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Places of Employment
About 20,000 biochemists were employed
in 1978. About one-half worked for colleges
and universities and about one-fourth for pri­
vate industry, primarily in companies manu­
facturing drugs, insecticides, and cosmetics.
Some work for nonprofit research institutes
and foundations; others, for Federal, State,
and local government agencies. Most govern­
ment biochemists do health and agricultural
research for Federal agencies. A few selfemployed biochemists are consultants to in­
dustry and government.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The minimum educational requirement for
many beginning jobs as a biochemist, espe­
cially in research or teaching, is an advanced
degree. A Ph. D. degree is a virtual necessity
for persons who hope to contribute signifi­
cantly to biochemical research and advance
to many management and administrative
jobs. A bachelor’s degree with a major in
biochemistry or chemistry, or with a major in
biology and a minor in chemistry, may qual­
ify some persons for entry jobs as research
assistants or technicians.
About 100 schools award the bachelor’s
degree in biochemistry, and nearly all col­
leges and universities offer a major in biology
or chemistry. Persons planning careers as bi­
ochemists should take undergraduate courses
in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, mathe­
matics, and physics.
About 150 colleges and universities offer
graduate degrees in biochemistry. Graduate
students generally are required to have a
bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, biology, or
chemistry. Many graduate programs empha­
size one specialty in biochemistry because of
the facilities or the research being done at
that particular school. Graduate training re­
quires actual research in addition to ad­
vanced science courses, so students should
select their schools carefully. For the doc­
toral degree, the student does intensive re­

search and a thesis in one field of biochemis­
Persons planning careers as biochemists
should be able to work independently or as
part of a team. Biochemists should have ana­
lytical ability and curiosity, as well as the
patience and perseverance needed to com­
plete the hundreds of experiments necessary
to solve a single problem. They should also
express themselves clearly when writing and
speaking to communicate the findings of
their research effectively.
Graduates with advanced degrees may
begin their careers as teachers or researchers
in colleges or universities. In private indus­
try, most begin in research jobs and with ex­
perience may advance to positions in which
they plan and supervise research.
New graduates with a bachelor’s degree
usually start work as research assistants or
technicians. These jobs in private industry

often involve testing and analysis. In the drug
industry, for example, research assistants an­
alyze the ingredients of a product to verify
and maintain its purity or quality.

Employment Outlook
Job opportunities for biochemists with ad­
vanced degrees should be favorable through
the 1980’s. The employment of biochemists is
expected to grow slightly faster than the av­
erage for all occupations during this period.
Some additional job openings will result each
year as biochemists retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations.
The anticipated growth in this field should
result from the effort to find cures for cancer,
heart disease, and other diseases, and from
public concern with environmental protec­
tion. Colleges and universities may need ad­
ditional teachers" if biochemistry enrollments
continue to increase.

Average earnings of biochemists were
about twice the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
farming. According to a 1978 survey by the
American Chemical Society, salaries for ex­
perienced biochemists averaged about $17,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree; $21,000 for those with a master’s degree; and
$28,000 for those with a Ph. D.
Starting salaries of biochemists employed
in colleges and universities are comparable to
those for other faculty members. (See state­
ment on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)

Related Occupations
Biochemistry is closely related to biology
and chemistry. Medical laboratory workers
often use biochemical procedures in their
work, and physicians, pharmacists, and other
health practitioners need to know a great
deal about biochemistry.

Sources of Additional Information
For general information on careers in bio­
chemistry, contact:
American Society of Biological Chemists, 9650
Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md. 20014.

ing crop yields, and in improving the natural
environment. When working in laboratories,
life scientists must be familiar with research
techniques and laboratory equipment such as
electron microscopes. Knowledge of comput­
ers also is useful in conducting experiments.
Not all research, however, is performed in
laboratories. For example, a botanist who ex­
plores the volcanic Alaskan valleys to see
what plants grow there also is doing research.
More than one-fifth of all life scientists
work in management or administration rang­
ing from planning and administering pro­
grams for testing foods and drugs to directing
activities at zoos or botanical gardens. About
one-fifth teach in colleges or universities;
many also do independent research. Some life
scientists work as consultants to business
firms or to government in their areas of spe­
cialization. Others write for technical publi­
cations or test and inspect foods, drugs, and
other products. Some work in technical sales
and services jobs for industrial companies
where, for example, they demonstrate the
proper use of new chemicals or technical pro­
Scientists in many life science areas often
call themselves biologists (D.O.T. 041.061030). However, the majority are classified by
the type of organism they study or by the
specific activity they perform.
Botanists (D.O.T. 041.061-038) deal pri­
marily with plants and their environment.
Some study all aspects of plant life, while
others work in specific areas such as identify­
ing and classifying plants or studying the
structure of plants and plant cells. Other
botanists concentrate on causes and cures of
plant diseases.
Agronomists (D.O.T. 040.061-010), who
are concerned with the mass development of
plants, improve the quality and yield of
crops, such as com, wheat, and cotton, by
developing new growth methods or by con­
trolling diseases, pests, and weeds. They also
analyze soils to determine ways to increase
acreage yields and decrease soil erosion. Hor­
ticulturists (D.O.T. 040.061-038) work with
orchard and garden plants such as fruit and
nut trees, vegetables, and flowers. They seek
to improve plant culture methods for the
beautification of communities, homes, parks,
and other areas as well as for increasing crop
quality and yields.

Life scientists, who study all aspects of liv­
ing organisms, emphasize the relationship of
animals and plants to their environment.

Zoologists (D.O.T. 041.061-090) study
various aspects of animal life—its origin, be­
havior, and life processes. Some conduct ex­
perimental studies with live animals in con­
trolled or natural surroundings while others
dissect animals to study the structure of their
parts. Zoologists are usually identified by the
(birds), entomologists (insects), and mammalogists (mammals).

About one-third of all life scientists are
primarily involved in research and develop­
ment. Many conduct basic research to in­
crease our knowledge of living organisms
which can be applied in medicine, in increas­

Animal scientists (D.O.T. 040.061-014) do
research on the breeding, feeding, and dis­
eases of domestic farm animals. Veterinari­
ans (D.O.T. 073-061) study diseases and ab­
normal functioning in animals. (See

Life Scientists
(D.O.T. 040.061, except -034, -046, -054 and -058;
041.061 except -026; and 041.261-010)

Nature of the Work


statement on veterinarians elsewhere in the
Anatomists (D.O.T. 041.061-010) study
the structure of organisms, from cell struc­
ture to the formation of tissues and organs.
Many specialize in human anatomy. Re­
search methods may entail dissections or the
use of electron microscopes.
Some life scientists apply their specialized
knowledge across a number of areas, and
may be classified by the functions performed.
Ecologists, for example, study the relation­
ship between organisms and their environ­
ments, particularly the effects of environ­
mental influences such as rainfall,
temperature, and altitude on organisms. For
example, ecologists extract samples of plank­
ton (microscopic plants and animals) from
bodies of water to determine the effects of
pollution, and measure the radioactive con­
tent of fish.
Embryologists study the development of an
animal from a fertilized egg through the
hatching process or gestation period. They
investigate the causes of healthy and abnor­
mal development in animals.
Microbiologists (D.O.T. 041.061-058) are
life scientists who investigate the growth and
characteristics of microscopic organisms
such as bacteria, viruses, and molds. They
isolate and grow organisms for close exami­
nation under a microscope. Medical microbi­
ologists are concerned with the relationship
between bacteria and disease or the effect of
antibiotics on bacteria. Other microbiologists
may specialize in soil bacteriology (effect of
microorganisms on soil fertility), virology
(viruses), or immunology (mechanisms that
fight infections).
Physiologists (D.O.T. 041.061-078) study
how the various life functions of plants and
animals work under normal and abnormal
conditions. Physiologists may specialize in
functions such as growth, reproduction, res­
piration, or movement, or in the physiology
of a certain body area or system.
Pharmacologists (D.O.T. 041.061-074)
and toxicologists conduct tests on animals
such as rats, guinea pigs, and monkeys to
determine the effects of drugs, gases, poisons,
dusts, and other substances on the function­
ing of tissues and organs. Pharmacologists
may develop new or improved drugs and
Pathologists specialize in the effects of dis­
eases, parasites, and insects on human cells,
tissues, and organs. Others may investigate
genetic variations caused by drugs.
Biochemists and biological oceanogra­
phers, who are also life scientists, are in­
cluded in separate statements elsewhere in
the Handbook.

Working Conditions
Life scientists generally work regular
hours in offices, laboratories, or classrooms
and usually are not exposed to unsafe or un­
healthy conditions. Some life scientists such

as botanists, ecologists, and zoologists may
take field trips which may involve strenuous
physical labor and primitive living condi­

Places of Employment
An estimated 215,000 persons worked as
life scientists in 1978. Almost 40,000 were
agricultural scientists, over 110,000 were bio­
logical scientists, and about 65,000 were
medical scientists.
Colleges and universities employ nearly
three-fifths of all life scientists, in both teach­
ing and research jobs. Medical schools and
hospitals also employ large numbers of medi­
cal investigators. Sizable numbers of special­
ists in agronomy, horticulture, animal hus­
bandry, entomology, and related areas work
for State agricultural colleges and agricul­
tural experiment stations.
About 15,000 life scientists worked for the
Federal Government in 1978. Of these, al­
most half worked for the Department of Ag­
riculture, with large numbers also in the De­
partment of the Interior and in the National
Institutes of Health. State and local govern­
ments combined employed about 22,000 life
Approximately 40,000 life scientists
worked in private industry, mostly in the
pharmaceutical, industrial chemical, and
food processing industries in 1978. About 6,000 worked for nonprofit research organiza­
tions and foundations; a few were selfemployed.
Life scientists are distributed fairly evenly
throughout the United States, but employ­
ment is concentrated in some metropolitan
areas—for example, nearly 6 percent of all
agricultural and biological scientists work in
the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Life science teachers are concentrated in
communities with large universities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Persons seeking a career in the life sciences
should plan to obtain an advanced degree.
The Ph. D. degree generally is required for
college teaching, for independent research,
and for many administrative jobs. A master’s
degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied
research and college teaching. A health sci­
ence degree is necessary for some jobs in
medical research. (See section on health oc­
cupations elsewhere in the Handbook.)
The bachelor’s degree is adequate prepara­
tion for some beginning jobs, but promotions
often are limited for those who hold no
higher degree. New graduates with a bache­
lor’s degree can start their careers in testing
and inspecting jobs, or become technical sales
and service representatives. They also may
become advanced technicians, particularly in
medical research or, with courses in educa­
tion, a high school biology teacher. (See
statement on secondary school teachers else­
where in the Handbook.)

Most colleges and universities offer life sci­
ence curriculums. However, different schools
may emphasize only certain areas of life sci­
ence. For example, liberal arts colleges may
emphasize the biological sciences, while
many State universities and land-grant col­
leges offer programs in agricultural science.
Students seeking careers in the life sciences
should obtain the broadest possible under­
graduate background in biology and other
sciences. Courses taken should include biol­
ogy, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
Many colleges and universities confer ad­
vanced degrees in the life sciences. Require­
ments for advanced degrees usually include
field work and laboratory research as well as
classroom studies and preparation of a thesis.
Prospective life scientists should be able to
work independently or as part of a team and
must be able to communicate their findings
in clear and concise language, both orally and
in writing. Some life scientists, such as those
conducting field research in remote areas,
must have stamina.
Life scientists who have advanced degrees
usually begin in research or teaching jobs.
With experience, they may advance to jobs
such as supervisors of research programs.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for life scien­
tists are expected to be good for those with
advanced degrees through the 1980’s, but
those with lesser degrees may experience
competition for available jobs. However, a
life science degree also is useful for entry to
occupations related to life science such as
laboratory technology and the health care oc­
cupations. Employment in the life sciences is
expected to increase faster than the average
for all occupations over this period. In addi­
tion, job openings will occur as life scientists
retire, die, or transfer to other occupations.

Employment in the life sciences is expected
to grow as a result of increased attention to
preserving the natural environment and a
continuing interest in medical research. Em­
ployment opportunities in industry and gov­
ernment should grow as environmental re­
search and development increase and new
laws and standards protecting the environ­
ment are enacted. The Toxic Substances
Control Act is creating many new openings
for toxicologists and other life scientists who
are skilled in testing for cancer-causing sub­
stances. Additional life science teachers will
be needed if college and university enroll­
ments increase as expected.

Life scientists receive relatively high sala­
ries; their average earnings are more than
twice those of nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
According to the College Placement
Council surveys, beginning salary offers in
private industry in 1978 averaged $11,500 a
year for bachelor’s degree recipients in

permits for lots on which residences using
septic systems are to be built.
Besides the many soil scientists who are
employed mapping soils, some conduct re­
search into the chemical and biological prop­
erties of soils to determine their agricultural
uses. With the assistance of agricultural tech­
nicians, they set up experiments in which
they grow crops in different types of soils to
determine which are most productive for cer­
tain crops. They also may test and develop
fertilizers for particular soils and try to find
ways to improve less productive soils. Other
soil scientists, who have backgrounds in the
biological sciences, may investigate and
study the effect of organic materials in soils
on plant growth.

Life scientists study living organisms and their life processes.

agricultural science and $12,400 a year for
bachelor’s degree recipients in biological
In the Federal Government in 1979, life
scientists having a bachelor’s degree could
begin at $10,507 or $13,014 a year, depend­
ing on their college records. Life scientists
having the master’s degree could start at
$13,014 or $15,920, depending on their aca­
demic records or work experience. Those
having the Ph. D. degree could begin at $19,263 or $23,087 a year. Agricultural and bio­
logical scientists in the Federal Government
averaged $23,800 a year.
Salaries paid to college and university life
science teachers are comparable to those paid
to other faculty members. (See statement on
college and university faculty elsewhere in
the Handbook.) Life scientists who have the
M.D. degree generally earn more than other
life scientists but less than physicians in pri­
vate practice.

Related Occupations
Many occupations are related in some way
to life science since they deal with living or­
ganisms. These occupations include the con­
servation occupations of forester, forestry
technician, range mananger and soil conser­
vationist, as well as biochemist, soil scientist,
oceanographer, and life science technician.
The wide array of health occupations are all
related to life science, as are occupations
dealing with raising plants and animals such
as farmer and farm worker, florist, and nur­
sery worker.

Sources of Additional Information
General information on careers in the life
sciences is available from:
American Institute of Biological Sciences, 1401
Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va. 22209.

American Society for Horticultural Science, 70
North Saint Asaph St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.
American Physiological Society, Education Office,
9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md. 20014.

Information on Federal job opportunities
is available from State Employment Service
offices or from U.S. Office of Personnel Man­
agement area offices or Federal Job Informa­
tion Centers located in various large cities
throughout the country.

Soil Scientists
(D.O.T. 040.061-058)

Nature of the Work
Soil scientists study the physical, chemical,
biological, and behavioral characteristics of
soils, one of our most valuable resources.
After investigating the soil at various places
within an area and analyzing samples in the
laboratory, the soil scientist prepares a map,
usually based on aerial photographs, which
shows soil types throughout the area as well
as landscape features, such as streams or
hills, and physical features, such as roads.
Because different types of soil are better
suited for some uses than others, soil type
maps are invaluable for urban and regional
planners concerned with land use. A planner
who may wish to locate large buildings, such
as factories or apartment buildings, on a se­
cure base would look for firm soils containing
clay. In contrast, sandy soils drain much bet­
ter than clays, and thus are better suited for
uses that require good drainage, such as
farming. In addition, a small but increasing
number of States require certified soil scien­
tists to examine soils and determine their
drainage capacities before issuing building

In recent years, research spurred by
mounting concern over water pollution has
found that sediment, or soil runoff, is respon­
sible for much of the problem. To meet stan­
dards of Federal anti-pollution laws, many
States now employ soil scientists to inspect
large highway and building sites where vege­
tation has been removed, and agricultural
lands where fertilizers have been applied, to
make sure proper erosion control methods
have been followed.

Working Conditions
Soil scientists spend much time outdoors.
Their work requires a good deal of travel
within an assigned area—usually a county.
Their employers generally provide a car.
During bad weather, soil scientists do their
office work, such as preparing maps and
writing reports. Research scientists conduct
experiments in fields, greenhouses, and
laboratories much of the time.

Places of Employment
The estimated 3,500 soil scientists em­
ployed in 1978 worked in every State and
nearly every county. About half were em­
ployed by the Soil Conservation Service of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some
worked for other agencies of the Federal
Government, State agricultural experiment
stations, and colleges of agriculture. Others
were employed in a wide range of other pub­
lic and private institutions, including fertili­
zer companies, private research laboratories,
insurance companies, banks and other lend­
ing agencies, real estate firms, land appraisal
boards, State conservation departments, and
farm management agencies. A few were inde­
pendent consultants, and others worked for
consulting firms. In addition, some soil scien­
tists worked in foreign countries as research
leaders, consultants, and agricultural manag­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training in a college or university is im­
portant to obtain employment as a soil scien­
tist. For Federal employment, the minimum
qualification for entrance is a bachelor’s de­
gree with a major in soil science or in a

Many colleges and universities offer fel­
lowships and assistantships for graduate
training, or employ graduate students for
part-time teaching or research.
A few States now require certification of
soil scientists who inspect soil conditions be­
fore construction is started. One program re­
quires that candidates for certification have a
bachelor’s degree and 3 years of experience as
a soil scientist, or a master’s degree and 2
years of experience. In addition, candidates
must complete a written examination to dem­
onstrate their knowledge of soil science.
Soil scientists often can transfer to other
occupations that require a knowledge of soil
and land, such as land appraiser or farm
management advisor.

Employment Outlook

Construction companies hire soil scientists to
evaluate soils for their suitability for various
kinds of buildings.

closely related field of study, with 30 se­
mester hours of course work in the bi­
ological,physical, and earth sciences, in­
cluding a minimum of 12 semester hours
in soils. For students interested in working
in the Soil Conservation Service, one of the
best courses of study is agronomy, the
study of how plants and soils interact.
Also, a major in agriculture may enable an
applicant to find employment with the Soil
Conservation Service.
Soil scientists trained in both field work
and laboratory research may have the edge in
obtaining the best jobs, and an advanced de­
gree—especially a doctorate degree—may be
needed to advance to more responsible and
better paying research jobs. Also, a strong
background in chemistry may be necessary to
obtain research positions.


A major objective of the Soil Conservation
Service is to complete the classification of
soils of all rural lands in the United States.
Although the number of soil scientists work­
ing on this project has not changed over the
past decade, about 100 openings arise each
year to replace those scientists who retire,
die, or leave the Soil Conservation Service for
other reasons.
Some additional employment of soil scien­
tists may be expected in State and local gov­
ernment agencies as concern for pollution
and destruction of our soil resources in­
creases. Growth also is expected in busi­
nesses such as fertilizer manufacturers, and
in institutions that make loans for farm
lands, such as banks, mortagage companies,
and life insurance companies.

In 1978, soil scientists in the Federal Gov­
ernment—the major employer of these work­
ers—had estimated average annual salaries of
$22,000. The incomes of soil scientists, how­
ever, depend upon their education, profes­

sional experience, and individual abilities.
The entrance salary in the Federal service for
graduates having a B.S. degree was $10,507
in early 1979. They may expect advancement
to $13,014, after 1 year of satisfactory per­
formance. Those who had outstanding rec­
ords in college, or a master’s degree, started
at $13,014, and could advance to $15,920
after 1 year. Further promotion depends
upon the individual’s ability to do high qual­
ity work and to accept responsibility. Wellqualified Federal soil scientists with several
years of experience earned between $19,263
and $32,442 a year.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations who are
concerned with improving the productivity
of agriculture through science include
agronomists, animal scientists, aquatic biolo­
gists, botanists, geneticists, parasitologists,
plant pathologists, range managers, and soil
conservationists. Other occupations that re­
quire a knowledge of soil and land include
land appraisers and farm management advi­

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information may be obtained
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Office of Personnel, Washington, D.C.
20250; any office of the Department’s Soil
Conservation Service; any college of agricul­
ture; or the Soil Society of America, 677 S.
Segoe Rd., Madison, Wis. 53711.
Information on soil scientists jobs in the
Federal Government also is available from
Federal Job Information Centers operated by
the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
These centers, located throughout the coun­
try, are listed in the telephone directory.
See also the statements on chemists, life
scientists, and soil conservationists elsewhere
in the Handbook.

Mathematics Occupations
Mathematics is both a science and a tool
essential for many kinds of work. As a tool,
mathematics is necessary for understanding
and expressing ideas in science, engineering,
and, increasingly, in human affairs. The ap­
plication of mathematical techniques in these
fields has increased greatly because of the
widespread use of computers, which enable
mathematicians to solve complex problems
rapidly and efficiently. As a result, persons
trained in mathematics are employed in all
sectors of the economy including private in­
dustry, government, and colleges and univer­
Persons considering careers in mathemat­
ics should be good at understanding and
working with abstract concepts—ideas that
cannot be easily understood in terms of ev­
eryday events and objects. They should enjoy
working independently with ideas and solv­
ing problems and must be able to present
their findings in written reports.
This section describes two occupations—
mathematician and statistician. A statement
on actuaries, a closely related mathematics
occupation, is discussed in the section on in­
surance occupations. Entrance into any of
these fields requires college training in math­
ematics. For many types of work, graduate
education is necessary.
Many other workers in the natural and
social sciences and in data processing use
mathematics extensively, although they are
not primarily mathematicians. These occu­
pations are discussed elsewhere in the Hand­

this pure and abstract knowledge has been
instrumental in producing many scientific
and engineering achievements. For example,
in 1854 Bernard Riemann invented a seem­
ingly impractical non-Euclidian geometry
that was to become part of Albert Einstein’s
theory of relativity. Years later, this theory
contributed to the creation of atomic power.
Applied mathematicians use mathematics
to develop theories, techniques, and ap­
proaches to solve practical problems in busi­
ness, government, engineering, and the natu­
ral and social sciences. Their work ranges
from analysis of the mathematical aspects of
launching Earth satellites to studies of the
effects of new drugs on disease.
Much work in applied mathematics, how­
ever, is carried on by persons other than
mathematicians. In fact, the number of work­
ers who depend upon mathematical expertise
is many times greater than the number actu­
ally designated as mathematicians.

Working Conditions
Mathematicians work almost exclusively
in offices and classrooms. Most work regular
hours and travel infrequently.

Places of Employment
About 33,000 persons worked as math­
ematicians in 1978. Roughly three-fourths of
all mathematicians worked in colleges and
universities. Most were teachers; some
worked mainly in research and development
with few or no teaching duties.
Most other mathematicians worked in pri­
vate industry and government. In the private
sector, major employers were the aerospace,

(D.O.T. 020.067-014)

Nature of the Work
Mathematicians work in one of the oldest
and most vital of all sciences. Mathemati­
cians today are engaged in a wide Variety of
activities, ranging from the creation of new
theories to the translation of scientific and
managerial problems into mathematical
Mathematical work falls into two broad
classes: Theoretical (pure) mathematics; and
applied mathematics. However, these classes
are not sharply defined and often overlap.
Theoretical mathematicians advance
mathematical science by developing new
principles and new relationships between ex­
isting principles of mathematics. Although
they seek to increase basic knowledge with­
out necessarily considering its practical use,

com m unications, m achinery, and electrical

equipment industries. The Department of
Defense and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration employed most of the
mathematicians working in the Federal Gov­
Mathematicians work in all States, but are
concentrated in those with large industrial
areas and large college and university enroll­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
An advanced degree is the basic require­
ment for beginning teaching jobs, as well as
for most research positions. In most colleges
and universities, the Ph. D. degree is neces­
sary for full faculty status.
Although the bachelor’s degree may be ad­
equate preparation for some jobs in private
industry and government, employers usually
require an advanced degree. Those bachelor’s

degree holders who find jobs usually assist
senior mathematicians by performing com­
putations and solving less advanced problems
in applied mathematics. However, advance­
ment often depends on achieving an ad­
vanced degree. Other bachelor’s degree hold­
ers work as research or teaching assistants in
colleges and universities while studying for
an advanced degree. Many bachelor’s degree
holders work in related fields.
The bachelor’s degree in mathematics is
offered by most colleges and universities.
Mathematics courses usually required for a
degree are analytical geometry, calculus, dif­
ferential equations, probability and statistics,
mathematical analysis, and modem algebra.
Many colleges and universities urge or even
require students majoring in mathematics to
take several courses in a field closely related
to mathematics, such as computer science,
operations research, a physical science, or
economics. A prospective college mathemat­
ics student should take as many mathematics
courses as possible while still enrolled in high
More than 400 colleges and universities
have programs leading to the master’s degree
in mathematics; about 150 also offer the Ph.
D. In graduate school, students build upon
the basic knowledge acquired in earlier stud­
ies. They usually concentrate on a specific
field of mathematics, such as algebra, mathe­
matical analysis, or geometry, by conducting
research and taking advanced courses.
For work in applied mathematics, training
in the field in which the mathematics will be
used is very important. Fields in which ap­
plied mathematics is used extensively include
physics, engineering, and operations re­
search; of increasing importance are business
and industrial management, economics, sta­
tistics, chemistry and life sciences, and the
behavioral sciences.
Mathematicians should have a good
knowledge of computer programming since
most complex mathematical computation is
done by computer.
Mathematicians need good reasoning abil­
ity, persistence, and the ability to apply basic
principles to new types of problems. They
must be able to communicate well with oth­
ers since they often must listen to a nonmath­
ematician describe a problem in general
terms, and check and recheck to make sure
they understand the mathematical solution
that is needed.

Employment Outlook
Employment of mathematicians is ex­
pected to increase more slowly than the averMATHEMATICS OCCUPATIONS/305

ing certificate. (See statement on second­
ary school teachers elsewhere in the Hand­

In 1978, mathematicians earned about
twice the average for nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming. Starting
salaries for mathematicians with a bachelor’s
degree averaged about $14,800 a year. Those
with a master’s degree could start at about
$17,000 annually. Salaries for new graduates
having the Ph. D., most of whom had some
experience, averaged over $22,500.
In the Federal Government in early 1979,
mathematicians having the bachelor’s degree
and no experience could start at either $10,507 or $13,014 a year, depending on their
college records. Those with the master’s de­
gree could start at $15,920 or $19,263; and
persons having the Ph. D. degree could begin
at either $19,263 or $23,087. The average
salary for all mathematicians in the Federal
Government was about $25,900 in early
Salaries paid to college and university
mathematics teachers are comparable to
those for other faculty members. (See state­
ment on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)

Related Occupations
About three-fourths of all mathematicians work in colleges and universities.

age for all occupations through the 1980’s
because the majority of mathematicians work
in colleges and universities where little em­
ployment growth is expected. Although the
number of degrees granted in mathematics
each year is expected to decline, the number
of people seeking employment is expected to
exceed job openings. As a result, persons
seeking employment as mathematicians are
likely to face keen competition throughout
the period. Individuals with Ph. D. degrees
will have better prospects than those with
bachelor’s or master’s degrees, but some Ph.
D.’s may have to seek employment in other
than the traditional academic areas.
Theoretical mathematicians, who have tra­
ditionally found jobs in colleges and universi­
ties, are expected to experience the most dif­
ficulty in finding employment because
colleges and universities are not expected to
increase their employment of mathemati­
cians much, if any, beyond present levels.
Mathematicians hired by colleges and uni­
versities may find it increasingly difficult to
acquire tenure because large proportions of
many faculties already have this status but
are years from retirement age. Those who
do not attain tenure usually will not ad­
vance and in some schools may be forced to
Holders of advanced degrees in applied
mathematics should have the least difficulty

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

in finding satisfactory employment. Al­
though some limited opportunities may be
available to theoretical mathematicians in
nonacademic areas, most nonacademic em­
ployers will seek applied mathematicians
who are capable of applying their special
mathematical skills to practical problems.
Private industry and governmental agencies
will need applied mathematicians for work in
operations research, numerical analysis,
computer systems programming, applied
mathematical physics, market research, and
commercial surveys, and as consultants in
industrial laboratories.
Although mathematician jobs may be dif­
ficult to obtain, college graduates with de­
grees in mathematics should find their back­
ground helpful for careers in other areas.
Many jobs rely heavily on the application of
mathematical theories and methods. Mathe­
matics majors are likely to find openings as
statisticians, actuaries, computer program­
mers, systems analysts, economists, engi­
neers, and physical and life scientists. Em­
ployment opportunities in these fields will
probably be best for those who combine a
major in mathematics with a minor in one of
these subjects.
New graduates may also find openings
as high school mathematics teachers after
completing professional education courses
and other requirements for a State teach­

The occupations of actuary, statistician,
computer programmer, systems analyst, and
operations research analyst are closely
related to mathematics. In addition, workers
in many fields such as natural and social sci­
ence, engineering, and finance use mathemat­
ics extensively.

Sources of Additional Information
Several brochures are available that give
facts about the field of mathematics, includ­
ing career opportunities, professional train­
ing, and colleges and universities with degree
Seeking Employment in the Mathematical
Sciences is available for 50 cents from:
American Mathematical Society, P.O. Box 6248,
Providence, R.I. 02940.

Professional Opportunities in Mathematics
is available for $1.50 from:
Mathematical Association of America, 1225 Con­
necticut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

For specific information on careers in ap­
plied mathematics, contact:
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics,
33 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.

Information on Federal job opportunities
is available from State employment service
offices or from U.S. Office of Personnel Man­
agement area offices or Federal Job Informa­
tion Centers located in various large cities
throughout the country.

(D .O .T. 020.067-022 and .167-026)

Nature of the Work
Statistics are numbers that help describe
the characteristics of the world and its in­
habitants. Statisticians devise, carry out,
and interpret the numerical results of sur­
veys and experiments. In doing so, they
apply their knowledge of statistical meth­
ods to a particular subject area, such as
economics, human behavior, natural sci­
ence, or engineering. They may use statisti­
cal techniques to predict population
growth or economic conditions, develop
quality control tests for manufactured pro­
ducts, or help business managers and gov­
ernment officials make decisions and evalu­
ate the results of new programs.
Often statisticians are able to obtain accu­
rate information about a group of people or
things by surveying a small portion, called a
sample, rather than the whole group. For
example, television rating services ask only a
few thousand families, rather than all view­
ers, what programs they watch to determine
the size of the audience. Statisticians decide
where to get the data, determine the type and
size of the sample group, and develop the
survey questionnaire or reporting form. They
also prepare instructions for workers who
will tabulate the returns. Statisticians who
design experiments prepare mathematical
models and written reports. Some statisti­
cians, called mathematical statisticians, use
mathematical theory to design and improve
statistical methods.
Because the field of statistics has such a
wide application, it sometime is difficult to
distinguish statisticians from specialists in
other fields who use statistics. For exam­
ple, a statistician working with data on ec­
onomic conditions may have the title of

Working Conditions
Statisticians usually work regular hours in
offices. Some statisticians may travel occa­
sionally to supervise or set up a survey, or to
gather statistical data. Some statisticians
spend all day at their desk doing fairly repeti­
tive tasks, while others may be involved in a
variety of tasks.

Places of Employment
Approximately 23,000 persons worked as
statisticians in 1978. Over half of all statisti­
cians were in private industry, primarily in
manufacturing, finance, and insurance com­
panies. Roughly one-fifth worked for the
Federal Government, primarily in the De­
partments of Commerce; Health, Education,
and Welfare; Agriculture; and Defense. Oth­
ers worked in State and local government
and in colleges and universities.
Although statisticians work in all parts of

Statisticians devise, carry out, and interpret the numerical results of surveys and experiments.

the country, most are in metropolitan areas,
and about one-fourth work in three areas—
New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Los
Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major in statis­
tics or mathematics is the minimum educa­
tional requirem ent for m any beginning job s

in statistics. For other beginning statistical
jobs, however, a bachelor’s degree with a
major in an applied field such as economics
or natural science and a minor in statistics is
preferable. A graduate degree in mathemat­
ics or statistics is essential for college and
university teaching. Most mathematical sta­
tisticians have at least a bachelor’s degree in
mathematics and an advanced degree in sta­
Over 100 colleges and universities offered
statistics as a concentration for a bachelor’s
degree in 1978. Many schools also offer ei­
ther a degree in mathematics or a sufficient
number of courses in statistics to qualify
graduates for beginning positions. Required
subjects for statistics majors include mathe­
matics through differential and integral cal­
culus, statistical methods, and probability
theory. Courses in computer uses and tech­
niques, if not required, are highly recom­
mended. For quality-control positions,

training in engineering or physical or bio­
logical science and in the application of sta­
tistical methods to manufacturing processes
is desirable. For many market research,
business analysis, and forecasting jobs,
courses in economics and business adminis­
tration are helpful.
Nearly 90 colleges and universities of­
fered graduate degrees in statistics in 1978,
and many other schools offered one or two
graduate level statistics courses. Accept­
ance into graduate programs does not re­
quire an undergraduate degree in statistics
although a good mathematics background
is essential.
Beginning statisticians who have only the
bachelor’s degree often spend much of their
time performing routine work under the
supervision of an experiened statistician.
Through experience, they may advance to
positions of greater technical and supervisory
responsibility. However, opportunities for
promotion are best for those with advanced

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for persons
who combine training in statistics with
knowledge of a field of application are ex­
pected to be favorable through the 1980’s.
Besides the faster-than-average growth ex­
pected in this field, additional statisticians

will be needed to replace those who die,
retire, or transfer to other occupations.
Private industry will require increasing
numbers of statisticians for quality control in
manufacturing. Statisticians with knowledge
of engineering and the physical sciences will
find jobs working with scientists and engi­
neers in research and development. Business
firms will rely more heavily than in the past
on statisticians to forecase sales, analyze
business conditions, modernize accounting
procedures, and help solve management
Many fields such as law and history have
recognized the usefulness of statistics, and
statistical techniques are being used increas­
ingly to determine such things as the effects
of pollution and toxic substances. As the use
of statistics expands into new areas, more
statisticians will be needed.
Federal, State, and local government
agencies will need statisticians for existing
and new programs in fields such as trans­
portation, social security, health, and edu­
cation. The broader use of statistical meth­
ods is also likely to result in a need for

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

more teachers of statistics in colleges and

In the Federal Government in 1979, statis­
ticians who had the bachelor’s degree and no
experience could start at either $10,507 or
$13,014 a year, depending on their college
grades. Beginning statisticians with the mas­
ter’s degree could start at $15,920 or $19,263.
Those with the Ph. D. could begin at $19,263
or $23,087. The average annual salary for
statisticians in the Federal Government was
about $26,000 in 1979.
Salaries in private industry were compara­
ble to those in the Federal Government, ac­
cording to the limited data available.
Statisticians employed by colleges and
universities generally receive salaries com­
parable to those paid other faculty mem­
bers. (See the statement on college and uni­
versity faculty.) In addition to their regular
salaries, statisticians in educational institu­
tions sometimes earn extra income from
outside research projects, consulting, and

Related Occupations
Workers in the following occupations use
statistics to such an extent their job is similar
to that of a statistician: marketing research
workers, urban planners, engineers, environ­
mental scientists, life scientists, physical
scientists, and social scientists. Others who
work with numbers are actuaries, math­
ematicians, financial analysts, computer pro­
grammers, and systems analysts.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about career opportuni­
ties in statistics, contact:
American Statistical Association, 806 15th St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20005.

Information on Federal job opportunities
is available from State employment service
offices or from U.S. Office of Personnel Man­
agement area offices or Federal Job Informa­
tion Centers located in various large cities
throughout the country.
For information on a career as a mathe­
matical statistician, contact:
Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 3401 Invest­
ment Blvd. # 6 , Hayward, Calif. 94545.

Physical Scientists
Physical scientists investigate the structure
and composition of the earth and the uni­
verse. Three physical science occupations are
described in this section: Astronomers,
chemists, and physicists. Astronomers study
the nature of the universe, while chemists
examine the composition and interaction of
substances in the world around us. Physicists
study the interaction of matter and energy. A
knowledge of the physical sciences is also re­
quired by engineers, environmental scien­
tists, and life scientists; these occupations are
described in separate sections elsewhere in
the Handbook.
Many physical scientists perform research
directed toward increasing our knowledge of
the universe. Physical scientists also employ
the results of research in the development of
new products and production processes.
Some physical scientists teach in colleges and
universities. Others, particularly chemists,
work in production and sales-related activi­
ties in industry.
Many high level jobs in the physical
sciences require graduate education and
often a Ph. D. degree.


Nature of the Work
Astronomers seek answers to questions
about the fundamental nature of the uni­
verse, such as its origin and history and the
evolution of our solar system. Astronomers
—sometimes called astrophysicists—use the
principles of physics and mathematics to
study and determine the behavior of matter
and energy in distant galaxies. One applica­
tion of the information they gain is to prove
or disprove theories of the nature of m atter'
and energy such as Einstein’s theory of rela­
To make observations of the universe, as­
tronomers use large telescopes, radiotele­
scopes, and other instruments that can de­
tect electromagnetic radiation from distant
sources. Astronomers of today seldom ob­
serve stars visually through telescopes be­
cause photographic and electronic light­
detecting equipment is more effective with
dim or distant stars and galaxies. By using
spectroscopes to analyze light from stars,
astronomers can determine their chemical
composition. Astronomers also use radiotelescopes and other electronic means to ob­
serve radio waves, X-rays, and cosmic rays.
Computers are used to analyze data and to
solve complex mathematical equations that

astronomers develop to represent various
theories. Computers also are useful for
processing astronomical data to calculate
orbits of asteroids or comets, guide space­
craft, and work out tables for navigational
Astronomers usually specialize in one of
the many branches of the science such as
instruments and techniques, the Sun, the
solar system, and the evolution and interiors
of stars or galaxies.
Astronomers who work on observational
programs begin their studies by deciding
what stars or other objects to observe and the
methods and instruments to use. They may
need to design optical measuring devices to
attach to the telescope to make the required
measurements. After completing their obser­
vations, they analyze the results, present
them in precise numerical form, and explain
them on the basis of some theory. Astromomers usually spend relatively little time in
actual observation and relatively more time
in analyzing the large quantities of data that
observatory facilities collect.
Some astronomers concentrate on theoret­
ical problems and seldom visit observatories.
They formulate theories or mathematical
models to explain observations made earlier
by other astronomers. These astronomers de­
velop mathematical equations using the laws
of physics to compute, for example, theoreti­
cal models of the internal structure of stars,
and how stars change as they grow older and
exhaust the energy sources deep in their in­
Almost all astronomers do research or
teach; those in colleges and universities often
do both. In schools that do not have separate
departments of astronomy or only small en­
rollments in the subject, they often teach
courses in mathematics or physics as well as
astronomy. Some astronomers administer re­
search programs, develop and design astro­
nomical instruments, and do consulting

Working Conditions
Most astronomers spend the majority of
their time working in offices or classrooms,
although astronomers who make observa­
tions may need to travel to the observing fa­
cility and frequently work at night. Astro­
nomers are often under considerable pressure
to produce research results which are of pub­
lishable quality. In some universities, rela­
tively new astronomers who do not produce
significant research results are not granted
tenure, which is in effect a permanent, secure
position. Those not granted tenure face the
possibility of losing their jobs.

Places of Employment
Astronomy is the smallest physical sci­
ence; fewer than 2,000 persons worked as
astronomers in 1978. Most astronomers
work in colleges and universities. Some work
in observatories operated by universities,
nonprofit organizations, and the Federal
The Federal Government employed al­
most 550 astronomers and space scientists in
1978. Most worked for the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration. Oth­
ers worked for the Department of Defense,
mainly at the U.S. Naval Observatory and
the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. A few
astronomers worked for firms in the aero­
space field, or in museums and planetariums.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The usual requirement for a job in astron­
omy is a Ph. D. degree. Persons with less
education may qualify for some jobs related
to astronomy, but higher level positions in
teaching and research and advancement in
most areas are open only to those with the
Many students who undertake graduate
study in astronomy have a bachelor’s degree
in astronomy. In 1978, about 50 colleges and
universities had programs leading to the
bachelor’s degree in astronomy. However,
students with a bachelor’s degree in physics,
or in mathematics with a physics minor, usu­
ally also can qualify for graduate programs in
About 50 universities offer the Ph. D. de­
gree in astronomy. These programs include
advanced courses in astronomy, physics, and
mathematics. Some schools require that
graduate students spend several months
working at an observatory. In most institu­
tions, the work program leading to the doc­
torate is flexible and allows students to take
courses in their own area of interest.
Persons planning careers in astronomy
should have great interest and ability in sci­
ence and mathematics, as well as imagination
and an inquisitive mind. Perseverance and
the ability to concentrate on detail and to
work independently also are important.
New graduates with a doctorate may work
for several years on a postdoctoral fellow­
ship, doing research and gaining further re­
search experience before obtaining a perma­
nent position. A postdoctoral fellowship
provides an opportunity to gain additional
qualification in astronomical research. It also
provides employment while looking for a per­
manent job. Other new Ph. D.’s, however,

development, new products are created or
improved. The process of developing a prod­
uct begins with descriptions of the character­
istics it should have. If similar products exist,
chemists test samples to determine their in­
gredients. If no such product exists, ex­
perimentation with various substances yields
a product with the required specifications.
Nearly one-eighth of all chemists work in
production and inspection. In production,
chemists prepare instructions (batch sheets)
for plant workers that specify the kind and
amount of ingredients to use and the exact
mixing time for each stage in the process. At
each step, samples are tested for quality con­
trol to meet industry and government stan­
dards. Records and reports show results of
Others work as marketing or sales repre­
sentatives to obtain technical knowledge of
products sold. A number of chemists teach in
colleges and universities. Some chemists are
consultants to private industry and to gov­
ernment agencies.

enter teaching or research jobs immediately
after attaining their degree.

Astronomy is also related to other physical
sciences and mathematics.

Employment Outlook

Sources of Additional Information

Persons seeking positions as astronomers
will face keen competition for the few availa­
ble openings expected through the 1980’s.
Employment of astronomers is expected to
grow slowly, if at all, because the funds avail­
able for basic research in astronomy, which
come mainly from the Federal Government,
are not expected to increase enough to create
many new positions. Most openings will
occur as replacements for those who die or
retire. Since astronomy is such a small pro­
fession, there will be few openings arising
from the need for replacements. There will be
keen competition for these openings because
the number of degrees granted in astronomy
probably will continue to exceed available

For information on careers in astronomy
and on schools offering training in the field,

Astronomers have relatively high salaries,
with average earnings more than twice the
average earnings for nonsupervisory
In the Federal Government in 1979, astro­
nomers holding the Ph. D. degree could
begin at $19,263 or $23,087, depending on
their college record. The average annual sal­
ary for astronomers and space scientists in
the Federal Government was over $33,000 in
1978. Astronomers teaching in colleges and
universities received salaries equivalent to
those of other faculty members. (See state­
ment on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)

Related Occupations
Astronomy is closely related to physics,
and often is thought of as a branch of physics.


Education Office, American Astronomical Soci­
ety, University o f Delaware, Newark, Del. 19711.

(D.O.T. 022.061-010 and -014, .137-010, .161-010, and

Nature of the Work
The clothes we wear, the foods we eat, the
houses in which we live—in fact most things
that help make our lives better, from medical
care to a cleaner environment—result, in
part, from the work done by chemists.
Chemists search for and put into practical
use new knowledge about substances. Their
research has resulted in the development of a
tremendous variety of synthetic materials,
such as nylon and polyester fabrics, ingredi­
ents that have improved other substances,
and processes which help save energy and
reduce pollution, such as improved oil refin­
ing methods.
Nearly one-half of all chemists work in
research and development. In basic research,
chemists investigate the properties and com­
position of matter and the laws that govern
the combination of elements. Basic research
often has practical uses. For example, syn­
thetic rubber and plastics have resulted from
research on small molecules uniting to form
larger ones (polymerization). In research and

Chemists often specialize in one of the sub­
fields of chemistry. Analytical chemists deter­
mine the structure, composition, and nature
of substances, and develop new techniques.
An outstanding example was the analysis of
moon rocks by an international team of ana­
lytical chemists. Organic chemists at one time
studied the chemistry of only living things,
but this area has been broadened to include
all carbon compounds. When combined with
other elements, carbon forms a vast number
of substances. Many modern commercial
products, including plastics and other syn­
thetics, have resulted from the work of or­
ganic chemists. Inorganic chemists study
compounds other than carbon. They may, for
example, develop materials to use in solid
state electronic components. Physical chem­
ists study energy transformations to find new
and better energy sources. Increasingly, how­
ever, chemists consider themselves members
of new specialties that include two or more of
the preceding fields. Biochemists, often con­
sidered as either chemists or life scientists,
are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.
Some chemists specialize in the chemistry of
foods. (See statement on food technologists
elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Chemists usually work in offices, laborato­
ries, or classrooms. Some are exposed to
health or safety hazards when handling cer­
tain chemicals, but there is little risk if proper
procedures are followed. Chemists usually
work regular hours and seldom travel.

Places of Employment
Over 140,000 persons worked as chemists
in 1978. About one-half of all chemists work
for manufacturing firms—about one-half of
them are in the chemical manufacturing in­
dustry, with the rest scattered throughout
other manufacturing industries.
Colleges and universities employed about

25,(XX) chemists in 1978. Chemists also work
for State and local governments, primarily in
health and agriculture, and for Federal agen­
cies, chiefly the Department of Defense;
Health and Human Services; Agriculture;
and Interior. Smaller numbers worked for
nonprofit research organizations.
Chemists are employed in all parts of the
country, but they are concentrated in large
industrial areas. Nearly one-fifth of all chem­
ists were located in four metropolitan areas—
New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major in chem­
istry or a related discipline is sufficient for

many beginning jobs as a chemist. However,
graduate training is required for many re­
search jobs and most college teaching jobs
require a Ph. D. degree. Beginning chemists
should have a broad background in chemis­
try, with good laboratory skills.
About 1,175 colleges and universities offer
a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. In addition
to required courses in analytical, inorganic,
organic, and physical chemistry, under­
graduates usually study mathematics and
More than 350 colleges and universities
award advanced degrees in chemistry. In
graduate school, students generally specialize
in a particular subfield of chemistry. Re­
quirements for the master’s and doctor’s de­
gree usually include a thesis based on inde­
pendent research.

Although many chemists spend much of their time in laboratories, chemists also work in offices,
classrooms, and industrial plants.

Students planning careers as chemists
should enjoy studying science and mathemat­
ics, and should like working with their hands
building scientific apparatus and performing
experiments. Perseverance and the ability to
concentrate on detail and to work indepen­
dently are essential. Other desirable assets
include an inquisitive mind and imagination.
Graduates with the bachelor’s degree gen­
erally begin their careers in government or
industry by analyzing or testing products,
working in technical sales or service, or as­
sisting senior chemists in research and devel­
opment laboratories. Some employers have
special training and orientation programs
which provide special knowledge needed for
the employer’s type of work. Candidates for
an advanced degree often teach or do re­
search in colleges and universities while
working toward advanced degrees.
Beginning chemists with the master’s de­
gree can usually go into applied research in
government or private industry. They also
may qualify for teaching positions in 2-year
colleges and some universities.
The Ph. D. generally is required for basic
research, for teaching in colleges and univer­
sities, and for advancement to many adminis­
trative positions.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities in chemistry
are expected to be good for graduates at all
degree levels through the 1980’s. The em­
ployment of chemists is expected to grow
about as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions during this period, creating many job
openings. In addition, openings will result
each year as chemists retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
This outlook for chemists is based on the
assumption that research and development
expenditures of government and industry
will increase through the 1980’s, although at
a slower rate than during the 1960’s. If actual
expenditures differ significantly from those

assumed, the outlook for chemists would be
Approximately three-fourths of total em­
ployment is expected to be in private indus­
try, primarily in the development of new pro­
ducts. In addition, industrial companies and
government agencies will need more chem­
ists to help solve problems related to energy
shortages, pollution control, and health
Little growth in college and university em­
ployment is expected, and competition for
teaching positions will be keen. (See state­
ment on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)
Some graduates will find openings in high
school teaching after completing professional
education courses and other requirements for
a State teaching certificate. They usually are
then regarded as teachers rather than chemists. (See statement on secondary school
teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Earnings of chemists averaged more than
twice as much as those of nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
According to the American Chemical Soci­
ety, salaries of experienced chemists having a
bachelor’s degree averaged $23,900 a year in
1978; for those with a master’s degree, $25,400; and for those with a Ph. D., $29,200.
Private industry paid chemists with the
bachelor’s degree starting salaries averaging
$13,500 a year in 1978; those with the mas­
ter’s degree, $15,600; and those with the Ph.
D., $21,500.
In colleges and universities, the average
salary of those with the master’s degree was
$18,100 and of those with the Ph. D., $23,400. In addition, many experienced chemists
in educational institutions supplement their
regular salaries with income from consulting,
lecturing, and writing.
Depending on a person’s college record,
the annual starting salary in the Federal Gov­
ernment in early 1979 for an inexperienced
chemist with a bachelor’s degree was either
$10,507 or $13,014. Those who had 2 years
of graduate study could begin at $15,920 a
year. Chemists having the Ph. D. degree
could start at $19,263 or $23,087. The aver­
age salary for all chemists in the Federal
Government in early 1979 was $26,000 a

Related Occupations
The occupations of biochemist, life scien­
tist, food scientist, and chemical technician
are closely related to chemistry. Other physi­
cal science and environmental science occu­
pations are also related to chemistry.

Sources of Additional Information

mathematical terms the structure of the uni­
verse and interaction of matter and energy.
Physicists develop theories that describe the
fundamental forces and laws of nature. De­
termining the basic laws governing
phenomena such as gravity, electromagnet­
ism, and nuclear interaction leads to discov­
eries and innovations. For instance, the de­
velopment of irradiation therapy equipment
which destroys harmful growths in humans
without damaging other tissues resulted from
what physicists know about nuclear radia­
tion. Physicists have contributed to scientific
progress in recent years in areas such as nu­
clear energy, electronics, communications,
aerospace, and medical instrumentation.
The majority of all physicists work in re­
search and development. Some do basic re­
search to increase scientific knowledge. For
example, they investigate the structure of the
atom or the nature of gravity. The equipment
that physicists design for their basic research
can often be applied to other areas. For ex­
ample, lasers (devices that amplify light and
emit electromagnetic waves in a narrow, in­
tense light beam) are utilized in surgery; mi­
crowave devices are used for ovens; and mea­
surement techniques and instruments can
detect and measure the kind and number of
cells in blood or the amount of mercury or
lead in foods.
Some engineering-oriented physicists do
applied research and help develop new pro­
ducts. For instance, their knowledge of solidstate physics led to the development of tran­
sistors and microcircuits used in electronic
equipment that ranges from hearing aids to
missile guidance systems.
Many physicists teach and do research in
colleges and universities. A small number
work in inspection, quality control, and other
production-related jobs in industry. Some do
consulting work.

Most physicists specialize in one branch or
more of the science—elementary-particle
physics; nuclear physics; atomic, electron,
and molecular physics; physics of condensed
matter; optics, acoustics, and plasma physics;
and the physics of fluids. Some specialize in
a subdivision of one of these branches. For
example, solid-state physics subdivisions in­
clude ceramics, crystallography, and semi­
conductors. However, since all physics in­
volves the same fundamental principles,
several specialties may overlap.
Growing numbers of physicists are special­
izing in fields that combine physics and a
related science—such as astrophysics, bio­
physics, chemical physics, and geophysics.
Furthermore, the practical applications of
physicists’ work increasingly have merged
with engineering.

Working Conditions
Physicists generally work regular hours in
laboratories, classrooms, and offices. Most
physicists do not encounter unusual hazards
in their work.

Places of Employment
Over 40,000 people worked as physicists
in 1978. Private industry employed over
one-half of all physicists, primarily in com­
panies manufacturing chemicals, electrical
equipment, and aircraft and missiles. Many
others worked in hospitals, commercial
laboratories, and independent research or­
Almost one-half of all physicists taught or
did research in colleges and universities;
some did both. About 5,000 physicists were
employed by the Federal Government in
1978, mostly in the Departments of Defense
and Commerce.
Although physicists are employed in all

General information on career opportuni­
ties and earnings for chemists is available
American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
Chemical Manufacturers Association, 1825 Con­
necticut Ave. NW., Washington D.C. 20009.

Information on Federal job opportunities
is available from State employment service
offices or from U.S. Office of Personnel Man­
agement area offices or Federal Job Informa­
tion Centers located in various large cities
throughout the country.

(D.O.T. 023.061-014 and .067-010)

Nature of the Work
The flight of astronauts through space, the
probing of ocean depths, and even the safety
of the family car depend on research by
physicists. Through systematic observation
and experimentation, physicists describe in


Physicist “ growing” germanium crystals in a laboratory.

parts of the country, their employment is
greatest in areas that have heavy industrial
concentrations and large college and univer­
sity enrollments. Nearly one-fourth of all
physicists work in four metropolitan areas—
Washington, D.C.; Boston, Mass.; New
York, N.Y.; and Los Angeles-Long Beach,
Calif., and more than one-third are concen­
trated in three States—California, New
York, and Massachusetts.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Graduate training in physics or a closely
related field is almost essential for most entry
level jobs in physics and for advancement in
all types of work. The doctorate usually is
required for full faculty status at colleges and
universities and for industrial or government
jobs administering research and development
Those having master’s degrees qualify for
many research jobs in private industry and in
the Federal Government. In colleges and uni­
versities, some teach and assist in research
while studying for their Ph. D.
Those having bachelor’s degrees may qual­
ify for some applied research and develop­
ment jobs in private industry and in the Fed­
eral Government. Some are employed as
research assistants in colleges and universi­
ties while studying for advanced degrees.
Many work in engineering and other scien­
tific fields. (See statements on engineers, geo­
physicists, programmers, and systems ana­
lysts elsewhere in the Handbook.)

ate student, especially the candidate for the
Ph. D. degree, spends a large portion of his
or her time in research.
Students planning a career in physics
should have an inquisitive mind, mathemati­
cal ability, and imagination. They should be
able to work on their own, since physicists,
particularly in basic research, often receive
only limited supervision.
Physicists often begin their careers doing
routine laboratory tasks. After some experi­
ence, they are assigned more complex tasks
and may advance to work as project leaders
or research directors. Some work in top man­
agement jobs. Physicists who develop new
products sometimes form their own compa­
nies or join new firms to exploit their own

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities in physics are
expected to be favorable through the 1980’s
for persons with graduate degrees in physics.
Although employment of physicists is pro­
jected to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations over the period, fewer
physics graduates are expected to enter the
labor force than in the past. The number of
graduate degrees awarded annually in phys­
ics has been declining since 1970, and may
remain at about the current level through
1990. Most job openings will arise as physi­
cists retire, die, or transfer to other occupa­
Many physicists work in research and de­
velopment (R&D). The anticipated increase
in R&D expenditures through the 1980’s
should result in increased requirements for
physicists. If actual R&D expenditure levels
and patterns differ significantly from those
assumed, however, the outlook would be al­

Over 800 colleges and universities offer a
bachelor’s degree in physics. In addition,
many engineering schools offer a physics
major as part of the general curriculum. The
undergraduate program provides a broad
background in the science and serves as a
base for later specialization either in graduate
school or on the job. Some typical physics
courses are mechanics, electricity and mag­
netism, optics, thermodynamics, and atomic
and molecular physics. Students also take
courses in chemistry and many courses in

Some physicists with advanced degrees
will be needed to teach in colleges and univer­
sities, but competition for these jobs is ex­
pected to be keen. Since employment growth
is not anticipated in this area, most openings
will occur to replace physicists who retire,
die, or transfer to other occupations.

About 275 colleges and universities offer
advanced degrees in physics. In graduate
school, the student, with faculty guidance,
usually works in a specific field. The gradu­

Persons with only a bachelor’s degree in
physics are expected to face keen competition
for physicist jobs through the 1980’s. Some
new graduates will find employment as engi­

neers or technicians. Others will find oppor­
tunities as high school physics teachers after
completing the required educational courses
and obtaining a State teaching certificate.
However, they are usually regarded as teach­
ers rather than as physicists. (See statement
on secondary school teachers elsewhere in
the Handbook.)

Physicists have relatively high salaries,
with average earnings more than twice those
of nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming. According to an Ameri­
can Institute of Physics Survey in 1978, start­
ing salaries for physicists in manufacturing
industries averaged about $17,400 for those
with a master’s degree and $23,000 for those
with a Ph. D.
Depending on their college records, physi­
cists with a bachelor’s degree could start in
the Federal Government in 1977 at either
$10,507 or $13,014 a year. Beginning physi­
cists having a master’s degree could start at
$13,014 or $15,920, and those having the Ph.
D. degree could begin at $19,263 or $23,087.
Average earnings for all physicists in the
Federal Government in 1978 were $30,200 a
Starting salaries on college and university
faculties for physicists having a master’s de­
gree averaged $12,900 in 1978, and for those
having the Ph. D., $13,900, according to the
American Institute of Physics. (See state­
ment on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.) Many faculty
physicists supplement their regular incomes
by working as consultants and taking on spe­
cial research projects.

Related Occupations
Physics is closely related to astronomy and
other scientific occupations such as chemists,
geologists, and geophysicists. Engineers and
engineering and science technicians also use
a knowledge of the principles of physics in
their work.

Sources of Additional Information
General information on career opportuni­
ties in physics is available from:
American Institute of Physics, 335 East 45th St.,
New York, N.Y. 10017.


Other Scientific and Technical Occupations

Broadcast Technicians
(D.O.T. 003.167-030 and -034; 193.167-014, .262-018
and -038; 194.262-010 and -018, .282, .362, and
.382-014; 822.281-030; 962.162, .167-010, .281-014 and
-018, .362-014, .384, and .665)

Nature of the Work
Broadcast technicians operate and main­
tain the electronic equipment used to record
and transmit radio and television programs.
They work with microphones, sound record­
ers, light and sound effects, television cam­
eras, video tape recorders, and other equip­
In the control room, broadcast technicians
operate equipment that regulates the quality
of sounds and pictures being recorded or
broadcast. They also operate controls that
switch broadcasts from one camera or studio
to another, from film to live programming, or
from network to local programs. By means of
hand signals and, in television, by use of tele­
phone headsets, they give technical direc­
tions to personnel in the studio.
When events outside the studio are to be
broadcast, technicians may go to the site and
set up, test, and operate the equipment. After
the broadcast, they dismantle the equipment
and return it to the station.
As a rule, broadcast technicians in small
stations perform a variety of duties. In large
stations and in networks, on the other hand,
technicians are more specialized, although
specific job assignments may change from
day to day. Transmitter technicians monitor
and log outgoing signals and are responsible
for transmitter operation. Maintenance tech­
nicians set up, maintain, and repair elec­
tronic broadcasting equipment. Audio control
technicians regulate sound pickup, transmis­
sion, and switching, and video control techni­
cians regulate the quality, brightness, and
contrast of television pictures. The lighting of
television programs is directed by lighting
technicians. For programs originating out­
side the studio, field technicians set up and
operate broadcasting equipment. Recording
technicians operate and maintain sound re­
cording equipment; video recording techni­
cians operate and maintain video tape re­
cording equipment. Some technicians
operate equipment designed to produce
special effects. Sometimes the term “oper­
ator” or “engineer” is substituted for “tech­
Supervisory personnel with job titles such
as chief engineer or transmission engineer di­
rect activities concerned with the operation
and maintenance of studio broadcasting

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Working Conditions
Broadcast technicians generally work in­
doors in pleasant surroundings. Many sta­
tions are air-conditioned since transmitters
and other electronic equipment must be ope­
rated at cool temperatures. Broadcasts out­
side the studio, however, may require techni­
cians to work out of doors under less
favorable conditions.
Network technicians may ocasionally have
to work long hours under great pressure to
meet broadcast deadlines.

Places of Employment
About 40,000 broadcast technicians were
employed in radio and television stations in
1978. Television stations employ, on the av­
erage, many more technicians than radio sta­
tions. Although broadcast technicians are
employed in every State, most are located in
large metropolitan areas. The highest paying
and most specialized jobs are concentrated in
New York City, Los Angeles, and Washing­
ton, D.C.—the originating centers for most
of the network programs.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
While broadcast technicians have some
duties that do not require a high degree of
training in electronics, employers prefer ap­
plicants who can handle the full range of
technical duties. A person interested in
becoming a broadcast technician therefore
should plan to get a first class radiotelephone
operator license from the Federal Communi­
cations Commission (FCC). Federal law re­
quires that anyone who operates broadcast
transmitters in television stations must hold
such a license. In radio stations, technicians
who maintain, repair, or adjust transmitters
also need the first class license; however, in
most cases, those involved in the most rou­
tine operation of transmitters only need a
restricted radiotelephone operator permit,
for which no examination is required. Appli­
cants for an FCC license, however, must pass
a series of written examinations. These cover
construction and operation of transmission
and receiving equipment; characteristics of
electromagnetic waves; and regulations and
practices, both Federal and international,
which govern broadcasting.
Among high school courses, algebra, trigo­
nometry, physics, electronics, and other
sciences provide valuable background for
persons anticipating careers in this occupa­
tion. Building and operating a radio also are
good training. Taking an electronics course
in a technical school is still another good way
to acquire the knowledge for becoming a

broadcast technician. Some persons gain
work experience as temporary employees
while filling in for regular broadcast techni­
cians who are on vacation.
Many schools give courses especially de­
signed to prepare the student for the FCC’s
first class license test. Technical school or
college training is an advantage, particularly
for those who hope to advance to supervisory
positions or to the more specialized jobs in
large stations and in the networks.
Broadcast technicians must have an apti­
tude for working with electrical and mechan­
ical systems and equipment. Manual dexter­
ity, the ability to perform tasks requiring
precise hand skills, is necessary for success in
this occupation.
Persons with FCC first class licenses who
get entry jobs are instructed and advised by
the chief engineer, or by other experienced
technicians, concerning the work procedures
of the station. They begin their careers in
small stations, operating the transmitter and
handling other technical duties, after a brief
instruction period. As they acquire more ex­
perience and skill, they are assigned to more
responsible jobs. Those who demonstrate
above-average ability may move into top
level technical positions such as supervisory
technician or chief engineer. A college degree
in engineering is becoming increasingly im­
portant for advancement to supervisory and
executive positions. (See the statement on oc­
cupations in the radio and television broad­
casting industry elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Employment Outlook
People seeking beginning jobs as broadcast
technicians face strong competition, espe­
cially in major metropolitan areas where the
number of qualified jobseekers greatly ex­
ceeds the number of openings. Prospects for
entry level positions are best in smaller cities
for people with appropriate training in elec­
tronics. As is the case with other occupations
in the radio and television broadcasting in­
dustry, stations in major metropolitan areas
seek highly experienced personnel.
Employment of broadcast technicians is
expected to increase about as fast as the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Some job openings also will result from the
need to replace experienced technicians who
retire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
Some new job opportunities for techni­
cians will arise as new radio and television
stations go on the air. Demand for broadcast
technicians also will increase as cable televi­
sion stations broadcast more of their own
programs. At the same time, technological
developments are likely to limit future de-

the strength, quality, quantity, and cost of
materials. Final drawings contain a detailed
view of the object from all sides as well as
specifications for materials to be used, proce­
dures followed, and other information to
carry out the job.
In preparing drawings, drafters use com­
passes, dividers, protractors, triangles, and
other drafting devices. They also use techni­
cal handbooks, tables, and calculators to help
solve problems.

.. „
Broadcast technicians must have an aptitude for working with electrical and mechanical equipment.

mand; such laborsaving technical advances
as automatic programming and remote con­
trol of transmitters will hold down demand
for additional technicians. Technological de­
velopments such as these have shifted the
emphasis from operations to maintenance
work, which calls for a strong technical back­

In 1978, technicians generally started at
$ 140 to $ 150 a week in small stations, accord­
ing to the limited information available.
/ Earnings of experienced technicians were
much higher. Licensed technicians who can
perform the full range of tasks are, of course,
the highest paid. As a rule, technicians’
wages are highest in large cities and in large
stations. Technicians employed by television
stations usually are paid more than those
who work for radio stations because televi­
sion work is generally more complex. Techni­
cians employed by educational broadcasting
stations generally earn less than those who
work for commercial stations.
Most technicians in large stations work a
40-hour week with overtime pay for addi­
tional hours. Broadcast technicians in small
stations generally work a considerable
amount of overtime. Evening, night, and
weekend work frequently is necessary since
many stations are on the air 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.

Related Occupations
Broadcast technicians need the knowledge
and hand coordination to operate technical
equipment; they generally complete special­
ized postsecondary training programs, in­
cluding courses in science and engineering.
Others whose jobs have similar requirements
include drafters,
 engineering and science

technicians, surveyors, air traffic controllers,
radiologic technologists, respiratory therapy
workers, electrocardiograph technicians,
electroencephalographic technicians, and
medical laboratory technicians.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about radiotelephone op­
erator permits and licenses, and examination
study guides, write to:
Federal Communications Commission, Policy
Analysis Branch, 1919 M St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20554.

For information on careers for broadcast
technicians, write to:
National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

For a list of schools that offer programs or
courses in broadcasting, contact:
Broadcast Education Association, National Asso­
ciation of Broadcasters, 1771 N St. NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.

(D.O.T. 001.261-010 and -014; 002.261-010;
003.281- 010 and 014; 005.281-010 and -014;
007.261-010, -014, -018, -022, and .281-010;
010.281- 010, -014, -018; 014.281-010; and -017)

Nature of the Work
When building a satellite, television set, or
bridge, workers follow drawings that show
the exact dimensions and specifications of the
entire object and each of its parts. Workers
who draw these plans are drafters.
Drafters prepare detailed drawings based
on rough sketches, specifications, and calcu­
lations made by scientists, engineers, ar­
chitects, and designers. They also calculate

Drafters are classified according to the
work they do or their level of responsibility.
Senior drafters translate an engineer’s or ar­
chitect’s preliminary plans into design “lay­
-o u ts” (scale drawings of the object to be
built). Detailers draw each part shown on the
layout, and give dimensions, materials, and
other information to make the drawing clear
and complete. Checkers carefully examine
drawings for errors in computing or record­
ing dimensions and specifications. Under the
supervision of experienced drafters, tracers
make minor corrections and trace drawings
for reproduction on paper or plastic film.
Drafters usually specialize in a particular
field of work, such as mechanical, electrical,
electronic, aeronautical, structural, or ar­
chitectural drafting.

Working Conditions
Although drafters usually work in welllighted and well-ventilated rooms, they often
must sit and do very detailed work for long
periods of time. This work may cause eye

Places of Employment
About 296,000 persons worked as drafters
in 1978—more than 9 out of 10 worked in
private industry. Engineering and architec­
tural firms were the single largest employers
of drafters. Other major employers included
the fabricated metals, electrical equipment,
machinery, and construction industries.
About 20,000 drafters worked for Federal,
State, and local governments in 1978. Most
drafters in the Federal Government worked
for the Defense Department; those in State
and local governments were mainly in high­
way and public works departments. Some
drafters worked for colleges and universities
and nonprofit organizations.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Persons interested in becoming drafters
can acquire the necessary training in techni­
cal institutes, junior and community colleges,
extension divisions of universities, and voca­
tional and technical high schools. Some per­
sons receive training and experience in the
Armed Forces. Others qualify through onthe-job training programs combined with
part-time schooling or 3- to 4-year appren­
ticeship programs.
Training for a career in drafting, whether
in a high school or post-high school program,


Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers are
required to prepare or understand detailed
drawings, make accurate and precise calcu­
lations and measurements, and use various
measuring devices include architects, engi­
neering technicians, engineers, landscape
architects, photogrammetrists, and survey­

Sources of Additional Information
General information on careers for draft­
ers is available from:
American Institute for Design and Drafting, 3119
Price Rd., Bartlesville, Okla. 74003.
International Federation of Professional and Tech­
nical Engineers, 1126 16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.

See Sources of Additional Information in
the statement on engineering and science
technicians elsewhere in the Handbook.

Engineering and
Science Technicians
Nature of the Work

In preparing drawings, drafters use rulers, triangles, and other drafting devices.

should include courses in mathematics, phys­
ical sciences, mechanical drawing, and draft­
ing. Shop practices and shop skills also are
helpful since most higher level drafting jobs
require knowledge of manufacturing or con­
struction methods. Many technical schools
offer courses in structural design, architec­
tural drawing, and engineering or industrial
Those planning careers in drafting should
be able to do freehand drawings of threedimensional objects and also detailed work
requiring a high degree of accuracy. They
should have good eyesight and manual dex­
terity. In addition, they should be able to
function as part of a team since they work
directly with engineers, architects, and craft
workers. Artistic ability is helpful in some
specialized fields.
High school graduates usually start out as
tracers. Those having post-high school tech­
nical training may begin as junior drafters.
After gaining experience, they may advance
to checkers, detailers, senior drafters, or
supervisors. Some may become independent
designers. Courses in engineering and mathe­
matics sometimes enable drafters to transfer
to engineering positions.

Employment Outlook
Employment of drafters is expected to in­
crease about as fast as the average for all
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

occupations through the 1980’s because of
industrial growth and the increasingly com­
plex design problems of products and pro­
cesses. Openings also will result from the
need to replace drafters who retire, die, or
move into other fields of work.
Holders of an associate (2-year) degree
in drafting will have the best prospects.
Many large employers already require
post-secondary technical education, though
well-qualified high school graduates who
have studied drafting may find opportuni­
ties in some types of jobs. Photoreproduc­
tion of drawings and the expanding use of
electronic drafting equipment and comput­
ers, however, will reduce the need for less
skilled drafters.

In private industry, tracers averaged about
$9,800 a year in 1978, while more ex­
perienced drafters averaged between $11,200
and $13,700 a year. Senior drafters averaged
about $16,900 a year in 1978.
The Federal Government paid drafters
having an associate degree starting salaries of
$9,391 a year in 1979. Those with less educa­
tion or experience generally started at $8,366.
The average Federal Government salary for
all drafters was about $12,200 a year in

Knowledge of science, mathematics, in­
dustrial machinery, and technical processes
enables engineering and science technicians
to work in all phases of business and govern­
ment, from research and design to manufac­
turing, sales, and customer service. Although
their jobs are more limited in scope and more
practically oriented than those of engineers
or scientists, technicians often apply the the­
oretical knowledge developed by engineers
and scientists to actual situations. Techni­
cians frequently use complex electronic and
mechanical instruments, experimental labo­
ratory equipment, and drafting instruments.
Almost all technicians described in this state­
ment must be able to use technical hand­
books and calculators, and some must work
with computers.
In research and development, one of the
largest areas of employment, technicians set
up experiments and calculate the results,
sometimes with the aid of computers. They
also assist engineers and scientists in develop­
ing experimental equipment and models by
making drawings and sketches and, fre­
quently, by doing routine design work.
In production, technicians usually follow
the plans and general directions of engineers
and scientists, but often without close super­
vision. They may prepare specifications for
materials, devise tests to insure product qual­
ity, or study ways to improve the efficiency
of an operation. They often supervise produc­
tion workers to make sure they follow pre­
scribed plans and procedures. As a product is
built, technicians check to see that specifica­
tions are followed, keep engineers and scien­
tists informed on progress, and investigate
production problems.

As sales workers or field representatives
for manufacturers, technicians give advice on
installation and maintenance of complex ma­
chinery, and may write specifications and
technical manuals. (See statement on techni­
cal writers elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Still others, in customer service, are responsi­
ble for supervising the installation and main­
tenance of equipment. (See statement on re­
frigeration and air-conditioning mechanics
elswhere in the Handbook.)

Technicians may work in engineering,
physical science, or life science. Within these
general fields, job titles may describe the level
(biological aide or biological technician), du­
ties (quality control technician or time study
analyst), or area of work (mechanical, electri­
cal, or chemical).

Civil Engineering Technology. Technicians in
this area assist civil engineers in planning,
designing, and constructing highways,
bridges, dams, and other structures. They
often specialize in one area, such as highway
or structural technology. During the plan­
ning stage, they estimate cost, prepare
specifications for materials, or participate in
surveying, drafting, or designing. Once con­
struction begins, they assist the contractor or
superintendent in scheduling construction
activities or inspecting the work to assure
conformance to blueprints and specifications.
(See statements on civil engineers, drafters,
and surveyors elsewhere in the Handbook.)

An engineering technician might work in
any of the following areas:
Aeronautical Technology. Technicians in this
area work with engineers and scientists to
design and produce aircraft, rockets, guided
missiles, and spacecraft. Many aid engineers
in preparing design layouts and models of
structures, control systems, or equipment in­
stallations by collecting information, making
computations, and performing laboratory
tests. For example, a technician might esti­
mate weight factors, centers of gravity, and
other items affecting load capacity of an air­
plane or missile. Other technicians prepare or
check drawings for technical accuracy, prac­
ticability, and economy.
Aeronautical technicians frequently work
as manufacturers’ field service representa­
tives, serving as the link between their com­
pany and the military services, commerical
airlines, and other customers. Technicians
also prepare technical information for in­
struction manuals, bulletins, catalogs, and
other literature. (See statements on aerospace
engineers, airplane mechanics, and occupa­
tions in aircraft, missile, and spacecraft
manufacturing elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration
Technology. Air-conditioning, heating, and
refrigeration technicians design, manufac­
ture, sell, and service equipment to regulate
interior temperatures. Technicians in this
field often specialize in one area, such as re­
frigeration, and sometimes in a particular
type of activity, such as research and devel­
When working for firms that manufacture
temperature-controlling equipment, techni­
cians generally work in research and engi­
neering departments, where they assist engi­
neers and scientists in the design and testing
of new equipment or production methods.
For example, a technician may construct an
experimental model to test its durability and
operating characteristics. Technicians also
work as sales workers for equipment manu­
facturers or dealers, and must be able to sup­
ply engineering firms and other contractors
that design and install systems with informa­
tion on installation, maintenance, operating
costs, and the performance specifications of
the equipment. Other technicians work for
contractors, where they help design and pre­
pare installation instructions for air-condi­
tioning, heating, or refrigeration systems.

Electronics Technology. Technicians in this
field develop, manufacture, and service elec­
tronic equipment and systems. The types of
equipment range from radio, radar, sonar,
and television to industrial and medical mea­
suring or control devices, navigational equip­
ment, and computers. Because the field is so
broad, technicans often specialize in one
area, such as automatic control devices or
electronic amplifiers. Furthermore, techno­
logical advancement is constantly opening up
new areas of work such as integrated circuit
When working in design, production, or
customer service, electronic technicians use
sophisticated measuring and diagnostic de­
vices to test, adjust, and repair equipment.
In many cases, they must understand the
field in which the electronic device is being
used. To design equipment for space explo­
ration, for example, they must consider the

need for minimum weight and volume and
maximum resistance to shock, extreme tem­
perature, and pressure. Some electronics
technicians also work in technical sales,
while others work in the radio and televi­
sion broadcasting industry. (See statements
on broadcast technicians and occupations in
radio and television broadcasting elsewhere
in the Handbook.)
Industrial Production Technology. Techni­
cians in this area, usually called industrial or
production technicians, assist industrial engi­
neers on problems involving the efficient use
of personnel, materials, and machines to pro­
duce goods and services. They prepare lay­
outs of machinery and equipment, plan the
flow of work, make statistical studies, and
analyze production costs. Industrial techni­
cians also conduct time and motion studies
(analyze the time and movements a worker
needs to accomplish a task) to improve the
production methods and procedures in
manufacturing plants.
Many industrial technicians acquire expe­
rience that enables them to qualify for other
jobs. For example, those specializing in ma­
chinery and production methods may move
into industrial safety. Others, in job analysis,
may set job standards and interview, test,
hire, and train personnel. Still others may
move into production supervision. (See state­
ments on personnel workers and industrial
engineers elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Mechanical Technology. Mechanical tech­
nology is a broad term that covers a large
number of specialized fields including auto­
motive, diesel, and production technology
and tool and machine design.
Technicians assist engineers in design and
development work by making freehand
sketches and rough layouts of proposed ma-

An electronics technician works on solid-state components in the production of TV parts.

chinery and other equipment and parts. This
work requires knowledge of mechanical prin­
ciples involving tolerance, stress, strain, fric­
tion, and vibration factors. Technicians also
analyze the costs and practical value of de­
In planning and testing experimental ma­
chines and equipment for performance, dura­
bility, and efficiency, technicians record data,
make computations, plot graphs, analyze re­
sults, and write reports. They sometimes rec­
ommend design changes to improve perform­
ance. Their job often requires skill in the use
of complex instruments, test equipment, and
gauges, as well as in the preparation and in­
terpretation of drawings.
When a product is ready for production,
technicians help prepare layouts and draw­
ings of the assembly process and of parts to
be manufactured. They frequently help esti­
mate labor costs, equipment life, and plant
space. Some mechanical technicians test and
inspect machines and equipment in manufac­
turing departments or work with engineers to
eliminate production problems. Others are
technical sales workers.
Tool designers are among the better
known specialists in mechanical engineering
technology. Tool designers prepare sketches
of designs for cutting tools, jigs, dies, special
fixtures, and other devices used in mass pro­
duction. Frequently, they redesign existing
tools to improve their efficiency. They also
make, or supervise others who make detailed
drawings of tools and fixtures.
Machine drafting with some designing, an­
other major area often grouped under me­
chanical technology, is described in the state­
ment on drafters. (Also see statements on
mechanical engineers, automobile mechan­
ics, and manufacturers’ sales workers else­
where in the Handbook.)
Instrumentation Technology. Automated
manufacturing and industrial processes,
oceanographic and space exploration,
weather forecasting, satellite communication
systems, environmental protection, and med­
ical research have helped to make instrumen­
tation technology a fast-growing field. Tech­
nicians help develop and design complex
measuring and control devices such as those
in a spacecraft that sense and measure
changes in heat or pressure, automatically
record data, and make necessary adjust­
ments. These technicians have extensive
knowledge of physical sciences as well as
electrical-electronic and mechanical engi­
Several areas of opportunity exist in the
physical sciences: Chemical technicians work
with chemists and chemical engineers to de­
velop, sell, and utilize chemical and related
products and equipment.
Most chemical technicians do research and
development, testing, or other laboratory
work. They often set up and conduct tests on
processes and products being developed or
improved. For example, a technician may ex­ OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

amine steel for carbon, phosphorus, and sul­
fur content or test a lubricating oil by subject­
ing it to changing temperatures. The
technician measures reactions, analyzes the
results of experiments, and records data that
will be the basis for decisions and future re­
Chemical technicians in production gener­
ally put into commerical operation those pro­
ducts or processes developed in research
laboratories. They assist in making the final
design, installing equipment, and training
and supervising operators on the production
line. Technicians in quality control test
materials, production processes, and final
products to insure that they meet the manu­
facturer’s specifications and quality stan­
dards. Many also sell chemicals or chemical
products as technical sales personnel.
Many chemical technicians use computers
and instruments, such as a dilatometer
(which measures the expansion of a sub­
stance.) Because the field of chemistry is so
broad, chemical technicians frequently spe­
cialize in a particular industry, such as food
processing or pharmaceuticals. (See state­
ments on chemists, chemical engineers, and
occupations in the industrial chemical indus­
try elsewhere in the Handbook.)
meteorologists in the study of atmospheric
conditions. Technicians calibrate instru­
ments, observe, record, and report meteoro­
logical occurrences, and assist in research
projects and the development of scientific in­
Geological technicians assist geologists in
evaluating earth processes. Currently much
research is being conducted in seismology,
petroleum and mineral exploration, and ecol­
ogy. These technicians install and record
measurements from seismographic instru­
ments, assist in field evaluations of earth­
quake damage and surface displacement, or
assist geologists in earthquake prediction re­
search. In petroleum and mineral explora­
tion, they help conduct tests and record
sound wave data to determine the likelihood
of successful drilling, or use radiation detec­
tion instruments and collect core samples to
help geologists evaluate the economic pos­
sibilities of mining a given resource.
Hydrologic technicians gather data to
help hydrologists predict river stages and
water quality levels. They monitor instru­
ments that measure water flow, water table
levels, or water quality, and record and ana­
lyze the data obtained. (See statement on
environmental scientists elsewhere in the
Technicians in the life sciences generally
are classified in either of two broad catego­
Agricultural technicians work with agri­
cultural scientists in food production and
processing. Plant technicians conduct tests
and experiments to improve the yield and
quality of crops, or to increase resistance to
disease, insects, or other hazards. Techni­

cians in soil science analyze the chemical and
physical properties of various soils to help
determine the best uses for these soils. Ani­
mal husbandry technicians work mainly with
the breeding and nutrition of animals. Other
agricultural technicians are employed in the
food industry as food processing technicians.
In quality control or in food science research
they help scientists develop better and more
efficient ways of processing food material for
human consumption. (See statement on food
technologists elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Biological technicians work primarily in
laboratories where they perform tests and ex­
periments under controlled conditions. Mi­
crobiological technicians study microscopic
organisms and may be involved in im­
munology or parasitology research. Labora­
tory animal technicians study and report on
the reaction of laboratory animals to certain
physical and chemical stimuli. They also
study and conduct research to help biologists
develop cures for human diseases. By con­
ducting experiments and reporting the re­
sults to a biochemist, technicians assist in
analyzing biological substances (blood, other
body fluids, foods, and drugs). A biological
technician also might work with insects to
study insect control, develop new insecti­
cides, or determine how to use insects to con­
trol other insects or undesirable plants. (See
statements on life scientists elsewhere in the
Technicians also specialize in fields such as
metallurgical (metal), electrical, and optical
technology. In the atomic energy field, tech­
nicians work with scientists and engineers on
problems of radiation safety, inspection, and
decontamination. (See statement on occupa­
tions in the atomic energy field elswhere in
the Handbook.) New areas of work include
environmental protection, where technicians
study the problems of air and water pollu­
tion, and industrial safety.

Working Conditions
Technicians work under a wide variety of
conditions. Most work regular hours in
laboratories and industrial plants. Others
work part or all of their time outdoors. Some
occasionally are exposed to safety or health
hazards from equipment or materials.

Places of Employment
Over 600,000 persons worked as engineer­
ing and science technicians in 1978. About
two-thirds of all technicians worked in pri­
vate industry. In the manufacturing sector,
the largest employers were the electrical
equipment, chemical, machinery, and aero­
space industries. In nonmanufacturing, large
numbers worked in wholesale and retail
trade, communications, and in engineering
and architectural firms.
In 1978, the Federal Government em­
ployed about 90,000 technicians, chiefly as
engineering and electronics technicians, bio­
logical technicians, cartographic (mapmak­
ing) technicians, meteorological technicians,

and physical science technicians. The largest
number worked for the Department of De­
fense; most of the others worked for the De­
partments of Transportation, Agriculture,
Interior, and Commerce.

dents from surrounding areas and emphasize
training in skills needed by employers in the
local area. Most require a high school degree
or its equivalent for admission.

State government agencies employed
nearly 50,000 engineering and science techni­
cians, and local governments about 11,500.
The remainder worked for colleges and uni­
versities and nonprofit organizations.

Other Training. Some large corporations
conduct training programs and operate pri­
vate schools to meet the needs of technically
trained personnel in specific jobs; such train­
ing rarely includes general studies. Training
for some technician occupations, for instance
tool designers and electronic technicians, is
available through formal 2- to 4-year appren­
ticeship programs. The apprentice gets onthe-job training under the close supervision
of an experienced technician and related
technical knowledge in classes, usually after
working hours.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although persons can qualify for techni­
cian jobs through many combinations of
work experience and education, most em­
ployers prefer applicants who have had some
specialized technical training. Specialized
training is available at technical institutes,
junior and community colleges, area voca­
tional-technical schools, extension divisions
of colleges and universities, and vocationaltechnical high schools. Some engineering and
science students who have not completed the
bachelor’s degree and others who have de­
grees in science and mathematics also are
able to qualify for technician positions.
Persons also can qualify for technician jobs
by less formal methods. Workers may learn
through on-the-job training, apprenticeship
programs, or correspondence schools. Some
qualify on the basis of experience gained in
the Armed Forces. However, postsecondary
training is becoming increasingly necessary
for advancement to more responsible jobs.
Some of the types of postsecondary and
other schools that provide technical training
are discussed in the following paragraphs:
Technical Institutes. Technical institutes
offer training to qualify students for a job
immediately after graduation with a mini­
mum of on-the-job training. In general, stu­
dents receive intensive technical training but
less theory and general education than in en­
gineering schools or liberal arts colleges. A
few technical institutes and community col­
leges offer cooperative programs in which
students spend part of the time in school and
part in paid employment related to their

The Armed Forces have trained many
technicians, especially in electronics. Al­
though military job requirements generally
differ from those in the civilian economy,
military technicians often find employment
with only minimal additional training.
Many private technical and correspon­
dence schools often specialze in a single field
of technical training such as electronics.
Some of these schools are owned and ope­
rated by large corporations that have the re­
sources to provide up-to-date training in a
technical field.
Those interested in a career as a technician
should have an aptitude for mathematics and
science and enjoy technical work. An ability
to do detailed work with a high degree of
accuracy is necessary; for design work, crea­
tive talent also is desirable. Technicians are
part of a scientific team, and often work
closely with engineers and scientists as well
as other technicians and skilled workers.
Some technicans, such as repair and mainte­
nance technicians, should be able to work
independently and to deal effectively with

complexity of modem technology underlie
the anticipated increase in demand for tech­
nicians. Many will be needed to work with
the growing number of engineers and scien­
tists in developing, producing, and distribut­
ing new and technically advanced products.
Automation of industrial processes and con­
tinued growth of new areas of work such as
environmental protection and energy devel­
opment will add to the demand for technical
The anticipated growth of research and de­
velopment expenditures in industry and gov­
ernment also should increase requirements
for technicians.

In private industry in 1977, technicians
who completed a 2-year post-high school
program earned starting salaries of about
$10,500 a year, according to a survey by the
Engineering Manpower Commission; those
who did not complete a 2-year program
started at about $9,000 a year. Graduates of
2-year programs with 5 years’ experience
earned about $12,800 a year in 1977, while
nongraduates with some experience earned
about $11,100. Senior technicians averaged
about $18,700 a year in 1978, according to a
Department of Labor survey.
Starting salaries for all technicians in the
Federal Government were fairly uniform in
1979. A high school graduate with no experi­
ence could expect $8,366 annually to start.
With an associate degree, the starting salary
was $9,391, and with a bachelor’s, $10,507 or
$13,014. With more experience, however,
earnings are significantly higher. The average
annual salary for all engineering technicians
employed by the Federal Government in
1978 was $19,617; for physical science tech­
nicians, $15,935; and for life science techni­
cians, about $11,375.

Related Occupations

Junior and Community Colleges. Curriculums in junior and community colleges
which prepare students for technician occu­
pations are similar to those in technical insti­
tutes but emphasize theory and liberal arts.
After completing the 2-year programs, some
graduates qualify for technician jobs while
others continue their education at 4-year col­
Area Vocational-Technical Schools. These
postsecondary public institutions serve stu­

Engineering and science technicians apply
scientific principles in their work. Other oc­
cupations whose work activities involve the
application of scientific principles include
foresters, forestry technicians, range manag­
ers, soil conservationists, engineers, environ­
mental, life, and physical scientists, broad­
cast technicians,
television and radio service technicians, den­
tal laboratory technicians, and medical tech­
nologists and technicians.

Employment Outlook

Some technical institutes operate as regu­
lar or extension divisions of colleges and uni­
versities. Other institutions are operated by
States and municipalities, or by private or­

Engineering and science technicians usu­
ally begin work as trainees in routine posi­
tions under the direct supervision of an ex­
perienced technician, scientist, or engineer.
As they gain experience, they receive more
responsibility and carry out a particular as­
signment under only general supervision.
Technicians may eventually move into super­
visory positions. Those who have the ability
and obtain additional education occasionally
may be promoted to positions as scientists or

Sources of Additional Information

... vsr- •"i

Employment opportunities for engineering
and science technicians are expected to be
favorable through the 1980’s. Opportunities
will be best for graduates of postsecondary
school technician training programs. Besides
openings resulting from the slightly faster
than average growth expected in this field,
additional technicians will be needed to re­
place those who die, retire, or leave the occu­

National Association of Trade and Technical
Schools, 2021 K St. N.W., Washington, D.C.

Industrial expansion and the increasing

State departments of education also have

For information on careers in engineering
and technology contact:
Engineers Council for Professional Development,
345 East 47th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Information on schools offering technician
programs is available from:


information about approved technical insti­
tutes, junior colleges, and other educational
institutions within the State offering posthigh school training for specific technical oc­
cupations. Other sources include:
American Association of Community and Junior
Colleges, One Dupont Circle, Suite 410, Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.
National Home Study Council, 1601 18th St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20009.

Food Technologists
(D.O.T. 041.081-010)

Nature of the Work
In the past, consumers processed most
food in the home, but today industry pro­
cesses almost all foods. A key worker in­
volved in the development and processing of
the large variety of foods available today is
the food technologist.
Food technologists investigate the chemi­
cal, physical, and biological nature of food
and apply this knowledge to processing,
preserving, packaging, distribution, and
storing an adequate, nutritious, wholesome,
and economical food supply. Over one-third
of all food technologists work in research
and development. Others work in quality
assurance laboratories or in production or
processing areas of food plants. Some teach
or do basic research in colleges and univer­
sities, and others work in sales or manage­
ment positions.
Food technologists in basic research study
the structure and composition of food and
the changes it undergoes in storage and proc­
essing. For example, they may develop new
sources of proteins, study the effects of proc­
essing on micro-organisms, or search for fac­
tors that affect the flavor, texture, or appear­
ance of foods. Food technologists who work
in applied research and development create
new foods and develop new processing meth­
ods. The also work to improve existing foods
by making them more nutritious and enhanc­
ing their flavor, color, and texture.

mineral content. They make sure that, after
processing, various enzymes are inactive and
microbial levels are adequately low so that
the food will not spoil during storage or pre­
sent a safety hazard. Other food technolo­
gists are involved in developing and improv­
ing packaging and storage methods.
Food technologists in processing plants
prepare production specifications, schedule
processing operations, maintain proper tem­
perature and humidity in storage areas, and
supervise sanitation operations, including the
efficient and economical disposal of wastes.
To increase efficiency, they advise manage­
ment on the purchase of equipment and rec­
ommend new sources of materials.
Some food technologists apply their
knowledge in areas such as market research,
advertising, and technical sales. Others teach
in colleges and universities.

Working Conditions
Food technologists work under a variety of
conditions. Most work regular hours in of­
fices, laboratories, or classrooms. Food tech­
nologists who work in production or quality
control positions work in or near food proc­
essing areas, sometimes under noisy, hot, or
cold conditions, but they usually do not en­
counter unhealthy or unsafe conditions.

Places of Employment
An estimated 15,000 persons worked as
food technologists in 1978. Food technolo­
gists work in all sectors of the food industry
and in every State. The types of products and
processes with which they work may depend
on the locality. For example, in Maine and
Idaho, they work with potato processing; in
the Midwest, with cereal products and meat­
packing; and in Florida and California, with
citrus fruits and vegetables.

Some food technologists do research for
Federal agencies such as the Food and
Drug Administration and the Departments
of Agriculture and Defense; others work in
State regulatory agencies. A few work for
private consulting firms and international
organizations such as the United Nations.
Some teach or do research in colleges and
universities. (See statement on college and
university faculty elsewhere in the Hand­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major in food
technology or in one of the physical or life
sciences, such as chemistry or biology, is the
usual minimum requirement for beginning
jobs in food techology. An advanced degree
is necessary for many jobs, particularly re­
search and college teaching and for some
management jobs in industry.
Over 60 colleges and universities offered
programs leading to the bachelor’s degree in
food technology in 1978. Undergraduate stu­
dents majoring in food technology usually
take courses in physics, chemistry, mathe­
matics, biology, the social sciences and
humanities, and business administration, as
well as a variety of food technology courses.
Food technology courses cover areas such as
preservation, processing, sanitation, and
marketing of foods.
Most of the colleges and universities that
provide undergraduate food technology pro­
grams also offer advanced degrees. Graduate
students usually specialize in a particular
area of food technology. Requirements for
the master’s or doctor’s degree vary by insti­
tution, but usually include extensive re­
search. A thesis, which is a report of original
research findings, is required for the doctor’s

Food technologists seek to have each prod­
uct retain its characteristics and nutritive
value during processing and storage. They
also conduct chemical and microbiological
tests to see that products meet industry and
government standards, and they may deter­
mine the nutritive contents of products in
order to comply with Federal nutritional la­
beling requirements.
In quality control laboratories, food tech­
nologists check raw ingredients for freshness,
maturity, or suitability for processing. They
may use machines that test for tenderness by
finding the amount of force necessary to
puncture the item. Periodically, they inspect
processing line operations to insure confor­
mance with government and industry stan­
dards. For example, they test processed foods
for sugar, starch, protein, fat, vitamin, and


Many food technologists work in quality control laboratories.

degree and, in some institutions, for the mas­
ter’s degree.
People planning careers as food technolo­
gists should have analytical minds and like
details and technical work. Food technolo­
gists must be able to express their ideas
clearly to others.
Food technologists with a bachelor’s de­
gree might start work as quality assurance
chemists or as assistant production manag­
ers. After gaining experience, they can ad­
vance to more responsible management jobs.
A food technologist might also begin as a
junior food chemist in a research and devel­
opment laboratory of a food company, and be
promoted to section head or another research
management position.
People who have master’s degrees may
begin as food chemists in a research and de­
velopment laboratory. Those who have the
Ph. D. degree usually begin their careers
doing basic research or teaching.

Employment Outlook
Employment of food technologists is ex­
pected to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. Most
openings will result from the need to replace
those who die, retire, or transfer to other
fields, although some openings will arise
from growth in demand for these workers.
Employment is expected to grow some­
what as the food industry responds to the
challenge of providing wholesome and eco­
nomical foods that can meet changing con­
sumer preferences and food standards. In ad­
dition, both private households and food
service institutions that supply customers
such as airlines and restaurants will demand
a greater quantity of processed convenience
foods. However, the expected slow growth of
the food processing industry will result in the
slower than average growth in employment
of food technologists.
An increasing number of food technolo­
gists are expected to find jobs in research and
product developm ent. In recent years, expen­
ditures for research and development in the
food industry have increased moderately and
probably will continue to rise. Through re­
search, new foods are being produced from
modifications of wheat, com, rice, and soy­
beans. For example, food scientists are work­
ing to improve “meat” products made from
vegetable proteins. There will be an increased
need for food scientists in quality control and
production because of the complexity of pro­
ducts and processes and the application of
higher processing standards and new govern­
ment regulations.

a year. Those with a master’s degree started
at about $15,000, and those with the Ph. D.
degree at about $18,000.
In the Federal Government in 1978, food
technologists with a bachelor’s degree could
start at $10,507 or $13,014 a year, depending
on their college grades. Those with a master’s
degree could start at $13,014 or $15,920, and
those with a Ph. D. could begin at $19,263 or
$23,087. The average salary for experienced
food technologists in the Federal Govern­
ment was about $26,600 a year in 1978.

Related Occupations
Food technology is closely related to
chemistry and, to a lesser extent, to biology.
Other occupations in which the work is
related to food technology are life and envi­
ronmental scientists, engineers, and engi­
neering and science technicians.

Sources of Additional Information
For information on careers in food tech­
nology contact:
Institute of Food Technologists, Suite 2120, 221
North LaSalle St., Chicago, 111. 60601.

Surveyors and
(D.O.T. 018.167-010, -018, and -034 through -050)

Nature of the Work
Surveyors with the assistance of surveying
technicians establish official land boundaries,
research deeds, write descriptions of land to
satisfy legal requirements, assist in setting
land valuations, measure construction and
mineral sites, and collect information for
maps and charts.


