larger hospitals. M ore com m only,
they start in a large institution in a
position th at is som ew hat narrow in
scope—for example, as departm ent
head in charge o f purchasing. R e­
gardless o f the path o f advancem ent
chosen, the u ltim ate o ccu p atio n al
goal in hospitals and nursing hom es is
the jo b o f chief executive or chief
adm inistrative officer.

Employment Outlook
The num ber o f graduate program s
in h e a lth a d m in is tra tio n has in ­
creased rapidly in recent years and
adm inistative specialists with gradu­
ate degrees in other fields also have
entered the profession. C onsequent­
ly, it may becom e m ore difficult for
those with less than graduate educa­
tion to en ter health adm inistration in
top m anagem ent positions. In addi­
tion, som e adm inistrative jobs will
continue to be filled by registered
nurses, physicians, and m em bers of
religious communities.
Em ployment o f health services ad­
m in is tra to rs is e x p e c te d to grow
much faster than the average for all
occupations to 1985 as the quantity
o f p a tie n t serv ices in cre ases and
h e a lth se rv ic e s m a n a g e m e n t b e ­
com es m ore complex. The dem and
for adm inistrators will be stim ulated
by th e fo rm a tio n o f m ore g ro u p
medical practices and health m ainte­
nance organizations (facilities that
offer subscribers a broad range of
medical services for a monthly fee
paid in ad v a n ce). A d m in istrato rs
also will be needed in nursing and
convalescent
 hom es to handle the in­


creasing am ount o f adm inistrative
work expected as these facilities ex­
pand in size.

this field offered by universities, col­
leges, and com m unity colleges is
available from:

Earnings and Working
Conditions

American College of Hospital Administration,
840 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago,
Illinois 60611.

Salaries of hospital adm inistrators
depend on factors such as the level o f
job responsibility; the size, type, and
location of the hospital; and the size
of its administrative staff and budget.
C hief adm inistrators in hospitals
with up to 199 beds earned an aver­
age of $25,500 a year in 1976. Some,
in la rg e r h o sp ita ls, e a rn e d o v e r
$45,000. R ecent recipients of m as­
te r’s degrees in health adm inistration
starting work in V eterans Adm inis­
t r a t i o n (V A ) h o s p ita ls e a r n e d
$14,097 a year in 1977. The average
salary paid adm inistrators o f Federal
hospitals was $26,700.
Commissioned officers in the
Arm ed Forces who work as hospital
adm inistrators hold ranks ranging
from second lieutenant to colonel or
from ensign to captain. Com m anding
officers o f large Arm ed Forces hospi­
tals are generally physicians, who
may hold higher ranks. Hospital ad ­
m inistrators in the U.S. Public Health
Service are com m issioned officers
holding ranks ranging from lieuten­
ant (junior grade) to captain in the
Navy.
Adm inistrators of nursing and p er­
sonal care hom es usually earn lower
salaries than those paid hospital ad ­
m inistrators in facilities having simi­
lar num bers of beds. Most adm inis­
trators employed by voluntary health
agencies earned betw een $15,000
and $30,000 a year in 1976.
Health adm inistrators often work
long hours. Because health facilities
such as nursing hom es and hospitals
operate around the clock, adm inis­
trators in these institutions may be
called at all hours to settle em ergen­
cy problems. Also, some travel may
be required to attend meetings or, in
the case of regional, State or local
public health departm ent and volun­
tary health agency adm inistrators, to
inspect facilities in the field.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation about health adm inis­
tration and the academ ic program s in

Association of University Programs in Health
Administration, One Dupont Circle, NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
American Public Health Association, Division
of Program Services, 1015 18th St., NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Health Council, Health Careers Pro­
gram, 1740 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
10019.
American College of Nursing Home Adminis­
trators, 4650 East-West Hwy., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20014.

MEDICAL RECORD
ADMINISTRATORS
(D.O.T. 100.388)

Nature of the Work
All health care institutions keep
records that contain medical infor­
m ation on each patient, including
case histories of illnesses or injuries,
reports on physical examinations, Xrays and laboratory tests, doctors’ o r­
ders and notes, and nurses’ notes.
These records are necessary for co r­
rect and prom pt diagnosis and trea t­
m ent of illnesses and injuries. They
also are used for research, insurance
claims, legal actions, evaluation of
tre a tm e n t an d m e d ic a tio n s p r e ­
scribed, and in the training of m edi­
cal personnel. Medical inform ation
in hospitals also is used to evaluate
patient care provided in the hospital
and as a basis for health care plan­
ning for the community.
M edical record adm inistrators di­
rect the activities of the medical re c­
ord departm ent and develop systems
for docum enting, storing, and re ­
trieving m edical inform ation. They
supervise the medical record staff,
which processes and analyzes re c ­
ords and reports on patients’ illnesses
and treatm ent. They train m em bers
of the medical record staff for spe­
cialized jobs, compile medical statis­
tics req u ired by S tate or national
health agencies, and assist the m edi­
cal staff in evaluations of patient care

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

511

Medical record administrators develop systems for documenting, storing, and retriev­
ing medical information.

or research studies. Medical record
adm inistrators serving as departm ent
heads are a part of the hospital m an­
agement staff and participate fully in
m anagem ent activities. As the ad­
m in is tra to rs re s p o n sib le fo r the
m edical in fo rm atio n system , they
may be required to testify in court
ab o u t re co rd s and re co rd p ro c e ­
dures.
The size and type of institution af­
fect the duties and am ount of respon­
sibility assigned to m edical record
ad m in istrato rs. In large hospitals,
chief medical record adm inistrators
supervise other m edical record ad­
ministrators, technicians, and clerks.
Smaller hospitals may employ only
two or three persons in the medical
record departm ent; in nursing homes
usually one person keeps the medical
records. In these cases a consulting
medical record adm inistrator usually
advises technical and clerical person­
nel performing medical record func­
tions.

Places of Employment
Most of the 12,300 medical record
adm inistrators em ployed in 1976

worked in hospitals. The rem ainder


worked in clinics, nursing homes,
State and local public health depart­
ments, and medical research centers.
Some health insurance com panies
also employ medical record adminis­
trators to help determ ine liability for
paym ent o f th eir c lie n ts’ m edical
fees. Some medical record adminis­
trators work for firms that m anufac­
ture equipm ent for recording and
processing medical data and develop
and print health insurance and m edi­
cal forms. Many small health care
facilities hire medical record adm in­
istrators as consultants.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Preparation for a career as a m edi­
cal record adm inistrator is offered in
specialized programs in colleges and
universities. M ost program s last 4
years and lead to a bachelor’s degree
in m edical record ad m in istratio n .
However, concentration in medical
record adm inistration begins in the
third or fourth year of study, making
transfer from a junior college possi­
ble. O ne-year certificate program s
also are available for those who al­
ready have a bachelor’s degree and

required courses in the liberal arts
and biological sciences. In 1977,
there were 41 programs in medical
record adm inistration approved by
the Council on Medical Education of
the A m erican M edical Association
and the Am erican M edical Record
Association (A M R A ). High school
c o u rse s th a t a re u se fu l in c lu d e
h e a lth , b u sin e ss a d m in is tra tio n ,
mathem atics, and biology.
Training for m edical record ad ­
ministrators includes both classroom
instruction and practical experience.
Anatom y, physiology, fundamentals
of m edical science, medical term i­
nology, and medical record science
are am ong the required scientific
courses. In addition, m anagem ent
courses such as hospital organization
and administration, health law, statis­
tics, data processing, and com puter
science are part of the curriculum.
Experience in the medical record de­
partm ents of hospitals provides stu­
dents with a practical background in
applying standardized medical rec­
ord practices, com piling statistical
reports, analyzing data, and organiz­
ing medical record systems.
G raduates of approved schools in
medical record administration are
eligible for the national registration
examination given by AMRA. Pass­
ing this examination gives profession­
al recognition as a Registered Record
A dm inistrator (R R A ). There were
ab o u t 5,000 em ployed R R A ’s in
1976, according to AMRA.
Medical record adm inistrators
must be accurate and interested in
detail. They also must be able to
com m unicate clearly in speech and
writing. Because m edical records are
confidential, medical record adm in­
istrators must be discreet in process­
ing and releasing information. Super­
visors must be able to organize and
analyze w ork p ro c e d u re s and to
work effectively with other hospital
personnel.
Medical record adm inistrators
with some experience in smaller
health facilities may advance to posi­
tions as departm ent heads in large
hospitals or to higher level positions
in hospital adm inistration. Some co­
ordinate the medical record dep art­
ments of several small hospitals. O th­
ers m ove on to m e d ic a l re c o rd
positions in health agencies. Many

512

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

teach in the expanding programs for
medical record personnel in 2- and 4year colleges and universities.

Medical record
adm inistrators
usually work a regular 36- to 40-hour
week and receive paid holidays and
vacations.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for
graduates of approved medical rec­
ord adm inistrator program s are ex­
pected to be good through the mid1980’s. Employment is expected to
grow faster than the average for all
occupations, with the increasing use
of health facilities as m ore and more
people are covered by health insur­
ance. The detailed inform ation re­
quired by third-party payers such as
insurance com panies and M edicare
also will cause growth in the occupa­
tion. More consultants will be need­
ed to standardize health records in
outpatient clinics, community health
centers, nursing hom es, and hom e
care program s. The im portance of
medical records in research and the
growing use of com puters to store
and re trie v e m edical inform ation
also should increase the dem and for
qualified medical record adm inistra­
tors to develop new medical inform a­
tion systems. Part-tim e employm ent
opportunities also should be avail­
able in teaching, in research, and in
consulting work for health care fa­
cilities.

Sources of Additional
Information
Information
about
approved
schools and em ploym ent opportuni­
ties is available from:
American Medical Record Association, John
Hancock Center, Suite 1850, 875 N.
Michigan Ave., Chicago, 1 1 60611.
1.

PHARMACISTS
(D.O.T. 074.181)

Nature of the Work
Pharm acists dispense drugs and
medicines prescribed by medical and

dental practitioners and supply and
advise people on the use of many
medicines that can be obtained with
and without prescriptions. Pharm a­
cists must understand the use, com ­
position, and effect o f drugs and of­
ten test them for purity and strength.
They may maintain patient m edica­
tion profiles and advise physicians on
the proper selection and use of m edi­
cin es. C o m p o u n d in g — th e a c tu a l
mixing o f ingredients to form pow­
ders, tab lets, capsules, ointm ents,
and solutions—is now only a small
part of pharm acists’ practice, since
m ost m edicines are p ro d u ced by
m anufacturers in the form used by
the patient.
M any pharm acists em ployed in
com m unity p h arm acies also have
o th e r d u tie s. B esides d isp en sin g
m edicines, som e pharm acists buy
and sell n o n p h a rm a c e u tic a l m e r­
chandise, hire and supervise person­
nel, and oversee the general o p era­
t i o n o f th e p h a r m a c y . O t h e r

Earnings and Working
Conditions
The salaries of medical record ad­
m inistrators are influenced by the lo­
cation, size, and type o f employing
institution, as well as by the duties
and responsibilities of the position.
The average starting salary for m edi­
cal reco rd ad m inistrators in 1976
was $12,312 a year, according to a
n ational survey co n d u cted by the
University o f Texas Medical Branch
at Galveston. Top salaries averaged
$14,916 a year, with some earning as
much as $27,612.
Newly graduated medical record
adm inistrators em ployed by the Fed­
eral Governm ent generally started at
$9,303 a year in 1977; those having
b a c h e lo r’s degrees and good a c a ­
demic records were eligible to begin
at $1 1,523. In 1977, the F ederal
G overnm ent paid experienced m edi­
cal reco rd ad m in istrato rs average
$15,700 a year.
salaries of


Pharmacists often test drugs for purity and strength.

513

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

pharmacists, however, operate pre­
scription pharm acies that dispense
only m edicines, m edical supplies,
and health accessories.
Pharmacists in hospitals and clin­
ics dispense prescriptions and advise
the medical staff on the selection and
effects of drugs; they also make ster­
ile solutions, buy m edical supplies,
teach in schools of nursing and allied
health professions, and perform ad­
m inistrative duties. An increasing
number of pharmacists work as con­
sultants to the medical team in m at­
ters related to daily patient care in
hospitals, nursing homes, and other
health care facilities. Their role is
crucial to safe, efficient, and proper
therapeutic care.
Some pharmacists, employed as
sales or medical service representa­
tives or pharm aceutical detailers by
drug m anufacturers and wholesalers,
sell medicines to retail pharm acies
and to hospitals, and inform health
personnel about new drugs. Others
teach in colleges of pharmacy, super­
vise the m anufacture of pharm aceu­
ticals, or are involved in research and
the developm ent of new medicines.
Some pharmacists edit or write tech­
nical a rtic le s for p h a rm a c e u tic a l
journals, or do administrative work.
Some com bine pharm aceutical and
legal training in jobs as patent law­
yers or consultants on pharm aceuti­
cal and drug laws.

tration and the U.S. Public Health
Service. Additional Federal agencies
em ploying pharm acists include the
D epartm ent of D efense, the Food
and Drug Adm inistration and other
b ra n c h e s o f th e D e p a rtm e n t o f
Health, Education, and Welfare, and
the Drug E nforcem ent Adm inistra­
tion. O ther pharmacists served in the
Armed Forces or taught in colleges
of pharmacy. State and local health
agencies, and pharm aceutical and
other professional associations, also
employ pharmacists.
Most towns have at least one phar­
macy with one pharm acist or more in
attendance. Most pharmacists, how­
ever, practice in or near cities, and in
those States th at have the largest
populations.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A license to practice pharmacy is
required in all States and the District
of Columbia. To obtain a license, one
must be a graduate of an accredited
pharmacy college, pass a State board
examination and—in nearly all
States—have a specified am ount of
practical experience or internship
under the supervision of a registered
pharmacist. Internships generally are
served in a community or hospital
pharmacy. In 1976, all States except
California, Florida, and Hawaii
granted a license without reexam ina­
tion to qualified pharmacists already
licen sed by a n o th e r S tate. M any
Places of Employment
pharm acists are licensed to practice
About 120,000 persons worked as in more than one State.
At least 5 years of study beyond
licensed pharmacists in 1976. Over
90,000 pharmacists worked in com ­ high school are required to graduate
munity pharmacies. O f these, more from one of the degree programs
th an tw o -fifth s ow ned th e ir own accredited by the Am erican Council
pharmacies; the others were salaried on Pharm aceutical Education in the
em ployees. M ost of the remaining 72 colleges of pharmacy. Most
salaried pharmacists worked for hos­ graduates receive a Bachelor of Sci­
pitals, pharm aceutical m anufactur­ ence (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Pharm a­
ers, and w holesalers. Q uite a few cy (B. Pharm .) degree. About onecommunity and hospital pharmacists third of the colleges of pharmacy also
did c o n s u ltin g w ork for nursing offer advanced professional degree
homes and other health facilities in program s leading to a D o cto r o f
addition to their primary jobs. As a Pharm acy (Pharm. D.) degree; three
rule, pharm acy services in nursing of the schools offer only the Pharm.
homes are provided by consultants D. degree. The Pharm . D. degree as
well as the B.S. or B. Pharm. degrees
rather than by salaried employees.
Some pharm acists were civilian may serve as the entry degree for
em ployees of the Federal G overn­ purposes of licensure as a pharm a­
m ent, working chiefly in hospitals cist. The profession is considering
Digitized for clinics of the Veterans Adminis­
standardizing requirem ents and of­
and FRASER


fering only one professional degree
instead o f two.
Admission requirem ents vary. A
few colleges admit students directly
from high school. Most colleges of
pharm acy, however, require entrants
to have com pleted 1 or 2 years of
prepharm acy education in an accred­
ited junior college, college, or uni­
versity. A prepharm acy curriculum
usually emphasizes m athem atics and
basic sciences, such as chemistry, bi­
ology, and physics, but also includes
courses in the humanities and social
scien c es. B ecause en try re q u ire ­
ments vary among colleges of phar­
macy, prepharm acy students should
inquire about and follow the curricu­
lum required by colleges they plan to
attend.
The bachelor’s degree in pharm a­
cy is the minimum educational quali­
fication for most positions in the p ro­
fession. An increasing num ber o f
students are enrolled in advanced
professional programs leading to the
Pharm. D. degree. A m aster’s or Ph.
D. degree in pharmacy or a related
field usually is required for research
work and a Pharm. D., m aster’s, or
Ph. D. usually is necessary for adm in­
istrative work or college teaching.
While a num ber of pharmacy gradu­
ates in tere ste d in fu rth e r training
pursue a Pharm. D. or a m aster’s or
Ph. D. in pharmacy, there are other
options. Some enter medical, dental,
o r law school, and others pursue
graduate degrees in science or engi­
neering.
Areas of special study include
pharm aceutics and pharm aceutical
chemistry (study of physical and
chemical properties of drugs an dos­
age form s), pharmacology (study of
the effects of drugs on the body),
pharmacognosy (study of the drugs
d e r iv e d fro m p l a n t o r a n im a l
sources), hospital pharm acy, clinical
pharm acy, and pharm acy adm inistra­
tion (study of the social and econom ­
ic factors related to pharmacy prac­
tic e ) . C lin ic a l p h a rm a c y is th e
synthesis of the basic science educa­
tio n an d th e a p p lic a tio n o f th is
k n o w led g e to drug m a n a g e m e n t
problem s in the care o f patients.
Courses in pharmacy adm inistration
are particularly helpful to pharm a­
cists who enter executive or m anage­
rial positions.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

514

All colleges of pharmacy offer
courses in pharm acy practice, d e­
signed to educate students in the
skilled processes required for com ­
pounding and dispensing prescrip ­
tions, and to give students an appre­
ciation for the profession and an
understanding of the responsibilities
pharm acists have in their relation­
ships with physicians and patients.
Many colleges of pharm acy increas­
ingly are emphasizing direct patient
care as well as consultative services
to other health professionals in their
academic programs.
A limited num ber of Federal schol­
arships and loans are available for
students studying full time toward a
degree in pharm acy. A num ber of
scholarships also are awarded annu­
ally by drug m anufacturers, chain
drugstores, corporations, State and
national pharm acy associations, col­
leges of pharm acy, and other organi­
zations.
Since many pharm acists are selfemployed, prospective pharmacists
with interest in this type of practice
should have some business ability, as
well as an interest in medical science
and the ability to gain the confidence
of their clients. Honesty, integrity,
and orderliness are im portant attri­
butes for the profession. In addition,
accuracy is needed to com pound and
dispense medicines as well as keep
records required by law.
P h arm acists often begin as em ­
ployees in com m unity pharm acies.
After they gain experience and ob­
tain the necessary funds they may
becom e ow ners or part-ow ners of
pharmacies. A pharm acist who gains
experience in a chain drugstore may
advance to a m anagerial position,
and later to a higher executive posi­
tion within the com pany. Hospital
pharmacists who have the necessary
training and experience may advance
to director of pharmacy service or to
other administrative positions. P har­
macists in industry often have oppor­
tunities for advancem ent in m anage­
ment, sales, research, quality control,
advertising, production, packaging,
and other areas.

Employment Outlook
The em ploym ent outlook for phar­


macists is expected to be favorable


through the m id-1980’s. However, if
the n u m b er o f p h arm acy college
graduates continues to rise as rapidly
as it has in recent years, the job m ar­
ket may change; graduates may begin
to experience com petition for jobs.
Growth is expected to be about as
fast as the average for all occupa­
tions. Most openings, however, will
result from deaths, retirem ents, and
o th e r sep a ratio n s from the lab o r
force.
Employment will grow as new
pharm acies are established, in large
residential areas as well as in small
towns and rural locations. Many
community pharm acies, also, are ex­
pected to hire additional pharmacists
because o f a trend towards shorter
working hours. Dem and for pharm a­
cists also will be generated by such
fa cto rs as p o p u latio n grow th; in ­
creased life expectancy; greater d e­
mand for drugs, particularly among
the elderly; availability o f a wider
range of drug products for preventive
and th e ra p e u tic uses; th e rising
stan d ard o f h ea lth ca re; and the
growth of public and private health
insurance programs that provide pay­
ment for prescription drugs.
Em ployment of pharmacists in
hospitals, nursing hom es, and other
health facilities is expected to rise
faster than in other work settings.
Pharmacists increasingly provide di­
rect p a tien t care and consultative
services to physicians and other p ro ­
fessionals in these health facilities.
Because drug m anufacturers are ex­
periencing lower rates of return on
investm ent in research and develop­
ment due to increasing governm ent
regulation, pharm acists may face d e­
creasing opportunities in production,
re se a rc h , d istrib u tio n , and sales.
Pharmacists with advanced training
will be needed for college teaching
and top adm inistrative posts.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Based on limited inform ation, the
starting salary for pharm acists gener­
ally ranges from $14,000 to $17,000
a year. E x p erien ced p h arm acists,
particularly owners or m anagers o f
pharm acies, often earn considerably
more. In general, salaries of experi­
enced pharm acists are higher than

the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming.
The minimum entrance salary in
the Federal G overnm ent for a new
graduate with a bachelor’s degree
from an approved college of pharm a­
cy was $ 1 1,523 a year in 1977. How­
ever, most graduates qualified for a
beginning salary of $14,097 a year;
those with 2 years of graduate work,
$17,056 a year. Pharm acists with ad­
ditional years of experience may start
at a higher salary. The average salary
for all federally em ployed pharm a­
cists was about $18,600.
The average annual starting salary
for pharmacists in hospitals and
medical centers was about $14,600
in 1976, according to a survey con­
ducted by the University o f Texas
Medical School. Top salaries for ex­
perienced pharmacists in these set­
tings averaged $18,300, and some
were as high as $26,200. Pharm acists
who do consulting work in addition
to their primary job may have total
earnings considerably higher than
this.
According to a survey conducted
by the Am erican Association of C ol­
leges o f Pharm acy, average annual
salaries of full-time personnel in col­
leges of pharmacy during 1977 were
as follows: deans, ab o u t $36,000;
assistant and associate deans, about
$ 2 5 ,0 0 0 ; full p ro fe sso rs, a ro u n d
$ 3 0 ,0 0 0 ; a s s o c ia te p r o f e s s o r s ,
around $23,000; and assistant p ro ­
fessors, about $20,000.
B ased on th e la te s t P h arm ac y
M anpower Inform ation Project initi­
ated by the American Association of
Colleges of Pharm acy, pharm acists
average 44 hours a week in their pri­
m ary work setting. Many p h arm a­
cists w ork in a secondary setting
where they average 15 hours a week.
Pharm acists in com m unity settings
generally w ork longer hours th an
those employed in institutional set­
tings. Pharm acies often are open in
the evenings and on weekends, and
all States require a registered p h ar­
m acist to be in attendance during
store hours. Self-employed pharm a­
cists often work m ore hours than
those in salaried positions.

515

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

Sources of Additional
Information

American Pharmaceutical Association, 2215
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20037.

American Council on Pharmaceutical Educa­
tion, One East Wacker Dr., Chicago, 1 1
1.
60601.

A dditional inform ation on phar­
macy as a career, preprofessional
and professional requirem ents, pro­
grams offered by colleges of pharm a­
cy, and student financial aid is avail­
able from:

In fo rm a tio n a b o u t ch ain d ru g ­
stores is available from:

Inform ation on requirem ents for
licensure in a particular State is avail­
able from the Board of Pharmacy of
that State or from:

National Association of Chain Drug Stores,
1911 Jefferson Highway, Arlington, Va.

22202.

G e n e ra l in fo rm a tio n on re ta il
pharm acies is available from:

American Association of Colleges of Pharma­
cy, Office of Student Affairs, 4630 Mont­
gomery Ave., Suite 201, Bethesda, Md.
20014.

National Association of Retail Druggists, 1750
K St., NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.

General information on pharmacy
is available from:

For a list of accredited colleges of
pharm acy, contact:




National Association of Boards of Pharmacy,
One East Wacker Dr., Chicago, 1 1
1.
60601.

Inform ation on college entrance
requirem ents, curriculum s, and fi­
nancial aid is available from the dean
of any college of pharmacy.

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
Social scientists study all aspects of
human society—from the origins of
man to the latest election returns.
Regardless of their field of specializa­

tion, they are concerned with some
aspect of society, culture, or person­
ality. Anthropologists study primitive
tribes and m odern comm unities, re­

Social scientists, 1976

Less than 12 % of total
/
employment in
all occupations

The proportion of social scientists employed in
colleges and universities varies among occupations
Employment of social scientists, 1976 (in thousands)
Economists
P s y c h o lo g is ts

Historians
Socio;oaists
Political scientists
Geographers
Anthropologists
40
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


516


■

100

120

Colleges and universities —

60

80

Other

construct civilizations of the past,
and analyze the physical characteris­
tics, cultures, and languages o f all
people, past and present. Economists
study the allocation of land, labor,
and capital, and the production, dis­
tribution, and consum ption of goods
and services. Geographers study the
relationship between geographic fac­
tors and economics, politics, urban
problems, culture, health problem s,
and other areas. They also seek to
explain changing patterns of human
settlem ent. Historians describe and
interpret the people, ideas, institu­
tions, and events of the past and p re­
sent. P olitical scientists study the
theories, objectives, and organization
of all types of government. Psycholo­
gists study the behavior of humans
and lower animals in order to under­
stand and explain their actions, and
assist in adjustm ent or rehabilitation
when necessary. Sociologists analyze
the b ehavior and relationship s o f
groups—such as the family, the com ­
munity, and m inorities—to the indi­
vidual or to society as a whole. Be­
sid es th e s e basic so c ia l sc ie n c e
occupations, a num ber of closely re­
lated fields are covered in separate
statem ents elsewhere in this Hand­
book. (S ee statem en ts on sta tisti­
cians, social workers, and other so­
cial service occupations.)
The basic social science occupa­
tions provided em ploym ent for about
280,000 persons in 1976. O verlap­
ping among the basic social science
fields makes it difficult to determ ine
the exact size o f each profession.
Economists, however, m ake up the
largest social science group and an­
thropologists the smallest.
About one-third of all social scien­
tists work in colleges and universi­
ties. However, the two largest social
science occupations, economists and
psychologists, are not as heavily co n ­
ce n trated in institutions o f higher

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

517

Significant proportions of psychologists with doctoral
degrees work in nonacademic settings

Where social scientists work, percent of total employment, 1975
Educational institutions (includes
elementary, secondary schools
and higher educational institutions)
Government

Hospitals/clinics

Business/industry
Other
0

20

40

Psychologists with
doctorates

Source: National Research Council

60

80

100

Other social scientists
with doctorates

the traditional em ployers of many
highly qualified social scientists, are
not expected to offer as many job
opportunities through 1985 as they
did in the past, because of the slow­
ing o f enrollm ent growth. Top gradu­
ates of prestigious universities should
have an advantage for the limited
num ber of academic positions. Most
em ploym ent growth should occur in
nonacadem ic areas, and many highly
qualified social scientists are expect­
ed to seek such positions. Despite
this anticipated growth, the num ber
of persons seeking to enter the social
science field is likely to exceed the
available job openings. The following
statem ents present more detailed in­
formation about the prospective o u t­
look in the individual occupations.

ANTHROPOLOGISTS
Teaching is the principal activity of social scientists
with doctoral degrees

(D.O.T. 055.088)

Nature of the Work

Activities of social scientists
Percent of total employment, 1975

0

20

■
education as other social scientists.
(See chart.)
Federal, State, and local govern­
ment agencies, research and consult­
ing firms, hospitals and other health
facilities, and unions, associations,
and nonprofit organizations also em ­
ploy social scientists. Business firms
of all kinds are im portant employers
of social scientists. Banks, insurance
com panies, retailers, and m anufac­
turing concerns all employ social sci­
ence majors
 as trainees for sales, re­


40

60

80

100

Psychologists with m h Other social scientists
doctorates
with doctorates

search, adm inistrative, and executive
positions.
Overall em ploym ent in the social
sciences is expected to grow about as
fast as the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. Economists,
psychologists, and geographers are
expected to experience faster than
average growth; anthropologists will
grow about as fast as average; and
political scientists, sociologists, and
historians will grow m ore slowly than
average. Colleges and universities,

Anthropologists study m an—his
origins, physical characteristics, and
culture. These areas of study exam ­
ine people’s traditions, beliefs, cus­
tom s, languages, m aterial posses­
sions, social relationships, and value
systems. Although anthropologists
generally specialize in one of four
specific areas—cultural anthropolo­
gy, archeology, linguistics, and phys­
ical anthropology—they are expect­
ed to have a general knowledge of all
of them.
Most anthropologists specialize in
cultural anthropology, sometimes
called ethnology. Ethnologists may
spend long periods living with tribal
groups or in modern com m unities to
learn about their ways of life. The
cultural anthropologist lives with a
group of people to observe and write
about their social custom s, beliefs,
and m aterial possessions. They usu­
ally learn the native language in the
process. They also make com para­
tive studies of the cultures and soci­
eties o f various groups. In recent
years, investigations have included
fewer primitive societies and m ore
com plex urban societies, including

O C C U P A T IO N A L O U T L O O K H A N D B O O K

518

ghetto inhabitants, drug addicts, and
the aged.
Archeologists study cultures which
no longer exist or have changed
greatly. They study the rem ains of
homes, tools, clothing, ornam ents,
and oth er evidences o f hum an life
and activity to re co n stru ct the in­
habitants’ history and custom s. For
exam ple, in a desert in New M exico,
archeologists uncovered an ancient
kiva— an Indian religious cham ber.
In a cave by the Dead Sea, some have
found pieces o f ancient scrolls 2,000
years old. A rcheological team s also
have excavated three large prehistor­
ic com m unities along the Illinois Riv­
er.
Linguistic anthropologists study the
evolution o f language and the place
o f language in a culture. They exam ­
ine the sounds and structure of a so­
ciety’s language and relate them to
the behavior and thought patterns of
m em bers o f th at society. Such stud­
ies may be used to trace the diffusion
o f a language or people over wide
geographical areas.
Physical anthropologists studying
hum an evolution investigate how the
physical characteristics o f different
races or groups o f people are influ­
enced by heredity and environm ent.
This work requires extensive training
in hum an anatom y, biology, genetics,
and the study o f prim ates (the order
o f mammals that includes m an, apes,
and m onkeys). A physical an th ro ­
pologist may identify a fossil o f a hu­
m an ancestor or teach a chim panzee
to com m unicate with sign language.
A knowledge o f body structure en ­
ab les ph y sical a n th ro p o lo g ists to
work as consultants on projects such
as the design o f cockpits for airplanes
and spaceships, and th e sizing o f
clothing.
Most new em ploym ent opportuni­
ties are expected to be in applied an­
thropology, a specialty which uses the
findings o f anthropology in a practi­
cal m anner.
Applied cultural an ­
thropologists may, for exam ple, p ro ­
vide technical guidelines to ease the
transition of nonindustrial societies
to a m ore complex level o f socioeco­
nomic organization, or a medical an­
thropologist studying cultural a tti­
tudes tow ards h ealth and m edical
treatm en t may help form ulate and
adm inister a health program for an




e th n ic m in o rity . M any m ed ical
schools hire medical anthropologists
as instructors.
Applied linguistic anthropologists
may create a written alphabet to help
advance literacy in societies with u n ­
w ritten languages. A nother related
specialty area is urban anthropology,
the study of urban life, urbanization,
rural-urban migration, and the influ­
ence of city life.
Most anthropologists teach in col­
leges and universities, and they often
co m b in e te a c h in g w ith re se a rc h .
Some specialize in m useum w ork,
which generally com bines adm inis­
trative duties with fieldwork and re­
search on anth ro p o lo g ical co lle c ­
tions. A n th ro p o lo g ists also w rite
cultural, social, and archeological
im pact statem ents for proposed G ov­
ernm ent projects. Some work in busi­
ness and industry including construc­
tion firms or engage in nontechnical
writing.

Places of Employment
A bout 3,500 persons worked as
anthropologists in 1976. A bout fourfifths of all anthropologists work in
colleges and universities. The F eder­
al G overnm ent employs a small but
growing num ber, chiefly in museums,
national parks, the Bureau o f Indian
Affairs, the Arm y C orps o f E ngi­
neers, and technical aid program s.
State and local governm ent agencies
employ anthropologists, usually for
m useum w ork o r health research.
Some work as consultants in private,
com m unity, o r o v erseas d e v e lo p ­
m ent organizations.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Students who want to becom e an ­
thropologists should obtain the Ph.
D. degree. College graduates with
bachelor’s degrees often get tem po­
rary positions and assistantships in
graduate departm ents where they are
working for advanced degrees. A
m aster’s degree, plus field experi­
ence, is sufficient for many beginning
professional positions, but prom otion
to top positions generally is reserved
for individuals who have a Ph. D.
degree. Many colleges and universi­
ties require a Ph. D. degree for p e r­
m anent teaching appointm ents. P er­

sons with a m aster’s or b ach elo r’s
degree in anthropology may be hired
as governm ent social science analysts
or placed in managerial positions by
private employers.
A student interested in studying
anthropology should have a strong
background in the social and phys­
ical sciences. M athem atics is helpful,
since statistical and com puter m eth­
ods are becoming m ore widely used
for research in this field. U ndergrad­
uates may begin their field training in
archeology by arranging, thro u g h
their university departm ents, to ac­
com pany expeditions as laborers or
to attend field schools established for
training. They may later become su­
pervisors in charge o f the digging or
collection of m aterial and finally may
direct a portion of the work of the
expedition. E thnologists and lin­
guists usually do their fieldwork in­
dependently. Most anthropologists
base their doctoral dissertations on
data collected through field research;
th ey a re , th e re fo re , e x p e rie n c e d
fieldworkers by the time they earn
the Ph. D. degree.
Nearly 300 colleges and universi­
ties have bachelor’s degree program s
in anthropology; some 130 offer m as­
te r’s degree programs and about 80,
doctoral programs. The choice o f a
graduate school is v e r y im portant.
Students interested in museum work
should select a school which is asso­
ciated with a museum that has an­
thropological collections. Similarly,
those interested in archeology should
choose either a university that offers
opportunities for summer experience
in archeological fieldwork, or attend
an archeological field school else­
where during summer vacations.
Anthropologists should have spe­
cial interest in natural history and
social studies and enjoy reading, re­
search, and writing. Traveling to re­
m ote areas, working in an uncom ­
f o r ta b le c lim a te , a n d liv in g in
primitive housing are sometimes n ec­
essary.
A nthropologists work with ideas
and have the opportunity for self-ex­
pression. They should be able to
work independently and with detail.
(F or inform ation on advancem ent,
see the Handbook statem ent on C ol­
lege and University Teachers.)

519

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

Employment Outlook
Employment of anthropologists is
expected to increase about as fast as
the average for all occupations. Most
new jobs are expected to be in pri­
vate industry, the Federal G overn­
ment, m ental and public health agenc ie s , a n d u rb a n p la n n in g
d ep artm en ts o f city governm ents.
C ollege an d u n iv ersity teac h in g ,
which will remain the largest area of
em ploym ent for anthropologists, is
likely to have little growth due to the
projected slowdown in college en­
rollments.
The num ber of qualified anthro­
pologists seeking to enter the field
will likely exceed available positions.
As a result, doctorate holders may
face keen com petition through the
m id-1980’s, particularly for jobs in
colleges and universities. G raduates
with only bachelor’s and m aster’s de­
grees are expected to face very keen
com petition, although they may be
preferred for some nonacadem ic po­
sitions. Some teaching positions may
be available in junior colleges or high
schools for those who m eet state cer­
tification requirem ents.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Starting salaries for anthropolo­
gists with a Ph. D. degree were gener­
ally about $16,000 a year in 1976.
M ost ex p erien ced an thropologists
e a r n e d b e tw e e n $ 1 7 ,0 0 0 a n d
$27,000 a year, according to limited
data available. In general, salaries of
experienced anthropologists are a lit­
tle less than the average for all social
science professional workers.
In the F ederal G overnm ent, an ­
thropologists having a bachelor’s d e­
g ree co u ld b egin as tra in e e s at
$9,303 or $1 1,523 a year in 1977,
depending upon the applicant’s aca­
demic record. The starting salary for
those having a m aster’s degree was
$14,097 a year, for those having a
Ph. D., $17,056. Anthropologists in
the F ederal G overnm ent averaged
around $23,800 in 1977.
Many anthropologists in colleges
and universities supplem ent their
regular salaries with earnings from
other sources such as summer teach­
ing and research grants.



Anthropologists som etimes are re ­
quired to do fieldwork under adverse
weather conditions. They also must
adapt themselves to cultural environ­
ments which are materially and so­
cially different.

Sources of Additional
Information
For in fo rm atio n ab o u t em ploy­
m ent opportunities and schools that
offer g rad u ate training in a n th ro ­
pology, contact:
The American Anthropological Association,
1703 New Hampshire Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20009.
The Archeological Institute of America, 260
W. Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10013.

ECONOMISTS
(D.O.T. 050.088 and .118)

Nature of the Work
Economists are concerned with
how to utilize scarce resources such
as land, raw m aterials, and human
resources to provide goods and ser­
vices for society. Economists analyze
the relationship between the supply

and dem and of goods and services
and study how they are produced,
distributed, and consumed. Some
economists are concerned with spe­
cific fields such as farm, wage, tax,
and ta riff problem s and policies,
while others attem pt to develop theo­
ries explaining the causes of employ­
m ent and unem ploym ent or inflation.
Most economists analyze and inter­
pret a wide variety o f economic data
in the course of their work.
Economists in colleges and univer­
sities are engaged primarily in teach­
ing the th e o rie s, p rin c ip le s, and
methods of economics. In addition,
econom ics faculty m em bers often
are involved in research, writing, and
o th er nonteaching activities. They
frequently act as consultants to busi­
ness firms, government agencies, or
individuals.
Economists in government collect
and analyze data and prepare studies
used to assess economic conditions
and the need for changes in govern­
m e n t p o lic y . M o st g o v e rn m e n t
economists are in the fields of agri­
culture, forestry, business, finance,
labor, transportation, or internation­
al trade and development. For exam ­
ple, economists in the U.S. D epart­
m ent of Commerce study domestic
pro d u ctio n , distribution, and co n ­
sumption of commodities or services;

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

520

in the Federal Trade Commission,
econom ists prepare econom ic evi­
dence or industry analyses to assist in
enforcing Federal statutes designed
to eliminate unfair, deceptive, or m o­
n o p o listic p ra c tic e s in in te rsta te
commerce; economists in the Bureau
of L abor Statistics assist in survey
planning and analyze data on prices,
wages, employm ent, and productiv­
ity.
Economists who work for business
firms provide m anagem ent with in­
formation to make decisions on m ar­
keting and pricing of company produ c ts ; a n a ly z e th e e f f e c t o f
government policies on business or
international trade; or look at the ad­
visability of adding new lines of m er­
chandise, opening new branch opera­
tions, or otherw ise expanding the
com pany’s business. Business econo­
mists working for firms that carry on
extensive operations abroad may be
asked to p rep are short- and long­
term forecasts of foreign economies
as well as forecasts of the U.S. econ­
omy.

Places of Employment
Economics is the largest social sci­
ence field. A bout 115,000 persons
worked as economists in 1976, ex­
cluding those teaching in secondary
schools. A bout 3 out of 4 of these
jobs are in private industry or re ­
search organizations. Im portant em ­
ployers of economists include m anu­
fa ctu rin g firm s, b an k s, insurance
companies, securities and investment
com panies, and m anagem ent co n ­
sulting firms. Colleges and universi­
ties employ about 10 percent of the
N atio n ’s econom ists while govern­
m ent agencies, prim arily F ederal,
employ an o th er 10 percent. Some
economists run their own consulting
businesses.
Economists work in all large cities
and university towns. The largest
num ber are in the New York City
and the W ashington, D.C. m etropol­
itan areas. Some w ork overseas,
mainly for the U.S. D epartm ent of
State including the Agency for Inter­
national Development.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Economists must have a thorough
understanding of econom ic theory



and of m athem atical m ethods of eco­
nomic analysis. Since many begin­
ning jobs for economists in govern­
m e n t a n d b u s in e s s in v o lv e th e
collection and compilation of data, a
thorough knowledge of basic statisti­
cal procedures is required. In addi­
tion to courses in m acroeconom ics,
m icroeconom ics, econom etrics, and
business and eco n o m ic statistics,
training in com puter science is highly
recom m ended.
At the
undergraduate
level,
courses in one or more of the follow­
ing subjects also are valuable: busi­
ness cycles; economic and business
history; econom ic developm ent o f
selected areas; money and banking;
international econom ics; public fi­
nance; industrial organization; labor
econom ics; com parative econom ic
systems, econom ics of national plan­
ning; urban economic problems and
policies; m arketing principles and o r­
ganization; consum er analysis; o r­
ganizational behavior; and business
law.
A bachelor’s degree with a m ajor
in economics is sufficient for many
beginning research, administrative,
m anagem ent trainee, and business
sales jobs. However, graduate train­
ing increasingly is required for ad ­
vancem ent to more responsible posi­
tio n s as e c o n o m is ts . A re a s o f
specialization at the graduate level
include advanced econom ic theory,
com parative econom ic systems and
planning, econom etrics, econom ic
developm ent, econom ic history, en ­
v ironm ental and n atu ra l resource
e c o n o m ic s, h isto ry o f e c o n o m ic
thought, industrial organization, in­
stitutional econom ics, international
economics, labor economics, m one­
tary econom ics, public finance, re ­
gional and urban economics, and so­
cial policy. Students should select
graduate schools strong in specialties
in which they are interested. Some
schools help graduate students find
part-tim e em ploym ent in nearby gov­
ernm ent or private organizations en ­
gaged in econom ic research where
students may gain valuable experi­
ence.
In the Federal G overnm ent, candi­
dates for en tra n ce positions m ust
have a m inim um o f 21 sem ester
hours of economics and 3 hours of
statistics, accounting, or calculus.

A m aster’s degree generally is the
minimum requirem ent for a job as a
college instructor in many junior col­
leges and small 4-year schools. In
many large colleges and universities,
com pletion of all the requirem ents
for a Ph. D. degree, except the disser­
tation, is necessary for appointm ent
as a teaching assistant or instructor.
The Ph. D. degree usually is required
for a professorship and almost always
is necessary to gain tenure.
In government, industry, research
organizations, and consulting firms,
economists who have a graduate d e­
gree usually can qualify for more re­
sponsible research and adm inistra­
tive positions. Experienced business
economists may advance to m anage­
rial or executive positions in banks,
in d u strial co n cern s, trad e asso ci­
ations and other organizations where
they formulate practical business and
administrative policy.
About 1,500 colleges and universi­
ties offer bachelor’s degree programs
in econom ics; about 230, m aster’s;
and about 120, doctoral programs.
Persons who consider careers as
economists should be able to work
accurately and in detail since much
time is spent on careful analysis of
data. Frequently, the ability to work
as part o f a team is required. Econo­
mists m ust be objective in their work
and be able to express them selves
effectively both orally and in writing.

Employment Outlook
Employment of economists is ex­
pected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
mid-1980’s. However, most openings
will result from deaths, retirem ents,
and other separations from the labor
force.
Private industry and business will
continue to provide the largest num ­
ber of em ploym ent opportunities for
economists because o f the increasing
complexity of the dom estic and inter­
n a tio n a l e c o n o m ie s an d th e in ­
c re a se d re lia n c e on q u a n tita tiv e
m e th o d s o f a n a ly z in g b u s in e s s
trends, forecasting sales, and plan­
ning purchases and production op­
erations. Employers will seek those
well-trained in econom etrics and sta­
tistics. In addition, the increasing
need for business econom ists to assist

521

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

lawyers, accountants, engineers, and
other professionals in solving prob­
lems should stim ulate em ploym ent
growth. Employment of economists
in State and local government agen­
cies is expected to increase because
of the growing responsibilities of lo­
cal governm ents in areas such as
housing, transportation, environm ent
and n atural resources, health, and
employment developm ent and train­
ing. Em ploym ent o f econom ists in
the Federal G overnm ent is expected
to rise slowly—in line with the rate of
grow th p ro jected for the F ederal
work force as a whole. Colleges and
universities, the traditional employer
of many highly qualified economists,
are not expected to significantly in­
crease em p lo y m en t. As a resu lt,
many such economists may seek nonacademic positions.
Persons who graduate with a
bachelor’s degree in economics
through the m id-1980’s are likely to
face keen com petition for jobs as
economists. However, many of these
degree holders will find employment
in governm ent, industry, and busi­
ness as m anagem ent or sales trainees,
or as research assistants. Candidates
who hold m aster’s degrees in eco­
nomics face very strong competition
for teaching positions in colleges and
u n iv ersities, but they should find
good o p portunities for adm inistra­
tive, research, and planning positions
in private industry and government.
Ph. D .’s are likely to face com peti­
tion for academ ic positions, although
those graduating from high-ranking
universities should have an advan­
tage. Ph. D .’s should have favorable
opportunities in governm ent, indus­
try, research organizations, and con­
sulting firms.
Economists specializing in the en­
vironm ent, energy and natural re ­
sources, health, and transportation
are expected to have good job oppor­
tunities. However, since practicing
economists may shift from one spe­
cialty to another, fields o f specializa­
tion offering favorable job opportu­
nities may change over short periods
of time. A strong background in eco­
nomic theory and econom etrics pro­
vides the tools for acquiring any spe­
cialty within
 the field.


Earnings
According to the 1975-76 College
Placem ent Council Salary Survey,
bachelor’s degree candidates in the
social sciences received offers aver­
aging around $10,000 a year; m as­
te r’s degree candidates in the social
sciences, around $12,000; bachelor’s
degree candidates offered positions
in the field of finance and economics,
around $10,600.
A ccording to an Am erican E co­
nom ic A ssociation survey, average
salary offers made to new Ph. D .’s for
the academ ic year 1975-76 were as
follows: in colleges and universities,
around $ 13,100 to $ 14,600 for the 9m onth academ ic year; in business
and in d u stry , $ 1 8 ,0 0 0 a year; in
banking and finance, $ 17,775 a year;
in consulting and research, $ 17,500 a
year; in the Federal G overnm ent,
$18,750 a year; and in State and lo­
cal governm ent, $15,500 a year. Av­
erage salaries o f econom ists em ­
ployed in colleges and universities
for the academ ic year 1975-76 were
as follows: for professors, ab o u t
$25,400; for associate professors,
about $18,700; for assistant profes­
sors, about $15,300; and for instruc­
tors, about $12,100.
Economists who have a Ph. D.
generally are paid higher salaries
than those who have lesser degrees
and similar experience. A substantial
num ber o f economists supplem ent
their salaries by consulting, teaching,
and research activities. In general,
salaries o f experienced econom ists
are much higher than the average for
all nonsupervisory woqkersin private
industry, except farming.
The Civil Service Commission rec­
ognizes education and experience in
certifying applicants for entry level
positions in the Federal Governm ent.
In general, the entrance salary for
econom ists having a bachelor’s d e ­
gree was $9,303 a year in 1977; how ­
ever, those with superior academ ic
re c o rd s co u ld begin at $1 1,523.
Those having a m aster’s degree could
qualify for positions at an annual sal­
ary of $14,097, while those with a
Ph. D. c o u ld begin a t $ 1 7 ,0 5 6 .
Economists in the Federal G overn­
m ent averaged around $25,100 in
1977. Economists work in many gov­

ernm ent agencies, prim arily in the
D e p a rtm e n ts o f S ta te , T re asu ry ,
Army, Interior, A griculture, C om ­
m erce, L abor, H ealth, E ducation,
and W elfare, Housing and Urban D e­
velopment, and Transportation.

Sources of Additional
Information
For information on job openings
for economists with graduate degrees
and on schools offering graduate
training in economics, contact:
American Economic Association, 1313 21st
Avenue South, Nashville, Tenn. 37212.

For additional information on ca­
reers in business economics, contact:
National Association of Business Economists,
28349 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 201, Cleve­
land, Ohio 44122.

GEOGRAPHERS
(D.O.T. 017.281, 029.088, and
059.088)

Nature of the Work
Geographers study the spatial
characteristics of the earth—and all
that is found on it. Such studies help
to explain changing patterns of hu­
man settlem ent—where people live,
why they are located there, and how
they earn a living.
Geographers are involved in a vari­
ety of activities. Most are college or
university teachers; others are in­
volved in research, writing, and other
n o n te a c h in g ac tiv itie s. T h eir r e ­
search includes the study and analy­
sis of the distribution of land forms,
clim ate, soils, vegetation, m ineral,
w ater, and hum an resources. They
also analyze the d istrib u tio n and
structure of political organizations,
tra n sp o rta tio n system s, m arketing
systems, urban systems, agriculture,
and in d u stry . M any g e o g ra p h e rs
spend c o n sid e ra b le tim e in field
study, using surveying and m eteoro­
logical instrum ents. They analyze
maps, aerial photographs, and data
transm itted by rem ote sensing equip­
m ent on satellites, and apply a d ­
vanced statistical techniques in their

522

O C C U P A T IO N A L O U T L O O K H A N D B O O K

ogy, anthropology, or urban p lan ­
ning.

Places of Employment

Some geographers specialize in making maps.

work. Some geographers also co n ­
struct maps, graphs, and diagrams.
Econom ic geographers deal with
the geographic distribution of eco­
nom ic activ ities—including m an u ­
facturing, mining, agriculture, trade,
and com m unications. Political geog­
raphers study the relationship of geo­
graphic conditions to political affairs.
Urban geographers study cities and
their problem s and m ake recom m en­
dations about com m unity planning
and developm ent, including housing,
tran sp o rtatio n , and industrial plant
sites. (See statem ent on Urban Plan­
ners elsew here in th e H andbook.)
The physical characteristics and p ro ­
cesses affecting the ea rth are the
co n c e rn s o f physical geographers.
Typically, they specialize in a p ar­
ticular branch o f physical geography
such as hydrology—the study o f wa­
ter and its effects, or geom orphology,
which is the study o f land forms. R e­
gional geographers study the physical,
e c o n o m ic , p o litica l, and c u ltu ra l
characteristics of a particular region
or area, which may range in size from
a river basin or an island, to a State,
a country, or even a continent. Car­
tographers com pile an d in te rp re t
data and design and construct maps




and charts. They also conduct re ­
search in surveying and m apping
techniques and procedures. A grow­
ing num ber o f medical geographers
are concerned with the geographic
aspects o f hum an health problem s
and planning of health services. They
study the effect of the natural envi­
ronm ent on health, including such
factors as clim ate, vegetation, m iner­
al traces in water, and atm ospheric
pollution, as well as the geographic
distribution of hum an health prob­
lems and health care facilities.
Formal training in geography p ro ­
vides the b ack g ro u n d for a w ide
range of jobs requiring expertise in
environm ental resources and plan­
ning, research m ethods, and a variety
of other areas. Examples o f such jobs
are aerial photo interpreter, clim a­
tologist, com m unity dev elo p m en t
specialist, ecologist, intelligence an a­
lyst, m ap analyst, land econom ist,
m arketing analyst, regional planner,
research analyst, site researcher, and
transportation planner. Jobs such as
these generally require know ledge
not only of geography, but o f other
disciplines as well. Particularly useful
com binations include geography and
econom ics, political science, sociol­

A bout 10,000 persons worked as
geographers in 1976, excluding those
teaching in secondary schools.
Colleges and universities employ
about three-fifths o f all geographers.
However, the Federal G overnm ent is
an im portant em ployer of geogra­
phers, and many work in the W ash­
ington, D.C. area. For these geogra­
phers, em ployed mostly by mapping
and intelligence agencies, skills in
cartography, aerial photograph inter­
pretation, and rem ote sensing are im­
portant.
The principal Federal employers
are the D epartm ents of Defense, In­
terior, Com m erce, and Agriculture.
O ther agencies include the D epart­
ments o f State; Transportation; and
Health, Education, and Welfare; and
the Environm ental Protection Agen­
cy (E P A ), N ational A ero n au tical
and Space Adm inistration (NA SA ),
Energy Research and Development
Agency (ER D A ), and Central Intelli­
gence Agency (CIA).
State and local governments em ­
ploy a growing num ber of geogra­
phers, mostly on city and State plan­
ning and developm ent commissions.
Private industry employs a small
but growing num ber of geographers
involved in research, pjanning, and
location analysis. Most wqrk for text­
boo k an d m ap p u b lish ers, trav el
agencies, m anufacturing firms, real
estate developm ent corporations, in­
surance companies, com m unications
and transportation firms, or chain
stores. O thers work for scientific
foundations and research organiza­
tions, or run their own research or
consulting business.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
The minimum educational require­
m ent for beginning positions in geog­
raphy in governm ent, industry, or
secondary schools usually is a bache­
lo r’s degree with a m ajor in the field.
B achelor’s degree holders would find
it helpful to have training in a sp e­
cialty such as carto g rap h y , aerial
photograph or rem ote sensing data

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

interpretation, statistical analysis, or
environmental analysis.
A m aster’s degree usually is the
minimum requirem ent for the posi­
tion of college instructor, and is im­
portant for advancem ent in business
and governm ent. In many colleges
and universities, however, a Ph. D.
degree usually is required for a pro­
fessorship and often is necessary to
gain tenure. The Ph. D. degree often
is necessary for senior level planning,
research , and adm inistrative posi­
tions in governm ent, industry, re ­
search organizations, and consulting
firms.
In the Federal Governm ent, geog­
raphers generally must have a mini­
mum of 24 semester hours in geogra­
phy or related fields. Requirem ents
may vary for certain specialties such
as cartography.
About 400 colleges and universi­
ties offered programs in geography in
1976. U ndergraduate study provides
a general introduction to the field of
geography and often includes field
study. Research m ethods and writing
skills also are taught. Typical courses
offered are physical geography, cul­
tural geography, climatology and m e­
teorology, economic geography, po­
litical geography, urban geography,
and quantitative m ethods in geogra­
phy. Courses in cartography, remote
sensing, historical geography, ecol­
ogy, natural resource planning, social
geography, geography of transporta­
tion, geographic aspects of pollution,
and geography o f various regions
also are offered. Geography majors
should take appropriate electives in
o th e r d e p a rtm e n ts. F or exam ple,
courses in economics, architecture,
urban planning, and urban and rural
sociology are im portant for planners;
courses in drawing, design, com puter
science, and m athem atics are im por­
tant for cartographers; and courses in
physics, botany, and geology are im­
portant for physical geographers.
In 1976, about 150 institutions of­
fered m aster’s degree programs; 55
offered Ph. D. programs. Applicants
are required to have a bachelor’s de­
gree in any of the social or physical
sciences w ith a su b stan tial b a c k ­
ground in geography. Requirem ents
for advanced degrees include field
and laboratory work as well as ad­
vanced classroom study in geography



523

and preparation of a thesis. Many
graduate schools also require course
work in advanced m athem atics, sta­
tistics, and co m p u ter science b e ­
cause of the increasing emphasis on
these areas in the field. A language
may be required for those students
who plan to enter the field of foreign
regional geography.
Students should select graduate
schools that offer appropriate areas
of specialization and good research
opportunities in nearby libraries, ar­
chives, laboratories, and field sta­
tions. Em ployment often is available
at area governm ent agencies or re­
search, scientific, or industrial firms.
Persons who want to become geog­
raphers should enjoy reading, study­
ing, and research because they must
keep abreast of developm ents in the
field. G eographers m ust work with
abstract ideas and theories as well as
do practical studies. They also must
be able to work independently and
com m unicate their ideas orally and
in writing.

Employment Outlook
Employment of geographers is ex­
pected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
mid-1980’s. However, most openings
are likely to result from deaths, re ­
tire m e n ts , and o th e r se p a ra tio n s
from the labor force.
Little growth is anticipated in col­
lege and university teaching, the tra ­
ditional em ployer o f m any highly
qualified geographers; as a result,
m any such geographers may seek
nonacadem ic positions. Many oppor­
tunities are becoming available in the
fields of health services planning and
e n v iro n m e n ta l m a n a g e m e n t an d
planning, including such areas as
land and w ater resources planning
and flood m anagem ent. Significant
growth in the num ber of jobs requir­
ing know ledge o f rem ote sensing,
cartography, and climatology also is
expected. The Federal G overnm ent
will need ad d itio n al personnel to
work in program s such as health
planning, regional developm ent, e n ­
vironm ental quality, and intelligence.
Em ploym ent of geographers in State
and local governm ent is expected to
expand, particularly in areas such as
health planning, conservation, envi­

ronm ental quality, highway planning,
and city, com m unity, and regional
planning and developm ent. Private
industry is expected to hire increas­
ing num bers of geographers for m ar­
ket research and location analysis.
The em ploym ent outlook for geog­
raphers with the Ph. D. is expected to
be favorable through the m id-1980’s
for research and administrative posi­
tions in governm ent, industry, re­
search organizations, and consulting
firms. Ph. D. ’s may face competition
for acad em ic positions, altho u g h
those graduating from high-ranking
universities should have an advan­
tage. Those with the m aster’s degree
are likely to face com petition for
academic positions, but should have
good opportunites for planning and
m arketing positions in governm ent
and industry.
G raduates with a bachelor’s d e­
gree in geography are expected to
face competition for jobs as geogra­
phers. Some may find jobs as cartog­
ra p h ers, clim atologists, or in telli­
gence analysts, while many of these
degree holders may find employment
in government and industry as m an­
agement trainees, research assistants,
or adm inistrative assistants. Others
may obtain employm ent as research
or teaching assistants in educational
institutions while studying for ad­
vanced degrees. Some bachelor’s de­
gree holders teach at the high school
level, although in some States the
m aster’s degree is becoming essential
for high school teaching positions.
Others earn library science degrees
and become map librarians.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
According to the 1975-76 College
Placem ent Council Salary Survey,
bachelor’s degree candidates in the
social sciences received offers aver­
aging around $10,000 a year; m as­
te r’s degree candidates in the social
sciences, around $12,000.
According to an Association of
American Geographers survey, Ph.
D .’s with no teaching experience
earned starting salaries between
$12,000 and $14,000 for the aca­
demic year 1975-76, while the aver­
age salary of geographers employed
in c o lleg e s and u n iv e rsitie s was

524

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

$19,000. Salaries of geographers in
planning positions in business and in­
dustry are com parable to those in the
Federal Government.
Geographers in educational insti­
tutions usually have an opportunity
to earn income from other sources,
such as consulting work, special re­
search, and publication of books and
articles. In general, salaries of experi­
enced geographers are higher than
the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming.
The Civil Service Commission rec­
ognizes education and experience in
certifying applicants for entry level
positions in the Federal Governm ent.
In general, geographers in the Feder­
al G overnm ent with the bachelor’s
degree and no experience started at
$9,303 or $1 1,523 a year in 1977,
depending on their college achieve­
ment. Those with a m aster’s degree
started at $14,097 a year, and those
with the Ph. D. at $17,056. G eogra­
phers and cartographers in the Fed­
eral G overnm ent averaged around
$21,100 in 1977.
Geographers sometimes must do
field work in primitive regions of the
world, requiring an ability to adapt to
different social and cultural environ­
ments.

Sources of Additional
Information
For additional information on ca­
reers and job openings for geogra­
phers, and on schools offering var­
ious program s in geography, contact:

Historians may specialize in the
history of a specific country or area,
or era—ancient, medieval, or m od­
ern. They also may specialize in the
history of a field, such as economics,
medicine and disease, philosophy, re ­
ligion, science, culture, military af­
fairs, the labor movem ent, art, or a r­
c h ite c tu re . O th e r sp e c ia ltie s are
concerned with historic preservation,
women, business, archives, quantita­
tive analysis, and the relationship b e­
tween technological and o th er as­
pects of historical developm ent.
In this country, many historians
specialize in the social or political
history of either the United States or
modern Europe; however, a growing
num ber are specializing in African,
Latin Am erican, Asian, or Near East­
ern history. Some historians special­
ize in phases of a larger historical
field, such as the A m erican Civil
War.
M ost historians work in colleges
and universities and are prim arily
concerned with teaching. They often
lecture, write, and do research o u t­
side the academ ic setting. O ther his­
torians employed in colleges and uni­
versities are involved in research and
d ev elo p m en t, ad m in istratio n , and
other non-teaching activities. Some
specialists, called archivists, work for
museums, special libraries, historical
societies, and o th er organizations.
They co llect historical docum ents
and objects, prepare historical exhib­
its, and edit and classify historical
materials for use in research and o th ­
er activities. A growing num ber of
historians are concerned with the in-

Association of American Geographers, 1710
16th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20009.

HISTORIANS

Nature of the Work



Places of Employment
An estimated 22,500 persons
worked as professional historians in
1976, excluding those teaching in
secondary schools. Colleges and uni­
versities employ about seventy p er­
cent of all historians. Historians also
work in archives, libraries, museums,
research organizations, historical so­
cieties, publishing firms, large corpo­
rations, and governm ent agencies.
Historians employed in the Federal
Governm ent work principally in the
National Archives, Smithsonian In­
stitution, or in the D epartm ents of
Defense, Interior, and State. O ther
Federal agencies that employ histori­
ans include the National Aeronautics
and Space A dm inistration, C entral
Intelligence Agency, National Secu­
rity Agency, and the D epartm ents of
Agriculture, Com m erce, T ransporta­
tion, and Health, Education and W el­
fare. A small but growing num ber
w ork for State and local go v ern ­
ments.
Historians are em ployed in virtual­
ly all U.S. institutions of higher ed u ­
cation. Most historians who work for
th e F e d e ra l G o v e rn m e n t are in
W ashington, D.C. Historians in o th ­
er types of em ploym ent usually work
in localities having m useum s or li­
braries with collections adequate for
historical research.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

(D.O.T. 052.038 and .088)

History is the record of past
events, institutions, ideas, and peo­
ple. Historians describe and analyze
the past through writing, teaching,
and re se a rc h . T hey re la te th e ir
know ledge o f the past to cu rre n t
events in an effort to explain the p re­
sent.


terpretation and preservation of his­
to ric b u ild in g s, tre a s u re s , d o c u ­
ments, and other items. A few serve
as consultants to editors, publishers,
and producers of m aterials for radio,
te le v isio n , and m o tio n p ic tu re s .
Some historians are adm inistrators in
governm ent or researchers who p re­
pare studies, articles, and books on
their findings.

Colleges and universities employ about
70 percent of all historians.

G raduate education usually is n ec­
essary for em ploym ent as a historian.
A m aster’s degree in history is the
minimum requirem ent for the posi­
tion of college instructor. A Ph. D.
degree usually is required for a p ro ­
fessorship and for adm inistrative po­
sitions, and almost always is neces­
sary to gain tenure.
W hile historians in the F ed eral
Governm ent generally m ust have 24

525

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

sem ester hours in history, require­
ments may vary for certain specialists
such as archivists, who usually must
have 30 hours of graduate work in
history. Most historians in the Feder­
al G overnm ent and in nonprofit or­
ganizations have Ph. D. degrees, or
their equivalent in training and expe­
rience.
Although a bachelor’s degree with
a major in history is sufficient train­
ing for some beginning jobs in gov­
ernm ent— either Federal, State, or
local— advancem ent opportunities
may be limited for persons without at
least a m aster’s and preferably a Ph.
D. degree in history. Since beginning
jobs are likely to be concerned with
collection and preservation o f his­
torical data, a knowledge of archival
work is helpful.
Training for historians is available
in many colleges and universities.
Over 1,250 schools offer programs
for the bachelor’s degree; about 440,
the m aster’s; and about 145, doctor­
ates.
H istory cu rricu lu m s in the N a­
tio n ’s colleges and universities are
varied; however, each basically pro­
vides training in research methods,
writing, and speaking. These are the
basic skills essential for historians in
all positions. Q uantitative methods
of analysis, including statistical and
com puter techniques, are increasing­
ly im portant for historians; many col­
lege programs include them. Most
d o c to ra l c a n d id a te s m ust exhibit
com petence in a foreign language.
Historians spend a great deal of
time studying, doing research, writ­
ing papers and reports, and giving
lectures and presentations. T here­
fore, they m ust possess analytical
skills and the ability to com m unicate
their ideas effectively, orally and in
writing. The ability to work both
independently and as part of a group
also is essential.

Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent o f historians is ex­
pected to grow more slowly than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s. Job openings will re­
sult chiefly from deaths, retirem ents,
and other separations from the labor
force.



Only a small num ber of historians
will be needed to fill positions in
colleges and universities, junior col­
leges, libraries, archives, museums,
secondary schools, research organi­
zations, publishing firms, and govern­
m ent agencies. Persons with training
in historical specialties such as his­
toric preservation and business histo­
ry, in addition to those well-trained
in quantitative m ethods in historical
research are expected to have the
m ost favorable jo b opportunities.
Those who are able to teach several
areas of history should have the best
opportunities for jobs in colleges and
universities.
Although inform ation is limited on
patterns o f entry to the field, it is
clear that the num ber of persons
seeking to enter the occupation will
greatly exceed available positions.
As a result, historians with a Ph. D.
are expected to face keen com peti­
tion for positions through the mid1980’s. Those graduating from pres­
tigious universities should have some
advantage in this highly competitive
situation. Since academ ic institutions
are th e tra d itio n a l em ployers o f
many highly qualified historians and
com petition for these jobs is expect­
ed to be particularly keen, many Ph.
D .’s are expected to accept parttime, tem porary assignments as in­
structors with little or no hope of
gaining tenure. Persons with the m as­
te r’s degree in history will encounter
very keen com petition for jobs as his­
torians. However, some of them will
find teaching positions in community
and junior colleges or high schools;
such jobs may have State certifica­
tion requirem ents.
People with a bachelor’s degree in
history are likely to find very limited
opportunities for em ploym ent as pro­
fessional historians. However, an un­
d erg rad u ate m ajor in history p ro ­
vides an excellent background for
some jobs in international relations,
journalism , and other areas, and for
continuing education in law, business
a d m in stra tio n , and re la ted d isci­
plines. Many graduates will find jobs
in secondary schools or in govern­
ment, business, and industry as m an­
agem ent o r sales trainees, or as re ­
search or adm inistrative assistants.

Earnings
According to the 1975-76 College
P lacem ent Council Survey, bache­
lor’s degree candidates in the social
sciences received offers averaging
around $10,000 a year; m aster’s de­
gree candidates in the social scienc­
es, around $12,000.
According to information from the
American Historical Association,
large public colleges and universities
offered starting salaries ranging from
about $13-$ 15,000 for academ ic
year 1975-76. Smaller public and pri­
vate academ ic institutions generally
offered lower salaries. Full professors
and top ad m in istrato rs may earn
$25-$30,000 a year or more. In gen­
eral, salaries of experienced histori­
ans are higher than the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in private
industry, except farming.
The Civil Service Commission rec­
ognizes education and experience in
certifying applicants for entry level
positions in the Federal Government.
In general, historians having a bache­
lor’s degree could start at $9,303 or
$1 1,523 a year in 1977, depending
upon the applicant’s academ ic rec­
ord. Starting salaries for those having
a m aster’s degree were $14,097 a
year, and for those having a Ph. D.,
$17,056. Historians and archivists in
the F ederal G overnm ent averaged
around $22,400 a year in 1977.
Many historians, particularly those
in college teaching, supplem ent their
income by teaching summer classes,
writing books or articles, or giving
lectures.

Sources of Additional
Information
Additional inform ation on careers
and job openings for historians, and
on schools offering various programs
in history, is available from:
American Historical Association, 400 A St.
SE„ Washington, D.C. 20003.

For inform ation on careers and
schools offering program s in historic
preservation, contact:
National Trust for Historic Preservation, 740
Jackson Place, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20006.

526

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

A dditional inform ation on n o n ­
teaching opportunities for historians
is available from:
Organization of American Historians, Indiana
University, 112 North Bryan St., Bloom­
ington, Ind. 47401.

POLITICAL SCIENTISTS
(D.O.T. 051.088)

Nature of the Work
Political scientists study the func­
tions and workings of governments.
Many of them specialize in a general
area of political science including po­
litical theory, U.S. political institu­
tions and processes, com parative po­
litical institutions and processes, or
international relations and organiza­
tions. Some specialize in a particular
type of political institution or in the
politics of a specific era.
Most political scientists teach in
colleges and universities where they
may com bine research, consultation,
or administrative duties with teach­
ing. Some are primarily researchers
who survey public opinion on politi­
cal questions for private research o r­
ganizations, or study proposed legis­
la tio n f o r F e d e r a l , S ta te , a n d
m unicipal governm ents, legislative
reference bureaus, or congressional
staffs and comm ittees. Others ana­
lyze the operations o f governm ent
agencies, specialize in foreign affairs,
or do ad m in istrativ e or re se a rc h
work for either governm ent or non­
government organizations. Some po­
litical scientists serve as consultants
to political groups or business firms.

Places of Employment
About 14,000 persons worked as
political scientists in 1976, excluding
those teaching in secondary schools.
A bout four-fifths work in colleges
and universities. Most o f the rem ain­
der work in governm ent, m anage­
m ent consulting firms, political o r­
ganizations, research organizations,
civic and taxpayers associations, and
large business firms.
Political scientists can be found in
nearly every college or university
town since
 courses in governm ent


Some political scientists survey public opinion on political questions for private re­
search organizations.

and political science are taught in
almost all institutions of higher edu­
cation. Since the national headquar­
ters of many associations, unions,
and other organizations are located
in W ashington, D.C., this area a t­
tracts a sizable num ber of political
scientists in research or policy jobs.

The F ederal G overnm ent em ploys
political scientists both domestically
and abroad. Those on overseas as­
signment work primarily for agencies
of the U.S. D epartm ent of State, such
as the Foreign Service, and the U.S.
Agency for International D evelop­
ment. O ther employing agencies in-

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

elude the U.S. Information Agency,
Energy Research and Development
Agency, C entral Intelligence Agen­
cy, and the Departm ents of Defense,
T reasury, Justice, and C om m erce.
P olitical scientists in the F ederal
Governm ent primarily are concerned
with foreign affairs, international re­
lations, and-intelligence. Those em ­
ployed in State and local government
often are concerned with the adm in­
istration of housing, economic devel­
opment, transportation, environm en­
tal protection, and health programs.
Political scientists in the business
world may deal with m arketing, per­
sonnel, advertising, public relations,
banking, finance, and consum er af­
fairs.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Graduate training generally is re­
quired for em ploym ent as a political
scientist. Com pletion of all the re­
quirem ents for the Ph. D. degree is
becom ing the p rerequisite for ap ­
p o in tm en t to acad em ic positions,
and almost always is required for one
to gain a professorship and tenure.
The Ph. D. also is helpful for ad ­
vancem ent in governm ent, industry,
and other nonacadem ic areas.
College graduates with a m aster’s
degree can qualify for various adm in­
istrative and research positions in
government, industry, and nonprofit
research or civic organizations. A
m aster’s degree in international rela­
tions, foreign service, or area study
(for example, Soviet G overnm ent) is
helpful in obtaining positions in Fed­
eral Governm ent agencies concerned
with foreign affairs. Intelligence, for­
eign affairs, and international rela­
tions specialists in the Federal Gov­
ern m e n t g en erally m ust have 24
sem ester hours in political science,
history, economics, or related fields.
People with a bachelor’s degree in
political science may qualify as train­
ees in such areas as m anagem ent, re­
search, adm inistration, sales, and law
enforcem ent. Many students with
b ach elo r’s degrees in political sci­
ence go on to study law, journalism ,
or some specialized or related branch
of political science, such as public
administration and international re­
lations.



527

In 1976, about 1,100 colleges and
universities offered a bachelor’s d e­
gree in political science, around 270
had m aster’s program s, and about
115 had doctoral programs. Many
colleges and universities offer field
training and internships that provide
experience in governm ent work or
teaching.
U ndergraduate programs in politi­
cal science include courses in the
principles of governm ent and poli­
tics, S tate and local governm ent,
com parative studies, political theory,
foreign policy, public administration
and policy, political behavior, consti­
tutional, adm inistrative, and interna­
tional law, and many other offerings.
O ther specialized political science
courses and seminars deal with the
p ro b le m s o f d e te n te , p o litics o f
growth and technology, politics o f
health, legal status of women, politi­
cal warfare in the age of nuclear d e­
struction, and political culture and
the psychological processes of death.
A growing num ber o f program s at
both the undergraduate and graduate
levels offer courses in quantitative
and statistical m ethods, including the
use of com puters.
G raduate students may specialize
in Am erican politics, com parative
politics, international politics, politi­
cal behavior, political theory, public
adm inistration, urban affairs, public
policy, and o th er areas. D octoral
candidates often must exhibit com ­
petence in one or m ore foreign lan­
guages an d q u a n tita tiv e re se a rc h
techniques.
Persons planning careers as politi­
cal scientists should like to work with
details. They must be objective and
able to work independently or as part
of a team . Ability to express them ­
selves clearly, orally and in writing, is
im portant to political scientists.

The num ber of persons who gradu­
ate with advanced degrees in politi­
cal science will greatly exceed avail­
able job openings through 1985. As
a result, those with a Ph. D. face stiff
com petition for positions through the
m id-1980’s, although Ph. D .’s from
prestigious universities are likely to
have an advantage. Many Ph. D .’s
are expected to accep t part-tim e,
tem porary assignments as instructors
with little or no hope of gaining ten ­
ure. G raduates trained in quantita­
tive methods of research, American
G overnm ent, public adm inistration,
or policy science should have an ad­
vantage for both academic and non­
te a c h in g p o s itio n s . T h o se w ith
k n o w led g e o f e c o n o m ic th e o ry ,
transportation, health care delivery
system s, and environm ental q u es­
tions may be in particular demand.
G raduates seeking to enter the for­
eign service are expected to face very
stiff com petition. M aster’s degree
holders will face very keen com peti­
tion finding academic positions, but
those w ith specialized training in
areas such as policy science or public
administration may find jobs in Fed­
eral, State and local government, re­
search bureaus, political organiza­
tions, and business firms.
New graduates with the bachelor’s
degree are expected to find few op­
portunities for jobs as professional
political scientists. However, many of
these graduates are expected to ac­
cept positions as trainees in govern­
m ent, business, and industry. For
those planning to continue their stud­
ies in law, foreign affairs, journalism ,
and related fields, political science
provides an excellent background.
Some new graduates who m eet State
ce rtificatio n req u irem en ts will be
able to enter high school teaching.

Earnings
Employment Outlook
Em ployment of political scientists
is expected to increase more slowly
than the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. Most jobs
openings will result from deaths, re ­
tire m e n ts , and o th e r se p a ra tio n s
from the labor force. The largest area
of em ploym ent will continue to be in
college and university teaching.

According to the 1975-76 College
Placem ent Council Salary Survey,
bachelor’s degree candidates in the
social sciences received offers aver­
aging around $10,000 a year; m as­
te r’s degree candidates in the social
sciences, around $12,000.
According to an Am erican Politi­
cal Science Association Survey, the
m edian beginning salaries for new

528

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

faculty m em bers during 1975-76
w ere $ 1 2 ,3 0 0 fo r P h. D .s an d
$11,200 for those without a Ph. D.
The median annual salaries of politi­
cal scientists employed in education­
al in s titu tio n s in 1975-76 w ere:
$22,000 for full professors; $17,000
for associate professors; $13,500 for
assistant professors; and $1 1,500 for
lecturers and instructors. In general,
salaries of experienced political sci­
entists are higher than the average
for all nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
The Civil Service Commission recQgnizes education and experience in
certifying applicants for entry level
positions in the Federal Governm ent.
In general, the entrance salary for
those with a bachelor’s degree was
$9,303 or $1 1,523 a year in 1977,
depending upon the applicant’s aca­
dem ic record. Starting salaries for
those with a m aster’s degree were
$14,097 a year, and for those with a
Ph. D., $17,056. Intelligence, foreign
affairs, and intern ational relations
specialists in the Federal G overn­
m ent averaged around $25,300 in
1977.
Some political scientists, particu­
larly those in college teaching, sup­
plem ent th eir incom e by teaching
summer courses or consulting.

Sources of Additional
Information
Additional information on careers,
job openings, and schools offering
various graduate program s in politi­
cal science and related fields is avail­
able from:
American Political Science Association, 1527
New Hampshire Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.

ber’s em otional stress upon a family,
causes of low morale at work, or the
most effective way o f dealing with
terrorists. Some engage in teaching,
research, V and adm inistrative activities in colleges and universities; oth­
ers provide counseling services, plan
and conduct training program s for
employees, conduct research, advise
on psychological m ethods and theo­
ries, or adm inister psychology pro­
gram s in hospitals, clinics, or re ­
search lab o ra to ries. Many
psychologists com bine several o f
these activities.
Psychologists gather information
about the capacities, interests, and
behavior of people in various ways.
They interview individuals, develop
and adm inister tests and rating
scales, study personal histories, and
conduct controlled
experiments.
Also, psychologists often design and
conduct surveys.
Psychologists specialize in a wide
variety of areas. Experimental psy­
chologists study behavior processes
and work with hum an beings and
lower animals such as rats, monkeys,
and pigeons; prom inent areas of ex­
perim ental research include m otiva­
tion, learning and retention, sensory
and perceptual processes, and genet­
ic and neurological factors in behav­
ior. D e velo p m e n ta l psychologists
study the patterns and causes of b e­
havioral change as people progress

Among doctoral psychologists, clinical specialists
make up the largest group
Specialties in psychology, percent of employment, 1975

PSYCHOLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 045.088 and .108)

Nature of the Work
Psychologists study the behavior of
individuals and groups in order to
understand and explain their actions.
During their work, they may be con­
cerned with
 the effect o f one m em ­


through life; some concern th em ­
selves with the origins of human be­
havior during childhood, while o th ­
ers study changes th a t take place
during maturity and old age. Person­
ality psychologists study human na­
ture, individual differences, and the
ways in which those differences d e­
velop. Social psychologists examine
people’s interactions with others and
with the social environm ent; prom i­
nent areas of study include group be­
havior, leadership, and dependency
relationships. Psychologists in evalu­
ation research study social programs
and their effects and recom m end im­
provements as a result of increased
understanding. Environm ental psy­
chologists study the influences of en­
vironments on people, and their p er­
c e p tio n s o f th ese e n v iro n m e n ts.
Population psychologists study d e ­
m ography’s relation to personal and
social behavior. Comparative psy­
chologists com pare the behavior of
d ifferen t anim als, including m an.
Physiological psychologists study the
relationship of behavior to the bio­
logical functions of the body. Psy­
chologists in the field of psychomet­
rics develop and apply procedures
for m easuring psychological v ari­
ables.
Psychologists often combine sever­
al areas in their specialty, clin ica l
psychologists, the largest specialty,
generally work in mental hospitals or

Source: National Research Council

529

S O C IA L S C IE N T IS T S

clinics, or maintain their own prac­
tices. They may help the m entally or
emotionally disturbed readjust to life
w ith a ltered physical capabilities.
They interview patients, give diag­
nostic tests, provide individual, fam ­
ily, and group psychotherapy, and
design and carry through behavior
m odification program s. Counseling
psychologists use several techniques,
including interviewing and testing, to
help people with problem s of every­
day living—personal, social, educa­
tio n al, o r v o catio n al. Educational
psychologists stu d y p sychological
processes as related to applied prob­
lems in education. School psycholo­
gists diagnose educational problem s,
facilitate school adjustm ent, and help
solve learning and social problem s in
the schools. Industrial and organiza­
tional psychologists engage in person­
nel research, policy, and planning,
training and developm ent, psycho­
logical test research, counseling, and
o rg a n iz a tio n a l d e v e lo p m e n t and
analysis, am ong oth er activities. En­
gineering psychologists develop and
im prove h u m an -m ach in e system s,
m ilitary eq u ipm ent, and industrial
products. C om m unity psychologists
apply psychological know ledge to
problem s o f com m unity life. Con­
sumer psychologists study the psycho­
logical factors that determ ine an in­
dividual’s behavior as a consum er of
goods and services.

Places of Employment
A bout 90,000 people, excluding
secondary school teachers, worked
as psychologists in 1976. A bout onehalf w orked in educational institu­
tions, primarily colleges and universi­
ties (including medical schools), ei­
t h e r as t e a c h e r s , r e s e a r c h e r s ,
adm inistrators, or counselors.
The second largest group o f psy­
chologists work in hospitals, clinics,
re h a b ilita tio n c e n te rs , and o th e r
health facilities, while many others
work for Federal, State, or local gov­
ernm ent agencies. They typically ad­
m inister and in terp ret intelligence,
interest, and aptitude tests; diagnose
and treat m ental disorders; and con­
d u ct ed u c atio n al, v o cational, and
personal adjustm ent counseling. Fed­
eral agencies that employ the most
psychologists are the V eterans Ad­



m inistration, the D epartm ent of D e­
fense, and the Public Health Service.
O th er em ploying agencies include
the D epartm ents of Justice, C om ­
m erce, T reasu ry , In terio r, L abor,
and T ransportation, the Civil Service
Commission, the National A eronau­
tical and Space Adm inistration, and
the Environm ental Protection A gen­
cyPsychologists also are employed in
correctional institutions, research o r­
g a n iz a tio n s, an d b u sin ess firm s.
Some are in independent practice or
work as consultants.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A doctoral degree almost always is
the m inim um requirem ent for em ­
ploym ent as a psychologist. The d e­
gree is needed for many entrance po­
sitions and is becom ing increasingly
im portant for advancem ent. People
with doctorates in psychology qualify
for the m ore responsible research,
clinical, and counseling positions, as
well as for teaching positions in col­
leges and universities and adm inistra­
tive posts in Federal and State p ro ­
g ra m s. T h e d o c to r a l d e g r e e is
necessary to gain academ ic tenure, a
process that is becom ing more diffi­
cult and taking longer than in the
past.
People with a m aster’s degree in
psychology can qualify as psycholog­
ical assistants, administering and in­
terpreting some kinds o f psycholog­
ic a l te s t s . W o r k in g u n d e r th e
supervision o f psychologists, they
may collect and analyze data, co n ­
duct experim ents, o r perform adm in­
istrative duties. They also qualify for
certain counseling jobs o r—if they
have previous teaching experience—
may be hired as school psychologists
or counselors. (See the statem ents on
school counselors and rehabilitation
counselors.)
People with a bachelor’s degree in
psychology may work directly under
psychologists and other professionals
in com m unity m ental health centers,
vocational rehabilitation offices, and
correctional programs; as research o r
adm inistrative assistants; as trainees
in governm ent or business; o r—p ro ­
vided they m eet State certification
requirem ents—as high school teach­
ers.

In the Federal Governm ent, some
positions are filled at the entrance
grade with candidates having at least
24 sem ester hours in psychology and
one course in statistics. Most posi­
tions, however, are filled at a higher
grade. Clinical psychologists general­
ly must have com pleted the Ph. D.
requirem ents and have served an in­
ternship; counseling psychologists
need 2 years of graduate study in
counseling and 1 year of counseling
experience.
At least 1 year of full-time gradu­
ate study is needed to earn a m aster’s
degree in psychology. An additional
3 to 5 years o f graduate work usually
are required for a Ph. D. In clinical or
counseling psychology, the require­
m ents for the Ph. D. degree generally
include an additional year or more of
internship or supervised experience.
Doctoral candidates at some univer­
sities m ust exhibit com petence in a
foreign language. Some gain post­
d o cto ra l appointm ents for special
study and research.
The Ph. D. degree culminates in a
d issertatio n based on original re ­
search which contributes to psycho­
logical knowledge. A nother profes­
sional degree, the Psy. D. (D octor of
Psychology), is based on practical
work and examinations rather than a
dissertation.
Some universities require graduate
school applicants in psychology to
have a m ajor in that field. Others
prefer only basic psychology with
courses in the biological, physical,
and social sciences, statistics, and
m athem atics. Some persons trained
in other fields such as social work,
counseling, and education find
graduate education in psychology
useful.
C om petition for admission into
graduate psychology programs is
keen. Only the most highly qualified
applicants can expect to be adm itted
to graduate study.
Over 1,100 colleges and universi­
ties offer a b achelor’s degree p ro ­
gram in psychology; about 325, a
m aster’s; about 165, a Ph. D.; and
about 20, a Psy. D. The American
P sychological A ssociation (A P A )
presently accredits doctoral training
program s in clinical, counseling, and
school psychology. In 1976, over 100
colleges and universities offered fully

530

approved programs in clinical psy­
chology; over 20, in counseling psy­
chology; and fewer than 10, in school
psychology. APA also has approved
about 120 facilities offering intern­
ships for doctoral training in clinical
and counseling psychology.
Although financial aid is becoming
increasingly difficult to obtain, some
graduate students may receive fel­
lowships, scholarships, or part-tim e
employment. The V eterans Adminis­
tration offers a num ber of predoctoral traineeships to students while
they work as interns in VA hospitals,
clinics, and related training agencies.
The N ational Science Foundation,
D ep artm en t of H ealth, E ducation,
and W elfare, various branches of the
Armed Forces, and many other o r­
ganizations and foundations also pro­
vide fellowships, grants, and loans.
However, the present trend at the
Federal level is to provide low-inter­
est loans rather than fellowships and
grants.
Psychologists who want to enter
independent practice must m eet cer­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tification or licensing requirem ents.
In 1976, 49 States and the District of
C olum bia had these requirem ents.
Licensing laws vary by S tate, but
generally require a doctorate in psy­
chology, 2 years of professional ex­
perience, and an examination.
The A m erican Board o f P rofes­
sional Psychology awards diplomas
in clinical, counseling, industrial and
organizational, and school psychol­
ogy. C andidates generally need a
doctorate in psychology, 5 years of
qualifying experience, and profes­
sional endorsem ents, and also must
pass an examination.
People pursuing a career in psy­
chology m ust be emotionally stable,
mature, and able to deal effectively
with people. Sensitivity, patien ce,
and a genuine interest in others are
particularly im portant for work in
clincal and counseling psychology.
R esearch psychologists should be
able to do detailed and independent
work; verbal and writing skills are
necessary to com m unicate research
findings.

Sensitivity, patience, and a genuine interest in others are particularly important for

work in clinical and counseling psychology.


Employment Outlook
Employment of psychologists is ex­
pected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
m id-1980’s. In addition to em ploy­
m ent growth, some openings will re­
sult from deaths, retirem ents, and
o th e r sep a ratio n s from the lab o r
force.
Several factors should help m ain­
tain a strong dem and for psycholo­
gists. First is increased public con­
cern for the developm ent of human
resources, p articularly am ong the
aging and minority groups. Growing
awareness of the need for testing and
counseling children also should in­
crease the demand. Federal legisla­
tion emphasizing good health rather
than treatm ent of illness may p ro ­
duce new roles for psychologists in
preventive and therapeutic situations
and in group practice. Inclusion of
psychological services in a future na­
tional health insurance program also
may heighten dem and.
O ther openings are likely to occur
as psychologists move into new fields
such as technology assessm ent—the
study of the effects o f technological
advances in areas such as agriculture,
energy, the environm ent, and the
conservation and use of natural re­
sources. In addition, psychologists
are becom ing involved in program
evaluation in such fields as educa­
tion, m ilitary service, and law en ­
fo rcem en t. G overnm ent agencies,
business, and industry also are m ak­
ing increased use of the services that
psychologists can provide in counsel­
ing, employee assessment and train­
ing, and m arket research.
A doctorate is increasingly neces­
sary for those wishing to enter the
field. However, the growing num ber
of doctoral degrees awarded in psy­
chology each year m eans that new
Ph. D .’s will face increasing com peti­
tion for jobs through 1985, particu­
larly academ ic positions in large col­
leges and universities. Those willing
to work in smaller and newer institu­
tions should have better em ploym ent
prospects.
Persons holding doctoral degrees
from prestigious universities should
have an advantage on the job m arket.

531

S O C IA L S C IE N T IS T S

Those with doctorates in applied
areas such as clincial, counseling,
and industrial or organizational psy­
chology are expected to have more
favorable job prospects than those
trained in traditional academ ic spe­
cialties such as experim ental, physio­
logical, and com parative psychology.
As m ore and m ore people earn
doctorates in psychology, m aster’s
degree holders will face increasingly
keen com petition, particularly for re­
search or teaching jobs in colleges
and universities. O pportunities are
likely to be best in industry, govern­
ment, and hum an service organiza­
tions, all o f which will have some jobs
for persons with training in applied
areas including evaluation research.
B achelor’s degree holders will be
able to en ter the field only as assist­
ants or trainees, working under the
direct supervision o f psychologists
and o th e r professionals. How ever,
for persons who wish to continue
their education in fields such as law,
m ed icin e, social w ork, sociology,
counseling, recreation, gerontology,
or re la ted disciplines, psychology
provides an excellent undergraduate
background.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1975, the m edian starting salary
for psychologists holding a m aster’s
degree was about $ 11,000 a year,
according to the A m erican Psycho­
logical Association. The median be­
ginning salary for those holding a
doctorate was about $13,000 for 9month academ ic jobs and between
$16,000 and $17,000 for 12-month
jobs.
A ccording to a 1975 survey by the
National Research Council, the m e­
dian annual salary for all doctoral
psychologists was about $22,000. In
educational institutions, the m edian
was about $20,900; in the Federal
G overnm ent, about $26,600; in State
and local g o v e r n m e n t , abou t
$ 2 1 ,5 0 0; in h o sp itals and clincs,
about $21,400; in nonprofit organi­
zations, about $24,600; and in busi­
ness and industry, about $30,600.
Ph. D. psychologists in private prac­
tice and in applied specialties gener­
ally have higher earnings than other




psychologists. In general, salaries of
experienced psychologists are m uch
higher than the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming.
The Civil Service Commission re c­
ognizes education and experience in
certifying applicants for entry level
positions in the Federal G overnm ent.
In general, the entrance salary for
psychologists having a bachelor’s d e­
gree was $9,303 or $ 11,523 a year in
1977; counseling psychologists with
a m aster’s degree and 1 year o f coun­
seling experience started at $14,097;
clinical psychologists having a Ph. D.
degree and 1 year o f internship start­
ed at $ 17,056. The average salary for
psychologists in the Federal G overn­
m ent was about $25,200 a year in
1977.
Psychologists in colleges and uni­
versities receive the same benefits as
o th er faculty m em bers—sabbatical
leaves of absence, life and health in­
su ra n ce, and re tire m e n t benefits.
W orking hours are generally flexible,
but often entail evening work with
individual students or groups. Clini­
cal and counseling psychologists of­
ten work in the evenings since their
p atien ts som etim es are unable to
leave their jobs or school during the
day.

Sources of Additional
Information
For inform ation on career oppor­
tunities and jo b openings for psy­
chologists, admission and degree req u i r e m e n t s in c o l l e g e s a n d
universities offering graduate p ro ­
grams in psychology, accreditation,
c e rtificatio n o r licensure re q u ire ­
m ents, and financial assistance for
g ra d u a te stu d en ts in psychology,
contact:
American Psychological Association, Educa­
tional Affairs Office, 1200 17th St. NW„
Washington, D.C. 20036.

Inform ation on traineeships and
fellowships is available from colleges
and universities that have graduate
psychology departm ents.

SOCIOLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 054.088)

Nature of the Work
Sociologists study hum an society
and social behavior by examining the
groups that humans form. These
groups include families, tribes, com ­
m unities, and governm ents, along
with a variety of social, religious, po­
litical, business, and other organiza­
tions. Sociologists study the behavior
and interaction o f groups; trace their
origin and growth; and analyze the
influence o f group activities on indi­
vidual members.
Some sociologists concern them ­
selves primarily with the characteris­
tics o f social groups and institutions.
O thers are m ore interested in the
ways indiv id u als are affected by
groups to which they belong.
Im portant fields o f specialization
for sociologists include social organi­
zation, social pathology and psychol­
ogy, rural or urban sociology, crim i­
nology and penology, demography,
industrial sociology, and medical so­
ciology—the study o f social factors
that affect m ental and public health.
Increasingly, sociologists are finding
opportunities to apply their profes­
sional know ledge and m ethods in
areas of practice as diverse as inter­
group relations, family counseling,
public opinion analysis, law, educa­
tion, public relations, regional and
com m unity planning, and environ­
m ental planning.
Most sociologists are college and
university teac h ers; som e are in­
volved in research, writing, adminis­
tration, and other nonteaching activi­
ties. Sociological research, like other
kinds of social science research, in­
volves collecting inform ation, p re ­
paring case studies, testing, and con­
d u c tin g su rv e y s a n d la b o ra to ry
experim ents. Increasingly, sociolo­
gists apply advanced statistical and
c o m p u te r tech n iq u e s in th eir re ­
search. The results of sociological re­
search often aid educators, lawmak­
ers, ad mi ni st r at or s , and ot her
officials interested in local, national,
or international social problems. So­
ciologists work closely with members
o f other professions including psy­
chologists, physicians, econom ists,

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

532

Sociologists spend a great deal of their time in study and research.

political scientists, anthropologists,
and social workers.
Some sociologists supervise the
operation o f social service agencies
such as family and marriage clinics.
Others, acting as consultants, advise
on diverse problems such as the m an­
agement of hospitals for the mentally
ill, the rehabilitation of juvenile d e­
linquents, or the developm ent of ef­
fective advertising programs to pro­
m ote public in terest in p articu lar
products such as television sets or
cars.

Places of Employment
About 19,000 persons worked as
sociologists in 1976, excluding those
teaching in secondary schools.
Colleges and universities employ
about four-fifths of all sociologists. A
num ber work for Federal, State, lo­
cal, o r in te rn a tio n a l g o v ern m en t
agencies, and are professionally con­
cerned with such subjects as poverty,
welfare services and other public as­
sistance programs, population prob­
lems, social rehabilitation, com m uni­
 ent, and environm ental
ty developm


impact studies. Some work in private
industry, research firm s, m an ag e­
m ent consulting firm s, w elfare or
other nonprofit organizations, or else
are self-employed. Some work in po­
sitions that require training in sociol­
ogy and related disciplines, but are
not classified as professional sociolo­
gists. R elated fields include social
work, recreation, and public health.
Since sociology is taught in most
institutions of higher learning, sociol­
ogists may be found in nearly all col­
lege com m unities. They are m ost
heavily c o n c e n tra te d , how ever, in
large colleges and universities that
offer graduate training in sociology
and opportunities for research.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A m aster’s degree and a major in
sociology usually is the minimum re ­
quirem ent for em ploym ent as a soci­
ologist. The Ph. D. degree is essential
for appointm ent as a professor and
for tenure in almost all colleges or
universities. The Ph. D. commonly is
required for directors of m ajor re ­

search projects, im portant adm inis­
trative positions, or consultants.
Sociologists with m aster’s degrees
can qualify for many administrative
and research positions, provided they
have sufficient training in research,
statistical, and com puter methods.
Advancem ent from these to supervi­
sory positions in both public and pri­
vate agencies generally is based on
experience. Sociologists with m as­
te r’s degrees may qualify for some
college instructorships. Most colleg­
es, however, appoint as instructors
only people who have training be­
yond the m aster’s level—frequently
the com pletion of all requirem ents
for the Ph. D. degree except the do c­
to r a l d is s e r ta tio n . O u ts ta n d in g
graduate students may get teaching
or research assistantships that p ro ­
vide both financial aid and valuable
experience.
B achelor’s degree holders in soci­
ology may get jobs as interviewers or
as administrative or research assist­
ants. Many work as social workers,
counselors, or recreation workers in
public and private welfare agencies.
Sociology majors who have sufficient
training in statistics may get positions
as beginning analysts or statisticians.
Over 1,200 colleges and universi­
ties offer bachelor’s degree programs
in sociology; about 145 offer m as­
te r ’s degrees; and about 125 have
doctoral programs. Sociology dep art­
ments offer a wide variety of courses
including sociological theory, statis­
tics and quantitative m ethods, dy­
nam ics o f social in te ra c tio n , sex
roles, population, social stratifica­
tio n , so cial c o n tro l, sm all g ro u p
analysis, rural-urban relations, fo r­
mal and complex organizations, soci­
ology of religion, law, the arts, war,
politics, education, occupations and
professions, and m ental health, in ad­
dition to many others.
In the Federal G overnm ent, candi­
dates generally must have 24 sem es­
ter hours in sociology, with course
work including theory and m ethods
of social research. How ever, since
positions as professional sociologists
are quite limited, advanced study in
the field is highly recom m ended.
The choice of a graduate school is
im portant for people who want to
become sociologists. Students should
select schools that have adequate re­

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

search facilities and offer appropri­
ate areas of specialization such as
theory, social psychology, or quanti­
tative methods. O pportunities to gain
practical research experience also
may be available, and sociology de­
p a rtm e n ts fre q u e n tly aid in the
placem ent o f graduates.
Sociologists spend a great deal of
their time in study and research.
They must be able to com m unicate
effectively, both orally and in writ­
ing. The ability to work as part of a
group as well as independently is im­
portant.

Employment Outlook
Employment of sociologists is ex­
pected to increase more slowly than
th e a v e ra g e fo r all o c c u p a tio n s
through the m id-1980’s. Most open­
ings will result from deaths, retire­
ments, and other separations from
the lab o r fo rce. Som e acad em ic
openings will result from the growing
trend to include sociology courses in
the curriculums of other professions,
such as medicine, law, business ad­
m inistration and m anagem ent, and
education. Demand in the nonteach­
ing area will center around public
and private program s dealing with
the developm ent of human resourc­
es, p articu larly those designed to
cope with social and welfare prob­
lems.
The num ber of persons who will
graduate with advanced degrees in
sociology is likely to greatly exceed
available job openings. G raduates
with a Ph. D. face increasing com pe­
titio n for academ ic positions, al­
though those with degrees from pres­
tigious in s titu tio n s m ay have an
advantage in securing a teaching job.
Some Ph. D .’s may accept tem po­
rary, part-tim e positions as instruc­
tors. Others may find research and
adm inistrative positions in govern­
m ent, research organizations, and




533

co n su ltin g firm s. G ra d u a te s w ith
training in business adm inistration
including m anagem ent and account­
ing should have the most favorable
job opportunities in business and in­
dustry. Persons with a m aster’s d e­
gree will continue to face very keen
com petition for academ ic positions,
although some jobs may be available
in ju n io r and com m unity colleges.
Some may find research and adminis­
trative jobs in government, research
firms, and private industry.
B achelor’s degree holders are ex­
pected to find very limited opportu­
nities as professional sociologists.
H ow ever, many graduates are ex­
pected to gain positions as trainees in
governm ent, business, and industry.
For those planning to continue their
studies in law, jo u rn alism , social
w ork, re cre atio n , counseling, and
other related disciplines, sociology
provides an excellent background.
Some who m eet State certification
requirem ents may enter high school
teaching.
Sociologists well trained in quanti­
ta tiv e re s e a rc h m e th o d s, su rv ey
m ethods, advanced statistics, and
com puter science will have the wid­
est choice of jobs. Demand is expect­
ed to be particularly strong for re ­
search personnel to work in such
areas as urban studies, ethnic studies,
ra ce re la tio n s, d e v ia n t b eh a v io r,
community developm ent, population
analysis, medical sociology, and the
sociology of law, work, and educa­
tion.

Salaries of sociologists working in
educational institutions and non-aca­
dem ic settings are com parable to
those for other social scientists. In
general, salaries of experienced soci­
ologists are higher than the average
for all nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
The Civil Service Commission rec­
ognizes education and experience in
certifying applicants for entry level
positions in the Federal Governm ent.
In general, the entrance salary for
sociologists with a bachelor’s degree
was $9,303 or $1 1,523 a year in
1977, d epending upon the ap p li­
cant’s academ ic record. The starting
salary for those with a m aster’s de­
gree was $14,097 a year, and for
those with a Ph. D., $17,056. Sociol­
ogists in the F ederal G overnm ent
work primarily in the Departm ents of
Health, Education, and Welfare; D e­
fense; A griculture; Interior; C o m ­
merce; Transportation; and Housing
and Urban Development, as well as
the V eterans Adm inistration and En­
v iro n m e n ta l P ro te c tio n A gency.
They averaged around $23,800 in
1977.
In general, sociologists with the
Ph. D. degree earn substantially
higher salaries than those with m as­
te r’s degrees. Many sociologists, p ar­
ticularly those employed by colleges
and universities for the academ ic
year (S eptem ber to June), supple­
ment their regular salaries with earn­
ings from other sources, such as sum­
mer teaching and consulting work.

Earnings and Working
Conditions

Sources of Additional
Information

According to the 1975-76 College
Placem ent Council Salary Survey,
bachelor’s degree candidates in the
social sciences received offers aver­
aging around $10,000 a year; m as­
te r’s degree candidates in the social
sciences, around $12,000.