Surveys are usually conducted by a survey
party that determines the precise measure­
ment of distances, directions, and angles be­
tween points and of elevations, of points,
lines, and contours on the earth’s surface.
Land surveyors (D.O.T. 018.167-018), who
may head one or more survey parties, are
directly responsible for the party’s activities
and the accuracy of its work. They plan the
fieldwork, select survey reference points, and
determine the precise location of natural and
constructed features of the survey project
area. They record the information disclosed
by the survey, verify the accuracy of the sur­
vey data, and prepare sketches, maps, and

Food technologists had relatively high
earnings in 1978, about twice the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming. According to a survey of
the Institute of Food Technologists in 1977,
food technologists with the bachelor’s degree
had average starting salaries of about $12,000

A typical survey party is made up of the
party chief (D.O.T. 018.167-010) and one to
six assistants and helpers. The party chief
leads the day-to-day work activities of the
party. Instrument assistants (D.O.T. 018.167-034) adjust and operate surveying instru­
ments such as the theodolite (used to mea­

sure horizontal and vertical angles) and
electronic equipment used to measure dis­
tances. These workers also compile notes,
sketches, and records of the data obtained
from using these instruments. Suveyor helpers
(D.O.T. 869.567-010) use a steel tape to mea­
sure distances between surveying points and
use a level rod, a stadia rod, range pole, or
other equipment to aid instrument assistants
in determining elevations, distances, and di­
rections. Surveyor helpers also may clear
brush and trees from the survey line and as­
sist in setting survey markers.
Surveyors may specialize in a particular
type of survey. Many perform land surveys to
locate boundaries of a particular tract of
land. They then prepare maps and legal de­
scriptions for deeds, leases, and other docu­
ments. Surveyors doing topographic surveys
determine elevations, depressions, and con­
tours of an area, and indicate the location of
distinguishing surface features such as farms,
buildings, forests, roads, and rivers. Geodetic
surveyors (D.O.T. 018.167-038) make pre­
cise, broad-area measurements which take
into account the earth’s curvature and its
geophysical characteristics. Geophysical pros­
pecting surveyors (D.O.T. 018.167-042) mark
sites for subsurface exploration, usually pe­
troleum related. Marine surveyors (D.O.T.
018.167-046) survey harbors, rivers, and
other bodies of water to determine shorelines,
topography of the bottom, depth, and other
Several closely related occupations are
geodesy and photogrammetry. Geodesists
(D.O.T. 024.061-014) study the size, shape,
and gravitational field of the earth. They
make the measurements and computations
necessary for accurate mapping of the earth’s
surface. (See statement on geophysicists else­
where in the Handbook.) Photogrammetrists
(D.O.T. 018.261-026) measure and interpret
photographic images to determine the vari­
ous physical characteristics of natural or con­
structed features of an area. By applying ana­
techniques to photographs obtained from
aerial, space, ground, and underwater loca­
tions, photogrammetrists are able to make
detailed maps of areas that are inaccessible or
difficult to survey by other methods. Control
surveys on the ground are made to insure the
accuracy of maps derived from photogrammatic techniques.

Working Conditions
Surveyors and surveying technicians usu­
ally work an 8-hour day, 5-day week. Some­
times they work longer hours during the
summer months when weather conditions
are most suitable for surveying.
The work of a survey party is active and
sometimes strenuous. Party members often
stand for long periods and walk long dis­
tances or climb hills with heavy packs of in­
struments and equipment. They also are ex­
posed to all types of weather. Occasionally
they must commute long distances or find
temporary housing near the site.


All 50 States require licensing of land sur­
veyors. Licensing requirements are generally
quite strict, because once licensed, surveyors
can be held legally responsible for their work.
Requirements for licensure vary among the
States. Generally, the quickest route to licen­
sure is a combination of 4 years of college, 2
to 4 years of experience, and passage of a
State licensing exam. In most States, persons
also may qualify to take the licensing exam
after 5 to 12 years of surveying experience. A
few States now require a bachelor’s degree,
emphasizing surveying, as a prerequisite to
Surveyors and surveying technicians
should have the ability to visualize and un­
derstand objects, distances, sizes, and other
abstract forms. Also, because surveying mis­
takes can be very costly, surveyors must per­
form mathematical calculations quickly and
accurately while paying close attention to the
smallest detail. Leadership qualities also are
important as surveyors must supervise the
work of others.
Members of a survey party must be in good
physical condition to work outdoors and
carry equipment over difficult terrain. They
also need good eyesight, coordination, and
hearing to communicate over great distances
by hand or voice signals.

Employment Outlook

Surveyor measures land boundaries before construction starts.

Surveyors spend considerable time per­
forming office duties, such as planning sur­
veys, preparing reports and computations,
and drawing maps.

Places of Employment
About 62,000 persons worked as surveyors
or surveying technicians in 1978. Federal,
State, and local government agencies employ
about 1 out of every 10 of these workers.
Among the Federal Government agencies
are the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of
Land Management, the Army Corps of Engi­
neers, the Forest Service, the National Ocean
Survey, and the Defense Mapping Agency.
Most surveyors and surveying technicians in
State and local government agencies work for
highway departments and urban planning
and redevelopment agencies.
Nearly three-fourths of all surveyors and
surveying technicians work for construction
companies and for engineering and architec­
tural consulting firms. A sizable number ei­
ther work for or own firms that conduct sur­
veys for a fee. Surveyors and surveying
technicians also work for crude petroleum
and natural gas companies and for public

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most persons prepare for surveying work
by combining postsecondary school courses OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

in surveying with extensive on-the-job train­
ing. Some prepare by obtaining a college de­
gree. Junior and community colleges, techni­
cal institutes, and vocational schools offer 1-,
2-, and 3-year programs in surveying. A few
4-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees
specifically in surveying, while many others
offer several courses in the field.
High school students interested in pursu­
ing a career in surveying should take courses
in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, drafting,
and mechanical drawing.
High school graduates with no formal
training in surveying usually start as sur­
veyor helpers. After several years of on-thejob experience and some formal training in
surveying, it is possible to advance to instru­
ment assistant, then to party chief, and fi­
nally to licensed surveyor.
Beginners with postsecondary school
training in surveying can generally start as
instrument assistants. After gaining experi­
ence, they usually advance to party chief, and
may later seek to become a licensed surveyor.
In many instances, promotions to higher
level positions are based on written examina­
tions as well as experience.
For those interested in a career as a photogrammetrist, a bachelor’s degree in engineer­
ing or the physical sciences is usually needed.
Most photogrammetry technicians have had
some specialized postsecondary school train­

Employment of surveyors and surveying
technicians is expected to grow about as fast
as the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. In addition to the openings resulting
from employment growth, many will result
from the need to replace those who die, re­
tire, or transfer to other fields of work.
The anticipated rapid growth in construc­
tion should create additional jobs for survey­
ors and surveying technicians to lay out
streets, shopping centers, housing develop­
ments, factories, office buildings, and recrea­
tion areas. In addition, as the value of land
and thus the need for accurate surveys in­
crease, more jobs will arise. Construction and
improvement of the Nation’s roads and high­
ways also will create many new surveying
positions. However, employment may fluctu­
ate from year to year because construction
activity in sensitive to changes in economic

In the Federal Government in 1979, high
school graduates with little or no training or
experience started as surveyor helpers with
an annual salary of $7,422. Those with 1 year
of related postsecondary training earned $8,366. Those with an associate degree that in­
cluded courses in surveying generally started
as instrument assistants with an annual sal­
ary of $9,391. In 1978, surveying technicians
who worked as party chiefs in the Federal
Government earned between $11,000 and
$15,000 per year. Land surveyors in the Fed­
eral Government averaged about $20,400 per
year in 1978.

A lth ou gh salaries in private industry vary
by geographic area, lim ited data indicate that
salaries are generally com parable to those in
Federal service and are above the average
earnings o f nonsupervisory w orkers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.

areas, coastlines, and natural and co n ­
structed features include cartographic draft­
ers, field-m ap editors, geodesists, m ap edi­
tors, m osaicists, photogram m etric engi­
neers, photogram m etrists, and topological

Related Occupations

Sources of Additional Information

O ther occu pations concerned w ith accu ­
rate m easurem ent and delineation o f land

American Congress on Surveying and Mapping,
210 Little Falls St., Falls Church, Va. 22046.

Inform ation about training and career op­
portunities in surveying is available from:

G eneral inform ation on careers in photogram m etry is available from:
American Society of Photogrammetry, 105 North
Virginia Ave., Falls Church, Va. 22046.


In the technologically advanced society
we live in today, mechanical equipment of
one type or another touches almost all as­
pects of our lives. Transportation equip­
ment such as cars, trucks, buses, and air­
planes carry both goods and people
anywhere in the world. Telephones and
other communication equipment enable
messages to be conveyed quickly and effi­
ciently. Household appliances and machin­
ery such as air-conditioners make our lives
easier and more comfortable. Mechanics
and repairers keep these and other types of
machinery in good working order.
Approximately 4 million people worked as
mechanics and repairers in 1978; one-third
worked on motor vehicles in occupations
such as automobile mechanic, truck or bus
mechanic, and automobile body repairer.
Other large occupations—each employing
more than 100,000 workers—were appliance
repairer, industrial machinery repairer, air­
plane mechanic, and television and radio ser­
vice technician. Employment in some occu­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

mechanic, electric sign repairer, and piano
technician, was relatively small.
Almost one-fourth of the mechanics and
repairers worked in manufacturing industries
—the majority in plants that produce durable
goods such as steel, automobiles, and air­
craft. About one-fifth worked in retail trade
—mainly in firms that sell and service au­
tomobiles, household appliances, farm imple­
ments, and other mechanical equipment. An­
other one-fifth worked in shops that service
such equipment. Most of the remaining me­
chanics and repairers worked for transporta­
tion, construction, and public utilities indus­
tries, and all levels of government.
Mechanics and repairers work in every
section of the country, but most employment
opportunities are in populous and industrial­
ized areas.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Many mechanics and repairers learn their
skills on the job or through apprenticeship

training. Some acquire basic training or in­
crease their skills in vocational schools; oth­
ers take correspondence courses. Training
and experience in the Armed Forces also may
help people prepare for some qf these occupa­
tions, including television and radio service
technician, airplane mechanic, and telephone
craft worker.
Employers look for applicants who have
mechanical aptitude and like to work with
their hands. A high school education often is
required, and employers generally prefer ap­
plicants who have had courses in mathemat­
ics, chemistry, physics, blueprint reading,
and shop.
Physical requirements for work in this
field vary greatly among occupations. For
example, telephone lineworkers should be
strong and agile to climb poles, lift heavy
equipment, and work in awkward positions.
Jewelers and watch repairers need patience,
finger dexterity, and good vision.
Many maintenance and repair workers ad­
vance to supervisory jobs; others to sales jobs.
Some open their own businesses.

Employment Outlook
Employment in maintenance and repair
occupations as a whole is expected to in­
crease about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. In addition
to jobs created by employment growth, many
thousands of openings will arise in this rela­
tively large occupational category as ex­
perienced workers retire, die, or transfer to
other fields.
Many factors are expected to contribute to
the growing need for mechanics and repair­
ers, including increased demand for house­
hold appliances, automobiles, and other con­
sumer items, and increased use of complex
machinery in industry.
This chapter includes statements on many
maintenance and repair occupations. Other
maintenance and repair workers are dis­
cussed in other sections of the Handbook.
For example, airplane mechanics are dis­
cussed with air transportation occupations
and millwrights with industrial production
and related occupations.

Telephone Craft Occupations
More than 1 out of every 3 employees in
the telephone industry is a craft worker who
installs, repairs, and maintains phones, ca­
bles, and related equipment. This section dis­
cusses the four groups of telephone craft oc­
cupations: Central office craft occupations,
central office equipment installers, line in­
stallers and cable splicers, and telephone in­
stallers and repairers.

Central Office Craft
Nature of the Work
Telephone companies employed about
135,000 craft workers in 1978 to maintain
and repair the complex equipment in their
central offices. Most worked as frame wirers,
central office repairers, and trouble locators.
In small telephone companies, central office
craft workers must perform a variety of jobs,
but most specialize in one of these three
Frame wirers (D.O.T. 822.684-010) con­
nect and disconnect wires that run from tele­
phone lines and cables to equipment in cen­
tral offices. This equipment consists of a
frame having many terminal lugs mounted
on it, each of which is assigned a specific
telephone number. It also contains one pair
of wires for each customer’s telephone that is

connected to that central office. To connect
a new telephone, the frame wirer solders the
customer’s pair of wires to a set of terminal
lugs. To disconnect a telephone, a frame
wirer melts off the solder and removes the
wires from the terminal. Frame wirers occa­
sionally change a customer’s phone number
by reconnecting the customer’s pair of wires
to a different set of terminal lugs.

Frame wirer solders
 a pair of wires to a set of terminal lugs.

Central office repairers (D.O.T. 822.281014) maintain the switching equipment that
automatically connects lines when customers
dial numbers. Electromechanical switching
systems contain moving parts that must be
cleaned and oiled periodically. Also, elec­
tronic switching circuits must be checked oc­
casionally for breakages.
When customers report trouble with their
telephones, trouble locators (D.O.T. 822.361030) work at special switchboards to find the
source of the problem. To do this, they com­
municate with telephone installers and re­
pairers as they attempt to connect a portable
telephone through the customer’s service line
to the central office. The trouble shooter lo­
cates the problem by having the telephone
repairer connect the portable phone at vari­
ous places on the customer’s line until a con­
nection can be made through to the central
office. For a problem at the central office, the
trouble locator repeats this procedure with a
central office repairer. In addition, trouble
locators must also test new equipment to
make sure installations are made correctly.
They also work with other employees, such
as central office repairers and cable splicers,
who help find the cause of trouble and make

Working Conditions
Because the telephone industry gives con­
tinuous service to its customers, central of­
fices operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Some central office craft workers, therefore,
have work schedules that include shifts,

weekends, and holidays. Central office craft
workers work in clean, well-lighted, air-con­
ditioned surroundings. Depending on their
particular job, they may have to stand for
long periods, climb ladders, and do some
reaching, stooping, and light lifting.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Telephone companies give classroom in­
struction and on-the-job training to new cen­
tral office craft employees. In addition, tele­
communications equipment manufacturers
often train central office craft workers to use,
maintain, and repair equipment that they sell
to telephone companies. Some vocational
schools, particularly in rural areas served by
small independent telephone companies, also
train persons interested in becoming central
office craft workers. A few people may learn
these crafts through apprenticeship pro­
grams designed by State employment agen­
cies in conjunction with local telephone com­
panies. Sometimes classrooms are supplied
with equipment similar to that which the
trainee will be using on the job.
Trainee jobs generally are filled by em­
ployees already with the company, such as
telephone operators or line installers. Occa­
sionally, workers are hired from outside.
Usually, trainees are assigned to the starting
job of frame wirer, and take basic courses in
telephone communications. They gain practi­
cal experience by observing and helping ex­
perienced frame wirers under the direction of
supervisors. With additional training and ex­
perience, a frame wirer can advance to cen­
tral office repairer or trouble locator. Usually
it takes at least 5 years for an inexperienced
worker to advance to the top pay rate in ei­
ther of these two jobs.
Because electrical wires are usually color
coded, persons who are considering careers
in central office crafts should not be color
blind. They also should be able to work
closely with others, because teamwork often
is essential in solving complex problems. A
basic knowledge of electricity and electronics
and telephone training in the Armed Forces
are helpful.
Telephone companies give central office
craft employees continued training through­
out their careers to keep them abreast of the
latest developments. As new types of equip­
ment and tools and new maintenance meth­
ods are introduced, employees are sent to
schools to learn about them.
Central office craft workers who have
managerial ability can advance to supervi­
sory positions.

However, central office workloads are not
expected to rise as fast as productivity. Elec­
tromechanical switching systems are being
replaced with electronic switching systems to
increase call- carrying capacity and to pro­
vide improved service to remote areas. This
substitution will slow the rate of construction
of new central offices. Because the new, elec­
tronically equipped central offices utilize so­
phisticated, self-diagnosing test equipment
that requires fewer maintenance personnel,
employment of central office craft workers
should decline slightly over the next decade.
While overall employment in central office
craft occupations is expected to drop slightly
through the 1980’s, job openings will arise as
experienced workers retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations. Although many job open­
ings for central office craft workers are filled
by the advancement of other workers already
employed by telephone companies, some en­
try-level positions—frame wirers, for exam­
ple—should be available for new employees.

After the new equipment has been put in
place, installers connect the outgoing and in­
coming telephone trunklines, often consult­
ing diagrams to ensure that connections are
made correctly. Once this is completed, in­
stallers then test the system, using electrical
testing equipment, such as electrical pulse re­
peaters and ohmmeters, to measure the
strength and consistency of the current flow.
If installers discover that the system is not
functioning properly, they must check the
equipment and all connections to determine
the cause, and then correct it.


Working Conditions

In late 1978, average hourly rates were
$8.80 for trouble locators and $8.30 for cen­
tral office repairers compared with $5.69 for
nonsupervisory workers in all private indus­
tries, except farming.

Central office equipment installers often
work in buildings under construction. They
have to lift and carry heavy tools, climb lad­
ders, and do a lot of stooping, crouching, and
reaching. They face certain hazards, such as
falls from ladders, injuries from falling ob­
jects, and cuts from tools.

Earnings increase considerably with length
of service. Under a major union contract in
effect in late 1978, frame wirers started at
$4.96 an hour and could work up to a maxi­
mum of $8.36 an hour after 4 years. Central
office repairers and trouble locators could
earn a maximum of $9.18 an hour after 5
Central office craft workers are covered by
the same provisions governing overtime pay,
vacations, holidays, and other benefits that
apply to telephone workers generally.

Related Occupations
Other workers who have the skills needed
to do technical, manual work with tools and
machines include automobile mechanics,
carpenters, cement masons, electricians, ma­
chinists, plumbers, toolmakers, and welders.
See the statement on the telephone indus­
try elsewhere in the Handbook for sources of
additional information and for general infor­
mation on fringe benefits.

Central Office
Equipment Installers
(D.O.T. 822.361-014)

Employment Outlook
Employment of central office craft work­
ers will be subject to conflicting trends. As
the population grows and becomes more mo­
bile and is offered a wider array of telecom­
munications services, demand should rise for
workers to handle the growing number of
telephone installations and disconnections.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On a job, installers follow blueprints, dia­
grams, and floor plans in order to position
the equipment properly and wire it correctly.
They often use hoists to lift heavy items into
place and use handtools, such as screwdrivers
or soldering guns, to connect equipment once
it is in place. Recently developed equipment
sometimes comes in preassembled compo­
nents and often requires only simple plug-in

Nature of the Work
Central office equipment installers set up
the complex switching and dialing equipment
used in central offices of telephone compa­
nies. They may install equipment in new cen­
tral offices, add equipment in an expanding
office, or replace outdated equipment.

Places of Employment
About 21,400 installers were employed in
1978. Most worked for manufacturers of cen­
tral office equipment. Others worked directly
for telephone companies or for private con­
tractors who specialize in large-scale installa­
Most central office equipment installers
work in metropolitan areas, where large cen­
tral offices are found. Hundreds of installers
may be required to work on large jobs such
as a long-distance toll center in a big city.
Other installers are assigned areas that in­
clude several States, and, therefore, they
must travel frequently to small towns within
their area. Installing equipment in small
communities often requires only two or three

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Individuals considering careers as central
office equipment installers should have man­
ual dexterity, good eyesight, and, because
electrical wires are generally color coded,
should not be colorblind. They should be able
to work with others, for teamwork often is
essential to solving a complex problem. Al­
though manufacturers generally provide all
the necessary training to perform this job,
courses in blueprint reading and electronic
theory are helpful to those interested in this
New employees attend classes the first few
weeks to learn basic installation and then
begin on-the-job training. Often trainees will

tions and modernization of central offices
may occur at an above-average pace. Con­
versely, when the economy slows down, there
may be a reduction of this activity.

Under the terms of a major union contract
in effect in late 1978, covering most central
office equipment installers, starting rates for
inexperienced installers ranged from $4.66 to
$4.99 an hour. The contract provided for pe­
riodic increases, and employees could reach
rates of $8.21 to $8.97 an hour after 5 years’
experience. Travel and expense allowances
also were provided. The average earnings of
experienced central office equipment install­
ers are above the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except

Installers must not be color blind because elec­
trical wires generally are color coded.

be transported to the plant where the equip­
ment is manufactured to receive training.
Workers who have several years of experi­
ence may qualify as skilled installers. Train­
ing continues, however, even after they be­
come skilled; additional courses are given
from time to time to improve skills and to
teach new techniques in installing telephone
equipment. Also, technological innovations
are constantly resulting in changes in equip­
ment. When manufacturers develop new
equipment, installers must be trained to in­
stall it.
Installers who have managerial ability can
advance to supervisory positions.

The Communications Workers of America
union represents most central office equip­
ment installers, including those with theBell
System. The International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers represents some installers
employed by various telephone companies,
by manufacturers supplying the independent
segment of the telephone industry, and by
large installation contractors.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations in which
skill training is needed to do technical, man­
ual work with tools and machines include
automobile mechanics, carpenters, cement
masons, electricians, machinists, plumbers,
toolmakers, and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on the telephone indus­
try elsewhere in the Handbook for sources of
additional information and for general infor­
mation on fringe benefits.

Employment Outlook
Employment of central office equipment
installers is expected to decline through the
1980’s. However, a few hundred openings
will arise each year to replace experienced
installers who transfer to other work, retire,
or die.
The introduction of remote switching sys­
tems is expected to slow the rate of construc­
tion of new central offices during the next
decade. Although obsolete manual and dial
switching equipment will be replaced with
more efficient electronic switching systems
(ESS), this new equipment is manufactured
in components and modules that greatly re­
duce the time needed for installation. This
greater efficiency should offset the demand
stemming from new construction and con­
version of existing equipment, resulting in an
overall reduction in employment through the
Employment may fluctuate from year to
year because investment in central office
equipment is subject to changes in business
conditions and availability of funds. Thus,
when the economy is prospering, installa­

Line Installers and
Cable Splicers______
Nature of the Work
The vast network of wires and cables that
connect telephone central offices to each
other and to customers’ telephones and
switchboards is constructed and maintained
by line installers and cable splicers and their
helpers. Telephone companies employed al­
most 59,000 of these workers in 1978, includ­
ing about 24,000 cable splicers, 33,000 line
installers, and 2,000 helpers, laborers, and
other workers.
To construct new telephone lines, line in­
stallers (D.O.T. 822.381-014) place wires and
cables that lead from the central office to
customers’ premises. They use power-driven
equipment to dig holes and set in telephone
poles that support cables. Line installers
climb the poles to attach the cables, usually
leaving the ends free for cable splicers to con­

nect later. In cities where telephone lines are
below the streets, installers place cables in
underground conduits. On construction jobs,
installers work in crews of two persons or
more. A supervisor may direct the work of
several crews.
When wires or cables break or a pole is
knocked down, line installers often are called
upon to make emergency repairs. These re­
pairs are most common in parts of the coun­
try that have hurricanes, tornadoes, and
heavy snowfalls. The linecrew supervisor
keeps in radio contact with the central office,
which directs the crew to problem locations
on the lines. Some installers periodically in­
spect sections of lines in rural areas and make
minor repairs.
After line installers place cables on poles
or in underground conduits, cable splicers
(D.O.T. 829.361-010) generally complete the
line connections. Splicers work on poles, on
aerial ladders and platforms, in manholes, or
in basements of large buildings. They connect
individual wires within the cable and rear­
range wires when lines have to be changed.
At each splice, they place insulation over the
spliced conductor, and seal the joint with a
lead sleeve or cover the splice with some
other type of closure. Sometimes, they fill the
cable sheathing with compressed air to keep
out moisture.
Splicers also install terminal boxes that
connect customers’ telephones to outside ca­
bles. An innovation in telephone connecting,
these terminal boxes are often placed in the
basements of apartment buildings or other
buildings containing multiple telephone cus­
tomers. When a telephone installer wishes to
connect or disconnect a customer’s tele­
phone, it can be done quickly at the terminal
Splicers also maintain and repair cables.
The preventive maintenance work that they
do is extremely important, because a single
defect in a cable may cause a serious inter­
ruption in service. Many trouble spots are
located through air pressure or electric tests.

Working Conditions
Line installers and cable splicers usually
work outdoors. When severe weather dam­
ages telephone lines, line installers and cable
splicers may be called upon to work long and
irregular hours to restore service. They must
do a lot of climbing and lifting, and often
work in stooped and cramped positions.
They face certain hazards such as falls and
electric shocks, but these have been greatly
reduced by safety standards developed over
the years by telephone companies, in cooper­
ation with labor unions.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Telephone companies hire inexperienced
workers to train for jobs as line installers or
cable splicers. Knowledge of the basic princi­
ples of electricity and training in installing
telephone systems with the Armed Forces

ceive classroom training in courses such as
mathematics and electronic theory spon­
sored by outside agencies—for example,
State employment agencies—while they re­
ceive on-the-job training. Apprenticeships
generally last 4 years.
Line installers and cable splicers con­
tinue to receive training throughout their
careers, to qualify for more difficult assign­
ments and to keep up with technological
changes. Due to the strenuous nature of
the job, some line installers and cable
splicers find it necessary to transfer to
other occupations as they advance in age.
Those having the necessary qualifications
find advancement opportunities in the tele­
phone industry. For example, a line in­
staller may be transferred to telephone in­
staller and later to telephone repairer or to
another higher rated job.

Employment Outlook
Employment of cable splicers is expected
to show little or no change through the
1980’s. Technological developments, such as
new kinds of splices and the telephone splic­
ing van that uses the truck engine to heat and
ventilate manholes and drive power tools and
equipment, will improve the efficiency of
splicers, thus limiting the need for additional
workers. Nevertheless, many job openings
will arise due to the need to replace ex­
perienced splicers who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.

Line installers must be agile.

are helpful. Physical examinations usually
are given to prospective employees, since line
and cable work is strenuous, requiring work­
ers to climb poles and lift heavy cables and
equipment. The ability to distinguish colors
is necessary because wires usually are coded
by color.
Telephone companies have training pro­
grams for line installers and cable splicers
that include classroom instruction as well as
on-the-job training. Classrooms are equipped
with actual telephone apparatus, such as
poles, cable-supporting clamps, and other
fixtures to simulate working conditions as
closely as possible. Trainees learn to climb
poles and are taught safe working practices to
avoid falls and contact with power wires.
After a short period of classroom training,
some trainees are assigned to a crew to work
with experienced line installers and cable


splicers under the supervision of a line super­
In addition to the training provided by the
telephone companies, some manufacturers of
cable installation equipment also train line
installers and cable splicers in the use of
equipment that the manufacturers sell to tele­
phone companies. Often a telephone com­
pany will send its line and cable workers to
the manufacturer’s training school. At other
times, manufacturers send their instructors
to the job site.
Some small independent telephone compa­
nies, particularly those in rural areas, do not
have adequate facilities to train their em­
ployees. Therefore, they may rely on local
vocational and technical schools to provide
classroom training to craft employees. A few
apprenticeships also are available for line and
cable workers. In these cases, employees re­

Little or no change is expected in the num­
ber of line installers because the increasing
use of mechanical improvements, such as
plows that can dig a trench, lay cable, and
cover it in a single operation, have eliminated
much of the heavier physical work of the
linecrews and have caused reductions in crew
size. Also, satellites are expected to carry an
increasing volume of telephone traffic, thus
slightly reducing the emphasis on cable in­
stallation. On the other hand, some employ­
ment opportunities for line installers and
cable splicers may be created by the need to
modernize old cables or replace them with
new waterproof ones. In addition, some job
openings will occur as experienced line in­
stallers retire, die, or transfer to other occu­

In late 1978, wage rates of cable splicers
averaged $8.60 an hour, line installers ave­
raged $8.46, and cable splicers’ helpers,
$6.22. By comparison, nonsupervisory work­
ers in all private industries, except farming,
averaged $5.69 an hour.
Pay rates for cable splicers and line install­
ers depend to a large extent upon length of
service and geographic location. For exam­
ple, under the terms of a major union con­
tract in effect in late 1978, new workers in
line construction jobs in the highest pay-scale
cities began at $4.96 an hour and could reach
a maximum of $9.64 after 5 years of service.
The maximum hourly rate for cable splicers

also was $9.64. Line installers and cable
splicers are covered by the same contract
provisions governing overtime pay, vaca­
tions, holidays, and other benefits that apply
to telephone workers generally.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations in which
skill training is needed to do technical, man­
ual work with tools and machines include
automobile mechanics, carpenters, cement
masons, electricians, machinists, plumbers,
toolmakers, and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on the telephone indus­
try elsewhere in the Handbook for sources of
additional information and for general infor­
mation on fringe benefits.

Telephone and PBX
Installers and
Nature of the Work
About 1 in every 3 telephone craft workers
is a telephone installer or repairer. About
115,000 were employed in 1978. They install
and service telephones and switchboard sys­
tems on customers’ property, such as PBX
and CENTREX, and make repairs when
trouble develops. These workers generally
travel to customers’ homes and offices in
trucks equipped with telephone tools and
supplies. When customers move or request
new types of service, installers relocate tele­
phones or make changes on existing equip­
ment. For example, they may install a
switchboard in an office, or change a twoparty line to a single-party line in a residence.
Installers also may fill a customer’s request
to add an extension in another room, or to
replace an old telephone with a new model.
Most installers and repairers specialize in one
or two of the jobs described below; however,
installers and repairers employed at small tel­
ephone companies may perform all of these

for mobile radiotelephones, data processing
equipment, and telephone switchboard sys­
tems for radio and television broadcasts
that involve receiving phone calls from the
Telephone repairers (D.O.T. 822.281-022),
with the assistance of trouble locators in the
central office, locate trouble on customers’
equipment. A repairer finds the source of the
problem by connecting a portable telephone
to the customer’s telephone cord and then
dialing the trouble locator in the central of­
fice. If the proper connection is made, the
problem is in the customer’s telephone. If a
connection cannot be completed, the prob­
lem is in the service line between the phone
and the central office, and the repairer re­
peats this procedure at various points along
the service line until the problem is located.
The repairer then makes the necessary re­
pairs to restore service.
PBX repairers (D.O.T. 822.281-022),
with the assistance of trouble locators, lo­
cate trouble on customers’ PBX, CEN­
TREX, or other complex telephone sys­
tems and make the necessary repairs. They
also maintain associated equipment such as
batteries, relays, and powerplants. Some
PBX repairers maintain and repair equip­
ment for radio and television broadcasts,
mobile radiotelephones, and data process­
ing equipment.

Working Conditions
Telephone and PBX installers and repair­
ers work indoors and outdoors in all kinds of
weather. Their work involves lifting, climb­
ing, reaching, stooping, crouching, and
crawling. They may have to work extra hours
when breakdowns occur in lines or equip­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Telephone companies give new service
workers classroom instruction in subjects
such as mathematics and electrical and elec­
tronic theory. Trainees supplement their
classroom instruction with on-the-job train­
ing. Often additional training is conducted in
classrooms that simulate actual working con­
ditions. For example, telephone installer
trainees are instructed in classrooms
equipped with telephone poles, lines and ca­
bles, terminal boxes, and other equipment.
They practice installing telephones and con­
necting wires just as they would on the job.
After a few weeks in the classroom, trainees
are assigned to the field for on-the-job train­
ing by experienced workers, often supervi­
Many small, independent telephone com­
panies, especially those located in rural areas,
do not have the facilities, such as simulated

Telephone installers (D.O.T. 822.261-022),
sometimes called station installers, install
and remove telephones in homes and busi­
ness places. They connect telephones to out­
side service wires and sometimes must climb
poles to make these connections. Occasion­
ally, especially in apartment buildings, the
service wires or terminals are in the basement
of the building.
PBX installers (D.O.T. 822.381-018) per­
form the same duties as telephone install­
ers, but they specialize in more complex
telephone system installations. They con­
nect wires from terminals to switchboards
and make tests to check their installations.
Some PBX installers also set up equipment

Telephone installers sometimes work outdoors.

work sites, necessary to train their em­
ployees. Therefore, vocational and technical
schools may provide training for installers
and repairers employed by telephone compa­
nies in the area. A few installers and repairers
may enter apprenticeship programs con­
ducted jointly by State employment agencies
and telephone companies. In these programs,
apprentices receive on-the-job training at the
company where they are employed. At the
same time, they receive classroom instruction
from the State agencies. Generally appren­
ticeships last 4 years.
Applicants must have good eyesight and
must not be color blind. Physical examina­
tions are sometimes required because the
work may involve strenuous activity such
as climbing poles. In addition, applicants
may have to pass an aptitude test. Often
trainees are chosen from telephone com­
pany employees, such as operators or line

as the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Most job openings will result from
industry growth, but many openings will
arise from the need to replace workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
These openings usually are filled by workers
in other telephone jobs, such as operators,
service representatives, line installers, or
cable splicers, but some should be available
to new employees.
Employment will increase due to the grow­
ing demand for telephones and PBX and
CENTREX systems. Employment of install­
ers will increase most rapidly in areas where
the population is growing rapidly, thus creat­
ing a large demand for telephone installa­
tions. Also, areas that have a large influx or
outflow of people, such as those with military
bases or colleges nearby, will have a relatively
large demand for telephone installations and

Telephone service workers receive training
throughout their careers to qualify for more
responsible assignments and to keep up with
technical changes. Those who have
managerial ability can advance to supervi­
sory jobs.

On the other hand, technological improve­
ments may limit the demand for installers
and repairers. For example, terminal boxes
allow a number of installations to be con­
nected at one central location and make it
unnecessary for installers to climb telephone

Employment Outlook


Employment of telephone installers and
repairers is expected to increase about as fast

In late 1978, the average hourly rate for
PBX repairers was $8.58, and the average for

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

telephone and PBX installers was $8.90. In
comparison, nonsupervisory workers in all
private industries, except farming, had aver­
age earnings of $5.69 an hour.
Earnings increase considerably with
length of service. Under the terms of a
major union contract in effect in late 1978,
telephone installers and repairers in one of
the higher pay-scale cities earned a starting
rate of $4.96 an hour, with periodic pay
increases up to a maximum of $9.64 an
hour after 5 years of service. Installers and
repairers are covered by the same provi­
sions governing overtime pay, vacations,
holidays, and other benefits that apply to
telephone workers generally.

Related Occupations
Other skilled workers who do technical,
manual work with tools and machines in­
clude automobile mechanics, carpenters, ce­
ment masons, electricians, machinists, plum­
bers, toolmakers, and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on the telephone indus­
try elsewhere in the Handbook for sources of
additional information and for general infor­
mation on fringe benefits.

Other Mechanics and Repairers

Refrigeration, and
Heating Mechanics
(D.O.T. 637.261-010, -014, -018, -026, and .381-010;
827.464-010; 862.281-018, .361-010; and 869.281-010)

~ Nature of the Work
People always have sought ways to make
the buildings they live, work, and play in
more comfortable. Today air-conditioning
and heating systems control the temperature,
the humidity, and even the cleanliness of the
air in homes, offices, factories, and schools.
In addition, refrigeration equipment makes it
possible to safely store food, drugs, and other
perishable items. Air-conditioning, heating,
and refrigeration mechanics are skilled work­
ers who install, maintain, and repair such
systems and equipment.
Air-conditioning, heating, and—in some
cases—refrigeration is not done by a single
machine. Central air-conditioning, for exam­
ple, requires fans, compressors, condensers,
evaporators, and other components. Metal
ducts or special piping are needed to distrib­
ute cooled air or chilled water throughout a
building. Mechanics must be able to work
with the complete system—the machinery,
and the ducts and the pipes.
Mechanics may specialize in installation or
in service—maintenance and repair. Some
work only with certain equipment, such as

Air-conditioning mechanics work with both elec­
trical and mechanical equipment.

gas furnaces or commercial refrigerators.
However, it is not uncommon for mechanics
to do installations and service and to work
with cooling, heating, and refrigeration
equipment. The following are some specific
jobs in this field.
Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechan­
ics (D.O.T. 637.261-010, 014, 026 and 827.464-010) install and service central air-condi­
tioning systems and a variety of refrigeration
equipment. When installing air-conditioning
or refrigeration systems, mechanics put the
motors, compressors, condensing units,
evaporators, and other components in place,
following blueprints and design specifica­
tions. They connect this equipment to the
duct work, refrigerant lines, and electrical
power source. After making the connections,
they charge the system with refrigerant and
check it for proper operation.
When air-conditioning and refrigeration
equipment breaks down, mechanics diagnose
the cause and make repairs. To find defects
they inspect parts such as relays and thermo­
stats. During the winter, air-conditioning
mechanics inspect the systems and do re­
quired maintenance, such as overhauling
compressors recharging the system’s refriger­
ant, or adusting the air flow in the ducts.
Some mechanics service heating systems.
Furnace installers (D.O.T. 862.361-010
and 869.281-010), also called heating equip­
ment installers, follow blueprints or other
specifications to install oil, gas, and electric
heating systems. After setting the furnace in
place, they install fuel supply lines, air ducts,
pumps, and other components. They then
connect electrical wiring and controls, and
check the unit for proper operation.
Oil burner mechanics (D.O.T. 862.281018) keep oil-fueled heating systems in good
operating condition. During the fall and win­
ter, when the system is needed most, they
service and adjust oil burners. If a burner is
not operating properly, mechanics check the
thermostat, burner nozzles, controls, and
other parts to locate the problem. The me­
chanic corrects the problem by adjusting or
replacing broken parts. During the summer,
mechanics do maintenance work, such as re­
placing oil and air filters and vacuum-clean­
ing vents, ducts, and other parts of the heat­
ing system that accumulate soot and ash.
Gas burner mechanics (D.O.T. 637.261018), also called gas appliance servicers, have
duties similar to those of oil burner mechan­
ics. During the winter, they locate malfunc­
tions in gas-fueled heating systems and make
necessary repairs and adjustments. During
the summer they inspect and clean the heat­
ing system to prepare it for the heating sea­
son. Mechanics also repair cooking stoves,

clothes dryers, hot water heaters, and out­
door lights and grills.
Air-conditioning, refrigeration, and heat­
ing mechanics use a variety of tools. Ham­
mers, wrenches, metal snips, electric drills,
pipe cutters and benders, and acetylene tor­
ches and other tools are used to work with
refrigerant lines and air ducts. Volt-ohmmeters, manometers, and other testing devices
are used to check electrical circuits, burners,
and other components.
Cooling and heating systems sometimes
are installed or repaired by other craft work­
ers. For example, on a large air-conditioning
installation job, especially where workers are
covered by union contracts, duct work might
be done by sheet-metal workers; electrical
work by electricians; and installation of pip­
ing, condensers, and other components by
pipefitters. Additional information about
these occupations appears elsewhere in the

Working Conditions
Mechanics work in homes, office build­
ings, factories—anywhere their is air-condi­
tioning or heating equipment. They bring the
tools and parts they need to the job sites.
During the repair season, mechanics may do
considerable driving. Radios may be used to
dispatch them to the jobs. If major repairs are
necessary, mechanics will transport broken
machinery or parts to a repair shop.
Mechanics may work outside in cold or
hot weather. The buildings that they work in
may be uncomfortable because the air-condi­
tioning or heating equipment is broken. Me­
chanics often work in awkward or cramped
positions and sometimes are required to work
in high places. Other hazards in this trade
include electrical shock, torch bums, muscle
strains, and other injuries from handling
heavy equipment.

Places of Employment
Approximately 210,000 persons worked as
air-conditioning, refrigeration, and heating
mechanics in 1978. Cooling and heating con­
tractors employed most air-conditioning and
refrigeration mechanics and furnace install­
ers. Fuel oil dealers employed most oil
burner mechanics, and gas utility companies,
most gas burner mechanics. Mechanics also
work for foodstore chains, school systems,
manufacturers, and other organizations that
operate large air-conditioning, refrigeration,
or heating systems. Approximately 1 out of 7
mechanics was self-employed.
Air-conditioning and refrigeration me­
chanics and furnace installers work in all
parts of the country. Generally, the geo­

graphic distribution of these workers is simi­
lar to that of our population. Oil burner me­
chanics are concentrated in States where oil
is a major heating fuel. Similarly, gas burner
mechanics are concentrated in States where
gas is a major heating fuel.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most air-conditioning, refrigeration, and
heating mechanics start as helpers and ac­
quire their skills by working for several years
with experienced mechanics. New workers
usually begin by assisting experienced me­
chanics and doing simple jobs. They may
carry materials, insulate refrigerant lines, or
clean furnaces. In time, they do more dif­
ficult jobs, such as cutting and soldering
pipes and sheet metal and checking electrical
circuits. In 4 to 5 years the new mechanics
are capable of doing all types of repairs and
Apprenticeship programs are run by un­
ions and air-conditioning and heating con­
tractors. In addition to on-the-job training,
apprentices receive 144 hours of classroom
instruction each year in related subjects, such
as the use and care of tools, safety practices,
blueprint reading, and air-conditioning the­
ory. Applicants for apprenticeships must
have a high school diploma and are given a
mechanical aptitude test. Apprenticeships
last 4 years.
Many high schools, private vocational
schools, and junior colleges offer programs in
air-conditioning and refrigeration. Students
study air-conditioning and refrigeration the­
ory and the design and construction of the
equipment. They also learn the basics of in­
stallation, maintenance, and repair. Employ­
ers may prefer to hire graduates of these pro­
grams because they require less on-the-job
When hiring helpers, employers prefer
high school graduates with mechanical apti­
tude who have had courses in mathematics,
mechanical drawing, electricity, physics, and
blueprint reading. Good physical condition
also is necessary because workers sometimes
have to lift and move heavy equipment.
To keep up with changes in technology
and to expand their skills, experienced me­
chanics may take courses offered by associa­
tions such as the Refrigeration Service Engi­
neers Society, the Petroleum Marketing
Education Foundation, and the Air-condi­
tioning Contractors of America.
Mechanics can advance to positions as
supervisors. Some open their own contract­
ing businesses. However, it is becoming dif­
ficult for one-person operations to operate

Employment Outlook
Employment of air-conditioning, refriger­
ation, and heating mechanics is expected to
increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Many open­

ings will occur as experienced mechanics
transfer to other fields of work, retire, or die.

For information about training in oil heat­
ing systems, write to:

Opportunities for air-conditioning, heat­
ing, and refrigeration mechanics are expected
to follow trends in residential and commer­
cial construction. Even during periods of
slow growth, many mechanics will be needed
to service existing air-conditioning and heat­
ing systems. Installations of new energy-sav­
ing heating and air-conditioning systems also
will cause employment of mechanics to grow.
In addition, more refrigeration equipment
will be needed in the production, storage, and
marketing of food and other perishables. Be­
cause these trades have attracted many peo­
ple, beginning mechanics may face competi­
tion for jobs as helpers or apprentices.

Petroleum Marketing Education Foundation,
P. O. Box 11187, Columbia, S.C. 29211.

Hourly rates for skilled air-conditioning,
refrigeration, and heating mechanics ranged
from about $8 to $13 in 1978. Apprentices
receive a percentage of the wage paid ex­
perienced workers, about 40 percent at the
beginning of their training and about 80 per­
cent during the fourth year. In comparison,
the average hourly rate for production and
nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming, was $5.69. Mechanics who
worked on both air-conditioning and heating
equipment frequently had higher rates of pay
than those who worked on only one type of
Mechanics usually work a 40-hour week.
However, during seasonal peaks they often
work overtime or irregular hours. Most em­
ployers try to provide a full workweek the
year round, but they may temporarily reduce
hours or lay off some mechanics when sea­
sonal peaks end. Employment in most shops
that service both air-conditioning and heat­
ing equipment is fairly stable throughout the

Related Occupations
Air-conditioning, heating, and refrigera­
tion mechanics need many skills. For exam­
ple, they work with sheet metal and piping.
They also repair machinery, such as electri­
cal motors, compressors, and burners. Other
workers who have similar skills are boiler­
makers, electrical appliance servicers, electri­
cians, pipefitters, plumbers, and sheet metal­

Sources of Additional Information
For more information about employment
and training opportunities, contact the local
office of the State employment service or
firms that employ air-conditioning, refrigera­
tion, and heating mechanics.
For pamphlets on career opportunities and
training, write to:
Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute,
1815 N. Fort Myer Dr., Arlington, Va. 22209.
(The Institute prefers not to receive individual re­
quests for large quantities of pamphlets.)
Air-Conditioning Contractors of America, 1228
17th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

Appliance Repairers
(D.O.T. 637.261-018, 723.381-010, and 827.261-010)

Nature of the Work
In the past, most household chores such as
cooking and cleaning were performed by
hand and often involved a great deal of time
and physical effort. Today, a variety of laborsaving appliances make many household jobs
much simpler to do. Microwave ovens cook
meals in minutes. Washers and dryers clean
clothes with little physical effort. Indeed, the
number of household jobs machines can do is
almost limitless. Even simple tasks such as
cooking a hamburger or opening a can are
done with appliances made specifically for
those purposes. Servicing these machines is
the job of the appliance repairer.
Appliance repairers usually specialize in
servicing either portable appliances such as
toasters and irons or major appliances such
as refrigerators and ranges. In large repair
shops, they may specialize in particular items
such as clothes washers and dryers or refrig­
erators and freezers.
Portable appliances are worked on in
shops. Major appliances usually are repaired
in customers’ homes by appliance repairers
who carry their tools and a number of com­
monly used parts with them in a truck.
To determine why an appliance is not
working properly, repairers operate it to de­
tect unusual noises, overheating, or excess
vibration. They look for common sources of
trouble, such as faulty electrical connections,
and consult service manuals and trouble­
shooting guides. They may disassemble the
appliance to examine its parts. To check elec­
tric systems, repairers follow wiring dia­
grams and use testing devices, such as amme­
ters, voltmeters, and ohmmeters.
After locating the trouble, the repairer
makes the necessary repairs or replacements
according to the type of appliance and defect
involved. To fix a portable appliance such as
a toaster, the repairer may replace a defective
heating element. To fix a major appliance
such as a washer, the repairer may replace
worn bearings, transmission belts, or gears.
To remove old parts and install new ones,
repairers use common handtools, including
screwdrivers, soldering irons, files, and pli­
ers, and special tools designed for particular
appliances. Repairers operate the appliance
after completing a repair to check their
Repairers may answer customers’ ques­
tions and complaints about appliances and
frequently advise customers about the care
and use of the appliance. For example, they
may show the owners how to load automatic

to repair them, experienced repairers attend
training classes or study service manuals.
Persons who want to become appliance re­
pairers generally must have a high school
diploma. Courses in electricity are essential
because most repairs involve work with elec­
trical equipment. Mechanical aptitude is also
desirable. Appliance repairers who work in
customers’ homes must be able to get along
with people.
Appliance repairers in large shops or ser­
vice centers may be promoted to supervisor,
assistant service manager, or service man­
ager. A few may advance to managerial posi­
tions such as regional service manager or
parts manager for appliance manufacturers.
Preference is given to those who show ability
to get along with coworkers and customers.
Experienced repairers who have sufficient
funds may open their own appliance stores or
repair shops.

Employment Outlook

An appliance repairer cleaning the burner of a gas range.

washing machines or arrange dishes in dish­
Appliance repairers may estimate and col­
lect the cost of repairs. They also keep rec­
ords of parts used and hours worked on each

Working Conditions
Repair, shops generally are quiet, well
lighted, and adequately ventilated. Working
conditions outside the shop vary. For exam­
ple, repairers sometimes work in narrow
spaces and uncomfortable positions amidst
dirt and dust. Those who repair appliances in
homes may spend several hours a day driv­
ing, although the use of 2-way radios has
decreased this time.
Although the work generally is safe, re­
pairers could have an accident while han­
dling electrical parts and lifting and moving
large appliances. Inexperience workers are
shown how to use tools safely and how to
avoid electric shock.
Appliance repairers usually work with lit­
tle or no direct supervision. This feature of
the job appeals to many people.

Places of Employment
About 145,000 people were employed as
appliance repairers in 1978, mostly in inde­
pendent appliance stores and repair shops.
Others worked for service centers operated
by appliance manufacturers, department
stores, wholesalers, and gas and electric util­
ity companies.
Appliance repairers are employed in al­
most every community, but are concentrated
in the more highly populated States and met­
ropolitan areas.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Formal training in appliance repair and
related subjects is available from some high
schools, private vocational schools, and com­
munity colleges. The programs in these
schools provide the background in electrical
and mechanical repair that is needed to enter
this occupation. However, graduates usually
receive additional training from their em­
The type of training provided by employ­
ers varies among companies. In shops that fix
portable appliances, new employees work on
a single type of appliance, such as vacuum
cleaners, until they master its repair.
Trainees then move on to work on a different
type of appliance; this process continues until
they can repair a variety of appliances. In
companies that repair major appliances, be­
ginners may be trained by experienced re­
pairers during house calls. In other cases,
they are taught while working in the shop
rebuilding used parts such as washing ma­
chine transmissions. Up to 3 years of on-thejob training may be needed to become skilled
in all aspects of repairing some of the more
complex appliances.
Some large companies such as appliance
manufacturers and department store chains
have formal training programs, which in­
clude home study courses and shop classes,
where trainees work with demonstration ap­
pliances and other training equipment.
Many repairers receive supplemental in­
struction through seminars that are con­
ducted periodically by appliance manufac­
turers. These seminars usually last 1 or 2
weeks and deal with the repair of one of the
manufacturer’s appliances. To become famil­
iar with new appliances and the proper ways

Employment of appliance repairers is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. In
addition to the jobs created by growth of this
occupation, many openings will arise each
year from the need to replace experienced
repairers who retire, die, or transfer to other
The number of appliances in use is ex­
pected to increase very rapidly as the number
of households grows and new and improved
appliances are introduced. Maintaining this
large number of appliances will increase the
need for qualified repairers.
People who enter the occupation should
have steady work because the appliance re­
pair business is not very sensitive to changes
in economic conditions.

Hourly earnings of appliance repairers
ranged from $5 to $10 in 1978, based on the
limited data available. The starting rate for
inexperienced trainees was about $3.75 an
hour. The wide variations in wages reflect
differences in repairers’ skill and experience,
geographic location, and the type of equip­
ment serviced.
Some appliance repairers belong to the In­
ternational Brotherhood of Electrical Work­

Related Occupations
Other workers who service electrical and
electronic equipment include air-condition­
ing mechanics, bowling-pin-machine me­
chanics, business machine repairers, electric
sign repairers, electronic organ technicians,
television and radio repairers, and vending
machine mechanics.

Sources of Additional Information
For further information about jobs in the
appliance service field, contact local appli­
ance repair shops, appliance dealers and utilMECHANICS AND REPAIRERS/333

ity companies, or the local office of the State
employment service.
Information about training programs or
work opportunities also is available from:
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers,
20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, 111. 60606.

—— ——

—— ——


— — —— —

Automobile Body
(D.O.T. 807.281-010, .381-010, and .684-010)

Nature of the Work
Every day thousands of motor vehicles are
damaged in traffic accidents. Although some
are wrecked, most can be made to look and
drive like new. Automobile body repairers
straighten bent frames, remove dents, and re­
place crumpled parts that are beyond repair.
Usually, they can fix all types of vehicles, but
most repairers work mainly on cars and
small trucks. A few specialize in working on
large trucks, buses, or tractor trailers.
When a damaged vehicle is brought into
the shop, body repairers generally receive in­
structions from their supervisors, who have
determined which parts are to be restored or
replaced and how much time the job should
Automobile body repairers use special
machines to restore damaged frames and
body sections to their original shape and lo­
cation. They chain or clamp the frames and
sections to alignment machines that usually
use hydraulic pressure to align the damaged
Body repairers remove badly damaged sec­
tions of body panels with a pneumatic metal­
cutting gun or acetylene torch, and weld in
new sections to replace them. Sometimes,
dented sections can be repaired rather than
replaced; repairers push dents out with a hy­
draulic jack or hand prying bar, or knock
them out with a handtool or pneumatic ham­
mer. Small dents and creases can be
smoothed out by holding a small anvil
against one side of the damaged area while
hammering the opposite side. Very small pits
and dimples are removed with pick hammers
and punches.
Body repairers use plastic or solder to fill
small dents which cannot be worked out of
the metal. Then they file or grind the hard­
ened filler to the original shape and sand it
before painting. In many shops, automobile
painters do the painting. (These workers are
discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) In
smaller shops workers often do both body
repairing and painting.
Body repair work has variety—each dam­
aged vehicle presents a different problem.
Therefore, in addition to having a broad
knowledge of automobile construction and
repair techniques, repairers must develop ap­
propriate methods for each job. Most of these
skilled people find their work challenging

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Automobile body repairers fill small dents with plastic and then sand the surface smooth.

and take pride in being able to restore au­

vehicle manufacturers employed a small
number of these workers.

Body repairers usually work by themselves
with only general directions from supervi­
sors. In some shops, they may be assisted by
helpers or apprentices. In large shops, body
repairers may specialize in one type of repair,
such as straightening bent frames or repair­
ing doors or fenders.

Automobile body repairers work in every
section of the country, with jobs distributed
in about the same way as population.

Working Conditions
Automobile body repairers work indoors
in body shops. Automobile body shops are
noisy because of the banging of hammers
against metal and the whir of power tools.
Most shops are well ventilated, but often
they are dusty and have the odor of paint.
Body repairers often work in awkward or
cramped positions, and much of their work
is strenuous and dirty. Hazards include cuts
from sharp metal edges, bums from torches
and heated metal, and injuries from power

Places of Employment
About 185,000 persons worked as automo­
bile body repairers in 1978. Most worked for
shops that specialized in body repairs and
painting, and for automobile and truck deal­
ers. Other employers included organizations
that maintain their own motor vehicles, such
as trucking companies and buslines. Motor

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most automobile body repairers learn the
trade on the job. They usually start as helpers
and pick up skills from experienced workers.
Helpers begin by assisting body repairers in
tasks such as removing damaged parts and
installing repaired parts. They gradually
learn to remove small dents and make other
minor repairs, and progress to more difficult
tasks such as straightening frames. Generally
3 to 4 years of on-the-job training are needed
to become skilled in all aspects of body re­
pair. Most training authorities recommend a
3- or 4-year formal apprenticeship program
as the best way to learn the trade, but rela­
tively few of these programs are available.
Apprenticeship includes both on-the-job and
classroom instruction. Apprentices spend
most of their time learning on the job, but
they also are expected to attend classes in
related subjects such as mathematics, job
safety procedures, and business management.
Persons who want to learn this trade
should be in good physical condition and
know how to use tools. Courses in automo­

bile body repair offered by high schools, vo­
cational schools, and private trade schools
provide helpful experience, as do courses in
automobile mechanics. Although completion
of high school generally is not a requirement,
many employers believe graduation indicates
that the person has at least some of the quali­
ties of a good worker, such as the ability to
see a task through to its completion. The
latter is especially important to employers
who spend a good deal of time and money on
Automobile body repairers must buy their
own tools, but employers sometimes furnish
power tools. Trainees generally accumulate
tools as they gain experience. Many workers
invest hundreds of dollars in tools.
An experienced automobile body repairer
with supervisory ability may advance to shop
supervisor. Many workers open their own
body repair shops. In fact, about 1 of every
8 automobile body repairers is self-employed.

Employment Outlook
Employment of automobile body repairers
is expected to increase faster than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Employment is expected to increase as a
result of the rising number of motor vehicles
damaged in traffic. Accidents are expected to
increase as the number of motor vehicles
grows, even though improved highways,
driver training courses, lower speed limits,
and improved bumpers and safety features on
new vehicles may slow the rate of increase.
In addition to new jobs arising from in­
creased demand for these workers, many
openings are expected each year as ex­
perienced repairers retire or die. Also open­
ings will occur as some workers transfer to
other occupations.
Most persons who enter the occupation
may expect steady work since the automobile
repair business is not very sensitive to
changes in economic conditions.

their own vehicles usually receive an hourly
wage. Most body repairers work 40 to 48
hours a week.
Many automobile body repairers are mem­
bers of unions, including the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers; the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America; the Sheet
Metal Workers’ International Association;
and the International Brotherhood of Team­
sters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Help­
ers of America (Ind.). Most body repairers
who are union members work for large auto­
mobile dealers, trucking companies, and bus­

Related Occupations
Restoring damaged motor vehicles often
involves repainting and repair of both me­
chanical components and bodies. Automo­
bile body repairers often work closely with
the following related occupations: Automo­
bile service advisors, mechanics, painters and
body customizers, and truck and bus me­

Sources of Additional Information
More details about work opportunities
may be obtained from local employers, such
as automobile body repair shops and automo­
bile dealers; locals of the unions previously
mentioned; or the local office of the State
employment service. The State employment
service also may be a source of information
about apprenticeship and other programs
that provide training opportunities.
For general information about the work of
automobile body repair workers and appren­
ticeship training, write to:
Automotive Service Industry Association, 444
North Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.
Automotive Service Councils Inc., 188 Industrial
Dr., Suite 112, Elmhurst, 111. 60126.
National Automobile Dealers Association, 8400
Westpark Dr., McLean, Va. 22102.

Body repairers employed by automobile
dealers in 36 large cities had estimated aver­
age hourly earnings of $9.85 in 1978, about
one and three-fourths times the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming. Skilled body repairers
usually earn between two and three times as
much as inexperienced helpers and trainees.
Many body repairers employed by auto­
mobile dealers and repair shops are paid a
commission, usually about half of the labor
cost charged to the customer. Under this
method, earnings depend on the amount of
work assigned to the repairer and how fast it
is completed. Employers frequently guaran­
tee their commissioned workers a minimum
weekly salary. Helpers and trainees usually
receive an hourly rate until they are skilled
enough to work on commission. Body repair­
ers who work for trucking companies, bus­
lines, and other organizations that maintain

(D.O.T. 620.261-010; .281-010, -026, -034, -038, -062
and -066; .381-010 and -022; .684-018; and

Nature of the Work
Anyone whose car has broken down
knows how important the automobile me­
chanic’s job is. The ability to make a quick
and accurate diagnosis, one of the mechanic’s
most valuable skills, requires good reasoning
ability and a thorough knowledge of automo­
biles. In fact, many mechanics consider diag­
nosing “hard to find” troubles one of their
most challenging and satisfying duties.
When mechanical or electrical troubles
occur, mechanics first get a description of the

symptoms from the owner or, if they work in
a dealership, the service advisor who wrote
the repair order. The mechanic may have to
test drive the car or use testing equipment,
such as motor analyzers, spark plug testers,
or compression gauges, to locate the prob­
lem. Once the cause of the problem is found,
mechanics make adjustments or repairs. If a
part cannot be fixed, they replace it.
Most automobile mechanics perform a va­
riety of repairs; others specialize. For exam­
ple, automatic transmission specialists work
on gear trains, couplings, hydraulic pumps,
and other parts of automatic transmissions.
Because these are complex mechanisms, their
repair requires considerable experience and
training, including a knowledge of hydraul­
ics. Tune-up mechanics adjust the ignition
timing and valves, and adjust or replace
spark plugs, distributor points, and other
parts to ensure efficient engine performance.
They often use scientific test equipment to
locate malfunctions in fuel and ignition sys­
Automobile air-conditioning specialists in­
stall air-conditioners and service components
such as compressors and condensers. Frontend mechanics align and balance wheels and
repair steering mechanisms and suspension
systems. They frequently use special align­
ment equipment and wheel-balancing ma­
chines. Brake mechanics adjust brakes, re­
place brake linings, repair hydraulic
cylinders, and make other repairs on brake
systems. Some mechanics specialize in both
brake and front-end work.
Automobile-radiator mechanics clean
radiators with caustic solutions, locate and
solder leaks, and install new radiator cores.
They also may repair heaters and air-condi­
tioners, and solder leaks in gasoline tanks.
Automobile-glass mechanics replace broken
windshield and window glass and repair win­
dow operating mechanisms. They install pre­
formed glass to replace curved windows, and
they use window patterns and glass-cutting
tools to cut replacement glass from flat
sheets. In some cases they may repair minor
damage, such as pits, rather than replace the
To prevent breakdowns, most car owners
have their cars checked regularly and parts
adjusted, repaired, or replaced before they go
bad. This responsibility of the mechanic is
vital to safe and trouble-free driving. When
doing preventive maintenance, mechanics
may follow a checklist to be sure they exam­
ine all important parts. The list may include
distributor points, spark plugs, carburetor,
wheel balance, and other potentially trouble­
some items.

Working Conditions
Generally, mechanics work indoors. Mod­
ern automobile repair shops are well ven­
tilated, lighted, and heated, but older shops
may not have these advantages. Mechanics
frequently work with dirty and greasy parts,
and in awkward positions. Many of the autoOTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRERS/335

mobile parts and tools that they must lift are
heavy. Minor cuts and bruises are common,
but serious accidents can be avoided by keep­
ing the shop clean and orderly and observing
other safety practices.

Places of Employment
More than 860,000 persons worked as au­
tomobile mechanics in 1978. Most worked
for automobile dealers, automobile repair
shops, gasoline service stations, and depart­
ment stores that have automobile service
facilities. Others were employed by Federal,
State, and local governments, taxicab and au­
tomobile leasing companies, and other organ­
izations that repair their own automobiles.
Some mechanics employed by automobile
manufacturers make final adjustments and
repairs at the end of the assembly line.
Most automobile mechanics work in shops
that employ from one to five mechanics, but
some of the largest shops employ more than
100. Generally, automobile dealer shops em­
ploy more mechanics than independent
Automobile mechanics work in every sec­
tion of the country. Geographically, employ­
ment is distributed about the same as popula­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most automobile mechanics learn the
trade on the job. Beginners usually start as
helpers, lubrication workers, or gasoline sta­
tion attendants, and gradually acquire skills
by working with experienced mechanics. Al­
though a beginner can make simple repairs
after a few months’ experience, it usually
takes 3 to 4 years to become familiar with all

types of repairs. An additional year or two is
necessary to learn a difficult specialty, such
as automatic transmission repair. In contrast,
radiator mechanics, glass mechanics, and
brake specialists, who do not need an all­
round knowledge of automobile repair, may
learn their jobs in about 2 years.
Most training authorities recommend a 3or 4-year formal apprenticeship program.
Apprenticeship programs are offered
through many auto dealers and independent
repair shops. These programs include both
on-the-job training and classroom instruc­
tion. On-the-job training includes instruction
in basic service procedures, such as engine
tune-up, as well as instruction in special
procedures such as overhauling transmis­
sions. Classroom instruction includes courses
in related theory such as mathematics and
physics and other areas such as shop safety
practices and customer relations.
For entry jobs, employers look for young
persons with mechanical aptitude and a
knowledge of automobiles. Generally, a
driver’s license is required as mechanics oc­
casionally have to test drive or deliver cars.
Working on cars in the Armed Forces or as
a hobby is valuable experience. Completion
of high school is an advantage in obtaining an
entry job because to most employers gradua­
tion indicates that a young person has at least
some of the traits of a good worker, such as
perseverance and the ability to learn, and has
potential for advancement. Courses in auto­
mobile repair offered by many high schools,
vocational schools, and private trade schools
also are helpful. In particular, courses in
physical science and mathematics can help a
person better understand how an automobile
Mechanics usually buy their handtools and

Most automobile mechanics start as helpers and gradually aquire skills by working
with experienced mechanics. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

beginners are expected to accumulate tools as
they gain experience. Many experienced me­
chanics invest hundreds of dollars in tools.
Employers furnish power tools, engine
analyzers, and other test equipment.
Employers sometimes send experienced
mechanics to factory training centers to learn
to repair new models or to receive special
training in automatic transmission or airconditioning repair. Manufacturers also send
representatives to local shops to conduct
short training sessions. Automobile dealers
may select promising beginners to attend fac­
tory-sponsored mechanic training programs.
Experienced mechanics who have leader­
ship ability may advance to shop supervisor
or service manager. Mechanics who like to
work with customers may become service ad­
visors. Many mechanics open their own re­
pair shops or gasoline service stations and
about 1 out of 7 automobile mechanics is

Employment Outlook
Job opportunities for automobile mechan­
ics will be plentiful in the years ahead. Re­
placement needs are high in this large occu­
pation. Thus, in addition to openings created
by the growing need for these workers, thou­
sands of jobs will arise each year as ex­
perienced mechanics retire, die, or change
Employment of automobile mechanics is
expected to increase about as fast as the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
The number of mechanics is expected to in­
crease because expansion of the driving age
population and consumer purchasing power
will increase the number of automobiles on
the road. Employment also is expected to
grow because a greater number of automo­
biles will be equipped with pollution control
and safety devices, air-conditioning, and
other features that increase maintenance re­
Most persons who enter the occupation
may expect steady work because the automo­
bile repair business is not much affected by
changes in economic conditions.

Skilled automobile mechanics employed
by automobile dealers in 36 cities had es­
timated average hourly earnings of $9.32 in
1978, about two-thirds more than the aver­
age for all nonsupervisory workers in private
industry, except farming.
Many experienced mechanics employed by
automobile dealers and independent repair
shops receive a commission related to the
labor cost charged to the customer. Under
this method, weekly earnings depend on the
amount of work completed by the mechanic.
Employers frequently guarantee commis­
sioned mechanics a minimum weekly salary.
Skilled mechanics usually earn between two
and three times as much as inexperienced
helpers and trainees.

Most mechanics work between 40 and 48
hours a week, but many work even longer
hours during busy periods. Mechanics paid
by the hour frequently receive overtime rates
for hours over 40 a week.
Some mechanics are members of labor un­
ions. Among the unions organizing these
workers are the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the In­
ternational Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the Sheet Metal Work­
ers’ International Association; and the Inter­
national Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­
feurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of
America (Ind.).

Related Occupations
Automobile mechanics repair and service
automobiles. Other related occupations that
also repair and service motor vehicles include
automobile body repairers, customizers,
painters, and service advisors as well as truck
and bus mechanics.

Sources of Additional Information
For more details about work opportuni­
ties, contact local employers such as automo­
bile dealers and repair shops; locals of the
unions previously mentioned; or the local of­
fice of the State employment service. The
State employment service also may have in­
formation about apprenticeship and other
training programs.
For general information about the work of
automobile mechanics, and apprenticeship
training, write to:
Automotive Service Industry Association, 444
North Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.
Automotive Service Councils, Inc., 188 Industrial
Dr., Suite 112, Elmhurst, 111. 60126.

maintenance jobs normally make up most of
the mechanic’s workload.
When breakdowns occur, mechanics diag­
nose the cause and repair or replace faulty
parts. A quick and accurate diagnosis—one
of the mechanic’s most valuable skills—re­
quires problem-solving ability as well as a
thorough knowledge of the engine’s opera­
tion. Some jobs require only the replacement
of a single item, such as a fuel pump, and may
be completed in less than an hour. In con­
trast, tearing down and reassembling an en­
gine to replace worn valves, bearings, or pis­
ton rings may take a day or more.
Mechanics may specialize in either out­
board or inboard engines, although many re­
pair both. Most small boats have portable
gasoline-fueled outboard engines. Larger
craft such as cabin cruisers and commercial
fishing boats are powered by inboard engines
(located inside the boat) and are similar to
automobile engines. Some inboards bum die­
sel fuel.
In large boat yards, mechanics usually
work only on engines and other running gear.
In small marinas, they also may repair and
paint hulls, rig masts, and install and repair
steering mechanisms, lights, and other boat
equipment, such as refrigerators, marine toi­
lets, two-way radios, and depth finders. In
addition, some mechanics may repair motor­
cycles, minibikes, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, and other machines which have small
gasoline engines that are similar to outboard
Mechanics use common handtools such as
screwdrivers and wrenches; power and ma­
chine tools, including drills and grinders; and
hoists to lift engines and boats. Engine
analyzers, compression gauges, and other
testing devices help mechanics locate faulty

parts. Mechanics refer to service manuals for
assistance in assembling and repairing en­

Working Conditions
Boat-engine mechanics usually work in re­
pair shops, but often work outdoors aboard
boats in all weather. Shop working condi­
tions vary from clean and spacious to dingy
and cramped. All shops are noisy when en­
gines are being tested. The work is not haz­
ardous, but mechanics sometimes suffer cuts,
bruises, and other minor injuries. Mechanics
occasionally must work in awkward posi­
tions to adjust or replace parts. For many
however, these disadvantages are outweighed
by the variety of assignments and the satis­
faction that comes from solving problems.
Moreover, mechanics may enjoy working
near water recreation areas.
Boating activity increases sharply as the
weather grows warmer. Consequently, many
mechanics work more than 40 hours a week
in spring, summer, and fall. During the peak
season, some mechanics may work 7 days a
week. However, in the winter, they may work
less than 40 hours a week; a relatively small
number are laid off. In northern States, some
of the winter slack is taken up by repair work
on snowmobiles.

Places of Employment
Most of the 20,000 full-time boat-engine
mechanics employed in 1978 worked in the
shops of boat dealers and in boat yards and
private marinas. The next largest area of em­
ployment was in boat manufacturing plants
where mechanics install engines and make
adjustments at the end of assembly lines. A
small number of mechanics worked for boat
rental firms. Marinas operated by Federal,

National Automobile Dealers Association, 8400
Westpark Dr., McLean, Va. 22102

(D.O.T. 623.281-026, -038, and -042)

Nature of the Work
Engines in boats and automobile have
many things in commmon, including unan­
nounced breakdowns. A reliable engine is
particularly essential in boating. Breakdowns
far from shore can leave a boater stranded for
hours—a frustrating and potentially danger­
ous predicament, particularly if the weather
turns bad.
To minimize the possibility of break­
downs, engine manufacturers recommend
periodic inspections of engines by qualified
mechanics to have worn or defective parts
replaced. Also, at periodic intervals the me­
chanic may replace ignition points, adjust
valves, and clean the carburetor. Routine

When breakdowns occur, boat-engine mechanics diagnose the cause and
repair or replace faulty parts.

State, and local governments also employed

have the capital may open their own dealer­
ships or marinas.

Dealer and marina shops typically employ
1 to 3 mechanics; a few boat yards employ
more than 10. Some small dealers and mari­
nas do not employ mechanics; owners do the
repair work or send it to larger marinas and
boat yards.

Employment Outlook

Boat-engine mechanics work in every
State, but employment is concentrated along
coastal areas in New England, Florida,
Texas, New York, California, Louisiana,
Washington, and New Jersey, and near the
numerous lakes and rivers in Michigan, Min­
nesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana,
and Missouri. Mechanics who specialize in
outboard engines work in all areas. Those
who specialize in inboard engines generally
work near oceans, bays, and large lakes.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Boat-engine mechanics learn the trade on
the job. At first, trainees clean boats and en­
gines and do other odd jobs. Then, under the
guidance of experienced mechanics, trainees
learn to do other routine mechanical tasks
such as replacing ignition points and spark
plugs. As trainees gain experience, they prog­
ress to more difficult tasks such as diagnosing
the cause of breakdowns and overhauling en­
gines. Generally, an inexperienced beginner
needs 2 to 3 years on the job to become
skilled in repairing both outboard and in­
board gasoline engines. A capable mechanic
can learn to repair diesels in an additional
year or two.
Employers sometimes send trainees and
mechanics to factory-sponsored courses for 1
to 2 weeks. Trainees learn the fundamentals
of engine repair. Mechanics upgrade their
skills and learn to repair new models.
In the past few years, several schools have
begun to offer formal training courses in ma­
rine engine repair and maintenance.
When hiring trainees, employers look for
persons who have mechanical aptitude, are in
good physical condition, and have an interest
in boating. High school graduates are pre­
ferred, but many employers will hire people
with less education. High school courses in
small engine repair, automobile mechanics,
machine shop, and science are helpful. Before
graduating, a person may be able to get a
summer job as a mechanic trainee.
Mechanics usually are required to furnish
their own handtools. Beginners are expected
to accumulate handtools as they gain experi­
ence. Marty experienced mechanics invest
hundreds of dollars in tools. Employers pro­
vide power tools and test equipment.
Mechanics with leadership ability can ad­
vance to supervisory positions such as shop
supervisor or service manager. Some boatengine mechanics transfer to jobs as automo­
bile mechanics. Others may become sales
workers for boat dealers. Mechanics who


Employment of boat-engine mechanics is
expected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. In
addition to new positions, a few hundred
openings will arise each year as experienced
mechanics retire, die, or transfer to other oc­
Employment is expected to increase due to
the growth in the number of boats. The num­
ber of boats is expected to increase at about
the same fate as the economy as a whole. As
population grows, and people have more time
for recreation, boating, like other leisure ac­
tivities, will probably expand.
Employment opportunities will be particu­
larly favorable for mechanics who have a
knowledge of electricity and electronics.
Electrical equipment on boats is becoming
more common and many new boats have
two-way radios and depth finders.

According to a nationwide survey of boat
dealers and marinas, estimated hourly earn­
ings of experienced mechanics ranged from
about $4 to $10 in 1978. Trainees earned
somewhat less.
Most mechanics are paid an hourly rate or
weekly salary. Others are paid a percentage
—usually 50 percent—of the labor charge for
each repair job. If mechanics are paid on a
percentage basis, their weekly earnings de­
pend on the amount of work they are as­
signed and on the length of time they take to
complete it.

Related Occupations
Boat-engine mechanics repair and service
inboard and outboard motors of recreational
and commercial boats. Other occupations in­
volved with the repair and service of engines
include aircraft mechanics, automobile me­
chanics, diesel mechanics, motorcycle me­
chanics, and ship-engine maintenance me­

Sources of Additional Information
For details about training or work oppor­
tunities, contact local boat dealers and mari­
nas or local State employment offices.

(D.O.T. 638.261-022)

Nature of the Work
An important piece of machinery in the
modern bowling center is the automatic pinsetter. It returns the ball to the bowler, clears
the fallen pins from the lane, and resets pins

for the next ball. When this complex machine
fails to work properly, the game is held up
and the bowling center’s customers are in­
convenienced. Keeping pinsetters running
properly is the job of bowling-pin-machine
(or automatic pinsetter) mechanics.
Pinsetters are a complex combination of
electrical and mechanical parts that require
regular service to operate correctly. Pinset­
ters must be cleaned, gears and other moving
parts must be lubricated, and motors must be
adjusted. Mechanics perform these jobs ac­
cording to a schedule suggested by the pinsetter’s manufacturer. They also inspect the ma­
chines for faulty parts and wiring that may
cause breakdowns.
When a pinsetter malfunctions, mechanics
must find the cause of the trouble and make
repairs. To locate the problem, mechanics
may refer to troubleshooting manuals and
diagrams of electrical circuits. Often they can
find the trouble relying only on the knowl­
edge of the machine that they have gained
through experience. To fix the pinsetter, me­
chanics repair, replace, or adjust broken me­
chanical or electrical parts, such as gears,
bearings, and motors.
Mechanics use many different types of
tools, such as wrenches, screwdrivers, solder­
ing irons, portable hoists, and lubricating
guns, to repair and service the parts. They
occasionally use ohmmeters, voltmeters, and
other devices to test electrical circuits, relays,
transformers, and motors.
Mechanics often supervise one or more
assistant mechanics or pinchasers. Mechan­
ics train these workers to correct minor
problems, such as jammed pins and balls,
by explaining how the machine operates
and by demonstrating how to make re­
pairs. Assistant mechanics or the pinchas­
ers maintain the pinsetters when the me­
chanic is off duty.
In some bowling centers, mechanics per­
form other maintenance, such as condition­
ing lanes and pins, and repairing seats and
tables. Mechanics do some clerical work.
They order replacement parts and keep an
inventory of parts in stock. They also may
keep records of pinsetter malfunctions and
estimate maintenance costs.

Working Conditions
Mechanics work in a long, relatively nar­
row corridor at the end of bowling lanes
where the automatic pinsetters are located.
The work area has space for a workbench
and usually is well lighted and well ventilated
but quite noisy when the lanes are operating.
When making repairs and adjustments, me­
chanics frequently have to climb and balance
on the work platform of the pinsetter and to
stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl around the
machines. Those who install and service ma­
chines for manufacturers must travel to the
various bowling centers in their area.
The job generally is not dangerous but
workers are subject to common shop haz­
ards, such as cuts, falls, and bruises.

tion available. Wages vary greatly by area
and with the experience of the mechanic.

Related Occupations
The smooth operation of a bowling center
depends on the ability of the mechanic to
keep all the electrical and mechanical parts of
the pinsetter operating normally. Other me­
chanics who do all the maintenance and re­
pair work for a specific machine include bak­
ery machine mechanics, laundry machine
mechanics, refrigeration mechanics, sewingmachine mechanics, and vending-machine

Sources of Additional Information
People who want further information
about work opportunities in this occupation
should contact bowling centers in their area
or the local bowling proprietors’ association.
The local office of the State employment ser­
vice is another source of information about
employment and training opportunities.
Mechanics repair both electrical and mechanical parts of automatic pinsetters.

Places of Employment
About 6,200 bowling-pin-machine me­
chanics were employed in 1978. Almost all
worked in bowling centers. A small number
were employed by manufacturers of auto­
matic pinsetters to install the machines and
service those in bowling centers that did not
employ full-time mechanics.
Bowling-pin-machine mechanics are em­
ployed in every State, but employment is con­
centrated in heavily populated areas, where
there are many bowling centers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Generally, there are no education or expe­
rience requirements for a job as a pinsetter
mechanic. Some employers, however, prefer
to hire applicants who are high school gradu­
ates and who have completed courses in elec­
tricity, machine repair, blueprint reading,
and shop math. Employers also prefer appli­
cants who have experience repairing some
type of machinery.
Pinsetter mechanics usually begin work as
assistant mechanics and are trained on the
job. Trainees learn about the pinsetter’s oper­
ation and maintenance by observing head
mechanics and working on the machines
under their supervision. Trainees are taught
how to lubricate and clean pinsetters and to
perform other preventive maintenance.
Trainees also learn to diagnose and repair
various kinds of machine breakdowns. Usu­
ally, 1 to 2 years of on-the-job training and
experience are needed to acquire mechanics’
Some mechanic trainees are sent to train­
ing courses conducted by pinsetter manufac­
turers. To take these training courses, a me­
chanic must work at a bowling center. The
bowling center
 usually pays the tuition.

The courses, which last 2 to 4 weeks, in­
clude classroom lectures and shopwork with
demonstration machines. Trainees study the
structure and operation of machines made by
the firm operating the school and learn to
locate typical sources of trouble. They learn
to perform preventive maintenance, to read
wiring diagrams, and to use the tools of the
trade. After attending these courses, trainees
usually need several months of on-the-job ex­
perience to qualify as mechanics.
People who want to become bowling-pin
machine mechanics should have mechanical
ability and like to work with their hands.
They also should have good eyesight (includ­
ing normal color vision), good eye-hand co­
ordination, and average physical strength.
Advancement opportunities for pinsetter
mechanics are limited. Some mechanics be­
come managers or owners of bowling estab­
lishments. Those who work for manufactur­
ers may advance to service manager.

Employment Outlook
Employment of bowling-pin-machine me­
chanics is expected to grow more slowly than
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. The demand for bowling facilities is
likely to grow as the population increases.
Since the growth in bowling facilities will be
slower than in past years, most job openings
will arise because of the need to replace ex­
perienced mechanics who retire, die, or leave
the occupation for other reasons. However,
because this occupation is very small, only a
limited number of openings will become

Earnings and Working Conditions
Hourly earnings in 1978 ranged from $3
for mechanic trainees up to $8.50 for head
mechanics, according to the limited informa­

Business Machine
(D.O.T. 633)

Nature of the Work
Business machine repairers maintain and
repair the machines that are used to speed
paperwork in business and government.
These machines include typewriters, adding
and calculating machines, cash registers, dic­
tating machines, postage meters, and du­
plicating and copying equipment. (Computer
service technicians, who work on computer
equipment, are discussed in a separate state­
ment elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Business machine repairers (often called
field engineers or customer engineers) make
regular visits for preventive maintenance to
the offices and stores of customers in their
assigned area. The frequency of these service
calls depends upon the type of equipment
being serviced. For example, an electric type­
writer may require preventive maintenance
only three or four times a year, while a com­
plex copier probably would require more fre­
quent attention. During these calls, the engi­
neer inspects the machine for unusual wear
and replaces any worn or broken parts. Then
the machine is cleaned, oiled, and adjusted to
ensure peak operating efficiency and to pre­
vent future breakdowns. The engineer also
may advise machine operators how to use the
equipment more efficiently and how to spot
a problem in its early stages.
Despite frequent maintenance, business
machines do occasionally malfunction.
When a field engineer is notified by the su­
pervisor of a breakdown, he or she will
promptly examine the machine and speak to
the customer to determine the cause of the
malfuction. Once the problem has been isoOTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRERS/339

lated, repairs can be made. Minor repairs
generally can be made on the spot; for more
serious repairs, however, the entire machine
or a component of the machine will be taken
to the repair shop where a specialist will
work on it.
Business machine repairers generally spe­
cialize in one type of machine. Those em­
ployed by manufacturing companies or deal­
ers usually are familiar only with the brand
produced or sold by their employer. Repair­
ers who work for small independent repair
shops must be able to work on equipment
from several different manufacturers.
Repairers use common handtools, such as
screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, as well as
other tools especially designed to fit certain
kinds of business machines. In addition, they
use meters and other types of test equipment
to check for malfunctions in electronic cir­

Working Conditions
Servicing business machines is cleaner and
less strenuous than the work in most other
mechanical trades. Repairers generally wear
business clothes and do most of their work in
the customer’s office.

keeping machines, cash registers, and post­
age and mailing equipment. A small number
repaired dictating machines.
Almost 8 of 10 repairers worked for busi­
ness machine manufacturers; for firms that
provide maintenance services to businesses;
or for repair shops. The remainder worked
for organizations large enough to justify em­
ploying their own staff of full-time repair­
Business machine repairers work through­
out the country. Even relatively small com­
munities usually have at least one or two re­
pair shops. Most repairers, however, work in
large cities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The amount of formal education required
for entry jobs as business machine repairers
varies widely among employers. Some em­
ployers hire applicants with a high school
education, while many others require at least
1 year of technical training in basic electricity
or electronics. Employers agree that elec­
tronics training received in the Armed
Forces is valuable.

Places of Employment

Applicants for entry jobs may have to pass
tests that measure mechanical aptitude,
knowledge of electricity or electronics, man­
ual dexterity, and general intelligence. Good
eyesight, including color vision, is needed to
inspect and work on small, delicate parts.
Persons considering this type of work should
have good hearing to detect malfunctions re­
vealed by sound.

About 63,000 people worked as business
machine repairers in 1978. Most worked on
typewriters, calculators, adding machines,
copiers, and duplicators. Others serviced
proof machines in banks, accounting-book­

Employers seek applicants who have a
pleasant, cooperative manner. Because most
machine servicing is done in customers’ of­
fices, the ability to work without interrupting
the office routine is very important. A neat

Workers travel a great deal because they
usually visit a number of customers each
workday. They generally use their own cars
and are reimbursed on a mileage basis. Inju­
ries are uncommon.

be familiar with a wide range of tools and testing methods.
Repairers must
Federal Reserve Bank of St.O U TLO O K HANDBOOK

appearance and ability to communicate effec­
tively are essential.
Some employers require that business ma­
chine repairers be bonded. Applicants for
these jobs must be honest and trustworthy
because they sometimes are exposed to large
sums of money and other valuables in banks
and offices. In addition, these workers must
be able to work without direct supervision.
They must be able to set up a maintenance
schedule for their Customers’ equipment and
arrange their own schedule so that they can
meet service deadlines and also handle emer­
gency repairs.
Trainees who work in a manufacturer’s
branch office or for a franchised dealer usu­
ally attend a school sponsored by the manu­
facturer. Training programs at company
schools usually last several weeks to several
months, depending on the type of machine
the repairer will service. Trainees then re­
ceive from 1 to 3 years of practical experience
and on-the-job training before they become
fully qualified repairers. These workers gen­
erally learn to service only the company’s line
of equipment.
Training offered by independent repair
shops usually is less formal. Trainees gener­
ally complete a self-study course coupled
with on-the-job training under the supervi­
sion of an experienced repairer. Because
small repair shops usually do not specialize in
the more sophisticated types of equipment,
their repairers are expected to be familiar
with the more common machines produced
by many manufacturers. For example, busi­
ness machine repairers in small shops should
be able to repair several different makes of
typewriters, adding machines, and calcula­
Wherever they work, business machine re­
pairers frequently attend training seminars
sponsored by business equipment manufac­
turers for special instruction in new business
developments. Also, business machine re­
pairers are encouraged to broaden their tech­
nical knowledge during nonworking hours.
Many companies pay the repairer’s tuition
for work-related courses in college and tech­
nical schools.
Because of their familiarity with equip­
ment, business machine repairers are particu­
larly well qualified to advance to sales jobs as
manufacturers’ sales workers, for example.
Repairers who show management abilities
also may become service managers or super­
visors. Experienced repairers sometimes
open their own repair shops; those who work
in manufacturers’ branch offices sometimes
become independent dealers or buy sales
franchises from the company.

Employment Outlook
Employment of business machine repair­
ers is expected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s. In addition to the jobs that result
from employment growth, many openings

will arise as experienced repairers retire, die,
or change occupations.
Employment opportunities for qualified
beginners are excellent. Business and govern­
ment will continue to buy more machines to
handle the growing volume of paperwork
and more people will be needed to maintain
and repair these machines. In recent years,
many technical changes have occurred in
business machines. Electronic calculating
machines have replaced mechanical models,
for example, and electronic cash registers are
replacing mechanical registers. Because of
the greater use of such equipment, opportuni­
ties will be particularly favorable for repair­
ers who have training in electronics. In fact,
training in basic electronics is almost always
required for business machine repair jobs.
Business machine repairers work year
round and have steadier employment than
many other skilled workers. Office machines
must be maintained even when business
slackens, since records must be kept, corre­
spondence carried on, and statistical reports

Information from a limited number of em­
ployers in 1978 indicated that trainees started
at over $150 a week. Even during training,
salaries often are increased as workers
sharpen their skills and advance to more
complicated assignments. People who have
previous electronics training in the Armed
Forces or civilian technical schools generally
receive somewhat higher beginning wages
than high school gradutates.
Experienced repairers and specialists
earned from $200 to over $300 a week. Re­
pairers who can work on more than one type
of equipment normally earn substantially
more than those who are familiar with only
one type of machine.
In many areas, earnings for business ma­
chine repairers are comparable to those of
computer service technicians with similar
skills, responsibilities, and experience. (See
the statement on computer sevice techni­
cians, a closely related occupation, elsewhere
in the Handbook.)

Related Occupations
Other workers also service complicated
electronic and mechanical equipment. These
include appliance repairers, automotive elec­
tricians, computer service technicians, elec­
tronic organ technicians, instrument repair­
ers, radio repairers, radar mechanics, and
television service technicians.

Sources of Additional Information
For more details about job opportunities,
contact local firms that sell and service busi­
ness machines and the local office of the State
employment service. The State department of
education in your State capital can furnish
information about approved technical insti­
tutes, FRASER
Digitized for junior colleges, and other institutions

offering postsecondary training in basic elec­
tronics. Additional information about these
schools is available from:

thoroughly test the new equipment, and cor­
rect any problems before the customer uses
the machine.

Division of Vocational Technical Education, U.S.
Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

Some technicians specialize in maintaining
a particular computer model or system, or in
doing a certain type of repair. For example,
some technicians are experts in correcting
problems caused by errors in the computer’s
internal programming.


Computer Service
(D.O.T. 828.261-014 and .281-010)

Nature of the Work
Computer systems play a vital role in our
lives. They help us make telephone calls, re­
ceive paychecks on time, and reserve tickets
for travel, hotels, and entertainment. In busi­
ness and industry, computer systems perform
countless tasks—from maintaining business
records to controlling manufacturing pro­
A computer system is the combination of
a central processing unit and additional
equipment such as remote terminals and high
speed printers. Keeping this intricate set of
machines in good working order is the job of
the computer service technician.
At regular intervals, computer service
technicians (often called field engineers or
customer engineers) service machines or sys­
tems to keep them operating efficiently. They
routinely adjust, oil, and clean mechanical
and electromechanical parts. They also check
electronic equipment for loose connections
and defective components or circuits.
When computer equipment breaks down,
technicians must find the cause of the failure
and make repairs. Determining where in the
system the malfunction has occurred is the
most difficult part of the technician’s job, and
requires a logical, analytical mind as well as
technical knowledge. As computer systems
have grown larger and more complex, the
potential for malfunctions also has grown.
The problem can be in the central process­
ing unit itself, in one of the peripheral ma­
chines, such as a reader or a printer, or in the
cables connecting these machines. Techni­
cians use several kinds of tools to test equip­
ment, including voltmeters, ohmmeters, and
oscilloscopes to check for electronic failures.
They run special diagnostic programs that
help pinpoint certain malfunctions. Al­
though it may take several hours to locate a
problem, fixing the equipment may take just
a few minutes. To replace a faulty circuit
board, solder a broken connection, or repair
a mechanical part, technicians use a variety
of handtools, including needle-nosed pliers,
wirestrippers, and soldering equipment. The
employer supplies tools and test equipment,
but technicians are responsible for keeping
them in good working order.
Computer technicians often help install
new equipment. They lay cables, hook up
electrical connections between machines,

Besides knowing how to use specialized
tools and test equipment, computer techni­
cians must be familiar with technical and re­
pair manuals for each piece of equipment.
They also must keep up with the technical
information and revised maintenance proce­
dures issued periodically by computer manu­
Technicians keep a record of preventive
maintenance and repairs on each machine
they service. In addition, they fill out time
and expense reports, keep parts inventories,
and order parts.
Although technicians spend most of their
time working on machines, they work with
people also. They listen to customers’ com­
plaints, answer questions, and sometimes
offer technical advice on ways to keep equip­
ment in good condition. Experienced techni­
cians often help train new technicians and
sometimes have limited supervisory duties.

Working Conditions
Computer installations generally run
around the clock and working time lost be­
cause of a breakdown can be very expensive.
For this reason, technicians must be available
to make emergency repairs at any time, day
or night. Although the normal workweek is
40 hours, overtime is standard. The method
of assigning overtime varies by employer.
Some technicians are on call 24 hours a day.
Others work rotating shifts—days one week,
nights the next.
For most technicians, travel is local; they
usually are not away from home overnight.
Employers pay for travel, including reim­
bursement for job-related uses of the techni­
cian’s car, as well as work-related education
Although some bending and lifting is nec­
essary, the job is not strenuous. Work haz­
ards are limited mainly to burns and electric
shock, but these can be avoided if safety prac­
tices are followed.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 63,000 persons worked as
computer service technicians. Most were em­
ployed by firms that provide maintenance
services for a fee and by manufacturers of
computer equipment. A small number were
employed directly by organizations that have
large computer installations.
Computer technicians generally work out
of regional offices located in large cities,
where computer equipment is concentrated.
Most are assigned to several clients, depend­
ing on the technician’s specialty and the type

perience, they work on more complex equip­
Because manufacturers continually rede­
sign equipment and develop new uses for
computers, experienced technicians fre­
quently must attend training sessions to keep
up with these changes and to broaden their
technical skills. Many technicians take ad­
vanced training to specialize in a particular
computer system or type of repair. Instruc­
tion also may include programming, systems
analysis, and other subjects that improve the
technician’s general knowledge of the com­
puter field.
Experienced technicians with advanced
training may become specialists or “trouble­
shooters” who help technicians throughout
their territory diagnose difficult problems.
They also may work with engineers in design­
ing equipment and developing maintenance
procedures. Technicians with leadership abil­
ity may become supervisors or service

Technicians must examine mechanical as well as electronic components
to diagnose computer malfunctions.

of equipment the user has. Workers with sev­
eral accounts must travel from place to place
to maintain these systems and to make emer­
gency repairs. In some cases, more than one
technician will share an account and service
different parts of a system. In other cases, an
experienced technician may be assigned to
work full time at a client’s installation in
order to maintain all phases of that opera­
tion. Technicians who work for a nationwide
organization must sometimes transfer to an­
other city or State.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most employers require applicants for
technician trainee jobs to have 1 to 2 years’
post-high school training in basic electronics
or electrical engineering. This training may
be from a public or private vocational school,
a college, or a junior college. Basic electron­
ics training offered by the Armed Forces is
excellent preparation for technician trainees.
A high school student interested in becom­
ing a computer service technician should
take courses in mathematics and physics.
High school courses in electronics and com­
puter programming also are helpful. Hobbies
that involve electronics, such as operating
ham radios or building stereo equipment,
also provide valuable experience.
Besides technical training, applicants for O U TLO O K HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

trainee jobs must have good close vision and
normal color perception to work with small
parts and color-coded wiring. Normal hear­
ing is needed since some breakdowns are
diagnosed by sound. Because technicians
usually handle jobs alone, they must have the
initiative to work without close supervision.
Also important are a pleasant personality
and neat appearance, since the work involves
frequent contact with customers. Patience is
an asset, because some malfunctions occur
infrequently and are very difficult to pin­
point. In some companies, applicants must
pass a physical examination. In others, a se­
curity clearance may be required because
technicians work on machines located in re­
stricted buildings.
Trainees usually attend company training
centers for 3 to 6 months to learn elementary
computer theory, computer math, and cir­
cuitry theory and to further their study of
electronics. Classroom work is accompanied
by practical training in operating computer
equipment, doing basic maintenance, and
using test equipment to locate malfunctions.
In addition to formal instruction, trainees
must complete 6 months to 2 years of on-thejob training. At first, they work closely with
experienced technicians, learning to maintain
card readers, printers, and other machines
that are relatively simple, but that have the
basic mechanical and electronic features of a
large computer system. As trainees gain ex­

Most computer equipment operates on the
same basic principles, but machines built by
different companies may be unique in design
and construction. For this reason, techni­
cians may find it difficult to transfer between
companies that maintain different brands of
equipments. However, because of the press­
ing need for experienced technicians, many
opportunities exist for well-qualified workers
to transfer to other firms that handle the
same type of computer hardware.
Training and experience in computer
maintenance may also help qualify a techni­
cian for a job in equipment sales, program­
ming, or management. (See the statements on
programmers, manufacturers’ sales workers,
and the office machine and computer manu­
facturing industry elsewhere in the Hand­

Employment Outlook
Employment of computer technicians is
expected to grow much faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
As the Nation’s economy expands, more
computer equipment will be used and many
more technicians will be needed to install and
maintain it. Business, government, and other
organizations will buy, lease, or rent addi­
tional equipment to manage vast amounts of
information, control manufacturing pro­
cesses, and aid in scientific research. The de­
velopment of new uses for computers in fields
such as education, medicine, and traffic con­
trol also will spur demand.
The very strong demand for computer
technicians is related to the growing number
of computers in operation and the geographic
distribution of these computers. Continued
reductions in the size and cost of computer
hardware will bring the computer within
reach of a rapidly increasing number of small
organizations. As more and more of these
small systems are installed, the amount of
time technicians must spend traveling be­
tween clients will increase. Most openings

will continue to occur in metropolitan areas,
Employment of computer service techni­
cians is much less likely to be affected by
downturns in business activity than is the
case in other fields.

Average weekly earnings of computer ser­
vice technician trainees were about $220 a
week in 1978, according to a private survey
of computer manufacturing firms. Fully
trained workers earned about $240 a week,
while senior technicians with several years’
experience earned between $250 and $350.
Highly skilled specialists averaged from $300
to $400 a week.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations repair and
maintain the circuits and mechanical parts of
electronic equipment. These include appli­
ance repairers, automotive electricians, busi­
ness machine repairers, electronic organ
technicians, instrument repairers, radio re­
pairers, radar mechanics, and television ser­
vice technicians.

Sources of Additional Information
For general information on careers in com­
puter maintenance, contact the personnel de­
partment of computer manufacturers and
computer maintenance firms in your area.
The State department of eduction in your
State capital can furnish information about
approved technical institutes, junior colleges,
and other institutions offering postsecondary
training in basic electronics. Additional in­
formation about these schools is available

out bulbs, are easy to fix. However, in some
cases, the problem may not be obvious and
repairers may need to use electronic test
equipment to determine the cause of a break­
down. Although simple repairs such as re­
placing bulbs or transformers, are done at the
site, major repairs of faulty parts, such as
neon tubing are made in sign shops.
Repairers also do preventive maintenance
and periodic inspection of signs to locate and
correct defects before breakdowns occur.
They check signs and remove debris such as
birds’ nests and accumulated water. Repair­
ers also tighten or weld parts that have been
loosened by winds and repaint beams, col­
umns, and other framework. They may re­
paint portions of neon tubing to make the
sign more readable. Motors, gears, bearings,
and other parts of revolving signs may be
checked, adjusted, and lubricated.
During periods with few service calls, re­
pairers who work for sign manufacturing
companies may help assemble signs. Some
repairers also install signs.
Repairers use common handtools and
power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers,
saws, and electric drills. They also use amme­
ters, voltmeters, and other testing devices to
locate malfunctioning electric parts. When
replacing burned-out parts, such as lamps or
flashers in illuminated plastic signs, repairers
may refer to wiring diagrams and charts.

Repairers usually must fill out reports not­
ing the date, place, and nature of service
calls. They also may estimate the cost of ser­
vice calls and sell maintenance contracts to
sign owners.

Working Conditions
Because most signs are out-of-doors, re­
pairers are exposed to all kinds of weather.
They sometimes make emergency repairs at
night, on weekends, and on holidays. They
may spend much time traveling to the site of
a service call. In some large cities, repairers
patrol areas at night to locate and fix improp­
erly operating signs. The work can be danger­
ous; hazards include electric shocks, bums,
and falls from high places. Training pro­
grams emphasizing safety and equipment,
such as baskets on boomtrucks, which allow
easy access to signs, have reduced the fre­
quency of accidents.

Places of Employment
About 15,000 persons worked as electric
sign repairers in 1978, primarily in small
shops that manufacture, install, and service
electric signs. Some worked for independent
sign repair shops.
Electric sign repairers work throughout
the country. However, employment is con­
centrated in large cities and in populous

Division of Vocational Technical Education, U.S.
Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

The State employment service office in
your area may also be able to provide infor­
mation about local job opportunities.