Additional information on careers,
em ploym ent
opportunities,
and
graduate departm ents of sociology is
available from:
The American Sociological Association, 1722
N St., NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS
W orkers in social service occupa­
tions help people in a num ber of dif­
ferent ways. School counselors help
students develop educational plans
that fit the student’s abilities, inter­
ests, and career potential. Employ­
ment counselors guide people of all
ages in planning careers and finding
jobs. Their advice helps clients select
an appropriate field of endeavor, and
then prepare for it. R ehabilitation
counselors advise people with phys­
ical, m ental, or social disabilities.
These counselors help handicapped
p erso n s u n d e rs ta n d w hat a d ju s t­
ments are needed in their personal
lives and vocational plans in order to
achieve a satisfactory lifestyle. C ol­
lege career planning and placem ent
c o u n se lo rs help co lleg e stu d e n ts
choose a career and advise them on
the kind o f training or experience
that will best help them find a job.
M em bers of the clergy, w hether
R ab b is, P ro te s ta n t M in iste rs, or

Catholic Priests, counsel people o f
their faith and provide spiritual lead­
ership w ithin th e ir co m m u n ities.
They enable people to worship ac­
cording to the dictates of their con­
sciences. As spiritual leaders, m em ­
b e rs o f th e c le rg y a re w id e ly
regarded as m odels for m oral and
eth ical co n d u c t. T hey freq u en tly
counsel people who have problems in
their jobs, homes, schools, or social
relationships; often, these are em o­
tional problems. In fact, they deal in
such delicate personal and em otional
areas that the law provides that they
need not disclose the nature of their
com m unications with their congre­
gants. These are privileged com m u­
nications. The work o f the clergy is
never done, and its im portance can­
not be overstated.
O ther occupations involve social
service as well. C ooperative exten­
sion service workers deal with people
who live in rural areas; they do edu­

Social service occupations, 1976


534


cational work in such areas as agri­
culture and hom e econom ics, and
encourage youth activities and com ­
m unity developm ent. Home econo­
mists provide training and technical
assistance in areas that make every­
day life more com fortable and live­
able—consum er economics, housing,
hom e m anagem ent, hom e furnish­
ings and equipm ent, food and nutri­
tion, clothing and textiles, and family
dev elo p m en t and relatio n s. P ark ,
recreation, and leisure service w ork­
ers plan, organize, and direct activi­
ties that help people of various ages
and so cio eco n o m ic groups enjoy
their nonworking hours. Social serv­
ice aides assist rehabilitation counse­
lors, social workers, and other p ro ­
fe s sio n a ls . S o c ia l w o rk e rs h e lp
individuals, fam ilies, groups, and
com m unities in solving their p ro b ­
lems so that they can live more effec­
tively in society.
People in social service occupa­
tions becom e closely involved with
their clients’ lives, and the services
they provide can have farreaching ef­
fects. Advice on schools, jobs, ca­
reers, rehabilitation, or em otional
and family problems may lead an in­
dividual to make fundam ental deci­
sions about his or her future. Sugges­
tions made by a counselor or social
w orker may shape a client’s entire
future. Members of the clergy in p ar­
ticular may become involved in the
most intimate details of their congre­
g a n ts’ lives. For th ese reaso n s, a
genuine concern for people and a de­
sire to help them improve their lives
are im portant for anyone considering
a career in the social service field.
Patience, tact, sensitivity, and com ­
passion are necessary personal quali­
ties. M oreover, people in social ser­
v ic e o c c u p a t i o n s m u s t h a v e
appropriate training and should be
dedicated to high standards of p ro ­
fe ssio n a lism . A n y th in g less m ay

SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

prove disastrous to the people being
served.
In general, knowledge of the par­
ticular social service field is gained




535

through college and graduate educa­
tion. O ften, professional education
includes an internship, or period of
work experience, th at enables the

student to learn how to apply class­
room know ledge to real life situ ­
ations.

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

A t some point in their lives, m ost
people seek advice or assistance for
personal, education, or vocational
problems. These problem s may be
relatively m inor, such as a conflict in
a stu d en t’s class schedule, or may
involve serious em otional or physical
disabilities. Regardless of the prob­
lem, counselors often are the ones to
whom people turn for help.
C ounselors may specialize in a spe­
cific area and w ork setting. Some
deal prim arily with school children,
while others work only with adults.
Some counselors are trained to assist
in vocational planning and may work
for State or private, nonprofit agen­
cies. W hatever the area o f specializa­
tion, counselors help people under­
stand them selves—their capabilities
and potential—so th at they can m ake
and carry out decisions and plans for
a satisfying and productive life.
This chapter covers four counsel­
ing specialties: school; rehabilita­
tion; em ploym ent; and college career
planning and placem ent.
School counselors are the largest
counseling group. They are primarily
concerned with the personal, social,
and educational developm ent o f stu­
dents.
Rehabilitation counselors help p er­
sons with physical, m ental, or social
handicaps to becom e productive in­
dividuals.
Employm ent counselors counsel
p e rs o n s —th e u n em p lo y ed o r u n ­
skilled, fo r ex am p le—who ca n n o t
find a jo b and/or have problem s in
career choice and planning.
College career planning and place­
m ent counselors help college students
examine their own interests, abilities,
and goals; explore c a ree r a ltern a­
tives; and make and follow through
with a career choice.
Persons who want to enter the
counseling field must be interested in
helping people and have an ability to
understand their behavior. A pleas­
536



ant but strong personality that instills
confidence in clients is desirable.
Counselors also must be patient, sen­
sitive to the needs o f others, and able
to com m unicate orally as well as in
writing.
In addition, many psychologists,
social workers, and college student
personnel workers also do counsel­
ing. These and other fields which en ­
tail some counseling such as teach­
in g , h e a lt h , law , re lig io n , a n d
personnel, are described elsew here
in the Handbook.

SCHOOL COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 045.108)

Nature of the Work
U ncertainty about career choice,
learning disabilities, or an unhappy
home life are typical problem s that
many students face. Usually these
problem s cannot be solved by the
student alone; professional assistance
often is needed. Most schools hire
counselors to give individual atten ­
tion to students’ educational, career,
and social developm ent.
A counselor role is to help students
understand themselves better—their
abilities, talents, and career options,
for example. To accom plish this,
counselors may use tests and individ­
ual or group counseling; som etimes
they develop specialized m ethods or
seek the assistance of com m unity re ­
source persons.
W hen helping students in career
choices, counselors often adm inister
and evaluate tests. Some counselors
also have responsibility for a career
inform ation center and the school’s
career education program . The
counselor may, for example, suggest
ways in which a m ath teacher can

incorporate into a lesson inform ation
on occupations that require m athe­
m atics. O r the counselor may a r­
range field trips to factories and busi­
ness firm s o r show film s w hich
provide a view of real work settings.
The desired result is a student who is
m ore aware of careers that m atch his
or her talents, likes, and abilities and
who can, with the assistance of the
counselor, develop an educational
and career plan.
School counselors must keep upto-date on opportunities for educa­
tional and vocational training beyond
high school to counsel students who
w ant this inform ation. They m ust
keep inform ed about training p ro ­
grams in 2- and 4-year colleges; in
t r a d e , t e c h n i c a l , a n d b u s in e s s
schools; app ren ticesh ip program s;
and available federally su p p o rted
program s. C ounselors also advise
students about educational require­
m ents for entry level jobs, job chang­
es caused by technological advances,
college entrance requirem ents, and
places o f employment.
Counselors in junior high and high
schools often help students find parttime jobs, either to enable them to
stay in school or to help them p re ­
pare for their vocation. They may
help both graduates and dropouts to
find jobs or may direct them to com ­
munity em ploym ent services. They
also may conduct surveys to learn
more about hiring experiences of re­
cent graduates and dropouts, local
jo b opportunities, or the effective­
ness of the educational and guidance
programs.
C ounselors also work with p ro b ­
lems affecting the school as a whole
or one o r two individuals. If drug
abuse is a problem, counselors may,
for example, initiate group counsel­
ing sessions to discuss the dangers of
taking drugs. Or they may speak in­
dividually with students and th eir
parents.
Counselors work closely with o th ­
er staff m em bers of the school, m em ­
bers of the community, and parents.
Often, teachers and counselors co n ­
fer about problem s affecting a stu ­
dent or group of students. A teacher
may refer a student who appears to
have problem s dealing with class­
m ates to a counselor who will at­
tem pt to find the cause. Counselors

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

may arrange meetings with parents
or com m unity agencies, such as m en­
tal health organizations, if a student’s
problem s are serious.
Elem entary school counselors help
children to m ake the best use o f their
abilities by identifying these and oth­
er basic aspects o f the child’s m ake­
up at an early age, and by evaluating
any learning problem s. M ethods used
in counseling grade school children
differ in many ways from those used
with older students. O bservations of
classroom and play activity furnish
clues ab o u t ch ild ren in the lower
grades. To b etter u n derstand chil­
dren, elem entary school counselors
spend m uch tim e co nsulting with
teachers and parents. They also work
closely with o ther staff m em bers of
the school, including psychologists
and social workers.
Some school counselors, particu­
larly in seco n d ary schools, teac h
classes in occupational inform ation,
social studies, or other subjects. They
also may supervise school clubs or
other extracurricular activities, often
 school hours.
after regular


537

Places of Employment
About 43,000 people worked full
time as public school counselors d u r­
ing 1976. Most counselors work in
large schools. An increasing num ber
of school districts, however, provide
g u id a n c e serv ic es to th e ir sm all
schools by assigning m ore than one
school to a counselor.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most States require school counse­
lors to have counseling and teaching
c e rtific a te s. H ow ever, a grow ing
num ber o f States no longer require
te a c h e r c e rtific a tio n . (S ee s ta te ­
ments on elem entary and secondary
school teach ers for certificate re ­
q u ir e m e n ts .) D e p e n d in g on th e
State, a m aster’s degree in counseling
and from 1 to 5 years o f teaching
experience usually are required for a
counseling certificate. People who
plan to becom e counselors should
learn the requirem ents of the State in
which they plan to work since re ­
quirem ents vary am ong States and
change rapidly.

College students interested in be­
com ing school counselors usually
take the regular program of teacher
education, with additional courses in
psychology and sociology. In States
where teaching experience is not a
requirem ent, it is possible to m ajor in
a liberal arts program. A few States
substitute a counseling internship for
teaching experience. In some States
teachers who have com pleted part of
the courses required for the m aster’s
degree in counseling are eligible for
provisional c e rtificatio n and may
work as counselors under supervision
while they take additional courses.
C ounselor education programs at
the graduate level are available in
more than 450 colleges and universi­
ties, usually in the departm ents of
education or psychology. One to 2
years o f graduate study are necessary
for a m aster’s degree. Most programs
provide supervised field experience.
Subject areas of required graduate
level courses usually include apprais­
al o f the individual student, individ­
ual counseling p ro ced u res, group
guidance, inform ation service for ca­
reer developm ent, professional rela­
tions and ethics, and statistics and
research.
The ability to help young people
accept responsibility for their own
lives is im portant for school counse­
lors. They must be able to coordinate
the activity of others and work as
part of the team which forms the
educational system.
School counselors may advance by
moving to a larger school; becoming
director or supervisor of counseling
or guidance; or, with further gradu­
ate education, becom ing a college
counselor, educational psychologist,
school psychologist, or school ad­
m inistrator. Usually college counse­
lors and educational psychologists
must earn the Ph. D. degree.

Employment Outlook
Em ployment of school counselors
is likely to grow more slowly than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s as declining school
enrollm ents coupled with financial
constraints limit dem and. If Federal
assistance for career education is in­
creased, however, many more jobs
should result. Thus, future growth in
counselor em ploym ent will depend

538

O C C U P A T IO N A L O U T L O O K H A N D B O O K

largely on the am ount o f funds that
the Federal G overnm ent provides to
the States.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
A ccording to a recent survey, the
average salary of school counselors
ranged from $11,646 to $18,929.
School counselors generally earn
more than teachers at the same
school. (See statem ents on kinder­
garten and elem entary school teac h ­
ers and secondary school teachers.)
In m ost school systems, counselors
receive regular salary increm ents as
they obtain additional education and
experience. Some counselors supple­
m ent their incom e by part-tim e co n ­
sulting or other work with private or
public counseling cen ters, govern­
m ent agencies, or private industry.

Sources of Additional
Information
State departm ents o f education
can supply inform ation on colleges
and universities th at offer training in
guidance and counseling as well as
on the S tate certificatio n re q u ire ­
ments.
Additional inform ation on this
Field o f work is available from:
American School Counselor Association.
1607 New Hampshire Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20009.

EMPLOYMENT
COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 045.108)

Nature of the Work
U ncertainty about career plans is a
problem faced not only by young­
sters in school b u t also by m any
adults. M any persons lack realistic
career goals, adequate job training,
or knowledge about the labor m ar­
ket. Some becom e unem ployed. V et­
erans and school dropouts are exam ­
ples of oth er individuals who often
do not know how to turn their talents
and abilities into m arketable skills.
Em ployment counselors (som etim es
called vocational co u nselors) help
these and other jobseekers.
Most em ploym ent counselors as­
s who tu rn to S tate or
sist perso n


community agencies for advice. The
handicapped, older workers, and in­
dividuals displaced by autom ation
and industry shifts or unhappy with
their present occupational fields are
typical applicants. Some jobseekers
are skilled in specific occupations
and ready for im m ediate job place­
ment; others, who have little educa­
tion and lack m arketable skills, need
intensive training to prepare for jobs.
In State em ploym ent services, the
counselor also helps those who are
least em ployable, such as welfare re ­
cipients, ex-prisoners, and the educa­
tionally and culturally deprived.
Counselors interview jobseekers to
learn
em ploym ent-related
facts
about their interests, training, work
experience, work attitudes, physical
capacities, and personal traits. If n ec­
essary, they may get additional d ata
by a r r a n g in g fo r a p t i t u d e a n d
achievem ent tests and interest inven­
tories, so that m ore objective advice
may be given. They also may get ad ­
ditional inform ation by speaking with
the applicant’s form er em ployer or
school principal.
W hen a jo b seek er’s background—
the person’s abilities and limitations
has been thoroughly reviewed, the
em ploym ent counselor discusses
occupational requirem ents and job
opportunities in different fields
within the potential o f the jobseeker.
Then the counselor and the client
develop a vocational plan. This plan
may specify a series of steps involv­
ing remedial education, job training,
work experience, or other services
needed to enhance the person’s em ­
ployability.
In many cases, em ploym ent coun­
selors refer jobseekers to other agen­
cies for physical rehabilitation o r
psychological or o th er services b e­
fore or during counseling. If, for ex­
ample, a person is ham pered in a job
search b ecau se o f stu tte rin g , th e
counselor might suggest visits with
city o r county m edical personnel.
Proper referrel requires that counse­
lors be fam iliar with the available
com m unity services so that they can
select those most likely to benefit a
particular jobseeker.
C ounselors may help jobseekers by
suggesting em ploym ent sources and
appropriate ways of applying for
work. In some cases, counselors may

contact employers about jobs for ap­
plicants, although in State em ploy­
m ent services agencies, placem ent
specialists often handle this work.
After job placem ent or entrance into
training, counselors may follow up to
determ ine if additional assistance is
needed.
The expanding responsibility of
public em ploym ent service counse­
lors for improving the employability
o f d isad v an tag ed persons has in­
creased their contacts with these p er­
sons during training and on the job.
Also, it has led to group counseling
and the stationing of counselors in
neighborhood and com m unity cen ­
ters.

Places of Employment
In 1976, about 3,400 persons
worked as em ploym ent counselors in
State em ploym ent service offices, lo­
cated in every large city and many
sm aller towns. In addition, ab o u t
3 ,0 0 0 e m p lo y m e n t c o u n s e lo r s
worked for various private or com ­
m unity agencies, prim arily in the
larger cities. Some worked in institu­
tions such as prisons, training schools
for delinquent youths, and m ental
hospitals. Also, the Federal G overn­
m ent em ployed a limited num ber of
em ploym ent counselors, chiefly in
the V eterans Adm inistration and in
the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Some
counselors teach in graduate training
program s or conduct research.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
The national qualification stand­
ard for first level em ploym ent coun­
selors in State em ploym ent service
offices calls for 30 graduate sem ester
hours of counseling courses beyond a
bachelor’s degree. However, 1 year
o f c o u n se lin g -re la te d e x p e rie n c e
may be substituted for 15 graduate
sem ester hours.
All States require counselors in
their public em ploym ent offices to
m eet State civil service or m erit sys­
tem requirem ents that include m ini­
m um ed u c atio n al and exp erien ce
standards.
Applicants with advanced degrees
and additional qualifying experience
may en ter at higher levels on the
counselor career ladder. Many States

539

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

also make provision for individuals
with extensive experience in the em ­
ploym ent service, w hether or not
they have college degrees, to enter
the c o u n se lo r c a re e r la d d e r and
move upward by acquiring the pre­
scribed university coursew ork and
qualifying experience for each level.
A lthough minimum entrance re­
q u ire m e n ts are n o t stan d ard iz ed
among private and community agen­
cies, most prefer, and some require, a
m aster’s degree in vocational coun­
seling or in a related field such as
psychology, p ersonnel adm inistra­
tion, counseling, guidance education,
or public administration. Many pri­
vate agencies prefer to have at least
one staff m em ber who has a doctor­
ate in counseling psychology or a re­
lated field. For those lacking an ad­
vanced degree, em ployers usually
emphasize experience in closely re­
lated work such as reh ab ilitatio n
counseling, em ploym ent interview ­
ing, school or college counseling,
teaching, social work, or psychology.
In each State, the public employ­
ment service offices provide some inservice training program s for their
new counselors or trainees. In addi­
tion, both their new and experienced
counselors often are given part-time
training at colleges and universities
during the regular academ ic year or
at institutes or summer sessions. Pri­
vate and community agencies also of­
ten provide in-service training oppor­
tunities.
College students who wish to be­
come em ploym ent counselors should
enroll in courses in psychology and
basic sociology. At the graduate lev­
el, requirem ents for this field usually
inclu d e co u rses in te c h n iq u e s o f
counseling, psychological principles
and psychology o f careers, assess­
ment and appraisal, cultures and en­
vironm ent, and occupational infor­
m a tio n . C o u n s e l o r e d u c a t i o n
programs at the graduate level are
available in more than 450 colleges
and universities, mainly in d ep art­
ments of education or psychology.
To obtain a m aster’s degree, students
must com plete 1 to 2 years of gradu­
ate study including actual experience
in counseling under the supervision
of an instructor.
Persons aspiring to be employment
should have a strong in­
counselors


terest in helping others make voca­
tional plans and carry them out. They
should be able to work independent­
ly and to keep detailed records.
Well-qualified counselors with ex­
perience may advance to supervisory
or adm inistrative positions in their
own or o th er organizations. Some
may becom e directors of agencies or
of other counseling services, or area
supervisors of guidance program s;
some may become consultants; and
others may become professors in the
counseling field.

Employment Outlook
Employment counselors with m as­
te r’s degrees or experience in related
fields are ex pected to face som e
com petition in both public and com ­
m u n ity e m p l o y m e n t a g e n c i e s
th ro u g h th e m id -1 9 8 0 ’s. A c tu a l
growth in employm ent of counselors
will depend in large part on the level
of Federal funding to State, local and
c o m m u n ity a g e n c ie s to p ro v id e
counseling services. Some openings
for em ploym ent counselors will re ­
sult, however, from the need to re­
place those who die, retire, or trans­
fer to other occupations.

Sources of Additional
Information
For general inform ation on em ­
ploym ent or vocational counseling,
contact:
National Employment Counselors Associ­
ation, 1607 New Hampshire Ave., NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20009.
National Vocational Guidance Association,
1607 New Hampshire Ave. NW., Wash­
ington D.C. 20009.
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and
Training Administration, USES, Division
of Counseling and Testing, Washington,
D.C. 20210.

The administrative office for each
State’s employment security agency,
bureau, division, or commission can
supply specific information about lo­
cal job opportunities, salaries, and
entrance requirem ents for positions
in public employm ent service offices.

REHABILITATION
COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 045.108)

Nature of the Work
Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries of em ploym ent counselors
in State employm ent services vary
considerably from State to State. In
1976, salaries ranged from about
$7,000 for entry level positions to
$21,000 for experienced counselors.
The average starting salary for begin­
ning workers was $10,506, while ex­
p e r ie n c e d c o u n s e lo r s a v e ra g e d
$13,814.
According to the limited data
available, the average starting salary
for counselors in private, nonprofit
organizations in 1976 was $8,500.
The average for experienced workers
was $16,000. In general, salaries of
em ploym ent counselors are about 1
1/2 times as high as average earnings
for all nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
Most counselors work about 40
hours a week and have various bene­
fits, including vacations, sick leave,
pension plans, and insurance cover­
age. C ounselors em ployed in com ­
munity agencies may work overtime.

Each year more mentally, physi­
cally, and emotionally disabled p er­
sons become self-sufficient and prod u c tiv e c i t i z e n s . T h e y fin d
em ploym ent in a wide variety of
occupations previously thought too
complex or dangerous for them to
handle. A growing num ber are study­
ing in colleges and technical schools
throughout the United States. One
m em ber of the team of professionals
who help uisabled individuals leave a
sheltered environm ent to lead as n or­
mal a life as possible is the rehabilita­
tion counselor.
Rehabilitation counselors begin
their work by learning about their
client. They may read school reports,
confer with medical personnel, and
talk with family m em bers to d eter­
mine the exact nature of the disabil­
ity. They also discuss with physicians,
p s y c h o lo g ists, an d o c c u p a tio n a l
therapists the types o f skills the client
can learn. At that point, the counsel­
or begins a series of discussions with
the client to explore training and ca­
reer options. The counselor then uses

540

this inform ation to develop a reh a­
bilitation plan.
A rehabilitation program generally
includes specific job training, such as
secretarial studies, as well as other
specialized training the disabled p er­
son may need. W hen working with a
blind individual, fo r exam ple, the
counselor may arrange for training
with seeing-eye dogs. The disabled
person then may spend a few m onths
learning to cross streets and ride pub­
lic transportation systems. T hrough­
out this period, the counselor and
disabled client m eet reguarly to dis­
cuss progress in the rehabilitation
program and any problem s that may
arise.
Counselors also m ust find jobs for
disabled persons and often m ake fol­
low-up checks to insure that place­
m ent has been successful. If the new
em ployee has a specific problem on
the job, the counselor may suggest
adaptations to the employer.
R ehabilitation counselors m ust
m aintain close con tact with handi­

O C C U P A T IO N A L O U T L O O K H A N D B O O K

capped clients and their families over
m any m onths o r even years. T he
counselor often has the satisfaction
o f watching day-by-day progress in
the disabled p erso n ’s fight for in­
dependence. At o th er times, how ­
ever, the counselor may experience
the disappointm ent o f a client’s fail­
ures.
Because job placem ent is an im ­
portant aspect of a counselor’s work,
he or she must keep in touch with
m em bers of the business com m unity
to learn the type of jobs available and
training required. They also try to
alleviate any fears on the part of em ­
ployers about the suitability of hiring
handicapped individuals. As a result,
counselors may spend time publiciz­
ing th e re h ab ilitatio n program to
b u sin ess an d c o m m u n ity a sso c i­
ations.
An increasing num ber of counse­
lors specialize in a particular area of
rehabilitation; some may work a l­
most exclusively with blind people,
alcoholics or drug addicts, the m en­


Rehabilitation counselor assisting blind person in use of tape recorder.


tally ill, or retarded persons. Others
may work almost entirely with p er­
sons living in poverty areas.
The am ount of time spent counsel­
ing each client varies with the sever­
ity of the disabled person’s problem s
as well as with the size o f the counse­
lo r’s caseload. Usually, counselors in
private organizations can spend more
time with clients than their co u n ter­
parts in State agencies. Some reha­
bilitation counselors are responsible
for many persons in various stages of
rehabilitation; on the other hand, less
e x p e rie n c e d c o u n se lo rs -or th o se
working with the severely disabled
may work with relatively few cases at
a time.

Places of Employment
About 19,000 persons worked as
rehabilitation counselors in 1976.
About 70 percent worked in State
and local rehabilitation agencies fi­
nanced cooperatively with Federal
and State funds. Some rehabilitation
counselors and counseling psycholo­
gists w orked for the V eterans A d­
ministration. Rehabilitation centers,
sheltered workshops, hospitals, labor
unions, insurance companies, special
schools, and other public and private
ag en ices w ith re h a b ilita tio n p ro ­
grams and job placem ent services for
the disabled employ the rest.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A bachelor’s degree with courses
in counseling, psychology, and relat­
ed fields is the minimum educational
requirem ent for rehabilitation coun­
selors. However, employers are plac­
ing increasing emphasis on the m as­
t e r ’s d e g r e e in r e h a b i l i t a t i o n
counseling or vocational counseling,
or in related subjects such as psy­
chology, education, and social work.
W ork experience in fields such as vo­
cational counseling and placem ent,
psychology, education, and social
work is an asset for securing em ploy­
m ent as a rehabilitation counselor.
Most agencies have work-study p ro ­
grams whereby employed counselors
can ea rn graduate degrees in the
field.
More than 75 college and universi­
ties offered graduate program s in re­
habilitation counseling in 1976. Usu­

541

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

ally, 1 1/2 to 2 years of study are
required for the m aster’s degree. In­
cluded is a period of actual work ex­
perience as a rehabilitation counsel­
or under the close supervision of an
instructor. Besides a basic founda­
tion in psychology, courses generally
included in m aster’s degree programs
are co u n se lin g th e o ry and te c h ­
niques, occupational and educational
in fo rm a tio n , and co m m u n ity r e ­
sources. O ther requirem ents may in­
clude courses in placem ent and fol­
lo w u p , te s ts and m e a su re m e n ts,
psychosocial effects of disability, and
medical and legislative aspects of re­
habilitation.
To earn the doctorate in rehabili­
tation counseling or in counseling
psychology may take a total of 4 to 6
years o f graduate study. Intensive
training in psychology and other so­
cial sciences, as well as in research
methods, is required.
Many States require that rehabili­
tation counselors be hired in accord­
ance with State civil service and m er­
it system rules. In most cases, these
regulations require applicants to pass
a competitive written test, sometimes
supplem ented by an interview and
evaluation by a board o f examiners.
In addition, some private organiza­
tions require rehabilitation counse­
lors to be certified. To become certi­
fied, co u n selo rs m ust pass exam s
adm inistered by the Commission on
R ehabilitation C ounselor C ertifica­
tion.
Because rehabilitation counselors
deal with the welfare of individuals,
the ability to accept responsibility is
im portant. It also is essential that
they be able to work independently
and be able to m otivate and guide the
activity of others. Counselors who
work with the severely disabled need
unusual em otional stability. They
must be very patient in dealing with
clients who often are discouraged,
angry, or otherwise difficult to han­
dle.
Counselors who have limited expe­
rience usually are assigned the less
difficult cases. As they gain experi­
ence, their caseloads are increased
and they are assigned clients with
m ore com plex rehabilitation prob­
lems. A fter obtaining considerable
experience and more graduate edu­

cation, rehabilitation counselors may


advance to supervisory positions or
top administrative jobs.

Sources of Additional
Information

Employment Outlook

For information about rehabilita­
tion counseling as a career, contact:

Because most State and private
rehabilitation agencies are funded
prim arily by the F ederal G overn­
m en t, th e e x te n t o f em p lo y m en t
growth will depend largely on the
level of governm ent spending. Addi­
tional positions, however, are expect­
ed to becom e available in private
com panies, such as m anufacturing
and service firms, for rehabilitation
counselors to help in equal employ­
m ent opportunity efforts. In addition
to grow th needs, many counselors
will be required annually to replace
those who die, retire, or leave the
field for other reasons.

American Psychological Association, Inc.,
1200 17th St. NW., Washington, D.C.
20036.
American Rehabilitation Counseling Associ­
ation, 1607 New Hampshire Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20009.
National Rehabilitation Counseling Associ­
ation, 1522 K St. NW., Washington, D.C.
20005.

Inform ation on certification re ­
quirem ents and procedures is avail­
able from:
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Cer­
tification, 520 North Michigan Ave., Chi­
cago, 1 1 60611.
1.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries of beginning rehabilitation
counselors in State agencies aver­
aged $10,441 a year in 1976. Begin­
ning salaries ranged from $7,200 in
Puerto Rico to $15,774 in Alaska.
The V eterans Administration paid
counseling psychologists with a 2year m aster’s degree and 1 year o f
subsequent experience—and those
with a Ph. D .—starting salaries of
$17,056 in 1976. Those with a Ph. D.
and a year of experience, and those
with a 2-year m aster’s degree and
much experience, started at $20,442.
Some rehabilitation counselors with
a bachelor’s degree were hired at
starting salaries of $1 1,523 and
$14,097. In general, salaries of reha­
bilitation counselors are above the
average earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming.
Counselors may spend only part of
their time in their offices counseling
and p erfo rm in g necessary p a p e r­
work. The rem ainder o f their time is
spent away from the office, working
with prospective employers, training
agencies, and the disabled person’s
family. The ability to drive a car of­
ten is necessary for this work.
Rehabilitation counselors general­
ly work a 40-hour week or less, with
some overtim e work required to a t­
tend com m unity and civic meetings
in the evening. They usually are cov­
ered by sick and annual leave bene­
fits and pension and health plans.

COLLEGE CAREER
PLANNING AND
PLACEMENT
COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 166.268)

Nature of the Work
Choosing a career is a decision
faced by many college students.
Finding an occupation that matches
o n e’s likes, dislikes, and talents can
be difficult and time consuming.
And, once the decision is m ade,
there is still the problem of writing
resumes, being interviewed, and
searching out prospective em ploy­
ers—often an anxiety-producing and
discouraging experience.
C areer planning and placem ent
counselors help bridge the gap be­
tween education and work by assist­
ing students in all phases of career
decisionmaking and planning. These
counselors, sometimes called college
placem ent officers, provide a variety
of services to college students and
alumni. They assist students in m ak­
ing career selections by encouraging
them to examine their interests, abili­
ties, and goals, and th en helping
them to explore possible career alter­
natives. They may, for example, ar­
range part-tim e or sum m er em ploy­
m ent with a local governm ent agency
for an architectural student consider­
ing a career as a city planner. Or they

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

542

Some career planning and place­
m ent counselors, especially those in
junior or community colleges, advise
ad m in istrato rs on curriculum and
course content. They may suggest
courses that employers believe would
train students m ore adequately. In
addition, some counselors, especially
those working in small schools, also
teach. All counselors m aintain a li­
brary of career guidance and recruit­
m ent information.
Placem ent counselors may special­
ize in areas such as law, education, or
part-tim e and sum m er work. How­
ever, the extent of specialization usu­
ally depends upon the size and type
of college as well as the size of the
placem ent staff.

Places of Employment

Counselor discusses career alternatives with college student.

may discuss em ploym ent options and
training requirem ents with students
majoring in history. Ofen, counselors
suggest additional courses or further
training to en ch an ce em ploym ent
prospects.
C are er planning and p lacem en t
counselors also arrange for job re­
cruiters to visit the cam pus to discuss
their firm ’s personnel needs and to
interview applicants. They provide
with in fo rm ation about
em ployers


students and inform students about
business operations and personnel
needs in industry. A counselor may,
for example, explain to students that
workers in certain industries are sub­
ject to layoffs. In order to counsel
students adequately, counselors must
keep abreast of job m arket develop­
m ents by reading literature in the
field and m aintaining contact with
industry and governm ent personnel
recruiters.

Nearly all 4-year colleges and uni­
versities and many o f the increasing
num ber of junior colleges provide ca­
reer planning and placem ent services
to their students and alumni. Large
colleges may employ several counse­
lors working under a director of ca­
reer planning and placem ent activi­
ties; in many institutions, however, a
com bination of placem ent functions
is perform ed by one director aided
by a clerical staff. In some colleges,
especially the smaller ones, the func­
tions o f career counselors may be
perform ed on a part-tim e basis by
mem bers of the faculty or adminis­
trative staff. Universities frequently
have placem ent officers for each m a­
jo r branch or campus.
About 3,900 persons worked as
career planning and placem ent coun­
selors in colleges and universities in
1976. Nearly three-fourths worked in
4-year in stitu tio n s. T he re m a in er
worked in junior and community col­
leges.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Although no specific educational
program exists to prepare persons for
career planning and placem ent work,
a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a
behavioral science, such as psychol­
ogy or sociology, is custom ary for
entry into the field, and a m aster’s
degree is increasingly being stressed.
In 1976, 120 colleges and universi­
ties offered g raduate program s in
co lleg e s tu d e n t p e rs o n n e l w ork.

543

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

Graduate courses that are helpful for
career planning and placem ent coun­
seling include counseling theory and
techniques, vocational testing, the­
ory of group dynamics, and occupa­
tio n al re s e a rc h and em p lo y m en t
trends.
Some people enter the career plan­
ning and placem ent field after gain­
ing a broad background of experi­
e n c e in b u s i n e s s , i n d u s t r y ,
governm ent, or educational organi­
zations. An internship in a career
planning and placem ent office also is
helpful.
College career planning and place­
ment counselors must have an inter­
est in people. They must be able to
com m unicate with and gain the con­
fidence of students, faculty, and em ­
ployers in order to develop insight
into the employm ent needs of both
em ployers and students. People in
this field should be energetic and
able to work under pressure because
they must organize and administer a
wide variety of activities.
Advancem ent for career planning
and placem ent professionals usually
is through prom otion to an assistant
or associate position, director of ca­
reer planning and placem ent, direc­
tor of student personnel services, or
some other higher level adm inistra­
tive position. However, the extent of




such o p p o rtu n ity usually d epends
upon the type of college or university
and the size of the staff.

counseling and placem ent services,
resulting in com petition for available
positions.

Employment Outlook

Earnings and Working
Conditions

Employment of college career
planning and placem ent counselors is
expected to increase through the
m id-1980’s. Demand will be greatest
in junior and community colleges,
where, in many cases, there are no
career planning and placem ent p ro ­
gram s at present. In addition, the
large num ber of adults entering com ­
munity colleges who have been out
of the labor m arket or who are seek­
ing a m id-career change will require
specialized counseling.
Also contributing to the dem and in
all postsecondary institutions will be
the expected continued expansion in
services to students from minority
and low-income groups, who require
special counseling in choosing c a ­
reers and assistance in finding parttime jobs. Growth also is expected in
services to the handicapped and to
adults p a rtic ip a tin g in continuing
education.
However, many institutions of
higher education faced financial
problems in 1976. If this situation
persists, colleges and universities
may be forced to limit expansion of

Salaries vary greatly among educa­
tional institutions. According to the
limited information available, the av­
erage salary of college career plan­
ning and placem ent directors was
more than $17,000 a year in 1976.
C areer planning and placem ent
counselors frequently work more
than a 40-hour week; irregular hours
and overtime often are necessary,
particularly during the “ recruiting
season.” M ost counselors are em ­
ployed on a 12-month basis. They are
paid for holidays and vacations and
usually receive the same benefits as
o th e r professional perso n n el em ­
ployed by colleges and universities.

Sources of Additional
Information
A booklet on the college student
personnel professions, as well as o th ­
er information on career counseling
and placem ent, is available from:
The College Placement Council, Inc., P.O.
Box 2263, Bethlehem, Pa. 18001.

CLERGY

Deciding on a career in the clergy
involves considerations different
from those involved in other career
choices. W hen persons choose to en­
ter the ministry, priesthood, or rabbi­
nate, they do so primarily because
they possess a strong religious faith
and a desire to help others. N ever­
theless, it is im portant to know as
much as possible about the profes­
sion and how to prepare for it, the
kind of life it offers, and its needs for
personnel.
The num ber of clergy needed de­
pends largely on the num ber of peo­
ple who participate in organized reli­
gious groups. This affects the num ber
o f churches and synagogues estab­
lished and pulpits to be filled. In
addition to the clergy who serve con­
gregations, many others teach or ]ct
as adm inistrators in seminaries and in
other ed ucational institutions; still
o th e rs serv e as c h a p la in s in the
Armed Forces, industry, correctional
institutions, hospitals, or on college
campuses; or render service as mis­
sionaries or in social welfare agen­
cies.
Persons considering a career in the
clergy should seek the counsel of a
religious leader of their faith to aid in
evaluating their qualifications. The
most im portant of these are a deep
religious belief and a desire to serve
the spiritual needs of others. The
priest, minister, or rabbi also is ex­
pected to be a model o f moral and
ethical conduct. A person consider­
ing one of these fields must realize
that the civic, social, and recreation­
al activities of a m em ber of the clergy
often are influenced and restricted
by the custom s and attitudes of the
community.
The clergy should be sensitive to
the needs o f others and able to help
them deal with these needs. The job
demands an ability to speak and
write effectively, to organize, and to
supervise others. The person en ter­
544



ing this field also must enjoy studying
because the ministry is an occupation
which requires continuous learning.
In addition, the m inistry dem ands
considerable initiative and self-disci­
pline.
More detailed inform ation on the
clergy in the three largest faiths in
the U nited States—P rotestant, R o­
man Catholic, and Jewish—is given
in the following statem ents, prepared
in cooperation with leaders of these
faiths. Information on the clergy in
other faiths may be obtained directly
fro m le a d e r s o f th e re s p e c tiv e
groups.

low a traditional order of worship; in
others they adapt the services to the
needs o f youth and o th er groups
within the congregation. Most serv­
ices include Bible reading, hym n
singing, prayers, and a serm on. In
some denom inations, Bible reading
by a m em ber of the congregation and
individual testim onials may consti­
tute a large part of the service.
Ministers serving small congrega­
tions generally work on a personal
basis with their parishioners. Those
serving large co n g reg atio n s have
g re ater adm inistrative responsibil­
ities, and spend considerable time
working with com m ittees, church of­
ficers, and staff, besides performing
their other duties. They may have
one or more associates or assistants
who share specific aspects o f the
ministry, such as a minister of educa­
tion who assists in educational p ro ­
grams for different age groups, or a
minister of music.

Places of Employment

PROTESTANT MINISTERS

In 1976, about 190,000 ministers
served more than 72 million Protes-

(D.O.T. 120.108)

Nature of the Work
Protestant ministers lead their con­
gregations in worship services and
adm inister the rites of baptism, co n ­
firm atio n , and Holy C om m union.
They prepare and deliver serm ons
and give religious instruction to p er­
sons who are to becom e new m em ­
bers of the church. They also p er­
form m arriages; co n d u c t funerals;
counsel individuals who seek guid­
ance; visit the sick, aged, and handi­
capped at home and in the hospital;
co m fo rt the b ereav e d ; and serve
c h u rc h m em b ers in o th e r w ays.
Many Protestant ministers write arti­
cles for publication, give speeches,
and engage in interfaith, com m unity,
civic, educational, and recreational
activities sponsored by or related to
the in terests of the church. Some
ministers teach in seminaries, colleg­
es, and universities.
The services th at m inisters c o n ­
duct d iffer am ong P ro te sta n t d e ­
nom inations and also among congre­
gations w ithin a denom ination. In
many denom inations, m inisters fol­

The services that ministers conduct differ
among Protestant denominations and
also among congregations within a de­
nomination.

545

CLERGY

tants. Most ministers serve individual
congregations. In addition, however,
thousands of ministers work in close­
ly related fields such as chaplains in
hospitals and the Armed Forces. The
greatest num ber of clergy are affiliat­
ed with the five largest groups of
churches—Baptist, United M ethod­
ist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Epis­
copal.
All cities and most towns in the
United States have at least one Prot­
estant church with a full-time minis­
ter. Some churches employ part-time
ministers; many part-tim e clergy are
sem inary students or m inisters re ­
tired from full-time pastoral respon­
sibilities. A lthough m ost m inisters
are located in urban areas, many live
in less densely populated areas where
they may serve two congregations or
more.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Educational requirem ents for en­
try into the Protestant ministry vary
greatly. Some denom inations have
no formal educational requirem ents,
and o th ers ordain persons having
varying am ounts and types of train­
ing in Bible colleges, Bible institutes,
or liberal arts colleges.
In 1976, there were 138 American
theological institutes accredited by
the Association of Theological
Schools in the United States and
Canada. These admit only students
who have received a bachelor’s de­
gree or its equivalent with a liberal
arts m ajor from an accredited col­
lege. Many denom inations require a
3-year course of professional study in
one of these accredited schools or
seminaries after college graduation.
The degree of m aster of divinity is
awarded upon com pletion.
Recom m ended presem inary or un­
dergraduate college courses include
E nglish, h isto ry , p h ilo so p h y , the
natural sciences, social sciences, the
fine arts, music, religion, and foreign
languages. These courses provide a
knowledge of modern social, cultur­
al, and scien tific in stitu tio n s and
problems. However, students consid­
ering theological study should con­
tact, at the earliest possible date, the
schools to which they intend to ap­
ply, to learn how to prepare for the
 expect to enter.
program they


The standard curriculum for a c ­
credited theological schools consists
of four m ajor categories: biblical, his­
torical, theological, and practical.
Courses o f a practical nature such as
psychology, religious education, and
a d m in is tr a tio n a re e m p h a siz e d .
Many accredited schools require that
students gain experience in church
work under the supervision of a fac­
ulty m em ber or experienced minis­
ter. Some institutions offer doctor of
m inistry degrees to students who
have com pleted 1 year or more of
additional study after serving at least
a year as minister. Scholarships and
loans are available for students of
theological institutions.
In general, each large denom ina­
tion has its own school or schools of
theology that reflect its particular
doctrine, interests, and needs. How­
ever, many of these schools are open
to students from o th er denom ina­
tions. Several interdenom inational
schools associated with universities
give both undergraduate and gradu­
ate training covering a wide range of
theological points of view. Persons
who have denom inational qualifica­
tions for the ministry usually are o r­
dained after graduation from a semi­
nary. In denom inations that do not
require seminary training, clergy are
ordained at various appointed times.
Men and women entering the clergy
often begin their careers as pastors of
small congregations o r as assistant
pastors in large churches.

Employment Outlook
The trend toward m erger and unity
among denom inations, com bined
with the closing of smaller parishes
and the downturn in financial sup­
port, has reduced dem and for Protes­
tant ministers in recent years. As a
result, new graduates of theological
schools will face increasing com peti­
tion in finding positions. The supplydem and situation will vary among d e ­
nom inations and the chance of o b ­
taining em ploym ent will depend, in
part, on the length of the candidate’s
fo rm al p re p a ra tio n . M ost o f th e
openings for clergy that are expected
through the m id-1980’s will th ere­
fore result from the need to replace
those in existing positions who retire,
die, or leave the ministry. The need
for ministers in Evangelical church­

es, however, is expected to continue
to grow.
Although fewer opportunities may
arise for Protestant ministers to serve
individual congregations, newly o r­
dained ministers may find work in
youth, family relations, and welfare
organizations; religious educatio n ;
and as c h a p la in s in th e A rm ed
Forces, hospitals, universities, and
correctional institutions.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries of Protestant clergy vary
substantially, depending on age, ex­
perience, education, denom ination,
size and wealth of congregation, type
of community, and geographic loca­
tion. According to a study by the In­
stitute for Church Development, av­
erage income including benefits for
Protestant ministers in five denom i­
nations was about $13,650 in 1976.
These earnings are somewhat higher
than the average for Protestant de­
nom inations as a whole. Annual va­
cations average 3 weeks and there
often is opportunity for time off.
Because of the wide range of serv­
ice that the minister provides, he or
she may work long or irregular hours,
often involving considerable travel.

Sources of Additional
Information
Persons who are interested in en­
tering the Protestant ministry should
seek the counsel o f a m inister or
church guidance worker. Each th eo ­
logical school can supply information
on admission requirem ents. Prospec­
tive ministers also should contact the
ordination supervision body of their
particular denom ination for inform a­
tion on special requirem ents for ordi­
nation.

RABBIS
(D.O.T. 120.108)

Nature of the Work
Rabbis are the spiritual leaders of
their congregations and teachers and
interpreters of Jewish law and tradi­
tion. They conduct religious services

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

546

and deliver sermons at services on
the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays.
Rabbis customarily are available at
all times to counsel mem bers of their
congregation, other followers of Ju ­
daism, and the community at large.
Like o th er clergy, rabbis co n d u ct
weddings and funeral services, visit
the sick, help the poor, com fort the
bereaved, supervise religious educa­
tion program s, engage in interfaith
activities, and involve themselves in
community affairs.
Rabbis serving large congregations
may spend considerable time in ad­
m in istrativ e d u ties, w orking with
their staffs and com m ittees. Large
congregations frequently have an as­
so ciate o r a ssista n t ra b b i. M any
assistant rabbis serve as educational
directors.
Nearly all rabbis serve O rthodox,
Conservative, or Reform congrega­
tions. Regardless of their particular
point of view, all Jewish congrega­
tions preserve the substance of Jew ­
ish religious worship. The congrega­
tions differ in the extent to which
they follow the traditional form of
worship—for example, in the wear­
ing of head coverings, the use of H e­
brew as the language o f prayer, or
the use of music or a choir. The for­
m at o f th e w orship service an d ,
therefore, the ritual that the rabbis

use may vary even among congrega­
tions belonging to the same branch o f
Judaism.
Rabbis also may write for religious
and lay publications, and teach in
theological seminaries, colleges, and
universities.

Places of Employment
About 4,000 rabbis served over 6
million followers of the Jewish faith
in this country in 1976; approxim ate­
ly 1,550 were Orthodox rabbis, 1,350
were C onservative, and 1,200 R e­
form. Others work as chaplains in the
m ilitary services, in hospitals and
other institutions, or in one of the
m any Jew ish c o m m u n ity serv ice
agencies. A growing num ber are em ­
ployed in colleges and universities as
teachers in Jewish Studies programs.
Although rabbis serve Jewish com ­
munities throughout the Nation, they
are concentrated in those States that
have large Jewish populations, p ar­
tic u la rly New Y o rk , C a lifo rn ia ,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois,
M assachusetts, F lorida, M aryland,
and the W ashington, D.C. m etropol­
itan area.

Training and Other
Qualifications
To becom e eligible for ordination
as a rabbi, a student m ust com plete a

DigitizedRabbi instructing nursery school children about the Friday evening Sabbath meal.
for FRASER


prescribed course of study in a semi­
nary. Entrance requirem ents and the
curriculum depend upon the branch
of Judaism with which the seminary
is associated.
Nearly 30 seminaries train O rtho­
dox rabbis in program s of varying
lengths. The required course of study
to prepare for ordination is usually 3
or 4 years. However, students who
are not college graduates may spend
a longer period at these seminaries
and com plete the requirem ents for
the bachelor’s degree while pursuing
the rabbinic course. Some Orthodox
seminaries do not require a college
degree to qualify for ordination, al­
though students who qualify usually
have com pleted 4 years of college.
The Hebrew Union College—Jew ­
ish Institute of Religion is the official
sem inary that trains rabbis for the
Reform branch of Judaism. It is the
only branch that has approved the
training and ordination of women as
rabbis. In 1976, almost half the en­
tering class at the Reform seminary
were women. The Jewish Theologi­
cal Seminary of Am erica is the offi­
cial seminary that trains rabbis for
the Conservative branch of Judaism.
Both seminaries require the com ple­
tion of a 4-year college course, as
well as earlier preparation in Jewish
studies, for admission to the rabbinic
program leading to ordination. N or­
mally 5 years of study are required to
com plete the rabbinic course at the
Reform seminary, including 1 year of
preparatory study in Jerusalem . Ex­
ceptionally w ell-prepared students
can shorten this 5-year period to a
minimum of 3 years. A student hav­
ing a strong background in Jewish
studies can com plete the course at
the Conservative seminary in 4 years;
for other enrollees, the course may
take as long as 6 years.
In general, the curriculum s of Jew ­
ish theological sem inaries provide
s tu d e n ts w ith a c o m p re h e n s iv e
know ledge of the B ible, T alm u d ,
Rabbinic literature, Jewish history,
theology, and courses in education,
p a s to ra l p sy ch o lo g y , an d p u b lic
speaking. Students o f the R eform
seminary get a thorough preparation
in the classics as well as extensive
practical training in dealing with the
social and political problem s in the
community. Training for alternatives

CLERGY

to the pulpit, such as leadership in
com m unity services and religious
education, increasingly is stressed.
Some seminaries grant advanced
academic degrees in fields such as
Biblical and Talmudic research. All
Jewish theological seminaries make
scholarships and loans available.
Newly ordained rabbis usually be­
gin as leaders of small congregations,
assistants to experienced rabbis, di­
rectors of Hillel Foundations on col­
lege cam p u ses, te a c h e rs in sem i­
n a r ie s a n d o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l
in s titu tio n s , o r c h a p la in s in the
Armed Forces. As a rule, the pulpits
of large and well-established Jewish
congregations are filled by experi­
enced rabbis.

Employment Outlook
The dem and for Rabbis has de­
clined in recent years because some
e s ta b lis h e d c o n g r e g a tio n s h av e
closed and fewer new ones are being
formed. As a result, many newly or­
dained Rabbis will take positions in
smaller Jewish comm unities and as
assistant Rabbis in larger Jewish con­
gregations. O pportunities still exist
for Rabbis to teach in colleges and
universities, to serve as chaplains in
the Armed Forces, and to work in
hospitals and other institutions or in
one of the many Jewish social service
agencies. O penings in established
congregations will come largely from
a need to replace those Rabbis who
retire or die.
The employm ent outlook for rab­
bis varies am ong the three m ajor
branches o f Judaism, however. Re­
form rabbis may face some com peti­
tion for available positions and O r­
th o d o x c le rg y a re e x p e c te d to
en co u n ter very keen com petition.
C onservative rabbis, on the other
hand, will have good em ploym ent
opportunities, if present trends con­
tinue.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Incomes vary depending on the
size and financial status of the con­
gregation, as well as its denom ina­
tional branch and geographic loca­
tion. Rabbis usually earn additional
income from gifts or fees for officiat­
ing at cerem onies such as weddings.
 the annual earnings of
In 1976


547

rabbis averaged between $15,000
and $20,000, including pension and
housing allowance. Earnings of O r­
thodox rabbis tended to be at the
lower end of the scale. Average earn­
ings of newly ordained Conservative
an d R e fo rm ra b b is w ere a b o u t
$19,000; m ore experienced rabbis
earned m uch higher salaries and,
with o th e r b en e fits, av erag ed as
much as $35,000 a year. Some senior
rabbis in large temples earned up to
$60,000 a year.
Rabbis’ working hours are d eter­
mined by their role in the congrega­
tion. Besides conducting regular reli­
gious services, they also may spend
considerable time in administrative,
educational, and community service
functions, as well as presiding over
various cerem onial services. Rabbis
also must be available to serve the
em ergency needs of their congrega­
tion members.

Sources of Additional
information
Persons who are interested in b e­
coming rabbis should discuss their
plans for a vocation with a practicing
rabbi. Inform ation on the work o f
rabbis and allied occupations can be
obtained from:
The Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
(Conservative), 3080 Broadway, New
York, New York 10027.
The Rabbi Issac Elchanan Theological Semi­
nary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University,
(Orthodox), 2540 Amsterdam Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10033.
Hebrew Union College and Jewish Institute of
Religion, (Reform), whose three campus­
es are located at 40 W. 68th St., New
York, N.Y. 10023; at 3101 Clifton Ave.,
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220; and at 3077 Uni­
versity Mall, Los Angeles, Calif. 90007.

sions; administering the Sacram ents
(including the sacram ents of M ar­
riage and Penance); and conducting
funeral services. They also com fort
the sick, console relatives and friends
of the dead, counsel those in need of
guidance, and assist the poor.
Priests spend long hours working
for the church and the community.
Their day usually begins with m orn­
ing m editation and Mass, and may
end with the hearing of confessions
or an evening visit to a hospital or a
home. Many priests direct and serve
on church com m ittees, work in civic
and charitable organizations, and as­
sist in community projects.
There are two main classifications
of priests—diocesan (secular) and
religious. Both types have the same
powers acquired through ordination
by a bishop. The differences lie in
their way of life, the type of work to
which they are assigned, and the
church authority to whom they are
immediately
subject.
Diocesan
priests generally work as individuals
in parishes assigned to them by the
bishop of their diocese. Religious
priests generally work as part o f a
religious order, such as the Jesuits,
Dominicans, or Franciscans. They
engage in specialized activities such
as teaching or missionary work as­
signed to them by superiors of their
order.
Both religious and diocesan priests

ROMAN CATHOLIC
PRIESTS
(D.O.T. 120.108)

Nature of the Work
Roman Catholic priests attend to
the spiritual, pastoral, moral, and
educational needs of the members o f
their church. Their duties include
presiding at liturgical functions; of­
fering religious enlightenm ent in the
form of a serm on; hearing confes­

The number of priests has been insuffi­
cient to fill all the needs of Catholic insti­
tutions.

O C C U P A T IO N A L O U T L O O K H A N D B O O K

548

hold teaching and adm inistrative
posts in C atholic seminaries, colleges
and universities, and high schools.
Priests attached to religious orders
staff a large proportion o f the institu­
tions of higher education and many
hig h s c h o o ls , w h e re a s d io c e s a n
priests are usually concerned with
the p aro ch ial schools a ttac h ed to
parish churches and with diocesan
high schools. The m em bers o f reli­
gious orders do m ost o f the m ission­
ary work conducted by the C atholic
C hurch in this country and abroad.

Places of Employment
A pproxim ately
59,000
priests
served nearly 49 million Catholics in
the U nited States in 1976. T here are
priests in nearly every city and town
and in m any rural com m unities. The
m ajority are in m etropolitan areas,
where m ost Catholics reside. C atho­
lics are concentrated in the N orth­
east and G reat Lakes regions, with
sm aller concentrations in' California,
Texas, and L ouisiana. Large num ­
bers of priests are located in com m u­
nities near C atholic educational and
other institutions.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Preparation for the priesthood
generally requires 8 years o f study
beyond high school. T here are over
450 sem inary institutions where stu­
dents may receive training for the
priesthood. P reparatory study may
begin in the first year o f high school,
at the college level, or in theological
sem inaries after college graduation.
High school sem inaries provide a
college preparatory program that
em phasizes
English
gram m ar,
speech, literature, and social studies.
Some study o f Latin is required and
the study o f m odem language is en ­
couraged. The sem inary college of­
fers a liberal arts program , stressing
philosophy and religion; the study of
man through the behavioral sciences
and history; and the natural sciences
and m athem atics. In many college
sem inaries, a student may concen­
trate in any o f these fields.
The remaining 4 years of prepara­
tion include sacred scripture; dog­
matic, m oral, and pastoral theology;

homiletics (art o f preaching); church


history; liturgy (M ass); and canon
law. Field work experience usually is
req u ired in addition to classroom
study; in recent years this aspect of a
p rie st’s training has been em p h a­
sized. Diocesan and religious priests
atten d different m ajor sem inaries,
where slight variations in the training
reflect the differences in the type o f
work expected o f them as priests.
Priests are not perm itted to marry.
Postgraduate work in theology is
offered at a num ber of A m erican
Catholic universities or at ecclesiasti­
cal universities around the world,
particu larly in R om e. Also, m any
priests do graduate work at o th er
universities in fields unrelated to th e ­
ology. Priests are encouraged by the
C atholic C hurch to continue their
studies, at least informally, after ordi­
nation. In recen t years continuing
education for ordained priests has
stressed social sciences, such as soci­
ology and psychology.
Young men never are denied entry
into seminaries because of lack o f
funds. In seminaries for secular
priests, the church authorities may
make arrangem ents for student
scholarships or loans. Those in reli­
gious seminaries are financed by co n ­
tributions of benefactors.
The first assignm ent o f a newly
ordained secular priest is usually that
of assistant pastor or curate. Newly
ordained priests of religious orders
are assigned to the specialized duties
for which they are trained. D epend­
ing on the talents, interests, and ex­
perience of the individual, many o p ­
portunities for greater responsibility
exist within the church.

Employment Outlook
A growing num ber of priests will
be needed in the years ahead to
provide for the spiritual, educational,
and social needs of the increasing
num ber of Catholics in the Nation.
The num ber of ordained priests has
been insufficient to fill the needs o f
newly established parishes and other
Catholic institutions, and to replace
priests who retire or die. This situ­
ation is likely to persist and perhaps
worsen, if the recent drop in sem i­
nary enrollm ents continues. H ow ­
ever, perm anent deacons, who may
marry and hold full-time jobs outside

the C hurch, are being ordained as
Catholic ministers to preach and p er­
form other liturgical functions, such
as com m union and baptism. They are
not perm itted to celebrate Mass or
h ea r confession. A lthough priests
usually continue to work longer than
persons in other professions, the var­
ied dem ands and long hours create a
need for young priests to assist the
older ones. Also, an increasing num ­
ber of priests have been acting in
many diverse areas of service—in so­
cial work; religious radio, new spaper,
and television work; and labor-m an­
agem ent mediation. They also have
been serving in foreign posts as mis­
sionaries, particularly in countries
that have a shortage of priests.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Diocesan priests’ salaries vary
from diocese to diocese and range
from $2,000 to $6,000 a year. The
diocesan priest also may receive a
car allowance of $25 to $50 a m onth,
free room and board in the parish
rectory, and fringe benefits such as
group insurance and retirem ent
benefits in the diocese.
Religious priests take a vow of
poverty and are supported by their
religious order.
Priests who do special work relat­
ed to the church, such as teaching,
usually receive a partial salary which
is less than a lay person in the same
position would receive. The differ­
ence betw een the usual salary for
these jobs and the salary that the
priest receives is called “ contributed
service.” In some of these situations,
housing and related expenses may be
provided; in other cases, the priest
m ust m ake his own arrangem ents.
Some priests doing special work may
receive the same com pensation th at
a lay person would receive. These
may include priests working as law­
yers, counselors, consultants, etc.
Due to the wide range of duties
which m ost clergy have, priests often
must work long and irregular hours.
Their working conditions vary widely
with the type and area of assignment.

Sources of Additional
Information
Young men interested in entering

CLERGY

the priesthood should seek the guid­
ance and counsel o f th eir parish
priest. For information regarding the
different religious o rd ers and the




549

secular priesthood, as well as a list of
the sem inaries which prepare stu ­
dents for the priesthood, contact the
d io cesa n D ire c to rs o f V o c atio n s

through the office of the local pastor
or bishop.

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICE
WORKERS
(D.O.T. 096.128)

Nature of the Work
C ooperative extension service
workers, o r extension agents as they
are often called, conduct educational
program s for rural residents in areas
such as agriculture, hom e econom ­
ics, youth activities, and com m unity
re so u rc e d e v e lo p m e n t. E x ten sio n
agents generally specialize in one o f
these areas and have titles that m atch
th eir specialties, such as extension
agent for youth activities or exten­
sion agent for agriculture science and
h o rtic u ltu re . T h ey a re em p lo y ed
jointly by State land-grant universi­
ties and the U.S. D epartm ent of Agri­
culture.
Extension agents usually work with
groups o f people. For exam ple, the
extension agent for youth activities
conducts 4-H m eetings for m em bers
in the area. During the sum m er, they
may hold day cam ps to organize
youth recreational activities. Agents
who work in hom e econom ics set up
m eetings and program s to illustrate
the benefits of proper nutrition and
to educate hom em akers in good nu­
trition.
A griculture
science
extension
agents conduct group meetings on
topics o f special interest to area
farmers. In a county which has m uch
dairy farm ing, extension agents ar­
range sem inars covering dairy herd
health or the raising o f forage crops.
D uring th ese sem inars, agents in­
stru ct farm ers in using the p ro p er
feeds to m eet cow s’ nutritional needs
and to raise their output of milk, and
recognizing and com bating health
hazards including the possible estab­
lishm ent o f a herd inspection p ro ­
gram. They also may help local farm ­
ers m arket their products.
550



Extension agents for com m unity
resource developm ent m eet with
com m unity leaders to plan and p ro ­
vide for econom ic developm ent o f
the community. They also assist com ­
munity leaders in developing recrea­
tional program s and facilities and in

planning other public projects, such
as w ater supply and sewage systems,
libraries and schools.
In addition to group work, they
also do field work with individuals. If
a farm er is having a problem with his
or her crops, an extension agent will
visit the farm, examine the problem
and suggest remedies. Likewise,
hom e econom ics extension agents
occasionally visit hom em akers to
give personal help in solving p ro b ­
lems.
An im portant part o f each exten­
sion w orker’s job is to provide infor­
m ation that is im portant to people in
th e co m m u n ity . M any e x te n sio n

County extension worker gives technical advice to dairy farmer.

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

agents w rite articles dealing with
their areas of specialization for publi­
cation in local new spapers. Often
these are regular feature colum ns
that appear once a week. Others ap­
pear on local radio and television
shows to give marketing reports for
agricultural products im portant to
the area, or present Saturday m orn­
ing program s for young people. A
few extension service workers pro­
duce docum entary films on topics in
which they have special training for
broadcast on local television stations.
Also, extension workers at some land
g ra n t u n iv e rs itie s p ro d u c e and
broadcast program s on universityowned UHF and cable television sta­
tions.
In addition to the extension service
workers who work at the county lev­
el, State extension specialists, at land
grant universities coordinate the ef­
forts of county agents. State exten­
sion agents keep abreast of the latest
research in their fields of study and
develop ways of using the research in
extension work at the county level.
Some State extension workers may
be on a split assignm ent and may
teach classes at the university. Also,
about 200 agricultural extension spe­
cialists are employed by the Exten­
sion Service of the U.S. Departm ent
of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Places of Employment
More than four-fifths of the ap­
proximately 16,000 cooperative ex­
ten sio n serv ic e w o rk ers are em ­
ployed by counties throughout the
United States. Almost all of the more
than 3,000 co u n ties have county
staffs. Depending on the population
o f the county, staffs range in size
from one agent, who serves a wide
variety of clientele interests, to a doz­
en or more agents, each serving a
highly specialized need. Most of the
remaining extension agents are em ­
ployed by State extension services lo­
cated on the campuses o f land grant
universities. A few work for regional
staffs serving m ulticounty areas, and
a small num ber are employed by the
Extension Service o f the U.S. D e­
partm ent of Agriculture. In addition,
a few work in urban areas, mostly
organizing 4-H activities for youth.



5 51

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Cooperative Extension Service
agents are required to be proficient
in disciplines related to the needs of
their clientele. They must have a
bachelor’s degree in their subjectm atter field. In addition, training in
educational techniques and in a com ­
munications field such as journalism
is extremely helpful.
O ften, they receive specific in ­
struction in extension work in a p re­
induction training program , and can
improve their skills through regular
in-service train in g p rogram s th a t
cover both educational techniques
and the subject m atter for which they
are responsible. Beside being profi­
cient in their subject m atter exten­
sion workers must like to work with
people and to help them.
In m ost States, specialists and
agents assigned to m ulticounty and
State staff jobs are required to have
at least one advanced degree and in
many they must have a Ph. D.

Employment Outlook
The em ploym ent o f cooperative
extension service workers is expect­
ed to increase more slowly than the
average for all occupation through
the m id-1980’s. As agricultural tech ­
nology becom es more com plicated,
m ore extension w orkers trained in
education and com m unications will
be needed to dissem inate inform a­
tion concerning advances in agricul­
tural research and technology to the
farm population. Also, modern farm ­
ers often are college educated and,
thus, m ore likely to use innovative
farming practices. This may increase
the d em an d for extension agents
since extension agents relay advanc­
es in farm in g p ra c tic e s from r e ­
searchers to farmers.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
The salaries of extension workers
vary by locality, but, for the most
part, they are com petitive with sala­
ries of other municipal and county
p ro fe ssio n a l em p lo y e e s, such as
school teachers.
Extension agents work in offices
and in the field. Since most extension
service offices are located in small

towns, persons who wish to live o u t­
side the city may find extension work
the ideal career. Extension agents of­
ten get great satisfaction out of help­
ing others.

Sources of Additional
Information
Additional information is available
from County Extension offices, the
State D irector of the Cooperative
Extension Service located at each
land-grant university, or the Exten­
sion Service, U.S. D epartm ent of Ag­
riculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.

HOME ECONOMISTS
(D.O.T. 096.128)

Nature of the Work
Home economists work to improve
products, services, and practices that
affect the com fort and well-being of
the family. Some specialize in specif­
ic areas, such as consum er econom ­
ics, housing, hom e m an ag em en t,
hom e furnishings and equipm ent,
food and nutrition, clothing and tex­
tiles, and child developm ent and
family relations. Others have a broad
knowledge of the whole professional
field.
Most home economists teach.
Those in high schools teach students
about foods and nutrition; clothing
selection, construction and care;
child development; consum er educa­
tion; housing and home furnishings;
family relations; and other subjects
related to family living and hom e­
making. They also perform the regu­
lar duties of other high school teache r s t h a t a r e d e s c r i b e d in th e
s ta te m e n t on s e c o n d a ry s c h o o l
teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.
Teachers in adult education p ro ­
grams help men and women to in­
crease their understanding of family
relations and to improve their hom e­
m aking skills. They also c o n d u c t
train in g p ro g ram s on sec o n d ary ,
postsecondary, and adult levels for
jobs related to home economics. Spe­
cial em phasis is given to teaching
those who are disadvantaged and
handicapped. College teachers may
combine teaching and research and

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

552

often specialize in a particular area
of home economics.
Home economists employed by
private business firms and trade asso­
ciations prom ote the developm ent,
use, and care of specific home prod­
ucts. T hey may do research , test
p ro d u c ts, and p re p a re a d v e rtise ­
m ents and in structional m aterials.
They also may prepare and present
program s for radio and television;
serve as consultants; give lectures
and dem onstrations before the pub­
lic; and conduct classes for sales p er­
sons and appliance service workers.
Some hom e econom ists study c o n ­
sumer needs and help m anufacturers
tra n sla te th ese need s into useful
products.
Some home economists conduct
research for the F ed eral G o v ern ­
ment, State agricultural experim ent
stations, colleges, universities, and
private organizations. The U.S. De­
partm ent of Agriculture employs the
largest group of researchers to do
work such as study the buying and
spending habits of families in all so­
cio ec o n o m ic gro u p s and develop
budget guides.
Home economists who work for
the C ooperative Extension Service
conduct adult education programs
and 4-H Club and other youth pro­
grams in areas such as home m anage­
m ent, co n su m er edu cation, family
relations, and n u trition. Extension
Service home economists also train
and supervise volunteer leaders and
paid aides who te a c h adults and
youth. (See statem ent on C oopera­
tive Extension Service workers else­
where in the Handbook.)
Federal, State, and local govern­
ments and private agencies employ
home econom ists in social welfare
programs to advise and counsel cli­
ents on the practical knowledge and
skills needed for effective everyday
family living. They also may help
handicapped hom em akers and their
families adjust to physical as well as
social and em otional limitations by
changing the arran g em ents in the
home; finding efficient ways to m an­
age activities of daily living; aiding in
the design, selection, and arrange­
ment of equipm ent; and creating oth­
er m ethods and devices to enable dis­
abled p eo p le to fu n ctio n at th eir
highest possible level. O ther home



econom ists in welfare agencies su­
pervise or train workers who provide
te m p o ra ry or p a rt-tim e h elp to
households disrupted by illness.
Home economists in health serv­
ices provide special help and guid­
ance in home m anagem ent, consum ­
er education, and family economics
as these relate to family health and
well-being. Activities of home econo­
mists working in health programs in­
clude the following: collaboration
and consultation with other profes­
sionals on economic and home m an­
agement needs of patients and their
families; direct service to patients
through hom e visits; clinic dem on­
strations and classes in hom emaking
skills and child care; counseling in
the m anagem ent of time and resourc­
es, including financial aspects; assist­
ing so cially and m en tally h a n d i­
capped parents in developing their
potential skills for child care and
hom e m an ag em en t; w orking with
agencies and com m unity resources;
and supervising hom em aker aides.

Places of Employment
About 141,000 people worked in
hom e e c o n o m ic s p ro fe s s io n s in
1976. This figure includes 45,000 di­
etitians and 5,600 Cooperative Ex­

tension Service workers who are dis­
c u s s e d in s e p a r a t e s t a t e m e n t s
elsewhere in the Handbook.
About 75,000 home economists
are teachers, about 50,000 in sec­
ondary schools and 7,000 in colleges
and universities. More than 15,000
are adult education instructors, some
of whom teach part time in second­
ary schools. Others teach in com m u­
nity colleges, elem entary schools,
kindergartens, nursery schools, and
recreation centers.
More than 5,000 home economists
work in private business firms and
associations. Several thousand are in
re se a rc h and social w elfare p ro ­
grams. A few are self-employed.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
About 350 colleges and universi­
ties offer a bachelor’s degree in home
economics, which qualifies graduates
for most entry positions in the field.
A m aster’s or d o cto r’s degree is re­
quired for college teaching, for cer­
tain research and supervisory posi­
tio n s, fo r w ork as an ex te n sio n
specialist, and for most jobs in nutri­
tion.
Home economics majors study sci­
ences and liberal arts—particularly
social sciences—as well as special-

553

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

ized home economics courses. They
may concentrate in a particular area
of hom e econom ics or in what is
called general home economics. Ad­
vanced courses in chemistry and nu­
tritio n are im p o rtan t for work in
foods and nutrition; science and sta­
tistics for research work; and journal­
ism for advertising, public relations
work, and all other work in the com ­
m unications field. To teach home
economics in high school, students
must com plete the courses required
for a teach er’s certificate.
Scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships are available for under­
g rad u ate and g rad u ate study. A l­
though colleges and universities offer
most of these financial grants, gov­
ernm ent agencies, research founda­
tions, businesses, and the American
Home Economics Association Foun­
dation provide additional funds for
graduate study.
Home economists must be able to
work with people of various incomes
and cultural backgrounds and should
have a capacity for leadership. Poise
and an interest in people also are
essential for those who deal with the
public. The ability to write and speak
well is im portant. Among the sub­
jects recom m ended for high school
students interested in careers in this
field are home econom ics, speech,
English, health, mathem atics, chem ­
istry, and the social sciences.

Employment Outlook
Home economists, especially those
wishing to teach in high schools, will
face keen com petition for jobs
through the m id-1980’s. O ther areas
of home economics also will experi­
ence competitive job m arket condi­
tions as those unable to find teaching
jobs look for other positions. How­
ever, for those willing to continue
their education toward an advanced
d eg ree, em ploym ent p ro sp ects in
college and university teaching are
expected to be good.
Although little change is expected
in the em ploym ent of home econo­
mists, many jobs will become avail­
able each year to replace those who
die, retire, o r leave the field for other
reasons. The growth that is expected
to occur will result from increasing
awareness o f the contributions that
can be m ade by home economists in




child care, nutrition, housing and fur­
nishings design, clothing and textiles,
consum er education, and ecology.
They also will be needed to prom ote
home products, to act as consultants
to consum ers, and to do research for
im provem ent of home products and
services.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Home economics teachers in pub­
lic schools generally receive the same
salaries as other teachers. In 1976,
the average annual salary for public
s e c o n d a ry sc h o o l te a c h e r s w as
$12,395, according to the National
E d u c a tio n A sso cia tio n . T e a c h e rs
with a b ach elor’s degree in school
systems with enrollm ents of 6,000 or
more received starting salaries aver­
aging $8,233 per year in the 1974-75
school year. Beginning teachers with
a m aster’s degree started at $9,159 a
year. Annual salaries for teachers at
the college and university level in
1975-76 ranged from an average
minimum of $7,272 for instructors in
private 2-year institutions to an aver­
age maximum of $25,387 for profes­
sors at 4-year public institutions.
The Federal G overnm ent paid
home economists with bachelor’s d e­
grees starting salaries of $9,300 and
$ 11,500 in 1977, depending on their
scholastic record. Those with addi­
tional education and experience gen­
e ra lly e a r n e d fro m $ 1 1 ,5 0 0 to
$20,400 or more, depending on the
type of position and level of responsi­
bility. In 1977, the Federal G overn­
m ent paid experienced home econo­
mists average salaries of $20,500 a
year.
Cooperative Extension Service
workers on the county level averaged
$14,000 per year in 1976; those on
the State level received substantially
higher salaries. In general, home
economists earn about 1 1/2 times as
much as the average for all nonsupervisory w orkers in private industry,
except farming.
Home economists usually work a
40-hour week. Those in teaching and
extension service positions, however,
freq u en tly work longer hours b e ­
cause they are expected to be avail­
able for evening lectures, dem onstra­
tions, and other work. Most home
econom ists receive fringe benefits,

such as paid vacation, sick leave, re­
tirem ent pay, and insurance benefits.

Sources of Additional
Information
A list o f schools granting degrees
in home economics and additional
information about home economics
careers and graduate scholarships
are available from:
American Home Economics Association,
2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036

HOMEMAKER-HOME
HEALTH AIDES
Nature of the Work
Hom em aker-hom e health aide is
an awkward but descriptive title for
this occupation, since the job entails
both domestic and social services as
well as health care. Employed and
supervised by social and health agen­
cies, hom em aker-hom e health aides
work in the home to provide whatev­
er assistance is necessary to enable
sick persons who cannot perform ba­
sic tasks for themselves to remain in
th e ir ow n h om es. T hey p ro v id e
hom emaking services, personal serv­
ices, instruction, and emotional sup­
port for their clients, and they keep
records o f their clients’ progress and
activities. Their schedules vary ac­
cording to their clients’ needs. For
example, a person who is recuperat­
ing from an operation may need daily
help for 1 or 2 weeks, while a person
who has chronic medical problem s
may need help for 1 or 2 half-days a
week for an indefinite period of time.
At tim es, hom em aker-hom e health
aides work with families when the
m other is convalescing from an ill­
ness and there are small children who
need care. Most clients, however, are
elderly persons who either live alone
or with a spouse who also has m edi­
cal problem s. Usually the clien ts
have no family or friends who can
provide the care that is needed.
Homemaking services provided by
the aides are manifold. Basic duties
include cleaning a client’s room,
kitchen, and bathroom , doing the

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

554

laundry, and changing bed linens.
Aides also plan meals (including spe­
cial diets), shop for food, and p re­
pare meals.
Among the personal services that
they perform are assisting with bath­
ing or giving a bed bath, shampooing
hair, and helping the client move
from bed to a chair or another room.
Hom em aker-hom e health aides also
check pulse and resp iratio n , help
with simple prescribed exercises, and
assist with medications. O ccasional­
ly, they change dressings, use special
equipm ent such as an hydraulic lift,
o r assist w ith b races or artificial
limbs.
In addition to these practical du­
ties, hom em aker-hom e health aides
offer instruction and psychological
support. They often teac h clients
how to adapt their lives to cope with
a new disability or how to prevent
further illness. For example, an aide
may teach a low-income client how
to plan nutritious, low-cost meals.
A nother client may need instruction
on the proper diet for a diabetic. Still
another client, newly confined to a
wheel chair, may need help in learn­
ing how to perform daily tasks. An
aide may help a client establish a dai­
ly schedule that permits the accom ­
plishm ent o f necessary household
duties and provides the exercise nec­
essary for rehabilitation. Providing
em otional support and understand­
ing when a client is depressed and
lonely is another aspect of the work.
This often is more im portant than the
practical jobs since, at times, a sick
person’s inability to gain strength and
independence is more the result of a
mental attitude than a physical prob­
lem. Lastly, the aide regularly reports
changes in the client’s condition and
helps a p ro fessio n al team decide
when the services being given to the
client should be changed.
A hom em aker hom e-health aide is
assigned specific duties by a supervi­
sor, usually a registered nurse or so­
cial worker who works as part of a
professional team . The supervisor
usually consults the clie n t’s physi­
cian, especially if the client recently
has been discharged from the hospi­
tal. Many public or nonprofit agen­
cies require physician certification of
need for the service. The supervisor




visits the client to decide what serv­
ices are needed and to discuss the
aide’s schedule of duties with the cli­
en t. O ften the h o m em ak e r-h o m e
health aide gives the supervisor a dai­
ly report, signed by the client, listing
the exact services perform ed and the
hours worked. The supervisor occa­
sionally visits the client to determ ine
if the service is satisfactory.
If the supervisor determ ines that
extensive services will be required
over a long period of time, attem pts
are made to coordinate the assign­
ment of the aide with other in-home
services such as m eals-on-w heels,
friendly visitors, and telephone reas­
surance. If satisfactory provision for
the required care cannot be m ade,
the supervisor will suggest an alterna­
tive arrangem ent such as transfer to a
nursing hom e or a home for the aged.
However, unless a client requires 24hour care, it usually is possible to
maintain care in the home through
the services provided by hom em aker-hom e health aides—coordinated,
where needed, with other community
services.

Places of employment
Approximately 70,000 persons
were employed as hom em aker-hom e
health aides in 1976. Although they
work in clients’ homes, aides are
employed and supervised by social
and health agencies that are respon­
sible to the clients for the service
provided. T hese agencies include
public health and w elfare d e p a rt­
ments, private health care agencies,
and nonprofit community health or
welfare organizations such as visiting
nurse associations. A few hospitals
and nursing hom es have extended
their services into the com m unity
a n d e m p lo y h o m e m a k e r - h o m e
health aides.
Some agencies provide only hom e­
m aker-hom e h ea lth aide services
while others provide several health
or welfare services. In the latter case,
the aide is part of a team of profes­
sional and paraprofessional workers.
For example, in a hom e health agen­
cy, a hom em aker-hom e health aide
may be p art of a team of nurses,
therapists, and other aides who have
the same supervisor and who serve
all clients in a particular area.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Generally, the only educational re­
q u ire m e n t fo r e m p lo y m e n t as a
hom em aker-hom e health aide is the
ability to read and write; com pletion
of high school usually is not neces­
sary. However, courses in home eco ­
nom ics such as m eal planning and
family living are helpful, especially
for younger persons with less person­
al experience in homemaking. A few
agencies require previous training as
a nursing aide; some of these agen­
cies also require a year’s experience
working as a nursing aide in a hospi­
tal or nursing home.
Successful
hom em aker-hom e
health aides are m ature persons who
like to help people and d o n ’t mind
hard work. They have a sense of
responsibility, compassion, em otion­
al stability, and a cheerful disposi­
tion. They are able to overcom e an
atm osphere of depression and bring
brightness into the day of a sick, el­
derly person. Aides also must be ta c t­
ful and able to get along with all
kinds of people.
In addition to these personal quali­
ties, hom em aker-hom e health aides
must have good health since some of
their duties, such as lifting, moving,
and su p p o rtin g p a tie n ts , re q u ire
above-average physical strength. A
physical exam ination usually is re­
quired of applicants.
Hom em aker-hom e health aides
usually are middle-aged women.
However, younger women, elderly
women, and men of all ages also are
em ployed as aides. Although only a
small num ber of men currently are
em ployed in the occupation, addi­
tional men are needed, especially to
care for those elderly men who p re­
fer a male aide. The minimum age for
a hom em aker-hom e health aide is
usually 17; however, most agencies
prefer people in their 20’s at least.
Many agencies employ persons who
are elderly themselves. Most of these
older aides desire part-tim e em ploy­
m ent to supplem ent their Social Se­
curity incom e. Some agencies em ­
ploy n u rsin g s tu d e n ts who w an t
income from part-tim e work. College
students in appropriate major fields
such as hom e econom ics or social
work occasionally can find sum m er

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

work as aides, replacing regular em ­
ployees who are on vacation.
Shortly after they are hired, hom e­
m aker-hom e health aides undergo
orientation and training. The length
and q u ality o f this train in g vary
greatly. Agencies that require experi­
ence as a nursing aide generally pro­
vide only a few hours of orientation.
Most agencies, however, provide a 1or 2-week training program. Topics
covered include basic nutrition, meal
planning and preparation; personal
care o f the sick, such as bathing,
turning and lifting bed patients; em o­
tional problem s accom panying ill­
ness; and the aging process and be­
havior of the elderly.
Supervisors give additional train­
ing informally when required for spe­
cific case assignments. As aides take
on a variety of cases, they develop
expertise in caring for persons with
many types of illness. Some aides dis­
cover a special talent for caring for a
specific type of client, such as per­
sons who need help with prescribed
exercises, or clients with failing eye­
sight. In some larger agencies, expe­
rien c ed h o m em ak e r-h o m e health
aides can specialize in caring for cli­
ents with a specific type of problem.
In addition to on-the-job training
given by supervisors, many agencies
offer seminars from time to time on
specific topics such as diets for dia­
betics, exercises for clients with a
heart condition, or coping with de­
pression. As aides gain experience in
different types of cases, they can as­
sum e m ore responsibility and b e­
come more self-directing, within the
scope o f th e ir assigned duties. In
some agencies, experienced aides
can be prom oted to special assistant
to the supervisor, relieving the super­
visor of some of the m ore routine
aspects of supervision and case m an­
agement.

Employment Outlook
Employment of hom em aker-hom e
health aides is expected to grow
much faster than the average for all
occupations through the m id-1980’s.
This very rapid growth of the occu­
pation will occur as a result of grow­
ing public awareness of the availabil­
ity o f h o m e c a re s e rv ic e s , and

probable changes in Federal legisla­


555

Persons who are interested in and well suited for work with the elderly should have no
trouble finding a job.

tion to encourage m ore widespread
use of these services.
Over the next 10 years, em ploy­
m ent growth in this field will be af­
fected by heightened awareness on
the part of the public and the medical
profession of the availability of home
care services. Support is growing for
services that enable people to remain
in their own homes as long as possi­
ble. Since home care is a relatively
new a p p ro ach to long-term c a re,
many elderly persons and their d o c­
tors are not yet aware that it is possi­
ble to receive personal care without
m oving into a nursing hom e or a
home for the aged. However, public­

ity surrounding investigations into
the nursing home industry has raised
much interest in alternatives to insti­
tutional care for those who do not
require constant nursing or personal
c a re . T h e g e n e ra l a w a re n e ss o f
hom em aker-hom e health aide serv­
ice, then, can be expected to grow in
the future.
An equally im portant factor in de­
term ining how the occupation will
grow is how much money is available
to pay for the service. Federal legisla­
tion authorizing greater use of public
funds for hom em aker-hom e health
services probably will be enacted in
the future. Such legislation m ight

556

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

take the form of changes in the So­
cial Security Act to expand M edicare
coverage for home health care; adop­
tion of a national health insurance
program p ro viding for long-term
care; or other measures that would
expand health and social services to
people in their own homes. Public
funds for hom e care already are
available under Title XX of the So­
cial Security Act. Since 1975, when
this title took effect, nearly all the
States have given high priority to
hom em aker-hom e health services in
allocating the social service funds alloted them. The trend toward public
financing o f hom e care services is
expected to continue.
Such trends indicate that the num ­
ber of jo b s for h o m em aker-hom e
health aides is likely to grow very
rapidly through the 1980’s. A large
num ber o f jobs also will becom e
available because of the need to re­
place persons who leave the occupa­
tion to take other jobs, devote more
time to family responsibilities, or re­
tire. Some job openings will arise
from the need to replace aides who
die. Although there is an abundant
supply of persons for work of this
type, with its minimal education and
experience requirem ents, the person­
al qualifications required for the job
greatly lim it the num ber of appli­
cants who are hired. Persons who are
interested in this work and well suit­
ed for it should have no trouble find­
ing and keeping jobs.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Earnings for hom em aker-hom e
health aides vary considerably. Be­
ginning wages ranged from about
$0.10 to $1.50 an hour higher than
the minimum wage, or from $2.10 to
$3.60 an hour in 1975. Agencies in
large cities that have a high cost of
living generally pay higher wages.
Agencies that have union contracts
usually pay higher wages and offer
more benefits. While some agencies
pay the same rate to all aides, most
agencies give pay increases as aides
gain experience and are given more
responsibility. A few agencies have
career ladders, with the increasing
responsibilities and wages of each
step FRASER
Digitized for stated in detail. Limited data in­


dicate that pay for experienced aides
averaged about $3.25 an hour in
1975 with some agencies paying over
$4 an hour.
Benefits vary even more than
wages. Some agencies offer no bene­
fits at all, while others offer a full
package o f holidays, vacation, sick
leave, health and life insurance, and
retirem ent plans. While some agen­
cies hire only “ on call” hourly work­
ers, with no benefits, many agencies
also employ aides on a full-time or
part-tim e basis with many benefits
and a m inim um num ber of hours
guaranteed. A typical full-time aide
is guaranteed 36 hours of work a
w eek; e a rn s b e tw e e n $2.25 and
$3.25 an hour, depending on length
of em ploym ent and level of responsi­
bility; has 1 to 3 weeks of paid vaca­
tion each year, based on num ber of
years of employment; earns 1 day of
sick leave a month; is paid for m ajor
ho lid ay s; and can p a rtic ip a te in
health insurance and pension plans.
A typical part-tim e employee works
a regular schedule and is guaranteed
20 hours of work a week, receives
the same hourly wage as full-time
employees, and has similar benefits,
allocated according to the num ber of
hours worked. A few agencies also
allocate vacation and sick leave to
those employees who do not have a
g u a ra n te e d m inim um n u m b er o f
hours or a regular schedule.
Even though agencies carefully
screen applicants before they hire a
new em ployee, many hom em akerhome health aides leave the occupa­
tion during the first few months of
employment. The most frequent rea­
sons for leaving center on the nature
of the work. Often new employees
like the personal care elem ent of the
work, but do not like the housekeep­
ing chores. O ther new employees dis­
like the dem anding work schedule.
The inability of new em ployees to
cope with the physical or em otional
problem s of clients is another fre­
quent reason for leaving. Agencies
fire employees who are irresponsible,
repeatedly refuse cases, are absent
from work, or perform their work
unsatisfactorily.
Hom em aker-hom e health aides
who stay in their job have many
reasons for liking the work. The o c­
cupation has status in com parison
with many other jobs that do not re ­

quire a high school education; aides
are im portant mem bers of a health
care team since their regular rep o rt­
ing of changes in a client’s condition
is the basic information used to reas­
sess the services provided. A nother
attractive aspect of the occupation is
the availability of part-tim e work. Of­
ten p e rso n s w ho have fu ll-tim e ,
strictly scheduled jo b s as nursing
aides in hospitals or nursing homes
leave these jobs to work as hom e­
m aker-hom e health aides because
they need a p art-tim e or flexible
work schedule. A third attractive ele­
m ent of the work is the indep en ­
dence and self-direction hom em ak­
e r - h o m e h e a lth a id e s h a v e in
carrying out day-to-day duties. This
elem ent increases as aides gain expe­
rience and need less detailed supervi­
sion.
The personal satisfaction that
comes from helping people is just as
im portant as status, independence,
and a flexible schedule. Homemakerhome health aides provide essential
services for persons who cannot live
alone without help. The work they do
keeps households functioning as n or­
mally as possible, and enables sick
persons to remain at home instead of
moving to a nursing hom e. O ften
hom em aker-hom e health aides see
depressed- elderly people “ come to
life” because som eone cared enough
to brighten their hom es and th eir
lives. Persons who do not mind hard
work and want to help people with
basic human needs may find hom e­
m aker-hom e health aide a very satis­
fying occupation.

Sources of Additional
Information
Information may be obtained by
contacting:
N ational C ouncil o f H om em aker-H om e
Health Aide Services, 67 Irving Place,
New York, N.Y. 10003.

PARK, RECREATION, AND
LEISURE SERVICE
WORKERS
(D.O.T. 079.128, 159.228, 187.1 18,
195.168, 195.228)

Nature of the Work
Participation in organized re c re ­
ation is more im portant today than

557

O T H E R S O C IA L S E R V IC E O C C U P A T IO N S

ever before as many A m ericans find
the am ount of leisure time in their
lives increasing. P ark , recre atio n ,
and leisure service w orkers plan, o r­
ganize, an d d ire c t individual and
group activities th at help people en ­
joy th eir leisure hours. They work
with people of various ages and so­
cio eco n o m ic groups; th e easy-toreach, and those who have tuned out
society; the sick and the well; the
em o tionally and physically h an d i­
capped. Em ploym ent settings range
from the wilderness to rural to subur­
ban and urban, including the inner
city. Jobs can be found in m unicipal,
county, special d istrict, State and
Federal tax-supported agencies; vol­
untary youth service organizations;
com m ercial enterprises; and colleges
and universities.
The park, recreation, and leisure
service field provides career oppor­
tunities in two m ajor areas which,
despite som e overlap, involve dis­
tinctive characteristics and training
requirem ents. Activity with and for
people is the chief characteristic of
Recreation Program Services. Exam ­
ples of recreation program jobs in­
clude playground leaders; program
specialists in dance, dram a, karate,
tennis, the arts, and other physical
activity; recreation center directors;
th e ra p e u tic re c re a tio n specialists;
cam p c o u n se lo rs an d w ild ern e ss
leaders; senior citizen program lead­
ers; civilian special services directors
in the A rm ed Forces; and industrial
recreation directors. Participants en ­
gage in re cre atio n a l activity as a
m eans o f achieving personal satisfac­
tion and other goals. Skilled leader­
ship is required. The other m ajor ca­
reer area is Park M anagement and
Natural Resources, which focuses on
activities in natural and constructed
areas, facilities, and environm ents.
Job examples include outdoor recre­
ation planners and park m anagers.
These personnel work closely with
others including grounds and facili­
ties m ain ten an c e p erso n n el; park
rangers; landscape architects; forest­
ers; and soil, range and wildlife con­
servationists. An understanding of
the n atu ral en v iro n m ent, physical
planning, and m aintenance and op­
eratio n are essential jo b re q u ire ­
ments. (Separate statem ents on for­
esters, range m anagers, landscape




architects, soil conservationists, life
scientists, and other closely related
occupations are found elsewhere in
the Handbook).
Park, recreation, and leisure serv­
ice workers in full-time, year-round
jobs occupy a variety o f positions at
different levels of responsibility. Rec­
reation program leaders and park
technicians and aides provide face-toface leadership, give instruction in
crafts, games, and sports, keep rec­
ords, m aintain recreation facilities,
assist park rangers, and staff visitor
centers.
Specialists include those trained in
dance, dram a, and the arts, in land­
scape architecture, horticulture, for­
estry, biology, and a variety of other
fields. These specialists are em ployed

by many park and recreation agen­
cies and often are involved in p ro ­
gram developm ent, planning, imple­
m entation, and management.
Supervisors plan programs; super­
vise recreation leaders or park p er­
sonnel; manage recreation facilities;
provide direction in areas of special­
ization such as arts and crafts, music,
dram a, dance, and sports; or super­
vise leadership personnel over an en ­
tire region.
Administrators include directors of
parks an d re c re a tio n , su p erin ten ­
dents of parks and/or recreation, and
various division heads. These individ­
uals have overall responsibility for
adm inistration, budget, personnel,
program m ing and/or park m anage­
ment.

A majority of all paid employees in the park, recreation, and leisure service field are
part time or seasonal workers.

558

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Educators teach park and re cre­
ation courses, supervise field work
students, do research, and provide
public service expertise.

Places of Employment
A bout 85,000 persons were p ri­
marily employed year round as park,
recreation, and leisure service work­
ers in 1976. The majority worked in
public, tax -su p p o rted agencies in­
cluding 2,018 m unicipal park and
r e c r e a t io n d e p a r t m e n t s , 1,211
county park and recreation agencies,
345 special districts, and the State
park systems. In addition to these
public agencies, a num ber of other
em ploym ent settings provide yearround jobs for park, recreation, and
leisure service workers.
Several thousand persons work for
the F ederal G overnm ent as re c re ­
ation specialists (sports, art, music,
theatre, therapeutic), outdoor recre­
ation planners, park m anagers and
technicians, and recreation assistants
and aides. They work primarily for
the Forest Service and Soil C onser­
vation Service of the D epartm ent of
Agriculture; the Corps of Engineers
and Armed Forces Recreation of the
D epartm ent of Defense; the V eter­
ans Administration; and the National
Park Service, Bureau o f Land M an­
agement, Bureau of O utdoor R ecre­
ation, and U.S. Fish and W ildlife
Service of the D epartm ent of Interi­
or.
P eace C o rp s and V ista em ploy
park and recreation personnel in 68
foreign countries and in the United
States to plan and supervise recrea­
tional activities for deprived persons.
Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs provide a
variety of recreational, guidance, and
instructional activities to help young­
sters grow and work together, to dis­
cover their needs, understand them ­
se lv e s , a n d a c h ie v e a se n se o f
responsibility.
Senior centers and retirem ent
com m unities offer older people a
range of recreation and leisure activi­
ties, and often employ trained staff to
supervise and coordinate the assist­
ance provided by volunteers.
T herapeutic recreation is a rapidly
growing specialized field which pro­
vides services to help an individual
recover or adjust to illness, disability,
or a specific
 social problem . Places


where recreational therapists work
include hospitals, correctional insti­
tu tio n s, h ealth and re h ab ilitatio n
centers, nursing homes, and private
schools and camps for the mentally
retarded, emotionally disturbed, and
physically handicapped. Therapeutic
recreation workers, in conjunction
with physicians, prescribe activities
on a one-to-one basis.
Many jobs for park, recreation,
and leisure service workers are found
in private and com m ercial re c re ­
ation—including am usem ent parks,
sports and en te rta in m e n t centers,
wilderness and survival enterprises,
tourist attractions, vacation excur­
sions, resorts and camps, health spas,
clubs, a p a rtm e n t co m plexes, and
other settings.
The park, recreation, and leisure
service field is characterized by an
unusually large num ber of part-tim e,
seasonal, and volunteer jobs. Volun­
teers represent perhaps three out of
every fo u r individuals perform ing
service in public park and recreation
agencies. Some serve on local park
and recreation boards and com m is­
sions. The vast majority serve as vol­
unteer activity leaders at local play­
grounds, or in youth organizations,
nursing homes, hospitals, senior cen­
ters, and other settings. Many park
and re cre atio n professionals have
found that volunteer experience, as
well as part-tim e work during school,
can lead directly to a full-time job. A
majority o f all paid employees in the
park, recreation, and leisure service
field are part-tim e or seasonal w ork­
ers. T ypical jobs include sum m er
cam p c o u n se lo rs and playground
leaders, lifeguards, craft specialists,
after school and weekend recreation
program leaders, park rangers, m ain­
tenance personnel, and others. Many
of these jobs are filled by teachers
and college students.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A college degree with a major in
parks and recreation is increasingly
im portant for those seeking full-time
career positions in the park, recre­
ation, and leisure service field. G en­
erally, an applicant’s level of formal
education and training determ ine the
type of job he or she can get.
A num ber of aide, recreation p ro ­

gram leader, and park technician po­
sitions currently are filled by high
school graduates. H ow ever, those
seeking career potential should ob­
tain a minimum of an associate de­
gree. Some jobs at the recreatio n
leader level require specialized train­
ing in a particular field, such as art,
music, dram a, or athletics.
Positions as specialists normally
require a minimum o f a baccalaure­
ate degree. However, the degree usu­
ally is in the area o f specialization,
such as forestry or biology, rather
than in parks and recreation.
Most supervisors have a baccalau­
reate degree plus experience. A d e­
gree in parks and recreation may imp ro v e c h a n c e s fo r c a re e r
advancem ent.
A baccalaureate degree and expe­
rience are considered minimum re­
quirem ents for adm inistrators. How­
e v e r , i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r s a re
obtaining m aster’s degrees in parks
and recreation as well as in related
disciplines. Many persons with back­
grounds in other disciplines including
social work, forestry, and resource
m anagem ent pursue g rad u ate d e ­
grees in recreation.
In 1975, over 1,200 educators
taught parks and recreation in junior
and community colleges and senior
colleges and universities. On the ju ­
nior college level, 90 percent of the
faculty had a m aster’s degree or less
while on the senior college level,
one-half had a m aster’s degree and
the other half had a doctorate.
In 1975, about 165 2-year com m u­
nity colleges offered associate degree
recreation leadership and park tech ­
nician programs; 180 4-year colleges
and universities offered park and rec­
re a tio n cu rricu lu m s. In a d d itio n ,
over 80 m aster’s degree program s
and a b o u t 25 d o c to ra l p ro g ram s
were offered. Programs in therapeu­
tic recreation were offered by about
45 com m unity and junior colleges
and 95 4-year colleges and universi­
ties. A num ber of graduate program s
were taught.
The National Recreation and Park
Association (NRPA) is beginning a
process of accrediting park and rec­
reation curriculum s. Students in ac­
credited baccalaureate degree p ro ­
grams will devote about one-half of
th e ir tim e to g e n e ra l e d u c a tio n

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

co u rses in w hich th ey may gain
knowledge of the natural and social
sciences including an understanding
of human growth and development
and of people as individuals and as
social beings; history and apprecia­
tion of human cultural, social, intel­
l e c t u a l , s p i r i t u a l , an d a r ti s t i c
achievements; and other areas of in­
terest. A nother one-fourth of their
time will involve exposure to profes­
sional park and recreation education
including history, theory, and phi­
losophy; com m unity organization;
recreation and park services; leader­
ship supervision and adm inistration;
understanding of special populations
such as the elderly or handicapped;
and field work experience. Students
may spend the rem ainder of their
tim e developing co m p ete n cies in
specialized professional areas such as
therap eu tic recreation (courses in
psychology, health, education, and
sociology are recom m ended), park
m an ag em en t, o u td o o r re cre atio n ,
park and recreation administration,
industrial or commercial recreation
(courses in business adm inistration
are recom m ended), camp m anage­
ment, and other areas.
Persons planning park, recreation,
and leisure service careers must be
good at motivating people and sensi­
tive to their needs. Good health and
physical stam ina are required. A c­
tivity planning calls for creativity and
resourcefulness. Willingness to ac­
cept responsibility and the ability to
exercise ju d g m e n t are im p o rtan t
qualities since park and recreation
personnel often work alone. To in­
crease their leadership skills and un­
derstanding of people, students are
advised to obtain related work expe­
rience in high school and college.
O pportunities for part-tim e, summer,
or after-school employm ent, or for
volunteer work, may be available in
local park and recreatio n d e p a rt­
ments, youth service agencies, reli­
gious or welfare agencies, nursing
homes, camps, parks, or nature cen­
ters. Such experience may help stu­
dents decide whether their interests
really point to a human service ca­
reer. Students also should talk to lo­
cal park and recreation profession­
als, school guidance counselors, and
others.
After a few years of experience,



559

aides or recreation program leaders
may becom e supervisors. However,
additional education may be desired.
Although prom otion to adm inistra­
tive positions may be easier for p er­
sons with graduate training, advance­
m ent usually is possible through a
com bination of education and expe­
rience.
An effort currently is underway to
establish professional status and rec­
ognition for the field of parks and
recreation (accreditation of curriculums is discussed earlier in the state­
m ent). There currently is no licens­
ing re q u ir e m e n t fo r in d iv id u a ls
employed in public park and recre­
ation agencies. However, NRPA has
d ev e lo p e d n atio n al stan d ard s for
professional and technical personnel,
including both education and experi­
ence requirem ents. NRPA expects
many States to adopt these standards
in the coming years. Some therapeu­
tic recreation workers are subject to
m andatory requirem ents that denote
com petence to practice their profes­
sion. T hose w orking in long-term
care facilities must be registered by
the N R PA , N ational T h erap eu tic
Recreation Society’s Board of Regis­
tration, or by the State in which they
work.