Electric Sign
(D.O.T. 824.281-018)

Nature of the Work
A common form of advertising for many
businesses and products is the electric sign.
Electric sign repairers maintain and repair
neon and illuminated plastic signs so that
they retain their “eye appeal” and attract
maximum attention.
When a sign requires service, repairers
drive to its location in a truck, carrying tools
and a number of replacement parts. Repair­
ers’ trucks are equipped with ladders and
boom cranes so they can work on tall signs or
those placed high above the ground. Com­
mon for FRASER
Digitized sources of sign trouble, such as burned

Repairers often work on boom cranes to reach tall signs.

States, where large numbers of electric signs
are used.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most electric sign repairers are hired as
trainees and learn the trade informally on the
job. Initially, they perform the various phases
of signmaking in the shop to obtain a general
knowledge of such tasks as cutting and as­
sembling metal and plastic signs, mounting
neon tubing, wiring signs, and installing elec­
tric parts. After they have acquired a thor­
ough knowledge of sign construction,
trainees accompany experienced repairers on
service calls to learn repair and maintenance
techniques. At least 4 years of on-the-job
training and experience are required to be­
come a fully qualified repairer.
Some people learn the trade through sign
repairer or electrician apprenticeship pro­
grams conducted by union locals and sign
manufacturing shops. The apprenticeships
usually last 4 years, emphasize on-the-job
training, and include classroom instruction
in subjects such as the theory of electricity
and blueprint reading. Apprentices generally
must be at least 18 years old with a high
school diploma. Attempts are being made by
unions and the National Electric Sign Asso­
ciation to increase the number of apprentice­
ship programs, so the availability of this type
of training should increase in the future.
Employers prefer to hire high school or
vocational school graduates, although many
repairers have less education. Courses in
mathematics, science, electronics, and blue­
print reading are helpful to young people
who are interested in learning this trade.
Repairers need good color vision because
electric wires are frequently identified by
color. They also need manual dexterity to
handle tools and physical strength to lift
transformers and other heavy equipment. Be­
cause much of their work is done on ladders
or from the baskets of boomtrucks, repairers
cannot be afraid of heights.
All electric sign repairers must be familiar
with the National Electric Codes. Many cit­
ies require repairers to be licensed. Licenses
can be obtained by passing an examination in
local electric codes, and electric theory and
Highly skilled repairers may become
supervisors. Because of their experience in
servicing signs and dealing with customers,
repairers sometimes become sign sales repre­
sentatives. Those with sufficient funds may
also open their own sign manufacturing or
repair shops.

Employment Outlook
Employment of electric sign repairers is
expected to increase as fast as the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. A rapid
increase in the number of signs in use will
spur demand for these workers. More signs
as new businesses open and old
will be needed
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

ones expand and modernize their facilities.
Signs already in use also will continue to re­
quire service because well-maintained signs
are good for business and also because many
State and local governments require owners
to keep their signs attractive. In addition to
new jobs created by employment growth,
some openings will arise as experienced
workers retire, die, or leave the occupation
for other reasons.

The earnings of electric sign repairers com­
pare favorably with those of other skilled
workers. It is estimated that the hourly wage
rate of experienced repairers was about $8.70
in 1978, based on a survey of union wages
and fringe benefits throughout the country.
Apprentice rates usually range from $3.00 to
$7.80 an hour.
Most electric sign repairers work an 8hour day, 5 days a week, and receive pre­
mium pay for overtime. They also may re­
ceive extra pay for working at heights in
excess of 30 feet.
Many electric sign repairers belong to one
the following unions: The International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Sheet
Metal Workers International Association,
and the International Brotherhood of Paint­
ers and Allied Trades.

Related Occupations
Electric sign repairers use their knowledge
of electric theory and electric codes and their
skills in the use of handtools and electric test­
ing equipment to service and repair electric
signs. Workers in other occupations that re­
quire these skills include coin-machine ser­
vicers and repairers, conveyor maintenance
mechanics, electrical appliance repairers,
household applicance installers, laundry ma­
chine mechanics, aircraft accessory mechan­
ics, and automatic pinsetter mechanics.

Sources of Additional Information
For further information on work oppor­
tunities, contact local sign manufacturing
shops, the local office of the State employ­
ment service, or locals of the unions previ­
ously mentioned.
General information on job opportunities,
wages, and the nature of the work is available
National Electric Sign Association, 2625 Butter­
field Rd., Oak Brook, 111. 60521.

Farm Equipment
(D.O.T. 624.281, .361, .381, and .684)

Nature of the Work
Years ago farmers planted, cultivated, and
harvested their crops using only handtools
and simple, animal-drawn equipment. Few

repairs were required, and if a stray rock or
stump broke a plow blade, the metal pieces
could be hammered back together by the
local blacksmith. Even when tractors began
to replace animals as the prime source of
power, their simplicity made it possible for
most farmers to do their own repair work.
But in the last quarter century, farm equip­
ment has grown enormously in size, com­
plexity, and variety. Many farms have both
diesel and gasoline tractors, some equipped
with 300-horsepower engines. Other machin­
ery, such as harvesting combines, hay balers,
com pickers, crop dryers, and elevators, also
is common. In today’s world of mechanized
agriculture, few if any types of farming can
be done economically without specialized
As farm machinery grew more complex, it
became important for the sellers of farm
equipment to be able to service and repair the
machines they sold. Almost every dealer em­
ploys farm equipment mechanics to do this
work and to maintain and repair the smaller
lawn and garden tractors dealers sell to surburban homeowners.
In addition, some mechanics who work for
dealers and equipment wholesalers assemble
new implements and machinery and some­
times do body work, repairing dented or tom
sheet metal on the tractors or other machin­
Mechanics spend much of their time re­
pairing and adjusting malfunctioning dieseland gas-powered tractors that have been
brought to the shop. But during planting and
harvesting seasons, they may travel to the
farm to make emergency repairs so that crops
can be harvested before they spoil.
Mechanics also perform preventive main­
tenance. Periodically, they test, adjust, and
clean parts and tune engines. In large shops,
mechanics may specialize in certain types of
work, such as engine overhaul or clutch and
transmission repair. Others specialize in re­
pairing the air-conditioning units often in­
cluded in the cabs of modem tractors and
combines, or in repairing certain types of
equipment such as hay balers. Some mechan­
ics also repair plumbing, electrical, irriga­
tion, and other equipment on farms.
Mechanics use many basic handtools in­
cluding wrenches, pliers, hammers, and mi­
crometers. They also may use more complex
testing equipment, such as a dynamometer to
measure engine performance, or a compres­
sion tester to find worn piston rings or leak­
ing cylinder valves. They may use welding
equipment or power tools to repair broken

Working Conditions
Generally, farm equipment mechanics
work indoors. Modem farm equipment re­
pair shops are well ventilated, lighted, and
heated, but older shops may not have these
advantages. During planting and harvesting
seasons, mechanics may have to make emer­
gency repairs in the field. To do so, mechan­

ics may have to travel many miles and work
in all types of weather. Farm equipment me­
chanics come in contact with grease, gaso­
line, rust, and dirt, and there is danger of
injury when they repair heavy parts sup­
ported on jacks or by hoists. Engine burns
and cuts from sharp edges of machinery also
are possible.

Places of Employment
Most of the over 60,000 farm equipment
mechanics employed in 1978 worked in ser­
vice departments of farm equipment dealers.
Others worked in independent repair shops,
in shops on large farms, and in service de­
partments of farm equipment wholesalers
and manufacturers. Most farm equipment re­
pair shops employ fewer than five mechanics,
although a growing number of dealerships
employ more than 10. A small proportion of
farm equipment mechanics are selfemployed.
Because some type of farming is done in
nearly every area of the United States, farm
are employed
throughout the country. As employment is
concentrated in small cities and towns, this
may be an attractive career choice for peo­
ple who do not wish to live the fast-paced
life of an urban environment. However,
many mechanics work in the rural fringes of
metropolitan areas, so farm equipment me­
chanics who prefer city life need not live in
rural areas.

programs usually are chosen from shop
Some farm equipment mechanics and
trainees receive refresher training in short­
term programs conducted by farm equip­
ment manufacturers. These programs usually
last several days. A company service repre­
sentative explains the design and function of
equipment and teaches maintenance and re­
pair on new models of farm equipment. In
addition, some dealers may send employees
to local vocational schools that teach special
weeklong classes in subjects such as air-con­
ditioning repair or hydraulics.
Employers prefer applicants who have an
aptitude for mechanical work. A farm back­
ground is an advantage since growing up on
a farm usually provides experience in basic
farm equipment repairs. Employers also pre­
fer high school graduates, but some will hire
applicants who have less education. In gen­
eral, employers stress previous experience or
training in diesel and gasoline engines, the
maintenance and repair of hydraulics, and
welding—subjects that may be learned in
many high schools and vocational schools.
Some employers also may require mechanics
to be skilled at blueprint reading, because
mechanics may have to refer to diagrams of
machinery when making complex repairs to
electrical and other systems.

Persons considering careers in this field
should have the manual dexterity needed
to handle tools and equipment. Occasion­
ally, strength is required to lift, move, or
hold in place heavy parts. Difficult repair
jobs may require problem-solving abilities,
so experienced mechanics should be able to
work independently with minimum super­
Farm equipment mechanics may advance
to shop supervisor or manager of a farm
equipment dealership. Some mechanics open
their own repair shops. A few farm equip­
ment mechanics earn 2-year associate de­
grees in agricultural mechanics and advance
to service representatives for farm equipment

Employment Outlook
Employment of farm equipment mechan­
ics is expected to increase about as fast as the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s. In addition to jobs from employment
growth, several hundred job opportunities
will arise each year as experienced mechanics
retire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
Opportunities will be best for applicants who
have lived or worked on farms and know how
to operate farm machinery and make minor
The development of more technically ad-

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most farm equipment mechanics are hired
as helpers and learn the trade on the job by
assisting qualified mechanics. The length of
training varies with the helper’s aptitude and
prior experience. At least 2 years of on-thejob training usually are necessary before a
mechanic can do most types of repair work,
and additional training and experience are
required for highly specialized repair and
overhaul jobs.
Many farm equipment mechanics enter
this occupation from a related occupation.
For instance, they may gain experience as
farmers and farm laborers, or as heavy equip­
ment mechanics, auto mechanics, or air-con­
ditioning mechanics. People who enter from
related occupations also start as helpers, but
they may not require as long a period of onthe-job training.
More and more mechanics who enter the
trade have had vocational training in rural
high schools, in junior and technical colleges,
or in the Armed Forces. With the develop­
ment of more complex farm implements,
technical training in electronics has become
more important.
A few farm equipment mechanics learn
the trade by completing an apprenticeship
program, which lasts from 3 to 4 years and
includes on-the-job as well as classroom
training in all phases of farm equipment re­
pair and maintenance. Applicants for these

The trend toward larger and more complex farm machinery has created a need
for more farm equipment.

vanced farm equipment, some of which will
require greater maintenance, will increase
the demand for mechanics. For instance,
many newer tractors have much larger en­
gines, and feature advanced transmissions of
up to 24 speeds. More complex electrical sys­
tems also are used to operate the great variety
of gauges and warning devices now used to
alert the operator to problems such as brake
wear, low oil pressure in the transmission, or
insufficient coolant in the radiator. Advances
such as these and air-conditioned cabs, which
have improved the comfort of the operator,
have made it more difficult for farmers to
do their own repairs. Thus farmers will
have to rely more on skilled mechanics in the
In addition to the larger and more complex
farm machinery, sales of smaller lawn and
garden equipment have increased vastly over
the past decade and are expected to continue
to do so. Most of the large manufacturers of
farm equipment now produce a line of these
smaller tractors and sell them through their
established dealerships. More mechanics will
be needed to service this additional equip­

Farm equipment mechanics employed by
dealerships had average hourly wages of over
$6 in 1978, according to the limited informa­
tion available. Most farm equipment me­
chanics also have the opportunity for over­
time work, for which they are paid time and
one-half. Farm equipment mechanics usually
work a 44-hour week, which includes 4 hours
on Saturday. During planting and harvesting
seasons, however, they often work 6 to 7 days
a week, 10 to 12 hours daily. In winter
months, they may work fewer than 40 hours
a week, and some may be laid off.
Very few farm equipment mechanics be­
long to labor unions, but those who do are
members of the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Related Occupations
Two distinguishing characteristics of farm
equipment mechanics are: 1) They work on
large machinery, and 2) they often can find
jobs in small towns and other nonmetropoli­
tan areas. Other craft workers whose jobs
have these same characteristics include auto­
mobile mechanics, diesel mechanics, truck
mechanics, oilfield equipment mechanics,
compressed gas equipment service mechanics
and tractor mechanics.

Sources of Additional Information
Details about work opportunities may be
obtained from local farm equipment dealers
and local offices of the State employment ser­
vice. For general information about the occu­
pation, write to:
National Farm and Power Equipment Dealers As­
sociation, 10877 Watson Road, St. Louis, Mo.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

(D.O.T. 780.381-018)

Nature of the Work
Whether restoring a treasured antique or
simply giving an old living room couch a
facelift, upholsterers combine artistic flair
and manual skill to recondition sofas, chairs,
and other upholstered furniture. These craft
workers replace worn and damaged fabrics,
springs, and padding. (Workers employed in
the manufacture of upholstered furniture are
not included in this statement.)
All custom upholstery involves two steps:
Removing the old cover, padding, and
springs; and rebuilding the piece. However,
because of differences in the way furniture is
built, each job is unique. The following is an
explanation of some of the typical tasks in­
volved in upholstering a piece of furniture.
As the first step, upholsterers usually place
the furniture on padded wooden benches or
some other type of support so that they may
work at a convenient level. Using hammers
and tack pullers, they remove tacks or staples
that hold the old fabric to the wooden frame.
After stripping the old fabric, they remove
the burlap and padding that cover the arms,
back, sides, and seat of the piece. Upholster­
ers examine the springs and remove broken
or bent ones. The springs sit on a mat woven
from strips of nylon or cotton cloth called
webbing that is attached to the frame. If the
webbing is worn, upholsterers remove all the
springs and all the webbing.
To rebuild the furniture, upholsterers may
reglue loose sections of the frame and refinish
exposed wooden parts. If the mat that holds
the springs was removed, they replace it.
They tack webbing to one side of the frame,
stretch it tight, and tack it to the opposite
side. Other webbing is woven across the first
and attached to the frame to form a new mat.
After putting springs on the mat so they com­
press evenly, upholsterers sew or staple each
spring to the webbing or frame and tie each
spring to the ones next to it. Burlap then is
stretched over the springs, cut and smoothed,
and tacked to the frame. To form a smooth
rounded surface over the springs and other
parts of the frame, upholsterers cover each
section of the furniture—seat, back, arms—
with cotton pads or other filling material.
After sewing the padding to the burlap, they
cover it with heavy cloth and tack the cloth
to the frame. Finally, upholsterers put on the
new fabric cover, which has been cut to size
for a section, such as an arm or the back, and
temporarily stitched together for fitting.
After checking that the cover fits tightly and
smoothly—or noting where adjustments are
necessary—they remove the cover and sew it
together and attach it to the frame. To com­
plete the job, upholsterers sew or tack on
fringe, buttons, or other ornaments and make
pillow covers.

Upholsterers use a variety of common
handtools, including hammers, tack and sta­
ple removers, pliers, and shears, and special
tools such as webbing stretchers and uphol­
stery needles. They also use sewing machines.

Working Conditions
Working conditions in upholstery shops
vary—many shops are spacious, adequately
lighted, well-ventilated, and well-heated; oth­
ers are small and dusty. Upholsterers stand
while they work and do a considerable
amount of stooping and bending and some
heavy lifting.
Sometimes upholsterers pick up and de­
liver furniture. Shop owners and managers
order supplies and equipment and keep busi­
ness records. Upholsterers often work with
interior designers. They upholster furniture
with fabrics selected by the designer. How­
ever, some upholsterers help customers select
new furniture covers on their own.

Places of Employment
About 27,000 people worked as furniture
upholsterers in 1978. Over three-fourths of
all furniture upholsterers own and operate,
or work in small upholstery shops. These
shops generally have fewer than three work­
ers. Some upholsterers are employed by fur­
niture stores. A few work for businesses, such
as hotels, that maintain their own furniture.
Upholsterers work in all parts of the coun­
try. However, employment is concentrated in
metropolitan areas, where the large popula­
tion provides the greatest demand for the
upholsterer’s service.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The best way to enter this trade is to start
as a helper in an upholstery shop and learn
on the job. Helpers learn by upholstering fur­
niture under the direction of experienced
workers. Much time and practice are needed
to learn complex tasks such as measuring and
cutting the new fabric and sewing and attach­
ing it to the frame with a minimum of waste.
Usually about 3 years of on-the-job training
are required to become a fully skilled uphol­
Inexperienced persons may get basic train­
ing in upholstery from vocational or high
school courses. However, additional training
and experience in a shop usually are required
before these workers can work as quickly and
efficiently as experienced upholsterers.
Persons interested in becoming upholster­
ers should have good manual dexterity, coor­
dination, and be able to do occasional heavy
lifting. An eye for detail and flair for creative
use of fabrics are helpful in making uphol­
stered furniture as attractive as possible.
The major form of advancement for uphol­
sterers is opening their own shop. It is easy
to open a shop because only a small invest­
ment in handtools and a sewing machine is
needed. However, the upholstery business is

When repairs become necessary, the main­
tenance mechanic must first locate the spe­
cific cause of the problem. This challenge re­
quires knowledge reinforced by experience.
For example, after hearing a vibration from
a machine, the mechanic must decide
whether it is due to worn belts, weak motor
bearings, or any number of other possibili­
ties. Repairers often follow blueprints and
engineering specifications in maintaining and
fixing equipment.

Sewing is one of the manual skills needed by furniture upholsterers.

extremely competitive, so operating a shop
successfully is difficult.

Employment Outlook
Little or no change is expected in employ­
ment of upholsterers through the 1980’s.
Most job openings will arise because of the
need to replace experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
More upholstered furniture will be used as
population, personal income, and business
expenditures grow. However, the demand for
upholsterers will be limited because more
people are buying less expensive furniture
and replacing rather than upholstering it.
Inexperienced workers probably will have
difficulty getting a job in upholstery shops.
Most shop owners will not take time from
their work to supervise trainees.

Hourly wages for experienced furniture
upholsterers ranged from $6.45 to $10 in
1978. Some highly skilled upholsterers
earned over $10 an hour. Wages for inex­
perienced trainees ranged from $3.25 to
$4.50 an hour. Upholsterers usually by their
own handtools.
Upholsterers generally work 40 hours a
week. The peak season in upholstery shops is
the last 4 months of the year. However,
upholsterers usually do not work overtime
and they rarely are laid off during the slack
Some upholsterers are members of the
Upholsterers’ International Union of North

Related Occupations
Other workers who combine manual skills
and a knowledge of materials such as fabrics

and wood to repair things are automobile
upholsterers, fur cutters, furniture finishers,
piano technicians, rug repairers, and shoe re­

Sources of Additional Information
For details about work opportunities for
upholsterers in your area, contact local
upholstery shops, the local office of the State
employment service, or a local of the Uphol­
sterers’ International Union.

Industrial Machinery
(D.O.T. 626 through 630)

Nature of the Work
When a machine breaks down in a plant or
factory, not only is the machine idle, but raw
materials and human resources are wasted. It
is the industrial machinery repairer’s job to
prevent these costly breakdowns and to make
repairs as quickly as possible.
Industrial machinery repairers—often
called maintenance mechanics—spend much
time doing preventive maintenance. This in­
cludes keeping machines well oiled and
greased, and periodically cleaning parts. The
repairer regularly inspects machinery and
checks performance. Tools such as microme­
ters, calipers, and depth gauges are used to
measure and align all parts. For example,
treadles on sewing machines in the apparel
industry may need adjustment and gears and
bearings may have to be aligned. By keeping
complete and up-to-date records, mechanics
try to anticipate trouble and service machin­
ery before the factory’s production is inter­

After correctly diagnosing the problem,
the maintenance mechanic disassembles the
equipment, and then repairs or replaces the
necessary parts. Hand and power tools usu­
ally are needed. The repairer may use a
screwdriver and a wrench to take the door off
an oven, or a crane to lift a printing press off
the ground. Electronic testing equipment
often is included in the mechanic’s tools. Re­
pairers use catalogs to order replacements for
broken or defective parts. When parts are not
readily available, or when a machine must be
quickly returned to production, repairers
may sketch a part that can be fabricated by
the plant’s machine shop.
The repairer reassembles and tests each
piece of equipment after it has been serviced,
for once it is back in operation, the machine
is expected to work as if it were new.
Many of the industrial machinery re­
pairer’s duties often are performed by mill­
wrights. (See statement on millwrights else­
where in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Industrial machinery repairers are not
usually affected by seasonal changes in pro­
duction. During slack periods, when some
plant workers are laid off, repairers often are
retained to do major overhaul jobs. In addi­
tion to their regular work schedule, indus­
trial machinery repairers may be called to the
plant at night or on weekends for emergency
Repairers may work in stooped or
cramped positions to reach the underside of
a generator, for example. They also may
work from the top of ladders when repairing
a large machine. These workers are subject to
common shop injuries such as cuts and
bruises. Goggles, metal-tip shoes, safety hel­
mets, and other protective devices help pre­
vent injuries.

Places of Employment
Industrial machinery repairers work in al­
most every industry in which a great deal of
machinery is used. Many of the 655,000 re­
pairers employed in 1978 worked in the fol­
lowing manufacturing industries: Food pro­
ducts, primary metals, machinery, chem­
icals, fabricated metal products, transporta­
tion equipment, paper, and rubber.
Because industrial machinery repairers
work in a wide variety of plants, they are
employed in every section of the country.

repairers are promoted to machinists or tooland-die makers or become master mechanics.

Employment Outlook
Employment of industrial machinery re­
pairers is expected to increase much faster
than the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s. More repairers will be needed as
manufacturers invest in more industrial ma­
chinery. Also, as machinery becomes more
complex, repair work and preventive mainte­
nance will become more time consuming. In
addition, many openings will result from the
need to replace repairers who retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations.

According to a survey of metropolitan
areas, hourly wages for industrial machinery
repairers averaged $7.74 in 1978—about onethird higher than the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Average hourly earnings of
industrial machinery repairers in 12 areas
that represent various regions of the country
are shown in the accompanying tabulation.
Labor unions to which most industrial ma­
chinery repairers belong include the United
Steelworkers of America; the International
Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of Amer­
ica; the International Association of Machi­
nists and Aerospace Workers; and the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers.

Industrial machinery repairers need agility.

Employment is concentrated, however, in
heavily industrialized areas.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Graduation from high school is preferred,
but not always required, for entry into this
occupation. High school courses in mechani­
cal drawing, mathematics, blueprint reading,
and physics are useful for those interested in
entering this trade.
Most workers who become industrial ma­
chinery repairers start as helpers and pick up
the skills of the trade informally. Some learn
the trade through apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeship training usually lasts 4 years
and consists of on-the-job training and
related classroom instruction in subjects such
as shop mathematics, blueprint reading,
welding, and safety.
Mechanical aptitude and manual dexterity
are important qualifications for workers in
this trade. Good physical condition and agil­
ity are also necessary because repairers some­
times have to lift heavy objects or climb to
reach equipment located high above the
Examinations may be administered peri­
odically to determine the repairer’s ability to
maintain more advanced machinery. Some

Table 1. Average hourly earnings of industrial machine repairers in selected areas, 1978

Hourly rate

Detroit.................................................................................................................................................... $9.04
Indianapolis.......................................................................................................................................... 8.78
B altim ore.............................................................................................................................................
H ouston................................................................................................................................................
C h ica g o ................................................................................................................................................
N ew York.............................................................................................................................................
New O rlea n s....................................................................................................................................... 7.52
M inneapolis-St. P a u l ......................................................................................................................
St. Louis................................................................................................................................................
Worcester, Mass.................................................................................................................................. 6.31
Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C............................................................................................................ 5.55
SOURCE: Bureau o f Labor Statistics.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Related Occupations
Other occupations which involve repairing
machinery include: Aircraft mechanics, au­
tomobile mechanics, bowling-pin-machine
mechanics, machinists, millwrights, tooland-die makers, and vending machine me­

Sources of Additional Information
Information about employment and ap­
prenticeship opportunities in this Held may
be available from local offices of the State
employment service or the following organi­
International Union, United Automobile, Aero­
space, and Agricultural Implement Workers of
America, 8000 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mich.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers, 1126-16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.

(D.O.T. 700.281 and .381)

Nature of the Work
For thousands of years people have worn
and admired jewelry, especially jewelry made
from precious metals and stones, such as gold
and diamonds. Jewelers use such materials to

modelmaking, moldmaking, and other occu­
pations, some manufacturers sponsor train­
ing courses in local vocational schools or in
academies owned by the manufacturers. The
employer usually pays the tuition.
Some technical schools offer instruction
for 6 months to 3 years in jewelry repair and
jewelry making. These schools are a good
source of training for someone outside the
jewelry industry who wants a job in a jewelry
store or repair shop. Graduates of these
courses usually need on-the-job training to
refine their manual skills and to learn more
about repair work.
A high school education is desirable for
young people entering the trade. Courses in
art, mechanical drawing, and chemistry are
useful, depending on which aspect of the
trade one chooses to follow.

A jeweler examines a ring setting before repairing it.

make and repair rings, necklaces, earrings,
and other jewelry.
Jewelers work in jewelry factories, stores,
and repair shops. In factories they specialize,
while in stores and repair shops they have a
variety of duties.
Most jewelry is mass produced by assem­
bly line methods. Jewelers generally have one
job in the manufacturing process. For exam­
ple, some make molds to cast jewelry or dies
to stamp it. Others do finishing work, such as
setting stones and engraving.
In jewelry stores and repair shops jewelers
generally offer many services to their custom­
ers. Much of their time is spent repairing
jewelry. Typical repair jobs are enlarging or
reducing rings, resetting stones, and replac­
ing broken clasps and mountings. Jewelers
may repair watches and do hand engraving.
Some are qualified gemologists and appraise
the quality and value of diamonds and other
Highly skilled jewelers—in stores and in
factories—make jewelry by hand. Following
their own designs or those created by design­
ers, they shape the metal with pliers or other
handtools or cast it in molds. Individual
parts are soldered to form the finished piece.
Designs may be carved in metal, and dia­
monds or other stones mounted.
Jewelers use pliers, files, saws, hammers,
torches, soldering irons, and a variety of
other small handtools. They use chemicals
and polishing compounds, such as jeweler’s
rouge, for soldering and finishing. Because
the work is very detailed, jewelers often wear
magnifying glasses.
Jewelers who own stores or shops have ad­
ditional responsibilities. Besides working on
jewelry, these small business people hire em­
ployees, order and sell merchandise, and han­
dle other managerial duties.

Working Conditions
Jewelers usually work in comfortable sur­
roundings and the trade involves few physi­
cal hazards. However, doing delicate work
with small, valuable objects such as gem­
stones can cause mental stress.
Jewelers generally work alone with little
supervision. However, in retail stores they
may talk with customers about repairs and
even do some sales work.

Places of Employment
About 32,000 people had jobs as jewelers
in 1978. About two-fifths of all jewelers are
self-employed, operating jewelry stores or re­
pair shops.
Most jewelers employed in precious jew­
elry production work in or near New York
City. The production of costume jewelry is
centered in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Although jewelry stores and repair shops are
located throughout the country, most jobs in
these establishments are in metropolitan

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Jewelers’ skills usually are learned through
informal on-the-job training and technical
In the precious jewelry industry, the
Amalgamated Jewelry, Diamond and
Watchcase Workers Union and the manufac­
turers have established apprenticeships for
many skilled occupations. Individuals who
work in jewelry factories have the best
chance to get such apprenticeships. Depend­
ing on the particular skill, apprenticeship
programs involve 3 to 4 years of on-the-job
training. To overcome labor shortages in

The precise and delicate nature of jewelry
work requires finger and hand dexterity,
good eye-hand coordination, patience, and
concentration. Artistic ability is a major
asset, because jewelry is primarily a form of
In manufacturing, jewelers sometimes ad­
vance to supervisory jobs. Some jewelers
open their own jewelry stores or repair shops.
Others become salaried managers of jewelry
A substantial financial investment is re­
quired to operate a jewelry store, because an
inventory of expensive merchandise must be
obtained. The jewelry business also is highly
competitive. Jewelers who plan to open
their own stores should have experience in

Employment Outlook
Employment of jewelers is expected to
grow as fast as the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s. The demand for jewelry
will increase as population grows, and as ris­
ing incomes enable people to spend more on
luxuries. Many job openings will occur each
year as experienced workers retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations. Because of a
shortage of skilled jewelers, opportunities for
people with training in jewelry construction,
design, or repair should exist throughout the

According to the limited information
available, earnings of experienced jewelry
workers in manufacturing ranged from about
$5 to $7 an hour in 1978. Apprentices re­
ceived $2.90 an hour to start. They get peri­
odic raises up to the minimum union wage
for their job. In jewelry stores jewelers typi­
cally earn between $10,000 and $14,000 a
In some precious jewelry factories the
workweek is 35 hours. Most jewelers in stores
and repair shops work 40 to 48 hours a week.
During peaks sales seasons, such as Christ­
mas, they often work over 50 hours a week.

Related Occupations
Jewelers are important craft workers in the
growing jewelry industry. Other skilled
workers in this industry include gem cutters,
gemologists, hand engravers, model makers,
silversmiths, and watch repairers.

Sources of Additional Information
For information on job opportunities in
jewelry stores, contact:
Retail Jewelers of America, Time-Life Building,
Suite 650, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New
York, N.Y. 10020.

(D.O.T. 709.281-010)

Nature of the Work
Locksmithing is an ancient trade. Lock­
smiths made key-operated wooden locks for
Egyptian royalty as early as 2000 B.C. For
many centuries, locksmiths only worked for
the relatively few people who could afford
the expensive locks that the smiths made by
hand. In 1861, an effective lock was invented
that could be mass produced, and locks be­
came nearly as common as doors themselves.
Making locks by hand was no longer eco­
nomical. With so many locks to service, how­
ever, more locksmiths were needed than ever
Today’s locksmiths do a variety of work
with locks, keys, safes and alarm systems.
Several of their jobs are described below.
Locksmiths spend much of their time help­
ing people get into cars, buildings, or safes
that have been locked accidentally or that
have broken locks. If a key has been left in­
side a car, for example, they may simply pick
the lock. If, on the other hand, the keys are
lost, new ones must be made. To do this,
locksmiths first will try to obtain identifying
key code numbers. The key code numbers
show the locksmith where to cut and notch
a key blank to make a duplicate key. Keys
also can be duplicated by impression. To do
this, locksmiths place a key blank in the lock
and, by following marks left on the blank, file
notches in it until the lock opens.
Combination locks, such as those on safes,
offer a special challenge. Locksmiths some­
times open them by touch, that is, by rotating
the dial and listening for the contact points
when the wheels come into place. If all else
fails, a hole may be drilled through the lock
to open it.
Locksmiths also fix damaged locks. They
disassemble the lock and replace or repair
worn tumblers, springs, and other parts.
Another important part of the locksmith’s
work is helping customers maintain security
devices. For example, they may rekey the
door locks in a warehouse, change the combi­
nation of an office safe, or install dead-bolt
locks in a home. To rekey, locksmiths change


Making duplicate keys is one of the jobs done by locksmiths.

the tumblers to fit a new key. Tumblers are
the part of the lock that releases the bolt
when the key is turned. Rekeying a masterkey system is one of the most complicated
and time-consuming jobs handled by a lock­
smith. I n a masterkey system, some keys
must open all doors; others open various
combinations (for example, all doors on one
floor of a building); still others are individual
keys for each door. Some locksmiths install
and repair electronic burglar alarms and sur­
veillance systems that signal police or fire­
fighters when break-ins or fires occur.
Locksmiths use files, screwdrivers, pliers,
tweezers, and electric drills in their work, as
well as special tools such as lockpicks. They
make original and duplicate keys on keycut­
ting machines. To guide them in their work,
they refer to manuals that describe the con­
struction of various locks.

Working Conditions
Locksmiths often specialize in one aspect
of their trade and working conditions vary
with the area of specialization. Locksmiths
who handle emergency calls do considerable
driving from job to job. They work evenings
and weekends and sometimes work outside in
bad weather. Some locksmiths have con­
tracts with businesses to change safe combi­
nations and rekey locks periodically. These
locksmiths also travel frequently but have
regular rounds and hours. Other locksmiths

only work in shops specializing in repair
work, key duplicating, and sales. All lock­
smiths occasionally work in awkward posi­
tions for long periods. Locksmithing gener­
ally is clean and safe, however.
Locksmiths who own their own shops have
managerial duties, such as keeping records,
purchasing supplies, and supervising other

Places of Employment
An estimated 15,000 people worked as
locksmiths in 1978. Most worked for lock­
smith shops. Many operated their own busi­
nesses. Some locksmiths worked in hardware
and department stores that offered locksmith
services to the public. Others worked in es­
tablishments that had a large number of locks
that had to be maintained, such as goverment
agencies, schools, and large industrial plants.
A small number worked for safe and lock
Locksmiths work in virtually every part of
the country. Locksmithing in small towns
may be a part-time job, combined with other
work, such as fixing lawnmowers, guns, and

Training, Other Qualifications, and
On-the-job training under the supervision
of experienced locksmiths is the recom­

mended way to learn this trade. Trainees first
do simple jobs, such as duplicating keys on
keycutting machines and making keys from
number codes. As trainees gain experience,
they learn to open, repair, and install locks.
Generally a trainee needs about 4 years of
on-the-job training to acquire the skills of the
trade. Additional training is needed to ser­
vice electronic security systems.
A small number of vocational and corre­
spondence schools offer 1- to 2-year pro­
grams in locksmithing and business manage­
ment. At some schools, students may
specialize in safe repair or alarm systems. Al­
though completion of a locksmithing course
does not assure a job, employers generally
prefer to hire people with some knowledge of
the trade.
Employers look for people who have me­
chanical aptitude, good hand-eye coordina­
tion, and manual dexterity. A neat appear­
ance and a friendly, tactful manner also are
important, since the locksmith has frequent
contact with the public. Employers usually
will not hire applicants who have been con­
victed of serious crimes.
Although high school graduates are pre­
ferred, many employers will hire applicants
with less education. High school courses in
machine shop, mechanical drawing, and
mathematics are helpful. Courses in business
administration are useful for those who wish
to open locksmith shops.
Some cities have licensing requirements.
Applicants may have to be fingerprinted, pay
a fee, or pass a written or practical examina­
tion. Information on licensing may be ob­
tained from local governments.
To keep up with new developments in their
field, locksmiths read monthly technical
journals and attend training classes at na­
tional and regional conventions such as those
of the Associated Locksmiths of America.
Locksmiths can advance to shop supervi­
sors. Experienced locksmiths can go into
business for themselves with relatively little
capital. Many do business from their homes.

growth is expected in the future. Opportuni­
ties also will be favorable for locksmiths who
are willing to work at night to handle emer­
gencies, such as people locked out of their
cars or homes.

Experienced locksmiths earned from $200
to $300 a week in 1978, according to the
limited information available. Self-employed
locksmiths can earn more. Trainees usually
started at about $2.90 an hour and received
periodic raises during training.
Most locksmiths receive an hourly rate or
weekly salary, although some work on a
commission basis, receiving a percentage of
the sales and service work they handle. Their
earnings depend on the amount of work
available and how quickly they complete it.

Employment of locksmiths is expected to
increase as a result of population growth and
greater concern about security among busi­
nesses and individuals. Many individuals feel
that conventional locks are not adequate and
are having better locks installed. Many busi­
nesses have adopted measures to strengthen
security such as periodically changing safe
combinations. Opportunities will be particu­
larly favorable for locksmiths who know how
to install and service electronic security sys­
tems. Use of such systems has expanded
greatly in recent years, and still greater

Maintenance electricians make repairs by
replacing items such as a lamp, fuse, switch,
or wire. When replacing a wire, they first
make sure the power is off. Workers then pull
the old wire from the conduit (a pipe or tube)
and pull the new wire through to replace the
old. Once the new wire is connected, they test
to make sure the circuit is complete and func­
tioning properly.

Most locksmiths work 40 to 48 hours a
week; even longer hours are common among
the self-employed. The locksmith may be
called at night to handle emergencies, though
in many shops the responsibility to be “on
call” is rotated among the staff. Locksmith
shops generally are busy year round.

Maintenance electricians sometimes work
from blueprints, wiring diagrams, or other
specifications. They use meters and other
testing devices to locate faulty equipment. To
make repairs they use pliers, screwdrivers,
wirecutters, drills, and other tools.

Related Occupations

Working Conditions

In their work, locksmiths combine special
technical knowledge and manual skills to
open, install, and repair locks. A closely
related occupation is safe-and-vault service
mechanic. Gunsmiths, jewelers, and watch
repairers also do a variety of service and re­
pair jobs. These workers generally need more
training than locksmiths.

During a single day, an electrician may
repair equipment both in a clean, air-condi­
tioned office and on a factory floor, sur­
rounded by the noise, oil, and grease of ma­
chinery. Electricians often climb ladders or
work on scaffolds in awkward or cramped

Sources of Additional Information
Details about training and work oppor­
tunities may be available from local lock­
smith shops, locksmith associations, and of­
fices of the State employment service. For a
list of schools offering courses in locksmith­
ing and general information about the occu­
pation, contact:
Associated Locksmiths of America, Inc., 3003
Live Oak St., Dallas, Tex. 75204.

Employment Outlook
Employment in this relatively small occu­
pation is expected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s. In addition, openings will arise each
year as experienced locksmiths retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations.

usually fix all kinds of electrical equipment.
Regardless of location, electricians spend
much of their time doing preventive mainte­
nance—periodic inspection of equipment to
locate and correct defects before breakdowns
occur. When trouble occurs, they must find
the cause and make repairs quickly to pre­
vent costly production losses. In emergen­
cies, they advise management whether con­
tinued operation of equipment would be

(D.O.T. 822.261-010, -018; 825.281-014, -018, -022,
-026, and -030, .381-014, -030, and -034; 829.281-014,
.361-010, and -014; and 962.381-014)

Nature of the Work
Maintenance electricians keep lighting sys­
tems, transformers, generators, and other
electrical equipment in good working order.
They also may install new electrical equip­
Duties vary greatly, depending on where
the electrician is employed. Electricians who
work in large factories may repair particular
items such as motors and welding machines.
Those in office buildings and small plants

Because maintenance electricians work
near high-voltage industrial equipment, they
must be alert and accurate. Errors in wiring
installations could endanger both the electri­
cian and other employees. Safety principles,
which are a part of all electrician training
programs, have reduced the frequency of ac­
cidents. Electricians are taught to use protec­
tive equipment and clothing, to respect the
destructive potential of electricity, and to
fight small electrical fires.

Places of Employment
An estimated 300,000 maintenance electri­
cians were employed in 1978. More than half
of them worked in manufacturing industries;
large numbers worked in plants that make
automobiles, machinery, chemicals, alumi­
num, and iron and steel. Many maintenance
electricians also were employed by public
utilities, mines, railroads, and Federal, State,
and local governments.
Maintenance electricians are employed in
every State. Large numbers work in heavily
industrialized States such as California, New
York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most maintenance electricians learn their
trade on the job or through formal appren­
ticeship programs. A relatively small number
learn the trade in the Armed Forces. TrainOTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRERS/351

Growth in the number of job openings is
expected to be fairly steady in the years ahead
since the demand for maintenance electri­
cians is not very sensitive to ups and downs
in the economy. At times when construction
activity is depressed, however, beginners may
face competition for job openings because
some unemployed construction electricians
apply for these openings.

Earnings of maintenance electricians com­
pare favorably with those of other skilled
workers. In 1978, based on a survey of metro­
politan areas, maintenance electricians ave­
raged about $8.44 an hour or about one and
one-half times the earnings of all nonsupervisory workers in private industry except farm­
ing. Earnings of maintenance electricians
varied by location, ranging from a low of
$6.17 an hour in Jackson, Miss., to a high of
$9.35 an hour in Detroit, Mich.
Apprentices start at about 60 percent of
the skilled electrician’s hourly pay rate and
receive increases every 6 months.

Maintenance electricians frequently use instruments to check equipment.

ing authorities generally agree that appren­
ticeship gives trainees more thorough knowl­
edge of the trade and improved job oppor­
tunities during their working life. Because
the training is comprehensive, people who
complete apprenticeship programs may qual­
ify either as maintenance or construction
electricians. Apprenticeship usually lasts 4
years, and consists of on-the-job training and
related classroom instruction in subjects such
as mathematics, electrical and electronic the­
ory, and blueprint reading. Training may in­
clude motor repair, wire splicing, installation
and repair of electronic controls and circuits,
and welding and brazing.
Although apprenticeship is the preferred
method of training, many people learn the
trade informally on the job by serving as
helpers to skilled maintenance electricians.
Helpers begin by doing simple jobs such as
replacing fuses or resetting switches and,
with experience, advance to more compli­
cated jobs such as splicing and connecting
wires. They eventually get enough experience
to qualify as electricians. This method of
learning the trade, however, may take con­
siderably longer than 4 years.
Persons interested in becoming mainte­
nance electricians can obtain a good back­
ground by taking high school or vocational
school courses in electricity, electronics, alge­
bra, mechanical drawing, shop, and science.
To qualify for an apprenticeship program, an

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

applicant must be at least 18 years old and
usually must be a high school or vocational
school graduate with 1 year of algebra.
Although physical strength is not essen­
tial, manual dexterity, agility, and good
health are important. Good color vision is
necessary because electrical wires frequently
are identified by color.
All maintenance electricians should be
familiar with the National Electric Code
and local building codes. Many cities and
counties require maintenance electricians
to be licensed. Electricians can get a li­
cense by passing an examination that tests
their knowledge of electrical theory and its
Some maintenance electricians become
supervisors. Occasionally, they advance to
jobs such as plant electrical superintendent
or plant maintenance superintendent.

Employment Outlook
Employment of maintenance electricians
is expected to increase faster than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Growth will stem from increased use of elec­
trical and electronic equipment by industry.
In addition to new jobs arising from the in­
creased need for these workers, a few thou­
sand openings will arise each year to replace
experienced electricians who retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations.

Among unions organizing maintenance
electricians are the International Brother­
hood of Electrical Workers; the International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the In­
ternational Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America (Ind.); and the United
Steelworkers of America.

Related Occupations
Maintenance electricians combine manual
skill and a knowledge of electricity to clean,
repair, and replace electrical devices. Other
workers who have similar skills are air-condi­
tioning installers, construction electricians,
electrical appliance repairers, electronics me­
chanics, elevator constructors, and line and
cable installers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about apprenticeships or
other work opportunities in the trade is avail­
able from local firms that employ mainte­
nance electricians, and from local unionmanagement apprenticeship committees. In
addition, the local office of the State employ­
ment service may provide information about
training opportunities. Some State employ­
ment service offices screen applicants and
give aptitude tests.
For general information about the work of
electricians, contact:
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
1125 15th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20005.
National Electrical Constructor Association,
7315 Wisconsin Ave. NW., Washington, D. C.
National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Com­
mittee for the Electrical Industry, 9700 E. George
Palmer Hwy., Lanham, Md. 20801.

(D.O.T. 620.281-054 and .384-010)

Nature of the Work
In 1950, just over 500,000 motorcycles
were registered in United States compared
with over 5 million today. Accompanying
this rapid rise in the number of motorcycles
has been a rapid increase in the number of
motorcycle mechanics. Although many cy­
cling enthusiasts repair their own vehicles,
most rely on skilled mechanics.
Motorcycles, like automobiles, need peri­
odic servicing to operate at peak efficiency.
Spark plugs, ignition points, brakes, and
many other parts frequently require adjust­
ment or replacement. This routine servicing
represents the major part of the mechanic’s
The mark of a skilled mechanic is the abil­
ity to diagnose mechanical and electrical
problems and to make repairs in a minimum
of time. In diagnosing problems, the me­
chanic first obtains a description of the symp­
toms from the owner, and then runs the en­
gine or test rides the motorcycle. The
mechanic may have to use special testing
equipment and disassemble some compo­
nents for further examination. After pin­
pointing the problem, the mechanic makes
needed adjustments or replacements. Some
jobs require only the replacement of a single
item, such as a carburetor or generator, and
may be completed in less than an hour. In
contrast, an overhaul may require several
hours, because the mechanic must disassem­
ble and reassemble the engine to replace
worn valves, pistons, bearings, and other in­
ternal parts.

Mechanics use common handtools such as
wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers, as well as
special tools for getting at parts that are hard
to remove such as flywheels and bearings.
They also use compression gages, timing
lights, and other kinds of testing devices.
Hoists are used to lift heavy motorcycles.
Most mechanics service only a few of the
many makes and models of motorcycles and
motor scooters. In large shops, some me­
chanics specialize in overhauling and re­
building engines and transmissions, but most
are expected to perform all kinds of repairs.
Mechanics may occasionally repair mini­
bikes, go-carts, snowmobiles, outboard mo­
tors, lawnmowers, and other equipment pow­
ered by small gasoline engines.

Working Conditions
Motorcycle repair shops generally are well
lighted and well ventilated, but are noisy
when engines are being tested. The work is
not hazardous, although mechanics are sub­
ject to cuts, bruises, bums, and other minor
injuries. Since most motorcycles are rela­
tively lightweight and have easily accessible
parts, mechanics rarely do heavy lifting or
work in awkward positions.

Places of Employment
About 13,000 persons worked full time as
motorcycle mechanics in 1978, and a few
thousand more had part-time jobs. Most me­
chanics work for motorcycle dealers. Others
work for city governments to maintain police
motorcycles. A small number of mechanics
work for firms that specialize in modifying or
“customizing” motorcycles. Most shops em­
ploy fewer than five mechanics. Motorcycle
mechanics work in every State and major
Mechanics who specialize in repairing mo­

Sometimes mechanics must disassemble an engine to diagnose a problem.

torcycles work mainly in metropolitan areas.
In smaller cities, motorcycles frequently are
repaired by owners, managers of motorcycle
dealerships, or mechanics who repair all
kinds of equipment powered by small gaso­
line engines, such as outboard motors and

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Motorcycle mechanics usually pick up
skills from experienced workers on the job.
Beginners usually start by learning to un­
crate, assemble, and road test new motorcy­
cles. Next, they do routine maintenance jobs
such as adjusting brakes and replacing spark
plugs and ignition points. As trainees gain
experience, they progress to more difficult
tasks such as repairing electrical systems and
overhauling engines and transmissions. Gen­
erally, 2 to 3 years of training on the job are
necessary before trainees become skilled in
all aspects of motorcycle repair.
Trainees usually accumulate handtools as
they gain experience. Experienced mechanics
often have hundreds of dollars invested in
Employers sometimes send mechanics and
experienced trainees to special training
courses conducted by motorcycle manufac­
turers and importers. These courses, which
can last as long as 2 weeks, are designed to
upgrade the worker’s skills and provide in­
formation on repairing new models.
When hiring trainees, employers look par­
ticularly for cycling enthusiasts who have
gained practical experience by repairing their
own motorcycles. However, many employers
will hire trainees with no riding experience if
they have mechanical aptitude and show an
interest in learning the work. Trainees must
obtain a motorcycle driver’s license to deliver
newly assembled motorcycles and test drive
those brought in for repairs.
Most employers prefer high school gradu­
ates, but will accept applicants with less edu­
cation. Courses in small engine repair—of­
fered by some high schools and vocational
schools—generally are helpful, as are courses
in automobile mechanics, science, and math­
ematics. Many motorcycle dealers employ
students to help assemble new motorcycles
and perform minor repairs.
Public schools in some large cities offer
postsecondary and adult education in small
engine and motorcycle repair. Some techni­
cal schools have training programs for mo­
torcycle mechanics. Many junior and com­
munity colleges and correspondence schools
offer courses in motorcycle repair.
Because all internal combustion engines
are similar, skills learned through repairing
motorcycles can be transferred to other fields
of mechanical work. For example, motorcy­
cle mechanics can become automobile, truck,
or diesel mechanics with additional training,
but such a transfer would not necessarily
mean higher earnings.

Motorcycle mechanics have limited ad­
vancement possibilities. Those with supervi­
sory ability may advance to service manager
and, eventually, to general manager in large
dealerships. Those who have the necessary
capital may become dealers.

Employment Outlook
Employment in this relatively small occu­
pation is expected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Openings arising from growth in the
demand for mechanics will fluctuate from
year to year, however, as motorcycle sales
and thus employment of motorcycle mechan­
ics appear to be sensitive to cyclical changes
in the economy. Additional openings will
arise as experienced mechanics retire, die, or
transfer to other fields.
Underlying the anticipated growth in the
number of motorcycle mechanics is the con­
tinued growth in the number of motorcycles.
Increases in the young adult population and
in personal income as well as a growing inter­
est in the motorcycle as a means of inexpen­
sive transportation will create a demand for
more motorcycles. Also, growth in the num­
bers of minibikes and snowmobiles could
stimulate the demand for mechanics.
Opportunities for employment will be best
for persons who have some experience and a
full set of tools. Persons with postsecondary
school training in motorcycle repair should
have a competitive advantage over those
without this training.
Most job opening will be in larger dealer­
ships, which are located mainly in suburbs of
metropolitan areas. Many motorcycle dealers
in small cities do not have enough business to
hire full-time trainees, but part-time or sum­
mer jobs may be available.

Earnings of motorcycle mechanics and
trainees vary widely and depend on level of
skill, geographic location, season of the year,
and employer. Limited information indicates
that experienced mechanics employed by
motorcycle dealers earned between $5 and $9
an hour in 1978. Trainees earned substan­
tially less.
Some mechanics receive an hourly rate or
a weekly salary. Others receive a percentage
—usually about 50 percent—of the labor cost
charged to the customer. If a mechanic is
paid on a percentage basis, income depends
on the amount of work assigned and how
rapidly the mechanic completes it. Fre­
quently, trainees are paid on a piecework
basis when uncrating and assembling new
motorcycles. At other times, they are paid an
hourly rate or weekly salary.
Motorcycling increases sharply with
warmer weather. As a result, most mechanics
work more than 40 hours a week during the
summer. Many temporary employees work
only part time, and are laid off in the fall.
However, a large proportion of these are ei­
ther students or workers with other jobs.


A small percentage of motorcycle mechan­
ics are members of the International Associa­
tion of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Related Occupations
Many other workers need the same skills,
abilities, and interests as motorcycle mechan­
ics. Such occupations include appliance re­
pairers, automobile-generator-and-starter re­
pairers, boat-engine mechanics, maintenance
electricians, electric-motor repairers, and
vacuum cleaner repairers.

Sources of Additional Information
For further information regarding employ­
ment opportunities and training, contact
local motorcycle dealers or the local office of
the State employment service.

Piano and Organ
Tuners and Repairers
(D.O.T. 730.281-038, .361-010, -014, and 828.261-010)

Nature of the Work
Whether they are used to perform the clas­
sics or contemporary rock, pianos and organs
are major sources of entertainment and recre­
ation. Maintaining the instruments so they
perform properly is the job of piano and
organ tuners and repairers. There are four
different kinds of piano and organ tuners and
repairers: Piano tuners, piano techicians,
pipe-organ repairers, and electronic-organ
When a piano key is struck, a felt-covered
wooden hammer strikes a steel string, caus­
ing it to vibrate. The number of times the
string vibrates in a second is called its pitch.
For the piano to sound right, all its strings

must be set at their proper pitch. Piano tuners
(D.O.T. 730.361-010) adjust piano strings so
that they will be in proper pitch.
Tuners begin by adjusting the pitch of the
“A” string. Striking the key, the tuner com­
pares the string’s pitch to that of a tuning
fork. Using a tuning hammer (also called a
tuning lever or wrench), tuners turn a steel
pin to tighten or loosen the string until its
pitch matches that of the tuning fork. The
pitch of all the other strings is set in relation
to the “A” string. The standard 88-key piano
has about 260 strings and can be tuned in
about an hour.
Pianos are complex instruments with thou­
sands of wooden, steel, iron, ivory, and felt
parts. Understandably, such instruments oc­
casionally require repair. Piano technicians
(D.O.T. 730.281-038) locate and correct
problems that may affect the piano’s sound.
Most technicians also tune pianos.
To get an idea of what is wrong, techni­
cians talk to the customer. They also may
play the piano or partially dismantle it to
inspect the parts. When technicians discover
the problem, they make repairs or adjust­

ments. They may realign hammers that do
not strike the strings just right—this is called
regulating the piano. They may replace worn
felt or broken strings. They may rebuild or
replace the wooden sounding board that am­
plifies the string’s vibrations. Sometimes
technicians completely rebuild pianos. To
dismantle and repair pianos, technicians use
common handtools as well as special ones,
such as regulating, repinning, and restringing
Although organs and pianos may look
somewhat alike, they work differently, and
few people work on both instruments. More­
over, people who service organs specialize in
either pipe or electronic organs.
Pipe-organ repairers (D.O.T. 730.361-014)
tune, repair, and install organs that make
music by forcing air through one of two kinds
of pipes—flue pipes or reed pipes. The sound
of a flue pipe, like that in a whistle, is made
by air forced through an opening. The reed
pipe makes its sound by vibrating a brass reed
in the air current.
To tune an organ, repairers first match the
pitch of the “A” pipes with that of a tuning
fork. The pitch of other pipes is set by com­
paring it with that of the “A” pipes. To tune
a flue pipe, the technician moves a metal slide
that increases or decreases the pipe’s “speak­
ing length.” A reed pipe is tuned by adjusting
the length of the reed. A day or more may be
needed to finish one of these jobs, because
most organs have hundreds of pipes.
Like piano technicians, pipe-organ repair­
ers must locate and correct problems in the
organ’s components that affect its sound.
This may involve replacing worn parts of the
pipes, the console, or other components. Re­
pairers also do maintenance work, such as
cleaning the pipes, on a regular schedule.
Occasionally, pipe-organ repairers assem­
ble organs onsite in churches and auditori­
ums. They follow the designer’s blueprints
and use a variety of hand and power tools to
install and connect the air chest, blowers, air
ducts, pipes, and other components. Techni­
cians may work in teams or be assisted by
helpers. A job may take several weeks or even
months, depending on the size of the organ.
In contrast with pipe organs, the sound
from electronic organs is made by electronic
generators and computer circuits. As a re­
sult, electronic-organ technicians (D.O.T.
828.261-010) have very different duties from
pipe-organ repairers. They use special elec­
tronic test equipment to tune and to check
tone and amplification. Most electronic or­
gans do not require tuning. Those that do are
fairly simple to tune. However, these organs
may break down due to faulty transistors,
dirty contacts, and other problems.
To locate the cause of a breakdown, tech­
nicians first check for common sources of
trouble such as loose connections. When rou­
tine checks do not work, technicians refer to
wiring diagrams and service manuals that
show connections within organs, provide ad­
justment information, and describe causes of

trouble. Circuits that might cause the prob­
lem are checked with electronic meters. For
example, technicians check voltages until an
unusual or irregular measure shows up the
part of the circuitry causing trouble. When
the cause of the problem is found, technicians
make repairs. Often this is done by replacing
faulty parts such as circuit boards. In their
work, technicians use soldering irons, wire
cutters, and other handtools.

Working Conditions
The work is relatively safe, although tun­
ers and repairers may suffer small cuts and
bruises when making repairs. Electrical
shock is a minor hazard for electronic-organ
technicians. Work is performed in shops and
homes and public buildings, such as churches
and schools, where working conditions usu­
ally are pleasant.

Places of Employment
About 8,000 persons worked as piano and
organ tuners and repairers in 1978; most
worked on pianos. About two-thirds of the
total worked in repair shops; many are selfemployed. Another one-fifth were employed
by piano and organ dealers. Most of the rest
worked for piano and organ manufacturers.
Piano and organ tuners and repairers are
employed mostly in cities and States that
have large populations. In towns too small to
offer enough work for a full-time job in this
field, piano and pipe-organ work may be
done part time by local music teachers and
professional musicians. Similarly, electronicorgan work may be done by television and
radio repairers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Piano tuners and technicians and pipeorgan repairers generally learn their trade on
the job. Music stores and large repair shops
hire inexperienced people as trainees.
Trainees do general cleanup work, help move
and install instruments, and do other routine
tasks. Working under the supervision of ex­
perienced workers, they learn to tune the in­
struments and make repairs. Usually 4 to 5
years of on-the-job training and practice
work are needed to become a competent
piano technician or pipe-organ repairer.

learn to repair organs on the job working for
music stores or in classes run by organ manu­
Employers prefer high school graduates
for beginning jobs in piano or organ servic­
ing. Music courses help develop the student’s
ear for tonal quality. Courses in woodwork­
ing also are useful because many of the mov­
ing parts in pianos and pipe organs are made
of wood.
People interested in a career in these fields
should have good hearing, mechanical apti­
tude, and manual dexterity. Because work
frequently is done in the customer’s home, a
neat appearance and a pleasant, cooperative
manner also are important. Ability to play
the instrument helps but is not essential as a
Piano and organ tuners and repairers keep
up with new developments in their fields by
studying trade magazines and manufactur­
ers’ service manuals. The Piano Technicians
Guild helps its'members improve their skills
through training programs conducted at
local chapter meetings and at regional and
national seminars. Guild members also can
take a series of tests to earn the title, Regis­
tered Tuner-Technician. The title is an ac­
knowledgment of the technician’s ability.
Most electronic-organ manufacturers con­
duct brief courses periodically to provide in­
formation on technical changes in their in­
Tuners and repairers who work for large
dealers or repair shops can advance to super­
visory positions. Most people in this field
move up, however, by going into business for
themselves. Opening a repair business is
fairly easy because only a small investment in
tools is required. Basic piano or pipe-organ
tools cost only a few hundred dollars. By
contrast, tools and test equipment for elec­

tronic organs may cost about a thousand dol­
lars. Self-employed tuners and repairers may
operate out of their own homes and use either
a car or a small truck for service calls. They
also may work another job until their clien­
tele is large enough to support a repair busi­

Employment Outlook
Employment of piano and organ tuners
and repairers is expected to grow more
slowly than the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s. The number of pianos
and organs in use will increase as the popula­
tion grows and as people get more leisure
time. However, the growth in the number of
pianos and organs will be limited because of
competition from other forms of entertain­
ment and recreation. Job openings will be­
come available each year as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations. However, this is a very small occu­
pation, and the number of job openings will
be few.
Opportunities for beginners will be best in
piano and organ dealerships and large repair
shops. Many repair shops are too small to
afford a full-time helper, although they may
hire one helper part time.

Experienced workers earned from $5 to
$10 an hour in 1978, according to the limited
information available. Beginning rates for
helpers ranged from $3 to $5 an hour. Wages
vary with the skill of the worker and the area
of the country.
Many self-employed tuners and repairers
earned more than $12,000 a year, and earn­
ings in excess of $15,000 a year were not
uncommon. Earnings of the self-employed
depend on the size of the community, their

A small number of technical schools and
colleges offer courses in piano technology
that last 6 months to 2 years. Home study
(correspondence school) courses in piano
technology also are available. These courses
emphasize practice tuning and repairing of
pianos. Graduates of the courses often are
encouraged to refine their skills by working
for a time with an experienced tuner or tech­
Formal training or work experience in
electronics is needed for jobs as electronicorgan technician trainees. Training in elec­
tronics is available from private vocational
schools, community colleges, some high
schools, and the Armed Forces. Trainees

Putting a piano in proper pitch requires a good ear and concentration.

ability to attract and keep customers, their
operating expenses, and competition from
other tuners and repairers.
During fall and winter, people spend more
time indoors playing their pianos or organs.
Consequently, many tuners and repairers
work more than 40 hours a week at that time.
Self-employed tuners and repairers fre­
quently work evenings and weekends to suit
their customers.

Related Occupations
There are almost as many different musi­
cal-instrument repairers as there are different
musical instruments. Other occupations in
this trade are accordion repairer, frettedinstrument repairer, harpsichord repairer, vi­
olin repairer, wind-instrument repairer, ac­
cordion tuner, percussion-instrument repair­
er, percussion tuner, and bow repairer.

Sources of Additional Information
Details about job opportunities may be
available from local piano and organ dealers
and repair shops. For general information
about piano technicians and a list of schools
offering courses in piano technology, write
Piano Technicians Guild, Inc., 113 Dexter Ave.
N., Seattle, Wash. 98109.

Shoe Repairers
(D.O.T. 365.361-014)

Nature of the Work
People like their shoes to look nice and feel
comfortable. Keeping them that way is the
job of the shoe repairer. Using their knowl­
edge of shoe construction and leatherwork­
ing, shoe repairers give worn shoes a new
lease on life.

luggage, tents, and other items made of
leather, rubber, or canvas. They also replace
zippers, dye handbags, and stretch shoes to
conform to the foot.
In large shops, repair work sometimes is
divided into a number of specialized tasks.
For example, some repairers only remove
and replace heels and soles; others only re­
stitch tom seams.
Shoe repairers use a variety of poweroperated equipment, such as sole-stitchers,
heel-nailing machines, and sewing machines.
Among the handtools they use are hammers,
knives, awls, nippers, •and skivers (a special
tool for splitting pieces of leather).

Working Conditions
Because many shoe repairers own shops,
working conditions often are determined by
the repairer. Shops are usually comfortable,
but some may be crowded and noisy and
have poor lighting or ventilation. Strong
odors from leather goods, dyes, and stains
may be present.
The work is not strenuous and there are
few hazards. However, it does require stam­
ina because repairers must stand much of the
Self-employed shoe repairers have
managerial responsibilities in addition to
their regular duties. They have to maintain
good relations with their customers. They
have to decide whether to sell items such as
shoe polish and leather goods. Shop owners
also keep business records and supervise
other repairers, helpers, and cashiers.

Places of Employment
About 22,000 shoe repairers were em­
ployed in 1978. About one-half of them
owned shoe repair shops, many of which

were small, one-person operations. Most of
the remaining repairers worked in shoe
shops. Some repairers worked in shoe stores,
department stores, and drycleaning shops. A
small number were employed in shoe manu­
facturing, to repair shoes damaged in produc­
tion. These workers generally are less skilled
than those who work in repair shops.
Shoe repairers are employed throughout
the country. Employment, however, is con­
centrated in large cities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Some shoe repairers learn their trade on
the job as helpers to experienced repairers.
Helpers begin by assisting experienced re­
pairers with simple tasks, such as removing
soles and heels and staining, brushing, and
shining shoes. As they gain experience,
trainees learn to replace heels and soles, to
estimate the cost of repairs, and to deal with
customers. Helpers usually become fully
skilled in 6 months to 2 years.
A limited number of vocational schools
offer training in shoe repair. Applicants to
these schools usually must have a high school
diploma. In vocational classes, students
study shoe construction and practice differ­
ent types of shoe repair. In addition to learn­
ing shoe repairing, vocational school stu­
dents attend classes in business admini­
stration. The programs last from 6 months to
2 years. Graduates often are encouraged to
gain additional training by working with ex­
perienced shoe repairers.
Shoe repairers must have manual dexter­
ity and mechanical aptitude to work with
various machines and handtools. They
must be reliable because they work alone
with little supervision. In addition to being
skilled craftworkers, repairers who own

Replacing soles and heels is the most com­
mon type of shoe repair. Repairers place the
shoe on a last, a block shaped like a foot.
They remove the old sole and heel with a
knife and pincers. To prepare the shoe for the
new sole, repairers rough the bottom by hold­
ing it against a sanding wheel. Repairers then
cement to the shoe a precut piece of leather
that will be the new sole. They pound the
leather with a hammer or on a machine so it
adheres to the shoe, and cement or stitch it
in place. To form the new sole, repairers
smooth the edge of the leather against a sand­
ing wheel and cut off the excess using a trim­
ming machine. To reheel the shoe, repairers
select a precut replacement heel or cut one to
shape and cement and nail it in place. Fi­
nally, the new sole and heel are stained and
buffed to match the color of the shoe.
Shoe repairers also replace insoles, restitch
loose seams, and restyle old shoes by chang­
ing heels or dyeing uppers. Highly skilled
repairers may design, make, or repair ortho­
pedic shoes according to doctors’ prescrip­
tions. Repairers also may mend handbags, OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Shoe repairers rely on a variety of power-operated equipment, such as “ roughing” machines.

shops must be good business managers.
These repairers must have a working
knowledge of business administration, mar­
keting, and accounting.
Advancement opportunities for shoe re­
pairers are limited. Many open their own
shops and some who are employed in large
shops become supervisors.

Employment Outlook
Employment of shoe repairers is not ex­
pected to change significantly through the
1980’s. Nevertheless, numerous job openings
are expected each year in this relatively small
occupation, because of the need to replace
experienced shoe repairers who retire, die, or
leave the field for other reasons. Job oppor­
tunities should be good for people with some
training in shoe repair. However, training is
difficult to obtain since there are few voca­
tional training programs and inexperienced
workers often have difficulty finding a job as
a helper in a repair shop.
For many years, employment of shoe re­
pairers declined because new shoes were rela­
tively inexpensive and many people bought
new shoes instead of having old ones fixed.
This reduced the need for shoe repairs and
repairers. The popularity of cushion-soled
shoes and other casual footwear which usu­
ally are not practical to repair also limited the
demand for these workers. Shoe price in­
creases, however, should stimulate the de­
mand for repairs. As a result, shoe repairer
employment is expected to remain about the
same in the future.

Shoe repairers earned between $3 and $5
an hour in 1978, according to the limited
information available. Some managers and
owners of shoe repair shops earned more
than $300 a week.

Television and Radio
Service Technicians
(D.O.T. 720.281-018)

Nature of the Work
Television and radio service technicians re­
pair a large and growing number of home
electronic products, of which television sets
and radios are the most numerous. Stereo
components, tape recorders, and even elec­
tronic organs also are repaired by these tech­
nicians. Some service technicians specialize
in repairing one kind of equipment—for ex­
ample, television sets or car radios. Others
repair several types—televisions, video tape
machines, intercoms, and public address sys­
Electronic equipment may operate unsatis­
factorily for many reasons, such as defective
parts, faulty circuits, or poor connections.
Service technicians must check and evaluate
each possible cause of trouble. They begin by
checking common causes such as loose con­
nections. Talking to customers may help
technicians identify the problem.
When routine checks do not locate the
trouble, technicians refer to wiring diagrams
and service manuals that show connections
and provide information on how to locate
problems. Using test equipment, such as
voltmeters, oscilloscopes, and signal genera­
tors, they check circuits. For example, they
may measure voltages or wave forms in the
circuits of a television set for unusual or ir­
regular measurements that indicate the
faulty parts. To make repairs, technicians re­
place faulty parts or make adjustments, such
as focusing and converging the picture or
correcting the color balance of a television
set. In their work, technicians use pliers, sol­

dering irons, wire cutters, and other handtools. Technicians who make customer ser­
vice calls carry tubes, modules, and other
parts that can be easily replaced in the cus­
tomer’s home.
Self-employed service technicians have
managerial responsibilities in addition to
their regular duties. They have to order
equipment and supplies, keep records, and
supervise other technicians.

Working Conditions
Service technicians work in shops or cus­
tomers’ homes and working conditions gen­
erally are good. They usually work alone and
receive little supervision. Technicians who
service television sets in homes may do con­
siderable driving. Hazards in the trade in­
clude electrical shock and strains from lifting
and carrying.

Places of Employment
About 131,000 people worked as radio and
television service technicians in 1978. About
one-quarter of them were self-employed, a
much larger proportion than in most skilled
trades. Two-thirds of all service technicians,
either self-employed or working for others,
worked in television repair shops and stores
that sell and service television sets, radios,
and other electronic products.
Television and radio service technicians
work in almost every city. Geographically,
employment is distributed in much the same
way as the Nation’s population.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training in electronics generally is re­
quired to get an entry level job as a television

Shoe repairers often work more than 40
hours a week. The workweek is sometimes
10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Although
shoe repair shops are busiest during the
spring and fall, work is steady with no sea­
sonal layoffs.

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers
make and repair items using leather and
cloth are alterations tailor, furniture uphol­
sterer, furrier, harness maker, luggage re­
pairer, rug repairer, saddlemaker, and cus­
tom shoemaker.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about the shoe repair business
and training opportunities may be obtained
Shoe Service Institute of America, 222 W. Adams
St., Chicago, 111. 60606.

Information about work opportunities is
available from State employment service of­
fices, as well as shoe shops and shoe service
wholesalers in
 the community.

A technician checking for problems with electronic test equipment.

and radio service technician. High schools,
private vocational schools, and junior col­
leges offer training in television and radio
repair. Programs in these schools include
subjects such as mathematics, physics, sche­
matic reading, electricity, and hands-on
work with television sets, radios, and other
equipment. The training lasts from 1 to 2
The military services offer training and
work experience that are very useful in civil­
ian electronics work. However, additional
training in television electronics may be re­
quired by employers.
New technicians usually begin by working
in the shop or in the field under the supervi­
sion of an experienced worker. Large repair
stores may provide inhouse training to famil­
iarize new workers with particular brands
and models of equipment.
Technicians must keep abreast of changes
in technology. Manufacturers, employers,
and trade associations, such as the National
Association of Television and Electronic Ser­
vicers of America, conduct training seminars
to teach technicians servicing methods for
new models or products. Technicians also
keep up with developments by studying
manufacturers’ service manuals and techni­
cal magazines.
Television and radio service technicians
must be able to manipulate small parts and
tools, and must have good eye-hand coor­
dination, normal hearing, and good eye­
sight and color vision. An ability to work
with people is essential in dealing with cus­
Some States require radio and television
technicians to be licensed. To obtain a li­
cense, applicants must pass an examination
designed to test their knowledge of electronic
circuits and components and their skill in the
use of testing equipment.
Service technicians who work in large
repair shops may be promoted to supervi­
sor or service manager. Technicians who
have sufficient funds may open their own
service shops. Some technicians obtain jobs
as electronics “trouble shooters” in manu­
facturing industries or government agen­
Those planning to go into business for
themselves should take some business ad­
ministration courses, particularly accounting
and consumer relations. Those interested in
advancing to positions such as electronics
technician can improve their opportunities
by taking courses in automatic controls, elec­
tronic engineering, television engineering,
and mathematics.

Employment Outlook
Employment of television and radio ser­
vice technicians is expected to increase faster
than the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s. In addition to openings from em­
ployment growth, openings will result each
year from the need to replace experienced OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

technicians who retire, die, or change occu­
Employment of service technicians is ex­
pected to increase in response to the grow­
ing number of television sets, radios,
phonographs, tape recorders, and other
home entertainment products, although im­
provements in technology will reduce ser­
vice requirements for these products. Ris­
ing population and personal incomes will
contribute to this growth. Greater use of
electronic products for purposes other than
entertainment also is expected. For exam­
ple, closed circuit television is being used
increasingly to monitor production pro­
cesses in manufacturing plants, to protect
buildings, and to bring educational pro­
grams into classrooms.
People who enter the occupation should
have steady work because the television and
radio repair business is not very sensitive to
changes in economic conditions.

Earnings of television and radio service
technicians ranged from $4.00 to $8.75 an
hour in 1978, based on the limited informa­
tion available. The wide variations in wage
rates reflect differences in skill levels, types of
employers, and geographic locations.
Television and radio service technicians
usually work 40 to 48 hours a week.
Some service technicians are members of
labor unions. Most of these belong to the
International Brotherhood of Electrical

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers repair
electronic equipment include appliance re­
pairers, business machine repairers, com­
puter service technicians, communications
technicians, and electronic organ techni­

Sources of Additional Information
For more information about jobs in this
field, contact local shops and stores that ser­
vice television sets and radios and other elec­
tronic equipment. Technical and vocational
schools that offer courses in television and
radio repair or electronics may provide infor­
mation about training. In addition, locals of
the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers and the local office of the State em­
ployment service may have information
about programs that provide training oppor­
Information about the work of television
and radio service technicians is available
National Association of Television and Electronic
Servicers of America, 5908 S. Troy St., Chicago,
111. 60629.
Electronics Industries Association, 2001 Eye St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20006.

Truck Mechanics
and Bus Mechanics
(D.O.T. 620.261-010; .281-026, -038, -062, -066; and
.381-010, -022; and .684-018.)

Nature of the Work
Commercial vehicles serve an important
function in the Nation’s economy. Heavy
trucks are used by industries such as mining
and construction to carry ore and building
materials, and by commercial trucking lines
for general freight hauling. Small trucks are
used for local hauling. Buses are used for
both local and transcontinental transporta­
tion, as well as for shipping some goods.
Truck and bus mechanics keep these vehicles
in good operating condition.
Truck and bus mechanics work on both
diesel and gasoline engines. Diesel engines
are found mostly in heavy trucks and buses,
although growing numbers of lighter trucks,
buses, and even cars are being built with die­
sels because of their durability and better gas
Mechanics who work for organizations
that maintain their own vehicles may spend
much time doing preventive maintenance to
assure safe operation, prevent wear and dam­
age to parts, and reduce costly breakdowns.
During a maintenance check, they usually
follow a regular check list that includes the
inspection of brake systems, steering mech­
anisms, wheel bearings, and other important
parts. If a part is not working properly, they
usually can repair or adjust it. If it cannot be
fixed, it is replaced.
In many shops mechanics do all kinds of
repair work. For example, they may work on
a vehicle’s electrical system, one day and do
major engine repair the next. In some large
shops, however, mechanics specialize in one
or two types of repair work. For example,
one mechanic may specialize in major engine
repair, another in transmission work, an­
other in electrical systems, and yet another in
suspension or brake systems.
Truck and bus mechanics use a variety
of tools in their work. They use power
tools such as pneumatic wrenches to re­
move bolts quickly; machine tools such as
lathes and grinding machines to rebuild
brakes and other parts; welding and flame
cutting equipment to remove and repair
exhaust systems and other parts; common
handtools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and
wrenches to work on small parts and reach
hard-to-get-to places; and jacks and hoists
to lift and move large parts. Truck and
bus mechanics also use a variety of testing
equipment. For example, when working on
electrical systems, they may use ohmmeters, ammeters, and voltmeters; to locate
engine malfunctions, they often use tachmeters and dynamometers.
For heavy work, such as removing engines
and transmissions, two mechanics may work
as a team, or a mechanic may be assisted by

Employers do not want to spend a lot of time
and money training mechanics only to see
them quit. To drive trucks or buses on public
roads, applicants may need a State chauf­
feur’s license.
Persons interested in becoming truck or
bus mechanics can gain valuable experience
by taking high school or vocational school
courses in automobile and diesel repair. Sci­
ence and mathematics help a mechanic un­
derstand how trucks and buses operate. Prac­
tical experience in automobile repair in a
gasoline service station or the Armed Forces
or from a hobby also is valuable.
Most mechanics must buy their own handtools. Experienced mechanics often invest
hundreds of dollars in tools.

Truck and bus mechanics may spend much time doing preventive maintenance.

an apprentice or helper. Mechanics generally
get their assignments from shop supervisors
or service managers who may check the me­
chanics’ work or assist in diagnosing prob­

Working Conditions
Truck and bus mechanics usually work in­
doors, although they may occasionally work
or make repairs on the road. They are subject
to the usual shop hazards such as cuts and
bruises. Mechanics handle greasy and dirty
parts and may stand or lie in awkward or
cramped positions to repair vehicles. Work
areas usually are well lighted, heated, and
ventilated, and many employers provide
locker rooms and shower facilities.

Places of Employment
A large proportion of the estimated 140,000 truck mechanics employed in 1978
worked for firms that owned fleets of trucks.
Fleet owners include trucking companies and
businesses that haul their own products such
as dairies and bakeries. Other employers in­
clude truck dealers, truck manufacturers,
truck repair shops, firms that rent or lease
trucks, and Federal, State, and local govern­
Most of the estimated 22,000 bus mechan­
ics employed in 1978 worked for local transit
companies and intercity buslines. Bus manu­
facturers employed a relatively small number
of mechanics.
Truck and bus mechanics are employed in
every section of the country, but most work
in large towns and cities where trucking com­
panies, buslines, and other fleet owners have
large repair shops.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most truck or bus mechanics learn their
skills on the job. Beginners usually do tasks
such as cleaning parts, fueling, and lubrica­
tion. They may also drive vehicles in and out
of the shop. As beginners gain experience and
as vacancies become available, they usually
are promoted to mechanics’ helpers. In some
shops, beginners—especially those having
prior automobile repair experience—start as
mechanics’ helpers.
Most helpers can make minor repairs after
a few months’ experience and advance to in­
creasingly difficult jobs as they prove their
ability. Generally, at least 3 to 4 years of
on-the-job experience are necessary to qual­
ify as an all-round truck or bus mechanic.
Additional training may be necessary for me­
chanics who wish to specialize in diesel en­
Most training authorities recommend a
formal 4-year apprenticeship as the best way
to learn these trades. Typical apprenticeship
programs for truck and bus mechanics con­
sist of approximately 8,000 hours of shop
training to obtain practical experience work­
ing on transmissions, engines, and other
components and at least 576 hours of class­
room instruction to learn blueprint reading,
mathematics, engine theory, and safety. Fre­
quently, these programs include training in
both diesel and gasoline engine repair.
For entry jobs, employers generally look
for applicants who have mechanical aptitude
and are at least 18 years of age and in good
physical condition. Completion of high
school is an advantage in getting an entry
mechanic job because employers believe such
a person has at least some traits of a good
worker, such as reliability and perseverance.

Employers sometimes send experienced
mechanics to special training classes con­
ducted by truck, bus, diesel engine, and parts
manufacturers. In these classes, mechanics
learn to repair the latest equipment or receive
special training in subjects such as diagnos­
ing engine malfunctions. Mechanics also
must read service and repair manuals to keep
abreast of engineering changes.
Experienced mechanics who have leader­
ship ability may advance to shop supervisors
or service managers. Truck mechanics who
have sales ability sometimes become truck
sales representatives. Some mechanics open
their own gasoline service stations or repair

Employment Outlook
Employment of truck mechanics is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s as a result
of significant increases in the transportation
of freight by trucks. More trucks will be
needed for both local and intercity hauling
due to the increased production of goods and
the necessity of transporting them greater
distances and to more places as both popula­
tion and industrial centers spread out. In ad­
dition to the jobs created by transportation
growth, many openings will arise to replace
truck mechanics who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
Bus mechanic employment is expected to
increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s as the num­
ber of buses on the Nation’s roads increases.
More buses will be needed for local travel due
to increased emphasis on mass transit sys­
tems. Intercity bus travel, on the other hand,
is expected to remain about the same. Most
job openings will result from the need to re­
place bus mechanics who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations.

Truck and bus mechanics employed by
trucking companies, buslines, and other
firms that maintain their own vehicles had
estimated average hourly earnings of $8.36 in
1978, about one and one-half times the aver­
age earnings of all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.

Beginning apprentices usually earn onehalf the rate of skilled workers and receive
increases about every 6 months until they
complete their apprenticeship and reach the
rate of skilled mechanics.
Most mechanics work between 40 and 48
hours per week. Those employed by truck
and bus firms which provide service around
the clock may work evenings, nights, and
weekends. They usually receive a higher rate
of pay for this work.

they check to see that the machines give
proper quantities of ingredients and that re­
frigerating and heating units work properly.
On gravity-operated machines, mechanics
check springs, plungers, and merchandise de­
livery systems. They also test coin and
change-making mechanisms. When install­
ing machines on location, mechanics make
the necessary water and electrical connec­
tions and recheck the machines for proper

Many truck and bus mechanics are mem­
bers of labor unions, including the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and Aero­
space Workers; the Amalgamated Transit
Union; the International Union, United Au­
tomobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America; the Transport
Workers Union of America; the Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Association; and the
International Brotherhood of Teamsters,
Chauffers, Warehousemen and Helpers of
America (Ind.).

If a machine breaks down, mechanics must
determine the cause of the trouble. They first
inspect the machine for obvious problems,
such as loose electrical wires, malfunctions of
the coin mechanism, and leaks. If the prob­
lem cannot be readily located, they may refer
to troubleshooting manuals and wiring dia­
grams and use testing devices such as electri­
cal circuit testers to find defective parts. Me­
chanics may repair faulty parts at the site.
However, they often install replacements and
take broken parts to the company shop for

Related Occupations

Preventive maintenance—avoiding trou­
ble before it starts—is another major part of
the job. For example, mechanics periodically
clean electrical contact points, lubricate me­
chanical parts, and adjust machines to per­
form properly.

Truck and bus mechanics repair trucks
and buses and keep them in good working
order. Related motor vehicle service occupa­
tions include automobile body repairers, cus­
tomizers, mechanics, painters, and service

Sources of Additional Informaiton
More details about work opportunities for
truck or bus mechanics may be obtained
from local employers such as trucking com­
panies, truck dealers, or bus lines; locals of
unions previously mentioned; or the local of­
fice of the State employment service. Local
State employment service offices also may
have information about apprenticeships and
other training programs.
For general information about the work of
truck mechanics and apprenticeship training,
write to:
American Trucking Associations, Inc., 1616 P St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.
Automotive Service Industry Association, 444
North Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.

Vending Machine
(D.O.T. 639.281-014)

Nature of the Work
Vending machines have become a familiar
scene in everyday life. In places of recreation,
work, and education, vending machines pro­
vide all types of refreshments, from a piece of
candy to a complete meal. Vending machine
mechanics keep these machines in good
working order.
Mechanics check machines before installa­
tion. When working on complicated ma­
chines, such as
 beverage or food dispensers,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In repair and maintenance work, mechan­
ics use pipe cutters, soldering irons, wren­
ches, screwdrivers, hammers, and other
handtools. In the repair shop, they may use
power tools, such as grinding wheels, saws,
and drills.
Because vending machines dispense food,
mechanics must know State public health
and sanitation standards as well as those es­
tablished under local plumbing codes. They
also must know and follow safety procedures,
especially when lifting heavy objects and
working with electricity and gas.
Mechanics must do some clerical work,
such as filing reports, preparing repair cost
estimates, and ordering parts. Those em­
ployed by small operating companies may
service as well as repair machines. These
combination “mechanic-routeworkers” stock
machines, collect money, fill coin and cur­
rency changers, and keep daily records of
merchandise distributed. (Additional infor­
mation about vending machine route drivers
is included in the statement on route drivers
elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Some mechanics work in repair shops, oth­
ers work in the field, but many do both.
Those who work in the field drive a service
truck between locations.
Vending machine repair shops generally
are quiet, well lighted, and have adequate
work space. However, when servicing ma­
chines on location, mechanics may work in
cramped quarters, such as passageways,
where pedestrian traffic is heavy. Repair
work is relatively safe, although mechanics
are subject to shop hazards such as electrical

shocks and cuts from sharp tools and metal

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 23,000 mechanics main­
tained and repaired more than 5 million
vending machines. Most mechanics work
for vending companies that sell food and
other items through machines. Some work
for soft drink bottling companies that have
their own coin-operated machines. Other
mechanics, employed as instructors by
vending machine manufacturers, explain
technical innovations and ways to repair
new machines to company mechanics. Al­
though mechanics are employed through­
out the country, most are located in areas
with large populations where there are
many vending machines.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Persons often enter this trade as general
shop helpers or vending machine route driv­
ers. Most new workers learn the trade infor­
mally on the job by observing, working with,
and receiving instruction from experienced
mechanics. Trainees usually start out by
doing simple jobs such as cleaning, painting,
or refurbishing machines. From there, they
learn to rebuild machines—removing defec­
tive parts, repairing, adjusting, and testing
the machines. Next, they accompany an ex­
perienced mechanic on service calls, and then
go out on their own. They call upon the ex­
pertise of other mechanics, when necessary.
At this point they have completed their onthe-job training. This process takes from 6
months to 3 years, depending on the individ­
ual’s capabilities, previous education, and the
quality of instruction.
The National Automatic Merchandising
Association has established an apprentice­
ship program to help employers train new
workers. Apprentices are guaranteed periods
of training in various skills. The program also
calls for 144 hours of related instruction each
year in subjects such as basic electricity, blue­
print reading, customer relations, and safety.
Apprenticeships last 3 years.
To learn about new machines, employees
sometimes attend manufacturer-sponsored
training sessions in repair shops, in manufac­
turers’ service divisions, or in major cities.
Employers usually pay wages and expenses
during these sessions, which may last from a
few days to several weeks.
Some employers encourage both trainees
and experienced mechanics to take evening
courses in subjects related to machine opera­
tion and repair—for example, basic electric­
ity and refrigeration. Employers often pay for
at least part of the tuition and book expenses
for these courses.
Many beginners are high school gradu­
ates, but employers may not require a di­
ploma. High school or vocational school
courses in electricity, refrigeration, and
machine repair help beginners to qualify

Wage rates for vending machine mechan­
ics ranged from $4.25 to $7.25 an hour in
1978, based on information from a small
number of union contracts. Apprentices start
at 50 percent of the rate paid experienced
mechanics and receive increases every 6
Most vending machine mechanics work 8
hours a day, 5 days a week, and receive pre­
mium pay for overtime. Since vending ma­
chines can be operated around the clock, me­
chanics sometimes work at night and on
weekends and holidays. Some union con­
tracts stipulate higher pay for nightwork and
for emergency repair jobs on weekends and
Many vending machine mechanics em­
ployed by large companies are members of
the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,
Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of

Related Occupations
Other workers who repair electromechani­
cal equipment include bowling-pin-machine
mechanics, business machine mechanics,
electrical-appliance servicers, juke-box ser­
vicers, and pinball machine servicers.

Sources of Additional Information
Further information on job opportunities
can be obtained from local vending machine
firms and local offices of the State employ­
ment service. For general information on
vending machine mechanics, as well as a list
of schools offering courses in vending ma­
chine mechanics, write to:
National Automatic Merchandising Association,
7 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, 111. 60603.

Watch Repairers
(D.O.T. 715.281-010)

Preventive maintenance is a major part of the job of vending machine mechanics.

for entry jobs. There are 12 high schools
and junior colleges in the country offering
1- to 2-year training programs in vending
machine mechanics.
Employers require applicants to demon­
strate mechanical ability, either through
their work experience or by scoring well on
mechanical aptitude tests. Since mechanics
are exposed to thousands of dollars in mer­
chandise and cash, employers prefer appli­
cants who have a record of honesty and re­
spect for the law. The ability to deal tactfully
with people also is important. A commercial
driver’s license and a good driving record are
essential for most vending machine repair
Skilled mechanics may be promoted to su­
pervisory jobs. Some open their own vending

Employment Outlook
Employment of vending machine me­
chanics is expected to grow about as fast
as the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s. More vending machines will be
installed as demand for fast food service
grows and as more industrial plants, hospi­
tals, and stores move to suburban areas
where restaurants are not always close by.
In addition vending companies will in­
crease the variety of products sold through
the machines. Growth in the number of
vending machines will create more jobs for
mechanics. Job openings also will arise as
experienced mechanics retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations. Persons with
training or previous experience in vending
machine repair should have good job pros­

Nature of the Work
As the pace of modem living quickens,
people become more conscious of time and
more dependent on watches and clocks to
keep appointments and complete tasks.
Cleaning, repairing, and adjusting these de­
vices is the job of watch repairers or, as they
are frequently called, watchmakers.
For many years all watches operated me­
chanically, with the mainspring supplying
the power and the wheels and gears regulat­
ing the hands that show the time. When a
mechanical watch is not working properly,
repairers use tweezers, screwdrivers, and
other tools to remove the watch movement—
the mainspring, wheels, and gears—from the
case. Repairers clean the movement in an
ultrasonic cleaner. If the watch still does not
work, they carefully disassemble the move­
ment to find broken, worn, or improperly
adjusted parts. When working wih these

small parts watch repairers wear magnifying
glasses and sometimes microscopes. They
may replace the mainspring and other parts
of the winding mechanism, adjust improperly
fitted wheels and gears, or replace broken
hands. Before reassembling the watch move­
ment, all parts are inspected and checked.
When the movement is reassembled, they test
its accuracy with a timing machine.
Over the past two decades several types of
electronic watches have been marketed. Bat­
teries supply the power in these watches.
Tuning forks, or quartz crystals with inte­
grated circuits regulate the time. While some
electronic watches still have gears and
wheels, others, such as digitals have no mov­
ing parts. The work of watch repairers has
changed as they have learned to repair elec­
tronic watches.
To repair electronic watches, repairers
check circuits with electrical test equipment.
The meters show which parts of the watch
are malfunctioning and have to be replaced.
Repairers also replace batteries in electronic
Watch repairers who own jewelry stores
may repair jewelry and sell watches, jewelry,
silverware, and other items. They also may
hire and supervise salesclerks, other watch
repairers, and jewelers; arrange window dis­
plays; purchase goods to be sold; and per­
form other managerial duties.

to use and care for the watch repairer’s tools
and machines, make and adjust individual
parts, take apart and reassemble various
kinds of watch and clock movements, and
diagnose and solve repair problems. Some
schools offer courses in repairing unusual
types of timepieces, such as chronographs
and antique watches. Graduates may gain
additional training by working with an ex­
perienced watch repairer.
Watch repair also can be learned through
on-the-job arrangements with experienced
workers. However, few shop or store owners
are willing to hire inexperienced workers, be­
cause of the time required to supervise them.
This type of training is less structured than
classroom instruction. Trainees learn by ob­
serving experienced repairers and by per­
forming simple and then more complex re­
pairs. On-the-job training lasts longer than
technical school.
The following States require watch repair­
ers to obtain a license: Florida, Indiana,
Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota,
North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, and
Wisconsin. To obtain a license, repairers
must pass an examination designed to test
their skill with tools and their knowledge of
watch construction and repair.
Watch repairers in all States can demon­
strate their competence by passing certifica­
tion examinations given by the American

Working Conditions
The work of watch repairers involves little
physical exertion, and generally is performed
in comfortable surroundings. However, the
patience and concentration required to work
with small parts can cause stress.
Watch repairers have more freedom than
other workers in determining their work set­
ting and hours. Some watch repairers, for
example, only work part time and operate
out of their homes.

Places of Employment
About 19,000 persons worked as watch re­
pairers in 1978. About two-fifths were selfemployed. Most watch repairers worked in
jewelry stores or repair shops, which are
located throughout the country. A small
number had jobs in factories that make
watches, clocks, or other precision timing in­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most people learn the trade in watch re­
pair schools; others learn through on-the-job
There are no educational requirements for
entrance into watch repair schools, although
most students are high school graduates.
Some schools test a student’s mechanical ap­
titude and manual dexterity. Most schools
charge tuition and require students to furnish
their own handtools. Courses last from 1 to
3 years for full-time students. Students learn
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Watch repair requires a delicate touch.

Watchmakers Institute. Tests are given for
the title of Certified Watchmaker, Certified
Electronic Watchmaker, or Certified Master
Watchmaker. Annual voluntary examina­
tions covering new phases of watchmaking
also are offered.
A person planning a career as a watch re­
pairer must be willing to sit for long periods
and work with a minimum of supervision.
The precise and delicate nature of the work
requires patience and concentration. Since a
watch is simply a small machine, mechanical
aptitude is essential. Good depth perception
and eye-hand coordination are necessary in
working with the tiny parts.
Watch repairers who have sufficient expe­
rience and funds may open their own watch
repair shops. Watch repairers also may open
their own jewelry stores where they can in­
crease their income by selling watches and
other merchandise in addition to repairing
watches. These stores require a much greater
financial investment than do repair shops,
because an inventory of expensive merchan­
dise must be obtained.

Employment Outlook
Employment of watch repairers is ex­
pected to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. How­
ever, due to the need to replace experienced
repairers who retire, die, or leave the occupa-

tion for other reasons, job opportunities
should be very good for trained watch repair­
Although more watches will be sold as
population and incomes rise, many will be
inexpensive watches that cost little more to
replace than repair. Consequently, employ­
ment is not expected to keep pace with
growth in the number of watches. However,
so many watches are in use that the need for
watch repairers should remain strong. In re­
cent years, job openings have exceeded the
number of trained workers entering the occu­
pation. If this gap continues, trained workers
should find jobs readily available. Opportuni­
ties are expected to be particularly good
for watch repairers who have had training
in repairing electronic watches because
these watches are growing rapidly in popu­

Watch repairers in entry jobs generally
earned from about $150 to $250 a week in
1978, based on the limited information avail­
able. Experienced watch repairers working in
retail stores and repair shops earned from
$10,000 to $14,000 a year. Some watch re­
pairers may be paid a commission based on
the number of watches repaired. Others rent
space in a jewelry store, set up a repair de­
partment, and split the profits with the store
owner. Watch repairers who are paid a com­
mission or who own their own businesses can
earn considerably more than those working
for a salary.

Related Occupations
Watch repairers do detailed work with
small parts. Other workers that need similar

manual skill include engravers, gunsmiths,
hand carvers, hand painters, jewelers, model
makers, and taxidermists.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about training courses
and watch repairing as a career, contact:
American Watchmakers Institute, 3700 Harrison
Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45211.

For information about job opportunities in
retail stores contact:
Retail Jewelers o f America, Inc., Time-Life Build­
ing, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 650, New
York, N.Y. 10020.

Further information about work oppor­
tunities or training in this trade also is availa­
ble from local offices of the State employ­
ment service.


When people are sick or injured, health
services are very important to them. The
availability of these services depends, not
only on the number of people employed in
health occupations, but also on their geo­
graphic distribution. During recent years
the number of health personnel has grown
very rapidly; improving their distribution
remains a problem that is being attacked
on the national, State, and local level.
About 4.4 million people worked in healthrelated occupations in 1978. Besides doctors,
dentists, and therapists, these include the be­
hind-the-scenes technologists, technicians,
administrators, and assistants.
Registered nurses, physicians, pharma­
cists, and dentists constitute the largest pro­
fessional health occupations. In 1978 em­
ployment in these occupations ranged from
120,(XX) for dentists to 1,050,000 for regis­
tered nurses. Professional health occupations
also include other medical practitioners—os­
teopathic physicians, chiropractors, optome­
trists, podiatrists, and veterinarians. Thera­
pists (physical therapists, occupational
therapists, speech pathologists and audiolo­
gists) and administrators (health services ad­
ministrators and medical record administra­
tors) also are professional health workers, as
are dietitians. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Other health service workers include tech­
nicians of various types, such as medical
technologists, medical X-ray technicians,
dental hygienists, and dental laboratory tech­
nicians. A large number— 1.6 million—
worked as practical nurses and auxiliary
workers, including nursing aides, orderlies,
hospital attendants, and psychiatric assist­

community and junior colleges offer courses
to prepare students for various health jobs. In
many occupations, on-the-job training tradi­
tionally has been the means of preparation,
but employers now prefer persons who have
completed a formal educational program.

Hospitals employ about half of all workers
in the health field. Others work in clinics,
laboratories, pharmacies, nursing homes,
public health agencies, mental health centers,
private offices, and patients’ homes. Health
workers are concentrated in the more heavily
populated and prosperous areas of the Na­

Earnings of health workers range from
those of a physician—the highest paid occu­
pation—to those of a nursing aide, who earns
only three-fourths of the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Earnings for the other health
occupations that can be entered with up to 2
years of formal training are about the same as
the average. People in health occupations
that require graduation from college earn
from one-and-a-quarter times to twice these
average earnings. Among the occupations for
which average yearly earnings are reported in
the Handbook, the top 15 include 8 of the
professional health occupations, including all
6 medical practitioners.

The educational and other requirements
for work in the health field are as diverse as
the health occupations themselves. For ex­
ample, professional health workers—physi­
cians, dentists, pharmacists, and others—
must complete a number of years of pre­
professional and professional college educa­
tion and pass a State licensing examination.
On the other hand, some health service occu­
pations—nursing aide, for example—can be
entered with no specialized training. Many


Employment in the health field is expected
to grow much faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s, although the
rates of growth will differ among individual
health occupations. Factors that are expected
to contribute to an increase in the demand for
health care are population growth and the
public’s increasing health consciousness. Ex­
pansion of coverage under prepayment pro­
grams also will contribute to growth in this
field, by making it easier for persons to pay
for hospitalization and medical care. In­
creased expenditures by Federal, State, and
local governments for health care and ser­
vices will further raise demand.
In addition to jobs created by growth of
the health field, many new workers will be
needed each year to replace those who retire,
die, or leave the field for other reasons.
Recent expansion of training programs in
most of the occupations will add to the sup­
ply of trained health service personnel. De­
pending on the balance between the supply of
workers and expected openings, the employ­
ment outlook in the various occupations
ranges from very good to competitive. See the
individual statements for the outlook for
each occupation.