Employment Outlook
The need for trained park, recre­
ation, and leisure service workers is
expected to grow as physical fitness
and recreation becom e increasingly
im portant to millions of Americans;
as the num ber of older people using
senior centers and nursing homes in­
creases; as the dem and for cam p
sites, lakes, streams, trails, and picnic
areas increases; as correctional insti­
tutions recognize the need for such
personnel; as the need develops for
creative expression in the arts and
humanities; and as the citizen’s un­
derstanding of the use of our leisure
and n a tu ra l re so u rc e s in c re a se s.
However, because of financial uncer­
tainty in both the public and private
sectors, this need for trained person­
nel may not necessarily result in ac­
tu a l e m p lo y m e n t g ro w th . M any
openings, nevertheless, will arise an ­
nually from deaths, retirem ents, and
o th e r sep a ra tio n s from the lab o r
force.
A 1976 National R ecreation and

Park Association study indicates that
com petition is keen for many jobs in
municipal, county, special district,
and State park systems. Contributing
to the competitive job situation are
recent sizable increases in the num ­
ber of park and recreation graduates
and the austerity budgets adopted by
many local governments and m unici­
palities since the early 1970’s.
The long-term em ploym ent o u t­
look is difficult to assess, largely be­
cause of uncertainty about future
funding levels for these and other
public services. F urtherm ore, p e r­
sons with a wide variety of experi­
ence and education may seek to be­
come park, recreation, and leisure
service workers. However, persons
with formal training and experience
in parks and recreation are expected
to have the best job opportunities in
th is.field ; those with graduate d e­
grees should have the best opportuni­
ties for supervisory and adm inistra­
tive positions. If the num ber of park
and recreation curriculum s contin­
ues to grow, m aster’s and Ph. D. de­
gree h o ld ers may find fav o rab le
teaching opportunities.
Additional job opportunities are
expected in therapeutic recreation,
private and commercial recreation,
and—to a lesser extent—in senior
centers and youth organizations. O p­
p o rtu n itie s for sp ecially tra in e d
therapeutic recreation workers are
likely to be favorable, in line with the
anticipated need for additional staff
in many health-related occupations.
By contrast, com petition for jobs as
camp directors is expected to be very
keen.
Job experience prior to graduation
will greatly help a graduate find a
position. Although com petition is ex­
pected to be keen, many opportuni­
ties for part-tim e and summer em ­
p lo y m e n t will be a v a ila b le fo r
recreation program leaders and aides
in local government recreation p ro­
grams. Many of the sum m er jobs will
be for counselors and craft and ath ­
letic specialists in camps.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Starting salaries in State and local
governments for recreation program
leaders with a bachelor’s degree av­
eraged about $9,300 in 1976, ac­

560

cording to a survey by the Interna­ at the camps where they work, and
t i o n a l P e r s o n n e l M a n a g e m e n t their room and board are included in
Association. There was a wide salary their salaries. Most public and pri­
range among employers—in general, vate recreation agencies provide va­
salaries were highest in the West and cation and other fringe benefits such
lowest in the South. Average earn­ as sick leave and hospital insurance.
People entering the park, recre­
ings for park and recreation workers
ation, and leisure service field should
are higher than those for nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­ expect some night work and irregular
hours. In addition, w orkers often
cept farming.
According to NRPA, 2-year asso­ spend much of their time outdoors
ciate degree graduates received start­ when the weather permits.
ing salaries ranging from $6,500 to
Sources of Additional
$9,500 in 1976. Individuals with bac­
Information
ca la u rea te degrees obtained park
Inform ation about parks, re c re ­
and recreation positions with annual
ation, and leisure services as a c a ­
salaries that were in the $7,200 to
12,000 range. Persons with gradu­ reer, em ploym ent opportunities in
ate degrees generally received higher the field, colleges and universities of­
salaries. All salaries varied widely de­ fering park and recreation curricula,
pending on the size and type of em ­ accreditation, and registration and
ploying agency and geographic area. certification standards is available
Supervisors’ salaries ranged from from:
$10,000 to $20,000. Salaries for spe­ National Recreation and Park Association, Di­
vision o f Professional Services, 1601
cialists varied greatly, but generally
North Kent St., Arlington, Va. 22209.
were equivalent to those of supervi­
For information on careers in in­
sory personnel. The average salary
for ch ief ad m in istrato rs in public dustrial recreation, contact:
park and recreatio n agencies was National Industrial Recreation Association, 20
North Wacker Dr., Chicago, 1 60606.
11.
ab out $20,000, and ranged up to
$45,000.
F or in fo rm a tio n on c a re e rs in
The average annual starting salary camping and job referrals, send post­
for recreational therapists (positions paid return envelope to:
requiring a college degree in recrea­ American Camping Association, Bradford
Woods, Martinsville, Ind. 46151.
tional therapy or a related field) in
hospitals and m edical centers was
about $10,200 in 1976, according to
a survey conducted by the University
SOCIAL SERVICE AIDES
of Texas Medical School. Top sala­
ries for e x p e rien ce d re c re a tio n a l
(D.O.T. 195.208)
therapists in these settings averaged
Nature of the Work
$12,200, and some were as high as
$17,800.
Social service or human service
Starting salaries for recreation and aides enable social service agencies
park professionals in the Federal to help greater num bers of people by
G overnm ent in 1977 were $9,303 for providing services that supplem ent
applicants with a bachelor’s degree; the work o f professional social w ork­
$11,523 for those with a bachelor’s ers and rehabilitation counselors. So­
degrees plus 1 year o f experience; cial service aides w ork under the
$14,097 for those with a bachelor’s close guidance and supervision o f
plus 2 years’ experience or a m aster’s other professional staff.
degree; and $17,056 for those with a
Social service aides serve as a link
bachelor’s plus 3 years’ experience
between professional social workers
or a Ph. D. Recreation and park or rehabilitation counselors and peo­
assistants, aides, and technicians ple who seek help from social agen­
earn considerably less than these cies. Aides explain the services and
professionals.
facilities of the agency and help new
The average week for recreation
a p p lic a n ts fill o u t any re q u ire d
and park personnel is 35-40 hours. forms. Social service aides perform
Many camp recreation workers live much of the routine paperwork re ­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

quired in welfare program s. They
may keep records on clients up to
date, maintain a filing system of re­
ports or control system for periodic
case reviews, and fill out school en­
rollm ent, employm ent, m edical, and
com pensation forms.
While such duties are an essential
part of the job, the most im portant
aspect of the work is being available
when needed to offer encouragem ent
and to assist people in the com m uni­
ty who need help.
Social service aides work in many
different settings, perform a wide
range of duties, and have a num ber
of different job titles. Aides called
income m aintenance workers in ter­
view applicants to determ ine w heth­
er they or their families are eligible
for help. The aid e’s responsibilites
may include visiting the applicant’s
home, interviewing friends and rela­
tives, and checking docum ents such
as marriage licenses or birth certifi­
cates to determ ine w hether he or she
meets the requirem ents for financial
assistance or other services.
Aides usually referred to as case­
work aides or assistants work directly
with clients. They may help clients
locate and obtain adequate housing,
food stamps, or medical care, help
them apply for unem ploym ent or so­
cial security benefits, or refer them
to job training. Family crises often
bring clients to social service agen­
cies, and aides counsel parents about
such problems as children in trouble
with the police. Casework aides serve
as advocates for clients by accom pa­
nying them to clinics to ensure that
they receive necessary medical care,
making appointm ents for them at le­
gal aid offices, or by helping them
through the red tape that surrounds
many welfare programs.
Many social service aides spend
most of their work day in the office
interviewing clients and helping them
fill out forms, telephoning other
agencies for in fo rm atio n and a p ­
pointm ents, and keeping records up
to date. Some aides, however, spend
most of their time out of the office.
Their jobs call for assisting clients in
their neighborhoods or homes. Aides
c a lle d neighborhood o r outreach
workers personally contact the resi­
dents of an area to explain and dis­
cuss agency services. They learn the

561

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

needs of individuals and families and
refer routine cases to a counselor or
to the appropriate community serv­
ice agency. They report more diffi­
cult problems to a supervisor. Neigh­
b o r h o o d w o r k e r s m ay in fo rm
residents about job openings, avail­
able housing, job training opportuni­
ties, and public services. On a broade r s c a l e , t h e y a s s i s t in th e
o rg a n iz a tio n o f b lo ck and o th e r
n eig h b o rh o o d g ro u p s to c o n d u c t
programs that benefit the neighbor­
hood, foster a sense of community
responsibility among residents, and
encourage participation in the anti­
poverty program s of social service
agencies. They also may assist in rou­
tin e n e ig h b o rh o o d su rv e y s and
counts, keep records, and prepare re­
ports of their activities for the super­
visor.
Employment aides also work with
clients in the neighborhoods where
they live. These aides actively seek
out the disadvantaged and help pre­
pare them for em ploym ent by giving
them assistance in getting special
training and counseling. While work­
ing in neighborhood centers or m o­
bile units, they locate candidates for
available jobs and training programs
by contacting unemployed residents
in pool room s, lau n d ro m ats, and
street corners or through em ploy­
m ent or w elfare agency referrals.
They give the unemployed informa­
tion about the services of the local
State em p lo y m en t service office,
available job and training opportuni­
ties, and help them fill out the neces­
sary application forms. After clients
are employed, aides maintain contact
to help w orkers adjust to the new
work environm ent and to iron out
minor difficulties.
Homemaker-home health aides
work in households where illness, old
age, or an emergency makes it diffi­
cult for the client to manage every­
day task s. A ides help with such
household activities as grocery shop­
ping, cooking, cleaning, m ending,
child care, and personal care if the
client is sick or bedridden. The occu­
pation o f hom em aker-hom e health
aide is described more fully in a sepa­
ra te s ta te m e n t else w h e re in the
Handbook.

Places of Employment
About 100,000 people worked as
1976. Most

social service aides in



Social service aides are a link between professional social workers and the people who
seek help.

work in the inner cities of large m et­
ropolitan areas.
The overwhelming majority of so­
cial service aides work for welfare
agencies run by local governments or
by voluntary or religious organiza­
tions. These include public welfare
departm ents, community and neigh­
b o rh o o d c e n te rs , fam ily serv ic e
agencies, halfway houses, and reha­
bilitation agencies. M ost of the re ­
maining aides work in hospitals, clin­

ics, and community health programs,
or in schools and public housing proj­
ects.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Social service aides have a wide
range o f educational backgrounds,
and levels of responsibility often are
a function of formal educational at­
tainm ent. For example, persons with

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

562

a grade school education may enter
the field in clerical positions. Those
persons with a college degree, on the
other hand, may immediately assume
more professional responsibilities.
Most social service aide jobs do
not require graduation from high
school. Many persons enter this field
without significant prior work experi­
ence. In fact, personal qualities m at­
ter most. These include a genuine
desire to help people and the ability
to co m m u n icate w ith com m unity
agencies and clients. In addition to
these personal qualities, typing skills
and knowledge of an appropriate for­
eign language for aides working in
certain ethnic comm unities may be
helpful.
When hiring, an individual’s need
for work, potential for upgrading his
or her skills, and m aking a useful
contribution to the agency often are
chief considerations. As a result,
agencies often hire form er welfare
recipients as social service aides.
Some aides are hired as part of gov­
ernm ent program s to provide subsi­
dized job opportunities for low-in­
com e peo p le. For em ploym ent in
some agencies, an exam ination or
registration on a civil service list may
be required.
Most employers emphasize the de­
velopm ent of career ladders with op­
portunities for advancem ent through
a com bination of on-the-job training,
work experience, and further educa­
tion. For example, entry level posi­
tions as em ploym ent aides can lead
to a job as an em ploym ent interview­
er, and, after special training, to em ­
ploym ent counselor. Aides usually
are trained on the job from 1 to sev­
eral m onths. Aides often must ac­
quire knowledge of many social pro­
grams including social security, food
stam ps, and M ed icare. They also
m ust receiv e training from social
workers, rehabilitation counselors,
n u rs e s an d o th e r p ro fe s s io n a ls .
Those without high school diplomas
often receive classroom instruction
to help them pass a high school
equivalency examination. Employing
agencies frequently pay part of the
cost of further education for social
service aides.
Aides with college training in this
field generally are given the more

difficult assignments, som etimes in­


cluding duties norm ally perform ed
by social workers. A bout 140 com ­
munity and junior colleges offer 2year programs for social service aides
under such diverse titles as “ human
service aide,” “ m ental health aide,”
or “ social service a id e .” Training
may include course work in sociol­
ogy and psychology; skills in inter­
viewing, observation and recording
of behavior, individual counseling,
group dynam ics, activity therapy,
and behavior m odification; and field
experience at local helping agencies.
Some college graduates with degrees
in non-social service areas work as
social service aides.

ence; experienced aides earned as
much as $ 1 1,523. Many aides in both
public and private agencies work
p art tim e and earn less. A verage
earnings for social service aides are
about the same as those for nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming.
Although much of their time is
spent in offices of social service de­
partm ents and agencies, aides fre­
quently may visit the homes of clients
or offices o f o th e r social service
agencies, hospitals, and business es­
tablishments. They often must work
evenings or weekends when clients
can be reached.

Employment Outlook

Sources of Additional
Information

Employment of social service aides
is expected to grow faster than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s. Many opportunities
are expected for part-tim e work. A
large num ber of openings will arise
from the need to replace aides who
die, retire, or leave the occupation
for other reasons.
Employment in this field will stem
from population growth, coupled
with this country’s continuing com ­
m itment to aid those who are disad­
vantaged, disabled, or unable to care
for themselves. The need to provide
social services of many kinds for our
aging population is likely to spur an
expansion of social welfare programs
and create many new jobs for social
service aides. Shifts in job duties
within w elfare agencies also may
c o n trib u te to th e a n tic ip a te d in ­
crease in em ploym ent in this occupa­
tion. As social welfare services and
p ro g ram s e x p a n d , so cial serv ice
aides increasingly will be used for
much of the routine work now done
by professional personnel.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Full-time social service aides with
no prior experience or formal educa­
tion in the field earned salaries rang­
ing from about $6,000 to $7,500 a
year in 1976. Those with experience
or a d d itio n a l e d u c a tio n u su ally
earned m ore. The Federal G overn­
m ent paid beginning social service
aides salaries ranging from $5,810 to
$9,303 in 1977 depending upon their
education and p rio r work ex p eri­

Information on requirem ents for
social service aide jobs is available
from city, county, or State dep art­
ments of welfare or social services,
com m unity or neighborhood devel­
opm ent agencies, and local offices of
the State em ploym ent service.

SOCIAL WORKERS
(D.O.T. 195.108, .1 18, .168, and
.228)

Nature of the Work
The ability of people to live effec­
tively in society often is ham pered by
lack of resources and problem s that
range from personal ones to those
arising from social unrest within a
group or com m unity. These p ro b ­
lem s, ag g rav ated by th e grow ing
complexity of society, have greatly
increased the need for social serv­
ices. Social w orkers assist individ­
uals, families, groups and com m uni­
ties in using these services to solve
their problem s, and work to improve
the resources available to enhance
social functioning.
The three traditional approaches
to social work have been casework,
group work, and community organi­
zation. The approach chosen usually
is determ ined by the nature of the
problem and the time and resources
available for solving it. Social w ork­
ers often combine these approaches
in dealing with a specific problem .
However, recently developed ways of

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

organizing curriculums and training
social workers have resulted in other
approaches to the field. In addition
to the trad itio n al m ethods, social
workers may specialize in social insti­
tutions which encom passes health,
education, and o th er areas; social
p ro b lem s in clu d in g p o v erty ; and
along other organizing principles and
fields of practice.
In casework, social workers use
interviews to identify the problems of
individuals and families. They then
help people to understand and solve
their problems and secure the appro­
priate resources, services, education,
or job training. In group work, social
w o rk ers help p eo p le u n d e rsta n d
themselves and others, overcom e ra­
cial and c u ltu ra l p re ju d ic es, and
work with others in achieving a com ­
mon goal. They plan and conduct ac­
tiv itie s fo r c h ild re n , te e n a g e rs ,
ad u lts, o ld e r p e rso n s, and o th e r
groups of people in settings such as
community centers, hospitals, nurs­
ing homes,' and correctional institu­
tions. In community organization, so­
cial workers coordinate the efforts of
groups, such as political, civic, reli­
gious, business, and union organiza­
tion s, to co m b at social problem s
through community programs. For a
neighborhood or larger area, they
may help plan and develop health,
ho u sin g , w elfare, and re c re a tio n
services. Social workers often coor­
dinate existing social services, orga­
nize fund raising for community so­
cial welfare activities, and aid in the
d e v e lo p m e n t o f new com m unity
services.
The m ajority o f social w orkers
provide social services directly to in­
dividuals, families, or groups. How­
ever, a substantial num ber are direc­
tors, adm inistrators, or supervisors.
Directors o f social service agencies
have responsibilities much like those
o f adm in istrato rs anyw here. They
hire and train personnel, make bud­
getary decisions, develop and evalu­
ate agency p roblem s, solicit new
funds, supervise the staff, and serve
as a spokesperson for the agency’s
clients. Some social workers are col­
lege teachers, research workers, or
consultants. Others work for com m u­
nity agencies and planning bodies at
all levels o f governm ent, voluntary
agencies, and other private organiza­
tions.



563

Social workers apply their training
and experience in a variety of set­
tings. While most work for agencies
or institutions, growing num bers of
social workers are in private practice
and provide counseling services on a
fee basis.
Social workers in family and child
service positions in public and in
voluntary agencies such as those run
by religious charities, provide coun­
seling and social services that assist
in dividual ad ju stm en t, stren g th en
personal and family relationships,
and help clients to cope with their
problems. They provide information
and referral services in many areas—
advising clients on how to plan family
budgets and manage money, finding
hom es for fam ilies who have n o ­
where to go, arranging hom em aker
assistance for elderly couples who no
lo n g e r c a n m a n a g e h o u s e h o ld
chores, providing information on job
training and day care for parents try­
ing to support a family, and providing
help with interpersonal difficulties.
Social workers in child welfare po­
sitions work to improve the physical
and em otional well-being of deprived
and tro u b led children and youth.

They may advise parents on child
care and child rearing, counsel chil­
dren and youth with social adjust­
ment difficulties, and arrange hom e­
m ak er services during a p a r e n t’s
illness. Social workers may also be
called upon to institute legal action
for the protection o f neglected or
mistreated children, provide services
to unm arried parents, and counsel
couples who wish to adopt a child.
After making appropriate case evalu­
ations and home studies, they may
place and oversee children in suit­
able adoption or foster homes or in
specialized institutions.
School social workers aid children
whose unsatisfactory school progress
is related to their social problems.
These workers consult and work with
parents, teachers, counselors, and
other school and community person­
nel to identify and solve problem s
that hinder satisfactory adjustm ent
and learning.
Social workers also are employed
in medical and psychiatric settings,
such as hospitals, clinics, mental
health agencies, rehabilitation cen ­
ters, and public w elfare agencies.
They aid patients and their families
with social problem s th at may ac-

Some social workers specialize in child welfare.

564

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

company illness, recovery, and reha­
bilitation. As m em bers of m edical
teams, social workers help patients
respond to treatm ent and guide them
in readjusting to their homes, jobs,
and communities. Renal social work­
ers (those who deal with patients suf­
fering from kidney disease and their
families) and social workers special­
izing in drug addition perform such
functions. (The related occupation
o f reh ab ilitatio n co u nselor is dis­
cussed in a separate statem ent.)
A growing num ber of social work­
ers specialize in the field of aging.
Many work with elderly persons in
public welfare agencies and family
service agencies, although workers
also are employed in senior centers,
helping people deal with financial
and role changes brought about by
retirem ent; in area agencies, focusing
on planning and evaluating services
to the elderly; and in nursing homes,
helping patients and their families
adjust to illness and the need for in­
stitutionalization .
Social workers in correctional in­
stitutions and others engaged in co r­
rectional program s help offenders
and persons on probation and parole
readjust to society. They counsel on
social problem s faced in returning to
family and community life, and also
may help secure necessary ed u ca­
tion, training, employm ent, or com ­
munity services.

Places of Employment
About 3 30,000 social workers
were employed in 1976. Among
these, two-thirds provide direct so­
cial services working for public and
voluntary agencies, including State
departm ents of public assistance and
community welfare and religious o r­
ganizations. Most of the rem ainder
are involved in social policy and
planning, com m unity organization,
and adm inistration in governm ent
agencies, primarily on the state and
local level, while still others work for
schools or for hospitals, clinics, and
other health facilities. A small but
growing num ber o f social workers
are employed in business and indus­
try.
Although em ploym ent is concen­
trated in urban areas, many work
with rural families. A small num ber

of social w orkers—employed by the


Federal G overnm ent and the United
Nations or one of its affiliated agen­
c ie s— serve in o th e r parts o f the
world as consultants, teachers, or
technicians and establish agencies,
schools, or assistance programs.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Only in the last few years has the
bachelor’s degree in social work
(BSW), rather than the m aster’s d e­
gree (M SW ), been fully accepted as
the minimum education of the p ro ­
fessional social w orker. The BSW
programs generally provide content
in the areas of social work practice,
social welfare policies and service,
human behavior and the social envi­
ronm ent, social research, and super­
vised field experience. G enerally,
BSW program s prepare people for
direct service positions such as case
worker or group worker. Quite a few
workers in this field have degrees in
the liberal arts or hum anities, sociol­
ogy and psychology being the most
prevalent majors. However, opportu­
nities for advancem ent to high-level
supervisory and administrative posi­
tions tend to be lim ited for those
w ithout graduate training in social
work, and are particularly limited for
persons with no form al training in
this field.
For many positions, a m aster’s d e­
gree in social work is preferred or
required. Two years of specialized
study and supervised field instruction
generally are required to earn an
MSW. Field placem ent affords one
the opportunity to test his or her suit­
ability for social work practice. The
student may develop expertise in a
specialized area and make contacts
helpful in later securing a perm anent
position. Previous training in social
work is not required for entry into a
graduate program , but courses in re­
lated fields such as psychology, soci­
ology, econom ics, political science,
history, social anthropology, and u r­
ban studies, as well as social work,
are recom m ended. Some graduate
schools recently have established a c ­
celerated MSW program s for a limit­
ed num ber of highly qualified BSW
recipients. How ever, applicants to
graduate program s in social work
may face keen com petition.

In 1976, over 170 colleges and
universities offered accredited un­
dergraduate programs in social work
while o v er 80 o ffered ac cre d ite d
graduate program s. M ore than 20
have incorporated a gerontological
emphasis into their programs. G radu­
ate students may specialize in clinical
social w ork, com m unity organ iza­
tion, ad m in istratio n , teaching, re ­
search, social policy planning, and a
variety of other areas. Some schools
offer concentrations in many areas
while others offer fewer choices.
A limited num ber of scholarships
and fellowships are available for
graduate education. Because of in­
creased costs, social welfare agencies
have reduced their practice of grant­
ing workers “ educational leave’’ to
obtain graduate education.
A graduate degree and experience
generally are required for superviso­
ry, administrative, or research work,
the last also requiring training in so­
cial science research methods. Many
adm inistrators have a background in
social work, business or public ad­
ministration, education, or health ad­
ministration. For teaching positions,
an MSW is required and a doctorate
usually is preferred. In governm ent
agencies, m ost applicants for em ­
ploym ent must pass a written exam,
with the exception of some high-level
positions.
In m id-1976, 20 States had licens­
ing or registration laws regarding so­
cial work practice and the use of p ro ­
fessional social work titles by those
who qualify. Usually work exp eri­
ence, an exam ination, or both, are
necessary for licensing or registra­
tion, with periodic renewal required.
The N ational Association of Social
W orkers allows the use of the title
ACSW (Academ y of Certified Social
W orkers) for those m em bers having
at least 2 years of postm aster’s job
e x p e rie n c e who have passed the
ACSW examination. In view of the
em erging trend tow ards specializa­
tion at advanced levels of social work
practice, efforts are being made to
devise specialized exam inations in
addition to the general ACSW ex­
am ination currently given.
Social workers should be em otion­
ally m ature, objective, and sensitive,
and should possess a basic concern
for people and their problems. They

565

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

must be able to handle responsibility,
work independently, and m aintain
good working relationships with cli­
ents and coworkers.
Students should obtain as much
related work experience as possible
during high school and college to
determ ine whether they have the in­
terest and capacity for professional
social work. They may do volunteer,
part-time, or summer work in places
such as cam ps, settlem ent houses,
hospitals, community centers, or so­
cial welfare agencies. Some volun­
tary and public social welfare agen­
cies occasionally hire students for
jobs in which they assist social work­
ers.

Employment Outlook
Employment of social workers is
expected to increase faster than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s. The recent passage
of Title XX of the Social Security
Act, the potential developm ent of
national health insurance, and the
expansion of services in public edu­
cation should contribute to a contin­
ued increase in em ploym ent in social
services. Many new positions will
come from the expansion of health
services in hospitals, nursing homes,
com m unity m ental health centers,
and hom e health agencies. O ther
areas expected to offer employment
opportunities include services for the
aging; counseling in the areas of con­
sumerism, rape, and drug and alco­
hol abuse; and social planning. Rela­
tively high levels of unem ploym ent
coupled with problems caused by so­
cial change are expected to sustain a
strong dem and for persons in the so­
cial serv ice field. T he increasing
need for social workers to assist oth­
er p ro fessionals in such fields as
health planning, transportation, law,
and public adm inistration also should
stimulate em ploym ent growth. In ad­
dition to jobs resulting from employ­
ment growth, thousands of openings




will result annually from deaths and
retirem ents.
If the num ber of students graduat­
ing from social work program s con­
tinues to increase at the same rate as
in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, p er­
sons having bachelor’s degrees in so­
cial work will face increasing job
com petition. G raduates of m aster’s
and d o cto r’s degree programs in so­
cial work are more qualified for a
wider range of jobs including adm in­
istrativ e, re searc h , planning, and
teaching positions, and are expected
to have good opportunities through
the mid-1 980’s.
Because many cities are experienc­
ing financial crises often resulting in
budget cuts in human service activi­
ties, applicants in these areas may
face keen com petition. G raduates of­
ten prefer to work in major m etro­
politan areas, since small towns and
rural areas offer less opportunity for
professional contact with colleagues
and have fewer academ ic institutions
for continuing education necessary
for advancem ent. However, job op­
portunities may be m ore favorable in
rural areas and small towns.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries for social workers at all
levels vary greatly by type of agency
(private or public, Federal, State, or
local) and geographic region. A ver­
age earnings for social workers are
higher than those for nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Salaries generally are high­
est in large cities and in States with
sizable urban populations. Private
practitioners and those in adm inistra­
tion, teaching, and research often
earn considerably more than social
workers in other settings.
Starting salaries for social case
workers (positions requiring a bache­
lor’s degree) in State and local gov­
ernments averaged about $9,500 in
1976, according to a survey by the
International Personnel M anagem ent

A ssociation; for psychiatric social
workers and case work supervisors
(positions requiring a m aster’s de­
gree), about $12,000.
The average annual starting salary
for social workers (positions requir­
ing an MSW and 1 year of related
experience) in hosptials and medical
centers was about $12,100 in 1976,
according to a survey conducted by
the U niversity o f T exas M edical
School. Top salaries for experienced
social workers in these settings aver­
aged $ 15,600, and some were as high
as $25,300.
In the Federal Governm ent, social
workers with an MSW and no experi­
ence started at $1 1,523 or $14,097
in 1977. Graduates with a Ph. D. or
job experience may start at higher
salaries. Most social workers in the
Federal G overnm ent are em ployed
by the Veterans Adm inistration and
the Departm ents of Health, Educa­
tion, and Welfare, Justice, and Interi­
or.
Most social workers have a 5-day,
35 to 40-hour week. However, many,
particularly in private agencies, work
part time. In some agencies, the na­
ture of the duties requires some eve­
ning and weekend work, for which
com pensatory time off is given. Most
social work agencies provide fringe
benefits such as paid vacation, sick
leave, and retirem ent plans.

Sources of Additional
Information
For information about career op­
portunities in the various fields of
social work, contact:
National Association of Social Workers, 1425
H St. NW., Suite 600, Southern Building,
Washington, D.C. 20005.

Information on accredited gradu­
ate and undergraduate college p ro ­
gram s in social w ork is available
from:
Council on Social Work Education, 345 East
46th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

ART, DESIGN, AND COMMUNICATIONS RELATED
OCCUPATIONS
Creativity and the ability to com ­
municate ideas are prerequisites for
work in occupations related to art,
design, and com m unications. For ex­

ample, an architect’s blueprint is the
embryo of a building; floral designers
express a mood of love, sympathy, or
other em otion in a flower arrange­

Art, design, and communicationsrelated occupations, 1976


566


ment; and actors project a character
on the stage or screen for the enjoy­
ment of their audiences. Newspaper
reporters com m unicate newsworthy
events to their reading audiences;
dancers express em otion, mood, or
th o u g h t th ro u g h p h y sical m o v e­
ments; and photographers capture an
emotion or idea through cam era an­
gle, lighting, and the flick of a shut­
ter.
This section of the Handbook de­
scribes in detail occupations that re­
quire creative and com m unicative
talents: The perform ing arts—ac­
tors, dancers, singers, and musicians;
the design occupations—architects,
photographers, and six other related
occupations; and com m unicationsre la ted occu p atio n s — in te rp re te rs,
newspaper reporters, technical writ­
ers, and radio and TV announcers.

PERFORMING ARTISTS

The performing arts include the
areas of instrum ental music, singing,
acting, and the dance. Varied as they
are, the performing arts have in com ­
mon the goal of com m unicating with
and affecting the em otions of the au­
dience. Through the media of music,
speech, and movem ent, performing
artists attem pt to present a moving
interpretation of human experience.
Within the performing arts, the
number of talented persons seeking
employment generally exceeds the
number of full-time positions avail­
able. As a result, many perform ers
supplement their incomes by teach­
ing, and others work m uch of the
time in different types of o ccupa­
tions.
The difficulty of earning a living as
a perform er is one fact young per­
sons should rem em ber when they
consider such a career. They should
consider, therefore, the possible ad­
vantages of making their art a hobby
rath er than a profession. Aspiring
young artists usually m ust spend
many years in intensive training and
practice before they are ready for
public perform ances. They not only
need great natural talent but also de­
term ination, a willingness to work
long and hard, an overwhelming in­
terest in their chosen field, and some
luck.
The statem ents that follow this in­
troduction give detailed information
on m usicians, singers, actors, and
dancers.

great glamour and fascination. This
dem anding work requires special tal­
ent and involves m any difficulties
and uncertanties.
Only a few actors and actresses
achieve recognition as stars on the
stage, in motion pictures, or on tele­
vision or radio. A som ewhat larger
num ber are well-known, experienced
perform ers, who frequently are cast
in supporting roles. However, most
actors and actresses struggle for a
toehold in the profession, and are
glad to pick up parts wherever they
can.
New stage actors generally start in
“ bit” parts where they speak only a
few lines. If successful, they may
progress to larger, supporting roles.
They also may serve as understudies
for the principals. Film and television
actors, in contrast, may begin in large
roles or move into program s from
working in commercials.
Actors who prepare for stage,
screen, and television roles rehearse
many hours. They must memorize
their lines and know their cues.
In addition to the actors and ac­
tresses with speaking parts, “ extras,”
who have no lines to deliver, are used
in various ways in almost all motion
pictures and many television shows
and theatre productions. In “ spectac­
ular” productions, a large num ber of
extras take part in crowd scenes.
Some actors find alternative jobs
as coaches of dram a or directors of
stage, television, radio, or motion
picture productions. A few teach in
dram a departm ents of colleges and
universities.

ACTORS AND ACTRESSES

Places of Employment

(D.O.T. 150.028 and 150.048)

Nature of the Work
Making a character come to life
before an audience is a job that has



About 13,000 actors and actresses
worked in stage plays, motion pic­
tures (including films m ade especial­
ly for television), industrial shows,
and com m ercials in 1976.
In the winter, m ost em ploym ent
opportunities on the stage are in New

York and other large cities. In the
summer, stock com panies in subur­
ban and resort areas provide employ­
ment. In addition, many cities have
“ little th e a tre s,” repertory com pa­
nies, and dinner theatres, which p ro­
vide opportunities for local talent as
well as for professional actors and
actresses. Normally, plays are p ro ­
duced and casts are selected in New
York City for shows that go “ on the
road.”
Employment in motion pictures
and film television is essentially cen­
tered in Hollywood and New York
City, although a few studios are lo­
cated in Miami and other parts of the
country. In addition, many films are
shot on location, and employ local
professionals and nonprofessionals as
“ day players” and “ extras.” A num ­
ber of Am erican-produced films are
being shot in foreign countries. In
television, most opportunities for ac­
tors are at the headquarters of the
major networks—in New York, Los
Angeles, and, to a lesser extent, C hi­
cago. A few local television stations
occasionally employ actors.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Young persons who aspire to act­
ing careers should take part in high
school and college plays, or work
with little theatres and other acting
groups for experience.
Formal training in acting, which is
increasingly necessary, can be ob ­
tained at dramatic art schools, locat­
ed chiefly in New York, and in hun­
dreds o f colleges and universities
throughout the country. About 760
c o lle g e s and u n iv e rsitie s c o n fe r
bachelor’s or higher degrees on stu­
dents who major in dram atic and th e­
ater arts. College dram a curriculum s
usually include courses in liberal arts,
speech, pantom ime, directing, play­
writing, play production, and history
of the dram a, as well as practical
courses in acting. From these, the
student develops an appreciation of
the great plays and a greater under­
standing of the roles he or she may be
called on to play. G raduate degrees
in fine arts or dram a are needed for
college teaching positions.
Acting demands patience and total
com m itm ent, since aspiring actors
567

568

and actresses must wait for parts or
filming schedules, work long hours,
and often do much traveling. Flaw­
less perform ances require the tedious
m em orizing of lines, which som e­
times involves long rehearsal sched­
ules. O ther perform ances, such as
television programs, often allow little
time for rehearsal, so that the actor
m ust deliver a good perform ance
with very little preparation. The ac­
tor needs stamina to withstand the
heat of stage or studio lights, or the
adverse w eather conditions that may
exist “ on location.” Above all, per­
sons who plan to pursue an acting
career must have talent and the cre­
ative ability to portray different char­
acters. They must have poise, stage
presence, and aggressiveness to proj­
ect themselves to the audience. At
the same time, the ability to follow
directions is im portant.
In all media, the best way to start is
to use local o p p o rtu n itie s and to
build on the basis of such experience.
Many actors who are successful in
local productions eventually try to
appear on the New York stage. M od­
eling experience may also be helpful
in obtaining em ploym ent in televi­
sion or motion pictures.
To become a movie extra, one
must usually be listed by C entral
Casting, a no-fee agency that works
with the Screen Extras Guild and
supplies all extras to the major movie
studios in Hollywood. Applicants are
accepted only when the num ber of
persons of a particular type on the
list—for example, athletic young
men, old ladies, or small children—is
below the foreseeable need. In recent
years, only a very small proportion of
the total num ber of applicants have
succeeded in being listed. An actor
employed as an extra in a film has
very little opportunity to advance to
a speaking role in that film.
The length o f an a c to r’s or a c ­
tress’s working life depends largely
on skill and versatility. G reat actors
and actresses can work almost indefi­
nitely. On the other hand, em ploy­
m ent becom es increasingly limited
by middle age, especially for those
who b ec o m e ty p ed in ro m a n tic ,
youthful roles. Due to the factors dis­
cussed, persons who intend to pursue
an acting career may find unstable
em ploym ent conditions and financial

pressures.


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook
Overcrowding has existed in the
acting field for many years, and this
condition is expected to persist. In
the legitim ate th eater, motion pic­
tures, radio, and television, job appli­
cants greatly exceed the jobs avail­
able. M oreover, m any actors and
actresses are employed in their p ro ­
fession for only a part of the year.
Motion pictures and TV have
greatly reduced em ploym ent oppor­
tunities for actors in the theater. Al­
though a motion picture production
may use a very large num ber of ac­
tors during filming, films are widely
d istrib u te d and may be used for
years. A lso, som e A m e ric a n -p ro ­
duced films are shot in foreign coun­

tries, resulting in reduced em ploy­
m en t o p p o rtu n ite s for A m erican
actors and actresses. Television em ­
ploys a large num ber of actors on TV
program s and com m ercials. H ow­
ever, em ploym ent in this media has
been reduced by the FCC ruling that
decreased major TV network prime
time programming. Local stations of­
ten substitute with reruns or with low
cost game shows that employ few ac­
tors. Also, the trend toward 1- to 2h o u r p ro g ram s and m o re re ru n s
shortens the period of em ploym ent
and reduces the num ber of persons
needed.
One possibility for future growth in
the legitimate theater lies in the es­
tablishm ent o f year-round profes-

Acting demands patience and total commitment.

569

PERFORMING ARTISTS

sional acting companies in cities. The
num ber o f such acting groups is
growing. The recent growth of sum­
m er and w inter stock com panies,
outdoor and regional theatre, reper­
tory companies, and dinner theaters
also has increased employm ent op­
p o rtu n ities. In ad d ition, some in ­
creases may be likely in the employ­
m en t o f a c to rs on te le v isio n in
response to expansion of the Public
Broadcasting System, UHF stations,
and cable TV. The developm ent and
wider use o f video cassettes also may
result in some em ploym ent opportu­
nities. These media will have a posi­
tive influence on em ploym ent only if
original m aterial and program s re­
sult, not reruns or old movies.
Though the field of acting as a
whole is expected to grow about as
fast as the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s, the num ber
of persons seeking to enter the pro­
fession is expected to far exceed
available openings. Even highly tal­
ented young people are likely to face
stiff competition and economic diffi­
culties.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Actors and actresses in the legiti­
mate theater belong to the A ctors’
Equity Association; in motion pic­
tures, including television films, to
the Screen Actors Guild, Inc., or to
the Screen Extras Guild, Inc.; in tele­
vision or radio, to the American Fed­
eration of Television and Radio A rt­
ists (AFTRA). These unions and the
show producers sign basic collective
barg ain in g ag reem en ts w hich set
minimum salaries, hours of work,
and other conditions of employment.
Each actor also signs a separate con­
tract, which may provide for higher
salaries than those specified in the
basic agreement.
The minimum weekly salary for
actors in Broadway productions was
about $285 in 1976. Those in small
“ off-Broadway” theaters received a
minimum o f $ 175 a week. For shows
on the road, the minimum rate was
about $395 a week. (All minimum
salaries are adjusted upward au to ­
matically, by union contract, com ­
mensurate with increases in the cost
of living as reflected in the Bureau of
Labor Statistics Consum er Price In­

dex.)


In 1976, motion picture and televi­
sion actors and actresses earned a
minimum daily rate of $172.50, or
$604 for a 5-day week. For extras,
the minimum rate was $52.50 a day.
A ctors and actresses who did not
work on prime time network televi­
sion received a minimum program
fee of about $232.50 for a single pro­
gram and 8 hours of rehearsal time.
Television actors also receive addi­
tional com pensation for reruns.
However, annual earnings of ac­
tors and actresses are adversely af­
fected by the frequent periods of un­
em ploym ent experienced by many.
According to recent surveys by the
A cto rs’ Equity A ssociation (which
represents actors who work on the
stage) and the Screen Actors Guild,
almost three quarters of their m em ­
bers earned $2,500 or less a year
from acting jobs, and only about 3
percent earned over $25,000 from
such work. Because o f the frequent
periods of unem ploym ent character­
istic of this profession, many actors
m ust supplem ent their incom es by
maintaining other, non-acting jobs.
In all fields, many well-known ac­
tors and actresses have salary rates
above the minimums. Salaries of the
few top stars are many times the fig­
ures cited.
Eight perform ances am ount to a
w eek’s work on the legitimate stage,
and any additional perform ances are
paid for as overtime. After the show
opens, the basic workweek is 36
hours, including 12 hours for re ­
hearsals. Before it opens, however,
the workweek usually is longer to al­
low tim e for re h earsa ls. Evening
work is, o f course, a regular part of a
stage a c to r’s life. Rehearsals may be
held late at night and on weekends
and holidays. When plays are on the
road, weekend traveling often is n ec­
essary.
Most actors are covered by a union
health, welfare and pension fund, in­
cluding hospitalization insurance, to
which employers contribute. Under
some em ploym ent conditions, Equity
and AFTRA members have paid va­
cations and sick leave. Most stage
actors get little if any unem ploym ent
c o m p e n sa tio n solely from ac tin g
since they seldom have enough em ­
ploym ent in any State to m eet the
eligibility requirem ents. C onsequent­

ly, when they are between acting jobs
they often have to take any casual
work they can find.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation on colleges and uni­
versities and conservatories that of­
fer a m ajor in dram a is available
from:
American Theater Association, 1029 Vermont
Ave., NW., Suite 402, Washington, D.C.
20005.

DANCERS
(D.O.T. 151.028 and 151.048)

Nature of the Work
Dancing is an ancient and world­
wide a rt th a t has m any d ifferen t
form s. D ance m ovem ents may be
used to interpret an idea or a story,
or they may be purely physical ex­
pressions of rhythm and sound. Pro­
fessional dancers may perform in
classical ballet or m odern dance, in
dance adaptations for musical shows,
in folk dances, and in other popular
kinds of dancing. In addition to being
an im portant art form for its own
sake, dance also is used to supple­
m ent other types of entertainm ent,
such as opera, musical comedy, and
television.
In dance productions, perform ers
most often work as a group. How­
ever, a very few top artists do solo
work.
Many dancers combine stage work
with full-time teaching. A few danc­
ers becom e choreographers and cre­
ate new routines. Others are dance
directors who train dancers in new
productions.
(This statem ent does not include
instructors of ballroom, American or
international folk dance, or other so­
cial dancing.)

Places of Employment
About 8,000 dancers perform ed
on the stage, screen, and television in
1976. Many others taught in second­
ary schools, in colleges and universi­
ties, in dance schools, and in private
studios. A few teachers, trained in

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

570

d an c e th erap y , w ork ed in m ental
hospitals.
Dance teachers are located chiefly
in large cities, but many sm aller cities
and towns have dance schools as
well. New York City is the hub for
perform ing dancers. O ther large
cities th at have prom ising em ploy­
m ent opportunities, including m ajor
dance com panies, include Los A nge­
les, C h icag o , H o u sto n , Salt L ake
City, Cincinnati, M iami, San Francis­
co, Los Angeles, M inneapolis, S eat­
tle, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Serious training for a career in
dancing traditionally begins by age
12 o r earlier. Ballet training is partic­
ularly disciplined, and persons who
wish to becom e ballet dancers should
begin taking lessons at the age of 7 or
8. Early and intense training also is
im p o rtan t for the m o dern dancer.
M ost dancers have their professional
auditions by age 17 o r 18, but train­
ing and practice never end. For ex­
am ple, professional b allet dancers
take from 10 to 12 lessons a week for
11 o r 12 m onths o f the year, and
m ust spend many additional hours
practicing.
T he early train in g a d an c er re ­
ceives is crucial to the later skill of
the dancer, and therefore the selec­
tion o f a professional dance school is
very im portant.
Because of the strenuous training
required, a d an cer’s general educa­
tion may be m inim al. H ow ever, a
d an cer should study m usic, lite ra­
ture, and historyvalong with the arts
to help in the interpretation o f d ra­
matic episodes, ideas, and feelings.
O ver 115 colleges and universities
confer bachelor’s or higher degrees
in dance. College or university dance
degrees
are
generally
offered
through the departm ents o f physical
education, music, th eater, or fine
arts.
A college education is not essential
to obtaining em ploym ent as a profes­
sional dancer. In fact, ballet dancers
who postpone their first audition un­
til graduation may com pete at a dis­
advantage with younger dancers.
A lthough a college education is an
 obtaining em ploym ent
advantage in


as a dance teacher in a college or
university, it is o f little use for one
who teaches professional dance or
choreography in a studio situation.
Professional schools usually require
teachers to have experience as a p er­
former; colleges and conservatories
generally require graduate degrees,
but experience as a perform er often
may be substituted. M aturity and a
broad educational background also
are im portant.
The dan cer’s life is one o f rigorous
practice and self-discipline; therefore
patience, perseverence, and a devo­
tion to dance are essential. G ood
health and physical stam ina are n ec­
essary, both to keep in good condi­
tion and to follow the rugged travel
schedule which is often required.
Body height and build should not
vary m uch from the average. G ood
feet and norm al arches also are re ­
quired. A bove all, one m ust have
agility, grace, and a feeling for music,
as well as a creative ability to express
oneself through dance.
Seldom does a dancer perform un­
accom panied. Therefore, young p er­
sons who consider dancing as a c a ­
reer should be able to function as
part of a team. They also should be
prepared to face the anxiety o f unsta­
ble working conditions brought on by
show clo sin g s a n d a u d itio n fa ilu re s.

Because o f the strenous nature o f
the art, young dancers have an ad ­
vantage over older dancers in com ­
peting for jobs. Many dancers retire
in their thirties or transfer to related

The dancer’s life is one of rigorous prac
tice and seif-discipline.

fields such as teaching dance. How­
ever, some skillful dancers continue
perform ing beyond the age o f 50.
Those who become choreographers
or dance directors can continue to
w ork as long as persons in o th er
occupations.

Employment Outlook
Em ployment of dancers is expect­
ed to grow about as fast as the aver­
age for all occupations. However, the
num ber of dancers seeking profes­
sional careers will continue to exceed
the num ber of available positions,
and com petition will be keen. M ost
em ploym ent opportunities will result
from replacem ent needs.
Em ployment opportunities in stage
productions are limited, and com pe­
titio n fo r such positions is great.
Television is partly responsible for
the reduction in stage productions,
yet at the same time this m edia offers
new outlets for dance. New profes­
sional dance com panies form ed from
the increasing num ber of civic and
com m unity groups offer additional
em ploym ent opportunities. As a re­
sult of the increased general popular­
ity o f dance in recent years, the best
em p lo y m en t o p p o rtu n itie s are in
teaching dance.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Professional dancers who perform
usually are mem bers of one of the
unions affiliated with the Associated
Actors and Artistes of Am erica
(AFL-CIO ). Dancers in opera ballet,
classical ballet, and the m odern
dance belong to the Am erican Guild
of Musical Artists, Inc.; those on live
or videotaped television belong to
the A m erican Federation of Televi­
sion and Radio Artists; those who
perform in films and TV belong to
th e S c re e n A c to rs G u ild o r th e
Screen Extras Guild; and those in
musical com edies join A ctors’ Equity
Association. O ther dancers may be
m em bers of other unions, depending
upon the fields in which they p e r­
form. The unions and producers sign
basic agreem ents specifying m ini­
mum salary rates, hours of work, and
o th e r co n d itio n s o f em ploym en t.
H o w e v e r, th e s e p a ra te c o n tr a c t
signed by each dancer with the p ro ­
ducer of the show may be more fa­

571

PERFORMING ARTISTS

vorable than the basic agreem ent re­
garding salary, hours of work, and
working conditions.
In 1976, the minimum salary for
dancers in opera and other stage
productions was about $250 a week.
The single perform ance rate for bal­
let dancers was about $ 100 for a solo
dance and about $50 per dancer for a
group. Dancers on tour received an
allowance o f $30 a day in 1976 for
room and board, with the employer
paying the cost of transportation. For
a brief appearance in a perform ance
on television or a few days’ work in a
movie, the minimum rate was higher,
relative to time worked. However,
this difference was offset by the brev­
ity of the engagem ent and the long
period likely waiting for the next one.
Unemployment rates for dancers
are higher than the average for all
occupations. Many qualified people
cannot obtain year-round work as
dancers, and are forced to supple­
ment their incomes by other types of
work. Some dancers who are quali­
fied to teach combine teaching with
performing.
Salaries of dance teachers vary
with the location and the prestige of
the school in which they teach.
Dance instructors in colleges and
universities are paid on the same
basis as other faculty members. (See
statem ent on college and university
teachers.)
The normal workweek is 30 hours
(6 hours per day maximum) spent in
rehearsals and m atinee and evening
performances. Extra com pensation is
paid for additional hours worked.
Most stage perform ances take place,
o f course, in the evening, and re­
hearsals require very long hours, of­
ten on weekends and holidays. For
shows on the road, weekend travel
often is required.
Dancers are entitled to some paid
sick leave and various health and
welfare benefits provided by their
unions, to which the employers con­
tribute. Dance instructors in schools
receive benefits com parable to those
of other teachers.

as well as details on the types o f
courses and other pertinent inform a­
tion is available from:
National Dance Association, a division of the
American Alliance for Health, Physical
Education and Recreation, 1201 16th St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

For information on all aspects of
dance, counseling services, and job
listings, contact:
American Dance Guild, 1619 Broadway,
Room 603, New York, N.Y. 10019.

MUSICIANS
(D.O.T. 152.028 and .048)

Nature of the Work
The im portant role that music
plays in m ost people’s lives makes it
difficult to imagine a world without
musicians. Professional musicians
are those whose livelihoods depend
upon perform ing for the enjoym ent
of others. These professionals—
whether they play in a symphony
orchestra, dance band, rock group,
or jazz com bo—generally have b e­
hind them many years of formal or
inform al study and practice. As a
rule, m usicians specialize in either
popular or classical music; only a few
play both types professionally.
Musicians who specialize in popu­
lar music usually play the trum pet,

trom bone, clarinet, saxophone, o r­
gan, or one of the “ rhythm ” instru­
m ents—the piano, string bass, drums,
or guitar. Dance bands play in night­
clubs, restaurants, and at special p ar­
ties. T he best know n bands, jazz
groups, rock groups, and solo p er­
formers sometimes perform on tele­
vision.
Classical musicians play in sym­
phonies, opera, ballet and theater or­
chestras, and for other groups that
require orchestral accom panim ents.
These m usicians play string, brass,
woodwind or percussion instruments.
Some form small groups—usually a
string quartet or a trio—to give co n ­
certs of cham ber music. Many pia­
nists accom pany vocal or instrum en­
tal soloists, choral groups, or provide
background music in restaurants or
other places. Most organists play in
churches; often they direct the choir.
A few exceptional musicians give
their own concerts and appear as
soloists with symphony orchestras.
Both classical and popular musicians
make individual and group record­
ings.
In addition to performing, many
musicians teach instrum ental and vo­
cal music in schools and colleges, or
give private lessons in their own stu­
dios or in pupils’ homes. Others com ­
bine careers as perform ers with work
as arrangers and composers.

Sources Of Additional
Information
Inform ation on colleges and uni­
versities th a t give a m ajor in the

dance or some courses in the dance,


Since a high quality of performance requires constant study and practice, self-disci­
pline is vital.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

572

A few musicians specialize in li­
brary science or psychology for work
in music libraries or in the field of
music therapy in hospitals. O thers
work as o rc h e stra c o n d u c to rs or
band directors.

Places of Employment
About 127,000 persons worked as
performing musicians in 1976. Many
thousands more taught in elem entary
and secondary schools and in colleg­
es and universities. (See the state­
ments on teachers elsewhere in the
Handbook.) Almost every town and
city has at least one private music
teacher.
Most performing musicians work
in cities where entertainm ent and
recording activities are concentrat­
ed, such as New York, Chicago, Los
A ngeles, N ashville, Miami Beach,
and New O rleans. M any perform
with one of the 31 m ajor symphony
groups, the 76 m etropolitan orches­
tras, or the hundreds of community
orchestras. Many com m unities have
orchestras and dance bands which
offer at least part-tim e work. The
v a rio u s b ra n c h e s o f th e A rm ed
Forces also offer career opportuni­
ties in a num ber of different musical
organizations.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Most people who become profes­
sional musicians begin studying an
instrum ent at an early age. To ac­
quire great technical skill, a thorough
knowledge of music, and the ability
to in te rp re t m usic, young people
need intensive training through pri­
vate study with an accom plished m u­
sician, in a college o r university
which has a strong music program , or
in a conservatory of music. For ad­
vanced study in one of these institu­
tions, an audition frequently is neces­
sary. Many teachers in these schools
are accom plished artists who will
train only prom ising young m usi­
cians.
Almost 500 colleges, universities,
and music conservatories offer
bachelor’s and/or higher degrees in
instrum ental or vocal music. These
programs provide training in musical
perform ance, com position, and th e­
o ry , an d also o ffe r lib e ra l a rts
 addition, about 750 con­
courses. In


servatories and colleges and universi­
ties offer a b ach elo r’s degree p ro ­
gram in music education to qualify
graduates for the State certificate for
elem en tary and secondary school
teaching positions. College teaching
positions usually require advanced
degrees, but exceptions may be made
for well-qualified artists.
Musicians who play popular music
must have an understanding of and
feeling for that style of music, but
classical training may expand their
em ploym ent opportunities. As a rule,
they take lessons with private teach­
ers when young, and seize every op­
portunity to play in am ateur or p ro ­
fessional perform ances. Establishing
a reputation with other musicians is
very im portant in getting started in a
career in popular music. Some young
people form small dance bands or
rock groups. As they gain experience
and becom e known, they may audi­
tion for other local bands, and still
later, for the better known bands and
orchestras.
Young persons who consider c a ­
reers in music should have musical
talen t, versatility, creative ability,
and poise and stage presence to face
large audiences. Since quality of p er­
form ance requires co n stan t study
and practice, self-discipline is vital.
M oreover, musicians who do concert
and n ig h tclu b en g ag em en ts m ust
have physical stamina because of fre­
quent traveling and schedules that
often include night perform ances.

Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent of m usicians is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the
average through the m id-1980’s, but
com petition for jobs will be keen.
O pportunities for concerts and recit­
als are not num erous enough to p ro ­
vide adequate em ploym ent for all the
pianists, violinists, and other instru­
mentalists qualified as concert a rt­
ists. Com petition usually is keen for
positions that offer stable em ploy­
ment, such as jobs with major orches­
tras, with the Armed Forces, and in
teaching positions. Because of the
ease with which a musician can enter
private music teaching, the num ber
o f m usic teac h ers has been m ore
than sufficient and probably will co n ­
tinue to be. Although many opportu­
nities are expected for single and

sh o rt-te rm e n g a g em en ts, playing
popular music in night clubs and th e­
aters, the supply of qualified musi­
cians who seek such jobs is likely to
exceed dem and. On the other hand,
first-class, experienced accom panists
and outstanding players of stringed
instrum ents are likely to remain rela­
tively scarce.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
The am ount received for a p e r­
formance by either classical or popu­
lar musicians depends on their geo­
graphic location as well as on their
professional re p u tatio n . M inimum
salaries for musicians in the 3 1 major
symphony orchestras in the United
States in 1976 ranged from $200 to
$ 400 a w e ek , a c c o rd in g to th e
A m e ric a n S y m p h o n y O r c h e s tr a
League. Minimum wages for musi­
cians in m etropolitan symphony or­
chestras were generally between $20
and $40 per concert. Some musicians
earned substantially more than the
minimums, however.
The m ajor symphony orchestras
have seasons ranging from 45 to 52
weeks. About half o f them have 50to 52-week seasons. Few of the m et­
ropolitan or com m unity orchestras
have seasons of 50 to 52 weeks, how­
ever.
Musicians in large m etropolitan
areas who played at dances, club
dates, variety shows, ballets, musical
comedies, concerts, and industrial
shows generally earned minimums
ranging from $40 to $53 for 3 hours
of work. Musicians in these areas
who had steady engagem ent c o n ­
tracts earned between $6 and $8 per
hour for a 5-day week. Wages for the
same types of engagem ents tended to
be less in smaller cities and towns.
Musicians employed in motion pic­
ture recording earned a minimum of
$93 for a 3-hour session; those em ­
ployed in television co m m ercials
earned a minimum of $48 for a 1hour session. Musicians employed by
m an u fa ctu rers o f p h o n o g ra p h re ­
cordings were paid a m inimum of
$110 for a 3-hour session.
Music teachers in public schools
earn salaries com parable to those of
other teachers. (See statem ents on
elem entary and secondary school
teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.)

573

PERFORMING ARTISTS

Many teachers give private music
lessons to supplem ent their earnings.
However, earnings often are uncer­
tain and vary according to the musi­
c ia n ’s re p u ta tio n , the n u m b er of
teachers and students in the locality,
and the economic status of the com ­
munity.
Musicians customarily work at
night and on weekends, and they
must spend considerable time in
practice and in rehearsal. Performing
engagements usually require some
travel.
Many musicians, primarily those
employed by symphony orchestras,
work under m aster wage agreem ents,
which guarantee a season’s work up
to 52 weeks. Musicians in other
areas, however, may face relatively
long periods of unem ploym ent be­
tween jobs. Thus, their earnings gen­
erally are lower than those of many
other occupations. M oreover, since
they may not work steadily for one
em ployer, some perform ers cannot
qualify for unem ploym ent com pen­
sation, and few have either sick leave
or vacations with pay. For these rea­
sons, m any m usicians tak e o th er
types o f jobs to su pplem ent their
earnings as musicians.
M ost professional m usicians be­
long to the American Federation of
Musicians ( AFL-CIO). C oncert solo­
ists also belong to th e A m erican
Guild of Musical Artists, Inc. (AFLCIO).

Sources of Additional
Information
For information about wages,
hours of work, and working condi­
tions for professional musicians, con­
tact:
American Federation of Musicians (AFLCIO), 1500 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
10036.

In fo rm atio n ab o u t the re q u ire ­
ments for certification of organists
and choir m asters is available from:
American Guild of Organists, 630 Fifth Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10020.

A list of accredited schools of mu­
sic and degree program s offered is
available from:
National Association of Schools of Music,
11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Reston, Va.

22090.


Further information about careers
in music is available from:
Music Educators National Conference, 1902
Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

A book entitled Careers in Music
can be obtained for $1 from:
American Music Conference, 150 E. Huron,
Chicago, 111. 60611.

SINGERS
(D.O.T. 152.028 and .048)

Nature of the Work
Singing is an age-old form of com ­
m unication which, in one form or an ­
other, can be understood and apprec i a t e d by a l m o s t e v e r y o n e .
Professional singing often requires
not only a fine voice but also a highly
developed technique and a broad
knowledge of music. A small num ber
of singing stars make recordings or
go on co n cert tours in the United
States and abroad. Somewhat larger
num bers o f singers obtain leading or
supporting roles in operas and popu­
lar music shows, or secure engage­
ments as concert soloists in oratorios
and o th e r types o f perform ances.
Some singers also becom e mem bers
of opera and musical comedy cho­
ruses or o th er professional choral
groups. Popular music singers p e r­
form in musical shows of all kinds—
in the movies, on the stage, on radio
and television, in concerts, and in
nightclubs and other entertainm ent
places. The best known popular m u­
sic singers make and sell many re­
cordings.
Some singers com bine their work
as perform ers with other related jobs.
Many give private voice lessons. A
num ber o f singers teach and direct
choruses in elem entary and second­
ary schools. (See the statem ents on
teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Others give voice training or direct
choral groups in ch u rch es, m usic
conservatories, or colleges and uni­
versities.

Places of Employment
About 23,000 persons worked as
professional singers in 1976. Many
others were employed as music
teachers in elem entary and second­

ary schools, colleges, universities,
and conservatories throughout the
country. O pportunities for singing
engagem ents are concentrated m ain­
ly in New York City, Los Angeles,
Las Vegas, San F rancisco, Dallas,
and C hicago—the N ation’s chief en­
tertainm ent centers. Nashville, T en­
nessee, a m ajor center for country
and western music, is one of the most
im portant places for employm ent of
singers for “ live” perform ances and
recordings. Many singers work part
time as church singers and choirm as­
ters.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Persons who want to sing profes­
sionally should acquire a broad back­
ground in music, including its theory
and history. The Ability to dance may
be helpful, since singers sometimes
are required to dance. In addition,
those interested in a singing career
should start piano lessons at an early
age to becom e familiar with music
theory and music composition. As a
rule, voice training should not begin
until after the individual has m atured
physically, although young boys who
sing in church choirs receive some
training before their voices change.
An audition often is required for ad­
vanced voice training. Since voice
training often continues for years af­
ter the singer’s professional career
has started, a prospective singer must
h av e g re a t d e te rm in a tio n .

To prepare for careers as singers of
classical music, young people can
take private voice lessons or enroll in
a music conservatory or a school or
departm ent of music in a college or
university. T hese schools provide
voice training and training in under­
standing and interpreting music, in­
cluding music-related training in for­
eign la n g u a g e s a n d , so m e tim e s,
dramatic training. After com pleting
4 years of study, the graduate may
receive the degree of bachelor of m u­
sic, bachelor of science or arts (in
m usic), or bachelor of fine arts.
Singers who plan to teach in public
schools need at least a bachelor’s
degree in music and must m eet the
State certification requirem ents for
teachers. About 750 conservatories
and colleges and universities offer a
bachelor’s degree program in music

574

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Young people who want to sing professionally should acquire a broad background in
music.

education. In addition, alm ost 500
colleges and universities offer train ­
ing in m usical perform ance, com po­
s itio n , a n d th e o ry , le a d in g to a
b a c h e lo r ’s d e g re e . M o st c o lle g e
teachers m ust have a m aster’s degree
or Ph. D. degree, but exceptions may
be m ade for well-qualified artists.
A lthough voice training is an asset
for singers of popular music, many
with untrained voices have had suc­
cessful careers. The typical popular
song does not dem and th at the voice
be d ev elo p ed to co v e r as w ide a
range on the musical scale as does
classical music, and the lack o f voice
projection may be overcom e by use
of a m icrophone.
Y oung singers o f popular songs
may becom e known by participating
in local am ateur and paid shows.
These engagem ents may lead to em ­
ploym ent with local dance bands or
rock groups and possibly later with
better known ones.
In addition to m usical ability, a
singing career requires an attractive
ap p e ara n ce, poise and stage p re s­
ence, and perseverance. Singers also
m ust have physical stam ina to adapt
to freq u en t traveling and rigorous
time schedules, which often include
night perform ances.




Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent o f singers is expected
to grow about as fast as the average
through the m id-1980’s, but com pe­
tition for jobs will be keen. Many
short-term jobs are expected in the
opera and concert stage, movies, th e ­
ater, nightclubs, and other areas. The
dem and is growing for singers who
record popular music to do radio and
television com m ercials. H ow ever,
these short-term jobs are not enough
to p ro v id e ste a d y e m p lo y m e n t f o r all
qualified singers.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Singers generally work at night and
on weekends, and m ust spend m uch
time in practice and in rehearsals.
W ork in the entertainm ent field is
seasonal and few perform ers have
steady jobs. Except for a few wellknown concert soloists, opera stars,
top recording artists of popular m u­
sic, and some dance band singers,
most professional singers experience
difficulty in obtaining regular em ­
ploym ent and have to supplem ent
th eir incom es with o th er kinds o f
jo b s. M o reo v er, a singing c a re e r
sometimes is relatively short, since it

depends on a good voice, physical
stam ina, and public acceptance of
the artist, all of which may be affect­
ed by age.
C oncert singers who were part o f a
chorus earned a minimum daily rate
o f $25 in 1976, or $45 to $50 per
perform ance. M embers o f an opera
chorus earned a minimum daily rate
o f $30, or $40 per perform ance. A
featured soloist received a minimum
of $200 for each perform ance. A few
opera soloists and popular singers,
however, earned thousands o f dollars
per perform ance. Minimum wage
rates for singers on television ranged
from around $143 to about $161 per
singer for a 1-hour show, depending
on the num ber of singers in the
group.
Professional singers usually belong
to a branch of the AFL-CIO union,
the Associated Actors and Artistes of
Am erica. Singers on the concert
stage o r in opera belong to the
A m erican Guild of Musical Artists,
Inc.; those who sing on radio or live
television or make phonograph re­
cordings are m em bers of the A m eri­
can Federation o f Television and R a­
dio Artists; singers in the variety and
nightclub field belong to the A m eri­
can Guild of Variety Artists; those
who sing in musical comedy and op ­
erettas belong to the A ctors’ Equity
Association; and those who sing in
the movies belong to the Screen A c­
tors Guild, Inc.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation
about
accredited
schools and departm ents of music is
available from:
National Association of Schools of Music,
11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Reston, Va.
22090.

F urther inform ation about careers
in music is available from:
Music Educators National Conference, 1902
Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

Good design can improve the ap­
pearance and usefulness of the prod­
ucts that we use and the places where
we live and work, as well as increase
sales by im proving their “ eye ap­
p ea l.” M aking p ro d u cts or places
more appealing and functional and
bringing them to the attention of the
public is the job of people in design
occupations.
Different design careers require
varying levels of training and educa­
tion. For example, while floral de­
signers often learn their duties on the
job and do not need a high school
diplom a, arc h ite c ts m ust have at
least 5 years of college and profes­
sional education. Regardless of the
amount of formal training required,
people in design occupations should
be creative and be able to com m uni­
cate ideas through their designs and
displays.
Job opportunities in design occu­
patio n s are ex p e cted to increase
through th e m id -1 9 8 0’s, prim arily
because a growing and m ore affluent
population is becoming more design
conscious.
This c h a p te r describes 8 design
occupations: architects, commercial
artists, display workers, floral design­
ers, industrial designers, interior de­
signers, landscape arch itects, and
photographers. (O ther jobs that of­
ten require design skills—for exam ­
ple, engineers—are described else­
where in the Handbook.)

and around them to perform their
duties properly. A rchitects design
buildings that successfully combine
th ese elem e n ts o f a ttra c tiv e n e ss,
safety, and usefulness.
M ost arch itects provide p ro fes­
sional services to clients planning a
building project. They are involved
in all phases of developm ent of a
building or project, from the initial
discussion of general ideas to the fi­
nal piece of construction. Their du­
ties require a variety of skills—d e­
sign, engineering, m anagerial, and
supervisory.
The architect and client first dis­
cuss the purposes, requirem ents, and
cost of a project, as well as any pref­
erence in design that the client may
have. The arch itect then prepares
schematic drawings to show the scale
and structural relationships of the
building.
If the schem atic drawings are ac­
cepted, the architect develops a final
design showing the floor plans and
the structural uetails of the project.

For example, in designing a school,
the architect ueterm ines the width of
corridors and stairways so that stu­
dents may move easily from one class
to another; the type and arrangem ent
of storage space, and the location
and size of classrooms, laboratories,
lunchroom or cafeteria, gymnasium,
and administrative offices.
Next the architect prepares work­
ing drawings showing the exact di­
mensions of every part of the struc­
ture and the location of plumbing,
heating units, electrical outlets, and
air conditioning.
Architects also specify the building
materials, and, in some cases, the
interior furnishings. In all cases, the
architect must insure that the struc­
tu re’s design and specifications con­
form to local and S tate building
codes, zoning laws, fire regulations,
and other ordinances.
Throughout this time, the architect
may make changes to satisfy the cli­
ent. A client may, for example, de­
cide that an original house plan is too
expensive and ask the architect to
make modifications. Or clients may
decide that their own ideas are more
appealing than those of the architect.
As a result, architects could become
frustrated, redesigning their plans to
m eet the clients’ expectations.
After all drawings are com pleted,
the architect assists the client in se­
lecting a contractor and negotiating

Although architects have the largest number of job
opportunities within the design field, job opportunities
also will occur in other occupations as well
Selected design occupations
Average annual openings, 1976-85 (in thousands)
Architects
Commercial artists

ARCHITECTS

Display workers
Interior designers

(D.O.T. 001.081)
Photographers

Nature of the Work
Attractive buildings improve the
physical environm ent of a com m uni­
ty. But buildings also must be safe
and must allow people both inside



Industrial designers
0
source

Bureau of Labor statistics

1

2

3

^ 4

5

Growth!®!! Replacement

575

576

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the contract. As construction p ro ­
ceeds, the architect makes periodic
visits to the building site to insure
that the contractor is following the
design, using the specified materials,
and m eeting the specified quality
standards. The job is not com pleted
until construction is finished, all re­
quired tests are made, bills are paid,
and guarantees are received from the
contractor.
A rchitects design a wide variety of
structures such as houses, churches,
hospitals, office buildings, and air­
ports. They also design multibuilding
com plexes for urban renewal proj­
ects, college cam puses, industrial
parks, and new towns. Besides d e­
signing stru c tu re s, arch itects also
may help in selecting building sites,
preparing cost and land-use studies,
and long-range planning for site de­
velopment.
When working on large projects or
for large architectural firms, archi­
tects often specialize in one phase of
the work such as designing, or ad­
m inistering co n struction contracts.
This often requires working with en­
gineers, urban planners, landscape
architects, and other design person­
nel.

Places of Employment
A b o u t 5 0 ,0 0 0 r e g is te r e d ( l i ­
censed) architects were employed in
1976. In addition, many unlicensed
arch itectu ral school graduates also
work as arch itects, but they m ust
work u n d er the supervision o f li­
censed architects.
Most architects work in architec­
tural firms, for builders, for real es­
tate firms, or for o th er businesses
th a t have large co n stru ctio n p ro ­
grams. Some work for governm ent
agencies, often in city and com m uni­
ty planning or urban redevelopm ent.
About 1,300 architects work for the
Federal Governm ent, mainly for the
D ep artm en ts o f D efense, Housing
and U rban D evelopm ent, and the
General Services Administration.
Although found in many areas, a
large proportion of architects are
employed in seven cities: Boston,
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York,
Philadelphia, San Francisco, and

Washington.


New graduates usually begin as junior drafters in architectural firms.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
All States and the District of C o­
lum bia require architects to be li­
censed. To qualify for the 2-day li­
censing exam, a person must have
either a bachelor of architecture d e­
gree followed by 3 years of experi­
ence in an architect’s office or a m as­
ter of architecture degree followed
by 2 years of experience. As a substi­
tute for formal training, most States
accept additional experience (usual­
ly 12 years) and successful com ple­
tion of a qualifying test for admission
to the licensing examination. Many
architectural school graduates work
in the field even though they are not
licensed. However, a registered a r­
chitect is required to take legal re­
sponsibility for all work.
In 1976, the N ational A rchitectur­
al A ccrediting Board had accredited
80 of the 101 schools offering profes­
sional degrees in architecture. Most
of these schools offer a 5-year c u r­
riculum leading to a Bachelor of A r­
chitecture degree or a 6-year c u r­

ricu lu m lea d in g to a M a ste r o f
A rchitecture degree. Students also
may transfer to professional degree
program s after completing a 2-year
ju n io r or com m unity college p ro ­
gram in architecture. Many architec­
tural schools also offer graduate ed u ­
cation for those who already have
their first professional degree. Al­
though such training is not essential
for practicing architects, it often is
desirable for those in research and
teaching. A typical college architec­
tural program includes courses in ar­
chitectural theory, design, graphics,
engineering, and urban planning, as
well as in E nglish, m a th e m a tic s,
chemistry, sociology, economics, and
a foreign language.
Persons planning careers in archi­
tecture should be able to work in­
d ep e n d en tly , have a cap acity for
solving technical problem s, and be
artistically inclined. They also m ust
be prepared to work in the com peti­
tive environm ent of business where
leadership and ability to work with
others are im portant. W orking for ar­
chitects or building contractors dur-

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

ing summer vacations is useful for
gaining practical knowledge.
New graduates usually begin as ju ­
nior drafters in architectural firms,
w here they p re p are a rch itectu ra l
drawings and make models of struc­
tures under the direction of a regis­
tered architect. After several years of
ex p erien ce, they may advance to
chief or senior drafter responsible for
all major details of a set of working
drawings and for supervising other
drafters. Others may work as design­
ers, construction con tract adm inis­
trators, or specification writers who
prepare directions explaining the ar­
chitect’s plan to the builder. Employ­
ees who become associates in their
firms receive, in addition to a salary,
a share of the profits. Usually, how­
ever, the arch itect’s goal is to own yis
or her own business.

Employment Outlook
Architects are expected to face
co m p etitio n for jo b s through the
m id-1980’s. Although em ploym ent
of architects is expected to rise about
as fast as the average for all workers
during this period, the num ber of de­
grees granted in architecture also has
been increasing rapidly. If this trend
co n tin u es, the n u m b er o f people
seeking em p lo y m en t in the field
could exceed the num ber of openings
from g ro w th , d e a th s, and re tire ­
ments. The best em ploym ent pros­
pects are expected to occur in the
South and in those States which do
not have architectural schools.
The outlook for these workers may
change, however, during short-run
periods. Because the dem and for
architects is highly dependent upon
the level o f new construction, any
significant upsurge or downturn in
building could tem porarily alter de­
mand.
Most job openings are expected to
be in architectural firms but some
openings are also expected to occur
in colleges and universities, construc­
tion firms, and the Governm ent.
The m ajor factor contributing to
the increase in em ploym ent of archi­
tects is the expected rapid growth of
nonresidential construction. In addi­
tion, the projected increase in enroll­
m en ts in a rc h ite c tu ra l p ro g ram s
should result in additional require­
ments for architects to teach in col­

leges and universities.


577

Growing public concern about the
quality of the physical environm ent is
expected to increase the dem and for
urban redevelopm ent and city and
community environm ental planning
projects. This should create further
opportunities for employment. (See
statem ent on urban planners else­
where in the Handbook.)

Earnings and Working
Conditions
The average salary for architects in
1976 was well over $20,000, accord­
ing to the limited information avail­
able. Architects with well-established
p riv a te p ra c tic e s g en e ra lly ea rn
m uch m ore than even highly paid
salaried em ployees of architectural
firms. A lthough the range in their
incomes is very wide, some architects
with many years of experience and
good reputations earned well over
$35,000 a year. Architects starting
their own practices may go through a
period when their expenses are great­
er than their income. Annual income
may fluctuate due to changing busi­
ness conditions.
In 1977, the average salary for
architects working in the Federal
G overnm ent was about $23,000.
Most architects spend long hours
at the drawing board in well
equipped offices. An architect somdtimes has to work overtime to m eet a
deadline. The routine often is varied
by interviewing clients or contractors
and discussing the designs, construc­
tion procedures, or building m ateri­
als of a project with other architects
or engineers. C o n tract adm inistra­
tors frequently work outdoors during
inspections at construction sites.

Sources of Additional
Information
General information about careers
in architecture, including a catalog of
publications, can be obtained from:
The American Institute of Architects, 1735
New York Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.
20006.

Inform ation about schools of a r­
chitecture and a list of junior colleges
offering courses in architecture are
available from:
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Ar­
chitecture, Inc., 1735 New York Ave.
NW., Washington, D. C. 20006.

Information about the licensing ex­
am inations can be obtained from:
The National Council of Architectural Regis­
tration Boards, 1735 New York Ave
NW., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20006.

COMMERCIAL ARTISTS
(D.O.T. 141.031 and .081, 970.281
and .381, and 979.381)

Nature of the Work
A team of commercial artists with
varying skills and specializations of­
ten creates the artwork in newspa­
p ers and m agazines and on b ill­
boards, brochures, and catalogs. This
team is supervised by an art director,
whose main function is to develop a
them e or idea for an ad or an adver­
tising campaign. After the art direc­
to r has determ ined the main e le ­
ments of an ad or design, he or she
will turn it over to two specialists for
further refinement. The sketch artist,
also called a renderer, does a rough
draw ing of any pictures required.
The layout artist, who is concerned
with graphics rather than art work,
constructs or arranges the illustra­
tions or photographs, plans the ty­
pography and picks colors for the ad.
W hat emerges is a “ rough visual,” a
sketch o f the finished ad. Both the
sketch artist and the layout artist
w o rk clo sely w ith the a r t d ir e c to r ;
they may do several sk etch es or
rough visuals before the director is
satisfied.
O ther commercial artists, usually
with less experience, are needed to
turn out the finished product. Letterers put together headlines and o th ­
er words on the ad. They use set or
pho to letterin g , and m ust have a
knowledge of type faces and the abil­
ity to reproduce them in a variety of
sizes and mediums such as ink, pen­
cil, or cutout pieces of paper. M e­
chanical artists paste up an engrav­
e r ’s guide o f the ad with all the
elem ents in the exact size and place
in w hich they will finally app ear.
Since this pasteup will be the engrav­
e r ’s b lu e p rin t, m ech a n ical artists
must be very precise.
Pasteup artists and other beginners
do more routine work such as cutting

578

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Some salaried commercial artists also do freelance work in their spare time.

mats, assembling booklets, or ru n ­
ning errands.
In a small office, the art director
may perform the layout and more
routine work with the help of train­
ees. In a large office, however, the art
director develops concepts with the
copywriter; sets standards; deals with
clients; and purchases needed photo­
graphs, illustrations, lettering, and
other artw ork from freelancers.
Advertising agencies or advertising
departm ents who lack time or per­
sonnel hire freelance illustrators to
prepare sketches. These artists must
be highly talented and able to work
qu ick ly —an agency, for exam ple,
may require a finished sketch in 1
day. Only the highly talented will re­
ceive enough assignments to m ain­
tain a sufficient income.
Advertising artists create the con­
cept and artwork for a wide variety
of items. These include direct mail
advertising, catalogs, co u n ter dis­
plays, slides, and filmstrips. They also
design or lay out the editorial pages
and fe a tu re s o f n ew sp a p ers and
magazines and produce or purchase
the necessary illu strations or a r t­
 com m ercial artists spe­
work. Some


cialize in producing fashion illustra­
tio n s , g r e e tin g c a r d s , o r b o o k
illustrations, or in making technical
drawings for industry.

Places of Employment
About 67,000 persons worked as
com m ercial artists in 1976. Although
some com m ercial artists can be
found in nearly every city, the m ajor­
ity work in large cities, such as New
York, Los Angeles, Boston, W ash­
ington, D.C., and Chicago, where the
largest users of com m ercial art are
located.
Most com m ercial artists work as
staff artists for advertising d e p a rt­
ments of large com panies, advertis­
ing agencies, printing and publishing
firm s, te x tile co m p a n ie s, p h o to ­
graphic studios, television and m o­
tion p ic tu re stu d io s, d e p a rtm e n t
stores, and a variety of other business
o rg a n iz atio n s. M any are self-em ­
ployed o r freelan ce artists. Some
salaried com m ercial artists also do
freelance work in their spare time. A
few th o u sa n d co m m ercial a rtists
work for Federal G overnm ent agen­
cies, principally in the Defense D e­
partm ent. A few teach in art schools.

Artistic ability, imagination, n eat­
ness, and a capacity to visualize ideas
on paper are im portant qualifications
for success in com m ercial art. How­
ever, these qualities may be devel­
oped by specialized training in the
techniques of com m ercial and ap ­
plied art.
Persons can prepare for a career in
com m ercial art by attending a 2- or
4-year trade school, or a junior col­
lege, college, or university which of­
fers a program in com m ercial art. In
1976, about 900 institutions offered
instruction in com m ercial art.
Most artists who enter the field are
graduates of trade schools. Adm is­
sion to these schools is based upon
high school grades, a portfolio of art
work, and an interview. A growing
num ber of colleges and universities,
however, confer degrees in com m er­
cial art. These college program s sup­
plem ent art instruction with liberal
arts courses such as English or histo­
ry. Although many em ployers prefer
graduates of a college or university
program in com m ercial art, the qual­
ity and reputation of a particular p ro ­
gram is more im portant than the type
of institution offering it.
Limited training in com m ercial art
also may be obtained through public
vocational high schools and practical
experience on the job. There is no
formal training program for the com ­
mercial art trainee, however. Instead,
trainees may run errands for the art
director or do other general chores
while learning. A dditional training
usually is needed for advancem ent.
B eginners also should supplem ent
their formal education and training
by making posters, layouts, illustra­
tions, and similar projects for schools
and other organizations.
The first year in art school may be
spent studying fundam entals—p e r­
sp e c tiv e , design, c o lo r h arm o n y ,
com position—and the use of pencil,
crayon, pen and ink, and other art
media. Subsequent study, generally
m ore specialized, includes drawing
from life, advertising design, graphic
design, lettering, typography, illus­
trations, and other courses in the stu­
d e n t’s particular field of interest.
In order to advance beyond a be­

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

ginner’s job, commercial artists must
develop specialized skills. For exam ­
ple, letterers and retouchers must do
precise and detailed work that re­
q u ires e x c e lle n t c o o rd in a tio n . A
sketch artist must be able to draw
anything adequately in alm ost any
medium, including die m arker, pen­
cil, ink or transparencies. Most com ­
mercial artists advance by specializ­
ing either in the m echanical elements
of producing an ad (letterers and me­
chanical and layout artists) or in the
pictorial elem ents (sketch artists and
illu s tra to r s ). T h u s, a su c c e ssfu l
sketch artist may not be very skilled
in typography. A rt directors, how­
ever, need a strong educational back­
ground in art and business practices
in addition to experience with pho­
tography, typography, and printing
production methods. Advertising art
directors require a special kind of
creativity—the ability to conceive
ideas that will stimulate the sale of
the client’s products or services.
Commercial artists usually assem­
ble their best artwork into a “ portfo­
lio,” to display their work. A good
portfolio is essential for initial em ­
ployment, for freelance assignments,
and for job changes.

Employment Outlook
T alen ted and w ell-trained com ­
mercial artists may face competition
for em ploym ent and advancem ent in
most kinds of work through the mid1980’s. Those with only average abil­
ity and little specialized training are
likely to encounter keen competition
for beginning jobs and have very lim­
ited opportunities for advancem ent.
Employment of com m ercial artists
is expected to increase about as fast
as the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. One antici­
pated area of growth is in visual ad­
vertising such as television graphics,
packaging displays, and poster and
window displays. T he expanding
field of industrial design also is ex­
pected to require more qualified art­
ists for three-dim ensional work with
en gineering co n cep ts. (See sta te ­
ment on industrial designers.) In ad­
dition, a few thousand jobs for com ­
mercial artists are expected to open
each year throughout the period to
replace workers who will die, retire,
Digitized forleave the field for other reasons.
or FRASER


579

The dem and for com m ercial artists
is expected to vary by specialization
or type. For example, dem and for
freelance artists is expected to in­
crease and experienced paste-up and
m echanical artists are always need­
ed; jobs for art directors and layout
artists, however, will be fewer, much
sought after, and open only to experi­
enced, very talented, and creative
artists. E m ploym ent oppo rtu n ities
are expected to be best for those who
have a variety of skills rather than
expertise in one or two specialties.
Com m ercial art occupations are
particularly sensitive to changes in
business
conditions.
Therefore,
jobseekers may find that opportuni­
ties vary from year to year depending
upon econom ic conditions.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, beginning com m ercial
artists having no training beyond vo­
cational high school typically earned
from $90 to $110 a week; graduates
of 2-year professional schools, $100
to $125 a week; and graduates of 4y ea r p o st-h ig h sch o o l p ro g ram s,
$120 to $175 a week, according to
the limited data available. Talented
artists who had strong educational
backgrounds and good portfolios,
however, started at higher salaries.
A fter a few years o f ex p erien ce,
qualified illustrators may expect to
earn $ 185 to $300 a week. Art direc­
tors, executives, w ell-know n fre e ­
lance illustrators, and others in top
positions generally have much higher
earnings, from $480 to $580 a week
or more.
Earnings of freelance artists vary
widely, since they are affected by
factors such as skill level, variety,
and popularity of work. Freelance
artists may be paid by the hour or by
the assignment. Com m ercial artists
who worked for the Federal G overn­
m ent in 1977 had an average annual
salary of $15,550 or about $300 a
week.
Salaried com m ercial artists gener­
ally work 35 to 40 hours a week, bu*
som etimes they must work additional
hours under considerable pressure to
m eet d ea d lin e s. F ree la n ce artists
usually have irregular working hours.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation on institutions offer­
ing program s in com m ercial art is
available from:
National Art Education Association, National
Education Association, 1916 Association
Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

DISPLAY WORKERS
(RETAIL TRADE)
(D.O.T. 298.081)

Nature of the Work
It happens every shopping day: A
person browsing through a clothing
store notices a m annequin wearing
an attractive suit and, without having
planned to, purchases a similar o u t­
fit. A fishing enthusiast sees a display
of angling equipm ent in a store win­
dow, goes in, and buys a new reel.
Incidents like these show how dis­
plays in stores and store windows can
a ttra c t cu sto m ers and en c o u rag e
them to buy. Knowing the effective­
ness of this form of advertising, some
stores allot a large share of their pub­
licity budget to displays.
Display workers specialize in de­
signing and installing such exhibits.
Their aim is to develop attractive,
eye-catching ways o f showing store
m erchandise to best advantage. To
create a setting th at enhances the
m erchandise, display workers need
imagination as well as knowledge of
co lo r harm ony, com position , and
other fundamentals of art. They may,
for ex am p le, ch o o se a them e — a
beach setting to advertise bathing
suits or surfing equipm ent—and de­
sign a colorful display around this
theme. After the design has been ap­
proved by the sto re’s m anagem ent,
display workers obtain the props and
o th er necessary accessories. T heir
craft skills com e into play at this
time.
Display workers often construct
many of the props themselves using
ham m ers, saws, spray guns, and o th ­
er tools. They may be assisted in
these tasks by a helper or by store
m a in te n a n c e w orkers. Som etim es
display w orkers use m erch an d ise

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

580

from other departm ents of the store
as props. Display workers also may
use props out of storage, designed for
previous displays, or o rd er props
from firms that specialize in them.
The display workers install the props,
b ack g ro u n d settings, and lighting
equipm ent. They also dress m anne­
quins and add finishing touches. Peri­
odically, they dismantle and replace
old displays with new ones.
In large stores that employ many
display workers, each may specialize
in a particular activity such as car­
pentry, painting, making signs, or set­
ting up interior or window displays.

Overall planning and adm inistration
in large stores are usually the respon­
sibilities of a display director who
supervises and coordinates the activi­
ties of each departm ent. The director
confers with executives, such as ad ­
vertising and sales managers, to se­
lect m erchandise for prom otion and
to plan displays.

Places of Employment
About 36,000 persons worked as
display workers in retail stores in
1976. Most worked in departm ent,
clothing, and homefurnishing stores;

workers need imagination as well as knowledge of color harmony.
Display


others in variety, drug, and shoe
stores and in book and gift shops.
Several th o u san d ad d itio n al fre e ­
lance or self-employed display w ork­
ers serviced small stores that needed
p rofessional window dressing but
could not afford full-tim e display
workers.
Geographically, em ploym ent is
distributed much like the N ation’s
population, with most jobs in large
towns and cities.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most display workers learn their
trade through informal on-the-job
training. Beginners are hired as help­
ers to d ism a n tle d isp lay s, c a rry
props, and do other routine tasks.
Gradually, they are given the oppor­
tunity to do more difficult work such
as building props and, if they show
artistic talent, planning simple d e­
signs. A beginner usually can become
skilled in 1 to 2 years. Training time
varies, how ever, depending on the
beginner’s ability and the variety and
complexity of displays that the em ­
ployer requires.
When hiring inexperienced w ork­
ers, m ost em ployers will consider
only high school graduates. Courses
that provide helpful training for dis­
play work include art, woodworking,
m echanical drawing, and m erchan­
dising. Some employers seek appli­
cants who have com pleted college
courses in art, interior decorating,
fashion design, advertising, or related
subjects.
Creative ability, m anual dexterity,
and m echanical aptitude are among
the most im portant personal qualifi­
cations needed in this field. Good
physical condition and agility are
needed to carry equipm ent, climb
ladders, and work in close quarters
without upsetting props.
A dvancem ent may take several
forms. A display w orker with super­
visory ability might becom e display
director in a large store. A display
d irecto r m ight in turn progress to
sales prom otion director or be placed
in charge of store planning.
Freelance work is another avenue
of advancem ent. Relatively little
money is needed to start a freelance
business. However, this is a highly
com petitive field, and self-em ploy­

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

ment may be a struggle at the outset
unless an excellent reputation has
first been established. For this rea­
son, some workers m oonlight until
they have enough clients for full-time
work on their own.
The display w orker’s skills could
lead to jobs in other art-related occu­
pations such as interior decoration or
p h o to g rap h y . T h ese o cc u p atio n s,
however, require additional training.

Employment Outlook
Employment of display workers is
expected to grow more slowly than
the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. G reater
overall coordination of activities by
store m anagem ents and increased
specialization of job duties will tend
to limit the num ber of display work­
ers needed in each store. In addition
to the jobs resulting from em ploy­
ment growth, however, many open­
ings will arise each year to replace
experienced workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
Employment opportunities will
continue to be concentrated in large
stores, most of which are located in
m etropolitan areas.

5 81

reality can be a highly rewarding ex­
perience.
Display workers usually work 35 to
40 hours a week. During busy sea­
sons, such as Christmas and Easter,
they may work overtime, nights, and
weekends to prepare special displays.
C onstructing and installing props
frequently require prolonged stand­
ing, bending, stooping, and working
in awkward positions. Display work­
ers risk injury from falls off ladders,
from contact with sharp or rough m a­
terials, and from the use of power
tools, but serious injuries are uncom ­
mon.

Sources of Additional
Information
Details on career opportunities
can be obtained from local retailers,
such as departm ent stores, and from
local offices of the State em ploym ent
service.

FLORAL DESIGNERS
(D.O.T. 142.081)

Nature of the Work
Earnings and Working
Conditions
Among large employers, wages for
beginners ranged from $2.50 to
$3.75 an hour in 1976. Beginners
who have com pleted college courses
in art, interior decorating, or related
subjects generally received the
higher starting salaries. Experienced
display w orkers’ salaries ranged from
$120 to $240 a week, depending
largely on experience and ability.
M ost display d irecto rs earned be­
tween $12,000 and $20,000 a year.
Experienced directors in large m et­
ropolitan departm ent stores, particu­
larly executives, may earn consider­
ably more.
The earnings o f freelan cers d e­
pend on their talent and prestige, on
the num ber and kinds o f stores they
service, and on the am ount of time
they work. Many highly skilled free­
lancers earn m ore than $25,000 a
year.
Display personnel enjoy the satis­
fa c tio n o f do in g c re a tiv e w ork.
 an original design into
Transforming


Floral designers assemble flowers
and foliage into a specific design to
express the thoughts and sentim ents
of the sender. In perform ing their
work, floral designers com bine their
knowledge of flower and plant forms
and floral design techniques with
their own creativity to produce floral
and plant gifts, decorations, and trib­
utes.
Designers must know the names
and lasting qualities o f flowers, and
growing inform ation about flowering
plants. They must also know the sea­
sonal availability of flower and plant
m a te ria ls and th e m a n a g e m e n t’s
pricing structure for these materials.
In any given day, designers may
receive a variety of orders including
d e c o ra tiv e flow ering p lants, b o u ­
quets, corsages, funeral work, and
dried flower arrangem ents. Special
orders, such as for weddings and p a r­
ties, also incorporate the creative d e­
sign and decorating talents of the flo­
ral designer.
Designers work from a written o r­
der indicating custom er preference

for color and type of flower, as well
as the occasion, price, date, time,
and place the arrangem ent or plant is
to be delivered. C ustom ers som e­
times leave the choice of flowers,
color, and design to the discretion of
the designer, however.
A funeral order may read “ easel
spray of red and white flowers.” For
the foundation, the designer attaches
a base (styrofoam, needle pack, etc.)
near the top of a three-legged wire
stand. A ppropriate flowers are se­
lected from the floral refrigerator.
W hite gladiolas and red carnations
are a possible c o m b in atio n . T he
price of the order and the cost of the
flow ers d eterm ine the num ber of
flowers used. The flowers are cut to
the needed length and wired for se­
curity. Stems are strengthened with
wood sticks for easy insertion into
the base.
To provide a background for the
flowers, the designer inserts leafy
branches such as cham adorea or fern
into the base. Gladioluses are spaced
so that the tips of the flowers ap­
proximate an oval or diamond shape.
C arnations are placed between the
gladioluses to provide contrasting
form, color harmony, and depth. A
bow is placed at the focal point of the
spray, and foliage is added to hide
con stru ctio n . On the back of the
sympathy card are the description 6f
the spray and the d onor’s name and
address for easy acknowledgem ent.
The spray is ready for delivery. This
type of order usually is com pleted in
about 15 minutes.
Floral designers often have other
duties. They may help custom ers se­
lect flowers, plants, gifts, and floral
accessories available in the shop.
D u rin g slack p e rio d s , d e sig n e rs
sometimes decorate flowering plants,
arrange planters and terrarium s, and
prepare accessories for a coming sea­
son—for example, bows and stream ­
ers for football corsages or dressings
for flowering plants. The variety of
duties perform ed by a floral designer
depends on the size of the shop and
the num ber of designers employed.

Places of Employment
About 37,000 floral designers
were em ployed in 1976. Nearly all
designers work in the retail flower

582

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Floral arrangements express the designer’s artistic talent.

shops common to large cities, subur­
ban sh o p p in g c e n te rs , and sm all
towns. M ost shops are small and em ­
Digitized for only one or two floral designers;
ploy FRASER


many designers m anage their own
stores. Geographically, em ploym ent
is d is trib u te d m uch th e sam e as
population.

An increasing num ber o f people
now take courses in floral design to
prepare for a career in this field.
Courses in flower arranging are of­
fered in many adult education p ro ­
grams, junior colleges, and com m er­
cial floral design schools. L onger
program s provide training in flower
m arketing and shop m anagem ent for
floral designers who plan to operate
their own shops. A background of
formal training gives a prospective
designer an advantage in obtaining a
job over other applicants who have
no training. How ever, since speed
and creative ability are the most im­
portant elements in successful floral
designing, training acquired on the
job through actual work experience
also is valuable.
Many people who want to becom e
designers are trained on the job by
the m anager or an experienced floral
designer. Initially they copy simple
arrangem ents that use one type of
flower. If they work quickly with
their hands and recognize the shape,
color and position of flowers that
m ake attra ctiv e arran g em en ts, in ­
struction in more com plex arrange­
m ents is given. As e x p e rien ce is
gained, original designs required for
sp ecial o rd e rs can be a tte m p te d .
Usually a person can becom e a fully
qualified floral designer after 2 years
of on-the-job training.
Good color vision, manual dexter­
ity, and the ability to arrange various
shapes and colors in attractive p at­
terns are the prim ary qualifications
for this occupation. A high school
diploma usually is desired, although
n o t essential. A p p lican ts m ust be
able to write legibly and do simple
arithm etic in order to write up bills
for custom ers. High school courses in
business arith m etic, book k eep in g ,
selling techniques, and other busi­
ness subjects are helpful. Experience
gained by working p art tim e in a
flower shop while still in school is
very helpful.
Floral designers with supervisory
ability may advance to m anager or
design supervisor in large flower
shops. M anagers who have the neces­
sary c a p ita l may op en th eir own
shops.

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

Employment Outlook
Employment of floral designers is
expected to increase faster than the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1980’s. In addition to job
openings created by employment
growth, many openings will arise
each year as workers retire, die, or
change occupations.
Floral designer em ploym ent is re­
lated to sales of retail florist shops,
which vary with ups and downs in the
economy. Over the long run, how­
ever, it is expected that population
growth and rising income will cause
sales of flowers and floral arrange­
ments to increase significantly. As a
result, more floral designers will be
needed.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Limited information indicates that
in 1976 experienced designers usual­
ly earned between $2.50 and $5 an
hour. Inexperienced floral designers
generally earned the minimum wage.
A lthough th eir earnings are often
low, designers achieve the additional
satisfaction of doing creative work
and seeing their ideas transform ed
into reality.
In small shops, floral designers of­
ten work 8 hours a day, M onday
th rough S atu rd ay . In m any large
shops, designers who work Saturday
get a day off during the week. De­
signers generally work long hours
around certain holidays, such as Eas­
ter and V alentine’s Day, when the
demand for flowers is great.
Most designers receive holiday and
vacation pay. Because m ost shops
are small, other fringe benefits are
limited. Some employers pay part of
the cost of group life and health in­
surance but few contribute to retire­
ment plans other than social security.
Floral designers in a few cities are
members o f the Retail Clerks Inter­
national Association.
Floral designers must be able to
stand for long periods. Work areas
are kept cool and humid to preserve
the flowers, and designers are ex­
posed to sudden tem perature chang­
es when entering or leaving storage
refrigerators. In general, how ever,
florist shops are clean and well-venti­
lated, and provide a pleasant atm o­

sphere.


583

Sources of Additional
Information
For additional inform ation about
careers in floral design and addresses
of schools offering courses in this
field, write to:
Society of American Florists, 901 N. Washing­
ton St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNERS
(D.O.T. 142.081)

Nature of the Work
When people buy a product,
w hether it’s a home appliance, a new
car, or a ball point pen, they want it
to be as attractive, safe, and easy to
use as possible. Industrial designers
com bine artistic talent with knowl­
edge of m arketing, m aterials, and
m ethods of production to im prove
the appearance and functional design
of products so that they com pete fa­

vorably with sim ilar goods on the
market.
As the first step in their work, in­
dustrial designers com pare the prod­
uct with com peting products, and
gather inform ation about such things
as the needs of the user of the prod­
uct, fashion trends, and effects of the
product on its environm ent. A fter
the initial research, industrial design­
ers sketch different designs and co n ­
sult with engineers, production su­
p e rv iso rs, and sales and m a rk e t
research personnel about the practi­
cability and sales appeal of each idea.
Team w ork is im portant to get the
best inform ation about specialized
areas of concern, such as engineering
problem s or new production or m ar­
keting methods.
After company officials select the
most suitable design, the industrial
designer or a professional m odeler
makes a model, often of clay so that
it can be easily changed. After any
necessary revisions, a final or work­
ing model is made, usually of the m a­
terial to be used in the finished prod-

industrial designers confer on plans for new product.

584

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

uct. The approved m odel then is put
into production.
A lthough m ost industrial designers
are product designers, many others
em ployed by business organizations
are involved in different facets of d e­
sign. Some industrial designers seek
to create favorable public images for
com panies and for governm ent serv­
ices such as transportation by devel­
oping tradem arks or symbols th at app e a r o n t h e f i r m ’s p r o d u c t ,
advertising, b ro ch u res, and statio ­
nery. Som e design containers and
packages th at both p ro tect and p ro ­
m ote their contents. O thers prepare
small display exhibits or the entire
layout for industrial fairs. Some d e­
sign the interior layout o f special p u r­
pose com m ercial buildings such as
restaurants and superm arkets.
C o rp o rate designers em ployed by
a m anufacturing com pany usually
work only on the products m ade by
their em ployer. This may involve fill­
ing day-to-day design needs of the
com pany or long-range planning of
new products. C onsultant designers
who serve m ore than one industrial
firm often plan and design a great
variety o f products.

Places of Employment
A bout 12,000 persons were em ­
p lo y ed as in d u stria l d esig n ers in
1976. M ost w orked for large m anu­
facturing com panies designing either
consum er or industrial products or
for design consulting firms. O thers
did freelance work, o r were on the
staffs o f architectural and interior d e­
sign firms. A few taught industrial
design in colleges, universities, and
art schools.
Industrial design consultants work
mainly in large cities such as New
Y ork, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San
Francisco. Industrial designers with
industrial firms usually work in or
near the m anufacturing plants of
their com panies, which often are
located in small and m edium -sized
cities.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
C om pleting a course of study in
industrial design in an art school, in
the design or art departm ent o f a
university, or in a technical college is
the usual requirem ent for entering



this field of work. Persons m ajoring
in engineering, architecture, and fine
arts may qualify as industrial design­
ers if they have appropriate experi­
ence and artistic talent. M ost large
m anufacturing firms hire only indus­
trial designers who have a bachelor’s
degree in the field.
In 1976, 33 colleges and art
schools offered program s in industri­
al design that were either accredited
by th e N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f
Schools o f A rt or recognized by the
In d u s tria l D e sig n e rs S o c ie ty o f
America.
Industrial design program s may
take either 4 or 5 years, and lead to a
bachelor’s degree in industrial design
or fine arts. Some schools require
applicants to subm it sketches and
other examples of their artistic ability
for prior approval. Some schools also
award a m aster’s degree in industrial
design.
Industrial design program s differ
considerably am ong schools. M ost
college and university program s
m aintain a balance betw een science,
hum anities, and art; art schools gen­
erally stress a strong foundation in
art. In m ost program s, students spend
m uch time in the lab designing o b ­
jects in three dimensions. In studio
courses, students m ake m odels with
clay, wood, plaster, and other easily
w orked m aterials. In schools th a t
have the necessary m achinery, stu­
dents m ake models of their designs
while learning to use m etalworking
and w oodw orking m achinery. S tu­
dents also take courses in drawing,
drafting, and other visual com m uni­
cations skills.
Many industrial design program s,
particularly those that are part of a
liberal arts college or university, also
include courses in basic engineering,
in the physical and natural sciences,
in the behavioral sciences, and in
m arketing and business adm inistra­
tion.
Industrial designers m ust have cre­
ative talent, drawing skills, and the
ability to see familiar objects in new
ways. T hey m ust u n d e rsta n d and
m eet the needs and tastes of the pub­
lic, rath er than design only to suit
their own artistic sensitivity. Design­
ers should not be discouraged when
their ideas are rejected —often d e ­
signs m ust be re su b m itte d m any

times before one is accepted. .Since
industrial designers m ust cooperate
with engineers and other staff m em ­
bers, the ability to work and com m u­
nicate with others is im portant. A
sound understanding o f m arketing,
sales work, and other business p rac­
tices is im portant for design consul­
tants.
A pplicants for jobs should assem ­
ble a “ p o rtfo lio ” o f drawings and
sketches to dem onstrate their c re ­
ativity and ability to com m unicate
ideas.
New graduates of industrial design
program s frequently do simple as­
signments for experienced designers.
As they gain experience, they may
becom e supervisors with m ajor re­
sponsibility for the design of a p ro d ­
uct or a group of products. Those
who have an established reputation
and the necessary funds may start
their own consulting firms.

Employment Outlook
Em ployment in this relatively
small occupation is expected to grow
m ore slowly than the average for all
occupations. In recent years, the
trend has been away from frequent
redesign o f household products, au­
tom obiles, and industrial equipm ent.
However, continued emphasis on is­
sues such as ecology and pro d u ct
safety should increase dem and for in­
dustrial designers.
D em and for industrial designers
may fluctuate over short-run periods.
During econom ic downturns when
the m arket for new products is dam p­
ened, the need for these workers also
tends to decline.
Em ployment opportunities are ex­
pected to be best for college gradu­
ates with degrees in industrial design.
In ad d itio n to openings resu ltin g
from growth, some em ploym ent op ­
portunities will arise each year as de­
signers die, retire, or transfer to oth er
fields.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries for inexperienced industri­
al designers with a bachelor’s degree
g en erally ranged from $9,000 to
$12,000 a year in 1976, according to
limited data. After several years’ ex­
p e r ie n c e , it is p o ssib le to e a rn
$14,000 to $18,000 a year. Salaries

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

585

o f those with many years o f experi­
ence averaged m ore than $25,000 a
year in 1976, but varied according to
individual talen t and the size and
type of firm.
Earnings of industrial designers
who own their consulting firms fluc­
tuate greatly, but in general tend to
be higher than the average earnings
o f corporate industrial designers.
Industrial designers generally work
a 5-day, 35-40 hour week, with occa­
sional overtim e necessary to m eet
pro d u ctio n deadlines. Independent
consultants, who often are paid by
the assignm ent, m ay w ork longer
hours.

Sources of Additional
Information
A brochure about careers and a list
o f schools offering courses and d e­
grees in industrial design are avail­
able for 50 cents from:
Industrial Designers Society of America, 1750
Old Meadow Rd., McLean, Va. 22101.

INTERIOR DESIGNERS

A successful designer must be creative, have good color sense and good taste, and be
able to work well with people.

(D.O.T. 142.051)
may want to make only m inor
changes, such as putting a table and
The creative work o f interior d e­ chair where the designer had placed
signers, som etim es called interior a couch.
Once the client approves both the
decorators, helps m ake o u r living,
working, and playing areas more a t­ plans and the cost, the designer may
tractive and useful. Interior designers look for and then buy the furnishings,
plan and supervise the design and ar­ supervise the work o f painters, floor
rangem ent o f building interiors and finishers, carpet layers, and other
furnishings. They may work on either craft workers if they are needed, and
private hom es or com m ercial build­ m ake sure the furnishings are in ­
stalled and arranged properly.
ings.
Designers who work in large d e­
W hen planning a room , designers
first consider the purpose o f the area partm ent and furniture stores th at
and the client’s budget and taste. A have sep arate design d ep artm en ts
very expensive couch that is easily advise custom ers on decorating and
soiled, for example, may not suit a design plans. Although their princi­
family’s needs for th eir recreation pal function is to help sell the sto re ’s
m erchandise, they som etim es may
room.
Next, most designers prepare s u g g e st fu rn is h in g s fro m o t h e r
sketches o f their plans. The sketches sources when essential to the cus­
show all the furniture and accessories tom er’s plans. D epartm ent store d e ­
the designer is considering as well as signers also frequently advise the
any changes in the structure itself, sto re’s buyers and executives about
such as a new wall to separate the style and color trends in interior fur­
dining and living rooms. Sometimes, nishings.
the clients may not like the plans, in
Interior designers who specialize in
which case the designer must start all nonresidential structures often work
over again; other times, the client for clients on large design projects


Nature of the Work



such as the interiors of entire office
buildings, hospitals, and libraries.
G enerally they plan the com plete
layout o f rooms without changes to
the structure of the building. Some­
times, though, they redesign or ren ­
ovate the interiors of old buildings. In
these cases, an architect checks the
plans to make sure that they comply
with building requirements. Some in­
terior designers also design the furni­
ture and accessories to be used in
various structures, and then arrange
for their m anufacture. A few have
unusual jobs such as designing interi­
ors of ships and aircraft or stage sets
used for motion pictures or televi­
sion.
All designers, regardless of where
they are working, must deal with
paperwork. They must place orders,
figure estim ates, and maintain rec­
ords of where to purchase hundreds
o f different types of furnishings.

Places of Employment
About 37,000 persons worked as
interior designers in 1976, primarily
in large cities.

586

Some experienced interior design­
ers manage their own establishments,
either alone or as partners with other
designers. Most designers work for
large design firms that employ d e­
signers to work independently with
their clients or as assistants to senior
designers.
O ther interior designers work in
large departm ent or furniture stores,
and a few have perm anent jobs with
hotel and restaurant chains. Some
work for architects, furniture suppli­
ers, antique dealers, furniture and
te x tile m a n u f a c tu r e r s , o r o th e r
m anufacturers in the interior furnish­
ing field. Interior designers also work
for magazines that feature articles on
home furnishings.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Formal training in interior design
is becoming increasingly im portant
for entry into this field. Most archi­
tectu ral firm s, well-established d e­
sign firms, departm ent and furniture
stores, and other m ajor em ployers
will accept only trained people for
beginning jobs. The types of training
available include 3-year programs in
a professional school of interior de­
sign, 4-year college or university pro­
grams that grant a bachelor’s degree,
or postgraduate program s leading to
a m aster’s degree or Ph. D. The cu r­
riculum usually includes principles of
design, history of art, freehand and
mechanical drawing, painting, study
of the essentials of architecture as
they relate to interiors, design of fur­
niture and exhibitions, and study of
various m aterials, such as wood, plas­
tics, m etals, and fabrics. A knowl­
edge of furnishings, art pieces, and
antiques is im portant. In addition,
courses in sales and business subjects
are valuable.
M em bership in the American Soci­
ety of Interior Design is a recognized
mark of achievem ent in this profes­
sion. M em bership usually requires
the com pletion of 3 or 4 years of
post-high school education in design,
and several years of practical experi­
ence in the field, including superviso­
ry work.
Persons starting in interior design
usually serve a training period with a
design firm, departm ent store, or fur­
niture store.
 They may act as recep­


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tionists, as shoppers with the task of
matching m aterials or finding acces­
sories, or as stockroom assistants,
salespersons, assistant decorators, or
junior designers. In most instances,
from 1 to 5 years of on-the-job train­
ing are required before a trainee b e­
com es eligible for advancem ent to
designer. Beginners who do not get
trainee jobs often sell fabric, lamps,
or other interior furnishings in d e­
partm ent or furniture stores to gain
experience in dealing with custom ers
and to becom e familiar with the m er­
chan d ise. T here is no g u aran tee,
however, that this experience will re­
sult in a job in design, although it
could lead to a career in m erchandis­
ing.
After considerable experience, d e­
signers may advance to design d e­
partm ent head or to other superviso­
ry positions in departm ent stores or
in large design firms. If they have the
necessary funds, they may open their
own businesses.
A successful designer must be cre­
ative, have good co lo r sensq and
good taste, and be able to work well
with peo p le. At tim es, d esig n ers’
tastes may not m atch those of their
clients, so designers must be willing
to make changes in plans they con­
sider attractive and functional.

Employment Outlook
Persons seeking beginning jobs in
interior design are expected to face
com petition through the m id-1980’s.
Interior design is a com petitive field
that requires talent, training, and
business ability, and many applicants
vie for the better jobs. Talented col­
lege graduates who m ajor in interior
design and graduates o f professional
schools of interior design will find the
best opportunities for employment.
Those with less talent or without for­
mal training will find it increasingly
difficult to enter this field.
Em ployment of interior designers
is expected to increase about as fast
as the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. Growth in
p o p u latio n , personal incom es, ex ­
penditures for home and office fur­
nishings, and the increasing use of
design services in both homes and
com m ercial establishm ents should
contribute to a greater dem and for
these w orkers. In addition to new

jobs, some openings will be created
by the need to replace designers who
die, retire, or leave the field.
D epartm ent and furniture stores
are expected to employ an increasing
num ber of designers as their share in
the growing volume of design work
for com m ercial establishm ents and
public buildings increases. Interior
design firms also are expected to
continue to expand.
Em ployment of interior designers,
however, is sensitive to changes in
g en e ral ec o n o m ic co n d itio n s b e ­
cause people often forego design
services when the econom y slows
down.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Beginners usually are paid a
straight salary plus a small com m is­
sion. Starting salaries can range from
the minimum wage plus a small com ­
mission to a fixed salary of $140 a
week or higher. Firms in large m etro­
politan areas usually pay the highest
salaries.
Some experienced interior design­
ers are paid straight salaries, some
receive salaries plus com m issions
based on the value o f their sales,
while others work entirely on com ­
missions.
Incomes of experienced designers
vary greatly. Many persons earn from
$6,000 to $12,000 a year, and highly
successful designers can earn much
more. A small num ber of nationally
recognized professionals earn well
over $50,000 annually.
The earnings of self-employed de­
signers vary widely, depending on the
volume of business, their profession­
al reputation, the econom ic level of
their clients, and their own business
com petence.
D esigners’ work hours are som e­
times long and irregular. Designers
usually adjust their workday to suit
the needs of their clients, m eeting
with them during the evenings or on
weekends when necessary.

Sources of Additional
Information
For inform ation about careers in
interior design and a list of schools
offering programs in this field, co n ­
tact:
American Society of Interior Design, 730 Fifth
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
(D.O.T. 019.081)

Nature of the Work
Everyone enjoys attractively d e­
signed residential areas, public parks,
and com m ercial zones. Landscape
architects design these areas to satis­
fy functional needs as well as peo­
ple’s aesthetic sense.

587

Landscape architects assist many
types of organizations in planning
and designing a project, from a real
estate firm starting a new suburban
developm ent to a city constructing
an airport or park. They may plan
and arrange trees, shrubbery, walk­
ways, open spaces, and other fea­
tures as well as supervise the neces­
sary g ra d in g , c o n s tr u c tio n , an d
planting.
Landscape architects first consider
the nature and purpose of the proj­

Persons planning careers in landscape architecture should be interested in art and

nature.


ect, the funds available, and the p ro­
posed buildings in planning a site.
Next, they study the site and map
features such as the slope of the land
and the position of existing buildings,
roads, walkways, and trees. They also
observe the sunny parts of the site at
different times of the day, soil tex­
ture, existing utilities, and many o th ­
er landscape features. Then, after
consulting with the project architect
or engineer, they draw up plans to
develop the site. If the plans are ap­
proved, landscape architects prepare
working drawings showing all exist­
ing and proposed features. L an d ­
scape architects outline in detail the
methods of constructing features and
draw up lists of building materials.
They then may invite landscape co n ­
tractors to bid for the work.
Although landscape architects
help design and supervise a wide
variety of projects, some specialize in
certain types of projects such as
parks and playgrounds, hotels and
resorts, shopping centers, or public
housing. Still o th ers specialize in
services such as regional planning
and resource m anagem ent, feasibility
and cost studies, or site construction.

Places of Employment
About 13,000 persons worked as
landscape architects in 1976. Most
were self-employed or worked for ar­
chitectural, landscape architectural,
or engineering firms. G overnm ent
agencies concerned with forest m an­
agement, water storage, public hous­
ing, city planning, urban renew al,
highways, parks, and recreation also
em ployed m any lan d sca p e a rc h i­
tects. The Federal G overnm ent em ­
ployed over 550 landscape a rch i­
tects, mainly in the D epartm ents of
A griculture, D efense, and Interior.
Some landscape architects were em ­
ployed by landscape contractors, and
a few taught in colleges and universi­
ties.
Em ploym ent of landscape arch i­
tects is concentrated around large
m etropolitan areas, primarily on the
East and West Coasts. However, em ­
ploym ent opportunities have recent­
ly been growing in the Southwest.

588

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A bachelor’s degree in landscape
architecture which takes 4 or 5 years
is usually the minimum educational
requirem ent for entering the profes­
sion. The American Society of Land­
scape A rchitects accredits about 40
colleges and universities that offer
su ch p ro g ra m s. A b o u t 60 o th e r
s c h o o ls also o ffe r p ro g ra m s o r
courses in landscape architecture.
A person interested in landscape
architecture should take high school
courses in m echanical or geom etrical
drawing, art, botany, and more
m athem atics than the minimum re­
quired for college entrance. A good
background in English gramm ar also
is im portant, since landscape archi­
tects must be able to express their
ideas verbally as well as graphically.
College courses include technical
subjects such as surveying, landscape
construction, sketching, design com ­
m unications, and city planning. O th­
er courses include horticulture and
botany as well as English, science,
and m athem atics. Most college pro­
grams also include field trips to view
and study examples of landscape ar­
chitecture.
T h irty -eig h t S tates require a li­
cense, based on the results of a uni­
form national licensing examination,
for in d ep en d e n t p ractice of lan d ­
scape architecture. Admission to the
licensing ex a m in atio n usually re ­
quires a degree from an accredited
school of landscape architecture plus
2 to 4 years of experience. Lengthy
apprenticeship training (6-8 years)
under an experienced landscape ar­
chitect sometimes may be substituted
for college training.
Persons planning careers in land­
scape architecture should have cre­
ative im agination, draw ing talen t,
and an appreciation for nature. Selfemployed landscape architects also
must understand business practices.
Working for landscape architects or
landscape co n tractors during sum ­
mer vacations helps a person under­
stand the practical problem s of the
profession, and may be helpful in ob­
taining em ploym ent after graduation.
New graduates usually begin as
junior drafters, tracing drawings and
doing oth er
 simple drafting work.


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

After gaining experience, they help
prepare specifications and construc­
tion details and handle other aspects
of project design. After 2 or 3 years
they can usually c a rry a design
through all stages of developm ent.
Highly qualified landscape architects
may becom e associates in private
firms; landscape architects who p ro ­
gress this far, however, often open
their own office.

Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent of landscape archi­
tects is expected to grow faster than
th e a v e ra g e fo r all o c c u p a tio n s
through the m id-1980’s. A dditional­
ly, new entrants will be needed as
replacem ents for landscape a rch i­
tects who retire or die.
A nticipated rapid growth in new
construction is expected to play a
major role in increasing dem and for
landscape architects. However, d u r­
ing slow periods the dem and could
be limited.
A nother factor underlying the in­
creased dem and for landscape archi­
tects is the growing interest in city
and regional en v iro n m en tal p la n ­
ning. M etropolitan areas will require
landscape architects to plan efficient
and safe land use for growing popula­
tions. Legislation to prom ote envi­
ronm ental protection could also spur
dem and for landscape architects to
participate in planning and designing
transportation systems, outdoor re c­
reation areas, and land reclam ation
projects, as well as to ensure safe
industrial growth.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Newly graduated landscape archi­
tects generally earned from $10,500
to $12,500 a year in 1976. Most ex­
p e r ie n c e d la n d s c a p e a r c h ite c ts
e a r n e d b e tw e e n $ 1 5 ,0 0 0 a n d
$20,000 a year, although some highly
skilled persons ea rn ed salaries o f
over $30,000 a year. Salaries of selfe m p lo y e d la n d s c a p e a r c h i t e c t s
ranged from $10,000 a year to well
over $25,000 a year, depending on
the in d iv id u al’s ed u catio n al b a c k ­
ground, experience, and geographic
location.
The Federal G overnm ent, in 1977,
paid new graduates with a bachelor’s
degree annual salaries of $9,300 or

$11,500 depending on their qualifi­
cations. Those with an advanced de­
gree had a starting salary of $14,100
a year. Landscape architects in the
F e d e r a l G o v e r n m e n t a v e ra g e d
$22,500 a year.
Salaried em ployees both in gov­
ernm ent and in landscape architec­
tu ra l firm s usually w ork re g u la r
hours, although employees in private
firms may also work overtime during
seasonal rush periods or to m eet a
deadline. Self-employed persons of­
ten work long hours.

Sources of Additional
Information
Additional inform ation, including
a list of colleges and universities of­
fering accredited courses of study in
landscape architecture, is available
from:
American Society of Landscape Architecture,
Inc., 1750 Old Meadow Rd., McLean, Va.
22101.

For information on a career as a
landscape a rc h ite c t in the F o rest
Service, write to:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Serv­
ice, Washington, D.C. 20250.

PHOTOGRAPHERS
(D.O.T. 143.062, .282, and .382)

Nature of the Work
Photographers use their cam eras
and film to portray people, places,
and events much as a writer uses
words. Those who are skillful can
capture the personality of individuals
or the mood of scenes which they
photograph. Some photographers
specialize in scientific, medical, or
engineering photography, and their
pictures enable thousands of persons
to see a world normally hidden from
view.
Although their subject m atter var­
ies widely, all photographers use the
same basic equipm ent. The most im­
portant piece, of course, is the cam ­
era, and m ost p h o to g rap h ers own
several. U nlike snapshot cam eras,
which have a lens perm anently a t­
tached to the cam era body, profes­
sional cam eras are constructed to use

DESIGN OCCUPATIONS

Commercial photographers must be
imaginative and original.

a variety of lenses designed for closeup, medium-range, or distance pho­
tography.
Besides cameras and lenses, pho­
tographers use a variety of film and
colored filters to obtain the desired
effect under different lighting condi­
tions. When taking pictures indoors
or after dark, they use electronic
flash units, floodlights, reflectors,
and other special lighting equipm ent.
Some photographers develop and
print their own photographs in the
darkroom and may enlarge or other­
wise alter the basic im age. Many
p h o tographers send th eir work to
photographic laboratories for pro­
cessing.
Because the procedures involved
in still photography are quite differ­
ent from those in m otion picture
photography, many photographers
specialize in one or the other. How­
ever, there is a growing dem and for
photographers who have training in
both areas.
In addition to knowing how to use
their equipm ent and m aterials, pho­
tographers must be capable of com ­
posing the subjects o f their photo­
graphs and recognizing a potentially
good photograph.
Many photographers specialize in
a p artic u la r type of photography,
such as portrait, com m ercial, or in­
dustrial work. Portrait photographers
take pictures of individuals or groups
of persons and often work in their
own studios. For special events, such
 or christenings, how ­
as weddings


589

e v e r, th e y ta k e p h o to g ra p h s in
churches and homes. Portrait pho­
tographers in small studios frequent­
ly do all the operations, including
scheduling appointm ents and setting
up and adjusting equipm ent before
taking the pictures, as well as devel­
oping and retouching negatives, d e­
veloping proofs, and mounting and
framing pictures. They also may be
the ones to collect paym ents and
keep records, and therefore must be
good business persons.
Com m ercial photographers photo­
graph a wide range o f subjects in­
cluding livestock, m anufactured arti­
cles, buildings, and large groups of
people. They frequently do photog­
raphy for catalogs. Those in advertis­
ing take pictures to prom ote such
items as clothing, furniture, autom o­
biles, and food, and may specialize in
one such area. Advertising photogra­
phers must know how to use many
different photographic techniques.
The work of industrial photogra­
phers is used in com pany publica­
tions to report to stockholders or to
advertise company products or ser­
vices. Industrial photographers also
photograph groups of people for em ­
ployee news magazines or may take
motion pictures of workers operating
equipm ent and machinery for m an­
agem ent’s use in analyzing produc­
tion or work methods. They may also
use special photographic techniques
as research tools. For example, m edi­
cal researchers often use ultraviolet
and infrared photography, fluores­
cence, and X-rays to obtain inform a­
tion not visible under normal condi­
tio n s . T im e la p se p h o to g ra p h y
(w here tim e is stre tc h e d or c o n ­
densed), photom icrography (w here
the subject of the photography may
be m agnified 50 o r 70 tim es o r
m ore), and photogram m etry (su r­
veying an area using aerial photogra­
phy) are other special techniques.
O ther photographic specialties in­
clude photojournalism , or press pho­
tography, which com bines a “ nose
for news” with photographic ability;
and educational photography (p re ­
paring slides, filmstrips, and movies
for use in the classroom).

Places of Employment
About 85,000 photographers were
employed in 1976. The greatest p ro ­

portion worked in com m ercial stu­
dios; many others worked for news­
papers and magazines. Governm ent
agencies, photographic equipm ent
suppliers and dealers, and industrial
firms also employed large num bers of
p h o to g rap h ers. In ad d itio n , som e
photographers taught in colleges and
universities, or made films. Still o th ­
ers worked freelance, taking pictures
to sell to advertisers, magazines, and
other customers. About one-third of
all p h o to g ra p h e rs w ere se lf-e m ­
ployed.
Jobs for photographers are found
in all parts of the country—both
small towns and large cities—but are
concentrated in the more populated
areas.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Photographic training is available
in colleges, universities, junior col­
leges, and art schools. Over 75 col­
leges and universities offer 4-year
curriculum s leading to a bachelor’s
degree in photography. Some colleg­
es and universities grant m aster’s de­
grees in specialized areas, such as
photojournalism . In addition, some
colleges have 2-year curriculu m s
leading to a certificate or an asso­
ciate degree in photography. A for­
mal education in photography gives a
solid fundam ental background in a
variety o f equipm ent, processes, and
techniques. Art schools offer useful
training in design and composition,
but not the technical training needed
for professional photographic work.
(See the statem ent on com m ercial
artists elsewhere in the Handbook.)
The Armed Forces also train many
young people in photographic skills.
Although a high school education
is desirable, the photography profes­
sion has no set entry requirem ents
with regard to formal education or
training. However, the training a p ro ­
spective p h o to g ra p h e r has d e te r­
mines the type of work for which he
or she qualifies.
People may prepare for work as
photographers in a com m ercial stu­
dio through 2 or 3 years of on-the-job
training as a photographer’s assist­
ant. Trainees generally start in the
darkroom where they learn to mix
c h e m ic a ls, develop film , and do
photoprinting and enlarging. L ater

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

590

they may set up lights and cam eras or
help an experienced photographer
take pictures.
Am ateur experience is helpful in
getting an entry job with a com m er­
cial studio, but post-high school edu­
cation and training usually are need­
ed fo r i n d u s t r i a l o r s c ie n tif ic
photography. Here success in pho­
tography d ep en d s on being m ore
than just a com petent photographer,
and adequate career preparation re­
quires some knowledge of the field in
which the photography is used. For
example, work in scientific, m edical,
and engineering research, such as
p h o to g rap h in g m icro sco p ic o rg a ­
nisms, requires a background in the
p a rtic u la r science o r engineering
specialty as well as skill in photogra­
phy.
Photographers must have good
eyesight and color vision, artistic
ability, and manual dexterity. They
also should be patient and accurate
and enjoy working with detail. Some
knowledge of m athem atics, physics,
and chemistry is helpful for under­
standing the use of various lenses,
films, light sources, and developm ent
processes.
Some photographic specialties re­
quire additional qualities. C om m er­
cial or freelance photographers must
be imaginative and original in their
thinking. Those who specialize in
photographing news stories must be
able to recognize a potentially good
photograph and act quickly, for o th ­
erwise an opportunity to capture an
im portant event on film may be lost.
Photographers who specialize in por­
trait photography need the ability to
help people relax in front of the cam ­
era.
Newly hired photographers are
given relatively routine assignments
that do not require split-second cam ­
era adjustm ents or decisions on what
subject m atter to photograph. News
photographers, for example, may be
assigned to cover civic meetings or
photograph snow storms. After gain­
ing experience they advance to more
dem anding assignm ents, and some
may move to staff positions on na­
tional new s m agazines. P hotogra-




\

phers with exceptional ability may
gain national recognition for their
work and exhibit their photographs
in art and photographic galleries, or
publish them in books. A few indus­
trial or scientific photographers may
be p ro m o ted to supervisory p osi­
tions. Magazine and news photogra­
phers may eventually become heads
of graphic arts departm ents or pho­
tography editors.

Employment Outlook
Employment of photographers is
expected to grow more slowly than
the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. In addition
to openings resulting from growth,
others will occur each year as w ork­
ers die, retire, or transfer to other
occupations.
Growth of em ploym ent in business
and industry is occurring as greater
im portance is placed upon visual aids
for use in meetings, stockholders’
reports, sales campaigns, and public
relations work. Video and motion
picture photography are becoming
increasingly im portant in industry.
Photography also is becoming an in­
creasingly im portant part of law en ­
forcem ent work, as well as scientific
and medical research, where oppor­
tunities are expected to be good for
those possessing a highly specialized
background.
The em ploym ent o f portrait and
com m erical photographers is expect­
ed to grow slowly, and com petition
f o r j o b s as p o r t r a i t a n d
com m ercial photographers and pho­
tographers’ assistants is expected to
be keen. These fields are relatively
crowded since photographers can go
into business for themselves with a
modest financial investm ent, or work
part time while holding another job.
The increased use of self-processing
cameras in com m ercial photography
also has contributed to the crowding
in this field, since little photographic
training is required for such work.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Beginning photographers
who
worked for newspapers that have

contracts with The Newspaper Guild
had weekly earnings between $128
and $432 in 1976, with the majority
earning between $175 and $225.
Newspaper photographers with some
experience (usually 4 or 5 years)
averaged about $320 a week in 1976.
Almost all experienced new spaper
photographers earned over $225; the
top salary was nearly $505 a week.
Photographers in the Federal Gov­
e r n m e n t e a rn e d an a v e ra g e o f
$14,900 a year in 1976. Depending
on their level of experience, newly
hired photographers in the Federal
G overnm ent earned from $8,320 to
$11,520 a year. Most experienced
p h o to g r a p h e r s e a r n e d b e tw e e n
$1 1,520 and about $18,460 a year.
Experienced photographers gener­
ally earn salaries that are above the
average for nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming.
A lthough self-em ployed and fre e ­
lance photographers often earn m ore
than salaried workers, their earnings
are affected greatly by general busi­
ness conditons and the type and size
of their community and clientele.
Photographers who have salaried
jobs usually work a 5-day, 35-40
hour week and receive benefits such
as paid holidays, vacations, and sick
leave. Those in business for th em ­
selves usually work longer hours.
F reelan ce, press, and com m ercial
photographers travel frequently and
may have to work in uncom fortable
surroundings. Som etim es the work
can be d an g ero u s, especially for
news photographers assigned to cov­
er stories on natural disasters or mili­
tary conflicts.

Sources of Additional
Information
C areer inform ation on photogra­
phy is available from:
Photographic Art & Science Foundation, 111
Stratford Rd., Des Plaines, 111. 60016.
Professional Photographers of America, Inc.
1090 Executive Way, Des Plaines, 1
11.
60018.

breaking into the com m unications
field.

C O M M U N IC A T IO N S -R E L A T E D O C C U P A T IO N S

INTERPRETERS
(D.O.T. 137.268)

Nature of the Work
The art of com m unications is as
old as humanity. From the earliest
discoveries o f p ap erm aking te c h ­
niques to today’s use of com puters
that transm it information with hith­
erto unimagined speed, people have
sought ways of recording the events
around them and conveying the in­
formation to others. Communication
is a process that begins with observ­
ing what is happening, analyzing and
in terp retin g that inform ation, and
tr a n s m ittin g it to an a u d ie n c e
through a variety of media, of which
radio, television, newspapers, maga­
zines, and books are the most famil­
iar.
The com m unications field includes
a broad range of occupations having
to do with research, writing, editing,
and production; it also encompasses
public relations, advertising, and oth­
er specialties. The following section
of the Handbook describes four of
th ese o c c u p a tio n s — in te rp re te rs ,
newspaper reporters, radio and tele­
vision an n o u n c ers, and tech n ic al
writers. O ther com m unications jobs
are described elsewhere in the Hand­
book, in the statem ents on occupa­
tions in radio and TV broadcasting;
occupations in the printing and pub­
lishing industry; advertising workers;
public relations workers; photogra­
phers; and com m ercial artists.
The four occupations described
below all require a broad education,
with preparation either in the liberal
arts and humanities or in a scientific
or technical field, depending on spe­
cific career interest. The intellectual
habits acquired during college are
im portant. Acute powers of observa­
tion and the ability to think clearly
and logically are necessary traits, be­
cause people in these jobs need to
understand the significance o f the
events they observe. An excellent
command o f language—both written
and oral—is essential. It is through
a p p r o p ria te c h o ic e o f w ords or



phrases that interpreters and techni­
cal writers, for example, put foreign
or complex m atter into language that
is readily understood. A feeling for
language enables newspaper report­
ers and b ro a d c a s t jo u rn a lis ts to
breathe life and m eaning into the
overwhelming num ber of events that
occur every day.
In addition to a broad education
and outstanding language skills, peo­
ple in com m unications jobs need to
be very well informed about certain
subjects. Depending on the job, they
may need to be versed in economics,
law, politics, science, education, m u­
sic, or sports. They may be called
upon to explain legal issues discussed
by experts at an international confer­
ence on the law of the sea; national
econom ic and political events for
readers o f a smalltown newspaper;
the latest developm ents in data com ­
m unications technology for readers
of a trade journal; or the history of
jazz, classical, bluegrass, or o th er
music featured on a radio show.
Com petition for most com m unica­
tions jobs is keen, for the field tradi­
tionally attracts many more jobseek­
ers than th e re are jo b openings.
Some people are attra cted by the
“ glam orous” image of media jobs—
the opportunities to m eet public fig­
ures, to appear before nationwide au ­
diences, to attend special events. A t­
tending social functions is only part
of a journalist’s job, however; many
hours a day may be spent on the te ­
dious but essential tasks of making
contacts, checking facts, and follow­
ing leads.
Despite the keen com petition, jobs
will be available through the mid1980’s for bright and talented p eo ­
ple. For some, willingness to take a
job where one is available—in a small
town instead of Los Angeles or New
York C ity—and willingness to “ start
at the bottom ” may make the differ­
ence between success and failure in

Interpreters help people of differ­
ent nations and different cultures
overcome language barriers by trans­
lating what has been said by one per­
son into a language that can be un­
derstood by others.
There are two basic types of oral
translation or interpretation: simul­
taneous and consecutive. In sim ulta­
neous interpretation, the interpreter
translates what is being said in one
language as the speaker continues to
talk in another. This technique re­
quires speed and fluency in the for­
eign language on the part of the in­
terpreter and it is made possible by
the use o f e le c tro n ic eq u ip m en t,
which allows for the transmission of
the simultaneous speeches. C onfer­
ence in terp reters often work in a
glass-enclosed boo th from which
they can see the speaker. While lis­
tening through earphones to what is
being said, they simultaneously give
the translation by speaking into a mi­
crophone. People attending the con­
ference who do not understand the
language being spoken may listen to
an interpreter’s rendition by simply
pushing a button or turning a dial to
get the translation in the language
they know. Simultaneous interpreta­
tion generally is preferred for confer­
ences, and the developm ent of po rta­
ble equipm ent has extended its use to
other large-scale situations.
Consecutive interpretation also in­
volves oral translation. However, the
sp ea k er and the in te rp re te r tak e
turns speaking. A consecutive inter­
preter must have a good memory and
generally needs to take notes in order
to give a com plete and exact transla­
tion. The chief drawback of consecu­
tive interpretation is that the process
is tim e co n su m in g , b e c a u se the
speaker must wait for the translation
before proceeding.
Since interpreters are needed
whenever people find language a b ar­
rier, the work involves a variety of
591

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

592

topics and situations. In terp reters
may be needed, for example, to ex­
plain various aspects of A m erican
life to a group of foreign visitors, or
they may be required to interpret
highly technical speeches and discus­
sions for medical or scientific gather­
ings. They may work at the United
N atio n s, o r find them selves in a
courtroom or escorting foreign lead­
ers or business people visiting the
United States.

Places of Employment
An estim ated 175 persons worked
full time as interpreters in the United
States in 1976. The largest single
concentration of interpreters was at
the United Nations in New York
where about 90 people held full-time
posts. Various other international o r­
g a n iz a tio n s, lo c a te d p rim arily in
W ashington, D .C ., also em ployed
reg u lar staff in te rp re te rs. Am ong
these are the Organization of A m eri­
can States, the International M one­
tary Fund, the Pan Am erican Health
Organization, and the World Bank.
Within the Federal Governm ent, the
D ep artm en ts o f S tate and Justice
were the m ajor em ployers of full­
time interpreters.
An estim ated 500 persons worked
as freelance interpreters. Freelance
interpreters may work for various
em p lo y ers u n d er sh o rt-term c o n ­
tracts. A bout four-fifths were under
contract on a tem porary basis to the
D epartm ent of State and the Agency
for In tern atio n al D ev elopm ent to

Interpreters must instantaneously call to
mind words or idioms corresponding to

foreign ones.


serve as escort interpreters for for­
eign visitors to the U nited States.
Some of these interpreters worked a
g reat p o rtio n o f the year; o th ers
worked for only a few days. The re­
mainder o f the freelance interpreters
worked in the freelance conference
field. These interpreters provided for
both the supplem entary needs of the
international and Federal agencies
and fo r the p e rio d ic , sh o rt-te rm
needs of various international co n ­
ferences that are held in this country.
The Organization of Am erican States
employs many people in this area.
Besides persons who work strictly as
interpreters, many others do some
interpretation work in the course o f
their jobs.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A com plete com m and of two lan­
guages or more is the usual require­
ment for becoming an interpreter. In­
terpreters must instantaneously call
to mind words or idioms correspond­
ing to the foreign ones. An extensive
working vocabulary and ease in m ak­
ing the transition from one language
structure to another are necessary.
Students who want to become in­
terpreters should becom e fluent in
several languages. Interpreters who
work at the United Nations, for ex­
ample, m ust know at least three of
the six official U.N. languages: A ra­
bic, Chinese, English, French, Rus­
sian, and Spanish. Portuguese and, to
some extent, Japanese and Germ an
are also valuable to interpreters in
the United States.
Two schools in the United States
offer special programs for interpreter
training. Both require foreign lan­
guage proficiency upon entry. The
G eorgetow n U niversity School of
Languages and Linguistics in W ash­
in g to n , D .C ., has a 1- or 2-year
course of study leading to a C ertifi­
cate of Proficiency as a conference
interpreter. The certificate is recog­
nized by the International A ssoci­
ation of C o n feren ce In terp reters.
Applicants to Georgetown University
must qualify on the basis of an en ­
trance test and a minimum of previ­
ous studies at the university level;
successful candidates usually hold a
b achelor’s degree, often a m aster’s

degree. The M onterey Institute of
Foreign Studies in M onterey, Calif.,
through its D epartm ent of Transla­
tion and Interpretation, offers a 2year graduate program leading to a
m a s te r ’s d e g re e in In te rc u ltu ra l
Com munication and a graduate cer­
tificate in either translation, translation/interpretation, or in conference
interpretation. A pplications to the
Institute must have a bachelor’s d e­
gree and pass an aptitude test. They
must be fluent in English, plus one
o th er language if studying tran sla­
tion, or in two o th er languages if
wishing to enter the interpretation
field. After taking the basic courses
in translation and interpretation th e­
ory, students must pass a qualifying
exam ination in o rder to enter the
tra n sla tio n or in te rp re ta tio n p ro ­
gram. This qualifying exam ination
usually takes place after two sem es­
ters of work at the Institute.
Many individuals may qualify as
interpreters on the basis of their fo r­
eign backgrounds for positions in
which extensive experience and a
broad education are not as crucial as
for other types of interpretation. For
exam ple, co nsecutive in terp re ters
em ployed by the Im m igration and
N aturalization Service of the U.S.
D epartm ent of Justice serve prim ar­
ily in interpreting legal proceedings,
such as hearings for aliens.
B esides being pro ficien t in lan ­
guages, interpreters are expected to
be g en erally well inform ed on a
broad range of subjects, often includ­
ing technical subjects such as m edi­
cine or scientific or industrial tech ­
nology. W ork as a tran slato r may
serve as a useful background in m ain­
taining an up-to-date vocabulary in
v a rio u s sp e c ia liz e d o r te c h n ic a l
a re a s . T he e x p e rie n c e o f living
abroad also is very im portant for an
interpreter.
Although there is no standard re­
quirem ent for entry into the profes­
sion, a university education usually is
considered essential.
People interested in becoming in­
terpreters should be articulate speak­
ers and have good hearing. The ex­
a c tin g n a tu re o f th is p ro fe ssio n
requires quickness, alertness, and a
c o n s ta n t a tte n tio n to a c c u ra c y .
W orking with all types of people re­
quires good sense, tact, and the em o­

COMMUNICATIONS-RELATED OCCUPATIONS

tional stamina to deal with the ten ­
sions of the job. It is essential that
interpreters maintain confidentiality
in their work and that they give hon­
est interpretations.
A dvancem ent in the interpreting
field generally is based on satisfac­
tory service. There is some advance­
ment from escort level interpreting
to conference level work.

Employment Outlook
Interpreters traditionally face very
stiff competition for the limited num ­
ber of openings. Little change is ex­
pected in the num ber of full-time in­
terp reters through the m id-1980’s.
M o st o p p o r t u n i t ie s , t h e r e f o r e ,
should result from the need to re­
place w orkers who die, retire, or
leave their jobs for other reasons. Ex­
perience has shown that any slight or
sporadic increase in the demand for
interpreters can be met by the exist­
ing pool of freelance workers. Only
highly qualified applicants will find
jobs.
Qualified interpreters also may
find work abroad. The dem and for
interpreters in Europe, where so
many different languages are spoken,
is far greater than in the United
States.
People who have linguistic abilities
also may find some em ploym ent op­
p o rtu n ities as tran slato rs. In fact,
many interpreters find the ability to
do translation work, if not requisite,
an occupational asset. Foreign lan­
guage com petence also is im portant
for careers in the fields of foreign
service, international business, and
language education.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries of interpreters depend
upon the type of interpreting done as
well as the ability and perform ance
of the individual. The tax-free annual
starting salary for conference inter­
preters at the United Nations was
$14,300 in 1976. Outstanding U.N.
interpreters could expect to earn al­
most $30,000.
Beginning salaries for interpreters
in various other international organi­
zations were over $15,000 a year,
according to the limited information
available. In addition, international
organizations
 often paid supplem en­


593

tary living and family allowances.
Junior interpreters who worked for
the U.S. D ep artm en t o f State re ­
ceived $17,056 a year in 1977. S tart­
ing salaries were somewhat lower for
interpreters in other Federal agen­
cies.
In the freelance field, interpreters
are paid on a daily basis. C onference
interpreter salaries ranged from
about $125 to $160 a day in 1976.
The U.S. D epartm ent of State paid a
daily salary of $125.
Freelance escort interpreters re ­
ceived salaries ranging from about
$40 to over $80 a day, based on the
individual’s skill and prior perform ­
ance. Interpreters on assignment usu­
ally could expect to be paid for a 7day week. Interpreters are paid trans­
portation expenses by the employing
agency and also receive an allowance
to cover the cost of accom m oda­
tions, meals, and other expenses inci­
dental to their assignments.
The conditions under which inter­
preters work vary widely. In freelanc­
ing, there is little job security b e­
cause of dem and fluctuations, and
the duration of various freelance as­
signments ranges from a few days for
a typical conference to several weeks
for som e e sc o rt assignm ents. A l­
though the hours interpreters work
are not necessarily long, they are of­
ten irregular. In some instances, es­
pecially for escort freelance workers,
a great deal of travel to a wide variety
of locations is required.

Sources of Additional
Information
Information on the interpreting
profession is available from:
The American Association of Language Spe­
cialists, 1000 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Suite 9, Washington, D.C. 20036.

For information on entry require­
ments and courses of study at the two
schools o fferin g sp ec ia liz ed p r o ­
grams for interpreters, contact:
Division of Interpretation and Translation,
School of Languages and Linguistics,
Georgetown University, Washington,
D.C. 20057.
Department of Translation and Interpretation,
Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies,
P.O. Box 1978, Monterey, Calif. 93940.

In fo rm atio n ab o u t em p lo y m en t
opportunities is available from:

Language Services Division, U.S. Department
of State, Washington, D.C. 20520.
Secretariat Recruitment Service, United Na­
tions, New York, N.Y. 10017.

NEWSPAPER REPORTERS
(D.O.T. 132.268)

Nature of the Work
Newspaper reporters gather infor­
mation on current events and use it
to write stories for publication in dai­
ly or weekly newspapers. In covering
events, they may interview people,
review public records, attend news
events, and do research. As a rule,
reporters take notes or use tape re­
corders while collecting facts, and
write their stories upon return to the
office. Sometimes, to m eet deadlines,
they telephone their information or
stories to rewriters who write or tran ­
scribe the stories for them.
L arge dailies freq u en tly assign
some reporters to “ beats,” such as
police stations or the courts, to gath­
er news originating in these places.
General assignment reporters handle
various types of local news, such as a
story about a lost child or an obituary
of a community leader. Specialized
reporters with a background in a par­
ticular subject interpret and analyze
the news in fields such as medicine,
politics, science, education, business,
labor, and religion.
Reporters on small newspapers
may cover not only all aspects of
local news, but also may take photo­
graphs, write headlines, lay out pag­
es, and write editorials. On some
small weeklies, they also may solicit
advertisem ents, sell subscriptions,
and perform general office work.

Places of Employment
More than 40,000 persons worked
as newspaper reporters in 1976. The
majority of reporters work for urban
daily newspapers; others work for
suburban, com m unity, or small town
weekly papers and press services.
Reporters work in cities and towns
of all sizes. O f the 1,762 daily and
7,579 weekly newspapers, the great
majority are in medium-sized towns.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

594

Reporters gathering news information.

However, most reporters work in
cities, since big city dailies employ
m any re p o rte rs , w h ereas a sm all
town paper generally employs only a
few.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most newspapers consider only ap­
plicants who have a college educa­
tion. G raduate work is increasingly
im p o rta n t. M any e d ito rs p re fe r
graduates who have a degree in jo u r­
nalism, which usually includes train­
ing in the liberal arts along with pro­
fessional journalism training. Some
editors consider a liberal arts degree
sufficient. O thers p refer applicants
who have a liberal arts bachelor’s d e­
 aster’s degree in journal­
gree and a m


ism. High school courses that are
useful include English, journalism ,
social science, and typing.
B achelor’s degree programs in
journalism are available in almost
250 colleges. About three-fourths of
the courses in a typical undergrad­
uate journalism curriculum are in lib­
eral arts. Journalism courses include
reporting, copyreading, editing, fea­
ture writing, history of journalism ,
law, and the relation o f the press to
society.
More than 500 junior colleges of­
fer journalism programs. Twelve to
fifteen h o u rs of c re d it earn ed is
transferable to most 4-year college
programs in journalism . A few junior
colleges also offer program s especial­
ly designed to prepare the student

directly for em ploym ent as a general
assignment reporter on a weekly or
small daily newspaper. The Armed
Forces also provide some training in
journalism .
A m aster’s degree in journalism
was offered by more than 90 schools
in 1976; about 20 schools offered the
Ph. D. degree. Some graduate p ro ­
grams are intended primarily as prep­
aration for news careers, while others
concentrate on preparing journalism
teachers, researchers and theorists,
and advertising and public relations
workers.
Persons who wish to prepare for
newspaper work through a liberal
arts curriculum should take English
courses that include writing, as well
as subjects such as sociology, politi­
cal science, economics, history, psy­
ch o lo g y , c o m p u te r sc ie n c e , and
speech. Ability to read and speak a
foreign language is desirable. Those
who look forward to becoming re­
porters in a specialized field such as
s c ie n c e s h o u ld c o n c e n t r a t e on
course work in their subject m atter
areas. Skill in typing is essential be­
cause reporters type their own news
stories. On small papers, knowledge
of news photography also is valuable.
The Newspaper Fund and individ­
ual newspapers offer summer intern­
ships th at provide college students
with an opportunity to practice the
rudim ents of reporting or editing. In
addition, more than 2,700 journalism
scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships were aw arded to college
journalism students by universities,
newspapers, and professional organi­
zations in 1976.
News reporting involves a great
deal of responsibility, since what a
reporter writes frequently influences
the opinion of the reading public.
Reporters should be dedicated to
serving the public’s need for accurate
and im partial news. Although rep o rt­
ers work as part of a team , they have
an opportunity for self-expression.
Im p o rtan t personal ch aracteristics
include a “ nose for new s,” curiosity,
persistence, initiative, resourcefu l­
ness, an accurate m emory, and the
physical stamina necessary for an ac­
tive and often fast-paced life.
Some who com pete for full-time
reporter jobs find it is helpful to have

595

COMMUNICATIONS-RELATED OCCUPATIONS

had experience as a newspaper
“ stringer” —a part-tim e reporter who
covers the news in a particular area
of the community and is paid on the
basis of the stories printed. High
school and college newspapers, and
church or community newsletters,
also provide writing and editing ex­
perience that may be helpful in get­
ting a job.
Most beginners start on weekly or
on small daily newspapers as general
assignment reporters or copy editors.
A few outstanding journalism gradu­
ates are hired by large city papers,
but this is the exception rather than
the rule. Large dailies generally re­
quire several years of reporting expe­
rience, which usually is acquired on
smaller newspapers.
Beginning reporters are assigned
duties such as reporting on civic and
club
meetings,
summarizing
speeches, writing obituaries, inter­
viewing im p o rta n t visitors to the
co m m u n ity , and co v e rin g police
court proceedings. As they gain ex­
perience, they may report more im­
p o rtan t events, cover an assigned
“ beat,” or specialize in a particular
field.
Newspaper reporters may advance
to reporting for larger papers or press
services. Some experienced reporters
become columnists, correspondents,
editorial writers, editors, or top ex­
ecutives; these positions represent
the top of the field and competition




for them is keen. O ther rep o rters
transfer to related fields such as pub­
lic relations, writing for magazines,
or preparing copy for radio and tele­
vision news programs.

Employment Outlook
Com petition for newspaper report­
ing jo b s is ex p e cted to c o n tin u e
through the m id-1980’s. If en ro ll­
m ents continue at record levels as
they have in the past few years, re c­
ord num bers of journalism graduates
will be looking for jobs. However,
em ploym ent in the com m unications
field is not expected to expand suffi­
ciently to absorb all those seeking
jobs, and a sizable num ber of journal­
ism graduates will have to launch c a ­
reers in other fields.
Newspaper reporters in particular
face heightened job com petition. A l­
though the com m unications field is
expected to expand through the mid1980’s, newspapers are not expected
to share fully in this growth. As a
result, em ploym ent of reporters will
increase more slowly than the aver­
age for all occupations. M ost jo b
openings will arise from the need to
replace reporters who are prom oted
to editorial or adm inistrative posi­
tions, transfer to other fields of work,
retire, or leave the profession for o th ­
er reasons.
Bright, energetic persons with ex­
ceptional writing ability will have the

best opportunities for beginning jobs
as new spaper re p o rters. T alented
writers who are able to handle news
about highly specialized scientific or
technical subjects will also be at an
advantage in the co m petitive job
market.
Weekly or daily newspapers locat­
ed in small towns and suburban areas
are expected to continue to offer
most of the opportunities for begin­
ners entering new spaper reporting.
Openings arise on these papers as re­
porters gain experience and move up
to other editorial positions or trans­
fer to reporting jobs on larger news­
papers or to other types of work. Be­
ginning reporters able to help with
photography and other specialized
aspects of newspaper work and who
are acquainted with the community
are likely to be given preference in
employment on small papers.
Most big city dailies require expe­
rience and do not ordinarily hire new
graduates. Sometimes, however, new
graduates find newsroom jobs on m a­
jo r m etropolitan dailies because of
outstanding credentials in an area for
which a particular paper has a press­
ing need. Occasionally, the experi­
ence and contacts gained through an
internship program lead to a report­
ing job directly after graduation.
In addition to new spaper report­
ing, college graduates who have m a­
jored in journalism have the back­
ground for jobs in related fields such
as advertising, public relations, trade
and technical publishing, radio and
television, and law. Because contin­
ued high enrollm ent is foreseen in
journalism education programs, op­
portunities to teach journalism are
expected to be good. College teach ­
ing jobs currently require profession­
al experience and at least a m aster’s
degree.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Reporters working for daily news­
papers having contracts negotiated
by The Newspaper Guild had aver­
age starting salaries of $10,600 in
late 1976. In general, earnings of
new spaper reporters in 1976 were
above average earnings received by
nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming.

596

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Minimum salaries of reporters hav­
ing 4 or 5 years of experience who
worked for daily new spapers with
Guild contracts averaged $16,700 in
1976. The minimums ranged from
$9,960, paid by the smallest dailies,
to more than $26,000 paid by the
largest. M any rep o rters, how ever,
were paid salaries higher than these
m inim um s. R eporters working for
national wire services received annu­
al salaries of at least $19,000.
Most newspaper reporters general­
ly work a 5-day, 35- or 4 0 -h o u r
week. Reporters working for m orn­
ing papers usually start work in the
late afternoon and finish at about
midnight. Most reporters also receive
b en e fits su ch as paid v a c a tio n s,
group insurance, and pension plans.

Sources of Additional
Information
Information about opportunities
for reporters with daily newspapers is
available from:
American Newspaper Publishers Association
Foundation, P.O. Box 17407, Dulles In­
ternational Airport, Washington, D.C.
20041.

For inform ation on opportunities
in the newspaper field and starting
salaries of journalism graduates, as
well as a list of journalism scholar­
ships, fellowships, assistantships, and
loans available at colleges and uni­
versities, write to:
The Newspaper Fund, Inc., Box 300, Prince­
ton, N.J. 08540.

Names and locations of daily news­
papers and a list of schools and d e­
p artm e n ts of journalism are p u b ­
lished in the Editor and Publisher
International Year Book, available in
most public libraries and large news­
paper offices.

the research and writing. A nnounc­
ers frequently participate in com m u­
nity activities. A sportscaster, for ex­
a m p le , m ig h t be th e m a s te r o f
cerem onies at a touchdown club ban­
quet or greet custom ers at the open­
ing of a new sporting goods store.
Som e a n n o u n c e rs b e c o m e w ellknown and highly paid personalities.

RADIO AND TELEVISION
ANNOUNCERS

Places of Employment

(D.O.T 159.148)

Nature of the Work
Most radio announcers act as disc
jockeys, introducing recorded music,
presenting news and com m ercials,
and com m enting on other m atters of
interest to the audience. They may
“ ad-lib” m uch of the com m entary,
working w ithout a detailed script.
They also may operate the control
board, sell time for com m ercials, and
write com m ercial and news copy. In
large stations, however, other w ork­
ers handle these jobs. (See the state­
ment on occupations in the radio and
television broadcasting industry else­
where in the Handbook.)
A nnouncers em ployed by televi­
sion stations and large radio stations
usually specialize in particular kinds
of announcing such as sports, news,
or weather. They must be thoroughly
familiar with their particular area. If
a written script is needed for parts of
the program , the announcer may do

About 26,000 announcers were
employed by radio and television
broadcasting stations in 1976. The
average commercial radio or televi­
sion station employs four to six an ­
nouncers, although larger stations
employ 10 or more. In addition to
staff announcers, several thousand
freelance announcers sell their serv­
ices for individual assignm ents to
networks and stations, or to advertis­
ing agencies and other independent
producers.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A nnouncers must have a pleasant
and well-controlled voice, a good
sense of timing, and excellent p ro ­
nunciation. C o rre ct English usage
an d a k n o w le d g e o f d ra m a tic s ,
sports, music, and current events im­
prove chances for success. The most
successful announcers have a com bi­
nation of personality and a knack for
dram atization that m akes them a t­
tractive to audiences.

Information on union wage rates is
available from:
The Newspaper Guild, Research and Informa­
tion Department, 1125 15th St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20005.

For general information about ca­
reers in journalism contact:
American Council on Education for Journal­
ism, School of Journalism, University of
Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 65201.
Association For Education in Journalism, 102
Reavis Hall, Northern Illinois University,
Dekalb, 111. 60115.
The Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma
Delta Chi, 35 East Wacker Dr., Chicago,
111. 60601.

Inform ation on opportunities for
women in newspaper reporting and
other com m unications fields is avail­
able from:
Women In Communications, Inc., P.O. Box

9561, Austin, Tex. 78766.


Announcers usually specialize in a particular area such as news, sports, or weather.

597

COMMUNICATIONS-RELATED OCCUPATIONS

High school courses in English,
public speaking, dramatics, foreign
languages, and electronics, plus
sports and music hobbies, are valu­
able background for prospective an­
nouncers. A college liberal arts edu­
c a t i o n p r o v i d e s an e x c e l l e n t
background for an announcer, and
many universities offer courses of
study in the broadcasting field. Stu­
dents at these institutions also may
gain valuable experience by supple­
menting their courses with part-time
work at the campus radio station and
summer work at local stations, filling
in for vacationing staff members. A
n u m b er o f p riv a te b ro a d c a s tin g
schools offer training in announcing.
Persons considering enrolling in
any school, whether public or pri­
vate, that offers training for a broad­
casting ca re e r should co n tact the
p e rs o n n e l m an ag e rs o f sta tio n s,
b ro ad castin g tra d e o rg anizations,
and the B etter Business Bureau in
their area to determ ine the school’s
perform ance in producing suitably
trained candidates.
Most announcers get their first
broadcasting jobs in small stations.
Because announcers in small radio
stations sometimes operate transm it­
ters, prospective announcers often
obtain an FCC Radiotelephone Third
Class O p erato r License which en ­
ables them to operate a radio trans­
m itter and, therefore, makes them
much more useful to these stations.
A nnouncers usually work in sever­
al different stations in the course of
their careers. After acquiring experi­
ence at a station in a small com m uni­
ty, an am bitious and talented an ­
nouncer may move to a better paying
job in a large city. An announcer also
may advance by getting a regular
program as a disc jockey, sportscaster, or other specialist. In the national
networks, com petition for jobs is in­
tense, and announcers usually must
be college graduates and have sever­
al years of successful announcing ex­
perience before they are given an au­
dition.

Employment Outlook
Com petition for beginning jobs as
announcers will be keen through the
m id-1980’s. The great attraction of
the broadcasting field, plus its rela­

tively sm all size, will continue to


m ean m any m ore jo b seek ers than
jobs. Over the next decade, it will be
easier to get jobs in radio than in
television because m ore radio sta­
tions hire beginners. These jobs gen­
erally will be located in small sta­
tions, and the pay will be relatively
low.
Em ployment of announcers is ex­
pected to increase faster than the av­
erage for all occupations through the
m id-1980’s as new radio and televi­
sion stations are licensed. Some jobs
will becom e available as more cable
television stations begin their own
program m ing. E m ploym ent of a n ­
nouncers will not keep pace with the
increase in the num ber of stations,
however, because of the increased
use o f a u to m a tic p ro g ra m m in g
equipm ent. Many jobs in this rela­
tively sm all occupation will result
from the need to replace experienced
an n o u n cers who tran sfer to o th er
occupations, retire, or die.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries of beginning announcers
in com m ercial television ranged from
about $185 to $230 a week in 1976,
and those of experienced announcers
ranged from about $300 to $500,
according to the limited information
a v a ila b le . M any w ell-k n o w n a n ­
nouncers earn much more. As a rule,
salaries increase with the size of the
com m unity and the station, and sala­
ries in television are higher than
th o se in rad io . A n n o u n c e rs e m ­
ployed by educational broadcasting
sta tio n s gen erally e a rn less th an
those who work for com m ercial sta­
tions.
Most announcers in large stations
work a 40-hour week and receive
overtime pay for work beyond 40
hours. In small stations, many a n ­
nouncers work 4 to 12 hours of over­
time each week. W orking hours con­
sist of both time on the air and time
spent in preparing for broadcasts.
Evening, night, weekend, and holi­
day duty occurs freq u en tly since
many stations broadcast 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week.
W orking conditions are usually
pleasant because of the variety of
work and the many personal contacts
that are part of the job. Announcers
also receive some satisfaction from

becoming well known in the area
their station serves.

Sources of Additional
Information
For general career inform ation,
write to:
National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 1111
16th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

For information on how to obtain
an FCC license, write to:
Federal Communications Commission, Wash­
ington, D.C, 20554.

TECHNICAL WRITERS
(D.O.T. 139.288)

Nature of the Work
Technical writers put scientific
and technical information into lan­
guage that can readily be understood
by people who need to use it. They
research, write, and edit technical
m aterials and also may produce pub­
lications or audiovisual materials. To
ensure that their work is accurate,
technical writers must be expert in
the subject area in which they are
writing—laser beams or pharm acol­
ogy, for example. At the same time,
their writing must be clear and easy
to follow. Command of the language
and versatility of style are tools of the
trade that enable technical writers to
convey information in a way that is
helpful to people who use it—scien­
tists, technicians, executives, sales
representatives, and the general p u b ­
lic.
Some organizations use job titles
o th er than “ technical w riter.” D e­
pending on the particular employer,
people in technical writing jobs may
be called p u b licatio n s en g in eers,
com m unications specialists, industri­
al writers, medical writers, com m uni­
cators, or instructional m aterials de­
velopers.
Technical writers set out either to
instruct or inform, and in many in­
stances they do both. They prepare
manuals, catalogs, parts lists, and in­
structional m aterials needed by the
sales representatives who sell m a­
chinery or scientific equipm ent and

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

598

by the technicians who install, m ain­
tain, and service it. Instructional aids
must be prepared to assist the people
who operate com plex equipm ent—
for ex am ple, the tech n ic ia n s who
m o n ito r s o p h is tic a te d d ia g n o stic
equipm ent in a h o sp ital’s coronary
care unit. W riting m anuals and train ­
ing aids for m ilitary w eapons and
e q u ip m en t is a highly specialized
field o f technical writing. Som etim es
technical writers are asked to write
scripts for training films, o r to p re­
pare instructional m aterials for self­
teaching cassettes, filmstrips, o r kits.
Many technical w riters prepare re ­
ports on the results o f research proj­
ects. By com m unicating research d e­
v e lo p m e n ts to o t h e r s c ie n tis ts ,
engineers, and technicians, these re­
ports speed scientific and technical
progress and help prevent duplica­
tion of effort. R eports also play an
im p o rtan t p art w ithin a com pany;
hundreds o f progress reports may be
sent from one d ep artm ent to another
within the course o f a year. D etailed
rep o rts also m ust be p rep ared for
regulatory agencies and for agencies
th at fund research and developm ent
p ro je c ts. Som e re p o rts —e n v iro n ­
m ental im pact statem ents, for exam ­
p le—require such a d etailed tre a t­
m ent o f technical subjects that they
usually are p re p are d by scientists
with the assistance o f technical w rit­
ers. Annual reports to stockholders
som etim es are an additional respon­
sibility.
Proposal preparation is another
im portant duty o f technical writers.
Proposals are requests for the m oney
or facilities to conduct a project,
develop a prototype o f a new p ro d ­
uct, or do research. W hen a proposal
is being prepared, scientists and engi­
neers provide the technical m ateri­
als, m anagem ent provides the bud­
get, and a team o f technical writers
usually shapes the final proposal.
M anuals, reports, and proposals
m ake up the bulk o f technical writing
today; however, the work may take
other forms. Technical writers may
write
specifications;
prepare
speeches and news releases; edit and
write technical books; prepare arti­
cles for popular magazines; develop
advertising copy, prom otional b ro ­
chures, and text for exhibits and dis­
plays; and handle tech n ical d o c u ­
m entation.



W hen they begin a writing assign­
ment, technical writers usually start
by learning as m uch as they can
about the subject. They study re ­
p o rts, som etim es b lueprints; read
technical journals; consult with engi­
neers, scientists, and technicians who
have worked on the project; or exam ­
ine the equipm ent. A fter they have
assem bled as m uch inform ation as
appropriate, given the time they have
and the purpose of the docum ent,
they draw up an outline. Then they
prepare a rough draft, which may un­
dergo several revisions before being
ac cep ted in final form . T echnical
writers usually arrange for the p repa­
ration of tables, charts, illustrations,
and other artw ork that accom panies
a finished docum ent and may work
directly with technical illustrators,
drafters, or photographers.

Places of Employment
An estim ated 22,000 technical
writers and editors were em ployed in
1976. Many work for large firms in
the electronics, aviation, aerospace,
ordnance, chem ical, pharm aceutical,
and com puter m anufacturing indus­
tries. Firms in the energy, com m uni­
cations, and com puter software fields
also employ many technical writers.
Research laboratories employ sig­
nificant num bers o f technical writers.
Some laboratories are affiliated with
m anufacturing com panies to concen­
trate on developing products or im ­
proving the m anufacturing process.
O ther research laboratories—includ­
ing those connected with universi­
ties, governm ent agencies, or private
foundations—engage in both basic
and applied research.
The Federal G overnm ent employs
technical writers and editors in areas
as diverse as the physical sciences,
weapons developm ent, agriculture,
health, and space exploration. Three
out of four technical writers and edi­
tors in the Federal G overnm ent work
for the D epartm ent of Defense. O th­
er agencies th a t em ploy technical
writers include the D epartm ents o f
Interior; Agriculture; Health, E duca­
tion,and W elfare; and the N ational
Aeronautics and Space A dm inistra­
tion.
Many people in this occupation
work directly for publishing houses.
They hold writing and editing jobs

with business and trade publications;
professional journals in engineering,
m edicine, physics, chemistry, and
other sciences; and publishers of sci­
entific and technical literature.
The rapidly growing inform ation
industry provides a new area of em ­
ploym ent for technical writers. C om ­
mercial firms that provide their cli­
ents with access to a com puterized
data base employ technical inform a­
tion specialists to collect, process,
and m anage a vast am ount of infor­
mation. Technical writers are p artic­
ularly well suited for such jobs be­
c a u s e o f th e i r c o m b in a tio n o f
technical and com m unications skills.
Such jobs also are available at the
technical inform ation centers run by
m ajor industrial firms and research
laboratories.
Established technical writers may
work on a free-lance basis or open
their own agencies or consulting
firms.
Technical writers are employed all
over the country but the largest co n ­
c e n tra tio n s are in the N o rth e ast,
Texas, and California.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
There are no rigid requirem ents
for entry into the field. As a result,
people having a variety o f b a c k ­
grounds find jobs as technical w rit­
ers. Em ployers seek people whose
educational background or work ex­
perience indicates that they are fa­
m iliar with a technical subject and
can write about it effectively. Knowl­
edge of graphics and other aspects of
publication production may be help­
ful in getting a job. An understanding
of current trends in com m unication
technology is an asset, and familiarity
with com puter operations and term i­
nology is increasingly im portant.
A college degree is helpful, and
many em ployers insist on it. Hiring
crite ria vary, how ever. Many em ­
ployers prefer candidates with a de­
gree in science or engineering plus a
m inor in English, journalism , or tech ­
nical com m unications. O th er e m ­
ployers em phasize w riting ability
and, in tu rn , look for candid ates
whose degrees are in journalism or
the liberal arts. Depending on their
line of business, these employers al­
most always require course work or

COMMUNICATIONS-RELATED OCCUPATIONS

practical experience in a specific
subject as well—com puter science or
biochemistry, for example.
Besides having writing skills and
scientific or technical expertise,
technical writers should be intellec­
tually curious and able to think logi­
cally. They must be very accurate in
their work and must be able to deal
precisely with a mass of detailed m a­
terial. Because they often work as
part of a team , they should be able to
work with others; this requires tact
and a cooperative attitude. Technical
w riters som etim es work alone for
long periods with little or no supervi­
sion, so they must also be disciplined
about work habits and schedules.
Most technical writers do not enter
the occupation directly from college.
The majority work initially in other
jobs, usually as technicians, scien­
tists, or engineers. Some begin as re­
search assistants, editorial assistants,
or trainees in a com pany’s technical
inform ation or advertising d ep a rt­
ment. In time, these people may as­
sum e w riting d u ties and develop
te c h n ic a l c o m m u n ic a tio n skills.
When a flair for writing becomes evi­
dent, they may seek a technical writ­
ing position in the same company or
find a writing job elsewhere.
While many employers consider
only seasoned, experienced writers in
filling vacancies, not all do. Some
firms hire college graduates for
writer trainee positions. People with
solid backgrounds in science or engi­
neering are at an advantage in com ­
peting for such jo bs. Those with
b a c h e lo r’s or m a s te r’s degrees in
technical writing are often preferred
over candidates who have little or no

The majority of technical writers have
work experience as technicians, scien­

tists, or engineers.


writing background. However, a d e­
gree in almost any field may be ac­
ceptable, providing the candidate has
the necessary technical and com m u­
nications skills. Beginners can devel­
op experience and dem onstrate their
ability through writing material for
local weekly newspapers and by pub­
lishing articles in student journals. A
portfolio of writing samples is helpful
when applying for a job.
In 1976, 10 colleges and universi­
ties offered program s leading to a
bachelor’s degree in technical writ­
ing, and 4 schools had associate de­
gree program s. G raduate program s
leading to a m aster’s degree in tech ­
nical w riting w ere o ffered at six
schools, one of which also offered a
Ph. D. These program s have various
names, including science or medical
writing, science inform ation, techni­
cal journalism , and technical com ­
m unication.
Most undergraduate programs in
technical writing are interdiscipli­
nary. While such programs may be
based in the com m unications, jo u r­
nalism, or language and literature d e­
partm ent, they generally are given in
close cooperation with the m ath e­
matics, engineering, and science d e­
partm ents. At most schools, about 30
percent of the student’s course work
is in c o m m u n ic a tio n s . T y p ic a l
courses include com m unication th e­
ory, writing and editing, layout and
design, and graphics. From 25 to 40
percent of the courses are in science
or technology. The rem ainder of the
program may be in the social scienc­
es and hum anities, or may be devot­
ed entirely to electives. Students usu­
ally are advised to take courses in
related fields such as com puter sci­
ence and statistics. At many schools,
internships in industry or govern­
ment give students in the technical
writing program an opportunity for
first-hand job experience.
G raduate programs in technical
writing emphasize the field of com ­
m u n icatio n s. M any g ra d u ate s tu ­
dents in technical w riting already
have a bachelor’s degree in science,
engineering, or technology. O thers
come from liberal arts backgrounds.
A typical graduate program includes
courses in the theory o f com m unica­
tion, writing and editing, technology
assessment, and m anagem ent.

599

Although only a few schools offer
degrees in technical writing or tech ­
nical illustrating, hundreds of colleg­
es and universities offer one or more
courses in these fields. Students with
such diverse majors as agriculture,
chemistry, engineering, and business
adm inistration can elect courses in
advanced com position, copy editing,
typography, technical advertising, in­
dustrial com m unications, and p ro ­
posal writing, for example. Many en­
g in e e rin g sch o o ls o ffe r E ng lish
courses to sharpen writing skills, and
several have developed extensive
course offerings in technical writing.
Several schools of journalism offer
courses in medical journalism.
Numerous special institutes, semi­
nars, and workshops are available to
bring technical writers up to date.
Some take the form of intensive 1- or
2-week summer seminars sponsored
by colleges and universities. Others
are workshops run by technical com ­
munication consultants or by organi­
zations that specialize in employee
training and development.
Beginners often assist experienced
technical writers by doing library re­
search and preparing drafts of re­
ports. Experienced writers in com pa­
nies with large tec h n ic a l w riting
staffs may move to the job of techni­
cal editor or shift to an adm inistra­
tive position in the publications or
technical inform ation departm ents.
The top job is that of publications
manager, who normally supervises all
of the people directly involved in
producing the com pany’s technical
documents. The m anager supervises
not only the technical w riters and
editors, but also the staff responsible
for illustrations, photography, repro­
duction, and distribution.
After gaining experience and co n ­
tacts, some technical w riters free­
lance or form their own firms. Some
consulting firm s handle industrial
publicity and technical advertising
for corporate clients. O ther technical
com m unications firms do the actual
writing and production of the cata­
logs, m anuals, and brochures th at
may be needed for the prom otion of
a new product, for example. Success­
ful technical writers are frequently in
demand to conduct writing seminars
in industry and go v ern m en t, and

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

600

some teach at colleges and universi­
ties in addition to their regular jobs.
It also is possible to advance by
becoming a specialist in a particular
scientific or technical subject. These
writers sometimes prepare syndicat­
ed newspaper columns or articles for
popular magazines.

Employment Outlook
Employment of technical writers is
expected to increase about as fast as
the average for all occupations
through the m id-1980’s. In addition
to openings due to growth, opportu­
nities will result from the need to
rep lace th ose who die, re tire , or
transfer to other occupations. Em ­
ployment opportunities will be best
for experienced technical writers and
for beginners who have both writing
ability and a scientific or technical
b a c k g ro u n d . P eo p le who c a n n o t
dem onstrate both a technical back­
ground and com m unications skills
may face stiff com petition for begin­
ning jobs.
Demand for technical writers is
expected to increase because of the
continuing expansion of scientific
and technical inform ation and the
need to com m unicate research re­
sults to the scientific community as
effectively as possible. Also contrib­
uting to the dem and for technical
writers is the growing need to put
scientific and technical information
into language that corporate m anag­
ers, sales representatives, and service
technicians can understand. With the
increasing sophistication and com ­
plexity of industrial and scientific
equipm ent, more and m ore users will
depend on the technical w riter’s abil­
ity to prepare explanations and in­




s tru c tio n s in p re c ise b u t sim ple
terms.
G overnm ent expenditures for re­
search and developm ent (R& D) will
continue to have a significant effect
on job opportunities for technical
writers. Their em ploym ent, like that
of scientists and engineers, is linked
to spending levels for basic research
and for product developm ent in such
im portant areas as defense, space ex­
ploration, energy, pollution control,
medicine, and com m unications tech ­
nology. T h ro u g h the m id -1 9 8 0 ’s,
R&D expenditures are expected to
increase, but growth will be slower
than it was during the peak period of
the 1960’s.
Relatively few job openings are
expected in the Federal Governm ent.
The num ber of technical writers and
editors em ployed by Federal agen­
cies has d e c lin e d sin ce th e late
1960’s, and most vacancies will o c­
cur as Federal em ployees retire or
transfer to other jobs.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Salaries depend not only on the
am ount and kind of education a tech ­
nical writer has, but also on experi­
ence and the ability to produce. The
type, size, and location of the em ­
ployer also are im portant. Earnings
generally are h igher on the E ast
Coast and in California than in other
parts o f the country. Free-lancing
can be an im portant source of addi­
tional incom e, but freelance earnings
vary greatly because they depend on
the w riter’s ability and reputation.
Starting salaries for college gradu­
ates began at about $ 10,000 in 1976,

although graduates with degrees in
engineering, science, or technical
com m unications generally began at
$12,000 or more. Experienced tech ­
n ic a l w r ite r s a v e ra g e d a r o u n d
$19,500 a year in 1976, while those
in su p e rv iso ry p o s itio n s e a rn e d
$25,000 or more. There were sub­
stantial regional variations, however.
In the Federal G overnm ent in
1977, beginning technical writers
with a bachelor’s degree and about
five science courses were paid
$9,303 a year; those with a bache­
lor’s degree and 1 year’s specialized
experience could start at $1 1,523 a
year. The average salary for techni­
cal writers in Federal agencies was
$19,901.
Technical writers, in and out of
government, may work under consid­
erable pressure, frequently working
overtime to m eet publication dead ­
lines. T h eir w orking environ m en t
generally is clean and well-lighted.

Sources of Additional
Information
For information about careers in
technical writing, and the names of
colleges and universities that offer
program s in technical com m unica­
tion, contact:
Society for Technical Communication, Inc.,
Suite 421, 1010 Vermont Ave. NW.,
Washington D.C. 20005.

For information about careers and
workshops in the field of health com ­
m unication, contact:
American Medical Writers Association, Suite
290, 5272 River Rd., Bethesda, Md.
20016.

The Outlook
for Industries







AGRICULTURE
For decades the word agriculture
has referred to agricultural produc­
tion or farm ing—a m ajor American
industry that employed over 3 mil­
lion workers in 1976. But today this
word encom passes m ore than just
farm p ro d u c tio n . A g ric u ltu re is
closely related to many other indus­
tries in the econom y—food and fiber
processing, m arketing and distribu­
tion industries, farm implement pro­
ducers and dealers, and feed and fer­
tilizer m anufacturers.
Although jobs requiring agricultur­
al knowledge or skills long have been
available in off-farm locations, the
number and variety of these agricul­
tural jobs have increased dram atical­
ly in recent years. At the same time,
significant im provem ents in agricul­
tural productivity have reduced the
number of jobs actually available on
the N ation’s farms. During the last
two decades, em ploym ent on U.S.
farms and ranches has declined to
only half its former level. Improved
a g ric u ltu ra l tech n o lo g y has been
among the factors that have reduced

Agriculture, 1976




em ploym ent on farms and created a
need for workers with agricultural
skills in off-farm occupations.
Although future growth in agricul­
tural em ploym ent will be in off-farm
occupations and industries, about 2
million workers still will be needed in
basic a g ric u ltu ra l p ro d u c tio n in
1985. This statem ent begins with a
discussion of the occupations in basic
farm production and the factors to
consider in making the decision to
farm. Subsequent sections describe
the increasing variety of work avail­
able in the growth sector of agricul­
tu re —off-farm businesses, o cc u p a­
tio n s , a n d p ro fe s s io n s u tiliz in g
agricultural skills.

Occupations in Farm Production
F arm ers and farm w orkers a c ­
counted for over 95 percent of all
farm em ploym ent in 1976. Although
most farm ers and farm workers are
engaged in growing crops, over 1 mil­
lion raise livestock. Because activity
on m any farm s is seasonal, som e
farm em ployees work 3 m onths or

less during the year. This seasonality
of farm production enables many
small farm owners to hold another
job while working their farms part
time.
Although em ploym ent on most
farms is limited to the farm operator
and one or two family workers or
hired employees, large farms often
have 100 full-time workers or more.
Some of these are in nonfarm occu­
pations, such as truckdrivers, sales
representatives, and clerks.
Farm Operators. Three out of ev­
ery four farms are operated by an
ow ner or tenant farm er (D .O .T .
409.181). The rem ainder are run by
hired farm managers or partners. The
specific tasks a farm operator must
do are determ ined by the type of
farm he or she runs, but, in general,
farmers are responsible for planning,
tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivat­
ing, and harvesting crops. Those who
raise livestock must feed and care for
their animals and keep barns, pens,
m ilking p a rlo rs, and o th e r farm
buildings clean. Farm ers also p e r­
form various o th er tasks, ranging
from setting up and operating m a­
chinery to erecting fences and sheds.
The size of the farm often determ ines
which of these tasks operators will
h an d le th em selv es. O p e ra to rs of
large farms have employees do much
of the physical work that small farm
operators do themselves.
In addition to the physical work
that farm operators must do or ar­
range to have done, they also must
make the m anagem ent decisions re­
quired o f m odern agricultural p ro ­
duction. Farm operators must care­
fully plan the com bination of crops
they grow so that if the price of one
crop goes down they will have suffi­
cient income from another to make
up for it. Also, prices of crops and
livestock change from one month to
another, and farmers who plan ahead
may be able to store their crops or
603

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

604

keep their livestock to take advan­
tage of better prices later in the year.
Farm operators make other im por­
tant m anagem ent decisions, such as
determ ining when to seed, fertilize,
cultivate, and harvest. After harvest­
ing, they make sure that products are
p a c k a g e d , lo ad ed , and d eliv ered
prom ptly to m arket. If necessary,
they secure loans from credit agen­
cies to Finance the purchase of m a­
ch in ery , fe rtiliz e r, liv esto ck , and
feed. They also keep financial rec­
ords of the farm operation, and train
and supervise family and hired work­
ers in the use of equipm ent and p er­
formance o f farm chores.
Tenant farm ers rent their land. Al­
though they often manage their farm
operations, they som etim es consult
the land ow ner or hired m anager
w hen d e c id in g w h at to p la n t or
scheduling the harvest. Tenant farm ­
ers also supervise the work of family
and hired laborers. Although tenant
farmers generally provide their own
machinery, livestock, seed, and fer­
tilizer, under special agreem ents the
land owner may furnish one or more
of these. M ost tenant farm operators
turn over an agreed-upon percentage
of the crop to the land owner for the
use of the land. Others may pay a flat
yearly rent to the land owner.
Farm laborers and farm labor su­
pervisors. Very few farms today can
be run by only one person. In 1976,
approximately 975,000 hired work­
ers, 34 0 ,0 0 0 family w orkers, and
30,000 farm labor supervisors were
employed on farms.
On many farms, especially those
that rely on a few family workers or
hired em ployees, farm laborers p er­
form a variety of duties. For exam ­
ple, fa rm hands (D.O.T. 421.883) on
a farm devoted to diversified agricul­
ture may care for livestock and crops
as well as m aintain structures and
equipment.
Livestock generally require a great
deal of attention on a day-to-day
basis. Farm hands must mix feed and
additives, and fill feed and water
troughs. They clean barns and animal
pens and check livestock regularly
for signs of disease or infection. Of­
ten farm hands must vaccinate live­
stock, such as cattle and poultry,
against diseases or spray them with

insecticides to protect against harm ­


ful parasites. Also, farm hands on
dairy farms must clean and milk cows
twice a day.
In contrast, hands on crop farms
have duties that vary with the sea­
sons.
Before seeding, they must prepare
the soil by plowing, harrowing, and
fertilizing. Once the crops are p a r­
tially grown, they cultivate fields to
loosen soil and reduce the num ber of
weeds. Often, crops are sprayed to
control weeds, harmful insects, and
fungi. Farm hands also assist in h ar­
vesting, and storing, packing, and
transporting crops.
Many o f the tasks perform ed by
farm hands require the use of m a­
chinery, such as milking m achines,
hay balers, and cotton pickers. In ad ­
dition to setting up and operating
machinery, hands m aintain and clean
it and may do minor repairs, if neces­
sary. Also, they maintain and repair
farm s tru c tu re s , including b arn s,
fences, and irrigation systems.
Farm hands generally perform
some, or all, of these duties regard­
less of farm location or what crops
are grown. However, many types of
crops require special attention. For
example, a farm hand working in an
orchard (D.O.T. 404.883) may have
to transplant seedlings, prune fruit
trees, thin im mature fruit to improve
q u ality , an d p ro p up o v erlo a d ed
branches.
O ther farm laborers may perform
specialized job duties depending on
the location of the farm. In areas
where rain is insufficient, irrigators
(D .O .T . 4 2 2 .8 8 7 ) w ater crops by
controlling the flow o f w ater from
irrigation ditches, through gates or
portholes, to the fields. They also o p ­
erate portable sprinkling systems that
pump w ater through pipes spread on
the ground, and move the pipes from
one area o f the field to another.
Farms such as those producing
fruit or vegetables often need a large
num ber o f woqkers to harvest their
crops. These farms employ laborers
with more specialized job duties. For
instance, if produce is packed on the
farm to prepare it for shipm ent, then
produce sorters (D.O.T. 529.687)
and
produce
packers
(D.O.T.
920.887) will be em ployed. O ther
laborers may spend most of their
time operating a particular piece of

machinery. Still others may be full­
time m aintenance workers.
When many workers are em ployed
in specialized jobs, farm labor super­
visors (D.O.T. 429.131) are needed
to coordinate work activities such as
planting, cultivating, and harvesting.
They schedule the work of crews and
may hire additional hands, especially
during the harvesting season. Farm
labor supervisors also teach new em ­
ployees how to use m achinery and
tools and keep records of production
and crop conditions. (F or additional
information on labor supervisors, see
the statem ent on blue-collar w orker
supervisors, eleswhere in the Hand­
book.)

Places of Employment
Some farming is done in nearly
every county in the United States,
but more than one-third of all farms
are in the following States: Texas,
Missouri, Iowa, North Carolina, Illi­
nois, K entucky, and T en n essee.
Thus, em ploym ent o f farm operators
is c o n c e n tra te d in th e se S ta te s.
Farms in some of these States, how­
ever, are smaller on the average than
those in other areas of the country,
and more than one-third of all farm
products are raised in Iowa, C alifor­
nia, Texas, Illinois, and Kansas.
Often the topography of the land
and the climate of an area determ ine
the type of farming that is done. For
ex am p le, w heat, c o rn , and o th e r
grains are most efficiently grown on
large, flat farms on which large and
sophisticated machinery can be best
used. Thus, these crops are ideal for
the Plains States of Kansas, N ebras­
ka, Iowa, and Illinois. O ther States
such as Wisconsin, M innesota, and
New York have rolling hills, suffi­
cient rainfall to provide good p as­
tures, and denser populations, and
thus smaller farms that are ideal for
grazing dairy herds. Clim ate is the
main reason why crops which require
longer growing seasons, such as co t­
ton, tobacco, and peanuts, are grown
chiefly in the South.
About three-fifths of all farm ers
and farm workers are em ployed rais­
ing crops; the rem ainder raise cattle,
hogs, sheep, and poultry.
Raising fruits and vegetables,
which m ust be picked and packaged
by hand, generally requires a large

605

AGRICULTURE

number of employees during the har­
vesting season. Thus many hired la­
borers work on these farms on a sea­
sonal basis. A bout one-half of all
commercial vegetables grown in the
United States are produced in Cali­
fornia, and large am ounts of fruits
and vegetables also are grown in Tex­
as and Florida. Two-fifths of all farm
labor supervisors and one-third of all
hired farm laborers are employed in
these three States.
Much of the work on farms that
produce animals and dairy products
is on a day-to-day basis, so these
farms often rely on the farm operator
and several unpaid family laborers to
do most of the work. Unpaid family
workers and farm operators also pro­
vide most of the labor on farms that
produce crops, such as wheat, corn,
or cotton, that can be m achine har­
vested and packaged without dam ­
age. Therefore, only a small num ber
of hired farm laborers and almost no
farm labor supervisors are employed
in the regions th at produce these
farm products.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Modern farming is very costly and
usually requires a large initial invest­
ment. The prices of farm land, fertil­
izer, hybrid seeds, and other resourc­
es n eed ed by farm ers have risen
dram atically over the past decade.
Also, m ore expensive machinery is
needed today to farm efficiently. To
obtain the financing necessary to get
started in farming, prospective farm ­
ers must be able to show that they are
well trained and knowledgeable in
their field.
Growing up on a family farm and
participating in farming programs for
young people, such as the Future
Farmers o f America or the 4-H
Clubs, is still an im portant source of
training for tom orrow ’s farmers.
However, because of the com plex­
ities of m odern scientific farming and
the need to keep up with advances in
farming methods, an increasing num ­
ber of young farmers find it desirable
to receive additional training at a 2or 4-year college of agriculture. Also,
a degree in agriculture is almost es­
sential for persons who wish to farm
Digitized for who have not had the advantage
but FRASER


of living or working on a farm in their
youth.
Most colleges of agriculture offer
major program s of study in areas
such as dairy science, crop science,
agricultural economies, horticulture,
and anim al science. Also, colleges
usually o ffer special program s o f
study concerning products that are
im portant to the area in which they
are located, such as grain science
program s at colleges in the Plains
States.
In addition to the knowledge of
agricultural practices that farming
requires, a wide variety of building,
m aintenance, and business skills of­
ten are needed on farms. On corpo­
rate farms and on large, established,
family farm s, there may be many
workers, each supplying a particular
skill. H ow ever, beginning farm ers
may wish to supply as much labor as
possible to the operation of the farm
in order to hold down costs, so it
often is helpful for them to have
these o th e r skills. T he c a rp en try
skills needed to erect or repair fences
and farm buildings may be learned in
courses at vocational schools, as can
farm machinery m aintenance and re ­
pair. Sound business practices can be
learned through high school courses
in bookkeeping, and the knowledge
of financial m anagem ent, account­
ing, and tax accounting that is almost
essential to today’s farm er can be ob­
tained through college courses.
In contrast to the extensive and
varied training needed to be a farm
operator, most farm laborers, such as
field and livestock workers and pack­
inghouse workers, learn their jobs in
a m atter of hours on the farm and
require little or no outside training.
Some farm laborers on large farms
perform more specialized jobs, such
as m achine operator, for which limit­
ed experience may be helpful, but
previous experience and training are
not necessary.
Farm laborers and farm operators
should be in excellent physical condi­
tion. Physical stamina and strength
are im portant to farm workers, since
they must often work long days on
their feet or stooped over under the
hot sun, and they may be required to
lift and carry heavy objects, such as
hay bales, or to restrain animals.
Over 1.5 million acres of farmland
in the United States are lost each

year to suburbanization, and in many
areas of the country farm land for sale
is scarce. The scarcity of available
land and the large cost of getting
started in farming, may make it nec­
essary for a beginning farm er to start
out as a hired hand on a nearby farm,
or as a tenant farm er for a land own­
er who supplies the machinery, seed,
and fertilizer in return for a percent­
age of the crop. Hired hands and ten ­
ant farm ers may later find jobs as
farm managers or one day become
owners of their own farms.
Opportunities for advancem ent for
farm laborers are very limited; how­
ever, they may advance to become
farm labor supervisors and a few may
have th e o p p o rtu n ity to becom e
working farm managers, tenant farm ­
ers, or to one day own their own
farms.

Making the Decision to Farm
Farming may be the ideal career
for people who enjoy working out­
doors and being their own bosses.
The desire to live in a rural area,
away from urban congestion, also
may be an im portant consideration in
choosing farming as an occupation.
However, farming is a very dem and­
ing career, and only persons with a
great deal of initiative and a sense of
responsibility can expect to be suc­
cessful.
Farmers often must work long
hours. A 6- or 7-day workweek is
c o m m o n d u rin g busy seasons and is
the rule on certain types of farms,
such as dairy and livestock farms.
Farmers should be willing to try new
processes and adapt to constantly
changing technologies to produce
their crops or raise their livestock
more efficiently. Farm ers also must
have enough technical knowledge of
crops and growing conditions and
plant and animal diseases to be able
to make decisions that insure the
sucessful operation of their farms.
They also must have the managerial
skills necessary to organize and o p er­
ate a business. M echanical aptitude
and the ability to work with tools of
all kinds also are valuable skills for
the operator of a small farm who of­
ten m ust m aintain and repair m a­
chinery or farm structures. A basic
knowledge of accounting and book­
keeping can be helpful in keeping

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

606

financial records, and a knowledge of
credit sources is essential.
Both the average size of farms and
the price of farmland have increased
greatly in recent years, thus consider­
ably raising the cost of buying a farm.
Therefore, young people interested
in farming may wish to start by farm ­
ing part of a relative’s farm or by
leasing land from an absentee owner.
However, even if the beginning farm ­
er does not purchase land and build­
ings, financing is generally necessary
to purchase livestock, seed, feed, fer­
tilizer, and machinery.
The Federal Land Bank is the larg­
est source of credit for farmers. In
addition, many com m ercial banks
and savings and loan institutions, es­
pecially those in rural areas, and
many life insurance com panies, ex­
tend c re d it to farm ers. Also, the
Farm ers Hom e A dm inistration ex­
tends credit for purchasing farms and
paying for yearly operating costs to
people who have been unable to ob­
tain loans from any other source.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the agriculture in­
dustry is expected to continue to de­
cline through the m id-1980’s, as the
trend toward fewer but larger farms
continues. Fewer farms means fewer
farm operators, and as farms become
larger, the additional use of more and




larger machinery m akes it unneces­
sary to hire more farm laborers.
B eginning farm ers who wish to
grow crops such as grain crops or
cotton, which often are profitably
produced on farms of 1,000 acres or
larger, will find extremely limited o p ­
portunities, since farms of this size
rarely are available for purchase, and
those that are cost a great deal. Be­
ginning farm ers should find more o p ­
portunities to get started in a type of
specialty farming that requires less
land, and in which they have an ex­
pertise. For exam ple, a successful
family dairy farm may require only
100-160 acres of pasture and crop­
land. Specialty crops such as tom a­
toes, straw berries, or w aterm elons
may be profitably grown on even
smaller farms using intensified farm ­
ing methods.
O pportunities for beginning farm ­
ers may be best in rural areas in the
Eastern and Southern regions where
there are many small farms. How­
ever, many farms on the fringes of
m etropolitan areas in these regions
are being lost each year to suburban­
ization, and thus the price of this
fa rm la n d sh o u ld c o n tin u e to in ­
crease.
Em ployment of farm laborers will
decline as the num ber of farms d e­
clines and as m achinery replaces
much of the work that laborers now
do. For example, an improved hybrid

tom ato has been developed that has
hard skin and can be m achine har­
vested without damaging the tom a­
toes. Now one m achine can do the
harvesting work th a t form erly re ­
quired many hand laborers.
As the cost of farming increases,
fewer individuals will be able to af­
ford the initial investm ent needed to
get started in farming, and the num ­
ber of large corporate and partn er­
ship farms that employ more workers
per farm will increase. Since these
types of farms usually are operated
by farm m anagers, em ploym ent of
farm m anagers is expected to in­
crease about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the mid1980’s, and beginning farmers may
find opportunities in this field.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
No information is currently avail­
able on the average earnings of farm
operators. Earnings of farm o p era­
tors vary greatly from year to year
and by type and size of farm. Prices
o f m any farm p ro d u c ts flu ctu a te
greatly depending on weather condi­
tions which determ ine the am ount
and quality of products that are p ro ­
duced. A farm that shows a large
profit in one year may show a loss in
the following year.
Farm laborers are generally among
the lowest paid workers; in 1976
average hourly earnings of all hired
farm workers were only $2.66. In
com parison, average hourly earnings
of all production workers in private
nonagricultural
industries
were
$4.87 in the same year. Average
wage rates for hired farm workers
ranged from $2.47 an hour for field
and livestock workers to $4.39 an
hour for farm labor supervisors. In
general, workers paid on a piece-rate
basis earned more than those who
received a straight hourly wage. In
addition to their wages, some hired
farm workers receive room and
board allowances; however, almost
no farm workers receive benefits
such as paid vacations, sick leave, or
health benefits.
Many types of agriculture are very
seasonal in nature and many farm
operators and farm laborers on crop
farms may have to work from sunup
to sundown during the planting and

AGRICULTURE

607

Over 1 million farmers and farm workers raise livestock.

harvesting seasons. Farm workers of­
ten work fewer than 6 to 7 months a
year on the farm, and, while many
can find off-farm em ploym ent, oth­
ers are often unable to find outside
e m p lo y m e n t d u rin g th e w in te r
months.
On farms on which animals are
raised for m eat or dairy products, the
w ork is d is trib u te d m ore evenly
throughout the year. However, these
farm s c a n n o t be left u n a tte n d e d
since animals must be fed and wa­
tered regularly, and cows must be
milked twice daily. Owners and op­
erators of these farms may rarely get
the chance to travel.
For many people, living on a farm
or in a rural area is an attractive al­
ternative to the fast-paced life of a
m etropolitan area. H owever, farm
work can be extrem ely hazardous.
Each year many farm workers suffer
debilitating injuries from farm m a­
chinery. Also, farm workers are sub­
je c t to illnesses and diseases from
handling and breathing in dangerous
pesticides and chem icals and from
h a n d lin g c ro p s th a t h av e b een
sprayed with insecticides. In addition
to these problem s, health care in ru­

ral areas sometimes is inadequate or


too expensive to m eet the needs o f
farm workers.
Many farm laborers, especially
those in California, are represented
by the United Farm workers Union
(U FW ), and others are represented
by the International Brotherhood of
Team sters, Chauffeurs, W arehouse­
men, and Helpers. Many of them are
members of local and regional coop­
eratives that enable them to reduce
the cost o f their supplies and also to
m arket their products.

Agricultural Service Occupations
The agricultural services industry
offers careers in hundreds of occupa­
tio n s, m any req u irin g specialized
skills or the ability to operate farm
equipm ent. In 1976, approxim ately
250,000 people provided crop and
animal services to farm ers and farm
cooperatives. Most worked for small
com panies or were self-em ployed.
Although about half o f these people
are em ployed as laborers, many o th ­
ers work in professional occupations,
such as veterinarians or agricultural
scientists. Others work as managers,
agricultural technicians, writers, m e­
chanics, m achine operatives, clerks,
and secretaries.

Many occupations in the agricul­
tural services industry are well-suited
to individuals who enjoy working
with animals. These occupations vary
greatly in skill requirem ents, from
professions requiring college training
to jobs that may be learned in a few
days or by merely growing up on a
farm and observing the tasks being
performed.
Veterinarians (D.O.T. 073.081)
provide health care services to live­
stock and small pets. They inspect
livestock at public stockyards and at
points of entry into the United States
to keep diseased animals out of the
country and prevent the spread of
disease. They also adm inister tests
for anim al diseases, conduct p ro ­
grams for disease eradication, and
carry out research to develop vac­
cines for disease control. (V eterinar­
ians are discussed in more detail else­
w here in the H andbook.) A nim al
breeders (D.O.T. 419.181) use their
knowledge of genetics and ranch or
dairy m anagem ent to develop im ­
proved breeds of animals that will be
more productive. They conduct tests
on new breeds of livestock to d eter­
mine growth rates for beef cattle and
milk p ro d u c tio n for dairy ca ttle.
B reeders also m aintain records on
offspring of new breeds with an ani­
mal breeding association or on their
own. Artificial-breeding technicians
(D .O .T. 467.384) and artificial inseminators (D.O.T. 467.384) collect
semen from male livestock such as
bulls and rams, and artificially im­
p re g n a te cow s and ew es. T h ese
workers may be employed by animal
breeding associations or by artificial
b r e e d in g d i s t r i b u t o r s ( D .O .T .
180.168) who manage insem ination
distributorships.
Several occupations in livestock
services may be learned more easily .
Cow testers employed by dairy herd
im provem ent
associations
travel
from farm to farm to test the milk
from each cow in a herd for acidity
and butterfat content and record the
results. Cattle dehorners remove the
horns from cattle to prevent injuries
to other animals in the herd, and
often provide castrating and vaccina­
ting services, as well. Poultry hatch­
eries employ several types of animal
c a re ta k e rs to v a c c in a te p o u ltry ,
p late eggs on trays in incubators, and

608

care for baby chicks being used in
experimental tests.
In addition to workers who supply
animal services, others provide cus­
tom crop services or other general
crop services, often on a contract ba­
sis. Although most crop services are
provided by self-em ployed individ­
uals or small businesses with 10 or
fewer em ployees, larger service busi­
nesses em ploy people with profes­
sional and technical skills, as well as
laborers and m achine operators. Pro­
fessional m anagers are needed to di­
rect the work of em ployees as well as
manage the business. Also, profes­
sional farm managers, who are gener­
ally college train ed , provide farm
m an ag em en t services to absentee
land owners and their tenants. They
sch ed u le th e plow ing, fertilizin g ,
planting, cultivating, and harvesting
of fields, and the m arketing of crops
and livestock. Often they work for
businesses which specialize in sup­
plying these services; however, some
are self-employed.
O ther occupations in this field re­
quire technical skills or specialized
e q u ip m e n t, b u t can be le a rn e d
through technical training, on-thejob training, or training in another
job. For example, agricultural pilots
(D.O.T. 196.283) and their assistants
mix agricultural chemicals and apply
them while flying airplanes or heli­
copters over fields at low altitudes.
They also seed an increasing num ber
of fields from the air. Also, some air­
plane mechanics are employed to re­
pair and m aintain agricultural air­
craft.
In co n trast to those occupations
that require professional or technical
training, farm service laborers work
in occupations that may be entered
m erely by having th e n e c e ssa ry
equipm ent or by being familiar with
farm operations. For example, grain
elevator operato rs who have grain
drying equipm ent may provide grain
drying and storage services, and agri­
cultural chem ical dealers may p ro ­
vide fertilizer hauling and spreading
and crop dusting services. Sometimes
farmers with special equipm ent sup­
plem ent their incomes by providing
corn shelling, hay baling, threshing,
or other services to farm ers in their
area. Employees of seasonal service
 often m ust w ork long
businesses


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

hours and 6 or 7 days a week during
the busy season.
Farm labor contractors and crew
leaders also require no special train­
ing. However, they m ust establish
contacts with farm ers and farm m an­
agers to whom they supply farm la­
borers, especially harvest laborers,
on a contract basis at specified times
of the year. (Farm laborers employed
by contractors and crew leaders re ­
ceive better social security coverage
by having only one em ployer).

field—those that best represent the
different types of work available. See
the “ Sources of Additional Inform a­
tion” portion of this statem ent for a
guide to other materials on specific
agribusiness jobs.
Professional and Technical Occu­
pations in Agribusiness. One of the
oldest areas of professional work in
a g rib u sin e ss in v o lv es c o lle c tin g ,
c o m p ilin g , an d a n a ly z in g d a ta .
W orkers in these jobs have titles that
reflect the particular setting in which
they are employed; m ost are agricul­
Sources of Additional
tural accountants, m arketing special­
Information
ists, and agricultural economists or
The most significant sources of in­ statisticians.
Agricultural accountants prepare
formation and guidance available to
farmers are the services provided by and analyze financial reports that
the land-grant colleges and universi­ managers use to make im portant de­
ties and the U.S. D epartm ent of Agri­ cisions. They may specialize in tax
culture, W ashington, D.C. 20250. m atters, such as preparing incom e
These services include research, pub­ tax forms and advising farm m anag­
licatio n , teac h in g , an d ex ten sio n ers and operators about the tax ad­
work. The county agricultural agent vantages and disadvantages of busi­
is often the best c o n ta c t for the n e s s d e c i s i o n s . A c c o u n t a n t s
young person seeking advice and as­ employed by hardware and farm sup­
sistance in farm ing. The F arm ers’ ply retail businesses, such as dairy
Home Adm inistration system of su­ equipm ent stores and farm m achin­
pervised credit is one exam ple o f ery stores, often need a knowledge of
credit facilities com bined with a form agriculture to perform their jobs.
o f ex ten sio n teac h in g . O rganized
Agricultural m arketing specialists
groups, such as the Future Farm ers survey wholesalers, retailers, and
of Am erica and the 4-H Clubs, also consumers; analyze data on products
furnish valuable training to young and sales; and prepare sales forecasts
that businesses use to make decisions
farm people.
For information about opportuni­ relating to product design and adver­
ties in off-farm activities, contact in­ tising. The results of their research
dividual colleges of agriculture or the are used by food processing com pa­
U.S. D e p a rtm e n t o f A g ric u ltu re , nies to create food products that co n ­
W ashington, D.C. 20250.
sumers will buy, and by agricultural
suppliers to develop p ro d u cts for
Jobs in Agribusiness
agribusiness and in d u strial firm s.
Agribusiness occupations, broadly M arketing specialists also work for
speaking, are those in off-farm set­ commodity brokerage firms, farm o r­
tin g s t h a t d e m a n d a g r ic u ltu r a l ganizations, cooperative m arketing
know ledge or skills. Some can be and purchasing organizations, and
learned in a few days by persons who re searc h divisions o f the F ed eral
have lived or worked in rural areas or Governm ent.
Agricultural economists (D.O.T.
on farms. Others require training in
tech n ical schools, ju n io r colleges, 050.088) deal with problem s related
colleges and universities, from a few to production, financing, pricing, and
months duration to as long as several m arketing of farm products. They
years. A lthough all industries offer provide information to policym akers,
some agribusiness jobs, they tend to agribusinesses, farm ers, and other
be concentrated in the m anufactur­ sectors of the agriculture industry.
ing, trade, agricultural services, and Many work for the U.S. D epartm ent
governm ent sectors.
of Agriculture, developing costSince agribusiness occupations are benefit analyses for evaluating farm
so varied and num erous, this section program s at the national, State, and
deals only with selected jobs in the local levels. As part o f their analysis,

AGRICULTURE

econom ists study the effects of
m echanization and technological ad­
vances, for example, on the supply
of and dem and for farm products and
the resulting im p act on costs and
prices. O thers work for farm lending
institutions, such as rural banks, The
Farm ers Home A dm inistration, The
Federal Land Bank, and insurance
com panies that m ake loans to farm ­
ers, d eterm in in g the feasibility of
loan program s and individual loans.
Many agricultural econom ists also
work for businesses which m anufac­
ture products and provide services
for farm ers, such as farm equipm ent.
Still o th e rs w ork fo r agribusiness
firms that m arket agricultural prod­
ucts at both retail and wholesale lev­
els. A g ric u ltu ra l e c o n o m ists who
have advanced degrees may teach at
colleges and universities. There also
are o p p o rtu n itie s fo r ag ric u ltu ral
econom ists in the Foreign Service,
conducting research to improve the
productivity o f agriculture aboard.
A m ore recent, but expanding,
field in agriculture is agricultural
com m unications. Persons employed
in this area perform the vital job of
keeping farm ers, consum ers, and
others co n cerned with the agricul­
ture industry abreast o f current de­
velopm ents in farm technology, re­
se a rc h , an d c o n s u m e r p ro d u c ts.
C rop reporters and m arket news re­
porters are em ployed by the U.S. De­
partm ent o f A griculture in field offic­
es th ro u g h o u t th e U nited States.
C rop reporters gather inform ation on
c ro p p ro d u c tio n th ro u g h o u t the
growing season. M arket news report­
ers collect inform ation on the m ove­
m ent of produce from the farm to the
m arket.
O ther agricultural journalists, such
as reporters and editors, collect farm
news and data for publication in farm
journals, magazines, bulletins, and
for broadcast. Some may have job
titles, such as livestock editor, that
reflect their area o f special knowl­
edge. Agricultural journalists also are
employed as farm directors for radio
and television broadcast stations in
farm ing areas to re p o rt on prices,
sales, crop conditions, and other ag­
ricultural inform ation of im portance
to farm residents. Still others are em ­
ployed in com m unications d e p a rt­
ments o f agribusiness firms to devel­



609

o p a d v e r t i s e m e n t s a n d p u b lic
relations bulletins.
A gricultural education is an im ­
portant and growing area o f em ploy­
m ent of professional workers in the
field o f agriculture. Because o f the
constant changes in production p ro ­
cesses and technological innovations
in farming, teachers are a vital link
between agricultural researchers and
fu tu r e fa rm e rs . S chool tea ch e rs
(D.O.T. 091.228) in vocational agri­
c u ltu re in stru c t secondary school
and adult education classes in farm
m anagem ent, agricultural p ro d u c ­
tion, agricultural supplies and servic­
es, o p e ra tio n and re p a ir o f farm
equipm ent and structures, inspection
and processing o f farm products, and
ornam ental horticulture. An increas­
ing num ber of 2-year program s that
require trained educators are taught
at junior colleges. Colleges and uni­
versities em ploy many agricultural
professors to teach as well as to do
research and publish their findings.
Cooperative extension service work­
ers (D.O.T. 096.128) also do educa­
tional work in fields such as agricultu ra l p ro d u c tio n an d h o m e
econom ics and may conduct agricul­
tural educational program s through
youth groups such as the 4-H Clubs.
A nother very im portant area o f
agriculture involves scientists who
conduct research vital to the devel­
opm ent of m ore productive plants
and animals, and better food prod­
ucts for consum ers. Although agri­
cultural researchers are employed in
alm ost all sectors o f the econom y,
the largest concentrations are in gov­
ernm ent agencies. The U.S. D epart­
m en t o f A g ric u ltu re em ploys r e ­
se a rc h e rs in various p arts o f th e
c o u n tr y , in c lu d in g W a sh in g to n ,
D.C., the Agricultural Research C en­
te r at Beltsville, M d., and at land
grant colleges. State agricultural ex­
perim ent stations employ research­
ers, as do other governm ent agencies
such as the Food and Drug Adm inis­
tration. Still other agricultural scien­
tists do research at private colleges
or for agribusiness firm s, such as
food processors, fertilizer and agri­
c u ltu ra l chem ical m a n u fa c tu re rs,
and m anufacturers o f feed, seed, and
farm equipm ent.
The following list of occupations is
not com plete, but is a representative
sample of agricultural researchers.