Dental Occupations
Proper dental care is an integral part of
overall health care. This section focuses on
the dental profession and the three dental
auxiliary occupations.
Dentists examine and treat patients for
oral diseases and abnormalities, such as
decayed and impacted teeth. Most dentists
are general practitioners, but some specialize
in certain areas of dentistry, such as ortho­
dontics or oral surgery. Other dentists are
employed in teaching, research, or adminis­
Dental hygienists are the only dental auxil­
iary workers required by each State to be
licensed. They scale, clean, and polish teeth,
expose X-rays, and instruct patients in
proper oral hygiene.
Dental assistants help dentists while they
are working with patients. This assistance in­
cludes tasks such as handing the dentist the
necessary instruments, keeping the patient’s
mouth clear, and preparing materials for im­
pressions of teeth. They also perform nonchairside duties such as keeping records, re­
ceiving patients, and ordering dental
Dental laboratory technicians make vari­
ous dental and orthodontal appliances, such
as dentures and crowns, according to the
models and instructions supplied by dentists.
This work requires patience, minute atten­
tion to detail, and a high degree of manual
dexterity. Some technicians make all kinds of
dental appliances, while others concentrate
in certain areas of dental laboratory work,
such as bridges or artificial teeth

cial teeth or dentures); endodontics (root
canal therapy); public health dentistry; and
oral pathology (diseases of the mouth).

(D.O.T. 072)

Nature of the Work
Dentists examine teeth and other tissues of
the mouth to diagnose diseases or abnormali­
ties. They take X-rays, fill cavities, straighten
teeth, and treat gum diseases. Dentists ex­
tract teeth and substitute artificial dentures
designed for the individual patient. They also
perform corrective surgery of the gums and
supporting bones. In addition, they may
clean teeth.
Dentists spend most of their time with pa­
tients, but may devote some time to labora­
tory work such as making dentures and in­
lays. Most dentists, however—particularly
those in large cities—send their laboratory
work to commercial firms. Some dentists also
employ dental hygienists to clean patients’
teeth and provide instruction for patient selfcare. (See statement on dental hygienists.)
Other assistants perform office work, assist in
“chairside” duties, and provide therapeutic
services under the supervision of the dentist.
Most dentists are general practitioners
who provide many types of dental care; about
10 percent are specialists. The largest group
of specialists are orthodontists, who
straighten teeth. The next largest group, oral
surgeons, operate on the mouth and jaws.
The remainder specialize in pedodontics
(dentistry for children); periodontics (treat­
ing the gums); prosthodontics (making artifi­

, -y 1 1 m mm
m -- mmmmm
ted to be good as demand
for dentists’ services grows and use of auxiliary
workers expands
Average annual openings
• • ■
■ s, 1978-90 (thousands)



Dental assistants

Dental laboratory
technicians ( p - v
Source: Bureau of labor Statistics

I Growth €,~~. d e a th s and retirements

About 5 percent of all dentists teach in
dental schools, do research, or administer
dental health programs on a full-time basis.
Many dentists in private practice do this
work on a part-time basis.

Working Conditions
Most dental offices are open 5 days a week,
and some dentists have evening hours. Den­
tists usually work between 40 and 45 hours a
week, although many spend more than 50
hours a week in the office. Dentists often
work fewer hours as they grow older, and a
considerable number continue in part-time
practice well beyond the usual retirement

Places of Employment
About 120,000 individuals practiced den­
tistry in the United States in 1978—9 of every
10 were in private practice. About 5,000
served as commissioned officers in the
Armed Forces, and about 1,700 worked in
other types of Federal Government positions
—chiefly in the hospitals and clinics of the
Veterans Administration and the Public
Health Service.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A license to practice dentistry is required
in all States and the District of Columbia. To
qualify for a license in most States, a candi­
date must graduate from a dental school ap­
proved by the American Dental Association
and pass written and practical examinations.
In 1978, candidates in 48 States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia could fulfill part of the
State licensing requirements by passing a
written examination given by the National
Board of Dental Examiners. Most State li­
censes permit dentists to engage in both gen­
eral and specialized practice. In 14 States,
however, a dentist cannot be licensed as a
“specialist” without having 2 or 3 years of
graduate education and, in some cases, pass­
ing a special State examination. In the other
36 States, the extra education also is neces­
sary, but a specialist’s practice is regulated by
the dental profession, not the State licensing
authority. To practice in a different State, a
licensed dentist usually must pass the State’s
examination. However, at least 21 States
grant licenses without further examination to
dentists already licensed in other States on
the basis of their credentials. Dentists who
want to teach or do research usually spend an
additional 2 to 4 years in advanced dental

training in programs operated by dental
schools, hospitals, and other institutions of
higher education.
Dental colleges require from 2 to 4 years of
predental education. However, about fourfifths of the students entering dental school in
1978 had a baccalaureate or master’s degree.
Predental education must include courses in
the sciences and humanities.
Competition is keen for admission to den­
tal schools. In selecting students, schools give
considerable weight to college grades and the
amount of college education. In addition, all
dental schools participate in a nationwide ad­
mission testing program, and scores earned
on these tests are considered along with in­
formation gathered about the applicant
through recommendations and interviews.
Many State-supported dental schools also
give preference to residents of their particular
Dental school training generally lasts 4 ac­
ademic years although several institutions
condense this into 3 calendar years. Studies
begin with an emphasis on classroom instruc­
tion and laboratory work in basic sciences
such as anatomy, microbiology, biochemis­
try, and physiology. Courses in clinical
sciences and preclinical technique also are
provided at this time. The last 2 years are
spent chiefly in a dental clinic, treating pa­
The degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery
(D.D.S.) is awarded by most dental colleges.
An equivalent degree, Doctor of Dental
Medicine (D.M.D.), is conferred by 19
schools. v
Dental education is very costly because
of the length of time required to earn the
dental degree. However, Federal funds pro­
vide a limited number of loans for dental
students, and a limited number of scholar­
ships are available for qualifying students
who agree to a minimum of 2 years’ Fed­
eral service.
Dentistry requires both manual skills and
a high level of diagnostic ability. Dentists
should have good visual memory, excellent
judgment of space and shape, and a high de­
gree of manual dexterity, as well as scientific
ability. Good business sense, self-discipline,
and the ability to instill confidence are help­
ful for success in private practice. High
school students who want to become dentists
are advised to take courses in biology, chem­
istry, health, and mathematics.
Most dental graduates open their own of­
fices or purchase established practices. Some
gain experience with established dentists, and
save money to equip an office; others may
enter residency training programs in ap­
proved hospitals. Dentists who enter the
Armed Forces are commissioned as captains
in the Army and Air Force and as lieutenants
in the Navy. Graduates of recognized dental
schools are eligible for Federal Civil Service
positions and for commissions (equivalent to
lieutenants in the Navy) in the U.S. Public
Health Service.


Filling a tooth requires a lot of manual dexterity.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for dentists are
expected to be very good through the 1980’s.
Dental school enrollments have grown in re­
cent years because of federally assisted con­
struction of additional training facilities.
However, the number of new entrants to the
field through 1985 is expected to fall short of
the number needed to fill openings created by
growth of the occupation and by death or
retirement from the profession. By 1990,
however, the supply of new dentists is ex­
pected to be adequate to meet the demand for
dental services.
Employment of dentists is expected to
grow about as fast as the average for all oc­

cupations due to population growth, in­
creased awareness that regular dental care
helps prevent and control dental diseases,
and the expansion of prepayment arrange­
ments, which make it easier for people to
afford dental services. Fluoridation of com­
munity water supplies and improved dental
hygiene may prevent some tooth and gum
disorders, and preserve teeth that might
otherwise be extracted. However, since the
preserved teeth will need care in the future,
these measures may increase rather than de­
crease the demand for dental care. Simi­
larly, while new techniques, equipment, and
drugs, as well as the expanded use of dental
hygienists, assistants, and laboratory techni­
cians should enable individual dentists to
care for more patients, these developments

are not expected to offset the need for more
There will continue to be a need for den­
tists to administer dental public health pro­
grams and teach in dental colleges. Also,
many dentists will continue to serve in the
Armed Forces.

During the first year or two of practice,
dentists often earn little more than the
minimum needed to cover expenses, but
their earnings usually rise rapidly as their
practice develops. Specialists generally earn
considerably more than general practition­
ers. The average income of dentists in 1978
was about $50,000 a year, according to the
limited information available. In the Fed­
eral Government, new graduates of dental
schools could expect to start at $19,300 a
year in 1979. Experienced dentists working
for the Federal Government in 1979
earned average annual salaries of $39,500,
with some earning as much as $47,500 a
Location is one of the major factors af­
fecting the income of dentists who open
their own offices. For example, in highincome urban areas, dental services are in
great demand; however, a practice can be
developed most quickly in small towns,
where new dentists easily become known
and where they may face less competition
from established practitioners. Although
the income from practice in small towns
may rise rapidly at first, over the long run
the level of earnings, like the cost of living,
may be lower than it is in larger communi­

Related Occupations
Dentists examine, diagnose, and treat var­
ious oral diseases and abnormalities. Other
professions which provide health services
and which entail similar long and extensive
training include clinical psychologist, oph­
thalmologist, physician, and veterinarian.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons who wish to practice in a given
State should obtain the requirements for li­
censure from the board of dental examiners
of that State. Lists of State boards and of
accredited dental schools, as well as informa­
tion on dentistry as a career, are available
American Dental Association, Council on Dental
Education, 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111.
American Association of Dental Schools, 1625
Massachusetts Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.

Students should contact the director of
student financial aid at the school they attend
for information about Federal or other loans
and scholarships.

Dental Assistants
(D.O.T. 079.371-010)______________

:V ; .

Nature of the Work
Dental assistants work with dentists as
they examine and treat patients. The assist­
ant makes the patients comfortable in the
dental chair, prepares them for treatment,
and obtains their dental records. The as­
sistant hands the dentist the proper instru­
ments and materials and keeps the pa­
tient’s mouth clear by using suction or
other devices. Dental assistants prepare
materials for making impressions and res­
torations, and expose radiographs and pro­
cess dental X-ray film as directed by the
dentist. They also provide oral health in­
struction and prepare instruments for steri­
Dental assistants perform a variety of du­
ties that do not require the dentist’s profes­
sional knowledge and skill. Some assistants
make casts of the teeth and mouth from im­
pressions taken by the dentist. In some
States, assistants apply medications to the
teeth and oral tissue, remove from surfaces of
the teeth excess cement used in the filling
process, and place rubber dams on the teeth
to isolate them for individual treatment.
Some dental assistants manage the office and
arrange and confirm appointments, receive
patients, keep treatment records, send bills,
receive payments, and order dental supplies
and materials.
The work of the dental assistant should not
be confused with that of the dental hygienist,
who must be licensed to scale and polish the
teeth. (See the following statement on dental

Working Conditions
Dental assistants work in a well-lighted,
clean environment. They must be careful in
handling radiographic and other equipment.
Dental assistants can expect to work chairside with dentists. They must be a dentist’s
“third hand,” exhibit some manual dexterity,
and be able to deal with people who may be
under stress.

Places of Employment
About 150,000 persons worked as dental
assistants in 1978; about 1 out of 10 work
part time.
Most dental assistants work in private
dental offices, either for individual dentists
or for groups of dentists. Many of the re­
mainder work in dental schools, hospital
dental departments, State and local public
health departments, or private clinics. The
Federal Government employs dental assist­
ants, chiefly in hospitals and dental clinics
of the Public Health Service, the Veter­
ans Administration, and the Armed F o rc­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most dental assistants learn their skills on
the job. An increasing number, however, are
trained in formal posthigh school programs.
About 300 such programs were accredited by
the Commission on Accreditation of Dental
and Dental Auxiliary Education Programs in
Most posthigh school courses in dental as­
sisting are given in junior and community
colleges or in vocational or technical schools.
More than three-fourths of these programs
take 1 year to complete and lead to a certifi­
cate or diploma. Graduates of 2-year pro­
grams offered in junior and community col­
leges earn an associate degree upon
completion of specialized training and liberal
arts courses. The minimum requirement for
any of these programs is a high school di­
ploma or its equivalent. Some schools also
require typing or a science course for admis­
sion. Although some private schools offer 4to 6-month courses in dental assisting, these
are not accredited by the dental profession.
Those receiving dental assistant training in
the Armed Forces usually qualify for civilian
jobs as dental assistants.
High school students interested in careers
as dental assistants should take courses in
biology, chemistry, health, typing, and office
Approved dental assisting curriculums in­
clude classroom and laboratory instruction
in skills and related theory. Trainees get
practical experience in affiliated dental
schools, local clinics, or selected dental of­
A correspondence course accredited by the
American Dental Association is available for
employed dental assistants who are learning
on the job or who otherwise are unable to
participate in regular dental assisting pro­
grams on a full-time basis. The correspon­
dence program is equivalent to 1 academic
year of study but generally requires about 2
years to complete.
Graduates of accredited dental assistant
programs who successfully complete an ex­
amination administered by the Certifying
Board of the American Dental Assistants As­
sociation become Certified Dental Assist­
ants. Certification is acknowledgement of an
assistant’s qualifications but is not generally
required for employment.
After working as dental assistants, some
individuals seek to acquire skills and qualifi­
cations for practicing as dental hygienists.
Prospective dental assistants who foresee this
possibility should plan carefully since credit
earned in a dental assistant program often is
not applicable toward requirements for a
dental hygiene certificate. Some dental assist­
ants become sales representatives for firms
that manufacture dental products. The field
of dental assisting education offers oppor­
tunities in teaching and program administra­

tions that provide similar services under the
supervision of a medical practitioner include
chiropractor assistant, optometric -assistant,
podiatric assistant, and surgical technician.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about career opportunities,
scholarships, accredited dental assistant pro­
grams, including the correspondence pro­
gram, and requirements for certification is
available from:
American Dental Assistants Association, 666 N.
Lake Shore Dr., Suite 1130, Chicago, 111. 60611.
Commission on Accreditation of Dental and Aux­
iliary Educational Programs, 211 E. Chicago Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60611.

Dental Hygienists
(D.O.T. 078.361-010)

Nature of the Work

Dental assistants work with dentists as they examine and treat patients.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for dental as­
sistants are expected to be excellent through
the 1980’s, especially for graduates of aca­
demic programs in dental assisting. Part-time
opportunities also will be very favorable.
Employment of dental assistants is ex­
pected to grow much faster than the average
for all occupations, largely because dental
students are being taught to use assistants in
their practice. The increase in the demand for
dental services which stems from population
growth, a growing awareness of the impor­
tance of regular dental care, and the increas­
ing ability of people to pay for care also will
contribute to the demand for dental assist­
ants. For example, increased participation in
dental prepayment plans and public pro­
grams such as Medicaid bring dental services
within the reach of many who could not af­
ford them otherwise.
In addition to job openings created by
growth in the demand for dental assistants,
thousands of assistants also will be required
each year to replace those who leave the field.

In 1978, most dental assistants working for
dentists in private practice earned between
$7,800 and $8,400 annually, based upon the
limited information available. A few earned
up to $13,000 or more a year depending upon
the size of the office and the responsibilities
performed by these key personnel.
In the Federal Government, experience
and the amount and type of education deter­
mine entrance salaries. In 1979, a high school
graduate who had 6 months of general expe­
rience started at nearly $8,400 a year; gradu­
ates of an ADA-approved 1-year training
program who had an additional year of gen­
eral experience could expect to start at nearly
$9,400 a year. In general, experienced dental
assistants working for the Federal Govern­
ment in 1979 earned average annual salaries
of about $10,500.
Although the 40-hour workweek prevails
for dental assistants, the schedule is likely to
include work on Saturday. A 2- or 3-week
paid vacation is common. Some dentists pro­
vide sick leave and other benefits. Dental as­
sistants who work for the Federal Govern­
ment receive the same employee benefits as
other Federal workers.

Salary depends largely on the assistant’s
education and experience, the duties and re­
sponsibilities attached to the particular job,
and geographic location.


Related Occupations
Dental assistants perform a variety of du­
ties that do not require the dentist’s profes­
sional knowledge and skill. Other occupa­

Dental hygienists are oral health clinicians
and educators who help the public develop
and maintain good oral health. As members
of the dental health team, dental hygienists
may perform preventive and therapeutic ser­
vices under the supervision of the dentist.
Specific responsibilities of the hygienist vary,
depending on the law of the State where the
hygienist is employed, but may include
removing deposits and stains from patients’
teeth; providing instructions for patient selfcare and nutritional counseling; and applying
topical fluoride to prevent tooth decay. They
take medical and dental histories, expose and
develop dental X-ray films, make impres­
sions of teeth for study models, and prepare
other diagnostic aids for use by the dentist.
Pain control and restorative procedures also
may be performed by dental hygienists in
some States.
Dental hygienists who work in school sys­
tems serve in several capacities. Clinical
functions include examining children’s teeth,
assisting the dentist in determining the dental
treatment needed, and reporting the findings
to parents. They also scale and polish teeth
and give oral hygiene instructions. In addi­
tion, they develop and deliver classroom and
assembly programs on oral health.
A few dental hygienists assist in research
projects. Those having advanced training
may teach in schools of dental hygiene.

Working Conditions
Dental hygienists usually work in clean,
well-lighted offices. Important health safe­
guards for persons in this occupation are reg­
ular medical checkups and strict adherence
to established procedures for using X-ray
equipment. Dental hygienists must have
manual dexterity because they use various
dental instruments with little room for error
within a patients’ mouth. They also must em­
pathize with patients who often are under

Places of Employment
About 35,000 persons worked as dental
hygienists in 1978. Many are employed part
time. Most work in private dental offices;
some may contract their services to several
dentists or dental offices. Public health agen­
cies, school systems, industrial plants, clinics,
hospitals, dental hygiene schools, and the
Federal Government are other sources of em­
ployment for dental hygienists. Some gradu­
ates of bachelor’s degree programs are com­
missioned officers in the Armed Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Dental hygienists must be licensed. To ob­
tain a license, a candidate must graduate
from an accredited dental hygiene school and
pass both a written and a clinical examina­
tion. For the clinical examination, the appli­
cant is required to perform dental hygiene
procedures, such as removing deposits and
stains from a patient’s teeth. In 1978, candi­
dates in 48 States and the District of Co­
lumbia could complete part of the State lic­
ensing requirements by passing a written
examination given by the National Board of
Dental Examiners. Few States permit dental
hygienists licensed in other States to practice
in their jurisdictions without further exami­
In 1978, 197 schools of dental hygiene in
the United States were accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation of Dental and
Dental Auxiliary Educational Programs.
Most programs grant an associate degree;
others lead to a bachelor’s degree. A few in­
stitutions offer both types of programs. Six
schools offer master’s degree programs in
dental hygiene.

Completion of an associate degree pro­
gram usually is sufficient for the dental hy­
gienist who wants to practice in a private
dental office. To do research, teach, and
work in public or school health programs, at
least a bachelor’s degree usually is required.
Dental hygienists with a master’s degree
work as teachers or administrators in dental
hygiene and dental assisting training pro­
grams, public health agencies, and in as­
sociated research.
Competition is keen for admission to den­
tal hygiene schools. The minimum require­
ment for admission to a school of dental hy­
giene is graduation from high school. Several
schools that offer the bachelor’s degree admit
students to the dental hygiene program only
after they have completed 2 years of college.
Many schools also require that applicants
take an aptitude test given by the American
Dental Hygienists’ Association. Dental hy­
giene training given in the Armed Forces
usually does not fully prepare one to pass the
licensing exam, but credit for that training
may be granted to those who seek admission
to accredited dental hygiene programs.
The curriculum in a dental hygiene pro­
gram consists of courses in the basic sciences,
dental sciences, clinical sciences, and liberal
arts. These schools offer laboratory, clinical,
and classroom instruction in subjects such as
anatomy, physiology, chemistry, phar­
macology, nutrition, histology (the study of
tissue structure), periodontology (the study
of gum diseases), dental materials, and clini­
cal dental hygiene.
People who want to become dental hygie­
nists should enjoy working with others. The
ability to put patients at ease is helpful. Per­
sonal neatness and cleanliness, manual dex­
terity, and good health also are important

qualities. Among the courses recommended
for high school students interested in careers
in this occupation are biology, health, chem­
istry, speech, and mathematics.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for dental hy­
gienists are expected to be very good through
the 1980’s. Despite an anticipated rise in the
number of graduates from schools of dental
hygiene, the demand is expected to be greater
than the supply if recent trends in enroll­
ments continue. There also should be very
good opportunities for those desiring parttime employment and for those willing to
work in rural areas.
Employment of dental hygienists is ex­
pected to grow much faster than the average
for all occupations because of an expanding
population and the growing awareness of the
importance of regular dental care. Increased
participation in dental prepayment plans and
more group practice among dentists should
result in new jobs for dental hygienists. Den­
tal care programs for children also may lead
to more employment opportunities in this

Earnings of dental hygienists are affected
by the type of employer, education and expe­
rience of the individual hygienist, and the
geographic location. Dental hygienists who
work in private dental offices usually are sal­
aried employees, although some are paid a
commission for work performed, or a combi­
nation of salary and commission.
Dental hygienists working full time in pri­
vate offices earned between $ 12,000 and $13,500 a year in 1978, according to the limited
data available. In 1979, the Federal Govern­
ment paid dental hygienists with no experi­
ence starting salaries of about $9,400 a year.
Experienced dental hygienists working for
the Federal Government earned average an­
nual salaries of about $12,100.
Dental hygienists employed full time in
private offices usually work between 35 and
40 hours a week. They may work on Satur­
days or during evening hours. Some hygie­
nists work for two dentists or more.
Dental hygienists who work for school sys­
tems, health agencies, the Federal Govern­
ment, or State agencies have the same hours,
vacation, sick leave, retirement, and health
insurance benefits as other workers in these

Related Occupations

Dental hygienists who work in school systems examine, scale, and polish children’s teeth and
instruct them in proper mouth care.

Dental hygienists relieve dentists from
many routine tasks. Other occupations per­
forming similar duties for dentists and physi­
cians include dental assistant, dental labora­
technician, general duty nurse, nurse anes­
thetist, and radiologic technologist.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about accredited pro­
grams and the educational requirements to
enter this occupation, contact:
Division of Professional Development, American
Dental Hygienists’ Association, Suite 3400,444 N.
Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.

The State Board of Dental Examiners in
each State, or the National Board of Dental
Examiners, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago,
111. 60611, can supply information on licens­
ing requirements.

Dental Laboratory
(D.O.T. 712.381-018)

Nature of the Work
Dental laboratory technicians make den­
tures (artificial teeth), fabricate metal or por­
celain crowns and inlays to restore teeth,
construct bridges of metal and porcelain to
replace missing teeth, and also make dental
orthodontic appliances. All work is done fol­
lowing written instructions submitted by the
dentist, using impressions made by the den­
tist of a patient’s teeth or mouth, from which
models are made from dental stone or plaster
pourings. Sometimes these model pourings
are made by the dentist, but most often by the
Trainees in beginning jobs usually mix and
pour plaster into casts and molds and per­
form other simple tasks. As they gain experi­
ence, they do more difficult laboratory work.
Some dental technicians perform the full
range of laboratory work. Others are special­
ists who make crowns and bridges, arrange
artificial teeth on dental appliances, make
plastic molds for dentures, work with dental
ceramics (porcelain), or make castings of
gold or metal alloys. Technicians use small
hand instruments such as wax spatulas and
wax carvers, as well as special electric lathes
and drills, high-heat furnaces, metal-melting
torches, and other specialized laboratory

Working Conditions
Whether they are employed in indepen­
dent commercial laboratories or in dental of­
fices, dental technicians work in typical labo­
ratory surroundings. Work areas are
generally clean, well lighted, and well ven­
tilated. Technicians usually have their own
workbenches which are equipped with bunsen burners, grinding and polishing ma­
chines, and various handtools. Although
there is constant pressure to meet dentists’
deadlines, schedules are flexible enough to
allow for any problems or special require­
ments that may be involved in completing a
difficult job.


Dental laboratory technicians use a wide variety of tools and instruments.

Places of Employment
About 47,000 persons worked as dental
laboratory technicians in 1978. Most work in
commercial laboratories, either as employees
or as owners of the business. Commercial
laboratories, which handle orders from den­
tists, usually employ fewer than 10 techni­
cians. However, a few large laboratories em­
ploy over 200 technicians.
About 8,500 dental laboratory technicians
work in dentists’ offices. Others work for
hospitals that provide dental services and for
the Federal Government, chiefly in Veterans
Administration hospitals and clinics and in
the Armed Forces. Establishments that man­
ufacture dental materials and equipment also
employ technicians as technical or sales rep­
Dental laboratories are located mainly in
large cities and populous States. Many
laboratories receive work through the mail
from dentists who work a considerable dis­
tance away.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although no minimum formal education
is needed to enter this occupation, a high
school diploma is an asset. Many dental labo­
ratory technicians learn their craft on the job,
although more and more are taking formal

training programs before starting work. Onthe-job training usually lasts 3 or 4 years,
depending on the trainee’s previous experi­
ence, ability to master the techniques, and
the number of specialized areas to be learned.
A few public vocational high schools offer
courses in dental laboratory work that may
be taken together with on-the-job training.
In 1978, 2-year education programs ac­
credited by the Commission on Accredita­
tion of Dental and Dental Auxiliary Educa­
tional Programs were offered in 55 schools.
High school graduation or equivalent educa­
tion is required to enter these programs. The
training includes formal classroom instruc­
tion in dental law and ethics, chemistry,
ceramics, metallurgy, and other related sub­
jects. In addition, the student gets supervised
practical experience in the school or dental
laboratory. After completion of the 2-year
training program, the trainee needs about 3
more years of practical experience to develop
the skills needed to be recognized as a wellqualified dental laboratory technician. Those
receiving dental laboratory training in the
Armed Forces usually qualify for civilian
jobs as dental laboratory technicians.
Dental laboratory technicians may become
Certified Dental Technicians by passing writ­
ten and practical examinations given by the
National Board for Certification, a trust es­
tablished by the National Association of
Dental Laboratories. Certification is becom­

ing increasingly important as evidence of a
technician’s competence. Well-qualified
technicians advance by becoming supervisors
or managers in dental laboratories, teachers
in dental lab training programs, or salesper­
sons for dental products companies. Some
technicians become owners of dental
Among the personal qualifications that
employers look for in selecting trainees are a
high degree of manual dexterity, good color
perception, patience, and an inclination for
detailed work. High school students inter­
ested in careers in this occupation are advised
to take courses in art, crafts, metal shop,
metallurgy, and sciences.

Employment Outlook
Job opportunities for well-qualified dental
laboratory technicians are expected to be ex­
cellent through the 1980’s. Some experienced
technicians should be able to establish
laboratories of their own. A technician whose
work has become known to several dentists in
a community will have the best prospects of
building a successful business.
Employment of dental laboratory techni­
cians is expected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations due to expansion of
dental prepayment plans and the increasing
number of older people who require den­
tures. To keep pace with the demand for their
services, dentists will spend more time treat­
ing patients and will hire more technicians or
send more of their laboratory work to commerical firms.

In addition to job opportunities created by
growth, many openings for dental laboratory
technicians will occur each year because of
the need to replace technicians who die or

Dental laboratory technicians who worked
full time in commercial laboratories received
average annual salaries within the following
ranges in early 1979: Trainees with no experi­
ence, $6,200 to $7,100; graduates of 2-year
dental technology courses with no experi­
ence, $7,800 to $8,000; technicians with no
formal training and 2 years of on-the-job ex­
perience, $8,600 to $9,000; technicians with
2 to 5 years of experience, regardless of train­
ing, $11,000 to $12,000; and technicians with
more than 5 years of experience, regardless of
training, from $15,000 to $20,000. Techni­
cians who specialized in ceramics received
the highest salaries (up to $30,000). Large
dental laboratories employ supervisors or
managers who usually earn more than tech­
nicians. In general, earnings of self-employed
technicians are higher than those of salaried
In the Federal Government, graduates of
ADA-approved programs with no experi­
ence were paid starting salaries of about $9,400 a year in 1979. Experienced dental labo­
ratory technicians employed in the Federal
Government generally earned between $13,000 and $18,700 annually, with the average
earning about $16,100 per year.
Salaried technicians usually work 40 hours

a week but self-employed technicians fre­
quently work longer hours. Many techni­
cians in commercial laboratories receive paid
holidays and vacations and some also receive
paid sick leave, bonuses, and other fringe
benefits. Technicians employed by the Fed­
eral Government have the same benefits as
other Federal employees.

Related Occupations
Dental laboratory technicians make artifical teeth, crowns and inlays, and orthodontic
appliances following the specifications and
instructions provided by the dentist. Other
occupations which provide services or make
devices for physicians include arch-support
technician, orthotics technician (braces/surgical supports), prosthetics technician (artifi­
cial limbs/appliances) and optician (optical

Sources of Additional Information
For information about training and a list of
approved schools contact:
American Dental Association, Council on Dental
Education, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111.

Information on scholarships is available
from dental technology schools or from the
American Fund for Dental Health, 211 East
Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.
For information on career opportunities in
commercial laboratories and requirements
for certification, contact:
National Association o f Dental Laboratories, 3801
Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va. 22305.


Medical Practitioners
Medical practitioners work to prevent,
cure, and alleviate disease. This group in­
cludes about five times as many physicians as
all other practitioners combined.
Physicians, osteopathic physicians, and
chiropractors all treat injuries and diseases
that affect the entire body. These practition­
ers use different modes of treatment, how­
ever. Physicians prescribe medications, exer­
cise, proper diet, and surgery for their
patients. Osteopathic physicians use these
treatments and also use manipulation of mus­
cles and bones, especially the spine. These
manipulations are the primary form of treat­
ment given by chiropractors. Optometrists
specialize in eye care and podiatrists treat
foot diseases and deformities. Veterinarians
treat animals and inspect meat, poultry, and
other food as part of public health programs.
All of these occupations are closely regu­
lated. States require that medical practition­
ers be licensed and pass a State board exami­
nation. Only physicians, osteopaths, podia­
trists, and veterinarians can use drugs and
surgery in their treatment.
Among the six medical practitioner occu­
pations, requirements for a license vary from
6 to 9 years of postsecondary education.
After graduation from college, osteopaths
must complete a 4-year program and physi­
cians generally a 3- or 4-year program. Most
States require a 1-year residency for both
physicians and osteopaths. Physicians who
specialize must spend more years in resi­
dency and pass a specialty board examina­
tion. Two years of college are required for
entry to one of the 4-year chiropractic
schools. Optometrists, podiatrists, and
veterinarians all must complete a minimum
of 2 years of college before beginning the 4year program.
Although training to become a medical
practitioner is more rigorous than that for
most other professional occupations, medical
practice also offers unusual rewards—finan­
cial and otherwise. Incomes of medical prac­
titioners greatly exceeded the average for all
nonsupervisory workers in private industry
in 1978, and their earnings were higher than
those of any other professional workers with
similar years of graduate education. Medical
practitioners also enjoy great prestige within
the community, and most derive considera­
ble personal satisfaction from knowing their
work contributes directly to the well-being of
other people or, in the case of veterinarians,
to that of the animal population.
All medical practitioners must have the
ability and perseverance to complete the
years of study required. Medical practition­
ers should be emotionally stable, able to
Digitized for decisions in emergencies, and have a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

strong desire to help the sick and injured.
Sincerity and an ability to gain the confi­
dence of patients also are important qualities.

(D.O.T. 079.101-010)

Nature of the Work
Chiropractic is a system of treatment
based on the principle that a person’s health
is determined largely by the nervous system,
and that interference with this system im­
pairs normal functions and lowers resistance
to disease. Chiropractors treat patients pri­
marily by manual manipulation (adjust­
ments) of parts of the body, especially the
spinal column.
Because of the emphasis on the spine and
its position, most chiropractors use X-rays to
aid in locating the source of patients’ difficul­
ties. In addition to manipulation, most chiro­
practors use supplementary measures such as
water, light, ultrasound, electric, and heat
therapy. They also prescribe diet, supports,
exercise, and rest. Most State laws specify the
types of supplementary treatment permitted
in chiropractic. Chiropractors do not use pre­
scription drugs or surgery.

Working Conditions
Chiropractors generally work in private
offices. Their workweek typically is 4 1/2 to
5 days.

Places of Employment
About 18,000 persons practiced chiroprac­
tic in 1978. Most chiropractors were in pri­
vate practice. Some were salaried assistants
of established practitioners or worked for
chiropractic clinics. Others taught or con­
ducted research at chiropractic colleges.
Chiropractors often locate in small com­
munities—about half of work in cities of
50,000 inhabitants or less.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All 50 States and the District of Columbia
regulate the practice of chiropractic and
grant licenses to chiropractors who meet cer­
tain educational requirements and pass a
State board examination. Many States have
reciprocity agreements that permit chiro­
practors licensed in one State to obtain a li­
cense in others without taking an examina­

Chiropractic requires Keen powers of observa­
tion in order to detect physical abnormalities.

Although the type of practice permitted
and the educational requirements for a li­
cense vary considerably from one State to
another, most States require successful com­
pletion of a 4-year chiropractic course fol­
lowing 2 years of preprofessional college
work. Some States require that specific sub­
jects such as English, chemistry, biology, or
physics be a part of this preprofessional
work. In addition, several States require that
chiropractors pass a basic science examina­
In 1978,6 of the 15 chiropractic colleges in
the United States were fully accredited by the
Council on Chiropractic Education; 3 others
were recognized candidates working toward
accreditation. All required applicants to have
a minimum of 2 years of college before en­
trance, and most required that courses in En­
glish, the social sciences, chemistry, biology,
and mathematics be taken during those 2
years. Chiropractic colleges emphasize
courses in manipulation and spinal adjust­
ments. Most offer a broader curriculum how­
ever, including subjects such as physioth­
erapy and nutrition. In most chiropractic
colleges, the first 2 years of the curriculum
chiefly include classroom and laboratory
work in subjects such as anatomy, physiol­
ogy, and biochemistry. During the last 2
years, students obtain practical experience in
college clinics. The degree of Doctor of
Chiropractic (D.C.) is awarded to students
completing 4 years of chiropractic training.
Chiropractic requires a keen sense of ob­
servation to detect physical abnormalities

and considerable hand dexterity but not
unusual strength or endurance. Persons
desiring to become chiropractors should be
able to work independently and handle re­
sponsibility. The ability to work with detail is
important. Sympathy and understanding are
desirable qualities for dealing effectively with
Most newly licensed chiropractors either
set up a new practice or purchase an estab­
lished one. A moderate financial investment
is usually necessary to open and equip an
office. Some start as salaried chiropractors to
acquire experience and funds needed.

Employment Outlook
Requirements for chiropractors are ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. En­
rollments in chiropractic colleges, however,
have grown dramatically, partly in re­
sponse to apparent broader public accept­
ance of the profession. As more students
graduate, new chiropractors may find it in­
creasingly difficult to establish a practice
in those areas where other practitioners al­
ready are located. The best opportunities
for new chiropractors may be in small
towns and in areas with comparatively few
established practitioners.

In chiropractic, as in other types of inde­
pendent practice, earnings are relatively low
in the beginning. New graduates who worked
as associates to established practitioners
earned about $12,000 a year in 1978. Ex­
perienced chiropractors averaged about $25,000, according to limited data available, al­
though many earned more.




office of that

(D.O.T. 079.101-018)

Nature of the Work
About 1 out of every 2 persons in the
United States wears corrective lenses. Op­
tometrists provide most of this care. They
examine people’s eyes for vision problems,
disease, and other abnormal conditions and
test for proper depth and color perception
and the ability to focus and coordinate the
eyes. When necessary, they prescribe lenses
and treatment. Where evidence of disease is
present, the optometrist refers the patient to
the appropriate medical practitioner. Most
optometrists supply the prescribed eyeglasses
and fit and adjust contact lenses. Optome­
trists also prescribe vision therapy or other
treatment not requiring surgery.
Although most optometrists are in general
practice, some specialize in work with the
aged or with children. Others work only with
persons having partial sight who can be
helped with microscopic or telescopic lenses.
Still others are concerned with the visual
safety of industrial workers. Some optome­
trists teach or do research.

Optometrists should not be confused with
either ophthalmologists, sometimes referred
to as oculists, or dispensing opticians. Oph­
thalmologists are physicians who specialize
in medical eye care, eye diseases, and injuries;
perform eye surgery; and prescribe drugs or
other eye treatment, as well as lenses. Dis­
pensing opticians fit and adjust eyeglasses ac­
cording to prescriptions written by ophthal­
mologists or optometrists; they do not
examine eyes or prescribe treatment. (See
statements on physicians and dispensing op­

Working Conditions
Optometrists work in places—usually
their own offices—that are clean, well
lighted, and comfortable. The work requires
a lot of attention to detail. Because the work
is not physically strenuous, optometrists
often can continue to practice after the nor­
mal retirement age.

Places of Employment
In 1978, there were about 21,000 practic­
ing optometrists. The majority of optome­
trists are in solo practice. Others are in part­
nership or group practice with other
optometrists or doctors as part of a profes­
sional health care team.
Some optometrists work in specialized
hospitals and eye clinics or teach in schools

Related Occupations
Chiropractors diagnose, treat and work to
prevent diseases, disorders, and injuries.
They emphasize the importance of the ner­
vous system for good health. Other occupa­
tions that require similar skills include audi­
ologists, dentists, optometrists, osteopaths,
podiatrists, speech pathologists, and veteri­

Sources of Additional Information
The State board of licensing in the capital
of each State can supply information on State
licensing requirements for chiropractors.
General information on chiropractic as a
career is available from:
American Chiropractic Association, 2200 Grand
Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50312.
International Chiropractors Association, 1901 L
St. NW., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20036.

For a list of chiropractic colleges, as well
as general information on chiropractic as a
career, contact:
Council on Chiropractic Education, 3209 Ingersoll
Street, Suite 206, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.

For information on requirements for ad­
mission to a specific chiropractic college,

About 1 out of every 2 persons in the United States wears corrective lenses.

of optometry. Others work for the Veterans
Administration, public and private health
agencies, and industrial health insurance
companies. About 500 optometrists serve as
commissioned officers in the Armed Forces.
Optometrists also act as consultants to engi­
neers specializing in safety or lighting, con­
sultants to educators in remedial reading, or
participants on health advisory committees
to Federal, State, and local governments.
About 2 optometrists out of 5 practice in
towns of under 25,000 inhabitants.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States and the District of Columbia
require that optometrists be licensed. Appli­
cants for a license must have a Doctor of
Optometry degree from an accredited optometric school or college and pass a State
board examination. In some States, appli­
cants are permitted to substitute the exami­
nation of the National Board of Examiners in
Optometry, given in the second, third and
fourth years of optometric school, for part or
all of the written State examination. Some
States allow applicants to be licensed without
lengthy examination if they have a license in
another State. In 44 States, optometrists are
required to continue their education in op­
tometry to retain their licenses.
The Doctor of Optometry degree requires
a minimum of 6 or 7 years of college consist­
ing of a 4-year professional degree program
preceded by at least 2 or 3 years of preoptometric study at an accredited university, col­
lege, or junior college. In 1979, there were 13
U.S. schools and colleges of optometry ac­
credited by the Council on Optometric Edu­
cation of the American Optometric Associa­
tion. Requirements for admission to these
schools usually include courses in English,
mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biol­
ogy or zoology. Some schools also require
courses in psychology, social studies, litera­
ture, philosophy, and foreign languages. Ad­
mission to optometry schools is competitive.
Each year, qualified applicants exceed availa­
ble places, so serious applicants need superior
grades in their preoptometric college courses
to enhance their chances for acceptance.
Because most optometrists are selfemployed, business ability, self-discipline,
and the ability to deal with patients tactfully
are necessary for success.
Many beginning optometrists enter into
associate practice with an optometrist or
other health professional. Others purchase an
established practice or set up a new practice.
Some take salaried positions to obtain experi­
ence and the necessary funds to enter their
own practice.
Optometrists wishing to advance in a spe­
cialized field may study for a master’s or Ph.
D. degree in physiological optics, neuro­
physiology, public health administration,
health information and communication, or
health education. Optometrists who enter the
Armed Forces as career officers have the op­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

portunity to work toward advanced degrees
and to do vision research.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for optome­
trists are expected to be favorable through
the 1980’s. The number of new graduates
from schools of optometry is expected to be
adequate to fill the positions made available
by employment growth and the need to re­
place optometrists who die or retire.
Employment of optometrists is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions. An increase in the total population,
especially in the group most likely to need
glasses—older people—is a major factor con­
tributing to the expected growth in the occu­
pation. Greater recognition of the impor­
tance of good vision and the likelihood that
more persons will have health insurance to
cover optometric services also should in­
crease the demand for optometric services.

In 1978, net earnings of new optometry
graduates in their first full year of practice
averaged about $16,900. Experienced op­
tometrists averaged about $40,000 annually.
Optometrists working for the Federal Gov­
ernment earned an average of $22,700 a year
in 1978. Incomes vary greatly, depending
upon location, specialization, and other fac­
tors. Optometrists who start out by working
in commercial settings tend to earn more
money initially than optometrists who set up
their own solo practice. However, in the long
run, those with their own private practice
have the potential to earn more than those
employed in commercial settings.
Independent practitioners can set their
own work schedule. Some work over 40
hours a week, including Saturday.

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which the main ac­
tivity consists of applying logical thinking
and scientific knowledge to diagnose and
treat disease, disorders, or injuries in humans
or animals are chiropractors, dentists, physi­
cians, osteopathic physicians, podiatrists,
and veterinarians.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on optometry as a career and
a list of scholarships and loan funds offered
by various State associations, societies, and
institutions are available from:
American Optometric Association, 243 North
Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63141.

Career guidance information for persons
considering becoming optometrists can be
obtained by writing to:
Association o f Schools and Colleges of Optometry,
Suite 210, 1730 M St. NW„ Washington, D.C.

Federal Health Professions Loans are
available for optometric students who meet
certain criteria of financial need. For infor­

mation on this financial aid, on the availabil­
ity of Federal scholarships, and on required
preoptometry courses, contact individual op­
tometry schools. The Board of Optometry in
the capital of each State can supply a list of
optometry schools approved by that State, as
well as licensing requirements.

(D.O.T. 071.101-010)

Nature of the Work
Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) diagnose
and treat diseases or maladies of the human
body. They place special emphasis on the
musculo-skeletal system of the body—bones,
muscles, ligaments, and nerves. One of the
basic treatments or therapies used by os­
teopathic physicians centers on manipulating
this system with the hands. Osteopathic
physicians also use surgery, drugs, and all
other accepted methods of medical care.
Most osteopathic physicians are “family
doctors” who engage in general practice.
These physicians usually see patients in their
offices, make house calls, and treat patients
in osteopathic and other private and public
hospitals. Some doctors of osteopathy teach,
do research, or write and edit scientific books
and journals.
In recent years, specialization has in­
creased. In 1978, about 25 percent of all os­
teopathic physicians were practicing in spe­
including internal medicine,
neurology and psychiatry, ophthalmology,
pediatrics, anesthesiology, physical medicine
and rehabilitation, dermatology, obstetrics
and gynecology, pathology, proctology, radi­
ology, and surgery.

Working Conditions
Many osteopathic physicians work more
than 50 or 60 hours a week. Those in general
practice usually work longer and more ir­
regular hours than specialists. As osteopathic
physicians grow older, they may accept fewer
new patients and tend to work shorter hours.
However, many continue to practice well be­
yond 70 years of age.

Places of Employment
About 17,000 osteopathic physicians prac­
ticed in the United States in 1978. Almost 85
percent of the active osteopathic physicians
were in private practice. A small number
were full time staff or faculty members of
osteopathic hospitals and colleges, private in­
dustry, or government agencies.
Osteopathic physicians are located chiefly
in those States that have osteopathic hospital
facilities. In 1978, three-fifths of all os­
teopathic physicians were in Florida, Michi­
gan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas,
and Missouri. Twenty-one States and the

physicians must have a strong desire to pur­
sue this career above all others. They must be
willing to study a great deal throughout their
career in order to keep up with the latest
advances in osteopathic medicine. They
should exhibit leadership, emotional stabiliy,
and self-confidence. A pleasant personality,
friendliness, patience, and the ability to deal
with people also are important.

Employment Outlook

Osteopathic physicians are particularly concerned about problems
involving the muscles and bones.

District of Columbia each had fewer than 50
osteopathic physicians. More than half of all
general practitioners are located in towns and
cities having fewer than 50,000 people; spe­
cialists, however, practice mainly in large cit­

Training and Other Qualifications
All 50 States and the District of Columbia
require a license to practice osteopathic med­
icine. To obtain a license, a candidate must be
a graduate of an approved school of os­
teopathic medicine and pass a State board
examination. In four States, candidates must
pass an examination in the basic sciences be­
fore they are eligible to take the professional
examination; 38 States and the District of
Columbia also require a period of internship
in an approved hospital after graduation
from an osteopathic school. The National
Board of Osteopathic Examiners also gives
an examination which is accepted by most
States as a substitute for State examination.
Most States grant licenses without further
examination to osteopathic physicians al­
ready licensed by another State.
The minimum educational requirement for
entry to one of the schools of osteopathic
medicine is 3 years of college work, but in
practice almost all osteopathic students have
a bachelor’s degree. Preosteopathic educa­
tion must include courses in chemistry, phys­
ics, biology, and English. Osteopathic col­
leges require successful completion of 3 to 4
years of professional study for the degree of
Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.). During the
first half of professional training, emphasis is
placed on basic sciences, such as anatomy,
physiology, and pathology, and on the princi­
ples of osteopathy; the remainder of the time
is devoted largely to experience with patients
in hospitals and clinics.

After graduation, nearly all doctors of os­
teopathic medicine serve a 12-month intern­
ship at 1 of the 90 osteopathic hospitals ap­
proved by the American Osteopathic
Association for intern or residency training.
Those who wish to specialize must have 2 to
5 years of additional training.
The osteopathic physician’s lengthy train­
ing is very costly. Federal and private loans
are available to help students meet these
costs. In addition, scholarships are available
to qualified applicants who agree to a mini­
mum of 2 years’ Federal service after gradua­
In 1979, there were 14 schools of os­
teopathic medicine. Schools admit students
on the basis of their college grades, scores on
the required New Medical College Admis­
sions Test, and recommendations from
premedical college counselors. The appli­
cant’s desire to serve as an osteopathic physi­
cian rather than as a doctor trained in other
fields of medicine is a very important qualifi­
cation. Colleges also give considerable weight
to a favorable recommendation by an os­
teopathic physician familiar with the appli­
cant’s background.
Newly qualified doctors of osteopathic
medicine usually establish their own practice,
although a growing number enter group
practice. Some work as assistants to ex­
perienced physicians or join the staff of os­
teopathic or allopathic (M.D.) hospitals. In
view of the variation in State laws, persons
who wish to become osteopathic physicians
carefully should study the professional and
legal requirements of the State in which they
plan to practice. The availability of os­
teopathic hospitals and clinical facilities also
should be considered.
Persons who wish to become osteopathic

Opportunities for osteopathic physicians
are expected to be favorable through 1980’s.
Many localities are without medical practi­
tioners of any kind; many more have few or
no osteopathic physicians. In addition, many
new osteopaths will be needed to replace
those who retire or die. The greatest demand
probably will continue to be in States where
osteopathic medicine is a widely known and
accepted method of treatment, such as Penn­
sylvania, Florida, and several Midwestern
States. Generally, prospects for beginning a
successful practice are likely to be best in
rural areas, small towns, and city suburbs,
where young doctors of osteopathy may es­
tablish their professional reputations more
easily than in the large cities.
The osteopathic profession is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s because of general
population growth and the rising proportion
of elderly persons, the establishment of addi­
tional osteopathic hospital facilities, and the
extension of prepayment programs for hospi­
talization and medical care including Medi­
care and Medicaid.

In osteopathic medicine, as in many of the
other health professions, incomes usually rise
markedly after the first few years of practice.
Earnings of individual practitioners are de­
termined mainly by ability, experience, geo­
graphic location, and the income level of the
community served. Graduates who had
completed an approved 3-year residency but
had no other experience received a starting
salary at a Veterans Administration hospital
of about $32,500 a year in 1979. In addition,
those who worked full time received up to
$7,000 in other cash benefits or “special”
payments. In general, the income earned by
D.O.s compares favorably with other profes­
sions. Specialists usually earn higher incomes
than general practitioners.

Related Occupations
Osteopathic physicians work to prevent,
diagnose, and treat diseases, disorders, and
injuries. Other occupations that require the
exercise of similar critical judgments include:
Audiologist, chiropractor, dentist, optome­
trist, physician, podiatrist, speech patholo­
gist, and veterinarian.

Sources of Additional Information
People who wish to practice in a given
State should find out about the requirements

cal schools. Others hold full-time research or
teaching positions or perform administrative
work in hospitals, professional associations,
and other organizations. A few are primarily
engaged in writing and editing medical books
and magazines.

for licensure directly from the board of exam­
iners of that State. Information on Federal
scholarships and loans is available from the
director of student financial aid at the indi­
vidual schools of osteopathy. For a list of
State boards, as well as general information
on osteopathy as a career, contact:

Working Conditions

American Osteopathic Association, Department of
Public Relations, 212 East Ohio St., Chicago, 111.
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic
Medicine, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Washington,
D.C. 20014.

Many physicians have long working days
and irregular hours. Most specialists work
fewer hours each week than general practi­
tioners. As doctors grow older, they may ac­
cept fewer new patients and tend to work
shorter hours. However, many continue in
practice well beyond 70 years of age.


Place of Employment

(D.O.T. 070.061-010 through .107-014)

About 385,000 physicians were profession­
ally active in the^United States in 1978—
almost 9 out of 10 providing patient care ser­
vices. About 220,000 of these had office prac­
tices; more than 105,000 others worked as
residents or full-time staff member in hospi­
tals. The remaining physicians—more than
32,000—taught or performed administrative
or research duties.

Nature of the Work
Physicians perform medical examinations,
diagnose diseases, and treat people who are
suffering from injury or disease. They also
advise patients on how to prevent disease and
keep fit through proper diet and exercise.
Physicians generally work in their own of­
fices and in hospitals, but they also may visit
patients in their homes or in nursing homes.
A decreasing percentage of the physicians
who provide patient care are general practi­
tioners (about 15 percent in 1978); most spe­
cialize in 1 of about 40 fields for which there
is postgraduate training. The largest special­
ties are internal medicine, general surgery,
obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, pedia­
trics, radiology, anesthesiology, ophthal­
mology, pathology, and orthopedic surgery.
The most rapidly growing specialties are in
the primary care area—family practice, in­
ternal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, and
Some physicians combine the practice of
medicine with research or teaching in medi­

wm Hi 1 '.i.

In 1978, 10,000 graduates of foreign medi­
cal schools served as hospital residents in this
country. To be appointed to approved resi­
dencies in U.S. hospitals, alien graduates of
foreign medical schools must pass the Visa
Qualifying Examination offered by the Edu­
cational Commission for Foreign Medical
The Northeastern States have the highest
ratio of physicians to population and the
Southern States the lowest. Because physi­
cians have tended to locate in urban areas,
close to hospital and educational centers,
many rural areas have been underserved by
medical personnel. Currently, more medical
students are being exposed to practice in
rural communities with the direct support of
educational centers and hospitals in more


Specialists outnumber general practitioners by 5 to 1
Percent of physicians by specialty group, 1978
^General practice
Other specialty
Anesthesiology, etc

Medical specialty

Source: American Medical


internal medicine
Pediatrics, etc.

populous areas. In addition, some rural areas
offer physicians guaranteed minimum in­
comes to offset the relatively low earnings
typical in rural medical practice.

Training and Other Qualifications
All States, the District of Columbia, and
Puerto Rico require a license to practice
medicine. Requirements for licensure include
graduation from an accredited medical
school, successful completion of a licensing
examination, and, in most States, a period of
1 or 2 years in an accredited graduate medi­
cal education program (residency). The lic­
ensing examination taken by most graduates
of U.S. medical schools is the National Board
of Medical Examiners (NBME) test that is
accepted by all States except Texas. Gradu­
ates of foreign medical schools as well as
graduates of U.S. medical schools who have
not taken the NBME test must take the Fed­
eration Licensure Examination (FLEX) that
is accepted by all jurisdictions. Although
physicians licensed in one State usually can
get a license to practice in another without
further examination, some States limit this
In 1978, there were 124 accredited schools
in the United States in which students could
begin the study of medicine. Of these, 123
awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine
(M.D.); 1 school offered a 2-year program in
the basic medical sciences to students who
could then transfer to another medical school
for the last semesters of study.
The minimum educational requirement for
entry to a medical school is 3 years of college;
some schools require 4 years. A few medical
schools allow selected students who have ex­
ceptional qualifications to begin their profes­
sional study after 2 years of college. Most
students who enter medical schools have a
bachelor’s degree.
Required premedical study incudes un­
dergraduate work in English, physics, biol­
ogy, and inorganic and organic chemistry.
Students also should take courses in the
humanities, mathematics, and the social
sciences to acquire a broad general educa­
Medicine is a popular field of study, and
competition for entry to medical school is
intense. In 1978, there were about 40,500 ap­
plicants for only 16,000 positions. Almost all
of those accepted had premedical college
grades averaging “B” or better. Other factors
considered by medical schools in admitting
students include their scores on the New
Medical College Admission Test, which is
taken by almost all applicants. Consideration
also is given to the applicant’s character, per­
sonality, and leadership qualities, as shown
by personal interviews, letters of recommen­
dation, and extracurricular activities in col­
lege. Many State-supported medical schools
give preference to residents of their particular
State and, sometimes, those of nearby States.
Most medical students take 4 years to
complete the curriculum for the M.D. de-

In a reversal of earlier patterns, more new medical
iraduates now enter residencies in primary care than
in the highly specialized areas of medicine
Percent of first-year residencies

gree. Some schools, however, allow students
who have demonstrated outstanding ability
to follow a shortened curriculum, generally
lasting 3 years. A few schools offer the M.D.
degree within 6 years of high school gradua­
The first semesters of medical school are

\ Primary care
inctudes family
practice, internal
medicine, obstetrics,
and pediatrics


spent primarily in laboratories and class­
rooms, learning basic medical sciences such
as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, phar­
macology, microbiology, and pathology. Ad­
ditionally, students gain some clinical experi­
ence with patients during the first 2 years of
study, earning to take case histories, perform
examinations, and recognize diseases. Dur­

ing the last semesters, students spend the ma­
jority of their time in hospitals and clinics
under the supervision of clinical faculty,
where they become experienced in the diag­
nosis and treatment of illness.
After graduating from medical school, al­
most all M.D.’s serve a 1- or 2-year resi­
dency. Those planning to work in general
practice often spend an additional year in a
hospital residency. Those seeking certifica­
tion in a specialty spend from 2 to 4 years—
depending on the specialty—in advanced res­
idency training, followed by 2 years of prac­
tice or more in the specialty. Then they must
pass the specialty board examinations. Some
physicians who want to teach or do research
take graduate work leading to a master’s or
Ph. D. degree in a field such as biochemistry
or microbiology.
Medical training is very costly because of
the long time required to earn the medical
degree. However, financial assistance in the
form of loans and scholarships is available
primarily from the Federal Government, and
to a lesser extent from State and local govern­
ment and private sources. Some of this aid
requires the student to commit a minimum of
2 years’ time to Federal service upon gradua­
tion and/or to establish financial need.
Persons who wish to become physicians
must have a strong desire to serve the sick
and injured. They must be willing to study a
great deal in order to keep up with the latest
advances in medical science. Sincerity and a
pleasant personality are assets that help
physicians gain the confidence of patients.
Physicians also should be emotionally stable
and able to make decisions in emergencies.
The majority of newly qualified physicians
open their own offices or join associate or
group practices. Those who have completed
1 year of graduate medical education (a 1year residency) and enter active military duty
initially serve as captains in the Army or Air
Force or as lieutenants in the Navy. Gradu­
ates of medical schools are eligible for com­
missions as senior assistant surgeons in the
U.S. Public Health Service, with a salary
equivalent to that of an Army captain. Grad­
uates also qualify for Federal Civil Service
professional medical positions.

Employment Outlook
The employment outlook for physicians is
expected to be favorable through the 1980’s.
However, medical school enrollments in­
creased dramatically during the 1970’s, and
these graduates, combined with foreign med­
ical graduates seeking to practice here, will
greatly improve the supply of physicians.
Moreover, a greater percentage of new medi­
cal graduates are entering the primary care
specialties, and this may help alleviate a criti­
cal shortage in many localities. With more
physicians in primary care there may be an
increasing movement of physicians into rural
and other areas that have experienced short­
ages in the past.
One of the fastest growing medical specialties is family practice.

Growth in population will create much of

the need for more physicians, and a larger
percentage of the population will be in the
age group over 65, which uses more physi­
cians’ services. Also, the effective demand for
physicians’ care will increase because of
greater ability to pay, resulting from exten­
sion of prepayment programs for hospitaliza­
tion and medical care, including Medicare
and Medicaid, and continued Federal Gov­
ernment provision of medical care for mem­
bers of the Armed Forces, their families, and
veterans. In addition, more physicians will be
needed for medical research and for the
growing fields of public health, rehabilita­
tion, industrial medicine, and mental health.
To some extent, the rise in the demand for
physicians’ services will be offset by develop­
ments that will enable physicians to care for
more patients. For example, increasing num­
bers of medical technicians are assisting
physicians; new drugs and new medical tech­
niques are shortening illnesses; and growing
numbers of physicians are using their time
more effectively by engaging in group prac­
tice. The use of physicians’ assistants and
nurse practitioners also may increase the pro­
ductivity of physicians.
Although the expected increase in the
number of phyisians and in the productivity
is likely to result in greater availability of
medical care, new physicians should have lit­
tle difficulty establishing a practice.

Stipends of medical school graduates serv­
ing as residents in hospitals vary according to
the type of residency, geographic area, and
size of the hospital, but allowances of $ 13,000
to $14,000 a year are common. Many hospi­
tals also provide full or partial room, board,
and other maintenance allowances to their
Graduates who had completed approved
3-year residencies but had no other medical
experience, received a starting salary at Vet­
erans’ Administration hospitals of about
$32,500 a year in 1979. In addition, those
working full time received up to $7,000 in
other cash benefits or “special” payments.
Newly qualified physicians who establish
their own practice must make a sizable finan­
cial investment to equip a modem office.
During the first year or two of independent
practice, physicians probably earn little more
than the minimum needed to pay expenses.
As a rule, however, their earnings rise rapidly
as their practices develop.
Physicians have the highest average an­
nual earnings of any occupational group. A
survey of private, office-based M.D.’s, con­
ducted by Medical Economics magazine, re­
ported a median net income of $65,400 in
1977. Historically, most specialists, such as
radiologists and surgeons, have earned much
more than family or general practitioners.
However, earnings of family practitioners in
recent years have risen sharply. The average
of family practitioners’ incomes was 90 per­
cent of that for general surgeons in 1977.

Earnings of physicians depend on factors
such as the region of the country in which
they practice; the patients’ income levels; and
the physicians’ skills, personality, and profes­
sional reputation, as well as the length of
experience. Self-employed physicians usually
earn more than those in salaried positions.

Related Occupations
Physicians work to prevent, diagnose, and
treat diseases, disorders, and injuries. Other
occupations that require similar kinds of skill
and critical judgment include audiologists,
chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, os­
teopathic phsyicians, podiatrists, speech pa­
thologists, and veterinarians.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons who wish to practice in a State
should find out about the requirements for
licensure directly from the board of medical
examiners of that State. Information on Fed­
eral scholarships and loans is available from
the directors of student financial aid at medi­
cal schools. For a list of approved medical
schools, as well as general information on
premedical education, financial aid, and
medicine as a career, contact:
Council on Medical Education, American Medical
Association, 535 N. Dearborn St., Chicago 111.
Association of American Medical Colleges, Suite
200, One Dupont Circle, NW., Washington, D.C.

(D.O.T. 079.101-022)

Nature of the Work
Podiatrists diagnose and treat diseases and
deformities of the foot. They perform sur­
gery, fit corrective devices, and prescribe
drugs, physical therapy, and proper shoes.
To help in diagnoses, they take X-rays and
perform or prescribe blood and other patho­
logical tests. Podiatrists treat a variety of foot
conditions, including corns, bunions, cal­
luses, ingrown toenails, skin and nail dis­
eases, deformed toes, and arch disabilities.
Whenever podiatrists find symptoms of a
medical disorder affecting other parts of the
body—arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease,
for example—they refer the patient to a phy­
sician while continuing to treat the foot prob­
Some podiatrists specialize in foot surgery,
orthopedics (bone, muscle, and joint disord­
ers), podopediatrics (children’s foot ail­
ments), or podogeriatrics (foot problems of
the elderly). However, more than four of
every five are generalists, who provide all
types of foot care.

Working Conditions
Podiatrists usually work independently in
their own offices. Their workweek is gener­

ally 40 hours, and they may set their hours
to suit their practice.

Places of Employment
Of the 8,100 podiatrists active in 1978,
the majority were located in large cities.
Those who had full-time salaried positions
worked mainly in hospitals, podiatric med­
ical colleges, or for other podiatrists. The
Veterans’ Administration and public health
departments employ podiatrists on either a
full- or part-time basis. Others serve as
commissioned officers in the Armed

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States and the District of Columbia
require a license for the practice of po­
diatry. To qualify for a license, an appli­
cant must graduate from an accredited col­
lege of podiatric medicine and pass a
written and oral State board proficiency
examination. Four States—Georgia, Michi­
gan, New Jersey, and Rhode Island—also
require applicants to serve a 1-year resi­
dency in a hospital or clinic after gradua­
tion. Three-fourths of the States grant li­
censes without further examination to
podiatrists licensed by another State.
The five colleges of podiatric medicine are
located in California, Illinois, New York,
Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Minimum entrance
requirements at these schools include 3 years
of college work with courses in English,
chemistry, biology or zoology, physics, and
mathematics. Competition for entry to these
schools is strong, however, and most entrants
surpass the minimum requirements. About
90 percent of the class entering in 1978 held
at least a bachelor’s degree, and the average
enrollee had an overall grade point average of
‘B‘ or better. All colleges of podiatric medi­
cine require applicants to take the New Med­
ical College Admissions Test. Of the 4 years
in podiatry school, the first 2 are spent in
classroom instruction and laboratory work in
anatomy, bacteriology, chemistry, pathol­
ogy, physiology, pharmacology, and other
basic sciences. During the final 2 years, stu­
dents obtain clinical experience while con­
tinuing their academic studies. The degree of
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) is
awarded upon graduation. Additional educa­
tion and experience generally are necessary
to practice in a specialty. Federal, State, and
private loans are available for needy students
to pursue full-time study leading to a degree
in podiatric medicine.
Persons planning a career in podiatry
should have scientific aptitude and manual
dexterity, and like detailed work. A good
business sense and congeniality also are as­
sets in the profession.
Most newly licensed podiatrists set up
their own practices. Some purchase estab­
lished practices, or obtain salaried positions
to gain the experience and money they need
to begin their own.

search team to learn about prevention and
treatment of human disease.

Working Conditions
Veterinarians sometimes may be exposed
to danger of injury, disease, and infection.
Those in private practice often have long and
irregular working hours. Veterinarians in
rural areas may have to work outdoors in all
kinds of weather. Because they are selfemployed, veterinarians in private practice
usually can continue working well beyond
normal retirement age.

Places of Employment

Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot problems.

Employment Outlook
Opportunities for graduates to establish
new practices, as well as to enter salaried
positions, should be favorable through the
Employment of podiatrists is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions as podiatry gains recognition as a heal­
ing art and as an expanding population de­
mands more health services. The growing
number of older people who need foot care
and who are entitled to certain podiatrists’
services under Medicare also is expected to
spur demand.

Information on colleges of podiatric
medicine, entrance requirements, curriculums, and student financial aid is avail­
able from:
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric
Medicine, 20 Chevy Chase Circle, NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20015.

For additional information on podiatry as
a career, contact:
American Podiatry Association, 20 Chevy Chase
Circle, NW., Washington, D.C. 20015.


Newly licensed podiatrists build their
practices over a number of years. Income
during the first several years is low but gener­
ally rises significantly as the practice grows.
A net income of over $40,000 a year is com­
mon for established podiatrists. Newly li­
censed podiatrists hired by Veterans’ Ad­
ministration hospitals earned starting
salaries between $19,263 and $25,041 in

Nature of the Work

Podiatrists work to prevent, diagnose, and
treat human foot diseases, disorders, and in­
juries. Other occupations that require similar
skills include audiologists, chiropractors,
dentists, optometrists, osteopathic physi­
cians, physicians, speech pathologists, and

Sources of Additional Information
Information on license requirements in a
particular State is available from that State’s
board of examiners in the State capital.

Veterinarians are located in all parts of
the country, and the type of practice gen­
erally varies according to geographic set­
ting. Veterinarians in rural areas mainly
treat farm animals; those in small towns
usually engage in general practice; those in
cities and suburban areas often limit their
practice to pets.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
(D.O.T. 073. except .361-010)

Related Occupations

There were about 33,500 veterinarians ac­
tive in 1978—most in private practice. The
Federal Government employed about 2,450
veterinarians, chiefly in the U.S. Department
of Agriculture and the U.S. Public Health
Service. About 675 more were commissioned
officers in the veterinary services of the Army
and Air Force. Other employers of
veterinarians are State and local government
agencies, international health agencies, col­
leges of veterinary medicine, medical schools,
research and development laboratories, large
livestock farms, animal food companies, and
pharmaceutical companies that manufacture

Veterinarians (doctors of veterinary medi­
cine) diagnose, treat, and control diseases
and injuries among animals. They help pre­
vent the outbreak and spread of animal dis­
eases, many of which can be transmitted to
human beings.
Veterinarians treat animals in hospitals
and clinics or on farms and ranches. They
perform surgery on sick and injured animals
and prescribe and administer drugs, medi­
cines, and vaccines.
Veterinary medicine offers a variety of
practice specialties. Over one-third of all
veterinarians treat small animals or pets ex­
clusively. About one-third treat both large
and small animals. A large number specialize
in the health and breeding of cattle, poultry,
sheep, swine, or horses. Many veterinarians
inspect meat, poultry, and other foods as part
of Federal and State public health programs.
Still others teach in veterinary colleges, do
research related to animal diseases, foods,
and drugs, or work as part of a medical re­

All States and the District of Columbia
require veterinarians to have a license. To
obtain a license, applicants must have a Doc­
tor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or
V.M.D.) degree from an accredited college of
veterinary medicine and pass written and—
in 29 States—oral State board proficiency ex­
aminations. Some States issue licenses with­
out further examination to veterinarians al­
ready licensed by another State.
For positions in research and teaching, an
additional master’s or Ph. D. degree usually
is required in a field such as pathology, physi­
ology, or bacteriology.
The D.V.M. or V.M.D. degree requires a
minimum of 6 years of college consisting of
a 4-year professional degree program,
preceded by at least 2 years of preveterinary
study that emphasizes the physical and bio­
logical sciences. Several veterinary medical
colleges require 3 years of preveterinary
work, however, and most applicants have
completed 3 to 4 years of college before en­
tering the professional programs. In addi­
tion to rigorous academic instruction, pro­
fessional training includes considerable
practical experience in diagnosing and treat­
ing animal diseases, performing surgery,

livestock and poultry and growth in public
health and disease control programs also will
contribute to the demand for veterinarians.
Between 1970 and 1990, however, the num­
ber of graduates from schools of veterinary
medicine is expected to double. As a result,
new veterinarians may face competition in
establishing practices in some areas.

Newly graduated veterinarians employed
by the Federal Government started at $18,000 a year in 1979. The average annual salary
of veterinarians in the Federal Government
was $27,300 in 1978. The incomes of
veterinarians in private practice vary consid­
erably, depending on factors such as location,
type of practice, and years of experience, but
usually are higher than those of other
veterinarians. According to the limited data
available, the average income of private prac­
titioners was almost $33,000 in 1978.

Related Occupations
Over one-third of all veterinarians treat small animals or pets.

and performing laboratory work in anat­
omy, biochemistry, and other scientific and
medical subjects.
In 1978, there were 22 colleges of veteri­
nary medicine accredited by the Council
on Education of the American Veterinary
Medical Association. Admission to these
schools is highly competitive. Each year
there are many more qualified applicants
than the schools can accept. Serious appli­
cants usually need grades of “B” or better,
especially in science courses. Experience in
part-time or summer jobs working with
animals is advantageous. Colleges usually
give preference to residents of the State in
which the college is located, because these
schools are largely State supported. In the
South and West, regional educational plans
permit cooperating States without veteri­
nary schools to send students to designated
regional schools. In other areas, colleges
that accept a certain number of students
from other States usually give priority to
applicants from nearby States that do not
have veterinary schools.
Federal funds provide a limited number of
loans for students who want to pursue full­


time study leading to the degree of Doctor of
Veterinary Medicine.
Most veterinarians begin as employees or
partners in established practices. A few start
their own practices with a modest financial
investment in drugs, instruments, and an
automobile. With a more substantial
investment, one may open an animal
hospital or purchase an established prac­
Newly qualified veterinarians may enter
the Army or Air Force as commissioned of­
ficers, or qualify for Federal positions as
meat and poultry inspectors, disease-control
workers, epidemiologists, research assistants,
or commissioned officers in the U.S. Public
Health Service. A license is not required for
Federal employment.

Employment Outlook
Veterinary employment is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s, primarily because
of growth in the companion animal (horses,
dogs, and other pets) population. Emphasis
on scientific methods of raising and breeding

Veterinarians work to prevent, diagnose,
and treat animal diseases, disorders, and inju­
ries. Other occupations that require similar
skills include audiologists, chiropractors,
dentists, optometrists, osteopathic physi­
cians, physicians, podiatrists, and speech pa­

Sources of Additional Information
A pamphlet entitled Today's Veterinarian
presents additional information on veteri­
nary medicine as a career, as well as a list of
colleges of veterinary medicine. A free copy
may be obtained by submitting a request, to­
gether with a self-addressed stamped busi­
ness size envelope, to:
American Veterinary Medical Association, 930 N.
Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, 111. 60196.

veterinarians in the U.S. Department of Ag­
riculture is available from:
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Per­
sonnel Division, 123 E. Grant St., Minneapolis,
Minn. 55403
Food Safety and Quality Service, Personnel Direc­
tor, 123 E. Grant St., Minneapolis, Minn. 55403.

Students seeking loan or scholarship assist­
ance should send inquiries to the schools in
which they are interested.

Medical Technologist, Technician,
and Assistant Occupations
Many of the occupations discussed in this
section were developed to relieve highly
trained professionals of their less compli­
cated and routine duties: Optometric assist­
ants, for example, give preliminary eye ex­
aminations and help patients do prescribed
eye exercises in order to free optometrists and
ophthalmologists for more demanding pro­
fessional duties.
Other medical technician jobs have
emerged to meet a previously unfilled need
for medical care in situations where physi­
cians and registered nurses are unavailable.
Emergency medical technicians, for example,
provide medical attention at the site of a fire,
automobile accident, or other emergency.
The development of sophisticated diagnos­
tic tools and techniques for treatment,
brought about by advances in medical sci­
ence and technology, also has created the
need for workers such as electrocardiograph
technicians, who operate equipment that
monitors a patient’s heart action, and electroencephalographic technicians, who operate
equipment that monitors the electrical activ­
ity of a patient’s brain.
Medical record technicians and clerks pro­
cess the large volume of medical records gen­
erated daily in hospitals and nursing homes.
This section deals in detail with nine health
occupations that are technical or clerical in

in the EKG department of a hospital, or at
the patient’s bedside, since the equipment is
mobile. The technician straps electrodes to
specified parts of the patient’s body, manipu­
lates switches of the electrocardiograph, and
repositions electrodes across the patient’s
chest. The technician must know the anat­
omy of the chest and heart to properly select
the exact locations for the chest electrodes,
since the wrong selection may yield an inac­
curate diagnosis. The test may be given while
the patient is at rest, or in association with
mild exercise.
The electrocardiograph records a “pic­
ture” of the patient’s heart action on a con­
tinuous roll of paper. The technician then
prepares the electrocardiogram for analysis
by a physician, usually a heart specialist.
Technicians must be able to recognize and
correct any technical errors, such as crossed
wires or electrical interference, that prevent
an accurate reading. They also must call the
doctor’s attention to any significant devia­
tions from the norm.
EKG technicians sometimes conduct
other tests such as vectorcardiograms, which
are multi-dimensional traces; stress testing
(exercise tests); pulse recordings; and Holter
monitoring and scanning, which is a 12- to
24-hour recording of the EKG on magnetic
tape. In addition, some technicians schedule
appointments, type doctors’ diagnoses, main­
tain patients’ EKG files, and care for equip­

(D.O.T. 078.362-018)

Nature of the Work
Electrocardiograms (EKG’s) are graphic
heartbeat tracings produced by an instru­
ment called an electrocardiograph. These
tracings record the electrical changes that
occur during a heartbeat. Physicians use elec­
trocardiograms to diagnose irregularities in
heart action and to analyze changes in the
condition of a patient’s heart over a period of
time. Some physicians order electrocardio­
grams as a routine diagnostic procedure for
persons who have reached a specified age.
Electrocardiograms are required as part of
preemployment physical examinations for
people in many fields. In some cases, the tests
also are used if surgery is to be performed.
At the request of a physician, electrocardi­
ograms can be recorded in a doctor’s office,

Persons who want to become EKG techni­
cians should have mechanical aptitude, the
ability to follow detailed instructions, pres­
ence of mind in emergencies, reliability, and
Because EKG technician is the entry level
position in the field of cardiovascular tech­
nology, there are good opportunities for ad­
vancement. With the proper training and ex­
perience, EKG technicians can advance to
monitor technicians, cardiovascular techni­
cians, cardiopulmonary technicians, and car­
diology technologists. Promotion to supervi­
sory positions also is possible.

Employment Outlook

Places of Employment

Employment of EKG technicians is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s as a result of
general population growth, greater health
consciousness, and expansion of prepayment
programs that make it easier for people to
pay for health and medical care. Demand for
technicians also should increase due to the
rising proportion of older persons, the seg­
ment of the population requiring the most
heart tests.

Nearly 20,000 persons worked as elec­
trocardiograph technicians in 1978. Most
EKG technicians worked in cardiology de­
partments of large hospitals. Others worked
part time in small general hospitals where
workloads are usually not great enough to
demand full-time technicians. Some worked
full or part time in clinics and cardiologists’

In addition to job openings resulting from
growth, new EKG technicians will be needed
to replace workers who die, retire, or leave
the field for other reasons. Because the occu­
pation is quite small, however, there will be
relatively few openings. Technicians with
formal training should find favorable pros­
pects. Persons without this training, how­
ever, may face competition.

Training, Other Qualifications, and


Working Conditions


up to 1 month for the basic EKG tests and
up to 1 year for the more complex ones. For­
mal training programs varying in length from
1 to 2 years are offered in vocational schools
and junior and community colleges. The
American Cardiology Technologists Associ­
ation recognizes six of these programs. Train­
ing also is available in the Armed Forces.
Generally, the minimum educational re­
quirement for the job is high school gradua­
tion. Among high school courses that are
recommended for students interested in this
field are health, biology, and typing. Famil­
iarity with medical terminology also is help­
ful and can be acquired in classes on human
anatomy and physiology and by studying a
medical dictionary.

Unless they are involved in an emergency
case, EKG technicians usually work in a
relaxed atmosphere. A lot of their time is
spent on their feet. They work directly with
patients and therefore must be able to relate
well to many kinds of people.

Generally, EKG technicians are trained
on the job. Training—usually conducted by
an EKG supervisor or a cardiologist—lasts

EKG technicians employed in hospitals,
medical schools, and medical centers earned
starting salaries of about $7,800 a year in
1978, according to a survey conducted by the


tional information about the work of EKG
technicians, contact:
American Hospital Association, 840 North Lake
Shore Dr., Chicago, 111. 60611.

Technologists and
(D.O.T. 078.362-022)

Nature of the Work
The field of electroencephalography
(EEG) is concerned with recording and
studying the electrical activity of the brain. A
special instrument, the electroencephalo­
graph, records this activity, producing a writ­
ten tracing of the brain’s electrical impulses.
This record of brain waves is called an elec­
Various kinds of brain diseases can be
diagnosed by neurologists and other qualified
medical practitioners with the use of EEG.
Electroencephalograms are taken for patients
suspected of having brain tumors, strokes, or
epilepsy. The consequences of infectious dis­
eases on the brain can be measured with
EEG. Electroencephalograms may be taken
of children with serious adjustment problems
or learning difficulties to discover any or­
ganic basis for these problems. EEG also may
be used prior to vital organ transplant opera­
tions, to help determine whether the poten­
tial donor is dead or alive.

T o take an electrocardiogram, the EK G technician attaches electrodes to the patient’s body.

University of Texas Medical Branch. Ex­
perienced EKG technicians, in some cases,
earned as much as $15,100 a year.
Inexperienced EKG technicians with the
Federal Government earned $8,366 a year in
early 1979; a few experienced technicians
earned as much as $15,222 a year. Usually,
EKG technicians earn about as much as the
average for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.
In general, those EKG technicians with
previous formal training earn higher starting
salaries than those who learn on the job.
Also, EKG technicians who perform more
sophisticated tests are paid more than those
who perform only basic ones.
EKG technicians in hospitals receive the
same fringe benefits as other hospital person­
nel, including hospitalization, vacation, and

sick leave benefits. Some institutions provide
tuition assistance or free education courses,
pension programs, and uniforms. Techni­
cians generally work a 40-hour week, which
may include Saturdays and Sundays. Those
working in hospitals also may be required to
work evening hours.

Related Occupations
Some other occupations requiring opera­
tion of technical equipment to test a patient’s
medical condition include electroencephalographic (EEG) technologists and techni­
cians, radiologic (X-ray) technologists, and
medical laboratory workers.

Sources of Additional Information
Local hospitals can supply information
about employment opportunities. For addi­

The people who operate EEG equipment
are known as EEG technicians and technolo­
gists. The main job of an EEG technician is
to produce electroencephalograms, under the
supervision of an EEG technologist or an
electroencephalographer (a physician spe­
cializing in electroencephalography). Before
doing this job, the technician takes a simpli­
fied medical history of the patient and helps
the patient relax for the test. The technician
then applies the electrodes of the electroen­
cephalograph to designated spots on the pa­
tient’s head and makes sure that the machine
is working well. The technician chooses the
most appropriate combinations of instru­
ment controls and electrodes to produce the
kind of record needed. EEG technicians must
be able to recognize and correct any artifacts
that appear (an artifact is an electrical or
mechanical event that comes from some­
where other than the brain). If there are any
mechanical problems with the electroenceph­
alograph, the technician must advise his or
her supervisor, so that the machine can be
repaired promptly. EEG technicians also
need a basic understanding of the kinds of
medical emergencies that can occur in
laboratories to be able to react properly if an
emergency arises. For example, if a patient
suffers an epileptic seizure, the EEG techni­
cian must take the proper action.

EEG technologists usually perform all
the duties of EEG technicians but have a
more thorough understanding of all aspects
of EEG work. Thus they can apply spe­
cific EEG techniques to the particular re­
quirements of a patient. Technologists also
may use EEG equipment in conjunction
with other electrophysiologic monitoring
devices, such as a tape recorder. They also
can repair the equipment if it is not work­
ing properly. After producing an EEG re­
cording, the technologist writes a descrip­
tive report to accompany it for use by
Part of an EEG technologist’s job is to
supervise EEG technicians. Besides direct
supervision during EEG recordings, this in­
cludes such things as arranging work
schedules and teaching EEG techniques.
Technologists often have administrative re­
sponsibilities, such as managing the labora­
tory, keeping records, scheduling appoint­
ments, and ordering supplies.

Working Conditions
EEG technologists and technicians usually
work in clean, well-lighted surroundings.
About half of their time on duty is spent on
their feet and a lot of bending over is neces­
sary. The main hazards result from possible
electrical shocks from faulty equipment and
physical harassment from unruly patients.

Places of Employment

junior colleges, medical schools, hospitals,
and vocational or technical schools.

About 7,000 persons worked as electroencephalographic technologists and technicians
in 1978. Although EEG personnel work pri­
marily in the neurology departments of hos­
pitals, many work in private offices of
neurologists and neurosurgeons.

EEG personnel who have 1 year of train­
ing and 1 year of laboratory experience, and
who successfully complete a written and oral
examination administered by the American
Board of Registration of Electroencephalo­
graph Technologists (ABRET), are desig­
nated “Registered EEG Technologist”
(R.EEG T.). Although not a requirement for
employment, registration by ABRET is ac­
knowledgment of a technologist’s qualifica­
tions and makes better paying jobs easier to

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most EEG technicians working in 1978
were trained on the job by experienced EEG
personnel. However, with advances in medi­
equipment has become increasingly more so­
phisticated, requiring technicians with more
In 1978, there were 27 formal training
programs for EEG technologists and tech­
nicians, 12 of which were approved by the
American Medical Association’s Commit­
tee on Allied Health Education and Ac­
creditation. These formal programs usually
last from 1 to 2 years and include labora­
tory experience as well as classroom in­
neuroanatomy, physiology, neurophysi­
ology, clinical and internal medicine, psy­
chiatry, and electronics and instrumenta­
tion. They are carried on in colleges,

Persons who want to enter this field should
have manual dexterity, good vision, an apti­
tude for working with electronic equipment,
and the ability to work with patients as well
as with other members of the hospital team.
High school students considering a career in
this occupation should take courses in health
and biology.
Some EEG technicians in large hospitals
can advance to chief EEG technologist and
take on increased responsibilities in labora­
tory management and in teaching basic tech­
niques to new personnel. Chief EEG tech­
nologists are supervised by an electroencephalographer, or a neurologist or neuro­

Employment Outlook
Employment of EEG technologists and
technicians is expected to grow much faster
than the average for all occupations due to
the increased use of EEG’s in surgery, in
diagnosing and monitoring patients with
brain disease, and in research on the human
brain. Contributing to the overall increase in
health services and the need for EEG tech­
nologists and technicians are greater health
consciousness and more prepaid health pro­
In addition to openings from growth,
many openings will arise when workers retire
or leave the field for other reasons.

Starting salaries of EEG technicians em­
ployed by hospitals, medical schools, and
medical centers averaged $8,800 a year in
1978, according to a survey by the Univer­
sity of Texas Medical Branch. Starting sal­
aries for registered EEG technologists were
$1,000 to $2,000 higher. Top salaries of ex­
perienced EEG technicians ranged as high
as $22,600 a year. Highly qualified tech­
nologists may earn more as teachers in
special training situations or as supervisors
of EEG laboratories.

Because of the serious nature of their work, electroencephalographs technologists and technicians
must stay alert on the job.

Inexperienced EEG trainees employed by
the Federal Government received $8,366 a
year in 1979, but they could advance to as
much as $16,920 a year. Usually, EEG tech­
nicians earn about as much as the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming.
EEG technologists and technicians in hos­


pitals receive the same benefits as other hos­
pital personnel, including hospitalization, va­
cation, and sick leave benefits. Some institu­
tions may provide tuition assistance or free
courses, pension programs, uniforms, and
EEG technologists and technicians gener­
ally work a 40-hour week with little over­
time, although some hospitals require a
standby emergency service after hours and
on weekends and holidays.

Related Occupations
Other occupations whose main work con­
sists of performing medical activities under
supervision are dental assistants, electrocar­
diograph technicians, licensed practical
nurses, nursing aides, occupational therapy
assistants, operating room technicians, or­
derlies, and physical therapy aides.

Sources of Additional Information
Local hospitals can supply information
about employment opportunities. Additional
information is available from:
American Hospital Association, 840 North Lake
Shore Dr., Chicago, 111. 60611.

For general information about a career in
the field of electroencephalography as well as
information on registration with ABRET,
Executive Office, American Society of EEG Tech­
nologists, 32500 Grand River Ave., # 103, Farm­
ington, Mich.48024.

For a free copy of Education fo r Allied
Health Careers, which contains information
concerning formal training programs, write
American Medical Association, Department of Al­
lied Health Evaluation, 535 North Dearborn St.,
Chicago, 111. 60610.

Emergency Medical
(D.O.T. 079.374-010)

Nature of the Work
An automobile accident, a heart attack, a
near drowning, an unscheduled childbirth, a
poisoning, a gunshot wound—all of these
situations demand urgent medical attention.
Seeing medical emergencies like these han­
dled on television has made millions of
Americans aware of the crucial role played
by emergency medical technicians (EMT’s),
sometimes called ambulance attendants.
A call from a dispatcher sends EMT’s—
who usually work in teams of two—to the
scene of the emergency. Although speed is
essential, the EMT’s obey the traffic laws for
the operation of emergency vehicles. They
also must know the best route to take in the
face of traffic, road construction, and
weather conditions.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Upon arriving at the scene of the emer­
gency, the driver parks the ambulance in a
safe place to avoid accidents. If no police are
present, bystanders may be enlisted to lend a
hand. For instance, in the case of an automo­
bile accident, bystanders can help control
traffic by placing road flares, removing de­
bris, and redirecting traffic.

run, EMT’s replace the used linen, blankets,
and other supplies, send the used items to be
sterilized, and carefully check all equipment
so that the ambulance is ready for the next
trip. If they have carried patients who have
contagious infection or have been exposed to
radiation, they decontaminate the interior of
the ambulance and report such calls to the
proper authorities. EMT’s make sure that the
EMT’s first determine the nature and ex- .
ambulance is in good operating condition by
tent of the victims’ illnesses or injuries and
checking the gasoline, oil, tire pressure,
establish priorities for emergency medical
lights, siren, heater, and communications
care. Patients receive appropriate medical
equipment before their shift begins.
care, such as opening and maintaining an air­
In addition to the basic EMT, whose work
way, restoring breathing, controlling bleed­
ing, treating for shock, immobilizing frac­ has been described, there are two other types
tures, bandaging, assisting in childbirth, of EMT’s: EMT-Paramedics and EMT-Dismanaging mentally disturbed patients, and patchers. Working with radio communica­
giving initial care to poison and bum victims. tion under the direction of a physician, EMTParamedics may administer drugs, both
EMT training stresses efficiency and confi­ orally and intravenously, and use more com­
dence to reassure both patients and bystand­ plex equipment, such as a defibrillator, than
ers. EMT’s try to handle patients correctly— basic EMT’s.
not wasting any time nor working too hastily.
Although not dealing directly with emer­
When the situation requires, as in the case of
possible epilepsy or diabetes, EMT’s look for gency patients, EMT-Dispatchers neverthe­
medical identification emblems that are clues less play an important role. They receive and
process calls for emergency medical assist­
to providing correct treatment.
ance. Dispatchers send the appropriate per­
When persons are trapped, such as in an sons and resources to the emergency site and
automobile accident, EMT’s face a double coordinate the movement of emergency med­
problem. First they must assess the victims’ ical vehicles. By telephone and radio, they
injuries and supply all possible emergency serve as a communications link between the
medical care and protection to the trapped appropriate medical facility and those who
persons. Then they must use the correct are sent to attend the emergency patients.
equipment and techniques to remove the vic­ EMT-Dispatchers also handle communica­
tims safely. EMT’s may request additional tions for public safety agencies, such as police
help or special rescue or utility services by and fire departments so that services like traf­
radio or telephone from a dispatcher.
fic and fire control can be performed.
In case of death, EMT’s notify the proper
authorities and arrange for the protection of Working Conditions
the deceased’s property.
Because EMT’s must accompany the pa­
Often patients must be transported to a
hospital. In such instances, EMT’s place the
patients on stretchers, lift them into the am­
bulance, and secure both the patients and the
stretchers for the ride. EMT’s choose the
nearest hospital they consider best equipped
and staffed to treat their patients. To assure
prompt treatment upon arrival, EMT’s re­
port by radio directly to the hospital emer­
gency department or the emergency dis­
patcher about the nature and extent of
injuries or illness, the number of persons
being transported, and the destination. They
may ask for additional advice from the hospi­
tal’s medical staff.
On the way to the emergency department,
EMT’s constantly watch patients to give ad­
ditional care as needed or as directed by a
physician with whom they have radio con­
Upon arrival at the hospital, they help
transfer the patients from the ambulance to
the emergency department. They report their
observations and care of the patients to the
emergency department staff for diagnostic
purposes and as a matter of record. EMT’s
may help the emergency department staff.
One of the duties of EMT’s is to maintain
a clean, well-equipped ambulance. After each

tients indoors and outdoors, they are exposed
to all kinds of weather. A lot of their time is
spent standing, kneeling, bending, and lift­
ing. Although their work can be very strenu­
ous and can produce great pressure, they
must be careful to avoid accidents.

Places of Employment
In 1978, an estimated 115,000 persons
worked as paid EMT’s. In addition, an es­
timated 175,000 others worked as volunteers
on rescue squads—mostly associated with
fire departments.
Many paid EMT’s work for police and fire
departments and private ambulance compa­
nies. Funeral homes providing ambulance
service employ some EMT’s, although in re­
cent years many funeral homes have left this
field. A few EMT’s work on hospital-based
ambulance squads. A small but growing
number of EMT’s work in hospital emer­
gency departments.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Few EMT’s received formal training until
recent years. Now instruction in emergency
medical care techniques is mandatory. A
standard training course is the 81-hour pro-

Employment Outlook
Employment of EMT’s is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occu­
pations, due to the increasing public
awareness of the need for better emergency
medical services. For example, since pas­
sage of the Highway Safety Act of 1966
and the Emergency Medical Services Sys­
tem Act of 1973, the Federal Government
has encouraged the expansion and im­
provement of ambulance services.
Additional positions for full-time EMT’s
will become available as more and more com­
munities change from volunteer to paid am­
bulance services. A trend is underway estab­
lishing ambulance service as the third
essential community service, after police and
fire protection.

EM T’s must handle patients with care.

gram designed by the U.S. Department of
Transportation. This program, or its equiva­
lent, is available in all 50 States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia. It is offered by police, fire,
and health departments, in hospitals, and as
a special course in medical schools, colleges,
and universities.

National Registry of Emergency Medical
Technicians earn the title of Registered
EMT- Ambulance. To maintain their profi­
ciency, EMT’s must register again every 2
years. To reregister, an EMT must be work­
ing as an EMT, meet a continuing education
requirement, and pay a fee.

This course provides instruction and prac­
tice in dealing with emergencies such as
bleeding, fractures, airway obstruction, car­
diac arrest, and emergency childbirth. Stu­
dents learn to use and care for common emer­
gency equipment, such as backboards,
suction machines, splints, oxygen delivery
systems, and stretchers. Physicians, nurses
and senior EMT’s usually give the lectures
and demonstrations.

In 1978 the National Registry began to
register EMT-Paramedics. This registration
requires current registration as an EMTAmbulance, successful completion of an
EMT-Paramedic training program, 6
months of field experience as an EMTParamedic, and passing a written and prac­
tical examination. Reregistration is required
every 2 years.

After completing the basic 81-hour pro­
gram, students may take a 2-day course deal­
ing with the removal of trapped victims. Fur­
ther training courses presently are being
prepared by the Department of Transporta­
tion for the categories of EMT-Paramedic
and EMT-Dispatcher. A special course on
driving also is in preparation. Thus, a career
ladder for the EMT field is being established.
Although admission requirements vary
from State to State and often, from course to
course, admittance to an EMT training
course generally requires that the applicant
be at least 18 years old, have a high school
diploma or the equivalent, and have a valid
driver’s license. Among high school subjects
recommended for persons interested in the
field are driver education and health and sci­
ence courses. Training in the Armed Forces
as a “medic” also is considered good prepara­
tion for prospective EMT’s.
Graduates of approved EMT training pro­
grams who meet certain experience require­
ments and successfully pass a written and
practical examination administered by the

Although not a general requirement for
employment, registration with the National
Registry is acknowledgement of an EMT’s
qualifications and makes higher paying jobs
easier to obtain. By mid-1978, over 96,000
basic EMT’s were registered.
In addition, some States require certifica­
tion that does not necessarily coincide with
certification with the National Registry.
There certification as a basic EMT or an
EMT-Paramedic may require passing a
State-prescribed written and practical exami­
EMT’s should have good dexterity and
physical coordination. They must be able to
lift and carry up to 100 pounds. EMT’s need
good eyesight (eyeglasses may be used) with
accurate color vision.
Because EMT’s often work under trying
conditions, they must exercise good judg­
ment under stress and have leadership abil­
ity. Emotional stability and the ability to
adapt to many different situations help them
handle difficulties. They should have a neat
and clean appearance and a pleasant person­

Increasing cooperation between ambu­
lance personnel and the physicians and
nurses of emergency departments is expected
to further contribute to the growth of the
emergency medical technician occupation.
As the field of emergency medical care devel­
ops and personnel become more qualified,
more people are expected to use ambulance
services, which will increase the demand for
EMT’s. Despite expected increases in the de­
mand for EMT’s, those persons seeking full­
time, paid EMT positions are expected to
face keen competition, because many persons
find the occupation attractive.
In addition to job opportunities created by
growth, many openings for EMT’s will occur
each year because of the need to replace
EMT’s who retire, die, or leave the labor
force for other reasons.

Earnings of EMT’s depend on the type of
employer, the training and experience of the
individual, and the geographic location.
In general, graduates of approved 81-hour
training programs received starting salaries
of between $7,000 and $9,000 annually in
1978, depending on the community. With ex­
perience, they can earn up to $12,000 a year.
Beginning EMT-Paramedics usually earn an­
nual salaries of at least $10,000, while ex­
perienced EMT-Paramedics earn as much as
$19,000 a year. EMT’s working for police
and fire departments usually are paid the
same salaries as police officers and firefight­
ers. (See statement on police officers and fire­
fighters elsewhere in the Handbook.)
EMT’s employed by fire departments
often have a 56-hour workweek. Those em­
ployed by hospitals, private firms, and police
departments usually work 40 hours a week.
Volunteer EMT’s have varied work
schedules, but many put in from 8 to 12
hours a week. Because many ambulance ser­
vices function 24 hours a day, EMT’s often
work nights and weekends.
The employee benefits offered by private
companies, such as vacation, sick leave, and
health insurance, vary widely. EMT’s em­
ployed by hospitals and police and fire de­


partments receive the same benefits as the
other employees.

tion. They also may type and cross match
blood samples.

Related Occupations

Technologists in small laboratories often
perform many types of tests. Those in large
laboratories usually specialize in one area
such as microbiology (the study of blood

Other occupations in which workers often
are placed in life-or-death situations that re­
quire quick and level-headed reactions are
police officers and firefighters.

Sources of Additional Information
Information concerning training courses
can be obtained by writing to the Emergency
Medical Services Division of the Health De­
partment of your State.
For information about job opportunities
for prospective EMT’s in your State, contact
the Governor’s Office for Highway Safety.
Information about the registration of
EMT’s is available from your State Emer­
gency Medical Services Office, as well as
National Registry of Emergency Medical Techni­
cians, 1395 East Dublin-Granville Rd., P.O. Box
29233, Columbus, Ohio 43229.

General information about EMT’s is avail­
able from:
National Association of Emergency Medical Tech­
nicians, P.O. Box 334, Newton Highlands, Mass.

Medical Laboratory
(D.O.T. 078.121, .161, .261, .281, and .361 except -010
-018, -022, and -026, .381, and .687)

Nature of the Work
Laboratory tests play an important part in
the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of
many diseases. Medical laboratory workers,
often called clinical laboratory workers, in­
clude three levels: Medical technologists,
technicians, and assistants. They perform
tests under the general direction of patholo­
gists (physicians who diagnose the causes and
nature of disease) and other physicians, or
scientists who specialize in clinical chemis­
try, microbiology, or the other biological
sciences. Medical laboratory workers analyze
blood, tissues, and fluids in the human body
by using precision instruments such as mi­
croscopes and automatic analyzers.
Medical technologists, who usually have
4 years of postsecondary school training,
perform complicated chemical, biological,
microscopic, and bacteriological tests.
These may include chemical tests to deter­
mine, for example, the blood cholesterol
level, or microscopic examination of the
blood to detect the presence of diseases
such as leukemia. Technologists micro­
scopically examine other body fluids; make
cultures of body fluid or tissue samples to
determine the presence of bacteria, para­
sites, or other microorganisms; and analyze
the samples for chemical content or reac­


Most medical technologists conduct tests
related to the examination and treatment of
patients. Others do research, develop labora­
tory techniques, teach, or perform adminis­
trative duties.
Medical laboratory technicians, who gen­
erally require 2 years of postsecondary school
trining, perform a wide range of tests and
laboratory procedures that require a high
level of skill but not the in-depth knowledge
of highly trained technologists. Like tech­
nologists, they may work in several areas or
specialize in one field.
Medical laboratory assistants, who gener­
ally have a year of formal training, assist
medical technologists and technicians in rou­
tine tests and related work that can be
learned in a relatively short time. In large
laboratories, they may specialize in one area
of work. For example, they may identify ab­
normal blood cells on slides. In addition to
performing routine tests, assistants may store
and label plasma; clean and sterilize labora­
tory equipment, glassware, and instruments;
prepare solutions following standard labora­
tory formulas and procedures; keep records
of tests; and identify specimens.

Working Conditions
Medical laboratory personnel generally
work a 40-hour week. Those working in a
hospital can expect some evening and week­
end duty. Laboratory workers may spend a
great deal of time on their feet.

Laboratories generally are well lighted and
clean. Although unpleasant odors and speci­
mens of diseased tissue often are present, few
hazards exist if proper methods of steriliza­
tion and handling of specimens, materials,
and equipment are used.

Places of Employment
About 210,000 persons worked as medical
laboratory workers in 1978. Most medical
laboratory personnel work in hospitals. Oth­
ers work in independent laboratories, physi­
cians’ offices, clinics, public health agencies,
pharmaceutical firms, and research institu­
tions. Laboratory facilities generally are con­
centrated in metropolitan areas.
In 1978, Veterans Administration hospi­
tals and laboratories employed about 2,800
medical technologists and about 2,000 medi­
cal laboratory technicians. Others worked for
the Armed Forces and the U.S. Public
Health Service.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The minimum educational requirement for
a beginning job as a medical technologist is 4
years of college training including comple­
tion of a specialized training program in
medical technology.
Undergraduate work includes courses in
chemistry, biological sciences, and mathe­
matics. These studies give the technologist a
broad understanding of the scientific princi­
ples underlying laboratory work. Specialized
training usually requires 12 months of study
and includes extensive laboratory work. In
1978, about 670 hospitals and schools offered
programs accredited by the Committee on
Allied Health Education and Accreditation
(CAHEA) of the American Medical Associa­
tion. These programs were affiliated with col-

Medical laboratory workers conduct a wide range of tests and analyses.

leges and universities; a bachelor’s degree is
awarded upon completion. A few programs
require a bachelor’s degree for entry.
Many universities also offer advanced de­
grees in medical technology and related sub­
jects for technologists who plan to specialize
in a certain area of laboratory work or in
teaching, administration, or research.
Medical laboratory technicians acquire
their training in a variety of educational set­
tings. Many attend junior or 4-year colleges
and universities for 2 years. Some are trained
in the Armed Forces. Other technicians re­
ceive training in private or nonprofit voca­
tional and technical schools. In 1978, the
CAHEA accredited 72 of these programs,
and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Edu­
cation Schools accredited 31.
Most medical laboratory assistants are
trained on the job. In recent years, however,
an increasing number have studied in 1-year
training programs conducted by hospitals,
junior colleges in cooperation with hospi­
tals, or vocational schools. In 1978, the
CAHEA accredited 109 training programs
for medical laboratory assistants. Appli­
cants to these programs should be high
school graduates or have an equivalency di­
ploma with courses in science and mathe­
matics. The programs include classroom in­
struction and practical training in the
laboratory. They often begin with a general
orientation to the clinical laboratory fol­
lowed by courses in bacteriology, serology,
parasitology, hematology, clinical chemis­
try, blood banking, and urinalysis.
After they pass the appropriate examina­
tions, medical technologists may be certified
as Medical Technologists, MT (ASCP), by
the Board of Registry of the American Soci­
ety of Clinical Pathologists; Medical Tech­
nologists, MT, by the American Medical
Technologists; or Registered Medical Technologoists, RMT, by the International Soci­
ety of Clinical Laboratory Technology.
These organizations also certify technicians.
Certified Laboratory Technicians, CLT, are
certified by the National Certification
Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel.
Laboratory assistants are certified by the
Board of Registry of the American Society of
Clinical Pathologists.
Medical technologists must be licensed in
California, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada,
Tennessee, and New York City. Require­
ments for licensure include a written exami­
nation in some States.
Accuracy, dependability, and the ability to
work under pressure are important personal
characteristics for a medical laboratory
worker. Manual dexterity and normal color
vision are highly desirable.
Persons interested in a medical laboratory
career should use considerable care in select­
ing a training program. They should get in­
formation about the kinds of jobs obtained by
graduates, educational costs, the accredita­
tion of the school, the length of time the
training program has been in operation, in­

structional facilities, and faculty qualifica­
Technologists may advance to supervisory
positions in certain areas of laboratory work,
or, after several years’ experience, to ad­
ministrative medical technologist in a large
hospital. Graduate education in one of the
biological sciences, chemistry, management,
or education usually speeds advancement.
Technicians can advance to technologists by
getting additional education and experience.
Similarly, assistants can become technicians
by acquiring more education and experience.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for medical
laboratory workers are expected to be favor­
able through the 1980’s. Employment of
these workers is expected to expand faster
than the average for all occupations as physi­
cians make wider use of laboratory tests in
routine physical checkups and in the diagno­
sis and treatment of disease. Indirectly in­
fluencing growth of the field are population
growth, greater health consciousness, and ex­
pansion of prepayment programs for medical
care that make it easier for people to pay for
The use of automated laboratory test
equipment is expected to lead to an increase
in the number of medical laboratory techni­
cians and assistants relative to technologists.
Through technological advances, technicians
and assistants can operate equipment to per­
form tests that previously required the skill of
a technologist.
Technologists will be needed to fill super­
visory positions in all laboratories. In addi­
tion to openings resulting from increased de­
mand for these workers many jobs will
become available each year because of the
need to replace medical workers who die, re­
tire, or leave the field for other reasons.

uate study entered at about $13,000. The
Federal Government paid medical labora­
tory assistants and technicians starting sala­
ries ranging from about $6,600 to $10,500 a
year in 1979, depending on the amount and
type of education and experience. Medical
technologists in the Federal Government
averaged about $15,300 a year, and medical
technicians, about $12,700 a year in 1978.
Medical laboratory workers normally re­
ceive vacation and sick leave benefits; some
have retirement plans.

Related Occupations
Medical laboratory workers perform a
wide variety of tests to help physicians diag­
nose and treat disease. Their principal activ­
ity is the analysis and identification of sub­
stances. Workers in other occupations who
perform laboratory tests include biological
aides, chemistry technologists, criminalists,
and food testers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about education and training
for medical technologists, technicians, and
laboratory assistants meeting standards
recognized by the American Medical Associ­
ation, the U.S. Office of Education, or both,
as well as career information on these fields
is available from:
American Society of Clinical Pathologists, Board
of Registry, P.O. Box 11270, Chicago, 111. 60612.
American Society for Medical Technology, 5555
W. Loop South, Bellaire, Tex. 77401.
American Medical Technologists, 710 Higgins
Rd., Park Ridge, 111. 60068.
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools,
Oak Manor Office, 29089 U.S. 20 West, Elkhart,
Ind. 46514.

For information about other technician
training programs, contact:


International Society for Clinical Laboratory
Technology, 818 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo. 63101.

Salaries of medical laboratory workers
vary depending on the employer and geo­
graphic location. In general, medical labora­
tory workers employed in large cities re­
ceived the highest salaries.

For a list of training programs for medical
technologists, technicians, and assistants that
are approved by the American Medical Asso­
ciation, write:
Department of Allied Health Evaluation, Ameri­
can Medical Association, 535 N. Dearborn St.,
Chicago, 111. 60610.

Starting salaries for medical technologists
in hospitals averaged about $12,400 a year in
1978, according to a survey conducted by the
University of Texas Medical Branch. Begin­
ning salaries for medical laboratory techni­
cians averaged about $10,600 a year in 1978;
for certified laboratory assistants, about $9,100. According to the same survey, ex­
perienced medical technologists employed in
hospitals averaged about $15,700 a year in
1978. Similarly, medical laboratory techni­
cians with experience averaged about $13,500 a year, and certified laboratory assistants
about $11,400 annually.

Information about employment oppor­
tunities in Veterans Administration hospitals
is available from the Office of Personnel
(054E), Veterans Administration, Washing­
ton, D.C. 20420.

The Federal Government paid newly grad­
uated medical technologists with a bachelor’s
degree a starting salary of about $10,500 a
year in 1979. Those having experience, supe­
rior academic achievement, or a year of grad­

Information about clinical and research
employment opportunities with the National
Institutes of Health is available from the
Clinical Center, National Institutes of
Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20205.

For a list of training programs for medical
laboratory technicians accredited by the Ac­
crediting Bureau of Health Education
Schools, write:
Secretary-ABHES, 29089 U.S. 20 West, Elkhart,
Ind. 46514.


Medical Record
Technicians and
(D.O.T. 079.367-014 and 245.362)

Nature of the Work
A medical record is a permanent report on
a patient’s condition and course of treatment
in a hospital, clinic, or other health care insti­
tution. Physicians, allied health personnel,
hospital administrators, public health au­
thorities, and insurance companies rely on
these records, which are kept by health care
staff known as medical record technicians
and clerks.
Medical record technicians and clerks per­
form the functions essential to maintaining
the medical information system, including
transcription of medical data, analysis and
coding of information, filing, maintenance of
registries, compiling of statistics, and ab­
stracting records.
The system used in hospitals to gather,
preserve, and maintain the information for
medical records requires the teamwork of
many medical record technicians and clerks.
In large hospitals, recordkeeping activities
are supervised and coordinated by a medical
record administrator, but in smaller hospi­
tals, experienced medical record technicians
often manage the department. In most nurs­
ing homes, a medical record clerk, working
under the supervision of a medical record
consultant who is a Registered Record Ad­
ministrator (RRA) or an Accredited Record
Technician (ART), is responsible for the
medical records.
Medical record clerks perform routine
clerical tasks. They assemble the information
for the records in sequence; check to see that
all necessary forms, signatures, and dates are
present; and locate any previous medical rec­
ords that may be on file for the patient. They
translate selected information such as sex,
age, and referral source into a code and enter
it on the records. Medical record clerks an­
swer routine staff requests for information
about patients and gather statistics for re­
ports to various groups such as State health
departments. Some medical record clerks
transcribe reports of operations, X-ray and
laboratory examinations, and special treat­
ments given to patients.
Beginning medical record technicians per­
form duties that may be similar to those of
clerks but that require more technical knowl­
edge. The technician codes the diseases, oper­
ations, and special therapies according to
recognized classification systems and enters
the codes on the medical record. This coding
makes it easier to refer to the record when
there is a need to review the patient’s case or
to collect data for other purposes. Analyzing
records and cross-indexing medical informa­
tion make up a large part of the technician’s
work. FRASER
Digitized for Technicians review records for com­ OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

pleteness, accuracy, and compliance with re­
quirements, referring incomplete records to
the person who compiled them. They review
records for internal consistency and look for
apparent errors.
Technicians obtain information from rec­
ords in answer to legal, governmental, and
insurance company inquiries, and gather sta­
tistics and prepare periodic reports for health
care facilities on types of diseases treated,
types of surgery performed, and utilization of
hospital beds. They also supervise medical
record clerks, assist the medical staff by pre­
paring special studies and tabulating data
from records for research, and take records
to court.

Working Conditions
Medical record personnel generally work a
standard 40-hour week in a comfortable of­
fice environment within a hospital, nursing
home, or other health care facility. Because
incorrect or misplaced medical records could
affect the health and well-being of a patient,
close attention to detail is required. Some as­
pects of the job are highly repetitive.

Places of Employment
In 1978, there were about 15,000 medical
record technicians and 35,000 clerks. Al­
though most work in hospitals, a growing
number are finding jobs in clinics, nursing
homes, community health centers, govern­
mental agencies, consulting firms, and health
maintenance organizations. Some medical re­
cord technicians are consultants to small
health facilities. Some insurance companies
employ experienced medical record techni­
cians to collect information from patients’
records to determine liability for payment.
Public health departments hire medical re­
cord technicians to supervise data collection

from health care institutions and to assist in
research to improve health care. Manufac­
turers of medical record systems, services,
and equipment also employ medical record
personnel to help develop and market their

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most employers prefer to fill technician
positions with graduates from one of the
colleges that have been accredited by the
American Medical Association (AMA) and
the American Medical Record Association
(AMRA). These colleges have 2-year associ­
ate degree programs. In 1978, there were 70
associate degree programs. Required
courses include biological sciences, medical
terminology, medical record science, busi­
ness management, and secretarial skills.
Persons with this training can take the Ac­
credited Record Technician (ART) exami­
nation. Those who pass enter the medical
record field as technicians, and can often
look forward to promotion to supervisory
positions. In 1978, there were about 10,500
High school graduates who have basic sec­
retarial skills can enter the medical record
field as beginning clerks. About 1 month of
on-the-job training will prepare them for rou­
tine tasks that do not require much special­
ized skill. Although not required, high school
courses in science, health, typing, mathemat­
ics, and office practice are helpful.
The AMRA offers a correspondence
course in medical transcription that can be
taken either as a home study program or as
in-service training. The certificate given upon
the successful completion of the course is
helpful in applying for a job as a medical
record clerk. Knowledge of medical terms

Medical record technicians deal with the records of thousands of patients.

and references provides a good foundation
for advancement.
Medical record clerks with several years’
experience can advance to the technician
level upon completion of 30 credit hours in
medical record technology from an accred­
ited college. After completing this course
work, the technician is eligible to take the
ART examination for accreditation.

Employment Outlook
Employment of medical record techni­
cians and clerks is expected to grow faster
than the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s. This employment growth will
stem from a continued increase in the use of
health insurance and Medicare and Medi­
caid, which will result in a need for more
complete medical records. New jobs also will
be created as nursing homes, clinics, and new
types of health care facilities, such as health
maintenance organizations, increasingly em­
ploy medical record personnel.
The outlook for technicians with a 2-year
associate degree or its equivalent will be ex­
cellent through the 1980’s. It is expected that
medical record technicians will be required
to have this specialized training in the future
as more attention is given to documenting
medical care in order to improve medical
care delivery. As a result, technicians who
have not received formal training may expe­
rience strong competition for positions from
medical record technicians who have an asso­
ciate degree. Opportunities for part-time
work will continue.

cord personnel receive paid holidays and va­
cations, health and insurance benefits, and
can participate in retirement plans.

Related Occupations
Medical record technicians and clerks
work primarily in hospitals maintaining pa­
tients’ medical records. These workers gener­
ally perform a wide variety of technical and
clerical duties including verification, tran­
scription, and filing of medical records.
Workers in other occupations who may per­
form similar technical/clerical duties include
information clerks, insurance clerks, library
technical assistants, medical secretaries, and
transcribing-machine operators.

Sources of Additional Information
A list of approved schools for medical re­
cord technicians, facts about the correspon­
dence courses for medical transcription and
medical record personnel, and additional de­
tails on the work performed by medical re­
cord technicians are available from:
American Medical Record Association, John Han­
cock Center, Suite 1850, 875 N. Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60611.

Operating Room
(D.O.T. 079.374-022)

Nature of the Work
Earnings of medical record clerks and
technicians vary greatly according to local­
ity. Beginning medical record clerks earned
an average of about $8,600 annually in pri­
vate hospitals in 1978. Earnings ranged from
$6,600 in small hospitals in the South to $13,200 in New York City, according to limited
data. In general, salaries are highest in big
cities and in larger hospitals.
Salaries of medical record technicians fol­
low a similar geographic pattern. Limited
data indicate that, in 1978, the median an­
nual salary for ART’s was about $13,200.
Experienced technicians who were directors
of hospital medical record departments ave­
raged about $13,900. Some earned over $15,800 a year.
In Federal hospitals, medical record clerks
earned a beginning annual salary of about
$8,400 in 1979. Annual salaries of ex­
perienced medical record technicians ranged
from about $9,400 to $16,900. In 1978, about
1,500 medical record technicians worked for
the Federal Government, with average sala­
ries of about $11,200 a year. Some outstand­
ing medical record technicians may work up
to higher supervisory positions with corre­
sponding pay increases, although most of
these positions are filled by Registered Re­
cord Administrators.
Like most hospital employees, medical re­

Operating room technicians, occasionally
called surgical technologists, assist surgeons
and anesthesiologists before, during, and
after surgery. They work under the supervi­
sion of registered nurses or surgical technolo­
gist supervisors.
They help set up the operating room with
the instruments, equipment, sterile linens,
and fluids such as glucose that will be needed
during an operation. Operating room techni­
cians also may prepare patients for surgery
by washing, shaving, and disinfecting body
areas where the surgeon will operate. They
may transport patients to the operating room
and help drape and position them on the op­
erating table.
During surgery, they pass instruments and
other sterile supplies to the surgeons and the
surgeons’ assistants. They hold retractors,
cut sutures, and help count the sponges, nee­
dles, and instruments used during the opera­
tion. Operating room technicians help pre­
pare, care for, and dispose of specimens taken
for testing during the operation and help
apply dressings. They may operate sterilizers,
lights, suction machines, and diagnostic
After the operation, operating room tech­
nicians help transfer patients to the recovery
room and assist nurses in cleaning and stock­
ing the operating room for the next opera­

Working Conditions
Operating room technicians work in clean,
well-lighted environments. They need stam­
ina to be on their feet the whole time they are
on duty and to pay close attention to opera­

Places of Employment
About 35,000 persons worked as operating
room technicians in 1978. They worked in
hospitals or other institutions that have oper­
ating room, delivery room, and emergency
room facilities. In addition, many were mem­
bers of the Armed Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most operating room technicians are
trained in vocational and technical schools,
hospitals, and community and junior col­
leges. Most training programs last from 9
months to 1 year; some junior college pro­
grams, however, last 2 years and lead to an
associate degree. Students receive classroom
training as well as supervised clinical experi­
ence. Required courses include anatomy,
physiology, and microbiology. Courses
teaching practical applications include the
care and safety of patients during surgery,
use of anesthesia and its hazards, and nursing
procedures. They also learn how to sterilize
instruments, prevent and control infection,
and handle special drugs, solutions, supplies,
and equipment. In 1978, there were 68 train­
ing programs accredited by the Committee
on Allied Health Education and Accredita­
Some operating room technicians are
trained on the job. A high school education
or the equivalent is required for training and
employment. On-the-job training programs
in many hospitals include classroom instruc­
tion in the same type of courses taught in
junior colleges and vocational schools. These
programs vary from 6 weeks to 1 year, de­
pending on the trainee’s qualifications and
the objectives of the training given. Some
hospitals prefer applicants who have worked
as nursing aides or practical nurses.
Some operating room technicians receive
training in the Armed Forces.
The Association of Surgical Technologists
awards a certificate to operating room tech­
nicians who pass their comprehensive exami­
nation. A Certified Surgical Technologist
(CST) is recognized as competent in the field
and may be paid a higher salary.
Manual dexterity is a necessity for operat­
ing room technicians because they must han­
dle various instruments quickly. They must
be orderly and emotionally stable. High
school students interested in careers in this
occupation are advised to take courses in
health and biology.
Some operating room technicians advance
to assistant operating room administrator
and assistant operating room supervisor.
Assistant operating room administrators


(D.O.T. 079.364-014)

Nature of the Work
Optometric assistants perform a wide vari­
ety of tasks, enabling optometrists to devote
more time to their professional duties. They
keep patients’ records, schedule appoint­
ments, and handle bookkeeping, correspon­
dence, and filing. They prepare patients for
eye examinations, take initial case histories,
and record the results of optometrists’ exami­
nations. Optometric assistants measure pa­
tients for correct and comfortable fit of
glasses. They suggest size and shape of eye­
glass frames to complement the patient’s fa­
cial features, and adjust finished eyeglasses
by heating, shaping, and bending the plastic
or metal frames. They also assist the optome­
trist in giving instructions on the wear and
care of contact lenses.
Operating room technicians must pay close attention to the surgery being performed.

deal with the administrative aspects of run­
ning an operating room, such as ordering
supplies and arranging work schedules,
while assistant operating room supervisors
actually direct other technicians in the oper­
ating room.

Employment Outlook
Employment in this field is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occu­
pations as operating room technicians in­
creasingly assume more routine tasks in
the operating room. The same factors that
contribute to the demand for health work­
ers in general apply to operating room
technicians—namely, population growth
and the increased ability of people to pay
for medical care due to expansion in cover­
age under prepayment insurance programs.
In addition to job openings resulting from
growth of the occupation, new operating
room technicians will be needed to replace
workers who die, retire, or leave the field
for other reasons.
Despite the rapid employment growth that
is expected, the small size of this occupation
will result in relatively few job openings.
Graduates of formal training programs will
have the best opportunities for these jobs,
while persons without job skills may face

The average starting salary for operating
room technicians was about $8,600 a year
in 1978, according to a national survey
conducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch at Galveston. Experienced
technicians earned average salaries of ap­
proximately $10,700 annually. In 1979, the
Federal Government paid operating room
technicians starting salaries of $9,391 a OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

year. An experienced operating room tech­
nician employed by the Federal Govern­
ment could earn as much as $15,222 a
Graduates of training programs in hospi­
tals and community and junior colleges often
earn higher salaries than workers without
formal training. Salaries, reflecting variations
in the cost of living, also vary widely by geo­
graphic location, with those on the East and
West Coasts generally higher. Usually, oper­
ating room technicians earn about as much as
the average for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.
Operating room technicians usually work
a 5-day, 40-hour week. However, they may
be required to work “on call” shifts (staying
available to work on short notice).

Related Occupations
Other occupations who perform medical
activities under supervision are dental assist­
ants, electrocardiograph technicians, electroencephalographic technologists, licensed
practical nurses, nursing aides, occupational
therapy assistants, orderlies, and physical
therapy aides.

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on a career as an
operating room technician and on training
programs for the occupation is available
Association of Surgical Technologists, Caller No.
E, Littleton, Colo. 80120.

Information on education for the operat­
ing room technician occupation also is avail­
able from:
American Medical Association, Department of Al­
lied Health Evaluation, 535 North Dearborn St.,
Chicago, 111. 60610.

Optometric assistants help patients with
exercises for eye coordination to overcome
focusing defects. In the laboratory, they ad­
just conventional glasses to assure proper fit,
insert lenses in frames, repair frames, keep an
inventory of optometric materials, and clean
and care for the instruments.
In a large establishment such as a clinic,
assistants may specialize in visual training,
chairside assistance, or office administration.
In a smaller practice, they may perform all
these duties.
Optometric assistants work in clean, welllighted, and pleasant surroundings. Al­
though their work is not physically hard,
they must be on their feet part of the time.
Attention to detail is necessary.

Places of Employment
About 15,000 persons worked as opto­
metric assistants in 1978. Most worked for
optometrists in private practice. Others
worked for health clinics. Some served as
assistants to optometrists in the Armed

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most optometric assistants are trained on
the job. Training also can be acquired in 1year academic courses; 11 schools offered
this type of training in 1978. More detailed
training in the technical aspects of optometry
was available in 21 schools that offered 2year courses leading to an associate degree.
In addition, the U.S. Air Force trained opto­
metric specialists in an accelerated, 16-week
training program.
High school graduation or its equivalent,
including courses in mathematics and of­
fice procedures, is preferred for formal or
on-the-job training. All formal programs
offer specialized courses such as the anat-

Radiologic (X-ray)
(D.O.T. 078.162, .361-018, and .362-026)

Nature of the Work
Bone fractures, ulcers, blood clots, and
brain tumors are just a few of the medical
problems that involve the use of X-rays in
their treatment, either for diagnosis or ther­
apy. X-rays of the chest also are taken during
routine medical checkups to detect the pres­
ence of lung diseases in the early stages. The
people who operate radiologic equipment
and take X-ray pictures (known as radio­
graphs) are called radiologic technologists or
radiographers. They usually work under the
supervision of radiologists—physicians who
specialize in the use of radiographs.

A delicate touch is needed by optometric assistants when teaching patients to wear contact lenses.

omy and physiology of the human eye, vi­
sion training (the use of exercises to cor­
rect defective vision), and contact lens the­
ory and practice. Programs also include
secretarial and office procedures. Lectures
and laboratory work are supplemented by
actual experience in optometric clinics and
Although most newly hired optometric as­
sistants currently are trained on the job, op­
tometrists prefer to hire assistants who are
graduates of 1- or 2-year formal training pro­
grams. This training will become more im­
portant in gaining initial employment and
advancement as more programs become
Manual dexterity and accuracy are re­
quirements for persons planning to become
optometric assistants. Because of the personto-person relationship between optometric
assistants and patients, a neat appearance,
courtesy, and tact are important.

Employment Outlook
Employment of optometric assistants is
expected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s, due
to the rising demand for eye care services
and the changing requirements of optome­
trists. Demand for eye care is expected to
increase due to population growth and to
the rising proportion of older persons, that
segment of the population requiring the
most eye care. Employment should rise be­
cause of expected increases in the number
of support personnel employed by optome­
In addition to job openings resulting
from growth, new optometric assistants
also will be needed to replace workers who
die, retire, or leave the field for other rea­

sons. Because the occupation is small,
however, openings will be relatively few.
Employment opportunities for graduates of
formal training programs should be excel­
lent. Persons without this training, how­
ever, may face competition. Jobseekers will
continue to find many opportunities for
part-time work.

Earnings of optometric assistants vary
by geographical region, academic and tech­
nical qualifications, and the size and type
of practice of the optometrists employing
them. In 1978, beginning salaries ranged
from $100 a week for optometric assistants
having no training or experience to $250 a
week for experienced and highly trained
assistants, according to limited information

Most optometric assistants work between
30 and 40 hours a week. In many practices,
the assistant may work a few hours on Satur­
day, with a day off during the week.

Related Occupations
Other occupations assisting medical
professionals are dental assistants, office
nurses, occupational therapy assistants,
physical therapist assistants and aides, podiatric assistants, and psychiatric aides.

Sources of Additional Information
Further information on a career as an op­
tometric assistant and a list of training pro­
grams are available from:
American Optometric Association, Paraoptometric Guidance Department, 243 North Lindbergh
Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63141.

Radiologic technologists may work in any
of the three specialties within the field of
radiologic technology. The most widely
known specialty is X-ray technology or radi­
ography, taking radiographs of parts of the
human body for study by a radiologist in
diagnosing a patient’s problem. The other
two are radiation therapy, the use of radia­
tion-producing machines to give therapeutic
treatments recommended by radiologists;
and nuclear medicine technology, the appli­
cation of radioactive material to help radiolo­
gists diagnose or treat illnesses or injuries.
Before a radiologic technologist can per­
form any work on a patient, a physician must
issue a requisition ordering the work done.
Similar to prescriptions for drugs, these
requisitions assure that radiologic technolo­
gists treat only people certified as needing
such treatment by physicians.
Radiologic technologists prepare patients
for radiologic examinations, assuring that
they remove any articles of clothing, such
as belt buckles or jewelry, through which
X-rays cannot pass. They then position the
patients, either lying on a table or stand­
ing, so that the correct parts of the body
can be radiographed, always taking care
not to aggravate injuries or make the pa­
tients uncomfortable. To prevent unneces­
sary radiograph exposure to unaffected
parts, the technologist surrounds the ex­
posed area with radiation protection de­
vices, such as lead shields.
After the necessary preparations, the
technologist positions the radiologic ma­
chine at the correct angle and height over
the appropriate area of a patient’s body.
Using instruments like a measuring tape,
the technologist measures the thickness of
the section to be radiographed. He or she
sets the proper controls on the machine,
such as those regulating exposure time, to
produce radiographs of the right density,
detail, and contrast. The technologist then
places a properly identified X-ray film of
the correct size under the part of the pa­
tient’s body to be examined, and makes the
exposure. Afterward, the technologist


removes the film and develops it for inter­
pretation by a radiologist. Throughout the
procedure, the technologist is careful to use
only as much radiation as is necessary to
obtain a good diagnostic examination.
When examining a patient using fluoros­
copy (watching a patient’s internal body
movements on a monitor or screen), the radi­
ologic technologist prepares a solution of bar­
ium sulphate for the patient to drink. As this
solution passes through the patient’s diges­
tive tract, a physician looks for diseases, inju­
ries, or defects in the patient’s digestive sys­
tem. When fluoroscopic examinations are
performed, whether on the digestive tract or
on other parts of the body such as chest,
heart, or bones, the technologist assists the
physician by preparing and positioning the
patient, adjusting the machine, and applying
the correct exposure.
In radiation therapy, which is mainly used
for treating cancer, the radiologic technolo­
gist works under the close supervision of a
radiologist. Directed by a radiologist, the
technologist applies the correct amount of
radiation for the proper period of time to the
affected part of the patient’s body. The tech­
nologist also must keep adequate records of
the treatment and is responsible for the com­
fort and safety of the patient during the treat­

In nuclear medicine, the radiologic tech­
nologist also works under the direct supervi­
sion of a radiologist. The technologist pre­
pares solutions containing radioactive
material that, when swallowed by the patient
or injected, is absorbed by the patient’s inter­
nal organs. Because diseased tissues generally
react differently from healthy ones when sub­
jected to radioactive substances, it is possible
to trace the development of disease. The tech­
nologist uses special cameras or scanners that
pick up the radioactivity, and operates in­
struments that measure the intensity of the
In addition to the duties involved in oper­
ating radiologic equipment, radiologic tech­
nologists may have certain administrative
tasks. Technologists prepare and maintain
patients’ records—keeping track of the devel­
oped film, the date it was taken, and the radi­
ologist’s diagnosis. They also may maintain
files, schedule appointments, and prepare
work schedules for assistants.
Some radiologic technologists are full-time
instructors in radiography techniques, teach­
ing in programs of radiologic technology.

Working Conditions
Radiologic technologists generally work a
40-hour week that may include evening or
weekend hours. Technologists are on their

Radiologic (X-ray) technologists must be careful to use only as much radiation as is necessary
to obtain a good picture. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

feet a lot and may be-required to lift or turn
disabled patients.
There are potential radiation hazards in
this field; however, these hazards have been
greatly reduced by the use of safety devices
such as instruments that measure radiation
exposure, lead aprons, gloves, and other

Places of Employment
About 100,000 persons worked as radi­
ologic technologists in 1978. Hospitals em­
ploy about three-fourths of all radiologic
technologists; most of the remainder work in
medical laboratories, physicians’ and den­
tists’ offices or clinics, Federal and State
health agencies, and public school systems.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The requirement for entry into this field is
the completion of a formal education pro­
gram in radiography. In 1978, about 1,100
programs in radiography offered by hospi­
tals, medical schools affiliated with hospitals,
colleges, and universities were accredited by
the Committee on Allied Health Education
and Accreditation of the American Medical
Association (AMA).
Education also may be obtained in the
military service or through courses in radiog­
raphy offered by vocational or technical
schools. Programs vary in length from 2 to 4
years. Some colleges award a bachelor’s de­
gree in radiologic technology. While employ­
ers generally pay graduates of bachelor’s de­
gree programs the same starting salaries as
those of 2- and 3-year programs, there is
more potential for promotion for those hold­
ing the bachelor’s degree. It is advantageous
for those planning to be educators or ad­
ministrators in this field to pursue the bache­
lor’s and master’s degrees as preparation.
All programs accept only high school
graduates or the equivalent. Courses in math­
ematics, physics, chemistry, and biology are
Radiography programs include courses in
anatomy, physiology, patient care proce­
dures, physics, radiation protection, film
processing, principles of radiographic expo­
sure, medical terminology, radiographic po­
sitioning, medical ethics, and radiobiology.
Registration with the American Registry
of Radiologic Technologists is an asset in ob­
taining highly skilled and specialized posi­
tions. Registration requirements include
graduation from an accredited program of
medical X-ray technology and the satisfac­
tory completion of a written examination.
After registration, the title “Registered Tech­
nologist (ARRT)” may be used. Once regis­
tered, technologists may be certified in radia­
tion therapy or nuclear medicine by
completing an additional year of combined
classroom study and clinical education.
Good health, emotional stability, and a
sincere desire to work with the sick and dis­

abled are important qualifications for this
As openings occur, some technologists in
large radiography departments may qualify
as instructors in radiography techniques or
advance to supervisory radiologic technolo­

Sources of Additional Information
For additional information about pro­
grams and careers in radiologic technology,
The American Society of Radiologic Technolo­
gists, SS E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, 111. 60604.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the field of radiologic tech­
nology is expected to expand faster than the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s as radiologic equipment is increas­
ingly used to diagnose and treat diseases. The
demand for radiologic technologists also will
increase as prepaid medical programs extend
medical care to wider segments of the popu­
lation. Part-time workers will find the best
opportunities in physicians’ offices and clin­
ics where full-time radiologic services usually
are not required.
Although the demand for radiologic tech­
nologists should continue to be strong, the
number of graduates of AMA-accredited
programs in this field also is expected to grow
rapidly during the period. If present enroll­
ment patterns continue, the number seeking
to enter the occupation is likely to exceed the
number of openings from growth and re­
placement needs. As a result, graduates may
face competition for positions of their choice.

Starting salaries of radiologic technologists
employed in hospitals averaged about $10,700 a year in 1978, according to a national
survey conducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. Experienced radiologic
technologists averaged about $13,300 a year.
Workers with more specialized skills gen­
erally earn more. For example, radiation
therapy technologists started at about $11,200 in 1978, according to the University of
Texas survey, and experienced personnel ave­
raged $14,000 a year. Nuclear medicine tech­
nologists have the highest earnings among
radiologic technologists, averaging $12,000
to start and $14,700 after several years of

Respiratory Therapy
(D.O.T. 079.361)

Nature of the Work
Respiratory therapy workers, sometimes
called inhalation therapy workers, treat pa­
tients with cardiorespiratory problems. This
treatment may range from giving temporary
relief to patients with chronic asthma or em­
physema to giving emergency care in cases of
heart failure, stroke, drowning, and shock.
Respiratory therapy workers also are among
the first medical specialists called for emer­
gency treatment of acute respiratory condi­
tions arising from head injury or drug poi­
soning. The therapy worker’s role is a highly
responsible one because if a patient stops
breathing for longer than 3 to 5 minutes,
there is little chance of recovery without seri­
ous brain damage, and if oxygen is cut off for
more than 9 minutes, death results.
Following doctors’ orders, respiratory
therapy workers use special equipment, such
as respirators and positive-pressure breathing
machines, to treat patients who need tempo­
rary or emergency respiratory assistance. For
example, they use aerosol inhalants to ad­
minister medication so that it is confined to
the lungs. They also show patients and their
families how to use equipment at home.
Other duties include keeping records of the
cost of materials and charges to patients, and
maintaining and making minor repairs to

Sick leave, vacations, insurance, and other
benefits are comparable to those covering
other workers in the same organization.

There are three levels of workers within
the field of respiratory therapy: Therapists,
technicians, and assistants. Therapists and
technicians perform essentially the same du­
ties. However, the therapist is expected to
have a higher level of expertise and may be
expected to assume some teaching and super­
visory duties. Respiratory assistants have lit­
tle contact with patients and spend most of
their time taking care of the equipment, in­
cluding cleaning, sterilizing, and storing it.
Many are new to the job and are training to
advance to the technician or therapist level.

Related Occupations

Working Conditions

Radiologic technologists operate sophis­
ticated technical equipment to help physi­
cians, dentists, and other medical practition­
ers diagnose and treat patients. Workers in
related occupations include dental hygie­
nists, electrocardiograph technicians, electroencephalographic technologists, and med­
ical technologists.

Respiratory therapy workers generally
work a 40-hour week. Because many hospi­
tals operate around the clock, they may be
required to work evenings or weekends. Res­
piratory therapy workers spend long periods
standing and, when involved in an emer­
gency, may work under a great deal of stress.
The inhalants they work, with are highly

The Federal Government paid new gradu­
ates of AMA-accredited programs of radi­
ologic technology a starting salary of about
$9,400 a year in 1979. Radiologic technolo­
gists in the Federal Government had average
earnings of $13,000 a year in 1978.

flammable; however, adherence to safety
precautions and regular testing of equipment
minimize the danger of fire.

Places of Employment
About 50,000 persons worked as respira­
tory therapists, technicians, or assistants in
1978. Most work in hospitals, in respiratory
therapy, anesthesiology, or pulmonary medi­
cine departments. Others work for oxygen
equipment rental companies, ambulance ser­
vices, nursing homes, and universities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Respiratory apparatus has become increas­
ingly complex in recent years and, although
many respiratory therapy workers are
trained on the job, formal training now is
stressed for entry to the field.
In 1978, nearly 300 institutions offered
programs in respiratory therapy that were
approved by the Council on Medical Educa­
tion and Accreditation of the American
Medical Association. High school gradua­
tion is required for entry to these programs.
Courses range in length from 18 months to 4
years and include both theory and clinical
work. A bachelor’s degree is awarded for
completion of a 4-year program and an asso­
ciate degree for shorter courses. Areas of
study include human anatomy and physiol­
ogy, chemistry, physics, microbiology, and
mathematics. Technical courses deal with
procedures, equipment, and clinical tests.
Respiratory therapists who have a certifi­
cate of completion from an AMA-approved
therapist training program, 62 semester
hours of college credit, and 1 year of experi­
ence following completion of the program are
eligible to apply for registration by the Na­
tional Board for Respiratory Therapy
(NBRT). The registry examination consists
of written and clinical simulation tests. Ap­
plicants must pass both to be awarded the
Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) cre­
dential. In 1978, about 6,500 therapists had
been registered.
Individuals who complete an AMAapproved technician training program and
have 1 year of experience in respiratory ther­
apy may apply to the NBRT for examination
for the Certified Respiratory Therapy Tech­
nician (CRTT) credential. The CRTT exami­
nation is less comprehensive than the registry
examination and consists of a single written
test. Approximately 22,000 respiratory tech­
nicians had been certified in 1978.
In contrast to therapists and technicians,
there are no general requirements for the po­
sition of respiratory assistant. The only re­
quirements are those set by the head of the
hospital department that is hiring workers.
For example, some may require only a high
school diploma.
People who want to enter the respiratory
therapy field should enjoy working with pa­
tients and should understand their physical


$11,400 a year in 1978, according to a survey
conducted by the University of Texas Medi­
cal Branch. Experienced respiratory thera­
pists in hospitals earned average salaries of
$13,900 a year in 1978. Salaries of respiratory
technicians and assistants are lower than
those of respiratory therapists.
The Federal Government paid respiratory
therapists starting salaries of about $8,400 a
year in 1979, if they had 1 year of AMAaccredited postsecondary school training,
and about $9,400 for those with 2 years of
AMA-accredited training.
Respiratory therapy workers in hospitals
receive the same benefits as other hospital
personnel, including hospitalization, paid va­
cations, and sick leave. Some institutions pro­
vide tuition assistance or free courses, pen­
sion programs, uniforms, and parking.

Related Occupations

Respiratory therapy personnel provide a vital need.

and psychological needs. Respiratory ther­
apy workers must be able to pay attention to
detail, follow instructions, and work as part
of a team. Operating the complicated respira­
tory therapy equipment also requires me­
chanical ability and manual dexterity. High
school students interested in a career in this
field are encouraged to take courses in
health, biology, mathematics, physics, and
Respiratory therapists can advance to as­
sistant chief, chief therapist, or, with gradu­
ate education, to instructor of respiratory
therapy at the college level. Respiratory tech­
nicians and assistants can advance to the
therapist level by taking the appropriate
training courses.

average for all occupations through the
1980’s as a result of general population
growth, greater health consciousness, and ex­
pansion of prepayment programs that make
it easier for people to pay for health care.
Demand for these workers also should in­
crease due to the rising proportion of older
persons, the segment of the population with
the greatest frequency of heart and lung
problems. Additional openings will arise
from the need to replace those who retire,
die, or leave the occupation for other reasons.
Prospects should be excellent for gradu­
ates of formal training programs. If the num­
ber of these graduates continues to rise, those
without this training may face some competi­

Respiratory therapy workers administer
respiratory therapy care and life support to
patients with heart and lung difficulties
under the supervision of a physician. Work­
ers in other occupations who use therapy
methods, equipment, and techniques to help
restore a patient’s normal functions, gener­
ally under the supervision or order of a phy­
sician, include dialysis technicians, emer­
anesthetists, occupational therapists, and
physical therapists.

Sources of Additional Information
Information concerning education pro­
grams is available from:
American Association for Respiratory Therapy,
1720 Regal Row, Dallas, Tex. 75235.

Information on the certification of respira­
tory therapists and respiratory technicians
can be obtained from:

Employment Outlook


The National Board for Respiratory Therapy, Inc.,
1900 West 47th Place, Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Employment of respiratory therapy work­
ers is expected to grow much faster than the

The starting salary of respiratory thera­
pists employed in hospitals averaged about

On-the-job training information can be ob­
taining at local hospitals. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Nursing Occupations
The nursing field—consisting of registered
nurses; licensed practical nurses; and nursing
aides, orderlies, and attendants—accounts
for over one-half of total employment among
health service workers. Nursing personnel
perform a variety of duties to care for and
comfort the sick, the injured, and other re­
quiring medical services. This section deals in
detail with the three basic nursing occupa­

aides, orderlies, and attendants should like to
work with people because they must work
closely with other members of the health
team and care for patients who are uncom­
fortable and cometimes irritable. Nursing
workers also must be reliable and level­
headed in emergencies.

Registered nurses (R N ’ ) follow the medi­
cal regimen prescribed by physicians but
often must draw on their professional train­
ing to make independent judgments in pro­
viding nursing services. Some registered
nurses, after advanced training, become
nurse practitioners and perform services,
such as physical examinations, that tradition­
ally physicians have handled. Some become
head nurses with responsibility for all nurs­
ing services of a specified area, such as a
pediatrics ward, in an institution.

Registered Nurses

Licensed practical nurses (LPN's) povide
skilled nursing care to sick, injured, and con­
valescent patients. They work under the gen­
eral supervision of physicians and registered
nurses, and may sometimes supervise nursing
aides, orderlies, and attendants.
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
make up the largest group of nursing person­
nel. They serve meals, feed patients, and do
other routine tasks that free registered and
practical nurses for work requiring profes­
sional and technical training.
Persons who wish to become registered
nurses, licensed practical nurses, or nursing

(D.O.T. 075.117 through .374)

Nature of the Work
Nursing plays a major role in health care.
As important members of the health care
team, registered nurses perform a wide vari­
ety of functions. They observe, assess, and
record symptoms, reactions, and progress of
patients; administer medications; assist in the
rehabilitation of patients; instruct patients
and family members in proper health mainte­
nance care; and help maintain a physical and
emotional environment that promotes recov­
Some registered nurses provide nursing
services in institutions such as hospitals and
nursing homes. Others perform research ac­
tivities or instruct students. The setting usu­
ally determines the scope of the nurse’s re­
Hospital nurses constitute the largest
group of nurses. Most are staff nurses who
provide skilled bedside nursing care and
carry out the medical regimen prescribed by

physicians. They may also supervise practical
nurses, aides, and orderlies. Hospital nurses
usually work with groups of patients that re­
quire similar nursing care. For instance,
some nurses work with patients who have
had surgery; others care for children, the el­
derly, or the mentally ill. Some are adminis­
trators of nursing services.
Registered nurses working in nursing
homes provide bedside nursing care to pa­
tients convalescing from surgery or an illness,
to those suffering from chronic illnesses and
disabilities, and to the elderly. They also su­
pervise licensed practical nurses and nursing
Private duty nurses give individual care to
patients who need constant attention. The
private duty nurse is self-employed and may
work in a home, a hospital, or a convalescent
Community health nurses care for patients
in clinics, homes, schools, and other commu­
nity settings. They instruct patients and fami­
lies in health care and give periodic care as
prescribed by a physician. They also may in­
struct community groups in proper diet and
arrange for immunizations. These nurses
work with community leaders, teachers, par­
ents, and physicians in community health ed­
ucation. Some community health nurses
work in schools.
Office nurses assist physicians, dental sur­
geons, and occasionally dentists in private
practice or clinics. Sometimes they perform
routine laboratory and office work in addi­
tion to their nursing duties.
Occupational health or industrial nurses
provide nursing care to employees in indus­
try and government and, along with physi­
cians, promote employee health. As pre­
scribed by a doctor, they treat minor injuries
and illnesses occurring at the place of em­
ployment, provide for the needed nursing
care, arrange for further medical care if nec­
essary, and offer health counseling. They also
may assist with health examinations and
Nurse educators teach students the princi­
ples and skills of nursing, both in the class­
room and in direct patient care. They also
conduct continuing education courses for
registered nurses, practical nurses, and nurs­
ing assistants.
(Licensed practical nurses who also per­
form nursing services are discussed elsewhere
in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Nurses generally work indoors in welllighted, comfortable buildings. Community

State board competency examination. Nurses
may be licensed in more than one State, ei­
ther by examination or endorsement of a li­
cense issued by another State.
Three types of educational programs—di­
ploma, bachelor’s degree and associate de­
gree—prepare candidates for licensure.
Graduation from high school is required for
admission to all schools of nursing.
Diploma programs are conducted by hos­
pitals and independent schools and usually
require 3 years of training. Bachelor’s degree
programs usually require 4 years of study in
a college or university, although a few require
5 years. Associate degree programs in junior
and community colleges require approxi­
mately 2 years of nursing education. In addi­
tion, several programs provide licensed prac­
tical nurses with the training necessary to
upgrade themselves to registered nurses
while they continue to work part time. These
programs generally offer an associate of arts
degree. In 1978, about 1,375 programs, (di­
ploma, bachelor’s degree, and associate de­
gree) were offered in the United States. In
addition, there were about 115 master’s de­
gree and several doctoral degree programs
providing advanced education in nursing.
Students should select an educational pro­
gram only after reflecting on their probable
field of practice. Those interested in public
health, for example, should enroll in a bache­
lor’s degree program. Public health agencies
require at least that level of education, and
advancement may be limited for nurses with­
out a bachelor’s or master’s degree in com­
munity health nursing. In addition, those
planning to work in research, consultation,
teaching, clinical specialization, or adminis­
tration—fields that require education at the
master’s level, should start their nursing edu­
cation in a bachelor’s program.

Premature babies require round-the-clock care.

health nurses may be required to travel to
patients in all types of weather. Although
most of the tasks in nursing are not strenu­
ous, nurses need physical stamina because of
the amount of time spent walking and stand­
ing. In addition, emotional stability is re­
quired in order to cope with human suffering
and frequent emergency situations. Because
patients in hospitals and nursing homes re­
quire nursing care at all times, staff nurses in
these institutions may be required to work
nights and weekends.

nurses in government agencies, schools, visit­
ing nurse associations, and clinics numbered
about 120,000; nurse educators in nursing
schools accounted for about 40,000; and oc­
cupational health nurses in industry, about
25,000. About 100,000 more worked in the
offices of physicians or other health practi­
tioners, or were private duty nurses hired di­
rectly by patients. Most of the others were
staff members of professional nurse and other
organizations or worked for State boards of
nursing or research organizations.

Places of Employment

Training, Other Qualifications, and

About 1,050,000 persons worked as regis­
tered nurses in 1978. About one-third
worked part time.
About 70 percent of all registered nurses
worked in hospitals, nursing homes, and
related institutions. Community health OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A license is required to practice profes­
sional nursing in all States and in the District
of Columbia. To qualify, a nurse must be a
graduate of a school of nursing approved by
the State board of nursing and pass a written

Programs of nursing include classroom in­
struction and supervised nursing practice in
hospitals and health facilities. Students take
courses in anatomy, physiology, microbi­
ology, nutrition, psychology, and nursing.
They also get supervised clinical experience
in the care of patients who have different
types of health problems. Students in bache­
lor’s degree programs as well as in some of
the other programs are assigned to commu­
nity agencies to learn how to care for patients
in clinics and in the patients’ homes. Varying
amounts of general education are combined
with nursing education in all three types of
Students who need financial aid may qual­
ify for federally sponsored nursing scholar­
ships or low-interest loans. Those who want
to pursue a nursing career should have a sin­
cere desire to serve humanity and be sympa­
thetic to the needs of others. Nurses must be
able to accept responsibility and direct or su­
pervise the activity of others; they must have
initiative, and in appropriate situations be
able to follow orders precisely or determine
if additional consultation is required; and
they must use good judgment in emergencies.

From staff positions in hospitals, ex­
perienced nurses may advance to head nurse,
assistant director, and director of nursing
services. A growing movement in nursing,
generally referred to as the “nurse practi­
tioner program,” is opening new career pos­
sibilities. Several post-bachelor’s degree pro­
grams prepare nurses for highly independent
roles in the clinical care and teaching of pa­
tients. These nurses practice in primary roles
that include pediatrics, geriatrics, commu­
nity health, mental health, and medical-sur­
gical nursing.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for registered
nurses are expected to be favorable through
the 1980’s. Some competition for more desir­
able, higher paying jobs is expected in areas
where training programs abound. Nurses
with a bachelor’s degree should have the best
prospects in these areas. In addition, some
employers—public health departments, for
example—now specify the bachelor’s degree
as the minimum preparation for employ­
ment. Opportunities for full- or part-time
work in present shortage areas, such as some
southern States and many inner-city loca­
tions, are expected to be very good through
the 1980’s. For nurses who have had gradu­
ate education, the outlook is excellent for ob­
taining positions as administrators, teachers,
clinical specialists, and community health
Growth in employment of registered
nurses is expected to be faster than the aver­
age for all occupations because of extension
of prepayment programs for hospitalization
and medical care, expansion of medical ser­
vices as a result of new medical techniques
and drugs, and increased interest in preven­
tive medicine and rehabilitation of the handi­
capped. In addition to the need to fill new
positions, large numbers of nurses will be re­
quired to replace those who leave the field
each year.

Registered nurses who worked in hospitals
in 1978 received average starting salaries of
about $11,800 a year, according to a national
survey conducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. This was above the average
for nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming. Registered nurses in
nursing homes earned slightly less than those
in hospitals. Salaries of industrial nurses ave­
raged $275 a week in mid-1978, according to
a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor
In 1979, the Veterans Administration paid
inexperienced nurses who had a diploma or
an associate degree starting salaries of $11,712 a year; those with a bachelor’s degree,
$13,700. Nurses employed in all Federal
Government agencies earned an average of
$16,800 in 1978.
Most hospital and nursing home nurses re­
ceive 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 employment, and also
some type of health and retirement benefits.

meals, see that patients are comfortable,
and help keep up their morale. They may
teach family members how to perform sim­
ple nursing tasks.

Related Occupations
Other occupations with responsibilities
and duties similar to registered nurses in­
clude: Occupational therapists, physical ther­
apists, physicians assistants, and respiratory

In doctors’ offices and in clinics, LPN’s
prepare patients for examination and treat­
ment, administer medications, apply dress­
ings, and teach patients prescribed health
care regimens. They also may make ap­
pointments and record information about

Sources of Additional Information

Working Conditions

For information on approved schools of
nursing, nursing careers, loans, scholarships,
working conditions, and employment oppor­
tunities, contact:

Practical nurses in hospitals generally
work 40 hours a week, but often this includes
some work at night and on weekends and
holidays. Although they work is not strenu­
ous, they often must stand for long periods
and help patients move in bed, stand, or

Career Information Services, National League for
Nursing, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, N.Y.

Information about employment oppor­
tunities in the Veterans Administration is
available from:
Department of Medicine and Surgery, Veterans
Administration, Washington, D.C. 20420.

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 indepen­
dence in setting work hours and the length
and frequency of vacations.

Places of Employment

Licensed Practical
(D.O.T. 079.374-014)

Nature of the Work
Licensed practical nurses (LPN’s) help
care for the physically or mentally ill and
infirm. Under the direction of physicians and
registered nurses, they provide nursing care
that requires technical knowledge but not the
professional education and training of a reg­
istered nurse. (See statement on registered
nurses.) In California and Texas, licensed
practical nurses are called licensed vocational
In hospitals, LPN’s provide much of the
bedside care.They take and record tempera­
tures and blood pressures, change dressings,
administer certain prescribed medicines, and
help patients with bathing and other personal
hygiene. They assist physicians and regis­
tered nurses in examining patients and in car­
rying out nursing procedures. They also as­
sist in the delivery, care,. and feeding of
infants. Some practical nurses work in spe­
cialized units such as intensive care, recovery
rooms, or bum units. There they perform
special nursing procedures and operate so­
phisticated equipment to provide care for
seriously ill or injured patients. In some in­
stances, experienced LPN’s supervise hospi­
tal attendants and nursing aides. (See state­
ment on nursing aides, orderlies, and
LPN’s who work in private homes pro­
vide day-to-day patient care that seldom
involves highly technical procedures or
complicated equipment. In addition to pro­
viding nursing care, they may prepare

In 1978, about 518,000 persons worked as
LPN’s—about three-fifths of them in hospi­
tals. Most of the others worked in nursing
homes, clinics, doctors’ offices, sanitariums,
and other long-term care facilities. Many
worked for public health agencies and wel­
fare and religious organizations. Some selfemployed nurses worked in hospitals or in
the homes of their patients.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States and the District of Columbia
regulate the preparation and licensing of
practical nurses. To qualify for a license, ap­
plicants must complete a practical nursing
course approved by the State board of nurs­
ing and pass a written examination. Educa­
tional requirements for enrollment in Stateapproved programs range from completion
of eighth or ninth grade to high school
graduation. Many schools do not require
completion of high school but they give
preference to graduates. In addition, physi­
cal examinations and aptitude tests usually
are required.
In 1978, about 1,340 State-approved pro­
grams provided practical nursing training.
Trade, technical, or vocational schools of­
fered more than half of these programs.
Other programs were available at junior col­
leges, local hospitals, health agencies, and
private educational institutions. Several pro­
grams operated by the Army for military per­
sonnel also were State-approved for practical
nurse training. Graduates from these pro­
grams are eligible for licensure.
Practical nurse training programs gener­
ally last 1 year and include both classroom
study and clinical practice. Classroom in­
struction covers nursing concepts and princiNURSING OCCUPATIONS/397

The average starting salary of LPN’s in
hospitals was about $9,000 a year in 1978,
according to a national survey conducted by
the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Federal hospitals offered beginning LPN’s
an annual salary of $8,366 in 1979.
Many hospitals give pay increases after
specific periods of satisfactory service. Paid
holidays and vacation, health insurance, and
pension plans are typical benefits provided by

Related Occupations
Other workers with duties and skills simi­
lar to those of LPN’s are dental hygienists,
emergency medical technicians, occupational
therapists, physical therapists, radiologic
technologists, and respiratory therapists.

Sources of Additional Information
A list of 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 Educa­
tion and Service, Inc., 122 East 42nd St., Suite 800,
New York, N.Y. 10017.

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

Information about employment oppor­
tunities in Veterans Administration hospitals
is available from a local Veterans Adminis­
tration hospital and also from:
Department of Medicine and Surgery, Veterans
Administration, Washington, D.C. 20420.

LPN’s provide much of the bedside care needed by hospital patients. Some assist in the delivery,
care, and feeding of infants.

pies and related subjects including anatomy,
physiology, medical-surgical nursing, pedia­
trics, obstetrics, psychiatric nursing, ad­
ministration of drugs, nutrition, first aid, and
community health. In addition, students re­
ceive supervised clinical experience—usually
in a hospital.

ized areas, such as post-surgery recovery
rooms or intensive care units. In some
cases, LPN’s may prepare to become regis­
tered nurses while they continue to work
part time.

LPN’s should be emotionally stable and
have a deep regard for human welfare, be­
cause work with the sick and injured can be

The employment outlook for LPN’s is ex­
pected to be very good through the 1980’s.
Employment should continue to rise much
faster than the average for all occupations in
response to the needs of a growing popula­
tion, including a large proportion of older
people, and expanded public and private
health insurance plans. Also, newly licensed
practical nurses will be needed each year in
large numbers to replace those who die, re­
tire, or leave the occupation for other rea­

As part of a health care team, they must be
able to follow orders and work under close
Advancement opportunities are limited
without additional training or formal edu­
cation. In-service educational programs
prepare some LPN’s for work in special­


Employment Outlook

Nursing Aides,
Orderlies, and
(D.O.T. 355.374, .377-014, .667, .674-014 and -018,
.677-014, and .687)

Nature of the Work
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
perform a variety of duties to care for sick
and injured people. They also are called hos­
pital attendants, nursing assistants, auxiliary
nursing workers, geriatric aides, and (in men­
tal institutions) psychiatric aides.
Nursing aides and orderlies answer pa­
tients’ bell calls and deliver messages, serve
meals, feed patients who are unable to feed
themselves, make beds, and bathe and
dress patients. They also may give mas­
sages, take temperatures, and assist pa­
tients in getting out of bed and walking.
Orderlies escort patients to operating and
examining rooms and transport and set up
heavy equipment. Some attendants may

without further training. Some acquire spe­
cialized training to prepare for better paying
positions such as hospital operating room
To become licensed practical nurses, nurs­
ing aides must complete the year of special­
ized training required for licensing. Some inservice programs allow nursing aides to get
this training while they continue to work part

Employment Outlook
Employment of nursing aides is expected
to increase faster than the average for all oc­
cupations through the 1980’s. In addition to
those needed because of employment growth,
many thousands will be needed each year as
workers die, retire, or leave the occupation
for other reasons.

store and move supplies in hospital phar­
macies or supply rooms.
The duties of nursing aides depend on the
policies of the institutions where they work,
the type of patient being cared for, and—
equally important—the capacities and re­
sourcefulness of the nursing aide or orderly.
In some hospitals, they may clean patients’
rooms and do similar housekeeping tasks. In
others, they may help registered nurses and
licensed practical nurses care for patients.
The work depends on whether the patient is
confined to bed after major surgery, is recov­
ering after a disabling accident or illness, or
needs assistance with daily activities because
of advanced age.
Another occupation similar to nursing
aide is homemaker-home health aide. Work­
ing in the homes of patients, they perform
duties similar to those of nursing aides, as
well as cooking and other light housework.
(See statement on homemaker-home health
aides elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
With few exceptions, the scheduled work­
week of attendants in hospitals is 40 hours or
less. Because patients need care 24 hours a
day, scheduled work hours include nights,
weekends, and holidays. Workers spend
many hours standing and may have to move
patients in bed or help them stand or walk.
Nursing aides often empty bed pans,
change soiled bed linens, and care for disori­
ented and irritable patients. Many gain per­
sonal satisfaction, however, from assisting
those in need.

Places of Employment
About 1,040,000 persons worked as nurs­
ing aides, orderlies, and attendants in 1978.

Most work in hospitals, although a rapidly
growing number work in nursing homes and
other institutions that provide facilities for
long-term care and recuperation.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Some employers prefer high school gradu­
ates, but many, such as Veterans’ Adminis­
tration hospitals, do not require a high school
diploma. Employers often accept applicants
who are 17 or 18 years of age. Others—par­
ticularly nursing homes and mental hospitals
—prefer to hire more mature persons who
are at least in their mid-twenties.
Nursing aides generally are trained after
they are hired. Some institutions combine onthe-job training, under registered nurses or
licensed practical nurses, with classroom in­
struction. Trainees learn to take and record
temperatures, bathe patients, change linens
on beds occupied by patients, and move and
lift patients. Training may last several days
or a few months, depending on the policies of
the hospital or other institution, the complex­
ity of the duties, and the aide’s aptitude for
the work.
Courses in home nursing and first aid, of­
fered by many public school systems and
other community agencies, provide a useful
background of knowledge for the work. Vol­
unteer work and temporary summer jobs in
hospitals and similar institutions also are
helpful. Applicants should be healthy, tact­
ful, patient, understanding, emotionally sta­
ble, and dependable. Nursing aides, as other
health workers, should have a genuine desire
to help people, be able to work as part of a
team, and be willing to perform repetitive,
routine tasks.
Opportunities for promotion are limited

Although most jobs for nursing aides and
orderlies currently are in hospitals, most new
openings will be in nursing homes, convales­
cent homes, and other long-term care facili­
ties. Major reasons for the expected growth
of the occupation are the increasing need for
medical care of a growing population, includ­
ing 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 insurance.

Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
earned salaries that were below the average
for all nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming. Nursing aides em­
ployed full time by nursing homes and
related facilities earned less than those in hos­
pitals. Depending on the experience of the
applicant, starting salaries of nursing aides in
Veterans’ Administration hospitals ranged
from $140 to $180 a week in 1979; most
started at $160 weekly. The average salary of
nursing aides employed by the Federal Gov­
ernment was $205 a week in 1978.
Attendants in hospitals and similar institu­
tions generally receive at least 1 week’s paid
vacation after 1 year of service. Paid holidays
and sick leave, hospital and medical benefits,
extra pay for late-shift work and pension
plans also are available to many hospital em­

Related Occupations
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
follow the orders of nurses or other supervi­
sors and assist with the care and treatment of
sick or infirm patients. They may move and
assemble heavy equipment and perform
housekeeping chores. Other workers with
similar duties include school child care at­
tendants, companions, occupational therapy
aides, physical therapy aides, caretakers, cen­
tral supply workers, and cook’s helpers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about employment may be
obtained from local hospitals and nursing

Therapy and Rehabilitation
The care given by therapy and rehabilita­
tion workers plays an important part in help­
ing injured, disabled, or emotionally dis­
turbed persons recover to the fullest extent
possible. Physical therapists and physical
therapist assistants and aides use exercise and
other treatments to increase the strength,
mobility, and coordination of partially or
fully disabled patients. Occupational thera­
pists and occupational therapy assistants and
aides teach skills and crafts to help coordi­
nate and give self-confidence to the disabled
and emotionally disturbed. Speech patholo­
gists and audiologists specialize in helping
those with speech and hearing problems.
Anyone considering work in one of these
fields should have a genuine concern for the
physical and emotional well-being of others.
Emotional stability and the ability to main­
tain a pleasant disposition and a positive out­
look also are important, because these work­
ers often deal with patients affected by severe
Other occupations also provide the oppor­
tunity to work with the disabled and handi­
capped. Rehabilitation counselors give per­
sonal and vocational guidance to the
physically, mentally, or socially handi­
capped. Employment counselors work with
the disabled as well as the able-bodied in ca­
reer planning and job adjustment. Both occu­
pations are described elsewhere in the Hand­

to determine the extent of abilities and
limitations; to regain physical, mental, or
emotional stability; to relearn daily rou­
tines such as eating, dressing, writing, and
using a telephone; and, eventually, to pre­
pare for employment.
Occupational therapists teach 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 the patient’s
mobility, coordination,and confidence. Ther­
apists also plan and direct games and other
activities, especially for children. They may
design and make special equipment or de­
vices to help disabled patients.
Besides working with patients, occupa­
tional therapists supervise student therapists,
occupational therapy assistants, volunteers,
and auxiliary nursing workers. The chief oc­
cupational therapist in a hospital may teach
medical and nursing students the principles
of occupational therapy. Many therapists su­
pervise occupational therapy departments,
coordinate patient activities, or are consult­
ants to local and State health departments
and mental health agencies. Some teach in
colleges and universities.

Working Conditions
Although occupational therapists gener­
ally work a standard 40 hour week, they

may occasionally have to work evenings or
weekends. Their work environment varies
according to the setting and available
facilities. In a large rehabilitation center,
for example, the therapist may work in a
spacious room equipped with machines,
handtools, and other devices that can gen­
erate noise. In a nursing home, the thera­
pist might work in a kitchen, using food
preparation as therapy. In a hospital, the
only tools may be building blocks or paints
used on small tables placed around the
room. Wherever they work and whatever
tools they use,they generally have adequate
lighting and ventilation. The job can be
physically tiring because therapists are on
their feet much of the time.

Places of Employment
About 15,000 occupational therapists
were employed in 1978. About 3 out of 10
occupational therapists work in hospitals.
Rehabilitation centers, nursing homes,
schools, outpatient clinics, community
mental health centers, and research centers
employ most of the others. Some work in
special sanitariums or camps for handi­
capped children, others in State health de­
partments. Still others work in home-care
programs for patients unable to attend
clinics or workshops. Some are members of
the Armed Forces. Many occupational
therapists work part time.

(D.O.T. 076.121-010)

Nature of the Work
Occupational therapists plan and direct
educational, vocational, and recreational ac­
tivities designed to help mentally, physically,
or emotionally disabled patients become selfsufficient. They evaluate the capacities and
skills of patients, set goals, and plan a therapy
program together with the client and mem­
bers of a medical team that may include
physicians, physical therapists, vocational
counselors, nurses, social workers, and other
About 2 therapists out of 5 work with
mentally or emotionally handicapped pa­
tients, and the rest work with physically
disabled persons. These clients represent all
age groups and degrees of disability. Pa­
tients participate in occupational therapy
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Occupational therapist helps patient regain his hand-eye coordination.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A degree and certification in occupational
therapy is required to enter the profession. In
1978, 53 colleges and universities offered pro­
grams in occupational therapy that were ac­
credited by the Council on Allied Health and
Education Accreditation of the American
Medical Association and the American Oc­
cupational Therapy Association. All of these
schools offer a bachelor’s degree program.
Some have a 2-year program and accept stu­
dents who have completed 2 years of college.
Some also offer shorter programs, leading to
a certificate or a master’s degree in occupa­
tional therapy for students who have a bache­
lor’s degree in another field. A graduate de­
gree often is required for teaching, research,
or administrative work.
Course work in occupational therapy pro­
grams includes physical, biological, and be­
havioral sciences and the application of occu­
pational therapy theory and skills. These
programs also require students to work for 6
to 9 months in hospitals or health agencies to
gain experience in clinical practice. Gradu­
ates of accredited educational programs are
eligible to take the American Occupational
Therapy Association certification examina­
tion to become a registered occupational
therapist (OTR). Occupational therapy as­
sistants who are certified by the association
(COTA’s) and have 4 years of approved work
experience also are eligible to take the exami­
nation to become registered occupational
therapists. Those COTA’s considering this
path of entry to the occupation should con­
tact the Director of Certification of the
American Occupational Therapy Associa­
tion to identify the types of experience re­
quired to qualify for the examination and to
determine the availability of suitable work
Entry to educational programs is keenly
competitive and applicants are screened care­
fully to select those most likely to complete
their studies successfully. Persons consider­
ing this profession, therefore, should have
above average academic performance and
consistent grades of “B” or better in science
courses, including biology and chemistry. In
addition to biology and chemistry, high
school students interested in careers as occu­
pational therapists are advised to take
courses in health, crafts, and the social
sciences. College students who consider
transferring from another academic disci­
pline to an occupational therapy program in
their sophomore or junior year need superior
grades because competition for entrance to
programs is more intense after the freshman
Personal qualifications needed in the pro­
fession include a sympathetic but objective
approach to illness and disability, maturity,
patience, imagination, manual skills, and the
ability to teach.

Newly graduated occupational therapists

generally begin as staff therapists. Advance­
ment is chiefly to supervisory or administra­
tive positions; some therapists pursue ad­
vanced education and teach or conduct
medical research.

Therapy Assistants
and Aides________

Employment Outlook

(D.O.T. 076.364 and 355.377-010)

Employment opportunities for occupa­
tional therapists are expected to be favorable
through the 1980’s. The increasing number
of graduates is expected to be roughly in bal­
ance with openings expected from future
need for these workers and replacement of
workers who die, retire, or leave the field for
other reasons.

Nature of the Work

Employment in this occupation is expected
to grow much faster than the average for all
occupations due to public interest in the
rehabilitation of disabled persons and the
success of established occupational therapy
programs. Many therapists will be needed to
staff hospital rehabilitation departments,
community health centers, extended care
facilities, psychiatric centers, schools for chil­
dren with developmental and learning
disabilities, and community home health pro­

Beginning salaries for new graduates of oc­
cupational therapy programs working in hos­
pitals averaged about $13,000 a year in 1978,
according to a national survey conducted by
the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Some experienced therapists earned as much
as $22,000, and some administrators as much
as $25,000 to $30,000.
In 1979, beginning therapists employed by
the Veterans Administration (VA) earned
starting salaries of about $11,700 a year. The
average salary paid occupational therapists
working for the VA was about $17,100 in

Related Occupations
Occcupational therapists use specialized
knowledge to help patients prepare to return
to work and generally aid them to adjust to
their disability. Other workers performing
similar duties include orthotists, physical
therapists, prosthetists, and speech patholo­
gists and audiologists.

Occupational therapy assistants work
under the supervision of professional occupa­
tional therapists to help rehabilitate patients
who are physically and mentally disabled.
They help plan and implement programs of
educational, vocational, and recreational ac­
tivities that strengthen patients’ muscle
power, increase motion and coordination,
and develop self-sufficiency in overcoming
Occupational therapy assistants teach cli­
ents self-care skills such as dressing, eating,
and shaving; work-related skills such as the
use of power tools; and recreational and so­
cial activities such as games, dramatics, and
gardening. They also may teach creative
skills such as woodworking, ceramics, 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 individual patients. When treating
patients with diseases, assistants usually
work under the supervision of professional
occupational therapists. In other situations,
such as organizing crafts projects for handi­
capped persons living in institutions, they
may function independently, with only peri­
odic consultation with professionals.
Occupational therapy aides order supplies,
prepare work materials, and help maintain
tools and equipment. They also may keep
records on patients, prepare clinical notes,
and perform other clerical duties.
Some small occupational therapy depart­
ments may consist only of a therapist and one
other worker. In these cases, the assistant or
aide may assume most of the duties of an
occupational therapist, within the limits of
his or her training.

Working Conditions

For more information on occupational
therapy as a career, write to:

Although occupational therapy assistants
and aides generally work a standard 40 hour
week, they may occasionally have to work
evenings and weekends. The areas where
they work generally are well lighted and ven­
tilated, although noise levels often are high in
areas where power tools are being used. As­
sistants are on their feet much of the time and
may get dirty while cleaning equipment.

American Occupational Therapy Association,
6000 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md. 20852.

Places of Employment

Those COTA’s interested in qualifying
for the examination to become a registered
occupational therapist (OTR) through ac­
quired work experience should contact the
Director of Certification at the above ad­

About 10,000 people worked as occupa­
tional therapy assistants and aides in 1978.
Many occupational therapy assistants work
in hospitals. Others work in nursing homes,
schools for handicapped children and the
mentally retarded, rehabilitation and day

Sources of Additional Information


faster than the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s, primarily because of in­
creased public interest in the rehabilitation of
disabled people. All types of health care insti­
tutions, especially nursing homes and com­
munity health centers, will need more occu­
pational therapy assistants.
Employment opportunities for occupa­
tional therapy assistants who are graduates
of approved programs are expected to be
good through the 1980’s. Many openings
will be created each year by expansion in
this field, and by the need to replace work­
ers who die, retire, or leave the field for
other reasons.
The number of enrollees in educational
programs for occupational therapy assistants
is expected to increase, with the result that
assistants in some geographical areas may
face competition for jobs. On a national basis,
however, the supply of graduates is likely to
fall short of requirements.

Occupational therapy assistant helps patient regain strength in injured limb.
care centers, special workshops, and outpa­
tient clinics. A small number are members of
the Armed Forces.
Occupational therapy aides work in the
same locations as assistants, but they gener­
ally are employed in hospitals.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Two types of educational programs pre­
pare occupational therapy assistants: Jun­
ior or community college programs that
award an associate degree upon completion
and vocational or technical programs. In
1978, 43 schools offered educational pro­
grams approved by the American Occupa­
tional Therapy Association. Most of these
are 2-year college programs. About onethird are 1-year vocational and technical
school programs. In addition, the Armed
Forces operate a school to train occupa­
tional therapy assistants.
Graduates of these programs who success­
fully complete the written national profi­
ciency examination are certified by the
American Occupational Therapy Associa­
tion and receive the title Certified Occupa­
tional Therapy Assistant (COTA). In 1978,
about 3,500 employed occupational therapy
assistants were COTA’s.
Approved programs combine classroom
instruction with at least 2 months of super­
vised practical experience. Courses include
the history and philosophy of occupational
therapy, occupational therapy theory and
skills, anatomy and physiology of the human
body, the effect of illness and injury on pa­
tients, and human development. Students
also practice skills and crafts they later will
teach to patients.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Applicants for training programs must be
high school graduates or the equivalent.
Among the subjects recommended for high
school students interested in the occupa­
tional therapy field are health, biology, typ­
ing, and the social sciences. Preference
sometimes is given to applicants who have
taken courses in science and crafts and have
previous work experience in a health care
Occupational therapy aides train on the
job in hospitals and other health care facili­
ties. The length and content of their training
depend on the level of difficulty of the duties
they are expected to perform.
Occupational therapy assistants and aides
should like people, have good physical and
mental health, and be able to establish and
maintain effective interpersonal relation­
ships. They also should have manual skills
because 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 re­
sponsible ones as they gain experience. A
COTA with 4 years of approved work experi­
ence may take the examination to become a
registered occupational therapist (OTR)
without completing the remaining 2 years of
study for a bachelor’s degree in occupational
therapy. Those COTA’s considering this
path of entry to the occupational therapy
profession should contact the Director of
Certification of the American Occupational
Therapy Association to identify the types of
experience required to qualify for the exami­

Employment Outlook
The employment of occupational therapy
assistants and aides is expected to grow much

In 1978, starting salaries for occupational
therapy assistants generally ranged from
about $9,000 to $ 11,000 a year. Experienced
assistants earned between $10,000 and $14,500 a year, according to the limited informa­
tion available. Occupational therapy assist­
ants working for the Veterans Admini­
stration earned starting salaries of about $8,400 annually in 1978, and the average salary
paid occupational therapy assistants with the
Federal Government was about $12,400 a
Occupational therapy aides earned begin­
ning salaries of about $7,500 a year in 1978,
according to the limited information availa­

Related Occupations
Occupational therapy assistants and aides
help administer occupational therapy pro­
grams under the supervision of a professional
occupational therapist. Other workers with
similar auxiliary duties include orthotic as­
sistants, physical therapist assistants, and
prosthetics assistants.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about work opportunities
and programs offering training for occupa­
tional therapy assistants, contact:
American Occupational Therapy Association,
6000 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md. 20852.

Those COTA’s interested in qualifying
for the examination to become a registered
occupational therapist (OTR) through ac­
quired work experience should contact the
Director of Certification, American Occu­
pational Therapy Association, at the above

Physical Therapists
(D.O.T. 076.121-014)

Nature of the Work
Physical therapists help persons with mus­
cle, nerve, joint, and bone diseases or injuries
to overcome their disabilities. Their patients
include accident victims, handicapped chil­
dren, and disabled older persons. Physical
therapists perform and interpret tests and
measurements for muscle strength, motor de­
velopment, functional capacity, and respira­
tory and circulatory efficiency to develop
programs for treatment in cooperation with
the patient’s physician. They evaluate the ef­
fectiveness of the treatment and discuss pa­
tient’s progress with physicians, psycholo­
gists, occupational therapists, and other
specialists. When advisable, physical thera­
pists revise the therapeutic procedures and
treatments. They help disabled persons ac­
cept their physical handicaps and adjust to
them. They also teach patients and their
families how to continue treatments at home.
Therapeutic procedures include exercises
for increasing strength, endurance, coordina­
tion, and range of motion; electrical stimula­
tion to activate paralyzed muscles; instruc­
tion in carrying out everyday activities and in
the use of helping devices; and the applica­
tion of massage, heat, cold, light, water, or
electricity to relieve pain or improve the con­
dition of muscles and skin.
Most physical therapists provide direct
care to patients as staff members, supervi­
sors, or self-employed practitioners. Physical
therapists usually perform their own evalua­
tions of patients; in large hospitals and nurs­
ing homes, however, the director or assistant
director of the physical therapy department
may handle this work, which requires exten­
sive training and experience. Therapists may
treat patients with a wide variety of prob­
lems, or they may specialize in pediatrics,
geriatrics, orthopaedics, sports medicine,
neurology, or cardiopulmonary diseases.
Others teach or are consultants.

Working Conditions
Physical therapists generally work in
pleasant surroundings. Evening and weekend
hours may be required, especially for those in
private practice who must be available at
times convenient for their patients. The job
can be physically exhausting. In addition to
standing for long periods, therapists must
move equipment and help patients turn,
stand, or walk.

Places of Employment
About 30,000 persons worked as licensed
physical therapists in 1978. The largest num­
ber work in hospitals. Nursing homes employ
a growing number of physical therapists and
also contract for the services of self-employed
therapists. Other therapists work in rehabili­
Digitized forcenters or schools for handicapped
tation FRASER

A physical therapist’s work can often be very rewarding.
children. Some who work for public health
agencies treat chronically sick patients in
their own homes. Still others work in physi­
cians’ offices or clinics, teach in physical
therapy educational programs, or work for
research organizations. A few serve as con­
sultants in government and voluntary agen­
cies or are members of the Armed Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States, the District of Columbia, and
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico require a
license to practice physical therapy. Appli­
cants for a license must have a degree or
certificate from an accredited physical ther­
apy educational program and, to qualify,
must pass a State licensure examination. Ap­
plicants may prepare for State licensure ex­
aminations in physical therapy through one

of three types of programs, depending upon
previous academic study. High school gradu­
ates can earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree in
physical therapy at a college or university.
Students who already hold a bachelor’s de­
gree in another field, such as biology or phys­
ical education, can earn a second bachelor’s
degree, or a certificate, or an entry level mas­
ter’s degree in physical therapy.
In 1979, 13 certificate programs, 74 bache­
lor’s degree programs and 9 master’s degree
programs were accredited by the American
Physical Therapy Association and the
American Medical Association to provide
entry level training. There were also 19 other
master’s degree programs and 4 doctoral de­
gree programs that provided advanced train­
ing to those already in the field. One of the
master’s degree programs is sponsored
jointly by the U.S. Army and Baylor Univer­


sity; graduates are commissioned as officers
in the Army.
The physical therapy curriculum includes
science courses such as anatomy, physiology,
neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology; it also
includes specialized courses such as biome­
chanics of motion, human growth and devel­
opment, and manifestations of disease and
trauma. Besides receiving classroom instruc­
tion, students get supervised clinical experi­
ence administering physical therapy to pa­
tients in hospitals and other treatment
Competition for entry to all physical ther­
apy programs is keen. Institutions offering a
physical therapy program each year receive
many more applications than the number of
existing places. Consequently, students seri­
ously interested in attending a physical ther­
apy program must attain superior grades in
their earlier studies, especially in science
courses. High school courses that are useful
include health, biology, chemistry, social sci­
ence, mathematics, and physics.
Personal traits that physical therapists
need include patience, tact, resourcefulness,
and emotional stability to help patients and
their families understand the treatments and
adjust to their handicaps. Physical therapists
also should have manual dexterity and physi­
cal stamina. Many persons who want to de­
termine whether they have the personal
qualities needed for this occupation volun­
teer for summer or part-time work in the
physical therapy department of a hospital or
A graduate degree combined with clinical
experience increases opportunities for ad­
vancement, especially to teaching, research,
and administrative positions.

Employment Outlook
Employment of physical therapists is ex­
pected to grow much faster than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s be­
cause of increased public recognition of the
importance of rehabilitation. As programs to
aid handicapped children and other rehabili­
tation activities expand, and as growth takes
place in nursing homes and other facilities for
the elderly, many new positions for physical
therapists are likely to be created.
Persons seeking physical therapy postions
may face some competition, however. If re­
cent trends continue, the number of new
graduates is expected to exceed the number
of openings that will result each year from
expansion in this field and from replacement
of those who die or retire. Opportunities
should be best in suburban and rural areas.
Many part-time positions should continue to
be available.

Earnings and Working Conditions
Starting salaries for new physical therapy
graduates averaged about $13,000 a year in
1978, according to a national survey con­
ducted by the University of Texas Medical
Branch. Earnings of experienced physical
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


therapists averaged about $16,000, with some
earning as much as $27,000 a year.
Beginning therapists employed by the Vet­
erans Administration (VA) earned starting
salaries of $11,700 a year in 1979. The aver­
age salary paid therapists employed by the
VA in 1978 was about $17,200 annually; su­
pervisory therapists may earn over $23,000.

Related Occupations
Physical therapists are concerned with the
treatment and rehabilitation of persons with
physical or mental disabilities or disorders.
They may use exercise, massage, heat, water,
electricity, and various therapeutic devices to
help their patients gain independence. Other
workers who perform similar duties include
occupational therapists, speech pathologists
and audiologists, orthotists, prosthetists, and
respiratory therapists.

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. 076.224 and 355.354)

Nature of the Work
Physical therapist assistants and aides
work under the supervision of professional
physical therapists to help rehabilitate dis­
abled persons so that they may again lead
useful and productive lives. They help to re­
store physical functions and prevent dis­
ability from injury or illness.
Assistants help physical therapists test pa­
tients to determine the extent of their
capabilities and the best treatment for them.
Using special therapy equipment, they apply
heat, cold, light, ultra sound, and massage,
and report to their supervisors on how well
the patient is responding to treatment. As­
sistants help patients perform therapeutic ex­
ercises to build strength and increase motion
as well as everyday activities such as walking
and climbing stairs. They also help physical
therapists instruct patients on the use of ar­
tificial limbs, braces, and splints.
Physical therapist aides help patients pre­
pare for treatment, and may remove and re­
place devices such as braces, splints, and
slings, and transport patients to and from
treatment areas. They may help assistants or
therapists by supporting patients during
treatment. Aides care for and assemble treat­
ment equipment, make appointments, act as
receptionists, and perform other clerical du­
Some small health care institutions, such

as small hospitals or nursing homes, employ
only one person besides the therapist in the
physical therapy department. In this case, the
assistant or aide may assume more duties
within the limits of his or her training.

Working Conditions
Physical therapist assistants and aides
may be required to work some evenings
and weekends. Although they work in
clean and pleasant surroundings, the work
can be physically exhausting. They are on
their feet for hours at a time and may
have to move heavy equipment. In addi­
tion, they lift patients into and out of
wheelchairs, position them on treatment
tables, and help them stand or walk.

Places of Employment
About 12,500 persons worked as physical
therapist assistants and aides in 1978. Most
work in physical therapy departments of gen­
eral and specialized hospitals. Others work in
physicians’ or physical therapists’ offices and
clinics, rehabilitation centers, or nursing
homes for the chronically ill and elderly.
Some community and government health
agencies, schools for handicapped children,
and facilities for the mentally retarded also
employ physical therapist assistants and
aides. A small number are members of the
Armed Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training requirements for physical thera­
pist assistants are not uniform throughout
the country. Physical therapist assistants are
licensed in 24 States where they must be
graduates of an accredited 2-year associate
degree program and may have to pass a writ­
ten licensure examination. In States not re­
quiring a license, some physical therapy aides
can advance to assistants by acquiring the
necessary knowledge and skills on the job,
although most employers prefer graduates of
accredited programs.
There were 51 accredited programs to
train physical therapist assistants in 1978.
Most were in junior or community colleges,
and all led to an associate degree. Courses
include history and philosophy of rehabilita­
tion, human growth and development, anat­
omy, physiology, and psychology. Studies
also cover physical therapist assistant proce­
dures including massage, therapeutic exer­
cise, and heat and cold therapy. Supervised
clinical experience also is a requirement of
physical therapist assistant programs. The
Armed Forces operate schools to train physi­
cal therapist assistants, but this training does
not satisfy academic requirements for State
licensure and no degree is awarded to gradu­
Physical therapist aides train on the job in
hospitals and other health care facilities. The
length and content of these training pro­
grams vary widely, depending on the level of
difficulty of duties that aides are expected to

Related Occupations
Physical therapist assistants and aides ad­
minister routine therapeutic exercises and
treatment under the direction of a physical
therapist. Other workers who assist health
professionals include occupational therapy
assistants and aides, orthotic assistants, pros­
thetics assistants, nurses aides, and orderlies.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on a career as a physical ther­
apist assistant or aide and on programs offer­
ing training for physical therapist assistant is
available from:
The American Physical Therapy Association, 1156
15th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20005.

Speech Pathologists
and Audiologists
(D.O.T. 076.101 and .107)

Physical therapy assistant adjusts whirlpool treatment device.

Nature of the Work

perform, the particular services required by
patients in the program, and the amount of
time professional therapists spend in teach­
ing trainees. Applicants admitted to physical
therapist aide training programs generally
must be high school graduates or the equiva­
lent. Employers usually prefer that aides
have previous hospital experience as nursing

About 1 out of 10 Americans is unable to
speak or hear clearly. Children who have
trouble speaking or hearing cannot partici­
pate fully with other children in play or in
normal classroom activities. Adults with
speech or hearing impairments often have ad­
justment problems in jobs. Speech patholo­
gists and audiologists provide direct services
to these people by evaluating their speech or
hearing disorders and providing treatment.

High school courses that are helpful to
physical therapist assistants and aides are
health, biology, social science, physical edu­
cation, mathematics, and typing.
Physical therapist assistants and aides
should be in good physical condition. They
also need manual dexterity to adjust equip­
ment, body coordination to assist patients,
and an interest in assisting the physically
handicapped. Emotional stability is impor­
tant because assistants and aides must
maintain a positive, bright outlook while
helping patients with very difficult hand­
icaps. Patience and the ability to recognize
and appreciate slight improvements also
are helpful.
As physical therapist assistants and aides
gain experience, they may advance to more
responsible duties with corresponding pay
increases. Physical therapist assistants with
an associate degree from an accredited pro­
gram sometimes advance to physical thera­
pists by earning the bachelor’s degree in
physical therapy. A student thinking about
this option should arrange his or her asso­
ciate degree curriculum carefully to corre­
spond to the undergraduate requirements
of the bachelor’s degree program under
Some aides advance to physical therapist
assistant or physical therapists by resuming
their education and completing the academic
and clinical education requirements.

Employment Outlook
The number of physical therapist assist­
ants and aides is expected to increase about
as fast as the average for all occupations as
the demand for professional physical thera­
pists grows. The rise in demand in this field
will stem from increased public awareness of
the importance of rehabilitation and the
growing number of nursing homes which
provide therapeutic services. Expanded phys­
ical therapy services planned by hospitals,
nursing homes, schools for handicapped chil­
dren, facilities for mentally retarded, and
other health and rehabilitation centers are
expected to increase the need for physical
therapist assistants and aides. Additional
workers will be needed to replace those who
die or retire.
Due to recent increases in graduates from
accredited programs, jobseekers may face
competition for the job of their choice. For
the Nation as a whole, graduates of physical
therapist assistant programs are expected to
exceed the number of openings. Competition
will be most keen in communities where
there are large training programs. Assistants
should have brighter employment prospects
than aides.

In 1978, annual salaries averaged about
$6,500 for beginning physical therapist aides
and about $9,000 for those with experience,
according to the limited information availa­
ble. Physical therapist assistants received
higher salaries than aides, with the average
ranging between $9,500 and $11,000 a year in
1978. Physical therapist assistants working
for the Veterans Administration (VA) earned
starting salaries of about $8,400 a year in
1978, and the average salary paid physical
therapist assistants with the VA was about
$12,500 annually.

The speech pathologist works with chil­
dren and adults who have speech, language,
and voice disorders resulting from causes
such as total or partial hearing loss, brain
injury, cleft palate, mental retardation, emo­
tional problems, or foreign dialect. The audi­
ologist primarily assesses and treats hearing
problems. Speech and hearing, however, are
so interrelated that, to be competent in one of
these fields, one must be familiar with both.
The duties of speech pathologists and audi­
ologists vary with education, experience, and
place of employment. In clinics, such as in
schools, they use diagnostic procedures to
identify and evaluate speech and hearing dis­
orders. Then, in cooperation with physicians,
psychologists, physical therapists, and
counselors, they develop and implement an
organized program of therapy. Some speech
pathologists and audiologists conduct re­
search such as investigating the causes of
communicative disorders and improving
methods for clinical services. Others super­
vise clinical activities.
Speech pathologists and audiologists in
colleges and universities teach courses in the
principles of communication, communica­
tion disorders, and clinical techniques; par­
ticipate in educational programs for physi­
cians, nurses, and teachers; and work in
university clinics and research centers. Al­
though most speech pathologists and audi­
ologists do some administrative work, direc-


advance professionally. To earn the CCC, a
person must have a master’s degree or its
equivalent, complete a 1-year internship ap­
proved by the Association, and pass a na­
tional written examination.
Speech pathologists and audiologists
should be able to approach problems objec­
tively and have a concern for the needs of
others. They also should have considerable
patience, because a client’s progress often is
slow. A person who desires a career in speech
pathology and audiology should be able to
accept responsibility, work independently,
and direct others. The ability to work with
detail also is important.

Employment Outlook

Considerable patience is required to help people overcome speech and hearing disabilities.
tors of speech and hearing clinics and coor­
dinators of speech and hearing in schools,
health departments, or government agencies
may be totally involved in administration.

Working Conditions
Many speech pathologists and audiologists
work more than 40 hours a week. They gen­
erally work in clean, comfortable surround­
ings and spend most of their time at a desk
or table. Although the job is not physically
demanding, the close attention to detail and
intense concentration can be mentally ex­
hausting. These workers receive immense
satisfaction from seeing their clients’ speech
and hearing improve, but a lack of progress
can be very frustrating.

Places of Employment
About 32,000 persons worked as speech
pathologists and audiologists in 1978. Nearly
one-half worked in public schools. Colleges
and universities employed many in class­
rooms, clinics, and research centers. The rest
worked in hospitals, speech and hearing cen­
ters, government agencies, industry, and pri­
vate practice.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
An increasing number of States and many
Federal programs (such as Medicare and
Medicaid) require a master’s degree or its
equivalent for speech pathologists and audi­
ologists. Some States require a teaching cer­
tificate in order to work in the public schools.
In 30 States, those offering speech pathology
and audiology services outside of schools
must be licensed. Licensure requirements
vary among the States.
Undergraduate courses in speech pathol-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


ogy and audiology programs include anat­
omy, biology, physiology, 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 colleges that offer a
broad liberal arts program.
In 1978, about 230 colleges and universi­
ties offered graduate education in speech pa­
thology and audiology. Courses at the gradu­
ate level include advanced anatomy and
physiology of the areas involved in hearing
and speech; acoustics; psychological aspects
of communication; and analysis of speech
production, language abilities, and auditory
processes. Graduate students also take
courses in the evaluation and remediation of
speech, language, and hearing disorders. All
students at the graduate level receive super­
vised clinical training in communicative dis­
A limited number of scholarships, fellow­
ships, assistantships, and traineeships are
available in this field. Teaching and training
grants to colleges and universities that have
programs in speech and hearing are given by
a number of agencies of the U.S. Department
of Health, Education, and Welfare—the
Rehabilitation Services Administration, the
Maternal and Child Health Service, the Of­
fice of Education, and the National Institutes
of Health. In addition, some Federal agencies
distribute money to colleges to aid graduate
students in speech and hearing programs. A
large number of private organizations and
foundations also provide financial assistance
for education in this field.
Meeting the American Speech-LanguageHearing Association’s (AS-L-HA) require­
ments for a Certificate of Clinical Compe­
tence (CCC) usually is necessary in order to

Employment of speech pathologists and
audiologists is expected to increase much
faster than the average for all other occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. Although some jobs
will be available for those having only a bach­
elor’s degree, the increasing emphasis placed
on the master’s degree by State governments,
school systems, and Federal agencies will
limit opportunities at the bachelor’s degree
While employment opportunities for those
with a master’s degree generally should be
favorable, the large number of graduates en­
tering this field may cause some competition.
Many openings will occur outside of the large
metropolitan areas, and graduates should
take this into consideration when seeking em­
ployment. Competition for teaching posi­
tions in colleges and universities will be very
strong throughout the period.
Population growth, which will increase the
number of persons having speech and hear­
ing problems, will contribute to the expected
expansion in employment of speech patholo­
gists and audiologists through the 1980’s. In
addition, there is a trend toward earlier rec­
ognition and treatment of hearing and lan­
guage problems in children. Many school-age
children, thought to have learning disabili­
ties, actually have language or hearing dis­
orders that speech pathologists and audiolo­
gists can treat.
Other factors expected to increase demand
for speech pathologists and audiologists are
expansion in expenditures for medical re­
search and the growing public interest in
speech and hearing disorders. State and Fed­
eral laws now require school systems to pro­
vide equal educational services for handi­
capped children, and Medicare and Medicaid
programs have expanded their coverage of
speech and hearing services.

Audiologists working in hospitals gener­
ally earn slightly more than speech patholo­
gists. According to a national survey con­
ducted by the University of Texas Medical
Branch, audiologists averaged starting sala­
ries of about $14,300 a year in 1978, com­
pared to about $14,000 for speech patholo­
gists. Experienced audiologists averaged

$18,500 a year, compared to $17,500 for
speech pathologists.
In 1979, the annual starting salary in the
Federal Government for speech pathologists
and audiologists with a master’s degree was
about $15,900. Those having a doctoral de­
gree were eligible to start at about $19,300.
The average salary of all speech pathologists
and audiologists working for the Federal
Government in 1978 was $24,300.
Many speech pathologists and audiolo­
gists, particularly those in colleges and uni­
versities, supplement their income by acting

as consultants, engaging in research projects,
and writing books and articles. Almost all
receive benefits such as paid vacations, sick
leave, and retirement programs.

Related Occupations
Speech pathologists and audiologists spe­
cialize in the diagnosis and treatment of
speech, language, and hearing problems.
Workers in other professions who also per­
form rehabilitative functions include occupa­
tional therapists, optometrists, and physical

Sources of Additional Information
State departments of education can sup­
ply information on certification require­
ments for those who wish to work in pub­
lic schools.
A list of college and university programs
and a booklet on student financial aid as well
as general career information are available
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association,
10801 Rockville Pike, Md. 20852.


Other Health Occupations

(D.O.T. 077.061 through .167)

Nature of the Work
Dietitians plan nutritious and appetizing
meals to help people maintain or recover
good health. They also supervise the food
service personnel who prepare and serve the
meals, manage dietetic purchasing and ac­
counting, and give advice on good eating
habits. Clinical dietitians form the largest
group in this occupation; the others are ad­
ministrative, teaching, and research dieti­
tians. Nutritionists also are included in this
Administrative dietitians apply the princi­
ples of nutrition and sound management to
large-scale meal planning and preparation,
such as that done in hospitals, universities,
schools, and other institutions. They super­
vise the planning, preparation, and service of
meals; select, train, and direct food service
supervisors and workers; budget for and pur­
chase food, equipment, and supplies; enforce
sanitary and safety regulations; and prepare
records and reports. Dietitians who are direc­
tors of dietetic departments also decide on
departmental policy; coordinate dietetic ser­
vices with the activities of other departments;
and are responsible for the dietetic depart­
ment budget, which in large organizations
may amount to millions of dollars annually.



Clinical dietitians, sometimes called thera­
peutic dietitians, plan diets and supervise the
service of meals to meet the nutritional needs
of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or
clinics. Clinical dietitians confer with doctors
and other members of the health care team
about patients’ nutritional care, instruct pa­
tients and their families on the requirements
and importance of their diets, and suggest
ways to maintain these diets after leaving the
hospital or clinic. In a small institution, a
dietitian may perform both administrative
and clinical duties.

bers of the health care team in medical and
educational institutions.

they do spend time in kitchens and serving
areas that often are hot and steamy.

Nutritionists may counsel individuals and
groups on sound nutrition practices to main­
tain and improve health, or they may engage
in teaching and research'. This work covers
such areas as special diets, meal planning and
preparation, and food budgeting and pur­
chasing. Nutritionists in community health
programs may be responsible for the nutri­
tion components of preventive health and
medical care services. This includes plan­
ning, developing, coordinating, and adminis­
tering a nutrition program or a nutrition
component within the community health
program. Nutritionists work in such diverse
areas as food industries, educational and
health facilities, and agricultural and welfare
agencies, both public and private.

Places of Employment
About 35,000 persons worked as dietitians
in 1978. More than one-half work in hospi­
tals, nursing homes, and clinics, including
about 1,100 in the Veterans Administration
and the U.S. Public Health Service. Colleges,
universities, and school systems employ a
large number of dietitians to teach or to work
in their food service systems. Most of the rest
work for health-related agencies, restaurants
or cafeterias, and large companies that pro­
vide food service for their employees. Some
dietitians are employed in the Armed Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

An increasing number of dietitians work as
consultants to hospitals and to health-related
facilities. Others act as consultants to com­
mercial enterprises, including food proces­
sors and equipment manufacturers.

A bachelor’s degree, with a major in foods
and nutrition or institution management, is
the basic educational requirement for dietitians. This degree can be earned in about 240
colleges and universities, usually in depart­
ments of home economics. The college
courses that usually are required include
food and nutrition, institution management,
chemistry, bacteriology, and physiology.
Other courses that also are important are
mathematics, data processing, psychology,
sociology, and economics.

Working Conditions
Although most dietitians work 40 hours a
week, dietitians in hospitals may sometimes
work on weekends, and those in commercial
food services have somewhat irregular hours.
Dietitians spend much of their time in clean,
well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas, such
as research laboratories, classrooms, or of­
fices near food preparation areas. However,

To qualify for professional recognition, the
American Dietetic Association (ADA)
recommends that graduates complete an apr

Research dietitians seek ways to improve
the nutrition of both healthy and sick peo­
ple. They may study nutrition science and
education, food management, food service
systems and equipment, or how the body
uses food. Other research projects may in­
vestigate the nutritional needs of the aging,
persons who have chronic diseases, or
space travelers. Research dietitians usually
are employed in medical centers or educa­
tional facilities, but they also may work in
community health programs. (See the
statement on food technologists elsewhere
in the Handbook.)