Many o f these occupations are dis­
cussed in m ore detail elsewhere in
the Handbook (see index).
A g ro n o m ists (D .O .T . 0 4 0 .0 8 1 )
conduct experim ents in field crop
problem s and develop new methods
of growing crops to m ake farming
more efficient, obtain higher yields,
and im prove quality. T hey study
m ethods o f planting, cultivating, and
harvesting field crops such as cereals,
grains, legumes, grasses, cotton, and
tobacco. They also study the effect of
various clim ates on crop production.
P la n t p a t h o l o g i s t s ( D .O .T .
041.081) study the causes of plant
diseases to develop m ethods to co n ­
trol noxious weeds, insect pests, and
plant diseases.
P la n t p h y s i o l o g i s ts ( D .O .T .
041.0 8 1 ) stu d y th e stru c tu re o f
plants and factors which affect their
growth, such as respiration, m etabo­
lism, and reproduction. They also are
concerned with m ethods of improv­
ing the storage life of fruits and vege­
tables.
Geneticists (D.O.T. 041.081) try
to develop strains, varieties, breeds,
and hybrids of plants and animals
that are better suited than those pres­
ently available for the production of
food and fiber.
Microbiologists (D.O.T. 041.081)
study bacteria and other m icroorga­
nisms to better understand their rela­
tion to hum an, plant, and anim al
health, and learn how these m icroor­
ganisms function in the production of
vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids, al­
cohols, and sugars.
A n im a l p h y s io lo g is ts (D .O .T .
041.081) study the functions of var­
ious parts o f the bodies of livestock.
Animal scientists (D.O.T. 040.081)
are concerned with production and
m anagem ent o f farm animals. They
conduct research in the selection,
breeding, feeding, and marketing of
farm animals and develop improved
m ethods of housing, sanitation, and
parasite and disease control. Some
are called animal nutritionists, and
specialize in finding feed req u ire­
ments that will maximize production
and developing new livestock and
poultry feeds.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

610

E ntom ologists (D .O .T . 0 4 1 .0 8 1 )
study beneficial and harmful insects.
They identify the populations and
distributions of insects that injure ag­
ricu ltu ral p ro d u cts during grow th,
shipping, storage, processing, and
distribution. T heir research is d irect­
ed tow ard finding ways to control
harmful insects and m anage benefi­
cial ones.
H u m a n n u t r i ti o n i s t s ( D .O .T .
077.128) study the m eans by which
the body utilizes foods and nutrients,
and their relation to health and dis­
ease. They also study social, econom ­
ic, and cultural aspects of food to
determ ine how the diets o f people
may be improved.
Seed analysts (D .O .T . 0 4 0 .3 8 1 )
conduct tests on sam ples o f seeds to
determ ine their rate o f germ ination,
purity, and noxious w eed content.
A g r ic u ltu r a l c h e m is ts (D .O .T .
0 2 2 .0 8 1 ) co n d u ct research to im ­
prove cro p yield and prom ote soil
conservation. They develop chem ical
com pounds for use in controlling in­
sec ts, w eed s, fu n g i, an d ro d e n ts.
They also perform experim ents to
determ ine proper usage o f fertilizers
and investigate the problem s o f nitro­
gen fixation in soils.
Food chem ists (D .O .T. 022.081)
such as dairy products chemists and
cereal chem ists develop new foods,
food preservatives, and similar prod­
ucts. They study how various m eth­
ods o f preserving foods affect nutri­
ent con ten t and taste, and test food
sam ples to ensure th a t they m eet
governm ent standards for quality and
purity.
Soil scientists (D .O .T . 0 4 0 .0 8 1 )
study th e physical, chem ical, and
biological characteristics and behav­
ior o f soils and classify them accord­
ing to a national system. They d eter­
mine the ability o f various soils to
produce certain crops.
R u r a l s o c io lo g is ts ( D .O .T .
0 5 4 .0 8 8 ) study th e stru c tu re and
functions o f social institutions, such
as custom s, practices, and laws, that
are a p art o f rural society and thus
affect farm residents.
In addition to these agricultural
researchers and scientists, agricultur­
al engineers (D .O .T 013.081) devel­
op the physical layout o f farms, such



as the placem ent o f barns, sheds, and
irrigation systems, used to carry out
production. Many agricultural engi­
n ee rs w ork fo r m a n u fa c tu re rs o f
farm im plem ents and m achinery, d e­
signing equipm ent that enables farm ­
ers to increase their production. O th­
ers design im proved farm structures,
such as dairy bam s o r irrigation sys­
tem s, and some work for electric util­
ity com panies developing efficient
m ethods o f utilizing electric pow er
on farm s and in food processing. Still
others are em ployed by the Federal
G overnm ent in soil and w ater m an­
agement. Agricultural engineers with
advanced degrees may also teach at
colleges and universities.
In addition to the many agricul­
ture-related professional occupations
for which a college degree is neces­
sary, there are a num ber o f occupa­
tions of a technical nature that do not
always require college training. O f­
ten, practical work experience is suf­
ficient to qualify a person for a job in
these fields, although college training
may be required o f persons w ithout
work experience.
One im portant group o f these
occupations is m ade up o f inspectors
and graders o f agricultural products.
M eat and poultry inspectors are em ­
ployed by the U.S. D epartm ent o f
A griculture and by many o f the State
d e p a rtm e n ts o f ag ric u ltu re. T hey
work under the supervision o f v eter­
inarians and inspect m eat and poul­
try sla u g h te rin g , p ro c essin g , an d
packaging operations to insure th at
p r o p e r s a n ita tio n is m a in ta in e d
throughout all phases of processing.
They also inspect m eat additives and
m ake sure that processed m eats are
labeled correctly.
A gricultural com m odity graders
(D.O.T. 168.287) inspect samples o f
agricultural products to determ ine
their quality and grade, and then is­
sue grading certificates. They gener­
ally specialize in the inspection and
grading of one particular com m odity,
such as eggs, vegetables, fresh fruits,
dairy products, or grain. G rain in­
spectors inspect large quantities o f
grain for the presence o f parasites,
s p o ila g e , o r im p u ritie s, su ch as
weeds. They also inspect ships for
sanitation prior to loading for trans­

port. M ost grain inspectors are em ­
ployed by Federal and State agen­
c ie s ; h o w e v e r , s o m e a ls o a r e
em ployed by large buyers of grain,
such as breweries.
Cotton classers (D.O.T. 469.387)
use the standards for various grades
o f cotton established by the U.S. D e­
partm ent of A griculture to classify
cotton samples on the basis o f color,
fiber length, and presence o f im puri­
tie s . T o b a cco g ra d e rs ( D .O .T .
5 2 9 .6 8 7 ) exam ine the size, color,
and texture o f tobacco at auctions
and certify the quality according to
th e F ed eral classification system .
Some are employed at tobacco p ro ­
cessing plants, and use less complex
grading systems.
Persons with technical skills relat­
ed to agriculture also are em ployed
in a variety of positions to assist agri­
cultural and biological research sci­
entists in conducting experim ents.
Biolgical technicians work primarily
in laboratories in which biological
scientists are engaged in research,
developm ent, control, and testing of
the chem ical and biological proper­
ties o f crops. A gricultural te c h n i­
cians generally work in fields and
o th e r experim ental areas, such as
g r e e n h o u s e s , b a r n s , o r g ro w th
houses. They assist agricultural sci­
entists in experim ents conducted un­
der actual growing conditions.
R esearch technicians may perform
a varity o f duties. For example, they
generally are responsible for prep ar­
ing hum an subjects, animals, insects,
plants, soils, and food samples for
tests. O ther responsibilities include
setting up and adjusting instrum ents
and equipm ent, conducting experi­
ments, and tabulating and recording
data. Additional duties, such as c a r­
ing for laboratory animals, may be
part o f the job in some areas of spe­
cialization; technicians em ployed at
Federal research facilities may spe­
cialize in microbiology, biochem is­
try, laboratory anim al, anim al sci­
ence, plants, insects, or soils.
Other Jobs in Agribusiness. In ad­
dition to the many professional and
technical jobs that require a knowl­
edge o f and training in agriculture,
many industries that supply raw m a­
terials to farm ers and process and

61 1

AGRICULTURE

distribute agricultural products em ­
ploy persons in urban as well as rural
areas. While some o f these people
w ork in o cc u p atio n s th a t require
som e a g ric u ltu re -re la te d training,
others work in jobs th at are nonagricultural. T ogether with agricultural
production, these industries m ake up
an efficient food production and dis­
trib u tio n system. This section will
briefly discuss some of the career op­
portunities available in this system, in
both rural and urban areas.
Many farm ers are m em bers of lo­
cal and regional cooperatives. By
jo in in g co o p e rativ es, farm ers can
buy many of their supplies, such as
seeds, feeds, and fertilizers, as well as
food and household goods, in large
volumes and thus at lower wholesale
prices. In addition, cooperatives pro­
vide m arketing services so that indi­
vidual farm ers do not need to locate
buyers for their products. Some also
operate local stores. Local branches
o f cooperatives are found in nearly
every rural com m unity and in many
small and m edium -sized cities, al­
though regional offices o f large coop­
eratives often are located in large
m etropolitan areas.
C ooperatives employ persons with
many different skills. Stock clerks
and feed sto re m anagers are em ­
ployed in local stores. C ooperatives
also em ploy college-trained business
m anagers to o p erate the co o p e ra­
tives. Regional cooperatives employ
sales re p resen ta tiv e s, w holesalers,
and bro k ers to co n tac t buyers for
large grocery chains, food processing
firms, and agricultural exporters to
arrange contracts to sell agricultural
products. They also employ purchas­
ing agents and buyers to arrange vol­
ume purchases o f seed, feed, fertiliz­
ers, and oth er supplies.
Farm equipm ent dealerships in ag­
ricultural areas em ploy persons in
farm -related and nonfarm o ccupa­
tio n s . F a rm e q u ip m e n t d e a le rs
(D .O .T . 2 7 7 .3 5 8 ) m ust know the
needs o f farm ers in their area and
stock the latest equipm ent and m a­




chinery to m eet those needs. Dealers
and sales workers dem onstrate and
sell equipm ent, and farm equipm ent
m echanics service and repair the m a­
chinery that is sold. Dealerships of­
ten have parts departm ents and thus
employ parts sales workers. In addi­
tion, large dealerships often employ
secretarial and other clerical em ploy­
ees.
The agricultural chem ical indus­
try, including m anufacturing, distri­
b u tio n , and ap p lic a tio n , em ploys
professional and technical workers
with agricultural training. Chemists,
agronomists, soil scientists, and other
professional workers, along with re ­
search technicians, conduct research
to develop new fertilizers and pesti­
cides as well as to im prove o th er
c h e m ic als fo r b e tte r a g ric u ltu ra l
uses. M any agricultural chem icals
are sold by cooperatives; however,
retail dealerships also are found in
many small towns in farm ing areas.
Retail dealerships employ store m an­
agers, stock clerks, sales w orkers,
and clerical em ployees, and large
dealerships often employ agricultural
pilots and their assistants to apply
chemicals.
These are just some o f the many
businesses that employ persons with
agricultural training and also offer
opportunities
in
nonagricultural
occupations to people in farming
areas. Over the past quarter-century
the agricultural supply and distribu­
tion system has becom e m ore d i­
verse, and now employs persons in
most m ajor industries, including the
transportation, com m unications, and
m anufacturing industries.

Sources of Additional
Information
Many of the occupations discussed
in this section are described in m ore
detail elsewhere in the Handbook.
Opportunities in Research. Additional
inform ation on research opportuni­
ties at land-grant colleges may be o b ­
tained from the dean o f agriculture at

the State land-grant college. Infor­
m ation on em ploym ent in the U.S.
D epartm ent of Agriculture is avail­
able from the USDA recru itm en t
representatives at land-grant colleges
and from the Office o f Personnel,
U.S. D e p a rtm e n t o f A g ric u ltu re ,
W ashington, D.C. 20250.
The following publication will be
valuable:
Careers in Agriculture and Natural Resources—
Agriculture. American Association of
Land-Grant Colleges and State Universi­
ties, Washington, D.C. Copies can be ob­
tained free from State agricultural colleg­
es.

O pportunities in A gricultura l F i­
nance. F or inform ation about em ­
ploym ent opportunities in agricultur­
al finance, contact:
Farm Credit Administration, Washington,
D.C. 20578.
Farmers Home Administration, U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
20250.
Agricultural Director, American Bankers As­
sociation, 90 Park Ave., New York, N.Y.
10016.

Opportunities with Cooperatives. C o­
operatives in the individual com m u­
nities are a good source of inform a­
tio n on jo b s e ith e r in th eir own
organizations or in other coo p era­
tives. Most States have a State coun­
cil or association of cooperatives that
can provide information on coopera­
tive locations and some job inform a­
tion.
Opportunities as Vocational Agricul­
ture Teachers. Prospective teachers
should c o n ta c t the h ead te a c h e r
trainer in agricultural education at
the land-grant college or the State
supervisor o f agricultural education
at the State departm ent of public in­
struction in their respective States.
Also, many books written on the
subject o f jobs in agribusiness discuss
opportunities in m uch greater detail
and may be available in your local
high school and public libraries.

MINING AND PETROLEUM
The mining and petroleum indus­
try provides most o f the basic raw
materials and energy sources for in­
d u stry an d co n su m er use. M etal
mines provide iron, copper, gold, and
other ores. Quarrying and other nonmetallic mining yield many of the ba­
sic materials such as limestone and
gravel for building schools, offices,
homes, and highways. Nearly all of
the N ation’s energy for industrial and
personal use comes from oil, gas, and
coal. Few products from mines reach
the consum er in their natural state;
nearly all require further processing.
The mining and petroleum indus­
try employed about 770,000 workers
in 1976. Almost half of these worked
in the exploration for and removal of
crude petro leu m and natural gas.
Coal mining accounted for over onefourth of the industry’s workers. The
rem aining w orkers w ere in m etal
mining and quarrying and nonm etallic mineral mining.
As show n in the accom panying
c h a rt, b lu e -c o lla r w o rk ers (c ra ft
workers and operatives) account for
nearly seven-tenths of the industry’s
employment. Operatives is the larg­
est occupational group in the indus­
try. Included in the operative group
are oil well drillers, mining m achin­
ery operators, and truck and tractor
drivers. Skilled craft workers consti­
tute the second largest occupational
g ro u p . M e c h a n ic s an d re p a ire rs
maintain the complex equipm ent and
machinery used in mining and in oil
well d rillin g . M any o p e ra to rs o f
heavy eq u ip m en t, such as pow er
shovels and bulldozers, work in open
pit mining. Large num bers of pum p­
ers, g au gers, and engine w orkers
hold jo b s in the p ro d u c tio n and
tra n s p o rta tio n o f p e tro le u m and
natural gas. Supervisors of blue-col­
lar workers also constitute an im por­
tant part of the craft worker group.
T he in d u stry ’s w h ite-collar em ­
ployees are divided am ong th ree

6 1 2


o ccu p atio n al g ro u p s—professional
and technical, clerical, and m anage­
rial workers. Taken together, these
groups com pose the remaining three-

tenths of the industry’s employm ent.
Professional and technical workers
are concentrated largely in petrole­
um and gas extraction. Most are en-

Mining and petroleum, 1976

Seven out of every ten employees in the mining and
petroleum industries in 1976 were blue-collar workers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

MINING AND PETROLEUM

gineers, geologists, or technicians en­
gaged in exploration and research.
Two out of three clerical employees
work in petroleum and gas extrac­
tion. Most are secretaries, office ma­
chine operators, and typists.
Employment in the mining and pe­
troleum industry is expected to in­
crease faster than the average for all
industries through the m id-1980’s,
but d ifferen t grow th p attern s are
likely within the industry. Employ­




613

m ent in coal mining and in petroleum
and natural gas extraction should in­
crease rapidly as the Nation strives to
b eco m e self-su ffic ie n t in energy
sources. Employment in metal m in­
ing also is expected to grow. Employ­
m ent in quarrying and nonm etallic
mining, on the other hand, is expect­
ed to decline as laborsaving equip­
m ent leads to higher output with few­
er workers.
The statem ents that follow provide

inform ation on em ploym ent oppor­
tunities in the petroleum and natural
gas extraction industry and the coal
mining industry. More detailed infor­
m ation ab o u t m any of the m ajor
occupations in the mining and petro ­
leum industry also appears elsewhere
in the Handbook.

COAL MINING

Nature of the Industry
Coal has played a vital role in the
developm ent of this Nation. Original­
ly used only as a source of heat, coal
grew rapidly as a source of power
with the coming of the steam engine.
By the beginning of the 20th century,
coal had become vital, not only for
heating hom es and powering loco­
motives, but also as a source of ener­
gy for producing electric power and a
n ec essary in g re d ie n t for m aking
steel. Although coal has been largely
replaced by other fuels for heating
and transportation, it is used in prod­
ucts ranging from lipstick to chem i­
cals, and m ost im p o rta n tly as a
source of electric power.
Coal usually is divided into two
classes, bituminous and anthracite.
Bituminous, or “ soft” coal, is the
most widely used and the most
plentiful, and accounts for most coal
p ro d u ctio n . P roduction of a n th ra ­
cite, or “ h a rd ” coal, on the other
hand, is steadily declining due to
dwindling reserves and difficulty of
recovery. O ther forms of coal, such
as lignite and peat, are used in only
limited amounts.
Most of the N ation’s coal is mined
in the Appalachian area that extends
from Pennsylvania through Eastern
Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Ken­
tu ck y , T en n e ssee, and A labam a.
Large am ounts of coal also are mined
in Indiana, Illinois, and in the Rocky
Mountain States.

The type of mine a company d e­
cides to open depends on the geo­
logical form ation and the depth and
location o f the coal seam. U nder­
ground mines are used to reach coal
that lies deep below the surface. A
series of entries must be constructed
so that air, miners, and equipm ent
can reach the seam and coal can be
carried out. Depending on the depth
of the coal seam, the entry may be
v ertic al (sh a ft m in e ), h o rizo n ta l
(drift m ine), or at an angle (slope
mine). (See chart.) Shaft mines are
used to reach coal lying far below the
surface. Drift and slope mines are
usually not as far underground as
shaft mines.
After the coal seam has been
reached, nearly all underground
mines are constructed the same way.
Miners m ake a network of intercon­
necting tunnels so that the mine re­
sem bles a maze with passageways
going off in p red eterm in ed d ire c ­
tio n s, so m etim e s e x te n d in g o v er
many miles. As coal is removed, the

614



Occupations in the Industry
In 1976 about 210,000 people
worked in the bituminous coal and
lignite mining industry. An additional
4,000 people were employed by
com panies producing
anthracite
coal. About 85 percent of all persons
in these industries were production
workers who mined and processed
coal.
Mining jobs range from apprentice
miners who usually act as helpers in
several occupations to highly skilled
and experienced miners who operate
eq u ip m en t w orth several hundred

Four types of bituminous coal mines

Shaft Mine

Types of Mines
Coal is either mined underground
or extracted from the ea rth ’s surface.
Underground mines employ most of
the workers in the industry but pro­
duce less than half of all bituminous
coal. Surface mining, a more produc­
tive type than underground mining,
em ploys few er m iners to produce
more coal.

tunnels becom e longer and longer.
T hroughout this process, a signifi­
cant am ount of coal (pillars) is left
between the tunnels to support the
roof. W hen miners reach the end of
the com pany’s property, they start
working back toward the entrance,
mining most of the remaining coal as
they retreat. This is called retreat
mining.
If the coal seam is not too far
below ground, surface mining is
practiced. Two types of surface
mines are strip and auger. At strip
mines, huge machines remove the
earth and expose the coal. Auger
mining is used to remove coal from
extremely steep hillsides. A large au­
ger (drill) bores into the hill and pulls
the coal out.

Slope Mine

Drift Mine

615

COAL MINING

thousand dollars. Jobs available in a
m ine vary by type and m ethod of
mining.
Mining Occupations. Two basic
m ethods of m ining underground
coal, conventional and continuous,
account for 95 percen t o f total un­
derground production. A third m eth­
od, longwall, m akes up m ost of the
rem aining production and is increas­
ing in im portance. The hand loading
m ethod is rarely used.
Conventional mining is the oldest
m ethod and requires the most work­
ers and procedures. This type o f m in­
ing, however, is rapidly being phased
out. In conventional mining, the cut­
tin g m a c h in e o p e r a to r (D .O .T .
930.883) uses a huge electric chain
saw, with a cutter ranging in length
from 6 to 15 feet, to cut a strip, or
kerf, und ern eath the coal seam to
control the direction o f the coal as it
falls after it has been blasted. Next
the drilling machine operator (D.O.T.
930.782) drills holes into the coal
w h e r e t h e s h o t f i r e r ( D .O .T .
9 3 1 .2 8 1 ) p lace s ex p losives. T his
work can be dangerous and m ust be
timed very carefully. The shot firer,
for example, must allow enough time
for m iners to leave the area before
the blast.
A fter the blast, the loading m a­
chine operator (D .O .T . 9 3 2 .8 8 3 )
scoops up and dum ps the coal into
small rub b er-tired cars, which are
ru n by th e s h u ttle car o p era to r
(D.O.T. 932.883). D epending on the
type o f haulage system used, these
cars take the coal to a conveyor belt
for shipm ent to the m ain entry or to




the surface, or onto mine cars that
are transported on tracks to the sur­
face.
The continuous mining m ethod
elim inates the drilling and blasting
operations o f conventional mining.
The continuous-mining machine op­
erator (D.O.T. 930.883) sits or lies in
a cab and operates levers to cut or rip
out the coal and load it directly onto
a conveyor or shuttle cars.
Longwall mining is basically an
extension o f continuous mining. In
this m ethod, the longwall machine
operator runs a huge m achine with
drum s which shear and autom atically
load coal onto a conveyor. At the
same time hydraulic jacks reinforce
the roof. As the coal is cut and the
face progresses, the jacks are hydrau­
lically winched forward and the roof
is allowed to cave behind.
Many other workers are required
to run a safe and efficient u n d er­
ground mine. Before m iners are al­
lowed underground, the fire boss or
preshift exam iner (D.O.T. 939.387)
inspects the work area for loose roof,
dangerous gases, and adequate venti­
lation. If safety standards are n o t
m et, the fire boss will not allow the
m iners to enter. The rock-dust m a­
chine operator (D .O .T . 9 3 9 .8 8 7 )
sprays limestone on the mine walls
and ground to hold down dust since
coal dust is extrem ely explosive and
interferes with breathing.
The roof bolter (D.O.T. 930.883)
operates a m achine to install ro o f
support bolts. This operation is ex­
trem ely im p o rtan t because o f th e
ever-present threat o f roof cave-ins,
the biggest cause o f mine injuries.

T h e s to p p in g b u ild e r ( D .O .T .
869.884) constructs doors, walls, or
partitions in the passageways to force
air through the tunnels to working
areas. The supervisor, called a face
boss (D.O.T. 939.138), is in charge
o f all o p eratio n s at the work site
where coal is actually mined.
Team w ork is very im portant in all
types of underground mining. M iners
are dependent upon each other when
accidents occur for first aid and, if
necessary, assistance in leaving the
mine. A simple slip around a continu­
ous m ining m achine, for exam ple,
could result in severed limbs.
Most surface miners operate the
large m achines that either remove
the earth above the coal or dig and
load the coal. The num ber of w ork­
ers re q u ired to o p erate a surface
mine depends on the types of m a­
chines used and the am ount o f over­
burden above the coal seam. T he
m ore overburden present, the great­
er the num ber o f workers usually re­
quired.
In many strip mines, the overbur­
den is first drilled and blasted. Then
the overburden stripping operator or
dragline operator (D.O.T. 859.883)
scoops the earth away to expose the
coal. S om etim es, a dragline is so
huge and com plicated to run th at a
team of persons is required to o p er­
ate the levers.
Once the overburden is removed,
the coal loading machine operator
(D.O.T. 932.883) rips coal from the
seam and loads the coal into trucks
to be driven to the preparation plant.
In auger mines, the rotary auger op­
erator (D.O.T. 930.782) runs the m a­
chine th at pulls the coal from sides of
h ills. T ra cto r operators (D .O .T .
929.883) drive bulldozers to move
m aterials or pull out im bedded boul­
ders or other objects. Helpers assist
in operating these machines.
O th e r w orkers, n o t directly in­
volved in the mining processes, work
in and around coal mines. For exam ­
ple, skilled repairers, called fitters
(D .O .T. 801.281), fix all types of
mining m achinery, and electricians
check and install electrical wiring.
C arpenters construct and m aintain
benches, bins, and stoppings. Many
m echanics and electricians assemble,
m aintain, and repair the m achines
used in mines. While these workers

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

616

generally need the same skills as their
counterparts in other industries, they
require additional training to work
under the unusual conditions in the
mines. M echanics, for example, may
have to rep air m achines while on
their knees with only their headlam p
to illu m in a te th e w o rk in g a re a .
T ruckdrivers haul coal to railroad
sidings or preparation plants and sup­
plies to the mine.
Preparation
Plant
Occupations.
Rocks and other im purities must be
removed before coal is crushed,
sized, or blended to m eet the buyer’s
wishes. These processes take place at
the preparation plant.
Many preparation plants are locat­
ed next to the mine. The plant’s size
and num ber of employees vary by the
am ount of coal processed and degree
of m echanization. Some plants have
all controls centrally located and re­
q u ire few w orkers to oversee all
w ashing, sep aratin g , and crushing
operations. Among these workers is
the preparation plant central control
operator (D.O.T. 549.138) who over­
sees all operations. Plants that are
not as m echanized, however, need
w orkers at each step, such as the
wash box attendant (D.O.T. 541.782)
a n d s e p a r a tio n te n d e r (D .O .T .
934.885). Wash box attendants oper­
ate equipm ent that sizes and sepa­
rates impurities from coal. The sepa­
ration tender operates a device that
further cleans coal with currents of
water. M ost jobs in the preparation
plant are very repetitive.
Administrative, Professional, Cleri­
cal, and Technical Occupations. A
wide range of adm inistrative, profes- *
sional, technical and clerical person­
nel work in the coal industry. At the
top of the adm inistrative group are
executives who make all policy deci­
sions. A staff of specialists, such as
accountants, attorneys, and m arket
researchers, supply legal, technical,
and m a rk e t in form ation for d e c i­
sionmaking. Clerical and secretarial
w o rk ers assist th e ad m in istrativ e
staff.
A variety of engineering and scien­
tific personnel work in the coal in­
dustry. M ining engineers (D .O .T .
010.081 an d .1 8 7 ) exam ine coal
seams for depth and purity, d eter­



High-speed loading of rail cars at coal preparation plant.

mine the type of mine to be built, and
supervise the construction and m ain­
tenance o f mines. Mechanical engi­
neers (D.O.T. 007.081, .151, .168,
and .187) oversee the installation of
equipm ent, such as centralized heat
and water systems, while safety engi­
neers (D.O.T. 010.08 1) are in charge
of all health and safety programs.
The scientific staff conducts re ­
search on m eans to m ake coal a

cleaner, m ore efficient, and m ore
easily transportable energy source.
For instance, many physicists, chem ­
ists, and geologists are studying feasi­
ble alternatives for converting coal
into a gas or liquid.
O ther technical personnel are re­
quired to assist scientists and engi­
n e e r s . F o r e x a m p le , s u r v e y o r s
(D.O.T. 018.188) help map out the
mining areas. Engineering and sci-

Mining engineer and supervisor discuss design of a mine.

COAL MINING

ence technicians may assist in re ­
search efforts.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most miners start out as helpers to
experienced workers and learn skills
on the job. Formal training, however,
is becoming more im portant due to
the growing use of technologically
advanced m achinery and mining
methods. As a result, most com pa­
nies supplem ent on-the-job training
with form al program s and actively
seek recent graduates o f high school
vocational programs in mining, or ju ­
nior college or technical school pro­
grams in mine technology.
Mine technology programs are
available in a few colleges through­
out the country, mostly in coal min­
ing areas. The program s lead either
to a certificate in mine technology
after 1 year, or an associate degree
after 2 years. C ourses cover areas
such as mine ventilation, roof bolt­
ing, and machinery repairs. Prospec­
tive stu d en ts do not need a high
school education but must pass an
entrance examination in basic math
and English.
The type of formal training adm in­
istered by coal companies varies. For
e x a m p le , som e c o m p a n ie s have
tra in in g m in es w h e re sk ills are
taught; others give classroom instruc­
tion for a few weeks before allowing
w orkers into a m ine. All m iners
working at m ines co vered by the
United M ine W orkers o f A m erica
contract, however, must receive both
preservice and annual retraining ses­
sions from their em ployers. These
program s include subjects such as
m achine o p e ra tio n , first aid, and
health and safety regulations. The
U.S. Mining Enforcem ent and Safety
Adm inistration also conducts classes
on health, safety, and mining m eth­
ods, and mine m achinery m anufac­
turers offer courses in m achine op­
eration and m aintenance.
As m iners gain m ore experience,
they can move to higher paying jobs.
W hen a v acan cy o c c u rs, an a n ­
nouncem ent is posted and all work­
ers qualified may bid for the job. A
mining m achine o p e ra to r’s helper,
for example, may becom e an opera­
tor. The position is filled on the basis
of seniority and ability. A small num ­




617

ber of miners advance to supervisory
positions and, in some cases, to ad ­
ministrative jobs in the office.
Miners must be at least 18 years
old and in good physical condition. A
high school diploma is not required.
All miners should be able to work in
close areas and have quick reflexes in
emergencies.
Requirem ents for scientific and
engineering,
administrative,
and
clerical jobs are similar to those in
other industries. College graduates
are preferred for jobs in advertising,
personnel, accounting, and sales. For
clerical and secretarial jobs, em ploy­
ers usually hire high school graduates
who have training in stenography and
typing.

Employment Outlook
C oal is expected to play an in­
creasingly im portant role as a basic
energy source. Rising dem and for
electric power coupled with greater
emphasis on developing domestic en ­
ergy supplies should result in acceler­
ated coal production. The extent o f
growth in production, how ever, is
uncertain. Oil, natural gas, and nu­
clear energy also are used to gener­
ate electricity, and the dem and for
coal will be determ ined, to some ex­
tent, by the price and availability of
these fuels. G row th in production
also depends on how quickly eco ­
nomical m ethods of coal gasification
and liquification are developed. En­
v iro n m en tal stan d ard s relating to
strip mining and the use of high sul­
fur co n ten t coal, which causes air
pollution, may also affect coal o u t­
put. M ore coal, how ever, will be
needed to make steel, chemicals, and
other products.
E m ploym ent is ex p e cted to in ­
crease but the am ount of growth will
depend on the level o f production,
on the types of mines opened, and
the mining m ethods and machinery
used. In addition to openings due to
grow th, several thousand openings
will occur each year as experienced
miners retire, die, or transfer to other
fields of work.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, union wage rates for m in­
ers ranged from $48.62 to $58.92 a

day; workers in underground mines
generally earned slightly more than
those in surface mines or preparation
plants. In com parison, production
workers in m anufacturing averaged
$41.52 a day.
Because
underground
miners
spend time traveling from the mine
entrance to their working areas, they
have a slightly longer day than sur­
face miners. Those in surface occu­
pations work a 7 1/4-hour shift (361/2-hour week), while underground
miners work an 8-hour day (40-hour
week).
Union miners receive 10 holidays
and 14 days of paid vacation each
year. As their length of service in­
creases, they gain extra vacation days
up to a total of 29. Union workers
also receive benefits from a welfare
and re tirem en t fund, and w orkers
s u ffe rin g from p n e u m o c o n io s is
(black lung) receive Federal aid.
Miners have unusual and harsh
working conditions. Underground
mines are damp, dark, noisy, and
cold. At times, several inches of wa­
te r may be on tu n n el floors. A l­
though mines have electric lights,
many areas are illuminated only by
the lights on the m iners’ caps. W ork­
ers in mines with very low roofs have
to work on their hands and knees,
backs, or stomachs in cram ped areas.
Though safety conditions have im­
proved considerably, m iners m ust
constantly be on guard for hazards.
There also is the risk of developing
pneumoconiosis from coal dust and
silicosis from the rock dust generated
by the drilling in the mines. Surface
m ines and p re p ara tio n plants are
usually less hazardous than under­
ground mines.

Sources of Additional
Information
For details about job opportunities
in mining, contact individual coal
companies. General information on
mining occupations is available from:
United Mine Workers of America, 900 15th
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20005.
National Coal Association, 1130 17th St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Mining Enforcement and Safety Administra­
tion, Department of Interior, Washington,
D.C. 20240.

Occupations in the Industry

OCCUPATIONS IN
PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS
PRODUCTION AND GAS PROCESSING
Nature and Location of the
Industry
P etroleum is a natural fuel form ed
from the decay o f plants and animals.
Buried beneath the ground for mil­
lions o f years under trem endous heat
and pressure, this organic m atter be­
cam e petroleum , or w hat is usually
called oil. N atural gas is form ed by a
similar process.
Oil and natural gas have assum ed a
position o f such im portance th at they
now furnish m ore than three-fourths
of o ur energy needs. Oil and natural
gas run o u r factories and transporta­
tion system s, h eat o u r hom es and
places o f work, and are basic raw
m aterials for many products such as
plastics, chem icals, m edicines, fertil­
izers, and synthetic fibers. In spite o f
efforts to decrease o u r N ation’s d e­
pendence on petroleum as a source
of energy, petroleum and natural gas
will co n tin u e to supply the m ajor
portion o f our energy needs for many
years to come.
A lthough U.S. production o f oil
and natural gas has been on the d e­
cline in recen t years, m ost experts
feel th at there are large am ounts of
petroleum in this country that have
not yet been discovered. Locating
and extracting these petroleum re ­
serves will m ake a significant contri­
bution to the c o u n try ’s energy in­
dependence.
People with many different skills
are needed to explore for oil and gas
fields, drill new wells, im prove exist­
ing wells, and process natural gas. In
1976, about 355,000 w orkers were
em ployed in these activities. Firms
that work on co ntract for oil com pa­
nies em ployed many o f these w ork­
ers, and the m ajor oil com panies em ­
ployed the rest. O ccupations in oil
refining are discussed in a separate
chapter elsewhere in the Handbook.
618



Since oil and gas are difficult to
find, exploration and drilling are key
activities in the petroleum industry.
A fter scientific studies indicate the
possible presence o f oil, the com pany
selects a well site and installs a tow er­
like steel rig to support the drilling
equipm ent. A hole is drilled deep
into the earth until oil or gas is found
or the com pany decides to write the
effort off as a loss. Although a few
large oil com panies do th eir own
drilling, m ost is done by contractors.
There are hundreds o f firms engaged
in the search for and production o f
oil and natural gas.
W hen oil o r gas is discovered,
pipes, valves, tanks, and other equip­
m ent are installed to control the flow
o f these raw m aterials from the well.
There were m ore than 600,000 wells
in this country in 1976, and a large
p a rt o f th e p e tro le u m in d u s try ’s
250,000 p ro d u ctio n w orkers w ere
n e e d e d to o p e ra te an d m ain tain
them.
Oil and gas are transported to re ­
fineries by pipeline, ship, railroad,
barge, or truck. Many refineries are
thousands o f miles from oil fields, but
gas processing plants usually are near
the fields so that water, sulfur com ­
pounds, and other im purities can be
rem oved b efo re th e liquid gas is
piped to custom ers.
Although drilling for oil and gas is
done in 35 States, about nine-tenths
o f the in d u stry ’s w orkers are em ­
ployed in 10 States. Texas leads in
the num ber of oilfield jobs, followed
by Louisiana, Oklahom a, California,
W yom ing, K ansas, N ew M exico,
C olorado, Ohio, and Illinois. T hou­
sands o f additional A m ericans are
em ployed by oil com panies overseas,
mostly in the M iddle East, Africa,
W estern E u ro p e , S outh A m erica,
and in Indonesia and other Far E ast­
ern countries.

W orkers with a wide range of ed u ­
cation and skills are needed to find
oil and gas and to drill, operate, and
m aintain wells and process natural
gas.
Exploration. Exploring for oil is the
first step in petroleum production.
Small crews of specialized workers
search for geologic form ations th at
are likely to contain oil. Exploration
parties study the surface and subsur­
face of the earth in order to locate
places w here oil m ight be concen­
trated in underground rock form a­
tions. They seek clues to the possible
existence o f oil by examining types of
rock form ations on and under the
e a r t h ’s su rfa c e . B esides d e ta ile d
ground surveys, aerial exploration
and m agnetic surveys also are used
for a broad picture o f the area.
Several m ethods are used to d eter­
mine the nature and location of un­
derground rock formations. A tech ­
nique called seismic prospecting is
widely used to m ap u n d erg ro u n d
rock formations. In this technique, a
large shock is set off at the e a rth ’s
surface. This can be caused by explo­
sives o r, m o re co m m o n ly , by a
“ thum per,” which is a heavy weight
dropped on the ground. The time it
takes for the sound waves to reach
the rock form ations and return to the
surface is carefully m easured to lo­
cate the depth and position of under­
g ro u n d fe a tu re s. S u b su rfac e e v i­
dence also is collected by boring and
bringing up core samples o f the rock,
clay, and sand that form the layers of
th e e a rth . Sim ilar tech n iq u es are
used to explore offshore areas.
Exploration parties are led by a
p e tr o le u m g e o lo g is t ( D .O .T .
0 2 4.081), who analyzes and in te r­
prets the inform ation gathered by the
party. In addition to the petroleum
geologist, exploration parties may in­
clude o th er geology specialists: Pale­
ontologists (D.O.T. 024.081) study
fossil rem ains in the earth to locate
oil-bearing layers of rock; mineral­
ogists (D .O .T. 024.081) study phys­
ical and chem ical properties of m in­
eral and rock samples; stratigraphers
(D .O .T . 0 2 4 .0 8 1 ) d e te rm in e th e
rock layers most likely to contain oil
an d n a tu r a l gas; p h o to g eo lo g ists

OCCUPATIONS IN PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION AND GAS PROCESSING

(D.O.T. 024.081) examine and inter­
pret aerial photographs of land sur­
fa c e s ; a n d p e tr o lo g is ts (D .O .T .
024.081) investigate the history of
the form ation o f the e a rth ’s crust.
O ften a geologist m ust have knowl­
edge o f some or all o f these special­
ties since not all exploration parties
include all these specialists. Explora­
tio n p a rtie s also in clu d e drafters
(D .O .T . 0 1 0 .2 8 1 ) an d surveyors
(D.O.T. 018.188), who assist in sur­
veying and mapping operations.
M any geologists also work in dis­
trict offices o f oil com panies or ex­
ploration firms where they prepare
and study geological maps. They also
study sam ples from test drilling to
find any clues to oil.
A geophysicist (D.O.T. 024.081)
usually leads a seismic prospecting
crew th at may include: prospecting
computers (D.O.T. 010.288), who
perform the calculations and prepare
maps from the inform ation recorded
by the seism ograph, which is an in­
strum ent th at m easures the e a rth ’s
v ib ratio n s; an d observers (D .O .T .
010.168), who operate and m aintain
electronic seismic equipm ent. O ther
workers whose activities are related
to exploration are: scouts (D .O .T.
010.288), who investigate the drill­
ing, exploration, and leasing activi­
ties o f oth er com panies in order to
identify prom ising areas to explore
and lease; and lease buyers (D.O.T.
191.118), who m ake the necessary
business arrangem ents with landown­
ers or with owners o f m ineral rights
to obtain the right to use the land.
Drilling. E x p lo ratio n m ethods are
used to find places where the pres­
ence of oil is likely but only drilling
can prove the presence o f oil. Overall
planning and supervision o f drilling
usually are the responsibilities of the
petroleum engineer.
Wells are alm ost always started in
the same way. Rig builders (D.O.T.
869.884) and a crew o f rig-builder
helpers (D.O.T. 869.887) install a
portable drilling rig to support the
m achinery and equipm ent that raises
and lowers the drilling tools. Rotary
drilling is the normal way of drilling a
well. A revolving bit bores a hole in
the ground by chipping and cutting
rock. The bit is attached to a length
of revolving pipe. As the bit cuts




deeper into the earth, more pipe is
added. Drilling pipe is hollow and
runs the entire depth o f the well. A
stream o f drilling mud is continuous­
ly pum ped into the hollow pipe and
com es out through holes in the drill
bit. This mud is a mixture o f clay,
chemicals, and water. Its purpose is
to cool the drill bit, plaster the walls
o f the hole to prevent cave-ins, and
carry crushed rock to the surface so
that drilling is continuous until the
bit w ears out. W hen a new bit is
needed, all o f the pipe m ust be pulled
up out of the hole, a section at a time,
a new bit placed on the end of the
pipe, and the pipe returned to the
hole.
The tool pusher or drilling supervi­
sor (D.O.T. 930.130) supervises one
or m ore drilling rigs and supplies m a­
terials and equipm ent to rig crews.
A typical rotary drilling crew co n ­
sists of four or five workers: driller,
derrick o p erato r, engine o p erato r,
and one or tw o helpers. B ecause
drilling rigs are operated 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, several crews are
needed for each rig.
The
rotary
driller
(D.O.T.
930.782) supervises the crew and
operates m achinery that controls
drilling speed and pressure, and re c­
ords operations. The rotary rig engine
operator (D .O .T . 9 5 0 .7 8 2 ) is in
charge o f engines th at provide the
power for drilling and hoisting. The
derrick operator (D .O .T. 930.782),
who is second in charge, works on a
small platform high on the rig to help
run pipe in and out o f the well hole,
and operates the pum ps that circu­
late m ud through the pipe. Rotary
drill helpers (D.O.T. 930.844), also
known as roughnecks, guide the low­
er end o f the pipe to and from the
well opening and connect and dis­
connect pipe joints and drill bits.
Roustabouts (D.O.T. 869.884) or
general laborers, though not consid­
ered part o f a drilling crew, do gener­
al oilfield m aintenance and construc­
tion work, such as cleaning tanks and
building roads.
Well Operation and Maintenance.
W hen oil is found, the drill pipe and
bit are pulled from the well, and
metal pipe known as casing is low­

619

ered into the hole and cem ented in
place. The upper ends o f the casing
are fastened to a system of valves
called a “ Christmas tree .” Pressure
in the well forces crude oil and gas to
the surface, through the Christmas
tree, and into gas traps and storage
tanks. If natural pressure is not great
enough to force the oil to the surface,
pumps are used.
P e tro le u m e n g in e e rs (D .O .T .
010.081) generally plan and super­
vise well operation and m aintenance.
To prevent waste, they decide the
rate of oil flow and anticipate p er­
form ance o f oil reservoirs by analyz­
ing in fo rm atio n such as pressu re
readings from the well. Engineers are
increasingly using com puters for an a­
lytical work. Some engineers special­
ize in areas such as overcoming ef­
fects of corrosion on well casing, in
the selection and design of produc­
tion equipm ent and processes, or in
the prevention o f pollution. Some
co m panies hire engineer aides to
make tests, keep records, post maps,
and otherwise assist engineers.
Pumpers (D .O .T . 914.782) and
their helpers operate and maintain
m otors, pum ps, and other surface
equipm ent to force oil from wells.
Their chief duty is to regulate the
flow of oil according to a schedule
set up by the petroleum engineer and
production supervisor. Generally, a
pum per operates a group of wells.
Switchers work in fields where oil
flows u n d e r natu ral pressure and
does not require pumping. Pumpers
open and close valves to regulate the
oil flow from wells to tanks or into
pipelines. Gaugers (D.O.T. 914.381)
m easure and record the flow and
take samples to check quality. Treat­
ers (D.O.T. 541.782) test the oil for
w a te r an d sed im en t and rem ove
these impurities by opening a drain at
the ta n k ’s base or by using special
chem ical or electrical equipm ent. In
som e field s, pum ping, sw itching,
gauging, and treating operations are
autom atic.
M any sk illed w o rk e rs are e m ­
ployed in m aintenance operations.
W elders, pipefitters, electricians, and
machinists repair and install pumps,
gauges, piping, and other equipment.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

620

Natural Gas Processing. M ost gas
processing workers are operators.
The
dehydration-plant
operator
(D.O.T. 541.782) tends an autom ati­
cally controlled treating unit which
removes w ater and o th er im purities
from natural gas. T he gas-plant op­
erator (D.O.T. 953.380) tends com ­
pressors th at raise the pressure of the
gas for transm ission in the pipelines.
The gas-compressor operator (D.O.T.
950.782) assists either o f these two
em ployees.
M any w orkers in the larger natural
gas processing plants are em ployed
in m aintenance activities. These in­
clude instrum ent repairers, electri­
cians, welders, and laborers.
In num erous sm aller natural gas
plants, w orkers com bine skills, usual­
ly o f o p e r a to r an d m a in te n a n c e
w orker. M any small plants are so
highly autom ated they are virtually
unattended. They are checked at p e­
rio d ic in te rv a ls by m a in te n a n c e
w orkers o r o p erato rs, o r they are
checked continuously by instrum ents
th at autom atically rep o rt problem s
and shut down the p lant if an em er­
gency develops.

the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
A dditional offshore work is being
done off the west coast of the U nited
States. Some drilling is expected to
take place soon off the east coast.
Some wells have been drilled over
100 miles from shore and in w ater
m ore than 1,000 feet deep. These
offshore operations require the same
type o f drilling crew s as are em ­
ployed on land operations. In addi­
tion, offshore operations require ra ­
dio operators, cooks, ship’s officers
and sailors, and pilots for work on
drilling platform s, crewboats, barges,
and helicopters.
(D e tailed discussions o f p ro fes­
sional, tech n ical, m echanical, and
other occupations found not only in
the petroleum and natural gas p ro ­
duction industry, but in other indus­
tries as well, are given elsewhere in
the Handbook in the sections cover­
ing individual occupations.)

Training, Other
Qualifications,and Advancement

M ost workers in nonprofessional
jobs with an exploration crew begin
as helpers and advance into one o f
Other Oilfield Services. Com panies the specialized jobs. Their training
th at offer services on a co n tract basis may vary from several m onths to
provide another im portant source o f several years. New workers usually
em ploym ent. Am ong these em ploy­ are hired in the field by the crew
ees are skilled w orkers such as ce- chief or by local com pany represen­
menters (D.O.T. 930.281), who mix tatives. College students majoring in
and pum p cem ent into the space be­ physical or earth sciences or in engi­
tween the steel casing and the well neering may work part time or sum ­
walls to prevent cave-ins; acidizers mers with exploration crews, and get
(D .O .T . 9 3 0 .7 8 2 ), who force acid full-time jobs after graduation.
M em bers o f drilling crews usually
into the bottom o f the well to in­
crease the flow o f oil; perforator op­ begin as roughnecks. The m ajor
erators (D.O.T. 93 1 .7 82), who use qualifications needed are m echanical
and
adequate
physical
subsurface “ guns”to pierce holes in ability
drill pipes or casings to m ake open­ strength and stamina. Previous expe­
ings for oil to flow through; sample- rience is desirable but not necessary.
taker operators (D .O .T . 9 3 1 .7 8 1 ), As they acq u ire ex p erien ce, they
who take samples o f soil and rock may advance to m ore skilled jobs.
form ations from wells to help geolo­ For exam ple, a w orker hired as a
gists determ ine the presence o f oil; roughneck may advance to derrick
and well pullers (D .O .T. 930.883), operator and, after several years, b e­
who rem ove pipes, pum ps, and other com e a driller. A driller can advance
su b su rface devices from wells for to the job o f tool pusher in charge o f
cleaning, repairing, or salvaging.
one or m ore drilling rigs.
Com panies generally hire people
Offshore Operations. Most explora­ who live near wells for well operation
tion, drilling, and producing activi­ and m aintenance jobs. They prefer
ties are on land but an increasing applicants who have m echanical abil­
am ount o f this work is done offshore, ity and a knowledge o f oilfield p ro ­
particularly in the G ulf o f M exico off cesses. Because this type o f work is




less strenuous than drilling and offers
the advantage of a fixed locale, m em ­
bers of drilling crews or exploration
parties who prefer not to travel often
transfer to well operation and m ain­
tenance jobs. New workers may start
as roustabouts and advance to jobs as
sw itc h e rs, g au g e rs, o r p u m p ers.
Training usually is acquired on the
job; at least 2 years of experience are
n e e d e d to b e c o m e an a ll-ro u n d
pumper.
For scientists, such as geologists
and geophysicists, college training
with at least a bachelor’s degree is
required. The preferred educational
qualification for a petroleum engi­
neer is a degree in engineering with
specialization in courses on the p e­
troleum industry. However, college
graduates having degrees in chem i­
cal, mining, civil or m echanical engi­
neering, or in geology, geophysics, or
other related sciences often are hired
for petroleum engineering jobs. Pe­
troleum engineering aides include
people with 2-year technical degrees
as well as fo rm er ro u stab o u ts or
pum pers who have been prom oted.
Scientists and engineers usually
start at junior levels; after several
years of experience they can advance
to m anagerial or administrative jobs.
Scientists and engineers who have
research ability, particularly those
with advanced degrees, may transfer
to research or consulting work.
Inform ation on training, qualifica­
tions, and advancem ent in natural
gas processing plants is similar to th at
for petroleum refining. A statem ent
on petroleum refining can be found
elsewhere in the Handbook.

Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent in petroleum and
natural gas production is expected to
increase faster than the average for
all industries through the m id-1980’s.
Besides the job openings created by
em ploym ent growth, many openings
will occur as workers retire, die, or
leave the industry for other reasons.
Greatly increased prices for crude
oil and natural gas and a national
policy to move toward energy selfsufficiency are expected to provide
the incentives for the industry to
expand rapidly. Grow th will be con-

621

OCCUPATIONS IN PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION AND GAS PROCESSING

Very rapid growth in the oil and gas extraction industry
will result from expansion of exploration and drilling
activities
Wage and salary workers in oil and gas extraction, 1950-76 and
projected 1985
Employees
(in thousands)

1950

1955

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

centrated in exploration and drilling,
and many more workers will be need­
ed in m ost occupations associated
with these activities. O pportunities
should be particularly good in off­
shore drilling.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, nonsupervisory employ­
ees in oil and gas extraction averaged
$5.70 an hour. In com parison, the
average for all nonsupervisory work­
ers in private industry, except farm ­




ing, was $4.83 an hour. Earnings usu­
ally are higher in offshore operations
than in land operations.
Most oilfield jobs involve rugged
outdoor work in all kinds of weather.
They often are in rem ote areas in
settings as varied as a western desert,
the Arctic Circle, or the Gulf of
Mexico. Physical strength and stam ­
ina are im portant because the work
involves standing most of the time,
lifting m oderately heavy objects, and
climbing and stooping to work with
power tools and handtools that often
are oily and dirty.

Drilling employees may expect to
move from place to place since their
work in a particular field may be
com pleted in a few months. Explora­
tion field personnel may be required
to move even more frequently. They
may be away from home for weeks or
months at a time. Well operation and
m aintenance workers and natural gas
processing workers usually remain in
the same location for long periods.
On land, drilling crews usually
work 7 days, 8 hours a day, and then
have a few days off. In offshore op ­
erations, they may work 7 days, 12
hours a day, and then have 7 days off.
If the well is far from the coast, they
live on the drilling rig or on ships
anchored nearby. M ost workers in
well operations and m aintenance and
natural gas processing work 8 hours a
day, 5 days a week.

Sources of Additional
Information
Further information about jobs in
the petroleum industry may be avail­
able from the personnel offices of
individual oil companies. For infor­
m ation on scientific and technical
jobs, write to:
American Association of Petroleum Geolo­
gists, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, Okla. 74101.
Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME,
6200 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, Tex.
75206.
American Geological Institute, 5205 Leesburg
Pike, Falls Church, Va. 22041.

CONSTRUCTION
The activities of the construction
industry touch nearly every aspect of
our daily lives. The houses and apart­
ments in which we live; the factories,
offices, and schools in which we
work; and the roads on which we
travel are examples of some of the
products of this industry. The indus­
try includes not only new construc­
tion, but also additions, alterations,
and repairs to existing structures.
In 1976, about 3.6 million people
worked in contract construction. An
additional 1.4 million workers not in
contract construction are estim ated
to be either self-employed—mostly
owners of small building firms—or
are Federal, State, or local govern­
ment employees who build and main­
tain our N ation’s vast highway sys­
tems.
The contract construction industry
is divided into three m ajor segments.
About half o f the jobholders work for
electrical, air-conditioning, plum b­
ing, and other special trade contrac­
tors. Almost one-third work for the
general building contractors that do
most residential, com m ercial, and in­
dustrial construction. The remaining
one-fifth build dams, bridges, roads,
and similar heavy construction proj­
ects.
As illustrated in the accompanying
chart, craft and kindred workers ac­
count for 55 percent of the total em ­
ploym ent in this industry—a much
higher proportion than in any other
m ajor industry. Some examples of
craft workers are carpenters, paint­
ers, plum bers, and bricklayers. La­
borers are the next largest occupa­
tio n al g ro u p and a c c o u n t for 14
percent o f em ploym ent. They p ro ­
vide materials, scaffolding, and gen­
eral assistance to skilled w orkers.
Sem iskilled w orkers (o p e ra tiv e s),
such as tru ck d riv ers and w elders,
represent about 8 percent of the in­
dustry’s work force. M anagers and
a d m in is tr a to rs — m o stly self-em 622



Four out of every five persons employed in contract
construction in 1976 were blue-collar workers

623

CONSTRUCTION

ployed—account for about 12 per­
cent of employment. Clerical work­
ers, largely typists, secretaries, and
office m achine operators, constitute
another 7 percent of the industry’s
employment. Professional and tech­
nical workers, mostly engineers and
en g in eerin g tech n ic ia n s, d rafters,
and surveyors, make up the rem ain­
ing 3 percent of the work force.
Construction industry employment
is expected to rise faster than the
average for all industries through the
m id-1980’s, as population and in­
come growth create a dem and for




more houses, schools, factories, and
other buildings. However, em ploy­
m ent may fluctuate from year to year
because construction activity is sen­
sitive to changes in economic condi­
tions.
Construction trade workers in the
industry earned an average of $7.68
per hour in 1976. This was about 50
percent more than the hourly aver­
age of production or nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Yearly earnings of construc­
tion workers generally are lower than
the hourly rate would indicate, how­

ever, because the annual num ber of
hours they work can be adversely af­
fected by poor weather and fluctu­
ations in construction activity.
C ontract construction is the major
source of em ploym ent for skilled
craft workers such as bricklayers,
painters, and carpenters. For infor­
m ation on these and other construc­
tion crafts, see the chapter on con­
struction occupations elsew here in
the Handbook.

MANUFACTURING
O ur N a tio n ’s econom y is co m ­
posed o f nine m ajor industry divi­
sions that provide us with a wide va­
riety of goods and services. These
nine divisions are agriculture; m in­
ing; contract construction; m anufac­
turin g ; tra n s p o rta tio n and public
utilities; wholesale and retail trade;
finance, insurance, and real estate;
services; and government. In term s of
the impact it has on our lives, m anu­
facturing may well be the most im­
portant.
Almost everything we use in our
work, leisure, and even in our sleep is
a product o f a m anufacturing indus­
try. F acto ries p roduce goods th at
range in co m plexity from sim ple
plastic toys to in tricate electronic
com puters, and in size from minia­
ture electronic com ponents to gigan­
tic aircraft carriers. W orkers in the
many diverse m anufacturing indus­
tries process foods and chem icals,
p rin t books and new spapers, spin
textiles and weave them , make cloth­
ing and shoes, and produce the thou­
sands of other products needed for
our personal and national welfare.
In terms o f em ploym ent, m anufac­
turing, with almost 20 million work­
ers in 1976, was the largest of the
m a jo r in d u s try d iv isio n s. A b o u t
three-fifths of all m anufacturing em ­
ployees worked in plants that pro­
duced durable goods, such as steel,
machinery, autom obiles, and house­
hold appliances. The rest worked in
p lan ts th a t p ro d u c ed n o n d u ra b le
goods, such as processed food, cloth­
ing, and chemicals.
The occupational distribution of
the m ajor industry divisions differs
according to each industry’s particu­
lar needs. Industries such as whole­
sale and retail trad e, for exam ple,
require large num bers of sales and
service workers while the mining in­
dustry needs very few w orkers in
these occupational groups. Like all
624



625

MANUFACTURING

industries, m anufacturing has its own
unique occupational composition.
As illustrated in the accompanying
table, blue-collar workers (craft
workers, operatives, and laborers)
make up about two-thirds of m anu­
facturing em ploym ent. O peratives,
who are needed to run the machines
used to m anufacture goods, account
for over four-tenths of total employ­
m ent in m anufacturing. Many are
spinners and weavers, sewing m a­
chine operators, m achine tool opera­
tors and welders, or operators of the
specialized pro cessin g equipm ent
used in the food, chem ical, paper,
and petroleum industries.
Craft and kindred workers make
up the next largest group and ac­
count for nearly one-fifth of employ­
m ent in m an u fa ctu rin g . M any o f
these skilled w orkers help support
the production processes by install­
ing and maintaining the wide assort­
m ent of m achinery and equipm ent
required in all factories. Others are
directly involved in production. M a­
chinists, for example, are especially
im portant in the m etalworking indus­
tries, as are skilled inspectors and
assemblers. In the printing and pub­
lishing industries, com positors, type­
se tte rs, p h o to e n g ra v e rs, lith o g ra ­
phers, and pressworkers make up a
large share of the work force. The
craft group also includes supervisors
of blue-collar workers.
Laborers account for about 1 out
of every 20 jobs in manufacturing.
Many of these workers help support
the production process by moving




and storing raw materials and by
helping m ore skilled workers prepare
equipm ent for use.
W hite-collar workers (profession­
al, m anagerial, clerical, and salesw orkers) acco u n t for nearly onethird of em ploym ent in m anufactur­
ing establishments. Clerical workers,
such as secretaries and office m a­
ch in e o p e r a to rs , are th e la rg e st
white-collar group, holding about 1
out of every 8 jobs in the m anufac­
turing sector. Clerical workers help
handle the necessary paperwork in­
cluding payroll accounting, billing,
and other paperwork that is found in
all types o f business activity.
Professional, technical, and kin­
dred workers account for about 1 out
of every 10 jobs in m anufacturing
establishments. Engineers, scientists,
and tech n ician s re p resen t a large
share o f the professional workers.
These highly trained workers include
not only those who oversee and guide
the production processes, but also
those who carry out the extensive re ­
search and developm ent activities
needed in the aerospace, electronics,
chem ical, petroleum , and other in­
dustries.
M anagers and adm inistrators a c ­
count for about 1 out of every 16
workers. In addition to the managers
who run the factories, many workers
in this category are responsible for
buying the num erous goods and raw
materials used in manufacturing.
Sales workers constitute a very
small part of em ploym ent in m anu­
facturing, only about 1 out of every

50 workers, but they perform the vi­
tal function of selling the goods made
in the factories.
Population growth, rising personal
income, and expanding business ac­
tivity will create a substantial in­
crease in the dem and for m anufac­
tu re d p ro d u c ts th ro u g h the m id1980’s. Employment in m anufactur­
ing, however, is expected to increase
at a slower pace than production as
technological advances and im prove­
ments in m anufacturing methods in­
crease the am ount o f goods each
worker can produce.
The employm ent outlook for indi­
vidual m a n u fa c tu rin g in d u strie s,
however, will vary widely. Employ­
ment in the industries manufacturing
ru b b e r and m iscellaneous plastic
products, medical and dental instru­
ments, and com puters and peripheral
equipm ent, for example, should in­
crease faster than the average. While
employm ent in most manufacturing
industries is expected to increase
through the m id-1980’s, employment
in some — including tobacco, food,
and radio and television sets—is ex­
pected to decline.
The chapters that follow provide
inform ation on em ploym ent oppor­
tunities in several of the m anufactur­
ing industries. More detailed infor­
mation about occupations found in
m anufacturing as well as in many
other industries appears elsewhere in
the Handbook. (See index in the back
of the book.)

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE,
AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

Firms th a t m anufacture and as­
semble aircraft, missiles, and space­
craft make up what is known as the
“ aerospace” industry. In 1976, more
than 700,000 people worked in the
in d u stry — n early 5 0 0 ,0 0 0 in the
m anufacture and assembly of com ­
plete aircraft, aircraft engines, pro­
p e lle rs, an d a u x iliary p a rts and
equipment; 85,000 in the m anufac­
ture of missiles and spacecraft; and
160,000 in co m p an ies th a t m ake
e lec tro n ic eq u ip m en t and in stru ­
m ents fo r a irc ra ft, m issiles, and
spacecraft. Thousands of workers in
other industries produced parts, m a­
chinery, and equipm ent used in the
m anufacture of aerospace vehicles.
Also, thousands of Federal workers
were engaged in aerospace-related
work, since the G overnm ent is a m a­
jor purchaser of the industry’s prod­
ucts. These workers were primarily
employed in the National A eronau­
tic s a n d S p a c e A d m in is tr a tio n
(NASA) and the D epartm ent of D e­
fense.
Although aerospace jobs exist in
almost every State, the largest con­
c e n tra tio n is in C alifornia. O th er
States with large num bers of aero­
space jobs include New York, W ash­
in g to n , C o n n e c tic u t, T exas, and
Florida.

Nature of the Industry
All aircraft, missiles, and space­
craft have the same basic com po­
n en ts— a fram e, an engine, and a
guidance and control system. Ballis­
tic missiles and spacecraft travel into
space at speeds many times faster
than sound, while aircraft fly in the
e a rth ’s atm osphere at much slower
rates. Missiles are powered by either
jet or rocket engines; spacecraft are
ro ck et-p o w ered only. A ircraft are
powered by piston, jet, or rocket en­
gines.
626



Aircraft vary from small personal
or business planes that do not cost
much m ore than an autom obile to
multi-million dollar jum bo transports
and supersonic fighters. In dollar val­
ue m ost aircraft production is for
military use although the value o f
planes m ade for com m ercial and pri­
vate use has been increasing.
Missiles are for military use and
generally carry destructive warheads.
While some are capable of traveling
only a few miles, such as those that
support ground troops and defend
against low-flying aircraft, others
have intercontinental ranges of 7,000
miles or more. Some missiles are
launched from land; others from air­
craft, subm arines, or ships.
Most of the N ation’s spacecraft are
built for NASA and the D epartm ent
of Defense to explore outer space or
to m onitor conditions within the
earth ’s atm osphere. On manned
flights, a cabin capsule carries the
astronauts. Some spacecraft probe

the space environm ent and then fall
back to earth, while others, such as
those th at m onitor w eather co ndi­
tions, enter into earth orbit and be­
come artificial satellites. Still others
orbit or land on the moon or go to
other planets. All spacecraft carry
instrum ents that record and transm it
scientific data to earth stations.
Major aircraft, missile, and space­
craft firms contract with governm ent
or private business to produce an
aerospace vehicle. As a contractor,
the firm is responsible for managing
and coordinating the entire project.
This involves design, production, as­
sembly, and inspection of the vehi­
cle.
Although aircraft, missile, and
spacecraft m anufacturers generally
make many com ponents of a craft
and do final assembly work th em ­
selves, thousands of subcontractors
are involved in the production of
parts or supplies the original firm
cannot produce, such as bearings,
rocket fuels, or special lubricants.
O ther subcontractors produce subas­
semblies such as com m unication or
guidance equipm ent or jet engines.
Some of these firms depend on still
other subcontractors to supply parts
for their subassemblies.
In producing an aerospace vehicle,
the co n tracto r’s engineering dep art­
m ent first prepares design drawings
and specifications, usually after long

Employment in aircraft and parts manufacturing
increases sharply in times of accelerated defense
spending
Wage and salary workers in aircraft and parts manufacturing, 1950-76
and projectd 1985
(in thousands)

1,000■■■■■■■■■■HHHHIHHHHHHHHIiHBi
I*

800

600

1950
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

1955

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

627

tu rin g are d esc rib ed un d er th re e
m ain categories: Professional and
tech n ical; ad m inistrative, clerical,
and related occupations; and plant
occupations. Many o f these jobs are
in other industries as well and are
discussed in greater detail elsewhere
in the Handbook.

Operator of braiding machine for aircraft ducts.

co n su ltatio n s w ith th e pu rch aser.
T h en , the p ro d u c tio n d ep a rtm en t
works on details for m achines, m ate­
ria ls, a n d o p e r a tio n s n e e d e d to
m anufacture the vehicle. Often, spe­
cial tools and m achines must be de­
signed an d p ro d u c ed in o rd e r to
make parts or to assemble the aero­
space vehicle. This is especially true
when a firm is developing an experi­
m ental or ultra-sophisticated vehicle
requiring specially designed parts or
assemblies.
Once parts and com ponents are
developed, they are tested and in­
spected many times before being as­
sembled. If the tests prove satisfac­
tory, assembly o f the entire craft may
begin. Finally, the finished vehicle is
checked out
 by a team o f m echanics,


or flight-tested if it is an aircraft, b e­
fore it is delivered.

Occupations in the Industry
Because o f the complex and
changing nature of aerospace tech ­
nology, firm s n eed w o rk ers w ith
many different types o f skills. The
types o f workers required also will
depend on the specific function o f an
a e ro sp a c e p lan t. F o r ex am p le, a
plant primarily engaged in research
and developm ent o r in producing ex­
perim ental prototypes requires many
more scientists and engineers than a
firm producing large quantities o f
parts for aircraft.
M ajor jobs in aerospace m anufac­

Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. R esea rch and d evelop m en t
(R& D ) are vital to the aerospace in­
dustry. T he pace o f discovery in
aerospace technology is so rapid, in
fact, that much equipm ent becomes
obsolete while still in an experim en­
tal stage or soon after being put into
production. Today, research is co n ­
ducted in many areas such as devel­
oping vehicles with greater speeds,
ranges, and reliability; engines with
m ore pow er; and m ore advanced
sources of rocket propulsion such as
nuclear and electric energy. Metals
and p lastics also are co n tin u ally
being developed for wider capabili­
ties, as are electronic guidance and
com m unication system
Emphasis on R&D makes the aero­
space industry an im portant source
o f jobs for technical personnel. In
1976, about one-fourth of all em ­
ployees were engineers, scientists,
and technicians, a considerably high­
er p ro p o rtio n than in m ost o th e r
m anufacturing industries.
Engineers, scientists, and techni­
cians w ork together in developing
designs for airc raft, missiles, and
spacecraft. Scientists often do re­
search on how m aterials withstand
certain conditions, such as intense
heat or velocity, or create new m ate­
rials that are needed. Engineers ap­
ply the inform ation obtained by sci­
e n tis ts to d e v e lo p new d esig n s.
Before an engineering departm en t
approves a design for production, it
conducts tests to determ ine which
designs can best withstand expected
operating conditions. A scale model
is made from a preliminary drawing
and is tested in wind, tem perature,
and shock tunnels and other testing
areas th at simulate actual flight co n ­
ditions. Next, a full-sized experim en­
tal m odel, or prototype, is thoroughly
tested in the air and on the ground.
The design is modified many times
during this process until the test re­
sults are satisfactory. Then, actual

628

p ro d u c tio n may begin. Even afte r
production has started, however, fu r­
ther changes often are made.
Due to the wide range o f R&D
projects, many types o f engineers
and scientists work in the aerospace
industry. A erospace, chem ical, elec­
trical, electronic, industrial, and m e­
chanical engineers are am ong the
larger groups o f engineering special­
ists needed in this industry. Scientists
in the industry include physicists,
m athem aticians, chemists, m etallur­
gists, and astronom ers. These engi­
neers and scientists w ork in a wide
and varied range o f applied fields
such as m aterials and structures, en ­
ergy and pow er systems, and space
sciences.
Am ong the many types o f workers
assisting scientists and engineers are
drafters and engineering and science
technicians. D rafters use tools such
as com passes and p ro tractors to p re­
pare detailed drawings o f a design
based on rough sketches and calcula­
tions m ade by engineers. The draw ­
ing details the exact m easurem ent of
every part, specifications for m ateri­
als to be used, and the procedures to
be followed in producing the object.
E ngineering and science tech n i­
cians assist scientists and engineers in
R&D. They usually o perate com plex
m achinery and equipm ent to carry
out tests under the supervision o f a
scientist o r engineer.
O ther workers who help scientists
and engineers include production
planners (D.O.T. 012.188), who plan
the layout o f m achinery, m ovem ent
o f m aterials, and sequence o f opera­
tions for efficient m anufacturing p ro ­
ce sses; an d tech n ica l illu stra to rs
(D.O.T. 017.281), who help prepare
m anuals and oth er technical litera­
tu re describing the o p eratio n and
m aintenance o f aerospace products.
Administrative, Clerical, and Related
Occupations. M anagerial and adm in­
istrative jobs generally are com para­
ble to similar jobs in o th er industries,
except th at in the aerospace industry
these positions are often filled by
people with technical backgrounds in
engineering or science. These posi­
tions include executives responsible
for the direction and supervision of
research and pro d u ction, and offi­
cialsFRASER
Digitized for in departm ents such as sales,


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

purchasing, accounting, and industri­
al re la tio n s. M any th o u sa n d s o f
clerks, secretaries, com puter person­
nel, and other office personnel work
in aerospace firms.
Plant Occupations. A bout one-half o f
all workers in the aerospace industry
have plant- o r production-related
jobs. Plant jobs can be classified in
the following groups: Sheet-m etal
work; m achining and tool fabrica­
tion; other metal processing; assem ­
bly and installation; inspecting and
testing; flight checkout; and m ateri­
als handling, m aintenance, and cus­
todial.
Sheet-Metal Occupations. Following
blueprints and other engineering in­
fo r m a tio n , s h e e t- m e ta l w o rkers
(D.O.T. 804.281) shape com plicated
parts from sheets of thin m etal by
h an d o r m ach in e. W hen shaping
parts by hand, these workers either
pound them with m allets o r bend,
cut, or punch them with handtools.
M achine m ethods use pow er ham ­
mers and presses, saws, tube benders,
and drill presses. This work requires
m uch precision since a part must fit
perfectly.
Less skilled w orkers usually spe­
cialize in the use o f a single m achine
to fabricate parts required in large
numbers. Some of these workers are
p u n c h p re ss o p e ra to rs (D .O .T .
615.782), power ham m er operators
(D.O.T. 617.782) and power shear
o p era to rs (D .O .T . 6 1 5 .7 8 2 a n d
.885).
Machining and Tool Fabrication
Occupations. M achining and tool fab­
rication workers use a wide variety o f
m achines and h an d to o ls to m ake
m etal p arts o f m achines o r o th e r
products. Many o f these workers are
in engine and propeller plants, which
are basically m etal-w orking estab ­
lish m en ts; few er are re q u ire d in
plants that assemble com plete aero­
space vehicles.
The m ost skilled machinists are the
all-round
machinists
(D.O.T.
600.280 and .281) who plan the
work and set up and operate several
types o f m achine tools. They perform
highly varied, nonrepetitive m achin­
ing operations, frequently producing
parts for experim ental and prototype
vehicles.

Machine tool operators (D.O.T.
6 0 9 .8 8 5 ) p ro d u ce m etal p arts in
large volume. They generally operate
a single type o f m achine tool such as
a lathe, drill press, or milling m a­
chine. Skilled operators set up work
on a m achine and handle m ore diffi­
cult and varied jobs. Less skilled op­
erators do more repetitive work.
O ther machining and tool fabrica­
tion workers produce parts needed
for the m anufacture o f aerospace ve­
hicles. O n the basis o f inform ation
received from an engineering dep art­
m ent,^'# and fixture builders (D.O.T.
693.280) build jigs—m etal devices
used as guides for tools. Tool-and-die
makers (D.O.T. 601.280) make the
cutting tools and fixtures used in m a­
chine tool operations, and the dies
used in forging and p u n ch press
work.
Other Metal Processing Occupations.
Some o f the many other m etalw ork­
ing o c c u p a tio n s are tube benders
(D.O.T. 709.884), who form tubings
used for oil, fuel, hydraulic, and elec­
tric a l c o n d u it lines; and riveters
(D .O .T . 8 0 0 .8 8 4 ) a n d w eld ers
(D.O.T. 810.782 and .884; 811.782
and .884; 812.884 and 813.380 and
.885), who use m echanical and elec­
trical devices to join fabricated parts.
M etalworking jobs also are located in
foundry plants where workers p ro ­
duce castings by pouring molten m et­
al into molds.
Many workers chemically treat
and heat-treat aircraft, missile, and
spacecraft parts during their m anu­
facture to clean, change, or protect
their surfaces or structural condition.
For exam ple, heat treaters (D.O.T.
504.782) heat sheet-m etal parts to
keep the metal soft and malleable for
metal-shaping work Painters (D.O.T.
8 4 5 .7 8 1 ) a n d p la te r s ( D .O .T .
500.380) either paint or plate surfac­
es.
Assem bly and Installation Occupa­
tions. P ractically all plants in the
aerospace industry employ assembly
and installation w orkers. Some as­
sem ble engines, elec tro n ic eq u ip ­
m ent, and auxiliary com ponents, but
most assemble m ajor subassemblies
o r install m ajor com pon or space­
craft. In an aircraft, for example, this
work involves joining wings and tails
to the fuselage and installing the en-

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

gine and auxiliary equipm ent such as
the fuel system and flight controls.
Assemblers rivet, drill, bolt, weld and
solder parts together.
M any assem blers are skilled m e­
chanics and installers who read blue­
prints and interpret other engineer­
ing specifications as they take apart,
in sp ect, an d install com plex m e­
chanical and electronic assemblies.
Often, assembly work is not as repet­
itive as in o ther industries. An assem­
bler in an aerospace plant, for exam ­
p le , m ay s p e n d a fe w m o n th s
assembling a huge 747 aircraft and
then work on the assembly o f a small,
tw o-seater plane. Some assemblers,
su ch as fin a l assem blers (D .O .T .
806.781) o f com plete aircraft and

missile or rocket assembly mechanics
(D.O.T. 625.281), do general assem ­
bly work, and often work on experi­
m ental, prototype, or special craft.
O ther skilled assemblers who work
in plants that produce relatively large
num bers of aircraft and missiles
rather than a few experim ental types,
however, often specialize in the as­
sembly o f one specific part of a space
vehicle. Assemblers also specialize in
system s such as elec trical wiring,
heating, and plumbing.
Inspecting and Testing Occupations.
Because aircraft, missiles, and space­
craft are extrem ely com plex and af­
fect the life and safety o f people,
firm s em ploy w orkers to co n d u c t

Flight line mechanic tightens wing pylon during final assembly.



629

thousands of painstaking inspections
and tests. Inspectors thoroughly test
each com ponent and part as it moves
through the production and assembly
process, as well as just before deliv­
ery. If, for example, a part must with­
stand a great deal of heat, it will be
tested under very high tem peratures.
Inspections are made not only by em ­
ployees o f the m anufacturers but also
by com m ercial firms or agencies of
the Federal G overnm ent that have
contracted for the equipm ent.
Most inspectors specialize in a cer­
tain area o f aerospace m anufactur­
ing. Using complex machinery, they
check to assure that all parts and as­
semblies were made according to en­
gineering specifications. Among the
most skilled inspectors, especially in
final assembly plants, are outside pro­
duction inspectors (D.O.T. 806.381)
who examine m achined parts, subas­
semblies, and tools and dies ordered
from other firms. They also serve as a
link between their own engineering
d ep artm en t and supplying com pa­
n ies. M a c h in e d p a rts in sp ecto rs
(D.O.T. 609.381) examine machined
parts and fabricated sheet-metal and
a s s e m b l y i n s p e c t o r s ( D .O .T .
806.381) inspect com plete major as­
semblies and installations such as fu­
selage, wing, and nose sections to in­
sure their proper fit. They also check
the functioning of hydraulic, plum b­
ing, and other systems. Less skilled
inspectors check subassemblies.
Flight Checkout Occupations. C heck­
ing out every part o f an aircraft or
spacecraft before its first flight re­
quires a team of mechanics. The crew
chief, the most skilled m echanic of
the team , directs other workers in the
entire ch eck o u t operation. Engine
mechanics specialize in checking out
the pow erplant of a craft, including
the engine, propellers, and oil and
fuel systems; and electronics checkout
workers do the final examination of
the operation of radio, radar, auto­
m atic pilot, fire control, and elec­
tronic guidance systems. The check­
o u t p ro c ess m ay re q u ire m aking
m inor repairs and, in some cases,
even returning the craft to the plant
for extensive adjustments.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

630

Materials Handling, Maintenance,
and Custodial Occupations. A e ro ­
space plants employ many materials
handlers such as truckdrivers, ship­
ping clerks, and toolroom attendants.
M aintenance workers, such as elec­
trician s, m a in ten an c e m echanics,
c a rp e n te r s , and p lu m b e rs, k eep
equipm ent and buildings in good op­
erating condition and make changes
in the layout of the plant. Guards,
firefighters, and janitors provide pro­
tective and custodial services.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A college degree in engineering or
in one of the sciences usually is the
minimum requirem ent for an entry
level position as an engineer or scien­
tist in the aerospace industry. T ech­
nicians som etim es can advance to
these positions without a college de­
gree, but only after years of work
experience and some college level
training.
New entrants usually qualify for
technician positions by attending a
technical institute or junior college.
Highly skilled plant workers who
take courses in areas such as elec­
tronics may advance to technician
positions.
Entry level plant occupations gen­
erally do not require a high school
diploma although graduates of voca­
tional courses in electronics or m e­
chanics often are preferred. Inexperi­
enced plant workers generally start
out in semiskilled positions and learn
skills on the job and in classroom
courses. As they gain experience,
they can move on to more highly
skilled positions. For example, it usu­
ally takes 2 to 4 years of plant expe­
rience to become a skilled assembler.
Skilled inspectors often have sev­
eral years of machine shop experi­
ence and must be able to install and
use various kinds of testing equip­
m ent and in strum ents, read b lu e­
prints and other specifications, and
use shop mathem atics.
M echanics who do final checkout
of aircraft and spacecraft may qualify
for their jobs by working in earlier
stages of the production line, by re­
ceiving training in checkout work, or
by working as “ line m ain ten an ce”

mechanics with com m ercial airlines.


Chief mechanics usually need 3 to
5 years of experience in the m anufac­
ture of aircraft, missiles, and space­
craft, including at least 1 year as a
checkout mechanic. Specialized m e­
chanics, working under the supervi­
sion o f a ch ief m echanic, usually
need at least 2 y ears’ experience.
Less experienced helpers or assis­
tants learn on the jo b , with plant
training courses.
A p p ren ticesh ip program s som e­
times are available for craft occupa­
tions such as machinists, tool-and-die
makers, sheet-m etal workers, aircraft
m ech an ics, and e le c tric ia n s. T he
programs vary in length from 3 to 5
years depending on the trade. During
this tim e, the ap p re n tic e handles
work of progressively increasing dif­
ficulty and also receives classroom
instruction. Such instruction for a
m achinist apprentice, for example,
includes courses in blueprint reading,
m echanical draw ing, shop m a th e ­
matics, and physics.
Because complex and rapidly
changing products require highly
trained workers, aerospace plants
sometimes support formal training to
supplem ent day-to-day experience
and to help workers advance more
rapidly. Although most are short­
term program s to m eet im mediate
needs, some m ajor producers co n ­
duct training classes or pay tuition
and related costs for outside courses.
Some classes are held during working
h o u rs; o th e rs are a fte r w o rk in g
hours.

type and other technologically ad­
vanced aircraft. Less skilled and un­
skilled workers also will be needed to
fill entry level plant positions.
Since many aerospace products
are either military hardware or space
vehicles, the in d u stry ’s future d e ­
pends, to a great extent, on the level
of Federal expenditures. Changes in
these expenditures usually have been
accom panied by sharp fluctuations in
aerospace em ploym ent. For exam ­
ple, aerospace em ploym ent declined
sharply from the high levels of the
late 1960’s partly because o f d e ­
creased a irc raft re q u irem en ts for
Vietnam and reduced expenditures
for space exploration. The outlook
for this industry is based on the as­
sumption that defense spending will
increase m oderately from the 1976
level, but will be slightly below the
peak levels of the late 1960’s. R&D
spending also is expected to be above
current levels. If actual expenditures
should differ substantially from these
assumed levels, the outlook will be
affected accordingly.
Civilian aircraft production also is
an im portant determ inant of aero ­
space employment. Overall em ploy­
m ent in this area is expected to re­
main fairly stable through the mid1980’s. N evertheless, thousands of
new workers will be required in this
sec to r o f the industry to rep lace
those who die, retire, or transfer to
other fields.

Earnings and Working
Conditions

Employment Outlook
Employment in the aerospace in­
dustry is expected to rise above re ­
cent levels by the m id-1980’s. The
num ber o f people working in this in­
dustry, how ever, probably will re ­
main below the peak levels of the late
1960’s.
Thousands of jobs will open each
year because of the growth expected
in the industry and to replace w ork­
ers who retire, die, and transfer to
jobs in other industries. Job opportu­
nities are expected to increase for
highly trained workers, such as scien­
tists, engineers, and skilled plant p er­
sonnel in all areas of the industry,
esp ecially w ith firm s engaged in
R&D and the m anufacture of proto­

Plant w orkers’ earnings in the
aerospace industry are higher than
those in most other m anufacturing
industries. In 1976, for example, p ro ­
duction workers in plants making air­
craft and parts averaged $6.45 an
h o u r; p ro d u c tio n w o rk e rs in all
m anufacturing industries as a whole
averaged about $5.19 an hour.
The following tabulation indicates
an approxim ate range of hourly
wages for selected occupations in
1976 obtained from the collective
bargaining agreem ents of a num ber
of major aerospace com panies; these
rates do not include incentive earn ­
ings. The ranges in various jobs are
wide, partly because wages within an
occupation vary according to w ork­

631

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

ers’ skills and experience, and partly
because wages differ from plant to
plant, depending upon type of plant,
locality, and other factors.
Aircraft mechanics..................... $5.94-7.15
Assemblers.......................................
5.72-6.49
Electronics technicians..................
6.49-7.45
Heat treaters....................................
5.84-6.77
Inspectors and testers....................
5.39-7.45
Jig and fixture builders..................
6.13-7.45
Machinists........................................
5.67-7.45
Maintenance crafts.........................
5.55-7.40
Riveters............................................
5.61-6.27
6.37-7.45
Tool-and-die makers......................
Welders............................................
5.84-7.17

Fringe benefits in the industry usu­
ally include 2 weeks of paid vacation
after 1 or 2 years of service, and 3
weeks after 10 to 12 years. Employ­
ees generally get 8 to 12 paid holi­
days a year and 1 week of paid sick
leave. O ther major benefits include




life insurance; m edical, surgical, d en ­
tal, and hospital insurance; accident
and sickness insurance; and retire­
m ent pensions.
Most employees work in m odern
factory buildings that are clean, welllit, and well-ventilated. Some work
outdoors. Operations such as sheetmetal processing, riveting, and weld­
ing may be noisy, and some assem­
blers may work in cram ped quarters.
Aerospace plants, however, are rela­
tively safe.
M ost plant w orkers in the aero ­
space field are union members. They
are represented by several unions in­
cluding the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace W ork­
ers; the International Union, United
Autom obile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Im plem ent W orkers of A m er­
ica; and the International Union of
E le c tr ic a l, R a d io an d M a c h in e
W o r k e rs . S o m e c r a f t w o rk e rs ,

guards, and truckdrivers are m em ­
bers of unions that represent their
specific occupational groups.

Sources of Additional
Information
Additional information about ca­
reers in the aerospace field is avail­
able from:
National Aeronautics and Space Administra­
tion, Washington, D.C. 20546.
Electronics Industries Association, 2001 Eye
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20006.

For specific information about an
occupation, or apprenticeships con­
tact:
International Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America, 8000 East Jefferson
Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers, AFL-CIO, 1126 16th
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY

Aluminum was once considered a natural gas or oil. A bout two-fifths of
specialty metal having limited appli­ the employees who make aluminum
catio n s. T oday it is p ro d u c ed in work in these States. A nother onequantities second only to iron and fifth work in the State of W ashing­
steel. It is used in products that range ton, where plants obtain electricity
fro m h o u s e h o ld a p p lia n c e s an d from the Bonneville Power Authority
cooking utensils to autom obiles, air­ and serve custom ers on the W est
craft, and missiles. In recent years, Coast. A significant num ber of em ­
many new uses for aluminum have ployees also work in plants located in
been developed, including house sid­ Ohio, Indiana, and New York.
Plants that shape aluminum into
ing, food and beverage containers,
and electrical cables. In 1976, the sheets, wire, and other products are
industry produced about 12.9 billion more dispersed geographically. Over
po u n d s o f p rim ary alum inum , or one-half of the em ploym ent in these
about twice the o utput of only 10 plants is in California, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Illinois, Alabama, New
years earlier.
This statem ent describes occupa­ York, and Ohio. The rem ainder is
tions in plants that produce ingots widely scattered throughout a large
(bars) of primary aluminum. It also num ber of States.
describes occupations in plants that
shape the ingots into sheets, wire,
Occupations in the Industry
and other forms by rolling, stretch­
Employment in the aluminum in­
ing, or forcing the aluminum through
an opening. O ccupations concerned dustry falls into several categories.
with casting, forging, stamping, m a­ The largest group of w orkers—about
th re e -fo u rth s—are the p ro d u ctio n
chining, and fabricating alum inum
are discussed separately in the Hand­ workers directly involved in o perat­
book statem ents dealing with forge ing or m aintaining the industry’s p ro ­
shop, foundry, and m etalw orking duction equipm ent. The rem aining
one-fourth are in professional, tech ­
occupations.
More than 93,000 persons worked nical, adm inistrative, clerical, and su­
in the aluminum industry in 1976. pervisory positions.
Approximately
one-third
helped
make primary aluminum; the rem ain­ Production O ccupations. To illus­
der helped convert large pieces into tra te the p ro d u c tio n o cc u p atio n s
sheets, cables, and other industrial found in the industry, a description
products.
of the m ajor steps in making and
Since the huge machinery neces­ shaping aluminum follows.
sary for making aluminum is very ex­
Making Aluminum. Aluminum is
pensive, the production of primary obtained from alumina by using elec­
aluminum is concentrated in a rela­ tricity to create chem ical changes
tively small num ber of plants. These
that separate pure alum inum from
plants g enerally are lo cated n ear o th er m aterials. A lu m in a—a fine,
ab u n d an t so urces o f alum ina and white powder processed from baux­
electricity. Many are in A rkansas, ite ore—is placed in large containers
Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and T en­ called “ p o ts” that are filled with a
nessee, where bauxite ore is mined special liquid. Suspended in the liq­
locally or im ported from the C arib­ uid are poles (anodes); electric c a ­
bles are attached to the pots and
bean area, and electricity is obtained
poles. W hen the process is in opera­
from the Tennessee Valley Authority
or generated from local deposits of tion, electricity flows from the poles,
632



through the liquid containing the alu­
mina, to the walls and floors of the
p o ts . As th e e l e c tr ic ity p a s s e s
th ro u g h th e liq u id , it h ea ts an d
chemically changes the alum ina to
pure, liquid aluminum. Because the
aluminum is heavier, it settles to the
bottom o f the pot; waste materials go
to the top of the liquid. Periodically,
pure aluminum is removed from the
bottom of the pot.
Pot tenders (D.O.T. 512.885) see
that the pots operate continuously.
Each is responsible for a num ber of
pots. As a result of the chemical
changes, the alumina in each pot is
slowly used up. Instrum ents m onitor
the level of alumina and signal the
tender when to add alumina from the
overhead storage com partm ent.
Every 24 to 72 hours, molten alu­
minum is drawn from the bottom of
the pots into huge brick-lined, steel
containers or “ crucibles.” The tapper
(D.O.T. 514.884) and tapper helper
(D.O.T. 514.887) signal the hot-m et­
al crane operator (D .O .T. 921.883
place the overhead crane near the
pot. U sing a u to m a tic eq u ip m en t,
they break a hole in the crust of
waste materials that forms on the top
of the liquid. One end of a curved,
cast iron tube is inserted into the pot;
the other end is placed into a cruci­
ble and the molten metal is drawn
from the pot into the crucible.
After aluminum has been taken
from several pots and the crucible is
full, charge gang weighers (D.O.T.
502.887) weigh and sample the m ol­
ten m etal for lab o rato ry analysis.
Weighers also select chemicals that
th e an aly sis in d ic a te s sh o u ld be
blended with the molten aluminum.
T hen, w orkers operating overhead
cranes pour the molten metal from
the crucible into a rem elting furnace.
A remelt operator (D.O.T. 512.885)
adds portions o f alum inum scrap,
o th er m olten m etal, or chem icals
that will produce metal with the de­
sired properties. Finally, hand skim ­
m ers rem ove waste p ro d u c ts th a t
have been forced to the surface of
the molten metal.
The metal is then transferred to
the second or holding com partm ent
of the furnace until a sufficient sup­
ply is obtained for pouring. The d.c.
casting operator (D .O .T . 514.782)
has charge of the pouring station

633

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY

where the m olten m etal is cast into
ingots—large blocks o f m etal. The
operator controls the cooling condi­
tions o f the casting unit by keeping
the molds full of m etal and spraying
w ater against the m olds to produce
ingots o f uniform size and quality.
A fter a pot has been operating for
a num ber of m onths, the heat and
chem ical reactions m ake holes in the
p o t’s lining so th at the liquid metal
contacts the steel container. W hen
this happens, the pot is shut down
and the liquid drained so that pot
liners (D.O.T. 519.884) can m ake
repairs. D epending on the condition
o f the pots liners may patch holes in
the lining or may com pletely remove
and replace the lining.
Shaping aluminum. The large
ingots m ust be reduced in size before
the alum inum is useful to custom ers.
D epending on the final product de­
sired, several m ethods may be used
to shape the ingot. Alum inum prod­
ucts such as plate, sheet, and strip are
produced by rolling.
T he first step in rolling is to re­
move surface im purities from the in­
got. T he scalper operator (D .O .T .
6 0 5 .7 8 2 ) m an ip u lates levers o f a
scalper m achine and cuts thin layers
o f the rough metal from the ingots so
th at the surfaces are sm ooth. Then,
the ingots are heated to proper w ork­
ing tem peratures for rolling. W orkers
operating overhead cranes lower the
ingots in to fu rn ace s, or “ soaking
pits,” where they are kept sealed for
12 to 18 hours. Soaking pit operators
(D .O .T . 613.782) m anage the fur­
nace and co n tro l the tem perature
and heating time.
A fter being heated, the huge ingots
are positioned on the “ breakdow n”
or hot rolling mill where they are
converted into elongated slabs. Roll­
ing mill operators (D.O.T. 613.782)
m anipulate the ingots back and forth
between powerful rollers until they
are reduced in thickness to about 3
inches. T he slabs then move down
the line on the rollers to additional
hot mills th at work them down to a
thickness o f about one-eighth o f an
inch. A t the end o f the hotline, a
coiler operator (D .O .T . 6 1 3 .8 8 5 )
ten d s a c o ile r th a t au to m atically
winds the metal onto reels.
The coiled alum inum cools at
room tem perature before being cold


rolled still thinner. Cold-rolling p ro ­
duces a better surface finish and in­
c re a se s th e m e ta l’s s tre n g th and
hardness. Since continuous cold-roll­
ing could m ake the m etal too brittle,
an annealer (D.O.T. 504.782) occa­
sionally heats (anneals) the metal.
To relieve internal stress created
during the rolling process o r surface
contours the m etal may be stretched.
Stretcher-level-operators
/ (D.O.T.
619.782) and stretcher-level-operator
helpers (D.O.T. 619.886) position
the finished plate or sheet in clamps,
determ ine the stretch required to re­
move surface contours, and operate
the m achine th at pulls the m etal from
end to end to stretch it.
Sometimes ingots are m elted and
cast in molds to produce “ billets.”
Besides being sm aller and easier to
handle than ingots, billets can be
m olded into shapes which m ake it
easier to produce the final product.
In the rod and bar factory, billets
are heated to m ake them softer and
then are rolled through progressively
sm aller openings, until the desired
size is obtained. To produce wire,
hot-rolling continues until the rod is
about three-eighths o f an inch in
diam eter. Then, wire draw operators
(D.O.T. 614.782) operate m achines
that pull the cold wire through a
series of holes (dies) that gradually
reduce its size. The m achines also
autom atically coil the wire on revolv­
ing reels.

Structural products such as Ibeams and angles may be hot-rolled
or extruded. Hot-rolled products are
m ade by passing a square billet with
rounded corners between grooved
rolls that gradually reduce the thick­
ness and change the shape of the
metal.
Extruding of metal often is com ­
p a re d w ith sq u eezin g to o th p a ste
from a tu b e. E xtru d ed alum inum
shapes are produced by placing hot
billets (bars) inside a cylinder in a
powerful press. A hydraulic ram that
usually has a force o f several million
pounds pushes the metal through a
hole (d ie) at the other end of the
cylinder. The metal takes the shape
o f the die and then may be cut into
desired lengths. By using dies of vary­
ing design, almost any shape of alu­
minium product may be formed. Ex­
tru sio n press o perators (D .O .T .
614.782) regulate the rate at which
the m etal is forced through the press.
O f increasing im portance in shap­
ing aluminum is the continuous cast­
ing process. This process uses a tall,
curved mold that is wider at the top
than at the bottom. The mold has an
opening at the bottom that is the
shape o f the final product—for ex­
ample, it is square if billets are being
made. As space becomes available,
m olten aluminum is added to the top
o f the mold and moves down through
the mold while being cooled by w ater
sprays. W hen the now solid alumi-

Aluminum ingot is removed from vertical casting unit.

634

num com es out of the mold, it moves
onto a conveyor belt where it is cut
to the desired lengths.
During both the production and
the shaping process, workers and m a­
chines inspect the m etal to assure
q u a lity . R a d io g ra p h e rs (D .O .T .
199.381) operate various types o f Xray equipm ent to inspect the metal.
C om puters m onitor operations and
autom atically adjust m etal tem pera­
ture and mill speed.
O ther production workers in the
alum inum industry keep m achines
and equipm ent operating properly.
Some move m aterials, supplies, and
finished products throughout the
plants; still others are in service
occupations such as guard and custo­
dian.
Since electricity is vital to making
alum inum , the industry needs man}
electricians to install and repair elec­
trical fixtures, apparatus, and control
equipm ent. O ther em ployees, such as
m illw rights an d m a in te n a n c e m a­
chinists, m ake and repair m echanical
parts for plant m achinery. Stationary
engineers operate and m aintain the
p o w e rp la n ts, tu rb in e s, steam e n ­
gines, and m otors used in aluminum
plants.
O ther im portant groups are the
diem akers who assemble and repair
dies used in aluminum m etalworking
operations; the bricklayers who build
and reline furnaces, soaking pits, and
similar installations; and the welders
who join metal parts together with
gas or electric welding equipm ent. In
addition, plum bers and pipefitters lay
out, install, and m aintain piping and
piping systems for steam , water, and
o ther m aterials used in alum inum
m anufacturing.
Professional, Technical, Administra­
tive, Clerical, and Sales Occupations.
A bout one em ployee in ten is a pro­
fessional o r technical worker; about
the same proportion are clerks. The
few rem aining workers are in adm in­
istrative and sales positions.
Alum inum com panies employ a
variety o f professional specialists.
Quality control chemists analyze the
aluminum and the raw m aterials used
in its production. Process m etallur­
gists d eterm in e the m ost efficient
m eth o d s o f p ro d u c in g alum inum
from raw m aterials. Physical m etal­



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Engineers examine air pollution abatement equipment installed in an aluminum plant.

lurgists test aluminum and alum inum
alloys to determ ine th eir physical
characteristics and also develop new
alloys and new uses for aluminum.
Chem ical engineers and m echani­
cal engineers design and supervise
the construction and operation o f
production facilities. M echanical en ­
gineers may design new rolling mills
or im prove existing mills and related
equipm ent. Electrical engineers plan
and oversee the installation, opera­
tion, and m aintenance o f the electric
generators and distribution systems
used in the m anufacture o f alum i­
num . Industrial engineers co n d u ct
work m easurem ent studies and d e­
velop m anagem ent control systems
to aid in financial planning and cost
analysis.
Engineering technicians, laborato­
ry technicians, and chemical analysts
assist engineers and chemists in re ­
search and developm ent work. D raft­
ers p rep are the w orking draw ings
that are required to m ake or repair
production machinery.
A wide range of other profesional
and adm inistrative workers is needed
in the m anufacture o f aluminum.
Top executives m anage the com pa­
nies and determ ine policy. M iddle
m anagers and superintendents direct
individual departm ents, offices, and
production operations. The industry

also em ploys o th e r ad m in strativ e
personnel, as well as accountants,
law yers, statistician s, econo m ists,
and m athem aticians. Clerical w ork­
ers, including bookkeepers, secre­
taries, stenographers, clerk typists,
and keypunch and com puter o p era­
tors keep com pany records and do
other routine office work.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most production workers are hired
as unskilled laborers. They generally
begin their careers in a labor pool
and substitute for absent workers un­
til they becom e eligible for a perm a­
nent positon in a shop or departm ent.
Production workers, such as pot
tenders or liners, receive their train ­
ing on the job. U nder the guidance of
experienced workers, these em ploy­
ees begin by doing simple tasks and
progress to operations requiring p ro ­
gressively g reater skill as they ac­
quire experience. As they gain addi­
tio n a l sk ills an d s e n io rity , th e y
usually move to m ore responsible
and b etter paying jobs within their
departm ent.
Craft workefs usually are trained
on the job. A num ber of com panies,
particularly the larger ones, have
craft apprenticeship program s th at

635

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY

include classroom or home study
courses, as well as on-the-job train­
ing. Generally, candidates for these
programs are chosen from promising
young workers already employed by
the company. The length of the ap­
prenticeship varies according to the
craft, although most require 3 to 4
years. Examples of crafts that can be
learned through apprenticeship are:
Electrician, welder, brickm ason, car­
penter, machinist, m aintenance me­
chanic, pipefitter, and general main­
tenance mechanic.
Applicants and current employees
who dem onstrate an aptitude for
technical work have opportunities to
qualify as technicians, laboratory as­
sistants, and other semiprofessional
w orkers. H ow ever, som e college
background in engineering and sci­
ence, or graduation from a technical
institute or community college, is re­
quired for many technical jobs.
Most professional jobs require at
least a bachelor’s degree. Graduate
degrees in science or engineering are
preferred for research and develop­
ment work. Administrative and m an­
agerial positions usually are filled by
workers who have an engineering or
science background and have been
promoted to these jobs. Some new
graduates who have degrees in busi­
ness adm inistration or liberal arts
may fill entry level adm inistrative
jobs. Sales positions often are filled
by persons with engineering or relat­
ed technical backgrounds.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the aluminum in­
dustry is expected to grow about as
fast as the average for all industries
through the m id-1980’s. In addition
to openings created by growth of the
industry, many job opportunities will
arise from the need to replace work­
ers who retire, die, or leave the in­
dustry for other reasons. The num ber
of job opportunities may vary from
year to year, however, because the
dem an d fo r alum inum flu ctu a te s
with the ups and downs in the econ­
omy.
Over the long run, the dem and for
alum inum is expected to grow as
population increases and aluminum
is substituted for other materials. In­



Although long-term employment growth is expected
in the aluminum industry, the number of job openings
each year will fluctuate with economic conditions
Wage and salary workers in aluminum industry, 1964-76, and
projected 1985
Employees
(in thousands)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

dustries that represent major m arkets
for aluminum are growing industries
with potential for new product devel­
o p m en t. F or ex am p le, alum inum
studs are replacing wood studs in the
construction of large buildings and
for residential construction and re ­
modeling. With the growing em pha­
sis on fuel economy, car and truck
m anufacturers are expected to use
more aluminum in the future to re­
duce the weight of vehicles.
Employment, however, will grow
more slowly than the dem and for
aluminum. Furtherm ore, the alum i­
num industry supports a strong re ­
search and developm ent program
and an aggressive m arketing program
which should continue to develop
new alloys, processes, and products.
As a result, the num ber of engineers,
scientists, and technical personnel is
expected to increase as a proportion
of total employm ent. Technological
developm ents, such as continuous
ca stin g an d c o m p u te r-c o n tro lle d
rolling operations, will limit em ploy­
m ent growth among some pro d u c­
tion occupations.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Hourly earnings of plantworkers in
the aluminum industry are higher
than the average for m anufacturing

industries. In 1976, production work­
ers in plants which make aluminum
averaged $7.29 an hour, and those in
aluminum rolling and drawing plants '
averaged $6.27. In com parison, p ro ­
duction workers in m anufacturing in­
dustries as a whole averaged $5.19
an hour.
Skilled operators and skilled main­
tenance and craft workers hold the
highest paying plant jobs. Hourly
rates in 1976 for selected occupa­
tions in a num ber of plants covered
by one m ajor u n io n -m anagem en t
contract are shown below.