Dietetic educators teach dietetics to mem
Federal Reserve Bank of St.OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Dietitian verifies dietary needs of each patient before food tray leaves the kitchen.

proved dietetic internship or individual
traineeship program. The internship lasts 6
to 12 months and the traineeship program 1
to 2 years. Both programs combine clinical
experience under a qualified dietitian with
some classroom work. In 1978, 68 internship
' programs were approved by the ADA. A
f growing number of coordinated undergradu­
ate programs have been developed that en­
able students to complete their clinical expe­
rience requirement while obtaining their
bachelor’s degree. In 1978, there were about
70 of these programs offered by medical
schools and allied health and home econom­
ics departments of colleges and universities.
These programs also are approved by the
ADA. Persons meeting the qualifications es­
tablished by the ADA’s Commission on Die­
tetic Registration can become Registered
Dietitians (R.D.’s).
Experienced dietitians may advance to as­
sistant or associate director or director of a
dietetic department. Advancement to higher
level positions in teaching and research usu­
ally requires graduate education; public
health nutritionists must earn a graduate de­
gree. Graduate study in institutional or busi­
ness administration is valuable to those inter­
ested in administrative dietetics.

American Dietetic Association. The median
salary paid by colleges and universities to
dietitians with a bachelor’s degree was $16,600 a year in 1978. The median salary for
those with a bachelor’s degree working in
commercial or industrial establishments was
$15,500 a year; for those in public and volun­
tary health agencies, $15,800. For selfemployed dietitians with a bachelor’s degree,
the median salary was over $20,000 a year in
The entrance salary in the Federal Gov­
ernment for those completing an approved
internship was about $13,000 in 1979. Begin­
ning dietitians with a master’s degree who
had completed an internship earned about
$15,900. In 1978, the Federal Government
paid experienced dietitians average salaries of
about $19,600 a year.
Dietitians usually receive benefits such as
paid vacations, holidays, health insurance,
and retirement benefits. In addition, some
hospitals provide free laundry service.

Related Occupations
Dietitians apply the principles of nutrition
in a variety of situations. Other workers with
similar duties include food technologists,
home economists, executive chefs, and food
service managers.

Persons who plan to become a dietitian
should have organizational and administra­
tive ability, as well as high scientific aptitude,
and should be able to work well with a vari­
ety of people. Among the courses recom­
mended for high school students interested in
careers as dietitians are home economics,
business administration, biology, health,
mathematics, and chemistry.

For information on approved dietetic in­
ternship programs, scholarships, employ­
ment opportunities, registration, and a list of
colleges providing training for a professional
career in dietetics, contact:

Employment Outlook

The American Dietetic Association, 430 North
Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.

Employment of dietitians is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s to meet the nutrition
and food management needs of hospitals and
extended care facilities, industrial plants, and
restaurants. Dietitians also will be needed to
staff community health programs and to con­
duct research in food and nutrition. In addi­
tion to new jobs, many others will open each
year to replace those who die, retire, or leave
the profession for other reasons. Opportuni­
ties should remain favorable for dietitians
who wish to work part time.
In recent years, employers have used die­
tetic assistants trained in vocational and tech­
nical schools and dietetic technicians edu­
cated in junior colleges to help meet the
demand for dietetic services. Because this sit­
uation is likely to persist, employment oppor­
tunities also should continue to be favorable
for graduates of these programs.

Entry-level salaries of hospital dietitians
averaged $ 12,600 a year in 1978, according to
a national survey conducted by the Univer­
sity of Texas Medical Branch. Experienced
dietitians received annual salaries ranging
from $15,000 to
 $30,000 according to the

Sources of Additional Information

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management,
Washington, D.C. 20415, will send informa­
tion on the requirements for dietetic interns
and dietitians in Federal Government hospi­
tals and for public health nutritionists and
dietitians in the Public Health Service, U.S.
Department of Health, Education, and Wel­
fare; and the District of Columbia govern­
ment programs.

Dispensing Opticians
(D.O.T. 299.474-010 and 713.361-014)

Nature of Work
Over 110 million people in the United
States use some form of corrective lenses to
improve their vision. Dispensing opticians
(also called ophthalmic dispensers) receive
lens prescriptions from eye doctors (ophthal­
mologists) or optometrists, determine the
size and style of eyeglasses desired by the
customer, write work orders for ophthalmic
laboratory technicians, and adjust finished
glasses to fit the customer. In many States
they fit contact lenses.
Dispensing opticians determine where

lenses should be placed in relation to the cus­
tomer’s eyes by measuring the distance be­
tween the centers of the pupils. They also
help the customer select the proper eyeglass
frame by recommending various styles and
colors of frames that complement the cus­
tomer’s facial features.
Dispensing opticians analyze and interpret
prescriptions and prepare work orders that
give ophthalmic laboratory technicians the
information they need to properly grind the
lenses, and insert them in a frame. The work
orders include lens prescriptions and infor­
mation on lens size, color, and style. After
glasses are made, dispensing opticians use a
special instrument to check the power and
surface qualify of the lenses. Opticians then
adjust the frame to the contours of the cus­
tomer’s face and head so that it fits properly
and comfortably. Adjustments are made with
handtools, such as optical pliers, files, and
screwdrivers. A special instrument is used to
check the power and surface quality of the
In fitting contact lenses, dispensing opti­
cians follow ophthalmologists’ or optome­
trists’ prescriptions, measure the corneas of
customers’ eyes and then prepare specifica­
tions to be followed by the contact lens
manufacturer. Contact lens fitting requires
considerably more skill, care, and patience
than conventional eyeglass fitting. Dispens­
ing opticians tell customers how to insert,
remove, and care for contact lenses during
the initial adjustment period, which may last
several weeks. The dispensing optician exam­
ines the patient’s eyes, corneas, lids, and con­
tact lenses with special instruments and mi­
croscopes at each visit. Ophthalmologists or
optometrists recheck the fit, as needed. Opti­
cians may make minor adjustments; lenses
are returned to the manufacturer for major
The majority of dispensing opticians are in
the general practice of designing and fitting
eyeglasses. Some specialize in the fitting of
cosmetic shells to cover blemished eyes. Still
others specialize in the fitting of prostheses
(artificial eyes). In some shops, they may do
lens grinding and finishing and sell other op­
tical goods such as binoculars, magnifying
glasses, and nonprescription eyeglasses.

Working Conditions
Dispensing opticians work indoors in
pleasant, quiet surroundings that are well
lighted and well ventilated. Because they sell
and service eye lenses, they deal with custom­
ers most of the time.

Places of Employment
About 17,500 persons worked as dispens­
ing opticians in 1978. Most dispensing opti­
cians work for retail optical shops or depart­
ment stores and other retail stores that sell
prescription lenses. Many also work for oph­
thalmologists or optometrists who sell
glasses directly to patients. A few work in
hospitals and eye clinics and teach in schools


health insurance plans, and Medicare also
will stimulate demand. Moreover, the
growing variety of frame styles and colors
may encourage individuals to buy more
than one pair of glasses.
Employment opportunities should be ex­
cellent for dispensing opticians who have an
associate degree in opticianry; however, job­
seekers without formal training may face
competition for jobs of their choice. Oppor­
tunities will be best in metropolitan areas be­
cause owners operate many of the retail
shops in small communities and do not need
dispensing opticians.

Hourly wage rates for dispensing opticians
ranged from $5.75 to $9.25 in 1978, based on
information from a small number of union
contracts. Dispensing opticians who own and
operate their own shops can expect to earn
considerably more, generally from $20,000 to
$30,000 a year.

Analyzing the customer’s facial features is a basic part of proper eyeglass fitting.
of ophthalmic dispensing. Many dispensing
opticians own retail optical shops.
Dispensing opticians can be found in every
State. However, employment is concentrated
in large cities and in populous States.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most dispensing opticians learn their skills
on the job. On-the-job training in dispensing
work may last several years and usually in­
cludes instruction in optical mathematics,
optical physics, and the use of precision mea­
suring instruments.
Em ployers prefer persons w ho have com p­

leted formal training programs. In 1978, 21
schools offered 2-year full-time courses in op­
tical fabricating and dispensing work leading
to an associate degree. In addition, medical
schools, large manufacturers of contact
lenses, and professional societies offer short,
nondegree courses in contact-lens fitting. A
small number of opticians learn their trade in
the Armed Forces.
High school graduates also can prepare for
optical dispensing work through 2- to 4-year
formal apprenticeship programs. Appren­
tices with exceptional ability may complete
their training in a shorter period.
Apprentices receive training in optical
mathematics and optical physics and in the
use of laboratory equipment. In addition to
technical training, apprentices may work
directly with patients in fitting eyeglasses
and contact lenses. Trainees also are
taught the basics of office management and
Employers prefer applicants for entry jobs
as dispensing opticians to be high school
graduates who have had courses in the basic
sciences. A knowledge of physics, algebra, OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


geometry, and mechanical drawing is partic­
ularly valuable. Interest in and ability to do
precision work are essential. Because dis­
pensing opticians deal directly with the pub­
lic, they should be tactful and have pleasant
In 1978, 20 States had licensing require­
ments governing dispensing opticians:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut,
Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massa­
chusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York,
North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wash­
ington. To obtain a license, the applicant gen­
erally must meet certain minimum standards
o f education and training, and also must pass
either a written or practical examination, or
both. For specific requirements, the licensing
boards of individual States should be con­
Many dispensing opticians go into busi­
ness for themselves. Others may advance
by becoming managers of retail optical
stores or becoming sales representatives for
wholesalers or manufacturers of eyeglasses
or lenses.

Employment Outlook
Employment of dispensing opticians is
expected to increase faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
In addition to job openings from employ­
ment growth, some openings will arise
from the need to replace experienced work­
ers who retire, die, or leave the occupation
for other reasons. Demand for corrective
lenses is expected to rise as the general
population grows and as the elderly, the
group that requires the most eye care, con­
tinues to grow as a proportion of the gen­
eral population. State programs to provide
eye care for low-income families, union

Apprentices start at about 60 percent of
the skilled worker’s rate and are increased
periodically so that upon completion of the
apprenticeship program, they receive the be­
ginning rate for experienced workers.
Dispensing opticians generally work a 40hour week. Some, especially those employed
in retail shops in large shopping centers,
work in the evenings and on Saturdays. Some
dispensing opticians are members of unions.
The principal union in this field is the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers (AFL-CIO).

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers with
technical knowledge use machines and tools
to do precise, delicate work include calibra­
tors, dental laboratory technicians, glass
blowers, instrument repairers, locksmiths,
ophthalmic laboratory technicians, ortho­
dontic technicians, prosthetics technicians,
and watch repairers.

Sources of Additional Information
A list of schools offering courses for people
who wish to become dispensing opticians is
available from:
National Academy of Opticianry, 514 Chestnut
St., Big Rapids, Mich. 49307.
National Federation of Opticianry Schools, Ferris
State College, Big Rapids, Mich. 49307

For general information about the occupa­
tion, contact:
International Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers, 1126 16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.
National Federation of Opticianry Schools, Ferris
State College, Big Rapids, Mich. 49307.
Opticians Association of America, 1250 Connecti­
cut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Chairman of Optical Council, IUE-AFL-CIOCLC, 200 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y.

Health Services
(D.O.T. 169.167-010; 187.117-010, -018, -050;
187.167-034, -090; 188.117-082)

Nature of the Work
Medical and health care is provided by or­
ganizations that vary from large teaching
hospitals to small walk-in clinics. To function
properly, each of these requires effective
management which health administrators
provide under the general supervision of a
board of directors or other governing body.
Administrators direct the various func­
tions and activities that make a health organi­
zation work. They may do this personally,
where the organization is small, or direct a
staff of assistant administrators in larger or­
ganizations. Health administrators make
many kinds of management decisions. For
example, they may review budget proposals,
make personnel decisions, and negotiate for
the expansion of facilities.
Some health services administrators, in­
cluding those who manage hospitals or nurs­
ing homes, oversee nursing, food services,
and in-service training programs. Assistant
administrators usually direct the daily opera­
tions of these departments; however, the
chief executive keeps informed through for­
mal and informal meetings with the assist­
ants, the medical staff, and others. In addi­
tion to these management activities, many
health administrators help carry out fun­
draising drives and promote public participa­
tion in health programs. This phase of the
administrator’s job often includes speaking
before civic groups, arranging publicity, and
coordinating the activities of the organiza­
tion with those of government or community

Administration and Armed Forces hospitals
and clinics. Others work for voluntary health
agencies that support research, provide care
and treatment for victims of particular dis­
eases or impairments and conduct profes­
sional and public education and communitee
service programs.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Educational requirements for health ser­
vices administrators vary according to the
position’s level of responsibility and the size
of the organization. Generally, larger organi­
zations with a more complicated administra­
tive structure require higher credentials than
smaller ones.

ants to program representatives in public
health departments. Some associate degree
holders find assistant administrator jobs in
small nursing homes.
The Ph. D. degree usually is required for
positions in teaching or research, and is an
asset for those seeking administrative jobs in
larger, more prestigious health organiza­
tions. Although some public health depart­
ments still require chief administrators to be
physicians, the trend is away from this.
Administrators in Armed Forces hospitals
usually are career military personnel.
In 1978, about 60 bachelor degree pro­
grams in health services administration were
offered. In addition, there were over 75 mas­
ter’s degree, programs in hospital or health
services administration that led to the mas­
ter’s degree, and 22 master’s degree programs
in schools of public health.

Applicants with master’s degrees in health
or hospital administration may be hired as
associate or assistant administrators in hospi­
tals, while those with master’s degrees in
public health often find work as program
analysts or program representatives in public
health departments. Very few master’s de­
gree recipients take entry positions in nursing
or personal care homes, although many nurs­
ing home administrators pursue graduate ed­
ucation while employed. New master’s de­
gree graduates from programs in related
disciplines such as public administration or
management are sometimes hired for ad­
ministrative jobs. Master of business ad­
ministration (MBA) graduates, for example,
are sometimes hired by public health depart­
ments as program analysts.

To enter graduate programs, applicants
must have a bachelor’s degree, with courses
in natural sciences, psychology, sociology,
statistics, accounting, and economics. Com­
petition for entry to these programs is keen,
and applicants need above- average grades to
gain admission. The programs generally last
about 2 years and may include some super­
vised administrative experience in hospitals,
clinics, or health agencies. Programs may in­
clude courses such as hospital organization
and management, accounting and budget
control, personnel administration, public
health administration, and the economics of
health care.

Bachelor’s degree recipients usually begin
their careers as administrative assistants or
department heads in hospitals, or as assistant
administrators in nursing homes. Graduates
of 2-year, associate degree programs gener­
ally are hired as unit directors or assistant
department heads in hospitals, or as assist­

All States and the District of Columbia
require that the administrator of a nursing or
personal care home be licensed. Require­
ments are not uniform, but they generally
specify a level of education, such as a bache­
lor’s degree, plus some amount of experience
in the field.

Working Conditions
Health administrators often work long
hours. Health facilities such as nursing
homes and hospitals operate around the
clock, and administrators may be called at all
hours to settle emergency problems. Also,
some may travel to meetings or, for these
who oversee several facilities, to make inspect

Places of Employment
About 180,000 persons worked in some
phase of health administrationin 1978. Most
administrators work in health facilities, in­
cluding hospitals (which employed about
half of all administrators), nursing and per­
sonal care homes, and health management
firms that provide administrative services for
a fee.
Some health administrators work for gov­
ernment agencies, including State and local
health departments and the U.S. Public
Health Service. In addition, the Federal Gov­
ernment hires administrators in Veterans

Some health services administrators work in nursing homes.


Personal qualifications needed for success
as a health administrator include initiative
and an interest in helping the sick, injured
and handicapped. Administrators should be
able to work with and motivate people, and
to organize and direct large-scale activities.
They also should enjoy public speaking.
Health administrators advance in the pro­
fession by taking increasingly more responsi­
ble positions. Most frequently, the first job is
in a large institution in a position that is
somewhat narrow in scope—for example, as
department head in charge of purchasing.
Advancement is then to successively more
responsible jobs such as assistant or associate
administrator and finally the chief adminis­
trator. Less commonly, hospital administra­
tors begin their careers in small hospitals in
positions with broad responsiblities, such as
assistant administrator. Regardless of the
path of advancement chosen, the ultimate oc­
cupational goal in hospitals and nursing
homes is chief executive or chief administra­
tive officer.

Employment Outlook
The number of graduate programs in
health administration has increased rapidly
in recent years; in addition, administative
specialists with graduate degrees in other
fields have entered the profession. Conse­
quently, it may become more difficult for
those with less than a graduate education to
enter health administration in top manage­
ment positions. In addition, some adminis­
trative jobs will continue to be filled by regis­
tered nurses, physicians, and members of
religious communities.
Employment of health services administra­
tors is expected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s as the quantity of patient services in­
creases and health services management
becomes more complex. The demand for ad­
ministrators will be stimulated by the forma­
tion- of more group medical practices and
health maintenance organizations (facilities
that offer subscribers a broad range of medi­
cal services for a set fee). Administrators also
will be needed in nursing and convalescent
homes to handle the increasing amount of
administrative work expected as these facili­
ties expand in size.

Administrators of nursing and personal
care homes usually earn lower salaries than
those paid hospital administrators in facili­
ties having similar numbers of beds. Average
annual earnings of nursing home administra­
tors in 1978 were about $21,500. Most ad­
ministrators employed by voluntary health
agencies earned between $20,000 and $30,000 a year in 1978.

Related Occupations
Health services administrators plan pro­
grams, set policies, and make decisions for a
health service agency or institution. Other
administrators with similar responsibilities
include social welfare administrators, busi­
ness enterprise officers, community organiza­
tion directors, curators, college or university
department heads, medical-record adminis­
trators, recreation superintendents.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about health administration
and the academic programs in this field of­
fered by universities, colleges, and commu­
nity colleges is available from:
American College of Hospital Administration, 840
North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 111. 60611.
Association of University Programs in Health Ad­
ministration, One Dupont Circle, NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.
National Health Council, Health Careers Pro­
gram, 1740 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10019.
American College of Nursing Home Administra­
tors, 4650 East-West Hwy., Washington, D.C.

Medical Record
(D.O.T. 079.167-014)

Salaries of hospital administrators depend
on factors such as the level of job responsibil­
ity; the size, type, and location of the hospi­
tal; and the size of its administrative staff and
Chief administrators in hospitals with 100
to ISO beds earned an average of $36,000 a
year in 1978. Some, in larger hospitals,
earned over $55,000. Recent recipients of
master’s degrees in health administration
starting work in Veterans’ Administration
(VA) hospitals earned $15,920 a year in 1979.
The average salary paid administrators of
Federal hospitals
 was $32,100.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Commissioned officers in the Armed
Forces who work as hospital administrators
hold ranks ranging from second lieutenant to
colonel or from ensign to captain. Comman­
ding officers of large Armed Forces hospitals
are generally physicians, who may hold
higher ranks. Hospital administrators in the
U.S. Public Health Service are commissioned
officers holding ranks equivalent to those of
lieutenant (junior grade) through captain in
the Navy.


Nature of the Work
All health care institutions keep records
that contain medical information on each pa­
tient, including case histories of illnesses or
injuries, reports on physical examinations, Xrays and laboratory tests, doctors’ orders and
notes, and nurses’ notes. These records are
necessary for correct and prompt diagnosis
and treatment of illnesses and injuries. They
also are used for research, insurance claims,
legal actions, evaluation of treatment and
medications prescribed, and in the training of
medical personnel. Medical information in
hospitals also is used to evaluate patient care

provided in the hospital and as a basis for
health care planning for the community.
Medical record administrators direct the
activities of the medical record department
and develop systems for documenting, stor­
ing, and retrieving medical information.
They supervise the medical record staff,
which processes and analyzes records and re­
ports on patients’ illnesses and treatment.
They train members of the medical record
staff for specialized jobs, compile medical
statistics required by State or national health
agencies, and assist the medical staff in
evaluations of patient care or research stud­
ies. Medical record administrators serving as
department heads are a part of the hospital
management staff and participate fully in
management activities. As the administrators
responsible for the medical information sys­
tem, they may be required to testify in court
about records and record procedures.
The size and type of institution affect the
duties and amount of responsibility assigned
to medical record administrators. In large
hospitals, chief medical record administra­
tors supervise other medical record adminis­
trators, technicians, and clerks. Smaller hos­
pitals may employ only two or three persons
in the medical record department; in nursing
homes usually one person keeps the medical
records. In these cases, a consulting medical
record administrator usually advises techni­
cal and clerical personnel performing medi­
cal record functions.

Working Conditions
Medical record adminstrators generally
work a standard 40-hour week in clean, welllighted surroundings. Because the record de­
partment seldom is involved in emergency
situations, the work environment may be a
relaxed one. However, accuracy and atten­
tion to detail are essential, and this can be
very tiring.

Places of Employment
Most of the 12,500 medical record ad­
ministrators employed in 1978 worked in
hospitals. The remainder worked in clinics,
nursing homes, State and local public
health departments, and medical research
centers. Some health insurance companies
also employ medical record administrators
to help determine liability for payment of
their clients’ medical fees. Other medical
record administrators work for firms that
manufacture equipment for recording and
processing medical data and develop and
print health insurance and medical forms.
In addition, many small health care facili­
ties hire medical record administrators as

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Preparation for a career as a medical re­
cord administrator is offered in specialized
programs in colleges and universities. Most
programs last 4 years and lead to a bachelor’s

search, and consulting work for health care

The salaries of medical record administra­
tors are influenced by the location, size, and
type of the employing institution, as well as
by the duties and responsibilities of the posi­
tion. The average starting salary for medical
record administrators in hospitals was about
$14,500 a year in 1978, according to a na­
tional survey conducted by the University of
Texas Medical Branch. Salaries for ex­
perienced record administrators in hosptials
averaged about $18,000 a year, with some
earning well over $30,000.
Newly graduated medical record adminis­
trators employed by the Federal Government
generally started at about $10,500 a year in
1979; those having good academic records
were eligible to begin at about $13,000. In
1978, the Federal Government paid ex­
perienced medical record administrators av­
erage salaries of about $16,000 a year.

Medical record administrators often work closely with physicians.
degree in medical record administration.
However, concentration in medical record
administration begins in the third or fourth
year of study, making transfer from a junior
college possible. One-year certificate pro­
grams also are available for those who al­
ready have a bachelor’s degree and required
courses in the liberal arts and biological
sciences. In 1978, there were 44 programs in
medical record administration approved by
the Council on Medical Education and Ac­
creditation of the American Medical Associ­
ation and the American Medical Record As­
sociation (AMRA). High school courses that
provide a good background include health,
business administration, mathematics, and
Training for medical record administra­
tors includes both classroom instruction and
practical experience. Anatomy, physiology,
fundamentals of medical science, medical ter­
minology, and medical record science are
among the required scientific courses. In ad­
dition, management courses such as hospital
organization and administration, health law,
statistics, data processing, and computer sci­
ence are part of the curriculum. Experience
in the medical record departments of hospi­
tals provides students with a practical back­
ground in applying standardized medical re­
cord practices, compiling statistical reports,
analyzing data, and organizing medical re­
cord systems.
Graduates of approved schools in medical
record administration are eligible for the na­
tional registration examination given by
AMRA. Passing this examination gives pro­
fessional recognition as a Registered Record
Administrator (RRA). According to the
AMRA, there were about 6,500 employed
RRA’s in 1978.
Medical record
 administrators must be ac­

curate and interested in detail, and must be
able to speak and write clearly. Because med­
ical records are confidential, medical record
administrators must be discreet in processing
and releasing information. Supervisors must
be able to organize, analyze, and direct work
procedures and be able to work effectively
with other hospital personnel.
Medical record administrators with some
experience in smaller health facilities may ad­
vance to positions as department heads in
large hospitals or to higher level positions in
hospital administration. Some coordinate the
medical record departments of several small
hospitals. Others move on to medical record
positions in health agencies. Many teach in
the expanding programs for medical record
personnel in 2- and 4-year colleges and uni­

Related Occupations
Medical record administrators work al­
most exclusively in hospitals and, as a mem­
ber of the health care team, assume responsi­
bility for a large volume of medical records.
They train and supervise workers who verify,
transcribe, code, and maintain files on pa­
tients’ medical history. Workers in other oc­
cupations who provide similar administrative
services in related fields include: Emergency
medical service coordinators, hospital-insur­
ance representatives, library directors, and
public health educators.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about approved schools and
employment opportunites is available from:
American Medical Record Association, John Han­
cock Center, Suite 1850, 875 N. Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60611.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for graduates
of approved medical record administrator
programs are expected to be good through
the 1980’s. Employment is expected to grow
about as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions, with the increasing use of health facili­
ties as more and more people are covered by
health insurance. The detailed information
required by third-party payers, such as insur­
ance companies and government agencies,
also will cause growth in the occupation.
More consultants will be needed to standard­
ize health records in outpatient clinics, com­
munity health centers, nursing homes, and
home care programs. The importance of
medical records in research and the growing
use of computers to store and retrieve medi­
cal information also should increase the de­
mand for qualified medical record adminis­
trators to develop new medical information
systems. Part-time employment opportuni­
ties also should be available in teaching, re­

(D.O.T. 074.161)

Nature of the Work
Pharmacists dispense drugs and medicines
prescribed by medical and dental practition­
ers and supply and advise people on the use
of many medicines that can be obtained with
and without prescriptions. Pharmacists must
understand the use, composition, and effect
of drugs and often test them for purity and
strength. They may maintain patient medica­
tion profiles and advise physicians on the
proper selection and use of medicines. Com­
pounding—the actual mixing of ingredients
to form powders, tablets, capsules, oint­
ments, and solutions—is now only a small
part of pharmacists’ practice, since most
medicines are produced by manufacturers in
the form used by the patient.


Many pharmacists employed in commu­
nity pharmacies also have other duties. Be­
sides dispensing medicines, some pharma­
cists buy and sell nonpharmaceutical
merchandise, hire and supervise personnel,
and oversee the general operation of the
pharmacy. Other pharmacists, however, op­
erate prescription pharmacies that dispense
only medicines, medical supplies, and health
Pharmacists in hospitals and clinics dis­
pense prescriptions and advise the medical
staff on the selection and effects of drugs;
they also make sterile solutions, buy medical
supplies, teach in schools of nursing and al­
lied health professions, and perform adminis­
trative duties. In addition, pharmacists work
as consultants to the medical team in matters
related to daily patient care in hospitals,
nursing homes, and other health care facili­
ties. Their role is crucial to safe, efficient, and
proper therapeutic care.
Some pharmacists, employed as sales or
medical service representatives by drug
manufacturers and wholesalers, sell medi­
cines to retail pharmacies and to hospitals,
and inform health personnel about new
drugs. Others teach in colleges of pharmacy,
supervise the manufacture of pharmaceuti­
cals, or are involved in research and the de­
velopment of new medicines. Some pharma­
cists edit or write technical articles for
pharmaceutical journals, or do administra­
tive work. Some combine pharmaceutical
and legal training in jobs as patent lawyers or
consultants on pharmaceutical and drug

Working Conditions
Pharmacists usually work in a clean, welllighted, and well-ventilated area that resem­
bles a small laboratory. Shelves are lined with
hundreds of different medicines and drugs.
In addition, some items are refrigerated and
all controlled substances are kept under lock
and key.
According to a recent survey, pharmacists
average 44 hours a week in their primary
work setting. Many pharmacists work in a
secondary setting where they average 15
hours a week, often as a consultant to a nurs­
ing home or other facility. Pharmacies often
are open in the evenings and on weekends,
and all States require a registered pharmacist
to be in attendance during pharmacy hours.
Self-employed pharmacists often work more
hours than those in salaried positions.

Places of Employment
About 135,000 persons worked as licensed
pharmacists in 1978. About 100,000 pharma­
cists worked in community pharmacies. Of
these, about one-third owned their own phar­
macies; the others were salaried employees.
Most of the remaining pharmacists worked
for hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers,
wholesalers, and government and educa­
tional institutions. Quite a few community
and hospital pharmacists do consulting work



Pharmacist fills prescription.
for nursing homes and other health facilities
in addition to their primary jobs. As a rule,
pharmacy services in nursing homes are pro­
vided by consultants rather than by salaried
Some pharmacists are civilian employees
of the Federal Government who work chiefly
in hospitals and clinics of the Veterans Ad­
ministration and the U.S. Public Health Ser­
vice. Additional Federal agencies employing
pharmacists include the Department of De­
fense, the Food and Drug Administration
and other branches of the Department of
Health, Education, and Welfare, and the
Drug Enforcement Administration. Other
pharmacists serve in the Armed Forces or
teach in colleges of pharmacy. State and local
health agencies and pharmaceutical and
other professional associations also employ
Most towns have at least one pharmacy
with one pharmacist or more in attendance.
Most pharmacists, however, practice in or
near cities and in those States that have the
largest populations.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A license to practice pharmacy is required
in all States and the District of Columbia. To
obtain a license, one must graduate from an
accredited pharmacy degree program, pass a

State board examination and—in all States—
have a specified amount of practical experi­
ence or internship under the supervision of a
licensed pharmacist. Internships generally
are served in a community or hospital phar­
macy. In 1978, all States except California,
Florida, and Hawaii granted a license with­
out reexamination to qualified pharmacists
already licensed by another State. Many
pharmacists are licensed to practice in more
than one State.
At least 5 years of study beyond high
school are required to graduate from one of
the degree programs accredited by the
American Council on Pharmaceutical Edu­
cation in the 72 colleges of pharmacy. Most
graduates receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
or a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm.) de­
gree. About one-third of the colleges of phar­
macy also offer advanced professional degree
programs leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy
(Pharm: D.) degree; three of the schools offer
only the Pharm. D. degree. The Pharm. D.
degree as well as the B.S. and B. Pharm.
degrees may serve as the entry degree for
licensure as a pharmacist.
Admission requirements vary. A few col­
leges admit students directly from high
school. Most colleges of pharmacy, however,
require entrants to have completed 1 or 2
years of prepharmacy education in an accred­
ited junior college, college, or university. A
prepharmacy curriculum usually emphasizes

mathematics and basic j sciences, such as
chemistry, biology, and physics, but also in­
cludes courses in the humanities and social
sciences. Because entry requirements vary
among colleges of pharmacy, prepharmacy
students should inquire about and follow the
curriculum required by colleges they plan to
The bachelor’s degree in pharmacy is the
minimum educational qualification for most
positions in the profession. An increasing
number of students are enrolled in advanced
professional programs leading to the Pharm.
D. degree. A master’s or Ph. D. degree in
pharmacy or a related field usually is re­
quired for research work and a Pharm. D.,
master’s, or Ph. D. usually is necessary for
administrative work or college teaching. Al­
though a number of pharmacy graduates in­
terested in further training pursue an ad­
vanced degree in pharmacy, there are other
options. Some enter medical, dental, or law
school, and others pursue graduate degrees in
science or engineering.
Areas of special study include phar­
maceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry
(physical and chemical properties of drugs
and dosage forms), pharmacology (effects of
drugs on the body), pharmacognosy (drugs
derived from plant or animal sources), hospi­
tal pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, and phar­
macy administration. Clinical pharmacy is
the synthesis of the basic science education
and the application of this knowledge to drug
management problems in the care of patients.
Courses in pharmacy administration are par­
ticularly helpful to pharmacists who become
executives or managers.
All colleges of pharmacy offer courses in
pharmacy practice, designed to educate stu­
dents in the skilled processes required for
compounding and dispensing prescriptions,
and to give students an appreciation for the
profession and an understanding of the re­
sponsibilities pharmacists have in their rela­
tionships with physicians and patients. Many
college programs of pharmacy increasingly
are emphasizing direct patient care as well as
consultative services to other health profes­
A limited number of Federal scholarships
and loans are available for students studying
full time toward a degree in pharmacy. In
addition, scholarships are awarded annually
by drug manufacturers, chain drugstores,
corporations, State and national pharmacy
associations, colleges of pharmacy, and other

community pharmacies. After they gain ex­
perience and obtain the necessary funds, they
may become owners or part owners of phar­
macies. A pharmacist who gains experience
in a chain drugstore may advance to a
managerial position, and later to a higher
executive position within the company. Hos­
pital pharmacists who have the necessary
training and experience may advance to di­
rector of pharmacy service or to other ad­
ministrative positions. Pharmacists in indus­
try often have opportunities for advancement
in management, sales, research, quality con­
trol, advertising, production, packaging, and
other areas.

Employment Outlook
The employment outlook for pharmacists
is expected to be favorable through the
1980’s. However, if the number of pharmacy
graduates continues to rise as rapidly as it has
in recent years, graduates may experience
competition for jobs. Employment growth is
expected to be faster than the average for all
occupations. Additional openings will result
from deaths, retirements, and other separa­
tions from the labor force.
Employment will grow as new pharmacies
are established in large residential areas,
small towns, and rural locations. Many com­
munity pharmacies are expected to hire addi­
tional pharmacists because of a trend to­
wards shorter working hours. Demand for
pharmacists also will be generated by such
factors as population growth; increased life
expectancy; greater demand for drugs, par­
ticularly among the elderly; availability of a
wider range of drug products for preventive
and therapeutic uses; the rising standard of
health care; and the growth of public and
private health insurance programs that pro­
vide payment for prescription drugs.

According to a survey conducted by the
American Association of Colleges of Phar­
macy, average annual salaries of full-time
personnel in colleges of pharmacy during
1978 were as follows: deans, about $42,000;
assistant and associate deans, about $32,000;
full professors, around $33,000; associate
professors, around $26,000; and assistant
professors, about $22,000.

Related Occupations
Pharmacists fill the prescriptions of physi­
cians, dentists, and other health practitioners
and are responsible for selecting, compound­
ing, dispensing, and preserving drugs and
medicines. Workers in other professions re­
quiring similar educational training and who
work with pharmaceutical compounds or
perform related duties include pharmaceuti­
cal bacteriologists, pharmaceutical chemists,
pharmaceutical-compounding supervisors,
and pharmacologists.

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on pharmacy as a
career, preprofessional and professional re­
quirements, programs offered by colleges of
pharmacy, and student financial aid is availa­
ble from:
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy,
Office of Student Affairs, 4630 Montgomery Ave.,
Suite 201, Bethesda, Md. 20014.

Employment of pharmacists in hospitals
and other health facilities is expected to rise
faster than in other work settings. Pharma­
cists increasingly provide direct patient care
and consultative services to physicians and
other professionals in health facilities. Phar­
macists with advanced training will be
needed for college teaching and top adminis­
trative posts.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores, 1911
Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Va. 22202.


General information on retail pharmacies
is available from:

Since many pharmacists are selfemployed, prospective pharmacists inter­
ested in this type of practice should have
some business capability, interest in medical
science, and the ability to gain the confidence
of clients. Honesty, integrity, and orderliness
are important attributes for the profession. In
addition, accuracy is needed to compound
and dispense medicines as well as keep rec­
ords required by law.

Salaries of pharmacists are generally in­
fluenced by the location, size, and type of
employer, as well as the duties and respon­
sibilities of the position. The average starting
salary for pharmacists working in hospitals
was about $17,000 a year in 1978, according
to a national survey conducted by the Uni­
versity of Texas Medical Branch; ex­
perienced hospital pharmacists averaged
about $21,000 a year. Pharmacists who do
consulting work in addition to their primary
job may have total earnings considerably
higher than this. Experienced pharmacists,
particularly owners or managers of pharma­
cies, often earn considerably more.

Pharmacists often begin as employees in

The minimum entrance salary in the Fed­

eral Government for a new graduate with a
bachelor’s degree from an approved phar­
macy degree program was about $13,000 a
year in 1979. However, most graduates quali­
fied for a beginning salary of about $15,900
a year; those with 2 years of graduate work,
about $19,300 a year. Pharmacists with addi­
tional years of experience may start at a
higher salary. The average salary for all fed­
erally employed pharmacists was about $20,800 in 1978.

General information on pharmacy is avail­
able from:
American Pharmaceutical Association, 2215 Con­
stitution Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20037.

Information about chain drugstores is
available from:

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

For a list of accredited colleges of phar­
macy, contact:
American Council on Pharmaceutical Education,
One East Wacker Dr., Chicago, 111. 60601.

Information on requirements for licensure
in a particular State is available from the
Board of Pharmacy of that State or from:
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, One
East Wacker Dr., Suite 2210, Chicago, 111. 60601.

Information on college entrance require­
ments, curriculums, and financial aid is avail­
able from the dean of any college of phar­


Social scientists study people and social
institutions. They investigate all aspects of
human society—from the fossilized remains
of prehistoric life to the latest television
shows. Social science research provides in­
sights that help us understand the many dif­
ferent ways in which individuals and groups
make decisions, exercise power, or respond to
change, for example. Through their studies
and analyses, social scientists assist educa­
tors, government officials, business leaders,
and others who need an understanding of the
dynamics of individual and group behavior.
Research is a basic activity for many social
scientists. They use established methods to
assemble a body of fact and theory that con­
tributes to human knowledge. Applied re­
search usually is designed to produce infor­
mation that will enable people to make better
decisions or manage their affairs more effec­
tively. Surveys are widely used in the social
sciences to collect facts, opinions, or other
information. Data collection takes many
other forms, however, including excavations
at an archeological “dig;” the analysis of his­
torical records and documents; aerial pho­
tography of the earth’s surface; experiments
with human subjects or lower animals in a
psychological laboratory; and the adminis­
tration of standardized tests and question­
The importance of surveys as a method of
collecting social science data has resulted in
statistics becoming an essential part of the
training for most social science careers.
Mathematics is also very important in most
disciplines. Indeed, the widespread introduc­
tion of mathematical and other quantitative
research methods in economics, political sci­
ence, experimental psychology, and other
fields is among the most important changes
in the social sciences in recent times. The
ability to use computers for research pur­
poses is a “must” in many disciplines.
Regardless of their field of specialization,
social scientists are concerned with some as­
pect of society, culture, or personality. An­
thropologists study the relics and ruins of an­
cient civilizations, analyze human physical
characteristics, and compare the customs,
values, and social patterns of different cul­
tures. Economists study the way we use our
resources to produce goods and services.
They compile and analyze data that explain
the costs and benefits of allocating resources
in different ways. Geographers study such
features of the earth’s surface as vegetation
and climate and interpret the relationship be­
tween geographic factors and human activ­
ity. Because geographers are concerned with
patterns of human settlement—why and how
people live where they do—their research OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


touches upon economics, politics, health, and
culture. Historians describe and interpret the
people, ideas, institutions, and events of the
past and present. Political scientists investi­
gate the ways in which political power is
amassed and used. Studying such topics as
public opinion, political decisionmaking, and
ideology, they analyze the structure and op­
eration of governments and examine infor­
mal political entities as well. Psychologists
study human behavior and use their expertise
to counsel or advise individuals or groups.
Their research also assists advertisers, politi­
cians, and others interested in influencing or
motivating people. Sociologists analyze the
behavior of groups or social systems such as
families, neighborhoods, or clubs.
Besides the occupations described in this
section, a number of related fields are cov­
ered elsewhere in the Handbook. See the
statements on lawyers, urban planners, city
managers, statisticians, mathematicians, pro­
grammers, systems analysts, marketing re­
search workers, newspaper reporters, social
workers, college and university teachers, col­
lege student personnel workers, and counsel­
ing occupations.
The Ph. D. is a minimum requirement for
most positions in colleges and universities
and is important for advancement to many
top-level nonacademic posts. Graduates with
master’s degrees have more limited profes­
sional opportunities, although the situation
varies a great deal by field. Bachelor’s degree
holders have even more limited opportunities
and in most social science occupations do not

qualify for “professional” positions. The
bachelor’s degree does, however, provide a
suitable background for many different kinds
of “junior professional” jobs, such as re­
search assistant, administrative aide, or
The seven social science occupations pro­
vided employment for about 335,000 persons
in 1978. The interdisciplinary nature of the
various fields makes it difficult to determine
the exact size of each profession. Economics
and psychology are the largest fields; anthro­
pology is the smallest.
Many social scientists work in colleges and
universities, where they characteristically
combine teaching with research and consult­
ing. The importance of the academic world as
a source of employment varies by discipline,
however. Economists and psychologists are
much more heavily involved in nonacademic,
“applied” pursuits than are other social
scientists. The predominance of academic
employment in such disciplines as anthropol­
ogy and sociology may cause problems in the
future since little if any employment growth
is anticipated in the academic sector through
the 1980’s, a reflection of declining college
enrollments. Compared to the past, few aca­
demic positions will be available, and efforts
are underway to acquaint new graduates with
“alternative” or “nontraditional” career op­
portunities in such applied areas as program
administration and evaluation research. Such
positions are available in Federal, State, and
local government agencies; research organi­
zations and consulting firms; hospitals and

Economists and psychologists comprise
the two largest social science occupations

Employment, 1978 (thousands)
Political scientists
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




other health facilities; labor unions, trade as­
sociations, nonprofit organizations, and busi­
ness firms.
The number of advanced degrees awarded
in the social sciences through the 1980’s is
expected to exceed job openings, producing a
highly competitive outlook for professional
positions traditionally requiring a doctorate.
Job prospects are better in some disciplines
than in others. As in the past, top graduates
of leading universities will have a decided
advantage in competing for jobs, especially
for the limited number of academic jobs.
Other considerations that affect employment
opportunities in the social sciences include
degree level; field of specialization; specific
skills and/or experience; desired work set­
ting; salary requirements; and geographic
mobility. More detailed information about
the employment outlook in individual social
science occupations appears in the following

(D.O.T. 055.067 and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Anthropologists study people—their evo­
lution and physical characteristics, and the
cultures they create. The domain is broad;
anthropologists study people’s traditions, be­
liefs, customs, languages, material posses­
sions, social relationships, and value systems.
They generally concentrate in one of four
subfields: Cultural anthropology, ar­
cheology, linguistics, or physical anthropol­
Most anthropologists specialize in cultural
anthropology, sometimes called ethnology.
Ethnologists study the customs, culture, and
social life of groups, and may spend months
or years living with a group to learn about its
way of life. These anthropologists may learn
another language or adopt new customs
while observing and studying a group. Eth­
nographic research may focus on a particular
institution or aspect of group life such as kin­
ship, personality, art, law, religion, econom­
ics, or ecological adaptation. The field lends
itself to comparative studies, such as those on
different societies’ attitudes towards old age.
In recent years, ethnologists have ventured
beyond their traditional concern with nonindustrialized societies. More and more, their
research deals with groups found in modem
urban societies: Ghetto inhabitants, drug ad­
dicts, politicians, and business leaders, for ex­
Archeologists study cultures from artifacts
and other remains in the ground. Using
scientific techniques for dating and analyzing
everything they find, archeologists gather
and examine the remains of homes, tools,
clothing, ornaments, and other evidences of
human life and activity to reconstruct the
inhabitants’ history and customs. Archeolog­
ical fieldwork takes place wherever people

These archeologists are discussing discoveries made during a recent trip to Africa.
once lived. Sites are found in all parts of the
world, and they span many centuries—from
ancient times up to the present. In a desert in
New Mexico, for example, archeologists have
uncovered an ancient kiva—an Indian reli­
gious chamber. In a cave by the Dead Sea,
they have found pieces of ancient scrolls sev­
eral thousand years old. Extensive excava­
tions at the huge Cahokia site just across the
Mississippi River from St. Louis have permit­
ted reconstruction of the Indian town as it
appeared in the 12th century and provided
clues as to the social and economic life of the
inhabitants. In recent years, support has
grown for archeological study of relatively
modem communities—American colonial
settlements and 19th century industrial
towns, for example.
Linguistic anthropologists study the role of
language in various cultures. They examine
the sounds and structure of a society’s lan­
guage and relate these to people’s behavior
and thought patterns. Their research tells us,
for example, that the way people use lan­
guage may influence the way they think
about things.
Physical anthropologists are concerned
with humans as biological organisms. They
study the evolution of the human body and
look for the earliest evidence of human life.
They also do research on racial groups and
may explore, for example, the effect of hered­

ity and environment on different races. Their
work requires extensive training in anatomy,
biology, chemistry, genetics, and the study of
primates (the order of mammals that in­
cludes humans, apes, and monkeys). A physi­
cal anthropologist might study children’s
growth and development or teach a chimpan­
zee to communicate with sign language. A
knowledge of body structure enables these
anthropologists to work as consultants on
projects as diverse as the design of military
equipment and the sizing of clothing. Anthropometrists specialize in the measurement
of the body or skeleton.
Anthropologists, like other social scien­
tists, are research-oriented. Most, however,
combine fieldwork or other forms of an­
thropological research with other activities:
Teaching, writing, consulting, or administer­
ing programs. Moreover, a growing number
of anthropologists specialize in applied an­
thropology, they concern themselves first and
foremost with practical applications for re­
search findings. Medical anthropologists, for
example, may study cultural attitudes to­
wards medicine and health care to help for­
mulate a health program for a particular
group. Some medical schools hire medical
anthropologists as instructors. Urban an­
thropologists study complex, industrialized
societies and examine the influence of city life
upon people and their institutions. Some an­
thropologists work with architects, design­


ers, and land use experts in planning commu­
nity development projects. Others advise so­
cial service agencies; their cross-cultural in­
sights enable them to help improve the
delivery of health, counseling, nutritional,
and other services to particular population
groups. Still other anthropologists use their
knowledge of ethnic customs and values to
help educators improve the effectiveness of
classroom teaching and increase parental in­
volvement. The advice of anthropologists has
been sought in the planning of bilingual edu­
cation programs, for example.
Preparing cultural environmental impact
statements is an increasingly important activ­
ity for anthropologists, as it is for other social
scientists. In many communities, environ­
mental protection and historic preservation
laws require local authorities to identify his­
toric areas which may be affected by develop­
ment or renovation plans. Typically, those
proposing to build something new or demol­
ish something old are required to suggest
ways of avoiding or lessening any adverse
impacts. Generally, the research and writing
involved in preparing an impact statement
are done on a consultant basis by anthropolo­
gists associated with museums, colleges and
universities, research institutes, or private
consulting firms. In some cases, anthropolo­
gists are hired by highway commissions or
planning departments to prepare impact

Working Conditions
Dividing their time among teaching, re­
search, and administrative responsibilities,
anthropologists employed by colleges and
universities have flexible work schedules. On
the other hand, anthropologists working in
government agencies and private firms have
much more structured work schedules. An­
thropologists often work alone behind a desk,
reading, analyzing data, and writing up the
results of their research. Many experience the
pressures of deadlines, tight schedules, and
heavy workloads, and sometimes must work
overtime. Their routine may be interrupted
by numerous telephone calls, letters, special
requests for information, meetings, or confer­
Only when anthropologists participate in
field research do their working conditions
differ. Under these circumstances, they are
an integral part of a research team. Field­
work may require traveling to remote areas,
working under adverse weather conditions,
living in primitive housing, and adjusting to
different cultural environments. Physical
stamina is important because anthropologists
doing fieldwork may have to lift equipment,
walk considerable distances, and spend long
hours digging. In other words, fieldwork can
be arduous physical labor—relieved, how­
ever, by the hope that some new insight into
human society may result.

Places of Employment
About 7,000 persons worked as an­
thropologists in 1978. About 4 out of 5 an­



thropologists work in colleges and universi­
ties, where they teach and do research and
consulting work. (More detailed information
may be found in the Handbook statement on
college and university faculty.)
The Federal Government employs several
hundred anthropologists, chiefly in the De­
partments of Interior, State, Agriculture, and
the Army, and in the Smithsonian Institu­
tion. Anthropologists who work for State and
local governments are primarily involved in
community development planning, health
planning, archeological research, and his­
toric preservation. A number of them have
administrative jobs in museums.
Some anthropologists work for consulting
firms or operate their own consulting ser­
vices. They conduct research and prepare
proposals for government agencies, commu­
nity organizations, citizens’ groups, and busi­
ness firms. Some consultants specialize in
overseas development projects.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Students who want to become anthropolo­
gists should obtain the Ph. D. degree. College
graduates with bachelor’s degrees often get
temporary positions and assistantships in
graduate departments where they are work­
ing for advanced degrees. A master’s degree,
plus field experience, is sufficient for many
beginning professional positions, but promo­
tion to top positions generally is reserved for
individuals who have a Ph. D. degree. Col­
leges and universities require a Ph. D. for
permanent teaching appointments. Persons
with a master’s or bachelor’s degree in an­
thropology may qualify for research and ad­
ministrative positions in government and pri­
vate firms.
A student interested in anthropology
should acquire a broad background in the
social and physical sciences and in languages.
Mathematics, statistics, and computer sci­
ence are increasingly important research
tools. Undergraduates may begin their field
training in archeology by arranging, through
their university departments, to accompany
expeditions as laborers or to attend field
schools established for training. They may
later become supervisors in charge of the dig­
ging or collection of material and finally may
direct a portion of the work of the expedition.
Ethnologists and linguists usually do their
fieldwork independently. Most anthropolo­
gists base their doctoral dissertations on data
collected through field research; they are
therefore experienced fieldworkers by the
time they earn the Ph. D. degree.
The Federal Government generally re­
quires a college degree with 24 semester
hours in anthropology for entry level posi­
tions as anthropologists and 20 semester
hours in anthropology, including one course
in American archeology, for archeologists.
However, because competition for Federal
jobs is keen, additional education or experi­
ence may be required.

Over 300 colleges and universities have
bachelor’s degree programs in anthropology;
some 160 offer master’s degree programs and
about 90, doctoral programs. The choice of a
graduate school is very important. Students
interested in museum work should select a
school associated with a museum that has
anthropological collections. Similarly, those
interested in archeology either should choose
a university that offers opportunities for sum­
mer experience in archeological fieldwork or
attend an archeological field school else­
where during summer vacations.
Interdisciplinary studies are an important
part of an anthropologist’s professional train­
ing, for anthropology embraces all aspects of
life and overlaps many other disciplines, each
with its own tradition and body of knowl­
edge. To bring anthropological insights to
bear on projects centered in another disci­
pline—bilingual education is a good example
—the anthropologist may have to learn the­
ory and techniques from another field. For
this reason, some departments of anthropol­
ogy are combined with other departments
such as sociology or geography.
Some anthropology students seek to
broaden their employment possibilities by
pursuing courses or degrees in other areas
including law, medicine, public administra­
tion, and education.
Anthropologists should have a special in­
terest in natural history and social studies
and enjoy reading, research, and writing.
Creativity and intellectual curiosity are es­
sential to success in this field. In addition,
anthropologists must be objective and sys­
tematic in their work. Perseverance is essen­
tial, particularly for archeologists who may
spend years accumulating and piecing to­
gether artifacts from ancient civilizations.
The ability to analyze data and think logi­
cally also is important. Anthropologists must
be able to speak and write well to communi­
cate the results of their work effectively.

Employment Outlook
Employment of anthropologists is ex­
pected to increase about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. How­
ever, nearly all of the anticipated employ­
ment growth will occur in nonacademic jobs
—notably in consulting firms, research insti­
tutes, corporations, and Federal, State and
local government agencies. Among the fac­
tors contributing to growth in the occupation
is environmental, historic, and cultural re­
source preservation legislation. This is ex­
pected to create opportunities for various
kinds of anthropologists to work full time or
on a temporary contract basis for consulting
firms, government agencies, academic insti­
tutions, and museums. Growing interest in
ethnic studies may spur demand for an­
thropological research in that area.
College and university teaching, which
will remain the largest area of employment
for anthropologists, is likely to experience lit­
tle growth due to the projected slowdown in
college enrollments.

The number of qualified anthropologists
seeking to enter the field is expected to ex­
ceed available positions. As a result, doctor­
ate holders may face keen competition
through the 1980’s, particularly for jobs in
colleges and universities. Some are expected
to accept temporary appointments with little
or no hope of gaining tenure. Graduates with
master’s degrees are expected to face very
keen competition, although some may find
jobs in junior colleges and government and
private agencies. The few bachelor’s degree
holders who do find jobs as anthropologists
may have very limited advancement oppor­
tunities within the profession. Some teaching
positions may be available in high schools for
those who meet State certification require­

For information about careers (including
opportunities for contract work in ar­
cheology and historic preservation and State
employment opportunities for archeologists);
job openings; grants and fellowships; and
schools that offer training in anthropology,

Overall, specialties offering the best em­
ployment prospects include archeology and
physical, medical, and urban anthropology.

The American Anthropological Association and
the Society for American Archeology, 1703 New
Hampshire Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20009.

According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s de­
gree candidates in the social sciences received
offers averaging around $10,700 a year; mas­
ter’s degree candidates in the social sciences,
around $13,200.
Based on limited information, starting sal­
aries in private industry and government for
anthropologists with a Ph. D. degree were
generally about $18,000 a year in 1978. Mas­
ter’s degree holders generally started at $15,000 to $18,000 a year.
The results of a 1978 American Anthropo­
logical Association survey of departments of
anthropology included data on faculty sala­
ries. The average beginning salary for new
faculty members without full-time teaching
experience was in the range of $14,000 to
$15,000 for persons with a Ph. D. and $11,500 to $13,500 for persons without a Ph. D.
Faculty salaries varied widely but generally
were lower in departments granting only
bachelor’s degrees than in departments
granting graduate degrees. Most professors
earned from $18,000 to over $30,000 a year;
associate professors, $15,000 to $27,000; as­
sistant professors, $12,000 to $24,000; and
instructors, $12,000 to $18,000.
The Federal Government recognizes edu­
cation and experience in certifying applicants
for entry level positions. Anthropologists
having a bachelor’s degree could begin at
$10,507 or $13,014 a year in 1979, depending
upon the applicant’s academic record and ex­
perience. The starting salary for those having
a master’s degree generally was $15,920 a
year; for those having a Ph. D., $19,263. An­
thropologists in the Federal Government
averaged around $31,200 in 1978; archeolo­
gists, around $17,900.
Many anthropologists in colleges and uni­
versities supplement their regular salaries
with earnings from other sources such as
summer teaching, research grants, and con­
sulting fees.

Related Occupations
Like anthropologists, people in several
other occupations are concerned with under­
standing how social institutions operate.
Among them are economists, geographers,
historians, political scientists, psychologists,
sociologists, urban planners, marketing re­
search workers, and newspaper reporters.

Sources of Additional Information

For information on careers and fieldwork
opportunities in archeology, contact:
The Archeological Institute of America, 53 Park
Place, New York, N.Y. 10007.

(D.O.T. 050 and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Economists study the way a society uses
scarce resources such as land, labor, raw
materials, and machinery to provide goods
and services. They plan and conduct re­
search, then compile and analyze the results,
in order to determine the costs and benefits
of making, distributing, and using resources
in a particular way. Their research might
focus on such topics as energy costs, infla­
tion, business cycles, unemployment, tax pol­
icy, or farm prices.
Some economists are primarily theoreti­
cians. They may develop theories to explain
the causes of inflation, for example, through
the use of mathematical models. Most econo­
mists, however, are concerned with practical
applications of economic policy in a particu­
lar area, such as finance, labor, agriculture,
transportation, energy, or health. They use
their understanding of economic relation­
ships to advise business firms, insurance
companies, banks, securities firms, industry
associations, labor unions, and others.
Depending on the topic they’re studying,
economists may have to devise methods and
procedures for obtaining the data they need.
Sampling techniques may be used in conduct­
ing a survey, for example, and econometric
modeling techniques may be used to develop
projections. Preparing reports usually is an
important part of the economist’s job. He or
she may be called upon to review and analyze
all the relevant data, prepare tables and
charts, and write up the results in clear, con­
cise language.
Being able to present economic and statis­

tical concepts in a meaningful way is particu­
larly important for economists whose re­
search is policy directed. Economists who
work for business firms may be asked to pro­
vide management with information to make
decisions on marketing and pricing of com­
pany products; to look at the advisability of
adding new lines of merchandise, opening
new branches, or diversifying the company’s
operations; to analyze the effect of changes in
the tax laws; or to prepare economic and
business forecasts. Business economists
working for firms that carry on operations
abroad may be asked to prepare forecasts of
foreign economic conditions.
Economists who work for government
agencies assess economic conditions in the
United States and abroad and predict the ec­
onomic impact of specific changes in legisla­
tion or public policy. They study such ques­
tions as the effect on youth unemployment of
changes in minimum wage legislation, for ex­
ample. Most government economists are in
the fields of agriculture, business, finance,
labor, transportation, or international trade.
For example, economists in the U.S. Depart­
ment of Commerce study domestic produc­
tion, distribution, and consumption of com­
modities or services; those in the Federal
Trade Commission prepare industry analyses
to assist in enforcing Federal statutes de­
signed to eliminate unfair, deceptive, or
monopolistic practices in interstate com­
merce; and those in the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics plan surveys and analyze data on
prices, wages, employment, and productivity.
Economists in colleges and universities
teach the theories, principles, and methods of
economics. In addition, economics faculty
members conduct research, write, and en­
gage in other nonteaching activities. They
frequently are asked to serve as consultants
to business firms, government agencies, and
individuals. (For more information on jobs in
colleges and universities, see the Handbook
statement on college and university faculty.)

Working Conditions
Economists employed by colleges and uni­
versities have flexible work schedules, divid­
ing their time among teaching, research, and
administrative responsibilities. Economists
working for government agencies and private
firms, on the other hand, have much more
structured work schedules. They often work
alone with only books, statistical charts,
computers, and calculators for company. Or
they may be an integral part of a research
team on some assigned projects. Most econo­
mists work under pressure of deadlines, tight
schedules, and heavy workloads, and some­
times must work overtime. Their routine
may be interrupted by telephone calls, letters,
special requests for data, meetings, or confer­
ences. Travel may be necessary to collect
data or attend conferences.

Places of Employment
Economics is the largest social science
field. About 130,000 persons worked as


nomic development of selected areas; money
and banking; international economics; public
finance; industrial organization; labor eco­
nomics; comparative economic systems; eco­
nomics of national planning; urban economic
problems and policies; marketing principles
and organization; consumer analysis; organi­
zational behavior; and business law.
A bachelor’s degree with a major in eco­
nomics is sufficient for many beginning re­
search, administrative, management trainee,
and business sales jobs. However, graduate
training increasingly is required for advance­
ment to more responsible positions as econo­
mists. Areas of specialization at the graduate
level include advanced economic theory,
comparative economic systems and planning,
econometrics, economic development, eco­
nomic history, environmental and natural re­
source economics, history of economic
thought, industrial oganization, institutional
economics, international economics, labor
economics, monetary economics, public fi­
nance, regional and urban economics, and
social policy. Students should select graduate
schools strong in specialties in which they are
interested. Some schools help graduate stu­
dents find internships or part-time employ­
ment in government agencies or economic
research firms. The work experience and
contacts can be useful in testing career pref­
erences and learning how the job market for
economists really works.
In the Federal Government, candidates for
entrance positions generally need a college
degree with a minimum of 21 semester hours
of economics and 3 hours of statistics, ac­
counting, or calculus. However, because
competition for Federal jobs is keen, addi­
tional education or experience may be re­

Economists examining a chart on business activity in the United States during 1972.
economists in 1978. About 3 out of 4 of these
jobs are in private industry, including manu­
facturing firms, banks, insurance companies,
securities and investment companies, eco­
nomic research firms, and management con­
sulting firms. Colleges and universities and
government agencies at all levels employ
most other economists. Some, however, run
their own consulting businesses. A number of
economists combine a full-time job in govern­
ment, business, or an academic institution
with part-time or consulting work in another
Economists work in all large cities and uni­
versity towns. The largest number are in the
New York City and the Washington, D.C.,
metropolitan areas. Some work abroad for
companies with major international opera­
tions; for the Departments of State, Com­
merce, Agriculture, and other U.S. Govern­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


ment agencies; and for international organ­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Economists must have a thorough under­
standing of economic theory and of mathe­
matical methods of economic analysis. Since
many beginning jobs for economists in gov­
ernment and business involve the collection
and compilation of data, a thorough knowl­
edge of basic statistical procedures is re­
quired. In addition to courses in macroeco­
nomics, microeconomics, econometrics, and
business and economic statistics, training in
computer science is highly recommended.
At the undergraduate level, courses in the
following subjects also are valuable: Business
cycles; economic and business history; eco­

A master’s degree generally is the mini­
mum requirement for a job as a college in­
structor in m any junior colleges and small
4-year schools. In some colleges and universi­
ties, however, a Ph. D. degree is necessary for
appointment as a teaching assistant or in­
structor. The Ph. D. degree is required for a
professorship and is necessary to gain tenure,
which is becoming increasingly difficult to
In government, industry, research organi­
zations, and consulting firms, economists
who have a graduate degree usually can qual­
ify for more responsible research and ad­
ministrative positions. A Ph. D. may be nec­
essary for top positions in some organi­
zations. Experienced business economists
may advance to managerial or executive posi­
tions in banks, industrial concerns, trade as­
sociations, and other organizations where
they formulate practical business and ad­
ministrative policy.
About 1,500 colleges and universities offer
bachelor’s degree programs in economics;
about 260, master’s; and about 120, doctoral
Persons who consider careers as econo­
mists should be able to work accurately with

detail since much time is spent on data analy­
sis. Patience and persistence are necessary
because economists may spend long hours on
independent study and problem solving. So­
ciability enables economists to work easily
with others. Economists must be objective
and systematic in their work and must be
able to express themselves effectively both
orally and in writing. Creativity and intellec­
tual curiosity are essential to success in this
field, just as they are in other areas of scien­
tific endeavor.

dustry and government. Those with a strong
background in marketing and finance may
have the best prospects in business. Ph. D.’s
are likely to face competition for academic
positions, although those graduating from
high-ranking universities may have an ad­
vantage. Generalists with a strong back­
ground in mathematics and statistics who
can teach an applied area are in greatest de­
mand. Ph. D.’s should have favorable oppor­
tunities in government, industry, research or­
ganizations, and consulting firms.

Employment Outlook

Generally, a strong background in eco­
nomic theory and econometrics provides the
tools for acquiring any specialty within the
field. Those skilled in quantitative techniques
and their application to economic modeling
and forecasting are likely to have the best job

Employment of economists is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. However, about as
many openings will result from deaths, retire­
ments, and other separations from the labor
force as from employment growth.
Business and industry, research organiza­
tions, and consulting firms will continue to
provide the largest number of employment
opportunities for economists, reflecting the
complexity of the domestic and international
economies and increased reliance on quan­
titative methods of analyzing business trends,
forecasting sales, and planning purchases and
production operations. Employers will ac­
cordingly seek economists well trained in
econometrics and statistics.
The continued need for economic analyses
on the part of lawyers, accountants, engi­
neers, health administrators, urban planners,
and others will also contribute to an increase
in the number of jobs for economists. Em­
ployment of economists in State and local
government agencies is expected to increase
in response to the heavy responsibilities of
local authorities in such areas as housing,
transportation, environment and natural re­
sources, health, and employment develop­
ment and training. Employment of econo­
mists in the Federal Government is expected
to rise slowly—in line with the rate of growth
projected for the Federal work force as a
whole. Little or no employment growth is
expected in colleges and universities, the tra­
ditional employer of many highly qualified
economists. As a result, many such econo­
mists are expected to enter nonacademic po­
Persons who graduate with a bachelor’s
degree in economics through the 1980’s are
likely to face keen competition for jobs as
economists. However, many of these degree
holders will find employment in government,
industry, and business as management or
sales trainees, or as research or administra­
tive assistants. Those with strong back­
grounds in mathematics, statistics, and com­
puter science may be hired by private firms
for marketing research work. Candidates
who hold master’s degrees in economics face
very strong competition for teaching posi­
tions in colleges and universities, although
some may gain positions in junior and com­
munity colleges. However, they should find
good opportunities for administrative, re­
search, and planning positions in private in­

a Ph. D. could begin at $19,263. Economists
in the Federal Government averaged around
$27,700 in 1978. Economists work in many
government agencies, primarily in the De­
partments of State; Treasury; Army; Inte­
rior; Agriculture; Commerce; Labor; Health,
Education, and Welfare; Housing and Urban
Development; and Transportation.
Based on a 1978 State government salary
survey, average salaries for economists (posi­
tions requiring a bachelor’s degree) ranged
from about $12,200 to $16,200; for principal
economists (positions requiring a master’s
degree and experience), from $17,000 to $22,700; and for chiefs of economic research (po­
sitions requiring a master’s degree and exten­
sive administrative or supervisory experi­
ence), from $21,600 to $28,200.

Related Occupations
According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s de­
gree candidates in economics received offers
averaging around $12,200 a year; master’s
degree candidates in the social sciences,
around $13,200; bachelor’s degree candidates
offered positions in the field of finance and
economics, around $12,100.
According to an American Economic As­
sociation survey, average salaries of econo­
mists employed in college and university de­
partments that offered the Ph. D. degree for
the academic year 1977-78 were as follows:
For professors, about $29,500; for associate
professors, about $21,500; for assistant
professors, about $17,100; and for instruc­
tors, about $13,300. Average salaries were
lower in departments that offered only the
master’s or bachelor’s degree.
The median base salary of business econo­
mists in 1978 was $33,000, according to a
National Association of Business Economists
survey. About one-half of the respondents
reported additional compensation from their
primary employment while about one-third
reported income from secondary employ­
ment. Economists in general administration
and economic advisors commanded the high­
est salaries while statisticians, econometri­
cians, and teachers had the lowest base sala­
ries. By industry, the highest paid business
economists were in the securities and invest­
ment, mining, or consulting fields.
Those with a Ph. D. reported the highest
salaries while there was relatively little salary
difference between master’s and bachelor’s
degree holders. A substantial number of
economists supplement their salaries by con­
sulting, teaching, and research activities.
The Federal Government recognizes edu­
cation and experience in certifying applicants
for entry level positions. In general, the en­
trance salary for economists having a bache­
lor’s degree was was $10,507 a year in 1979;
however, those with superior academic rec­
ords could begin at $13,014. Those having a
master’s degree could qualify for positions at
an annual salary of $15,920, while those with

Economists are concerned with under­
standing and interpreting financial matters.
Others with jobs in this area include financial
analysts, bank officers, accountants, under­
writers, actuaries, securities sales workers,
appraisers, credit analysts, loan officers, and
budget officers.

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

For additional information on careers in
business economics, contact:
National Association of Business Economists,
28349 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 201, Cleveland, Ohio

(D.O.T. 018.131-010, .261, .262-010, and .281-010;
029.067 and .167-010; and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Geographers do research on a wide range
of social, economic, and environmental is­
sues. They study the spatial distribution and
location of various characteristics of the
earth’s surface. Such studies help to explain
changing patterns of human settlement—
where people live, why they are located there,
and how they earn a living.
Geographers are involved in a variety of
activities. Most are college or university
teachers and, like other faculty members, do
research and consulting in addition to teach­
ing. (For more information, see the Hand­
book statement on college and university fac­
ulty.) Other geographers are primarily
researchers or analysts. They prepare reports
and recommendations and may work for
consulting firms, research organizations,
business and industrial firms, or government
agencies. Some geographers use their special­


ized knowledge and research skills in plan­
ning or administrative jobs in such fields as
economic development or environmental re­
source management.
Depending on their training and field of
interest—or on a client’s needs—a geogra­
pher might examine the distribution of landforms; study variations in climate, soils, or
vegetation; or analyze such resources as
water and minerals. Like other social scien­
tists, geographers are concerned with human
resources, and frequently their research over­
laps that of other disciplines. Thus, a geogra­
pher might study political organizations,
transportation systems, marketing systems,
patterns of industrial development, housing,
or public health.
Research techniques depend on the topic
under study. However, field study, including
interviews and the use of surveying and
meteorological instruments, is a standard
technique. In addition, geographers analyze
maps, aerial photographs, and data transmit­
ted by remote sensing equipment on satel­
lites. Some geographers construct maps,
graphs, and diagrams in the course of their
research. Geographers typically make use of
advanced statistical techniques and mathe­
matical models—and, frequently, a computer
—when they analyze or map the data they
have obtained.
Geographers specialize, as a rule. Eco­
nomic geographers deal with the geographic
distribution of an area’s economic activities
—manufacturing, mining, forestry, agricul­
ture, trade, and communications. Their re­
search might be used for feasibility studies, to
determine the costs and benefits of putting
resources to use in a particular way. Political
geographers are concerned with the relation­
ship of geography to politics. They might be
asked to help define and describe political
boundaries, including those of cities, coun-

ties, and administrative subdivisions, as well
as offshore areas. Urban geographers study
cities. They provide background information
and make recommendations in such areas as
community development, population policy,
housing, transportation, and industrial devel­
The physical characteristics of the earth
are the focus of physical geographers. They
are concerned with the impact of the con­
figuration of the earth’s surface on human
activities and study the earth’s relief, drain­
age, vegetation patterns, wildlife distribu­
tion, and climates. They also study the ef­
fect of physical characteristics on navigation
and other activities. Typically, they special­
ize in a particular branch of physical geog­
raphy such as geomorphology—the study of
landforms—or hydrology—the study of
climatology use atmospheric data to de­
scribe overall climatic conditions and to do
research into the causes of climatic change.
They may determine the significance of cli­
matic conditons for defense, conservation,
agriculture, health, transportation, market­
ing, and other activities.
Regional geographers study the physical,
climatic, economic, political, and cultural
characteristics of a particular region or area,
which may range in size from a river basin to
a State, a country, or even a continent. In
addition to an understanding of the geogra­
phy of a region, some knowledge of its his­
tory, customs, and languages may be neces­
Cartographers compile and interpret data
and design and construct maps and charts.
They also conduct research in surveying and
mapping techniques and procedures.
Medical geographers study the effect of the
environment on health and take into account
such factors as climate, vegetation, mineral
traces in water, and atmospheric pollution.
They work with public health officials, bio­
statisticians, and others to determine how
our health is influenced by our physical sur­
roundings—including access to health-care
Geographers may specialize even further
in other subfields, including agricultural ge­
ography, biogeography, conservation, cul­
tural geography, geographical methods and
techniques, historical geography, location
theory, population geography, remote sens­
ing, rural geography, social geography, and

These geographers are making use of mapping
and statistical techniques in their study of forms.



Formal training in geography provides the
background for a wide range ofjobs requiring
expertise in environmental resources, re­
gional planning, and social science research.
Examples of such jobs are aerial photo inter­
preter, climatologist, community develop­
ment specialist, ecologist, intelligence ana­
lyst, map analyst, land economist, marketing
analyst, regional planner, research analyst,
site researcher, and transportation planner.
Jobs such as these generally require knowl­
edge not only of geography, but of other dis­

ciplines as well. Particularly useful are com­
binations of geography with economics,
political science, sociology, anthropology, ge­
ology, or urban planning.

Working Conditions
Geographers employed by colleges and
universities have flexible work schedules, di­
viding their time among teaching, research,
and administrative responsibilities. Geogra­
phers working for government agencies and
private firms, on the other hand, have much
more structured work schedules. They often
work alone behind a desk or a drafting table,
reading and writing reports on their research
or constructing maps and charts. Many expe­
rience the pressures of deadlines and tight
schedules and sometimes must work over­
time. Their routine may be interrupted by
telephone calls, letters, special requests for
information, meetings, or conferences.
Increasingly, geographers conduct re­
search and surveying operations in the field.
Under these circumstances, they are an inte­
gral part of a research team. Fieldwork may
require traveling to remote areas, working
under severe weather conditions, living in
primitive housing, and adjusting to different
cultural environments. Physical stamina also
is important because fieldwork requires long
working hours, occasionally under adverse

Places of Employment
About 10,000 persons worked as geogra­
phers in 1978. Colleges and universities em­
ploy over half of all geographers. The Federal
Government also is an important employer
of geographers, and many work in the Wash­
ington, D.C. area. For these geographers,
employed mostly by mapping and intelli­
gence agencies, skills in cartography, photogrammetry, and remote sensing data inter­
pretation are important.
The principal Federal employers are the
Departments of Defense, Interior, Com­
merce, and Agriculture. Other agencies in­
clude the Departments of State; Transporta­
tion; Education, and Health and Human
Services; and Energy; the Environmental
Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA); and the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA).
Geographers employed by State and local
governments work mostly in the fields of
urban and regional planning, economic de­
velopment, and community development.
Private industry employs some geogra­
phers as researchers and planners; often, they
specialize in location analysis. Geographers
work for textbook and map publishers, travel
agencies, manufacturing firms, real estate de­
velopment corporations, insurance compa­
nies, communications and transportation
firms, and chainstores. Some work for scien­
tific foundations and research organizations
or run their own research or consulting busi­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The minimum educational requirement for
beginning positions in geography in govern­
ment, industry, or secondary schools usually
is a bachelor’s degree with a major in the
field. However, a master’s degree increas­
ingly is required for many entry level posi­
tions. Applicants to entry level jobs would
find it helpful to have training in a specialty
such as cartography, photogrammetry, re­
mote sensing data interpretation, statistical
analysis including computer science, or envi­
ronmental analysis.
A master’s degree is the minimum require­
ment for the position of college instructor in
junior colleges and some 4-year schools, and
is important for advancement in business and
government. However, a Ph. D. or advance­
ment into doctoral candidacy is required for
a first appointment at some institutions of
higher education. A Ph. D. degree and a re­
cord of significant published research is re­
quired for a professorship and is necessary to
gain tenure. The Ph. D. degree also is neces­
sary for many senior level planning, research,
and administrative positions in government,
industry, research organizations, and con­
sulting firms.
In the Federal Government, geographers
generally must have a college degree with a
minimum of 24 semester hours in geography
or related fields. Cartographers need a col­
lege degree including at least 18 hours in one
or a combination of the following: Cartogra­
phy, photogrammetry, geodesy, or plane sur­
veying. However, because competition for
Federal jobs is keen, additional education or
experience may be required.
About 340 colleges and universities offered
programs in geography in 1978. Some de­
partments of geography are combined with
other disciplines such as urban planning or
geology. To further illustrate the interdisci­
plinary nature of the field, courses in remote
sensing and photogrammetry often are of­
fered in departments of geography as well as
geology, forestry, or engineering. Under­
graduate study provides a general introduc­
tion to the field of geography and often in­
cludes field study. Research methods and
writing skills also are taught. Typical courses
offered are physical geography, cultural ge­
ography, climatology and meteorology, eco­
nomic geography, political geography, urban
geography, and quantitative methods in ge­
ography. Courses in cartography, photo­
grammetry, remote sensing, historical geog­
raphy, ecology, natural resource planning,
social geography, geography of transporta­
tion, geographic aspects of pollution, and ge­
ography of various regions also are offered.
Geography majors should take appropriate
electives in other departments. For example,
courses in economics, architecture, urban
planning, and urban and rural sociology are
important for planners; courses in drawing,
design, computer science, and mathematics
are important for cartographers; and courses

in physics, botany, and geology are impor­
tant for physical geographers.
In 1978, about 140 institutions offered
master’s degree programs; 56 offered Ph. D.
programs. Applicants for advanced degrees
are required to have a bachelor’s degree in
one of the social or physical sciences with a
substantial background in geography. The
program of graduate study includes field and
laboratory work as well as course work in
geography and a thesis. Graduate schools
also require course work in advanced mathe­
matics, statistics, and computer science be­
cause of the increasing importance of quan­
titative research methods. A language may be
required for those students who plan to spe­
cialize in foreign regional geography. In rec­
ognition of the increasing importance of ap­
plied research, academic programs are
putting more emphasis on preparing in­
dividuals to apply their knowledge to the so­
lution of practical problems.
Students should select graduate schools
that offer appropriate areas of specialization
and good research opportunities in nearby
libraries, archives, laboratories, and field sta­
tions. Internships or part-time employment
for graduate students often may be available
in government agencies or research, scien­
tific, or industrial firms.
Persons who want to become geographers
should enjoy reading, studying, and research­
ing because they must keep abreast of devel­
opments in the field. Creativity and intellec­
tual curiosity are important because
geographers work with abstract ideas and
theories as well as doing practical studies.
Patience and persistence help, because geog­
raphers spend long hours on independent
study and problem solving. They also must
be objective and systematic in their work.
The ability to communicate ideas effectively,
both orally and in writing, is important in
this field, as it is in any research-oriented job.
The ability to work well with others is often
important. Geographers who handle preci­
sion drafting tools need manual dexterity.

Employment Outlook
Employment of geographers is expected to
grow about as fast as the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s. Most openings
are likely to result from deaths, retirements,
and other separations from the labor force.
Little or no employment growth is an­
ticipated in colleges and universities, the tra­
ditional employer of many highly qualified
geographers; as a result, many such geogra­
phers are expected to seek nonacademic posi­
tions. Many opportunities are becoming
available in urban and environmental man­
agement and planning, including such areas
as location analysis, land and water resources
planning, and health planning. Those with
strong backgrounds in urban, economic, and
physical geography and in quantitative tech­
niques should be in particular demand. Sig­
nificant demand also is expected for gradu­
ates with knowledge of remote sensing,

photogrammetry, and cartography. The Fed­
eral Government will need additional person­
nel to work in programs such as health plan­
ning, regional development, environmental
quality, and intelligence. Employment of
geographers in State and local government is
expected to expand, particularly in health
planning; conservation; environmental qual­
ity; highway planning; and city, community,
and regional planning and development. Pri­
vate industry is expected to hire increasing
numbers of geographers for market research
and location analysis.
The employment outlook for geographers
with the Ph. D. is expected to be favorable
through the 1980’s for research and adminis­
trative positions in government, industry, re­
search organizations, and environmental and
other consulting firms. Ph. D.’s may face
competition for academic positions, although
those graduating from high-ranking universi­
ties may have an advantage. Some are likely
to accept temporary assignments with little
or no hope of acquiring tenure. Those with
the master’s degree are likely to face competi­
tion for academic positions, although some
may continue to find jobs in junior and com­
munity colleges. Graduates with a master’s
degree who have training in applied areas
should have good opportunities for planning
and marketing positions in government and
industry; others may face competition.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree are ex­
pected to face strong competition for jobs as
geographers. Those with quantitative skills
and training in cartography, remote sensing,
or planning should have the best prospects.
Many of these degree holders may find em­
ployment in government and industry as
management or sales trainees, research as­
sistants, or administrative assistants. Others
may obtain employment as research or teach­
ing assistants in educational institutions
while studying for advanced degrees. Some
bachelor’s degree holders teach at the high
school level, although in some States the
master’s degree is becoming essential for high
school teaching positions. Others earn library
science degrees and become map librarians.

According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s de­
gree candidates in the social sciences received
offers averaging around $10,700 a year; mas­
ter’s degree candidates in the social sciences,
around $13,200.
According to an Association of American
Geographers survey, starting salaries for Ph.
D.’s with no teaching experience averaged
around $14,000 for the academic year 197778, while the average salary of geographers
employed in colleges and universities was
about $21,000. Salaries of geographers in
planning positions in business and industry
are comparable to those in the Federal Gov­
Geographers in educational institutions
usually have an opportunity to earn income


from other sources, such as consulting work,
special research, and publication of books
and articles.
The Federal Government recognizes edu­
cation and experience in certifying applicants
for entry level positions. In general, geogra­
phers in the Federal Government with the
bachelor’s degree and no experience started
at $10,507 or $13,014 a year in 1979, depend­
ing on their college achievement. Those with
a master’s degree started at $15,920 a year,
and those with the Ph. D. at $19,263. Geog­
raphers in the Federal Government averaged
around $23,200 a year in 1978; cartogra­
phers, around $22,800.

Related Occupations
Knowledge of physical and environmental
science is important to geographers. Others
whose work requires training in these fields
include engineers, geologists, geophysicists,
meteorologists, oceanographers, astronom­
ers, chemists, physicists, surveyors, and

Sources of Additional Information
For additional information on careers and
job openings for geographers, and on schools
offering various programs in geography, con­
Association of American Geographers, 1710 16th
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20009.

For additional information on careers in
cartography, surveying, and geodesy, con­
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping,
210 Little Falls St., Falls Church, Va. 22046.

For more information on careers and a list
of schools that offer courses in photogrammetry and remote sensing, contact:
American Society of Photogrammetry, 105 North
Virginia Ave., Falls Church, Va. 22046.

(D.O.T. 052; 090.227-010; 101; 102.017-010; and

Nature of the Work
History is the record of past events, institu­
tions, ideas, and people. Historians describe
and analyze the past through writing, teach­
ing, and research. They use standard tech­
niques to locate and evaluate historical evi­
dence. Historians do not accept documents,
records, or spoken accounts at face value;
they study each piece of evidence carefully to
determine whether it is reliable or genuine.
Once they have established the validity of
historical evidence, historians try to deter­
mine the significance of their findings. Some­
times they develop theories to explain the
importance of facts and their interrelation­
ships. They may, for example, relate their
knowledge of the past to current events in an
effort to explain the present. OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Historians almost always specialize. Some
concentrate on the history of a country or a
region; others study a particular period of
time—the 20th century, for example. In this
country, while many historians specialize in
the social or political history of the United
States or modem Europe, a growing number
concern themselves with African, Latin
American, Asian, or Middle Eastern history.
Some specialize in the history of a field, such
as economics, medicine, philosophy, religion,
science, technology, music, art, military af­
fairs, women, or the labor movement. Other
fields of specialization are genealogy, biogra­
phy, rare books and documents, and historic
Most historians are teachers in colleges or
universities. Like other faculty members,
they may also lecture, write, and do consult­
ing work. Some historians employed by col­
leges and universities engage only in re­
search; often, they are leading authorities in
their fields. (For more information on these
jobs, see the Handbook statement on college
and university faculty.)
A growing number of historians do many
things besides teach, however. Archivists and
curators work for museums, special libraries,
or historical societies, where they typically
identify, classify, and preserve historical
documents, treasures, and other material.
They may also administer historical activities
—helping scholars use manuscripts and ar­
tifacts and educating the public through ex­
hibits and publications. Many do an exten­
sive amount of scholarly research and
Biographers write about the lives of in­
dividuals, using diaries, news accounts, per­
sonal correspondence, interviews with rela­
tives and business associates of their subjects,
and other sources of information. Genealo­
gists trace family history, using birth, death,
and marriage certificates, court records,
wills, records of real estate transactions, and
other evidence.
A growing number of historians are con­
cerned with the protection and preservation
of historic buildings and sites. Their goal is to
identify and interpret our historical heritage,
which includes houses, public buildings, fac­
tories, churches, forts, public markets, farms,
and battlefields. Some historians are em­
ployed to manage, interpret, and write about
restored communities and other places of his­
toric interest. Historic preservationists also
work to save city neighborhoods and old
business districts and maintain their unique
historic and architectural qualities. This usu­
ally means a joint effort with architects, law­
yers, urban planners, business and commu­
nity leaders, and city officials.
Some historians serve as consultants to
editors, publishers, and producers of materi­
als for radio, television, and motion pictures.
Others are employed as researchers by gov­
ernment agencies, social science research
firms, and other organizations. They might
be asked, for example, to assist in the prepa­
ration of an environmental impact statement

or to provide information for a community
development plan.

Working Conditions
Historians employed in colleges and uni­
versities have flexible work schedules, divid­
ing their time among teaching, research, and
administrative responsibilities. Historians
working in government agencies and private
firms, on the other hand, have much more
structured schedules. They often work alone
behind a desk, reading and writing reports on
their research. Many experience the pres­
sures of deadlines and tight schedules, and
sometimes must work overtime. Their rou­
tine may be interrupted by telephone calls,
letters, special requests for information,
meetings, or conferences. Travel may be nec­
essary to collect information or attend meet­

Places of Employment
An estimated 23,000 persons worked as
professional historians in 1978. Colleges and
universities employed most of them. Histori­
ans also work in archives, libraries, mu­
seums, research and educational organiza­
tions, historical societies, publishing firms,
large corporations, and government agencies.
Historians, archivists, and museum curators
employed in the Federal Government work
principally in the National Archives, Smith­
sonian Institution, General Services Ad­
ministration, or in the Departments of De­
fense, Interior, and State. Other Federal
employers include the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, Central Intelli­
gence Agency, National Security Agency,
and the Departments of Agriculture, Com­
merce, Education, Energy, and Transporta­
tion. A number work for State and local gov­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Graduate education usually is necessary
for a job in this field. A master’s degree in
history is the minimum requirement for the
position of college instructor. However, a Ph.
D. degree is required for a first appointment
at some institutions of higher education and
for many other entry level positions. A Ph.
D. is required for a professorship or a top
administrative position, and is necessary to
gain tenure. However, tenure is becoming in­
creasingly difficult to acquire.
While historians in the Federal Govern­
ment generally must have a college degree
with 24 semester hours in history, require­
ments may vary for certain specialists. For
example, archivists need a college degree
with 18 semester hours in American history
or government and 12 additional hours of
history, American civilization, economics,
political science, or related fields; museum
curators need a college degree in museum
studies or in an appropriate subject field such
as art history or the history of technology.
However, because competition for Federal

and persistence are necessary, because his­
torians spend long hours in independent
study. As in other fields of scientific en­
deavor, the qualities of intellectual curiosity
and creativity are essential.
Presenting the results of their research is
an important part of a historian’s job, so the
ability to communicate effectively—both
orally and in writing—is a “must.” The abil­
ity to work with others on joint research pro­
jects can be important.

Employment Outlook

jobs is keen, additional education or experi­
ence may be required. Most historians in the
Federal Government and in nonprofit organ­
izations have Ph. D. degrees or their equiva­
lent in training and experience.
Although a bachelor’s degree with a major
in history is sufficient training for some be­
ginning jobs in government—either Federal,
State, or local—advancement opportunities
may be limited for persons without at least a
master’s and preferably a Ph. D. degree in
history. Since beginning jobs are likely to be
concerned with the collection and preserva­
tion of historical data, a knowledge of ar­
chival work is helpful.

research, writing papers and reports, and giv­
ing lectures and presentations. They must
possess strong analytical skills in order to
evaluate historical evidence and work effec­
tively with abstractions and theories. They
must be systematic and objective in their
work, since they must consider all relevant
facts before reaching a conclusion. Patience

Overall, little if any growth is expected in
the employment of historians through the
1980’s. Replacement needs accordingly will
constitute the principal source of jobs. Open­
ings in colleges and universities, museums,
research firms, government agencies, and
other organizations will occur as workers die,
retire, or leave the occupation for other rea­
sons. Persons with computer backgrounds
and training in quantitative methods in his­
torical research are expected to have the most
favorable job opportunities in business, in­
dustry, government, and research firms. His­
torians with strong backgrounds in historic
preservation or other applied disciplines such
as public administration or business adminis­
tration also may be in a relatively favorable
position. Of those seeking college faculty
jobs, applicants who are qualified to teach
several areas of history, such as American

Training for historians is available in many
colleges and universities. Over 800 schools
offer programs for the bachelor’s degree;
about 320, the master’s; and about 150, the
History curriculums in the Nation’s col­
leges and universities are varied; however,
each basically provides training in research
methods, writing, and speaking. These are
the basic skills essential for historians in all
positions. Quantitative methods of analysis,
including statistical and computer tech­
niques, are increasingly important for histori­
ans; most graduate history departments in­
clude them. Most doctoral candidates must
exhibit competence in at least one foreign
A greater emphasis on preparing history
students for nonacademic careers is appar­
ent. History departments are offering more
courses and programs designed to prepare
graduates for museum jobs, archival manage­
ment, historic editing, historic preservation,
and applied research. Courses in other ap­
plied fields such as public administration or
business administration also greatly enhance
one’s opportunities for nonacademic employ­
Historians spend a great deal of time doing

Historians must be thorough in their research before reaching any conclusions.


history combined with African or Latin
American history, should have the best op­
The oversupply of history graduates is ex­
pected to continue; throughout the 1980’s,
the number of persons seeking to enter the
occupation will greatly exceed available posi­
tions. As a result, historians with a Ph. D. are
expected to face very keen competition for
positions. Those graduating from prestigious
universities may have some advantage in this
highly competitive situation. Since academic
institutions are the traditional employers of
many highly qualified historians and compe­
tition for these jobs is expected to be particu­
larly keen, some Ph. D.’s are expected to
accept part-time, temporary assignments as
instructors with little or no hope of gaining
tenure. An increasing number of Ph. D.’s will
take research or administrative positions in
government, industry, research firms, and
other nonacademic institutions.
Persons with the master’s degree in history
will encounter even more severe competition
for jobs as historians. Some may find teach­
ing positions in junior and community col­
leges, while others may find jobs in govern­
ment and industry. Those who meet State
certification requirements may become sec­
ondary school teachers.
People with a bachelor’s degree in history
are likely to find very limited opportunities
for employment as professional historians.
However, an undergraduate major in history
provides an excellent background for jobs in
a number of fields including international re­
lations and journalism, and for continuing
education in law, business administration,
and related disciplines. Many graduates will
find jobs in secondary schools or in govern­
ment, business, and industry as management
or sales trainees, or as research or adminis­
trative assistants.

According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Survey, bachelor’s degree can­
didates in the social sciences received offers
averaging around $10,700 a year; master’s
degree candidates in the social sciences,
around $13,200.
According to information from the Ameri­
can Historical Association, colleges and uni­
versities offered new Ph. D.’s starting salaries
ranging from about $12,000 to $14,000 for
the academic year 1977-78. Full professors
and top administrators earn substantially

ary of full-time employed Ph. D.’s in history
was $21,400; in educational institutions,
$21,500. The median annual salary of Ph.
D.’s in art history was $19,900; in educa­
tional institutions, $19,900; in museums or
historical societies, $18,800.
The Federal Government recognizes ed­
ucation and experience in certifying appli­
cants for entry level positions. In general,
historians having a bachelor’s degree could
start at $10,507 or $13,014 a year in 1979,
depending upon the applicant’s academic
record. The starting salary for those hav­
ing a master’s degree was $15,920 a year,
and for those having a Ph. D., $19,263.
Historians in the Federal Government ave­
raged around $25,800 a year in 1978; mu­
seum curators, around $24,800; and archi­
vists, around $22,900.
Many historians, particularly those in col­
lege teaching, supplement their income by
teaching summer classes, writing books or
articles, or giving lectures.

Related Occupations
Historians study past events, institutions,
and ideas. Their concern with understanding
how societies operate is shared by other
workers, including writers, journalists, politi­
cal scientists, economists, sociologists, an­
thropologists, geographers, planners, and
marketing research workers.

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on careers and job
openings for historians, and on schools offer­
ing various programs in history, is available
American Historical Association, 400 A St. SE.,
Washington, D.C. 20003.

For information on careers and schools of­
fering degree programs and courses in his­
toric preservation, contact:
National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1789
Massachusetts Ave.NW., Washington, D.C.

General information on careers for histori­
ans is available from:
Organization of American Historians, Indiana
University, 112 North Bryan St., Bloomington,
Ind. 47401.

For additional information on careers for
historians, send a self-addressed, stamped en­
velope to:
American Association for State and Local History,
1400 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, Tenn.

The American Association for State and
Local History conducted a survey of salaries
in historical agencies, including museums
and other organizations. In 1978, agency
heads averaged $20,256; assistant agency
heads, $15,912; division heads, $15,864; ad­
vanced professionals, $14,496; and beginning
professionals, $11,412.

Office of Museum Programs, Arts and Industries
Building, Room 2235, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C. 20560.

According to a survey by the National Re­
search Council, the 1977 median annual sal­

American Association of Museums, 1055 Thomas
Jefferson St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20007.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


For information on museum careers and
museum studies programs, contact:

For information on training for museum
careers, contact:

Political Scientists
(D.O.T. 051, 059.267-010, and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Political scientists study political behavior
and institutions. Although some specialize in
political theory or philosophy, most political
scientists, particularly those specializing in
public administration, concern themselves
with the organization and operation of gov­
ernment at all levels in the United States and
abroad. They explore such phenomena as
public opinion, political parties, elections,
and special interest groups. They also focus
on the workings of the bureaucracy, the Pres­
idency, Congress, and the judicial system.
Processes and techniques of public adminis­
tration and public policymaking also are con­
cerns of political scientists.
Political scientists examine political and
administrative behavior in order to aid gov­
ernment leaders and others trying to develop
policies and plan programs that meet a soci­
ety’s needs. Like other social scientists, politi­
cal scientists are research-oriented and base
their theories on a systematic analysis of the
data they collect. Depending on the topic
under study, a political scientist might con­
duct a public opinion survey, analyze election
results, or compare the principal features of
various tax proposals. Some areas of political
science research are highly quantitative, and
involve the use of sophisticated simulation
and modeling techniques.
Most political scientists work in colleges
and universities. They may combine research
or administrative duties with teaching, and
often they do consulting work as well. (For
more information, see the Handbook state­
ment on college and university faculty.)
Some political scientists are primarily re­
searchers o r consultants in nonacadem ic o r­

ganizations. They might survey public opin­
ion on a current issue, explore the political
and administrative ramifications of a govern­
ment reorganization, or suggest ways of
mobilizing support for a particular candi­
date, policy, or administrative change. The
results of political science research are used
by public officials, political parties, govern­
ment administrators, legislative staffs and
committees, citizens’ groups, legislative ref­
erence bureaus, taxpayers’ associations, and
business firms.
Because of their understanding of political
institutions and political and administrative
processes, political scientists are well quali­
fied for jobs in and out of government. Many
are employed in government management
and staff positions; others are employed by
legislatures and courts; still others are in­
volved in government relations. Here they
may work as lobbyists or consultants for gov­
ernment liaison by business firms, trade as­
sociations, public interest groups, and other
organizations. Some political scientists work
as journalists. A few work primarily as advi­
sors to candidates for political office.

Working Conditions
Political scientists employed in colleges
and universities have flexible work schedules,
dividing their time among teaching, research,
and administrative responsibilities. Those
employed by government agencies and pri­
vate Arms, on the other hand, have much
more structured schedules. They study and
interpret data, prepare reports, confer with
coworkers, and meet with government offi­
cials, business executives, and others. Many
experience the pressures of deadlines, tight
schedules, and heavy workloads, and some­
times must work overtime. They may travel
to interview people, conduct surveys, attend
meetings and conferences, and present re­
Political scientists on foreign assignment
must adjust to unfamiliar cultures and cli­
mates. Those in the diplomatic service work
long and irregular hours, both in the office
and in many social activities considered part
of the job.

Places of Employment
About 14,000 persons worked as political
scientists in 1978. About four-fifths worked
in colleges and universities. Most of the re­
mainder worked for government agencies,
consulting firms, political organizations, re­
search institutes, public interest groups, or
business firms. This employment estimate
does not include all those trained as political
scientists who work in government and the
private sector in administrative positions or
as journalists and other related positions.
Political scientists can be found in nearly
every college or university town since courses
in government and political science are
taught in almost all institutions of higher ed­
ucation. Since the national headquarters of
many associations, unions, and other organi­
zations are located in Washington, D.C., this
area attracts a sizable number of political
scientists in research or policy jobs.
Government employs political scientists
both domestically and abroad. They deal
with legislative or administrative matters in
areas such as foreign affairs, international re­
lations, intelligence, housing, economic de­
velopment, transportation, environmental
protection, social welfare, or health. Political
scientists also apply their analytical expertise
in such fields as marketing, advertising, pub­
lic relations, personnel, finance, and con­
sumer affairs.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Graduate training generally is required for
employment as a political scientist. Comple­
tion of all the requirements for the Ph. D.
degree is the prerequisite for appointment to
academic positions in some colleges and uni­
versities and is required for a professorship
and tenure. However, tenure is becoming in­
creasingly difficult to attain.
Graduates with a master’s degree can qual­

A strong background in political science has been invaluable to these senatorial staff members.
ify for teaching positions in junior and com­
munity colleges and for administrative and
research positions in government, industry,
and research or civic organizations. A mas­
ter’s degree in international relations, foreign
service, or foreign area study provides a suit­
able background for Federal Government
positions concerned with foreign affairs.
Competence in one or more foreign lan­
guages may be important for those who wish
to enter the Foreign Service. Minimum re­
quirements for intelligence, foreign affairs,
and international relations specialists in the
Federal Government generally include a col­
lege degree with 24 semester hours in politi­
cal science, history, economics, or related
fields. However, because competition for
Federal jobs is keen, additional education or
experience may be. required. A growing num­
ber of applicants for the Foreign Service, for
example, have a Ph. D., law degree, or other
advanced degree.
People with a bachelor’s degree in political
science may qualify as trainees in such areas
as management, research, administration,
sales, and law enforcement. Many students
with bachelor’s degrees in political science go
on to study law, journalism, or some special­
ized or related branch of political science,
such as public administration or interna­
tional relations.
In 1978, about 1,400 colleges and universi­
ties offered a bachelor’s degree in political
science; around 165, master’s programs;
about 120, doctoral programs. Approxi­
mately 250 schools offered specialties in pub­
lic administration. Some schools combine po­
litical science with another discipline such as
history in one department, while others have
separate departments of political science,
public administration, international studies,
or other fields. Some universities have sepa­

rate schools of public affairs and administra­
tion. Colleges and universities strongly rec­
ommend field training and internships in
government, politics, public service, and sim­
ilar fields. Internships give students an op­
portunity to gain experience and make con­
tacts that may be helpful in getting a job later
on. However, the number of internships is
limited and prospective interns face keen
Undergraduate programs in political sci­
ence include courses in the principles of gov­
ernment and politics, State and local govern­
ment, comparative studies, political theory,
foreign area studies, foreign policy, public
administration and policy, political behavior,
constitutional, administrative, and interna­
tional law, and many other offerings. Other
courses might deal with the problems of de­
tente, politics of growth and technology, poli­
tics of health, legal status of women, interna­
tional economics, and political warfare in the
age of nuclear destruction. A growing num­
ber of programs at both the undergraduate
and graduate levels offer courses in quantita­
tive and statistical methods, including the use
of computers.
Graduate students may specialize in U.S.
politics, comparative politics, international
politics, foreign area studies, political behav­
ior, political theory, public administration,
urban affairs, public policy, and other areas.
Doctoral candidates often must exhibit com­
petence in one or more foreign languages and
quantitative research techniques.
Persons planning to be political scientists
should have qualities that are important in
any research or management career. Most
important of all are intellectual curiosity—a
questioning, probing mind and a keen inter­
est in solving intellectual puzzles—and a
commitment to public service. Political


scientists also need to be able to think objec­
tively and independently; to handle data
carefully and systematically; and to analyze
information and ideas. Patience and persist­
ence are important in conducting indepen­
dent research, and creativity helps in for­
mulating ideas. Because the results of
political science research are almost always
presented orally or in writing, communica­
tion skills are important, too. The ability to
write clearly and well is essential.
For some political scientists, an intense in­
terest in political systems and the way they
operate is an asset. Active participation in
student government, local political cam­
paigns, community newspapers, service
clubs, and community activities is recom­
mended for the practical experience and p e r ­
spective it can provide. Such experience is
particularly usefUl for political scientists who
specialize in politics or community organiza­

Employment Outlook
Employment of political scientists is ex­
pected to increase more slowly than the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Most job openings will result from deaths,
retirements, and other separations from the
labor force. Colleges and universities, the tra­
ditional employers of highly qualified politi­
cal scientists, are not expected to hire addi­
tional faculty members; indeed, as college
enrollments decline, some vacancies may re­
main unfilled.
The number of persons who graduate with
advanced degrees in political science will
greatly exceed available job openings through
the 1980’s. Ph. D.’s face stiff competition,
particularly for academic jobs. The prestige
of the university from which a Ph. D. gradu­
ates may be increasingly important in this
highly competitive situation. Many Ph. D.’s
seeking college teaching jobs are expected to
accept part-time, temporary assignments as
instructors with little or no hope of gaining
tenure. Graduates seeking to enter the For­
eign Service also face very stiff competition.
Graduates trained in applied fields such as
public administration and public policy
should have the best prospects for both aca­
demic and nonacademic positions. Persons
trained in quantitative research methods and
U.S. Government also are in a relatively ad­
vantageous position. Those in comparative
politics, international relations, and political
theory face the most difficult job market. A
strong background in economics, marketing,
computer science, statistics, and other ap­
plied fields increases one’s chances for a job
in business, industry, or consulting firms.
Master’s degree holders face very keen
competition for academic positions, but some
may find jobs in community and junior col­
leges. As is the case with Ph. D.’s, graduates
trained in public policy, or public administra­
tion have the best opportunities for jobs in
Federal, State, and local government, re­
search bureaus, political organizations, and
business firms.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


New graduates with a bachelor’s degree
are expected to find few opportunities for
jobs as professional political scientists. Many
of these graduates are expected to accept po­
sitions as trainees in government, business,
and industry. For those planning to continue
their studies in law, foreign affairs, journal­
ism, and related fields, political science pro­
vides an excellent background. Some new
graduates who meet State certification re­
quirements will be able to enter high school

According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s de­
gree candidates in the social sciences received
offers averaging around $10,700 a year; mas­
ter’s degree candidates in the social sciences,
around $13,200; bachelor’s degree candi­
dates offered positions in the field of public
administration, around $10,300.
According to an American Political Sci­
ence Association Survey, the median begin­
ning salaries for new faculty members during
academic year 1977-78 were $13,500 for Ph.
D.’s and $12,500 for those without a Ph. D.
The median salaries of political scientists em­
ployed in educational institutions in 1977-78
were around $26,000 for full professors, $18,000 for associate professors, $15,000 for as­
sistant professors, and $13,000 for lecturers
and instructors.
According to a survey by the National Re­
search Council, the 1977 median annual sala­
ries of full-time employed Ph. D.’s in social
science (includes area studies, political sci­
ence, public administration, and interna­
tional relations) were $23,300; in educational
institutions, $22,700; in the Federal Govern­
ment, $32,300; in State and local govern­
ment, $24,500.
The Federal Government recognizes edu­
cation and experience in certifying applicants
for entry level positions. In general, the en­
trance salary for those with a bachelor’s de­
gree was $10,507 or $13,014 a year in 1979,
depending upon the applicant’s academic re­
cord. The starting salary for those with a
master’s degree was $15,920 a year, and for
those with a Ph. D., $19,263. Intelligence
specialists in the Federal Government ave­
raged around $25,800 in 1978; international
relations specialists, $32,900; and foreign af­
fairs specialists, $30,300.
Some political scientists, particularly those
in college teaching, supplement their income
by teaching summer courses or consulting.

Related Occupations
A political scientist’s training enables him
or her to understand the ways in which politi­
cal power is amassed and used. Others whose
jobs require substantial knowledge of the po­
litical process include journalists, lawyers,
city managers, Foreign Service Officers, cam­
paign managers, political consultants, poll­
sters, lobbyists, legislative liaison officers, po­
litical aides, and politicians.

Sources of Additional Information
The American Political Science Associa­
tion, 1527 New Hampshire Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036 offers two career
pamphlets, one for undergraduates and one
for faculty and graduate students, at $1 each.
A Guide to Graduate Study in Political Sci­
ence is available for $5. In addition, a
monthly newsletter listing job openings, pri­
marily academic, is available to members of
the association.
Programs in Public Affairs and Adminis­
tration, a directory that contains data on the
academic content of programs, the student
body, the format of instruction, and other
information, may be purchased for $10 from:
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs
and Administration, 1225 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Suite 306, Washington, D.C. 20036.

For additional information on careers in
the Foreign Service, contact:
Board of Examiners, Foreign Service, Box 9317,
Rosslyn Station, Arlington, Ya. 22209.

For additional information on internships,
National Society for Internships and Experiential
Education, 17351 St. NW., Suite 601, Washington,
D.C. 20006.

(D.O.T. 045.061, .067, .107-022, -026, -030, and -034;
and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Psychologists study human behavior and
mental processes to understand and explain
people’s actions. Some research psycholo­
gists investigate the physical, emotional, or
social aspects of human behavior. Others in
colleges and universities combine teaching,
research, and administration. (For more in­
formation, see the Handbook statement on
college and university faculty.) Still other
psychologists in applied fields counsel and
conduct training programs; do market re­
search; or administer rehabilitation pro­
grams in hospitals or clinics.
Like other social scientists, psychologists
collect and test the validity of data and for­
mulate hypotheses. Research methods de­
pend on the topic under study. Psychologists
gather information from controlled labora­
tory experiments; performance, aptitude, and
intelligence tests; observation, interviews,
and questionnaires; and surveys.
Psychologists usually specialize. Experi­
m ental psychologists study behavior pro­
cesses and work with human beings and
lower animals such as rats, monkeys, and
pigeons; prominent areas of experimental re­
search include motivation, learning and re­
tention, sensory and perceptual processes,
and genetic and neurological factors in be­
havior. Developmental psychologists study
the patterns and causes of behavioral change

as people progress through life; some concern
themselves with behavior during childhood,
while others study changes that take place
during maturity and old age. Personality psy­
chologists study human nature, individual
differences, and the ways in which those dif­
ferences develop. Social psychologists exam­
ine people’s interactions with others and with
the social environment; prominent areas of
study include group behavior, leadership, at­
titudes, and interpersonal perception. Psy­
chologists in evaluation research study health
and social programs and try to determine
how successful they are. Environmental psy­
chologists study the influence of their sur­
roundings on people. Population psychologists
study demography’s relation to personal and
social behavior. Comparative psychologists
compare the behavior of different animals,
including man. Physiological psychologists
study the relationship of behavior to the bio­
logical functions of the body. Psychologists
in the field of psychometrics develop and
apply procedures for measuring psychologi­
cal variables such as intelligence and person­
Clinical psychology is the largest specialty
among doctoral psychologists (see chart).
Clinical psychologists generally work in hos­
pitals or clinics, or maintain their own prac­
tices. They may help the mentally or emo­
tionally disturbed adjust to life. They
interview patients; give diagnostic tests; pro­
vide individual, family, and group psycho­
therapy; and design and carry through be­
havior modification programs. Clinical
psychologists may collaborate with psychia­
trists and other specialists in developing
treatment programs. Counseling psychologists
use several techniques, including interview­
ing and testing, to help people with problems
of everyday living—personal, social, educa­
tional, or vocational. Educational psycholo­
gists study psychological processes as related
to applied problems in education to foster

intellectual, social, and emotional develop­
ment of individuals. School psychologists
evaluate students’ needs and problems, facili­
tate school adjustment, and help solve learn­
ing and social problems in schools. Industrial
and organizational psychologists apply psy­
chological techniques to personnel adminis­
tration, management, and marketing prob­
lems. They are involved in policy, planning,
training and development, psychological test
research, counseling, and organizational de­
velopment and analysis, among other activi­
ties. Engineering psychologists develop and
improve human-machine systems, military
equipment, and industrial products. Commu­
nity psychologists apply psychological knowl­
edge to problems of urban and rural life. Con­
sumer psychologists study the psychological
factors that determine an individual’s behav­
ior as a consumer of goods and services.
Other areas of specialization include psychol­
ogy and the arts, history of psychology, psy­
chopharmacology, psychology of women,
and military, rehabilitation, and philosophi­
cal and health psychology.

Working Conditions
A psychologist’s specialty and place of em­
ployment determine his or her working con­
ditions. For example, clinical and counseling
psychologists in private practice have pleas­
ant, comfortable offices and set their own
hours. However, they often must work in the
evenings. Some employed in hospitals, nurs­
ing homes, and other health facilities also
work irregular hours, while others in schools
and clinics work regular hours. Engineering
psychologists may study work flow and work
arrangements in factories or large plants. Ex­
perimental psychologists spend much time
conducting research on animals in laborato­
ries. Psychologists employed by academic in­
stitutions divide their time among teaching,
research, and administrative responsibilities.
Some maintain part-time clinical practices as

it doctoral

psychologists are cli

Percent of doctoral psychologists employed,
by specialty, 1977


' ^s

Places of Employment
About 130,000 people worked as psycholo­
gists in 1978. The largest group worked in
educational institutions—primarily colleges
and universities. Some were counselors; oth­
ers were researchers, administrators, or
The second largest group of psychologists
work in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation cen­
ters, nursing homes, and other health facili­
ties. Many others work for government agen­
cies at the Federal, State, and local levels.
The Veterans Administration, the Depart­
ment of Defense, and the Public Health Ser­
vice employ more psychologists than other
Federal agencies. Psychologists also are em­
ployed by research organizations, manage­
ment counsulting firms, market research
firms, and businesses. Some are in practice
for themselves or have their own research or
consulting firms.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A doctoral degree, the minimum required
for employment as a psychologist, is increas­
ingly important for advancement and tenure,
particularly in the academic world. People
with doctorates in psychology (Ph. D. or Psy.
D.—Doctor of Psychology) qualify for a
wide range of responsible research, clinical,
and counseling positions in universities and
the government.
People with a master’s degree in psychol­
ogy can administer and interpret tests as psy­
chological assistants. Under the supervision
of psychologists, they can conduct research
in laboratories or perform administrative du­
ties. They may teach in 2-year colleges, or
work as school psychologists or counselors.
(See the Handbook statements on school
counselors and rehabilitation counselors.)
People with a bachelor’s degree in psychol­
ogy are qualified to assist psychologists and
other professionals in community mental
health centers, vocational rehabilitation of­
fices, and correctional programs; to work as
research or administrative assistants; to take
jobs as trainees in government or business; or
—provided they meet State certification re­
quirements—to teach high school. However,
without additional academic training, their
advancement opportunities are limited.


Source: National Research Council

— Mi

well. In contrast to the many psychologists
who have flexible work schedules, some in
government and private industry have more
structured schedules. Reading and writing
research reports, they often work alone be­
hind a desk. Many experience the pressures
of deadlines, tight schedules, and heavy
workloads, and sometimes must work over­
time. Their routine may be interrupted fre­
quently. Travel may be required to attend
conferences or conduct research.


v " 'M V


In the Federal Government, candidates
having at least 24 semester hours in psychol­
ogy and one course in statistics qualify for
entry level positions though competition is


or provide
by activity, 1977


able to deal effectively with people. Sensi­
tivity, compassion, patience, and the ability
to lead and inspire others are particularly
important for clinical work and counseling.
Research psychologists should be able to
do detailed work independently and as part
of a team. Verbal and writing skills are
necessary to communicate research find­
ings. Patience and perseverance are vital
qualities because results from psychological
treatment of patients or research often are
long in coming.

Employment Outlook

Administration of
research and development
Other administration

Employment of psychologists is expected
to grow faster than the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s. In addition to
employment growth, some openings will re­
sult from deaths, retirements, and other sepa­
rations from the labor force.

:e: National Research Council

keen. Clinical psychologists generally must
have completed the Ph. D. or Psy. D. re­
quirements and have served an internship;
counseling psychologists usually need 2 years
of graduate study in counseling and 1 year of
counseling experience.
At least 1 year of full-time graduate study
is needed to earn a master’s degree in psy­
chology. Requirements usually include prac­
tical experience in an applied setting or a
master’s thesis based on a research project.
Three to five years of graduate work usually
are required for a doctoral degree. The Ph.
D. degree culminates in a dissertation based
on original research. The Psy. D., based on
practical work and examinations rather than
a dissertation, prepares students for clinical
and other applied positions. In clinical or
counseling psychology, the requirements for
the Ph. D. degree generally include an addi­
tional year or more of internship or super­
vised experience.
Competition for admission into graduate
programs is keen. Some universities require
an undergraduate major in psychology. Oth­
ers prefer only basic psychology with courses
in the biological, physical, and social
sciences, statistics, and mathematics.
Over 1,500 colleges and universities offer a
bachelor’s degree program in psychology;
about 325, a master’s; about 165, a Ph. D.;
and about 10, a Psy. D. In addition, a grow­
ing number of professional schools of psy­
chology not affiliated with colleges or univer­
sities offer the Psy. D. The American
Psychological Association (APA) presently
accredits Ph. D. training programs in clini­
cal, counseling, and school psychology as
well as Psy. D. programs. In 1978, over 100
colleges and universities offered fully ap­
proved programs in clinical psychology; over
20, in counseling psychology; fewer than 10,
in school psychology; and 2 Psy.D. pro­
grams. APA also has approved about 140



internship facilities for doctoral training in
clinical and counseling psychology.
Because graduates face increasing compe­
tition, particularly for academic jobs, many
take courses in law, medicine, business, mar­
keting, public affairs, and other fields to en­
hance their qualifications for nonacademic
Although financial aid is becoming in­
creasingly difficult to obtain, some graduate
students are awarded fellowships or scholar­
ships, or arrange part-time employment. The
Veterans Administration offers predoctoral
traineeships to interns in VA hospitals, clin­
ics, and related training agencies. The Na­
tional Science Foundation, the Department
of Health, and Human Services, the Armed
Forces, and many other organizations also
provide fellowships and loans. However, the
present trend at the Federal level is to pro­
vide low-interest loans rather than fellow­
ships and grants.
Psychologists who want to enter inde­
pendent practice must meet certification or
licensing requirements. In 1978, all States
and the District of Columbia had such re­
quirements. Licensing laws vary by State,
but generally require a doctorate in psy­
chology, 2 years of professional experience,
and an examination. Some States certify
those with master’s level training as psy­
chological assistants or associates. Some
States require continuing education for
The American Board of Professional Psy­
chology awards diplomas in clinical, counsel­
ing, industrial and organizational, and school
psychology. Candidates generally need a
doctorate in psychology, 5 years’ experience,
professional endorsements, and must pass an
People pursuing a career in psychology
must be emotionally stable, mature, and

Several factors should help maintain a
strong demand for psychologists: (1) Public
concern for the development of human re­
sources which may result in more services for
minorities, the elderly, and the poor; (2)
heightened awareness of the need for testing
and counseling children; (3) Federal legisla­
tion emphasizing good health rather than
treatment of illness; and (4) psychological
services in a national health insurance pro­
Some openings are likely to occur as psy­
chologists move into the field of technology
assessment—the study of the effects of tech­
nological advances in areas such as agricul­
ture, energy, the environment, and the con­
servation and use of natural resources.
Psychologists increasingly are involved in
program evaluation in such fields as health,
education, military service, law enforcement,
and consumer protection.
A doctorate is necessary for those wishing
to enter the field, but the degree does not
guarantee a job. Through the 1980’s, the
number of doctoral degrees awarded each
year will increase and heighten competition
for jobs, particularly teaching and research.
Nonacademic settings may offer the best
prospects, but budgetary restraints in both
the public and private sectors could limit ex­
pansion of psychological services and thus
alter the job outlook.
Persons holding doctorates from leading
universities in applied areas such as clinical,
counseling, and industrial or organizational
psychology will have more favorable pros­
pects for nonacademic jobs than those
trained in experimental, physiological, and
comparative psychology. Some may accept
jobs below their levels of aspiration. Gradu­
ates willing to work in smaller and newer
academic institutions may have better em­
ployment prospects.

According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s de­
gree candidates in the social sciences received

(D.O.T. 054 and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Sociologists study human society and so­
cial behavior by examining the groups that
people form. These groups include families,
tribes, communities, and governments, as
well as a great variety of social, religious,
political, business, and other organizations.
Sociologists study the behavior and interac­
tion of groups; trace their origin and growth;
and analyze the influence of group activities
on individual members. Some sociologists
concern themselves primarily with the char­
acteristics of social groups and institutions.
Others are more interested in the ways in­
dividuals are affected by the groups to which
they belong.
Fields of specialization for sociologists in­
clude social organization, social psychology,
rural and urban sociology, racial and ethnic
relations, criminology and penology, and in­
dustrial sociology. Other important special­
ties include medical sociology—the study of
social factors that affect mental and public
health; demography—the study of the size,
characteristics, and movement of popula­
tions; and social ecology—the study of the
effect of the physical environment and tech­
nology on the distribution of people and their

Sensitivity, compassion, patience, and the ability to inspire others are vital
for counseling psychologists.
offers averaging around $10,700 a year; mas­
ter’s degree candidates in the social sciences,
According to a 1977 survey by the Na­
tional Research Council, the median an­
nual salary of doctoral psychologists was
about $23,800. In educational institutions,
the median was about $22,300; in the Fed­
eral Government, about $30,300; in State
and local government, about $23,000; in
hospitals and clinics, about $23,000; in
other nonprofit organizations, about $24,500; and in business and industry, about
$33,800. Ph. D. or Psy. D. psychologists in
private practice and in applied specialties
generally have higher earnings than other
The Federal Government recognizes edu­
cation and experience in certifying applicants
for entry level positions. In general, the en­
trance salary for psychologists having a bach­
elor’s degree was $10,507 or $13,014 a year
in 1979; counseling psychologists with a mas­
ter’s degree and 1 year of counseling experi­
ence could start at $15,920; clinical psycholo­
gists having a Ph. D. or Psy.D. degree and 1
year of internship could start at $19,263. The
average salary for psychologists in the Fed­

eral Government was about $28,200 a year in
According to a 1978 State Salary Survey,
average annual salaries of clinical psycholo­
gists (positions usually requiring a doctor’s
degree in clinical psychology plus completion
of an approved internship or period of super­
vised experience) in State government range
from about $17,300 to $22,900.

Related Occupations
Psychologists are trained to evaluate,
counsel, and advise individuals and groups.
Others who do this kind of work are psychia­
trists, social workers, clergy, special educa­
tion teachers, and counselors.

Sources of Additional Information

Sociological research, like other kinds of
social science research, involves collecting in­
formation, testing its validity, and analyzing
the results. Sociologists usually conduct sur­
veys or do case studies in order to gather the
data they need. For example, after providing
for controlled conditions, a sociologist might
test the effects of different styles of leadership
on individuals in a small group. Sociological
researchers also conduct large-scale experi­
ments to test the efficacy of different kinds of
social programs. They might test and evalu­
ate particular programs of income assistance,
jo b training, o r rem edial education, for exam ­

ple. Increasingly, sociologists apply statisti­
cal and computer techniques in their re­
search. The results of sociological research
aid educators, lawmakers, administrators,
and others interested in social problems and
social policy. Sociologists work closely with
members of other professions including psy­
chologists, physicians, economists, political
scientists, anthropologists, and social work­

American Psychological Association, Educational
Affairs Office, 1200 17th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.

Most sociologists are college and univer­
sity teachers. Like other college faculty, they
may conduct research, do consulting work,
or handle administrative duties in addition to
teaching. (For more information, see the
Handbook statement on college and univer­
sity faculty.)

Information on traineeships and fellow­
ships also is available from colleges and uni­
versities that have graduate departments of

Some sociologists are primarily adminis­
trators. They apply their professional knowl­
edge in areas of practice as diverse as inter­
group relations, family counseling, public

For information on careers, educational
requirements, financial assistance, and job
openings, contact:


opinion analysis, law enforcement, educa­
tion, personnel administration, public rela­
tions, regional and community planning, and
health services planning. They may, for ex­
ample, administer social service programs in
family and child welfare agencies or develop
social policies and programs for government,
community, youth, or religious organiza­
A number of sociologists are employed as
consultants. Using their expertise and their
social science research skills, they advise on
such diverse problems as halfway houses and
foster care for the mentally ill, ways of coun­
seling ex-offenders, and market research for
advertisers and manufacturers. Increasingly,
sociologists are involved in the evaluation of
social and welfare programs. Some do techni­
cal writing and editing.

Working Conditions
Most sociologists do a lot of desk work,
reading and writing reports on their research.
Those employed by colleges and universities
have flexible work schedules, dividing their
time among teaching, research, consulting,
and administrative responsibilities. Those
working in government agencies and private
firms, on the other hand, have more struc­
tured work schedules. Like other profession­
als in such settings, many experience the
pressures of deadlines, tight schedules, and
heavy workloads, and sometimes must work
overtime. Their routine may be interrupted
by numerous telephone calls, letters, requests
for information, and meetings. Travel may be
required to collect data for research projects
or attend professional conferences.

Places of Employment
About 19,000 persons were employed as
sociologists in 1978. Colleges and universities
em ploy about four-fifths o f all sociologists. A

number work for government agencies at all
levels and deal with such subjects as poverty,
public assistance, population policy, social
rehabilitation, community development, and
environmental impact studies. Sociologists in
the Federal Government work primarily for
the Departments of Defense, Health and
Human Services, Education, Interior, and
Agriculture. Others are employed by the De­
partments of Transportation and Energy, the
Environmental Protection Agency, and the
Veterans Administration. Some persons with
training in sociology work as social science
analysts, statisticians, and in other positions
for Federal agencies.
Some sociologists hold managerial, re­
search, and planning positions in corpora­
tions, research firms, professional and trade
associations, consulting firms, and welfare
or other nonprofit organizations. Others
run their own research or consulting busi­
Since sociology is taught in most institu­
tions of higher learning, sociologists may be
found in nearly all college communities.
They are most
 heavily concentrated, how­ OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


ever, in large colleges and universities that
offer graduate training in sociology and op­
portunities for research.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A master’s degree in sociology usually is
the minimum requirement for employment
as a sociologist. Sociologists with master’s
degrees can qualify for administrative and
research positions in public agencies and pri­
vate businesses, provided they have sufficient
training in research, statistical, and computer
methods. However, advancement opportuni­
ties generally are more limited for master’s
degree holders than for Ph.D’s. Sociologists
with master’s degrees may qualify for teach­
ing positions in junior colleges and for some
college instructorships. Many colleges, how­
ever, appoint as instructors only people who
have training beyond the master’s degree
level—frequently the completion of all re­
quirements for the Ph. D. degree except the
doctoral dissertation. Although financial aid
is increasingly difficult to obtain, some out­
standing graduate students may get teaching
or research assistantships that provide both
financial aid and valuable experience.
The Ph.D. degree is required for appoint­
ment to permanent teaching and research po­
sitions in colleges and universities. The doc­
torate also is essential for senior level
positions in nonacademic research institutes,
consulting firms, corporations, and govern­
ment agencies.
Bachelor’s degree holders in sociology
may get jobs as interviewers or as administra­
tive or research assistants. Many work as so­
cial workers, counselors, or recreation work­
ers in public and private welfare agencies.
Sociology majors who have sufficient train­
ing in statistical and survey methods may
qualify for positions as ju n io r analysts o r sta­
tisticians in business or research firms or gov­
ernment agencies.
Over 140 colleges and universities offer
doctoral degree programs in sociology; most
of these also offer a master’s degree. In 150
schools, the master’s is the highest degree
offered, and about 900 schools have bache­
lor’s degree programs. Sociology depart­
ments offer a wide variety of courses includ­
ing sociological theory, statistics and
quantitative methods, dynamics of social in­
teraction, sex roles, population, social
stratification, social control, small group
analysis, rural-urban relations, formal and
complex organizations, sociology of religion,
law, the arts, war, politics, education, occu­
pations and professions, and mental health,
in addition to many others.
Some departments of sociology have
highly structured programs while others are
relatively unstructured and leave course se­
lection largely up to the individual student.
Departments have different requirements re­
garding foreign language skills; courses in
statistics; and completion of a thesis for the
master’s degree.

In the Federal Government, candidates
generally need a college degree including 24
semester hours in sociology, with course
work in theory and methods of social re­
search. However, since competition for the
limited number of positions is so keen, ad­
vanced study in the field is highly recom­
The choice of a graduate school is impor­
tant for people who want to become sociolo­
gists. Students should select schools that
have adequate research facilities and offer ap­
propriate areas of specialization such as the­
ory, demography, or quantitative methods.
Opportunities to gain practical experience
also may be available, and sociology depart­
ments frequently help place students in busi­
ness firms and government agencies.
The ability to handle independent research
is important for sociologists. Intellectual cu­
riosity is an essential trait; researchers must
have inquiring minds and a desire to find
explanations for the phenomena they ob­
serve. Like other social scientists, sociologists
must be objective in gathering information
about social institutions and behavior; they
need analytical skills in order to organize
data effectively and reach valid conclusions;
and they must be careful and systematic in
their work. Because communicating their
findings to other people is such an important
part of the job, sociologists must be able to
formulate the results of their work in a way
that others will understand. The ability to
speak well, and to write clearly and concisely,
is a “must” in this field.

Employment Outlook
Employment of sociologists is expected to
increase more slowly than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Most open­
ings will result from deaths, retirements, and
other separations from the labor force. Some
academic openings may result from the
growing trend to add sociology courses to the
curriculums of other academic disciplines,
such as medicine, law, business administra­
tion, and education. Demand in the non­
teaching area will center around the increas­
ing involvement of sociologists in the
evaluation and administration of programs
designed to cope with social and welfare
The number of persons who graduate with
advanced degrees in sociology through the
1980’s is likely to exceed greatly the available
job openings. Graduates with a Ph. D. face
increasing competition, particularly for aca­
demic positions, although those with degrees
from the most outstanding institutions may
have an advantage in securing teaching jobs.
Academic institutions increasingly seek per­
sons qualified to perform a dual role: Teach
and also conduct applied research in a uni­
versity-affiliated organization such as a cen­
ter for environmental studies. Job search
time for new graduates seeking academic jobs
will be longer than in the past, and some Ph.
D.’s may accept temporary, part-time posi­
tions as instructors.

Other Ph. D.’s may find research and ad­
ministrative positions in government, corpo­
rations, research organizations, and consult­
ing firms. Those well trained in quantitative
research methods, including survey tech­
niques, advanced statistics, and computer
science will have the widest choice of jobs.
For example, private firms that contract with
the government to evaluate social programs
and conduct other research increasingly seek
sociologists with strong quantitative skills.
Demand is expected to be strong for those
with training in applied sociological areas in­
cluding criminology, deviant behavior, medi­
cal sociology, and family and sex roles,
among others. Sociologists with training in
other applied disciplines, such as public pol­
icy, public administration, and business ad­
ministration, will be attractive to employers
seeking managerial and administrative per­

positions as trainees and assistants in govern­
ment, business, and industry. Training in
quantitative research methods provides these
graduates with the most marketable skills.
For those planning to continue their studies
in law, journalism, social work, recreation,
counseling, and other related disciplines, so­
ciology provides an excellent background.
Some who meet State certification require­
ments may enter high school teaching.

According to the 1977-78 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s de­
gree candidates in the social sciences received
offers averaging around $10,700 a year; mas­
ter’s degree candidates in the social sciences,
around $13,200.

Persons with a master’s degree will con­
tinue to face very keen competition for aca­
demic positions, although some may find jobs
in junior and community colleges. They also
will face strong competition for the limited
number of positions as sociologists open to
them in nonacademic settings. Some may
find research and administrative jobs in gov­
ernment, research firms, and corporations.

The Federal Government recognizes edu­
cation and experience in certifying applicants
for entry level positions. In general, the en­
trance salary for sociologists with a bache­
lor’s degree was $10,507 or $13,014 a year in
1979, depending upon the applicant’s aca­
demic record. The starting salary for those
with a master’s degree was $15,920 a year,
and for those with a Ph. D., $19,263. Sociolo­
gists in the Federal Government averaged
around $25,000 a year in 1978.

Bachelor’s degree holders will find few op­
portunities for jobs as professional sociolo­
gists. As in the past, many graduates will take

According to a 1977 survey by the Na­
tional Research Council, the median annual
salary of all doctoral social scientists (includ­

ing sociologists) was $23,800. For those in
educational institutions, it was $22,800; in
the Federal Government, $32,900; in State
and local government, $21,300; in other non­
profit organizations, $27,700; and in business
and industry, $30,100.
In general, sociologists with the Ph. D.
degree earn substantially higher salaries than
those without the doctoral degree. Many
sociologists, particularly those employed by
colleges and universities for the academic
year, supplement their regular salaries with
earnings from other sources, such as summer
teaching and consulting work.

Related Occupations
Sociologists are not the only people whose
jobs require an understanding of social pro­
cesses and institutions. Others whose work
demands such expertise include anthropolo­
gists, economists, geographers, historians,
political scientists, psychologists, urban plan­
ners, marketing research workers, newspaper
reporters, and social workers.

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on careers, job
openings, and graduate departments of soci­
ology is available from:
The American Sociological Association, Career
and Research Division, 1722 N St. NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.


For workers in the social service occupa­
tions, helping others is a fundamental part of
the job. To do their jobs well, social workers,
counselors, and others in the “helping profes­
sions” must be people-oriented. In this field,
people with different backgrounds and skills
often work together as members of a team.
Some have years of professional training;
others are aides and volunteers. Their joint
efforts can help people who are troubled or
Each of the helping professions has its own
approach and techniques. Social work is
dedicated to helping people cope with crises
that threaten to disrupt their lives. Social
workers help their clients understand what is
happening to them and why, so that they can
find their own solutions. They may assist
families that are being torn apart by poverty,
alcoholism, drug abuse, behavior problems,
or illness. Sometimes, the problems that
families and individuals face are so compli­
cated that it takes people with several kinds
of training to suggest a solution. For this rea­
son, social workers have teamed up with
members of other professions, including
medicine, nursing, therapy, psychology, edu­
cation, law, and religion. Growing attention
is being given within the social work profes­
sion to directing and influencing social
change. Social workers may join forces with
health, housing, transportation, or urban
planners to suggest ways of making a com­
munity a more wholesome place to live. They
also use direct action to help people deal with
some of the forces that shape their lives. So­
cial workers may, for example, do research to
identify community needs; publicize their
findings; draft legislation; or comment on
public proposals in such areas as housing,
health, and welfare services.
Counselors help people understand them­
selves. They help them come to terms with
their lives and give them the support and
encouragement they need to make the most
of their opportunities. Counselors usually
specialize. School counselors help students
develop educational plans that fit the stu­
dents’ abilities, interests, and career poten­
tial. Employment counselors guide people of
all ages in planning careers and finding jobs.
Their advice helps clients select appropriate
fields of endeavor, and then prepare for them.
Rehabilitation counselors advise people with
physical, mental, or social disabilities. These
counselors help handicapped persons under­
stand what adjustments are needed in their
personal lives and vocational plans in order OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


to achieve a satisfactory lifestyle. College ca­
reer planning and placement counselors help
college students choose careers and advise
them on the kinds of training or experience
that will best help them find a job.
Members of the clergy counsel people of
their faith and provide spiritual leadership
within their communities. They enable peo­
ple to worship according to the dictates of
their consciences. As spiritual leaders, mem­
bers of the clergy are widely regarded as
models for moral and ethical conduct. They
frequently counsel people who have prob­
lems in their jobs, homes, schools, or social
relationships; often, these are emotional
problems. In fact, they deal in such delicate
personal and emotional areas that the law
provides that they need not disclose the na­
ture of their communications with their con­
gregants. Members of the clergy help people
in their communities in many other ways.
They may set up programs that feed the poor,
care for the sick, provide companionship for
the lonely, and involve children and adults in
educational and recreational activities.
Other occupations involve helping people,
too. Cooperative extension service workers
work with people who live in rural areas; they
do educational work in such areas as agricul­
ture and home economics, and encourage
youth activities and community develop­
ment. Home economists provide training and
technical assistance in areas that make every­
day life more comfortable and livable—con­
sumer economics, housing, home manage­
ment, home furnishings and equipment, food
and nutrition, clothing and textiles, and fam­
ily development and relations.
People in social service occupations be­
come closely involved with their clients’
lives, and the services they provide can have
far-reaching effects. Advice on schools, jobs,
careers, rehabilitation, or emotional and fam­
ily problems may lead an individual to make
fundamental decisions about the future.
Suggestions made by a counselor or social
worker may shape a client’s entire future.
Members of the clergy in particular may be­
come involved in the most intimate details of
their congregants’ lives. A genuine concern
for other people is therefore essential for any­
one considering a career in this field.
Caring about people and wanting to assist
is not enough, though. People in social ser­
vice occupations must be good at dealing
with other people and relating to them; they
must have a manner that inspires trust and

confidence. Nearly all of them undergo train­
ing in how to work with others. Tact and
sensitivity are necessary traits. Anyone who
comes in contact with people’s deepest feel­
ings and beliefs—as members of the clergy
and counselors often do—needs empathy, the
ability to sense others’ feelings. Patience is
important as well, for clients often are con­
fused, hesitant, fearful, or angry. They often
are not clear themselves as to what the prob­
lem is or may have difficulty describing it.
Speaking and writing skills are important.
In some of these jobs, workers have to keep
notes and records. They must be able to pre­
sent all the important points about a client’s
situation clearly and quickly. Verbal skills
are also necessary. Counselors and social
workers must be able to communicate on a
one-to-one basis, and to work easily with
groups. There also are occasions when they
must speak before large audiences. Members
of the clergy, of course, do this regularly.
Finally, workers in the social service occu­
pations should know themselves—their own
strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Emotional
stability is important because people in this
field are so often in touch with situations that
are worrisome or depressing. There are occu­
pational hazards in this work. There is dan­
ger of being overwhelmed by others’ misery,
the danger of expecting too much of yourself,
the danger of “burning out” and losing the
sensitivity that brought you to the field in the
first place.
Training for a social service career ranges
from just a few weeks for an aide to many
years for a professional. Homemaker-home
health aides generally take a 1- or 2-week
course right after they begin work. Many
other social service aides—those doing valu­
able work in reaching out to their neighbors
and others in need—have little formal train­
ing. They do not even have to be high
school graduates, for that matter. What
counts in getting their jobs is their knowl­
edge of the community and their ability to
deal with people. For professional occupa­
tions, such as social worker and counselor,
however, a college degree and graduate edu­
cation are necessary. Often, professional ed­
ucation includes an internship, or period of
work experience, that enables the student to
learn how to apply classroom knowledge to
real-life situations.
The following section describes in greater
detail the work of people in 12 social service

Counseling Occupations
At some point in their lives, most people
seek advice or assistance for personal, educa­
tional, or vocational problems. These prob­
lems may be relatively minor, such as a con­
flict in a student’s class schedule, or may
involve serious emotional or physical
disabilities. Regardless of the problem,
counselors often are the ones to whom people
turn for help.
Counselors may specialize in a specific
area and work setting. Some deal primarily
with school children, while others work only
with adults. Some counselors are trained to
assist in educational or vocational planning;
others help people deal with their day to day
problems. Whatever the area of specializa­
tion, counselors help people understand
themselves—their capabilities and potential
—so that they can make and carry out deci­
sions and plans for a satisfying and produc­
tive life.
This chapter covers four counseling spe­
cialties: School counseling, rehabilitation
counseling, employment counseling, and col­
lege career planning and placement.
School counselors are the largest counsel­
ing group. They are primarily concerned
with the personal, social, and educational de­
velopment of students.
Rehabilitation counselors help persons
with physical, mental, or social handicaps to
become more productive individuals.
Employment counselors advise people—

the unemployed or unskilled, for example—
who cannot find a job or have problems in
career choice and planning.
College career planning and placement
counselors help college students examine
their own interests, abilities, and goals; ex­
plore career alternatives; and make and fol­
low 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 pleasant but strong personality that instills
confidence in clients is desirable. Counselors
also must be patient, sensitive to the needs of
others, and able to communicate orally as
well as in writing.
In addition, many psychologists, social
workers, and college student personnel work­
ers also do counseling. These and other fields
which entail some counseling, such as teach­
ing, health, law, religion, and personnel, are
described elsewhere in the Handbook.

School Counselors
(D.O.T. 045.107-010)

Nature of the Work
Uncertainty about a career choice, dif­
ficulty with a particular class, or an unhappy
home life are examples of problems that

many students face. Usually these problems
cannot be solved by the student alone; profes­
sional assistance often is needed. Most
schools hire counselors to give individual at­
tention to students’ educational, career, and
social development.
The counselor’s role is to help students
understand themselves better—their abili­
ties, talents, personality characteristics, and
career options, for example. To accomplish
this, counselors may use tests and individual
or group counseling; sometimes they develop
specialized methods or seek the assistance of
community resource persons.
When helping students in career choices,
counselors often administer and evaluate
tests. Some counselors also have responsibil­
ity for a career information center and the
school’s career education program. The
counselor may, for example, suggest ways in
which a math teacher can incorporate into a
lesson information on occupations that re­
quire mathematics. Or the counselor may ar­
range field trips to factories and business
firms or show films which provide a view of
real work settings. The desired result is a
student who is more aware of careers that
match his or her talents, likes, and abilities
and who can, with the assistance of the coun­
selor, develop an educational and career
School counselors must keep up-to-date on
opportunities for educational and vocational
training beyond high school to counsel stu­
dents who want this information. They must
keep informed about training programs in 2and 4-year colleges; in trade, technical, and
business schools; apprenticeship programs;
and available federally supported programs.
Counselors also advise students about educa­
tional requirements for entry level jobs, job
changes caused by technological advances,
college entrance requirements, and places of
Counselors in junior high and high
schools often help students find part-time
jobs, either to enable them to stay in
school or to help them prepare for their
vocation. They may help both graduates
and dropouts to find jobs or may direct
them to community employment services.
They also may conduct surveys to learn
more about hiring experiences of recent
graduates and dropouts, local job oppor­
tunities, or the effectiveness of the educa­
tional and guidance programs.

School counselors help students gain a better understanding of their interests, abilities,

and for FRASER
Digitizedpersonality characteristics.

Counselors work with problems affecting
the school as a whole as well as those affect­
ing only one or two individuals. If drug abuse
is a problem, counselors may, for example,
initiate group counseling sessions to discuss
the dangers of taking drugs. Or they may


speak individually with students and their
Counselors work closely with other staff
members of the school, members of the com­
munity, and parents. Often, teachers and
counselors confer about problems affecting a
student or group of students. A teacher may
refer a student who appears to have problems
dealing with classmates to a counselor who
will attempt to find the cause. Counselors
may arrange meetings with parents or com­
munity agencies, such as mental health or­
ganizations, if a student’s problems are seri­
Elementary school counselors help chil­
dren to make the best use of their abilities by
identifying these and other basic aspects of
the child’s makeup at an early age, and by
evaluating any learning problems. Methods
used in counseling grade school children dif­
fer in many ways from those used with older
students. Observations of classroom and play
activity furnish clues about children in the
lower grades. To better understand children,
elementary school counselors spend much
time consulting with teachers and parents.
They also work closely with other staff mem­
bers of the school, including psychologists
and social workers.
Some school counselors, particularly in
secondary schools, teach classes in occupa­
tional information, social studies, or other
subjects. They also may supervise school
clubs or other extracurricular activities, often
after regular school hours.

Working Conditions
Most school counselors work the tradi­
tional 10-month school year with a 2-month
vacation. They work closely with school ad­
ministrators, teachers, and parents as well as
students. Helping students solve specific
problems can be emotionally exhausting.

Places of Employment
About 45,000 people worked full time as
public school counselors during 1978. Most
counselors work in large schools. An increas­
ing number of school districts, however, pro­
vide guidance services to their small schools
by assigning more than one school to a coun­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most States require school counselors to
have counseling and teaching certificates.
However, a growing number of States no
longer require teacher certification. Depend­
ing on the State, a master’s degree in counsel­
ing and from 1 to 5 years of teaching experi­
ence usually are required for a counseling
certificate. People who plan to become
counselors should learn the requirements of
the State in which they plan to work since
requirements vary among States and change

College students interested in becoming
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

school counselors usually take the regular
program of teacher education, with addi­
tional courses in psychology and sociology.
In States where teaching experience is not a
requirement, it is possible to major in a lib­
eral arts program. A few States substitute a
counseling internship for teaching experi­
ence. In some States, teachers who have
completed part of the courses required for
the master’s degree in counseling are eligible
for provisional certification and may work as
counselors under supervision while they take
additional courses.
Counselor education programs at the grad­
uate level are available in more than 450 col­
leges and universities, usually in the depart­
ments of education or psychology. One to
two years of graduate study are necessary for
a master’s degree. Most programs provide
supervised field experience.
Subject areas of required graduate level
courses usually include appraisal of the in­
dividual student, individual counseling
procedures, group guidance, information
service for career development, professional
relations and ethics, and statistics and re­
The ability to help young people accept
responsibility for their own lives is important
for school counselors. They must be able to
coordinate the activity of others and work as
part of the team which forms the educational
School counselors may advance by moving
to a larger school; becoming director or su­
pervisor of counseling or guidance; or, with
further graduate education, becoming a col­
lege counselor, educational psychologist,
school psychologist, or school administrator.
Usually college counselors and educational
psychologists must have the Ph. D. degree.

Employment Outlook
Employment of school counselors is likely
to grow more slowly than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s as declining
school enrollments coupled with financial
constraints limit demand. Future growth in
counselor employment will depend largely on
the amount of funds that the Federal Gov­
ernment provides to the States, particularly
funding for career education.

According to a recent survey, the average
salary of school counselors in 1978 was
around $17,700. However, salaries varied by
size, grade level, and locality of the school.
Average salaries of school counselors ranged
from around $9,200 to about $30,500. School
counselors generally earn more than teachers
at the same school. (See statements on kin­
dergarten and elementary school teachers
and secondary school teachers.)
In most school systems, counselors receive
regular salary increments as they obtain ad­
ditional education and experience. Some
counselors supplement their income by parttime consulting or other work with private or

public counseling centers, government agen­
cies, or private industry.

Related Occupations
School counselors help students gain a bet­
ter understanding of their interests, abilities,
and personality characteristics, and also help
them deal with personal, social, academic,
and vocational problems. Other occupations
involved in helping people in similar ways
include caseworkers, clinical psychologists,
elementary school teachers, parole officers,
probation officers, social workers, secondary
school teachers, and vocational rehabilitation

Sources of Additional Information
State departments of education can supply
information on colleges and universities that
offer training in guidance and counseling as
well as on the State certification require­
Additional information on this field of
work is available from:
American School Counselor Association, 22 Sky­
line Place, Suite 400, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Falls
Church, Va. 22041.

(D.O.T. 045.107-010 and -018)

Nature of the Work
All too often, people look for jobs before
they develop realistic career goals, acquire
the proper training, or learn enough about
the job market. They run the risk of becom­
ing dissatisfied with their work or failing to
find a job at all. Employment counselors
(sometimes called vocational counselors)
provide people with career information and
other kinds of help in getting a job.
Most employment counselors work in
State employment service offices or in com­
munity agencies. Community agencies,
which may be either public or private, in­
clude career planning and placement pro­
grams for special groups such as women and
minorities; social service agencies that coun­
sel school dropouts, drug abusers, or ex­
offenders; and neighborhood organizations
that help direct young people towards mean­
ingful roles in society.
Counselors interview jobseekers to learn
about their interests, training, work experi­
ence, work attitudes, physical capacities, and
personal traits. If necessary, they may ar­
range for aptitude and achievement tests. To
learn more about the jobseeker’s aptitudes,
skills, and interests, they may contact a for­
mer employer or school principal. The coun­
selor then describes a number of suitable oc­
cupations and discusses the client’s
employment prospects in each field.

Often, employment counselors refer clients

larger cities. Some worked in institutions
such as prisons, training schools for delin­
quent youths, and mental hospitals. Some
counselors teach in graduate training pro­
grams or conduct research.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States require counselors in public em­
ployment offices to meet State civil service or
merit system requirements. However, these
minimum educational and experience stan­
dards vary by State. Some require a master’s
degree in counseling or a related field; others
require only a high school diploma. Experi­
ence in counseling, interviewing, and job
placement also may be required, particularly
for those without advanced degrees.
Applicants with graduate degrees and ad­
ditional experience may enter at higher levels
on the counselor career ladder. In many
States, individuals with extensive experience
in the employment service may enter the
counselor career ladder, take the prescribed
university course, and gain the necessary ex­
perience to move upward.

Counselors often administer aptitude and achievement tests.
to other agencies for additional help. For ex­
ample, if a person stutters, the employment
counselor might suggest speech therapy at a
local health facility. A counselor might refer
a client with outdated job skills to a training
program, arrange an equivalency exam for
someone who has not finished high school, or
suggest child care that would fit a working
parent’s schedule. Proper referral requires
that employment counselors be thoroughly
familiar with community resources and that
they keep in touch with other social service
and health professionals.
Counselors may suggest specific employers
and appropriate ways of applying for work.
In some cases, counselors may contact em­
ployers about jobs for applicants, although
placement specialists often handle this work
in State employment service agencies. After
job placement or entrance into training,
counselors may follow up to determine if the
applicant needs additional assistance.
The unemployed and graduates looking
for their first job are typical clients that an
employment counselor might see during an
ordinary workday. Some clients have skills to
start work immediately; others who have not
completed school or lack marketable skills
need assistance such as remedial education,
job training, or advice about interviewing
and filling out application forms. People with
job market disadvantages often need exten­
Digitizedcounseling. They may need help to re­
sive for FRASER

solve emotional, family, or other fundamen­
tal problems that prevent their securing and
holding a job.
In recent years, the employment problems
of many special groups have come into
sharper focus. Veterans, school dropouts,
handicapped people, older workers, women,
and minorities sometimes need special help
to turn talents and abilities into marketable
skills. E m ploym ent counselors w ho w ork

with these clients increasingly use group
counseling, and follow-up counseling for cli­
ents who have begun working.

Working Conditions
Counselors usually work about 40 hours a
week, but some in community agencies may
have evening appointments to counsel clients
already employed.
Working space is often limited, but offices
are designed to be free from noise and dis­
tractions to allow for confidential discussions
with clients.

Places of Employment
In 1978 about 3,100 persons worked in em­
ployment counseling or related technical and
supervisory positions in State employment
service offices in every large city and many
smaller towns. In addition, about 3,000 em­
ployment counselors worked for various pri­
vate or community agencies, primarily in

Although minimum entrance require­
ments are not standardized among private
and community agencies, most prefer, and
some require, a master’s degree in vocational
counseling or in a related field such as psy­
chology, personnel administration, counsel­
ing, guidance education, or public adminis­
tration. Many private agencies prefer to have
at least one staff member who has a doctorate
in counseling psychology or a related field.
For those lacking an advanced degree, em­
ployers usually emphasize experience in
closely related work such as rehabilitation
counseling, employment interviewing, school
or college counseling, teaching, social work,
or psychology.
In each State, the public employment ser­
vice offices provide in-service training pro­
grams for their new counselors or trainees. In
addition, both their new and experienced
counselors often enroll for training at col­
leges and universities during the regular aca­
demic year or at institutes or summer ses­
sions. Private and community agencies also
often provide in-service training opportuni­
College students who wish to become em­
ployment counselors should study psychol­
ogy and basic sociology. Graduate level
courses include techniques of counseling,
psychological principles and psychology of
careers, assessment and appraisal, cultures
and environment, and occupational informa­
tion. Counselor education programs at the
graduate level are available in more than 450
colleges and universities, mainly in depart­
ments of education or psychology. To obtain
a master’s degree, students must complete 1
to 2 years of graduate study including actual
supervised experience in counseling.
Persons aspiring to be employment
counselors should have a strong interest in
helping others make and carry out vocational


decisions. They should be able to work inde­
pendently and to keep detailed records.
Well-qualified counselors with experience
may advance to supervisory or administra­
tive positions as directors of agencies, area
supervisors of guidance programs, consult­
ants, or counseling professors.

local telephone directory. A list of all public
employment service offices may be obtained
by writing to:
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and
Training Administration, U.S. Employment Ser­
vice, 601 D St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20213.

Employment Outlook
Qualified applicants are expected to face
competition for jobs as employment counse­
lors through the 1980’s. Employment in this
small occupation depends largely on Federal
funding for the State, local, and community
agencies that provide job counseling. In re­
cent years, the number of counselors in State
offices has changed very little, but some new
jobs have opened up in community agencies
funded under the Comprehensive Employ­
ment and Training Act (CETA).
In addition to new jobs, some openings for
employment counselors will result from the
need to replace those who die, retire, or trans­
fer to other fields.

Salaries of employment counselors in State
employment services vary considerably from
State to State. In 1978, salaries ranged from
about $7,(X ) for entry level positions to $21,X
000 for experienced counselors. The average
starting salary for beginning workers was
$10,506, while experienced counselors ave­
raged $13,814.
According to the limited data available,
the average starting salary for counselors in
private, nonprofit organizations in 1978 was
$12,500. The average for experienced work­
ers was $18,000. In general, salaries of em­
ployment counselors are about one and onehalf times as high as average earnings for all
nonsupervisory w orkers in private industry,

except farming.
Counselors generally receive benefits such
as vacations, sick leave, pension plans, and
insurance coverage.

Related Occupations
Other professionals interview people, dis­
cuss their problems, and suggest useful solu­
tions. Among them are school psychologists,
guidance counselors, parole officers, proba­
tion officers, and social workers.

Sources of Additional Information
For general information on employment
or vocational counseling, contact:
American Personnel and Guidance Association, 2
Skyline Place, Suite 400, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Falls
Church, Va. 22041.

The administrative office for each State’s
employment security agency can supply spe­
cific information about local job opportuni­
ties, salaries, and entrance requirements for
positions in public employment service of­
fices. For information, contact the nearest
local office of your public employment ser­
Digitized forunder State Government listings in your
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


(D.O.T. 045.107-042)

Nature of the Work
Each year more mentally, physically, and
emotionally disabled persons become selfsufficient and productive citizens. They find
employment in a wide variety of occupations
previously thought too complex or physically
demanding for them to handle. A growing
number are studying in colleges and techni­
cal schools throughout the United States.
One member of the team of professionals
who help disabled individuals leave a shel­
tered environment to lead as normal a life as
possible is the rehabilitation counselor.
Rehabilitation counselors begin their work
by learning about their client. They may read
school reports, confer with medical person­
nel, and talk with family members to deter­
mine the exact nature of the disability. They
also discuss with physicians, psychologists,
and occupational therapists the types of skills
the client can learn. At that point, the coun­
selor begins a series of discussions with the
client to explore training and career options.
The counselor then uses this information to
develop a rehabilitation plan.
A rehabilitation program generally in­
cludes specific job training, as well as other
specialized training the disabled person may
need. When working with a blind individual,
for example, the counselor may arrange for
training with seeing-eye dogs. The disabled
person then may spend a few months learn­
ing to cross streets and ride public transpor­
tation systems. Throughout this period, the
counselor and disabled client meet regularly
to discuss progress in the rehabilitation pro­
gram and any problems that may arise.
Counselors also must find jobs for disabled
persons and often make followup checks to
insure that placement has been successful. If
the new employee has a specific problem on
the job, the counselor may suggest adapta­
tions to the employer.
Because job placement is such an impor­
tant aspect of a counselor’s work, he or she
must keep in touch with members of the busi­
ness community to learn the type of jobs
available and training required. They also try
to alleviate any fears on the part of employers
about the suitability of hiring handicapped
individuals. As a result, counselors may
spend time publicizing the rehabilitation pro­
gram to business and community associa­

An increasing number of counselors spe­
cialize in a particular area of rehabilitation;
some may work almost exclusively with blind
people, deaf people, alcoholics, drug addicts,
the mentally ill, or retarded persons. Others
may work almost entirely with persons living
in poverty areas.
The amount of time spent counseling each
client varies with the severity of the disabled
person’s problems as well as with the size of
the counselor’s caseload. Some rehabilitation
counselors are responsible for many persons
in various stages of rehabilitation; on the
other hand, less experienced counselors, or
those working with the severely disabled,
may work with relatively few cases at a time.

Working Conditions
Rehabilitation counselors generally work a
40-hour week or less, with some overtime
work required to attend community and civic
meetings in the evening. They may spend
only part of their time in their offices coun­
seling and performing necessary paperwork.
The remainder of their time is spent away
from the office, working with prospective
employers, training agencies, and the dis­
abled person’s family. The ability to drive a
car often is necessary for this work.
Rehabilitation counselors must maintain
close contact with handicapped clients and
their families over many months or even
years. The counselor often has the satisfac­
tion of watching day-by-day progress in the
disabled person’s fight for independence. At
other times, however, the counselor may ex­
perience the disappointment of a client’s fail­

Places of Employment
About 19,000 persons worked as rehabili­
tatio n counselors in 1978. A bout 70 percent

worked in State and local rehabilitation agen­
cies financed cooperatively with Federal and
State funds. Some vocational rehabilitation
specialists and counseling psychologists
worked in the Veterans Administration’s vo­
cational rehabilitation program. Rehabilita­
tion centers, sheltered workshops, hospitals,
mental health centers, labor unions, insur­
ance companies, special schools, centers for
independent living, and other public and pri­
vate agencies with rehabilitation programs
and job placement services for the disabled
employ the rest.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with courses in
counseling, psychology, and related fields
is the minimum educational requirement
for rehabilitation counselors. However, em­
ployers are placing increasing emphasis on
the master’s degree in rehabilitation coun­
seling or vocational counseling, or in
related subjects such as psychology, educa­
tion, and social work. Work experience in
fields such as vocational counseling and
placement, psychology, education, and so-

The Veteran’s Administration paid coun­
seling psychologists with a 2-year master’s
degree and 1 year of subsequent experience—
and those with a Ph. D.—starting salaries of
$19,263 in early 1979. Those with a Ph. D.
and a year of experience, and those with a
2-year master’s degree and much experience,
started at $23,087. In addition, the Veteran’s
Administration employed a number of voca­
tional rehabilitation specialists—generally
with master’s degrees—at starting salaries of
$13,014 to $19,263. The average salary of
vocational rehabilitation counselors in the
Federal Government was $20,100 in 1978.

Related Occupations
Rehabilitation counselors help mentally,
physically, and emotionally disabled in­
dividuals become self-sufficient and produc­
tive citizens. Related occupations include:
school counselors, employment counselors,
parole officers, probation officers, social
workers, and occupational therapists.

Rehabilitation counselors begin their work by learning about their client.
cial work is an asset for securing employ­
ment as a rehabilitation counselor. Most
whereby employed counselors can earn
graduate degrees in the field.
In 1978, 84 colleges and universities ac­
credited by the Council on Rehabilitation
Education offered graduate programs in
rehabilitation counseling. Usually, 1 1/2 to 2
years of study are required for the master’s
degree. Included is a period of actual work
experience as a rehabilitation counselor
under the close supervision of an instructor.
Besides a basic foundation in psychology,
courses generally included in master’s degree
programs are counseling theory and tech­
niques, occupational and educational infor­
mation, and community resources. Other re­
quirements may include courses in placement
and followup, tests and measurements, psy­
chosocial effects of disability, and medical
and legislative aspects of rehabilitation.
To earn the doctorate in rehabilitation
counseling or in counseling psychology may
take a total of 4 to 6 years of graduate study.
Intensive training in psychology and other
social sciences, as well as in research meth­
ods, is required.
Many States require that rehabilitation
counselors be hired in accordance with State
civil service and merit system rules. In most
cases, these regulations require applicants to
pass a competitive written test, sometimes
supplemented by an interview and evaluation
by a board of examiners. In addition, some
private organizations require rehabilitation
counselors to be certified. To become certi­
fied, counselors must pass exams adminis­
tered by the Commission on Rehabilitation
Counselor Certification.
Because rehabilitation counselors deal
with the welfare
 of individuals, the ability to

accept responsibility is important. It also is
essential that they be able to work indepen­
dently and be able to motivate and guide the
activity of others. Counselors who work with
the severely disabled need unusual emotional
stability. They must be very patient in deal­
ing with clients who often are disqouraged,
angry, or otherwise difficult to handle.
Counselors who have limited experience
usually are assigned the less difficult cases.
As they gain experience, their caseloads are
increased and they are assigned clients with
more complex rehabilitation problems. After
obtaining considerable experience and more
graduate education, rehabilitation counselors
may advance to supervisory positions or top
administrative jobs.

Employment Outlook
Because most State and private rehabilita­
tion agencies are funded primarily by the
Federal Government, the extent of employ­
ment will depend largely on the level of gov­
ernment spending. Additional positions,
however, are expected to become available in
private companies, such as manufacturing
and service firms, for rehabilitation counse­
lors to help in equal employment opportunity
efforts. Colleges and universities that employ
coordinators of services to handicapped stu­
dents are another source of increasing em­
ployment opportunities for rehabilitation
counselors. In addition to growth needs,
many counselors will be required annually to
replace those who die, retire, or leave the
field for other reasons.

The average minimum salary of rehabilita­
tion counselors in State agencies was about
$11,500 in 1978; the average maximum sal­
ary was $15,200.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about rehabilitation coun­
seling as a career, contact:
American Psychological Association, Inc., 1200
17th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.
American Rehabilitation Counseling Association,
2 Skyline Place, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 400,
Falls Church, Va. 22041.
National Rehabilitation Counseling Association,
1522 K St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20005.

A list of educational institutions offering
training in rehabilitation counseling can be
obtained from:
Division of Manpower Development, Rehabilitaton Services Administration, Department of Edu­
cation, Room 3321, Mary E. Switzer Building, 330
C St. SW., Washington, D.C. 20201.

Information on certification requirements
and procedures is available from:
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certifi­
cation, 8 South Michigan Ave., Suite 3301, Chi­
cago, 111. 60603.

College Career
Planning and
Counselors __
(D.O.T. 166.167-014 and .267-010)

Nature of the Work
Choosing a career is a decision all college
students face. Identifying a field of work that
matches one’s likes, dislikes, personal quali­
ties, and talents can be difficult and time con­
suming. Once a career choice has been made,
the job search begins in earnest—writing
resumes, searching out prospective employ­
ers, and requesting interviews. Looking for a


job can be an anxiety-producing and dis­
couraging experience.
Career planning and placement counselors
help bridge the gap between education and
work by assisting students in all phases of
career decisionmaking and planning. These
counselors, sometimes called college place­
ment officers, provide a variety of services to
college students and alumni. They encourage
students to examine their interests, abilities,
and goals, and then help them explore career
alternatives. They may help students test ca­
reer interests by arranging internships, field
placements, or part-time or summer employ­
ment. Counselors discuss the kinds of jobs
open to college graduates with a particular
major and help students evaluate the pros
and cons of further training.
Because a liberal arts curriculum is not
specifically career oriented, these students in
particular can benefit from the knowledge
and experience of college career planning and
placement counselors. Even in areas like ac­
counting or engineering, where the correla­
tion between college major and career is quite
direct, students benefit from counseling as­
sistance in deciding where and how to look
for a job.

of contact with others—in counseling ses­
sions, meetings, public appearances, and tele­
phone calls. This work can be deeply gratify­
ing because counselors share in the growth
and development of students. In addition,
they are constantly exposed to new ideas and
developments in the working world. Many
persons pursue careers as college counselors
because of the intellectual stimulation and
other intangible benefits of an academic envi­

Places of Employment
Nearly all 4-.year colleges and universities
and many community and junior colleges
provide career planning and placement ser­
vices to their students and alumni. Large col­
leges and junior colleges may employ several
counselors working under a director of career
planning and placement activities. In many

institutions, however, a combination of
placement functions is performed by one di­
rector aided by a clerical staff. In small col­
leges and junior colleges, the functions of ca­
reer counselors may be performed on a
part-time basis by members of the faculty or
administrative staff. Universities frequently
have placement officers for each major
branch or campus.
About 5,000 persons worked as career
planning and placement counselors in 2- and
4-year colleges and universities in 1978.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although no specific educational program
exists to prepare persons for career planning
and placement work, colleges and universi­
ties increasingly seek applicants with a mas-

Career planning and placement counselors
also arrange for job recruiters to visit the
campus to discuss their firms’ personnel
needs and to interview applicants. They pro­
vide employers with information about stu­
dents and inform students about business op­
erations and personnel needs in industry. A
counselor may, for example, explain to stu­
dents that workers in certain industries are
subject to layoffs. In order to counsel stu­
dents adequately, counselors must keep
abreast of labor market information, includ­
ing wages, hours, training, and employment
prospects. This means reading career and
counseling literature and maintaining con­
tact with industry and government recruit­
Some career planning and placement
counselors, especially those in community
and junior colleges, advise school administra­
tors on curriculum and course content. They
may consult employers and then suggest
courses that would prepare students more
adequately for local jobs. In addition, some
placement directors and counselors, espe­
cially those working in small schools, also
teach. All counselors maintain a library of
career guidance and recruitment informa­
Placement counselors may specialize in
areas such as law, education, or part-time
and summer work. However, the extent of
specialization usually depends upon the size
and type of college as well as the size of the
placement staff.

Working Conditions
Working as they do with students, alumni,
faculty, and employers, college career plan­
ning and placement counselors have peopleoriented jobs. Their work entails a great deal
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Helping students select courses is an interesting and challenging part of the job.

ter’s degree in counseling, college student
personnel work, or a behavioral science. One
or two years of work experience in business
or industry are invaluable preparation for
this occupation.
In 1978, over 100 colleges and universities
offered graduate programs in college student
personnel work. Graduate courses that are
helpful for career planning and placement
counseling include counseling theory and
techniques, vocational testing, theory of
group dynamics, personnel management, or­
ganizational behavior, and industrial rela­
Some people enter the career planning and
placement field after gaining a broad back­
ground of experience in business, industry,
government, or educational organizations.
An internship in a career planning and place­
ment office also is helpful.
Like other counselors, college career plan­
ning and placement counselors need certain
personal traits. A respect and concern for the
individual, based on a belief in the student’s
self-worth and capacity for growth, is impor­
tant in this field. Counselors must be able to
communicate with and gain the confidence of
students, faculty, and employers in order to
work effectively with them. Intellectual curi­
osity and openmindedness are important, for
counselors need to develop and maintain an
understanding of the personal, economic,
and environmental forces that affect career
decisions. People in this field should be ener­
getic and able to work under pressure be­
cause they must organize and administer a
wide variety of activities.

Advancement for career planning and
placement professionals usually is through
promotion to an assistant or associate posi­
tion, director of career planning and place­
ment, director of student personnel services,
or some other higher level administrative po­
sition. A doctoral degree may be helpful for
such advancement. However, the extent of
such opportunity usually depends upon the
type of college or university and the size of
the staff.

Employment Outlook
Employment of college career planning
and placement counselors is not expected to
increase significantly through the 1980’s.
Budgetary constraints in many institutions of
higher education will limit expansion of
counseling and placement services. Slight in­
creases may occur in community and junior
colleges where there are no career planning
and placement programs at present. While
colleges and universities increasingly empha­
size career planning and placement services
for students at all levels including special
groups—adults seeking a midcareer change
as well as minority, low-income, and handi­
capped students—schools will tend to utilize
existing staff rather than hire additional per­
As with other academic jobs, applicants
for college career planning and placement
positions will face keen competition. Those
with a master’s degree in counseling or a
related field and experience in business
or industry may have the best job pros­

According to a survey of colleges and uni­
versities, the median salary of student place­
ment directors was around $18,100 a year in
1978. Salaries generally were higher in public
than in private institutions, and higher in
major universities and 4-year institutions
than in 2-year schools.
Career planning and placement counselors
frequently work more than a 40-hour week;
irregular hours and overtime often are neces­
sary, particularly during the “recruiting sea­
son.” Most counselors are employed on a 12month basis. They are paid for holidays and
vacations and usually receive the same bene­
fits as other professional personnel employed
by colleges and universities.

Related Occupations
College career planning and placement
counselors help students attain career goals.
Others who help people attain goals and
solve personal problems include school
counselors, employment counselors, rehabili­
tation counselors, personnel and labor rela­
tions workers, social workers, psychologists,
members of the clergy, teachers, and college
student personnel workers.

Sources of Additional Information
A pamphlet on college career planning and
placement is available from:
The College Placement Council, Inc., P.O. Box
2263, Bethlehem, Pa. 18001.


Deciding on a career in the clergy involves
considerations different from those involved
m other career choices. When persons choose
to enter the ministry, priesthood, or rabbin­
ate, they do so primarily because they possess
a strong religious faith and a desire to help
others. Nevertheless, it is important to know
as much as possible about the profession and
how to prepare for it, the kind of life it offers,
and its needs for personnel.
The number of clergy needed depends
largely on the number of people who partici­
pate in organized religious groups. This af­
fects the number of churches and synagogues
established and pulpits to be filled. In addi­
tion to the clergy who serve congregations,
many others teach or act as administrators in
seminaries and in other educational institu­
tions; still others serve as chaplains in the
Armed Forces, industry, correctional institu­
tions, hospitals, or on college campuses; or
render service as missionaries or in social
welfare agencies.
Persons considering a career in the clergy
should seek the counsel of a religious leader

Minister conducting worship services.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

of their faith to aid in evaluating their qualifi­
cations. The most important of these are a
deep religious belief and a desire to serve the
spiritual needs of others. The priest, minister,
or rabbi also is expected to be a model of
moral and ethical conduct. A person consid­
ering one of these fields must realize that the
civic, social, and recreational activities of a
member of the clergy often are influenced
and restricted by the customs and attitudes of
the community.
The clergy should be sensitive to the needs
of 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 entering this
field also must enjoy studying because the
ministry is an occupation which requires
continuous learning. In addition, the minis­
try demands considerable initiative and selfdiscipline.
More detailed information on the clergy in
the three largest faiths in the United States—
Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish—is
given in the following statements, prepared

in cooperation with leaders of these faiths.
Information on the clergy in other faiths may
be obtained directly from leaders of the re­
spective groups.

Protestant Ministers
(D.O.T. 120.007-010)

Nature of the Work
Protestant ministers lead their congrega­
tions in worship services and administer the
various rites in their churches, such as bap­
tism, confirmation, and Holy Communion.
They prepare and deliver sermons and give
religious instruction. They also perform mar­
riages; conduct funerals; counsel individuals
who seek guidance; visit the sick, aged, and
handicapped at home and in the hospital;
comfort the bereaved; and serve church
members in other ways. Many Protestant
ministers write articles for publication, give
speeches, and engage in interfaith, commu­
nity, civic, educational, and recreational ac­
tivities sponsored by or related to the inter­
ests of the church. Some ministers teach in
seminaries, colleges, and universities.
The services that ministers conduct differ
among Protestant denominations and also
among congregations within a denomination.
In many denominations, ministers follow a
traditional order of worship; in others, they
adapt the services to the needs of youth and
other groups within the congregation. Most
services include Bible reading, hymn singing,
prayers, and a sermon. In some denomina­
tions, Bible reading by a member of the con­
gregation and individual testimonials may
constitute a large part of the service.
Ministers serving small congregations gen­
erally work on a personal basis with their
parishioners. Those serving large congrega­
tions have greater administrative respon­
sibilities and spend considerable time work­
ing with committees, church officers, and
staff, besides performing their other duties.
They may have one or more associates or
assistants who share specific aspects of the
ministry, such as a minister of education who
assists in educational programs for different
age groups, or a minister of music.

Working Conditions
Ministers are “on call” for any serious
troubles or emergencies that involve or affect
members of their churches. They also may
work long and irregular hours in administra­
tive, educational, and community service ac­

Many of the ministers’ duties are sedentary
in nature, such as reading or researching in
a study or a library .while preparing sermons
or writing articles.
In denominations such as the Methodist
Church, ministers are subject to reassign­
ment by a central body to a new pastorate
every few years.

Places of Employment
In 1978, most of the 190,000 Protestant
ministers served individual congregations.
Some also worked in closely related fields
such as chaplains in hospitals and the Armed
Forces. The greatest number of clergy are
affiliated with the five largest groups of
churches—Baptist, United Methodist, Luth­
eran, Presbyterian, and Episcopal.
All cities and most towns in the United
States have at least one Protestant church
with a full-time minister. Some churches em­
ploy part-time ministers; many part-time
clergy are seminary students, ministers
retired from full-time pastoral responsibili­
ties, or those who also have secular jobs. Al­
though most ministers are located in urban
areas, many live in less densely populated
areas where they may serve two or more con­

a faculty member or experienced minister.
Some institutions offer doctor of ministry de­
grees to students who have completed 1 year
or more of additional study after serving at
least a year as minister. Scholarships and
loans are available for students of theological
In general, each large denomination has its
own school or schools of theology that reflect
its particular doctrine, interests, and needs.
However, many of these schools are open to
students from other denominations. Several
interdenominational schools associated with
universities give both undergraduate and
graduate training covering a wide range of
theological points of view.
Persons who have denominational qualifi­
cations for the ministry usually are ordained
after graduation from a seminary. In denomi­
nations that do not require seminary train­
ing, clergy are ordained at various appointed
times. For example, the Evangelical minister
may be ordained with only a high school edu­
Men and women entering the clergy often
begin their careers as pastors of small congre­
gations or as assistant pastors in large

Training and Other Qualifications

Employment Outlook

Educational requirements for entry into
the Protestant ministry vary greatly. Some
denominations have no formal educational
requirements, and others ordain persons hav­
ing varying amounts and types of training in
Bible colleges, Bible institutes, or liberal arts

The anticipated slow growth in church
membership combined with pressures of ris­
ing costs and inadequate financial support
are expected to result in only limited growth
in requirements for ministers. However, the
number of persons being ordained has been
increasing and is likely to continue to do so.
As a result, new graduates of theological
schools are expected to face increasing com­
petition in finding positions and more ex­
perienced ministers will face competition in
their efforts to move to large congregations
with greater responsibility and more remu­
neration. The supply-demand situation will
vary among denominations, with more favor­
able prospects for ministers in Evangelical
churches. Most of the openings for clergy
that are expected through the 1980’s will
therefore result from the need to replace
those in existing positions who retire, die, or
leave the ministry.

In 1978, there were 146 American theolog­
ical institutes accredited by the Association
of Theological Schools in the United States
and Canada. These admit only students who
have received a bachelor’s degree or its equiv­
alent with a liberal arts major from an ac­
credited college. Many denominations re­
quire a 3-year course of professional study in
one of these accredited schools or seminaries
after college graduation. The degree of mas­
ter of divinity is awarded upon completion.
Recommended preseminary or under­
graduate college courses include English, his­
tory, philosophy, the natural sciences, socialsciences, the fine arts, music, religion, and
foreign languages. These courses provide a
knowledge of modem social, cultural, and
scientific institutions and problems. How­
ever, students considering theological study
should contact, at the earliest possible date,
the schools to which they intend to apply, to
learn how to prepare for the program they
expect to enter.
The standard curriculum for accredited
theological schools consists of four major cat­
egories: Biblical, historical, theological, and
practical. Courses of a practical nature such
as psychology, religious education, and ad­
ministration are emphasized. Many accred­
ited schools require that students gain experi­
ence in church work under the supervision of

Newly ordained Protestant ministers who
do not have a parish have these alternatives:
Working in youth counseling, family rela­
tions, and welfare organizations; teaching in
religious educational institutions; and serv­
ing as chaplains in the Armed Forces, hospi­
tals, universities, and correctional institu­

Earnings and Working Conditions
Salaries of Protestant clergy vary substan­
tially, depending on age, experience, denomi­
nation, size and wealth of congregation, and
geographic location. The estimated median
annual income of Protestant ministers, in­
cluding housing allowance, was about $13,000 in 1978.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons who are interested in entering the
Protestant ministry should seek the counsel
of a minister or church guidance worker.
Each theological school can supply informa­
tion on admission requirements. Prospective
ministers also should contact the ordination
supervision body of their particular denomi­
nation for information on special require­
ments for ordination.

(D.O.T. 120.007-010)

Nature of the Work
Rabbis are the spiritual leaders of their
congregations and teachers and interpreters
of Jewish law and tradition. They conduct
religious services and deliver sermons on
the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays. Like
other clergy, rabbis conduct weddings and
funeral services, visit the sick, help the
poor, comfort the bereaved, supervise reli­
gious education programs, engage in interfaith activities, and involve themselves in
community affairs.
Rabbis serving large congregations may
spend considerable time in administrative
duties, working with their staffs and commit­
tees. Large congregations frequently have an
associate or assistant rabbi. Many assistant
rabbis serve as educational directors.
Nearly all rabbis serve Orthodox, Conserv­
ative, or Reform congregations. Regardless
of their particular point of view, all Jewish
congregations preserve the substance of Jew­
ish religious worship. Congregations differ in
the extent to which they follow the tradi­
tional form of worship—for example, in the
wearing of head coverings, the use of Hebrew
as the language of prayer, or the use of music
or a choir. The format of the worship service
and, therefore, the ritual that the rabbis use
may vary even among congregations belong­
ing to the same branch of Judaism.
Rabbis also may write for religious and lay
publications, and teach in theological semi­
naries, colleges, and universities.

Working Conditions
Rabbis work long hours and are “on call”
to visit the sick, comfort the bereaved, and
provide counseling to those who need it.
Community and educational activities may
also require long or irregular hours.
Some of their duties are intellectual and
sedentary, such as study of religious texts and
researching and writing sermons and articles
for publication.
Rabbis have a good deal of independent
authority, since there is no formal hierarchy
among them. They are responsible only to
the Board of Trustees of the congregations
they serve.


Newly ordained rabbis usually begin as lead­
ers of small congregations, assistants to ex­
perienced rabbis, directors of Hillel Founda­
tions on college campuses, teachers in
seminaries and other educational institu­
tions, or chaplains in the Armed Forces. As
a rule, the pulpits of large and well-estab­
lished Jewish congregations are filled by ex­
perienced rabbis.

Employment Outlook
The employment outlook for rabbis varies
among the three major branches of Judaism.
Reform rabbis may face competition for
available positions. As a result, the Hebrew
Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion,
the only seminary that trains rabbis for the
Reform branch of Judaism, has begun to
limit enrollments by raising admission stan­

Rabbi telling Bible stories to nursery school children in his congregation.
Places of Employment

may be ordained with approval of three
authorized rabbis.

About 4,000 persons were employed as
rabbis in 1978; approximately 1,550 were Or­
thodox rabbis, 1,350 were Conservative, and
1,200 Reform. Some work as chaplains in the
military services, in hospitals and other insti­
tutions, or in one of the many Jewish commu­
nity service agencies. Others are employed in
colleges and universities as teachers in Jewish
Studies programs.

The Hebrew Union College—Jewish Insti­
tute of Religion is the official seminary that
trains rabbis for the Reform branch of Juda­
ism. It is the only major branch that has
approved the training and ordination of
women as rabbis. In 1978, about 20 percent
of the 200 Reform seminarians were women.

Although rabbis serve Jewish communities
throughout the Nation, they are concen­
trated in those States that have large Jewish
populations, particularly New York, Califor­
nia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Illi­
nois, Massachusetts, Maryland including the
Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and

Training and Other Qualifications
To become eligible for ordination as a
rabbi, a student must complete a course of
study in a seminary. Entrance requirements
and the curriculum depend upon the branch
of Judaism with which the seminary is as­
About 30 seminaries train Orthodox rab­
bis. The Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological
Seminary and the Hebrew Teachers Col­
lege of Skokie are the two seminaries in
the United States that have formal 3-year
ordination programs and require a bache­
lor’s degree for entry. Most Orthodox rab­
bis, however, are ordained informally in
seminaries with programs of varying
length, depending on the individual stu­
dent. There are no formal requirements for
admission to these seminaries, nor are any
degrees granted. When students have be­
come sufficiently learned in the Talmud,
DigitizedBible, and other religious studies, they
the for FRASER
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


The Jewish Theological Seminary of
America is the official seminary that trains
rabbis for the Conservative branch of Juda­
ism. Both seminaries require the completion
of a 4-year college course, as well as earlier
preparation in Jewish studies, for admission
to the rabbinic program leading to ordina­
tion. Normally 5 years of study are required
to complete the rabbinic course at the Re­
form seminary, including 1 year of prepara­
tory study in Jerusalem. Exceptionally wellprepared students can shorten this 5-year
period to a minimum of 3 years. A student
having a strong background in Jewish studies
can complete the course at the Conservative
seminary in 4 years; for other enrollees, the
course may take as long as 6 years.
In general, the curriculums of Jewish theo­
logical seminaries provide students with a
comprehensive knowledge of the Bible, Tal­
mud, Rabbinic literature, Jewish history, the­
ology, and courses in education, pastoral psy­
chology, and public speaking. Students of the
Reform seminary get extensive practical
training in dealing with the social and politi­
cal problems in the community. Training for
alternatives to the pulpit, such as leadership
in community services and religious educa­
tion, increasingly is stressed.
Some seminaries grant advanced academic
degrees in fields such as Biblical and Tal­
mudic research. All Jewish theological semi­
naries make scholarships and loans available.

Orthodox clergy already encounter keen
competition, attributable in large part to the
informal ordination process. More Orthodox
rabbis have been involved in teaching in reli­
gious schools at various levels than in pulpit
work, and this is expected to continue. Many
will also have to seek employment in secular
Rabbis in the Conservative branch of Ju­
daism, on the other hand, will have very good
employment opportunities, if present trends

Incomes vary depending on the size and
financial status of the congregation, as well as
its denominational branch and geographic lo­
cation. Rabbis usually earn additional in­
come from gifts or fees for officiating at cere­
monies such as weddings.
In 1978, the annual earnings of rabbis gen­
erally ranged from $15,000 to $35,000, in­
cluding housing allowance. Earnings of Or­
thodox rabbis tend to be at the lower end of
the scale; earnings of Conservative and Re­
form rabbis tend to be at the upper end of the
scale. Some senior rabbis in large congrega­
tions earn upward of $50,000 a year.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons who are interested in becoming
rabbis should discuss their plans for a voca­
tion with a practicing rabbi. Information on
the work of rabbis and allied occupations can
be obtained from:
The Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
(Conservative), 3080 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
The Rabbi Issac Elchanan Theological Seminary,
an affiliate of Yeshiva University, (Orthodox),
2540 Amsterdam Ave., New York, N.Y. 10033.
Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Reli­
gion, (Reform), whose three campuses are located
at 1 W. 4th St., New York, N.Y. 10012; at 3101
Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45220; and at 3077
University Mall, Los Angeles, Calif. 90007;
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 2308 N.
Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19132.

Roman Catholic
(D.O.T. 120.007-010)

Nature of the Work
Roman Catholic priests attend to the
spiritual, pastoral, moral, and educational
needs of the members of their church. Their
duties involve delivering sermons; adminis­
tering the sacraments of marriage and of pen­
ance, and presiding at liturgical functions,
such as funeral services. They also comfort
the sick, console and counsel those in need of
guidance, and assist the poor.
Their day usually begins with morning
meditation 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 committees, work in civic
and charitable organizations, and assist 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 differ­
ences lie in their way of life, the type of
work to which they are assigned, and the
church authority to whom they are im­
mediately subject. Diocesan priests gener­
ally work as individuals in parishes as­
signed to them by the bishop of their
diocese. Religious priests generally work as
part of a religious order, such as the Je­
suits, Dominicans, or Franciscans. They
may engage in specialized activities, such
as teaching or missionary work, assigned
to them by superiors of their order.
Both religious and diocesan priests hold
teaching and administrative posts in Catholic
seminaries, colleges and universities, and
high schools. Priests attached to religious or­
ders staff a large proportion of the church’s
institutions of higher education and many
high schools, whereas diocesan priests are
usually concerned with the parochial schools
attached to parish churches and with dioce­
san high schools. The members of religious
orders do most of the missionary work con­
ducted by the Catholic Church in this coun­
try and abroad.

Roman Catholic Priests attend to spiritual needs of members of their church.

Working Conditions

emergency situations. They also have many
intellectual duties including study of the
scriptures and keeping up with current reli­
gious and secular events in order to prepare
sermons. Diocesan priests are responsible to
the bishop in the diocese.

Priests spend long and irregular hours
working for the church and the community.

Places of Employment

Religious priests are assigned duties by
their superiors in their particular orders.
Some religious priests serve as missionaries in
foreign countries where they may live under
difficult and primitive conditions. Some reli­
gious priests live a communal life in monaste­
ries where they devote themselves to prayer,
study, and assigned work.
Diocesan priests ordinarily serve church
members in parishes and they are “on call"
at all FRASER
Digitized forhours to serve their parishioners in

There were approximately 58,000 priests
in 1978. There are priests in nearly every city
and town and in many rural communities.
The majority are in metropolitan areas,
where most Catholics reside. Catholics are
concentrated in the Northeast and Great
Lakes regions, with smaller concentrations in
California, Texas, and Louisiana. Large
numbers of priests are located in communi­
ties near Catholic educational and other in­

Training and Other Qualifications
Preparation for the priesthood generally
requires 8 years of study beyond high
school. There are over 450 seminaries
where students receive training for the
priesthood. Preparatory study may begin in
the first year of high school, at the college
level, or in theological seminaries after col­
lege graduation.
High school seminaries provide a college
preparatory program that emphasizes En­
glish grammar, speech, literature, and social
studies. Some study of Latin is required and
the study of modem language is encouraged.
The seminary college offers a liberal arts pro­
gram, stressing philosophy and religion; the
study of man through the behavioral sciences
and history; and the natural sciences and
mathematics. In many college seminaries, a


student may concentrate in any of these
The remaining 4 years of preparation in­
clude sacred scripture; dogmatic, moral, and
pastoral theology; homiletics (art of preach­
ing); church history; liturgy (Mass); and
canon law. Fieldwork experience usually is
also required; in recent years, this aspect of
a priest’s training has been emphasized. Di­
ocesan and religious priests attend different
major seminaries, where slight variations in
the training reflect the differences in the type
of work expected of them as priests. Priests
commit themselves not to marry.
Postgraduate work in theology is offered at
a number of American Catholic universities
or at ecclesiastical universities around the
world, particularly in Rome. Also, many
priests do graduate work in fields unrelated
to theology. Priests are encouraged by the
Catholic Church to continue their studies, at
least informally, after ordination. In recent
years, continuing education for ordained
priests has stressed social sciences, such as
sociology and psychology.
Young men never are denied entry into
seminaries because of lack of funds. In semi­
naries for secular priests, scholarships or
loans are available. Those in religious semi­
naries are financed by contributions of bene­
The first assignment of a newly ordained
secular priest is usually that of assistant

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


pastor or curate. Newly ordained priests of
religious orders are assigned to the special­
ized duties for which they are trained. De­
pending on the talents, interests, and expe­
rience of the individual, many oppor­
tunities for greater responsibility exist within
the church.


Employment Outlook

Religious priests take a vow of poverty and
are supported by their religious order.

More priests will be needed in the years
ahead to provide for the spiritual, educa­
tional, and social needs of the increasing
number of Catholics. During the past decade,
the number of ordained priests has been in­
sufficient to fill the needs of newly estab­
lished parishes and other Catholic institu­
tions, and to replace priests who retire or die.
This situation is likely to persist and perhaps
worsen, if the sharp drop in seminary enroll­
ment continues.
In response to the shortage of priests, cer­
tain functions within the church, tradition­
ally performed by priests are now being per­
formed by lay deacons, and this trend is
expected to increase in the future. Priests will
continue to offer Mass, administer the sacra­
ments, and hear confession, but probably will
be less involved in teaching, administrative,
and community work. An increasing number
of lay deacons are being ordained to preach
and perform liturgical functions such as dis­
tributing holy communion and reading the
gospel at the Mass.

Diocesan priests’ salaries vary from dio­
cese to diocese and range from $2,000 to $6,000 a year. The diocesan priest also may re­
ceive a car allowance of $25 to $50 a month,
free room and board in the parish rectory,
and fringe benefits such as group insurance
and retirement benefits in the diocese.

Priests who do special work related 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 dif­
ference between 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 must
make his own arrangements. Some priests do­
ing special work may receive the same compen­
sation that a lay person would receive.

Sources of Additional Information
Young men interested in entering the
priesthood should seek the guidance and
counsel of their parish priests. For informa­
tion regarding the different religious orders
and the secular priesthood, as well as a list of
the seminaries which prepare students for the
priesthood, contact the diocesan Directors of
Vocations through the office of the local pas­
tor or bishop.

Other Social Service Occupations

Extension Service
(D.O.T. 096.121, .127, .161, and .167)

Nature of the Work

An important part of each extension
worker’s job is to provide information that is
important to people in the community. Many
extension agents write articles dealing with
their areas of specialization for local newspa­
pers. Often these are regular feature columns
that appear once a week. Other agents appear
on local radio and television shows to give
marketing reports for agricultural products
important to the area, or present Saturday
morning programs for young people. A few
extension service workers produce documen­
tary films on topics in which they have spe­
cial training for broadcast on local television
stations. Also, extension workers at some
land-grant universities produce and broad­
cast programs on university-owned UHF and
cable television stations.

Cooperative Extension Service workers, or
extension agents as they are often called, con­
duct educational programs for rural residents
in areas such as agriculture, home econom­
ics, youth activities, and community resource
development. Extension agents generally spe­
cialize in one of these areas and have titles
that match their specialties, such as extension
agent for youth activities or extension agent
for agriculture science and horticulture.
They are employed jointly by State landgrant universities and the U.S. Department
of Agriculture.
Extension agents usually work with groups
of people. For example, the extension agent
for youth activities leads meetings of local
4-H clubs, and during the summer, may plan
and organize day camps to provide recrea­
tional activities for young people. Agents
who work in home economics set up commu­
nity meetings and programs on subjects of
interest to homemakers. For example, they
may discuss the benefits of good nutrition
and offer advice on how to plan meals and
buy and prepare food. Agriculture science
extension agents conduct meetings on topics
of special interest to area farmers. In a county
which has much dairy farming, extension
agents arrange seminars on subjects such as
dairy herd health or the raising of forage
crops. During these seminars, agents teach
farmers how to selectthe proper feeds to meet
cows’ nutritional needs and raise their output
of milk, and how to recognize and combat
health hazards,including perhaps establish­
ing a herd-inspection program. They also,
may help local farmers market their pro­
Extension agents for community resource
development meet with community leaders
to plan and provide for economic develop­
ment of the community. They also assist
community leaders in developing recrea­
tional programs and facilities and in planning
other public projects, such as water supply
and sewage systems, libraries, and schools.

Extension work is not a 9 to 5 job, how­
ever. Farmers, for example, often are not able
to attend meetings during the busy daylight
hours, so extension agents often must con­
duct informational meetings during the even­
ings. During these meetings, they may dis­
cuss new farming methods or how new laws
will affect farmers.

In addition to group work, agents also do
fieldwork with individuals. If a farmer is hav­
ing a problem with crops, an extension agent
will visit the farm, examine the problem, and
suggest remedies. Likewise, home economics
extension agents occasionally visit homemak­
ers to give personal help in solving problems.

The job offers numerous opportunities for
personal satisfaction. Helping a farmer be­
come more productive or helping a family
develop better nutritional habits, can be re­
warding. Many extension agents also enjoy
being asked their opinions on a variety of

In addition to the extension service work­
ers at the county level, State extension spe­
cialists at land-grant universities coordinate
the efforts of county agents. State extension
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 assignment and teach at the
university. Also, about 200 agricultural ex­
tension specialists are employed by the Ex­
tension Service of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Working Conditions
Cooperative Extension Service workers
generally have very favorable working en­
vironments. The job has variety. Agents do
much of their paperwork and planning in
offices, but they also spend considerable
time in the field. Agricultural extension
agents, for example, m ay not go into the

office at all on some days. Instead, they
may visit farmers and help them develop
more productive farming methods. They
also may go to local radio stations to tape
their weekly radio shows, or they may go
to the State university to attend seminars
on recent developments.

Most extension service offices are located
in small towns. As a result, extension work
may be an ideal career for persons who wish
to live outside the city.

Places of Employment
More than four-fifths of the approximately
16,000 Cooperative Extension Service agents
in 1978 were employed by counties through­
out the United States. Almost all of the more
than 3,000 counties have county staffs. De­
pending on the population of the county,
staffs range in size from one agent, who
serves a wide variety of interests, to a dozen
or more agents, each serving a highly special­
ized need. Most of the remaining extension
agents are employed by State extension ser­
vices located on the campuses of land-grant
universities. A few work for regional staffs
serving multicounty areas, and a small num­
ber are employed by the Extension Service of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addi­
tion, a few work in urban areas, mostly or­
ganizing 4-H activities for youth.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
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 subject-mat­
ter field. In addition, training in educational
techniques and in a communications field,
such as journalism, is extremely helpful.
Often, they receive specific instruction in
extension work in a pre-induction training
program, and can improve their skills
through regular in-service training programs
that cover both educational techniques and
the subject matter for which they are respon­
sible. Besides being proficient in their subject
matter, extension workers must like to work
with people and to help them.
In most States, specialists and agents as­
signed to multicounty and State staff jobs are
required to have at least one advanced de­
gree, and, in many, they must have a Ph. D.

Employment Outlook
The employment of Cooperative Exten­
sion Service workers is expected to increase
more slowly than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. Nevertheless, as ag­
ricultural technology becomes more compli­
cated, more extension workers trained in
education and communications will be
needed to disseminate information concern­
ing advances in agricultural research and
technology to the farm population. Also,
modern farmers often are college educated
and, thus, more likely to use innovative farm-


for 1 or 2 weeks, whjle a person who has
chronic medical problems may need help for
1 or 2 half-days a week for an indefinite pe­
riod of time. At times, homemaker-home
health aides work with families when the
mother is convalescing from an illness and
there are small children who need care. Most
clients, however, are elderly persons who ei­
ther live alone or with a spouse who also has
medical problems. Usually the clients have
no family or friends who can provide the care
that is needed.
The homemaker-home health aide can
provide many services. Basic duties include
cleaning a client’s room, kitchen, and bath­
room, doing the laundry, and changing bed
linens. Aides also plan meals (including
special diets), shop for food, and prepare
Among the personal care services that they
perform are assisting with bathing or giving
a bed bath, shampooing hair, and helping the
client move from bed to a chair or another
room. Homemaker-home health / aides also
check pulse and respiration, help with simple
prescribed exercises, and assist with medica­
tions. Occasionally, they change dressings,
use special equipment such as a hydraulic lift,
or assist with braces or artificial limbs.

ing practices. This may increase the demand
for extension agents since extension agents
relay advances in farming practices from re­
searchers to farmers.

of the Cooperative Extension Service located
at each land-grant university, or the Exten­
sion Service, U.S. Department of Agricul­
ture, Hyattsville, Md. 20782.

According to the limited data available,
county extension agents had average annual
earnings of just over $17,000 in 1978. Earn­
ings vary, however, by State, amount of edu­
cation, and experience. Earnings also vary
somewhat by area of specialization. Agricul­
tural extension agents and community re­
source development specialists, for example,
had the highest average annual earnings, al­
most $19,000, while home economics agents
and 4-H club agents each had average annual
earnings of under $16,000 in 1978.

Related Occupations
Extension workers spend most of their
time working directly with others, passing on
new ideas and helping farmers implement
them. Other occupations that involve helping
people to help themselves include counselors,
dieticians, home economists, homemakers,
teachers, social workers, and agricultural
chemical salesworkers.

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information is available from
County Extension
 offices, the State Director
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Health Aides_____
(D.O.T. 309.354-010 and 354.377-014)

Nature of the Work
Many people, especially the elderly, are
confined to a hospital or nursing home for a
period of convalescence following a serious
illness or surgery. Often, these patients only
need occasional nursing care, but they are
institutionalized because they cannot care for
themselves completely. The services of homemaker-home health aides often are all that is
needed to allow patients to return to the fa­
miliar surroundings of their homes. Em­
ployed and supervised by social and health
agencies, homemaker-home health aides pro­
vide homemaking services, personal care ser­
vices, instruction, and emotional support for
their clients, and they keep records of their
clients’ progress and activities. Their
schedules vary according to their clients’
needs. For example, a person who is recupe­
rating from an operation may need daily help

In addition to these practical duties, home­
maker-home health aides offer instruction
and psychological support. They often teach
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. Another client may need in­
struction on the proper diet for a diabetic.
Still another client, newly confined to a
wheelchair, may need help in learning how to
perform daily tasks. An aide may help a cli­
ent establish a daily schedule that permits the
accomplishment of necessary household du­
ties and provides the exercise necessary for
rehabilitation. Providing emotional support
and understanding when a client is depressed
and lonely is another aspect of the work. This
often is more important 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
problem. Lastly, the aide regularly reports
changes in the client’s condition and helps a
professional team decide when the services
being given to the client should be changed.
A homemaker home-health aide is as­
signed specific duties by a supervisor, usually
a registered nurse or social worker who
works as part of a professional team. The
supervisor usually consults the client’s physi­
cian, especially if the client recently has been
discharged from the hospital. Many public or
nonprofit agencies require physician certifi­
cation of need for the service. The supervisor
visits the client to decide what services are
needed and to discuss the aide’s schedule of
duties with the client. Often the homemakerhome health aide gives the supervisor a daily
report, signed by the client, listing the exact
services performed and the hours worked.

The supervisor occasionally visits the client
to determine if the service is satisfactory.
If the supervisor determines that extensive
services will be required over a long period of
time, attempts are made to coordinate the
assignment of the aide with other in-home
services such as Meals-on-Wheels, friendly
visitors, and telephone reassurance. If satis­
factory provision for the required care cannot
be made, the supervisor will suggest an alter­
native arrangement such as transfer to a
nursing home or a home for the aged. How­
ever, unless a client requires 24-hour care, it
usually is possible to maintain care in the
home through the services provided by
homemaker-home health aides—coordinat­
ed, where needed, with other community

Working Conditions
Homemaker-home health aides work in
patients’ homes, so the work surroundings
change from case to case. In accomplishing
the housekeeping chores that are part of their
work, aides must be able to stoop, lift, and
perform other activities associated with
cleaning and cooking. They must also be able
to cope with clients suffering from any num­
ber of physical or emotional problems.
There are many reasons for homemakerhome health aides to enjoy their work. The
occupation has status in comparison with
many other jobs that do not require a high
school education; aides are important mem­
bers of a health care team since their regular
reporting of changes in a client’s condition is
the basic information used to reassess the ser­
vices provided. Another attractive aspect of
the occupation is the availability of part-time
work. Often persons who have full-time,
strictly scheduled jobs as nursing aides in

hospitals or nursing homes leave these jobs to
work as homemaker-home health aides be­
cause they need a part-time or flexible work
schedule. A third attractive element of the
work is the independence and self-direction
homemaker-home health aides have in carry­
ing out day-to-day duties. This element in­
creases as aides gain experience and need less
detailed supervision.

home health aide services while others pro­
vide several health or welfare services. In the
latter case, the aide is part of a team of profes­
sional and paraprofessional workers. For ex­
ample, in a home health agency, a homemak­
er-home health aide may be part of a team of
nurses, therapists, and other aides who have
the same supervisor and who serve all clients
in a particular area.