Occupation
Making Aluminum:
Anode rebuilder........................
Pot liner......................................
Pot tender..................................
Head tapper...............................
Charge weigher..........................
Shaping Aluminum:
Scalper operator.......................
Soaking pit operator.................
Hot mill operator, junior.........
Continuous mill operator.........
Annealer.....................................
Stretcher and flattener
operator...................................
Inspector.....................................
Extrusion press operator..........

Hourly
wage
rate
$7.09
6.57
6.74
7.00
6.30
6.74
6.48
7.35
7.61
6.30
6.39
6.57
7.00

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

636

Occupation
Maintenance:
Boiler operator...........................
Brickmason................................
Welder........................................
Pipefitter....................................
Millwright (maintenance
mechanic)...............................
Electrician..................................
Machinist....................................

Hourly
wage
rate
6.57
7.44
7.35
7.35
7.35
7.61
7.61

Aluminum workers receive many
fringe benefits, such as paid vaca­
tions and holidays, retirem ent bene­
fits, life and health insurance, shift
differentials, supplem ental jury-duty
pay, and supplem ental unem ploy­
ment benefits. Most workers receive
paid vacations ranging from 1 to 4
weeks, depending on length of ser­
vice. In addition, there are extended
vacation plans th a t provide a 10week vacation with 13 w eek’s pay
every 5 years.




Making aluminum requires high
tem peratures and some potroom s
may be hot, dusty, and smoky. How­
ever, working conditions in plants
have been improved as a result of
control program s and other projects.
Because making aluminum is a co n ­
tinuous process, som e production
employees have to work nights and
weekends.
The shaping sector of the industry
generally offers m ore favorable
working conditions, although w ork­
ers in certain jobs are subjected to
heat and loud noises.
The industry stresses safe working
conditions and conducts safety edu­
cation programs. Plants where alum i­
num is made have had a lbwer rate of
injuries than the average for all metal
industries, while the rate for alum i­
num rolling and drawing mills has
been about the same as the average.
H ow ever, the average num ber o f
workdays lost for each injury in the
aluminum industry has been greater

than the average for all metal indus­
tries.
Most process and m aintenance
workers in the aluminum industry
belong to labor unions. In addition,
labor organizations represent some
office and technical personnel. The
unions having the greatest num ber of
mem bers in the industry are United
Steelworkers of America; Aluminum
W orkers International Union; and In­
ternational Union, United A utom o­
bile, Aerospace and Agricultural Im­
plem ent W orkers of America.

Sources of Additional
Information
Information on aluminum produc­
tion and uses, as well as careers in the
industry, many be obtained from:
The Aluminum Association, 750 Third Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10017.

variety o f e x p e rien ce s—traveling,
observing life styles, and looking at
paintings and other sources of infor­
m ation about how people dressed in
the past, to name but a few. In addi­
tion to creativ ity , designers m ust
O C C U P A T IO N S IN TH E A P P A R E L IN D U S T R Y
have practical knowledge of the ap­
parel business so that they can trans­
late their ideas into styles that can be
produced at com petitive prices. They
Nature and Location of the
have over 100 employees. Only 1 must, for example, be familiar with
Industry
plant in 7, however, is this large. The labor processes and costs for various
The apparel industry produces limited investm ent required to cut factory operations such as pattern
clothes th at not only are appropriate and sew garm ents, and the specializa­ making, cutting, sewing, and press­
for the occasion—be it work, sleep, tion o f firms in one operation, such ing.
or leisure activities—but in such a as cutting, allow small firms to en ter
A large m anufacturer generally
wide variety of colors and styles that this industry with relative ease. In the has a head designer and several assis­
we can select apparel to m atch our w om en’s and misses’ outerw ear sec­ tants. Many small firms, however, do
mood and express our personality. In tor of this industry, for instance, the not employ designers but purchase
addition to clothes, the industry pro­ m ajority o f the cut and sewn g ar­ readym ade designs o r pattern s or
duces linens and drapes and other m ents originate in New York City, copy higher priced designs.
products m ade from cloth such as but m uch o f the sewing is contracted
A designer usually works with one
tents and parachutes. To do all this, out to firms spread throughout the type of apparel, such as suits or
the industry employs about 1.3 mil­ Middle A tlantic States. Plants m anu­ dresses, although some work with
lion people—nearly 4 out of 5 make facturing m en’s w ear usually are larg­ several. For a high-quality dress, d e­
er than those making w om en’s gar­ sig n ers usu ally s ta rt by draw in g
clothes.
At the beginning of this century, m e n ts b e c a u s e m e n ’s c lo th in g sk e tc h e s o r d rap in g m uslin on a
the buildings and streets o f M anhat­ undergoes less frequent changes in manikin and choosing fabrics, trim,
ta n ’s Lower East Side bustled with design and style and thus is better and colors. Using these sketches as
apparel m anufacturing activity. New suited to mass production m ethods. guides, designers and their assistants
m ake an experim ental dress. They
Y o rk ’s styles becam e the standard
cut m aterials and pin, sew, and adjust
for the rest o f the country. Buyers for
Occupations in the Industry
the dress on a form or a live model
large, out-of-town departm ent stores
A pparel industry employees, m ost until it m atches the sketch.
cam e to New York City to view new
Sample makers (D.O.T. 785.381)
designs and to place orders for winter o f whom are directly involved in the
and sum m er fashions. A pparel firms production process, carry out the use this experim ental dress as a guide
in this city not only had the advan­ m ajor operations of designing and in cutting and sewing fabrics to make
tage o f being near a concentration of pattern making, cutting and m arking, a finished sample of the dress. After
buyers, but newly arrived immigrants sewing, and pressing. A bout half o f m anagem ent has approved the sam ­
provided them with an inexpensive all apparel em ployees are hand sew­ p le , a p a tte r n m a k e r ( D .O .T .
supply o f workers. New York City ers o r sewing m achine o p erato rs. 781.381) constructs a m aster p a t­
was th e n the u n d isp u te d ap p a rel Generally, high grade and style-ori­ tern. W orking closely with the de­
m anufacturing capital o f the country. ented apparel is m ore carefully d e­ signer, the pattern m aker translates
Today, New York City is no longer signed and involves m ore handw ork the sketch or sample dress into paper
the N atio n ’s dom inant apparel cen­ th a n c h e a p e r, m ore stan d ard iz ed or fiberboard pieces, each one rep re­
ter, although it is still im portant— items. For example, some hand d e ­ senting a part of the garment. A pat­
almost 1 out of every 5 em ployees in tailing goes into a fashionable cock­ tern grader (D.O.T. 781.381) m ea­
the industry works in or around New tail dress or a high-priced suit o r sures the pieces that make up this
Y ork C ity. H ow ever, m any firm s coat, while items such as undershirts m aster pattern, and modifies them to
have m oved to the South so as to and overalls usually are sewn entirely fit various sizes. To speed up this p ro­
lower their taxes and labor costs. As by m achine. To m ake the many dif­ cess, some large plants use com put­
a result, about 25 percent of the in­ fe ren t kinds o f garm ents, w orkers ers to draw up the patterns for each
d u stry ’s em ployees w ork in N orth with various skills and educational size.
Styles for many items, such as
Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, backgrounds are needed.
m en’s suits and jackets, do not
South Carolina, and Alabama. O ther
firms have moved to large cities such Designing Room Occupations. Typi­ change significantly from year to
as Los Angeles, C hicago, Boston, St. cally, the m anufacturing process b e­ year; th u s, som e o f the steps d e­
Louis, and Dallas, where large cloth­ g in s w ith th e d e sig n e r (D .O .T . scribed above are not required. A
ing m arkets exist.
142.081), who creates new types and designer may alter the style of a suit,
M ore than half o f the industry’s styles o f apparel. Inspiration for a for example, by simply making minor
workers are em ployed in firms that new design may com e from any of a changes on the m aster pattern.



637

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

638

Cutting Room Occupations. W orkers
in the cutting room prepare cloth for
sewing. T here are five basic o p era­
tio n s in th e c u ttin g d e p a rtm e n t:
Spreading, m arking, cutting, assem ­
bling, and ticketing. Small shops may
com bine two or m ore o f these o p era­
tions into a single job.
Hand spreaders (D.O.T. 781.887)
lay out bolts of cloth into exact
lengths on the cutting table. Machine
spreaders (D.O.T. 781.884) are aided
by m achines in laying the cloth
evenly across the table.
Markers (D.O.T. 781.484) trace
the fiberboard pattern pieces on
large sheets o f paper, and may m ake
several carbons o f these tracings. In
some cases they trace the pattern
pieces with chalk directly on the
cloth itself, rather than on paper.
Following the p a tte rn ’s outline on
the cloth, a cutter (D.O.T. 781.884)
cuts o u t the various garm ent pieces
fro m lay ers o f c lo th . S o m etim es
these layers are as high as 9 inches.
Using an electrically pow ered knife,
the cu tter slices through all the layers
at once. T he work o f a cutter and a
m arker frequently is com bined into a
single job.
The pieces o f cloth that have been
cut are prepared for the sewing room
by an o th er group o f specialized
workers.
Assemblers,
som etim es
called bundlers or fitters (D.O.T.
781.687), bring together and bundle
the pieces and accessories (linings,
tapes, and trim m ings) needed to
m ake a com plete garm ent. They
m atch color, size, and fabric design
and use chalk o r thread to m ark
locations for pockets, buttonholes,
buttons, and oth er trimmings. They
identify each bundle with a ticket,
which is also used to Figure the earn ­
ings o f workers who are paid accord­
ing to the num ber o f pieces they p ro ­
duce. T he bundles then are routed to
the various sections o f the sewing
room.
Sewing Room Occupations. M ost
production workers in the apparel in­
dustry are hand sewers and sewing
m achine operators. A lthough hand
sewers are needed in the production
o f expensive garm ents and to put the
finishing touches on m oderate-priced
clothing, sewing m achine operators
constitute the great m ajority o f w ork­
ers in this area.




Markers arrange pattern pieces to get the greatest number of garments from the
smallest quantity of cloth.

Using industrial m achines that are
heavier and run faster than the ones
found in the hom e, sewing machine
operators (D.O.T. 787.782) generally
specialize in a single operation such
as sewing shoulder seams, attaching
cuffs to sleeves, or hemming blouses.
Some m ake sections such as pockets,
collars, or sleeves; others assemble
and join these com pleted sections to
the main parts o f the garment.
Sewing m achine operators gener­

ally are classified by the type of m a­
chine they use, such as single-needle
sewing m achine op erato r or blindstitch m achine operator, and by the
type of work perform ed, such as col­
lar stitcher or sleeve finisher.
Most hand sewing is done on b et­
ter quality or highly styled dresses,
suits, and coats. Hand sewers (D.O.T.
782.884) use needle and thread to
perform various operations ranging
fro m sim p le sew ing to co m p lex

Sewing machine operators use machines that are heavier and run faster than the ones
found in the home.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

stitching. Many hand sewers special­
ize in a single operation, such as lapel
basting or lining stitching.
Instead of being sewn, parts such
as collars and lapels may be “ fused”
together by heat and pressure. A
fusing machine operator places the
garm ent part on a loading platform
of a fusing press th at is adjusted to
apply the precise am ount of pressure
and tem perature needed for a perm a­
nent bond.
In a typical apparel plant, each
operator in the sewing departm ent
perform s one or two assigned tasks
on each piece in a bundle of cut
garm ent pieces, and then passes the
bundle to the next operator. Many
plants employ material handlers
(D .O .T . 9 2 9 .8 8 7 ) who m ove g ar­
m ent bundles from one sewing op­
eration to another.
At various stages o f the sewing
operations, inspectors and checkers
(D.O.T. 789.687) exam ine garments.
They m ark defects, such as skipped
stitches or bad seams, which the in­
spectors som etim es repair before the
garm ents are passed on to the next
sew ing o p e ra tio n . H and trim m ers
(D .O .T . 7 8 1 .8 8 7 ) , o fte n c a lle d
th rea d trim m ers and cleaners, re­
move loose threads, basting stitches,
and lint from garments.
Tailoring Occupations.
Tailors
(D.O.T. 785.261 and .381) and
dressmakers (D.O.T. 785.361) are
skilled workers who do difficult kinds
o f hand and m achine sewing. Most
are em ployed in m aking expensive
clothing th at needs precise shaping
and finishing. Although some tailors
and dressm akers m ake com plete gar­
ments, m ost specialize in a few op­
erations such as collar setting and
lapel padding.
Bushelers (D.O.T. 785.281) are
tailors who repair defects in finished
garm ents rejected by the inspector.
They alter parts th at have not been
sewn correctly, rearrange padding in
coats and suits, and do other sewing
necessary to correct defects.
Pressing Occupations. The shape and
appearance o f the finished garm ents
depend, to a large extent, on the
pressing that is done during and after
sewing operations.
Pressers (D.O.T. 363.782, .884,
and .885),
 sometimes working with


m anikins and body forms, use var­
ious types o f steam pressing m a­
chines or hand irons to flatten seams
and shape parts and finished g ar­
ments. There are two basic types of
p ressers—u nderpressers and finish
pressers. U nderpressers specialize on
particular garm ent parts, such as col­
lars, shoulders, seams, o r pockets.
T h e ir d u tie s v a ry fro m sim p le
sm oothing of cloth and flattening of
seams to skillful shaping o f garm ent
parts. Finish pressers generally do fi­
nal pressing and ironing at the end of
the sewing operations.
Fur Shop Occupations. Because furs
are expensive and difficult to work
with, making a fur garm ent requires
workers who have special skills not
found in plants that m ake other types
of apparel.
The m ost skilled w orker in a fur
garm ent plant is the fu r cutter
(D.O.T. 783.781), who also may be
the supervisor. The cu tter selects and
m atches enough fur skins to m ake a
single garm ent, such as a coat or
jacket, and arranges and cuts the
skins on pattern pieces so that the
choice sections of fur are placed
where they will show. Following the
sewing instructions given by the c u t­
ter, fu r machine operators (D .O .T.
787.782) sew these pelts together to
m ake garm ent sections. A fu r nailer
(D.O.T. 783.884), after wetting and
stretching the garm ent sections, ei­
ther staples or nails them on a board
so that they will cover the pattern.
W hen the sections are dry, this w ork­
er removes them from the board. To
com plete the garm ent, the fur m a­
chine operator then finishes sewing
the various sections, and fu r finishers
(D.O.T. 783.381) sew in the lining,
tape edges, m ake pockets, and sew
on buttons and loops.
A dm inistrative, Sales, and M ainte­
nance Occupations. Most adm inistra­
tive positions in an apparel plant are
in the production departm ent. P ro­
duction m anagers are responsible for
estim ating production costs, schedul­
ing the flow of work, hiring and train ­
ing workers, controlling quality, and
supervising the overall production
activities of the plant. In some small
apparel firms, the production m anag­
er also is a designer.

639

Industrial engineers advise m an­
agem ent about the efficient use of
m achines, m aterials, and workers.
(F urther discussion o f industrial en­
gineers is included elsewhere in the
Handbook. )
C lerk s, b o o k k ee p ers, ste n o g ra ­
phers, and other office workers make
up payrolls, prepare invoices, keep
records, and attend to other paper­
work. In som e large plants, many
clerical functions are handled with
com puters. This requires keypunch
o p erato rs, co m p u ter program m ers
and operators, and systems analysts.
Sales w orkers, fabric buyers, models,
a c c o u n ta n ts, and sewing m achine
m e c h a n ic s a n d te c h n ic ia n s a re
among o th er types of workers in the
a p p a re l in d u stry . D iscussion s o f
many o f these jobs can be found else­
where in the Handbook.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
M ost workers in the apparel indus­
try pick up their skills on the job by
helping and observing experienced
workers. The length o f time required
for on-the-job training ranges from a
few weeks to several years, depend­
ing on the type of occupation, the
w orker’s aptitude, and the employ­
e r ’s training program . A relatively
sm all n u m b e r o f em p lo y ee s are
trained in formal apprenticeship p ro ­
grams fo r highly skilled occupations,
such as pattern m aker, cutter, and
tailor. Some employees take courses
in pattern making, cutting, and tai­
loring, as well as m achine and hand
sewing, at private and public schools
in apparel m anufacturing centers.
Many production jobs do not re­
quire m uch physical exertion. Good
eyesight and manual dexterity, how­
ever, are vital.
Entry into beginning hand-or m a­
chine-sewing jobs is relatively easy,
since there are few restrictions re­
garding education and physical co n ­
d itio n . An in cre asin g n u m b er o f
w o rk e rs, ho w ev er, are re ceiv in g
training in high school and vocation­
al schools. New workers start by sew­
ing straight seams, under the supervi­
sion o f a skilled w orker or supervisor,
and progress to m ore com plicated
sew ing as th ey gain e x p e rie n c e .
Many large com panies have special

640

in-plant training programs for sewing
machine operators. The operator is
taught how to perform each opera­
tion with minimal finger, arm , and
body movem ent. The ability to do
ro u tin e w ork rapidly is essential,
since nearly all sewers are paid by the
n u m b er o f p iece s they p ro d u c e .
Some sewers advance to supervisory
positions. Most, however, stay on the
same general operation throughout
their working lives and can look for­
ward only to moving from simple
sewing tasks to m ore com plicated
ones that pay higher piece rates.
New workers in cutting rooms usu­
ally begin as assemblers (bundlers or
fitters). S peed, p atien c e, and the
ability to m atch colors are necessary
for these jobs. An assembler may be
prom oted to spreader, and after a
few years, to m arker or cutter.
Most pattern m akers pick up the
skills of the trade by working for
several years as helpers to experi­
enced pattern m akers. C utters and
pattern graders occasionally are pro­
m oted to p attern m aking. P attern
m akers m ust be able to visualize
from a sk etch or m odel the size,
shape, and num ber of pattern pieces
required for a particular garm ent.
They also must have a knowledge of
fabrics, body proportions, and gar­
ment construction.
For beginning tailor and dressm ak­
ing jobs, many employers prefer to
hire vocational school graduates who
have had courses in these subjects.
With a few years of additional ap­
prenticeship or informal on-the-job
training, g rad u ates can qualify as
skilled workers. Some of these work­
ers eventually become designers or
supervisors. They can also transfer to
jobs outside the apparel m anufactur­
ing industry as fitters and alteration
tailors in clothing stores and drycleaning shops.
Pressers usually begin as underpressers, working on simple seams
and garm en t parts. U nderpressing
can be learned in a short time, and
the worker can progress to the more
difficult job of finish presser. These
workers also can transfer to pressing
jobs in drycleaning shops.
Many apparel firms prefer to re­
cruit designers from colleges that of­
Digitized forspecialized training in this field.
fer FRASER


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

G raduates usually start as assistant
designers or sam ple m akers. Some
designers, how ever, have com e up
through the ranks by advancing from
cutting, pattern making, or tailoring
jobs.
Designers need a thorough knowl­
edge of fabrics, a keen sense of color,
and the ability to translate design
ideas into a finished garment. They
should also acquaint themselves with
garmentmaking techniques by w ork­
ing briefly in various plant jobs, such
as sample making, pattern making,
cutting, and m achine sewing. Design­
ers should know how to sketch.
Production managers and industri­
al engineers often begin as m anage­
m ent trainees. A college education
increasingly is being required for
these jobs. For those without a col­
lege background, many years of onthe-job training in all production p ro ­
cesses, ranging from selection of fab­
rics to shipm ent of finished apparel,
are required to qualify as a produc­
tion manager.

Employment Outlook
Apparel industry em ploym ent is
expected to grow about as fast as the
average for all industries through the
m id-1980’s. Most job openings will
arise from the need to replace experi­
enced w orkers who retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work. The

num ber of openings may fluctuate
greatly from year to year, as the de­
mand for apparel is highly sensitive
to changes in the economy.
Demand for apparel is expected to
increase over the long run as popula­
tion and incomes continue to grow.
The industry’s greater emphasis on
styling also may stimulate dem and.
Em ploym ent in the industry, how ­
ever, is not expected to keep pace
with the production of apparel, be­
cause new m echanized equipm ent
and improved methods of production
and distribution are expected to re­
sult in greater output per worker. Ex­
amples of laborsaving equipm ent in­
c lu d e sew ing m ach in e s th a t can
position needles and trim threads au­
tom atically; devices that autom ati­
cally position fabric pieces under the
needle and remove and stack com ­
pleted pieces; and co m p u te r-c o n ­
trolled pattern making, grading, and
cutting. Com puters also are improv­
ing managerial control over sales, in­
ventories, shipping, and production.
Despite technological advances in
equipm ent, extensive application of
autom atic laborsaving equipm ent to
the production process is difficult
because of the variety of items p ro­
duced and the frequent style and sea­
sonal changes, particularly in cloth­
ing. For these and o th er reasons,

641

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

ap p arel m an u factu rin g o p eratio n s
will continue to require much m an­
ual labor. Most em ploym ent oppor­
tunities will be for sewing m achine
operators, as this occupational group
constitutes approxim ately 50 percent
of total industry em ploym ent.
O pportunities are expected to be
particularly favorable for production
m anagers and engineers with college
degrees in apparel m anagem ent, en ­
gin eerin g tech nology for ap p arel,
and industrial engineering, as well as
for sales workers, fabric buyers, and
sewing m achine m echanics. Job op­
portunities also should be favorable
for the m ore high skilled craft work­
ers such as pattern m akers, cutters,
pressers, finishers, and tailors. Peo­
ple who plan to becom e designers, on
the oth er hand, will face keen com ­
petition, because the num ber o f peo­
ple trying to get into this field ex­
ceeds the num ber o f available jobs.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Earnings in the apparel industry
are relatively low. In 1976, produc­
tion w o rk ers in ap p arel averaged
$3.41 an hour, com pared with $4.87
an hour for those in all private indus­
tries, except farming.
A verage hourly earnings o f pro­
duction workers varied am ong differ­
ent kinds of apparel plants, ranging
from $3.03 in plants that made hats,
caps, and millinery to $4.18 in those
that m ade m en’s and boys’ suits and
coats. Earnings of apparel workers
also varied by occupation and geo­
graphic area. Table 1 gives estim ated
average hourly earnings in 1976 for
selected o ccu p atio n s and areas in
one segm ent o f the industry.
Because most production workers
in the apparel industry are paid by
the num ber of pieces they produce,
th eir to tal earn in g s d ep e n d upon
speed as well as skill.
Many apparel workers are union
members, particularly those who
work in m etropolitan areas. The m a­
jo r unions in this industry are the
In te rn a tio n a l L a d ie s ’ G a rm e n t
W orkers’ Union, the Am algam ated
C lo th in g a n d T e x tile W o r k e r s ’
U n io n , an d th e U n ited G a rm e n t
W orkers o f
 America. Some o f these


Table 1. Average hourly earnings of production workers in the men’s and boys’ suits
and coats industry, selected occupations and areas, 1976
Estimated average hourly earnings

Men’s and boys' suits and coats
New York,
N.Y.—N.J.
metropolitan
area

Baltimore

Philadelphia

All production workers....................................

$4.51

$4.23

$4.47

Cutters and markers....................................................
Finishers, hand, coat fabrication...............................
Pressers, Finish, machine, coat fabrication..............
Sewing machine operators, coat fabrication...........
Sewing machine operators, trouser fabrication.......

6.95
3.81
4.99
4.60
4.50

5.06
3.88
5.20
4.12
3.69

6.39
3.89
5.98
4.47
3.95

unions sponsor health care and child
day care centers, cooperative hous­
ing, and v ac atio n reso rts for th e
benefit o f their members.
W orkers may be laid off for several
weeks during slack seasons, particu­
larly in plants th at m ake seasonal
garm ents, such as w om en’s coats and
suits. Em ploym ent is usually m ore
stable in plants that produce stan­
dardized garm ents, such as pajam as
and m en’s shirts, which are worn all
year. In many plants, the available
work during slack periods is divided
so that all workers can be assured of
at least some earnings.
While many plants are housed in
old buildings, others are located in
m odern buildings that have ample
work space, good lighting, and airconditioning. Because most em ploy­
ees sit when they sew, the work is not
physically strenuous, but the pace is
rapid and many tasks are m onoto­
nous.
W orking conditions in cutting and
designing rooms are more pleasant
than in the sewing and pressing areas.
The cutting and designing rooms are
in an area away from the hustle and
bustle o f the sewing and pressing
operations, and designing, pattern
making, and cutting jobs are m ore
interesting and less m onotonous than
most other apparel jobs.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation on vocational and
high schools that offer training in
designing, tailoring, and sewing may

be obtained from the Division of
Vocational Education of the D epart­
m ent o f E ducation in each State
capital.
Inform ation on apprenticeships
may be obtained from the A ppren­
ticeship Council of the State labor
d e p a rtm en t or the local office of
State em ploym ent service. Some lo­
cal em ploym ent service offices ad­
minister tests to determ ine aptitudes
that are im portant for many apparel
industry jobs.
For general information on jobs in
the industry and information on
schools that offer degrees in apparel
m anagem ent, engineering tech n o l­
ogy for apparel, design, and related
professional and vocational fields,
write to:
American Apparel Manufacturers Associ­
ation, Suite 800, 161 l N. Kent St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers'
Union, 15 Union Square. New York, N Y.
10003.
Fur Information and Fashion Council, I0l W.
30th St., New York, N Y. 10001.
International Ladies' Garment Workers'
Union, 17 10 Broadway, New York, N Y.
10019.
National Outerwear and Sportswear Associ­
ation, Inc., I Pennsylvania Plaza, New
York, N Y. 10 0 0 1.
United Garment Workers of America, Room
16 14. 200 Park Ave. South, New York,
N.Y. 10003.
Apparel Manufacturers' Association, 1440
Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10018.
National Knitted Outerwear Association, 51
Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 100K).

OCCUPATIONS IN THE BAKING INDUSTRY

The baking industry—one of the
N ation’s largest food-processing em ­
p lo y e rs — p ro v id e s s te a d y , y e a rround employm ent for thousands of
w o rk ers th ro u g h o u t the co u n try .
Jobs exist to suit a wide variety of
interests, skills, and talents. Bakery
workers make, wrap, pack, sell, and
deliver products. M echanics m ain­
tain and repair plant machinery and
service delivery tru ck s. M anagers
and sales specialists direct operations
and clerical workers perform regular
office duties.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
About 240,000 persons worked in
the N a tio n ’s 3,500 industrial b ak ­
eries in 1976. More than 4 out of 5
worked in bakeries th at produced
perishable goods such as bread, rolls,
pies, cakes, and doughnuts. The re­
mainder worked in those that made
“ dry” goods such as cookies, crack­
ers, and pretzels.
Although there are many small
bakeries, the larger plants account
for most of the employment. About
three-fourths of the industry’s em ­
ployees are in plants with more than
100 workers.
Most jobs are concentrated in m et­
ropolitan areas and most of the in­
d ustry ’s em ployees are production
workers. They do the baking, handle
raw m aterials, m aintain equipm ent,
wrap and pack products, and keep
the bakeries clean. Nearly 1 out of 4
drives a truck to deliver the indus­
try ’s products; most of these workers
sell to retail stores. O ther drivers
with no sales duties deliver bakery
products to distribution centers, ho­
tels, restaurants, and stores. The re­
maining 20 percent of the work force
are in adm inistrative, professional,
technical, and clerical jobs.
Production Occupations. Although
not all baked goods are made in

642


exactly the same way, most bakery
production jobs are similar. P roduc­
tion workers blend, sift, and mix in­
gredients to form a dough; shape and
bake the dough; and wrap and pack
the final product.
Since bread is the primary product
o f th e in d u stry , o c c u p a tio n s d e ­
scribed here are those found in a
bread bakery. Jobs may differ som e­
what in a bakery that makes other
products or is more autom ated.
The first step in baking is to com ­
bine the ingredients needed to make
dough. M ixers (D .O .T . 520.885 )
load blending m achines with the
exact am ounts of flour, water, and
yeast needed for the bread. Using in­
strum ents, they carefully control the

te m p e ra tu re , tim ing, and m ixing
speed of the m achines to insure a
uniform , w ell-blended dough. The
mixed dough is dropped into a trough
and pushed to a warm proofing room
w here the yeast ferm ents and the
dough rises. T he risen dough is
poured back into the blender and
sugar, salt, sh o rten in g , and m ore
flo u r and w ater are a d d e d . T he
dough is allowed to rise again before
it is shaped into loaves.
Divider machine operators (D.O.T.
520.885) run machines that divide,
round, proof, and shape dough into
loaf-size balls. A conveyor carries
these balls of dough to dough molders
o r m o ld in g m a c h in e o p e r a to r s
(D.O.T. 520.885) who press out the
air b u b b le s, form th e balls into
loaves, and drop the loaves into pans.
If bread or rolls are to be made in
fancy shapes, bench hands (D.O.T.
520.884) knead and form the dough
by hand.
The pans of dough go back to the
proofing room for about an hour
before being placed in the oven.
Oven tenders (D.O.T. 526.885) load

Divider machine operator runs machine that divides and shapes dough into loaves.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE BAKING INDUSTRY

and unload the ovens and adjust the
tem perature and timing of the ovens
to m ake sure that the bread is prop­
erly baked.
Some bakeries use an autom atic
process called “ continuous m ix” that
elim in ates m any o f th e steps d e ­
scribed above. With this process, all
ingredients are mixed at once and the
dough is divided, shaped, put into
pans, and then proofed only once be­
fore baking.
In small bakeries, all-round bakers
(D.O.T. 526.781) assisted by help­
ers, usually handle all the steps need­
ed to turn out finished baked prod­
ucts. In large b ak e ries, all-ro u n d
bakers are employed as working su­
pervisors. They direct their em ploy­
ees and coordinate their activity with
other departm ents to m eet produc­
tion schedules.
A considerable num ber of helpers
(D.O.T. 526.886) are employed in
baking operations to grease pans, re­
move bread from pans, push troughs
and racks, and wash pans. They may
assist all-ro u n d b ak e rs and o th e r
workers. They have jo b titles such as
doughm ixer helper, and oven tender
helper.



643

ping d e p a rtm e n ts. R eceiving and
stock clerks check, record, and deliv­
er incoming supplies and ingredients
to various departm ents. Packers and
checkers m ake up orders of bakery
products for delivery by route driv­
ers.
Maintenance Occupations. Bakeries
employ skilled m aintenance workers
such as m achinists, electricians, and
stationary engineers to keep m achin­
ery and equipm ent in good condi­
tion. Large plants need many of these
workers because their baking opera­
tions are highly m echanized. Many
bakeries also employ truck m echan­
ics to service their delivery trucks.
Sales and Driving Occupations. Sell­
ing and delivering finished baked
foods req u ires many thousands of
w orkers. Som e sell baked goods,
som e d riv e tru ck s, and many do
both.
Route drivers (D.O.T. 292.358)
work for wholesale bakeries. They
deliver baked foods to grocery stores
along their routes and collect pay­
ment. A ttracting new custom ers and
A fter baked goods are cooled, sev­ urging old custom ers to buy m ore
eral types of workers prepare them products are m ajor parts of their job.
for delivery to custom ers. Slicing- R oute drivers usually arrange their
a n d -w ra p p in g m a c h in e operators baked goods on shelves or display
(D .O .T . 5 2 1 .8 8 5 ) feed loaves o f ra ck s in g ro cery sto res altho u g h
bread onto conveyors leading to the some stores have begun to use their
m ach in e s, w atch th e slicing an d own em ployees to stock shelves.
wrapping operations, adjust the m a­ Drivers also list the items they think
chines, and keep them supplied with the grocers will buy the next day;
bags and labels. A conveyor then these lists are used to help make up
takes the wrapped loaves to the ship­ the bakery production schedule for
the next morning.
ping platform.
Route supervisors assign delivery
Bakery employees in icing d epart­
routes and check delivery schedules.
m e n ts give fin ish in g to u c h e s to
c a k e s, p a strie s, an d o th e r sw eet They train new route drivers and may
goods following special formulas of tem porarily replace those who are
the bakery. Icing m ixers (D .O .T . absent. A large bakery may employ
520.885) weigh and m easure ingredi­ several supervisors, each in charge of
ents and mix cake icings and fillings 6 to 10 route drivers.
Chain grocery store bakeries and
by m a c h in e . T h ey also p re p a re
cooked fillings for pies, tarts, and m ultioutlet retail bakeries employ
o th er pastries. Hand icers (D .O .T. truckdrivers rather than route drivers
524.8 8 4 ) are skilled w orkers who to deliver baked foods to each of
their com pany’s stores. Truckdrivers
d ec o rate special pro d u cts such as
do not have sales duties, nor, in most
wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and
areas, do they stock shelves. Each
fancy pastries. W hen the product is
store’s stock clerks or sales clerks
uniform o r requires no special d eco­
arrange the displays of baked foods.
ration, the frosting may be applied by
machine icers (D.O.T. 524.885).
Administrative, Clerical, and Profes­
Bakeries also employ many w ork­ sional and Technical Occupations.
ers in storage, warehousing, and ship­ Adm inistrators in large bakeries and

644

owners of small bakeries coordinate
all baking activities, from the p u r­
chase of raw materials to the produc­
tion and delivery of finished goods.
In large firms, activities are divided
into separate departm ents or func­
tions and are supervised by plant
m anagers, com ptrollers, sales m an­
agers, and other executives. Some
adm inistrative em ployees specialize
in fields such as accounting, purchas­
ing, advertising, personnel, and in­
dustrial relations. B akeries employ
many types of clerical workers, in­
c lu d in g b o o k k e e p e r s , c a s h ie r s ,
clerks, business m achine operators,
typists, and switchboard operators.
Some large baking com panies have
laboratories and test kitchens where
ch e m ists, hom e e c o n o m ists, and
their assistants test ingredients and
prepare formulas and recipes. (D e­
tailed discussion of the duties, train­
ing, and em ploym ent outlook for
m aintenance, sales, driving, adminis­
trative, clerical, and technical p er­
sonnel appear elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Training requirem ents for occupa­
tions in the baking industry range
from a few days on the job to several
years of experience or advanced edu­
catio n . Slicing and w rapping m a­
chine operators can learn their job in
a few days, but skilled workers, such
as all-round bakers, mixers, oven ten­
ders, and o th er baking specialists,
need 3 or 4 years of training. Profes­
sional personnel and some adminis­
trative workers must have a college
degree or considerable experience in
their specialty.
Most inexperienced production
workers in the baking industry are
hired as helpers. They usually are
assigned such tasks as carrying ingre­
dients to mixing m achines, or push­
ing troughs of dough to the proofing
room. M any w orkers who becom e
all-round bakers begin as b a k e r’s
helpers. They learn m ore advanced
baking skills while working alongside
experienced bakers, and may be se­
lected to e n te r an ap p ren ticesh ip
program. Employers usually require
 to be at least 18 years
an apprentice


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

old and have a high school or voca­
tional school diploma. A pprentice­
ship programs last 3 or 4 years, and
include on-the-job training in all bak­
ing operations and classroom instruc­
tion in related subjects.
Some workers take courses in vo­
cational school or learn baking in the
A rm ed Forces. Such training may
not qualify a person as a skilled ba­
ker, but it may help in getting a job as
an apprentice or shorten the appren­
ticeship training period.
Bakers may be prom oted to jobs
such as working or departm ent su­
pervisors. Some bakers who have d e­
veloped special skill in fancy cake­
making or piemaking may find jobs
in hotel or restaurant bakeries. All­
round b ak ers with som e business
ability som etim es open their own
bakeshops.
Production em ployees must be in
good health. Most States require a
health certificate indicating that the
worker is free from contagious dis­
eases. Good health also is im portant
because of the high tem perature in
bakeries.
Some bakeries have ap p ren tice­
ship p ro g ra m s fo r m a in te n a n c e
workers such as machinists, electri­
cians, and m echanics. Others train
m aintenance workers informally on
th e j o b . S o m e b a k e r ie s h ir e o n ly

m aintenance w orkers who are a l­
ready skilled.

For route drivers or truckdrivers,
baking firms generally hire inexperi­
enced people with a high school edu­
cation. These workers often begin as
stock clerks, packers, or checkers,
and are prom oted to driving jobs.
A pplicants m ust be able to get a
ch a u ffe u r’s license and som etim es
are tested by the baking companies
to determ ine whether they are safe
drivers. C lassroom in stru ctio n in
sales, display, and delivery p ro c e ­
dures is som etim es given to new
route drivers, but most training is giv­
en on the job by supervisors. Route
drivers may be prom oted to route
supervisors or sales managers.
Administrative jobs usually are
filled by upgrading personnel already
employed in the firm. Some owners
and production managers of bakeries
have been plant workers or were in
sales occupations. In recent years,
large baking firms have required
their new administrative workers to
have a college degree in an adminis­
trative field, such as marketing, ac­
counting, labor relations, personnel,
or advertising. Kansas State Universi­
ty at M anhattan offers a bachelor of
science degree in bakery science and
m anagem ent. The A m erican Insti­
tute of Baking conducts a school of
b a k in g fo r p e r so n s w h o w ish to qual­
ify for m anagerial positions. A ppli­
cants must have a high school diplo-

645

OCCUPATIONS IN THE BAKING INDUSTRY

ma and 2 years of baking experience
or equivalent time in college.
Persons who have com pleted a
commercial course in high school,
junior college, or a business school
usually are preferred for secretarial,
stenographic, and other clerical jobs.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the baking indus­
try is expected to decline through the
m id -1 9 8 0 ’s. N ev erth eless, several
thousand job openings are anticipat­
ed each year because of the need to
replace workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work.
Population growth will increase
the dem and for bakery products.
However, laborsaving technological
innovations will enable many bak­
eries, particu larly large industrial
ones, to m eet the dem and with fewer
employees. Pneumatic handling sys­
tems and pumps quickly and easily
transfer ingredients from trucks or
railroad cars to storage containers.
The “ continuous mix” process elimi­
nates doughmixing and proofing op­
erations, and conveyor systems move
panned dough from ovens to labeling
machines in one continuous process.
In addition, some bakeries can pre­
pare a w eek’s baked goods at one
time and store them in the freezer
until needed.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, earnings of production
workers in the baking industry aver­
aged $202.27 a week, or $5.16 an
hour, which is slightly higher than the
average for all workers in private in­
dustry, except farming.




Nearly all employees of industrial
baking firms get paid vacations,
which usually range from 1 to 5
weeks according to length of service.
Employees also get from 5 to 1 1 paid
holidays, depending on the locality.
Most baking com panies have life and
health insurance program s and re­
tirem ent pension plans. Many em ­
Baking supervisors...................... $5.84—
7.49
ployees are covered by joint unionAll-round bakers and mixers....
4.81-7.04
Molders and dividers and
industry plans that are paid for en­
molding and dividing
tirely by the company.
4.62-7.04
machine operators......................
Many bakery workers belong to
Oven tenders....................................
4.81-7.04 labor unions. Bakers and other plant
Baker’s helpers...............................
4.44-6.95
workers are organized by the Bakery
Wrapping machine operators ....
4.81-6.29
and Confectionary W orkers’ Interna­
tional Union of Am erica, and route
Some plant employees work night drivers and truck drivers usually are
shifts and weekends because many members of the International Broth­
bakeries operate around the clock. erhood of T eam sters, C hauffeurs,
Some bakeries are elim inating the W a re h o u s e m e n a n d H e lp e rs o f
night shift since baked goods can be America (Ind.). Some m aintenance
frozen and stored until needed. Most workers are members of craft unions
plant workers are on a 40-hour w ork­ such as the International Association
week, but some work 35 or 37 1/2 of Machinists and Aerospace W ork­
hours, and others 44 to 48 hours.
ers and the International Union of
Route drivers usually receive a Operating Engineers.
guaranteed minimum salary plus a
percentage of their sales. According
Sources of Additional
to limited information from union
Information
contracts, route drivers for wholesale
Information on baking jobs and
bakeries had minimum weekly sala­
ries of from $123 to $283 in 1976. By training opportunities may be o b ­
selling more baked products to more tained from bakeries in the com m u­
custom ers, route drivers can increase nity, local offices o f the State em ­
their earnings. Com panies generally ploym ent service, or locals of the
pay for uniforms and their m ainte­ labor unions noted previously.
For general information on job op­
nance.
W orking conditions in bakeries are portunities in the industry and on
generally good. However, many jobs schools that offer courses or degrees
involve some strenuous physical in baking science and technology,
work, despite the considerable write to:
m echanization of baking processes. American Bakers Association, 2020 K St.
NW., Suite 850, Washington, D.C. 20006.
Work near ovens can be uncom fort­
ably hot.
Under the terms of union contracts
covering em ployees in some whole­
sale bakeries producing bread and
related products, minim um hourly
rates in m ajor occupations in 1976
were as follows:

man and animal-use drugs also are
required in these other areas.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

OCCUPATIONS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY

References to potions and spells
for the cure and prevention of pain
and disease are num erous in medical
folklore. But 20th century science
has created a supply of drug products
undream ed of by even the most
imaginative apothecaries of the past.
More than 10,000 individual or
combination drug products are avail­
able to today’s physician for diagnos­
tic, preventive, and therapeutic uses.
These drugs have resulted in the con­
trol of venereal disease, tuberculosis,
in fluenza, ca rd io v ascu lar disease,
malaria, pneum onia, and even some
forms of cancer. Horm ones have re­
lieved the pain and crippling effects
of arthritis and other diseases. T ran­
quilizers and other drugs have done
much to reduce the severity of m en­
tal illness. V accines have reduced
dramatically the toll of polio, w hoop­
ing cough, and measles. Discoveries
in v e te rin a ry m e d ic in e have in ­
creased animal productivity and con­
tro lled vario u s diseases, som e of
which are transmissible to humans.
New drugs which control symptoms
o f various diseases and disorders
have resulted in rem arkable benefits
to society by increasing life expec­
tancy and allowing many ill people to
lead full and reasonably normal lives.
The Am erican drug industry has
achieved
worldwide prom inence
through its activities in research and
developm ent of new drugs, and
spends a higher proportion of its
funds for research than any other
industry in the United States. About
80 percent of research and develop­
ment expenditures is devoted to the
advancem ent of scientific knowledge
and the developm ent o f new prod­
ucts. The remaining funds are allo­
cated to the im provem ent 6f existing
p ro d u t s. E ach year the industry
tests m ore than 150,000 new sub­
stances which may eventually yield
only 10 to 20 com pletely new, useful
medicines. In recent years, most re­
646



search has been devoted to infec­
tions, diseases of the central nervous
and cardiovascular systems, and to
neoplasm therapy (treatm ent of ab ­
normal tissue growth).
Drug firms also are involved in
research and the developm ent of o th ­
er types of products and chemicals.
Closely related to drugs as im portant
adjuncts to modern medical care are
medical devices and diagnostic prod­
ucts. Many pharm aceutical as well as
other m anufacturers in the past few
years have entered the fast growing
p ro d u c tio n o f radiological eq u ip ­
m ent, radio-pharm aceuticals, heart
pacem akers, dialysis m achines, and
numerous other products. These are
used to diagnose disease on one hand
or, like drugs, help alleviate sym p­
toms and restore health and well­
being. Many firms also are involved
in the agricultural chemical m arket.
Many of the same types of employees
required in the research and quality
control-oriented production of h u ­

In 1976, about 165,000 persons
worked in the drug industry. Over
130,000 worked for com panies that
made pharm aceutical preparations
(finished drugs), such as tranquiliz­
ers, antiseptics, antibiotics, and anal­
gesics. The rem ainder worked for
firms that made biological products,
such as serum s, vaccines, toxins,
plasmas, and bulk m edicinal chem i­
cals and botanicals used in making
finished drugs.
Drug m anufacturing com panies
typically employ large numbers of
workers. About two-thirds of the in­
d u stry ’s em ployees work for firms
with m ore than 500 workers; over
one half work for firms employing
over 1,000 w orkers. Some of the
largest firms employ more than 5,000
workers. The Pharm aceutical M anu­
facturers Association (PM A ) rep re­
sents about 130 com panies that p ro ­
d u c e m o s t o f t h e N a t i o n ’s
pharm aceuticals, accounting for over
90 percent of total drug sales.
About three-fourths of the indus­
tr y ’s em ployees w orked in seven
States: New Jersey, New York, Penn­
sylvania, Indiana, Illinois, California,

OCCUPATIONS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY

647

and Michigan. Large drug m anufac­
turing installations are located in
Indianapolis, Ind.; Chicago, 111.; Nutley and Rahway, N.J.; Philadelphia,
Pa.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Pearl River
and Brooklyn, N.Y.; and in the Los
Angeles and San Francisco, Calif.,
areas.
For testing new drugs, a primary
research method called screening is
used. In screening an antibiotic, for
example, a sample is first placed in a
bacterial culture. If the antibiotic is
effective, it is next tested on infected
laboratory anim als. Each year re­
search personnel study the effects of
potential new medicines on millions
o f an im als in clu d in g m ice, ra ts,
chickens, and guinea pigs. Promising
com pounds are studied further for
evidence o f useful—and harm ful—
effects. A new drug is selected for
testing in humans only if it promises
to have therapeutic advantages over
comparable drugs already in use, or
if it offers the possibility of being saAbout 1 out of every 6 employees in the drug industry is a scientist, engineer, or
technician.
After laboratory screening, a clini­
cal investigation, or trial of the drug
on human patients, is made. Supplies
ing machines. The mixed ingredients sist p h a rm a c ists in ch e ck in g for
of the drug are given to a small group
may then be m echanically capsul- outdated products.
of doctors who adm inister it to care­
fully selected consenting patients. ized, pressed into tablets, or made
A drug may undergo hundreds of
The patients are then observed close­ into solutions. One type of machine, complex, time-consuming quality
ly and special studies made to deter­ fo r e x a m p le , a u to m a tic a lly fills, control checks at various stages d u r­
mine the d ru g ’s effect. If a drug seals, and stam ps capsules. O th er ing the m anufacturing process to in­
m achines fill bottles with capsules,
pro v es u sefu l, a rra n g e m e n ts are
sure th at it conform s to spe ificatablets, or liquids, and seal, label, and
made for m ore tests with a larger
tio n s. A lth o u g h som e in sp ectio n
package the bottles.
group of physicians.
Quality assurance 6r control is vi­ operations are mechanized, many are
Once a drug has successfully
tal in this industry. A quality control perform ed manually.
passed animal and clinical tests,
The pharm aceutical industry is
problems of production methods and system involves selection and train­ closely regulated. The Food and
ing of personnel; product design; es­
costs must be worked out before
Drug Administration (FD A ) has le­
manufacturing begins. If the original tablishm ent of specifications, proce­
gal authority to inspect m anufactur­
d u r e s , a n d t e s t s ; d e s ig n a n d
laboratory process of preparing and
ing plants, test drugs and examine
compounding the ingredients is com ­ m aintenance of facilities and equip­
drug imports, and m onitor drug re­
plex and ex pensive, p h arm acists, ment; selection of materials; and rec­
search, testing, developm ent, m ar­
chemists, chemical engineers, pack­ ordkeeping. In an effective system,
all these aspects of quality control keting, and consum ption.
aging engineers, and production spe­
cialists are assigned to develop pro­ are evaluated on a regular basis, and
Occupations in the Industry
cesses eco n o m ically ad a p ta b le to modified and improved when appro­
priate. Q uality-conscious m anufac­
mass production.
Employees with many different
Drug m anufacturers have devel­ turers may assign one of every six
oped a high degree of autom ation in production workers to quality assur­ levels of skill and education work in
many production operations. Milling ance functions alone, while all other the drug industry. A bout half are in
and m icronizing m achines (which employees may devote part of their white-collar jobs (scientific, techni­
pulverize substances into extremely time to these functions. For example, cal, a d m in istra tiv e , c le ric a l, and
although p harm aceutical com pany sales), a m uch higher p ro p o rtio n
fine p articles) are used to reduce
bulk chemicals to the required size. representatives called detailers p ri­ than in most other m anufacturing in­
These finished chem icals are com ­ marily work in m arketing, they en ­ dustries; the other half are in plant
bined and processed further in mix­ gage in quality control when they as­ jo b s (p ro c e s s in g o r p ro d u c tio n ,



648

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Biologist conducts tests that monitor the effect of different compounds on heart muscle.

m a in te n a n c e , tra n s p o rta tio n , and
service).
S om e o f th e im p o rtan t o c c u p a ­
tions are described briefly below. D e­
ta ile d d iscu ssio n s o f professional,
tech n ical, clerical, and o th er occupa­
tions found in drug m anufacturing, as
well as in o th er industries, are given
elsew here in the Handbook.
Scientific and Technical Occupations.
A b o u t one o u t o f every six em ploy­
ees in th e industry is a scientist, engi­




neer, or tech n ic ia n —a far g re ater
proportion than in most other indus­
tries. The majority do research to d e ­
velop new drug p ro d u c ts. O th ers
work to stream line production m eth­
ods and improve environm ental and
quality control.
Chemists (D.O.T. 022.081) m ake
up the largest group o f scientific and
technical personnel in the industry.
Organic chemists com bine new com ­
pounds for biological testing. Phys­
ical chem ists separate and identify

su b sta n c e s, d e te rm in e m o le c u la r
structure, help to create new com ­
pounds, and improve m anufacturing
processes. Biochemists study the ac­
tio n o f drugs on body processes.
R adiochem ists trace the course of
drugs through body organs and tis­
sues. P harm aceutical chem ists set
standards and specifications for the
form of products and for storage co n ­
ditions and see that labeling and lit­
e ra tu re m eet the req u irem en ts of
State and Federal laws. Analytical
chemists test raw and interm ediate
m aterials and finished products for
quality.
Several thousand biological scien­
tists (D.O.T. 041.081, .181) work in
the drug industry. Biologists and b ac­
teriologists study the effect of chem i­
cal agents on infected animals. Mi­
c r o b i o l o g i s t s g ro w s t r a i n s o f
microorganisms which produce an ti­
biotics. Physiologists investigate the
effect o f drugs on body functions and
vital processes. Pharm acologists and
zoologists study the effect o f drugs
on animals. Virologists grow viruses,
develop vaccines, and test them in
animals. Botanists, with their special
knowledge of plant life, contribute to
the discovery of botanical ingredi­
ents for drugs. O ther biological sci­
e n tists in clu d e p ath o lo g ists, w ho
study norm al and abnormal cells or
tissues, and toxicologists, who are
co ncerned with the safety, dosage
levels, and the com patibility of dif­
feren t drugs. Pharm acists perform
research in pro d u ct developm ent,
studying many forms o f medicines at
various stages of production. Some
set specifications for the purchase
and m anufacture of m aterials, and
handle correspondence relating to
products. Drug m anufacturers also
employ physicians and veterinarians.
Engineers account for a small frac­
tion of scientific and technical w ork­
ers, but m ake significant contribu­
tio n s to w a rd im p ro v in g q u a lity
control and production efficiency.
C h e m ic a l e n g in e e r s ( D .O .T .
008.081) design equipm ent and d e­
vise m anufacturing processes. Indus­
trial engineers (D .O .T . 0 1 2 .0 8 1 ,
.168, .1 8 7 , .188, and .281) plan
equipm ent layout and workflow to
maintain efficient use of plant facili­
ties. Mechanical engineers (D .O .T.
007.081, .151, .181, and .187) co o r­

OCCUPATIONS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY

dinate the installation and m ainte­
nance of sterilizing, heating, cooling,
humidifying, and ventilating equip­
ment.
Technicians
(D .O .T.
073.381,
078.128, .168, .281, .381, and .687)
represent about one-third of the drug
industry’s scientific and technical
workers. Laboratory tests play an
im portant part in the detection and
diagnosis o f disease and in the dis­
co v ery o f m ed icin es. L a b o ra to ry
technicians perform these tests under
the d irectio n o f scientists in such
areas as bacteriology, biochem istry,
microbiology, virology (the study of
viruses), and cytology (analysis of
cells).
Administrative, Clerical, and Related
Occupations. About 1 out of every 3
workers in drug m anufacturing is in
an adm inistrative, clerical, or other
office job. At the top o f the adminis­
trative group are the executives who
m ake policy decisions concerning
m atters o f finance, m arketing, and
research. O ther adm inistrative and
executive workers include account­
ants, lawyers, purchasing agents, p er­
sonnel and labor relations workers,
public relations workers, economists,
technical writers, com puter special­
ists, and advertising and m arketing
research workers. Clerical em ploy­
ees include secretaries, typists, office
m achine operators, and others who
keep records on personnel, payroll,
raw m aterials, sales, shipm ents, and
plant m aintenance.
Pharmaceutical detailers (D.O.T.
266.158), often called pharm aceuti­
cal sales rep resen tativ es, describe
their com panies’ products to physi­
c ia n s, p h a rm a c ists, d e n tists, and
health services adm inistrators, and
serve as lines o f com m unication be­
tween their com panies and clients.
Plant Occupations. Nearly half of the
industry’s em ployees work in plant
jobs. The majority o f these workers
can be divided into three m ajor occu­
pational groups: production or pro­
cessing w orkers, who op erate the
drug-producing equipm ent; m ainte­
nance workers, who install, m aintain,
and repair this equipm ent; and ship­
ping clerks, truckdrivers, and m ateri­
al handlers, who help transport the
drugs.




649

Various types of chem ical opera­
tors are involved in the production of
p h a rm a c e u tic a l p re p a ra tio n s and
biological products. Pharmaceutical
operators (D.O.T. 559.782) control
m achines that produce tablets, cap­
sules, ointm ents, and m edicinal solu­
tions. Granulator machine operators
(D.O.T. 559.782) tend milling and
grinding m achines that reduce mix­
tures to particles o f designated sizes.
Compounders (D.O.T. 550.885) tend
tanks and kettles in which solutions
are mixed and com pounded to m ake
up cream s, ointm ents, liquid m edica­
tio n s, an d po w d ers. C om pressors
(D.O.T. 556.782) operate m achines
that com press ingredients into tab ­
lets. Pill and tablet coaters (D.O.T.
554.782), often called capsule co at­
ers, control a battery o f m achines
that apply coatings to tablets which
flavor, color, preserve, add m edica­
tion, or control disintegration time.
Tablet testers (D.O.T. 559.687) in­
spect tablets for hardness, chippage,
and weight to assure conform ity with
specifications.
Ampoule fillers (D.O.T. 559.885)
operate m achines that fill small glass
containers with m easured doses of
liquid drug products. Ampoule exam ­
iners (D.O.T. 559.687) examine the
am poules for discoloration, foreign
particles, and flaws in the glass.
After the drug product is prepared
and inspected, it is bottled or pack­
aged. Most of the packaging and b o t­
tle filling jobs are done by semiskilled
workers who operate m achines that
m easure exact am ounts of the prod­
uct and seal containers.
The drug industry employs many
skilled m aintenance workers to as­
sure th at production equipm ent is
operating properly and to prevent
costly breakdowns. Included am ong
m aintenance workers are pow erplant
o p erato rs who are responsible for
high pressure boilers, turbogenera­
to rs , c o m p re s s o rs , re frig e r a tio n
equipm ent, and plant w ater systems;
elec trician s who install, m aintain,
and repair the various types o f elec­
trical equipm ent; plum bers who in­
stall and m aintain heating, plumbing,
and pum ping system s; m achinists
who m ake and repair metal parts for
m achines and equipm ent; and instru­
m ent repairers who periodically in­
spect instrum ents and controls and

re p a ir o r re p la ce m alfunctio n in g
parts. Drug firms also employ pipefit­
ters, m illw rights, and many o th er
skilled workers.
Plant workers who do not operate
or m aintain equipm ent perform a va­
riety o f o th e r tasks. Som e drive
trucks to m ake deliveries to other
parts of the plant; some load and un­
load trucks and railroad cars; others
keep inventory records. The industry
also employs service workers, such as
guards, cooks, and janitors, whose
duties are similar to those of such
workers in other industries.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Training requirem ents for jobs in
the drug industry range from a few
hours of on-the-job training to years
of formal educational preparation
plus job experience. Because quality
control is of param ount im portance,
the drug industry places a heavy em ­
phasis on continuing education for
employees, and many firms provide
classroom training in safety, environ­
m ental and quality controls, and o th ­
er areas.
For production and m aintenance
occupations, drug m anufacturers
generally hire inexperienced workers
and train them on the job; high
school graduation is not essential but
generally is preferred by most firms.
Beginners in production jobs assist
experienced workers and learn the
operation of the processing equip­
m ent. W ith experience, employees
may advance to more skilled jobs in
th e ir d e p a rtm e n ts. M ost m a in te ­
nance jobs are filled by people who
s ta r t as h e lp e rs to e le c tric ia n s ,
plum bers, machinists, and other craft
workers.
Many com panies encourage p ro ­
duction and m aintenance workers to
take courses related to their jobs in
local schools and technical institutes,
o r to e n ro ll in c o rre s p o n d e n c e
courses. College courses in chemistry
and related areas are particularly en­
couraged for highly skilled produc­
tion w orkers who operate sophisti­
cated equipm ent. Some com panies
reim burse the workers for part, or
all, of the tuition. Skilled production
and m aintenance workers with lead­
ership ability may advance to super­
visory positions.

650

For technicians in the drug indus­
try, m ethods of qualifying for jobs
vary in many ways. Some technicians
en ter the field with a high school
education and advance to jobs of
g reater responsibility with ex p eri­
ence and additional formal educa­
tion. However, com panies increas­
ingly p re fe r to hire g rad u ates o f
technical institutes or junior colleges,
or those who have com pleted college
courses in chemistry, biology, m athe­
m atics, o r en g in ee rin g . In m any
Firms, newly hired workers begin as
laboratory helpers or aides, perform ­
ing routine jobs such as cleaning and
arranging bottles, test tubes, and o th ­
er equipm ent.
The experience required for higher
levels of technician jobs varies from
company to company. Generally,
employees advance over a num ber of
years from assistant technician, to
technician, to senior technician, to
technical associate. Some companies
require senior technicians and tech ­
nical associates to com plete job-re­
lated college courses.
For most scientific and engineer­
ing jobs, a bachelor of science degree
is the minimum requirem ent. Some
companies have formal training pro­
grams for college graduates with en­
gineering and scientific backgrounds.
These trainees work for brief periods
in the various divisions of the plant to
gain a b ro a d know ledge o f drug
m a n u fa c tu rin g o p e ra tio n s b efo re
being assigned to a particular depart­
ment. In o ther firms, newly employed
scientists and engineers are immedi­
ately assigned to a specific activity
such as research, process develop­
m ent, p ro d u c tio n , or sales. Drug
m anufacturing com panies prefer to
hire college graduates, particularly
those with strong scientific backgounds, as pharm aceutical detailers.
Newly em p lo y ed p h a rm a c e u tic a l
re p resen ta tiv e s com p lete rigorous
formal training program s revolving
aro u n d th e ir c o m p a n ie s’ p ro d u c t
lines.
Job prospects and advancem ent
usually are best for professionals with
advanced degrees. Over half of all
professionals involved in research
and developm ent have a doctoral or
m aster’s degree. Some com panies of­
fer training programs to help scien­
tists and engineers keep abreast of




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

new developm ents in their fields and
to d e v e lo p a d m in istra tiv e skills.
These programs may include m eet­
ings and seminars with consultants
from various fields. Many companies
encourage scientists and engineers to
further their education; some p ro ­
vide financial assistance for this p u r­
pose. Publication of scientific papers
also is encouraged.

Employment Outlook
Drug m anufacturing em ploym ent
is expected to grow about as fast as
the average for all industries through
the m id-1980’s. In addition to em ­
ployment growth, many job openings
will result from deaths, retirem ents,
and other separations from the labor
force.
The dem and for drug products is
expected to grow very rapidly. D e­
mand will be stimulated primarily by
population growth, particularly the
growing num ber of older people who
require m ore health care services,
and by the growth of public and pri­
v ate h e a lth in su ra n c e p ro g ram s,
which generally cover the cost o f
drugs and medicine. Adoption of a
national health insurance program
could further expand the m arket for
drugs. O ther factors that are expect­
ed to increase the dem and for drugs
include greater personal income, the
rising health consciousness of the

general public, and the discovery of
new drugs. A continued rise in for­
eign drug sales, particularly to devel­
oping countries with m ounting health
care requirem ents, also is anticipat­
ed.
The industry’s em ploym ent will
not increase as rapidly as the dem and
for drug products, however, because
technological im provem ents in p ro­
duction methods will increase output
per w orker. The m ore w idespread
use of autom atic processing and co n ­
trol equipm ent in operations form er­
ly done by hand will tend to reduce
labor requirem ents, particularly in
p lan ts w here com m on drugs are
m ass-produced. For example, mixing
and g ran u latin g p ro cesses, w hich
p re c e d e ta b le tin g , have b ec o m e
co m p le te ly m e c h a n iz e d in som e
plants. In addition, com puters in­
creasingly are used in quality control
systems to eliminate com putational
errors in analysis and testing and to
speed up production and shipment.
Com puters, thus, have tended to take
over some of the tasks of profession­
al, technical, and production w ork­
ers.
The rate of em ploym ent growth
over the last few decades is not ex­
pected to continue. Only m oderate
increases are anticipated in the num ­
ber of scientists, engineers, and tech ­
nicians engaged in pharm aceutical
research and developm ent. Increas­

651

OCCUPATIONS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY

ingly restrictive government regula­
tions have reduced the rate of return
on investment in research and devel­
opment, and, as a result, drug m anu­
facturers are expected to limit future
expansion in this area. Demand for
skilled m aintenance workers (such as
electrician s, m achinists, plum bers,
and in stru m en t re p a ire rs) will be
spurred by the need to service the
growing am ount of autom atic pro­
cessing and control equipm ent. Em­
ployment of administrative and cleri­
cal workers is expected to increase
m o d erately . D em and for laborers
and many semiskilled plant occupa­
tions is not expected to increase sig­
nificantly, as m ore processes are
adapted to au to m atic equipm ent.
However, dem and for highly skilled
production workers to operate the
increasingly sophisticated equipm ent
used in drug m anufacturing is ex­
pected to rise.
Unlike many other manufacturing
industries, drug industry employment
is not highly sensitive to changes in
economic conditions. Thus, even
during periods of high unem ploy­
ment, work is likely to be relatively
stable in the drug industry.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Earnings of plant workers in the
drug industry are higher than the
average for all m anufacturing indus­
tries. For example, in 1976, produc­




tion workers in the drug industry av­
eraged $5.50 an hour, while those in
m anufacturing as a whole averaged
$5.19 an hour.
According to a 1973 Bureau of
Labor Statistics Survey, earnings of
office employees in the drug m anu­
facturing industry were 68 percent
higher than earnings for production
w orkers. Earnings generally w ere
highest in the North C entral Region
and lowest in the South. Employees
generally received bonuses, vacation
and sick leave, paid holidays, life,
h e a lth , an d a c c id e n t in s u ra n c e ,
w orkers’ com pensation, and retire­
ment plans.
National wage data are not avail­
able for individual occupations in the
drug industry. However, statem ents
on sp ec ific o c c u p a tio n s, such as
chemist, pharm acist, and technician,
found in other parts of the Handbook,
will give general earnings inform a­
tion.
Some em ployees work in plants
that operate around the clock— 3
shifts a day, 7 days a week. In most
plants, workers receive extra pay
when assigned to second or third
shifts. Since drug production is sub­
ject to little seasonal variation, work
is steady.
W orking conditions in drug plants
are better than in most other m anu­
facturing plants. M uch emphasis is
placed on keeping equipm ent and
work areas clean because of the dan­
ger of contam ination 6f drugs. Plants

usually are a ir-co n d itio n e d , welllighted, and quiet. V entilation sys­
tem s p ro te c t w o rk ers from d u st,
fumes, and disagreeable odors. Spe­
cial precautions are taken to protect
the relatively small num ber of em ­
ployees who work with infectious
cultures and poisonous chem icals.
W ith the exception o f work p e r­
form ed by m aterial handlers and
m aintenance workers, most jobs re­
quire little physical effort. The fre­
quency and severity of injuries in
drug m anufacturing has been about
half the average for all m anufactur­
ing industries.
Some of the industry’s production
and m aintenance employees are
members of labor unions. The princi­
pal unions in the industry are the Oil,
Chemical and Atomic W orkers Inter­
n atio n al U nion; the In tern atio n al
Chemical W orkers Union; and U nit­
ed Steel W orkers of America.

Sources of Additional
Information
For additonal information about
careers in drug manufacturing and
the industry in general, write to the
personnel departm ents of individual
drug m anufacturing companies and
to:
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association,
1155 Fifteenth St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20005.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE
ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY

An astronaut, a doctor, a m echan­
ic, and a business executive all have
something in common; without elec­
tronic devices they would be unable
to do much of their work. We would
never have reached the moon with­
out the thousands of people working
in electronics research and produc­
tion. Nor would doctors be able to
diagnose and tre a t m any diseases
without m odern electronic machines.
M ech an ics use e le c tro n ic testin g
equipm ent to locate m alfunctioning
parts in num erous types of machines
and engines. Business executives also
owe a lot to electronics. Electronic
c o m p u te rs, for ex am p le, provide
them with better and m ore inform a­
tion, speed up payroll and building
procedures, and reduce the cost of
their operations.

space guidance systems, com m unica­
tions systems, and other electronic
goods used in m edicine, education,
crime detection, and traffic control.
Industrial purchases include com put­
ers, radio and television broadcasting
e q u ip m e n t, te le c o m m u n ic a tio n s

equipm ent, electronic office equip­
ment, and production control equip­
m ent—all vital to daily business op­
erations.
Consum er products are probably
the most familiar types of electronic
products. Every day thousands of
people buy television sets, radios,
stereos, and calculators. No electron­
ic products could be developed, how­
ever, without their main ingredient—
com ponents. Some o f the most wellknown com ponents are capacitors,
switches, transistors, relays, televi­
sion picture tubes, and amplifiers.
About 1.4 million persons were
employed in the developm ent, pro-

Nature and Location of the
Industry
The electronics industry dates
back to the early 1900’s when the
first radios were produced. By 1930,
the industry had ex panded its re ­
search to include, for example, the
developm ent of crude television pic­
tures in color. It wasn’t until World
W ar II, how ever, th a t electronics
production really began to diversify.
Efforts to develop a wide range of
military products resulted in scientif­
ic advances such as electronic m ea­
suring and detecting equipm ent, air
flight c o n tro l eq u ip m ent, and the
digital com puter. Today, the industry
produces about 30,000 types of elec­
tronic goods.
The electronics industry is divided
into four main m arket areas: govern­
m ent products, industrial products,
c o n su m e r p ro d u c ts , an d c o m p o ­
nents. Products sold to the govern­
ment make up a large portion of elec­
tro n ic sa le s and in c lu d e w idely
different item s such as missile and
652



Most electronics products are assem bled by hand with sm all tools, soldering irons, and
light w elding m achines.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY

duction, and sales o f these products
in 1976. N early th re e -q u a rte rs o f
them worked in plants that produce
end products for governm ent, indus­
trial, and co n su m er use. T he rest
worked in plants th at m ade electron­
ic com ponents.
E lectronics m anufacturing w ork­
ers are lo cated in all parts o f the
country, but the m ajority of the jobs
in 1976 were in eight States: C alifor­
nia, New York, Illinois, M assachu­
setts, P ennsylvania, Indiana, New
Je rse y , an d T ex as. M e tro p o lita n
areas with large num bers of electron­
ics m anufacturing w orkers include
Los Angeles, C hicago, New Y ork,
Philadelphia, Newark, Boston, Balti­
m ore, Indianapolis, and Dallas.

Occupations in the Industry
A wide variety o f jobs exists in the
electronics m anufacturing industry.
M ore than half o f all w orkers are in
plant jobs that include production,
m aintenance, transportation, and
service occupations. T he rest are sci­
entists, engineers, and other techni­
cal w o rk e rs, an d a d m in istra tiv e ,
clerical, and sales workers.
Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. T he electronics industry is d e­
pen d en t on research and develop­
ment. As a result, a large proportion
o f its w orkers are in engineering, sci­
entific, and other technical jobs. En­
gineers and scientists alone m ake up
about one out o f every nine electron­
ics workers.
Scientists in the electronics indus­
try work in a num ber o f areas. Many
are involved in pure research—learn­
ing about why and how things react
the way they do. Some apply this in­
form ation to develop processes or
products.
Physicists work with solid-state
m aterials. They may develop uses for
sem iconductors and design integrat­
ed circuits for satellites. C hem ists
and m etallurgists work mainly in m a­
terials preparation and testing, but
also work in research and develop­
m ent o f new processes. M athem ati­
cians and statisticians use com puter
models to assist engineers and scien­
tists on com plex m athem atical and
statistical problems, especially in the
design of military and space equip­




m ent and com puters. S tatisticians
also are em ployed in quality control,
p ro d u c tio n sch ed u lin g , and sales
analysis and planning.
Engineers use their knowledge of
m athem atics and science to develop
new products, processes, procedures,
or systems to solve problem s. E lectri­
cal and electro n ics engineers, the
largest group o f engineers in the in­
dustry, work on research and devel­
opm ent, production, and quality co n ­
tr o l p ro b le m s . M o st o f th e s e
engineers are highly specialized and
may work in a specific area such as
the design and im plem entation o f
solid-state circuitry in radar, com put­
ers, and calculators.
M echanical engineers help devel­
op new products, tools, and equip­
m ent by setting requirem ents for the
strength o f m aterials and designs.
They may, for example, develop cal­
culators and television antennas. In­
d u stria l e n g in e e rs d e te rm in e th e
m ost efficient m ethods to produce
these products. They evaluate plant
layout, m achinery, and the num ber
and type of personnel utilized in the
plant, and m ake suggestions to lower
cost and increase production.
C hem ical, m etallurgical, and c e ­
ramic engineers also work for elec­
tronics com panies. C hem ical engi­
neers may design chem ical plants
and processes while metallurgical en ­
gineers determ ine the most efficient
way to use metals in the com pany’s
products.
Industrial designers design the ex­
teriors o f electronic products. W hen
designing a television set, for exam ­
ple, they must insure that all com po­
nents fit, that the set is easy to use
and repair, and that it is attractive
enough to com pete with others on
the m arket.
T echnicians—such as electronics
technicians, drafters, engineering
aides, laboratory technicians, and
m athem atical assistants—make up
about 1 out o f every 20 electronics
m anufacturing workers. Many elec­
tronics technicians help engineers
design and build experim ental m od­
els. They also set up and repair elec­
tronic equipm ent for custom ers. Othe r e le c tr o n ic s te c h n ic ia n s d o
com plex in sp ectio n and assem bly
w o rk . D ra fte rs p re p a re d e ta ile d
drawings from sketches or specifica­

653

tions fu rn ish ed by engineers th at
show the exact dimensions of the en­
tire object and its parts.
Engineering aides assist engineers
by making calculations, sketches,
and drawings, and testing electronic
com ponents and systems. Laboratory
technicians help physicists, chemists,
and engineers in laboratory analyses
and experim ents. M athem atical as­
sistants follow procedures outlined
by m athem aticians to solve p ro b ­
lems. They also operate test equip­
m ent to develop com puters and o th ­
er electronic products.
Technical writers prepare training
and technical m anuals that describe
the operation and m aintenance of
electronic equipm ent. They also p re­
pare catalogs, product literature, and
contract proposals. Technical illus­
trators draw pictures of electronic
equipm ent for technical publications
and sales literature.
Administrative, Clerical, and Related
Occupations. About one out of four
workers in electronics m anufacturing
has an administrative or other office
job. Administrative workers include
purchasing agents, sales executives,
personnel specialists, advertising
workers, and m arket researchers.
Secretaries, typists, and business m a­
chine operators are among the thou­
sands o f other office workers em ­
p lo y e d by e le c tro n ic s firm s. A
growing proportion of these office
workers operate computers.
Plant Occupations. About half of
electronics m anufacturing em ploy­
ees work in plant operations: assem­
bly, capacitor and coil winding, in­
sp e c tin g , m achining, fa b ricatin g ,
processing, and m aintenance.
A s s e m b ly O c c u p a tio n s (D .O .T .
7 2 9 .8 8 4 , 7 2 0 .8 8 4 , 726.781 an d
.884). Assemblers, most of whom are
sem iskilled w orkers, m ake up the
largest group of employees. Most end
products are assembled by hand with
small tools, soldering irons, and light
welding m achines. Assem blers use
diagram s to guide their work. Some
assem bly is done by following in­
structions presented on color slides
and tape recordings. Color slide p ro ­
jectors flash a picture of an assembly
sequence on a screen, while the as-

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

654

to m ake grids (devices in tubes that
control the flow of electrons). O ther
fa b ric a tin g w o rk e rs in c lu d e coil
winders (D.O.T. 724.781 and .884),
crystal grinders and finishers (D.O.T.
726.884), and punch press operators
(D.O.T. 617.885).

About h alf of electron ics m anufacturing em p loyees w ork in plant occupations.

sem bler listens to reco rd e d d ire c ­
tions.
Precision assem blers and electron­
ics tech n ician s install com ponents
and subassem blies in com plex prod­
ucts such as missiles. They also help
m ake experim ental models. M ost o f
these w orkers are em ployed in the
m anufacture o f military and industri­
al electronic equipm ent.
M achines are used in some assem ­
bly work. For exam ple, in putting to ­
gether circuit boards, autom atic m a­
chines o ften are used to position
com ponents on boards and to solder
co n n ectio n s. H ere the assem blers
work as m achine operators or load­
ers. M ost com ponents are put togeth­
er by m achines, since their assembly
involves simple and repetitive o p era­
tions. Even some types of m iniatur­
ized sem iconductors and other com ­
p o n e n ts , m ad e w ith p a r ts sm all
enough to pass through a n eed le’s
eye, are assembled by machines.
Hand assembly is needed for some
items, such as receiving tubes and
some types o f resistors and diodes.
Hand assemblers may perform only a
single operation as com ponents
move down the production line, but
some put together com plete com po­
nents. Tiny parts often are assembled




under magnifying lenses or m icro­
scopes. Precision welding equipm ent
may be used to weld connections in
m icrom iniature com ponents and cir­
cuit assemblies.
Machining Occupations. M achining
workers are needed in most electron­
ics m anufacturing plants, particularly
for m ilitary, space, and industrial
p ro d u cts. M achine-tool o p e ra to rs
and machinists m ake precise metal
parts. Toolm akers construct and re ­
pair jigs and fixtures that hold m etal
while it is being stam ped, shaped, o r
drilled. Diem akers build metal forms
(dies) used in stam ping and forging
metal.
Fabricating Occupations. Fabricating
workers are em ployed in many elec­
tro n ics m an u factu rin g plants, b u t
most are in plants that m ake industri­
al p ro d u c ts. S h eet-m etal w orkers
make fram es, chassis, and cabinets.
Glass blowers and glass lathe opera­
tors (D .O .T. 674.782) m ake tubes
for ex p e rim en tatio n and d ev e lo p ­
m ent work.
In electron tube m anufacturing,
special fabricating workers are em ­
ployed. For exam ple, grid lathe op­
erators (D.O.T. 725.884) wind fine
wire around two heavy parallel wires

Processing Occupations. Many elec­
tronics w orkers process or prepare
parts for assembly. Electroplaters and
tinners (D.O.T. 501.885) coat parts
w ith m e ta l; a n o d iz e r s ( D .O .T .
501.782) treat these parts in electro­
lytic and chemical baths to prevent
corrosion. O ther processing workers
also coat electronic com ponents with
waxes, oils, plastics, o r other m ateri­
als. Some operate m achines that en­
case m icrom iniature com ponents in
plastic. Silk screen printers (D.O.T.
726.887) print patterns on circuit
boards and on parts o f electronic
com ponents. Etching equipment op­
erators (D.O.T. 590.885) do chem i­
cal e tc h in g o f c o p p e r on c irc u it
boards.
Operators o f infrared ovens and hy­
drogen furnaces (D.O.T. 590.885) re­
move m oisture and foreign deposits
from ceram ic, metal, and glass parts.
In tube m anufacturing, exhaust op­
erators (D.O.T. 725.884) and sealers
(D.O.T. 692.885) operate gas flame
m achines that clear tubes o f im puri­
ties, exhaust the gas, and seal the
tubes.
Inspection Occupations. Inspection
begins when raw m aterials enter the
plant and continues through m anu­
facturing. Some inspection jobs re­
quire elec tro n ics tech n ician s who
have years of experience. These jobs
are com m only found in complex p ro ­
duction work such as the m anufac­
ture o f com puters and spacecraft.
M ost inspectors, how ever, do not
need extensive technical training.
Some inspectors check incoming
parts and com ponents supplied by
other firms. They may have job titles
that indicate the work they do, such
as incom ing m aterials inspector or
plating inspector.
D uring m a n u fa c tu rin g , c o m p o ­
nents are either checked manually by
workers using test m eters or routed
m echanically through autom atic test
equipm ent. Although many of these
w orkers simply are called testers,

655

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY

others have job titles that reflect the
type o f co m p o n en ts they inspect,
such as tran sfo rm er-tester or coiltester. Some au to m atic equipm ent
can check com ponents, produce a
punched tape of the results, and sort
the c o m p o n en ts in to b a tc h e s for
shipping. W orkers who feed or m oni­
tor autom atic equipm ent often are
called test-set o p erators or testingm achine operators.
Electronic assembly
inspectors
(D .O .T . 722.281) exam ine assem ­
bled products to m ake certain that
they conform to blueprints and speci­
fications. They inspect wiring, elec­
trical connections, and other critical
items to m ake sure everything will
work properly.
Maintenance Occupations. Many
workers repair and m aintain m achin­
ery and equipm ent. Skilled electri­
cians are responsible for the proper
o p eratio n of electrical equipm ent;
m achine and eq u ip m en t rep airers
m ake m echanical repairs; m ain te­
nance machinists and welders build
and repair equipm ent and fixtures.
A ir-co n d itio n in g and refrigeration
m echanics work in air-conditioned
plants th at have special refrigerated
and dust free rooms to protect sensi­
tive parts. Painters, plum bers, pipe­
fitters, carpenters, and sheet-m etal
workers also are em ployed in elec­
tronics plants.
Other Plant Occupations. Many
workers move and handle materials.
Forklift operators stack crates in
warehouses, and load and unload
trucks and boxcars. Truckdrivers
move freight outside the plant. The
industry also employs guards and
janitors.
(D e tailed discussions o f profes­
sional, tech n ical, m echanical, and
other occupations, found not only in
electronics m anufacturing plants, but
also in oth er industries, are presented
elsew here in the Handbook in sec­
tions covering the individual occupa­
tions.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Training requirem ents for jobs in
electronics m anufacturing plants
range from a few hours o f on-the-job
training to years o f specialized prep­




aration. Beginning engineering jobs
usually are filled by recent college
graduates, but some positions call for
advanced degrees. A small num ber
of workers without college degrees,
however, are upgraded to profession­
al engineering classifications from
o c c u p a tio n s such as en g in ee rin g
assistant and electronics technician.
W orkers who becom e engineers in
this way usually take advanced elec­
tronics courses in night school or in
other training programs. To keep up
with new developm ents and to qual­
ify for prom otion, professional and
technical personnel obtain additional
training, read technical publications,
and a tte n d lectures and technical
dem onstrations.
Almost all m athem aticians, physi­
cists, and other scientists employed
in electro n ics m anufacturing have
college degrees; most have advanced
degrees.
T echnicians generally need sp e­
cialized training to qualify for their
jobs. Most electronics technicians a t­
te n d e ith e r a p u b lic, p riv ate , o r
A rm ed F o rc e s te c h n ic a l sch o o l.
Some com plete 1 or 2 years of col­
lege in a scientific or engineering
field , an d som e re ceiv e train in g
through a 3 - or 4-year apprenticeship
program. High school graduates who
have had courses in m athem atics and
science are preferred for apprentice­
ship programs.
Som e w orkers advance to e le c ­
tro n ic s te c h n ic ia n positions from
jo b s such as te ste r o r lab o ra to ry
assistant. A relatively small num ber
of plantw orkers becom e technicians.
O pportunities for advancem ent are
im proved by taking courses either in
c o m p a n y -o p e ra te d classe s, n ig h t
school, junior college, or technical
school, or by correspondence.
Electronics technicians need good
color vision, manual dexterity, and
good eye-hand coordination. Some
technicians who test radio transm it­
ting equipm ent m ust hold licenses
from the Federal C om m unications
Commission as first- or second-class
com m ercial radio-telephone o p era­
tors.
Drafters usually take courses in
drafting at a trade or technical
school; a few have com pleted a 3- o r
4-year apprenticeship. Under an in­
formal arrangem ent with their em ­

ployers, some qualify for both onth e - jo b tr a in in g a n d p a r t- tim e
schooling. Because many drafters in
this industry must understand the ba­
sic principles of electronic circuits,
they should study basic electronic
theory.
Technical writers must have a flair
for writing and usually are required
to have some technical training. Em ­
ployers prefer to hire those who have
had some technical institute or col­
lege training in science or engineer­
ing. Many, however, have college de­
grees in English or journalism and
receive their technical training on
the job and by attending companyoperated evening classes. Technical
illustrators usually have attended art
or design schools.
Many tool and diem akers, m achin­
ists, e le c tric ia n s, and o th e r craft
workers learn their trades by com ­
pleting a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship;
others are upgraded from help ers’
jobs.
Formal training is not necessary
for workers entering plant jobs, but a
high school diploma or its equivalent
is som etimes required. Job applicants
may have to pass aptitude tests and
dem onstrate skill for particular types
o f work. A short period of on-the-job
training generally is provided for in­
ex perienced w orkers. Assem blers,
testers, and inspectors need good vi­
sion, good color perception, manual
dexterity, and patience.
Requirem ents for administrative
and other office jobs are similar to
those in other industries. Some be­
ginning administrative jobs are open
only to college graduates with de­
grees in business adm inistration, law,
accounting, or engineering. For cleri­
cal jobs, em ployers usually prefer
high school graduates with training in
stenography, typing, bookkeeping,
and office machines.

Employment Outlook
Em ployment growth patterns will
vary among the different sectors of
the industry. While employment in
some areas is expected to grow faster
than the average for all industries
through the m id-1980’s, employm ent
in other areas either will grow m ore
slowly o r possibly decline. In addi­
tion to the jobs resulting from em ­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

656

ploym ent growth, large num bers of
openings will arise in all areas as ex­
perienced workers retire, die, or take
jobs in oth er industries.
Production of industrial electronic
products will increase as business ex­
ecutives buy m ore com puters and
other electronic equipm ent to au to ­
m ate p a p e r w ork and p ro d u c tio n
p ro c esses. B usiness sp en d in g fo r
electronic com m unication and test­
ing eq u ip m en t also will grow. A l­
though the dem and for television re ­
ceivers, video tape recorders, stereo
system s, calcu lato rs, and two-way
car radios will rise as population and
personal incomes grow, the increas­
ing level o f im ports may adversely
affect production. As a result, em ­
ploym ent in this industry may d e ­
cline. G overnm ent purchases for d e­
fense will continue to account for a
la rg e p r o p o r tio n o f e le c tr o n ic s
m anufacturing output. An increasing
share o f governm ent purchases, how­
ever, is likely to be for electronic
equipm ent used in m edicine, energy
conservation, education, and pollu­
tion abatem ent.
Em ploym ent in the electronics in­
dustry may fluctuate from year to
year, because o f changes in econom ­
ic activity and defense spending. As a
result, jo b openings may be plentiful
in some years, scarce in others.
The rates o f em ploym ent growth
also will vary am ong occupational
groups and individual occupations.
For exam ple, em ploym ent of skilled
m aintenance workers and service
technicians is expected to rise at a
more rapid rate than total em ploy­
m ent because o f the need to repair
the increasing am ounts of com plex
m achinery used to produce goods, or
sold to con su m ers. O n the o th e r
h an d , em p lo y m en t o f assem blers




probably will rise at a slower rate
because of the growing m echaniza­
tion and autom ation o f assembly-line
operations.
Em ploym ent o f engineers, scien­
tists, and technicians is expected to
increase faster than total em ploy­
m ent, because of continued high ex­
penditures for research and develop­
m ent and the m anufacture of m ore
com plex products. Am ong profes­
sional and tech n ical w orkers, the
g reatest dem and will be for engi­
neers, particularly those who have a
b ackground in ce rtain specialized
fields, such as quantum m echanics,
solid-state circuitry, product design,
and industrial engineering. Many o p ­
portunities also will be available for
engineers in sales departm ents b e­
cause the industry’s products will re ­
quire sales p erso n n el w ith highly
technical backgrounds. The dem and
for m athem aticians and physicists
will be particularly good because o f
expanding research in com puter and
laser technology.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
As shown in the accom panying ta ­
ble, in 1976 electronics production
workers who m ade products for gov­
ernm ent and industrial use had high­
er average hourly earnings than p ro ­
duction workers in m anufacturing as
a whole. Those making other elec­
tronic products, however, m ade less
than the average for all m anufactur­
ing industries.
W orking conditions in electronics
m an u factu rin g co m p are favorably
with those in other industries. Plants
usually are well-lighted, clean, and
quiet. M any p lants are relatively
new, and are located in suburban and
sem irural areas. The work in m ost

Production
workers'
average
hourly
earnings,
Type of product
1976
All manufacturing industries.... $5.19
Major electronics manufacturing
industries:
Government and industrial
electronics end products......
Radio and television receiving
sets, and phonographs..........
Electron tubes............................
Semiconductors and other
components, except tubes....

6.45
4.51
5.22
3.97

occupations is not strenuous but as­
sem bly-line jobs may be m o n o to ­
nous.
The injury rate in electronics
m anufacturing has been far below
the average in m anufacturing as a
whole, and injuries usually have been
less severe.
Many workers in electronics
m anufacturing are union members.
The principal unions are the Interna­
tional Union of Electrical, Radio and
M a c h in e W o rk ers; In te rn a tio n a l
B rotherhood of Electrical W orkers;
International Association of M achin­
ists and Aerospace W orkers; and the
U nited E lectrical, R adio and M a­
chine W orkers of Am erica (Ind.).

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation about careers in this
field can be obtained from the public
relations departm ents of electronics
m anufacturing
companies,
the
unions previously listed, and from:
Electronic Industries Association, 2001 Eye
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.

OCCUPATIONS IN FOUNDRIES

Metal
castings produced
by
foundry workers are essential parts
of thousands o f products ranging
from missiles to cooking utensils.
The strength of metal that has been
cast m akes it suitable for many
household and industrial items, and
the developm ent of im proved alloys,
or com binations of m etals, has wid­
ened the range of products m ade by
casting.
In 1976, about 300,000 people
worked in the foundry industry pro­
ducing bath tubs, tubing, plumbing
fix tu re s, an d th o u s a n d s o f o th e r
products. Thousands o f other work­
ers were em ployed in the foundry de­
partm en ts o f o th er industries th at
m ake castings to use in their final
product, such as crank shafts and en­
gine b lo ck s fo r au to m o b ile s and
com pressors for refrigerators.
Casting is a m ethod of forming
metal into intricate shapes. To cast
metal, a mold is created that has a
cavity exactly shaped like the object
to be produced. M olten m etal, usual­
ly iron, is poured into the mold where
it cools and solidifies.

sand molds can be used only once, a
second m ethod, called p erm an en t
molding, was developed which em ­
ploys a metal mold that can be used
many times. Perm anent molding is
used chiefly for casting nonferrous
metals.
Precision investm ent casting, a
third m ethod (often called the lost
wax process), uses ceram ic molds. A
wax or plastic pattern is coated with
clay; after the coating hardens, the
wax or plastic is m elted and drained
so that a mold cavity is left. Unlike

the first two methods, castings p ro­
duced from these molds are precise
and require little finishing.
Shell molding, a fourth process, is
becoming increasingly im portant be­
cause castings produced from these
molds not only are precise but also
have a sm ooth surface that requires
almost no finishing. In this m ethod, a
heated m etal pattern is covered with
a mixture of sand and resin. The sand
forms a thin shell mold that, once
hardened, is peeled from the pattern.
Diecasting, a fifth process, is done
mostly by machines. Dies are im pres­
sions th at are carved by m achines
into metal blocks or plates. Molten
metal is forced under high pressure
into dies from which the castings are
later autom atically ejected or re ­
moved by hand.
A sixth m ethod, centrifugal cast­
ing, is used to make pipe and other
products that have cylindrical cav-

Nature and Location of the
Foundry Industry
Nearly
three-fourths
of
the
foundry industry’s em ployees work
in iron and steel foundries. The re­
m ainder work in plants that cast nonferrous m etals, such as alum inum ,
bronze, and zinc. Foundries usually
specialize in a lim ited num ber o f
m etals, because d ifferent m ethods
and equipm ent are needed to melt
and cast different alloys.
There are six principal m ethods of
casting, each nam ed for the type of
mold used. In the m ost com m on
m ethod, green-sand molding, a spe­
cial sand is packed around a pattern
in a boxlike container called a flask.
The pattern is withdrawn and molten
metal is poured into the mold cavity
to form the desired shape. Because




Supervisor inspects cores.

657

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

658

ities. In this process, molten metal is
poured into a mold that is spinning at
a very high speed. The spinning m o­
tion forces the metal against the walls
of the mold where it then hardens.
Most foundries are small. More
than 90 percent employ fewer than
250 workers, although several of the
largest employ more than 5,000
workers.
Small foundries generally produce
a variety of castings in small quanti­
ties. They employ hand and m achine
m olders and co rem akers (the key
foundry occupations) and a substan­
tial n um ber of unskilled laborers.
Large fo u n d ries often are highly
mechanized and produce great quan­
tities o f id en tical castings. T hese
shops employ relatively few unskilled
laborers because cranes, conveyors,
and other types of equipm ent replace
manual labor in the moving of m ate­
rials, m olds, and castin g s. Since
much of the casting in large shops is
m echanized, they also employ pro­
portionately fewer skilled m olders
and corem akers than small shops.
However, many skilled m aintenance
w o rkers, such as m illw rights and
electricians, are employed to service
and repair the large am ount of m a­
chinery.
Though foundries are located in
many areas, jobs are concentrated in
States that have considerable m etal­
working activity, such as in M ichi­
gan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, In­
diana, and Wisconsin.

Foundry Occupations
Most of the industry’s 300,000 em ­
ployees in 1976 were plant workers.
To illustrate more clearly the duties
of these workers, a brief description
of the jobs involved in the most com ­
mon castin g p ro c ess—sand m old­
ing—follows:
After the casting is designed, a
patternmaker (D.O.T. 600.280 and
661.281), following the design blue­
print, m akes a wood or metal pattern
in the shape of the casting. Next, a
h a n d m o ld e r (D .O .T . 5 1 8 .3 8 1 )
makes sand molds by packing and
ramming sand, specially prepared by
a sand m ixer (D .O .T . 5 7 9 .7 8 2 ),
around the pattern. A molder's helper
(D.O.T. 519.887) may assist in these
operations. If large num bers of iden­



Em ployees placing cores into molds.

tical castings are to be m ade, m a­
chines may be used to m ake the
molds at a faster speed than is possi­
ble by hand. The op erato r of this
equipm ent is called a machine molder
(D.O.T. 5 18.782).
A coremaker (D.O.T. 518.381 and
.885) shapes sand into cores (bodies
of sand that make hollow spaces in
castings). Core-oven tenders (D.O.T.
518.885) bake most cores in ovens to
harden and strengthen them so that
they can be handled without break­
ing. W hen a sufficient num ber o f
cores are assembled, they are placed
in the molds by core setters (D.O.T.
5 18.884) or molders. Now the molds
are ready for the molten metal.
A fu r n a c e o p e r a to r ( D .O .T .
512.782) controls the furnace that
m elts th e m etal w hich a pourer
(D .O .T . 5 1 4 .8 8 4 ) lets flow into
molds. W hen the castings have solidi­

fied , a shakeout w orker (D .O .T .
5 1 9 .8 8 7 ) rem oves them from the
sand and sends them to the cleaning
and finishing departm ent.
Dirty and rough surfaces of cast­
ings are cleaned and sm oothed. A
shothlaster (D.O.T. 503.887) o p er­
ates a m achine that cleans large cast­
ings by blasting them with air mixed
with metal shot or grit. Smaller cast­
ings may be sm oothed by tumbling.
In this process, the castings, together
with sand or another abrasive m ateri­
al, are placed in a barrel that is ro tat­
ed at high speed. The person who
controls the barrel is called a tumbler
operator (D .O .T . 5 9 9 .8 8 5 ). S an d ­
blasters and tum bler operators may
also o p erate a m achine th at b oth
tum bles and blasts the castings. A
chipper (D .O .T . 8 0 9 .8 8 4 ) and a
grinder (D.O.T. 809.884) use p neu­
matic chisels, power abrasive wheels,

OCCUPATIONS IN THE FOUNDRIES

powersaws, and handtools, such as
chisels and files, to rem ove excess
metal and to finish the castings.
Castings frequently are heat-treat­
ed in furnaces to strengthen the m et­
al; a heat treater, or annealer (D.O.T.
504.782), operates these furnaces.
Before the castings are packed for
shipment, a casting inspector (D.O.T.
514.687) checks them to make sure
they are structurally sound and m eet
specifications. Often, the inspection
involves X -ray in g the casting to
check for separations in the metal.
M any foundry w orkers are em ­
ployed in occupations that are com ­
mon to other industries. For exam­
p le , m a i n t e n a n c e m e c h a n i c s ,
m ach in ists, c a rp e n te rs, and m ill­
wrights maintain and repair foundry
equipment. Crane and derrick opera­
tors and truckdrivers move materials
from place to place. M achine tool
operators finish castings. Foundries
also employ thousands o f workers in
unskilled jobs, such as guard, janitor,
and laborer.
About one-sixth of all foundry
 employed in profession­
workers are


659

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

al, technical, adm inistrative, clerical,
and sales occupations. O f these p er­
sonnel, the largest num ber are cleri­
cal workers, such as secretaries, typ­
ists, and accounting clerks.
Foundries employ engineers and
metallurgists to do research, design
machinery and plant layout, develop
improved alloys, control the quality
of castings, and supervise plant o p ­
erations and m aintenance. In recent
years, many of these workers have
been hired to sell castings and to as­
sist custom ers in designing cast parts.
M ost foundry technicians are co n ­
cerned with quality control. For ex­
am ple, they may test molding and
co rem aking sand, m ake chem ical
analyses o f metal, and operate m a­
chines th a t test the stren g th and
hardness of castings. Administrative
w orkers em ployed in foundries in­
clude office m anagers, p erso n n el
w o rk e rs, p u rc h asin g ag e n ts, and
plant managers.
Detailed discussions of three prin­
cipal foundry occupations—p attern ­
makers, corem akers, and m olders—
appear elsewhere in the Handbook.

Most workers start in unskilled
jobs, such as laborer or helper, and,
after receiving on-the-job training
from a supervisor or experienced
worker, gradually learn more skilled
jobs. This is the usual practice in
training workers for casting process
jobs such as melter, chipper, and
grinder.
Some skilled foundry w orkers—
particularly hand molders, hand
corem akers, and patternm akers—
learn their jobs through formal ap­
prenticeship. A pprentices receive su­
pervised on-the-job training for 2 to
4 years, usually supplem ented by
classroom instruction. High school
graduates are preferred for most ap­
p ren ticesh ip program s, but ap p li­
cants with less education sometimes
are hired. For some apprenticeship
program s, especially those for p at­
ternmaking, a high school education
is the minimum requirem ent. M an­
agem ent prefers workers who have
co m p leted an apprenticeship, b e­
cause they have a greater knowledge
of all foundry operations and there­
fore are better qualified to fill super­
visory jobs.
Skilled foundry workers also can
learn their trades informally on the
job or through a combination of
trade school and on-the-job training.
In some cases, trade school courses
may be credited toward completion
of formal apprenticeships. Some
foundries and the American Foundry
Society Cast Metals Institute conduct
training programs to update and up­
grade the skills of experienced w ork­
ers.

Employment Outlook
Over the long run, population
growth and higher incomes will cre­
ate a dem and for more automobiles,
household appliances, and other co n ­
sumer products that have cast parts.
More castings also will be needed for
industrial machinery as factories ex­
pand and modernize. Despite the in­
creasing dem and for castings, em ­
ployment in the foundry industry is
expected to grow only about as fast
as th e averag e for all in d u stries
through the m id-1980’s. Technologi-

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

660

cal developm ents will enable found­
ries to m eet the increased dem and
for castings with only a m oderate in­
crease in em ploym ent. C ontinued
im provem ents in production m eth­
ods will result in greater output per
w o rker. In ad d itio n to those job
openings th at result from em ploy­
m ent growth, many other openings
will arise due to the need to replace
experienced workers who die, retire,
or transfer to other fields of work.
The num ber of openings fluctuates
greatly from year to year, since de­
mand for castings is very sensitive to
ups and downs in the economy.
Much of the employm ent increase
in the foundry industry will be in pro­
duction jobs. However, employment
will increase in other occupations, as
well. For exam ple, em ploym ent of
scientists and engineers is expected
to increase because of expanding re­
search and developm ent activities.
Technicians also will be needed in
g re ater n u m bers to help im prove
quality control and production tech ­
niques. M ore m aintenance workers
will be hired to keep the industry’s
grow ing am o u n t o f m achinery in
working order. In contrast, machine
molding and coremaking will be sub­




stituted for hand processes, and will
limit the need for additional hand
molders and hand corem akers. Im ­
proved molding techniques, such as
quick set molding in which the mold
hardens quickly and without baking
in an oven, also will limit em ploy­
ment of molders. As more machinery
for materials handling is introduced,
em ploym ent of laborers and other
unskilled workers may decline.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Production workers in foundries
have higher average earnings than
those in m anufacturing as a whole. In
1976, production workers in iron and
steel foundries averaged $6.16 an
hour, and those in nonferrous found­
ries averaged $5.22. By com parison,
production workers in all m anufac­
turing industries averaged $5.19 an
hour.
Most foundry industry employees
work under union contracts that p ro ­
vide periodic pay increases. In those
foundries that op erate 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, contracts gener­
ally provide for extra pay for shift

work and work done on weekends
and holidays. Also, most contracts
provide paid vacations according to
length of service. Typically, an em ­
ployee receives 1 week of vacation
after 1 year of service, 2 weeks after
2 years, and 3 weeks after 10 years.
In addition, many employees are cov­
ered by paid sick leave plans, group
insurance, accident and death bene­
fits, and retirem ent and disability
pensions.
W orking conditions in foundries
have improved in recent years. Many
foundries have changed plant layouts
and installed modern ventilating sys­
tems to reduce heat, fumes, dust, and
smoke. The injury rate in foundries is
higher than the average for m anufac­
turing; foundry workers are subject
to burns from hot metal and cuts and
bruises from handling metal castings.
However, employers and unions are
attem pting to reduce injuries by p ro­
moting safety training.
Foundry workers belong to many
unions, including the International
M olders’ and Allied W orkers’ Union;
the United Steelworkers of America;
and the International Union of Elec­
trical, Radio and M achine W orkers.
Many patternm akers are members of
the Pattern M akers’ League of North
America.

Sources of Additional
Information
Further information about work
opportunities in foundry occupations
may be obtained from local found­
ries, the local office of the State em ­
ploym ent service, the nearest office
of the State apprenticeship agency,
or the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. D epartm ent of Labor.
Inform ation also is available from the
following organizations:
American Foundrymen’s Society, Golf and
Wolf Rds., Des Plaines, 111. 60016.
Foundry Educational Foundation, 1138 Ter­
minal Tower, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.
International Molders’ and Allied Workers’
Union, 1225 E. McMillan St., Cincinnati,
Ohio 45206.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE INDUSTRIAL
CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Industrial chem ical products are
the raw m aterials for all kinds of
everyday items, from nylon stockings
to autom obile tires. C hem icals also
are used to treat drinking water, to
propel rockets, and to m ake steel,
glass, explosives, and thousands of
other items. The discovery of nylon,
plastics, and o ther new products has
helped the industrial chem ical indus­
try becom e one o f the N ation’s most
im portant.
M aking these many, very different
kinds o f products requires a large
num ber o f workers with many differ­
ent skills. A bout 540,000 people in
many different occupations worked
in the industrial chem ical industry in
1976. T rain in g varies from a few
days on th e jo b fo r som e p lan tworkers to college degrees for engi­
neers and chemists.

Nature of the Industry
The industry produces organic and
inorganic chemicals, plastics, and
synthetic rubber and fibers. Unlike
drugs, paints, and other chemical
products sold directly to consum ers,
industrial chemicals are used by oth­
er industries to m ake their own prod­
ucts.
Chem ical products are m ade from
coal, petroleum , lim estone, m ineral
ores, and many oth er raw m aterials.
Since these m aterials usually go
through several chem ical changes,
the finished products are vastly dif­
ferent from the original ingredients.
Some plastics, for exam ple, are made
from natural gas.
In a m odem chem ical plant, elec­
tronic and oth er autom ated equip­
m ent controls the dissolving, heating,
cooling, mixing, filtering, and drying
processes that convert raw m aterials
to finished products. This equipm ent
regulates the com bination of ingredi­
ents, flow o f m aterials, and the tem


p eratu re, pressure, and processing
time. M aterials also are moved auto­
matically from one part of the plant
to another by conveyors or through
pipes. Through the use of such auto­
m ated equipm ent, a relatively small
num ber o f workers can produce tons
of chemicals in one continuous o p ­
eration.
A bout two-thirds o f the 3,000 in­
dustrial chem ical plants in the United
States have fewer than 50 workers.
Over half o f the industry’s em ploy­
ees, how ever, are co n cen trated in
large p lan ts w ith m ore th a n 500
workers.
Chem ical plants are usually close
to m anufacturing centers or near the
sources o f raw m aterial. Many plants
that produce chemicals from p etrole­
um, for exam ple, are near the oil
fields of Texas and Louisiana. A l­
though industrial chemical workers
are em ployed in alm ost every State,
about half of them work in T ennes­
see, New Jersey, Texas, V irginia,
W est V irg in ia, O h io , and S o u th
Carolina.

Occupations in the Industry
W orkers with many different skills
and levels of education work in the
in d u strial ch em ical industry. R e ­
se a rc h s c ie n tists, e n g in e e rs, an d
technicians develop products and d e ­
sign equipm ent and production p ro ­
cesses. A dm inistrators, professionals,
and clerical workers handle financial
and business m atters, keep records,
and advertise and sell chem ical prod­
ucts. O ther employees are in process­
ing, m aintenance, and o th er plant
jobs.
Scientific and Technical Occupations.
The industrial chem ical industry is
one of the N ation’s m ajor em ployers
of scientific and technical workers; 1
out of 5 o f its employees is a scientist,

engineer, or technician. An even
larger num ber are adm inistrators or
production supervisors. Because the
sale of chem ical products frequently
requires a technical background, sci­
entists and engineers may take jobs
as sales representatives.
Chemists are the largest and one of
the m ost im portant group of scien­
tists in the industry. Through basic
and applied research, chemists learn
about the properties of chemicals in
o rd e r to find new and im proved
products and production m ethods.
Their efforts have led to the discov­
ery of plastics, nylon, and many other
items.
Chem ists also work in activities
o th e r th an research and develop­
m ent. A large n u m b er su perv ise
p lan tw o rk e rs or analyze and test
chemical samples to insure the qual­
ity of the final product. Many are
ad m inistrators, m arketing experts,
chemical sales workers, and techni­
cal writers.
Engineers are another im portant
group o f industrial chemical profes­
sionals. Using th eir knowledge of
b o th c h e m istry and en g in eerin g ,
chem ical engineers convert laborato­
ry processes into large-scale produc­
tion m ethods. They design chemical
plants and processing equipm ent and
sometimes supervise their construc­
tion and operation. Chemical engi­
neers also fill jobs in sales, custom er
service, m arket research, plant m an­
agem ent, and technical writing.
M echanical engineers design pow­
er and heating equipm ent. They also
work with chemical engineers to de­
sign processing equipm ent and su­
pervise its installation, o p eratio n ,
and m aintenance. E lectrical engi­
neers design electric and electronic
instrum ents and control devices, and
facilities for generating and distribut­
ing electric power.
Many technical workers assist sci­
entists and engineers. L aboratory
technicians conduct tests and record
the results in charts, graphs, and re­
ports th at are used by chemists and
chemical engineers. Their work may
range from simple routine tests to
com plicated analyses. Drafters p ro ­
vide engineers with specifications
and detailed drawings of chem ical
equipm ent.
661

662

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Chemical engineer monitors process at chemical plant.

Design engineer, drafter, and model builder examine model of new chemical plant

layout.


Plant Occupations. A bout three out
of every five industrial chemical
workers operate or m aintain equip­
m ent o r do other plant jobs.
Skilled chemical operators (D.O.T.
558.885 and 559.782) and their
helpers are the largest group of plant
workers. They set dials, valves, and
other controls on autom atic equip­
m ent to insure that the right tem per­
ature, pressure, and am ounts o f m a­
terials are used. As chem icals are
p ro c e sse d , o p e ra to rs re ad in s tru ­
ments th at m easure pressure, flow of
m aterials, and other conditions. They
also use instrum ents to test chemicals
or send chemical samples to the test­
ing laboratory. O perators keep re c­
ords o f instrum ent readings and test
results and report equipm ent break­
downs. C hem ical o p erato rs som e­
times are called filterers, mixers, or
some o th er title, depending on the
kinds o f equipm ent they operate.
To keep production processes ru n ­
ning sm oothly, instrum ents must give
accurate m easurem ents and equip­
m ent m ust withstand corrosion, dam ­
aging chem icals, high tem peratures,
and pressure. Many skilled m ainte­
nance w orkers are needed to keep
this equipm ent in good condition.
Pipefitters and boilerm akers lay out,
install, and repair pipes, vats, and
pressure tanks; m aintenance m achin­
ists m ake and repair metal parts for
m achinery; electricians m aintain and
repair wiring, m otors, and other elec­
trical equipm ent; and instrum ent re­
p aire rs install and service in stru ­
m ents and control devices. In some
chem ical plants, one w orker may do
several of these jobs. Plant workers
also are needed to drive trucks, keep
inventory o f stock and tools, load
and unload trucks, ships, and rail­
road cars, keep the plant and office
clean, and do many other kinds of
work.
Administrative, Clerical, and Related
Occupations. About one out of five
industrial chemical w orkers holds an
adm inistrative, clerical, o r other nonscientific white-collar job. High-level
m anagers generally are trained in
chem istry or chem ical engineering.
These executives decide what p ro d ­
ucts to m anufacture, where to build
plants, and how to handle the com pa­
ny’s finances. Executives depend on

OCCUPATIONS IN THE INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

specialized w orkers including ac­
countants, sales representatives, law­
yers, industrial and public relations
w orkers, m arket researchers, com ­
puter program m ers, and personnel
and advertising workers. Many secre­
taries, typists, payroll and shipping
clerks, and other clerical employees
work in offices and plants.
(Individual statem ents elsewhere
in the Handbook give detailed discus­
sions of many scientific, technical,
m aintenance, and other occupations
found in the industrial chemical in­
dustry as well as in other industries.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Jobs in the industrial chemical in­
dustry require from a few days of onthe-job training to many years of
preparation. Some plant workers can
learn their jobs in a day or two. Sci­
entists, engineers, technicians, and
chem ical o p e ra to rs, on the o th er
hand, spend several years learning
their skills.
Industrial chemical firms generally
hire and train inexperienced high
school graduates for processing jobs.
Equipment operators and other pro­
cessing workers often start out in a
labor pool where they are assigned
jobs such as filling barrels or moving
m aterials. W orkers may be tran s­
ferred from the labor pool to fill va­
cancies in one of the processing de­
partm ents. Training for processing
occupations is done almost entirely
on the job under the supervision of
an ex p e rien ce d w o rk er. W orkers
move to jobs requiring greater skills
as they gain e x p e rie n c e and job
openings occur. Thus, a worker may
advance from laborer to chem ical
operator helper, and then to chem i­
cal o p e ra to r. S k illed p ro c essin g
w orkers are rarely recruited from
other plants.
Although
many
m aintenance
workers start as helpers and pick up
their skills from experienced work­
ers, apprenticeship is the best way to
learn a m aintenance trade. A ppren­
ticeship programs usually last 3 or 4
years and consist m ainly o f shop
training in their particular jobs. In­
strum ent repairers sometimes attend

training programs offered by instru­


663

m ent m anufacturers. M aintenance
workers and trainees are encouraged
to take job-related courses at local
v o c a tio n a l or te c h n ic a l sch o o ls.
Their employers may pay part or all
of the tuition.
Technicians qualify for their jobs
in many ways. G raduates of technical
institutes, junior colleges, or voca­
tional technical schools have the best
opportunities. C om panies also hire
students who have com pleted part of
the requirem ents for a college d e ­
gree, especially if they have studied
m athem atics, science, or engineer­
ing. High sch o o l g ra d u a te s w ith
co u rses in chem istry can qualify
through on-the-job training and ex­
perience. Many technicians receive
additional technical school or under­
graduate training through com pany
tuition-refund programs.
Laboratory technicians usually
start as trainees or assistants, and
drafters begin as copyists or tracers.
As they gain experience and show
ability to work without close supervi­
sion, these technicians advance from
routine work to more difficult and
responsible jobs.
Engineers and scientists must have
at least a bachelor’s degree in engi­
neering, chemistry, or a related sci­
ence. Most research jobs, however,
require advanced degrees or special­
ized experience. Many scientists and

engineers attend graduate courses at
company expense.
Some firms have formal training
programs for newly hired scientists
and engineers. Before they are as­
signed to a particular job, these em ­
ployees work briefly in various de­
p a r t m e n t s to le a r n a b o u t th e
com pany’s overall operation. In o th ­
er firms, junior scientists and engi­
neers are assigned immediately to a
specific job.
Chemists and engineers as well as
people with college degrees in busi­
ness adm inistration, accounting, eco ­
nomics, statistics, marketing, and in­
dustrial relations, often advance to
administrative jobs. Some companies
have advanced training programs for
new administrative employees. Per­
sons with a technical background in
chem istry or engineering will have
the best opportunities for sales posi­
tions.
Secretaries, bookkeepers, and o th ­
er clerical workers generally have
had co m m ercial co u rse s in high
school or business school.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the industrial
chemical industry is expected to
grow more slowly than the average
for all industries through the mid1980’s. Most job openings will occur

Continued long-term growth is expected in the
industrial chemical industry, despite some sensitivity
to the business cycle
Wage and salary workers in the industrial chemical industry,
1958-76 and projected 1985
Employees
700
(in thousands)
600
500
400
300
200
100

1955
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

664

from the need to replace experienced
workers who retire, die, or transfer to
other industries.
However, continued emphasis on
research and developm ent is expect­
ed to stimulate some growth in the
industrial chem ical industry, which
has far outstripped most other major
industries in the developm ent of new
products. Some of these products,
such as plastics and synthetics, not
only have created new markets but
also have com peted successfully in
m arkets previously d o m in ated by
woods, metals, and natural textiles.
Chemical products are expected to
continue to make advances in these
m arkets. How ever, higher pro d u c­
tion costs may cause the growth rate
in the production of industrial chem i­
cals to slow down in the future. Firms
are expected to pay more for petrole­
um and natural gas, which are the
raw m aterials for m any industrial
chem icals. In addition, more strin­
gent air and water quality standards
are forcing chem ical com panies to
spend more money for pollution con­
trol equipm ent.
Employment is expected to grow
at a slower rate than production be­
cause o f laborsaving technological
developm ents and the greater use of
au to m atic processing and co n tro l
equipm ent. Although the com posi­
tion of em ploym ent in the industry is
expected to change, with more ad­
m inistrative and technical workers
needed to handle the increasingly
complex production processes, most




job openings will be for production
w orkers since they are the largest
group of employees.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Production workers in the industri­
al chemical industry have relatively
high earnings because a large propor­
tion of them are in skilled jobs. In
1976 they averaged $6.21 an hour,
com pared with $4.87 an hour for
production workers in all industries.
N ational wage data are not avail­
able for individual occupations in the
industrial chemicals industry. How­
ever, specified in 1976 hourly wages
in a few unio n -m an ag em en t c o n ­
tracts were as follows:

Hourly rates
Instrument repairers...................
Laboratory technicians..............
Chemical operators.....................
Pipefitters, boilermakers, and
sheet-metal workers................

$4.93-5.30
4.82-7.07
4.64-6.90
4.98-7.95

Because chem ical plants usually
o p e ra te a ro u n d the clock — th re e
shifts a day, 7 days a w eek—process­
ing workers often work the second or
third shift, usually for extra pay. Shift
assignments are usually rotated, so
an individual may work days 1 week
and nights the next. M aintenance
workers usually work only the day
shift.
Most industrial chem ical jobs, ex­
cept those for laborers or m aterial

handlers, are not strenuous. Equip­
m ent operators are on their feet most
o f the tim e. Some w orkers m ust
climb stairs or ladders to consider­
able heights, or work outdoors in all
kinds of weather. W orkers may be
exposed to dust, disagreeable odors,
or high tem peratures, although many
plants have ventilating or air-condi­
tioning systems.
Many chemicals are dangerous to
touch or breathe. However, the in­
dustrial chemical industry has one of
the better safety records in m anufac­
turing. Protective clothing, eyeglass­
es, showers, eye baths near hazard­
ous work stations, and other safety
measures help prevent serious inju­
ries.
Many production workers in the
industrial chemical industry belong
to labor unions, including the Inter­
national Chem ical W orkers Union;
Oil, Chemical, and Atomic W orkers
International Union; and the United
Steelworkers of America.

Sources of Additional
Information
Further information on careers in
the industry may be obtained from
em ploym ent offices of industrial
chemical com panies, locals of the
unions m entioned above, and from:
American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.
Manufacturing Chemists’ Association, Inc.,
1825 Connecticut Ave. NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20009.

professional, technical, adm inistra­
tive, and supervisory work.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE
IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

Steel is the backbone of any indus­
trialized economy. Few products in
daily use are not made from steel or
processed by m achinery m ade of
steel. For example, steel sheets are
made into automobile bodies, appli­
ances, and furniture; steel bars are
used to m ake parts for m achinery
and to reinforce concrete in building
and highw ay c o n s tru c tio n ; steel
plates become parts of ships, bridges,
railroad cars, and storage tanks; strip
steel is used to make pots and pans,
razor blades, and toys.
To satisfy the country’s need for
steel, the iron and steel industry em ­
ployed ab o u t 5 4 0 ,000 persons in
1976. Em ployees work in a broad
range of jobs that require a wide va­
riety of skills; many of these jobs are
found only in iron and steelmaking.

Characteristics of the Industry
The iron and steel industry, as dis­
cussed in this chapter, consists of the
firms th at o p erate blast furnaces,
steel furnaces, and finishing mills.
Blast furnaces make iron from iron
ore, coke, and limestone. Steel fur­
naces refine the iron and scrap steel
into steel. Primary rolling mills and
continuous casting operations shape
the steel into semifinished products
called bloom s, b illets, and slabs,
which other rolling mills shape into
steel sheets, bars, plates, strips, wire,
p ip e, and various o th e r finished
products.
The types of operations performed
in the more than 900 steel plants in
the United States vary throughout
the industry. Fully integrated steel
plants, which are so large they may
cover several square miles, contain
blast furnaces, steel furnaces, and
rolling mills. These plants perform all
the operations necessary to convert
processed iron ore into finished steel



products. O ther plants only perform
finishing operations such as making
steel wire and pipe from billets.
The num ber of people employed in
the plants of the iron and steel indus­
try also varies greatly. Individual
plants typically employ a large num ­
ber of workers because the produc­
tion of iron and steel products is a
m onum ental task. It req u ires the
handling and use of thousands of tons
of raw m aterials, and involves enor­
mous facilities and equipm ent such
as blast furnaces that may be 12 sto­
ries high and rolling mills that may be
several city blocks long. About 65
percent o f the industry’s employees
work in plants that have more than
2,500 em ployees; fully integrated
plants may have more than 10,000.
Many plants, however, have fewer
than 100 employees.
Iron and steel plants are located
mainly in the northeastern part of the
United States near the abundant iron
deposits o f the G reat Lakes area and
the nearby coal deposits. About 7 out
of 10 of the industry’s workers are
employed in five States—Pennsylva­
nia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and New
York. Nearly 3 out o f 10 are em ­
ployed in Pennsylvania alone. The
largest steel-producing plants are lo­
cated in Indiana H arbor and Gary,
Ind.; Sparrows Point, Md. (near Bal­
tim ore); Chicago; and Pittsburgh.

Occupations in the Industry
W orkers in the iron and steel in­
dustry hold more than 2,000 differ­
ent types of jobs. A bout 80 percent
of all workers are directly engaged in
moving raw materials and steel prod­
ucts about the plants, making iron
and steel products, and maintaining
the vast am ount of machinery used in
the industry. In addition, other w ork­
ers are needed to do clerical, sales,

Processing Occupations. The m ajor­
ity of the workers in the industry are
employed in the many processing op­
erations involved in converting iron
ore into steel and then into semifin­
ished and finished steel products. Be­
cause of the extensive use of auto­
mated control equipm ent in making
steel from iron ore, most processing
jobs are found in the rolling mills
where the steel is shaped into semi­
finished and finished products. Fol­
lowing are brief descriptions of the
major iron and steelmaking and fin­
ishing operations and some of the
occupations connected with them.
Blast jurnaces. The blast furnace, a
large steel cylinder lined with heatresistant (refractory) brick, is used to
separate the iron from other ele­
ments in the iron ore. A mixture of
ore, coke, and limestone (called a
“ charge” ) is fed into the top of the
furnace. As this m aterial works its
way down through the furnace, hot
air blown into the bottom from giant
stoves causes the coke to burn at a
high tem perature. At this high tem ­
perature a chemical reaction takes
place between the coke and the iron
ore, freeing the iron from other ele­
ments in the ore.
The iron, which now is a liquid,
trickles down through the burning
coke and collects in a pool 4 to 5 feet
deep at the bottom of the furnace. As
the liquid iron passes through the
coke, the intense heat causes another
chemical reaction between the lime­
stone, the burned-out coke, and any
other m aterials to form a waste prod­
uct called “ slag” . The slag also trick­
les down through the coke and floats
on top of the heavier iron. In a typi­
cal furnace liquid iron is removed
from the furnace every 3 or 4 hours;
slag may be removed more frequent­
lyA blast furnace operates continu­
ously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
unless it is shut down for repairs or
for other reasons. A single furnace
may produce up to 10,000 tons of
iron in a 24-hour period.
The raw m aterials used in blast
furnaces are transferred from storage
areas on railroad cars. Moving on
665

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

666

Stove Tenders
Operate Stoves
That Heat Air
for Blast Furnace

Larry Car
Operators Bring
Material From
Stock House
*

*

Hot-Metal Car

Bins for
Iron Ore, Coke
and Limestone

Scale Car Operators
Weigh Materials
Before Skip Cars
Are Loaded

Blowers Supervise
Keepers and Helpers
Who Tap Iron and
Slag

elevated tracks to the furnace, the
cars are positioned over an open
grate. T he raw m aterials are dum ped
through the grate and into a large
funnel-shaped bin called a hopper.
Scale car operators (D.O.T. 921.883)
drive oth er railroad cars on tracks in
tunnels underneath the hoppers. Po­
sitioning their car under one of these
bins, they fill it with raw m aterial,
weigh the loaded car, and then dum p
the m aterial into skip cars where the
ore, limestone, or coke is autom ati­
cally carried up a steep ram p to the
top o f the blast furnace and dum ped.
Scale car operators m ust keep rec­
ords of what they put in the furnace.
In blast furnace operations w ithout
autom atic controls, a skip car opera­
tor (D .O .T. 921.883) uses electric
and pneum atic controls to operate
the cars.
Stove tenders (D.O.T. 512.782)
operate the gas-fired stoves that heat
air for the blast furnace. They o b ­
serve controls th at show the tem per­
a tu re o f th e air inside the stove.
W hen air reaches the correct tem ­
perature, the tender opens valves on
the stove that allow the heated air to
pass to the furnaces. Stove tenders
also keep the stove flues clean of ca r­
bon FRASER
Digitized for and dirt.


Molten Iron to Ladles
for Steelmaking Furnaces
or to Pig Casting Machines

Blowers (D.O.T. 519.132) oversee
the operation of one or m ore blast
furnaces and are responsible for the
quantity and quality o f the iron p ro ­
duced. They coordinate the addition
of raw m aterials by stockhouse w ork­
ers with the operation of the furnace
a n d s u p e r v is e k e e p e rs (D .O .T .
502.884) and their helpers (D.O.T.
502.887) in removing (tapping) the

Scrap
Charger'
on

liquid iron and slag from the furnace.
If the iron is not forming correctly in
the furnace, blowers may have the
stove tenders change the tem pera­
ture and flow of air into the furnace.
W hen the blower has determ ined
that the iron is ready to be removed,
the keeper and a helper use power
drills, air hoses, or small explosive
charges to remove the clay that is
plugging a taphole above the liquid
iron, allowing the slag to flow down a
sand-lined channel into huge co n ­
tain ers ca lle d ladles, w hich have
been positioned under the channel
by cran e operators. H elpers o pen
gates to divert the slag into other la­
dles when the first one is filled. A fter
rem oving the slag, the keeper re ­
moves the clay from a lower taphole
that allows the iron to flow down an­
other channel into special railroad
tank cars called “ hot metal cars” .
After the slag and iron have been
rem oved, the keeper uses a “ mud
gun” to shoot clay into the tapholes.
The keeper and helpers use tongs to
remove solidified iron and slag from
the channels and shovels to line the
channels with special heat-resistant
sand.
Some o f the iron taken from the
blast furnace is made into finished
products such as autom obile engine
blocks and plumbing pipes. Most of
it, however, is used to make steel.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

Because steel is stronger than iron
and can be hammered and bent with­
out breaking, it can be used for many
more products.
Steel Jurnaces. Steel is made by heat­
ing iron or scrap steel to remove
some of the carbon and other impuri­
ties and adding chemical agents such
as silicon and manganese. By varying
the am ount of carbon and chemical
agents contained in the final product,
thousands o f different types of steel
can be m ade—each with specified
properties that are suited for a par­
ticular product. For example, stain­
less steel is rust-resistant and heatresistant and is used in products,
which need those qualities such as
razor blades.
Steel is made in three types of
furnaces: basic oxygen, open hearth,
and electric. More than 60 percent of
all dom estic steel is made in basic
oxygen furnaces (B O F ’s) and about
20 percent in open hearth furnaces.
Both produce similar kinds of steel,
but BOF’s do the job faster and are
expected to replace many of the
open hearths now in operation. For
many years electric furnaces were
used mainly to produce high quality
steels such as stainless and tool steel.
They now produce large quantities of
regular steel and account for about
20 percent of total U.S. steel output.
A lthough the steelm aking proce­
dure varies with the type of furnace

667

a sample o f liquid steel that is tested
to insure the steel has the desired
qualities. The m elter m ust co o rd i­
nate the loading and melting of the
raw m aterials with the steel molding
operation to avoid delays in produc­
tion.
A basic oxygen furnace is a giant,
pear-shaped steel container lined
with heat-resistant brick. The fur­
nace can be tilted from side to side to
receive raw materials and discharge
steel and slag. The jurnace operator
(D.O.T. 512.782), under the direc­
tion of the melter, controls the op­
eration of the furnace. To begin the
o p e ra tio n , the fu rn ace o p e r a to r’s
first assistant uses controls to tilt the
furnace to receive a load or “ charge”
of steel scrap and m olten iron. A
s c r a p c r a n e o p e r a t o r ( D .O .T .
921.883) adds scrap steel and is fol­
lowed by a charging crane operator
(D.O.T. 921.883) who adds the liq­
uid iron m ade by the blast furnace.
After the assistant rights the furnace,
the furnace operator, who works in a
control room overlooking the fu r­
nace, uses levers and buttons to low­
er the oxygen lance, a pipe that blows
oxygen into the furnace at supersonic
speeds. T he furnace op erato r also
controls the addition o f lime, which
combines with impurities in the iron
to form slag, and the addition of any
chemical agents that are required to

give the steel the desired properties.
If the chemical reactions in the fur­
nace become too violent, the furnace
may overheat, causing slag and iron
to splash out the top. Thus, the fur­
nace operator must pay close atten ­
tion to conditions in the furnace,
regulate the oxygen flow, and, if the
furnace does o v erheat, d irect the
rocking of the furnace to cool it.
By observing the various instru­
ments in the control room, the fur­
nace operator knows when the steel
has almost the correct composition.
The first assistant then tilts the fur­
nace while the second assistant and
helpers, working from behind a heat
shield, use a long-handled spoon to
take a sample. The sample is sent up
to the lab where metallurgists deter­
mine how close the steel is to the
product desired. Based on this infor­
mation, the furnace operator d eter­
mines how much longer and at what
tem perature the furnace should op­
erate. When the furnace operator has
d eterm ined th at the steel has the
specified qualities, the first assistant
tilts the furnace tow ards a waiting
ladle. The steel flows through a taphole in the side of the furnace and
into the ladle. The second assistant
and helpers may add chemical agents
to the ladle while the steel is poured.
By continually tilting the furnace at a
steeper angle the first assistant can

u s e d , th e j o b s a s s o c ia t e d w ith th e

various processes are similar. Since
basic oxygen furnaces account for
most of the U.S. steel, the jobs con­
nected with them will be used as an
illustration of those in other steel fur­
nace operations.
A melter (D.O.T. 512.132) super­
vises w orkers at a steel furnace.
M elters receive inform ation on the
characteristics of the raw materials
they will be using and the type and
quality of steel they are expected to
produce. The melter m akes the steel
according to the desired specifica­
tions by varying the proportions of
iron, scrap steel, and limestone in the
f u r n a c e , an d by a d d in g sm a ll
amounts of other m aterials such as
m a n g a n e s e , s ilic o n , c o p p e r, or
chrome. The melter directs the work­
ers who load furnaces with these raw
 supervises the taking of
materials and


Furnace operator assistants return
furnace to upright position. A
melter then directs as a water
cooled oxygen lance is lowered
into the furnace and high purity
oxygen is blown onto the top of the
metal at supersonic speed.

After steel has been refined, furnace operator assistants tilt
the furnace and molten steel pours into a ladle. Assistants
then add alloys to tne metal.

Source: American Iron and Steel Institute

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

668

keep the slag above the taphole, pre­
venting it from flowing into the ladle.
E v e n tu a lly , th e slag is p o u re d
through the taphole into the slag pot.
The assistants and helpers then use
handtools to clean out the taphole
and furnace lip.
The liquid steel usually is solidified
into large blocks called “ ingots.” A
hot metal crane operator (D.O.T.
921.883) controls an overhead crane
which picks up the ladle of liquid
steel and moves it over a long row of
iron ingot molds resting on railroad
flatcars (ingot buggies). The steel
pourer (D.O.T. 514.884) operates a
stopper at the bottom of the ladle to
let the steel flow into these molds.
The steel pourer also examines the
molds to see that they are clean and
smooth and directs a helper in taking
a sample o f the steel for chemical
analysis. As soon as the steel has
solidified sufficiently, an ingot strip­
per (D .O .T . 921.883) operates an
overhead crane, which removes the
molds from the ingots. The steel now
is ready to be shaped into semifin­
ished and finished products.
Rolling and finishing. The three prin­
cipal m ethods of shaping steel are
rolling, casting, and forging. (Forged
steel usually is made in forging shops.
O ccupations in those shops are de­
scribed elsewhere in the Handbook.)
About 90 percent of the steel pro­
cessed in steel mills is shaped by roll­
ing. In this m eth o d , h eated steel
ingots are squeezed into longer and
flatter shapes between two massive
cylinders or “ rolls.” Before ingots of
steel are rolled, they are heated to
the tem perature specified by plant
metallurgists. The heating is done in
large furnaces called “ soaking pits”
located in the plant floor. A soaking
pit crane operator (D.O.T. 921.883)
maneuvers an overhead crane to lift
the ingots from small railcars and
place them in the soaking pit. A heat­
er (D .O .T . 6 1 3 .7 8 2 ) and helper
(D.O.T. 613.885) control the soak­
ing pit operation. They adjust con­
trols, which regulate the flow of air
and fuel to the burners, to maintain
the correct tem perature in each pit,
and by watching dials they determ ine
when the ingot is uniformly heated to
Digitized forrequired tem perature.
the FRASER


Ladle

Ingot Molds-

When an ingot has solidified
on the outside, a stripper
crane operator may remove
the mold as shown here in
cutaway. The tongs lift the
mold while a “plunger" holds
the ingot down on the ingot

Liquid steel is poured from a ladle into ingot molds
of various sizes. As it cools, the molten steel solid­
ifies from the outside toward the center.

When the ingots are needed in the
mill, the crane operator places them
on an ingot buggy, which carries
them to the first rolling mill, som e­
times called a “ prim ary” mill. Here,
the ingots are rolled into smaller,
m ore easily handled sem ifinished
products called blooms, billets, and
slabs. Blooms generally are between
6 and 12 inches wide and 6 and 12
inches thick. Billets, which are rolled
from blooms, have a smaller crosssection and are longer than blooms.
Slabs are much w ider and thinner
than blooms.
Rolling ingots into blooms and
slabs are similar operations; in fact
some rolling mills can do both. In the
mill, the ingot moves along on a
roller conveyer to a machine that
resembles a giant clothes wringer. A
“ two-high” rolling mill has two
grooved rolls that revolve in opposite
d irectio n s. The rolls grip the a p ­
proaching red hot ingot and pull it
between them , squeezing it thinner
and longer. When the ingot has made
one such pass, the rolls are reversed,
and the ingot is fed back through
them. T hroughout the rolling opera­
tion, the ingot periodically is turned
90 degrees by m echanical devices
called “ m an ip u lato rs,” and passed
between the rolls again so that all
sides are rolled. This operation is re ­
peated until the ingot is reduced to a

slab or bloom of the desired size. It is
then ready to be cu t to specified
lengths.
A roller (D .O .T . 6 1 3 .7 8 2 ), the
worker in charge of the mill, works in
a glass-enclosed control booth, locat­
ed above or beside the conveyor line.
This em ployee’s duties, which appear
to consist principally of moving le­
vers and pushing buttons, look rela­
tively simple. However, the quality of
the product and the speed with which
the ingot is rolled depend upon the
roller’s skill. The roller regulates the
opening between the rolls after each
pass. If the opening is set too wide,
more passes will be needed to get the
required shape, and production will
be slowed. If the opening is too n ar­
row, the rolls or gears may be dam ­
aged. Long experience and a knowl­
edge o f steel c h a ra c te ris tic s are
required for a worker to becom e a
r o lle r . A m a n i p u l a t o r o p e r a t o r
(D.O.T. 613.782) sits in the booth
beside the roller and operates co n ­
trols that correctly position the ingot
on the roller conveyor before each
pass.
Upon leaving the rolling mill, the
red-hot slab, billet, or bloom moves
along a conveyer to a place where a
shear operator (D.O.T. 615.782)
controls a heavy hydraulic shear that
cuts the steel into desired lengths.
In a rolling mill that has autom atic

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

controls, a rolling mill attendant is
given a card that has been punched
with a series o f holes. The holes
represent coded directions as to how
the ingot is to be rolled. The atten ­
d a n t in serts the c a rd into a card
“ re a d e r” and presses a b u tto n to
start the autom atic rolling sequence.
W hen this process is used, the roller’s
job is shifted from operating the con­
trols to directing and coordinating
the rolling process.
O f increasing use in shaping steel
into slabs, blooms, and billets is the
continuous casting process, which
elim inates the necessity o f producing
large ingots th at in turn m ust be
reheated and then put through the
prim ary mill. In one type o f continu­
ous casting, a ladle of liquid steel, a
w ater-co o led m old o f the desired
p r o d u c t s h a p e ( f o r e x a m p le , a
bloom ) and a cooling cham ber are
set above the plant floor. A series of
rolls descend from the cooling cham ­
b e r to th e flo o r. L iq u id steel is
poured into the mold. T he steel cools
and solidifies along the bottom and
low er sides o f th e m old. Passing
down through the cham ber, the steel
is further cooled by a w ater spray.
The rolls control the m olded steel’s
d e s c e n t, s u p p o rt its w eig h t, and
straighten it as it moves tow ard the
plant floor. The m olded steel is cut to
th e d esire d lengths as it em erges
from the rolls. C ontinuous casting re ­
quires few er workers than the pour­
ing and rolling o f ingots require.
A fter the steel is rolled or cast into
prim ary shapes, m ost o f it is put
through finishing operations. Slabs,
for exam ple, can be reduced and
shaped into sheets, and billets can be
m ade into wire and pipe.
Steel sheet is the m ost im portant
finished product m ade by the iron
and steel industry. T o m ake sheets, a
slab is first heated in a furnace simi­
lar to the soaking pits described ear­
lier, and then run through a hot strip
mill. The hot strip mill is a continu­
ous series o f pairs o f rolls, similar to
the two at the prim ary mill. As the
slab moves through each pair o f rolls,
it becom es thinner and longer. Edge
guides control its width. A fter pass­
ing through the last pair of rolls, the
sheet is wound into a coil. If the cus­
tom er prefers a thinner sheet or an



669

Ingots are taken to soaking pits (above) where they are “soaked”
until they are of uniform temperature throughout. As each ingot is
required at the roughing mill (right) soaking pit crane operators take
it from the soaking pit to the huge facility. The almost-square end
section of the steel emerging from the rolls at the right identifies it
as a bloom. Another kind of semifinished steel is wider than it is
high and is called a slab.

Roughing
Mill
ind Steel Institute

im proved surface, the product may
be cold rolled in another mill.
Having obtained inform ation on
the characteristics of the sheet d e­
sired, the roller at the hot strip mill
refers to a printed guide to determ ine
the necessary gauge betw een each
pair o f rolls, and the speed at which
the slab should travel. W orking in a
pulpit, the roller uses controls to set
the gauge on the last series of rolls,
w hile th e speed operator (D .O .T .
613.782) works controls that adjust
the speed o f the rolls and conveyor.
Unless problem s develop, the jobs o f
these tw o w orkers are rep etitiv e.
However, if the sheet should begin to
b uckle b etw een rolls, due to th e
steel’s com position or tem perature,
these two em ployees must readjust
the gauge and speed o f the rolls in an
a tte m p t to avoid d am age to th e
sheet.
U nder the direction of the roller, a
rougher (D.O.T. 613.782) and assist­
ant use handtools to adjust the gauge
and edge guides for the first series o f
rolls (called the roughing mill). A
ro u g h er p u lp it operator (D .O .T .
613.782) , following the rougher’s in­
structions, signals the furnace crew
for additional slabs and operates co n ­
trols to position the slab on the co n ­
veyor and guide it into the rolls.
O ther im portant steel mill p ro d ­
ucts include various types o f wire and
pipe. These products are m ade from

billets. T o make drawn wire, the bil­
let is rolled into a long, thin, round
product called a rod. A wire drawer
(D .O .T. 614.782) o p erates eq uip­
m ent that pulls the steel rod through
a die. The die has a tapered hole, one
end of which is smaller than the rod.
As the rod passes through the hole, it
is made thinner and longer and be­
comes wire. The wire drawer posi­
tions the rod in the die, sets the speed
for drawing the rod through the die,
lubricates the rod and checks the
wire for scratches and defects.
A piercing-mill operator (D.O.T.
613.885) controls machinery that
makes seamless pipe. The operator
moves levers that drop the hot billet
from a conveyer into a trough and
pass it between two barrel-shaped
rolls th at spin the billet and force an
end of it against a sharp plug or
“ m andrel.” The m andrel smooths
the inside wall of the billet and makes
the diam eter of the hole uniform.
The operator uses controls to remove
the m andrel and drop the billet on a
conveyor for further processing.
Maintenance, Transportation, and
Plant Service Occupations. Large
num bers of workers are required in
steel plants to support processing ac­
tivities. Some m aintain and repair
m achinery and equipm ent, while o th ­
ers operate the equipm ent that p ro ­
vides power, steam, and water.
M achinists and m achine tool op-

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

670

Strand casting produces a continuous ribbon of steel rather than many
separately poured ingots of metal. Molten steel flows from the ladle
into moving, water-cooled molds. The metal chills and begins to
solidify as it moves downward through water sprays. Guided by the
roller aprons, the strand of steel is gradually directed In the horizontal
plane where, now solid, it is levelled and cut into predetermined
lengths.

. Slab Run Out Table

Hot steel Is transported rapidly by
the casting unit
The refractory-lined
tundish controls the flow _
and distribution of metal
into the molds.

Solidifying steel
enters the secondary
cooling zone. Cooling is
accomplished by direct
water spray. Roller aprons
are arranged to guide and
support the strands and
simultaneously take up the
ferrostatic pressure exerted
by the liquid metal core
upon the strand shell.

Sourcs: American Iron and Steel Institute

erators m ake and repair metal parts
for production equipm ent. Diemakers use machine tools to form dies,
such as those used to make wire. Roll
turners (D.O.T. 801.884) use lathes,
grinders, and other m achine tools to
refinish the steel rolls used in the roll­
ing mills.
M illw rights o verhaul m achinery
and re p a ir and re p la ce defective
parts. Electricians install wiring and
fixtures and hook up electrically op­
erated equipm ent. Electrical repair­
ers (m otor inspectors) keep wiring,
motors, switches, and other electrical
equipm ent in good operating condi­
tion.
Electronic repairers install and
maintain the increasing num ber of
electronic devices and systems used
in steel m anufacturing plants. Typi­
cally, this equipm ent includes com ­
munication systems such as closedcircuit television; electronic com put­
ing and data recording systems; and
m easuring, processing, and control
devices such as X-ray measuring or
inspection equipm ent.
Bricklayers repair and rebuild the
brickwork in furnaces, soaking pits,
ladles, and coke ovens, as well as mill
buildings and offices. Pipefitters lay
out, install, and repair piping that is
used to carry the large am ounts of
liquids and gases used in steelm ak­
ing. Boilermakers test, repair, and re­

build heating units, storage tanks,


stationary boilers, and condensers.
L o co m o tiv e en g in e e rs and o th e r
train crew m em bers operate trains
that transport m aterials and products
in the vast yards of iron and steel
plants. O ther skilled workers operate
the various boilers, turbines, and
switchboards in factory powerplants.
O ther types of m aintenance and
service workers include carpenters,
oilers, painters, instrum ent repairers,
scale m echanics, welders, loaders,
riggers, janitors, and guards. Many
laborers are employed to load and
unload materials and do a variety of
cleanup jobs.
Administrative, Clerical, and Techni­
cal Occupations. Professional, adm in­
istrative, clerical, and sales workers
constitute about one-fifth of the in­
dustry’s total employm ent. O f these,
the m ajority are clerical w orkers,
such as secretaries, stenographers,
typists, accounting clerks, and gener­
al office clerks.
Engineers, scientists, and tech n i­
cians m ake up a substantial propor­
tion o f the in d u stry ’s w hite-collar
em ploym ent. Several thousand o f
these workers perform research and
developm ent work to improve exist­
ing iron and steel products and p ro ­
cesses, and to develop new ones.
Among the technical specialists
em ployed in steelm aking are m e­
chanical engineers, whose principal

work is the design, construction, and
operation of mill machinery and m a­
terial handling equipm ent. M etallur­
gists and m etallu rg ica l en g in eers
work in laboratories and production
departm ents where they have the im­
portant task of specifying, control­
ling, and testing the quality of the
steel during its m anufacture. Civil
engineers are engaged in the layout,
co n stru c tio n , and m ain ten an ce o f
steel plants, and the equipm ent used
for heat, light, and transportation.
Electrical engineers design, lay out,
and supervise the operation of elec­
trical facilities that provide power for
steel mill operation. Chemists ana­
lyze the chemical properties of steel
and raw m aterials in laboratories.
L aboratory technicians do routine
testing and assist chemists and engi­
n e e rs. D ra fte rs p re p a re w o rking
plans and detailed drawings required
in plant construction and m ain te­
nance.
Among the employees in adminis­
trative, managerial, and supervisory
occupations are office managers, la­
bor relations and personnel m anag­
ers, purchasing agents, plant m anag­
e r s , a n d i n d u s t r i a l e n g in e e r s .
W orking with these personnel are
several thousand professional w ork­
ers, including accountants, nurses,
law yers, econom ists, statistician s,
and m athem aticians. The industry
also employs several thousand sales
workers.
(D e tailed discussions o f p ro fes­
sional, technical, m echanical, and
other occupations found in the iron
and steel industry as well as in many
other industries are given elsewhere
in the Handbook.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
New workers in processing o p era­
tions usually are hired as unskilled
laborers. Openings in higher rated
jobs usually are filled by prom oting
w o rk e rs from lo w er g ra d e jo b s .
Length of service with the com pany
is the m ajor factor considered when
selec tin g w orkers fo r p ro m o tio n .
Prom otions to first level supervisory
positions, such as blower and m elter,
differ among com panies. Some firms
d eterm ine these prom otions solely
on seniority while others also consid­
er ability to do the job.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

Training for processing o ccu p a­
tions is done almost entirely on the
job. W orkers move to operations re­
quiring progressively greater skill as
they acquire experience. A crane op­
erator, for exam ple, first is taught
how to o p e ra te relatively sim ple
cranes, and then advances through
several steps to cranes much more
difficult to run, such as the hot-m etal
crane.
’»
W orkers in the various operating
units usually advance along fairly
well-defined lines of promotion
within their departm ents. For exam ­
ple, to become a blast furnace blow­
er, a worker generally starts as a la­
borer, advancing to second helper,
first helper, keeper, and finally blow­
er. At a basic oxygen fu rn ace, a
worker may begin by doing general
cleanup work and then advance to
furnace hand, second assistant, first
a s s is ta n t, fu rn a c e o p e r a to r, and
eventually to melter. A possible line
of job advancem ent for a roller in a
fin ishing m ill m ight be assistan t
ro u gher, ro ugher p u lpit o p erato r,




rougher, speed operator, and finish
roller. W orkers can be trained for
skilled jobs, such as blower, m elter,
and roller, which are among the high­
est rated steelmaking jobs, in a mini­
mum of 4 or 5 years, but they may
have to w ait m uch longer before
openings occur.
To help them advance in th eir
w ork, m any em ployees take parttim e co u rses in su b jects such as
chem istry, physics, m etallurgy and
managem ent. Steel com panies som e­
tim es provide this train in g —often
within the plant. O ther workers take
evening co u rses in high schools,
trade schools, or universities or en ­
roll in correspondence courses.
Apprenticeship is the best way to
learn a m aintenance trade. A ppren­
ticeship programs usually last 3 or 4
years and consist m ainly o f shop
training in various aspects of the p ar­
ticular jobs. In addition, classroom
instruction in related technical sub­
jects usually is given, either in the
plant, in local vocational schools, or
through correspondence schools.

6 71

Steelm aking com panies have dif­
ferent qualifications for apprentice
applicants. Generally, employers re­
quire applicants to have the equiv­
alent of a high school or vocational
school education. In most cases, the
minimum age for applicants is 18.
Some com panies give aptitude and
other types of tests to applicants to
determ ine their suitability for the
trades. A p p ren tices generally are
chosen from among qualified w ork­
ers already employed in the plant.
The minimum requirem ent for ad­
ministrative, engineering, and scien­
tific jobs usually is a bachelor’s de­
gree w ith an a p p ro p ria te m ajor.
Practically all the larger companies
have form al training program s for
college-trained workers and recruit
these workers directly from college
campuses. In these programs, train­
ees work for brief periods in various
operating and m aintenance divisions
to get a broad picture of steelmaking
operations before they are assigned
to a particular departm ent. In other
companies, the newly hired profes­
sional worker is assigned directly to a
specific research, operating, m ainte­
nance, administrative, or sales unit.
Engineering graduates frequently are
hired for sales work and many of the
executives in the industry have engi­
neering backgrounds. Engineering
graduates, as well as graduates of
business adm inistration and liberal
arts colleges, are employed in sales,
accounting, and labor-m anagem ent
relations, as well as in managerial po­
sitions.
Completion of a business course in
high school, junior college, or busi­
ness school is preferred for entry into
m ost o f the clerical o ccu p atio n s.
Clerical jobs requiring special knowl­
edge of the steel industry generally
are filled by prom oting personnel al­
ready employed in the industry.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the iron and steel
industry is not expected to change
significantly through the m id-1980’s.
Nevertheless, many workers will be
hired to replace those who retire, die,
or leave their jobs for other reasons.
The total num ber hired may fluctu­
ate from year to year because the
industry is sensitive to changes in

672

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Technological advances have enabled the iron and steel
industry to meet growing demand without long-run
increases in employment
Wage and salary workers in the iron and steel industry, 1950-76 and
projected 1985
Employees
800
(in thousands)
700

Earnings and Working
Conditions

600
500
400
300
200

100
1950

1955

I960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

b u sin e ss c o n d itio n s an d d e fe n se
needs.
P roduction o f iron and steel is ex­
pected to increase as population and
business growth create a dem and for
m ore autom obiles, household appli­
ances, industrial m achinery, and o th ­
e r p r o d u c ts t h a t r e q u ir e la rg e
am ounts o f these m etals. Because o f
lab o rsav in g tech n o lo g y , how ever,
em ploym ent is not expected to keep
pace with increases in production.
G iant blast furnaces are being built
that m ake m ore iron p er w orker than
the sm aller furnaces they are replac­
ing. Some blast furnaces now have
conveyor systems th at autom atically
w eigh an d tra n s fe r raw m aterials
from the storage areas to the furnace.
Such system s will elim inate stockhouse jobs such as the scale car op­
e rato r. O pen h ea rth furnaces will
continue to be replaced with m ore
efficient basic oxygen furnaces, in­
creasing the am o u n t o f steel p ro ­
d u ced p e r w orker. O lder prim ary
rolling mills will be replaced by co n ­
tinuous casters, which use fewer em ­
ployees to produce slabs, billets, and
blooms. G reater use o f com puters to
control plant equipm ent, as in hot
finishing mills, and to process busi­
ness records also will increase p ro ­
ductivity.
E m p lo y m e n t tre n d s will d iffe r
among occupations. The num ber of
job FRASER
Digitized for opportunities for engineers, m et­


nance w orkers—for example, brick­
layers and carpenters, who work ex­
tensively on open hearth furnaces—
will decline because they work on
equipm ent th at is being replaced.
Em ploym ent in processing occupa­
tions is expected to decline slightly as
m ore efficient plant m achinery and
equipm ent are introduced.

allu rg ists, la b o ra to ry tech n ic ia n s,
and other technical workers will in­
crease as the industry’s research and
developm ent program s expand. Em ­
ploym ent o f com puter systems an a­
lysts and program m ers also will in­
c r e a s e b e c a u s e c o m p u te r s w ill
perform m ore o f the w ork in the
steelm aking operations. Some m ain­
tenance workers such as electronic
repairers will be needed in greater
num bers to m aintain the increasingly
complex m achinery used by the steel
mills. Em ploym ent o f other m ainte­

Earnings o f production workers in
iron and steelm aking are among the
highest in m anufacturing. In 1976,
they averaged $7.68 an hour, while
production workers as a whole aver­
aged $4.87. To show how earnings
vary by occupation and departm ent,
wage rates for em ployees in some of
the principal occupations are p re ­
sented in table 1. H ow ever, m ost
steelworkers are paid on an incentive
basis—that is, the m ore they produce
the m ore they earn—and often earn
m ore than the table would indicate.
M ost production w orkers in the
iron and steel industry are m em bers
of the United Steelworkers of A m er­
ica. A greem ents betw een steel com ­
panies and the union include some of
the m ost liberal fringe benefits in in­
dustry. Most workers receive vaca­
tion pay ranging from 1 to 5 weeks,
depending on length o f service. A
w orker in the top 50 percent o f a
seniority list receives a 13-week va-

Approximate basic straight-time hourly earnings 1of workers in selected occupations
in basic iron and steel establishments, mid-1976
Blast furnaces:
Larry or scale car operators...........................................................................................
Keepers...............................................................................................................................
Basic oxygen furnaces:
Second assistants (Second helper)................................................................................
Furnace operators............................................................................................................
Open hearth furnaces:
Charging machine operators..........................................................................................
Furnace operators (First helper)..................................................................................
Bloom, slab and billet mills:
Soaking pit crane operators...........................................................................................
Rollers................................................................................................................................
Continuous hot-strip mills:
Roughers...........................................................................................................................
Rollers................................................................................................................................
Maintenance:
Bricklayers.........................................................................................................................
Millwrights.........................................................................................................................
1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends, holidays, and late
and incentive pay.

Hourly
earnings
$6.55
6.95
6.95
7.80
7.20
8.15
7.05
8.35
7.20
8.90
7.30
7.20
shifts

673

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

cation every 5 years; the remaining
workers receive 3 extra weeks of va­
cation once in a 5-year period. Pro­
fessional and executive personnel re­
ceive similar benefits.
W orkers may retire on companypaid pensions after 30 years of serv­
ice, regardless o f age. Em ployees
having 2 years or more of service are
eligible to receive supplem ental un­
em ploym ent benefits for up to 52
weeks. O ther benefits include health
and life insurance, and education and
scholarship assistance.
W orking conditions vary by d e­
partm ent. Work in almost all profes­
sional and clerical jobs and many
m aintenance jobs is done in com fort­




able surroundings. W orkers near the
blast and steel furnaces and in the
rolling mills, however, are subject to
extreme heat and noise. For exam ­
ple, when raw m aterials such as scrap
steel are loaded into a steel furnace a
thunderous roar occurs. The tem per­
ature in the building which surrounds
the blast furnace remains extremely
high even in the middle of winter.
Many plants have developed m eth­
ods to reduce job discom fort. The
use of rem ote control, for example,
enables some employees, such as fur­
nace operators, to work outside the
immediate vicinity of processing o p ­
erations. In other instances, the cabs
in which the workers sit while o perat­

ing m echanical equipm ent, such as
cranes, may be air-conditioned. Be­
cause certain processes are continu­
ous, many employees are on night
shifts or work on weekends.

Sources of Additional
Information
For additional information about
careers in the iron and steel industry,
contact:
American Iron and Steel Institute, 1000 16th
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
United Steelworkers of America, Five Gate­
way Center, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222.

OCCUPATIONS IN LOGGING
AND LUMBER MILLS

The logging and lum ber mill indus­
try offers a variety of careers for peo­
ple who enjoy outdoor work. Log­
ging cam ps and sawm ills provide
many job opportunities, especially in
the South and Pacific Northwest, the
N ation’s m ajor tim ber-producing re­
gions.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
In 1976, about 75,000 wage and
salary workers were employed in log­
ging— harvesting trees and removing
them from forests. A much larger
num ber—about 210,000—worked in
sawmills and planing mills where logs
are converted into lumber. In addi­
tion, there were about 60,000 selfemployed workers, most of them in
logging.
This statem ent deals with activities
and jobs involved in cutting and re­
moving tim ber from forests and in
the processing of logs into rough and
fin ish ed lu m b er. It ex clu d es the
m anufacture of paper, plywood, ve­
neer, and other wood products such
as furniture and boxes. Occupations
in paper m anufacturing are discussed
in a separate statem ent elsewhere in
the Handbook.
Lum ber production has followed
the same basic process for many
years. A stand of tim ber is harvested
in the forest, moved to a central
location or “ landing” accessible to
transportation, and then carried by
truck or rail to a mill for processing.
Logging crews typically consist of
from 5 to 15 workers. Several crews,
each working at a different location,
may be needed to supply logs for a
single mill. The crew moves through
the forest as one area after another is
harvested. Years ago these workers
lived in camps close to the cutting
site. With better roads and transpor­
674



tation, alm ost all can now live at
home and com m ute to work.
In the sawmill, logs are debarked,
rough-sawn into boards or timbers o f
various widths and lengths, and then
seasoned (dried) so the wood will not
warp. A small am ount of rough lum ­
ber is sold without further process­
ing, but the rest must be sent to a
planing mill before it goes to m arket.
In the planing mill, rough boards are
finished to give them a smooth sur­
face. Boards also are made into floor­
ing, siding, m ould in g , and o th e r
forms of building trim . Since logs
cost m ore to ship than processed
lumber, sawmills usually are located
near tree-harvesting areas. Some of
these mills are small, portable o pera­
tions that can be moved about from
week to week as the harvest p ro ­
gresses, but the large ones are perm a­
nent. Planing mills may be part o f
sawmill operations or may be sepa­
rate facilities miles away. Many saw­
mills and planing mills employ fewer

than 20 w orkers, but som e have
more than 100.
Although some logging and lum ber
mill workers are em ployed in nearly
every State, seven States account for
about half of the industry’s em ploy­
ment: Oregon, W ashington, Califor­
nia, Alabam a, North C arolina, A r­
kansas, and Georgia.
Logging. Before a stand of tim ber is
h a r v e s t e d , a f o r e s t e r ( D .O .T .
040.081 ) selects and m arks which
trees to cut. Foresters also map the
cutting areas, plan and supervise the
c u ttin g ,'a n d plant seedlings to re ­
place the trees that were removed.
F o r e s t r y t e c h n i c i a n s ( D .O .T .
441.384) assist foresters in perform ­
ing th ese duties. Tim ber cruisers
(D .O .T . 4 4 9 .2 8 7 ) e s tim a te th e
am ount and grade of standing tim ber
and help foresters make maps. Heavy
eq u ip m en t o p erato rs build access
roads and trails to the cutting and
loading areas so th at they can be
reached by logging crews.
The initial harvesting task—“ fall­
ing and bucking”—is the process of
cutting the tree down and fu rth er
cutting (b ucking) it into logs for
maximum product value and easier
handling. Falters (D.O.T. 940.884),
working singly or in pairs, use pow er­
saws to cut down large trees m arked
by the forester. Expert fallers can
usually drop a tree in the exact spot

OCCUPATIONS IN LOGGING AND LUMBER MILLS

where they want it, w ithout injuring
oth er trees. As soon as the tree is
down, buckers (D.O.T. 940.884) saw
the limbs off and saw the trunk into
logs. S o m etim es, sm all tre e s are
felled with tree harvesters, which are
m achines m ounted on a tracto r and
operated by a logging-tractor opera­
tor (D.O.T. 929.883).
The next task—“ skidding”—is a
m ethod o f removing logs from the
cutting area. A choker (steel cable)
is noosed around the log by choker
setters (D.O.T. 942.887) and then
attached to a tractor, which drags or
“ skids” the log to the landing. A
rigging slinger (D.O.T. 942.884) su­
pervises and assists c h o k e r setters
and trac to r drivers.
Sometim es, o ther m ethods o f re­
moval are necessary o r desired. In
rough terrain in the W est, where logs
m ust be m oved up o r dow n steep
slopes or across ravines, the “ highlead ” m ethod is used instead o f skid­
ding. This m ethod is som ew hat like a
fishing rod and reel. Steel cables run
from a diesel-pow ered winch (reel)
through pulleys at the top o f a large
steel tow er (ro d ) and down to the
cutting area which may be hundreds
o f feet away from the tower. C hoker
setters noose the end o f the cable
around a log and a yarder engineer
(D.O.T. 942.782) operates the winch
to pull the log into the landing. O ther
m ethods include the use o f heavyduty helicopters and balloons that lift
logs weighing several tons and carry
them to the loading sites. The m ajor
advantages o f these m ethods are that
fo re s t o b sta c le s m ay be av o id ed
m ore easily and environm ental dam ­
age caused by dragging logs across
the land is reduced.
A fter logs reach the landing, they
are loaded on a truck trailer and
hauled to a mill. A loader engineer
(D .O .T . 9 2 1 .8 8 3 ) o p e ra te s a m a­
chine th at picks up logs and places
them on the trailer. A second loader
(D.O.T. 949.884) directs the posi­
tioning o f logs on the trailer. A l­
though trucks usually are used, logs
are som etim es carried by railroad
cars.
Sawmills and Planing Mills. At the
sawmill incoming logs are stacked on
th e g r o u n d ( c o ld d e c k in g ) o r
 a pond to await cutting.
dum ped into


Loader operators take logs from landing
area and place them on trucks to go to
plants for processing.

W ater storage protects the logs from
splitting, insect dam age, and fire.
C old decking, on the o th er hand,
permits greater storage volume p er
acre, and som e trees such as oak
must be stored this way because they
w ill sin k in w a te r. L og sca lers
(D.O.T. 941.488) m easure logs and
look for defects, such as knots and
splits, to estim ate the am ount and
quality o f lum ber available. Pond
workers (D .O .T. 921.886) sort the
logs so that all o f one kind or size go
into the mill together.
A bull-chain operator (D.O.T.
921.885) controls a conveyor that
pulls logs up a chute into the sawmill.
A barker operator (D .O .T 533.782)
operates m achinery to remove bark
and foreign m atter that could dam ­
age saws. One kind o f m achine has
rough metal bars o r knives that rub
or chip the bark away. A nother kind
tears it off with the high pressure
force o f water. The rem oved bark

675

may be processed into garden mulch
or burned to produce heat and steam
for the sawmill.
As a log enters the sawing area, a
deck worker (D.O.T. 667.887) rolls it
onto a platform called a “ carriage,”
and a block setter (D.O.T. 667.885)
aligns the log and locks it into posi­
tion. The carriage, which moves back
and forth on rails, carries the log into
the teeth of a large bandsaw; each
time the log passes the saw a board is
sliced off. This o p eratio n is c o n ­
tro lled by a head saw yer (D .O .T.
667.782) , who is one of the most ex­
perienced workers in the mill. The
quality and quantity o f usable lumber
obtained from logs depends largely
on the head sawyer’s skill and knowl­
edge.
After leaving the carriage, the lum ­
ber moves to an edger saw, consisting
o f two o r more circular blades. O per­
a te d by a p o n y e dg er (D .O .T .
667.782) , the edging m achinery cuts
the lum ber to the desired width. For
example, the production run may be
cutting boards to a 4-inch width.
Next, a trimmer saw operator (D.O.T.
667.782) , using a series of circular
cross-cut saws, cuts the lumber to
various lengths, such as 8, 10, or 12
feet.
W hen all sawing is com pleted, a
conveyor system moves the rough
lum ber into a sorting shed, where
graders (D.O.T. 669.587) examine
each board and determ ine its grade
according to set standards of quality
and value. After grading, sorters
(D.O.T. 922.887) pull and stack the
lum ber according to type, grade, and
size.
At this stage, the lumber is still
green and must be seasoned so that it
will not shrink or warp. It may be
stacked outdoors where the sun and
wind will remove excess moisture.
M ore frequently, however, it is
placed in a specially heated building
(dry-kiln).
Dry-kiln
operators
(D.O.T. 563.381) control tem pera­
tu re, hum idity, and ventilation in
kilns.
Some seasoned lum ber is ready for
use w ithout further processing. Most
o f the lum ber, however, must pass
through a planing mill before being
shipped to market. In this mill, the
rough dried lum ber is run through a

676

set of rotating knives controlled by a
planer operator (D.O.T. 665.782).
Some knife heads produce smooth
surfaces, while others tongue-andgroove the boards for flooring or
paneling. Similarly, a wide variety of
moulding or other building trim may
be cut. The dressed or finished lum­
ber is usually graded again before
s to ra g e by a pl aner mill grader
(D.O.T. 669.587). The milling pro­
cess is now ended and the lum ber is
ready for shipment.
In addition to those already d e­
scribed, workers in many other occu­
pations requiring a broad range of
training and skill are needed in the
logging and milling processes. M ain­
tenance mechanics install and repair
saws and related machinery. Saw fil­
ers sharpen and re p air saws, and
electricians maintain and repair wir­
ing, m o to rs, and o th e r e le c tric a l
equipm ent. Increasingly, people with
electronics backgrounds are being
h ire d to m a in ta in th e g ro w in g
am ount of electronically controlled
or operated equipm ent. Truckdrivers
transport logs to the mills and deliver
th e fin ish ed lu m b er p ro d u c ts to
wholesalers.
Many workers are employed in
clerical, sales, and administrative
occupations. For example, many
com panies employ office managers,
purchasing agents, personnel m anag­
ers, salesworkers, office clerks, ste­
nographers and typists, bookkeepers,
and b u sin ess m ach in e o p e ra to rs.
Also, the industry employs profes­
sional and technical workers, such as
civil and industrial engineers, draft­
ers and surveyors, and accountants.
(Detailed discussions of professional,
technical, and m echanical occupa­
tions, found not only in logging and
milling but in other industries as well,
are given elsewhere in the Handbook
in sections covering individual occu­
pations.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Most loggers and millhands get
their first jobs without previous train­
ing. Em ployers p refer high school
graduates, but applicants with less
education frequently are hired. Entry
level jobs usually can be learned in a
few weeks by observing and helping

experienced workers.


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Saw o perator cuts logs into 8-foot lengths for plywood.

A beginning logger may start by
helping choker setters or buckers.
After gaining logging experience and
basic skills, workers may advance to
higher paying positions as vacancies
occur. Those with an aptitude for
operating machinery may become a
yarder engineer, or a tractor o pera­
tor. Others may be interested in the
highly skilled faller or bucker jobs.
In the mill, the beginner often is
assigned to a labor pool to do odd
jobs, such as sorting and stacking
lumber. Millhands may be trained to
operate various m achines such as the
edger saw or a band saw. O ther mill
workers may be able to pursue c a ­
reers in lum ber sales and marketing,
or be trained for research jobs.
M echanics, electricians, and o th ­
ers who repair and maintain the in­
dustry’s equipm ent are trained on the
job under the guidance of supervisors
and experienced workers. In some
com panies, this training is supple­
m ented by classroom in stru ctio n .
M aintenance trainees frequently are
selected from w orkers already em ­
ployed in mills or logging crew s.
Many firms, however, will hire inex­
perienced people who have m echani­
cal aptitude. G enerally, it takes a
trainee 3 to 4 years to becom e skilled
in one of the m aintenance jobs.
W orkers who have leadership abil­
ity and years of experience can ad ­

vance to supervisory positions in
mills and logging crews. Many of the
smaller logging com panies and saw­
mills are owned by people who began
their careers as loggers or millhands.
Loggers and millhands must be in
good physical condition. Although
modern equipm ent has reduced
some of the heavy labor, stamina and
agility are still im portant qualifica­
tions, particularly for loggers. Be­
cause of the danger involved in o p er­
ating and w orking aro u n d heavy
machinery, workers should be alert
and well coordinated.
A bachelor’s degree usually is the
minimum educational requirem ent
for forester, engineer, accountant,
and other professional occupations.
Com pletion of com m ercial courses
in high school or business school
usually is adequate for entry into
clerical occupations, such as secre­
tary, typist, and bookkeeper.

Employment Outlook
Employment in logging and lum ­
b e r m ills is e x p e c te d to d e c lin e
through the m id-1980’s despite an­
ticipated increases in lum ber produc­
tion to m eet the N ation’s population
and industrial growth. Laborsaving
m achinery will m ake it possible to
harvest m ore tim b e r and process
more lum ber with fewer employees.

677

OCCUPATIONS IN LOGGING AND LUMBER MILLS

Nevertheless, many workers will be
needed each year to replace those
who retire, die, or leave the industry
for other reasons. The num ber of job
openings may fluctuate from year to
year, however, because the demand
for lumber is sensitive to changes in
construction activity.
Employment in logging camps and
mills will decline over the long run as
more m odern equipm ent and tech­
niques are adopted. A tree harvester,
for example, which has a scissor-like
pair of blades, can cut down a tree
four times as fast as a saw. As more
harvesters come into use, fewer log­
ging workers will be required. Saw­
mills and planing mills may reduce
employment requirem ents by install­
ing new m achinery and improving
plant layouts. In the kiln area, for
example, a stacking m achine operat­
ed by two or three people can re­
place six who stack by hand.
Although em ploym ent in the in­
dustry as a whole is declining, certain
o ccu p atio n s will grow. A dditional
m ech a n ics, for ex a m p le , will be
n eed ed to m ain tain th e grow ing
stock of logging equipm ent, trucks,
and mill machinery. More foresters
and forestry technicians will find jobs
in this industry as forest replanting
and conservation program s receive
greater attention. Engineers will be
in greater dem and as the industry’s
production m ethods becom e more
complex. As in the past, however,
most of the industry’s job openings
will be for logging and mill workers;
because they make up a very large
proportion of the industry’s total em ­
ploym ent, re p la cem e n t needs are
high.
Summer jobs sometimes are avail­
able for high school students 17 years
of age or older. These jobs are un­
skilled and include such tasks as
working on a survey crew, helping
haul logs to landings, clearing brush,
and fighting forest fires.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, production workers in
sawmills and planing mills averaged
$4.59 an hour. In com parison, pro­
duction workers in m anufacturing in­
dustries as a whole averaged $5.17

an hour.


Wage rates in logging, sawmills,
and planing mills vary considerably
by occupation and geographic area.
W orkers in different regions of the
United States often earn vastly differ­
ent hourly wages for doing the same
job. Average hourly rates for select­
ed occupations in W estern logging
cam ps and saw m ills in 1976 are
shown in the accompanying tabula­
tion. W orkers in the South earned
considerably less than those in the
West.
Logging and lumber mill workers
often m ust do their jobs under un­
pleasant working conditions. M ost
logging jobs are outdoors and the
weather often is very yot and humid
or extrem ely cold. The forest may be
wet and muddy, with many annoying
insects during the sum m er. Some-

Logging
Deck workers
Pond workers
Sorters
Trimmers
Choker setters
Pony edgers
Truckdrivers
Graders
Lumber stackers
Planer operators
Rigging slingers
Yarder engineers
Head-saw operators, circular saw.
Head-saw operators, band saw....
Fallers and buckers.......................

times, working time and pay may be
lost because of heavy rain or snow or
very e x tre m e te m p e r a tu re s . A l­
though usually sheltered, sawmills
and planing mills may be noisy and
dusty, and uncomfortably warm d u r­
ing the summer. M oreover, work at
logging sites and in mills is more haz­
ardous than in most manufacturing
plants. For many persons, however,
the opportunity to work and live in
forest regions away from crowded
cities m ore than offsets these disad­
vantages.
The major unions in this industry
are the International W oodworkers
of Am erica (AFL-CIO) and the
Lumber Production and Industrial
W orkers, an affiliate of the United
B rotherhood of Carpenters and Join­
ers of Am erica (AFL-CIO). On the
Hourly rates.
West Coast

........................................................................

$ 6.00

6.00

6.25
6.25
6.45
6.45
6.55
6.65
6.80
7.00
7.10
7.70
7.80
8.30
9.15

678

West Coast, a large proportion of the
in d u stry ’s production w orkers are
covered by union-management con­
tracts. In the South, on the other
hand, relatively few are covered.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Sources of Additional
information

International Woodworkers of America, 1622
N. Lombard St., Portland, Oreg. 97217.

For further inform ation about job
o p p o rtu n itie s and w orking co n d i­
tions, contact:

Wood Industry Careers, National Forest Prod­
ucts Association, 1619 Mass. Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

M ajor autom obile m anufacturing
centers are also found in other parts
o f the country, including Los Ange­
les, San Francisco, Kansas City, St.
Louis, A tlanta, and Philadelphia.

M O TO R V E H IC L E A N D E Q U IP M E N T
M A N U F A C T U R IN G O C C U P A T IO N S

At the beginning o f this century,
m otor vehicle m anufacturing was a
virtually unknow n industry. Today,
by a num ber o f m easures, the indus­
try is one o f the m ost im portant in
the Nation.
A m easure o f an industry’s role in
the econom y is the im portance of the
products it makes. T he products of
m otor vehicle m anufacturing cars,
trucks, and buses are a vital part of
o u r tra n s p o rta tio n system . Heavy
trucks are used in industries such as
m ining to haul raw m aterials and
heavy equipm ent, and by other in­
dustries such as trucking to carry a
wide variety of goods from one part
o f th e co u n try to a n o th e r. Small
tru ck s carry b read , m ail, building
m ateria ls, an d h u n d re d s o f o th e r
items for short distances. Buses are
used for both local and transconti­
nental transportation, as well as for
shipping som e goods. Autom obiles
provide people with the ability to go
anyw here in the country whenever
they desire.
A nother m easure o f an industry’s
econom ic im portance is the num ber
o f people it employs. M otor vehicle
m anufacturing employs m ore w ork­
ers than any o ther single m anufactur­
ing industry, alm ost 1 out o f every
100 w orkers in the N a tio n ’s labor
force works in m otor vehicle m anu­
facturing.
Still an o th er indicator is the num ­
ber o f jobs an industry creates in oth­
er sectors o f the econom y. M otor ve­
hicle m anufacturing is im portant for
two reasons. First, it is a m ajor con­
sum er o f steel, rubber, plateglass and
other basic m aterials needed to pro­
duce m otor vehicles. As a result, nu­
m erous em ploym ent o p p o rtu n ities
are created in the industries that pro­
duce these m aterials. Second, a num ­
b er o f indu stries em ploying large
num bers o f workers have been creat­
ed because o f m otor vehicles. Some



o f these industries are m otor vehicle
repair shops, autom obile dealerships,
gas stations, highway construction,
and truck and bus transportation fa­
cilities.
As in other large industries, the
workers in m otor vehicle m anufac­
turing have widely different levels
and types o f education and training.
Job requirem ents vary from a college
degree for engineers and other p ro ­
fessional and technical w orkers to a
few hours o f on-the-job training for
some assemblers, m aterials handlers,
and custodians.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
The autom obile industry is able to
produce millions o f vehicles because
o f mass production o f standardized
parts and assembly line m anufactur­
ing. Parts plants m ake thousands o f
interchangeable parts that are put to ­
gether by workers at assembly plants
to build com plete vehicles. New cars
are driven off the assembly line at the
rate o f about one a minute.
The industry has about 3,000
plants, ranging from small parts
plants with only a few workers to
huge assembly plants that employ
several thousand. A bout 85 percent
o f the industry’s em ployees work in
plants with 500 workers or m ore.
O ver two-thirds o f the industry’s
em ployees work in the G reat Lakes
region, including Michigan, Ohio, In­
diana, Illinois, W isconsin, and west­
ern New York. M ichigan alone has
alm ost 40 percent o f the total, with
half o f these workers in the D etroit
m etropolitan area. O ther im portant
industry centers in the G reat Lakes
area are Flint and Lansing, Michigan;
Cleveland and W arren, Ohio; Indian­
apolis and Fort W ayne, Indiana; Buf­
falo, New York; and Chicago, Illi­
nois.

How Automobiles are Made
There are three stages in making
an autom obile: Designing, engineer­
ing, and testing; production o f parts
and subassemblies; and final assem­
bly. A lthough the rest o f this state­
m ent discusses only autom obiles, the
inform ation also applies to trucks,
buses, and other m otor vehicles.
Designing, Engineering, and Testing.
A bout 2 to 3 years o f designing,
engineering, and testing precede the
actual production o f a new car.
First, executives decide what type
o f car to produce—a sports car, com ­
pact, or luxury car—based on what
their m arket research shows about
consum ers’ desires. Once this deci­
sion has been made, they determ ine
basic specifications for the c a r’s size
and cost. Design of the c a r’s body
and interior is assigned to stylists.
F rom th e sk etch es and draw ings,
skilled m odel m akers make scale and
full-size clay and fiberglass models of
the car that are used to refine the
styling, to evaluate safety features,
and finally to make m aster dies for
producing the car. Engineers, usually
working with drafters who draw up
blueprints and specifications, design
the c a r’s engine, transmission, sus­
pension, and other parts. Their de­
signs m ust m eet safety and pollution
control standards, as well as pass
cost, fuel economy, and perform ance
tests. T hey w ork w ith physicists,
chem ists, m etallurgists, and o th er
scientists to develop new parts, stron­
ger and lighter m etal alloys, new
ways to use plastic and fiberglass,
and th o u san d s o f o th e r im p ro v e­
m ents in autom obile design.
Each new design and im provem ent
is thoroughly tested in the laboratory
and on special test tracks that can
duplicate almost every driving condi­
tion. Engines are run thousands of
miles to test their durability. Safety
features are tested in the laboratory
and in actual crashes. Com ponents
that fail must be redesigned before
the car can be produced.
679

680

Production o f Parts. O nce the c a r’s
final design has been agreed upon
and the decision to go ahead with
production has been m ade, the thou­
sands o f p arts th a t are needed to
m ass p ro d u c e c o m p le te v eh icle s
m ust be m a n u fa c tu re d . P arts are
m ade using a n u m b er o f different
m ethods and a variety of m aterials,
including steel, co p p er, alum inum ,
glass, rubber, plastic, and fabric.
Even m etal parts are m ade by a
num ber o f different m ethods. The
m etalw orking process used to m ake
each p art is determ ined by a num ber
o f factors, including the size o f the
part to be m ade, the am ount o f stress
to which the p art will be subjected,
and the degree o f precision required.
Bulky parts, such as engine blocks,
are m ade using the casting process.
A nother process, called forging, is
used for axles, crankshafts, and other
parts th at m ust w ithstand great
am ounts o f stress. Body panels are
m ade by a process called m etal
stam ping in which huge presses
stam p sheet metal into the shape o f
the desired part. O ther parts such as
alternators and carb u retor parts are
m achined to exact dimensions. These
m e ta lw o rk in g p ro c e s s e s a re e x ­
plained m ore fully u nder plant occu­
pations.
A variety o f m anufacturing processess are used for the windows, trim ,
and interior. Plastic and glass parts
are m olded and cut, seat cushions are
sewn, and many parts are painted.



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

a red station wagon. Throughout the
assem bly process, inspections are
m ade to assure that each car is being
put together correctly.

Occupations in the Industry

Throughout production many in­
spections and tests are m ade to in­
sure that the assembled car will m eet
quality and safety standards.

The autom obile industry employs
workers in hundreds o f occupations.
Semiskilled plant workers, including
assemblers and inspectors, make up
about one-half of all employees. An
additional one-quarter are supervi­
sors, m achinists, tool-and-die m ak­
ers, m echanics,and other skilled craft
workers. Clerical workers make up
another one-tenth o f the total. The
rest are professionals, technicians,
sales workers, managers, guards, and
unskilled workers.
Some o f the im portant o c c u p a ­
tions are described briefly below. D e­
tailed discussions of many of the p ro ­
fessional, technical, craft, and plant
jobs may be found elsewhere in the
Handbook.

Final Assembly. A fter many m onths
of designing, testing, and producing
parts, the car is finally ready for
assembly. Each w orker on the assem ­
bly line has a specific task to perform
as the conveyor carries the chassis
along the assembly line. Axles are
attached; the engine and transm is­
sion are m ounted; body panels are
welded together, painted, and joined
to the chassis; and instrum ent panels
and seats are installed. N ear the end
o f the line, hubcaps, m irrors, and
o th er finishing touches are added.
G asoline is pum ped into the fuel
tank, headlights and wheels are align­
ed, and the car is inspected and driv­
en off the line. The whole final as­
sembly process may take as little as
90 minutes.
Assembling hundreds o f cars a day
requires expert timing and coordina­
tion. Parts and subassemblies are d e­
liv e re d a c c o rd in g to p ro d u c tio n
schedules arranged m onths in a d ­
vance in order that they may be fed
without interruption to workers from
storage areas along the assembly line.
W orkers at each assembly station re ­
ceive instructions for the color and
special equipm ent for each car that
passes along the line. This allows cars
of different colors and types to follow
each other on the assembly line. A
blue sedan, for example, may follow

Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. The m odem autom obile is the
product o f the research, design, and
developm ent work o f thousands of
engineers, chem ists, d rafters, and
o th e r p ro fe ssio n a l and tec h n ic a l
workers.
Over 30,000 engineers worked in
the autom obile industry in 1976.
Most of them were m echanical, elec­
trical, o r industrial engineers. M e­
chanical engineers design im prove­
m ents for engines, transmissions, and
other working parts. Electrical engi­
neers design the c a r’s electrical sys­
tem , especially the ignition system
and accessories. Industrial engineers
co n c en trate on plant layout, work
standards, scheduling, and other p ro ­
duction problems. The industry also
employs m etallurgical, civil, chem i­
cal, and ceram ic engineers.
The industry employed over 3,000
m athem aticians, physicists, chemists,
and other physical scientists in 1976.
Most of them work on research and
developm ent projects, such as find­
ing ways to reduce fuel consum ption
and air pollution and studying the
b eh a v io r o f m etals u n d er c e rtain
conditions. M athem aticians and stat­
isticians design quality control sys­
tems and work with research scien­
tists and engineers. Some scientists
supervise technical phases of produc-

MOTOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

tion. M etallurgists, for example, su­
pervise m elting and heating opera­
tio n s in th e ca stin g an d fo rg in g
departm ents.
D rafters are the largest group of
technical workers. They work closely
with engineers and stylists to draft
blueprints and specifications for each
part o f the car. Engineering aides,
laboratory assistants, and thousands
of other technicians also assist engi­
neers and scientists.
Administrative, Clerical, and Related
Occupations. Executives decide what
kind o f vehicles to produce, what
prices to charge, where to build
plants, and w hether to m anufacture
or buy certain parts. They are assist­
ed by law y ers, m a rk e t a n a ly sts,
econom ists, statisticians, industrial

relations experts, and other profes­
sionals, who may also supervise plant
or office staffs. Purchasing agents,
personnel m anagers, and other ad ­
m inistrative w orkers direct special
phases o f the com pany’s business.
Secretaries, bookkeepers, shipping
clerks, keypunch and business m a­
chine operators, typists, and o th er
clerical employees work in the indus­
try ’s plants and offices.
Plant Occupations. A bout threefourths o f the autom obile industry’s
em ployees work in the plant. Most o f
these workers are engaged directly in
the production process making parts
or working on the assembly line. O th­
er plantw orkers such as m aintenance
machinists and stationary engineers
help support the production process

T he larg est group of w orkers in the autom obile industry a re assem blers.




681

by servicing and repairing machinery
and equipm ent.
Foundry Occupations. Engine blocks
and many other parts are “ cast” or
m olded from melted metal. P attern­
m akers, corem akers, and m achine
molders m ake sand molds that have a
hollow space inside in the shape of
the part they are making. W orkers
called m elters and pourers melt the
metal in electric furnaces, or cupo­
las, and pour it into the mold. After
the metal cools and hardens into the
shape o f the part, shakeout workers
remove the casting from the mold.
Forging Occupations. Forging p ro ­
duces m etal th a t is exceptionally
strong; thus the forging process is
used to make parts such as crank­
shafts and axles that must withstand
heavy w ear. Before m etal can be
shaped using this process, it must be
heated in very hot furnaces called
forges. A fter the m etal is glowing
hot, it is placed between two metal
dies, which together form the shape
of the desired part. Then, with tre­
m e n d o u s f o r c e , th e s e d ie s a re
b ro u g h t to g e th e r by ham m ers or
presses that squeeze the metal into
the desired shape. After the metal
has been shaped, other workers re­
move rough edges and excess metal
and perform other finishing opera­
tions such as heat treating and polish­
ing.
Machining and other Metalworking
Occupations. Most rough cast,
forged, and some stam ped parts must
be m achined to exact dimensions be­
fore they can be used. Engine cylin­
ders, for example, must be bored out
to precise dimensions that could not
be achieved using the casting process
alone. M achine tool operators, rep­
resenting one of the industry’s largest
m etalworking occupations, run m a­
chine tools that cut or grind away
excess m etal from rough parts. Most
operators use only one kind of m a­
chine tool and have jo b titles related
to the type of m achine tool they op­
erate, such as lathe operator or mill­
ing m achine operator.
Some machine tools are autom atic
and can be linked together to do a
series o f machining operations. A
rough engine block, for example, can

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

682

be m oved through hundreds o f au to ­
matic drilling, cutting, and grinding
operations with little o r no m anual
labor. Some of the inspection also is
autom atic. O perators o f those m a­
chines are required only to m onitor a
control panel to spot interruptions
and breakdowns. O ther types o f m a­
chine tools need m ore highly skilled
operators who can change or adjust
cutting edges, determ ine proper feed
speeds for the metal to be m achined,
and check the accuracy o f m achined
parts.
Assembly Occupations. The largest
group of workers in the autom obile
industry are the assemblers (D.O.T.
806.887). They put together small
parts to m ake subassem blies, and put
subassem blies together to build a
com plete vehicle. E ach assem bler
has a specific jo b to do as the vehicle
passes a work station. For example,
one w orker m ounts a tire and the
next w orker tightens the nuts with a
pow er wrench. M ost assembly jobs
are repetitive and require limited
skills. However, they do require good
coordination, and may be strenuous.

and .687). Throughout the m anufac­
ture and assembly o f a new car, in­
spectors check certain parts for d e­
fects. They inspect raw m aterials,
examine parts during m anufacturing,
check the quality and uniformity of
subassemblies, and test-drive the new
car. Inspectors need various skills,
depending on the part of the process
they inspect. Some inspectors m ust
be able to read blueprints and speci­
fications to determ ine the required
dimensions for the parts they check.
They then use m icrom eters and other
precision m easuring instrum ents to
insure that the parts m eet specifica­
tions. O ther inspectors use testing in­
strum ents such as dynam om eters to
be sure th a t engines are w orking
properly.

Other Plant Occupations. Many other
workers help keep the plant o p erat­
ing sm oothly by delivering m aterials
and parts, repairing equipm ent, and
cleaning and guarding the plant.
Keeping the assembly line running
sm oothly requires an elaborate m ate­
rials handling and delivery system.
First, m aterials handlers load and un­
load raw m aterials and parts from
Finishing Occupations. “ Finishing” tru c k s , sh ip s, an d ra ilro a d c a rs.
includes painting, polishing, uphol­ Large and heavy m aterials—for ex­
stering, and o th e r o p eratio n s th at a m p le, h eavy m a c h in e ry o r raw
protect the c a r’s surface and add to ste e l—are th e n m oved ab o u t th e
the c a r ’s com fort and appearance. plant by overhead crane operators,
Electroplaters (D.O.T. 500.885) coat while other parts and m aterials are
bum pers, grills, hubcaps, and trim m oved by pow er tru ck o p erato rs.
with chrom e. Metal finishers (D.O.T. C heckers, stock chasers, and stock
705.884) file and polish rough m etal clerks receive and distribute m ateri­
surfaces in preparation for painting. als and keep records o f shipm ents to
Sprayers (D .O .T . 7 4 1 .8 8 7 ) apply m ake sure parts and tools are deliv­
prim ers and paint with power spray ered to the assembly line at the right
guns. Polishers (D .O .T . 7 0 5 .8 8 4 ) time.
A large staff o f workers set up the
polish finished surfaces by hand or
plant’s equipm ent and keep it in
with a pow er buffing wheel.
Several different kinds of w orkers good condition. Skilled m aintenance
are involved in making the c a r’s up­ m echanics and electricians service
holstery. W orking from a p attern , and repair com plex m echanical hy­
cutters (D.O.T. 781.884) cut fabric d ra u lic , e le c tric a l, and e lec tro n ic
o r le a th e r w ith h an d o r e le c tric equipm ent. Millwrights move and in­
sh ears. Sew ing m achine operators stall heavy machinery. Plumbers and
(D.O.T. 787.782) sew the pieces to ­ pipefitters lay out, install, and repair
gether into seat covers o r headliners. piping, valves, pum ps, and com pres­
Cushion builders (D .O .T. 780.884) sors. C a rp e n te rs, statio n ary en g i­
fasten springs, padding, and foam neers, and sheet-m etal workers also
rubber to the seats and other uphol­ work in autom obile plants.
The industry also employs many
stered areas and install the covers.
protective service workers to keep
Inspection Occupations.
(D.O.T. plants secure and many custodial
806.281, .283, .381, .382, .387, .684, workers to keep them clean. Most of



the protective service workers are
guards, while janitors and porters
m ake up a large portion of the custo­
dial work force in the industry.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Engineers and scientists must have
at least a bachelor’s degree with an
a p p ro p ria te m ajor. A dvanced d e ­
g re e s o r s p e c ia liz e d e x p e rie n c e
som etim es are required for research
and developm ent jobs. A bout a doz­
en colleges offer undergraduate or
graduate courses in autom otive engi­
neering, and many com panies have
training program s in autom otive spe­
cialties for engineers and scientists.
M ost com panies also offer grants,
loans, or tuition refund plans to their
em ployees for advanced study. Engi­
neers and scientists may becom e su­
pervisors of research or production
units, and sometimes enter adm inis­
trative o r executive positions.
M ost autom otive stylists are gradu­
ates of art institutes or have bache­
lo r ’s d egrees in industrial design.
They should have a background in
practical applications, such as model
building, as well as in design theory
and techniques.
Most engineering aides, laboratory
assistants, drafters, and other techni­
cians in the autom obile industry are
graduates of technical institutes or
junior colleges. O thers are trained on
the job, at company schools, or at
com pany expense at local technical
schools or junior colleges. T echni­
cians som etim es advance to en g i­
neering jobs through experience and
study tow ard an engineering degree.
A lthough a college education is
not always required, adm inistrative
jobs usually are filled by people with
degrees in business adm inistration,
engineering, m arketing, accounting,
industrial relations, and similar
fields. Som e com panies offer ad ­
vanced training in these specialties.
For semiskilled jobs, the industry
seeks people who can do routine
work at a steady pace. Most assembly
jobs can be learned in a few hours,
and the less skilled m achine o p erat­
ing jo b s can be learn ed in a few
weeks. Plant w orkers should be in
good health and have good coordina-

MOTOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

683

tion and ability to do m echanical
work.
Employment in motor vehicle manufacturing fluctuates
Tool-and-die makers, patternm ak­
with the economy, consumer preferences, credit
ers, e lec trician s, and som e o th er
availability, and defense activity
craft workers in the autom obile in­
dustry need at least 4 years of train­
Wage and salary workers in motor vehicles and equipment
ing. A lthough many persons learn
manufacturing industry, 1950-76 and projected 1985
their skills by working with experi­
E m p lo y e e s
1,000
enced craft workers, apprenticeship
(in th ou san ds)
training is the best way to learn a
800
skilled trade. Autom obile m anufac­
turers, working with labor unions, of­
fer apprenticeships in many crafts.
600
Applicants for apprenticeship usu­
ally must be high school, trade, or
400
vocational school graduates, or have
equivalent training. Training should
200
include m athem atics, science, m e­
chanical drawing, and shop courses.
0
A pprentices must pass physical ex­
1950
1955
1960
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
a m in a tio n s, m e c h a n ic a l a p titu d e
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
tests, and other qualifying tests.
Apprenticeship
includes
both
classroom and on -th e-job in stru c­
tion. Shop math, blueprint reading, ment in the industry will not keep by occupation. Little employment
shop th eo ry , and special subjects pace with production. A utom obile growth is expected for machinists
such as electronics and hydraulics companies will use more autom ated and tool-and-die makers, for exam ­
are studied in the classroom. In the and com puterized equipm ent for m a­ ple, as more efficient metalworking
shop, ap p ren tices learn the te c h ­ chining, assembling, and inspecting. p ro cessess are in tro d u c e d . Some
niques of their trade and how to use A recent example is the versatile “ in­ skilled occupations will grow, includ­
d u strial r o b o t” th a t can be p ro ­ ing electricians, millwrights, pipefit­
tools and machinery.
Supervisors usually are selected grammed to weld body panels, feed ters, and machine repairers. Overall,
from workers already employed in parts into machine tools, and do a the num ber of semiskilled workers
the firm, especially if they have com ­ variety of other tasks. Also, new or will decline slightly.
pleted an apprenticeship and have modernized plants will have the lat­
Earnings and Working
considerable experience. M anufac­ est conveyor equipm ent for moving
Conditions
parts and materials.
turers usually have special training
Some o f the industry’s increased
programs for newly prom oted super­
Production workers in the autom o­
visors that provide instruction in the efficiency, however, will be offset by bile industry are among the highest
other developm ents. For example, paid in m anufacturing. In 1976 they
various aspects of their new job.
more workers will be needed to d e­ averaged $7.10 an hour, com pared
sign, test, and build cars with im ­ to $5.19 an hour for p ro d u ctio n
Employment Outlook
proved safety, exhaust control, and workers in all manufacturing indus­
fuel consum ption features.
tries.
Employment in the autom obile in­
Changes in the kinds of vehicles
dustry is not expected to increase sig­
Besides wages and salaries, au to ­
nificantly through 1985. N everthe­ built and how they are produced will mobile workers receive a wide range
less, thousands of w orkers will be affect the type as well as the num ber of fringe benefits. They are paid 1
hired in this large industry each year of workers employed in the autom o­ 1/2 tim es th e ir n orm al wage for
to replace those who retire, die, or bile industry. More engineers, scien­ working more than 8 hours a day or
transfer to other industries. The total tists, technicians, and other profes­ 40 hours a week, or for working on
sionals will be em ployed to m eet the Saturday. They receive premiums for
num ber hired will flu ctu a te from
year to year because the industry is industry’s research and developm ent working late shifts, and double the
sensitive to changes in general busi­ needs, especially to design new en ­ normal wage for Sundays and holi­
ness conditions, consum er preferenc­ gines, exhaust system s, and safety days. Most workers get paid vaca­
equipm ent. The use of com puters tions (or paym ent instead of vaca­
es, availability of credit, and defense
will increase the need for systems tions) and 12 paid holidays a year.
activity.
The production of m otor vehicles analysts and program m ers, but will M ost c o m p a n ie s p ro v id e an n u a l
is expected to increase during the limit em ploym ent grow th in many wage increases, plus autom atic in­
next decade as population and in­ clerical occupations.
creases when the cost of living rises.
The em ploym ent outlook for Life, accident, and health insurance
come increase. Because of laborsav­
skilled workers in the industry varies are provided, also.
ing FRASER
Digitized fortechnology, how ever, em ploy­


684

A great majority of the industry’s
workers are covered by companypaid retirem ent plans. R etirem ent
pay varies with the length of service.
Many plans provide for retirem ent at
age 55, or after 30 years of service
regardless of age.
Most wage workers and some sala­
ried employees receive supplem ental
unem ploym ent benefit plans, paid
fo r e n tire ly by th e ir em p lo y ers.
These plans provide pay during lay­
offs and also provide short-w ork­
week benefits when workers are re­
quired to work less than a full week.
During layoff, provisions are includ­
ed for life, accident, and health insur­
ance; survivor income benefits; relo­
cation allow ances; and separation
payments for those laid off 12 con­
tinuous months or more.
Most production
m aintenance
workers in assembly plants, and a
majority in parts plants, belong to the
International U nion, U nited A uto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement W orkers of America. In




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

some parts plants, the International
Union, Allied Industrial W orkers of
A m erica is the bargaining agent.
Other workers belong to the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and
A e ro sp a c e W o rk ers; the P a tte rn
M aker’s League of North America;
the International M olders’ and Allied
W orkers’ Union of North America;
the Metal Polishers Buffers, Platers,
and Helpers International Union; the
In tern atio n al U nion, U nited P lant
Guard W orkers of Am erica (Ind.);
the In te rn a tio n a l B ro th erh o o d o f
Electrical W orkers; the International
Union of Electrical, Radio, and M a­
chine W orkers; and the International
Die Sinkers’ C onference (Ind.).
Most autom obile industry em ploy­
ees work in plants that are relatively
clean and free of dust, smoke, and
fumes. Some work areas, however,
are hot, noisy, and filled with dust
and fum es. These conditions have
been greatly improved by the intro­
ductio n o f b e tte r ven tilatio n and
noise control systems.

Sources of Additional
Information
Information on em ploym ent and
training opportunities in the autom o­
bile industry can be obtained from
local offices of the State em ploym ent
service; employm ent offices of au to ­
mobile firms; locals of the unions
listed above; and from:
International Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America, 8000 East Jefferson
Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of
the U.S., Inc., 320 New Center Building,
Detroit, Mich. 48202.

Information on careers in autom o­
tive engineering and a list of schools
o fferin g a u to m o tiv e e n g in e e rin g
courses are available from:
Society of Automotive Engineers, 2 Pennsyl­
vania Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10001.

O C C U P A TIO N S IN THE
N U CLEAR EN ER G Y FIELD

Nuclear energy is a source of heat
and radiation that can be used for
peaceful as well as military purposes.
Although peaceful applications have
been expanding rapidly in recen t
years, they are still in the early stages
of development. Continuing research
and developm ent program s will be
needed during the next several dec­
ades to find newer, safer, and more
efficient ways of utilizing this energy.
In 1976, about 300,000 people
worked in nuclear energy activities.
Most were employed in the design
and engineering of nuclear facilities
and in the developm ent and m anu­
facture of nuclear weapons and nu­
clear reactors and their components.
Many persons also were involved zn
research and developm ent of nuclear
energy. Most nuclear energy workers
are scientists, engineers, technicians,
and craftworkers.

more efficient reactors may be in
operation by the m id-1980’s. Further
in the future, controlled fusion reac­
tors may provide an even more effi­
cient m ethod of producing electric­
ity.
A nother significant application of
nuclear energy is in the use of radio­
isotopes. R adioisotopes em it rad i­
ation that special instrum ents, such
as thickness gauges, can detect and
are valuable research tools in envi­
ronm ental studies, agriculture, m edi­
cine, and industry.

How Nuclear Energy is
Produced
A lthough there are several p ro ­
cesses for producing nuclear energy,

the most common method used to­
day is the fission process. It involves
splitting uranium or plutonium nuclei
by n e u tro n b o m b ard m e n t. W hen
neutrons em itted from this fission
process bom bard other nuclei, fur­
ther fission takes place and, under
p r o p e r c o n d itio n s , re s u lts in a
“ chain” reaction. This reaction re­
leases energy that is converted into
power. This energy can be controlled
for commercial use.
Controlled fission is the essential
feature of a nuclear reactor. The
reactor is like a furnace, and needs
fuel to operate. The principal source
material for reactor fuel is uranium
235. Uranium in its natural state con­
tains less than 1 percent of readily
fissio n a b le m a te ria l, U -235. A l­
though natural uranium sometimes is
used as reactor fuel, a more concen­
trated and enriched fuel can be p ro ­
duced by increasing the proportion
of U-235 isotopes through a process
called gaseous diffusion. The rate of
fission and energy produced in a nu­
clear reactor usually is controlled by
inserting special neutron-absorbing
rods into the fuel cham ber or “ co re.”

Applications of Nuclear Energy
One significant use of nuclear en­
ergy is the production of electricity
by nuclear reactors. Steam produced
by reactors now generates electricity
or many communities. These reac­
tors have become competitive with
systems th at use fossil fuels (such as
coal and oil). In early 1977, there
were 65 nuclear reactors in com m er­
cial o p e ra tio n . A b o u t 170 plants
were either in the planning stage or
were being co n stru cted. D ual-pur­
pose nuclear power desalting plants,
which would at the same time pro­
vide a new source of fresh w ater and
electric power, are being studied.
Nuclear reactors also power sub­
m arin es an d su rfa c e vessels. By
elim inating refueling, nuclear pro­
pulsion extends the range and mobil­
ity of our naval forces.
Although existing reactors already
generate huge quantities of power
from a small am ount of uranium,



685

686

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Nuclear reactor generating electricity

Nuclear Reactor

Power Plant

Reactor Control Console

Privately owned facilities do all
types of nuclear energy work except
for the developm ent and production
of military weapons and certain nu­
c le a r fu e l-p ro c e ssin g o p e ra tio n s.
Som e re se a rc h is c a rrie d out in­
dependently by colleges and univer­
sities and by nonprofit organizations.

Occupations in the Nuclear
Energy Field

Uranium Rods

When nuclear energy is used com ­
mercially for power, the heat gener­
ated must be converted to electricity
by conventional pow er equipm ent.
The major difference between nucle­
ar and conventional therm al electric
power stations is that the steam to
drive turbines comes from a nuclear
reactor rather than from convention­
al power sources. (See accom pany­
ing chart.)
Because o f the potential hazards of
nuclear radiation, special radiationresistant m aterials are used in reac­
tors, and extensive safety measures
are taken to protect personnel.

Nature of the Nuclear Energy
Field
Many kinds of research and indus­
trial activities are required for the
production and use of nuclear ener­
gy. These processes include the ex­
ploration, mining, milling, and refin­
ing o f u ra n iu m -b e arin g ores; the
p ro d u c tio n o f n u c le a r fuels; the
m anufacture of nuclear reactors, re­
actor com ponents, and nuclear in­
struments; the production of special
materials for use in reactors; the de­
sign, engineering, and construction
of nuclear facilities; the operation
and m aintenance of nuclear reactors;
 of rad io iso to p es; the
the disposal


production of nuclear weapons; and
research and developm ent work.
These activities take place in var­
ious types of facilities. Some work,
such as mining and milling, m anufac­
turing heat transfer equipm ent, and
constructing facilities, differs little
from sim ilar work in other fields.
O ther activities, how ever, such as
producing fuels needed to run reac­
tors, are unique to the nuclear energy
field.
The Federal Governm ent supports
about half of the basic nuclear en er­
gy activities, although private sup­
port has been increasing. The U.S.
Energy Research and Developm ent
Adm inistration (ER D A ) directs the
Federal G overnm ent’s nuclear en er­
gy research program , and the N ucle­
ar R egulatory C om m ission (N R C )
controls the use of nuclear m aterials
by private organizations. The opera­
tion of ERDA-ow ned facilities, in­
cluding laboratories, uranium p ro ­
cessing plants, nuclear reactors, and
w eapons m an u factu rin g plants, is
contracted to private corporations.
Most of these operations involve re ­
search into the expansion of medical
and industrial applications of nuclear
energy and the advancem ent of reac­
tor technologies for generating elec­
tricity. Production of nuclear m ateri­
als for civilian needs is also done in
some of these facilities.