The personal satisfaction that comes from
helping people is just as important as status,
independence, and a flexible schedule.
Homemaker-home health aides provide es­
sential services for persons who cannot live
alone without help. The work they do keeps
households functioning as normally as possi­
ble, and enables sick persons to remain at
home instead of moving to a nursing home.
Often homemaker-home health aides see de­
pressed elderly people “come to life” because
someone cared enough to brighten their
homes and their lives. Persons who do not
mind hard work and want to help people
with basic human needs may find homemak­
er-home health aide a very satisfying occupa­

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Places of employment
Approximately 110,000 persons were em­
ployed as homemaker-home health aides in
1978. Although they work in clients’ homes,
aides are employed and supervised by social
and health agencies. These agencies include
public health and welfare departments, pri­
vate health care agencies, and nonprofit com­
munity health or welfare organizations such
as visiting nurse associations. A few hospitals
and nursing homes have extended their ser­
vices into the community and employ home­
maker-home health aides.
Some agencies provide only homemaker-

Generally, the only educational require­
ment for employment as a homemaker-home
health aide is the ability to read and write;
completion of high school usually is not nec­
essary. However, courses in home economics
such as meal planning and family living are
helpful, especially for younger persons with
less personal experience in homemaking. A
few agencies require previous training as a
nursing aide; some of these agencies also re­
quire a year’s experience working as a nurs­
ing aide in a hospital or nursing home.
Shortly after they are hired, homemakerhome health aides undergo orientation and
training. The length and quality of this train­
ing vary greatly. Agencies that require expe­
rience as a nursing aide generally provide
only a few hours of orientation. Most agen­
cies, however, provide a 1- or 2-week training
program. Topics covered include basic nutri­
tion and meal planning and preparation; per­
sonal care of the sick, such as bathing, turn­
ing, and lifting bed patients; emotional
problems accompanying illness; and the
aging process and behavior of the elderly.
In addition to continuing training given on
the job by supervisors for specific case assign­
ments, many agencies offer seminars from
time to time on topics such as diets for diabet­
ics, exercises for clients with a heart condi­
tion, or coping with depression.
Successful homemaker-home health aides
are mature persons who like to help people
and don’t mind hard work. They have a sense
of responsibility, compassion, emotional sta­
bility, and a cheerful disposition. They are
able to overcome an atmosphere of depres­
sion and bring brightness into the day of a
sick, elderly person. Aides also must be tact­
ful and able to get along with all kinds of
In addition to these personal qualities,
homemaker-home health aides must have
good health since some of their duties, such
as lifting, moving, and supporting patients,
require above-average physical strength. A
physical examination usually is required of

In addition to help with homemaking chores, personal care, and medications,
offer psychological support.

homemaker home-health aides

Homemaker-home health aides usually are
middle-aged women. However, younger
women, elderly women, and men of all ages
also are employed as aides. Although only a
small number of men currently are employed
in the occupation, additional men are needed,
especially to care for those elderly men who
prefer a male aide. The minimum age for a
homemaker-home 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-time employment to
supplement their Social Security income.
Some agencies employ nursing students who
want income from part-time work. College
students in appropriate major fields such as
home economics or social work occasionally
can find summer work as aides, replacing
regular employees who are on vacation.
As aides take on a variety of cases, they
develop expertise in caring for persons with
many types of illness. Some aides discover a
special talent for caring for a specific type of
client, such as a person who needs help with
prescribed exercises, or a client with failing
eyesight. In some larger agencies, ex­
perienced homemaker-home health aides can
specialize in caring for clients with a specific
type of problem. After gaining experience in
different types of cases, aides can assume
more responsibility and become more self­
directing, within the scope of their assigned
duties. In some agencies, experienced aides
can be promoted to special assistant to the
supervisor, relieving the supervisor of some
of the more routine aspects of supervision
and management.

Employment Outlook
Employment of homemaker-home health
aides is expected to grow much faster than
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Over the next 10 years, employment
will grow because of heightened awareness
on the part of the public and the medical
profession of the availability of home care
services. Since home care is a relatively new
approach to long-term care, many elderly
persons and their doctors are not yet aware
that it is possible to receive personal care
without moving into a nursing home or a
home for the aged. However, there is increas­
ing interest in alternatives to institutional
Another important factor in determining
how the occupation will grow is how much
money is available to pay for the service. Fed­
eral legislation authorizing greater use of
public funds for homemaker-home health
services could be enacted in the future. Such
legislation might take the form of changes in
the Social Security Act to expand Medicare
coverage for home health care; adoption of a
national health insurance program providing
for long-term care; or other measures. Public
funds for home care already are available
under Title XX of the Social Security Act.
Since 1975, when this title took effect, nearly
all States have given high priority to homemaker-home health services in allocating so­
cial service funds. The trend toward public
financing of home care services is expected to
Such trends indicate that the number of
jobs for homemaker-home health aides is
likely to grow very rapidly through the
1980’s. A large number of jobs also will be­
come available because of the need to replace



persons who leave the occupation to take
other jobs, devote more time to family re­
sponsibilities, or retire. 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 mini­
mal education and experience requirements,
the personal qualifications required for the
job greatly limit the number of applicants
who are hired. Persons who are interested in
this work and well suited for it should have
no trouble finding and keeping jobs.

Earnings for homemaker-home health
aides vary considerably. In 1978, beginning
wages ranged from $2.65 to $4.15 an hour or
about $0.10 to $1.50 an hour higher than the
minimum wage. Agencies in large cities that
have a high cost of living generally pay
higher wages. Agencies that have union con­
tracts 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 re­
sponsibilities and wages of each step stated in
Benefits vary even more than wages. Some
agencies offer no benefits at all, while others
offer a full package of holidays, vacation, sick
leave, health and life insurance, and retire­
ment plans. While some agencies hire only
“on call” hourly workers, with no benefits,
many agencies also employ aides on a full­
time or part-time basis with many benefits
and a minimum number of hours guaranteed.
A typical full-time aide is guaranteed 36
hours of work a week; has 1 to 3 weeks of
paid vacation each year, based on number of
years of employment; earns 1 day of sick
leave a month; is paid for major holidays; and
can participate in health insurance and pen­
sion plans. A typical part-time 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
number of hours worked. A few agencies also
allocate vacation and sick leave to those em­
ployees who do not have a guaranteed mini­
mum number of hours or a regular schedule.

Related Occupations
Homemaker-home health aide is a service
occupation that combines duties of health
workers and social service workers. Related
occupations that involve personal contact to
help or instruct others include: Attendants in
children’s institutions; child care attendants
in schools; child monitors; companions;
home attendants; nurses aides; nursery
school attendants; occupational therapy
aides; orderlies; physical therapy aides; play­
room attendants; and psychiatric aides.

Sources of Additional Information
For information, contact:
National Council for Homemaker-Home Health

Aide Services, 67 Irving Place, 6th Floor, New
York, N.Y. 10003.

Social Service Aides
(D.O.T. 195.367-010 and 205.367-046)

Nature of the Work
Social service or human service aides en­
able social service agencies to help greater
numbers of people by supplementing the
work of professional social workers and
rehabilitation counselors.
Social service aides, working under the
close guidance and supervision of profes­
sional staff, serve as a link between these pro­
fessional social workers or rehabilitation
counselors and people who seek help. Aides
explain the services and facilities of the
agency, help new applicants fill out any re­
quired forms, and perform much of the rou­
tine paperwork required in welfare programs.
They may update clients’ records, maintain a
filing system of reports or a control system
for periodic case reviews, and fill out school
enrollment, employment, medical, and com­
pensation forms.
While such duties are an essential part of
the job, the most important aspect of the
work is being available when needed to offer
encouragement and assistance to people in
the community who need help.
Social service aides work in many different
settings, perform a wide range of duties, and
have a number of different job titles. Income
maintenance workers interview applicants to
determine whether they or their families are
eligible for help. The aide’s responsibilites
may include visiting the applicant’s home,
interviewing friends and relatives, and check­
ing documents such as marriage licenses or
birth certificates to determine whether the
applicant meets the requirements for finan­
cial assistance or other services.
Casework aides or casework assistants
work directly with clients. They may help
clients obtain adequate housing, food stamps,
medical care, unemployment or social secu­
rity benefits, or job training. Those in
rehabilitation agencies also may assist clients
in obtaining artificial limbs, for example.
Some aides may counsel parents whose chil­
dren are in trouble with the police. Casework
aides serve as advocates for clients by accom­
panying them to clinics for necessary medical
care, by making appointments for them at
legal aid offices, or by helping them through
the red tape that surrounds many welfare
programs and employment security agencies.
Many social service aides spend most of
their workday in the office interviewing cli­
ents and helping them fill out forms, tele­
phoning other agencies for information and
appointments, and keeping records up to
date. Some aides, however, spend most of
their time out of the office assisting clients in
their neighborhoods or homes. Neighborhood

may immediately assume more professional
responsibilities, sometimes including duties
normally given social workers.
Most social service aide jobs do not require
graduation from high school. Many persons
enter this field without significant prior work
experience. In fact, personal qualities matter
most. These include a genuine desire to help
people and the ability to communicate with
community agencies and clients. Typing
skills are useful and, in some communities,
knowledge of an appropriate foreign lan­
guage also may be helpful.
To be hired as a social service aide an indi­
vidual’s need for work, potential for upgrad­
ing his or her skills, and ability to make a
useful contribution to the agency often are
chief considerations. As a result, agencies
often hire former welfare recipients as social
service aides. Some aides are hired as part of
government programs to provide subsidized
job opportunities for low-income people. For
employment in some agencies, an examina­
tion or registration on a civil service list may
be required.

Social service aides are a link between professional social workers and people who seek help.
or outreach workers contact the residents of
an area to explain and discuss agency ser­
vices. They learn the needs of individuals and
families and refer routine cases to a counselor
or to the appropriate agency. They report
more difficult problems to their supervisor.
Neighborhood workers may inform residents
about job openings, available housing, job
training opportunities, and public services.
On a broader scale, they assist in the organi­
zation of block and other neighborhood
groups to conduct programs that benefit the
neighborhood, foster a sense of community
responsibility among residents, and encour­
age participation in the antipoverty programs
of social service agencies. They also may as­
sist in routine neighborhood surveys and
counts, keep records, and prepare reports of
their activities for their supervisor.
Employment aides also work with clients
in their neighborhoods. These aides actively
seek out the disadvantaged and help prepare
them for employment by giving them assist­
ance in getting special training and counsel­
ing. While working in neighborhood centers
or mobile units, they locate candidates foravailable jobs and training programs by con­
tacting unemployed residents in poolrooms,
laundromats, on street comers, or through
employment or welfare agency referrals.
They give the unemployed information about
the local State employment service of­
fice,available job and training opportunities,
and help them fill out application forms.
After clients are employed, aides maintain
contact to help workers adjust to the new
work environment and to iron out minor dif­
Homemaker-home health aides work in
households where illness, old age, or an
emergency makes it difficult for the client to
manage everyday tasks. Aides help with such

household activities as grocery shopping,

cooking, cleaning, mending, child care, and
personal care if the client is sick or bedrid­
den. The occupation of homemaker-home
health aide is described more fully in a sepa­
rate statement elsewhere in the Handbook.

Working Conditions
Social welfare aides often must work even­
ings or weekends when clients can be reached
and are usually granted compensatory time
off in exchange.
Although dealing with people who have
severe personal and financial problems can
be upsetting, social service aides often gain
personal satisfaction from assisting those in
need of help.

Places of Employment
About 134,000 persons worked as social
service aides in 1978, mostly in the inner cit­
ies of large metropolitan areas.
The overwhelming majority of social ser­
vice aides work for welfare agencies run by
local governments or by voluntary or reli­
gious organizations. These include public
welfare departments, community and neigh­
borhood centers, family service agencies,
halfway houses, and rehabilitation agencies.
Most of the remaining aides work in hospi­
tals, clinics, community health programs, or
in schools and public housing projects.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Social service aides have a wide range of
educational backgrounds, and the level of re­
sponsibility given to them often depends on
their formal educational attainment. For ex­
ample, persons with a grade school education
may enter the field in clerical positions. On
the other hand, those with a college degree

Most employers provide opportunities for
advancement through a combination of onthe-job training, work experience, and educa­
tion. For example, an entry level position as
an employment aide can lead to a job as an
employment interviewer, and, after special
training, to employment counselor. Aides
usually are trained on the job by social work­
ers, rehabilitation counselors, nurses and
other professionals. They learn about the de­
tails of many social programs including so­
cial security, food stamps, and Medicare.
Those without a high school diploma often
receive classroom instruction to help them
pass a high school equivalency examination.
Employing agencies frequently pay part of
the cost of further education.
About 140 community and junior colleges
offer 2-year programs for social service aides
under such diverse titles as “human service
aide,” “mental health aide,” or “social ser­
vice aide.” Typically, these programs include
courses in sociology and psychology; devel­
oping skills such as interviewing, observing
and recording behavior; learning techniques
of individual counseling, group dynamics, ac­
tivity therapy, and behavior modification;
and field experience at local helping agencies.
Some college graduates with a degree in a
field other than social service work as social
service aides.

Employment Outlook
Employment of social service aides is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. Many
opportunities are expected for part-time
work. A large number 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 coun­
try’s continuing commitment to aid those
who are disadvantaged, disabled, or unable


to care for themselves. The need to provide
many kinds of social services for our growing
elderly population is likely to spur an expan­
sion of social welfare programs and create
many new jobs for social service aides. Shifts
in job duties within welfare agencies also may
contribute to the anticipated increase in em­
ployment in this occupation. As social wel­
fare services and programs expand, social
service aides increasingly will be used for
much of the routine work now done by pro­
fessional personnel.

Full-time social service aides with no prior
experience or formal education in the field
earned starting salaries in State government
that averaged about $7,300 a year in 1978,
according to a survey by the U.S. Office of
Personnel Management. Those with experi­
ence or additional education usually earned
more. Beginning social service aides in the
Federal Government started at $9,391 in
1979; experienced aides started at $13,014.
Many aides in both public and private agen­
cies work part time. Average earnings for
social service aides are about the same as
those for nonsupervisory workers in private
industry, except farming.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations that require
skills similar to those of social service aides
include case aides, home attendants, lay
clergy, occupational therapy assistants and
aides, physical therapy assistants and aides,
and psychiatric aides.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on requirements for social
service aide jobs is available from city,
county, or State departments of welfare or
social services, community or neighborhood
development agencies, and local offices of the
State employment service.

Social Workers
(D.O.T. 195.107, .117, .137, .164, and .167-010)

Nature of the Work
The ability of people to live effectively in
society often is hampered by lack of resources
and problems that range from personal to
those arising from social unrest. The growing
complexity of society has greatly increased
the need for social workers to help individu­
als, families, groups and communities to
solve their problems.
The nature of the problem and the time
and resources available determine which of
three traditional approaches— casework,
group work, and community organization—
social workers will use or combine to deal
with these problems. However, recent curriculums and training have developed new
approaches to social work. For example, so­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


cial workers may now specialize in social in­
stitutions, a field which encompasses health
and education, or in social problems such as
In casework, social workers interview in­
dividuals and families to understand their
problems and secure the appropriate re­
sources, services, education, or job training.
In group work, social workers help people
understand themselves and others to achieve
a common goal. They plan and conduct ac­
tivities for children, teenagers, adults, older
persons, and other groups in community cen­
ters, hospitals, nursing homfes, and correc­
tional institutions. In community organiza­
tion, social workers coordinate the efforts of
political, civic, religious, business, and union
organizations to combat social problems
through community programs. For a neigh­
borhood or larger area, they may help plan
and develop health, housing, welfare, and
recreation services. Social workers often co­
ordinate existing services, organize fundrais­
ing for community social welfare activities,
and aid in developing new community ser­
Most social workers deal directly with in­
dividuals, families, or groups. However, a
substantial number are directors, administra­
tors, or supervisors. Like other administra­
tors, directors of social service agencies hire
and train personnel, make budgetary deci­
sions, develop and evaluate agency problems,
solicit new funds, supervise staff, and serve as
spokespersons for the agencies’ clients. Some
social workers are college teachers, research
workers, or consultants. Others work for
community agencies and planning bodies of
government, voluntary agencies, and other
private organizations.
Social workers apply their training and ex­
perience in a variety of settings. Although
many work for agencies or institutions, grow­
ing numbers are in private practice and pro­
vide counseling for a fee.
Social workers for family and child ser­
vices in public and in voluntary agencies such
as those run by religious charities, counsel
individuals, work to strengthen personal and
family relationships, and help clients to cope
with problems. They provide information
and referral services in many areas—family
budgeting and money management, locating
housing, homemaker assistance for the el­
derly, job training, and day care for parents
trying to support a family.
Social workers in child welfare work to
improve the physical and emotional well­
being of deprived and troubled children and
youth. They may advise parents on child care
and child rearing, counsel children and youth
with social adjustment difficulties, and ar­
range homemaker services during a parent’s
illness. Social workers may institute legal ac­
tion to protect neglected or mistreated chil­
dren, help unmarried parents, and counsel
couples about adoption. After proper evalua­
tion and home visits, they may place and
oversee children in foster homes or institu­
tions. When children have unsatisfactory

school progress related to social problems,
these workers consult with parents, teachers,
counselors, and other school and community
personnel to identify and solve the underly­
ing problems.
Medical and psychiatric hospitals, clinics,
mental health agencies, rehabilitation cen­
ters, and public welfare agencies employ so­
cial workers to help patients and their fami­
lies with social problems that may
accompany illness, recovery, and rehabilita­
tion. Renal social workers (who deal with
patients and families of patients and the fami­
lies of patients suffering from kidney disease)
and social workers specializing in drug addic­
tion help patients readadjust to their homes,
jobs, and communities. (The related occupa­
tion of rehabilitation counselor is discussed
in a separate statement.)
A growing number of social workers spe­
cialize in the field of aging. They plan and
evaluate services for the elderly, and help
them deal with finanical and other changes
brought about by retirement. In nursing
homes, they help patients and their families
adjust to illness and the need for institution­
alization and health care service.
Social workers in correctional institutions
and correctional programs help offenders
and persons on probation readjust to society.
They counsel on social problems in returning
to family and community life, and also may
help secure necessary education, training,
employment, or community services.

Working Conditions
Most social workers have a 5-day, 35- to
40-hour week. However, many, particularly
in private agencies, work part time. Many
work evenings and weekends to meet with
clients, attend community meetings, and
handle emergency situations. Compensatory
time generally is granted for overtime. Be­
cause social workers spend a lot of time away
from their office, the ability to drive a car
often is necessary.

Places of Employment
About 385,000 social workers were em­
ployed in 1978. Among these, two-thirds pro­
vide direct social services for public and vol­
untary agencies, including State departments
of public assistance and community welfare
and religious organizations. Most of the re­
mainder are involved in social policy and
planning, community organization, and ad­
ministration in government agencies, primar­
ily on the state and local level; still others
work for schools, hospitals, clinics, and other
health facilities. A small but growing number
of social workers are employed in business
and industry.
Although employment is concentrated in
urban areas, many work with rural families.
A small number of social workers—em­
ployed by the Federal Government and the
United Nations or one of its affiliated agen­
cies—serve in other parts of the world as
consultants, teachers, or technicians and es-

Many administrators have a background in
social work, business or public administra­
tion, education, or health administration.
For teaching positions, an MSW is required
and a doctorate usually is preferred. With the
exception of some high-level positions, most
applicants for government employment must
pass a written exam.
In 1978, 22 States had licensing or registra­
tion laws regarding social work practice and
the use of professional titles. Usually work
experience, an examination, or both, are nec­
essary for licensing or registration, with peri­
odic renewal required. The National Associ­
ation of Social Workers allows the use of the
title ACSW (Academy of Certified Social
Workers) for members having a master’s de­
gree and at least 2 years of job experience
who have passed the ACSW examination. In
view of the emerging trend towards special­
ization at advanced levels of social work
practice, efforts are being made to devise spe­
cialized examinations in addition to the gen­
eral ACSW examination currently given.
Social workers should be emotionally ma­
ture, objective, and sensitive, and should pos­
sess a basic concern for people and their
problems. They must be able to handle re­
sponsibility, work independently, and main­
tain good working relationships with clients
and coworkers.

Social workers interview people to learn about their problems.
tablish agencies, schools, or assistance pro­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Only in recent years has the bachelor’s de­
gree in social work (BSW), rather than the
master’s degree (MSW), been fully accepted
as the minimum education of the professional
social worker. The BSW programs generally
provide content in the areas of social work
practice, social welfare policies and service,
human behavior and the social environment,
social research, and supervised field experi­
ence. Generally, BSW programs prepare peo­
ple 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
humanities, sociology and psychology being
the most prevalent majors. However, oppor­
tunities for advancement to high-level super­
visory and administrative positions tend to be
limited for those without graduate training in
social work, and are particularly limited for
persons with no formal training in this field.
For many positions, an MSW is preferred
or required. Two years of specialized study
and supervised field instruction generally are
required to earn an MSW. Field placement
affords one the opportunity to test his or her
suitability for social work practice. At the
same time the student may develop expertise

in a specialized area and make personal con­
tacts that later are helpful in securing a per­
manent job. Previous training in social work
is not required for entry into a graduate pro­
gram, but related courses such as psychol­
ogy, sociology, economics, political science,
history, social anthropology, and urban stud­
ies, as well as social work, are recommended.
Some graduate schools offer accelerated
MSW programs for a limited number of
highly qualified BSW recipients.However,
applicants to graduate programs in social
work may face keen competition.
In 1978, about 250 colleges and universi­
ties offered accredited undergraduate pro­
grams and over 80 offered accredited gradu­
ate programs in social work. More than 20
have included courses in gerontology (study
of aging). Graduate students may specialize
in clinical social work, community organiza­
tion, administration, teaching, research, so­
cial policy planning, and a variety of other
A limited number of scholarships and fel­
lowships are available for graduate educa­
tion. A few social welfare agencies grant
workers “educational leave” to obtain gradu­
ate education.
A graduate degree and experience gener­
ally are required for supervisory, administra­
tive, or research work; the last also requires
training in social science research methods.

During high school and college, students
should do volunteer, part-time, or summer
work to determine whether they have the in­
terest and capacity for professional social
work. Some voluntary and public social wel­
fare agencies occasionally hire students as as­
sistants to social workers.

Employment Outlook
Employment of social workers is expected
to increase about as a fast as the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s as a result
of the expansion of social services. These ser­
vices will include, in public education, pro­
grams for teenage mothers and delinquents;
health services in hospitals, nursing homes,
community mental health centers, and home
health agencies; services for the aging; and
counseling in the areas of consumerism, rape,
and drug and alcohol abuse. Relatively high
levels of unemployment coupled with prob­
lems caused by social change are expected to
sustain a strong demand for persons in the
social service field. The increasing need for
social workers to assist other professionals in
health planning, transportation, law, and
public administration also should stimulate
employment growth. In addition to jobs re­
sulting from employment growth, thousands
of openings will result annually from deaths
and retirements.
If the number of students graduating from
social work programs continues to increase
at the same rate as in the 1970’s, persons
having a bachelor’s degree in social work will
face increasing job competition. Graduates of
master’s and doctor’s degree programs in so­
cial work are qualified for a wider range of


jobs including administrative, research, plan­
ning, and teaching positions, and are ex­
pected to have good opportunities through
the 1980’s.
Because many cities are experiencing bud­
get cuts in human services programs, appli­
cants in these departments may face keen
competition. Inasmuch as graduates often
prefer to work in major metropolitan areas,
job opportunities may be more favorable in
rural areas and small towns.

Salaries for social workers at all levels vary
greatly by type of agency (private or public,
Federal, State, or local) and geographic re­
gion, but generally are highest in large cities
and in States with sizable urban populations.
Private practitioners, administrators, teach­
ers, and researchers often earn considerably
more than social workers in other settings.
Average earnings are higher for social work­
ers than for non supervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Starting salaries for social case workers
(positions requiring a BSW) in State and
local governments averaged about $10,300 in
1978, according to a survey conducted by the
U.S. Office of Personnel Management; for
social service supervisors, the average start­
ing salary was $13,700.
The average annual starting salary for so­
cial workers (positions requiring an MSW
and 1 year of related experience) in hospitals
and medical centers was about $13,300 in
1978, according to a survey conducted by the
University of Texas Medical School. Top sal­
aries for experienced social workers in these
settings averaged $17,000.
In the Federal Government, social work­
ers with an MSW and no other experience
started at $15,920 in 1979. Graduates with a
Ph. D. or job experience may start at a higher
salary. Most social workers in the Federal
Government are employed by the Veterans’
Administration and the Departments of
Health and Human Services, Justice, and In­
Most social work agencies provide benefits

such as paid vacation, sick leave, and retire­
ment plans.

Related Occupations
Through direct counseling or referral to
other services, social workers help people
solve a range of personal problems. Workers
in occupations with similar duties include:
Case aides, clergy members, counselors, pa­
role officess, probation officers, counseling
psychologists, and vocational rehabilitation

Sources of Additional Information
For information about career opportuni­
ties in the various fields of social work, con­
National Association of Social Workers, 1425 H
St. NW., Suite 600, Southern Building, Washing­
ton, D.C. 20005.

Information on accredited graduate and
undergraduate college programs in social
work is available from:
Council on Social Work Education, 345 East 46th
St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Creativity, imagination, and talent are
prerequisites for a career in the performing
arts, design, or communications. People in
these fields are involved in expressing ideas
and emotions and often do so in a highly
personal manner. Indeed, for people with the
ability and the drive, careers in this cluster
offer unparalleled opportunities for selfexpression.

design objects that serve a practical purpose
as well as make our surroundings more pleas­
ant to look at. The design field includes peo­
ple as diverse as painters, sculptors, graphic
artists, commercial artists, photographers,
floral designers, architects, interior design­
ers, exhibit designers, lighting designers, set
designers, clothing designers, and furniture

Performing artists express themselves
through music, drama, or dance. They may
use their talent to say something serious or
profound about the human condition—or
they may simply provide entertainment. Be­
cause communicating with an audience is
such an integral part of the performer’s art,
stage presence and rapport with an audience
are qualities an artist must develop and re­
fine. Actors and actresses, singers, dancers,
comedians, magicians, mimes, trapeze art­
ists, gymnasts, and figure skaters are just a
few of the many different occupations in the
performing arts.

People in communications occupations
deal with mental images created by words.
For these workers, language is a “tool of the
trade.” They use the written or spoken word
to inform, persuade, or entertain others and
they need to be able to express themselves
clearly, accurately, and in an interesting
manner. Poets, novelists, playwrights, essay­
ists, and short story writers are among the
creative writers who use language primarily
to express ideas and emotions. The writers
who use language to inform or persuade in­
clude journalists, technical writers, educa­
tion writers, medical writers, business writ­
ers, speechwriters, joke writers, script
writers, and copywriters. Some people in
communications occupations do relatively
little writing. Among them are editors, who
revise and coordinate the work of others;
proofreaders, who read and correct copy; and
literary agents, who appraise and try to get
manuscripts published. Radio and television

People in design occupations use visual
means such as light, space, color, and texture
to convey feelings or create a particular ef­
fect. They need esthetic sensitivity, color
sense, and talent. A fine artist might create a
painting primarily to express an emotion or
feeling. Applied artists, however, create or

announcers and interpreters rely on the
spoken word to do their jobs.
In many occupations in this cluster, what
counts most in getting a job or establishing a
reputation is ability or talent, not educational
preparation. Practical experience—in local
theatrical productions or on a community
newspaper, for example—can help a great
deal in getting started. Perseverance and selfdiscipline often are essential, too. Even very
talented people must be willing to spend
years of their lives mastering a skill and then
wait for a “break”—an opportunity to per­
form, to exhibit their work, or to have a man­
uscript published. The performing arts in
particular are highly competitive, and peren­
nially attract many more jobseekers than
there are paying jobs.
People who aspire to a performing arts,
design, or communications career need to be
realistic about their talent. Depending on
their career goal, they may need to be flexible
enough to cope with job insecurity and will­
ing to live on an irregular income.
The following section of the Handbook
provides information on job prospects, earn­
ings, personal qualifications, and the kinds of
training required for a variety of performing
arts, design, and communications occupa­


Performing Artists
The excitement of opening night, the thrill
of an audience’s applause, the joy of public
recognition and admiration—these are some
of the attractions that induce people to enter
the performing arts. In addition, the opportu­
nity for creative self-expression and the de­
velopment of one’s artistic talents are other
reasons why many people become perform­
ing artists.
The performing arts include the areas of
instrumental music, singing, acting, and the
dance. Varied as they are, the performing
arts have in common the goal of com­
municating with and affecting the emotions
of the audience. Through the media of music,
speech, and movement, performing artists at­
tempt to present a moving interpretation of
human experience.
Within the performing arts, the number of
talented persons seeking employment gener­
ally exceeds the number of full-time positions
available. As a result, many performers sup­
plement their incomes by teaching, and oth­
ers work much of the time in different types
of occupations.
The difficulty of earning a living as a per­
former is one fact young persons should re­
member when they consider such a career.
They should consider, therefore, the possible
advantages of making their art a hobby
rather than a profession. Aspiring young art­
ists usually must spend many years in inten­
sive training and practice before they are
ready for public performances. They not only
need great natural talent but also determina­
tion, a willingness to work long and hard, an OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

overwhelming interest in their chosen field,
and some luck.
The statements that follow give detailed
information on musicians, singers, actors,
and dancers.

Actors and Actresses
(D.O.T. 150.047)

Nature of the Work
Making a character come to life before an
audience is a job that has great glamour and
fascination. It is demanding and often uncer­
tain work, however, which requires persist­
ence, practice, and hard work as well as spe­
cial acting talent.
Only a few actors and actresses achieve
recognition as stars on the stage, in motion
pictures, or on television or radio. A some­
what larger number are well-known, ex­
perienced performers, who frequently are
cast in supporting roles. However, most ac­
tors 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, sup­
porting roles. They also may serve as under­
studies for the principals. Film and television
actors, in contrast, may begin in large roles
or move into programs from working in com­

In addition to the actors and actresses 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 “spectacu­
lar” productions, a large number of extras
take part in crowd scenes.
Some actors find alternative jobs as
coaches of drama or directors of stage, televi­
sion, radio, or motion picture productions. A
few teach in drama departments of colleges
and universities, where they usually special­
ize in a particular aspect of drama, such as
stage movement, stage speech and voice, or
acting. Some professional actors employed by
theater companies also teach acting in
courses offered to the public.

Working Conditions
Acting demands patience and total com­
mitment, since aspiring actors and ac­
tresses must wait for parts or filming
schedules, work long hours, and often do
much traveling. Evening work is a regular
part of a stage actor’s life. Rehearsals may
be held late at night and on weekends and
holidays. When plays are on the road,
weekend traveling often is necessary. Flaw­
less performances require the tedious
memorizing of lines, which sometimes in­
volves long rehearsal schedules. Other per­
formances, such as television programs,
often allow little time for rehearsal, so that
the actor must deliver a good performance
with very little preparation. The actor
needs stamina to withstand the heat of
stage or studio lights, or the adverse
weather conditions that may exist “on lo­

Places of Employment
About 13,400 actors and actresses worked
in stage plays, motion pictures, industrial
shows, and commercials in 1978. Many thou­
sands more were available for work in these
areas. In the winter, most employment op­
portunities on the stage are in New York and
other large cities. In the summer, stock com­
panies in suburban and resort areas provide
employment. In addition, many cities have
“little theaters,” repertory companies, and
dinner theaters, which provide opportunities
for local talent as well as for professional
actors and actresses. Normally, casts are se­
lected in New York City for shows that go
“on the road.”
Employment in motion pictures and film
television is centered in Hollywood and New
York City, although a few studios are located
in Miami and other parts of the country. In
addition, many films are shot on location and


production may use a very large number of
actors during filming, films are widely dis­
tributed and may be used for years. Also,
some American-produced films are shot in
foreign countries, resulting in reduced em­
ployment opportunities for American actors
and actresses. Television employs a large
number of actors and actresses. However,
employment in this medium has been re­
duced by the Federal Communications Com­
mission ruling that decreased major TV net­
work prime time programming. Local
stations often use reruns or low-cost game
shows that employ few actors. Also, the
trend toward 1- to 2-hour programs and
more reruns shortens the period of employ­
ment and reduces the number of persons

Acting requires talent, versatility, and stage presence as well as hard work and practice.
employ local professionals and nonprofes­
sionals as “day players” and “extras.” A
number of American-produced films are shot
in foreign countries. In television, most op­
portunities for actors are at the headquarters
of the major networks—in New York, Los
Angeles, and, to a lesser extent, Chicago. A
few local television stations occasionally em­
ploy actors.

Training and Other Qualifications
Young persons who aspire to acting ca­
reers should take part in high school and
college plays, or work with little theaters and
other acting groups for experience.
Formal training in acting, which is increas­
ingly necessary, can be obtained at schools of
dramatic arts, located chiefly in New York,
and in hundreds of colleges and universities
throughout the country. About 740 colleges
and universities confer bachelor’s or higher
degrees on students who major in dramatic
and theater arts. College drama curriculums
usually include courses in liberal arts, stage
speech and movement, directing, playwrit­
ing, play production, and history of the
drama, as well as practical courses in acting.
From these, the student develops an appreci­
ation of the great plays and a greater under­
standing of the roles he or she may be called
on to play. Graduate degrees in fine arts or
drama are needed for college teaching posi­
In all media, the best way to start is to use
local opportunities and to build on the basis
of such experience. Many actors who are suc­
cessful in local productions eventually try to
appear on the New York stage. Modeling
experience may also be helpful in obtaining
employment in television or motion pictures.
Above all, persons who plan to pursue an
acting career must
 have talent and the crea­

tive ability to portray different characters.
They must have poise, stage presence, and
aggressiveness to project themselves to the
audience. At the same time, the ability to
follow directions is important.
To become a movie extra, one must usually
be listed by Central 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 number 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 number 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 of an actor’s or actress’ work­
ing life depends largely on skill and versatil­
ity? Great actors and actresses can work al­
most indefinitely. Generally, however,
employment becomes increasingly limited by
middle age, especially for those who become
typed in romantic, youthful roles. Due to the
factors discussed, persons who intend to pur­
sue an acting career may find that employ­
ment and earnings are irregular.

Employment Outlook
Overcrowding has existed in the acting
field for many years, and this condition is
expected to persist. In the legitimate theater,
motion pictures, radio, and television, job ap­
plicants greatly exceed the jobs available. As
a result, many actors and actresses are em­
ployed in their profession for only a part of
the year.
Motion pictures and TV have greatly re­
duced employment opportunities for actors
in the theater. Although a motion picture

One possibility for future growth in the
legitimate theater lies in the establishment of
year-round professional acting companies in
cities. The number of such acting groups is
growing. The recent growth of summer and
winter stock companies, outdoor and re­
gional theaters, repertory companies, and
dinner theaters also has increased employ­
ment opportunities. In addition, some in­
creases may be likely in the employment of
actors on television in response to expansion
of the Public Broadcasting System, UHF sta­
tions, and cable TV. The development and
wider use of video cassettes also may result in
some employment opportunities. These
media will have a positive influence on em­
ployment only if original material and pro­
grams result, not reruns or old movies.
Though the field of acting as a whole is
expected to grow faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s, the num­
ber of persons seeking to enter the profession
is expected to exceed by far the available
openings. Even the highly talented are likely
to face stiff competition and economic dif­

Actors and actresses in the legitimate thea­
ter belong to the Actors’ Equity Association;
in motion pictures, including television films,
to the Screen Actors Guild, Inc., or to the
Screen Extras Guild, Inc.; in television or
radio, to the American Federation of Televi­
sion and Radio Artists (AFTRA). These un­
ions and the producers of the shows sign
basic collective bargaining agreements which
set minimum salaries, hours of work, and
other conditions of employment. Each actor
also signs a separate contract, which may
provide for a higher salary than that specified
in the basic agreement.
The minimum weekly salary for actors in
Broadway productions was about $355 in
1978. Those in small “off-Broadway” thea­
ters received minimums ranging from $140
to $270 a week, depending on the seating
capacity of the theater. For shows on the
road, the minimum rate was $27.50 extra per
day. (All minimum salaries are adjusted up­
ward automatically, by union contract, com­
mensurate with increases in the cost of living


as reflected in the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Consumer Price Index.)
In 1978, motion picture and television ac­
tors and actresses earned a minimum daily
rate of $225, or $785 for a 5-day week. The
minimum rate for a 3-day week for actors
employed on a 1 or 1/2-hour television show
was $572. For extras, the minimum rate was
$60 a day. Television actors also receive addi­
tional compensation for reruns.
However, annual earnings of actors and
actresses are adversely affected by the fre­
quent periods of unemployment ex­
perienced by many. According to data ob­
tained by the Actors’ Equity Association
(which represents actors who work on the
stage) and the Screen Actors Guild, be­
tween two thirds and three quarters of
their members earned $2,500 or less a year
from acting jobs in 1978, and less than 5
percent earned over $25,000 from such
work. Because of the frequent periods of
unemployment characteristic of this profes­
sion, many actors must supplement their
incomes by maintaining other, nonacting
Many well-known actors and actresses
have salary rates above the minimums, and
salaries of the few top stars are many times
the figures cited.
Eight performances amount to a week’s
work on the legitimate stage, and any addi­
tional performances are paid for as overtime.
After the show opens, the basic workweek is
36 hours, including 12 hours for rehearsals.
Before it opens, however, the workweek usu­
ally is longer to allow time for rehearsals.
Most actors are covered by a union health,
welfare, and pension fund, including hospi­
talization insurance, to which employers
contribute. Under some employment condi­
tions, Equity and AFTRA members have
paid vacations and sick leave. Most stage ac­
tors get little if any unemployment compen­
sation solely from acting since they seldom
have enough employment in any State to
meet the eligibility requirements. Conse­
quently, when they are between acting jobs,
they often have to take any casual work they
can And.

(D O T . 151.047-010)

Nature of the Work
Dancing is an ancient and worldwide art
that has many different forms. Dance move­
ments may be used to interpret an idea or a
story, or they may be purely physical expres­
sions of rhythm and sound. Professional
dancers may perform in classical ballet or
modem dance, in dance adaptations for mu­
sical shows, in folk, ethnic and jazz dances,
and in other popular kinds of dancing. In
addition to being an important art form for
its own sake, dance also is used to comple­
ment other types of entertainment, such as
opera, musical comedy, and television.
In dance productions, performers most
often work as a group, although a few top
artists do solo work. Many dancers combine
stage work with teaching, where their duties
may include instruction in dance history, the­
ory, and the practice of dance notation, as
well as explaining and demonstrating dance
techniques and choreographing and directing
stage performances. Some dancers become
choreographers, who create original dances,
teach them to performers, and sometimes di­
rect and stage the presentations of their
work. Others become dance directors who
train dancers in new productions. A few
dancers with college backgrounds go on to
receive graduate level training in dance ther­
apy. Dance therapists focus on the healing
properties of movement, posture, breathing,
and interaction in their work with the elderly
and the mentally and physically handi­

Working Conditions
Dancing is strenuous, and for this reason
young dancers have an advantage over older
dancers in competing for jobs. Rehearsals re­
quire very long hours, often on weekends and
holidays. For shows on the road, weekend
travel often is required. Most stage perfor­
mances take place in the evening. Many
dancers retire in their thirties or transfer to
related fields such as teaching dance. How­
ever, some skillful dancers continue perform­
ing beyond the age of 50. Those who become
choreographers or dance directors can con­
tinue to work as long as persons in other

Agility, coordination, grace, a sense of rhythm,
and a feeling for music are important qualities
for aspiring dancers.
taught dance in secondary schools, in junior
colleges as well as four-year colleges and uni­
versities, in dance schools, and in private stu­
dios. Some dancers, trained in dance therapy,
worked in mental hospitals, community men­
tal health centers, correctional facilities, or
special schools.
New York City is the hub for perform­
ing dancers. Other large cities that have
promising employment opportunities, in­
cluding major dance companies, include
Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Salt Lake
City, Cincinnati, Miami, San Francisco,
Hartford, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Seattle,
Boston, and Philadelphia. Dance teachers
are located chiefly in large cities, but many
smaller cities and towns have dance
schools as well.

Training and Other Qualifications

Sources of Additional Information

Places of Employment

Serious training for a career in dancing
traditionally begins by age 12 or earlier. Bal­
let training is particularly disciplined, and
persons who wish to become ballet dancers
should begin taking lessons at the age of 7 or
8. Early and intense training also is impor­
tant for the modern dancer. Most dancers
have their professional auditions by age 17 or
18, but training and practice never end. For
example, professional ballet dancers take
from 10 to 12 lessons a week for 11 or 12
months of the year, and must spend many
additional hours practicing and rehearsing.
The early training a dancer receives is crucial
to the later skill of the dancer, and therefore
the selection of a professional dance school is
very important.

Information on colleges and universities
and conservatories that offer a major in
drama is available from:

About 8,000 dancers performed on the
stage, screen, and television in 1978. Many
others were available for such work. The
shortage of performance jobs caused some
dancers to take jobs in other fields. Many

Because of the strenuous training required,
a dancer’s general education may be mini­
mal. However, the importance of a broad
general education is becoming increasingly
recognized by experts in the field. In particu­

Related Occupations
Actors and actresses entertain people
through their interpretations of dramatic
roles. They rely on facial and verbal expres­
sions as well as body motions for their crea­
tive expression. Related occupations for peo­
ple with these skills include: clowns,
comedians, directors, disc jockeys, drama
teachers or coaches, impersonators, mimes,
narrators, and radio and television announc­

American Theater Association, 1000 Vermont
Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20005.


Unemployment rates for dancers are
higher than the average for all occupations.
Many qualified people cannot obtain yearround work as dancers, and are forced to
supplement their incomes by other types of

lar, a dancer should study music, literature,
and history along with the arts to help in the
interpretation of dramatic episodes, ideas,
and feelings. In addition, dancers should
have an understanding of the structure of the
human body and how it moves, of dance no­
tation, and of historical dance styles.
Over 130 colleges and universities confer
bachelor’s or higher degrees in dance. Col­
lege or university dance degrees are generally
offered through the departments of physical
education, music, theater, or fine arts.
A college education is not essential to ob­
taining employment as a professional dancer.
In fact, ballet dancers who postpone their
first audition until graduation may compete
at a disadvantage with younger dancers. On
the other hand, a college degree can be help­
ful for the dancer who retires at an early age,
as often happens, and wishes to enter another
field of work. Many modern dancers are col­
lege graduates.
Although a college education is an advan­
tage in obtaining employment as a dance
teacher in a college or university, it is not
necessary for one who teaches professional
dance or choreography in a studio situation.
Professional schools usually require teachers
to have experience as performers; colleges
and conservatories generally require gradu­
ate degrees, but performance experience
often may be substituted. Maturity and a
broad educational background also are im­
The dancer’s life is one of rigorous practice
and self- discipline; therefore patience, perseverence, and a devotion to dance are essen­
tial. Good health and physical stamina are
necessary, both to keep in good condition and
to follow the rugged travel schedule which is
often required.
Seldom does a dancer perform unaccom­
panied. Therefore, young persons who con­
sider dancing as a career should be able to
function as part of a team. They also should
be prepared to face the anxiety of unstable
working conditions brought on by show clos­
ings and audition failures.
Body height and build should not vary
much from the average. Good feet and nor­
mal arches also are required. Above all, one
must have agility, coordination, grace, a
sense of rhythm, and a feeling for music, as
well as a creative ability to express oneself
through dance.

Employment Outlook
Employment of dancers is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions. However, the number of dancers seek­
ing professional careers will continue to ex­
ceed the number of available positions, and
competition will be keen. Most employment
opportunities will result from replacement
Employment opportunities in stage pro­
ductions are limited, and competition for
such positions is great. Television is partly

responsible for the reduction in stage produc­
tions, yet at the same time this medium offers
new outlets for dance. New professional
dance companies formed by civic and com­
munity groups offer additional employment
opportunities. Dance groups affiliated with
colleges and universities are another source
of employment. The increased general popu­
larity of dance in recent years has resulted in
increased employment opportunities in
teaching dance.

Professional dancers who perform may be
members of one of the unions affiliated with
the Associated Actors and Artistes of Amer­
ica (AFL-CIO). Dancers in opera ballet, clas­
sical ballet, and the modern dance belong to
the American Guild of Musical Artists, Inc.;
those on live or videotaped television belong
to the American Federation of Television
and Radio Artists; those who perform in
films and TV. belong to the Screen Actors
Guild or the Screen Extras Guild; and those
in musical comedies join Actors’ Equity As­
sociation. Other dancers may be members of
other unions, depending upon the fields in
which they perform. The unions and produc­
ers sign basic agreements specifying mini­
mum salary rates, hours of work, and other
conditions of employment. However, the sep­
arate contract signed by each dancer with the
producer of the show may be more favorable
than the basic agreement regarding salary,
hours of work, and working' conditions.
Many dancers employed by professional bal­
let or modern dance companies do not belong
to unions, however.
In 1978, the minimum salary for dancers
in opera and other stage productions was
about $300 a week. The single performance
rate for ballet dancers was $110. Dancers on
tour received an allowance of $35 a day in
1978 for room and board, with the employer
paying the cost of transportation. Minimum
performance rates for dancers on television
ranged from $340.50 to $360.25 for a 1-hour
show, depending on the number of dancers in
the group. The performance rate covers 18
hours of rehearsal over a 3-day period, in
addition to the performance.
Salaries of dance teachers vary with the
location and the prestige of the school in
which they teach. Dance instructors in col­
leges and universities are paid on the same
basis as other faculty members. (For more
information, see the Handbook statement on
College and University teachers.)
The normal workweek is 30 hours (6 hours
per day maximum) spent in rehearsals and
matinee and evening performances. Extra
compensation is paid for additional hours
Dancers are entitled to some paid sick
leave and various health and welfare benefits
provided by their unions, to which the em­
ployers contribute. Dance instructors in
schools receive benefits comparable to those
of other teachers.

Related Occupations
Dancers express ideas and emotions
through their body movements. They need
grace, rhythm, body control, and the creative
ability to express themselves through dance.
Some related occupations include acrobats,
choreographers, dance critics, dance instruc­
tors, dance notators, dance therapists, and
recreation workers.

Sources Of Additional Information
A list of colleges and universities that
teach dance, including details on the types of
courses offered, is available from:
National Dance Association, a Division of the
American Alliance for Health, Physical Educa­
tion, Recreation, and Dance, 1201 16th St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

For information on all aspects of dance,
including job listings, contact:
American Dance Guild, 152 W. 42nd St. Room
828, New York, N.Y. 10036. Enclose a stamped,
self-addressed envelope.

Information about the field of dance ther­
apy, along wih a list of schools that offer
degrees in the field, is available from:
American Dance Therapy Association, Suite 230,
2000 Century Plaza, Columbia, Md. 21044.

(D.O.T. 152.041-010)

Nature of the Work
The important role that music plays in
most people’s lives makes it difficult to imag­
ine a world without musicians. Professional
musicians are those whose livelihoods de­
pend upon performing for the enjoyment of
others. These professionals—whether they
play in a symphony orchestra, dance band,
rock group, or jazz combo—generally have
behind them many years of formal or infor­
mal study and practice. As a rule, musicians
specialize in either popular or classical
music; only a few play both types profession­
Musicians who specialize in popular music
usually play the trumpet, trombone, clarinet,
saxophone, organ, or one of the “rhythm”
instruments—the piano, string bass, drums,
or guitar. Dance bands play in nightclubs,
restaurants, and at special parties. The best
known bands, jazz groups, rock groups, and
solo performers sometimes perform on televi­
Classical musicians play in symphonies,
opera, ballet, and theater orchestras, and for
other groups that require orchestral accom­
paniments. These musicians play string,
brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments.
Some form small groups—usually a string
quartet or a trio—to give concerts of cham­
ber music. Many pianists accompany vocal
or instrumental 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 recordings.
In addition to performing, many musicians
teach instrumental and vocal music in
schools and colleges, or give private lessons
in their own studios or in pupils’ homes. Oth­
ers combine careers as performers with work
as composers. Some work as arrangers,
adapting musical compositions to different
types of instruments or to styles for which
they were not originally intended.
A few musicians specialize in library sci­
ence for work in music libraries. Some re­
ceive training in music therapy to enable
them to use music in treating persons with
physical and mental disabilities. Others work
as orchestra conductors or band directors,
whose duties include selecting the music to
be performed, auditioning and selecting
members of the performing group, and di­
recting the group at rehearsals and perfor­
mances to achieve the desired musical effects.

Working Conditions
Musicians generally work at night and on
weekends, and they must spend considerable
time in practice and rehearsal. These long
and irregular hours can be very exhausting.
Performances often require travel. Many
people cannot obtain year-round work as
musicians, and are forced to supplement
their incomes by other types of work.

Places of Employment
About 127,000 persons worked as perform­
ing musicians in 1978. Many thousands more

taught in elementary and secondary schools
and in colleges and universities. (See the
statements on teachers elsewhere in the
Handbook.) Almost every town and city has
at least one private music teacher. Some
musicians with training in music therapy
work in psychiatric hospitals, centers for the
mentally retarded, hospitals and schools,
community mental health centers, day care
centers, nursing homes, and special service
Most performing musicians work in cities
where entertainment and recording activities
are concentrated, such as New York City,
Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Miami
Beach, and New Orleans. Many perform
with one of the 31 major symphony groups,
the 76 metropolitan orchestras, or the hun­
dreds of community orchestras. Many com­
munities have orchestras and dance bands
which offer at least part-time work. The vari­
ous branches of the Armed Forces also offer
career opportunities in a number of different
musical organizations.

Training and Other Qualifications
Most people who become professional
musicians begin studying an instrument at an
early age. To acquire great technical skill, a
thorough knowledge of music, and the ability
to interpret music, young people need inten­
sive training. This training may be obtained
through private study with an accomplished
musician, in a college or university which has
a strong music program, or in a conservatory
of music. For advanced study in one of these
institutions, an audition frequently is neces­
sary. Many teachers in these schools are ac­
complished artists who will train only prom­
ising young musicians.
About 540 colleges, universities, and

music conservatories offer bachelor’s and/or
higher degrees in musical performance, com­
position, and theory. In addition, about 750
conservatories and colleges and universities
offer a bachelor’s degree in music education
to qualify graduates for the State certificate
for elementary and secondary school teach­
ing positions. College teaching positions usu­
ally 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 ex­
pand their employment opportunities. As a
rule, they take lessons with private teachers
when young, and seize every opportunity to
play in amateur or professional perform­
ances. Establishing a reputation with other
musicians is very important in getting started
in a career in popular music. Some young
people form small dance bands or rock
groups. As they gain experience and become
known, they may audition for other local
bands, and still later, for the better known
bands and orchestras.
Young persons who consider careers in
music should have musical talent, versatility,
creative ability, and poise and stage presence
to face large audiences. Since quality per­
formance requires constant study and prac­
tice, self-discipline is vital. Moreover, musi­
cians who do concert and nightclub
engagements must have physical stamina be­
cause of frequent traveling and schedules
that often include night performances.

Employment Outlook
Employment of musicians is expected to
grow faster than the average through the
1980’s, but competition for jobs will be keen.
Opportunities for concerts and recitals are
not numerous enough to provide adequate
employment for all the pianists, violinists,
and other instrumentalists qualified as con­
cert artists. Competition usually is keen for
positions that offer stable employment, such
as jobs with major orchestras, with the
Armed Forces, and in teaching positions. Be­
cause of the ease with which a musician can
enter private music teaching, the number of
music teachers has been more than sufficient
and probably will continue to be. Although
many opportunities are expected for single
and short-term engagements to play popular
music in nightclubs and theaters, the supply
of qualified musicians who seek such jobs is
likely to exceed demand. On the other hand,
first-class, experienced accompanists and
outstanding players of stringed instruments
are likely to remain relatively scarce.


The thrill of performing goes hand in hand with long and irregular hours and much traveling, which

can for FRASER
Digitized be exhausting.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


The amount received for a performance
by either classical or popular musicians de­
pends on their geographic location as well
as on their professional reputation. Mini­
mum salaries for musicians in the 31 major
symphony orchestras in the United States in
1978 ranged from $232 to $490 a week, ac­
cording to the American Symphony Orches­

tra League. Minimum salaries for musicians
in the 28 regional symphony orchestras
ranged from $90 to $270 a week. Minimum
wages for musicians in metropolitan sym­
phony orchestras were generally between
$20 and $40 per concert. Some musicians
earned substantially more than the minimums, however.
The major symphony orchestras have sea­
sons ranging from 45 to 52 weeks. None of
the metropolitan or community orchestras
have seasons of 50 to 52 weeks, however.
Musicians in large metropolitan areas who
had steady engagement contracts to play at
dances, clubs, variety shows, ballets, musical
comedies, concerts, and industrial shows
generally earned minimums ranging from
$6.50 to $10.50 per hour, depending on the
length and type of engagement. Wages for
the same types of engagements tended to be
less in smaller cities and towns. Musicians
employed in motion picture recording earned
a minimum of about $108 for a 3-hour ses­
sion; those employed in television commer­
cials earned a minimum of $54 each for 2 to
5 musicians and $50 each for more than 5
musicians for a 1-hour session. Musicians
employed by recording companies were paid
a minimum of about $127 for a 3-hour ses­
Music teachers in public schools earn sala­
ries comparable to those of other teachers.
(See statements on elementary and secondary
school teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Many teachers give private music lessons to
supplement their earnings. However, earn­
ings often are uncertain and vary according
to the musician’s reputation, the number of
teachers and students in the locality, and the
economic status of the community.
Many musicians, primarily those em­
ployed by symphony orchestras, work under
master wage agreements, which guarantee a
season’s work up to 52 weeks. Musicians in
other areas, however, may face relatively
long periods of unemployment between jobs.
Thus, their earnings generally are lower than
those in many other occupations. Moreover,
since they may not work steadily for one em­
ployer, some performers cannot qualify for
unemployment compensation, and few have
either sick leave or vacations with pay. For
these reasons, many musicians take other
types of jobs to supplement their earnings as
Most professional musicians belong to the
American Federation of Musicians (AFLCIO). Concert soloists also belong to the
American Guild of Musical Artists, Inc.

Related Occupations
Performing musicians express ideas and
emotions through the music they play. Other
occupations in the music field include ar­
rangers, composers, copyists, music critics,
music directors, music librarians, music
teachers, music therapists, orchestra conduc­
tors, orchestrators, instrument repairers,

music or instrument sales people, and radio
music producers.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about wages, hours of
work, and working conditions for profes­
sional musicians, contact:

where in the Handbook.) Others give voice
training or direct choral groups in churches,
synagogues, music conservatories, or colleges
and universities.

Working Conditions

For programs in music teacher education,

Singers generally work at night and on
weekends, and must spend much time in
practice and rehearsals. Work in the enter­
tainment field is seasonal and few performers
have steady jobs. Except for a few wellknown concert soloists, opera stars, and top
recording artists of popular music, most pro­
fessional singers experience difficulty in ob­
taining regular employment and have to sup­
plement their incomes with other kinds of
jobs. Moreover, a singing career sometimes is
relatively short, since it depends on a good
voice, physical stamina, and public accept­
ance of the artist, all of which may be affected
by age.

Music Educators National Conference, 1902 Asso­
ciation Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

Places of Employment

American Federation of Musicians (AFL-CIO),
1500 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036.

The requirements for certification of or­
ganists and choir masters are available from:
American Guild of Organists, 630 Fifth Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10020.

For information about a career in music
therapy, contact:
National Association for Music Therapy, Inc.,
P.O. Box 610, Lawrence, Kans. 66044.

Information about certification of private
music teachers is available from:
Music Teachers National Association, 2113 Carew
Tower, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

A list of accredited schools of music is also
available for $3.25 from:
National Association of Schools of Music, 11250
Roger Bacon Dr., Reston, Va. 22090.

A brochure entitled Careers in Music is
available from any of the last three organiza­
tions listed above.

(D.O.T. 152.047-022)

Nature of the Work
Singing is an age-old form of entertain­
ment which, in one form or another, can be
understood and appreciated by almost every­
one. Professional singing often requires not
only a fine voice but also a highly developed
technique and a broad knowledge of music.
A small number of singing stars make record­
ings or go on concert tours in the United
States and abroad. Somewhat larger numbers
of singers obtain leading or supporting roles
in operas and popular music shows, or secure
engagements as concert soloists in oratorios
and other types of performances. Some sing­
ers also become members of opera and musi­
cal comedy choruses or other professional
choral groups. Popular music singers per­
form in musical shows of all kinds—in the
movies, on the stage, on radio and television,
in concerts, and in nightclubs and other
places of entertainment. The best known
popular music singers make and sell many
Some singers combine their work as per­
formers with related jobs. Many give private
voice lessons. A number of singers teach and
direct choruses in elementary and secondary
schools. (See the statements on teachers else­

About 22,000 persons worked as profes­
sional singers in 1978. Many others were
employed as music teachers in elementary
and secondary schools, colleges, universi­
ties, and conservatories throughout the
country. Opportunities for singing engage­
ments are concentrated mainly in New
York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San
Francisco, Dallas, and Chicago—the Na­
tion’s chief entertainment centers. Nash­
ville, Tenn., a major center for country
and western music, is one of the most im­
portant places for employment of singers
for “live” performances and recordings.
Many singers work part time as singers
and choirmasters for churches and syna­
gogues. The various branches of the
Armed Forces also offer career opportuni­
ties for vocalists.

Training and Other Qualifications
Persons who want to sing professionally
should acquire a broad background in music,
including its theory and history. The ability
to dance may be helpful, since singers some­
times are required to dance. In addition,
those interested in a singing career should
start piano lessons at an early age to become
familiar with music theory and composition.
As a rule, voice training should not begin
until after the individual has matured physi­
cally, although young boys who sing in
church choirs receive some training before
their voices change. An audition often is re­
quired for advanced voice training. Since
voice training often continues for years after
the singer’s professional career has started, a
prospective singer must have great determi­
To prepare for careers as singers of classi­
cal music, young people can take private
voice lessons or enroll in a music conserva­
tory or a school or department of music in a
college or university. These schools provide
voice training and training in understanding
and interpreting music, including musicrelated training in foreign languages and,


or $45 to $50 per performance. Members of
an opera chorus earned a minimum daily rate
of $40, or $45 per performance. A featured
soloist received a minimum of $200 for each
performance. A few opera soloists and popu­
lar singers, however, earned thousands of
dollars per performance. Minimum wage
rates for group singers on network or syn­
dicated television ranged between $165 and
$175 per singer for a 1-hour show. Solo or
duo singers received per performance minimums of $350 each.

Singers generally work at night and on weekends, and must spend much time
in practice and rehearsals.
sometimes, dramatic training. After complet­
ing 4 years of study, the graduate may receive
the degree of bachelor of music, bachelor of
science or arts (in music), or bachelor of fine
Singers who plan to teach in public schools
need at least a bachelor’s degree in music and
must meet the State certification require­
ments for teachers. About 750 conservatories
and colleges and universities offer a degree
program in music education. In addition,
about 540 colleges and universities offer
training in musical performance, composi­
tion, and theory, leading to a bachelor’s de­
gree. Most college teachers must have a mas­
ter’s or a doctor’s degree, but exceptions may
be made for well-qualified artists.
Although voice training is an asset for
singers of popular music, many with un­
trained voices have had successful careers.
The typical popular song does not demand
that the voice be developed to cover as wide
a range on the musical scale as does classical
music, and the lack of voice projection may
be overcome by use of a microphone.
Young singers of popular songs may be­
come known by participating in local ama­



teur and paid shows. These engagements may
lead to employment with local dance bands
or rock groups and possibly later with better
known ones.
In addition to musical ability, a singing
career requires an attractive appearance,
poise and stage presence, and perseverance.
Singers also must have physical stamina to
adapt to frequent traveling and rigorous time
schedules, which often include night perfor­

Employment Outlook
Employment of singers is expected to grow
faster than the average through the 1980’s,
but competition for jobs will be keen. Many
short-term jobs are expected in the opera and
concert stage, movies, theater, nightclubs,
and other areas. The demand is growing for
popular singers who can do radio and televi­
sion commercials. However, these short-term
jobs are not enough to provide steady em­
ployment for all qualified singers.

Concert singers who were part of a chorus
earned a minimum daily rate of $35 in 1978,

Professional singers usually belong to a
branch of the AFL-CIO union, the As­
sociated Actors and Artistes of America.
Singers on the concert stage or in opera be­
long to the American Guild of Musical Art­
ists, Inc.; those who sing on radio or televi­
sion or make phonograph recordings are
members of the American Federation of Tel­
evision and Radio Artists; singers in the vari­
ety and nightclub field belong to the Ameri­
can Guild of Variety Artists; those who sing
in musical comedy and operettas belong to
the Actors’ Equity Association; and those
who sing in television or theatrical motion
pictures belong to the Screen Actors Guild,

Related Occupations
Singers express themselves and entertain
others through song. Some related occupa­
tions include arrangers, choral directors,
copyists, music therapists, orchestrators,
songwriters, and voice teachers.

Sources of Additional Information
A directory of accredited schools and de­
partments of music is available for $3.25
National Association of Schools of Music, 11250
Roger Bacon Dr., Reston, Va. 22090.

For information regarding programs in
music teacher education, contact:
Music Educators National Conference, 1902 Asso­
ciation Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

Information about certification of private
music teachers is available from:
Music Teachers National Association, 2113 Carew
Tower, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

A brochure entitled Careers in Music is
available from any of the three organizations
listed above.

Design Occupations
People in design occupations are con­
cerned with the usefulness and appearance of
the things we use and the places in which we
live and work. Good design means creating
objects that are not only “functional,” serv­
ing the purpose for which they are intended,
but pleasing to the eye as well. The aesthetic
element is important because pleasant sur­
roundings can boost our spirits and make us
more satisfied with the time we spend in a
particular place. Products and packaging
that are designed for “eye appeal” are likely
to attract more buyers than those that are
The design field includes people in a vari­
ety of specialties. Among them are architects,
who design the buildings around us; land­
scape architects, who plan golf courses and
public parks as well as the lawns around
houses; artists and layout workers, who pre­
pare advertisements of all kinds; photogra­
phers, who take pictures to convey an idea or
tell a story; set designers, lighting designers,
and costume designers, who work with theat­
rical productions; interior designers, decora­
tors, and display workers, who arrange fur­
nishings and spaces in homes, stores, and
offices; and textile and clothing designers,
who design the fabrics we use and the cloth­
ing we wear.
Different design careers require varying
levels of training. While floral designers often
learn their duties on the job and do not even
need a high school diploma, architects must
complete 4 or more years of college and work
for several years before they can apply for a
license. Regardless of the amount of formal
training required, people in the design field
must be creative and able to communicate
ideas visually.
Artistic talent is crucial in all the design
occupations. People in this field need strong
color sense, an eye for detail, a sense of bal­
ance and proportion, and sensitivity to
beauty. Also necessary is an inherent sense of
what is good and what is not from an aes­
thetic point of view.

job to come up with a solution to a client’s
design problem that is both aesthetic and
practical. Since they often work on tight
deadlines, these workers need the self-disci­
pline to start projects on their own, to budget
their time, and to complete everything as
scheduled. Business acumen can be impor­
tant, for many people in this field are free­
lancers or run their own businesses.
This section describes the work of people
in seven design occupations: Architects, dis­
play workers, floral designers, industrial de­
signers, interior designers, landscape ar­
chitects, and photographers. Several other
jobs that require design skills are descibed
elsewhere in the Handbook. See the state­
ments on urban planners and engineers.

(D.O.T. 001.061-010)

Nature of the Work
Attractive buildings and their surround­
ings enhance a community’s appearance. But
buildings must be safe as well as attractive
and suit the needs of the people who use
them. Architects take all these things into
consideration and design buildings that are
esthetically appealing, safe, and functional.
Architects provide a wide variety of pro­
fessional services to individuals, organiza­
tions, corporations, or government agencies
planning a building project. Architects are
involved in all phases of development of a
building or project, from the initial discus­
sion of general ideas through construction.
Their duties require a variety of skills—de­
sign, engineering, managerial, and supervi­
The architect and client first discuss the
purposes, requirements, and cost of a project.
The architect then prepares schematic draw­
ings that show the scale and the structural
and mechanical relationships of the building.

Because styles and tastes in art and fashion
change with almost breathtaking speed, peo­
ple in this field need to be versatile and open
to new ideas and influences. Creative work
can be frustrating, even discouraging, during
periods when new ideas don’t come—or
when the designer’s ideas clash with those of
a client. Sometimes a concept or layout has
to be changed to accommodate a client,
which requires flexibility. Dealing with cli­
ents also calls for tact and sound professional

If the schematic drawings are accepted, the
architect develops a final design showing the
floor plans and the structural details of the
project. For example, in designing a school,
the architect determines the width of corri­
dors and stairways so that students may
move easily from one class to another; the
type and arrangement of storage space, and
the location and size of classrooms, laborato­
ries, lunchroom or cafeteria, gymnasium,
and administrative offices.

Problem-solving skills and the ability to
work independently are important traits for
people in the design field. It is the designer’s

Next the architect prepares working draw­
ings showing the exact dimensions of every
part of the structure and the location of

plumbing, heating units, electrical outlets,
and air-conditioning.
Architects also specify the building materi­
als and, in some cases, the interior furnish­
ings. In all cases, the architect must ensure
that the structure’s design and specifications
conform to local and State building codes,
zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordi­
Throughout this time, the architect may
make changes to satisfy the client. A client
may, for example, decide that an original de­
sign is too expensive and ask the architect to
make modifications. Or the client may
change the project requirements. Redesign­
ing plans to suit the client requires flexibility,
and sometimes considerable patience, on the
part of the architect.
After all drawings are completed, the ar­
chitect assists the client in selecting a con­
tractor and negotiating the construction con­
tract. As construction proceeds, the architect
visits the building site from time to time to
ensure that the contractor is following the
design and using the specified materials. The
architect also checks to be sure that work
meets the specified standards. The job is not
complete until construction is finished, all
required tests are made, construction costs
are paid, and guarantees are received from
the contractor.
Architects design a wide variety of struc­
tures, such as houses, churches, hospitals, of­
fice buildings, and airports. They also design
multibuilding complexes for urban renewal
projects, college campuses, industrial parks,
and new towns. Besides designing structures,
architects also may help in selecting building
sites, preparing cost and land-use studies,
and long-range planning for site develop­
When working on large projects or for
large architectural firms, architects often
specialize in one phase of the work, such as
designing or administering construction con­
tracts. This often requires working with engi­
neers, urban planners, landscape architects,
and others.

Working Conditions
Most architects spend a great deal of their
time at the drawing board in well-equipped
offices. It is at the drawing board that ar­
chitects do most of their more creative and
imaginative work, so much of the time can be
very satisfying and rewarding. This work
often is varied by interviewing clients and
contractors and discussing the design, con­
struction procedures, or building materials of
a project with other architects, landscape ar­
chitects, or engineers. Contract administra-


though they are not licensed. However, a reg­
istered architect is required to take legal re­
sponsibility for all work.

Architects spend many hours at the drawing
tors frequently work outdoors during inspec­
tions at construction sites.

Places of Employment
About 54,000 architects were employed in
1978. This included architecture school grad­
uates who have not become registered (li­
censed), although they work in the field.
They must work under the supervision of li­
censed architects.
Most architects work for architectural
firms or for builders, real estate firms, or
other businesses that have large construction
programs. Some work for government agen­
cies responsible for housing, planning, or
community development. About 1,600 ar­
chitects work for the Federal Government,
mainly for the Departments of Defense, Inte­
rior, Housing and Urban Development, 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

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States and the District of Columbia
require individuals to be licensed before they
may call themselves architects or contract for
providing architectural services. To qualify
for the licensing exam, a person must have
either a Bachelor of Architecture degree fol­
lowed by 3 years of acceptable practical expe­
rience in an architect’s office or a Master of
Architecture degree followed by 2 years of
experience. As a substitute for formal train­
ing, most States accept additional experience
(usually 12 years) and successful completion
of a qualifying test for admission to the lic­
ensing examination. Many architecture
school graduates work in the field even OUTLOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


In 1978, the National Architectural Ac­
crediting Board had accredited 87 programs
of the 101 schools offering professional de­
grees in architecture. Most of these schools
offer either a 5-year curriculum leading to a
Bachelor of Architecture degree or a 6-year
curriculum leading to a Master of Architec­
ture degree. Students also may transfer to
professional degree programs after complet­
ing a 2-year junior or community college pro­
gram in architecture. Many architecture
schools also offer graduate education for
those who already have their first profes­
sional degree. Although such graduate edu­
cation is not essential for practicing ar­
chitects, it often is desirable for those in
research and teaching. A typical college ar­
chitecture program includes courses in ar­
chitectural theory, design, graphics, engi­
neering, and urban planning, as well as in
English, mathematics, physics, economics,
and the humanities.
Persons planning careers in architecture
should be able to work independently, have
a capacity for solving technical problems,
and be artistically inclined. They also must
be prepared to work in the competitive envi­
ronment of business where leadership and
ability to work with others are important.
Working for architects or building contrac­
tors during summer vacations is useful for
gaining practical knowledge.
New graduates usually begin as drafters in
architectural firms, where they prepare ar­
chitectural drawings and make models of
structures under the direction of a registered
architect. After several years of experience,
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 designers, con­
struction contract administrators, or specifi­
cation writers who prepare documents that
specify the building materials, their method
of installation, the quality of finishes, re­
quired tests, and many other related details.
Employees who become associates in their
firms may receive, in addition to a salary, a
share of the profits. Usually, however, the
architect’s goal is to own his or her own busi­

Employment Outlook
Architects are expected to face competi­
tion for jobs through the 1980’s. Although
employment of architects is expected to rise
faster than the average for all workers during
this period, the number of degrees granted in
architecture is expected to continue growing
as well. If so, supply in this small field could
exceed the number of job openings arising
from employment growth, deaths, and retire­
Demand for architects is highly dependent
upon the level of new construction, and the
anticipated rapid growth of nonresidential
construction is expected to be a major deter­

minant of job opportunities through the
1980’s. Any significant upswing or downturn
in building could temporarily alter demand,
however. Indeed, the cyclical nature of con­
struction activity leads some architects to
move in and out of the field from time to
time. Their design skills and familiarity with
building materials and techniques enable
them to move into related areas such as
graphic design, advertising, visual arts, prod­
uct design, construction contracting and
supervision, and real estate.
Although most job openings will be in ar­
chitectural firms, some will occur in con­
struction firms, colleges and universities, and
government agencies. Construction firms
employ architects to oversee various aspects
of project design and actual construction. In
colleges and universities, the anticipated in­
crease in enrollments in architecture and en­
vironmental design programs may create a
demand for additional faculty. Public con­
cern about the quality of the environment is
expected to heighten the demand for commu­
nity and environmental planning projects.
This should create opportunities in consult­
ing firms and planning agencies of various
kinds. (See the statement on urban planners
elsewhere in the Handbook.)

The average salary for architects in 1978
was well over $25,000, according to the lim­
ited information available. Architects with
well-established private practices generally
earn much more than even highly paid sala­
ried employees of architectural firms. Al­
though the range in their incomes is very
wide, some architects with many years of ex­
perience and good reputations earn well over
$40,000 a year. Architects starting their own
practices may go through a period when their
expenses are greater than their income. An­
nual income may fluctuate due to changing
business conditions.
In 1979, the average salary for architects
working in the Federal Government was
about $25,000.

Related Occupations
Architects are concerned with the design
and construction of buildings and related
structures. Others who engage in related
work are building contractors, civil engi­
neers, urban planners, interior designers, in­
dustrial designers, landscape architects,
drafters, and surveyors.

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

Information about careers and schools in
architecture is available from:
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architec­
ture, Inc., 1735 New York Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20006.

Information about the licensing examina­
tions can be obtained from:
The National Council of Architectural Registra­
tion Boards, 1735 New York Ave. NW., Suite 700,
Washington, D.C. 20006.

Display Workers
(D.O.T. 298)

Nature of the Work
It happens every day: A shopper browsing
through a clothing store notices a mannequin
wearing an attractive outfit and decides to
buy one just like it. A fishing enthusiast sees
a display of angling equipment in a store win­
dow, goes in, and buys a new reel. Displays
in stores and store windows attract custom­
ers and encourage them to buy. Knowing
how effective this form of advertising can be,
some stores allot a large share of their public­
ity budget to displays.
Merchandise displayers (D.O.T. 298.081010) design and install exhibits of clothing,
accessories, and furniture in store windows
and showcases and on the sales floor. Their
aim is to develop attractive, eye-catching
ways of showing merchandise to the best ad­
vantage. Display workers known as model
dressers specialize in dressing mannequins
for use in displays. Others are designated ac­
cording to the area they decorate as showcase
trimmers or window dressers.
To create a setting that enhances the mer­
chandise, display workers need imagination
as well as knowledge of color harmony, com­
position, and other fundamentals of art. They
may, for example, choose a theme—a beach
setting to advertise bathing suits or surfing
equipment—and design a colorful display
around this theme. After the design has been
approved by the store’s management, display
workers obtain the props and other necessary
accessories. Their craft skills come into play
at this time.
Display workers often construct many of
the props themselves using hammers, saws,
spray guns, and other tools. They may be
assisted in these tasks by a helper or by store
maintenance workers. Sometimes display
workers use merchandise from other depart­
ments of the store as props. Display workers
also may use props out of storage, designed
for previous displays, or order props from
firms that specialize in them. The display
workers install the props, background set­
tings, and lighting equipment. They also
dress mannequins and add finishing touches.
Periodically, 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 carpentry, painting, making
signs, or setting up interior or window dis­
plays. Overall planning and administration in
large stores are usually the responsibilities of
a display director who supervises and coordi­

Display workers often design and construct the props used in an exhibit.
nates the activities of each department. The
director confers with other store executives,
such as advertising and sales managers, to
select merchandise for promotion and to plan
Commerical decorators (D.O.T. 298.381010) are employed by the promoters of trade
exhibitions to prepare and install decorations
and displays for trade and industrial shows,
exhibitions, festivals, and other special

Working Conditions
Display personnel enjoy the satisfaction of
doing creative work. Transforming an origi­
nal design into reality can be a highly reward­
ing experience.
Display workers usually work 35 to 40
hours a week. During busy seasons, such as
Christmas and Easter, they may work over­
time, nights, and weekends to prepare special
Constructing and installing props fre­
quently require prolonged standing, bending,
stooping, and working in awkward positions.
Display workers risk injury from falls off lad­
ders, from contact with sharp or rough
materials, and from the use of power tools,
but serious injuries are uncommon.

Places of Employment
About 44,000 persons were employed as
display workers in 1978. Most worked in re­
tail stores such as department, clothing, and
home furnishing stores. Display workers
were employed in many other kinds of retail
stores, however, including variety, drug, and
shoe stores and in book and gift shops. Sev­
eral thousand more worked on a freelance
basis or for design firms that handle profes­
sional window dressing for small stores.

Geographically, employment is distributed
much like the Nation’s population, with most
jobs in large towns and cities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most display workers learn their trade
through informal on-the-job training. Begin­
ners are hired as helpers to dismantle dis­
plays, carry props, and do other routine
tasks. Gradually, they are given the opportu­
nity to do more difficult work, such as build­
ing props, and, if they show artistic talent,
planning simple designs. A beginner usually
can become skilled in 1 to 2 years. Training
time varies, however, depending on the be­
ginner’s ability and the variety and complex­
ity of displays that the employer requires.
A high school diploma is the minimum
requirement for most beginning jobs. Courses
that provide helpful training for display work
include art, woodworking, mechanical draw­
ing, and merchandising. Some employers
seek applicants who have completed college
courses in art, interior decorating, fashion
design, advertising, or related subjects.
Display work is included in the curriculum
of many of the distributive education and
marketing programs taught in high schools
and community and junior colleges. Local
chapters of Distributive Education Clubs of
America (DECA) also offer students an op­
portunity to develop visual merchandising
Creative ability, manual dexterity, and me­
chanical aptitude are among the most impor­
tant personal qualifications needed in this
field. Good physical condition and agility are
needed to carry equipment, climb ladders,
and work in close quarters without upsetting


Advancement may take several forms. A
display worker with supervisory ability
might become display director in a large
store. A display director might in turn prog­
ress to sales promotion director or be placed
in charge of store planning.
Freelance work is another avenue of ad­
vancement. Relatively little financial invest­
ment is needed to start a freelance business in
the design field. However, this is a highly
competitive area and business is likely to be
slow until the firm’s reputation is established.
For this reason, some workers moonlight
until they have enough clients for full-time
work on their own.
The display worker’s skills could lead to
jobs in other art-related occupations such as
interior decoration or photography. These
occupations, however, require additional

Sources of Additional Information
Details on career opportunities can be ob­
tained from local retailers, such as depart­
ment stores, and from local offices of the
State employment service.
General information about the occupation
is available from:
National Retail Merchants Association, 100 West
31st St., New York, N.Y. 10001.

Floral Designers
(D.O.T. 142.081-010)

Nature of the Work

Employment Outlook
Employment of display workers is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Employ­
ment growth will reflect the expansion of re­
tail trade as well as the growing popularity of
the concept of visual merchandising, which
involves extensive use of merchandise to dec­
orate the store and frequent changes of dis­
plays. In addition to the jobs resulting from
employment growth, openings will arise each
year to replace experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
Employment opportunities will continue
to be concentrated in large stores, most of
which are located in metropolitan areas.

Among large employers, wages for begin­
ners ranged from $2.90 to $3.50 an hour in
1978. Beginners who have completed college
courses in art, interior decorating, or related
subjects generally received the higher start­
ing salaries. Experienced display workers’
salaries ranged from $140 to $280 a week,
depending largely on experience and ability.
Most display managers earned between $15,000 and $25,000 a year. Experienced manag­
ers in large metropolitan department stores,
particularly executives, may earn considera­
bly more.
The earnings of freelancers depend on
their talent and prestige, on the number and
kinds of stores they service, and on the
amount of time they work. Many highly
skilled freelancers earn more than $25,000 a

Related Occupations
Display workers draw, paint, design, and
construct displays that promote the sales of
merchandise. An ability to recognize differ­
ent shades and colors and to form a mental
image of how shapes and forms can be com­
bined and arranged in artistic ways are some
of the skills needed to succeed in this kind of
work. Others whose work requires these


skills include exhibit designers, floral design­
ers, graphic designers, interior designers, and
set designers.


Floral designers assemble flowers and foli­
age into a design to express the thoughts and
sentiments of the sender. In performing their
work, floral designers combine their knowl­
edge of flower and plant forms and floral
design techniques with their own creativity to
produce floral and plant gifts, decorations,
and tributes.
Designers must know the names and last­
ing qualities of flowers and growing informa­
tion about flowering plants. They must also
know the seasonal availability of flower and
plant materials and the management’s pric­
ing structure for these materials.
In any given day, designers may receive a
variety of orders, including decorative flow­
ering plants, bouquets, corsages, funeral
work, and dried-flower arrangements. Spe­
cial orders, such as for weddings and parties,
also incorporate the creative design and
decorating talents of the floral designer.
Designers usually work from a written
order indicating customer preference for
color and type of flower, as well as the oc­
casion, price, date, time, and place the ar­
rangement or plant is to be delivered. Cus­
tomers sometimes leave the choice of
flowers, color, and design to the discretion
of the designer.

mond shape. When carnations are used, they
are placed among the gladiolas to provide
contrasting form, color harmony, and depth.
A bow may be placed at the focal point of the
spray, and additional foliage added to con­
ceal construction. On the back of the sympa­
thy card are the description of the spray and
the donor’s name and address for easy ac­
knowledgement. The spray is ready for deliv­
ery. This type of order usually is completed
in about 15 minutes.
Floral designers often have other duties.
They may help customers select flowers,
plants, gifts, and floral accessories available
in the shop. During slack periods, design­
ers sometimes decorate flowering plants,
arrange planters and terrariums, prepare
accessories and containers for future use,
or take inventory. The variety of duties
performed by a floral designer depends on
the size of the shop and the number of de­
signers employed.

Working Conditions
Floral designers must be able to stand for
long periods. Work areas are often cool and
humid to preserve the flowers, and designers
are exposed to sudden temperature changes
when entering or leaving storage refrigera­
tors. In general, however, florist shops are
clean and well ventilated and provide a pleas­
ant atmosphere.

Places of Employment
About 56,000 floral designers were em­
ployed in 1978. Nearly all designers work in
the retail flower shops common to large cit­
ies, suburban shopping centers, and small
towns. Most shops are small and employ only
one or two floral designers; many designers
manage their own stores. Geographically,
employment is distributed much the same as

Training, Other Qualifications, and

A funeral order may read “easel spray of
red and white flowers.” For the foundation,
the designer may attach a base (styrofoam,
needle pack, etc.) near the top of a threelegged wire stand. Appropriate flowers are
selected from the floral refrigerator. White
gladiolas and red carnations are a possible
combination. The price of the order and the
cost of the flowers determine the number of
flowers used. The flowers are cut to the
needed length and wired for security. Stems
may be strengthened with wooden sticks for
easy insertion into the base.

An increasing number of people take
courses in floral design to prepare for a career
in this field. Courses in flower arranging and
floral design are offered in many adult educa­
tion programs, junior colleges, and commer­
cial floral design schools. Longer programs
provide training in flower marketing and
shop management for floral designers who
plan to operate their own shops. Formal
training in floral design usually gives a pro­
spective designer an advantage in obtaining a
job over applicants who have no training.
However, since speed and creative ability are
the most important elements in successful
floral designing, training acquired on the job
through actual work experience also is valu­

To provide a background for the flowers,
the designer may insert leafy branches, such
as chamadorea or fern, into the base. If gladi­
olas are used, they are spaced so that the tips
of the flowers approximate an oval or dia­

Many people who want to become design­
ers are trained on the job by the manager or
an experienced floral designer. Initially, they
may copy simple arrangements that use one
type of flower. If they work quickly with

Industrial Designers
(D.O.T. 142.061-026)

Nature of the Work
When people buy a product, whether it’s a
home appliance, a new car, or a ballpoint
pen, they want it to be as attractive, safe, and
easy to use as possible. Industrial designers
combine artistic talent with knowledge of
marketing, materials, and methods of pro­
duction to improve the appearance and func­
tional design of products so that they com­
pete favorably with similar goods on the

Many floral designers acquire their skills on the job.
their hands and recognize the shape, color,
and position of flowers that make attractive
arrangements, instruction in more complex
arrangements may be given. As experience is
gained, original designs required for special
orders can be attempted. Usually a person
can become a fully qualified floral designer
after 2 years of on-the-job training.
Good color vision, manual dexterity, and
the ability to arrange various shapes and col­
ors in attractive patterns are the primary
qualifications for this occupation. A high
school diploma usually is desired, although
not essential. Applicants must be able to
write legibly and do simple arithmetic in
order to write up bills for customers. High
school courses in business arithmetic, book­
keeping, selling techniques, and other busi­
ness subjects are helpful. Experience gained
by working part time in a flower shop while
still in school is very helpful.
Floral designers with supervisory ability
may advance to manager or design supervi­
sors in large flower shops. Those who have
the necessary capital may open their own

Employment Outlook
Employment of floral designers is expected
to increase faster than the average for all oc­
cupations through the 1980’s. In addition to
job openings created by employment growth,
many openings will arise each year as work­
ers retire, die, or change occupations.
Floral designer employment is related to
sales of retail florist shops, which vary with
ups and downs in the economy. Over the long
run, however, it is expected that population
growth and rising income will cause sales of
flowers and floral arrangements to increase
significantly. As a result, more floral design­
ers will be needed.

Experienced designers usually earned be­
tween $3.50 and $7 an hour in 1978, accord­
ing to the limited information available.
Inexperienced floral designers generally
earned the minimum wage.
In small shops, floral designers often work
8 hours a day, Monday through Saturday. In
many large shops, designers who work Satur­
day may get a day off during the week. De­
signers generally work long hours around
certain holidays, such as Easter, Mother’s
Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas when
the demand for flowers and plants is great.
Most designers receive holiday and vaca­
tion pay. Because most shops are small, other
fringe benefits are limited. Some employers
pay part of the cost of group life and health
insurance but few contribute to retirement
plans other than social security. Floral de­
signers in a few cities are members of the
United Food and Commercial Workers In­
ternational Union.

Related Occupations
Floral designers need to have an eye for
detail and a sense of balance, proportion, and
esthetic appeal. They must have good sense
of color. Creating floral arrangements re­
quires the imagination found in many other
visual arts. Others whose jobs require similar
skills include display workers, graphic de­
signers, interior designers, set designers, and
art teachers.

Sources of Additional Information
For additional information about careers
in floral design and addresses of schools of­
fering courses in this field, write to:
Society of American Florists, 901 N. Washington
St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

As the first step in their work, industrial
designers gather information on how the
product compares with competing products,
the needs of the user of the product, fashion
trends, and effects of the product on its envi­
ronment. After the initial research, industrial
designers sketch different designs and con­
sult with managers, engineers, production
specialists, and sales and market research
personnel about the feasibility of each idea.
This development team considers such fac­
tors as visual appeal, convenience, utility,
safety, maintenance, and cost to the manu­
facturer, distributor, and consumer.
After company officials select the most
suitable design, the industrial designer or a
professional modeler makes a model, often of
clay so that it can be easily modified. After
any necessary revisions, a final or working
model is made, usually of the material to be
used in the finished product. The approved
model then is put into production.
Although most industrial designers are
product designers, many others are involved
in different facets of design. To create favor­
able public images for companies and for
government services, some designers develop
trademarks or symbols that appear on the
firm’s product, advertising, brochures, and
stationery. Some design containers and pack­
ages that both protect and promote their con­
tents. Others prepare small display exhibits
or the entire layout for industrial fairs. Some
design the interior layout of special purpose
commercial buildings such as restaurants
and supermarkets.
Corporate designers usually work only on
products made by their employer. This may
involve filling day-to-day design needs of the
company or long-range planning of new pro­
ducts. Independent consultants who serve
more than one industrial firm often plan and
design a great variety of products.

Working Conditions
Industrial designers generally work in
clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated
rooms. They normally work 5 days, 35-40
hours a week, but occasionally, they work
overtime to meet deadlines.
Designers may be frustrated at times when
their designs are rejected. Independent con­
sultants, who are paid by the assignment, are


Applicants for jobs should assemble a
“portfolio” of drawings and sketches to dem­
onstrate their creativity and ability to com­
municate ideas.
Beginning industrial designers frequently
do simple assignments. As they gain experi­
ence, they work on their own, and may be­
come supervisors with major responsibility
for the design of a product or a group of
products. Those who have an established rep­
utation and the necessary funds may start
their own consulting firms.

Employment Outlook
Employment in this relatively small occu­
pation is expected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Although the trend in recent years
has been away from frequent redesign of
household products, automobiles, and indus­
trial equipment, continued emphasis on is­
sues such as ecology and product safety
should increase demand for industrial de­

sometimes under pressure to find new clients
if their workload diminishes.

Places of Employment
About 13,000 persons were employed as
industrial designers in 1978. Most worked for
large manufacturing companies designing ei­
ther consumer or industrial products or for
design consulting firms. Others did freelance
work, or were on the staffs of architectural
and interior design firms. A few taught in­
dustrial design in colleges, universities, and
art schools.
Industrial design consultants work mainly
in large cities such as New York, Chicago,
Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Designers
with industrial firms usually work in or near
the manufacturing plants of their companies,
often in small and medium-sized cities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Completing a course of study in industrial
design in an art school, in a university, or in
a techncial college is the usual requirement
for entering this field of work. Persons major­
ing in engineering, architecture, and fine arts
may qualify as industrial designers if they
have appropriate experience and artistic tal­
ent. Most large manufacturing firms hire
only industrial deisgners who have a bache­
lor’s degree in the field.
In 1978, 33 colleges and art schools offered
programs in industrial design that were ei­
ther accredited by the National Association
of Schools of Art or recognized by the Indus­
trial Designers Society of America. Most of
these schools award a bachelor’s degree in
industrial design or art. A few also offer a
master’s degree in industrial design. Indus­
trial design programs vary among schools,

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


but most bachelor degree programs take 4 or
5 years. Many schools do not allow formal
entry into the program until a student has
successfully finished a year of basic art and
design courses. Applicants may be required
to submit sketches and other examples of
their artistic ability.
Most college and university programs
maintain a balance between science, humani­
ties, and art; art schools generally stress a
strong foundation in art. In most programs,
students spend much time in the lab design­
ing objects in three dimensions. In studio
courses, students make models with clay,
wood, plaster, and other easily worked
materials. In schools that have the necessary
machinery, students make models of their de­
signs while learning to use metalworking and
woodworking machinery. Students also take
courses in drawing, drafting, and other visual
communications skills.
Many industrial design programs, particu­
larly in a liberal arts college or university,
also include courses in basic engineering, in
the physical and natural sciences, in the be­
havioral sciences, and in marketing and busi­
ness administration.
Industrial designers must have creative tal­
ent, drawing skills, and the ability to trans­
late abstract ideas into tangible designs. They
must understand and meet the needs and
tastes of the public, rather than design only
to suit their own artistic sensitivity. Design­
ers should not be discouraged when their
ideas are rejected—often designs must be
resubmitted many times before one is ac­
cepted. Since industrial designers must coop­
erate with engineers and other staff members,
the ability to work and communicate with
others is essential. A sound understanding of
marketing, sales work, and other business
practices also is important.

Demand for industrial designers may fluc­
tuate over short-run periods. During eco­
nomic downturns when the market for new
products is dampened, the need for these
workers also tends to decline.
Employment opportunities are expected to
be best for college graduates with degrees in
industrial design. In addition to openings re­
sulting from increased demand for industrial
designers, some employment opportunities
will arise each year as designers die, retire, or
transfer to other fields.

Salaries for inexperienced industrial de­
signers with a bachelor’s degree generally
ranged from $10,000 to $14,000 a year in
1978, according to limited data. After several
years’ experience, it is possible to earn $15,000 to $20,000 a year. Salaries of those with
many years of experience averaged more
than $30,000 a year in 1978, but varied ac­
cording to individual talent and the size and
type of firm.
Earnings of industrial designers who own
their consulting firms fluctuate greatly, but
in general tend to be higher than the average
earnings of corporate industrial designers.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations who design
or arrange objects and materials to optimize
their appearance, function, and value include
architects, clothes designers, commercial art­
ists, display designers, floral designers, inte­
rior designers, and set designers.

Sources of Additional Information
A brochure about careers and a list of
schools offering courses and degrees in indus­
trial design are available for 50 cents from:
Industrial Designers Society of America, 1717 N
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

Interior Designers
(D.O.T. 142.051-014)

Nature of the Work
The creative work of interior designers
helps make our living, working, and playing
areas more attractive and useful. Interior de­
signers plan and supervise the design and ar­
rangement of building interiors and furnish­
ings. They may work on either private homes
or commercial buildings.
When planning any space, designers first
consider the purpose of the area, the needs of
the occupants, and the client’s budget and
taste. For instance, a very expensive couch
that is easily soiled would not suit a family’s
needs for their recreation room, nor would it
be appropriate for the reception area of a
doctor’s office.
The next step of the designer’s job involves
preparing sketches and detailed plans. These
will show all the furniture and accessories the
designer is considering as well as any changes
in the structure itself. Changes may vary
from planning a new wall to separate the
dining and living rooms to creating a work
cubicle in an office. Sometimes the clients do
not approve the plans, in which case the de­
signer will revise them.
Once the client approves both the plans
and the cost, the designer may order the fur­
nishings, supervise the work of painters, floor
finishers, carpet layers, and other craft work­
ers, if they are needed, and make sure the
furnishings are installed and arranged ac­
cording to the approved plan.
Designers who work in large department
and furniture stores that have separate design
departments advise customers on decorating
and design plans. Although their principal
function is to help sell the store’s merchan­
dise, they may suggest furnishings from other
sources when essential to the customer’s
plans. Department store designers also fre­
quently advise the store’s buyers and execu­
tives about style and color trends in interior
Interior designers who specialize in nonresidential structures often work for clients
on large design projects such as the interiors
of entire office buildings, hospitals, and li­
braries. Generally, they plan the complete
layout of rooms without changes to the struc­
ture of the building. They also may redesign
or renovate the interiors of old buildings. In
these cases, an architect checks the plans to
make sure that they comply with building
requirements. Some interior designers also
design the furniture and accessories to be
used in various structures, and then arrange
for their manufacture. A few design the in­
teriors of ships and aircraft or stage sets used
for motion pictures or television.
Regardless of where they are working, de­
signers must deal with paperwork; they must
place orders, figure estimates, and maintain
records of where to purchase hundreds of

Interior designers coordinating wall and floor coverings.
different types of furnishings. Handling busi­
ness matters such as these requires close at­
tention to detail and accuracy.

Working Conditions
Designers’ work hours are sometimes long
and irregular. They usually adjust their
workday to suit the needs of their clients,
meeting with them during the evening or on
weekends when necessary. They may trans­
act business in clients’ homes or offices, in
their own offices, or in a variety of other
Each assignment offers a challenge to solve
the client’s problems with creativity and
imagination. Designers generally work at
their own pace in a quiet atmosphere, but
sometimes the work is hectic. Most design
jobs require coordinating the activities of
building trades workers and suppliers, which
is not an easy task when deadlines are tight
and delivery problems crop up. The ability to
handle details, even under pressure, is very

Places of Employment
About 79,000 persons worked as interior
designers in 1978, primarily in large cities.
Most designers work for design firms.
They work independently with the firm’s cli­
ents or serve as assistants to senior designers.
Others work as members of design teams.
Some interior designers advise customers
in large department or furniture stores. Oth­
ers work for hotel and restaurant chains,
builders, government agencies, and other or­
ganizations that do a great deal of building or
renovation. Some work for architects, furni­
ture suppliers, antique dealers, furniture and
textile manufacturers, or other manufactur­
ers in the interior furnishings field. Interior

designers also work for magazines that fea­
ture articles on home furnishings.
Some experienced interior designers run
their own firms, either alone or in partner­
ship with other designers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Formal training in interior design is in­
creasingly important for entry into this field.
Most architectural firms, well-established de­
sign firms, department and furniture stores,
and other major employers accept only pro­
fessionally trained people for beginning jobs.
The types of training available include 3-year
programs in a professional school of interior
design, 4-year college or university programs
that grant a bachelor’s degree, or postgradu­
ate programs leading to a graduate degree.
The curriculum usually includes principles of
design, history of art, freehand and mechani­
cal drawing or architectural drafting, paint­
ing, study of the essentials of architecture as
they relate to interiors, design of furniture
and exhibitions, and study of various materi­
als, such as woods, plastics, metals, and fab­
rics. A knowledge of furnishings, art pieces,
and antiques is important. In addition,
courses in sales and business techniques and
management are valuable.
Membership in the American Society of
Interior Design or in the Institute of Business
Designers is a recognized mark of achieve­
ment in this profession. Membership usually
requires the completion of 3 or 4 years of post
high school education in design and several
years of practical experience in the field, in­
cluding supervisory work. In addition, satis­
factory completion of a factual and designproblem examination is necessary for
professional membership.


Persons starting in interior design usually
serve a training period with a design firm,
department store, or furniture store. They
may act as receptionists, as shoppers with the
task of matching materials or finding acces­
sories, or as stockroom assistants, salesper­
sons, assistant decorators, or junior design­
ers. In most instances, from 1 to 5 years of
on-the-job training are required before a
trainee becomes eligible for advancement to
designer. Beginners who do not get trainee
jobs often sell fabric, lamps, or other interior
furnishings in department or furniture stores
to gain experience in dealing with customers
and to become familiar with the merchan­
dise. There is no guarantee, however, that
this experience will result in a job in design,
although it could lead to a career in merchan­
After considerable experience, designers
may advance to design department head or to
other supervisory positions in department
stores or in large design firms. If they have
the necessary funds and aptitude for busi­
ness, they may open their own firms.
Artistic talent is crucial for interior design­
ers. People in this field also need a strong
color sense, an eye for detail, and a sense of
balance and proportion. An esthetic sense, or
sensitivity to beauty, is absolutely essential.
Because styles and tastes in art and fashion
change quickly, people in this field need to be
versatile and alert to new ideas and trends.
A successful designer must also be well
organized and good at handling details. The
ability to work well with people is very im­
portant, for a designer must be able to deal
effectively with clients, suppliers, and work­

Employment Outlook
Persons seeking beginning jobs in interior
design are expected to face competition
through the 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 college graduates
who major in interior design and graduates of
professional schools of interior design will
find the best opportunities for employment.
Those with less talent or without formal
training will find it increasingly difficult to
enter this field.
Employment of interior designers is ex­
pected to increase about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Growth in population, personal incomes, ex­
penditures for home and office furnishings,
and the increasing use of design services in
both homes and commercial establishments
should contribute to a greater demand for
these workers. In addition to new jobs, some
openings will be created by the need to re­
place designers who die, retire, or leave the
Department and furniture stores are ex­
pected to employ an increasing number of
designers as their share in the growing vol­
ume of design work for commercial establish­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


ments and public buildings increases. Inte­
rior design firms also are expected to
continue to expand.
Employment of interior designers, how­
ever, is sensitive to changes in general eco­
nomic c