Engineers, scientists, technicians,
and craftworkers account for a
higher proportion o f total em ploy­
ment in this field than in most others,
mainly because much of the work is
still in the research and developm ent
phase. Office personnel in adm inis­
trative and clerical jobs represent an­
other large group. M ost of the re­
m a in d e r a re s e m is k ille d a n d
unskilled workers involved in p ro ­
duction operations, plant protection,
and services.
Although many engineers working
in the nuclear energy field are
trained in nuclear technology, engi­
neers trained in other branches also
are employed. M echanical engineers
are the largest single group, but many
electrical and electronic, chemical,
civil, and m etallu rg ical engineers
also work in this field. Many of these
engineers do research and develop­
m ent work; others design nuclear re­
actors, nuclear instrum ents, and o th ­
er equipm ent.
Research laboratories and other
organizations that do nuclear energy
work employ scientists in basic and
applied nuclear research. Most are
physicists and chemists, but m athe­
m aticians, biological scientists, and
metallurgists also do nuclear energy
research.
Large numbers of engineering and
science technicians, drafters, and ra­
diation m onitors assist the engineers
and scientists in conducting research
and in designing and testing equip­
ment.
Many highly skilled workers build
equipm ent for experim ental and pilot
work and maintain the complex
equipm ent and m achinery. Many
m aintenance m echanics and all­
round machinists work in most nu­
clear energy activities, as do electri­
cians, plum bers, pipefitters, and o th ­

OCCUPATIONS IN THE NUCLEAR ENERGY FIELD

e r c r a f tw o r k e r s a n d c h e m ic a lprocess operators.

Activities in the Nuclear Energy
Field
The following sections briefly d e­
scribe som e m ajor nuclear energy ac­
tivities and their workers.
Uranium Exploration and Mining.
The 9,500 people em ployed in urani­
um exploration and mining in 1976
had jobs similar to those in mining of
o th e r m etallic o res. T hey m ainly
work in the C olorado Plateau area of
the Far W est, in the States o f New
M exico, Wyoming, U tah, C olorado,
and Arizona. A relatively small num ­
ber o f mines account for the bulk of
pro duction and em ploym ent. M ost
workers in uranium mines are in pro­
duction jobs. Among them are m in­
ers and drillers in underground mines
and truckdrivers, bulldozer o p era­
tors, and m achine loaders at open pit
m ines. S cien tists an d en g in ee rs—
m ining engineers, geologists—also
w ork in uranium ex p lo ra tio n and
mining.
Uranium Ore Milling. In uranium
mills, metallurgical and chem ical
processes are used to extract urani­
um from m ined ore. Uranium mills,
lo cated prim arily in the C olorado
P la te a u , e m p lo y e d a b o u t 1,700
workers in 1976.
These mills employ skilled m achin­
ery repairers, millwrights, pipefitters,
carpenters, electricians, and chem i­
cal-process operators. A small pro­
portion o f those working in milling
op eratio n s are scientists and engi­
neers.
Uranium Refining and Enriching.
M illed uranium is chem ically p ro ­
cessed to remove im purities and is
then converted to m etal or interm e­
diate chemical products for reactor
fu e l p r e p a r a tio n . C o n v e n tio n a l
chem ical and m etallurgical processes
are used, but they m ust m eet more
exacting standards than in m ost other
industries. T he o u tp u t o f refining
plants may be further processed to
obtain enriched uranium .
Activity in this segm ent o f the nu­
clear energy field is centered in Ohio,



Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. In
1976 uranium refining and enriching
plants employed about 11,800 w ork­
ers.
M aintenance craftw orkers, partic­
ularly in the highly autom ated urani­
um en rich in g p lants, co n stitu te a
large proportion o f skilled workers in
this area. Many chem ical-process o p ­
erators also are em ployed. M ore than
one-third of the engineers and scien­
tists are ch em ical e n g in e e rs and
chemists.
Reactor
Manufacturing.
A bout
27,800 people were em ployed in the
design and m anufacture o f nuclear
reactors and reactor parts in 1976.
R eactor m anufacturers do extensive
developm ent work on reactors and
auxiliary equipm ent and generally
build m ost of the intricate com po­
nents, such as fuel elem ents, control
rods, and reactor cores.
Over one-third o f the employees in
firms that design and m anufacture
reactors are scientists, engineers, and
technicians. Engineers alone rep re­
sent nearly one-quarter of the em ­
ployment. Most are m echanical engi­
neers and engineers who specialize in
reacto r technology. Assisting these
engineers and scientists are many
drafters and engineering technicians.
R e a c to r m a rtu fa c tu re rs e m p lo y
skilled workers, mostly all-round m a­
chinists, in experim ental, production,
and m aintenance work. N uclear re­
actor operators also are employed to
operate experim ental and test reac­
tors.
Reactor Operation and Maintenance.
About 13,000 workers operated and
m aintained nuclear reactors in 1976.
N uclear power stations employ reac­
tor operators, m echanical, electrical
and electronic engineers, instrum ent
and electronic technicians, and radi­
ation m onitors. M achinery and in­
strum ent repairers, electricians, and
pipefitters m aintain and repair the
reactors.
Research and Development Facilities.
A num ber of research and develop­
m ent laboratories are operated for
ERDA by universities and industrial
concerns. These facilities are m ajor
centers for basic and applied nuclear

687

research in engineering, in physical
and life sciences, and in the develop­
m ent of nuclear reactors and other
nuclear equipm ent. More than half
o f the 30,000 em ployed in ERDA
research and developm ent facilities
are engineers, scientists, and su p ­
porting technicians, including radi­
ation monitors.
Although most nuclear energy re­
search is done in ERDA research and
developm ent facilities, about 2,600
persons conducted research in pri­
vately owned laboratories of educa­
tional institutions, other nonprofit in­
stitutions, and industrial concerns in
1976. Nearly 3 out of 4 were in sci­
entific, engineering, and technical
jobs.
Production o f Nuclear Weapons and
Other Defense Materials. Establish­
m ents producing nuclear weapons,
weapon com ponents, and other de­
fen se m a te ria ls em p lo y ed a b o u t
32,700 persons in 1976. Among the
large num ber of scientists and engi­
neers employed at these facilities are
physicists, chemists, and m echanical,
electrical, and electronic engineers.
Many engineering and physical sci­
ence technicians, drafters, and radi­
ation m onitors assist scientists and
engineers.
Construction o f Nuclear Facilities. In
1976, about 66,000 persons worked
on the construction of nuclear facili­
ties—most were craftworkers. About
18,000 o f th ese w ere pipe- an d
steam fitters, 8,100 were electricians,
and 11,200 were laborers. Several
thousand carp en ters, ironw orkers,
operating engineers, and boilerm ak­
ers also were required in nuclear
construction.
Other Nuclear Energy Activities.
About 2,400 workers produced spe­
cial m aterials such as beryllium, zir­
conium, and hafnium for use in reac­
tors in 1976. About 8,500 workers
were em ployed in com panies th at
m ade re a c to r control instrum ents
and radiation detection and m onitor­
ing devices. Large num bers of engi­
neers and technicians are employed
in these industries.
About 6,900 people were involved
in the design, construction, or op era­
tion of particle accelerators used in

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

688

nuclear research. Particle accelera­
tors enable scientists to study the
structure and properties of elem enta­
ry particles in the nucleus o f an atom .
O ther w orkers process and p ack­
age radioisotopes, produce radiogra­
phy units and radiation gauges, and
package and dispose o f radioactive
waste.
Government Employment. In 1976,
the Energy R esearch and D evelop­
m ent A dm inistration (E R D A ) em ­
ployed nearly 7,000 w orkers who
were involved in nuclear energy ac­
tiv itie s. T h e N u c le a r R e g u la to ry
Commission (N R C ) em ployed about
2 ,5 0 0 p erso n s. S ince ER D A and
NRC are prim arily ad m in istrativ e
and regulatory agencies, nearly 9 out
o f 10 em ployees are in adm inistra­
tive, professional, o r clerical jobs.
Several thousand em ployees are en ­
gaged in nuclear energy work in o th ­
er Federal agencies and in regulatory
activities and radiological health p ro ­
gram s o f S tate and local g o v ern ­
ments.
Unique Nuclear Energy Occupations.
Most o f the occupations discussed in
the preceding sections are similar to
those found in other industrial activi­
ties, even though they may have job
titles unique to the nuclear energy
field (such as nuclear engineer, radi­
ation chem ist, and nuclear physicist)
and require some specialized knowl­
edge of nuclear energy. (A detailed
discussion o f the duties, training, and
em p lo y m en t o u tlo o k for m ost o f
these occupations appears elsew here
in the Handbook.)
The health physics occupations
and some other occupations that are
unique to the nuclear energy field
and require specialized training are
discussed briefly in the following sec­
tions.
Health
physicists
(som etim es
called radiation or radiological physi­
cists o r chem ists) d etec t radiation
and apply safety standards to control
exposure to it. In 1976, about 650
health physicists were em ployed in
radiation protection work, research,
or teaching.
Health physicists are responsible
for for FRASER and organizing radio­
planning
Digitized


logical health program s at nuclear
energy facilities. They establish in­
spection stan d ard s and determ ine
procedures for protecting employees
and elim inating radiological hazards.
Som e supervise the inspection o f
work areas with potential radiation
h azard s and p re p a re in stru c tio n s
covering safe work procedures.
Health physicists also plan and su­
pervise training program s dealing
with radiation hazards and advise
others on m ethods of dealing with
them. In some cases, they work on
research projects dealing with the ef­
fects of hum an exposure to radiation
and m ay d ev elo p p ro c e d u re s fo r
using radioactive materials.
Radiation monitors (also called
health-physics technicians) generally
work under the supervision o f health
physicists. A bout 1,900 radiation
m onitors were em ployed in 1976.
They use special instrum ents to
m onitor work areas and equipm ent
to d etect radioactive contam ination.
Soil, water, and air samples are taken
frequently to determ ine radiation
levels. M onitors also may collect and
test radiation detectors worn by
workers, such as film badges and
pocket detection cham bers, to en ­
sure that they are functioning prop­
erly. M onitors calculate the am ount
o f tim e th a t p e r s o n n e l m a y sa fe ly

work in contam inated areas, consid­
ering m axim um radiation exposure
limits and the radiation level. They
also give instructions in radiatio n
safety procedures and prescribe spe­
cial clothing requirem ents and other
safety precautions for workers en ter­
ing radiation zones.
Nuclear reactor operators perform
work in nuclear power stations simi­
lar to that of boiler operators in co n ­
ventional power plants; however, the
controls they operate are different.
They also help to load and unload
nuclear fuels used in reactors. Those
who work with research and test re ­
actors check reactor control panels
and adjust the controls to m aintain
specified operating conditions within
the re a c to r. A b o u t 2 ,100 p eo p le
worked as nuclear reactor operators
in 1976.
Accelerator operators set up, m ain­
tain, and coordinate the operation o f
p article ac celerato rs. T hey adjust

m achine controls to accelerate elec­
trically charged particles, based on
in stru c tio n s from th e scien tist in
charge o f the experim ent, and set up
target m aterials that are to be bom ­
barded by the particles.
Radiographers take radiographs to
check the condition of m etal cast­
ings, welds, and other objects by ex­
posing them to a source o f radioac­
tivity such as X-rays or gamma rays.
They select the proper type of radi­
ation source and film and use stand­
ard m athem atical formulas to d eter­
m ine exposure distance and time.
A fter processing the radioactive film,
the radiographer is able to discover
cracks and weaknesses in the object
radiographed so that it may be re­
paired.
H ot-cell technicians o p erate re ­
m ote-controlled equipm ent to test
radioactive m aterials that are placed
in hot cells—rooms enclosed with ra­
diation shielding m aterials such as
lead and concrete. By controlling
“ slave m an ip u lato rs” (m echanical
devices that act as a pair of arms and
hands) from outside the cell and ob ­
serving their actions through the cell
w in d o w , th e y p e rfo rm s ta n d a rd
chem ical and m etallurgical o p era­
tions with radioactive materials. H ot­
cell technicians also en ter the cell
wearing protective clothing to set up
experim ents or to decontam inate the
cell and equipm ent. This classifica­
tion is divided into several groups.
D econtamination workers use rad i­
ation-detection instrum ents to locate
plant areas and m aterials that have
been exposed to radiation and de­
c o n ta m in a te th e m w ith sp e c ia l
equipm ent, detergents, and chem i­
cals. They also verify the effective­
ness of the process. Waste-treatment
operators o p e ra te h e a t ex ch an g e
units, pum ps, com pressors, and other
such equipm ent to d econtam in ate
and dispose o f radioactive wastes.
Waste-disposal workers seal contam i­
nated wastes in concrete containers
and transport the containers to be
buried underground.
Radioisotope-production operators
use rem ote control m anipulators and
other equipm ent to prepare radioiso­
topes fo r shipping and to perform
chem ical analyses to ensure that ra­
d io iso to p es conform to sp ecifica­
tions.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE NUCLEAR ENERGY FIELD

Employees inspect one of the fuel elements in a nuclear reactor at an electric company
plant.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Training and education require­
ments and advancem ent opportuni­
ties FRASER
Digitized for for most workers in the nuclear


energy field are sim ilar to those
doing com parable jobs in other in­
dustries. These are discussed else­
where in the Handbook under the
specific occupations. However, addi­
tional specialized training is required

689

for many workers because the field
requires exacting work standards in
both its research and production ac­
tivities, and because it has unique
health and safety problems.
Many engineers and scientists in
the nuclear energy field have ad ­
vanced training, particularly those
doing research, developm ent, and
design work. Some em ployers re ­
quire a Ph.D. degree. In some jobs,
an advanced degree is not required
but it often increases o n e’s advance­
ment opportunities.
The specialized knowledge of nu­
clear energy essential for most scien­
tific and engineering positions can be
obtained at a college or university or
th ro u g h o n -th e -jo b e x p e rie n c e .
Many colleges and universities have
expanded their facilities and curriculums to provide training in nuclear
energy. M ost persons planning to
work in the nuclear energy field as
scientists and engineers choose to
major in a specific nuclear discipline,
although a degree in a traditional en­
gineering or science curriculum of­
ten is sufficient to begin work in the
field. Some colleges and universities
award graduate degrees in nuclear
engineering or nuclear science. O th­
ers offer some graduate courses in
these fields, but award degrees only
in the traditional engineering or sci­
entific fields.
Health physicists should have at
least a bachelor’s degree in physics,
chemistry, or engineering, and a year
or more of graduate work in health
physics. A Ph. D. degree often is
required for teaching and research.
Skill requirem ents for craftworkers in the nuclear energy field are
higher than in m ost industries b e­
cause of the precision required to in­
sure efficient operation and m ainte­
nance o f com plex equipm ent and
machinery. For example, pipefitters
may have to fit pipe to tolerances of
less than one ten-thousandth of an
inch and work with pipe made from
rare and costly metals. Welding also
must m eet higher reliability stand­
ard s th a n in m ost fields. T h ese
craftworkers generally obtain the re­
quired additional specialized skills
through apprenticeship training p ro ­
grams o f employers and unions.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

690

High school graduates who have
taken science courses can qualify for
on-the-job training as radiation
workers,
accelerator
operators,
radiographers, hot-cell technicians,
decontam ination w orkers, radioiso­
to p e-production o p erators, and ra ­
dioactive waste disposal workers.
N uclear power reactor operators
need a basic understanding of reac­
tor theory and a working knowledge
o f re acto r controls. M ost op erato r
trainees are high school graduates.
Some receive specialized training, ei­
th er through a technical school or
th ro u g h train in g p ro g ram s in the
military service. M any trainees are
selected from con v en tional pow er
plant personnel with experience o p ­
erating boilers, turbines, or electrical
m achinery. W orkers operating n u ­
clea r re a c to r co n tro ls m ust be li­
censed by the N uclear R egulatory
Commission. T o qualify for a license,
the trainee must pass an operating
and w ritten test given by the NRC,
along with a m edical exam ination.
The preparation for NRC licensing
generally lasts at least 1 year. Licens­
es must be renewed every 2 years,
however, due to rapid technological
c h a n g e . C o n s e q u e n tly , c o n tin u a l
tra in in g is n ec essary . A d d itio n al
preparation beyond the o p erato r’s li­
cense is needed for a senior o pera­
to r ’s license, which authorizes the
holder to supervise a nuclear control
room.
All em ployees who work in the
vicinity of radiation hazards are giv­
en on-the-job training in the nature
of radiation and the procedures to
follow in case o f its accidental re­
lease.
Individuals who handle classified
data ( restricted for reasons of nation­
al security) or who work on classified
projects in the nuclear energy field
must pass a security clearance.
The Energy R esearch and Devel­
opm ent A dm inistration, at its co n ­
tracto r-o p erated facilities, supports
on-the-job and specialized training
program s to help prepare scientists,
en g in ee rs, tech n ic ia n s, and o th e r
workers for the nuclear energy field.
Additional educational and train­
ing opportunities are offered in coop­
erative program s arranged by ERDA



laboratories with colleges and uni­
versities. Tem porary em ploym ent at
these laboratories is available to fac­
ulty m em bers and students. M any
u n d erg rad u ate and graduate engi­
neering students work at laboratories
and other ERDA facilities on a ro ta­
tion basis, and many graduate stu­
dents do their thesis work at ERDA
laboratories.
G overnm ent contractors often
provide em ployees with training at
their own plants or at nearby colleges
and universities.

and personnel safety, such as health
physicists and radiation m onitors,
should be needed.
Em ploym ent associated with re­
search and developm ent also is ex­
pected to increase, though not as fast
as in the areas directly affected by
nuclear construction. An increasing
num ber o f scientists, engineers, and
technicians will study m ethods to im­
prove the efficiency o f the nuclear
gen eratio n of electricity, peaceful
uses for nuclear explosives, and the
possible bio-medical applications of
nuclear science.

Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent in the nuclear energy
field is likely to grow m uch faster
than the average for all industries
through the m id-1980’s. However,
m uch public concern exists regarding
the safety and environm ental effects
of the use of nuclear power. C ontin­
ued controversy in this area could
result in a slower rate o f industrial
growth than initially anticipated.
Expansion of nuclear generating
capacity and continued increases in
research and developm ent expendi­
tures should account for most o f the
growth in the field. Besides the jo b
openings c re a te d by em ploym ent
growth, many openings will occur as
workers retire, die, or transfer to o th ­
er occupations or industries.
The num ber of nuclear pow er
plants is expected to be several times
greater in 1985 than it was in 1976.
This anticipated growth will require
large increases in the num ber o f
workers in the design, construction,
operation, and m aintenance of these
plants. In design, many more engi­
neers and drafters will be required.
C onstruction needs will call for large
num bers of craftw orkers and labor­
ers. Many more nuclear reactor o p ­
erators and m aintenance personnel
will be needed to bring these plants
into operation and keep them ru n ­
ning efficiently.
Expansion will require substantial
em ploym ent increases in the sectors
involved in mining and milling urani­
um ore, processing reactor fuel, and
producing special m aterials for reac­
tors. Also, because o f the concern
about the possible health hazards of
nuclear radiation, increasing num ­
bers o f persons involved in reactor

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Hourly earnings o f production
workers employed by contractors at
ERDA laboratories and other instal­
lations averaged $6.21 in 1976, com ­
p ared w ith $5.19 for those in all
m anufacturing industries.
Scientists and engineers employed
at ERDA installations averaged
$21,700 a year in 1976. Clerical p er­
sonnel earned an average of $5.15 an
h o u r w hile te c h n ic ia n s av erag ed
about $6.55 an hour. (Earnings d ata
for many o f the occupations found in
the nuclear energy field are included
in the statem ents on these occupa­
tions elsew here in the Handbook. )
W orking conditions for m ost
workers in the nuclear energy field
generally are similar to those in o ther
industries, except for radiation safety
precautions. For instance, all urani­
um m ines are equipped with m e­
chanical ventilation systems that red u ce the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of
radioactive radon substance that may
cause lung injury if inhaled over a
num ber of years. Efforts to eliminate
this hazard are continuing. M anufac­
turing facilities, power plants, and re­
se a rc h la b o ra to rie s are generally
w e ll-lig h te d an d w e ll-v e n tila te d .
Only a small proportion of em ploy­
ees in the nuclear energy field actual­
ly work in areas where direct radi­
ation dangers exist. Even in these
areas, shielding, autom atic alarm sys­
tems, and other devices and clothing
give am ple protection to the workers.
Extensive safeguards and o p erat­
ing practices protect the health and
safety of workers, and ERDA and its

691

OCCUPATIONS IN THE NUCLEAR ENERGY FIELD

contractors have m aintained an ex­
cellent safety record. The NRC regu­
lates the possession and use of radio­
active materials, and inspects nuclear
facilities to insure com pliance with
health and safety requirem ents. Con­
stant efforts are being made to pro­
vide better safety standards and regu­
lations.




Most hourly paid plantw orkers be­
long to unions that represent their
particular craft or industry.

Sources of Additional
Information
Inform ation about research p ro ­
grams in the nuclear energy field is
available from:

U.S. Energy Research and Development Ad­
ministration, Washington, D.C. 20545.

For information about licensing
and safety requirem ents, contact:
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20555.

Y ork-N ortheastern New Jersey in­
dustrial area; Hartford and Stamford,
Conn.; Chicago, 111.; D etroit, Mich.;
and Lexington, Ky.

OFFICE MACHINE AND COMPUTER
MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

D uring the last decade, em ploy­
m ent in the office m achine and com ­
puter industry grew m uch faster than
em ploym ent in m anufacturing as a
whole. G row th was spearheaded by a
rapid expansion in the production of
com puters. For many years, the in­
d u stry ’s ch ief p ro d u cts were ty p e­
w riters, adding m achines, calcu la­
tors, and oth er conventional office
m achines. Today, plants that m ake
com puters and related equipm ent ac­
count for about three-fourths o f the
industry’s production.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
In 1976, the office m achine and
com puter m anufacturing industry
em ployed 2 9 0 ,000 w orkers in ap ­
proxim ately 1,050 plants. A bout 6
out o f every 10 o f them worked in
p la n ts t h a t p r o d u c e d c o m p u te r
equipm ent, the rem ainder in plants
th a t p ro d u ced conventional office
m a c h in e s a n d s c a le s a n d o th e r
weighing devices.
C om puter equipm ent m anufactur­
ing plants em ployed about 195,000
workers in 1976. These plants m anu­
facture general purpose com puters
as well as those used for special ap ­
plications, such as space exploration
an d m issile g u id a n c e . T hey also
m anufacture related equipm ent such
as m achines th at read m agnetic num ­
bers on bank checks. In addition to
com puters and related equipm ent,
plants may furnish “ softw are” (com ­
p u ter program s and operating sys­
tem s th at control the operation o f the
c o m p u te r). T h o u san d s o f p eo p le
whose em ploym ent is not included in
this c h a p te r are em ployed outside
m anufacturing plants by firms that
specialize in software o r that rent or
lease com puters and provide related
services.
692



In 1976, about 95,000 people were
em ployed in factories that produced
conventional office m achines and
scales. O f this total, nearly half p ro ­
duced desk calculators, cash regis­
ters, coin and ticket counters, and
adding, accounting, and voting m a­
chines; the rest produced typew rit­
ers, industrial and household scales
and m iscellaneous office m achines,
including items as diverse as postage
m eters and dictating machines.
Large plants account for m ost of
the em ploym ent in office m achine
and com puter m anufacturing. A bout
65 percent of the industry’s em ploy­
ees work in plants that have 1,000 o r
m ore em ployees; several com puter
plants have m ore than 5,000 em ploy­
ees.
Six o f every 10 persons em ployed
in com puter m anufacturing work in
California, New York, and M inneso­
ta, and the following States employ
m ost o f the rem ainder: M assachu­
setts, Pennsylvania, C olorado, Flor­
ida, Texas, Arizona and N orth C aro­
lina. In New York, the lower Hudson
River Valley area has many im por­
tan t com puter m anufacturing ce n ­
ters: Poughkeepsie, East Fish Kill,
and Kingston. Large m anufacturing
plants also are located in Utica, N.Y.,
and in the Boston, Mass., and Phila­
delphia, Pa. areas. The leading cen ­
ter in the Midwest is Minneapolis-St.
Paul. The Los Angeles and San D i­
ego industrial areas are the m ost im ­
p o rta n t c o m p u te r m a n u fa c tu rin g
ce n te rs in th e W est, follow ed by
Phoenix, Ariz.; and San Jose, Calif.
Most o f the conventional business
m achine m anufacturing em ploym ent
is located in eight States: Ohio, K en­
tucky, New York, M ichigan, C alifor­
nia, Illinois, New Jersey, and C on­
n e c tic u t. Som e o f th e im p o rta n t
m anufacturing centers are: Dayton,
Toledo, and Euclid, Ohio; the New

Occupations in the Industry
A variety of occupations, requiring
a broad range of training and skills,
are found in plants that m ake office
m achines and com puters. M ore than
half of the industry’s workers are in
white-collar jobs (engineering, scien­
tific, technical, adm inistrative, sales,
and clerical); the others are in plant
jobs (assem bly, inspection, m ainte­
nance, transportation and service).
W hite-collar workers represent a
significantly larger proportion of to ­
tal em ploym ent in the com puter in­
dustry than in most other m anufac­
tu rin g in d u strie s b e c a u se o f th e
highly com plex nature o f com puter
m anufacturing.
Some of the key occupations ip the
office m achine and com puter indus­
try are described briefly in the fol­
lowing section. (D etailed discussions
o f professional, technical, skilled,
and other occupations found in this
industry, as well as in many others,
are presented elsewhere in the Hand­
book, in sections covering individual
occupations.)
Engineering and Scientific Occupa­
tions. Nearly 1 out of every 10 w ork­
ers in the office m achine and com ­
p u te r in d u stry is an en g in ee r or
scientist. Most of them work at com ­
puter plants.
The largest group of engineers
work with electricity or electronics.
Most are engaged in research and
developm ent, although many work in
production. The industry also em ­
ploys large num bers of m echanical
and industrial engineers. Some m e­
chanical engineers are engaged in
product developm ent and tool and
equipm ent design. O thers are co n ­
cerned with the m aintenance, layout,
and operation of plant equipm ent.
Industrial engineers determ ine the
most effective means of using the ba­
sic factors of production—labor, m a­
chines, and materials.
Chem ists m ake up the largest
group of scientists in office m achine
and com puter m anufacturing. T heir
work is primarily in chem ical pro-

OFFICE MACHINE AND COMPUTER MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

cessing o f p rinted circuits used in
com puters. M athem aticians m ake up
a n o th e r large g roup o f scientists.
T heir work on com plex m athem at­
ical problem s is im portant in design­
ing co m p u ters. Physicists are em ­
ployed in research and developm ent
to work on items such as m iniatur­
ized com ponents and circuits. Statis­
ticians work in fields such as quality
control and production scheduling.
The industry also employs systems
analysts and com puter program m ers,
many o f whom have scientific or
engineering backgrounds. Systems
analysts primarily devise new infor­
m ation processing tech n iq u es and
im prove existing tech n iq u es. P ro ­
gramm ers design and test com puter
program s. Some analysts and p ro ­
gram m ers specialize in scientific and
engineering problem s, while others
process accounting, inventory, sales,
and oth er business data. In addition,
system s analysts and program m ers
may assist sales personnel in d eter­
mining data processing needs o f cus­
tomers.
Technical Occupations. M ore than 1
out o f every 20 workers in the indus­
try is a technician. M ost specialize in
electronics and assist engineers and
scientists in research and develop­
m ent, testing and inspecting elec­
tronic com ponents, and doing com ­
p le x a s s e m b ly w o rk . S o m e
electronics technicians specialize in
repairing com puters. Chem ical con­
tro l tech n ician s p re p a re solutions
used in the etching o f circuit boards.
P h o to g ra p h ic te c h n ic ia n s se t up
cam eras and other equipm ent used in
the tracing process to create copper
etchings on circuit boards. Drafters
prepare drawings from sketches or
sp e c ific a tio n s fu rn ish e d by en g i­
neers. Engineering aides assist engi­
neers by m aking calculations, sketch­
es, and drawings, and by conducting
perform ance tests on com ponents.
A d m in istra tive and Sales O ccupa­
tions. A bout 1 out o f every 13 w ork­
ers is an adm inistrator. Included are
top executives who m anage com pa­
nies and determ ine policy decisions
and middle m anagers who direct de­
partm ents such as advertising and in­
dustrial relations. O ther adm inistra­



tive em p lo y ees in sta ff p o sitio n s
include acco u n tan ts, lawyers, and
m arket researchers.
Sales personnel hold about 1 out of
every 25 jobs in the industry. Those
who sell co n v en tio n al office m a­
chines usually work on their own.
C o m p u ter sales personnel, on the
other hand, are assisted by a host o f
technical experts, such as engineers
and systems analysts. Because com ­
puters are com plex and expensive,
com puter sales representatives may
have to spend several m onths to
com plete a sale.
Clerical Occupations. Nearly 1 out o f
every 6 workers in the industry is in a
clerical job. Included in this group
are se c re ta rie s, clerk typists, file
clerks, bookkeepers, and business
m achine operators, as well as com ­
p u ter personnel such as keypunch
and com puter operators.
Plant Occupations. Nearly half o f this
industry’s employees are plant (bluecollar) workers. Most plant workers
are engaged directly in making com ­
puters and office machines. They in­
clude assemblers, inspectors or test­
e r s , m a c h i n i s t s , m a c h in e to o l
o p e ra to rs , an d th e ir su p erv iso rs.
T ru c k d riv e rs , m a te ria l h a n d le rs,
power truck operators, guards, and
janitors move m aterials and perform
custodial duties, and plum bers and
pipefitters, electricians, carpenters,
and other workers m aintain produc­
tion m achinery and building facili­
ties.
Assembly Occupations.
(D.O.T.
706.884, 726.781 and .884) W orkers
who assemble com puters and office
m achines have many different skills,
and m ake up the largest group o f
plant workers.
Assemblers may put together small
parts to m ake com ponents or com po­
nents to m ake sub-assemblies or the
finished product. M uch o f their work
is done by hand. Some assemblers do
a single o p eratio n as com ponents
move down the assembly line. The
assembly o f typewriters, for example,
is divided into many simple opera­
tions. Each assem bler does one job as
the typw riter passes the work station.
Some assembly jobs are difficult and
require great skill, while others are

693

relatively simple. Skilled electronics
assem blers, for exam ple, use d ia­
gram s as guides to wire com plex
memory and logic panels for com put­
ers.
M achines are used for many as­
sembly operations. A utom atic wire­
w rapping m achines, for exam ple,
wire panels and plug-in-boards. O p­
erators feed these m achines and re­
move and inspect finished items.
Electronic technicians usually do
the m ost difficult hand assembly
work. In research laboratories, they
p u t to g e th e r experim ental eq u ip ­
m ent. In plants, they put together
complex items that require a knowl­
edge of electronics theory.
Assemblers commonly use screw­
drivers, pliers, snippers, and solder­
ing irons and they use special devices
to position and hold parts during as­
sembly. Some assemblers use preci­
sion equipm ent to weld connections
in circuit assemblies.
Machining Occupations. Most office
m achine and com puter m anufactur­
ing plants employ machining workers
who operate power-driven m achine
tools to produce plastic and metal
parts for com puters, typewriters, ac­
counting machines, calculators, and
o th er products. N um erical control
m achine o p erato rs tend m achines
that have been program med to p er­
form machining operations autom ati­
cally. Toolm akers construct and re­
pair equipm ent used to make and
assemble parts. Diemakers specialize
in metal forms (dies) used in punch
and power presses that shape metal
parts.
Inspection and Testing Operations.
These operations begin when raw
m aterials enter the plant and contin­
ue throughout the assembly process.
Finished parts and products are test­
ed and inspected thoroughly.
Some inspectors examine individ­
ual parts; others inspect com ponents
during subassembly; still others in­
spect com pleted office machines and
com puters. Many inspecting jobs re­
quire highly skilled workers. On the
other hand, relatively unskilled p eo ­
ple can run som e au to m atic test
equipm ent. W orkers who feed or
m onitor this equipm ent are called
test-set operators or testing m achine
operators.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

694

Job titles indicate the work many
inspectors do. Machined parts inspec­
tors (D .O .T. 609.381) use precision
testin g in stru m e n ts to d e te rm in e
w hether parts have been m achined
pro p erly . Type inspectors (D .O .T .
706.687) use a magnifying glass to
examine typew riter type for defects.
E lectro n ic su b assem bly inspectors
(D.O.T. 726.384) use m icroscopes,
m eters, and various m easuring devic­
es to exam ine circuits and other elec­
tronic subassem blies. Electronic as­
sembly inspectors (D.O.T. 722.281)
use special instrum ents to test elec­
tro n ic system s such as c o m p u te r
m em ory units.
In plants that m anufacture conven­
tional office m achines, final inspec­
tion is relatively simple. Inspectors
operate the m achines, look for d e­
fects, and refer m alfunctioning m a­
chines to repairers. T he final inspec­
tion or “ debugging” o f com puters,
on the o th er hand, is very complex.
E lectronic technicians inspect new
com puters under the supervision of
electronic engineers. They use com ­
plex equipm ent to run tests and d e­
tailed drawings and instructions to
find causes of m alfunctions.
Maintenance Occupations. Many
m aintenance w orkers with different
types o f training take care o f the
industry’s production m achinery and
equipm ent. Skilled electricians are
responsible for the m aintenance o f
electrical equipm ent. M achine and
equipm ent repairers m ake m echani­
cal repairs. M aintenance machinists
and welders build and repair equip­
ment. A ir-conditioning and refrigera­
tio n m e c h a n ic s are em p lo y ed in
plants th at are air-conditioned and
have special refrigerated and dustfree room s in o rder to m aintain the
equipm ent. Painters, plum bers, pipe­
fitters, carp en ters, and sheet-m etal
workers, and oth er building m ainte­
n an ce c ra ft w orkers also are em ­
ployed in this industry.
Other Plant Occupations. Many
truckdrivers are em ployed to m ake
deliveries to various parts of plants.
Laborers load and unload trucks and
boxcars and do general clean-up
work. Some o ther plant occupations
are boiler operator, stationary engi­
 and janitor.
neer, guard,


Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
A bachelor’s degree in engineering
or one of the sciences is usually re­
quired for engineering and scientific
jobs. For research and developm ent
work, applicants with advanced d e­
grees generally are preferred. Some
com panies have training program s
designed to give newly hired college
graduates a broad picture o f m anu­
facturing operations before they are
assigned to a particular departm ent.
Because of the highly technical n a­
ture o f com puters, many o f the in­
d u s t r y ’s e x e c u tiv e s h a v e b a c k ­
grounds in engineering or science.
Engineers and scientists, as well as
persons with a degree in com puter
science, are em ployed as sales w ork­
ers, program m ers, and systems an a­
lysts. M ost business and liberal arts
graduates are em ployed in account­
ing, personnel, and other adm inistra­
tive activities.
Technicians qualify for their jobs
in a num ber o f ways. Some obtain
training in either public, private, or
Arm ed Forces technical schools.
Others have one or m ore years o f
scientific or engineering training, but
have not com pleted all o f the re ­
quirem ents for a degree. Still other
technicians are prom oted from lower
grade jobs in the plant and som e
well-qualified technicians may a d ­
vance to engineering jobs after com ­
pleting courses in m athem atics, engi­
neering, and related subjects.
People who com plete com m ercial
courses in high school or business
school are preferred in clerical jobs
such as secretary o r office m achine
operator. For com puter operators,
most firms prefer applicants who
have some college or technical train­
ing in data processing. With addition­
al training, some com puter operators
and clerical workers advance to p ro ­
gram m er jobs.
In selecting w orkers for plant jobs,
firms generally prefer high school o r
vocational school graduates, who are
then trained through on-the-job in­
struction and experience that varies
from a few days to years. Some plants
also conduct classroom training o f
short duration. Skilled craft workers,
such as machinists and tool and die
m akers, may spend 3 to 4 years in

learning their jobs and some firms
have fo rm a l a p p re n tic e s h ip p ro ­
grams, which include both on-the-job
training and classroom instruction
related to the particular craft. F re­
quently, openings for skilled jobs are
filled by workers already in the plant.
W orkers who have little or no p re­
vious experience or training are hired
for less skilled inspection, assembly,
and m achining jobs. Applicants may
have to pass aptitude tests and dem ­
onstrate ability for particular types of
work. M ost assembly and inspection
jobs require good eyesight and color
p ercep tio n , m anual dexterity, and
patience.
Experienced plant workers have
opportunities to advance to jobs with
higher pay. Assemblers, for example,
can becom e semiskilled inspectors,
and eventually skilled inspectors.
M achine tool operators can move to
skilled m achinist jobs. Craft workers
and skilled inspectors can becom e
technicians, after com pleting courses
in com pany-operated schools, junior
colleges, or technical schools. Super­
visory jobs are open to experienced
plant w orkers who have leadership
ability.

Employment Outlook
Em ploym ent in this industry is ex­
pected to increase faster than the av­
erage for all industries through the
m id-1980’s. This growth is projected
to o cc u r principally in plants th at
produce electronic com puter equim ent; little growth is forseen am ong
m anufacturers of conventional office
equipm ent. In addition to the jo b
openings th at result from em ploy­
m ent grow th, m any openings will
arise as experienced workers retire,
die, or transfer to jobs in other indus­
tries.
The dem and for com puters and re­
lated equipm ent is expected to in­
crease rapidly as com puters are used
to solve an increasing array o f p ro b ­
lems in business, industry, and gov­
ernm ent. Using com puters to control
the flow o f autom obile traffic, to aid
physicians m ake a m edical diagnosis,
an d to help stu d en ts learn m o re
quickly are just a few o f the new
com puter applications that are likely
to com e into w idespread use over the
next few years. In addition to growth
generated by new applications, de-

695

OFFICE MACHINE AND COMPUTER MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

mand will rise as further price reduc­
tions bring a com puter system within
reach of more and m ore small o r­
ganizations. Growth in the num ber of
computers will be accom panied by a
need for additional com puter-related
equipm ent—input and output, stor­
age, and com m unication devices—as
well as software designed specifically
to meet the needs of certain types of
organizations.
Although the dem and for conven­
tional office machines is expected to
rem ain stro n g th ro u g h th e m id19 8 0 ’s, em ploym ent in plants that
produce this type of equipm ent will
grow slowly. Most job openings will
result from the need to replace expe­
rienced workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other industries. The de­
mand for office equipm ent should
continue to rise as business and gov­
ernm ent organizations grow and the
volum e o f p a p e rw o rk in c re a se s.
H ow ever, tech n o lo g ica l im p ro v e­
ments in production m ethods are ex­
pected to increase output per work­
e r. F o r e x a m p le , in c re a s in g
m echanization of operations form er­
ly done by hand will tend to reduce
labor requirem ents, particularly in
plants where products are m ass-pro­
duced, such as typewriters and calcu­
lators.
Some occupational groups in the
office m achine and com puter m anu­

facturing industry are expected to


hourly wage rates for selected occu­
pations in 1976:
Hourly rate
ranges
Assemblers.......................................
Machinists........................................
Tool-and-die makers......................
Electricians......................................

grow faster than others. For example,
the num ber of professional and ad ­
ministrative workers, particularly en ­
gineers, scientists, and technicians, is
expected to increase m ore rapidly
than the num ber of plant workers.
Demand for these w orkers will be
spurred by continued high levels of
research and developm ent expendi­
tures to improve m achine capabili­
ties, design more efficient software,
and develop new applications for
com puters.
Semiskilled w orkers, such as as­
semblers and inspectors, will contin­
ue to account for m ost of the work
force in production occupations, d e­
spite the growing use of autom ated
and mechanized assembly line equip­
ment.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
In 1976, plant workers in the office
machine and com puter industry had
average earnings of $5.29 an hour.
Wages in com puter m anufacturing
plants are slight higher than in the
industry as a whole, averaging $5.46
an hour in 1976.
National wage data are not avail­
able for individual occupations in the
office m achine and com puter indus­
try. However, the following tabula­
tion, based on data obtained from a
sm all n um ber o f union co n tracts,
provides an example o f the range in

$3.00-4.50
4.38-5.82
5.50-6.50
5.50-6.50

Some employees work night shifts
and weekends because many plants
operate around the clock. Employees
working second or third shifts, or
more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours
a week generally receive extra pay.
Paid vacations and holidays are
almost universal in this industry.
Most employees receive 1 to 4 weeks
of vacation, depending on length of
service. They also receive insurance
and pension benefits at least partially
financed by the employer. Employee
stock purchase plans are available in
many firms.
In general, the work surroundings
in office machine and com puter
plants are more favorable than those
in most other types of factories.
Work stations usually are welllighted and clean, and free from dust,
fumes, and loud noises. Many com ­
puter factories are relatively new and
are located in suburban areas.
Some plant jobs are repetitious,
but very few require great physical
effort. Fewer and less severe injuries
take place in office machine and
com puter m anufacturing than the av­
erage for all manufacturing.
Many plant workers are covered
by union contracts. The principal
unions in this industry are the Inter­
national Association of M achinists
and Aerospace W orkers; the Interna­
tional U nion, U nited A utom obile,
A erospace and A gricultural Im ple­
ment W orkers of America; the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio
and M achine W orkers; and the Inter­
national B rotherhood of Electrical
W orkers.

Sources of Additional
Information
For general inform ation on jobs in
the industry, write to:
American Federation of Information Process­
ing Societies, Inc., 210 Summit Ave.,
Montvale, N.J. 07645.

Occupations in the Industry

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PAPER
AND ALLIED PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES

In 1976, the paper and allied prod­
u c ts in d u s tr y e m p lo y e d a b o u t
676,000 people to produce many dif­
ferent kinds of paper and paperboard
p ro d u c ts . T he in d u stry em p lo y s
workers in occupations ranging from
unskilled to highly specialized tech ­
nical and professional jobs, many
found only in the paper industry.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
The paper industry is highly
mechanized. Pulp, paper, and many
finished paper products are m anufac­
tured by m achines—some as long as
a football field—in a series of nearly
au to m atic o p eratio n s th at require
very little handling of materials by
workers. M anufacturing plants in the
paper industry are engaged in one or
more of three different operations:
The production of pulp (the basic
in g red ie n t of p a p e r) from w ood,

reused fibers, or other raw materials;
the m anufacture of paper or paperboard (thick paper) from pulp; or the
conversion of rolls or sheets of paper
or paperboard into finished products,
such as tissue paper, envelopes, and
boxes.
The largest group of employees in
the industry work in mills that p ro ­
duce pulp, paper, or pap erb o ard .
The next larg est group w orks in
plants that make boxes and contain­
ers; and the rem ainder work in plants
that make a variety o f other paper
products.
About four-fifths of the industry’s
em ployees work in factories that em ­
ploy 100 workers or more.
W orkers in this industry are locat­
ed throughout the country, although
ab o u t h a lf are em ployed in eight
States: New York, Pennsylvania, Illi­
nois, O hio, W isconsin, M assachu­
setts, California, and New Jersey.

The papermaking process

Tree Farm

■

Pulpwood


696


Digester

■

Beater

Fourdrinier Paper Machine

Employees in the paper industry
work in a variety of occupations re­
quiring a broad range of training and
skills. M any w orkers op erate and
control specialized paperm aking, fin­
ishing, and co n v e rtin g m ach in es.
Some workers install and repair pa­
permaking machinery. Truck drivers
make deliveries, and other workers
load and unload trucks, railroad cars,
and ships.
The industry employs many work­
ers in clerical, sales, and adm inistra­
tive occupations. For example, it em ­
ploys purchasing agents, personnel
m anagers, sales representatives, of­
fice clerk s, ste n o g ra p h e rs, b o o k ­
keepers, and business machine op ­
e r a t o r s . A ls o , b e c a u s e o f th e
com plex processes and equipm ent
used, the industry em ploys profes­
sional and technical workers, includ­
ing chem ical and m echanical engi­
n e e rs , c h e m is ts , la b o ra to ry
technicians, and pulp and paper test­
ers. (Detailed discussions of profes­
sional, tech n ic al, and m echan ical
occupations, found not only in the
paper industry but in other indus­
tries, are given elsew here in the
Handbook in sections covering indi­
vidual occupations.)
Production Jobs. In 1976, more than
three-fourths of all em ployees in the
industry worked in production jobs.
The simplified description of paper­
m aking occupations and processes
that follows applies to a plant which
com bines the production of pulp, pa­
per, and finished paper products into
one continuous operation. (See ac­
companying chart.)
After trees are cut down, loggers
will saw off the limbs and saw the
trunk into logs. The logs are then
transported to the pulp mill where
the bark is removed. One m achine
used for this operation is a large
revolving cylinder known as a “ drum
barker.” Logs are placed on a co n ­
veyor belt and fed into this m achine
by a semiskilled w orker called a bark­
er operator (D.O.T. 533.782). The
machine cleans bark from the logs by
tum bling them against each o th er
and also against the rough inner sur­
face of the drum. Next, pulp fibers in
the logs are separated from o th er

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PAPER AND ALLIED PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES

The paper industry is highly mechanized.

substances by a chem ical or m e­
chanical process, or both, depending
on the type of wood used and the
grade of paper desired.
In the m echanical process, pulpwood is held against a fast-revolving
grindstone that separates the fibers.
In the more commonly used chem i­
cal process, pulpwood is carried on
conveyor belts to a chipper machine
o p e r a te d by a c h ip p e r (D .O .T .
6 6 8 .8 8 5 ). T he m ach in e cuts the
pulpwood into chips about the size of
a quarter.
In recent years, a larger num ber of
mobile harvesters and chippers have
been used to chip whole trees or logs
at the orginal harvest site, thereby
reducing transportation costs and the
am ount 6f wood not utilized.
After the logs have been converted
to wood chips, they are “ cooked”
with chemicals under high tem pera­
ture and pressure in a “ digester,” a
kettlelike vat several stories high. Di­
gesters are operated by skilled work­
ers called digester operators (D.O.T.
Digitized 3 2 .7 8 2 ) , w ho d e t e r m in e th e
5 for FRASER


am ount o f chemicals to be used and
the cooking tem perature and pres­
sure. They also direct the loading of
the digester with wood chips and
chem icals. By checking an in stru ­

697

ment panel, digester operators make
certain th at proper conditions are
being m aintained. When the pulp fi­
bers are removed from the digester,
they are washed to remove chem i­
cals, partially cooked chips, and o th ­
er im purities. These fibers, called
pulp, resemble wet, brown cotton.
Many modern plants today are
making greater use o f continuous di­
gesters (eq u ip m en t th a t prod u ces
pulp contin u o u sly ra th e r than in
separate b atches). C ontinuous di­
gesters make it practical to use saw­
dust in pulpm aking, and elim inate
the manual starting and stopping of
each batch of pulp.
To turn pulp into paper, the pulp is
mixed thoroughly with water and fur­
ther refined in machines operated by
skilled w orkers called beater engi­
neers (D .O .T. 530.782). The kind
and am ount of chemicals and dyes
they use and the length of time they
“ b e a t” the solution determ ine the
color and strength of the paper.
The pulp solution, now more than
99 percent water, is turned into pa­
per or paperboard by machines that
are among the largest in American
industry. The m achines are of two
general types. One is the Fourdrinier
machine, by far the most commonly
used; the other is the cylinder m a­
chine used to make particular types
of paper, such as building and con­
tainer board. In the Fourdrinier, the

Half of all workers in the paper and allied products
industry are employed in eight States
State distribution of employment in the paper and allied products
industry, 1973
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Illinois
Wisconsin
Massachusetts
New Jersey
California

Remaining 42 States

Source: Department of Commerce

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

698

pulp solution pours into a continu­
ously moving and vibrating belt of
fine wire screen. As the w ater drains,
millions o f pulp fibers adhere to one
another, forming a thin wet sheet of
paper. A fter passing through presses
th a t squeeze o u t m ore w ater, the
newly form ed paper passes through
the dryer section of the paperm aking
m achine to evaporate rem aining w a­
ter.
The quality o f the p aper produced
largely depends on the skills o f paper
machine operators (D.O.T. 539.782),
who control the “ w et-end” of the
paperm aking m achine to form paper
of specified thickness, width, and
physical strength. They check co n ­
trol-panel instrum ents to m ake sure
the flow o f pulp and the speed of the
m achine are coordinated. P aper m a­
c h in e o p e r a to r s a lso d e te r m in e
w h ether the p ap er m eets required
specifications by interpreting labora­
tory tests or, in some instances, by
visually checking or feeling the p a­
per. They supervise the less skilled
w orkers o f the m achine crew and,
with their help, keep the paper m ov­
ing sm oothly through the m achine.
M any m odern paperm ills have p a­
perm aking m achines th at use com ­
puters and advanced instrum entation
to help the o p erator control the qual­
ity o f the paper. For exam ple, betaray sensors m easure the weight o f the
pap er and electrom agnetic sensors
m easu re th e th ic k n e ss. M e a su re ­
m ents from these devices are put into
a com puter that com pares them to
p ro g ra m m e d s p e c ific a tio n s . T h e
com puter then adjusts the paperm ak­
ing m achine’s operations to elim inate
any differences. C om puter process
c o n tr o l a lso h as b ro u g h t a b o u t
changes in job duties for some o p era­
tor positions. Generally this has in­
volved a reduction in m anual m a­
nipulation o f control devices and an
increase in m onitoring functions. For
example, the com puter sets produc­
tion variables such as tem perature,
pressure, and flow rates whereas, be­
fore com puter control, they were set
by the m achine operator.
Backtenders (D.O.T. 532.885),
who are supervised by p ap e r m a­
chine operators, control the pressure
and tem perature o f m achinery that
dries and finishes the p aper and gives
it the correct
 thickness. B acktenders


inspect the paper for im perfections
and make sure that it is being wound
tightly and uniformly into rolls. They
also adjust the m achinery that cuts
the rolls into sm aller rolls and, with
the help of assistants, may weigh and
wrap the rolls for shipment.
Papermills that produce a fine
grade o f paper for books, magazines,
or stationary usually have finishing
departm ents. Most w orkers in these
departm ents are either semiskilled o r
unskilled. One semiskilled w orker,
the supercalender operator (D.O.T.
534.782), aided by several helpers
and by m echanical handling equip­
ment, places huge rolls of paper onto
a m achine th a t gives the p ap e r a
sm ooth and glossy finish. The super­
calender operator also inspects the
finished p ap e r to m ake sure th a t
specifications have been met. A noth­
er semiskilled worker, the paper sort­
er and counter (D.O.T. 649.687), in­
spects sheets o f paper for tears, dirt
spots, and wrinkles; counts them ; and
may fill custom er orders.
In converting plants, m achines o p ­
erated by semiskilled or skilled w ork­
ers convert paper and paperboard
into envelopes, napkins, corrugated
shipping containers, and other paper
products. O ccupations in converting
plants differ widely, depending large­
ly on the p roduct being m anufac­
tured. An example o f a semiskilled
w orker is the envelope machine op­
erator (D.O.T. 641.885), who feeds
and tends an autom atic m achine that
makes envelopes from either rolls o f
paper or prepared envelope blanks.
One of the few skilled workers in a
converting plant is the printer-slotter
operator (D.O.T. 651.782) who co n ­
trols a m achine that cuts and creases
paperboard sheets and prints designs
or lettering on them.
C onverting plants em ploy th o u ­
sands of workers to print designs and
lettering on bags, labels, wallpaper,
and o th er paper products. Am ong
these are com positors, who set type,
and press operators who prepare and
operate printing presses.
Maintenance Jobs. The paper indus­
try em ploys m any skilled m ain te­
nance workers to care for its com ­
p le x m a c h in e r y a n d e l e c t r i c a l
equipm ent. M illwrights install and

re p air m achinery. They also tak e
apart and reassemble m achines when
they are moved about the plant. In­
strum ent repairers install and service
instrum ents that measure and control
the flow o f pulp, paper, water, steam ,
and chem ical additives.
O ther im portant m aintenance em ­
ployees include electricians, who re­
pair wiring, m otors, control panels,
and switches; maintenance m achin­
ists, who make replacem ent parts for
m echanical equipm ent; and pipefit­
ters, who lay out, install, and repair
pipes.
Stationary engineers are employed
to operate and m aintain powerplants,
steam engines, boilers, air com pres­
sors, and turbines.
Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. The complexity o f pulp and pa­
p er m an u factu rin g req u ires th o u ­
san d s o f w o rk e rs w ho h ave
engineering, chemical, or other tech ­
nical training. Approximately 16,000
scientists and engineers and 13,000
technicians were em ployed by the
paper industry in 1976.
Many chemists are em ployed to
control the quality o f the product by
supervising the testing of pulp and
paper. In research laboratories,
chemists study the influence of var­
ious chemicals on pulp and paper. In
addition, some chem ists and engi­
neers are employed as sales represen­
tatives, supervisors of plant workers,
o r as a d m in istra to rs in positio n s
which require technical knowledge.
Chemical and mechanical engineers
transform new pulp and paperm ak­
ing techniques into practical produc­
tion m ethods. Some chemical engi­
n e e rs s u p e rv is e th e p ro d u c tio n
process. Electrical engineers super­
vise the operation of pow er-generat­
ing and distributing equipm ent and
instrum ents.
Packaging engineers design c o n ­
tainers and packages and supervise
their production. A few box m anu­
facturers also employ artists who de­
velop lettering, designs, and colors
for containers.
Foresters manage large areas of
tim berland and assist in the wood­
buying operations of pulp and paper
com panies. They m ap forest areas,
plan and supervise the harvesting,

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PAPER AND ALLIED PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES

699

cant is given a physical examination, m arketing, accounting, industrial re­
m echanical aptitude tests, and simi­ lations, or other specialized business
lar qualifying tests. A pprenticeship fields. A knowledge of paper tech ­
includes both on-the-job training and nology is helpful for adm inistrators
classroom instruction related to the and sales occupations. This is true
occupation. The m achinist appren­ especially for sales representatives
who give custom ers technical assist­
tice, for example, receives classroom
instructions in m athem atics, blue­ ance. Most pulp and paper com pa­
nies employ clerks, bookkeepers, ste­
print reading, and shop theory.
In newer mills, many experienced nographers, and typists who have had
m aintenance workers are being re ­ commercial courses in high school or
trained to becom e m ulti or four- business school.
For production w orkers, prom o­
skilled craftworkers. The workers are
given 18 months to become com pe­ tion generally is lim ited to m ore
tent in each individual craft or a total skilled jobs within a “ work a re a ,”
of 4 1/2 years. For example, a pipefit­ which may be a departm ent, section,
ter would learn the skills of a mill­ or an operation on one type of m a­
wright, machinist, and an electrician. chine. For example, a person may
A bachelor’s degree is usually the start as a utility person and advance
minimum educational requirem ent to backtender and finally to machine
for scientists, engineers, foresters, o p e ra to r. T hese p ro m o tio n s may
and other professional occupations. take years, depending on the avail­
For research work, persons having ability o f jobs. E xperience gained
advanced degrees are preferred. within a work area usually is not
Administrative, Clerical and Related Many engineers and chemists (called transferable; unskilled or semiskilled
Occupations. The paper industry em ­ process engineers and paper chem ists) workers who transfer to jobs outside
ploys many administrative, clerical, have specialized training in paper their usual work area or to oth er
and other office personnel. Execu­ technology. Many com panies have plants usually m ust start in entry
tives plan and adm inister company summer jobs for college students spe­ jobs.
Many plant supervisors are former
policy. To work effectively, execu­ cializing in paperm aking, and upon
tives require information from a wide graduation frequently hire them on a production workers. In some plants,
variety of personnel, including ac­ perm anent basis. Some associations, qualified workers may be prom oted
countants, sales representatives, law­ colleges and individual com panies directly to supervisory positions. In
yers, and personnel in industrial rela­ offer scholarships in pulp and paper­ others, workers are given additional
training before they are eligible for
t i o n s , t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , m a r k e t making technology.
Some companies have formal prom otion. This training often is co n ­
research, and other activities. Book­
keepers, secretaries, shipping clerks, training program s for college gradu­ tinued after the w orker is prom ot­
and other clerical workers keep rec­ ates with engineering or scientific e d — th ro u g h co n fere n ces, special
ords of personnel, payroll, invento­ backgrounds. These employees may plant training sessions, and courses at
ries, sales, sh ip m en ts, and p lan t w ork for b rief periods in various universities or trade schools. Most
parts of the plant to gain a broad firms provide some financial assist­
m aintenance.
knowledge of pulp and paper m anu­ ance for employees who take courses
facturing before being assigned to a outside the plant.
Training, Other Qualifications,
particular departm ent. O ther firms
and Advancement
im m ediately assign ju n io r chemists
Employment Outlook
Paper and pulp com panies gener­ or engineers to a specific research,
Employment in the paper and al­
ally hire and train in ex p erien ced operation, or m aintenance unit.
G enerally, no specialized ed u ca­ lied products industry is expected to
workers for production and m ainte­
nance occupations. Many companies tion is required for laboratory assis­ increase more slowly than the aver­
prefer to hire high school graduates. tants, testing technicians, or o th er age for all industries through the
Inexperienced workers usually start kinds of technicians. Some em ploy­ m id-1980’s. A lthough a significant
as laborers or helpers and advance ers, however, prefer to hire technical num ber of job openings are expected
along fairly w ell-defined paths to institute or junior college graduates. due to growth, m ost openings will
Beginning technicians start in routine stem from the need to replace w ork­
more skilled jobs.
Some large plants have formal ap­ jo b s and ad vance to positions o f ers who retire, die, or leave their jobs
prenticeship program s for m ainte­ greater responsibility after they ac­ for other reasons. The num ber of job
nance w orkers. U nder these p ro ­ quire experience and can work with openings may fluctuate from year to
year, however, because the dem and
grams, which usually last 3 to 4 years, minimum supervision.
Adm inistrative positions usually for paper and paper products is sen­
people are trained for jobs such as
m achinist, ele c tric ia n , m illw right, are filled by people who have college sitive to changes in econom ic condi­

and pipefitter. Generally, an appli­ degrees in business adm inistration, tions.
and seed or plant new trees to assure
continuous production of timber.
Systems analysts and computer pro­
grammers are becoming increasingly
im portant to this industry due to the
greater use of com puterized controls
in the production process. They also
an alyze business and p ro d u c tio n
problems and convert them to a form
suitable for solution by com puter.
Frequent tests are perform ed dur­
ing the m anufacture of pulp or paper
to determ ine w hether size, weight,
strength, color, and other properties
meet standards. Some testing is done
by machine operators, but in many
mills testin g technicians are em ­
ployed. These technicians, who have
job titles such as laboratory techni­
cian, pulp tester, and chemical ana­
lyst, also assist engineers and chem ­
ists in research and developm ent
activities.



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

700

Employment in paper manufacturing is expected to
continue growing over the long run
Wage and salary workers in paper and allied products manufacturing,
1950-76 and projected 1985
Employees
800
(in thousands)
700

..............

iiliiiiillll

. 111(11111P S iiP iliilP

o

1950

1955

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Paper production is expected to
increase over the long run as popula­
tion and business activity grow and
new uses for paper are developed.
Em ploym ent will grow at a slower
rate than production, however, be­
cause of the greater use of laborsav­
ing machinery. Most of the em ploy­
ment growth will occur in plants that
make finished products such as nap­
kins, envelopes, boxes, and wrapping
paper. These plants are not as suited
for laborsaving m achinery as plants
that produce pulp and unfinished p a­
per products.
O ccupational groups within the in­
dustry are expected to grow at differ­
ent rates. The num ber of engineers,
scientists, technicians, and m ainte­
nance w orkers is ex p ected to in ­
crease faster than other occupational
groups in the industry. More scientif­
ic and technical personnel will be
needed as research and developm ent
activities expand, and more m ainte­
nance w orkers will be required to
service the more complex m achin­
ery. E m ploym ent of adm inistrative
and clerical workers also is expected
to rise at a faster pace than total em ­
ploym ent. On the o th er hand, the
number of production workers may
decline slightly as more laborsaving
machinery is introduced. N everthe­
less, replacem ent needs will create
many job openings for production

workers.


Earnings and Working
Conditions
Production workers in the paper
industry had average earnings of
$5.43 an hour in 1976. In the same
year, production workers in private
industry, except farming, averaged
$4.87 an hour.
The following tabulation, based on
information from a num ber of unionm anagem ent contracts in the paper
industry, illustrates the approxim ate
range of hourly wage rates for select­
ed p ro d u c tio n and m a in te n a n c e
o cc u p atio n s in 1976. Local rates
within these ranges depend on geo­
graphic location, type and size o f
mill, kinds of m achines used, and
other factors.
Most pulp and paper plants o p er­
ate around the clock—three shifts a

day, 7 days a week. Production work­
ers can expect to work on evening or
night shifts from time to time. M ain­
te n a n c e w orkers usually are e m ­
ployed on the regular day shift. M ul­
ti- c r a f t m a in te n a n c e m e c h a n ic s
generally earn about $1.50 an hour
more than a single-craft mechanic.
In most plants the standard w ork­
week is 40 hours; in a few it is 36
hours or less. W orkers normally have
year-round em ploym ent because pa­
per production is not subject to sea­
sonal variation.
Most pulp and paperm aking jobs
do not require strenuous physical ef­
fort. However, some employees work
in hot, humid, and noisy areas. They
also may be exposed to disagreeable
odors from chemicals in the paper­
making process. The rate of injury in
this industry has been about the same
as the rate for all m anufacturing.
A majority of the production
workers are m em bers of trade
unions. The largest union in the in­
dustry is the United Paperw orkers In­
ternational Union. Many osher w ork­
e rs in th e W e s te rn S ta te s a re
represented by the A ssociation of
W estern Pulp and P aper W orkers.
Many printing workers belong to the
International Printing and G raphic
Com munications Union. Some m ain­
tenance and craft workers belong to
various craft unions.

Sources of Additional
information
Further information about job op­
portunities in this industry is avail­
able from local offices of the State
em ploym ent service and from:
American Paper Institute, 260 Madison Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10016.

Hourly rate
ranges
Production occupations:
Paper machine operator .
Backtender.......................
Head stock preparer
(beater engineer)........
Digester operator (cook)
Supercalendar operator ..
Barker operator, drum....
Chipper.............................
Maintenance occupations:
Pipefitter...........................
Electrician.........................
Machinist..........................

Fibre Box Association, 224 S. Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 1 1 60604.
1.

$5.34-10.41
4.87- 9.91

A list of schools offering courses
on p a p e r tech n o lo g y is availab le
from:

4.935.075.184.694.40-

7.01
7.30
6.36
6.80
6.70

5.58- 7.76
5.74- 7.76
5.58- 7.76

American Paper Institute, 260 Madison Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10016.

For information on job opportuni­
ties for paper and paper products
sales representatives, write to:
National Paper Trade Association, Inc., 420
Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017.

nois, L ouisiana, O klahom a, Ohio,
New Y ork, New Jersey, and Indiana.
Refineries usually are located near
oilfields, industrial centers, or deep­
w ater ports where tankers can dock.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE
PETROLEUM REFINING INDUSTRY

T he p etroleum refining industry
forms the link betw een crude oil pro­
duction and the distribution and con­
su m p tio n o f p e tro le u m p ro d u c ts.
Products refined from crude oil sup­
ply the fuels and lubricants used for
all m odes o f transportation, for heat
in hom es, factories, and other struc­
tures, and for fuel for the generation
of over one-third o f o ur electric pow­
er. In addition, basic petroleum com ­
pounds are used to m anufacture hun­
dreds o f everyday products such as
synthetic rubber, fertilizers, and plas­
tics.
In 1976 about 160,000 workers,
who had a wide range o f educational
back g ro u n d s and skills, w ere em ­
ployed in the petroleum refining in­
dustry. This industry covers occupa­
tio n s a n d a c tiv itie s in v o lv e d in
refining oil. O ccupations in petrole­
um and natural gas production and
processing are discussed in a sepa­
rate ch ap ter elsewhere in the Hand­
book.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
A m odem refinery is a com plicat­
ed plant m ade up o f tanks and towers
connected by a maze o f pipes and
valves. From the time crude oil en­
ters the refinery to the shipm ent of
finished p ro d u c ts, th e p ro d u ctio n
flow is alm ost continuous. O perators
use instrum ents including com puters
to m easure and regulate the flow,
volum e, tem p eratu re, and pressure
o f liquids and gases going through
the equipm ent. M anual handling o f
m aterials has been virtually elim inat­
ed.
Petroleum refining consists of
heating crude oil as it flows through a
series o f pipes in a furnace. The
vapors from the heated oil pass into a
tower where the various “ fractions,”
or parts, o f the oil are condensed.



The heaviest parts (for example,
heavy fuel oils and asphalt) are
drawn off along the bottom o f the
tow er where tem peratures are high­
est; lighter parts (jet fuel and diesel
fuel) are drawn off along the m iddle
o f the tower; and the lightest (gaso­
line and gases) are taken off at the
top where tem peratures are lowest.
Since this process does not produce a
sufficient quantity o f some products,
such as gasoline, further processing
by m ore com plicated m ethods com ­
bines or modifies products obtained
through fractionating to increase the
yield o f som e p ro d u c ts. T re atin g
units are used to remove w ater, sul­
fur com pounds, and other impurities.
A bout 280 refineries were in o p ­
eration in 1976. They ranged in size
from plants with fewer than ten em ­
ployees to those with several thou­
sand. Although many States have re ­
fineries, ab o u t 85 p e rc e n t o f th e
workers were em ployed in 10 States:
Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Illi­

Occupations in the Industry
About 1 out of every 2 workers in
a refinery is involved in the operation
(as opposed to m aintenance) of the
plant. A key w orker in converting
crude oil into usable products is the
refinery operator (D.O.T. 542.280),
or chief operator, who is responsible
for one o r m ore processing units. The
refinery o p erato r, with help from
assistant o p erato rs, m akes adju st­
m ents fo r changes in tem perature,
pressure, and oil flow. In m odern re­
fineries, o p erato rs m onitor instru­
ments on panels that show the entire
operation of all processing units in
the refinery. They also patrol units to
check their operating condition.
O ther plantw orkers may include
s t i l l p u m p o p e r a to r s ( D .O .T .
5 4 9 .7 8 2 ) , also known as pum pers,
and their helpers (D.O.T. 549.884),
who m aintain and o p erate pum ps
that control all production through­
out the refinery; and treaters (D.O.T.
549.782) , who operate equipm ent to
remove im purities from gasoline, oil,
and o th e r products. In autom ated
plants, com puters may do the work
of pum pers and treaters. O perators

Over 90 percent of all workers in the petroleum refining
industry are employed in ten States
State distribution of workers in the petroleum refining industry, 1974
Texas
California
Illinois
Pennsylvania
Louisiana
New York
New Jersey
Ohio
Oklahoma
Indiana

Remaining 40 States

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

701

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

702

Operator observes refinery controls.

m onitor the com puters to spot poten­
tial problem areas, and may m ake
routine check s o f the refinery to
make sure that valves are operating
properly.
Many refineries employ large num ­
bers of m aintenance workers to re­

p air, re b u ild , re p la c e , and clean
equipm ent. In o th er plants, som e
m aintenance work is contracted to
com panies outside the petroleum in­
dustry. Many m aintenance workers
are needed because high heat, pres­
sure, and corrosion quickly wear out

Employment in petroleum refining is expected to
show little change through the mid-1980’s due to
productivity improvements
Wage and salary workers in the petroleum refining industry, 1950-76
and projected 1985
Employees
(in thousands)

250
200

150

100
50

0
1950
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




1955

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

th e com plex refining eq u ip m en t.
O c c u p a tio n s involved in m a in te ­
nance include skilled boilerm akers,
electricians, carpenters, instrum ent
re p a ire rs , m ach in ists, p ip e fitte rs,
sh ee tm e ta l w orkers, and w elders.
There also are helpers and apprentic­
es in these trades. Some skilled w ork­
ers have a primary skill in one craft
and also the ability to handle closely
related crafts. For example, a pipefit­
ter also may be a boilerm aker and a
welder. M aintenance w orkers who
have such com bined jobs are som e­
times called refinery mechanics.
Plantworkers who do not operate,
m onitor, or maintain equipm ent do
many other tasks. Some workers
drive delivery trucks; some load and
unload materials on trucks, trains, or
ships; and others keep stock and tool
inventory records. The industry also
employs service workers such as
guards and janitors.
About 12 percent o f the workers in
petroleum refining are scientists, en­
g in eers, and te c h n ic ia n s. A m ong
these are chem ists, chem ical engi­
neers, m echanical engineers, envi­
ro n m e n ta l e n g in e e rs, la b o ra to ry
technicians, and drafters. Chem ists
and laboratory technicians control
the quality of petroleum products by
m a k in g tests a n d a n a ly se s to d eter­
mine chem ical and physical p ro p er­
ties. Some chemists and chemical en­
g i n e e r s d e v e lo p a n d im p r o v e
products and processes. Laboratory
te c h n ic ia n s assist chem ists in r e ­
search projects or do routine testing
and sample taking. Some engineers
design chem ical processing eq u ip ­
m ent and plant layout, and others
supervise refining processes. Envi­
ronm ental engineers and technicians
supervise and improve treatm ent and
disposal of refinery waste waters and
gases. D rafters p re p are plans and
draw ings needed in refinery c o n ­
struction and m aintenance.
Refining com panies employ many
adm inistrative, clerical, and o ther
w hite-collar personnel. A dm inistra­
tive w orkers include m anagers, ac­
co u n tan ts, purchasing agents, law ­
y e rs, c o m p u te r p ro g ra m m e rs ,
c o m p u ter analysts, and perso n n el
and training specialists. Typists, sec­
retaries, bookkeepers, keypunch op ­

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PETROLEUM REFINING INDUSTRY

erators, and business m achine opera­
tors assist adm inistrative w orkers.
(Detailed discussions of professional,
te ch n ic al, m ech a n ical, and o th er
occupations found not only in petro­
leum refining but also in other indus­
tries are presented elsewhere in the
Handbook.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
E m ployers p re fer to hire appli­
cants who are high school graduates.
A p titu d e testing and interview ing
frequently are used in selecting appli­
cants for plant jobs. Inexperienced
plantworkers usually begin as aides
in a labor pool; they may move m ate­
rials, pack cartons, fill barrels, or do
m ain ten an c e w ork. They may be
transferred either to the operating
departm ent or the m aintenance de­
partm ent when a vacancy occurs.
W orkers newly assigned to an op­
erating departm ent learn to operate
equipm ent under the guidance of ex­
perienced operators. Formal training
courses frequently are given in plant
operation.
A supervisor trains inexperienced
workers in m aintenance skills. Some
refineries give classroom instruction
related to particular work. After 3 or
4 years, a person may advance from
helper to skilled craft worker in one
of the m aintenance crafts. Some
large refineries train workers in sev­
eral crafts. For example, a qualified
instru m en t rep airer may be given
electrician or m achinist training.
For scientists and engineers, a
bachelor’s degree in an appropriate
field usually is the minimum educa­
tional req uirem ent. A dvanced d e­
grees are p re fe rre d fo r re se a rc h
work.
For most laboratory assistant jobs,
2-year technical school training is
required. Laboratory assistants begin
in routine jobs and advance to posi­
tions of greater responsibility as they
acquire experience and learn to work
without close supervision. Inexperi­
enced drafters begin as copyists or
tracers and can advance to m ore
skilled drafting jobs.
Administrative positions generally
are filled by people who have college
degrees in science and engineering,

accounting, business, industrial rela­


tions, or other specialized fields. For
positions as clerks, bookkeepers, sec­
retaries, and typists, m ost refineries
employ persons who have had com ­
m ercial courses in high school or
business school. For occupations as­
sociated with com puters, educational
re q u ire m e n ts range from a high
school level for keypunch operators
to a college degree in the physical
science field for analysts.

Employment Outlook
Employment in petroleum refining
is expected to show little change
through the m id-1980’s. Refinery
output is expected to increase to
m eet the N ation’s growing dem and

703

for petroleum products, but autom at­
ed, com puterized plants, increased
refining capacity, and improved re­
fining techniques should make it pos­
sible for the industry to increase prod u c tio n w ith o u t in c re a s in g
em ploym ent significantly. N everthe­
less, thousands of job openings will
result from the need to replace work­
ers who retire, die, or transfer to o th ­
er occupations.
Most jobs will be for operators,
m aintenance w orkers, ad m in istra­
tors, and technicians. More m ainte­
nance workers, such as electricians,
pipefitters, and instrum ent repairers,
will be needed to take care of the
in cre asin g a m o u n t o f a u to m a te d

Most refinery jobs require only moderate physical effort.

704

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

equipm ent and complex control in­
struments.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Refinery workers are among the
highest paid employees in m anufac­
turing. In 1976 production workers
in petroleum refining averaged $7.72
an hour, com pared with an average
o f $4.83 an h o u r for p ro d u ctio n
workers in m anufacturing industries
as a whole.
Because petroleum is refined
around the clock, operators may be
assigned to any one of the three
shifts, or they may be rotated on




various shifts. Some operators work
weekends and get days off during the
week. Employees usually receive ad ­
ditional pay for shift w ork. M ost
m aintenance w orkers are on duty
during the day.
Most refinery jobs require only
m oderate physical effort. A few
workers, however, have to open and
close heavy valves and climb stairs
and ladders to considerable heights.
Others may work in hot places or
may be exposed to unpleasant odors.
Many refinery workers are union
members and belong to the Oil,
Chemical and Atomic W orkers Inter­
national Union. Some refinery w ork­

ers are members of AFL-CIO craft
unions or of various in d ep en d en t
unions.

Sources of Additional
Information
More information on job opportu­
nities in the petroleum refining in­
dustry may be obtained from the p er­
so n n e l o ffic e s o f in d iv id u a l oil
companies. General information on
jobs in the industry is available from:
National Petroleum Refiners Association,
Suite 802, 1725 DeSales St. NW„ Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

Printing Methods

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PRINTING
AND PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

Printing is both an art and one of
our chief means of com m unication.
In 1976, the printing and publishing
industry employed almost 1.1 million
workers. G overnm ent agencies and
private firms that do their own print­
ing, such as banks and insurance
companies, also employed thousands
of printing workers.

Nature and Location of the
Industry
Included in the industry are the
printing and publishing of newspa­
pers, magazines, books, and advertis­
ing m atter; the production of busi­
ness forms, greeting cards, and gift
wrappings; commercial or job print­
ing; bookbinding; and typesetting,
photoengraving, platem aking, and
other printing services, primarily for
printing establishments.
In 1976, the largest division in
terms of em ploym ent was newspaper
printing and publishing, with over
380,000 employees. Most daily and
many weekly newspapers throughout
the Nation do their own printing.
Although some major newspapers
have more than 2,000 employees,
many have fewer than 20.
Com mercial printing shops, the
second largest division of the indus­
try, em ployed about 359,000 work­
ers. These shops produce a variety of
materials, including advertising m at­
ter, business cards, calendars, cata­
logs, labels, maps, and pam phlets.
They also print limited-run newspa­
pers, books, and m agazines. Many
commercial shops have several hun­
dred w orkers, but em ploym ent is
concentrated in smaller shops.
Printing jobs are found throughout
the country. Almost every town has
at least one printing shop, frequently,
a small newspaper plant that also
may do other printing. However,



about one-half of the N ation’s print­
ing employees are in five States—
New York, Illinois, California, Penn­
sylvania, and O hio. W ithin these
States, most printing activities are in
or near m anufacturing, com m ercial,
or financial areas such as New York,
Chicago, Los Angeles, San FrancisoO akland, Philadelphia and C incin­
nati. O ther leading centers of print­
ing are Boston, D etroit, MinneapolisSt. P au l, W a sh in g to n , D .C ., St.
Louis, and Dayton. Employment in
book and magazine printing is highly
concentrated in these areas. A much
larger proportion of newspaper em ­
ployment, however, is found outside
these centers because of the great
num ber o f small local newspapers.

Printing is a means of transferring
ink im pressions of words and pic­
tures to paper, metal, or other m ate­
rials. A plate of m etal, rubber, or
plastic is prepared so that part of it
can be covered with ink. The ink is
then transferred to a sheet of paper
or o th e r m aterial th a t is pressed
against the plate.
In letterpress printing, the letters
and images are raised from the rest of
the printing plate. Printing is
achieved by covering the printing
surface with ink and pressing it di­
rectly against paper, thus transferring
the image onto the paper. In gravure
printing, the image is etched into the
surface of a cylinder. The whole sur­
face is covered with ink and then
wiped off; ink is left only in the sunk­
en or etched areas. When paper is
pressed against the surface, the ink is
lifted out and appears on the paper.
In lithography (offset printing), the
printing plate surface is smooth, with
both image and nonimage areas on
the same level. Lithography is based
on the principle that grease and wa-

705

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

706

te r do not mix. T he p la te ’s image
areas are coated with a substance to
m ake the greasy printing ink stick to
the plate and then m oistened with
w ater so that only the image areas
take up the ink. The inked image is
transferred from the plate to a rubber
blanket and then to the paper.
Screen printing is a m ethod in
which inks or oth er m aterials such as
paint and varnish are forced through
a stencil m ounted on a finely woven
screen. T he shape of the stencil
openings determ ines the design to be
printed. This process may be applied
to a variety of surfaces such as paper,
glass, m etal, plastic, and textiles.

Printing Occupations
Production o f printed m aterials re­
quires w orkers in a wide variety of
occupations. Printing craft workers
represent a large segm ent of these
employees. They usually specialize in
o n e a re a o f p rin tin g o p e ra tio n s:
T y p e c o m p o s itio n , p h o to g ra p h y ,
platem aking, presswork, or binding.
Their training generally is confined
to only on e o f the basic printing
m eth o d s—letterp ress, lithography,
or gravure. Some o f the principal
printing crafts are briefly described
below. D etailed inform ation on these
crafts is presented in the section on
printing occupations elsew here in the
Handbook.
The printing process begins in a
com posing room where m anuscript
copy is set in type, proofed, and
checked for errors. M achine and
handset type and other m aterials
such as photoengravings are assem ­
bled th e re an d p re p a re d fo r th e
pressroom .
In 1976, almost 40 percent o f all
printing craft w orkers— 152,000—
were em ployed in com posing room
occupations. This group includes
compositors (D.O.T. 973.381) who
set type by hand o r m achine; typeset­
ter p e rfo ra to r operators (D .O .T .
208.588) who punch tapes used to
operate some typesetting machines;
make-up arrangers (D.O.T. 973.381)
who assemble type in shallow trays
called “ galleys” and m ake trial copy
o f this type; and proofreaders (D.O.T.
209.688) who check the trial copy
with the original copy for errors.



Electrotypers
and
stereotypers
(D.O.T. 974.381 and 975.782) m ake
duplicate pressplates o f m etal, ru b ­
ber, and plastic for letterpress print­
ing. These plates are made from the
m etal type form s p re p are d in the
com posing room . E lectrotypes are
used mainly in book and magazine
work. Stereotypes, which are less d u ­
rable, are used chiefly in new spaper
work.
Photoengravers ( D.O.T. 971.381)
m ake m etal printing plates of illustra­
tions and other copy that cannot be
set up in type. The printing surfaces
on these plates stand out in relief
above the nonprinting spaces, as do
the letters and the accom panying
type. Similarly, gravure photoengrav­
ers (D.O.T. 971.381), a specialized
type o f photoengravers, m ake gra­
vure cylinders in which the image is
etched below the surface for use in
reproducing pictures and type.
The actual printing operation is
perform ed in the pressroom . Printing
press operators (D.O.T. 651.782,
.885 and .886) prepare type forms
and pressplates for final printing and
tend the presses while they are in
operation. Small com m ercial shops
generally have small and relatively
simple presses that often are fed p a­
per by hand. At the other extrem e
are the enorm ous presses used by the
larg e r n ew sp a p er, m agazine, an d
book printing plants. They autom ati­
cally print the paper and cut, assem ­
ble, and fold the pages. These m a­
chines are operated by crews of press
o p e ra to rs assisted by less skilled
workers.
Lithography (offset printing) has
grown to be the m ost widely used
m ethod o f printing. Practically all
items printed by other processes also
can be produced by lithography. It is
a process o f photographing the m at­
ter to be printed, making a printing
p la te fro m th e p h o to g ra p h , an d
pressing the inked plate against a
rubber blanket which in turn presses
it onto the paper. Several operations
are involved in lithography, and each
is perform ed by a specialized group
of workers. The main group of litho­
graphic w orkers are camera operators
(D .O .T . 9 7 2 .3 8 2 ), artists and letterers (D .O .T . 9 7 1 .2 8 1 ), strippers
(D .O .T . 9 7 1 .3 8 1 ), p la te m a k e r s

(D.O.T. 972.381), and press opera­
tors (D.O.T. 651.885).
Because of the increasingly com ­
plex and highly m echanized printing
equipm ent in use today, technically
trained people are needed in all areas
of printing m anagem ent and produc­
tion. F o r exam ple, an in creasin g
n u m b er o f production technicians
(D.O.T. 019.281) are employed to
see that the standards for each p rint­
ing job are met.
Many printed items, such as books,
m agazines, pam phlets, and c a le n ­
dars, m ust be folded, sewed, stapled,
or bound after they leave the printing
shops. M uch o f this work is done by
skilled bookbinders. In many binder­
ies, however, a large portion of the
work is done by less skilled bindery
workers.
Besides printing craft workers, the
industry employs people in a variety
o f o th e r occupations. M any m ailroom w orkers are em ployed in news­
papers and magazine plants to ad­
dress, bundle, and tie the printed
m atter for distribution. M odem mailroom processes are m echanized to a
considerable extent. Mailers operate
addressing, stamping, stacking, bun­
dling, an d tying m achines. M any
large printing firms employ m echan­
ics and machinists to repair and ad­
ju st typesetting m achines, printing
presses, and other equipm ent.
Printing firms employ a great many
people as executives, sales represen­
tatives, accountants, engineers, com ­
p u te r p ro g ram ers, sten o g ra p h ers,
clerks, and laborers. Newspapers and
other publishers employ a consider­
able n u m ber o f reporters, editors,
and photographers. These o ccu p a­
tions are discussed elsewhere in the
Handbook.

Training and Other
Qualifications
Most printing craft workers (union
or nonunion) learn their trades
through established apprenticeship
program s. A substantial num ber of
people, however, learn these trades
by working as helpers or through a
com bination of work experience and
schooling.
Most printing unions, in conjunc­
tion with m anagem ent, have estab­
lished guidelines for apprenticeship

707

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PRINTING AND PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

program s for the various printing
crafts. Many nonunion printing firms
have established apprenticeship pro­
grams with the help of local printing
associations and the em ployer o r­
g an iza tio n P rin tin g In d u stries of
America. A pprentices often are cho­
sen from among people already em ­
ployed in various unskilled jobs in
printing plants.
Printing apprenticeships usually
last from 4 to 6 years, depending on
the occupation and shop or area
practices. The apprenticeship p ro ­
grams cover all phases o f a particular
trad e and generally include class­
room or correspondence study in re­
lated technical subjects, as well as
on-the-job training. A pprenticeship
applicants generally m ust be at least
18 years of age and pass an aptitude
test and a physical examination. Ap­
plicants who qualify may be put on a
waiting list if there are no immediate
apprenticeship job openings.
Most employers prefer applicants
to have a high school education or its
equivalent. A thorough knowledge of
spelling, punctuation, the fundam en­
tals of gram m ar, and basic m athe­
m atics is essential in many of the
printing trades. A knowledge 6f the
basic principles of chem istry, elec­
tronics, and physics is becoming in­
creasingly im portant because of the
growing use of photom echanical and
electronic processes in printing.
Most printing crafts require people
with good eyesight, about average
physical strength, and a high degree
of manual dexterity. Alertness, pa­
tience, and the ability to work with
others also are necessary. The ability
to distinguish colors is im portant in
areas of printing where color is used.
An artistic sense also is an asset since
the finished product should be pleas­
ing in balance and design.
A b o u t 4 ,0 0 0 s c h o o l s — h ig h
schools, vocational schools, techni­
cal in stitu tes, and co lleg es—offer
courses in printing technology. These
courses may help a person to be se­
lected for apprenticeships or other
job openings in the printing and pub­
lishing industry.
Administrative jobs usually are
filled by upgrading experienced peo­
ple. Many owners and production
m an ag ers o f p rin tin g firm s have

come from the ranks of printing craft


workers. In recent years, however,
more firms are filling administrative
positions with people who have col­
lege degrees in business adm inistra­
tion, marketing, accounting, industri­
al re la tio n s, or o th e r sp ecialized
b u sin ess fields. M ost firm s h ire
clerks, bookkeepers, stenographers,
and ty p ists who have c o m p le te d
com m ercial courses in high school or
business school.
Some com puter program m ers in
the printing industry have technical
school training; others learn their
skills on the job. Also, many com ­
positors and ty pesetters are being
taught com puter program ming skills,
and the International Typographic
Union has established a training cen­
ter for this purpose.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the printing and
publishing industry is expected to
grow m ore slowly than the average
for all industries through the mid1980’s. Most job openings will occur
from the need to replace experienced
workers who retire, die, or transfer to
other industries.
The volume of printed materials is
expected to increase rapidly because
of population growth, the increasing­
ly high literacy level o f the popula­
tion, and the trend to greater use of
printed m aterials for inform ation,

packaging, and various industrial and
com m ercial purposes. Em ployment
will grow at a slower rate than the
volum e o f printing, how ever, be­
cause of laborsaving technological
changes in printing methods.
O ccupational groups in the indus­
try are expected to increase at differ­
ent rates. Employment of technical,
m aintenance, and clerical workers
will increase at a faster pace than
to ta l e m p lo y m e n t. E m p lo y m e n t
growth will vary among the printing
crafts. The num ber of lithographic
craft workers, for example, is expect­
ed to increase because of the growing
use o f lithography. On the o th e r
hand, since lithography does not re­
quire photoengraving, em ploym ent
of photoengravers is expected to de­
cline. The trend to com puterization
of typesetting operations will reduce
the need for some m achine operators
in composing rooms while creating a
demand for more com puter typeset­
ters. More m echanics will be hired to
maintain the industry’s increasingly
complex machinery.

Earnings and Working
Conditions
Earnings of production workers in
the printing and publishing industry
are among the highest in m anufactur­
ing. In 1976, they averaged $5.67 an

Employment in the printing and publishing industry
has grown steadily, responding only slightly to
economic downturns
Wage and salary workers in printing and publishing, 1950-76 and
projected 1985
Employees
(in thousands)

1.400

1,200
1,000
800
600
400

200

1950
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

1955

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

708

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Estimated average
minimum hourly rate,

International Typographical Union,
and the International Mailers Union.

1976

Bookbinders.................................................................................................
Compositors:
Hand......................................................................................................
Machine operators.............................................................................
Electrotypers...............................................................................................
Photoengravers...........................................................................................
Press operators...........................................................................................
Press (cylinder) operators.................................................................
Press (platen) operators....................................................................
Stereotypers.................................................................................................

hour, while those in m anufacturing
industries as a whole averaged $5.19.
The
accom paying
tabulation
shows average estim ated union m ini­
mum hourly rates for selected print­
ing occupations in 1976 based on a
survey o f 69 large cities. These are
the m inim um basic rates for day­
work, and do not include overtim e,
other special paym ents, or bonuses.
M ost printing craft workers who
are covered by union contracts work
fewer than 40 hours a week. Some
co n tracts specify a standard w ork­
week o f less than 35 hours, but m ost
fall within a 35 to 37-1/2 hour range.
Time and a half generally is paid for
overtim e. W ork on Sundays and holi­
days is paid for at time and one-half
or double-tim e rates in most com ­
mercial printing firms. In new spaper
plants, however, the workweek often
includes Sundays. Time and one-half




Newspapers
—

Book and
job shops
$7.47

$7.91
8.18
—
8.47
7.65
—
—
7.49

8.38
8.20
7.23
8.90
—
7.72
6.63
7.88

or double time is paid for these days
only when they are not part o f the
em ployee’s regular shift. Night-shift
workers generally receive pay differ­
entials above the standard day rates.
The starting wage rates of appren­
tices generally are from 40 to 50 p er­
ce n t o f th e basic ra te for skilled
workers in the shop. Wages are in­
creased periodically, usually every 6
months, until the apprentice reaches
the skilled rate.
The frequency of injuries in the
printing industry is som ewhat lower
than the average for all m anufactur­
ing industries.
A bout 35 percent of all printing
trades workers are m em bers o f
unions. Among these unions are the
Graphic Arts International Union,
the
International
Printing
and
Graphic Com m unications Union, the

Sources of Additional
Information
Details about em ploym ent oppor­
tunities and apprenticeships may be
obtained from local employers, such
as newspapers and printing shops, lo­
cal offices of the unions m entioned
above, o r the local office of State
em ploym ent services. Some S tate
em ploym ent service offices screen
applicants and give aptitude tests.
For general inform ation on the in­
dustry, write to:
American Newspaper Publishers Association,
11600 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston, Va.
20041.
American Photoplatemakers Association, 105
West Adams St., Suite 950, Chicago, 1 1
1.
606043.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615
Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
Gravure Technical Institute, 60 E. 42 St., New
York, N.Y. 10020.
National Association of Printers and Lithogra­
phers, 570 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y.
10018.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N.
Lynn St., Arlington, Va. 22209.

(See the section
pations elsewhere
for nam es of labor
trade associations
m ore inform ation
ing trades.)

on printing occu ­
in the Handbook
organizations and
that can provide
on specific p rin t­

O C C U P A TIO N S IN THE TE X TILE
M IL L PRO DUCTS IN D U S TR Y

Two hundred years ago no cloth
was m a n u fa c tu re d in the U nited
States. Most had to be im ported from
England. Indeed, the textile industry
was so im portant to England’s pros­
perity that neither diagrams of the
m achinery nor the m echanics who
operated it were allowed to leave
Britain. In 1789, however, an English
textile mechanic named Samuel Sla­
ter disguised himself as a farm er and
sailed to the United States. He car­
ried the d etails o f the m achinery
where no official could find them: in
his head. A few years later he opened
a spinning mill in Pawtucket, R.I. To­
day, the spinning jennies Slater built
stand silent, a show for tourists. But
the industry that began in Pawtucket
now includes 7,200 mills and facto­
ries, produces enough fabric each
year to wrap around the earth 250
times, and provides jobs for about 1
million people.

born—led the rest of the country in
the num ber of textile mills until the
early part of this century, when the
S outheast becam e dom inant. This
shift occurred because the Southeast
enjoyed several econom ic advantag­
es, such as lower labor costs, cheaper
steam and electric power, and great­
er accessibility to cotton. Today, the

N ortheast employs more people than
any other region of the country in
m anufacturing narrow fabrics such
as lace, ribbon, and fabric tape; in
weaving and finishing wool; and in
the production of m iscellaneous tex­
tile goods. The South leads the rest of
the country in every other sector of
this industry. T hree states—N orth
Carolina, South Carolina, and G eor­
gia—employ a little over half of all
textile workers.

Occupations in the Industry
The raw materials of textile m anu­
facturing m ust pass through many
hands before becoming finished fab­
rics. As a result, most employees are
directly involved in production, ei-

Nature and Location of The
Industry
About one-half of all employees in
the industry work in mills that weave
or knit fabrics that will be made into
clothing or household furnishings.
A nother one-third of the employees
produce knit goods for use in making
stockings and underwear, while most
of the rem ainder work in mills that
color or put patterns on the cloth, or
that m anufacture carpets and other
products such as thread, lace, and
cord for tires. About 9 out of 10
textile workers are employed in
plants having 100 workers or more,
although the majority o f plants are
small.
Textile plants are found in almost
every State, but they are concentrat­
ed in a broad arc stretching from
New England through the Southeast­
ern United States into Texas. New
England — w here the industry was



About o n e -h a lf of all em p loyees in the te x tile industry work in mills that w e a ve or knit
fabric.

709

710

th er working with their hands or o p ­
erating m achinery.
In the past, cotton was the basic
raw m aterial for the industry. Today,
consum ers dem and fabrics th at are
durable and require minimal care
while textile m anufacturers continu­
ally seek cleaner raw m aterials. A c­
cordingly, synthetic fibers, such as
nylon o r p o ly ester, have rep laced
cotton as the leading raw m aterial for
the industry because they are easier
for the consum er to care for and eas­
ier fo r th e m a n u fa c tu re r to w ork
with. Regardless o f the raw m aterial,
however, all textiles are produced by
spinning the fiber into yarn, weaving
or knitting the yarn into fabric, and
dyeing and finishing the fabric.
First the fibers m ust be prepared
for spinning. In o rder to clean and
align the fibers, they are com bed and
carded. Particularly short fibers are
rem oved, and all fibers are draw n
into a form th at is strong enough to
withstand the twisting process o f
spinning. Textile workers, called
opener tenders (D .O .T. 680.885),
picker tenders (D.O.T. 680.885), card
tenders (D.O.T. 680.885), drawing
fra m e tenders (D.O.T. 680.885), and
roving tenders (D.O.T. 680.885), o p ­
erate the m achinery th a t prepares
the fiber. They start, stop, and clean
the m achines. W hile patrolling the
aisles betw een groups of m achines,
they also repair b ro k en fiber ends
and feed fiber into the machines.
W hen the fiber is ready for spin­
ning, a spinning fram e draws and
twists it through rotating rollers and
winds it on conical structures called
bobbins. These m achines, operated
by fram e spinners, turn the fiber into
y a r n . F r a m e s p in n e r s ( D .O .T .
6 8 2 .8 8 5 ) ru n ro w s o f sp in n in g
fram es, position bobbins o f fibers,
tw ist fib er ends, re p a ir b reak s in
lengths o f fiber, and clean the m a­
chines.
Spinning and weaving or spinning
and knitting generally take place in
the sam e plant. However, weaving
and knitting operations usually are
p erfo rm ed in d iffe ren t plants b e ­
cause these two m ethods o f cloth
m anufacture and the m achinery used
to accom plish them are quite differ­
ent. To prepare the yarn for weaving,
lo o m w in d e r t e n d e r s ( D .O .T .
6 for FRASER
Digitized 8 9 .8 8 5 ) , spooler tenders (D .O .T .


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

6 8 9 .8 8 6 ), warper tenders (D .O .T .
6 8 1 .8 8 5 ) , slasher tenders (D .O .T .
5 8 2 .7 8 2 ) , and warp tying machine
tenders (D.O.T. 681.885) position it
on their respective m achines, draw
or thread the yarn into place, tie yarn
ends, observe the m achines to d etect
m alfunctions, and rem ove the p re ­
pared yarn.
Fabric is produced on looms which
interlace—weave—the yarn. T here
may be as many as 2,000 looms in the
weaving room. Weavers (D .O .T
683.782) constitute about 10 p e r­
cent of all textile m achine operatives.
They are skilled workers who m oni­
to r an d o p e ra te as m any as 200
looms at a time. They observe fabric
being woven to detect and remove
defects. They also repair breaks in
yarn, fix m inor loom m alfunctions,
a n d c a ll lo o m f i x e r s ( D .O .T .
6 8 3 .2 8 0 ) to m ake m ajo r rep airs.
Loom fixers n o t only re p a ir m a ­
chines, but also adjust them and p re ­
pare them for op eratio n . Each o f
these highly skilled operatives works
with several weavers.
Although m ost textiles are woven,
knitted cloth claims a larger share of
the m arket each year. To knit yam , a
knitting machine operator (D.O.T.
685.885) places it on a m achine
which produces fabric by interm esh­
ing yarn loops. Knitting m achine o p ­
erators tend several m achines at a
time. They start the m achines, feed
in the yarn, observe the knitting p ro ­
cess to detect m alfunctions, tie b ro ­
ken yarn ends, and notify knitting
machine fixers (D.O.T. 689.280) if
they break down. Knitting m achine
fixers and loom fixers do sim ilar
work, but on different machines.
The m ost highly skilled workers in
a knitting mill are knitter-machine
mechanics (D.O.T. 685.380). They
arrange metal pattern plates in the
form of chains and place the chains
in the knitting machines. The chains
c o n tro l th e o p e ra tio n o f the m a­
chines. Thus, these m echanics p ro ­
vide the m eans by which textile d e ­
signs becom e knitted fabrics.
Once the yarn has been woven or
knitted, the resulting fabric is ready
to be dyed and finished either by
textile mills that also weave or knit
the fabric, or by independent busi­
nesses. Dyers (D.O.T. 582.138) d e­
velop dye formulas that are used to

create a desired color. They also su­
p ervise th e dyeing. Dye weighers
(D.O.T. 550.884) mix the dyes and
chem icals used in dyeing. Dye range
operators (D.O.T. 582.782) run the
m achines that dye and dry the cloth.
M anufacturers print textiles in
thousands o f different colors and d e­
signs in order to appeal to a variety of
consum er preferences. Printing may
be done in several ways. One of the
new est m eth o d s is ro ta ry screen
printing, a system in which a porous
cylinder (screen) holds the print de­
sign. Dye in the cylinder is forced
through the screen as the cylinder
rolls over the cloth, leaving the print.
However, before the fabric can
receive a print, the design must be
created,
and colorists (D.O.T.
022.181) must develop the colors for
printing. Screen printing artists
(D.O.T. 970.381) then use these col­
ors to m ake color separations o f de­
signs on transparent paper. For each
c o l o r , s c r e e n m a k e r s ( D .O .T .
971.381) prepare a screen, treating it
with em ulsion and exposing it photo­
graphically to the appropriate trans­
p a re n c y . Screen printers (D .O .T .
652.782) m ount the screens on the
rotary screen printing machines, fill
the m achines with dyes, and tend
them as they print.
In addition to dyeing and printing,
finishing often involves treating the
fabric to prevent excessive shrink­
age, strengthening it, or providing it
with a silky luster. Each step offers
job opportunities for textile m achine
operatives and general m aintenance
w o rk ers. P eople in several o th e r
occupations are im portant to the in­
dustry, although they are not directly
involved in production. Among these
a r e t e x t i l e d e s ig n e r s ( D .O .T .
142.081), textile engineers (D.O.T.
1 8 3 .1 1 8 ), and textile technicians
(D .O .T . 689.384). T hese o c c u p a ­
tions usually require special talents
and 2 to 4 years of education after
high schoool.
Textile designers create the p a t­
terns, or designs, that are woven or
knitted into fabrics or printed on
them . M ost designers work in New
York City, where the designing and
styling departm ents of m ost textile
com panies are located.
Textile engineers usually hold su­
pervisory or m anagerial positions.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE TEXTILE MILL PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

They may be plant m anagers who su­
pervise entire plants, or plant engi­
neers, responsible for the heating, air
co n d itio n in g , e le c tric a l, m aterials
handling, or other systems in textile
establishments.
Textile technicians translate fiber
properties into useful end products.
They may work in research, develop­
ing new fiber processing techniques;
in quality control and production,
m easuring m ajor ch aracteristics of
raw textiles; or in custom er sales and
service, selling directly to custom ers
or serving them. Many technicians
work in the dyeing and finishing
areas of textile plants.
In addition to occupations that are
unique to the m anufacture of tex­
tiles, many others are found in this
industry. There are m anagers such as
plant and departm ent m anagers in all
areas of the textile industry. Person­
nel specialists hire em ployees, and
make sure that pay and benefits are
received. T here are jobs for book­
keepers, accountants, and com puter
programmers. The industry employs
a wide assortm ent of clerical workers
as well, including secretaries, com ­
puter console operators, and ship­
ping and receiving clerks. There also
are jobs for janitors, guards, and food
service workers. M echanics and re­
pairers, besides those already m en­
tioned, keep machinery and equip­
m ent operating properly. Laborers,
such as freight and m aterial handlers,
often using mechanical devices, lift
and move heavy loads to various tex­
tile machines.

71 1

ten form er machine operators—show
new workers how to operate the m a­
chines. Persons from outside the tex­
tile plant sometimes provide instruc­
tion. For exam ple, m an u fa ctu rers
might explain the operation of new
equipm ent or State educational coor­
dinators might organize and conduct
training programs at the request of
the company.
Good coordination, good eyesight,
and m anual dexterity are im portant
requirem ents for production jobs in
this highly m echanized industry. Al­
though m o